Friday, June 11, 2010

Nope, No Change to Blood-Donor Policy

I'm so glad we decided to be rational about it.
WASHINGTON -- A high level federal public health committee Friday declined to recommend a change in restrictions on blood donations by gay men, but proposed research that could eventually enable some currently barred men to give blood.

In voting 9-6 against making any immediate changes, committee members cited what they said was a tiny but still unacceptable increased risk of contamination of the blood supply if current standards are changed.

The restriction on gay men, imposed in 1983 in response to the HIV-AIDS crisis, bans any man who has had sex with another man even once since 1977 from ever giving blood. It effectively bars nearly all gay and bi-sexual men.

A key point of contention at the two-day hearing in suburban Washington was the disparate treatment of gays, who incur a lifetime ban for a single sex act even years in the past, and heterosexual men or women, who are required to defer giving blood for only one year if they have sex with someone with HIV.

Acknowledging that uneven treatment, the Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability said the current donor system is "suboptimal" because it permits "some potentially high risk donations while preventing some potentially low risk donations."

It unanimously recommended a series of steps to guide health authorities in moving to a more nuanced policy that takes into account individual behavior, rather than assessing the characteristics of a broad group - such as men who have sex with men.

Recommendations include studying whether questionnaires filled out by would-be donors can be fine-tuned to identify gay men who are not high risk, as well as heterosexuals who are high risk and not weeded out by the current system.

The goal, panel members said, was to improve blood safety while seeking to diminish the discriminatory aspects of donor policy.

The committee also called for studying the feasibility of setting up a protocol of "pre-screening" - testing currently banned men to enable them to become donors - and studying donor demographics to determine which groups are at greatest risk for transmitting a range of blood borne infectious agents including newly-emerging pathogens.

The panel's proposals, which are non-binding, go to senior executives at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration, which has the final say on any change in policy. No Changes for Gay Blood Donors

There is a "tiny but still unacceptable increased risk of contamination" if gay men can donate blood. What about the lives that would be saved if blood were available?

The question, to me, is not about whether the policy discriminates against gay people. It does discriminate against them, but the real question is whether allowing them to donate blood would increase real risk relative to the benefit of having the extra blood. It does not appear from early news reports that the question was even asked, never mind answered.

So the rule remains. Gay people can't donate blood because they're scary.

I was happy to accept a rational decision either way, based on probabilities and estimates of risk. This obviously was not that.


Blogger Hazumu Osaragi said...

Purity and defilement.

How many drops of urine does it take to render one bottle of wine undrinkable?

Just one.

How many gallons of wine can that tainted bottle of wine contaminate if the bottle was poured in to the larger quantity?



Rationally, urine is sterile until it leaves the body. Primitive people used it to cleanse external wounds and prevent infection.

Rationally, there is far more toxicity in the wine than in the diluted drop of urine.

Yet if a single drop of urine were to enter a thousand-gallon vat of ready-for-bottling wine, that one drop is powerful enough to defile all the 'pure' wine. And no rational explanation will get someone to drink wine they 'know' to be tainted.

So they can never let possibly-defiled blood into the system. It's not the HIV, or they'd also ban any women who ended up in a 'cover' marriage with a closeted gay man.

They don't want their blood supply tainted with gay cooties...

June 12, 2010 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's not the HIV, or they'd also ban any women who ended up in a 'cover' marriage with a closeted gay man."

this may not be on the standard list of questions but if they knew about it, such a person would not be able to donate

anyone who has ever given blood knows that you are asked a number of questions that could potentially disqualify you, regardless of the fact that if a thorough analysis was conducted, one might actually be safe

Jim is right when he says the question is not whether this discriminates against homosexuals

screening discriminates by design

the question is whether having a man who has sex with other men has a greater chance of HIV infection

the answer is obviously yes

there is little time when collecting blood to split hairs by further analyzing a potential donor's behavior to look for mitigating factors

before this rule was enacted, getting a transfusion was a common way to contract AIDS

sanity prevailed here

if this were a novel, I'd say we have a foreshadowing of our November election

June 12, 2010 5:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hurricane Katrina. Hostage crisis. Tet Offensive.

Is Barack Obama's presidency at a similar tipping point?

The relevance of the question exemplifies the gravity of Obama's crisis. Obama is learning the lesson of presidents before him.

Presidents are hostage to events, goes the old political axiom. But that's a half-truth. Presidencies rise and fall far more by their response to great events than the event itself.

"Presidents are ultimately judged by how they handle the unexpected," presidential historian Richard Norton Smith wrote.

This issue comes down to leadership. The British Petroleum crisis clearly placed Obama's presidency in crisis a couple weeks back. Yet the status quo endured. The media pile on ensued. Impressions solidified. This is what happens when the president does not meet the moment.

History tells us how it happens. Perceptions contrast with promises. The measure of the president appears smaller than the problems before him. Presidencies subtly turn south for a long winter.

