Saturday, December 14, 2013

Government of the Year: Nordic Social Democracy

Ironically, capitalism works best when accompanied by a little socialism.

The Nordic Model (developed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland & Denmark) consists of  "a universalist welfare state which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy." And for some reason, when you give people all that freedom and safety, they are able to be reliable, informed consumers, and keep your market strong.

It really works. This year, The Economist declared that the Nordic countries are probably the best-governed in the world. Their report shows that the happiest nations of the world are concentrated in Northern Europe, with Denmark topping the list. Nordics beat out other countries on real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.

And when less than 91% of the population isn't happy with their economic climate, they consider it news:

(Unlike America, where we think only 1% is happy with our economy.  And Congress has an approval rating of only 11% .)

Nordic democracies lift up their poor, redistribute a lot of money through taxes, and therefore everyone gets a living wage no matter what their employer pays them.  If you live in the country, you help support everyone in the country.

Meanwhile, Americans hate their poor so much, that we want to make it illegal to even FEED homeless people in public. Across 50 different cities!

But we're still the land of opportunity, right?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

UPDATE: All men have AIDS

UPitt warns us that any man you sleep with could have HIV--not just men who've slept with other
men!  In fact, bisexual men are no more likely to give HIV to their girlfriends than heterosexual men are, despite all the public hoopla regarding MSM (Men Sleeping With Men, this "handy" term coined by the CDC).

"The number of HIV positive men who have sex with both men and women is likely no higher than the number of HIV positive heterosexual men, according to a U.S.-based analysis by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers. The finding challenges a popular assumption that bisexual men are responsible for significant HIV transmission to their female partners."

"The analysis also estimates that there are approximately 1.2 million bisexual men in the U.S., of whom 121,800 are HIV-positive. That estimate aligns with CDC estimates for HIV infection in male heterosexuals and intravenous drug users."

(more from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health)

> So, yes. Maybe now we can end this harmful stereotype that queer men give everyone AIDS, and stop wasting blood donations...?

"“The HIV infection risk that bisexual men pose to their female partners has likely been overstated,” said Dr. Friedman. “However, that doesn’t mean that HIV-prevention campaigns targeting bisexual men and their male and female partners aren’t needed. HIV does exist in the bisexual community, and national, bisexual-specific data collection, research, and HIV prevention and care delivery are necessary to ameliorate this population’s HIV burden.”"

Really? Why do we need targeted campaigns if all men who sleep with women are equally likely to have HIV?? Did I miss something??  It's not like reminding women that a subset of men are likely to have HIV with these "targeted campaigns" is especially stigmatizing, or anything...

For suggesting than we need HIV-prevention campaigns that "target" bisexual men, when we ALREADY HAVE THOSE, instead of suggesting that we need HIV-prevention campaigns that target straight men and their partners, you win a GOLD STAR AWARD, Dr. Mackey R. Friedman from the Pittsburgh School of Public Health.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Daily Show more real than New York Times

Thank you to Sam Bee at the Daily Show for reminding us that when "real" networks won't cover the important news, there's always YouTube:

Seriously, in an age when Facebook controls news viewers more than news networks themselves, why shouldn't the people decide what is UpWorthy?  Screw corporate sponsored media, it's clear they don't have our best interests at heart.  It might be time for a serious media revolution.

Thinking of starting a Kickstarter for real public news, with a kitten co-host...what do you think?