Identity politics run amok *UPDATED*

I hate identity politics.

I hate the fact that currently powerful identity groups are lining up to tap into the goods flowing from the Obama administration.

I hate the fact that Jews fail to recognize that there is a delightful secular element to American Christmas and that their little dears are not going to be psychologically scarred forever if they sing “Rudolph” or even, God forbid, “Joy to the World.”

I hate the fact that gay activists are driving a little old lady to a nervous breakdown (and destroying a thriving business during a recession) because the lady believes in traditional marriage.

I hate the fact that Barack Obama is going to allow more black and Hispanic wolves to victimize black and Hispanic sheep (who are those wolves’ primary targets) by trying to impose unnautral constraints on the criminal justice system.

And as you know, I hate the fact that Americans, in their constant selfish search for warm and tingly feelings in their own psyches, elected a know-nothing just to feel proud about voting for a black person.

Everyone member of those smug self-interest groups should be required to read Dennis Prager’s latest post, asking them to stop with the unbridled self-esteem, and to start feeling a little bit of shame about the frequent excesses their identity peers commit.  As for me, I’d remind them that identity politics become meaningless when societal cohesion has collapsed entirely and anarchy reigns supreme.

UPDATE:  Because it seems to fit in well here, I offer you the Young America’s Foundation’s 2008 top ten list of free speech infringements on college campuses, many of which pivot on identity politics.

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  • Ymarsakar

    As for me, I’d remind them that identity politics become meaningless when societal cohesion has collapsed entirely and anarchy reigns supreme.

    For then the only thing that will matter is who has the bigger gun and who is the most ruthless.

  • Charles Martel

    For then the only thing that will matter is who has the bigger gun and who is the most ruthless.

    Nicely done, Ymarsakar. You just summed up Marxism in one sentence.

  • USMaleSF

    Gee, Book. Tell us how you REALLY feel! :)

    (Ditto, by the way.)

  • Charles Martel

    “And as you know, I hate the fact that Americans, in their constant selfish search for warm and tingly feelings in their own psyches” — Bookworm

    Speaking of tingling:

    Anybody hear ever see the classic cheapo Vincent Price horror flick, “The Tingler” (1958)? Cheeeeesy, but fun as hell. The gimmick was that there was this centipede-looking thing that took over your spinal cord when you were scared and made you tingle. Some of the better theaters even installed temporary vibrators in the seat backs that would “tingle” on command. Noboy screamed, but it sure was a great laugh.

    Is Chris Matthews over his Obama tingle? I thought it was very unseemly when he admitted his man crush on BO on national TV. What a wuss. I think Ymarsakar could render Matthews into pulp in, oh, two seconds.

  • Ellen

    I’ve seen The Tingler recently. You had to scream or the centipede thingy would kill you. One of its victims was a deaf mute woman (that would be frowned on today). At one point, the screen goes blank and Price tells the audience that the tingler is in the audience and you’d have to scream for your life. I love the old 1950s, and 60s cheesy horror films.

    It’s odd – there isn’t one politician in my life (and I am 57) who has ever made me get all tingly. I admired Ronald Reagan very much and I think George W. Bush is a decent and honorable man, but tingle? No way.

  • Ymarsakar

    Depends on how long I have to run to catch him.

