HIV And Trump: When One Does Not Know History…..

On June 5, 1981 news was made about what would become known as HIV/AIDS.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) published an article in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Pneumocystis Pneumonia—Los Angeles. The article described cases of a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis cariniipneumonia(PCP), in five young, white, previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles. Los Angeles immunologist Dr. Michael Gottlieb, CDC’s Dr. Wayne Shandera, and their colleagues reported that all the men had other unusual infections as well, indicating that their immune systems were not working. Two had already died by the time the report was published and the others would die soon after. That edition of the MMWR marked the first official reporting of what would later become known as the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) epidemic.

Now, nearing 40 years later, and Donald Trump who made news today for more of the short-sighted, dangerous and callous moves he is known for during the past years.

The Trump administration today imposed new restrictions on fetal tissue research, including ending a HIV-research contract and some NIH funding.

The action canceled a multimillion-dollar contract with a California research lab that uses fetal tissue to test new HIV treatments in a significant tightening of federal support for biomedical science that relies on material collected from elective abortions.

The fact science is never a factor in this administration is not shocking.  What does astound thinking people is what this all means.

Research using fetal tissue has led to life-saving advances , including development of vaccines for rubella and rabies and drugs to treat the HIV virus. Scientists around the country have correctly denounced the decision, saying that fetal tissue still was critically needed for research on HIV vaccines, treatments that harness the body’s immune system to battle cancer, and a list of other health threats — including some to fetuses themselves.

But facts never get in the way of the clueless who number heavily in this administration.  Another dark day for America.

Madison Bicyclists And Laws Of The Streets

A reader sent me a letter which was submitted to Madison elected officials regarding biking in the city.  I wholeheartedly concur with the tone and message.  Far too often, from my point of view behind the wheel of my car, I find some bikers acting as if they are superior to all others on the street, and able to flaunt laws.

Hello Mayor and Alder,

I saw your smiling faces on the news for the kick-off of Bike Week in Madison.  It surely is a healthy exercise and means of transportation that the city has spent a lot of money on to promote safe operation.

Unfortunately, in the last several days, we’ve seen numerous examples of very UNSAFE operation by cyclists.   So I’m wondering which of the 70+ activities for bike week are specifically oriented toward safe operation BY bicyclists.  

On Saturday my partner witnessed a cyclist blow through a red light on the square, which has heavy pedestrian traffic and who depend on the walk light to proceed.  On Sunday we both witnessed a cyclist sail through a four-way stop intersection on the East side just as I was going to take my turn with the right of way.  (I’ve already been hit in the city of Madison by a biker when I was proceeding at a green light).   And on the Carpenter portion of the bike/ped trail on Monday I was about 1 1/2 feet from the right edge and a bicyclist (san helmet and with no bell or verbal warning) passed me on the right to the point I could feel the wind.  I shouted after that the rules say pass on the left on the trail (and gave another salutation)

By safety oriented activities I don’t mean advising cyclists that they have equal rights to the road and should wear helmets, I wonder how many sessions tell them they should obey stop signs equally with motor vehicles, look both ways, travel the right way on streets, etc.  I’m sure they are aware there is NO enforcement in the city of Madison for breaking the rules of the road for cycling.  If there is, how many non-warning tickets were written last year.

I am waiting to see if there is reply from anyone in the city.  If there is one I trust my letter-writing reader submits it to me.

Do Catholic Parishioners Ever Ask For A Refund? (And Why The Hell Not?)

This is rich.


It was reported today that a West Virginia bishop spent millions on himself and sent cash to cardinals and young priests before his ouster.  This comes from a Vatican report…can you image how bad it really was to warrant the truth?

In the years before he was ousted for alleged sexual harassment and financial abuses, Bishop Michael Bransfield gave cash gifts totaling $350,000 to fellow clergymen, including young priests he is accused of mistreating, and more than a dozen cardinals in the United States and at the Vatican, according to church records obtained by The Washington Post.

During his 13 years in West Virginia, one of the poorest states in the nation, Bransfield spent $2.4 million in church money on travel, much of it personal, that included flying in chartered jets and staying in luxury hotels, according to a report prepared for the Vatican. Bransfield or his subordinates spent an average of nearly $1,000 a month on alcohol, the report said.

“Bishop Bransfield adopted an extravagant and lavish lifestyle that was in stark contrast to the faithful he served and was for his own personal benefit,” they wrote in the final report.

Newspaper Front Pages Of Trump Visit To Britain, Ireland

Interesting to see how the coverage of Donald Trump is playing across the pond.