Friday, December 29, 2006

Sometimes You Gotta Laugh

Just to keep from crying. AP-AOL had a survey to see who Americans considered the worst villain of 2006:

Worst Villains
  • President George W. Bush (25%)
  • Osama Bin Laden (8%)
  • Saddam Hussein (6%)
  • President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran (5%)
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong II (2%)
  • Donald Rumsfeld (2%)
  • Satan (1%)
  • Hugo Chavez (1%)
  • Tom Cruise (1%)
  • Dick Cheney (1%)
  • Hillary Clinton (1%)
  • John Kerry (1%)
  • Rosie O’Donnell (1%)
AP-AOL News Poll Reveals: America Perplexed by George W. Bush

OK, worse than Satan I can understand, but ... worse than Dick Cheney? That has to hurt.

On the other side, an underwhelming 13 per cent of respondents said President Bush was the "biggest hero," which made him number one there, too, above the troops in Iraq, Jesus, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and others.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody knows that you get into the Washingtonian "best of" list by paying them. It's not like they went around and sampled infectious disease specialists and picked the best one. You give them money, they give you publicity. If Dr. Jacobs thinks it's worthwhile to buy an award, that's fine, but the rest of us are not impressed.

December 30, 2006 12:34 AM  
Blogger JimK said...


There are at least forty people listed there -- how many infectious disease specialists do you think there are in this area?

Not to take anything away from her, but it looks like it would be real embarrassing to be left off that list. I can't imagine that this is something that a doctor would brag about, but she does.


December 30, 2006 12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also note that, based on Ruth's votes as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee, it seems that she is totally at odds with the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics when it comes to matters of sexual orientation.

December 30, 2006 4:03 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, there is a section in the new curriculum on sexual orientation, both in 8th and 10th grades. Are you thinking that MCPS should include information there about infectious diseases, rather than in the infectious disease section of the curriculum?

Or are you still talking about the condom section?


December 30, 2006 7:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, I'm thinking -- 300 infectious disease specialists? In the Washington area? -- sorry, but I need to see a link for that one. I use a big HMO, and they have nothing like that.


December 30, 2006 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If the MCPS units on STIs did not thoroughly discuss the dangers involved in sexual activity, I would agree with much of what you say.

The Staff repeatedly assured the Citizens Advisory Committee in 2003-05 that these matters were discussed in the STI units. Student members of the CAC who had taken the courses assured us that the information was presented over and over. In the Spring of 2005, I had the MCPS Director of Health Education present to the CAC all the materials used in the STI units, so that members could see for themselves how comprehensive the units were.

Thus, I believe that the legitimate concerns presented by Ruth have been, and will continue to be, addressed by MCPS.

What she has pressed on the CAC has been the proposition that all homosexual behavior is inherently so dangerous that MCPS should place discredited conversion therapy ideas in the health curriculum and should tell gay students that they must remain lifelong celebates, eschewing even lifelong monogamous relationship. These ideas have been rejected by all mainstream health care professional associations. That is why the CAC overwhelmingly rejected so many of her recommendations.

MCPS is being asked to choose between (1) the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association, and (2) Dr. Ruth Jacbos. I think this is an easy call.

December 30, 2006 9:28 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

David, a quibble. "Homosexual behavior" is not covered by the new curricula at all, neither was it covered by the curricula associated with your name, as I recall. Focusing the discussion on "homosexual behavior" is a trick, a frame to make it seem that all gay people do is engage in ... h.b. Certainly, you can be gay as all git-out (I just came back from Arizona, y'know) and not engage in any "homosexual behavior" at all.

The new curriculum talks about sexual orientation. It's about how people feel, how people are, how people are perceived. There's nothing in the courses that would lead to the topic of any health risk. Being gay is not a risk.


December 30, 2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, it sounds like we agree that it would be good if there could be special instruction for gay students. Robert here has mentioned that, and I have mentioned it, and a lot of people think it would be neat if gay students could actually get some information particular to their own situation.

