Not to inject even the faintest note of personal finance here, but the Apple LEAPS suggested on November 25 had a little more than doubled by March 31, when I suggested you might sell half, taking your own money off the table and playing with the ‘house’s money’ from there on out. Well, if you failed to do that, now’s another good chance to do so – they have about tripled.


Stephen Willey: ‘Raw corn is fine, except I think you left out the part about thoroughly washing the corn to remove pesticides and, especially, e coli and other bacteria.’

Fred Whitmore: ‘OK so raw corn is good. It is even more amazing first thing in the morning, right off the stalk, and it is the Silver Queen variety.’

Mike Wallin: ‘After your nauseating corn story, and many previous equally disgusting recipes and aversion to spending money on decent clothes, I just had this question for you: ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE GAY?’

☞ Trust me.


Monday I ran the ‘What Is an American’ essay. We can use a little corny patriotism every now and then. But as I tried to suggest in a general way, we may not be quite so good as that essay suggested (though we’re good!).

Rajesh Jayaprakash ‘generally agrees’ with the essay except for the following points:

1. It is a bit disingenuous to think that America poured arms and supplies into Afghanisthan to help the Afghans to win their freedom.

2. The fact that people from developed countries are admitted freely into America with minimal immigration restrictions while people from third-world countries are not puts to the lie the claim that America is ready to open its arms wide to ‘your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, the tempest tossed.’ This may have been true some fifty years ago, but not today.

3. The point that is being missed is that, to the rest of the world, Americans are synonymous with the American government. The sooner Americans wake up to the fact that, as Van Halen put it, their government is right now doing things that they think only other governments do, the better for everyone.


Peter L. DeWolf: ‘When I pointed out Monday’s ‘Reagan and AIDS’ letter to somebody, they called it ‘one of those big lie’ letters and said that this report lists the following as annual Federal spending on AIDS research . . .

In 1982, $8 million was spent on AIDS.
In 1983, $44 million.
In 1984, $103 million
In 1985, $205 million
In 1986, $508 million
In 1987, $922 million
In 1988, $1,625 million
In 1989, $2,322 million.

…which doesn’t look like the Reagan administration was just ignoring the problem. Not that I liked Reagan, particularly, but what am I to believe?’

☞ One prominent AIDS activist I asked replied, ‘I wouldn’t argue with the figures. I haven’t had a chance to look them up. I do know that the big increases came from Congressional pressure, ACT UP pressure, and the sad reality that gay men were dying by the thousands (hard to ignore). But, there is NO question that the Reagan Administration ignored the AIDS crisis for years. There is NO question that he did not specifically address the crisis until 1987. Yes, he did use the “word” before that – including in a press conference where he essentially launched the abstinence-only campaign (fit in well with Nancy Reagan’s ‘just say no’ anti-drug work). The notion that the administration was responsive is complete revisionist history. I don’t have to rely on others, we lived through it. ACT UP’s Silence=Death poster came out in 1987 and it was specifically focused on Reagan’s silence and the lethargy/resistance of the CDC and FDA. Yes, funding from the Ryan White Act did start, but who can forget that it was all about Ryan and other ‘innocent victims’ – not the community being decimated? I could go on and on.’

He suggests, diplomatically, that ‘the best way to respond to the emails you received’ might be something like this:

Thanks for bringing another viewpoint to the conversation. Many people
I know and respect worked tirelessly during the 1980’s to fight the
growing epidemic before it even had a name. They were people from both
parties and worked on the inside and from the outside. With nearly one
voice, they believe that the government’s response was slow and hindered
by anti-gay animus within the Reagan administration. That is not to say
that everyone thinks the president was anti-gay or that programs
implemented toward the end of his term (e.g., the Ryan White Act) were bad.

Well said.

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