A MOOT POINT

What they’re saying about Iraq in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

REAGAN AND AIDS

Chip Ellis: ‘Please refer your readers to this. The myth about Reagan not mentioning AIDS is now taken as fact. It clearly is not.’

Catherine: ‘In response to Bob P.’s comments yesterday and the AIDS epidemic during the Reagan administration, he should read The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett, published in 1994. Chapter 11 describes what happened in Reagan’s administration as HIV/AIDS was being discovered. There were many inside the administration that saw the findings of the CDC as alarming, but the Reagan administration was more concerned with cutting the budget. According to Ms. Garrett, CDC Director Dr. Bill Foege ‘took the epidemiology group out of the STD division,…..and hid it in his own discretionary budget’ in order to keep the research funding for AIDS from being cut (page 287). After Dr. Koop was appointed surgeon general, he was ‘flatly forbidden to make any public pronouncements about the new disease. More than five years would pass before Koop’s gag would be untied’ (page 302). ‘As Koop would later describe it: ‘The Reagan revolution brought into positions of power and influence Americans whose politics and personal beliefs predisposed them to antipathy toward the homosexual community” (page 302). Bottom line, after reading the chapter, the Reagan administration felt this new disease was strictly a gay/drug user’s disease, and therefore not worthy of research.’

☞ And, now, a couple of decades later, the U.S. – having effectively shut down stem cell research in this country – is trying to shut it down worldwide. But good news, at least temporarily:

U.S. TRIES/FAILS TO SHUT DOWN STEM CELL RESEARCH

Bernard Siegel: ‘The UN voted today to delay consideration on the reproductive cloning ban for a year. We are delighted and relieved that the countries that vowed to push for a total ban blinked and therefore have allowed therapeutic cloning to continue without the immediate threat of a United Nations ban. This represents a major victory for the coalition of scientific societies, disease advocacy organizations and grassroots stem cell activists who stuffed the inboxes of the UN missions with petitions and emails. The world [led, sadly, by the United States] was on the verge of the worst setback to science since medieval times. What we need is a legal framework so that ethical scientific research for cures can proceed. Millions of sick people were given hope with the UN’s action today. No one wants reproductive cloning. Why do some countries, including the United States, have as their policy the linkage of therapeutic cloning to the known evil of reproductive cloning? It is nothing more than politics at its worst.’

COMPUTER PROGRAMMER OR SERIAL KILLER?

Say you met one of these guys at a party. Would you invite him over to help you set up your new home computer network?

Tomorrow: Transferring Joe’s Videos to DVD

 

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