Thanks to the CRC and the Family Blah Blah groups that support them, that won't happen. If CRC wants to agree that MCPS should call off the dogs, drop the stigma and stereotyping, and have special sessions for gay students, I'll bet we could get together on that -- it would indicate an interest in protecting and informing those members of our society, and I would be proud to see our county move forward with that sort of supportive, informative plan. As it is, I think the best that gay students can hope for is to make contact with a groups like GLSEN or SMYAL, who can provide them with information outside the classroom.

At least there's that.


December 31, 2006 1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa writes:

Now lets review what we are NOT telling the kiddies :

- that homosexuals are at an increased risk of dying at young age from either an infectious disease or suicide
- we are not defining 'a significant number' - hey, I think significant is 30%, not 5%.
- that most teenagers are confused all of the time.
- that the AMA classifys transgenderism as a gender identity disorder and JHU has stopped doing sex change operations
- that condoms are not recommended for anal sex, and are actually more likely to break.

My responses:

1. The more a group is marginalized, the more members of the group are prone to self-destructive behavior. You appear to simply assume that gay people are inherently wildly promiscuous, and that therefore they should be scared into the closet or at least lifelong celebacy. I want for my children what you want for yours: Committed life-long monogamous relationships based on love, honesty and trust. There are certainly enough examples of such same-sex relationships in our own community here in Montgomery County to rebut what appears to be your assumption.

2. “Significant number” in this context clearly means that it is not so rare as to be insignificant.

3. You have a pretty low opinion of teenagers. I do remember being confused about stuff back then. I was never confused about my strong attraction to the opposite sex. The confusion my sons faced was how to navigate this world when they discovered that their attraction was not to the opposite sex. A vital purpose of education is to help children through their confusions so that they can be happy, healthy people.

4. We have discussed the significance of the APA DSM IV before in this space. It is necessary so that insurance will cover those rare instances in which gender reassignment is appropriate. The DSM IV states a problem, and, in some instances, gender reassignment steps are the cure.

5. Actually, the Centers for Disease Control DOES recommend condoms for anal intercourse, while warning that they are more likely to break in anal, as compared to vaginal, intercourse. Jim presented the following CDC material during the CAC deliberations on the Condom Demonstration Lesson. (I wonder why Ruth didn’t back it?)

“Can I get HIV from anal sex?

“Yes. In fact, unprotected (without a condom) anal sex (intercourse) is considered to be very risky behavior. It is possible for either sex partner to become infected with HIV during anal sex. HIV can be found in the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, or vaginal fluid of a person infected with the virus. In general, the person receiving the semen is at greater risk of getting HIV because the lining of the rectum is thin and may allow the virus to enter the body during anal sex.

“However, a person who inserts his penis into an infected partner also is at risk because HIV can enter through the urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis) or through small cuts, abrasions, or open sores on the penis.

“Not having (abstaining from) sex is the most effective way to avoid HIV. If people choose to have anal sex, they should use a latex condom. Most of the time, condoms work well. However, condoms are more likely to break during anal sex than during vaginal sex. Thus, even with a condom, anal sex can be risky. A person should use generous amounts of water-based lubricant in addition to the condom to reduce the chances of the condom breaking.

“For more information on latex condoms, see "Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases."

I believe the Staff should include this CDC statement in the Condom Demonstration Lesson.

P.S. Jim’s “quibble” makes a good point. And as he has noted before, most anal intercourse is between heterosexual couples.

December 31, 2006 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If MCPS were really softpedaling the risks of STIs, including AIDS, then you would have a point. But the fact of the matter is that MCPS pushes the facts on STIs very vigorously. I suggest that if CRC is concerned about STIs (and not just trying to push gay people back into the closet) then it should ask its representative on the CAC to ask the MCPS Staff to provide a presentation on the STI Units as currently taught. If there are deficiencies, then those deficiencies can be addressed.

December 31, 2006 12:49 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Theresa, your statment that most teenagers are confused all the time is absurd. Teenagers know who they are sexually attracted to and are not at all confused about that. Those who are gay may be confused by the reactions of people like you who tell them there is something wrong with what they are feeling and that they are to be rejected for it.

Minority groups that have been stigmatized and forced to the margins of society by bigotry like yours all suffer from higher rates of problems because of the social rejection, not because of who they are. Blacks are more like to die violent deaths, or end up in jail, or drop out of school. I don't hear you ranting about how we should be teaching young black people that its inherently dangerous to be black. Of course not, that kind of bigotry is no longer socially acceptable.