    The only strike that can kill a person, that can also be done in two seconds, is a throat strike rendered by the forearm edge and reinforced by about 50% of your body weight, which can be anywhere between 50 pounds (if you are a woman) to 150 pounds (if you are a heavily muscled man). There are other strikes, such as neck breaks, that can be done faster but usually they require previous setup time in the form of getting them into the right position. Every other part of the human body will not kill with one strike: not the kidney, not the knee, not the groin, not the heart, not the solar plexus, not the temple, not the eyes (requires you to have a very long sharp thingie and your fingers don’t count), not the liver, and certainly not the side of the neck (it only disables the vagus nerves, the carotids on one side, as well as the jugular veins on the same side). There are other methods which specifically target the blood vessels along the neck, such as arterial block holds (which are different from wind pipe strangulation holds), but it takes more than 2 seconds for it to cause brain death. It can unconsciousness within 2 seconds, if the hold blocks off enough of the arteries on both sides of the neck at the same time, but death will only come in a few more seconds, like 5 or 10. And you are going to have to maintain that hold for the duration, and be unable to do anything else. If your hold does not render him unconscious immediately, however, (and this is the more likely scenario) then he will be able to put up a fight within the next 5 or so seconds. A lot can be done in five seconds when you realize that that is all you have standing between you and brain death, assuming you have the training and don’t suddenly panic and start going by instinct. Training is to make sure your instincts don’t take control of your actions. Such holds as those require you to be behind someone. It does not work if you are in front of them, for obvious reasons.

    For the direct face to face confrontation, within a specified 1-3 feet, the direct throat strike is still your best bet to cause death with a strike of less than 2 seconds. Holds require you to sustain it for the duration. Throat strikes require you to simply touch the other man and then leave him to suffocate to death. He won’t be doing anything while he is doing that except flopping around like a fish, up until he doesn’t have enough oxygen to do that.

    One of the most effective and efficient strikes is done with a sharp stiletto like blade (with at least some kind of blade width) punched through the bottom of a person’s jaw and into his or her brain. This causes immediate death, no screaming, no struggle, and almost no setup time if you can catch the target unawares from the back. One pull on the head, one thrust, and that’s it: one of the most silent kills in existence. Even the neck break from behind causes some kind of unnatural sound and the strangulation wire from behind causes immense struggle (if not screams) before the target goes down.

    But for open handed work, when the target isn’t unaware of you, the throat strike would fit the bill quite nicely. The amount of acceleration you can acquire through good leg work is actually faster than swinging your arms around or thrusting it forward. This is due to the fact that your legs are longer and stronger (supposed to be at least). This allows you to sweep a range around your body (or in this case forward of your body) far exceeding what your arms can touch or what your arms and body can touch if you are just circling around. A direct thrust forward allows you acceleration, speed, power, and balance. He goes flying and you have a good position right where you are. You are just going from your point A to point B and if something happens to be in your way, then they will provide you the means to stop. You don’t have to over-correct to regain your balance.

    No man, or woman, disarmed of their external attachments (guns and knives and bombs) is truly disarmed. So long as they don’t mind taking on multiple opponents with superior ranged slug throwers, then their weapons might as well be that single individual’s. Close too close and the closest target dies. The fate of the others will depend on how fast they recover from surprise and the speed, tactical acumen, and efficiency of the lone wolf attacker.

    A firearm is no substitute for fighting ability, but bare hands fighting ability is not a real substitute for gun fighting, either. It is, however, a prerequisite. Firearms training allows you to shoot a gun and hit your target, but it won’t allow you to disarm other people nor will it prevent you from being disarmed. That is not what modern firearms marksmanship training teaches you; that is not their priority. H2H, however, allows you to take anyone else’s weapon as your own, so long as you know how to use them. Their weapon now becomes yours. So yes, what they show in the movies is true, but only in the sense that a dreamer has dreamed of flight yet has not the basic scientific and engineering understanding to make it into reality. The dream is true, humanity can fly, but the devil is in the details.

    In the past, there were individuals known as “weapon masters” or “sword saints” (Japan). They are just what their titles imply, they are individuals who have mastered all the uses and principles behind certain weapons. Miyamoto Musashi was named a sword saint, a kensai. His knowledge of swordmanship was preternatural. He sought to create the two sword technique where both of your hands used a sword in tandem with the other. Then when that wasn’t enough for Musashi, he started using wooden swords in duels to the death. This is a man that has mastered the principles behind violence and killing with the sword to the point that no longer needed an edge on his blade to win against those with steel katanas. This is the epitome of skill and it is always the standard for those like me who wish to learn what he came to know.

