The Bookworm Beat — Waiting for Normal Edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingThe kids return to school on Wednesday and I have the hope — faint, admittedly, but still the hope — that my life will return to normal then. I’m not complaining about life during the summer. I’ve enjoyed sleeping in every day, I’ve enjoyed the freedom from schedules, and I’ve enjoyed the vitality that comes with having the neighborhood teenagers move into my house.

Still, I like normal too. I like being up and about early, I like that wonderful moment when everyone is gone and the house is mine for six hours, and I like the quiet rhythm that enables me to read, think, and blog. During summer, because my quiet time comes so erratically and lasts so briefly, I cannot seem to get in the groove.

Until normal arrives in my life (assuming it ever does), here are a few interesting links.

Making shocking comparisons about Obama, mainstream media turns racist

What’s shocking about WaPo editor Jackson Diehl’s post discussing Obama’s hubris isn’t how mean and angry the tone is. No.  What’s really terrible is that this WaPo editor is no longer comparing Obama to Lincoln or even Reagan; he’s comparing him to George Bush Jr. Wow. That’s hate speech.

Thomas Frank :  fool or plant

Steven Hayward points out that Thomas Frank’s advice for Progressives who want to make conservatives happy is to (a) ignore reality and (b) put into place the kind of agenda that conservatives have sought for decades. Hayward is correct that Frank is either as dumb as a post or a brilliant conservative plant.

The perverse pleasure of getting under a Leftist’s skin

One of my liberal friends posted on Facebook the fact that the autopsy report revealed that Michael “Big Mike” Brown, formerly of Ferguson, Missouri, sustained six gunshot wounds, two of which were in the head. He commented that this was an excessive number. His boyfriend chimed in — yes, excessive!

I wrote polite words to the effect that if, solely for the sake of argument, one accepts as true the shooting officer’s version of events, six is not an unreasonable number of bullets to put into a huge man who is charging towards you with apparently malevolent intent. Not all shots make their mark and a big man may keep moving long after he’s sustained serious, even fatal, injuries.

I added that the “shoot to wound” idea exists only in novels and movies. Real cops — and I’ve spoken with a few — know that, if the situation is bad enough to merit shooting, you shoot to kill. I got this delightful response, not from my friend, but from his boyfriend:

Sorry . . . that just doesn’t match up with the facts as reported. It’s nothing less than stupendous how those of you on the lunatic right become apologists for the very same fucking governmental forces you shriek are taking us into “socialism”, “tyranny”, and whatever other crap you come up with. How pathetic and embarrassing to all Americans. UNfuckingbelievable.

When I went to reply, I saw that my friend had deleted both my comment and his boyfriend’s response. I was so delighted with the boyfriend’s response, though, that I mischievously re-posted my original comment, adding that it was significant that the shots entered front-to-back and not vice-versa. It now appears one of the shots may have been from back to front, which raises the question of whether that was the first, kill shot, with the others coming as he lay helpless on the ground, or if it was a final shot as his body fell.

I thought it would be lovely to elicit another one of those tirades. When someone is so viciously paranoid, it’s nice to tease it out so that all the world can see him for what he really is.

Conservatives don’t hate gays

I’m part of a majority! Sixty-eight percent of Republicans would willingly vote for a gay candidate who shared their values. I’m in that 68%. Ever since I’ve been a child, I’ve been neither racist, nor homophobic, nor religionist, nor anything else but VALUES-IST. If you share my values, I don’t care about whatever else you have going on with you.

I’m also with those conservatives (60%) who would be upset if their children were gay. This isn’t because I hate gays, and I wouldn’t hate my child. It’s because gays are statistically less likely to live lives free from substance abuse, spousal abuse, depression, and suicide. It’s also because I’ve known many gays and their lives tend to be less stable and more inclined to excess than the straight people I know. In other words, it’s not the sexual orientation that would disturb me, it’s my deep worry as a parent that my child would be setting out on a potentially very unhappy and dangerous life path.

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel

Edward Snowden, who threw himself into Chinese and Russian hands with suitcases full of NSA secrets, dressed himself up in libertarian patriotism: I’m protecting you, the American people, from your government, he promised. As someone who fears overreaching government, I could fully understand those who argued that he was performing an important public service. But how do you explain away the fact that the vast bulk of data he stole related to national security, not homeland surveillance? It looks as if he may be precisely the type of “patriot” scoundrel Johnson was thinking of when he coined his famous saying — someone who covers up despicable acts by waving the flag.