You bitch about gays having high disease rates but people like you do everything you can to interfere with stable gay relationships which would prevent disease. If you were so concerned about gays having risky sex you'd be a firm supporter of equal marriage for same sex couples, but you're not are you?! Any rational person would admit that its far easier for a gay person to restrict themselves to one person they're attracted to to have sex with then to restrict themselves to none at all. But instead of setting the realistic goal you push the unrealistic one because you don't care about gay people, you care only about stigmatizing them.

January 01, 2007 1:00 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, I'm glad you brought that up. Maybe you can tell me how that works. Say, a place legalizes gay marriage. Does that mean that guys who would've married women, marry other guys instead?

I'm serious, can you explain how that would work? I honestly have never understood that argument, but you seem to.


January 01, 2007 1:40 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, do you think having a marriage license from the government is an essential part of the traditional family? What do you think these people are doing? Are they choosing to raise kids as single parents? Are they forming communes where everybody shares? Are they starting polygamous families? Or are they just ceasing to have kids? Tell me how this works.

I think this is a most interesting argument, that allowing gays to marry would somehow undermine the so-called traditional family (maybe we should call it the faux-traditional family, or, kinder, the neotraditional family).


January 01, 2007 5:11 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, that would be the impression by someone reading the articles put out by Weekly Standard, Townhall, Heritage Foundation, and other rightwing sites that have a viewpoint to promote. It is possible though to dig into the data a little bit.

After the sexual and economic revolutions of the 1960s, a lot more people everywhere in the world lived together without marrying, including in the Netherlands. I doubt it is often quite as casual as you describe, but the legal institution of marriage lost a lot of its impact as women became able to provide for themselves.


January 01, 2007 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the cure for a "mental disorder" is hormonal and surgical treatment, then it's not hard to infer that the diagnosis of mental illness is wrong, and the problem is primarily in the body rather than the mind. It really isn't that hard to understand, particularly with all the research data on other intersex conditions."

In any other scenario, other than sex, this kind of treatment would be considered absurd. If one thought, for example, they were Napoleon, treatment would consist of convincing that person otherwise. We wouldn't give them plastic surgery to make them look like Napoleon. Why, then, if someone thinks they are a different gender than they are, would treatment be to surgically fulfill the fantasy? Why wouldn't we continue to convince them to accept who they are? Why does the APA consider this a disorder? Why does a prestigious center like Johns Hopkins refuse to do this type of treatment?

January 02, 2007 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Johns Hopkins is not prestigious on this issue."

They're prestigious in all medical areas. Having performed the first such surgery in this country, they would have superior knowledge of it.

January 02, 2007 1:57 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Theresa said "I am against gay marriage because if we take the example of the Netherlands, or any other country that has legalized gay marriage, you see a corresponding decrease in the numbers of marriages overall."

That's a lie.

T]here is no evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry weakens the institution. If anything, the numbers indicate the opposite. A decade after Denmark, Norway and Sweden passed their respective partnership laws, heterosexual marriage rates had risen 10.7% in Denmark; 12.7% in Norway; and a whopping 28.8% in Sweden.

In Denmark over the last few years, marriage rates are the highest
they've been since the early 1970s. Divorce rates among heterosexual couples, on the other hand, have fallen. A decade after each country passed its partnership law, divorce rates had dropped 13.9% in Denmark; 6% in Norway; and 13.7% in Sweden. On average, divorce rates among heterosexuals remain lower now than in the years before same-sex partnerships were legalized.

January 02, 2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Theresa also said "And just because gays can't get married does not mean they can't exercise a monogamous relationship.".

That's rather biogted of you Theresa. If its important to heteroesuals to have marriage for the sake of monogamous relationships its important to gays for the same reason. If gays don't need marriage neither do heterosexuals.

January 02, 2007 3:30 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Theresa, sorry but your "explanation" of the Netherlands sounds exactly like the US currently(and you can't balme it on gay marriage)- so I don't buy it- your so-called facts nor your explanation.

January 02, 2007 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're being so pleasant, I'm not even going to respond.

Geez, you can't get a rise out of anyone anymore!

January 02, 2007 9:16 PM  

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