    Another history lesson on Japan concerns how Japanese swordsmen were easily defeated by individuals using ball and chains. How can master swordsmen be defeated so easily by neophytes using a ball and a chain? Because the master swordsman is only a master at sword vs sword fighting. A gunfighter that is only a master at the quick draw and the shoot out, but not a master of gun vs H2H at close range, is going to have a problem he would not have had in a gun vs gun fight. History has been full of military tactics and strategies that were rendered useless because of some new technological advance that brought about new techniques and ways of fighting.

    To live is to adapt. There is no such thing as paradise or stasis, nor perpetual peace. Entropy’s call will always be felt and heard and obeyed. Whether it is terrorism, economic collapse, wars, plague, corruption, or anything else that challenges our will to live, you only have two choices here. Adapt and win, or stay fixed and die.

    The role of civilization is to offer individuals, human individuals, more choices than simply the two primal and fundamental ones. Civilization offers you the choice of more in life, but the two fundamental choices never entirely goes away. Civilization provides more options than the basic two, thus making civilization worth dying for: for it allows you and your loved ones to live a life beyond what your ancestors could have imagined, let alone actually lived.

    And amongst the entire panoply of civilizations in human history, there has been none better, none more just, and none more powerful than the United States of America.

  • expat

    Book,

    I’ll try to give you something a little nicer to think about. Last year, right before Christmas, I read in my hometown newspaper that in a neighboring town, the synagogue was taking over the serving at the community Christmas dinner for the poor and alone. The event was probably sponsored and prepared by Christians (I don’t know whether it was churches, secular community groups, or just individuals); however, the Jewish community felt that the organizers should have a chance to spend Christmas with their families. This is unsophisticated small-town America where people know their neighbors and cherish any celebration designed to bring out the best in people. There are lots of good people out there.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    THAT is a wonderful story of caring……I want to live next door to people like that, and I want to BE people like that!

    I bet they’re not the sort of folks who are suing over the nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, either!

  • Charles Martel

    Depends on how long I have to run to catch him.

    Ymarsakar, you owe me the price of the box of tissues it took me to clean up my screen after I spewed beer on it from reading your response above on how long it would take you to demolish Chris Matthews.

    Ellen:

    Thanks for clearing up my garbled memory! Your explanation makes much more sense than mine.

    I never had the tingle for Reagan because I was squishy left at the time. I agree with your take on Bush — I love the man in many respects, but never a tingle.

  • Ymarsakar

    You are easily amused, Charles ; )

    For more background reading, see this. Link

    Whenever I talk about ongoing training, I like to bring up the idea of such work as being a lifelong process. Now, I often say this with a dreamy, faraway look in my eyes, as it’s one of the top three best things about doing this work — the idea that I can continue to learn, refine, and build the skill for as long as I draw breath.

    Not everyone hears it this way. Some people think I mean that it actually takes a lifetime to master — and I’m the first to admit that’s not such a hot idea. Who’s got the time, right? (Well, by definition, you do — you got the rest of your life coming to you… but I digress.) You are right to be suspicious of anything that takes a lifetime — outside of growing a family & accumulating wisdom.

    The use of violence is the very definition of a NOW tool. It’s silly to have something that you could very well need for survival in the next half-hour require a lifetime to be of any use to you. Good luck surviving long enough to master that!

    ….

    Back in the days of my martial arts training, I was resigned to having to spend the rest of my life studying as many arts as I could cram into my lifetime — not to mention having to manufacture my own coupling devices to get them to work together. What I really wanted to know is what you all have at your disposal, but it didn’t exist in a format like this. So, as I neared my Tae Kwon Do black belt test, I was getting my head screwed on at the right angle to put on a white belt again and study Aikido… Judo… Jiu-Jitsu… Kung Fu… Chin Na… Muy Thai… and on and on and on. Because, quite frankly, I wanted to know it all. And it was obviously going to take me the rest of my life to get there.