The Left’s selective concern for victims of violence

Bernard Goldberg is singing an old, familiar song, but it certainly deserves a reprise — Leftists, including black Leftists, have no sympathy for blacks killed by blacks, or whites killed by blacks. Their outrage is reserved solely for blacks killed by whites, even though their number is exceptionally small, especially when compared to those blacks who die at the hands of their racial fellows. This outrage, then, has nothing to do with victims of violent crime, and everything to do with fomenting race wars.

Nobody cares about white victims

That Kung Pao something-or-other was delicious!  Now, what did you say was in that dish?

I wonder how Thomas Friedman is going to explain this one away in defending his beloved Chinese communist government: dogs are for eating, says Chinese government.

Pictures

(Thanks, as always, to Caped Crusader, who has a knack for finding these great images and posters.)

Work boots not stolen

Thomas Sowell wisdom

All socialists sing the same song

No, Hillary is not a Nazi. The point is that all socialists sing the same song.

Looting

 

Another Progressive showdown between ideology and reality

I was in San Francisco during the peak AIDS years.  I remember how death stalked the streets (many, many people I knew died) and I remember how deeply in denial the gay community was.  The most visible sign of that denial was the fight to keep open the gay bath houses, which were scenes of unbridled debauchery and major vectors in spreading AIDS.  There was nothing untoward in the city’s trying to shut the bathhouses down, since the city’s efforts to control an epidemic’s spread fell squarely within government’s traditional role.

At the New Yorker, Michael Specter has written an article that reports something that people familiar with the modern gay community tend to notice on an annual basis:  young gay men have forgotten the scourge, and are repeating the pattern of unbridled, unprotected, promiscuous sex (on a scale heterosexuals cannot imagine) coupled with drug use.  It’s how AIDS gained such a foothold in America last time, rather than living on only in dusty medical journals, and it’s a worrisome sign that AIDS could be resurgent or that something equally awful could take its place (especially today, when we’re reaching limits on our antibiotics).

Specter’s article heads today’s New Yorker’s “most read” list.  It therefore makes a nice matched set with today’s news, which is that men who are openly gay and bisexual are trying to end the ban on blood donations:

A push by activists to ease the 30-year-old blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men faces a key test this week as a federal panel hears results of the latest research. The findings will be released amid growing pressure from politicians and advocates, including college students, to change the policy.

Critics say the ban is a hangover from the early, fear-filled days of AIDS, stigmatizing gay men and ignoring advances in treatment and detection in the decades since.

Yes, the blood-donation ban is a hangover from the early days of AIDS, and yes, we have better techniques for screening blood . . . for HIV and AIDS.  Given that gay men are engaging in the same behavior that led to AIDS’ rapid spread, though, it’s sensible to worry that they might be acting as the vector from some nasty new disease for which we don’t yet have either screening techniques or treatments.

(I’ve sometimes wondered if my resistance to gay marriage doesn’t stem from the fact that I remember vividly the 1970s and early 1980s in San Francisco. Gay activists over the past twenty-plus years have advanced the gay marriage agenda by painting gay couples as ordinary middle class couples. That’s not the way I remember them. People having drug-fueled orgies with up to a hundred partners, all of them strangers, is not the middle class norm. The San Francisco Gay Pride parade does not present the middle class norm. The public nudity and sex that is a strong feature of the San Francisco gay scene is not the middle class norm. While there are indeed stable middle class gay couples — I know several such couples — I also know that they’re not the norm.)

Maybe you’re just not as interesting as you think you are

The online magazine IndieWire has noted something interesting:  movies with gay leading characters aren’t doing big box office.  In the 90s, movies such as The Birdcage (based on the audience tested La Cage aux Folles), Philadelphia (about the still-headlining catching scourge AIDS), and In & Out (with a pleasing Kevin Kline as a gay teacher trying to hide in the closet) were big sellers.  In the first decade of the 21st century, the numbers went even higher with Brokeback Mountain (surely one of the most demoralizing movies about gays ever made), which grossed over $80 million in 2005.  Other gay-themed movies didn’t do as well in that decade (topping out in the $60 million range with Sacha Baron Cohen’s gross-out Bruno), but they were still bringing at least $30 million each.

