Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Human Rights Nightmare
Five Bulgarian nurses and a doctor born in Egypt but living in Libya have been sentenced to death for a second time by a Libyan court. The trial alleges that the nurses and doctor infected over 400 children with HIV. Despite testimony by Dr. Luc Montagnier, the researcher who originally found the virus showing that the epidemic began before these nurses even arrived in Libya, they have been kept in a Libyan prison for seven years.

During their imprisonment, the defendants were tortured daily for the first three months of their captivity in efforts to elicit confessions -- torture that included electric shocks, being threatened by barking dogs, falaqa (beatings on the sole of the feet), and in the case of two nurses, rape, according to Amnesty International.

The first time the medics saw a lawyer was February 2000, after their trial had already opened.

Kristiana Malinova Valcheva
Nasya Stojcheva Nenova
Valentina Manolova Siropulo
Valya Georgieva Chervenyashka
Snezhanka Ivanova Dimitrova and
Dr. Ashraf Ahmad Jum'a

have been sentenced to death. Please write your senators and cause an uprising about this human rights nightmare.

Here is my letter:

Dear Senator Boxer:

Six medics have been sentenced to death in Libya for a crime they could not have committed. Kristiana Malinova Valcheva, Nasya Stojcheva Nenova, Valentina Manolova Siropulo, Valya Georgieva Chervenyashka, Snezhanka Ivanova Dimitrova and Dr. Ashraf Ahmad Jum'a are being held and tortured for allegedly infecting hundreds of children with HIV. They have all been tortured and at least two of the women have been raped.
This is a human rights outrage. Please condemn these acts by the Libyan justice system and try to do everything that is in the power of the United States Senate to assist the Bulgarian government in releasing these six individuals.
Thank you for your time.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006
A co-posting with my other blog
Delaying the inevitable (the final installment of my bad hair), I had to post a little heads up for a posting over at AIDS Combat Zone that I did yesterday.

Two really important studies on circumcision were just halted early in Kenya and Tanzania. Due to a 50% decrease in HIV transmission among heterosexual men who were circumcised as opposed to those who weren't, all men in the study will now have access to circumcision. (if you want to know how that works, ask me and I'll go into it. If no one really cares and you are good enough to just assume that these men were treated ethically, don't ask).

As a person without a penis, I don't have a huge amount of insight and I don't have the right to demand what any person does with their foreskin but the results were so statistically significant in terms of preventing HIV transmission, it's just another part of the debate.

Please check it out.



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Wednesday, December 13, 2006
This message was brought to you by...
Our new house. Which we took possession of last night around 6 p.m. and promptly began ripping up carpet and then pulling every last carpet tack in the place.

Man, those carpet layers really go nuts with the damn tacks. Some of them were seriously embedded in the wood but I yanked every one of those mothers out for the arrival of our hardwood flooring crew, which arrived this morning at 9 a.m. to start sanding and staining.

As my mother-in-law says, "That girl does like a deadline, doesn't she?"

I will get back to splitting hairs tomorrow. Promise.

By the way, heh heh, I said layers, nuts, yanked and wood. Heh heh. I am 8 years old right now...


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Thursday, December 07, 2006
Splitting part deux
OK - here comes the really scary ones. This is the photo from the day my mom decided she no longer wanted to brush our hair anymore. We look ok. It wasn't too bad, mind you, we had just been to the hairdresser and we are in cute girly dresses, which makes for cute little girls. It wasn't always so sweet....

Nice photo - 5th grade... the brace face, the side part, the mini pony tail at the top - at least in this photo you know I haven't started dying my hair yet and by the way, that sparkly striped turtleneck. Classic.

Which brings me to.... not pretty. A boy maybe? A girl....who knows. It's Pat. At least that's what they would have said in the girl's gym had Julia Sweeney been on Saturday night live in 1982. Yeesh people!

A year later, I got the perm. Little Orphan Annie, here we come! Clearly mom started letting me wear makeup and I got seriously girly. Check out the heart after my name, the pink pen on the card. No way was I going to be mistaken for a boy this year dammit!!! Also, I'm wearing a dress. Pink and black striped all the way down. I'm going to give this a whirl and say there was in all likelihood a huge black belt.

OK, next time, 9th grade through high school. Surprises galore... seriously, you have no idea. It was soooo scary.



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