    I wasn’t happy about it — it didn’t feel like opportunity, just a whole hell of a lot of work, much of it spent slogging through hierarchies and physical fitness challenges. And making Aikido work with Karate is tougher than you think — especially when the instructors find out you’re not just attending another school, but (gasp!) another system!

    What I really needed were the base principles that underlie all violence — the common elements between striking, joint breaking and throwing; multiman and knife, stick, and gun; and a way to tie all those elements together between the pendulum swing of structure and motion.

    That block was for the martial arts enthusiasts here ; )

    And from Go Rin No Sho: The Book of Five Rings:

    THE NAME ICHI RYU NI TO (ONE SCHOOL-TWO SWORDS)
    Warriors, both commanders and troopers, carry two swords at their belt. In olden times these were called the long sword and the sword; nowadays there are known as the sword and the companion sword. Let it suffice to say that in our land, whatever the reason, a warrior carries two swords at his belt. It is the Way of the warrior.

    “Nito Ichi Ryu” shows the advantage of using both swords.

    The spear and the halberd are weapons which are carried out of doors.

    Students of the Ichi school Way of strategy should train from the start with the sword and long sword in either hand. This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

    If you hold a sword with both hands, it is difficult to wield it freely to left and right, so my method is to carry the sword in one hand. This does not apply to large weapons such as the spear or halberd, but swords and companion swords can be carried in one hand. It is encumbering to hold a sword in both hands when you are on horseback, when running on uneven roads, on swampy ground, muddy rice fields, stony ground, or in a crowd of people. To hold the long sword in both hands is not the true Way, for if you carry a bow or a spear or other arms in your left hand you have only one hand free for the long sword. However, when it is difficult to cut an enemy down with one hand, you must use both hands. It is not difficult to wield a sword in one hand; the Way to learn this is to train with two long swords, one in each hand. It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows are difficult to draw, halberds are difficult to wield; as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well.

    As I will explain in the second book, the Water Book, there is no fast way of wielding the long sword. The long sword should be wielded broadly, and the companion sword closely. This is the first thing to realize.

    According to this Ichi school, you can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. In short, the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size.

    It is better to use two swords rather than on when you are fighting a crowd, and especially if you want to take a prisoner.

    These things cannot be explained in detail. From one thing, know ten thousand things. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. You must study hard.

    The Benefit of the Two Characters reading “Strategy”
    There is a time and a place for use of weapons.

    The best use of the companion sword is in a confined space, or when you are engaged closely with an opponent. The long sword can be used effectively in all situations.

    The halberd is inferior to the spear on the battlefield. With the spear you can take the initiative; the halberd is defensive. In the hands of one of two men of equal ability, the spear gives a little extra strength. Spear and halberd both have their uses, but neither is very beneficial in confined spaces. They cannot be used for taking a prisoner. They are essentially weapons for the field.

    Anyway, if you learn “indoor” techniques, you will think narrowly and forget the true Way. Thus you will have difficulty in actual encounters.

    The bow is tactically strong at the commencement of battle, especially battles on a moor, as it is possible to shoot quickly from among the spearmen. However, it is unsatisfactory in sieges, or when the enemy is more than forty yards away. For this reason there are nowadays few traditional schools of archery. There is little use for this kind of skill.

    From inside fortifications, the gun has no equal among weapons. It is the supreme weapon on the field before the ranks clash, but once swords are crossed the gun becomes useless.

    One of the virtues of the bow is that you can see the arrows in flight and correct your aim accordingly, whereas gunshot cannot be seen. You must appreciate the importance of this.

    Just as a horse must have endurance and no defects, so it is with weapons. Horses should walk strongly, and swords and companion swords should cut strongly. Spears and halberds must stand up to heavy use: bows and guns must be sturdy. Weapons should be hardy rather than decorative.

    You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well. You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handily properly. It is bad for commanders and troopers to have likes and dislikes. These are things you must learn thoroughly.

    TIMING IN STRATEGY
    There is timing in everything. Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.