In the last few years, though, gay themed movies (that is, movies with the main protagonists being gay), have failed to bring in the big money.  IndieWire assembles the numbers:

Top Grossing Films With Lead LGBT Character (2010-present)
1. The Kids Are All Right (2010) – $20,811,365
2. I Love You, Phillip Morris (2010) – $2,037,459
3. Farewell My Queen (2012) – $1,347,990
4. I’m So Excited (2013) – $1,216,168
5. La Mission (2010) – $1,062,941

Even the highest grossing of the bunch couldn’t match the lowest grossing gay-themed movie from a decade earlier, well the remaining ones couldn’t even get into the high single digits (when counting by millions).  So what happened?  IndieWire offers five theories, only the fifth of which I’ll quote in its entirety:

1. There’s just not as much of a need for these films anymore. [snip]

2. There are less LGBT films being made, so there will clearly be less of them grossing $1 million. [snip]

3. There are less marketable LGBT films being made. [snip]

4. All the good LGBT representation is on TV.  [snip]

5. The market has simply changed. Here’s where the most significant answer lies, and it very much encompasses the last 4 explanations as well.  The economic world of film is vastly different in 2013 than it was in 1993 or 2003.  Back in the 1990s, studios were making the kind of mid-budget films in which “Philadelphia,” “In & Out, “The Birdcage” and “To Wong Foo” encompass. Then in the 2000s when studios all had started specialty divisions (like Universal’s Focus Features and Fox’s Fox Searchlight), LGBT content seemed to be delegated there with smaller budgets (like with “Brokeback Mountain,” “Kinsey,” “Milk,” and “Capote”).  Nowadays, even those kind of $15-$20 million budgeted LGBT films are rare.

I think that the “market has changed” theory is on the right track, but it’s too narrow an analysis.  The problem for blockbuster gay-themed movies isn’t just the “type” of movies being made (i.e., big budget versus small, art film versus action, etc.).  It seems to me the audience just isn’t that interested anymore.  Depending on which statistics you believe, a generous count is that the entire LGBT spectrum, from “L” all the way through “T” makes up at most 10% of the population.  Straight women who want romances or rom-coms aren’t going to want to see gays or lesbians as the main characters.  Straight men who want action movies aren’t going to be interested in anything but a macho lead, because the little boy part of each men still thinks that, under the right circumstances, he too can be that hero.  Teen boys through to young men in their early 20s, who seem to be homophobic no matter how gay-friendly and supportive their community is, will watch gay stuff only in the context of gross-out sex and feces jokes, a la Bruno.

The gay-themed movies of the past had broad audience reach for reasons very specific to those movies:  Some, like Philadelphia spoke to very big issues with which society was struggling.  Others, like The Birdcage and In & Out, had brilliant (and, I might add, straight) comedic actors with great scripts that happened to tap into a time when audiences still got a sort of thrill from being hip enough to watch a gay-themed movie.  Brokeback Mountain?  Great acting and a serious plot about pathetic human beings.  That’s got to appeal to the nation’s “elite” movie-goers.  Also, it was a sufficiently serious movie that people who would normally only be willing to watch gays in a comedic context could contemplate the spectacle of watching R-rated gay sex in a movie theater without any laugh lines.  (Incidentally, effeminate comic figures have been in Hollywood movies since the dawn of talkies; other than that, they stayed discretely locked away, both on screen and off.)

But now, for the majority of straight Americans, the thrill is gone.  Gays are indeed ubiquitous on TV.  They’re also pushing to the forefront of the media everywhere, in numbers disproportionate to their representation in the American population.  The vast number of Americans are not homophobic, even if they don’t want the ancient institution of marriage extended to gays.  And as for gay marriage, increasing numbers of Americans support that too.

We no longer see gays as stock comic figures.  We no longer see gays as tragic martyrs to disease.  We no longer see gays as closeted victims.  We no longer see gay images in movies as titillating.  And, assuming we’re heterosexual, we don’t see them as acceptable lead characters in romances, rom-cons, action movies, or teen flicks.  That leaves a very, very small market for movies with gay leading characters.

