Barney's Big Surprise

By EDITORIAL  |  November 30, 2011

That Wall Street is still unreformed is due to a simple fact: the Republican party has no interest in fixing things. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, especially the financial services industry.

Wall Street is craven. Washington is brain dead. And Frank will soon be gone. It is not a pretty picture.

It seems clear that any hope of reform is going to have to come from the grassroots outside of Washington and New York.

We have no doubt that, once Congressman Frank becomes Citizen Frank at the end of this year, his voice will join that chorus calling for real change — the kind he spent his official career fighting for.


AIDS HOPE

Just a few days before the official observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, the New York Times reported that scientists are once again hopeful that a cure for AIDS can be found.

This news may sound simple, but it is big deal — a hugely encouraging development. Over the years, hope that AIDS could be cured was recognized as a long-shot medical proposition. Gradually, all hope perished.

But, as the Times reported, two different patients responding to two different treatments recently made medically significant strides.

Bone-marrow transplants cleared one patient of his HIV infection. Gene therapy briefly controlled the virus in another patient after he stopped taking antiviral drugs.

Huge advances in antiviral treatment have, of course, brought longer lives to armies of HIV-AIDS sufferers. And while medical researchers are cautious and guarded about the prospects, respected scientists are allowing themselves to once more entertain the thought that this plague can be conquered.

Still, while the number of new cases reported globally each year has leveled off, the gap between new patients and those receiving treatment remains alarmingly wide.

If there is one lesson that humankind has learned from the terrible HIV-AIDS scourge, it is this: success — even limited success — only comes from the refusal to accept defeat.

This is the existential context to keep in mind on World AIDS Day.

You can help. To contribute to the battle against AIDS contact either the AIDS Action Committee or Fenway Health.

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