"The good presidents are able to basically survive these kinds of events, rarely are they able control of them. They find strong political and strategic responses," said Princeton political historian Julian Zelizer. "The bad presidents make the crisis seem greater than the presidency."

This turning point is often gradual. Not made by one event. And like all crossroads, clearest in the rear view mirror. But when the perception goes from good to bad on great events, the entire presidency goes bad.

Obama's leadership problem did not begin with BP. There was the coolness to Wall Street malfeasance. The sure victory of financial reform sidelined. The new New Deal that never was. The healthcare bill that came instead and in time, took hold of his presidency. The president seemingly aligned with all the big boogiemen of the day -- big business and big government.

The change agent personified the establishment. The post-partisan went to the mat for a hyper-partisan issue. The candidate who won his majority with the recession, focused his mandate elsewhere. The man who promised new politics partook in the ugly politics of old, from healthcare's Cornhusker kickback to the Joe Sestak incident. And now, the competent candidate haunted by perceptions of incompetent presidential leadership.

Too many of Obama's crises drag on without response. Healthcare bleeds for a year. The jobs crisis still bleeds. Now this oil crisis, bleeding past day 50.

Critical weeks have indeed passed. Political triage might be too late. The time with the victims too little. The president's emotive distance from the tragedy too great. The aloofness too constant. The expressions of anger and empathy too contrived. The crisis too far along.

Obama's effort to highlight his command has only underlined his failures. This week he told NBC that he talks to his experts "so I know whose ass to kick." It was like hearing Spock swear.

It was also reminiscent of Bill Clinton in 1995. "The president is still relevant here," Clinton said. But these things are true, of course, when they need not be said.

Obama is flailing. The feckless image haunts him. Meanwhile, from the Korean peninsula to Iran to fragile world markets, myriad potential crises loom.

Obama famously rode an historic wave to the White House. That wave turned on him long ago. But he never seemingly got off. Never succeeded against the tide. Never came close to turning the tide. This is when discipline appears timid, when stability appears stolid and cool appears cold.

Nothing is written. But it's not getting better. No end to the BP crisis is in sight.

At some point, the bad show also goes on too long. Negative perceptions of the character are formed. That's the tipping point. And it's probable that Obama's point has already come to pass.

June 12, 2010 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in latest Gallup poll, only 45% approve of Obama's performance

June 12, 2010 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"After Scott Brown shocked the political world by winning Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat in Massachusetts five months ago, it seemed that everything was coming up roses for the Republican Party. President Barack Obama's health care plan was on life support, Democrats were sullen and divided, and there was growing talk that the GOP could even take back control of Congress and permanently derail the Obama presidency.

But instead of taking advantage of the political opportunity, the GOP establishment now finds itself fighting a rear-guard action against its most extreme fringe -- and seems increasingly unable to control the angry voices it has spurred forward.

Consider the what's happened in the past few weeks.

--Last month GOP voters in Kentucky rejected the favored candidate of Mitch McConnell, the state's senior senator and Senate minority leader, for Rand Paul, a libertarian ophthalmologist and darling of the tea party movement. Paul quickly became a national punch line after suggesting that he didn't support key provisions of the Civil Rights Acts and, even more bizarrely, defended BP against criticism from the Obama administration.

--This past Tuesday, Republican voters in Nevada doubled down on support for far-right candidates, nominating another tea party favorite, Sharron Angle, to face off against one of the Democrats' most vulnerable incumbents, Harry Reid. Angle has called for the U.S. to pull out of the United Nations and abolish the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service. She also supports a "patriot" organization called the Oath Keepers, a group of uniformed soldiers and police who have pledged to refuse orders they believe to be unconstitutional.

--In California, GOP voters rejected a moderate former congressman, Tom Campbell, whose political persona closely matches that of two-term Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Instead, they nominated former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, whose far-right positions on abortion, immigration and climate change place her firmly out of the mainstream in California politics.

--In Iowa, former four-term Gov. Terry Branstad barely held off an underfunded primary challenge from a far-right social conservative candidate who is now mulling a third-party run.

--And in Florida, the primary campaign of Marco Rubio has driven Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to launch an independent candidacy -- and he now holds the lead in recent polls."

June 12, 2010 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Legislatively, the story isn't much better. Against unanimous opposition, Obama and his Democratic allies scored a huge political victory on health care reform, boosting party supporters going into the election season. And this past April, Republicans in Arizona passed a tough new immigration law that has angered Hispanic voters nationwide.

At a time of great political opportunity, Republicans, instead of crafting messages that will appeal to independent voters and even some Democrats, have continued down the same dangerous political road that cost them control of Congress and the presidency in 2006 and 2008. They are mired in intra-party purity tests that not only move the party further to the right but also risk undermining their electoral chances come November.

None of this should come as a huge surprise, considering the extreme political positions taken by GOP lawmakers in Washington. For much of the past year and a half, they've cast the nation's policy challenges in the direst possible terms. Devoid of new policy ideas outside the usual calls for new tax cuts and reduced spending, the Republican message has been distilled down to irresponsible fear-mongering about socialism in Washington or declarations that freedom is at risk as long as Obama resides at the White House.