In other words, now that straights have run out of reasons to see gay movies just because they’re gay, it turns out that gays might not be as interesting as they think they are.  A gay movie has to offer entertainment on its on terms without preaching at audiences.  And gays probably want to make movies that aren’t demeaning to them — which I think Bruno (staring the straight Baron Cohen) was, insofar as it presented gay sexual behaviors as grotesque, disgusting, and perverse.

Until a gay-charactered movie has crossover appeal, offering a solid product that appeals to Americans’ cravings for comedy, romance, action, or serious stuff (which, insofar as gays goes, has mostly been done), I supect gay-themed movies will continue to languish economically.

Hagel wins over Andrew Sullivan by groveling to gays and smearing Jews

Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel apologized for making a fairly nasty gay slur more than a decade ago.  The execrable Andrew Sullivan is proud of Hagel, especially because Hagel’s mea culpa wasn’t accompanied by a companion mea culpa to the Jews and the State of Israel, as to both of which Hagel has directed a boatload of smears, insults, and threats.

According to Sullivan, Hagel recited his dictated apology perfectly, and it’s a mercy that Andrew and his ilk trained Hagel so well, because it won’t be the first apology Hagel will probably be called upon to make.  Why?  Because of the Joos, whom Sullivan views in much the same way the Arab crowd does:

Antisemitic imagery from the Arab world

The rest is smears – and there will be more to come, knowing how fanatical and ruthless the Greater Israel lobby is.

Hagel need not worry too much, though. Sullivan rightly divines that, in Obama’s America, as long as you make nice to the gays, it’s okay to start preparing the pathway to a new Jewish genocide:

This [i.e., Hagel's ability to appease various Leftist victim groups] is fast becoming a litmus test of whether an American president can nominate a defense secretary without getting the blessing of the AIPAC chorus. Yes, we have sunk that far. But this could be a turning point for a saner Middle East policy.

I think the Palestinians have a phrase for a “saner Middle East policy“:  “There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.”

It’s not just that Sullivan is ever more proudly wearing his antisemitism alongside his homosexuality.  It’s not even as if he sounds as if he’s reading out of the Cliff Notes version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  What’s so horrific is that he has a bully pulpit on the blogosphere — and, moreover, one that, to those unaware of modern media’s ideology collapse, seems respectable.

Andrew Sullivan

Sullivan is a mental slob and a moral deviant (something entirely separate from his sexual identity, which is his own business).  In a free nation, he’s allowed to be a pea brain and antisemite, but it says something just awful about America that he has a large and loyal following.

And if we want to take horrific and multiply it by appalling, what’s really astounding and depressing is that, as I know from my Leftward friends, many of his most devout followers are Jews.  Or rather, I should say that, genetically they’re Jewish and they observe the High Holy Days, but their sensibilities are shaped entirely by Leftist politics.  Like all useful idiots and appeasers, they’re pretty sure the crocodile, once it starts its attack, will pass them by for someone who forgot to grovel and pander as well as they did.

Oh, wait!  I’ve thought of something even more dreadful than horrific multiplied by appalling:  It’s not just that Andrew Sullivan approves of Chuck Hagel.  It’s that our president — reelected by 52% of the American population — does too.  Rather than leading the call for surrender of arms, smart Jews should be stockpiling.

It’s a mad, mad, mad homophobic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, Leftist, Islamist world

In today’s news, we learned that Muslims in Libya kidnapped twelve men that they claimed were homosexuals in order to execute them:

Extremists say they will execute a dozen men they allege are homosexuals, whom they abducted last Thursday at a private party in Tripoli’s Ain Zara district.

A body calling itself the ‘Private Deterrent Force’, which is believed to be part of the extremist Nawasi militia group, has posted images of the men on their Facebook page. One picture (above) shows them, heads covered, standing with their hands against a wall.

At the time of writing, the picture had received 315 ‘likes’ and had received comments such as “flog them hard”, “lets see the bullets”, and “ride them like camels”.

Accompanying text describes the men as “the third sex” and says that they are to be mutilated and executed.

I posted this on my Facebook page, along with a comment saying that, lately, nothing good has come out of Libya.  Within a few minutes, a high school classmate, very gay, commented on this post.  Interestingly, he didn’t comment on the post to excoriate a culture that brutally murders his fellow homosexuals.  Instead, he said that the Middle East isn’t very gay friendly, but neither are any Christian countries, including the U.S.  Before I could take him to task for that manifest idiocy, another friend of mine — a Democrat gay man who is a closet conservative — chimed in to say that this was the stupidest comment he’d ever heard, and that it was impossible to conflate the Muslim’s murderous approach towards gays with any attitude towards gays displayed in a Western, majority-Christian country.

