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December 01, 2008

Pastor Rick Warren to recieve first-ever medal of FAIL

Think Progress reports that George W. Bush will receive the first-ever International Medal of PEACE from mega-church pastor Rick Warren:

To mark World AIDS Day, Saddelback Pastor Rick Warren is hosting a Civil Forum on Global Health at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Warren will present President Bush with the first “International Medal of PEACE” from the Global PEACE Coalition in recognition of his unprecedented contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases. The “International Medal of PEACE” is given for outstanding contribution toward alleviating the five global giants recognized by the Coalition, including pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and spiritual emptiness. The Bush administration reports that its AIDS initiative helped treat two million people this year living with HIV/AIDS

Bush is being honored for the PEPFAR program, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, that's the initiative that stipulates that 2/3 of the prevention money should be spent exhorting people in the developing world practice abstinence before marriage and monogamy thereafter. The remaining 1/3 can be spent on condoms, but condoms may not be promoted to young people, whom PEPFAR thinks should be abstinent. 

In 2006, 56% of the money set aside for the prevention of sexual transmission of HIV was spent on abstinence only propaganda programs.

PEACE out, Mr. President.

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Comments

Its not whether you actually help other people that matters, Lindsay; its whether, at the end of the day, you're still able to look in the mirror and congratulate yourself.

He did a lot more to deal with AIDS in Africa than your idol Clinton ever did.

An International Medal of PEACE?

Wow, Warren is just a complete tool.

LB - when are you going to institute your medals of peace?

This awards thing...so self referential.

Oh, did I tell you? My real name is Nobel.

mudkitty

I'll nominate you. You and Bush are equally deserving of an award.

Like Arafat and Peres.

I'm not so sure that the mediocre offerings under PEPFAR really will save that many lives in the long run. Abstinence-only education is exceedingly dangerous, especially since it's rooted in a patriarchal ideal where women are disempowered but bizarrely given the task of enforcing rules that they have very little power to enforce. The Christian right makes a lot of money off using PEPFAR as a Trojan Horse to promote their patriarchal values, but their pollyannaish belief that marriage is some cure-all for AIDS doesn't correspond to reality. In reality, women in many developing countries see their HIV risk go UP when they marry, not down.


Helping normalize condom use through access is our best bet. It worked beautifully in the U.S. When condom use was promoted amongst gay men, the HIV transmission rate actually dropped below that of straight people. Then condom use was heavily promoted amongst straight people, who also saw a drop. Unfortunately, we've lost the mid-90s "condoms everywhere!" mentality, and I suspect they're getting re-stigmatized, because HIV rates are climbing once again.

"In reality, women in many developing countries see their HIV risk go UP when they marry, not down."

I know that is true in India, and while I don't remember the statistic its very dramatic.

"This awards thing...so self referential."

I seem to remember reading that Herbert Hoover won many awards and much praise for his philanthropic work after being tossed unceremoniously out of the White House. I can only think it must be very painful for members of the ruling class to see fellow members treated so rudely (and for such trivial reasons) by the common rabble, and just have to do something to help them feel better about themselves.

If you're serious about AIDS, telling people to practice abstinence before marriage and monogamy thereafter is like trying to cut down on war casualties by saying, "Try to stay out of the way of the bullets and shrapnel."

Like everything else W and conservatives have done, it's mainly BS, and only makes the problem worse.

If you're serious about AIDS, telling people to practice abstinence before marriage and monogamy thereafter is like trying to cut down on war casualties by saying, "Try to stay out of the way of the bullets and shrapnel."

Except that it's been one of the main prongs in fighting AIDS in Africa (condom use is the other). The successful programs are in fact those that combine abstinence and faithfulness with condom use and negotiation.

'The “International Medal of PEACE” is given for outstanding contribution toward alleviating the five global giants recognized by the Coalition, including pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and spiritual emptiness.'

Wait, you can get an ALL-CAPS award for alleviating self-centered leadership? Sounds like they might reward folks for assassination.

The idea of awarding people for alleviating spiritual emptiness makes my imagination run wild.

your idol Clinton

Will the right never understand anything?