    Timing is important in dancing and pipe or string music, for they are in rhythm only if timing is good. Timing and rhythm are also involved in the military arts, shooting bows and guns, and riding horses. In all skills and abilities there is timing.

    There is no timing in the Void.

    There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord. Similarly, there is timing in the Way of the merchant, in the rise and fall of capital. All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this. In strategy there are various timing considerations. From the outset you must know the applicable timing and the inapplicable timing, and from among the large and small things and the fast and slow timings find the relevant timing, first seeing the distance timing and the background timing. This is the main thing in strategy. It is especially important to know the background timing, otherwise your strategy will become uncertain.

    You win battles with the timing in the Void born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies’ timing, and thus using a timing which the enemy does not expect.

    All the five books are chiefly concerned with timing. You must train sufficiently to appreciate this.

    If you practice day and night in the above Ichi school strategy, your spirit will naturally broaden. This is large scale strategy and the strategy of hand to hand combat propagated in the world. This is recorded for the first time in the five books of Ground, Water, Fire, Wind, and the Void. This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy:

    1.Do not think dishonestly.
    2.The Way is in training.
    3.Become acquainted with every art.
    4.Know the Ways of professions.
    5.Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
    6.Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
    7.Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
    8.Pay attention even to trifles.
    9.Do nothing which is of no use.

    It is important to start by setting these broad principles in your heart, and train in the Way of strategy. If you do not look at things on a large scale it will be difficult for you to master strategy. If you learn and attain this strategy you will never lose even to twenty of thirty enemies. More than anything to start with you must set your heart on strategy and earnestly stick to the Way. You will come to be able to actually beat men in fights, and to be able to win with your eye. Also by training you will be able to freely control your won body, conquer men with your body, and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit. When you have reached this point, will it not mean that you are invincible?

    Moreover, in large scale strategy the superior man will manage many subordinates dexterously, bear himself correctly, govern the country and foster the people, thus preserving the ruler’s discipline. If there is a Way involving the spirit of not being defeated, to help oneself and gain honor, it is the Way of strategy.

    The second year of Shoho (1645), the fifth month, the twelfth day.

    Teruo Magonojo
    SHINMEN MUSASHI

    THE WATER BOOK
    The spirit of the Ni Ten Ichi school of strategy is based on water, and this Water Book explains methods of victory as the long-sword form of the Ichi school. Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail, but it can be grasped intuitively. Study this book; read a word then ponder on it. If you interpret the meaning loosely you will mistake the Way.

    The principles of strategy are written down here in terms of single combat, but you must think broadly so that you attain an understanding for ten-thousand-a-side battles.

    Strategy is different from other things in that if you mistake the Way even a little you will become bewildered and fall into bad ways.

    If you merely read this book you will not reach the Way of strategy. Absorb the things written in this book. Do not just read, memorize or imitate, but so that you realize the principle from within your own heart study hard to absorb these things into your body.

    SPIRITUAL BEARING IN STRATEGY
    In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit. Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit.

    Small people must be completely familiar with the spirit of large people, and large people must be familiar with the spirit of small people. Whatever your size, do not be misled by the reactions of your own body. With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy.

    The wisdom of strategy is different from other things. On the battlefield, even when you are hard-pressed, you should ceaselessly research the principles of strategy so that you can develop a steady spirit.

    According to this Ichi school, you can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. In short, the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size.

    What did you think of when you read this? Did you think of H2H vs firearms? Do you know that the Japanese long sword, the katana, is a feet or more longer than the companion sword, the wakizashi? It is only a difference of range, not a difference of fundamental potential.

    This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

    If you thought of Flight 93 when you read that line, then congratulations, you have an uncommon insight.

    If you thought of Total War, then congratulations, you have the markings of a strategist.

    However, if you only believe “weaponry” consists of knives, clubs, and firearms, you have already fallen into a pit. The first and foremost weapons humans were given is encased in our skull: the human brain. All other things are external attachments and tools, including your hands and feet.