Since my closeted conservative friend had dealt more than adequately with this gay Leftist idiocy, I opted for a different line of thinking.  Assuming that, as a Leftist, he’s fairly pro-Israel, even as he supports the same countries that murder gays, I decided to put in a plug for Israel.  I therefore pointed out that there’s a sad, funny irony in the fact that the safest place for gay Palestinians is Israel, with accords full civil rights to the LGBT crowd.  Since I always like to back up my statements with evidence, I went trolling on Google for news stories about how Palestinian gays find sanctuary in Israel.

What I found, to my surprise, were savage attacks from the Left about the fact that Israel is hospitable to gays.  The previous sentence is not the result of a typographical error.  The Left finds it absolutely infuriating that Israel treats gays like people (just as it does women and its Arab citizens).  As far as the Left is concerned, this is all a despicable trick aimed at hiding the fact that it is an Imperialist Nazi-like nation bound and determined to commit genocide against its Palestinian neighbors.  (The Left conveniently ignores the soaring Palestinian population, something inconsistent with decades of alleged genocide, just as it ignores the genocidal, antisemitic rantings emanating from all parts of the Muslim world, rantings that have no anti-Arab corollary in Israel.)

This is not fringe stuff.  Perhaps because I was busy with Thanksgiving travel last November (2011), I missed completely a Jewish lesbian’s nasty opinion piece in the New York Times accusing Israel of “pinkwashing”:

After generations of sacrifice and organization, gay people in parts of the world have won protection from discrimination and relationship recognition. But these changes have given rise to a nefarious phenomenon: the co-opting of white gay people by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political forces in Western Europe and Israel.

In the Netherlands, some Dutch gay people have been drawn to the messages of Geert Wilders, who inherited many followers of the assassinated anti-immigration gay leader Pim Fortuyn, and whose Party for Freedom is now the country’s third largest political party. In Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist who massacred 77 people in July, cited Bruce Bawer, a gay American writer critical of Muslim immigration, as an influence. The Guardian reported last year that the racist English Defense League had 115 members in its gay wing. The German Lesbian and Gay Federation has issued statements citing Muslim immigrants as enemies of gay people.

These depictions of immigrants — usually Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish or African origin — as “homophobic fanatics” opportunistically ignore the existence of Muslim gays and their allies within their communities. They also render invisible the role that fundamentalist Christians, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jews play in perpetuating fear and even hatred of gays. And that cynical message has now spread from its roots in European xenophobia to become a potent tool in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

[snip]

The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”

Pinkwashing not only manipulates the hard-won gains of Israel’s gay community, but it also ignores the existence of Palestinian gay-rights organizations.

Sarah Schulman, who wrote that putrid little piece, should be given a one-way ticket to Iran or Saudi Arabia or Libya or Gaza to see what kind of “gay rights” exist in those parts of the world.  The “rights” usually boil down to “Do you want to be hanged, stoned, flayed, or beheaded for the crime of being a homosexual or lesbian?”  Of course, that’s not what would happen if she went to those backwards countries.  Backwards they may be, but they know a useful idiot when they see one.  Schulman would be feted and stuffed full of propaganda about the love Muslims feel for gays.

What’s just as bad as Schulman’s willful obtuseness is the fact that she’s got a nice platform from which to indoctrinate equally stupid, blind gays here at home.  (I’m not saying all gays are stupid and blind.  I am saying that those who believe Leftism is more important than human rights are willing vessels for this kind of propaganda.)  You see, Schulman is a “Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.”  Not just a professor, but a “distinguished” professor.  To my mind, she is distinguished only by being either evil, or stupid to the point of being evil.

The worst insults always come from the Left

Gay Patriot has a post up about the nasty insults he receives as a gay man.  These don’t come from right wing homophobes, though.  They come from Leftists.  Read his post and you’ll see.

I’ll only add that, aside from being green with envy that he met Glenn Reynolds, I’m not at all surprised.  The Most indecent, hate-filled insults always comes from the Left.  The names Michelle Malkin gets called are so racist, misogynistic and otherwise filthy, they defy imagination.  Same for any conservative black.  It’s no surprise to me that Leftists would pile on the bad names for a gay conservative.

