Real Journalism on the Decline
Iâd really like to know how a phony reporter using the false name of âJeff Gannonââa man who was a gay male escort renting sexual favors by the hourâgained access to the White House for over two years without proper credentials, and why the media is not more interested in the story. It is frightening to think that, in this time of war and terror, it is so easy to infiltrate the White House on false pretenses. Itâs hard to say which is worse: that the White House had no idea who it was allowing to be within shouting distance of the president, or that the White House knew exactly who âJeff Gannonâ was and why he was there. Journalists today seem more interested in typing up White House press releases and passing them off as news than in doing any actual investigating and reporting.
William C. Stosine
Iowa City, Iowa
Drug-Resistant Mutant HIV
An open letter to David Corcoran at The New York Times:
The Times reported on Feb. 21 that Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, who also has a consulting gig with ViroLogic, has âdisclosed all of his ties to the company.â
Putting aside for the moment the fact that Ho has allegedly fully disclosed links with ViroLogic, even though the ties are not posted on the Aaron Diamond web site, if he made the disclosures to the Times, an important question about his owning stock in the company must be raised related to your coverage.
Christos Petropoulos, director of research and development for ViroLogic, gave an interview last week with New Yorkâs Gay City News and confirmed what many Ho and ViroLogic critics had long suspectedâHo owns shares in the company. Why the Times sees this matter as unimportant is hard to fathom.
âHo has received ViroLogic stock options during his time with the company, according to Petropoulos. With the company stock trading at around $2.50 a share, Ho will not reap great rewards from that relationship. âI think itâs safe to say that none of our scientific advisory board members are getting rich,â Petropoulos said,â according to the gay publication. (Source: www.gaycitynews.com/gcn_360/expertsquestion.html )
One thing Petropoulos forgot to mention is that they may not be getting rich because the companyâs long-standing financial troubles plague their stock and profits. If Ho indeed fully disclosed his ViroLogic ties to the Times, why have you not reported on his owning stock in the company? On the other hand, if Ho did not make the Times aware of his stock ownership, it shows he was not fully disclosing his conflicts of interest.
In any event, I think that in future stories about the drug-resistant mutant HIV strain in New York that mention Ho and ViroLogic, the Times will inform readers that Ho owns shares in the company.
All Governments Must Get Their Heads Out of The Dullard Funk of Religion
Metaphysically, I must object to anyone saying anything in the Name of God. In the name of Sanity, I must object to anyone saying they spoke with God, and yet remain human in all ways. In the name of Reality, I must object to anyone worshipping or even listening to an Earthly God who has shown no compassion for enlightenment, better health, cleaner rivers, and clearer skies!
I know we all have those idiotic, stupefying unreal, sick, even perverted genes lying around in us, bare naked (meaning stupidly, thoughtlessly, childlike, un-adeptly, un-adult ad infinitum) and just waiting to be influenced by something that will become a Hamartia, me included. I âGet it,â in other words. But, Iâve stuck around the âI Get Itâ crowd a long time, and I really am just beginning to realize: Too many people think outside the box of humanity and respect for the humane, hard work that is being done for other people, our planet and all the things on it, living or inert. Too many people believe, for some unknown reason, that their God has abandoned us to stunted mental, physical and intellectual growth, and fairy tale religions, and has abandoned us to continue to hate, to change the constitution we have that states laws cannot be made to oppress anyone, showing that gay marriages are being oppressed now is unconstitutional, and NOYB for straights.
Itâs all about recognizing if you donât see the good, and you pretend the metaphor and you fake, hide or confuse the reality, and then you try to make it real, you really are among that large class of people called the âinsaneâ. Yes, I said, insane. Killing, hate, bigotry, lies, tall stories, making fantasy become part of reality, making fairy tales become reality, pollution, discrimination, domination, inducing poverty, all these things are insane. Yes. Yah. Yeah. Weâre all being run into the ground by a bunch of NUTS! How many times do I have to remind myself of that âFACTâ!
Religion isnât about Bigotry, Domination and Hate. Check out www.cowsarecool.com and idealist.org.