Is it any wonder that the party's most extreme wing has responded in kind, casting its venom not just at Democrats but at the entire political establishment? Republicans at one point may have seen the tea party movement as a political asset or as a means of channeling frustration at Washington. Instead, Republicans have helped to foster a torrent of often incoherent political anger that they seem unable to control.

While it is hardly smooth sailing for Democrats, the party, as a whole, has taken a very different course, supporting candidates that reside more closely in the political mainstream. It's far too early to say if that will translate into political success come November -- indeed, it still seems clear that Democrats will lose seats then. But at the very least, Democrats appear far more willing to accept different points of view in the party.

For Republicans, dysfunction and division now rule the roost, and moderate candidates need not apply, even in predominately blue states. The anger and sense of alienation on the far right is at risk of turning the modern Republican Party into a rump party, dominated by its most extreme and uncompromising wing. And in a very real sense, the GOP establishment has no one to blame but itself."

June 12, 2010 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Angle has called for the U.S. to pull out of the United Nations and abolish the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service."

interesting observation

but remember this: when Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, Reagan was generally considered a dangerous nut who would nuke our enemies and favored all three of these things

people had simply concluded that anything was better than Carter

to quote the Right Reverend Ralph Abernathy, a major figure in the civil rights movement and close associate of MLK, who endorsed Reagan in the 1908 election:

"there ain't no way in the world that Brother Reagan can do us any worse than Jimmy Carter!"

Reagan won, of course, and his performance as President defused the demonization of conservatism by Democrats for the next quarter of a century

Jimmy Carter, btw, created the Department of Education

on Tuesday night, Stephen Strasburg struck out 14 batters in seven innings

early in the game, umps were calling balls where replays clearly show strikes

they were too fast for them to see

in the seventh, when mere mortals would be wearing down, he struck out three batters on 11 pitches

I say let's put him in the hall of fame now

I know you think: but it's only one game

but remember this: Strasburg has already accomplished more than Obama had when he won the Nobel Prize

Barry O: our fabulous one-hit wonder!

let's just call him the "Love-Grows-Where-My-Rosemary-Goes" President!

June 12, 2010 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



June 12, 2010 10:00 AM  
Blogger Hazumu Osaragi said...

Hmn, I wonder what the anonimii would have written if the FDA had REMOVED the ban on gay blood?

June 12, 2010 11:35 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

the question is whether having a man who has sex with other men has a greater chance of HIV infection

the answer is obviously yes

No, that is not the question. We know that the prevalence of HIV is greater in the gay population, and that is irrelevant. If you have HIV, you know you can't donate blood, even if you're gay, so saying that X times as many gay people have HIV is not saying that X times as many donors will infect the blood supply. Some percentage of people are infected and don't know it, so the risk will go up somewhat, but remember every pint is tested. At the same time, the amount of available blood will be increased. So two things happen: the risk increases by some factor, and the benefit increases by some factor.

Imagine they changed the policy, and one more person per year got HIV while one more person per year was saved because of the available blood. The net medical benefit is zero. If the net medical benefit is zero then the current policy is unnecessary, and since there is a cost in enforcing it, it should be dropped.

More likely, though, if they changed the policy the testing would catch any increase in tainted blood and the number of infected patients would stay the same, while the amount of available blood would increase. So the net medical benefit would be positive.

None of this has to do with discrimination. No one will accept a law that is fair and kills people, and that is not the issue here. The policy as it exists is discriminatory because it is not based on facts and logic -- this is an institutionalization of the fear of gay cooties. If HHS demonstrated that risk increased beyond benefit, then everyone would accept the policy, but they have not demonstrated that, they only note that risk increases, based on irrelevant statistics that assume a random sample of gay men will try to donate blood. While it is likely that some number of HIV-positive individuals will try to donate either because they are unaware of their status or because they are evil sodomites, those who know they have HIV will stay home. The prevalence of HIV in the gay population is irrelevant.

The ultimate policy will screen out those who have had sex with anyone in the past two weeks whose HIV status is unknown. Monogamous gay couples are not a risk, straight men who go to prostitutes are. It doesn't have to do with sexual orientation, it has to do with risky behavior. The blind spot for testing right now is the period immediately after infection, about two weeks, when the virus is present but not the antibodies. People who have had sex with someone of unknown HIV status in the past two weeks should not donate blood.


June 12, 2010 12:33 PM  
Blogger Hazumu Osaragi said...

Researchers have pretty much narrowed morality down to 5 aspects:

Harm (reduction of harm)

For conservatives, depending on the circumstances, each of the five can trump the other four.

For example, for conservative Muslims, the authority of Islam and its prophet Mohammed trump the other four, including avoidance of or reducing harm to others.

Loyalty to ones' tribe trumps fairness in many hiring decisions, favoring the-most-loyal over the-best-qualified.