There’s a word for these disgusting accusations.  Hmmm.  Let me think.  La-la-la.  I know it’ll come to me.  Protection?  Nooo.  Rejection?  No, that’s not right either.  A-ha!  I’ve got it.  Projection!

Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings

Identity politics once again runs amok, this time with athletes who aren’t “gay enough”

In my previous post, I talked about the way in which the Left desperately tries to cubby-hole people, events and ideas, without any real understanding of what lies beneath those labels.  Seconds after I finished writing that post, I read this newspaper article, which sounds like a parody, but isn’t:

All Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ wanted to do was to win the championship game at the Gay Softball World Series for their amateur San Francisco team.

Instead, they were marched one by one into a conference room at the tournament in suburban Seattle and asked about their “private sexual attractions and desires,” and their team was stripped of its second-place finish after the men were determined to be “non-gay,” they said in a lawsuit accusing a national gay sports organization of discrimination.

The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, pits the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a San Francisco group backing the men, against the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, which prides itself on barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.

At issue is whether the gay sports alliance violated Washington state’s public accommodations laws by enforcing a rule limiting to two the number of heterosexuals who can play on a team.

Apilado, Charles and Russ were members of D2, a team that was part of the San Francisco Gay Softball League. The squad made it to the championship game at the August 2008 tournament in Kent, Wash.

But another team, the Atlanta Mudcats, which had lost to D2 in a semifinal game, complained that the San Francisco team had too many straights.

Read the rest here.  This is the kind of article that has you giggling madly at the insanity of it all, even though the saner part of your brain is wondering how our society got to the point where people are being denied athletic opportunities because they not “gay enough.”

Identity politics is the antithesis of the individualism that was always the bedrock of the American identity.  I am the sum of my many, many parts, large numbers of which are, and should be, invisible to the public eye.  I refuse to have one of those parts be held as so overwhelmingly important that society forces me into certain belief systems and behaviors antithetical to the whole me.

The President’s religious desire to reverse Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

On the subject of the “secular humanism religion” that guides liberals, it’s informative to read this quotation from William Kristol, writing about Obama’s sudden imperative need to do away with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the American military:

But the repeal is something that Obama campaigned on. He believes in it. But with all due respect to his sincerely held if abstractly formed views on this subject, it would be reckless to require the military to carry out a major sociological change, one contrary to the preferences of a large majority of its members, as it fights two wars. What’s more, it isn’t a change an appreciable number of Americans are clamoring for. And even if one understood this change to be rectifying an injustice, the fact is it’s an injustice that affects perhaps a few thousand people in a nation of 300 million.

But, “It’s the right thing to do,” said the president.

Here is contemporary liberalism in a nutshell: No need to consider costs as well as benefits. No acknowledgment of competing goods or coexisting rights. No appreciation of the constraints of public sentiment or the challenges of organizational complexity. No sense that not every part of society can be treated dogmatically according to certain simple propositions. Just the assertion that something must be done because it is in some abstract way “the right thing.”

In other words, although the liberal’s faith doesn’t derive from God, it’s a faith all the same.  The only difference is that liberals, because their unnamed God is the government itself, have no problem crossing the Constitutional dividing line and using the coercive power of government to force people to worship at their shrines.

For a cogent discussion of the practical problems that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would create, read J.E. Dyer’s article and her earlier post on the subject.  And for a revealing look at the military bureaucracy’s lumbering agreement to comply with the President’s ill-thought out wishes, check this out, at the Daily Caller.

Gay Hillary supporters realize that Bush had his virtues

I’ve now received five emails bringing to my attention a post at Hillbuzz, a blog that (as best as I can tell) is written by two gay Hillary supporters.  (And thanks to all of you who did bring it to my attention.)  What makes the post at Hillbuzz so unusual is that it’s a frank appreciation for . . . George Bush:

We know absolutely no one in Bush family circles and have never met former President George W. Bush or his wife Laura.

If you have been reading us for any length of time, you know that we used to make fun of “Dubya” nearly every day…parroting the same comedic bits we heard in our Democrat circles, where Bush is still, to this day, lampooned as a chimp, a bumbling idiot, and a poor, clumsy public speaker.

Oh, how we RAILED against Bush in 2000…and how we RAILED against the surge in support Bush received post-9/11 when he went to Ground Zero and stood there with his bullhorn in the ruins on that hideous day.