Harwich Port, MA
SF Pot Club Regs
An Open Letter To Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi:
THANK YOU for taking on the problem of regulating and taxing SF pot clubs. By pro-actively approaching this from a progressive and humane perspective, you may prevent an Oakland-style repression.
Please issue licenses ONLY to non-profits, consumer co-ops, and city agenciesâbut NOT to any profit-seekers, whether individual or corporate.
By setting this âno greedâ standard for the medical marijuana trade, SF may be able to establish a model for the day when non-medical cannabis becomes legal. All lawful retail sales of cannabis, present and future, should be NON-commercial.
Californiaâs alcohol history shows why commercialism must be prevented. Under the federal repeal amendment, states can do anything they please about alcoholic beveragesâprohibit, set up a state monopoly, try to regulate a capitalist industry, whatever.
California chose regulated capitalism as its alcohol system. This forced the liquor industry to master the art of influencing politicians and bureaucrats, thus becoming a powerful force in state and local government, thus reducing the power of mere citizens.
Californiaâs alcohol system gives huge profits and power to profit-seekers who sell a DANGEROUS drug. They use their profits to influence decision-makers, and to glamorize drinkingâNOT to provide treatment or harm reduction to alcoholâs many victims; and NOT to inform teens that heavy alcohol use is as stupid as smoking tobacco.
The alcohol industry has boughtânot earnedâan aura of respectability. Hence many citizens mistakenly believe that legal alcohol is less harmful than illegal cannabis.
In my negative remarks about alcohol, Iâm not advocating liquor prohibition. That was over-kill, which caused its own backlash (and, in SF, outright defiance). âTee-totalâ prohibition drives harmful addictions into the underworld, where victims get no help, and where they get exploited by professional law-breakers. By âharmfulâ addictions, I mean compulsive over-use of alcohol, opiates, nicotine, gambling, etc., as contrasted with our harmless addiction to caffeine. (Iâm NOT claiming that cannabis is harmless; merely that itâs less harmful than alcohol.)
California chose the wrong way to re-legalize alcohol. We SHOULD have restricted sales of bottled hard liquor to non-profits and state agencies. If we can learn from our past mistakes, weâll apply this no-greed standard to cannabis.
Tortuga Bi LIBERTY
Itâs Raining Needles
A silent, but jagged, rain is falling on San Francisco. Day after day, year after year, it comes steadily down. It lands softly, but malignantly, on streets and parks, flower boxes, and childrenâs playgrounds.
People who live in privilege, and have others to clean up their messes, have not noticed it. But those of us who sweep sidewalks, tend to plants, and maintain parks are witnesses to its persistent and growing presence.
This toxic rain consists of the used hypodermic needles casually tossed aside each day by many of the cityâs 17,000 intravenous drug addicts. They can afford to be casual. For years, the city has sponsored a program that gives away free needles to anyone who wants them, no strings attached.
Legally, the program is supposed to be for needle exchange. But the people who run it stopped asking, long ago, for the return of a dirty needle in order to get a clean one. The result is that the city has created its own special rainmaking machine. It runs tirelessly and prolifically.
Soon the situation will get even worse. The board of supervisors has just approved a law that will permit drugstores to sell or âfurnishâ (i.e., give away) needles to anyone who wants them, without a prescription. No one will be required to turn in a used needle or pay a refundable deposit to participate in the new program. Participants will have every incentive to toss their needles where they will, as with the existing program.
The effect of this law will be to let the rainmaking machine replicate itself. Expect to see one of its replicants in your neighborhood soon.
Welcome to Needle City, and watch for increasing precipitation. The scariest part of this horror movie is that the people who are pushing it demonize anybody who dares to raise questions.
The Demonizer in Chief is Tom Ammiano. At a recent meeting of the board of supervisors, he said those who questioned the new program are part of a âjihad.â Thatâs right, folksâdare to broach this subject, and you will be compared to an Islamic terrorist. This is the same Tom Ammiano who, as president of the board of supervisors, did more than any other politician to stifle and thwart efforts to solve the cityâs ongoing homeless crisis.
