June 9th, 2004


Christian fundamentalists take positive steps... elsewhere.

I heard today about http://christianexodus.org , an organization trying to secede states from the rest of the United States, in order to create a more Christian fundie nation. They're going to try moving people to South Carolina first, and will then attempt to secede from the nation.

I personally think this is a great idea, as these people are advocating against the kind of religious tolerance and inclusivity that our Founding Fathers fought so hard to obtain. By all means, they should leave and form their own nation. Just as long as they don't deceive others that their version of the United States is the real United States.

And no, let's not have a second Civil War. Let them go, freely, with our best wishes. Take away their U.S. citizenship, their voting rights, and their right to move freely within our country... and let them go. They'll be doing us both a favor.

No hard feelings, and good riddance.

An appropriate tribute to Reagan.

Republican politicians are tripping over themselves coming up with ways to honor Reagan. A slew of ludicrous, expensive ideas are in the works...

But what what about honoring Nancy Reagan's wishes for her husband?

"When Ronnie wrote his letter to the people telling them that he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I didn't really know or understand what that meant. I really didn't. But-I found out. Those with AD are on a rocky path that only goes downhill. Ronnie's long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him. We can't share the wonderful memories of our 52 years together, and I think that is the hardest part. And because of this I'm determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain.

"And now science has presented us with a hope called stem cell research, which may provide our scientists with answers that have so long been beyond our grasps. I just don't see how we can turn our backs on this--there are so many diseases that can be cured, or at least helped. We have lost so much time already, and I just really can't bear to lose anymore.

"All of you are here tonight because you believe not just in science but in hope. By supporting stem cell research, everyone here is a caregiver."

Want to honor Reagan? Be a caregiver. Vote Kerry.

How the Reagan White House responded to AIDS.

I just read these transcripts from White House press conferences on the AIDS crisis. It's jaw droppingly wrong and inhumane in retrospect...

From Oct. 15th, 1982, in the early years of the AIDS crisis:

So, he asked the White House spokesman about AIDS, and the response that he got -- besides jokes -- was that nobody there had it... Back then, they didn't even know how contagious it was -- what if it were more virulent? What if it was potentially transmittable through saliva or even airborne? What if it were Ebola?

Here's a second press conference, from June 13, 1983... more jokes:

And finally, from a press conference on December 11th, 1984, over two years since the White House Spokesman was notified about AIDS and was encouraged to do something about a growing epidemic in our country:

Office of the Press Secretary

December 11, 1984
The Briefing Room
12:03 p.m. EST

MR. SPEAKES: Lester's beginning to circle now. He's moving in front. (Laughter.) Go ahead.

Q: Since the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta (laughter) reports...

MR. SPEAKES:This is going to be an AIDS question.

Q: that an estimated

MR. SPEAKES:You were close.

Q: Well, look, could I ask the question, Larry?

MR. SPEAKES:You were close.

Q: An estimated 300,000 people have been exposed to AIDS, which can be transmitted through saliva. Will the President, as Commander-in-Chief, take steps to protect Armed Forces food and medical services from AIDS patients or those who run the risk of spreading AIDS in the same manner that they forbid typhoid fever people from being involved in the health or food services?

MR. SPEAKES: I don't know.

Q: Could you - Is the President concerned about this subject, Larry

MR. SPEAKES: I haven't heard him express...

Q: ...that seems to have evoked so much jocular

MR. SPEAKES: ...concern.

Q: reaction here? I - you know -

MR. SPEAKES:: It isn't only the jocks, Lester. Has he sworn off water faucets?

Q: No, but, I mean, is he going to do anything, Larry?

MR. SPEAKES: Lester, I have not heard him express anything on it. Sorry.

Q: You mean he has no expressed no opinion about this epidemic?

MR. SPEAKES: No, but I must confess I haven't asked him about it. (Laughter.)

Q: Would you ask him Larry?

MR. SPEAKES: Have you been checked? (Laughter.)


So, two years on and Mr. Speakes not only couldn't stop joking about AIDS, but he also didn't tell the President and made no effort to safeguard our military's blood, food, and medical supplies?

Not so funny anymore, is it?