Monday, January 16, 2006

Abstinence-Only Education is Unethical

A few days ago the San Francisco Chronicle had an editorial by a professor from Stanford University's Center for Biomedical Ethics, talking about abstinence-only eduction. Besides making an important statement of opinion, the article reviews some facts that are relevant to the discussion.

I'm just going to to copy and paste the whole thing here. Read it. It'll be good for you.
The Society for Adolescent Medicine sounded the alarm once again this month about the problems with government-funded abstinence-only programs in a comprehensive report. Not surprisingly, the findings aren't good.

A little more than a year ago, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Los Angeles, sounded this alarm in a study that found "false, misleading or distorted information" in the programs' teaching materials. Youth participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs, for instance, frequently received medically inaccurate or misleading information, often in direct contradiction to the findings of government scientists. They had been taught, for example, that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy."

The society's new report, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, charges that "current federal abstinence-only-until-marriage policy is ethically problematic, as it excludes accurate information about contraception, misinforms by overemphasizing or misstating the risks of contraception and fails to require the use of scientifically accurate information while promoting approaches of questionable value." Furthermore, the report notes that the policy threatens "fundamental human rights to health, information and life."

Responding to the latest review of abstinence-only programs, James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, stated last week: "The report reads like an indictment. Abstinence-only is bad science, bad policy and a blatant violation of medical ethics and basic human rights. Enough is enough. The time has come for Congress to declare an immediate moratorium on federal funding for these programs. It is a national scandal that we have already spent over $1.1 billion of taxpayers' dollars on programs that don't work and that censor vital public health information for young people."

Federally funded abstinence-only education programs, which have enjoyed exceptional support and growth since 1996, have "educated" several million youth and are funded to the tune of $170 million a year, are not only grounded in bad science and subject to political whim, but they also don't offer what American parents say they want their kids to be taught.

A 2004 poll by National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government found that 93 percent of Americans say sex education should be taught in schools and that, except for some geographical "pockets of controversy," there is little debate about what kind of sex education should be taught.

To cut to the point, they don't think it should be abstinence only. Forty-six percent said the most appropriate approach is what some now refer to as "abstinence-plus," which teaches that while abstinence is preferable, schools should teach about condoms and contraception as well for those teens who end up not abstaining. Thirty-six percent believe that abstinence is not the most important component of sex ed and that the curriculum should focus on teaching teens how to make responsible decisions about sex. As the new report correctly notes, "abstinence as a behavioral goal is not the same as abstinence-only education programs." Nevertheless, advocates of abstinence-only education are enjoying incredible federal support and funding for these programs, even though only 15 percent of Americans say they want abstinence-only sex education in the schools.

Human-rights concerns and principles emphasize bodily integrity; autonomy; freedom of and access to information; protection of physical integrity; the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and the highest attainable standard of health; and the right of individual and group to participate in issues affecting them, among others. More important, the government has a responsibility for respecting (by not violating), protecting and fulfilling these rights. Abstinence-only education programs not only do not fulfill these rights; it could be argued they do not respect them, either.

It is time for the federal government to listen to the growing number of professionals speaking out about the dangers of abstinence-only programs and to acknowledge that, while abstinence may be an important option for teens, it remains ethically indefensible to use it as the basis for health policy and programs.

Katrina Karkazis Abstinence-only sex ed is ethically indefensible

The groups who have worked so hard to undermine health education in Montgomery County often say they don't want abstinence-only classes. They also say they don't plan to go to court, they don't want to recall the school board, they love gay people, and other things. Montgomery County is on track to provide the kind of education that most people want, curricula that teach the students facts and give them knowledge so that they will make smart decisions when the situations arise where decisions must be made. We're on the right track, let's make sure we stay on it.

37 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

""The groups who have worked so hard to undermine health education in Montgomery County often say they don't want abstinence-only classes. They also say they don't plan to go to court, they don't want to recall the school board, they love gay people, and other things. Montgomery County is on track to provide the kind of education that most people want, curricula that teach the students facts and give them knowledge so that they will make smart decisions when the situations arise where decisions must be made. We're on the right track, let's make sure we stay on it."

The trick is to teach them all this stuff that would supposedly protect them from the consequences of promiscuity and then, at the same time, convince to conduct themselves sanely. I don't think the rejected curriculum hit the right balance.