We were convinced that ANYONE who was president would have done what Bush did, and would have set that right tone of leadership in the wake of that disaster.  President Gore, President Perot, President Nader, you name it.  ANYONE, we assumed, would have filled that role perfectly.

Well, we told you before how much the current president, Dr. Utopia, made us realize just how wrong we were about Bush.  We shudder to think what Dr. Utopia would have done post-9/11.  He would have not gone there with a bullhorn and struck that right tone.  More likely than not, he would have been his usual fey, apologetic self and waxed professorially about how evil America is and how justified Muslims are for attacking us, with a sidebar on how good the attacks were because they would humble us.

Honestly, we don’t think President Gore would have been much better that day.  The world needed George W. Bush, his bullhorn, and his indominable spirit that day…and we will forever be grateful to this man for that.

As we will always be grateful for what George and Laura Bush did this week, with no media attention, when they very quietly went to Ft. Hood and met personally with the families of the victims of this terrorist attack.

FOR HOURS.

Please read the rest here.  It’s an excellent post and deserves the attention it’s getting for the honest take it has on George Bush’s solid decency — and the contrast between his low-key, virtuous behavior and that exhibited by the Obami.

Hillbuzz’s post is a reminder that the very loud, politicized gay class tends to make us forget that most gays are just Americans who happen to like people of the same sex.  When things are rosy, they’re happy to trail behind the political guys, since there might be some benefits dropping off that bandwagon.  However, when push comes to shove, and when agitating but scarcely life threatening issues go by the wayside, America’s gays are Americans first — or, at least, most of them are.  That’s very heartening.

I look forward to the day when America’s Muslims figure out that, at some point they have to make a public stand between America’s deep investment in liberty and Islam’s demand that all citizens in all nations should be subjugated to Sharia’s draconian requirements.  Right now, thanks to the politically correct ideology that permeates the media, the government, educational establishes, and the top echelons of the military, American Muslims are getting a pass on having to come to terms with their own patriotism.  If they want to hew to their religion — well, that’s the moral choice they have to make, but we Americans should know, so that we can do what is necessary to protect our Constitutional rights for the vast majority of Americans (gay and straight, Catholic and Jewish, atheist and, yes, Muslim) who believe in those rights.

The gay agenda

I’m a libertarian and a child of San Francisco in the 1970s.  What this means is that I believe, very strongly, that people should be allowed to engage in same sex relationships.  I also believe that people who are homosexual (and any subset of that, such as lesbian, bisexual, etc.), should not be harassed or discriminated against.

The 1990s and the 21st century, however, have seen something entirely different from the drive to tolerance and individual freedom that I support.  Gay-ness has become part of a larger political agenda that has nothing to do with an individual’s sexuality, and everything to do with breaking down traditional American morality.  This morality is not just window-dressing.  It is the nation’s backbone.

A Reluctant Scribe, who happened to be near ground zero as gay activists expanded their range beyond merely freeing themselves from discrimination and repression, guest posts at Brutally Honest with an insight into the enormous political agenda that underlies the formerly sympathetic gay rights movement.

The inevitable result of identity politics

Identity politics turns people into one dimensional characters, who must act out a set script.  If you’re black or Hispanic, you must be a Democrat, even if you oppose abortion, take a jaundiced view of gay marriage, and want school choice.  If you’re a woman, you must support equal pay for comparable work, even if that will destroy the economy and dramatically lessen the total number of jobs available.  If you’re a white male, you must be the epitome of all things regressive and evil.  Oh, and if you’re gay, you cannot be a principled conservative and must, instead, be humiliated and destroyed:

California GOP Rep. David Dreier and a number of other politicians are the unwilling stars of a controversial new documentary with an explosive premise – it’s time to blow open the closet door on prominent politicians who have hidden their homosexuality while actively working against gay causes.

The film “Outrage,” which opens today at the Embarcadero Center Cinema in San Francisco, presents interviews and documentation charging that a number of prominent legislators – including Dreier, the U.S. representative from San Dimas (Los Angeles County), GOPFlorida Gov. Charlie Crist and former Democratic New York Mayor Ed Koch – have remained closeted while publicly opposing legislation on issues such as same-sex marriage, HIV/AIDS funding, and gays in the military.

