Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Just to touch base, Bush: the work-in-progress that I mentioned yesterday is going to need more time. It's developing into a kind of three-part piece about the experience of spending those few days in Arizona, and I don't want to send it out until it gets closer to where I want it. Although I may choose to send it out one part at a time, as completed. We'll see. But I'm quite excited about how it's shaping up, and I think you might enjoy it.

Meantime, though, I have to tell you that I'm more than a little unhappy about the way you're continuing to pander to that right wing of yours. I don't suppose you read the op-ed piece in today's Los Angeles Times about sex education? According to the writer, who should know (she's CEO of the L.A. branch of Planned Parenthood), the programs that you and your federal people are backing--to the tune of $168 million in fiscal 2005--serve only to please that "base." In terms of the health and welfare of our young people, they're worse than useless, according to serious studies: in the first place, abstinence might seem like a great idea to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted disease, but it seems oddly to lack appeal to the audience you're preaching to. Worse, though, are the programmatic lies and half-truths that are taught in these programs as factual: that condoms "fail to protect against HIV", for example; or that "touching another person's genitals" can result in pregnancy. I guess some young people swallow the lies that feed their ignorance; others must recognize them for what they are and learn only to distrust their teachers more.

So, Bush, tell me: which is it? Do you actually share the ignorance that these programs promulgate? I find that hard to believe. Or do you not know what you're paying for when you lend them your support? No better, in my opinion. Or do you know the programs are preaching a pack of lies and distortions and support them anyway, to cater to those who hate sex, or fear it, and choose to close their eyes to the reality of the world--and whose support you no longer really need?

Isn't it time to quit pandering to the blind, the self-righteous, and the ignorant? And to quit wasting all that public money (you, Bush, asked for $270 million!) to spread more ignorance--and, with it, more disease, more teenage pregnancy, and consequently more need for the abortions your people claim to abominate? The whole thing would be merely silly, if it didn't have tragic consequences.

Enough for one Tuesday, Bush. But think about it, please. Meantime, I'm getting back to my trilogy…

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