We should teach the kids historical information too. Like the fact that before public schools starting teaching a vague and valueless sex-ed curriculum, back in the 70s, STD rates were a fraction of what they've been since. Unless kids are taught that monogamous marital sex is the only safe kind, they aren't being taught the "knowledge so that they will make smart decisions".

Abstinence-only programs, based on societal norms, have shown promise. It depends on the approach taken. The fact that some abstinence-only programs have incorrect information just means we should clean them up- not eliminate the concept. There are instances of misinformation in the comprehensive sex-ed classes too.

Also, if the public is so against abstinence-only education, why is it law? Congressmen are usually sensitive to public opinion. Makes you wonder how the question was asked. You always have to look at that to judge poll results."

Oops

Signed

Somewhere Man

January 16, 2006 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The groups who have worked so hard to undermine health education in Montgomery County often say they don't want abstinence-only classes. They also say they don't plan to go to court, they don't want to recall the school board, they love gay people, and other things. Montgomery County is on track to provide the kind of education that most people want, curricula that teach the students facts and give them knowledge so that they will make smart decisions when the situations arise where decisions must be made. We're on the right track, let's make sure we stay on it."

The trick is to teach them all this stuff that would supposedly protect them from the consequences of promiscuity and then, at the same time, convince to conduct themselves sanely. I don't think the rejected curriculum hit the right balance.

We should teach the kids historical information too. Like the fact that before public schools starting teaching a vague and valueless sex-ed curriculum, back in the 70s, STD rates were a fraction of what they've been since. Unless kids are taught that monogamous marital sex is the only safe kind, they aren't being taught the "knowledge so that they will make smart decisions".

Abstinence-only programs, based on societal norms, have shown promise. It depends on the approach taken. The fact that some abstinence-only programs have incorrect information just means we should clean them up- not eliminate the concept. There are instances of misinformation in the comprehensive sex-ed classes too.

Also, if the public is so against abstinence-only education, why is it law? Congressmen are usually sensitive to public opinion. Makes you wonder how the question was asked. You always have to look at that to judge poll results.

January 16, 2006 11:22 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Also, if the public is so against abstinence-only education, why is it law? Congressmen are usually sensitive to public opinion.

It is becoming apparent, if you read the newspapers, that today's majority congressmen are "unusually sensitive" to huge amounts of money.

JimK

January 16, 2006 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is becoming apparent, if you read the newspapers, that today's majority congressmen are "unusually sensitive" to huge amounts of money."

Yeah, I heard that the top Democrat in the Senate, Harry Reid, has been getting money from this Abramoff character. You think he was bribed into misleading kids into thinking abstinence is the only way to prevent disease and pregnancy?

January 16, 2006 12:28 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Like the fact that before public schools starting teaching a vague and valueless sex-ed curriculum, back in the 70s, STD rates were a fraction of what they've been since.

But that's not true at all. Despite Kinsey, birth control pills, women's lib, rock and roll music, drugs, Internet porn, and other forms of devil worship, rates for sexually transmitted diseases have dropped like a rock since the 1970s.

There're a whole lot of numbers here, but you can see from this table: CDC STD rates that syphilis, gonorrhea, chancroid, granuloma inguinale, and Lympho-granuloma Venereum rates are less than half in the 2000s than they were in the 1970s. Chlamydia was not checked back then, but the text on this web site makes it clear that the apparent increases in numbers for that disease are due to increased testing.

It's tough, I know, in these days of the Internets and everything, it's like when you make up a fact it's just too easy for some person to go check it. Sorry bout that.

JimK

January 16, 2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Yeah, I heard that the top Democrat in the Senate, Harry Reid, has been getting money from this Abramoff character.

Anon, while I was preparing a comment on your made-up fact, you went and posted another one.

Here is the entire list of people who received contributions from Abramoff: HERE. It's pretty big, go ahead and look it over.

You will not find a single Democrat on it anywhere.

Reid has received contributions from some groups that were also clients of Abramoff, including Indian tribes that were victimized by the corrupt Republican lobbyist. That is not nearly the same thing as receiving money from Abramoff himself. It's like saying that withdrawing money from your checking account at a bank that was robbed implies that you are a bank robber.