His underlying problem has been the same in both cases: a giant blind spot in regard to law enforcement and public sanitation. We need to find practical ways to get clean needles to addicts while also protecting the well being of the overall community.
But for that to happen, we must first frankly acknowledge that thereâs a problem, and then welcome open dialogue, without demonizing participants.
Certain politicians are afraid of that openness. They want to lock up and shutter the house of dialogue. We the people will have to open the doors and windows ourselves.
Not So Milky After All
Arthur Evans has been in a high dungeon for more than two years caused by an alleged scandal committed by the Harvey Milk Club on behalf of Eileen Hansenâs campaign for Supervisor. Heâs huffed and puffed ceaselessly about the content of the signs, which accurately stated, âWillie Brown supports Bevan Dufty.â Bevan and I (consultant on his campaign) did not share Arthurâs outrage. We chuckled over how long it had taken the Milk Club to get around to doing what we knew was inevitable.
It is NOT unethical to post signs that promote a truthful message. More importantly, Arthur has ranted that the signs violated the law by not having a âPaid for by the Milk Clubâ disclaimer. In fact, no law exists requiring such disclaimers.
The law does require that signs have a posting permit with the permit number imprinted on every sign. The sign company, not campaigns, obtains the permit number and is responsible for posting and removing the signs properly. Anyone who wants to know who paid for signs can call the sign company and find out, as I did when the Brown/Dufty sings began going up. Open government and campaign reform advocacy groups, such as the Milk Club, may voluntarily add their name in a disclaimer, but they are not legally required to do so.
The sign company immediately admitted that, while they included the permit number, they forgot to add the Milk Club name as they were asked to do by the Milk Club members who ordered the signs.
No laws were broken, no ethical breaches occurred. I think Arthur owes Eileen Hansen, Robert Haaland, the Milk Club and anyone else he carelessly, aggressively and publicly condemned for acts of ethical misconduct that exist only in Arthurâs fevered imagination.
DOMA Equals Doom
Some years from now (maybe a hundred or more), the Anti-Gay Holocaust will go on record as officially starting in 1996, once President Clinton signed DOMA. If you are heterosexual, and consider yourself gay friendly and progressively responsible, and donât know what I mean by DOMA...well, all I can say is âshame on youâ.
The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into Federal law by Bill Clinton. Essentially, this opened the door to establishing sexual minorities as second-class citizens in perpetuity. For who needs defending, and who are the threats? DOMA proclaims that no state of this nation is obliged to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in any other state. So we are essentially saying that heteros need to be defended against homosexuals!
Just as Hitler in his early years of tyranny, declared homosexuals (and other marginalized groups) a poison on the German culture, we are now declared a poison on hetero American family values. It all boils down to the same thing: Holocaust II
But the tables will turn in favor of LGBTs and their allies, after approximately two and a half years of global holocaust...targeting queers first to make society more vulnerable (as even the good liberal heteros continue to ignore our plight). Look to gay rights for the key to world peace. Look to gay marriage (not domestic partner, civil union, or any other phrase minus the word âgayâ and the word âmarriageâ).
Roll up your sleeves and fight alongside your gay brothers and sisters; for the only way to victory in the name of all thatâs good and righteous, is through the LGBT platform. Strike down homophobia wherever it may arise. For only then can the seeds of peace be planted, by providing soil free of harmful ideological bacteria, especially violent machismo. Make gay bashing and all other anti-gay bigotry inexcusable and punishable by law, and you also make a strong case against promoting the âreal man = gay basherâ syndrome.
It is my conclusion after years of being a most thoughtful and dedicated gay activist, that resolving homophobia on this planet for once and for all, is the cornerstone to genuine world peace and individual freedom. It is a psychic virus that has crippled the human race ever since Cain slew Abel. It is time to rid our species of any negative notion (not just violence) one may have towards another, simply for not being heterosexual. Check out www.gay-bible.org.
Jehovahâs Queer Witness