And 'gays', being not-pure, 'deserve' being treated unfairly, being harmed, being treated as outsiders by in-groups, and being subjugated by 'the vast majority' (a code-word for authority.)

As long as irrational adherence to ideal 'purity' is allowed to trump reason, fairness and harm reduction, it will be as it ever was.

June 12, 2010 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Imagine they changed the policy, and one more person per year got HIV while one more person per year was saved because of the available blood. The net medical benefit is zero. If the net medical benefit is zero then the current policy is unnecessary, and since there is a cost in enforcing it, it should be dropped."

not sure if the numbers in this analysis are accurate but another factor is perception

what if people refuse blood because they're afraid of bllod tainted by gays?

June 12, 2010 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

"what if people refuse blood because they're afraid of bllod tainted by gays?"

The technical term for this is "the Darwin Effect"

June 12, 2010 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, it's called sanity

June 12, 2010 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

You actually think it would be sane to commit suicide rather than get blood from a gay person?

June 12, 2010 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many Republicans worried that
this is funny:

"Nevada Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle's victory in Tuesday's primary will undermine the GOP's shot at taking Harry Reid's senate seat in the fall. That's the line stoked by the Reid campaign, which told everyone in earshot that it was rooting for an Angle win.

Ms. Angle was widely touted as too polarizing and rightwing to succeed in the general election. Two weeks before the primary vote, a Mason-Dixon poll showed her trailing Mr. Reid by three points after months of polling showing that virtually any GOPer could beat the Senate Majority Leader. The headline on a lengthy Congressional Quarterly analysis this week read "Reid Just May Eke Out Victory."

Well, a new poll out by Rasmussen shows Ms. Angle jumping to an 11-point lead over the incumbent, thanks to solidifying party support. Eighty-eight percent of Republicans support her compared to a mere 68% of Democrats who back Mr. Reid. Independents also favor her by 10 points.

Though the vitriolic GOP primary campaign undoubtedly hurt Ms. Angle's ratings and boosted Mr. Reid's, the effect was perhaps destined to be short-lived. For one thing, Nevadans overwhelmingly soured on the majority leader during the dragged-out health-care fight -- some 58% of state's voters now support repealing the legislation. Mr. Reid's negatives remain among the highest of any incumbent, with 45% of voters viewing him very unfavorably.

Mr. Reid will also be calling in the big guns. Fresh off campaigning for Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, Bill Clinton just announced that he would make a trip to Nevada next week. Mr. Clinton won Nevada in 1992 and 1996, though the state also went for George W. Bush twice. For his part, President Obama made several trips last year to campaign for Mr. Reid, but Obama insiders now say the White House will use Mr. Clinton as its "go-to" man because the president doesn't want to risk having his agenda associated with losing candidates.

That's one way of putting it. Another interpretation: Bill Clinton wouldn't be human if he didn't relish the fact that his popularity in many states now eclipses the president's."


June 12, 2010 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The politics around the BP Gulf oil spill border on hysterical, discredit our national leadership and exacerbate the already devastating economic costs of the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history.

The federal government's handling of the disaster gets a worse grade in polling than did the government's response five years ago to Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans. Like President Bush then, President Obama now is criticized as having been slow to respond to a national crisis.

Furthermore, Obama's famous coolness doesn't naturally translate into the empathy and anger liberals feel is part of the de rigueur feel-your-pain emoting necessary for a disaster, especially one associated with a left-wing villain like an oil company.

Obama tried to respond in that fashion, first telling the nation his 11-year-old daughter, Malia, was asking him about plugging the leak and then taking to the airwaves the other day to talk about kicking ass. Since he had been very publicly implored to do just that by such notables as James Carville and Spike Lee, the president's remarks came off as contrived. Worse, he said he sought advice from experts about whose ass needed kicking, a notion that soon was deservedly ridiculed.

Whatever value there may be in kicking BP's butt, the oil giant has plenty of motivation to stop the leak: BP is hemorrhaging money -- $1 billion so far -- and faces such huge economic costs, penalties and lawsuit judgments that there's speculation the firm may be driven into insolvency.

Obama's troubles have inspired the usual reaction from his supporters -- this whole mess is Bush's fault. Never mind that all the regulatory decisions came on Obama's watch and that his administration had plenty of warnings about the cozy relationship between regulators and oil firms and had time to clean it up.

June 12, 2010 11:05 PM  
Anonymous level headed said...

Grow up, Jim. Cooties?
If you or your family needed blood, you would want the strictest laws on who can donate the blood you may be receiving! Never heard of a case of anyone having died in this country because they couldn't get blood. You probably believe that the U.S. is overpopulated too and we therefore may face a shortage of food! Ugh. .the liberal media stories.

June 12, 2010 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in latest Gallup poll, only 44% approve of Obama's performance

June 12, 2010 11:31 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, first of all I don't know anything about these "liberal media stories" you seem to attribute to me.