Now, I am willing to accept that this was an error on your part, based in part on biased media reporting (for instance, the Post ombudsman's erroneous implication that Abramoff's bribery was bipartisan. But it gets hard to distinguish when an incorrect statement of fact is a lie, especially when the factual information is widely available. I tend to think of this sort of thing as a lie, at least it's in the same category of proposition, even if you did think the statement was true -- it is your responsibililty to check before you say something in public.

That's two right in a row, dude. I can't tell which Anon this is, but you're giving all nameless commentors a bad name with this sort of thing.

JimK

January 16, 2006 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There're a whole lot of numbers here, but you can see from this table: CDC STD rates that syphilis, gonorrhea, chancroid, granuloma inguinale, and Lympho-granuloma Venereum rates are less than half in the 2000s than they were in the 1970s. Chlamydia was not checked back then, but the text on this web site makes it clear that the apparent increases in numbers for that disease are due to increased testing."

These rates flew through the ceiling through the 70s and 80s until the early 90s when they began to decline. What happened then? Well, liberal groups had been fighting the introduction of abstinence-only programs as a church-state violations throughout the 70s and 80s and, in the early 90s, church groups across the heartland began introducing abstinence only programs privately. When W Bush took over, he got the government involved. We've spent over a billion dollars on these wothwhile programs since and the rates show it.

January 16, 2006 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between 2001 and 2004 Sen. Harry Reid received $61,000 from donors with links to Abramoff, Reid's office confirmed, and has decided not to return any donations. Reid sent a letter they wrote on March 5, 2002, to Interior Secretary Gale Norton asking her to reject an application from the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, which was seeking to open a casino outside its Louisiana reservation. An Abramoff client fighting the Jena casino, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, donated $5,000 to Reid's political action committee, the Searchlight Leadership Fund, the next day.

Reid also has been linked to Abramoff through Edward Ayoob, who worked for Reid from June 1997 to March 2002 variously as legislative counsel, tax counsel, appropriations manager, foreign affairs adviser and chief aide on judicial nominations, according to a biography on his employer's Web site. Ayoob in 2002 was hired as a lobbyist by Greenberg Traurig LLP, where his work included teaming with Abramoff and other lobbyists on client matters.

Abramoff left Greenberg Traurig in March 2004 after the Senate and the FBI began investigating his activities while Ayoob left Greenberg Traurig in spring 2005. Ayoob is now a senior lobbyist at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

Senator Byron Dorgan, the senior Democrat on the Senate committee investigating Abramoff, advocated for programs pushed by Abramoff's clients around the time he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from associates and clients of Abramoff. According to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Dorgan received at least $79,300 from Indian tribe clients and lobbying associates of Abramoff.

In December 2005, Dorgan returned tribal donations totaling $67,000.

January 16, 2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I understand that our society has deteriorated to the point that these kinds of rationalizations pass as "thinking," and I am not going to waste my time taking part in it. If you really believe this stuff, then it is clear that facts and logic are not goint to change your mind, as they make the unpopular demand that one begin with premises and argue to conclusions, not the other way around. Hope you're happy in the dreamworld.

JimK

January 16, 2006 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, OK, Jim. Here's the dream I had when I looked at the CDC rates you provided. The syphillis rate in 1990 was ten times what it was in 2000, after a decade of these unethical abstinence-only programs. The gonorrhea rates were less than half of what they were. Anybody can click on Jim's link and see if they have the same dream.

In the early 90s, church groups across America began to start widespread abstinence-only programs. In 1993, the ACLU gave up on efforts to prevent public schools from running these programs on church-state grounds. But it's all a coincidence (wink-wink).

January 16, 2006 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a dreamy study from a scholarly journal which finds that adolescents that participate in abstinence-only programs are much less likely than other adolescents to have sex as teens.:

Peter S. Bearman and Hannah BrĂ¼ckner: Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse. American Journal of Sociology, Volume 106, Number 4 (January 2001), pp. 859-912.

January 16, 2006 5:40 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

... study from a scholarly journal which finds that adolescents that participate in abstinence-only programs are much less likely than other adolescents to have sex as teens.

Anon, your stuff is bad today.

You must have been aware, weren't you, that Bruckner and Bearman -- the authors you just cited -- published a paper last year showing that those virginity pledgers, who technically don't have sex as soon, actually have higher rates of STDs than non-pledgers. Turns out they practice anal and oral sex more than non-pledgers, and those things aren't real good for you, either. But if they interpret that pledge a certain way, if they say it only means vaginal sex, then they can claim to keep their word, and people like you can state that making a pledge of virginity really does get kids to wait.

