Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Programming Note

It is now offical. I have apparently been swallowed up by the blogging conglomerate known as The Malcontent. It's possible roofies were involved in all this. Something about a contract signed in a seedy club and using a certain cute husband to lure me into submission. Who are we to question the cut-throat tactics of the blogosphere?

I'm not sure what that will mean for this blog. For now, I plan on keeping it, possibly as an outlet for some of my more, ahem, vehement personal and political musings (read: apoplexies). It's a little strange to have only blogged for a month before wandering off for greener pastures, so I'll try to keep something in this space that will hopefully be just as interesting.

Hey, anything beats the endlessly tedious crap I put in my livejournal.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Politicians Pander to People Like Me

I don't usually spend time on quizzes, but here I am:

You are a

Social Moderate
(55% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(61% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Not as right-wing as you'd think, is it?

h/t Gay Patriot

This is Time, Right?

Entitled "The Battle Over Gay Teens," the cover story in the October 10th issue of Time Magazine takes on the contentious issue of gay youth and the political and cultural struggle to influence them. We know Time is deadly serious when they put the gayest youth they could possibly find in the cover shot. Honestly. A pink-striped shirt and a necklace rejected by Hot Topic for being just a little bit near.

The author gets the broad point out of the way right from the start:

. . .last year's big UCLA survey of college freshmen found that 57% favor same-sex marriage (only about 36% of all adults do). Even as adult activists bicker in court, young Americans--including many young conservatives--are becoming thoroughly, even nonchalantly, gay- positive.

Gay marriage is a foregone conclusion in this country. It is important to remember in a world of hyper-hysteria over the issue that young people in this country will pass gay marriage bills without blinking.

Still, the article is bizarrely balanced, even for Time. After noting the increasing acceptance of gay peers by heterosexual youth and the explosion of Gay-Straight Alliances in schools, the writer, John Cloud, turns endless sympathetic paragraphs over to the ex-gay movement and attendant Christian ministries.

Thompson never accepted a gay identity--"Heterosexuality is God's design," he says--and today he is a leading spokesman for young Christians rejecting homosexuality. Thompson says a new kind of bigotry has emerged--among gays. "Those of us who have chosen not to embrace this orientation are often misunderstood and sometimes even ridiculed," he writes in a pamphlet he distributes at campus speaking engagements.

Not only does he give religious conservatives equal time, the writer humanizes them:

Even those point scholars with the darkest stories of adversity, like Emory's Bryan Olsen, seem more buoyant than Point lets on. I heard Olsen speak to Point donors twice, once in New York City and again in Michigan. Both times he said that after his Mormon family learned he was gay when he was 15, he was sent to a boot camp for wayward teens in Ensenada, Mexico. Olsen says the facility, Casa by the Sea, required residents to wear shoes without backs so they couldn't run. He says that as punishment for a three-meal hunger strike, he was forced to sit in a stress position--cross-legged, with his nose touching a wall--for two hours. Olsen's small face, which is framed by a pop-star haircut that makes him look as though he's still 15, scrunches with tears when he gets to the next part: "I could only come home when I wrote my parents and promised to be straight and Mormon." There were gasps in the room the first time I heard him tell that story.

But much has changed since Olsen returned from Mexico in 2000. He and his parents haven't completely reconciled, and they aren't paying for his education. Olsen says they told him he had to choose between their financial help and "this lifestyle." But Olsen and his partner, Kyle Ogiela--they met in 2002--are welcomed at the family table every Sunday. Ogiela, 26, even works for Randy Olsen, Bryan's father, as the office manager of the family pest-control firm in Woodstock, Ga. As a Mormon, says Randy, 53, "I don't believe that men should be together. I never will. But I love him as my son. And he and his partner are good boys." Randy says his first reaction to Bryan's teen homosexuality was, "I'm going to find him the best hooker I can." But he says he and his wife sent Bryan to Casa not because he was gay but because he was a "totally unruly kid" who was "just so mean ... To go get that scholarship, I understand he had to be the poor little victim. But for three years, my wife and I were the victims." Seconds later, though, Randy yields again: "It's like God put a pair of new glasses on me ... I thought I could talk him out of [being gay]. But it's not something you can talk someone out of."