Here's a question, do you think there is danger from the blood of a gay person who does not have HIV? Would you accept blood from an HIV-negative gay person?


June 12, 2010 11:38 PM  
Anonymous level headed said...

I don't want to play russian roulette with blood transfusions. Only those individuals deemed safe to donate blood should donate blood. I leave it up to the experts, not the "bleeding heart" liberals to decide who should donate blood.
Safety first. I'm being level headed about it.

June 12, 2010 11:57 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Answer the question: do you think there is danger from the blood of a gay person who does not have HIV? Would you accept blood from an HIV-negative gay person?


June 12, 2010 11:59 PM  
Anonymous level headed said...

Absolutely there is a risk involved in receiving blood donated by a person who is in the gay lifestyle. Risky behavior is part of that lifestyle. So would I want that blood - no, thanks.
What if they tested no for HIV - still no thanks. The risk is still higher among that group.
I couldn't be sure that the HIV test is 100% accurate. As I said, I don't want to play russian roulette with a blood transfusion. I leave the decision of who should donate to the medical doctors, not to the likes of John Kerry!

June 13, 2010 1:20 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Thank you for your honesty Anon. You know that if the person is not infected there is no chance of you getting HIV from their blood, right?

There is a high probability though of getting gay cooties.


June 13, 2010 1:37 PM  
Blogger Hazumu Osaragi said...

Thank you, Jim, for pursuing an answer to your question.

The exchange reminds me of a story I heard.

A patient in a hospital for an operation made it plain that he was bigoted and that he felt that, being white, he was superior to n*****s. He had a problem with being assigned to a room with an African-American.

The staff got tired of his racism, so, after a blood transfusion, they added some silver nitrate to the water for his next sponge bath.

After his skin turned dark from the silver nitrate, they told him there had been a 'mistake', and that they had given him the blood from a n****r. It freaked him out.

It probably didn't change his attitude towards African-Americans, but it sure made the staff feel better to see him freak for a while.

June 13, 2010 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

I would like to ask Anon if he or she would accept blood donated by a black person, especially a black woman, or should the FDA reject their blood, too?

June 13, 2010 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You know that if the person is not infected there is no chance of you getting HIV from their blood, right?"

you know there's no way to tell if they weren't engaging in perverted homosexuality the night before, don't you?

gays don't want to marry

they don't want to fight wars

they aren't dying to give blood

this is, again, just part of the gay agenda

June 13, 2010 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

Anon, black women are more than twenty times as likely to have HIV as the rest of the population. Do you think black women should be allowed to donate blood?

June 13, 2010 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think black women, or any group other than homosexuals, would gladly give up the joy of being stuck with a needle and bled if statistics show their group had an unusually high chance of having blood that might carry disease

the motive among most to give blood is to help others

homosexuals alone would find some way to make it about them

just another nasty characteristic of a group whose BEHAVIOR and DESIRE is their distinguishing identity

June 13, 2010 6:29 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

The next group of people we need to keep from donating to the blood supply are soccer fans.

The promiscuous sexcapades of these heterosexuals are so well known that South Africa has considered changing its prostitution laws in order to try and reduce the sex-slave trade, and reduce the number of HIV infections propagated by their sex workers, which are estimated to be infected at the rate of 50%.

South Africa isn’t the only country to try and capitalize on the link between soccer fans and sex, as this article shows:

As the lawyer for the backers of a 4-story brothel built in time for the 2006 world cup in Germany says “I think football and sex go together.”

While I applaud the effort to minimize the transmission of AIDS to innocent heterosexual men unable to control their sexual urges – even if they know their prostitute has a *50%* chance of having HIV, I do not see the ultimate benefit to society brought by legalizing prostitution so the women of their own country can be the repository of all the diseases brought in by these promiscuous heterosexual men.

I guess I should be thankful that soccer isn’t that popular in the US, and the every pint of blood IS tested. Otherwise we could be tainted with all sorts of infections from soccer fans all over the world.

Have a nice day,


June 13, 2010 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are there any statistics showing that soccer fans have HIV infection rates significantly higher than the average citizens?

there is for homosexuals

have a rare silent day and may Barack Obama kick your ass!

June 13, 2010 7:06 PM  
Anonymous level headed said...

Hazyumu - Hazy thinker - uh, not talking about race. Race is not a problem. Gay blood is because of the risk, I say again, risk.
What's the matter with you people -
on crack?
Yeah, I agree with the last comment. May Obama kick your ass - kick it all the way to South Africa if you pollute the blood supply.

June 13, 2010 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

Anon, black women do in fact have "an unusually high chance of having blood that might carry disease," but they are not "gladly giv[ing] up the joy of being stuck with a needle and bled."

Let me get this straight. You believe that black women should be allowed to donate blood legally, but should voluntarily refrain from doing so because their HIV rates are high, but gay people should not be allowed to donate blood at all. What do you think society should do if black women do not refrain from donating blood? Shouldn't the FDA ban blood donated by black women?