I don't know if the paper is online, but there is a summary HERE.

That's three strikes.

And please don't bring up the Heritage Foundation's fake-scientific response to Bruckner and Bearman. We have discussed that quite thoroughly already HERE. In fact, Anon, you oughta go read that blog post, I think you'll find it interesting. Turns out self-reported STDs give you different results from laboratory urine tests.

JimK

(PS I don't know why, but comments aren't publishing like they should today, it's a long time between when somebody makes a comment and when it appears. Otherwise, the blog seems to be in better shape than it has been lately.)

January 16, 2006 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Jim, I read it a couple of times to make sure. Here's what your linked summary said:

"Of the 777 teens who reported being virginity pledgers throughout the course of the study, 4.6% had trichomoniasis, chlamydia or gonorrhea. Of the 1,622 who reported pledge to remain abstinent at some point during the study, 6.4% had one of the STDs. Of the 9,072 teens who did not ever make a virginity pledge, 6.9% had one of the STDs"

It never says that abstinence pledgers have a higher rate. It does say that those joined the program at some midway point had only a slightly lower rate.

Furthermore, both the studies show teens listened even if they got the wrong idea. The optimal strategy would be to build on this and refine the message- not throw it out. Don't give them a subtle impression that their schools and parents approve of promiscuity.

But you seem to be saying, if kids in an abstinence program and a condom sex-ed program have similar rates of infection, let's teach them the condom one. Why is that the default?

Even if the rates were the same- which I didn't see from your link- undoubtedly the teen pregnancy rate would be down.

I don't see how this study helps your bias in favor of teen sexual activity along.

January 16, 2006 7:39 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Ah, yeah I should have re-read it. Abstinence pledges didn't backfire, they just didn't work. Actually, I had a link to the original article in my blog post that I just linked: After the Promise.

I thought it was a good idea for MCPS to ask students to make a commitment to chastity. I thought it was good that they wanted to teach about the effects of having sex on your self-esteem, your friendships, your conscience. I thought it was good to point out to students that sometimes promises that are made before sex are broken, and to talk to students about how they might feel about the other person afterwards.

Unfortunately, CRC and PFOX felt differently.

I, and most Americans, think that besides those abstinence promoting measures, which as we've seen don't work,, it makes sense to teach students how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and infection.

JimK

January 16, 2006 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Abstinence pledges didn't backfire, they just didn't work."

Based on what you showed me, it worked as well as condom-based sex-ed as far as STDs. Additionally, there are other positive aspects of refraining from sexual activity at a young age.

"I thought it was a good idea for MCPS to ask students to make a commitment to chastity. I thought it was good that they wanted to teach about the effects of having sex on your self-esteem, your friendships, your conscience. I thought it was good to point out to students that sometimes promises that are made before sex are broken, and to talk to students about how they might feel about the other person afterwards."

Still think that?

"I, and most Americans, think that besides those abstinence promoting measures, which as we've seen don't work,, it makes sense to teach students how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and infection."

Nah.

January 16, 2006 8:06 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Still think that?

Of course -- what did you think all this was about?!?!

JimK

January 16, 2006 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course"

I'm glad to hear it, Jim.

OK, let's see where we are. The evidence shows that if kids have an abstinence-only message taught to them from the beginning, lower rate of STD.

If it's taught after they already had some other exposure to sex-ed, about the same rate, maybe a little lower than conom-based sex-ed.

In any scenario, abstinence-only programs lowers the rate of pregnancy.

The question is: given the comparable rates of STD and lower rate of preganancy among kids already started on some other sex-ed program, do we build on and refine abstinence programs or condom programs? I can't see- even granting you the benefit of the doubt on every statistic you've mentioned, why you argue in favor of condom encouragement.

January 16, 2006 8:24 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I can't see ... why you argue in favor of condom encouragement.

The studies you cite look at high school students. The average age of first intercourse is about 17. The average age of marriage is about 27. That's ten years of having sex without, we assume, intending to produce offspring. They need to know what to do to avoid disease and unwanted babies.