Time pulls off a near media impossibility in this article. It presents both sides of the issue, introduces both pro and anti gay figures as complex individuals rather than chariacatures, and reveals sexuality as a complicated social and familial issue rather than a mere label. People are allowed different beliefs and opinions without being labelled unmitigated human evil for having a disagreement.

A paragraph towards the end states it best:

Yet, according to Savin-Williams, most gay kids are fairly ordinary. "Perhaps surprising to researchers who emphasize the suicidality, depression, victimization, prostitution, and substance abuse of gay youth, gay teenagers generally feel good about their same-sex sexuality," he writes. A 56-year-old gay man with a slightly elfish mien, Savin-Williams has interviewed some 350 kids with same-sex attractions, and he concludes that they "are more diverse than they are similar and more resilient than suicidal ... They're adapting quite well, thank you."

If you find yourself with a little time near a news stand, give the entire article a read.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

As a Southsider, I have to . . .

Sox vs Sox

Oh, it's on.

Time to clean up the Wankees' mess.

AR Part Two: Me Me Me!

This is an installment from the Adolescence Revisted series, started here.

I've been getting a little bit of grief over my comparisons of gay liberals with adolescents. Some believe it's an ad hominem attack beneath contempt. No, beneath contempt would be the various press releases of a certain task force.

My intention is not to call names, but to illustrate certain political approaches. When I think of politics, I try to reason my way through the swamps and swat aside the mosquitoes of emotion and midges of personal discontent. Politics oughtn't be an emotional business, though they almost always are. My guides are the Constitution and the Republic. No matter what my personal stakes or inconveniences, I try to discern what is the best way to go about something so that these things are kept intact. It is one thing to profess a love and respect for America and the Constitution. It is quite another to actually practice it. We hear plenty of the former while seeing little practice of the latter.

In the great gay debates, in the midst of it all, homosexuals often tell heteros "If you were me, if you had to live my life, you'd feel differently about gay rights and gay marriage!" That is the most often heard argument.

I'm gay. I live that life. I don't feel differently.

I have lived a life more affected by my sexuality than most people. If we're going to use our lives as a battering ram of reason, then indulge me as I delineate mine.

We'll call him V.

I had just come off one of the most psychopathic relationships I'd ever experienced. I wrote for various web publications. After I put out an article about an experience with the local police and the endless homophobic slurs I was subjected to in their presence, a boy, V, e-mailed me about it.

We hit it off. He was British, I, American. Over time, I grew more attracted to him, distance be damned. We smiled to each other every night over webcams and spent, literally, thousands of dollars saying hey on the phone. He bought a ticket and came to meet me in September, 2001. We spent a week of bliss before we dealt with the horror of Sept. 11th. Only by whim were we not in New York that day, as we had plans to visit that week but chose not to at the last minute. Even then, every member of his extended family and beyond called in desperation. It took us two weeks to find him a new flight home as he'd missed his in the grounding of the airlines.

Still, our relationship turned out to be very strong. I loved him and he loved me. But how could we make such a thing work? He had not finished British college, but we thought America offered us the best chance in terms of opportunity and career advancement.

We approached American immigration just as the INS disintegrated in the newly minted Department of Homeland Security. We found ourselves hitting barrier after barrier to his immigration. We consulted with every immigration attorney under the sun. We found the names of prominent gay-oriented immigration specialists who wanted endless thousands of dollars to even attempt immigration for V.

In a moment of desperation, we even drove to Canada, hoping his passport would be renewed for another three months. No deal.

It became abundantly clear that, given his level of education, V. immigrating to America was very much an impossibility. If we wanted to stay together, I had to move to Britain.