If you are not in favor of a policy forbidding blood donations by black women then it begins to look like your concern is not about HIV at all. Which of course it isn't.

June 13, 2010 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Oh brother, look who's feeding his "time to kick around gay folks" obsession again.

Thanks for calling attention to the news that soccer fans who travel to South Africa for the World Cup and decide to frequent prostitutes there can bring HIV/AIDS home, Cynthia.

Vigilance readers interested in facts might want to click the link and scroll halfway down to see the CDC's world map of the prevalence of HIV infection in 2007.

South Africa appears to have had the highest prevalence of HIV infections on Earth three years ago.

That map is in the CDC's Yellow Book. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issue their "Travelers' Health - Yellow Book"

The link above goes to Chapter 5, which covers Other Infectious Diseases Related to Travel, in which the CDC advises:

To reduce their risk of acquiring HIV, travelers should be advised to—

-Avoid sexual encounters with persons who are infected with HIV or whose HIV infection status is unknown, or who are at high risk for HIV infection, such as intravenous drug users, commercial sex workers (both male and female), and other persons with multiple sexual partners.

-Use condoms consistently and correctly if sexually active, especially if engaging in vaginal, anal, or oral–genital sexual contact with a person who is HIV-infected or whose HIV status is unknown.

-Avoid using intravenous drugs.

-Avoid sharing needles or other devices that can puncture skin for any purpose.

-Avoid, if at all possible, blood transfusions or use of blood-clotting factor concentrates.

June 13, 2010 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

African Americans cannot be banned from giving blood, or there would not be enough blood for that population. From

"Every day of the year thousands of African American Blacks face a frightening emergency. They, of course, suffer from all of the same life-threatening Blood related situations that necessitate Blood transfusion and the introduction of Blood products as every other human in the world. The problem for African American Blacks in the United States is that there is a disproportionately large number of individuals with rare Blood types unique to that race. In our opinion, this is a very serious health risk in the African American Black community that must no longer be ignored.

Those who need a Blood transfusion require an exact match of certain Blood traits of the Blood donor with their own. Statistically, because these traits are inherited, a patient's most likely match is another family member. Unfortunately, over 70% of African American Blacks can not find a Blood type match within their own families. They, therefore, require an unrelated individual willing to be tested and then to donate Blood. This is very simple in words, but when the reality of this acute need sets in, the order is, more often than not, too tall. The result is often fatal.

It is possible for an African American Black patient to match Blood types with a donor from any racial or ethnic group. However, the most likely transfusion reaction free Blood type match, and the least likely to be available, is an African American Black person. In every country in the world and with every individual in the world, the most compatible Blood transfusion is most likely to come from someone of the same ethnic, racial and genetic background as the patient."

June 13, 2010 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Americans increasingly see the Democratic Party as too liberal while the percentage of those who see Republicans as too conservative has remained about the same, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted May 24-25.

Forty-nine percent regard the Democrats as too liberal compared to 39 percent in 2008, with 38 percent saying the party's ideology is "about right" (down from 50 percent two years ago). The all-time high, since Gallup began measuring in 1992, as far as those who believe the party is too liberal was 50 percent, which came after the 1994 elections when the Republicans took over the House.

Forty percent say the Republicans are too conservative, not much different than the 43 percent who held that view in 2008. Forty-one percent regard the Republicans' ideology as about right, compared to 38 percent in 2008.

Fifty-two percent of independents see the Democrats as too liberal, up from 40 percent in 2008."

June 14, 2010 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


a poll released today show that Obama's approval ratings has dropped to 42%



June 16, 2010 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At our church we read a letter from Dr. Masaru Emoto who many of you will recognize as the scientist from Japan who has done lots of the research and publications about the characteristics of water. Among other things, his research revealed that water physically responds to emotions.

Right now, most of us have the predominantly angry emotion when we consider what is happening in the Gulf. And while certainly we are justified in that emotion, we may be of greater assistance to our planet and its life forms, if we sincerely, powerfully and humbly pray the prayer that Dr Emoto, himself, has proposed.

"I send the energy of love and gratitude to the water and all the living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings.

To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plankton, corals, algae, and all living creatures, I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you."

We are not powerless. We are powerful. Our united energy, speaking this prayer daily, multiple times daily, can literally shift the balance of destruction that is happening.

We don't have to know how, we just have to recognize that the power of love is greater than any power active in the Universe today.

Please join me in often repeating this healing prayer of Dr. Emoto's.

June 16, 2010 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plankton, corals, algae, and all living creatures, I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you"

Yes, thank you, sea life. I love you raw and arranged artfully on the counter of a sushi bar.

And thanks for your inspiring words, Dr. Emoto. Say hi to Aquaman and all your buddies on the Legion of Super-heroes!

June 16, 2010 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Oh boy, Anon! Only four more months to go! I hope you enjoy watching those poll numbers!

