Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Courage Campaign to
People With AIDS: Drop Dead

I am a person living with AIDS whose cheeks show the side-effects of the daily cocktail I take to stay alive. Call me "protease face." My cheeks are sinking in and legendary AIDS doctor Marcus Conant wants to shoot me up with facial filler.

And now, because of CA's incredibly budget crisis, Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing massive cuts to the health care budget. He and the state are jeopardizing payment of AIDS cocktails for me, and lots of other PWAs across the state.

A number of AIDS groups, people with HIV/AIDS and our allies are banding together to save the AIDS drug program, and a web site about the fight to save the program, and our lives, has been established, and has my full support: Stop the HIV Cuts!

What does the Courage Campaign web site have to say this morning about impact of the cuts? Not a thing about how the cuts will effect the health and lives of PWAs, but lots of stuff about economic theory, a dead president who many probably think invented the vacuum cleaner, and the Treaty of Versailles.

From the Courage Campaign today
Of the numerous disturbing and troubling aspects of Arnold Schwarzenegger's insane "let's destroy the safety net!" proposal is how the need to cut has become conventional wisdom in Sacramento. ...

Cutting the safety net is an act of economic suicide. Given the reasons for the current downturn, cutting away the safety net will merely reinforce the recession and ensure that California experiences no near-term economic recovery. California's 121 Herbert Hoovers will drive the state into Depression the way Hoover himself did in 1930-31 by insisting on massive cuts to government spending. ...

Other aspects of Arnold's budget are economically ruinous - the negative impact of park closures on tourist-dependent towns, the negative impact of mass state worker layoffs to the entire Sacramento region, the negative impact of mass teacher layoffs, etc.

If Arnold and the Democrats wanted to ensure California experienced a prolonged Depression, they could do no better than to follow the policies they have so far supported. Just as Keynes identified the future Great Depression in the flawed and punitive Treaty of Versailles, so to can we identify unending misery in the flawed and punitive 2009-10 budget.
Forget about PWAs and needs of other people with illnesses, and actually helping us in this crisis! Courage Campaign wants to discuss convention wisdom in the capital, Herbert Hoover, Keynes (who he?), and something called the Treaty of Versailles.

I'm not counting on the Courage Campaign to be an effective force in saving CA's AIDS drug program and help meet the needs of PWAs. The Courage Campaign is preoccupied with sugary wedding cakes and a march on DC for October.

From the AP wire on Sunday

The campaign's next phase will train thousands of volunteers and faith leaders to canvass door-to-door to talk about the issue [of gay marriage] with neighbors, said Rick Jacobs, chair of the Courage Campaign. Representatives from all 50 states will march on Washington on October 11 to coincide with National Coming Out Day, Jacobs said.

"We're not doing what we used to do, which is meet in West Hollywood," Jacobs said. "We want people from all 435 congressional districts to tell their stories in Washington."


miss wild thing said...

too bad they didn't check on the permits in DC first.

Anonymous said...

a wee bit extreme, mr. petrelis...

when did it become the courage campaign's job to address every issue touched by the budget?

i don't think that omitting this issue indicates that the organization wants their friends and family to "drop dead."

grow up.

Anonymous said...

This reeks of you having a personal issue with the Courage Campaign, and says nothing about their actual failures as an organization.

Try attacking a group that is actually not helping anyone.

Anonymous said...

I already hate HRC & EQCA and Molly McKay. Please, can we not pick on Courage Campaign?

Anonymous said...

Sad to see you attack an organization that has done so much to empower our community to become stronger from within. Your post comes off as bitter and ridiculous. You make it sound like you're the only one suffering from this disease or budget cuts. You want change? How about getting involved and taking action like the Courage Campaign and its members do every single day, instead of just bitching on a blog. There are plenty of people to blame for the decline of healthcare, Courage Campaign is not one of them. Instead of bashing them you should be embracing them. They do good work, real work. And they're building and empowering thousands of people all across this state to do even more. You have much to learn. I hope you join the Courage Campaign so they can teach you how to effect real change not just messy blogs.

Anonymous said...

Critics of action groups, tread lightly, since, so little action is our movement problem. Lighten up Michael.

But, what the hell is with this March? Those of us on the west coast must plan to get to DC, and spend moola, lots of moola. Even sharing a hotel, and a cheap flight you better plan on a grand.

I relished the marches in 1987 and 1993 - put my heart and soul into organizing as a chair of the committee for the NW states, working from Seattle.

Love the idea, but, the devil is in the details.

All we have now is some "small talk" and the clock is ticking.

Further California on the ballot in 2010 sets the national agenda, all out for the win, and not the idea for the march.

Also - even in this era - the massive organizing takes lots of time and a 18 month lead is essential, or more.

George, SGN, Seattle