I did not want to move to Britain. I had a budding career here in the states. My aging parents had both fallen ill, and I didn't care to put 4,600 miles between us. Was that the choice facing me?

So it was. I bought a ticket and moved to Britain, leaving my entire life behind. I had no friends, no family, no job, no life outside of my boyfriend. Britain's laws are far more lax than America's. I could live there for six months, leave the country for a weekend, then re-enter and have my passport stamped for another six months. We continued on this way for years. Tony Blair and Labour had not yet passed an immigration act allowing for domestic partners, so it was not an option for us.

Though I set up a bank account and obtained credit cards, I could not work in Britain. I was reduced to free-lance writing for a meager income as we trudged along. I was effectively an illegal immigrant, a man without a home country, a nomad traveling across Europe trying to salvage some vestige of stability in a situation wrought by the lack of protections for gay relationships.

I spent nearly three years this way, my life in the air, my future the very essence of uncertainty.

No homosexual making a political argument can lecture me on the realities of domestic partnerships or gay marriage. I know. Not only do I know on the state level, but I was made painfully aware of it on the federal level.

And yet, I persist. There are methods to all of this. Yes, I would have liked it if the federal government recognized my relationship. It cost me beyond reckoning when it did not. I gave up everything because of it. My entire established life. When my mother had a heart attack, I was over four thousand miles away and helpless. There is no limit to the pain I suffered as a result of the situation.

But I believe in America and the Constitution. There are appropriate methods to get what we want. There are things above us, beyond us. There are institutions and systems that must endure when we've shuffled off this mortal coil. My personal pain and chaos is but one drop in the flood of the Republic. We cannot demolish that because I personally found discomfort and hardship. My wants and needs matter, but not so much that I'm willing to wreck the constitutional order and insist a few black robed arbiters with an agenda remake law and our foundations in their self-appointed images.

It is wrong. It is a recipe for governmental disaster. It is an attitude and an ideology that will have effects that will rain upon the generations to come. We, every single citizen, are the guardians of the Constitution. It is only ever as good as the viligance of the citizens.

Do not tell me it is your life. It is my life. And yet, I still understand the importance of the Constitution, the government, the Republic. It is not all about you. It is not all about me.

It is about those who come after.

And that is everything.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Last Constitution Hero

President Bush on signing Campaign Finance Reform legislation:

. . . the bill does have flaws. Certain provisions present serious constitutional concerns. In particular, H.R. 2356 goes farther than I originally proposed by preventing all individuals, not just unions and corporations, from making donations to political parties in connection with Federal elections.

I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished; and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment.

I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import in the months closest to an election. I expect that the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions as appropriate under the law.

Yet he signed the law anyway, only to see those things upheld in the courts.

Governor Schwarzenegger on vetoing the California gay marriage bill:

California Family Code Section 308.5 was enacted by an initiative statute passed by the voters as Proposition 22 in 2000. Article II, section 10 of the California Constitution prohibits the Legislature from amending this initiative statute without a vote of the people. This bill does not provide for such a vote.

The ultimate issue regarding the constitutionality of section 308.5 and its prohibition against same-sex marriage is currently before the Court of Appeal in San Francisco and will likely be decided by the Supreme Court.

When the head of an executive branch of government believes a piece of legislation is unconstitutional or presents even more constitutional problems to an issue clouded in murk, he does not sign it. That is the responsible course of action.

President Bush abdicated his executive responsibilities and handed this country campaign finance laws that are messier and more corrupt than ever with the advent of 503c groups. He did the easy thing to avoid negative press.

Governor Schwarzenegger has done the responsible thing, political blowback be damned.

Good for him.

h/t: MalContent

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hungry, Hungry Pinkists

One of the great justifications of outing as a political tactic is the hypocrisy of it all. Having read endless screeds, rants, and denunciations from various left-wing blogs and message boards, I have reached one inescapable conclusion:

There are hordes of people in this world who cannot spell the word hypocrisy.