Last month when BP -- who we all know is good at lowballing numbers -- was expecting their total gulf clean up costs to run $450 million, GOP Senators Murkowski and Inhofe blocked legislation to lift BP's liability cap from $75 million to $10 billion. Who did those GOP senators expect to pick up the tab for cleaning up the soiled gulf coast of the USA? Taxpayers, that's who.

Last week at a press conference GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner said:

"I think the people responsible in the oil spill--BP and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there."

He thought US taxpayers should pick up a share of the tab for BP's criminal conduct, just like Murkowski and Inhofe before him.

Last weekend, Boehner backpedalled into a full 180 degree turn on ABC's "This Week" and said:

I just think that BP ought to be held responsible for all of the costs that are involved in this. I've said that right from -- from the beginning.

Uh, no he didn't. Bonehead thought US taxpayers should foot part of the clean up bill along with BP.

On Tuesday this week, GOP Representative Michele Bachmann said:

"...if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there -- 'We're not going to be chumps, and we're not going to be fleeced.' And they shouldn't be. They shouldn't have to be fleeced and make chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest..."

June 17, 2010 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Bachmann should probably stay away from gulf coast and other state residents who haven't been able to find a job since the curve on the bikini graph dropped after she and her party drained our federal budget from surplus to deficit and took the nation from prosperity to the precipice of the second great depression.

Yesterday, Obama led his team to kick BP's ass and now they have agreed to set up a $20 billion escrow fund (which is not a cap and can go higher) to clean up the mess they continue to make, and to suspend dividend payments for the rest of the year. BP has also agreed to create a $100 million fund for oil rig workers who have been "put out of work by the disaster."

Today GOP Representative Joe Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward. Then Barton called the fruits of Obama's appropriate ass kicking "a shakedown" and said it would create a "slush fund." When asked if he agreed with Barton's comments, GOP Minority Leader Boehner said: "I have said since the beginning that BP ought to be responsible for all of this cleanup."

No, he didn't but now everyone can easily see he's got the GOP tactic of "repeat the lie until people believe it" down cold.

Boehner added, "The fact is that they've agreed to put this $20 billion in escrow. I don't know what context Mr. Barton was making that remark, but I'm glad that BP has accepted responsibility for their actions."

June 17, 2010 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember the old classic movie, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules?

the remake should be Barry O meets BP

"6 in 10 Americans disapprove of the way President Obama has handled the massive oil spill and two-thirds say he has not been tough enough on BP, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted June 16 after his Oval Office speech.

Fifty-nine percent disapproved of Obama's performance in responding to the spill. In May, about a month after the spill began, 51 percent disapproved.

About three-quarters of those polled disapproved of the way the federal government in general had responded to the spill.

Sixty-seven percent said Obama had not been tough enough on BP while 26 percent said his efforts had been about right, with 5 percent calling his approach to the oil company "too tough" and 2 percent undecided."

June 17, 2010 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

America is just sooo sick of him!!

June 17, 2010 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Keep enjoying those polling numbers, especially those "conducted June 16 after his Oval Office speech", which was also the day before he ass-kicked BP to commit to $20+ billion and $100 million to restore the gulf and US gulf coast residents, which was the day before GOP's Joe Barton retracts apology to BP

Rep. Joe Barton, under heavy fire from Democrats, apologized Thursday afternoon for comments that ignited a political firestorm that threatened to overshadow the confrontation between BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward and a congressional panel.

Barton, a Texas Republican and long-standing oil industry ally, earlier stunned members of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee with his comments attacking the agreement by BP and the White House to establish a $20-billion escrow fund to aid victims of the massive oil spill damaging the Gulf of Mexico and four states. The agreement was announced on Wednesday after President Obama met with top BP executives and is a key component of the White House’s campaign to deal with the disaster.

In his opening statement, Barton apologized to BP for the fund and its circumstances.

“I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” Barton said. “I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case, a $20-billion shakedown with the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interests of the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20-billion slush fund. It is unprecedented in our nation’s history.”

The comments led to a sharp rebuke from the White House and its Democratic allies, who used the quote as a way to attack Republicans for being insensitive to the gulf disaster and its devastating economic impact on the region's fishing and tourism industries.

At an afternoon briefing, Vice President Joe Biden led the parade of disdain. “I find it incredibly insensitive, incredibly out of touch,” Biden said of Barton’s comments.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Barton is the largest recipient of oil and gas industry contributions in the House, getting $1,447,880 from individuals in the industry and its political action committees since 1989.

Throughout the day, Republicans issued statements shying away from Barton’s language, especially "shakedown” and “slush fund,” but they raised questions about the agreement and the escrow fund, which like everything else in oil disaster has become political fodder in this midterm-election cycle.

Democrats, of course, relished the idea of running against a GOP position that supported oil giant BP, which polls show is even more disliked than the federal government for its handling of the oil disaster.

It was during this political fighting that Barton took a moment at the end of his questioning of Hayward during subcommittee's afternoon session.

