P+J have worked with friends in Kenya and Tanzania and the non-thinking stigma attached to HIV/AIDS not only hurts African society as a whole, but in many cases is removing an entire generation of middle-class workers who cannot be replaced and it has an economic impact upon many developing countries. Men and women dying from AIDS has become the silent lie, which no one will enjoy admitting to as being a plague on the continent. The shame becomes too deep, and it is not confined to homosexuals or drug users, but indiscreet people who bring it home into seemingly reputable households.

How Pope Benny thinks his blinkered vision about condoms will possibly do anything other than lead to further deaths is insane. Sit down, shut up, and stay in the Vatican with your boyfriends, pal.

We are sure Galileo Galilei is sleeping tight in his crypt.

How cute was it for Speaker of the House Murphy, restaurateur Bob Burke, and the rest of the gang at Halitosis Hall to keep their St. Patrick's Day laugh-fest "off the record" for the local press again this year? Just about as cute as it was arrogant. Sorry, gang, but this is the kind of behavior that leads the public to distrust you and believe that way too much of Vo Dilun governmental decision-making takes place behind closed doors.

How ironic that a "voice of reason" in this matter turns out to be that of former Massachusetts legislative ramrod William "Billy" Bolger, who appeared at Murphy's "time" as a special mystery guest. When TV reporters noticed Bolger's arrival, they told him that the event was "off the record" and Bolger was dumbfounded. Does no one in the Vo Dilun legislature understand anything about public relations? Or are they so insecure in their own ability to behave when quaffing a pint of Guinness and speaking off the cuff that they feel the need to cover their asses?

Upping the ante on ridiculousness was the always over-the-top radio talk show host (or is the phrase "over-the-top radio talk show host" redundant?), Dan Yorke of WPRO-AM. Yorke rightfully lambasted the pols for their tone-deaf, juvenile performance, saving special rancor for Federal Reserve restaurant owner Burke, who called Yorke's show on Monday and was thoroughly reamed by the holier-than-thou host.

And that is the problem with the vast majority of that particular brand of entertainer known as "the radio talk show host." Around the same time talk radio became a right-wing monolith, the hosts all started taking themselves oooooh so seriously. They should understand that their ilk is much closer to circus clowns than philosopher-kings.

P&J were fortunate to have grown up in the era of Sherm Strickhouser and Jack Comley, radio talk show hosts who were sharp and biting but also wise enough not to take themselves too seriously. They had a sense of humor. Yorke's sense of humor is entirely subsumed by his righteous indignation. We have a friend whose pre-teen daughter hears Yorke on a car radio when riding home from school and refers to him as "the angry man."

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