Friday, December 02, 2011

Newt Gingrich - Not a Favorite of the Social Consrvatives

This video was produced by social conservatives who really don't like the Newt. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

School Kids Stymie Michelle Bachmann on LGBT Issues

Crazy Eyes gets stumped by school kids who will not let her gloss over her hypocrisy on LGBT issues. 

Frank Luntz Give GOP Hints on How To Talk About OWS

According to a post on Think Progress, GOP mastermind Frank Luntz has issued talking points on how to address the Occupy Wall Street movement.  First off, he is very concerned, in fact downright scared it is affecting opinions of capitalism.  Duh!

Here are his suggestions to blunt the effects:
  • Don’t Mention Capitalism: Luntz said that his polling research found that “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”
  • Empathize With The 99 Percent Protesters: Luntz instructed attendees to tell protesters that they “get it”: “First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ … ‘I get that you’re. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”
  • Don’t Say Bonus: Luntz told Republicans to re-frame the concept of the bonus payment — which bailed-out Wall Street doles out to its employees during holidays — as “pay for performance” instead.
  • Don’t Mention The Middle Class Because Americans Don’t Trust Republicans To Defend It: “They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers,” Luntz instructed the audience. “We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”
  • Don’t Talk About Taxing The Rich: Luntz reminded Republicans that Americans actually do want to tax the rich, so he recommended they instead say that the government “takes from the rich.”

World AIDS Day - A Remembrance

(The following is a personal recollection, and in no way is intended to be historically precise or indicative of anyone's experience but my own.)

The rumor was that poppers caused something that was being called "gay cancer".   The strange lesions appearing on gay men's bodies were a gay man's worst nightmare.  They were disfiguring and made you an instant pariah.  No one wanted to be around someone who was so obviously infected with a very strange disease.

Kaposi Sarcoma was the first visible signs of what was later called HIV/AIDS.  Kaposi Sarcoma is an opportunistic disease, a virus, that attacked people with compromised immune systems but for me and my friends it was just "the pox".

The other outward sign of the nascent disease was the profound weight loss due to sustained diarrhea and intestinal problems.  People just wasted away, growing thinner and thinner until that looked like fragile old men hobbling along the street with the aid of walking sticks.  Combine this with the pneumonia that was also running rampant and everyone who looked the least bit thin, or sickly or frail was suspect and an object of fear.

Fear.  That was the dominate emotion that drove the community back in the early days of the disease.  We were afraid we could be next.  Every bump, every itch, every cough could be the first signs of what proved to be a fatal disease with no treatment or cure.

It didn't take long before the disease had a name, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS.  Soon research showed it was a blood borne pathogen and the culprit was exchange of body fluids.  Mainly sexual contact or transfusion with infected blood.  People with visible signs were no longer shunned and friends rallied to their side to provide comfort and assistance.

Long before the medical community figured that out, my friends and I had begun to ignore the warnings to avoid contact with people infected with the disease.  Our hearts drove us past the fear and we visited our friends in the hospitals and took care of them when nursing staffs would not.  Yes, some hospitals staff refused to have contact with AIDS patients in the early days.  They would wear masks, gowns and gloves and do only the bare necessities of care. 

I guess we figured we might end up infected anyway so what the heck?  How could we watch our friends die alone and shunned.  It was a soul searching time for me and most of the people I knew.

That was 29-30 years ago.  So much has changed, but not fast enough to save so many friends.  So many good men and women died in the early days and with them a little of my own soul died as well.  Facing mortality is a bitch!

Today, there are many treatments that extend the lives of people with HIV and full blown AIDS cases are not nearly as common as before.  Still there is no cure.  30 years and no cure!  Treatments that lengthen lives are great, but why no cure?  I am impatient and want to see this thing end before I do.

No, I don't have AIDS.  Why I do not know, just lucky I guess.  Still I have been scarred by the disease like all my friends who survived the 1980's.  We all still feel what it was like deep in our souls and will never forget.

Treatments are wonderful things, thought most are very expensive.  Cures are even better and I pray that research will work toward that cure so that someday we can look back on the epidemoc and say, that was a really bad time in our history, glad it's over.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barney Frank and His Legacy

As I listened to Barney Frank announce that he will not seek reelection in 2012 I was both saddened and encouraged.  Saddened because one of the great liberal voices in the House of Representatives is going to retire but encouraged because he stated that he would continue to speak out on important issues even after retiring from the House.

Frank, as most of you know, is an openly gay elected official and as such he fulfills a vital role in Congress.  Having LGBT voices in the House and Senate are vitally important to keep moving forward on the road to full and equal rights for all Americans. His absence will leave a void that will be hard to fill.

He leaves a legacy of legislation that is truly historical including the repeal of DADT and numerous financial reform measures.  Now it is up to the rest of the Democrats in Congress to finish some of his most important work.

Think Progress has a great article on the unfinished work including ENDA and military spending cuts.  It is worth a read.