Alon

I hope that's right. I know that even America / Europe is not going to be able to provide an unlimited supply of condoms for the entire sexually active population of Africa.

At some point, behavior changes of some kind have to be discussed if there's to be any hope.

Yeah, but in the meantime...let's save the lives we can.

Anyway, fortunately AIDS is no longer a death sentence. Sorry to disappoint you right wingers.

****

Phantom, why don't you make some behavior changes?

mudkitty

I promise to annoy you even more in 2009. That will be a fine resolution.

And here, after I nominated you for the Nobel Prize.

exactly, mud kitty.

This is the part of george i loathe the most. the frat boy in your face pig boy part of him.

buh bye george. wherever you go please don't let it be anywhere near me and take jeb666 WITH you. And your cross. Fascist !!

I hope that's right. I know that even America / Europe is not going to be able to provide an unlimited supply of condoms for the entire sexually active population of Africa.

It won't surprise me if they can. There are already enough condoms for everybody in the US and Europe, whose combined population is about the same as Africa's.

I'd also recommend lifting trade barriers unilaterally and investing in infrastructure in order to make distribution easier and people abler to afford buying on their own, but even then, some places (e.g. Uganda, Thailand) have had widespread condom distribution despite being poor and rural.

Africa, population of: 922,011,000

Condoms, cost of: $109.99/1000 or ~.10 cents each.

If a two-thirds of them have sex 3 times a week:

608,520,000 x 3 = 1,825,560,000

Which means you need that many condoms at ten cents a pop (so to speak): $182,556,000, per week ... time 52 weeks a year is $9,492,912,000

Which is about what the US spends over the course of five days in Iraq.

Does that math check out?

And I'm also basing that cost figure on getting condoms by the gross from Mr. Condom ... I'm sure you could get them MUCH cheaper if you place orders in much higher numbers.

Thailand is a paradise of unlimited wealth compared to most of sub Saharan Africa.

And I'm sure those condoms would be even cheaper if ordinary Africans had any control over their own petroleum. The cost of propping up governments in Nigeria, Equitorial Guinea and elsewhere, added to the expense of exporting the stuff, manufacturing condoms out of it and then importing it back has to add something.

Many condoms are petroleum products.


*****


Thailand is a place of unlimeted wealth if you're a
sexual tourist, or a Thai Aristocrat...etc.

Compared to what? Africa? My god. What a mind.

mudkitty

Put down the moonshine and think for a minute. I speak for Thailand as it is for Thais and Africa as it is for black Africans. Thailand is much wealthier in every respect than is Africa- even with the many poor people that live there. They can afford more stuff- including condoms.

If it is helpful, I will buy you a one way ticket to either place.

--

Cass

It's a sad reality that no African country has the know how to get the oil out of the ground.

So every one of them that has oil- Nigeria, Angola, Sudan-- are going to be outsourcing the job of extraction, refining and shipment to a Western, or in the case of Sudan, Chinese company. And the royalties paid will prop up the governments.

If you know any sub Saharan government that's not a kleptocracy, let me know. South Africa is the best of them, and its a horror. That's where Mbeki said that there was no connection between HIV and AIDS, with unbelievably catastrophic consequence.


Thailand is a paradise of unlimited wealth compared to most of sub Saharan Africa.

Uganda isn't. Uganda's GDP per capita has just hit $1,000, after several years of strongish growth.

If you know any sub Saharan government that's not a kleptocracy, let me know.

Botswana had two-figure growth for thirty years and became the richest country in Africa, and then got hit by AIDS and saw its life expectancy go down from 64 in 1990 to 50 today. Somehow, it still maintains a GDP per capita of $18,000 and good economic growth.

And I'm sure those condoms would be even cheaper if ordinary Africans had any control over their own petroleum.

No, they wouldn't. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela control their own oil, but still haven't developed any economy outside of resource extraction.

With the exception of Botswana, whose growth was based on diamonds, no country has ever developed by extracting resources. In fact, current economic consensus is that natural resources reduce economic growth.

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