“I want the record to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible and should in every way do everything possible to make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident. And if anything I have said this morning has been misconstrued in opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction.”

Barton was more direct in a statement issued in his name later: “I apologize for using the term "shakedown," and I retract my apology to BP.”

Anon, you might consider moving to Joe Barton's district in Texas.

June 18, 2010 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Here's an interesting report from Jon Ward, who used to cover the MCPS curriculum revision for the Washington Times. Ward now writes for The Daily Caller and claims House Republicans were so upset by the political implications of Barton's groveling before BP head Tony Hayward, especially the day after Obama had kicked BP's ass so thoroughly, that they threatened to remove Barton from his committee seat.

House Republicans told Barton to apologize or lose his committee seat

"House Republican leaders told Rep. Joe Barton that he would be stripped of his ranking member status on a key committee Thursday if he did not immediately apologize for comments earlier in the day accusing President Obama of a “shakedown” of oil giant BP, sources told the Daily Caller.

“He was told, ‘Apologize, immediately. Or you will lose your position, immediately,” a House GOP leadership aide said, describing a meeting between Barton and House Minority Leader John Boehner and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

“Now that he has apologized, we’ll see what happens going forward,” the GOP aide said.

Barton apologized Thursday afternoon after making his remarks in the morning. But he was forced to issue a second more extensive apology in a formal statement e-mailed to reporters by aides to Boehner, Ohio Republican.

“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” Barton said. “I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.”

House Republican leaders issued a statement of their own, calling Barton’s remarks “wrong.”

...Here is the full statement from House Republican leaders:

“The oil spill in the Gulf is this nation’s largest natural disaster and stopping the leak and cleaning up the region is our top priority. Congressman Barton’s statements this morning were wrong. BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose.

“The families and businesspeople in the Gulf region want leadership, accountability and action from BP and the Administration. It is unacceptable that, 59 days after this crisis began, no solution is forthcoming. Simply put, the American people want all of our resources, time and focus to be directed toward stopping the spill and cleaning up the mess.”"

Hey House Republican leaders: $20 billion plus $100 million is not "no solution." All those "resources" will be "directed up the mess" made by BP, one of Houston based Joe Barton's biggest campaign contributors.

June 18, 2010 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Keep enjoying those polling numbers"

will do !!!!!!!!!

June 18, 2010 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Here's an interesting Gallup poll result: Americans Back More Stimulus Spending to Create Jobs

It's good to know the American people support stimulus spending to create more jobs. We can only hope all our elected officials will get the message and that GOP members will stop blocking jobs bills in Congress. Our friends down under in Australia have shown us how well stimulus spending works.

Recently, the Australian government published its economic statistics for the first quarter of 2010. Many feared that Australia would join other developed nations by showing two quarters of negative growth - the main indicator of a recession. But it didn’t.

Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by .5% last quarter. Granted, this wasn’t a stellar performance, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they’re out of the economic woods. However, it does show that Australia must be doing something right.

That “something” appears to be a continuing robust economic stimulus program that focuses on investing in infrastructure. This stimulus package was initially spearheaded by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2008.

...the continuing investment in infrastructure that has kept Australia’s people employed and has kept them from seeing the negative GDP growth experienced by many of its trading partners. Australia’s unemployment rate currently stands at 5.2% compared with 9.7% in the United States. Much of its employment strength lies in the jobs created and maintained by Australia’s ceaseless quest for new and improved schools, roads, bridges, railways, water and waste systems, etc.

Prime Minister Rudd took a strong stand on infrastructure investment early on, and he has ignored the concerns of the deficit hawks ever since. In December of 2008 he said:

“..the benefits of the Federal Government's infrastructure spending on roads, rail and education outweigh any concerns about Australia slipping into a budget deficit.

When the history of this government is eventually written, whenever that might be, we want it to be known as a government of nation building.."

Unlike many other developed countries, Australia continues to hold infrastructure spending as being a top priority. Much has been written lately about the US’s recent emphasis on deficit reduction as opposed to expanded stimulus spending. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman points this out succinctly in his New York Times op-ed article entitled “Lost Decade – Here We Come.” His concern is that the deficit hawks may force us into a decade of stagnation, similar to that which occurred in Japan in the ‘90s.

Yesterday, Obama was in Ohio and Secretary Roy LaHood reports: President Obama Breaks Ground on 10,000th Recovery Act Road Project; Let the Summer of Recovery begin!

Be sure to check out the Summer of Recovery Map

June 19, 2010 11:47 AM  
Anonymous FYI said...

Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who has been the 26th Prime Minister of Australia since 2007; he has also been the federal leader of the centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP) since 2006. Under Rudd's leadership, the Labor Party won the November 2007 federal election against the incumbent centre-right Liberal/National coalition government led by John Howard.

June 19, 2010 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's good to know the American people support stimulus spending to create more jobs."

that's interesting because the Democratically controlled Congress is not planning to pass any

June 19, 2010 6:45 PM  

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