NO ON CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 60! Part Two: NOW IT GETS PERSONAL!
by Scott Drummer
A few weeks ago I wrote a Kos' piece in opposition to California's Proposition 60 (https://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/09/26/1574246/-NO-ON-CALIFORNIA-PROPOSITION-60), the condoms in all California-made porn-movies initiative that's, coincidentally, opposed by just about everybody else as well: the Calif. Democratic Party, the CA. Republican Party, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, a slew of newspapers: including the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the East Bay Times (formerly the Oakland Tribune and the Contra Costa Times) and the Fresno Bee; as well as just about everybody directly and indirectly involved in the Adult Entertainment industry – from the producers to the distributors and even a vast majority of the performers that 60 claims it will protect.
While I expected at least some push-back – let's face it, the subject of porn addressed in anyway, pro or con, is major troll/click-bait – what I didn't expect was so much attention paid to what I didn't write about the NO on Proposition 60 issue. Specifically, I was asked repeatedly why I didn't mention Michael Weinstein, the controversial, übber combative head and founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest global HIV/AIDS non-profit service organization and, apparently, the sole proponent and solitary financial backer of Proposition 60.
In my original article I didn't mention the fact that Mr. Weinstein has thus far spent over 3-million of his non-profit's dollars to prop-up 60, monies that could have been better spent on HIV/AIDS patient care. I also didn't mention that if 60 passes Weinstein would get a government job for life (i.e.: “Porno-Tzar”), paid for by us, the taxpayers, a job which would give him power and authority to override even California's elected State Attorney General. I also didn't mention that Weinstein's most impassioned opposition comes from respected members of the gay community whose interests Weinstein claims to represent (http://www.hivplusmag.com/opinion/2015/06/24/op-ed-10-worst-offenses-aids-healthcare-foundations-michael-weinstein). I didn't bring up Weinstein's anti-union activity for his own gain; his repeated bullying of any and every smaller HIV/AIDS organization; his alleged ripping off the government; or his equally absurd Proposition 61 which will almost certainly result in Veteran's prescription cost's going sky-high rather than prescription costs for HIV/AIDS patients going down, as Weinstein claims. I didn't mention that Weinstein, so attached to the “condoms only” idea, once dismissed the only known effective protection against HIV-transmission, PrEP, as nothing more than a “party drug.”
The fact is there was a time when a man like Michael Weinstein – a singularly focused, single-issue fighter who would never surrender – was an absolute necessity on the American political scene. He deserves kudos for that.
But today Weinstein is like that old soldier still fighting the last war; a warrior wielding a blunderbuss on a 21st Century battlefield. To Weinstein all HIV/AIDS questions and issues come down to one single answer: condoms; just like in 1983, more than 30 years ago. Weinstein reminds me very much of the “Abstinence Only” crowd for whom there is only a single, simple answer to a very complex and fluid (no pun intended) issue.
I hate to be the one to tell you this but the world turns, little brother, you can't just stop time and progress no-matter how irrevocably you're personally locked in on a single solution – in the case of Prop. 60, a solution to a problem that doesn't even exist as, thanks to the adult industry taking a number of precautions and adopting a nearly fool-proof protocol, there hasn't been a single on-set HIV/AIDS transmission in many years.
I've heard/read people who dismiss the utter lack of on-set HIV/AIDS infections by throwing out Chlamydia and Gonorrhea but this is obviously a red-herring. Does any thinking person believe that Weinstein, a man whose whole life has been consumed by HIV/AIDS for more than 3 decades just all of a sudden decided to “branch out” and throw more than $3,000,000.00 of his HIV/AIDS organizations money into preventing other, entirely curable STDs? Come on, let's not be stupid.
Clearly, Weinstein is “attached at the hip” to the “condoms only” idea – maybe he has a major financial interest in Trojan Prophylactics, who knows? In any event, I get the distinct impression that if you asked Weinstein how to stop international terrorism he'd scream “condoms!” In that sense he really is a complete idiot.
No, I didn't mention a lot of things in that first article. Important things, in fact. I guess I didn't want my original piece to be in anyway personal, but that's not how reality works. Everything about politics, at least on some level, is always entirely personal.
(NOTE: If you haven't read my original Kos article referenced above, please do, and again: www.dailykos.com/...