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Re: Dr. Jocelyn Elders

Jun 27, 1997 04:50 PM
by Wildefire

In a message dated 97-06-26 03:05:53 EDT, you write:

> Dear Lynn,
>  I'm sorry you don't like this lady. I can see that if you happen not to
>  agree with her very outspoken opinions, you would be upset about what she
>  wanted to do. I happen to think that everything she said was right on. She
>  was very forceful about it, but I didn't think she was wrong. I was sorry
>  see her go.
>  Liesel

Hi Liesel,

It wasn't that I didn't like Dr. Elders herself. In fact, I really agreed
with her about the legalization of drugs issue and was thrilled that someone
in government FINALLY spoke out in favor of ending prohibition. On the
masterbation thing, it was more like a thing of whether that subject should
be part of the curriculum where students are a captive audience as they are
in the public schools. Some parents (though not me personally) could strongly
object to that being taught in the schools and that's why I objected to her
advocating that. (Also, totally aside from Dr. Elders herself, there's the
whole issue of whether we *need* a Surgeon General in the first place.) Also,
out of the various folks in the Clinton government, I liked her the most
(though I know that's not saying much). Folks who I would have much rather
seen fired than Dr. Elders were that socialist we have as the Secretary of
Labor or former FDA head Kessler.

But the *real* reason why I posted that message was that you added an
editorial comment about Dr. Elders to a line containing my own remarks
without indicating that it was *your* opinion. *That* was what I was truly
objecting to in my first paragraph, not that you said she was great. It was
in effect, putting words in my mouth that I hadn't said--misquoting me.
Anyone who joined the list after I made the original post who read your
message would erroneously have believed that I was the one who made the
remarks that *you* added. Do you see what I'm getting at? People on the
Internet often get upset when remarks aren't attributed properly or are

If you reread my original post (if you still have it), you'll see that I
wasn't at all making a general attack on Dr. Elders or expressing a dislike
for her. To express disagreement with one position that a person takes is not
at all the same as disliking the person--at least not in my opinion. I'm
disagreeing with you, for example, at this moment but that doesn't mean at
all that I dislike you.  (Though I *do* wish you'd apologize for misquoting
me so I won't continue feeling so annoyed at you for misquoting me.)

In the post (preceding the one where you misquoted me) where I referred to
CWL as being the TS's Jocelyn Elders, that was purely a wisecrack meant for
laughs only. I'd also like to explain that I wouldn't have even made a
wisecrack that sort of compared CWL to Jocelyn Elders had I first seen the
post that suggested he was doing ...ahem... more than teaching masturbation
using perhaps a chalkboard or something. If those charges were indeed true,
they were extremely serious and that joke would have been totally unfair to
Dr. Elders had I known at the time. (Not that I know now if the charges were
true, as distressing as they are...  )


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