I just want to get it out there right now: I am firmly against hippocracy. We simply cannot allow our dread hippopotamus overlords determine the course of government. These are filthy river horses that think little white marbles are a form of sustenance for god’s sake.

That said.

Not only are half these gay radicals incapable of spelling the word, they’re also none too bright when it comes to understanding the concept.

If you believe homosexuals deserve protection under federal discrimination laws but vote against it, you are a hypocrite. If you believe homosexuals deserve protection under federal hate crimes law but vote against it, you are a hypocrite. If you are a gay man living in Boston who is married to another man, but you vote against gay marriage for someone else, you are a hypocrite.

Things like race, sexuality, and gender are not ideologies. They are characteristics. Sexual orientations do not take positions (ahem). Homosexuality is not liberal. Nor is it conservative or libertarian. It simply is what it is. Hypocrisy is an act of doing. One must do the opposite of what one preaches against.

Unchangeable characteristics are, by definition, incapable of being implicated in hypocrisy. A gay man may believe hate crimes are thought crimes and thus abhorrent law. A gay libertarian may reasonably believe discrimination law is unconstitutional. There are plenty of homosexuals on the Right and the Left who believe government has no business in marriage, and thus oppose gay marriage.

If a person is having gay sex, to be a hypocrite they must publicly state that people should not have gay sex. Simply having gay sex while being opposed to legislative proposals granting various kinds of status in discrimination, hate crimes, and marriage law is not a form of hypocrisy. By simple definition.

The hypocrisy argument is a tactic used by thought fascists who believe an immutable personal characteristic must dictate – without exception – the ideological and political state of a person’s mind.

So, this is the tolerant, open-minded Left, eh? We are all ideologically and intellectually bound to our genes and ingrained behaviors and must think accordingly, lest we be punished?

I remember this argument. White people used to make it. Against negro slaves.

Gay radicals who claim to be advancing a civil rights discussion in this country must be ever so proud of themselves.

(I promise this is my last post on outing and hypocrisy for awhile)

Andrew Sullivan - The Man With No Shame

Almost one year ago, to the day, Andrew Sullivan wrote an excellent article on the perils and moral vacuity of outing homosexuals as a political weapon. Sullivan has himself been a target of the radical gay Left when his sexual activities were brought into the public sphere under the justification of - you guessed it - hypocrisy. In a piece filled with clarity and a deep understanding of the issue, Sullivan writes, in part:

. . . every moment we spend obsessing about the enemy within is one moment not spent spreading the message without. The thrill of exposure, the momentary feeling of self-righteousness and power that outing brings, may often surpass in excitement the daily grind of changing minds and witnessing to the truth. But only the grind moves us forward. And everything else ultimately takes us back.

Interestingly enough, Sullivan opens with an encounter with Mike Rogers, who he crowns "the new Robespierre of the gay world." As noted at the end of my post directly below this one, Rogers was highly involved in an attempted outing of Rep. David Dreier of California.

Surely, given his personal history with outing and his apparent distaste for Rogers' tactics, one would think Sullivan would condemn this activity and not give it the time of day.

You'd be wrong. Here is the Andrew Sullivan of today:

DREIER PUSHED ASIDE: Any bets that James Dobson and Karl Rove vetoed? Any bets why?

It seems attacking Republicans is a far higher priority for Mr. Sullivan than his principles. Once against the outing tactics of people like Mike Rogers, he now finds them a handy reference guide for grinding his political axe.

Andrew Sullivan - a man with no shame whatsoever.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Politics of Outing

It is a golden rule, universally acknowledged among my gay partners in crime, that the pettiest, cruelest thing one can do is out a closeted homosexual. It's a dictum taken so seriously, that violation threatens immediate excommunication from our circle of friends. It simply isn't done.