  • Ymarsakar

    Small people must be completely familiar with the spirit of large people, and large people must be familiar with the spirit of small people. Whatever your size, do not be misled by the reactions of your own body. With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy.

    Old words but still true today. All you have to do is to remember back to the last election; it shouldn’t be that hard.

    The Left, the Democrats, and people like Helen see military affairs as bullies using unfair strength against the weak and winning because it is “easy” for the technologically strong to beat on the poor or weak. Warfare has never been easy; it has always required intelligence, cunning, subtleness, determination, will, and resources. Helen would say that it isn’t important who pays for the food, so long as the starving are fed. Warriors would say that it isn’t important who pays for the munitions and the weapons, so long as the enemy dies and is defeated. But while warriors have a department called “logistics” to figure out how to get such munitions and weapons, the Helens of the world have no better solution than to appoint an Obama Government to take care of such things for her.

    A warrior and student in the way of strategy would ask: “Why do you trust others to do something which you yourself have no clue how to do?” It is one thing for a military commander to say, “I am no good at logistics so let us appoint the bean counter so he can do advanced calculus and clean up our books while I devote my time to what I am best at” and an entirely different thing for that same commander to say, “I have no idea what good or bad logistics are, so I will depend upon this foreign individual, who I have no idea concerning his origins or character, to tell me what is good or bad logistics, and I will of course give him plenipotentiary power to decide what to do concerning logistics”. The former is wisdom while the latter is gross ignorance and stupidity.

    “When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy”…. what makes conservatives different from fake liberals when it comes to being fooled and deceived? Is it because we are immune to con men and lies? Obviously not, for many good people have been conned or drawn into places like Jonestown because of mistakes. We are human and thus we are fallible. So what is the difference, what allows conservatives more than fake liberals to see deception and to say out loud what it is?

    Because conservatives, relative to all others, are most likely to study war and history and to actually practice such anachronistic and violent past times as hunting, self-sufficiency camp outs, and marksmanship training. They are students of the Way, not to be confused with the Pacifist Way.

    The study of strategy is the study of humanity. The study of humanity is the study of what makes us different and what makes us the same. Identity politics uses such knowledge for evil by increasing the differences between humans in order to bring about power and wealth to an elect elite, like Obama or Helen. The more the differences between human beings become, the greater the chances for conflict, genocide, murder, and war.

    That, I will not abide.

  • Ymarsakar

    Ymarsakar, you owe me the price of the box of tissues it took me to clean up my screen

    If you wish to bring your taxmen to my abode, then be my guest, Charles. However, if you truly wish something from me that you think I “owe” you, then I suggest you bring as many heavies (mob shark enforcers) as you can hire.

    I promise you that I will do my utmost to be a grand host and provide a suitable welcome ; )

  • 1Lulu

    I looked at the Top 10 list and my reaction is that it is really time we started to speak up and demand that universities represent more than one viewpoint in the interest of achieving a balanced education. Parents pay a lot of money to colleges. They can start being more vocal and a lot more aware. Isn’t there a Conservative watchdog group that could alert donors and parents of the goings-on at their campuses so that schools could be inundated with calls and complaints? Why are we so passive?

    Why did all those parents submit to the tyranny of one and allow Rudolph to be taken from their kids? I know one mom who proudly boasted to me that she had Santa removed from her kids private and secular pre-school because it was offensive to kids who didn’t celebrate Christmas. Is she nuts? Why didn’t other parents speak up? Why was the school so cowardly? This mom was also totally inconsistent. When our kids were in the same kindergarten class- this time in public school- a visiting mom explained to the kids at Christmas time that candy canes symbolized the blood of Christ as she passed them around the room. This bothered me because I thought she was imposing her theology on a bunch of 6 year old in public school without their parents knowing. But no, this didn’t bother her, it was Santa that upset her.