JimK

January 16, 2006 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The studies you cite look at high school students. The average age of first intercourse is about 17. The average age of marriage is about 27. That's ten years of having sex without, we assume, intending to produce offspring. They need to know what to do to avoid disease and unwanted babies."

I see - you're thinking long-term. I think you might be biased- wanting the next generation to be like yours. If we were able to restore traidtional morality, he long-term prospects would be better all around. Look at the CDC stats from somewhere in the Dark Ages- say, 1957.

January 16, 2006 9:13 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, there doesn't seem to be any sense in trying to fit the morality of the 50s onto the twenty-first century. It's an entirely different world now. Women didn't work in the 50s, sex was dirty, black and white folks drank at different fountains, more people lived in small towns and worked at blue-collar jobs ... it was just a different world.

The idea of returning to the past doesn't appeal to me at all, and I'm quite sure the younger generation has no interest in it.

JimK

January 16, 2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Maybe Anon can convince the Israelis to reconsider building Pat Robertson's theme park, and we can ship all those who abstain religiously until marriage over there. One would think those huge nunbers of celibate humans under the age of 27 would do wonders for the Israeli demographics. On second thought, a few dozen more non-Muslims won't make much of a difference after all.

January 16, 2006 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maybe Anon can convince the Israelis to reconsider building Pat Robertson's theme park, and we can ship all those who abstain religiously until marriage over there. One would think those huge nunbers of celibate humans under the age of 27 would do wonders for the Israeli demographics. On second thought, a few dozen more non-Muslims won't make much of a difference after all."

Dana, I found Robertson remark about Sharon to be as offensive as anyone. Not that I don't believe in God's sovereignty- just that jumping to conclusions about his purposes is unjustified and especially insensitive in the case of someone's impending death. Your attempt to link all scripture-believing Christians with him is nothing but the equivalent of anti-semitism. Like if I blamed all Jews for things Herod did.

By the way, did you notice the remarks of the Democratic mayor of New Orleans? He said yesterday that Katrina was God's punishment on America for Iraq and urban viloence. Should I attribute that remark to all Democrats?

People should get married at a younger age. Raising kids takes energy. When they're young, you should be too. The low population growth and delay of child-bearing has sewn tremendous disruptions in our society- not the least being our retirement crisis.

Delayed gratification used to be a virtue. Somehow, Hollywood has decided immediate indulgence is more appropriate. And raising families is not a cool lifestyle. Is this progress in the eyes of TTF?

January 17, 2006 8:18 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

anonymous said,And raising families is not a cool lifestyle. Is this progress in the eyes of TTF?
*********

Raising families is always cool. Hardest job on planet..... Of course that includes those parents of same sex, etc. raising families too.

Families do come in different ways.

January 17, 2006 8:49 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

I didn't make any comments about "scripture-believing Christians." It's not in that quote.

Herod is long dead; Robertson is not. Ands we don't have any direct quotes from Herod.

So I guess you want kids to get married, when, during their junior year in high school? Senior year?

Nagin is an idiot in my book, if he meant what he said.

Delayed gratification? Are you really suggesting people delay having sex until 27? Then you're as crazy as Nagin and Robertson, in your own precious way. Good luck with that.

January 17, 2006 11:29 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

"Yeah, I heard that the top Democrat in the Senate, Harry Reid, has been getting money from this Abramoff character."

You heard it wrong.

Jim got it right.

"So far, the scandal has had a distinctly Republican focus. The GOP has received nearly two-thirds of the campaign donations from Abramoff's lobbying team and Indian tribal clients, and 100% of his personal donations."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/18/AR2006011801760.html


Christine

January 19, 2006 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, as I should have said, from the Abramoff clients who are at the center of the current controversy. I don't think there's a difference in the public's mind whether someone was bribed directly, as Reid may have been, or indirectly for the same clients, as others may have been. To date, there's no evidence of bribery but there is an investigation and Reid is one of those under investigation.

Also, though many have returned the funds to Abramoff because of the publicity, Reid, who thinks he's above that, has said he's keeping the money.

Jim has been found untruthing so much lately, I don't think any reasonable person affords him any credibility.

January 19, 2006 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said,Jim has been found untruthing so much lately, I don't think any reasonable person affords him any credibility.


Funny coming from you anon as their were quite a few on this blog who caught and corrected your many lies over the time you have graced this blog with your presence. You are angry because Jim caught you the most.



freebird

January 19, 2006 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Funny coming from you anon as their were quite a few on this blog who caught and corrected your many lies over the time you have graced this blog with your presence. You are angry because Jim caught you the most."