Liberals frequently confuse their compulsive need to typecast with hypocrisy.  Let me set the record straight.  Hypocrisy means to advocate one course of conduct or belief for others (usually with a sacrifice to them), while espousing another for yourself (usually to your benefit).

Thus, it’s hypocrisy when Al Gore goes around demanding that we all drive in cars made out of tissue paper, and live in houses that are freezing cold in winter and furnace hot in summer, all the time driving himself in a safe and comfortable SUV, and living in a series of energy-hog mansions.  It’s hypocrisy when Michael Moore demands that we all divest from Halliburton, but invests in it himself.  It’s out and out lying when Bill Clinton says “I did not have sex with that woman” or John Edwards assures the American people he never had an affair.

It is neither hypocrisy or lying, however, when gay men and women have a principled opposition to same-sex marriage, HIV/AIDS funding or gays in the military.  These same gay people, after all, are not being accused of sneaking off to Holland to get married, while denying those rights to American gays; of funneling money to those of their friends ill with HIV/AIDS while denying it to others; or whatever would be hypocritical behavior with regard to gays in the military.

Without any hypocrisy, it is perfectly possible to be gay, but believe that marriage is a specific institution unique to men and women.  You can hold to that position and still colorably demand full civil rights for gay unions that are then recognized nationwide.  Likewise, without hypocrisy, you can be gay, but recognize that cancer or heart disease or some other disease deserves equal access, not just to funding, but to fund raising.  And of course, you can be gay and believe that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a workable compromise that allows gays to serve in the military without offending the heterosexual sensibilities that currently prevail in “this man’s Army” — all without being a hypocrite who voices one view and acts upon another.

The film “Outrage,” however, typecasts gays, and denies them the right to examine issues through a lens other than their own sexuality.  I say this without knowing or caring whether the men and women named in the movie are actually gay.  What I care about, deeply, is the pressure the gay community imposes upon its members to abjure independent thought, and to march lockstep through a series of complicated and contentious issues.

For a community that, a mere 40 years ago, broke free of the shackles imposed against it, it’s a real tragedy that it now insists upon imposing similar shackles upon itself.

Will there be a cause-effect here?

One of the saddest aspects of 21st Century male-female relationships is the “hooking up” culture — a concept that takes the love and affection and commitment out of male-female relationships, and just turns them into insta-sex moments.  There is every reason to believe that this new culture is especially damaging to women, who seem to be hard wired to connect love and sex.  Ironically, though, feminists tout it as some wonderful equality thing, even though the only person who would approve of it wholeheartedly, and who has been advocating it for 50 plus years, is Hugh Hefner.

Putting aside the ramifications for women (all negative, I think), it does occur to me that there might be one somewhat weird byproduct of this hooking up culture, and that is a lessening in the number of gay men.  My theory arises from the premise that, at least according to Kinsey, while some men are entirely heterosexual, and some entirely homosexual, there are guys in the middle who can go either way, depending on the opportunity offered.

Growing up in San Francisco in the wild 70s, I concluded that a lot of the gays in San Francisco were guys who could go either way, depending on cultural norms, and who chose gay sex because of the availability of unlimited, emotion-free sex.  In the old days of male-female relationships (before gays came out of the closet), unless you wanted to pay for it, getting sex meant investments of time, money and emotional energy.  Even if you (the guy) didn’t feel a loving emotion for the girl, you’d better pretend there was one if you wanted her to put out.

For those who valued orgasms more than relationships, though, and who weren’t squeamish about gay sex, the bathhouses were a dream come true.  With a little help from drugs (poppers, I think), it was entirely possible to have dozens of emotion-free sexual contacts in a single night.  In other words, the gay bathhouses made the fantasy of unlimited sexual encounters entirely feasible, and thousands of men embraced it — to their eternal, HIV-ridden regret.

Under the new hook-up paradigm, those men who are sexually open to going either way, even though they prefer women, and who enjoy the male fantasy of sex without the burdens of commitment and emotions, finally can have it all.  They can stay on the heterosexual side of the street, but get all the “no-strings” sex they want (and without having to pay for it either).  Of course, aside from the fact that this culture seems to be very, very, very damaging to young women’s psyches, I also fear another HIV-ridden regret cycle, one that will be especially hard on women, who seem to be more vulnerable to the virus.

Hat tip:  Suek