    Regarding the Prop. 8 protests at El Coyote Restaurant:
    This is a situation I find very alarming and much much more attention should be drawn to it. A private citizen made a political donation. Her privacy has been completely violated by gay activists and their supporters and her life has entered a Kafka reality. I find it fascinating that gay groups pick on Mormons who are a small minority in CA but leave alone Black churches who are probably the demographic most responsible for Prop 8’s defeat. God forbid members of the Left might be seen passing harsh judgment on people of color! Mormons are a much easier target because many erroneously assume they all look Mitt Romney and family. In CA most Mormons I know are Hispanic.

    I have been wondering how/why they even found out about the El Coyote manager. My guess is that they searched for her to begin with. Someone must have known she was Mormon. I know that restaurant well. It is a Los Angeles landmark; huge, kitschy, cheap, good service and passable food. It happens to be situated in West Hollywood, the gay district of Los Angeles. This is in of those strange communities where you see groups of gay men walking around holding hands, and Hassidic Jews in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood just a few blocks away.

    I can just imagine that gay activists were angry because someone who ran a restaurant they patronized, in their neighborhood betrayed them. It was personal. Of course, the restaurant had been there long before the neighborhood was gay and I remember from my childhood El Coyote exposing me for the first time to a very flamboyantly gay man. For years, their host was a very very very effeminate man in a toreador suit, ghostly white face make-up with artificial beauty mark, and dreamy black locks. He didn’t walk. He sashayed.

    Because people who want to keep marriage between a man and a woman are characterized as haters, they therefore can be demonized. Dialogue is impossible because it’s all emotional. So, because people went snooping in private matters, a lot of prop 8 activists got hurt feelings, a family is afraid their always popular restaurant may close,staff has been fired, and a shake-down for $500 took place in order to get the picketers to stop harassing diners. I think this should be written about a lot. It’s a very dangerous precedent.

    I know I keep saying this, but if we don’t want to be swept to the side in our society, we’d better start speaking up.

    Sorry this is so long-winded but it felt good to get this off my chest.

  • Ellen

    Yes, we do need to speak up. Not agreeing with someone is not the same as hating him. I don’t agree with gay marriage, but I don’t hate gay people. I don’t agree with Barack Obama’s political principles, but I don’t hate the man – heck, I wish him all the best and hope he is remembered as a successful president.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Unfortunately, what the examples to which Book refers illustrate is that there are many people who need to hate. For them it is a narcotic. The question is, with Bush just about gone, who will be the target of their ire next?

    My bet is on Christians (1st) and conservatives (2nd).

  • Ymarsakar

    What is this about protesters harassing diners? That sounds interesting. It is always interesting when you try to get between predators and their food.

  • Ymarsakar

    The question is, with Bush just about gone, who will be the target of their ire next?

    They will always pick on the people they think are easy targets and can’t defend themselves.

  • Tiresias

    Aaah… but the part you’re not remembering, Ellen (#5) is that when it was released, theatre owners would wire up some of the seats with a small, electric, tingly little non-deadly device – and your seat would damn well tingle!

    In small towns, like where I lived, you could hear an audience screaming from one end of Main Street to the other. Vincent Price would say the key words, and the bored, gumn-popping kid in the projection booth would flip a switch, and the screaming would rebound off the hillsides – it was great!

    I miss that fifties schtick!

  • Mike Devx

    I think the woman is taking all of this a little too personally. She thought that because she was kind and generous, that they were all one big happy family. Then she got political, and gave $100 to a cause her customers hate, and she found out just what all those years of being kind and generous were worth: squat. And all for $100.

    The protesters are going to eventually learn a very difficult lesson: What goes around often comes around. They are teaching intolerance to a very large number of people. This almost guarantees that at some point they are going to receive more intolerance in return than they’re used to (and they’re used to some). Because of what they’ve just been doing – the intolerance they’ve been practicing – they will have no recourse and no argument to fall back on. They will deserve everything they have coming to them.

    It’s a sad commentary on human nature really, and you see it time and again. In this case, those who consider themselves victims of prejudice and intolerance, are engaging in prejudice and intolerance, and they simply cannot see it. Human nature, baby, read it and weep.