Well, now you're untruthing. And, yes, I must say I'm seething with anger- indeed, apoplectic. I simply must take a teaspoon of Grey Poupon and calm myself down.

January 19, 2006 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said, Well, now you're untruthing


How we all knew you would say that. You say that about everyone who challenges you which is just about everyone on this blog. Grey Poupon will not help bigots...so do not waste that great mustard on yourself.

January 19, 2006 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"everyone who challenges you which is just about everyone on this blog."

That's how I know I'm on the right track. Turn the web on it's side and every loose fruit and nut will roll into the TTF site.

January 19, 2006 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous wishes,That's how I know I'm on the right track



Laughter from all of us.... can be heard at anon trying to make what they say sound rational.

freebird

January 19, 2006 6:22 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Anon said, "Also, though many have returned the funds to Abramoff because of the publicity, Reid, who thinks he's above that, has said he's keeping the money."

Reid isn't the only one who "thinks he's above that" and so is "keeping the money."

"The Bush-Cheney campaign is giving away $6,000 in contributions it received directly from Abramoff, his wife and one Indian tribe he represented, but it's holding on to more than $100,000 in other donations Abramoff raised for the campaign as a Bush 'Pioneer' in 2004. 'At this point,' Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said the other day, 'there is nothing to indicate that contributions from those individual donors represents anything other than enthusiastic support for the BC-04 reelection campaign.'"
http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2006/01/19/howell/index.html

The "more than $100,000 in other donations" being kept by the Bush-Cheney campaign was raised for the 2004 election cycle. How much do you suppose they are keeping from earlier election cycles?

Are you trying to say it's dirty politics for Reid to keep these contributions but OK for Bush-Cheney?

Christine

January 20, 2006 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's OK for Reid to keep the money because he has helped the gay cause. War-mongering bigots like Bush use their bribes for keeping their power. Reid uses his bribes to help the common slob. He's a modern Robin Hood!

January 21, 2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

One thing the right has learned is that if you say something over and over again people will think it's true. Here's a good one, let's keep saying that Abramoff gave money to Democrats, too.

It doesn't matter what Reid does with his donations, because there was nothing wrong with them. Those people who received money from Jack Abramoff and his colleagues have an ethical problem on their hands. Reid didn't take any of their money, they only bribed Republicans.

JimK

January 21, 2006 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're silly, Jim. Some Indian tribes hired Jack 'off to get their rivals' casino disapproved and he tried to bribe Republicans. The tribes bribed Reid directly and not through Jack 'off. After Reid took the money, he asked the Interior Secretary to disapprove the application of the bribers' rivals. Unless Reid told someone with witnesses that the money was for the help, nobod will ever be able to prove anything.

You don't have to lie about it. Reid did a good thing. He took bad money and turned it into good money by using it for his purposes. He has stood with those who have been persecuted simply because they like to do things that everyone else thinks is funny. Live and let live. People can have different kinds of partners and as many as they want and all at the same time if they want. Get over it, Republicans.

January 21, 2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Unfortunately the way you get a politician's attention is by donating to his campaign. There is no law against accepting campaign contributions, even if those same people contribute to criminals. And there's no law against doing a little something special for your contributors, looking out for them, though there is a point when it is called "bribery." Abramoff and Ralph Reed and their team, and the criminals they bought off, went way past that point.

The fact is, this was Republican corruption. You may be able to draw some connection to a Democrat, and I'm not saying there aren't crooked Democrats, but the Abramoff scandal cuts deep and it cuts one way.

Don't worry, Anon, the good news is that the people who voted for these crooks in the first place are too dumb to notice this subtle stuff like bribery and corruption. As long as these guys hate liberals sufficiently they can still win elections.

JimK

January 21, 2006 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, Jimmo. The Repubs are over the line and the Demos are behind it. You can't always tell exactly where the line is but you can look at the character of the people taking the moola. It's obvious Demos are innocent because their character is shown when they stand up for sexual variation rights. The nasty Repubs want to stop a basic human right to act on urges. It's obvious from their character that they have bad intentions.

Harry Reid for Presidennt! Barney Frank for veep!

January 21, 2006 2:02 PM  

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