Our sexuality is one of the most private aspects of our lives. All of us, gay or straight, are motivated to reveal or withhold details based on a variety of factors that are unique to each individual. Though I am now out in every sense of the word, it took many years to come clean with my parents. My motivation, however, was not fear of disapproval, or being disowned, or shunned, or a hundred other things.

No, I really just didn't want my parents connecting me with any kind of sex in even the vaguest fashion. We're an awkward people, my clan, and sexual discussions are best had after several bottles of strong wine followed by long periods of sober avoidance. These are, after all, the people who threw a yellow book at me when I was 12 with a "Good luck, and godspeed."

People have varying degrees of comfort with their sexuality. I have friends who will eagerly relate their tales of conquest using fruit, napkins, drinks, and other available props in lavish re-enactments meant to amaze and arouse. I also have friends who spend late nights on sling rotationals in abandoned warehouses who would never breathe a word of it in any kind of company. Our willingness to be open is a matter of disposition and entitled to a certain degree of respect.

There are those, however, who have no such respect when they've coaxed the remaining tatters of conscience with the right motivation. The Malcontent recently nudged me towards this site, run by a stereotypically bitter gossip named Mike Rogers.

In Rogers' view, being Republican and gay are incompatible. Not only incompatible, but morally reprehensible. Surfing around his site, the phrases which leap out are standard gay lefty boilerplate. Gay Republicans are "self-loathing" people who "betray" their "brothers and sisters." Therefore, gay Republicans deserve outing if they are not already so.

Rogers claims the great motivator for these outings is hypocrisy. I have already posted at length on hypocrisy. It is the argument to be made when you have no other arguments.

I believe the real issue here is loyalty. People like Rogers demand strict loyalty among homosexuals to his fiercely partisan sensibilities. There can be no disagreement in ideas, methods, or priority. One commenter went so far as to compare gay Republicans to Uncle Toms (would the gay equivalent be an Aunt Patti?).

Homosexuals are not my brothers and sisters. My friends are my family, and they are my friends for a variety of reasons. I am not loyal to anyone out of a shared orientation. Neither am I loyal to white people due to the color of my skin. Were I to ever make a political argument that someone is betraying their brothers and sisters in the white race by supporting affirmative action, I would rightly be denounced as a virulent racist and bigot. It's an unconscienable mindset that should neither be encouraged nor supported.

Enforced racial, sexual, or gendered loyalty to one political party is a form of ideological slavery. People like Mike Rogers are the bounty hunters intended to use whips of gossip and privacy invasion to lash those errant thinkers back onto the plantation of partisan Democratic thought. Do not wander too far, lest you get the beating that is coming to you courtesy of Overseer Mike.

I have already noted that I am conservative and voted for Bush based on shifting priorities. While I am unabashedly pro gay marriage, I part with the gay left on the method and importance in obtaining it. There are simply greater issues facing the republic which demand my attention and vote. That does not mean I cannot compartmentalize the issues and work against the federal marriage amendment while supporting the broader goals of the conservative movement. That people like Rogers cannot separate gay marriage from larger issues is more a testament to his narrow-minded intolerance than any imagined self-loathing on my part.

These outings are about hatred and fanaticism. When you find yourself justifying delving into the sexual lives of political opponents, you are by definition radicalized. You are unleashing forces that are indisputably a double-edged sword. Under this standard any gay candidate for office is now open season. Our "brothers and sisters" are being pitted against one another in a very dangerous way. Do we really want to create an atmosphere within the gay community where we must fear each other to the point of paranoia? Do we want Republicans within the gay community tracking down a candidate's history of meth experimentation while Democrats start hitting up the sex clubs frequented by a Republican opponent?

The heterosexual world does that already. We must now do that to each other? This is considered looking out for our "brothers and sisters" in the community? Please.

There are other elements in the latest Rogers' story that strike an odd chord, like jarring a contemplative funny bone.

And, on top of the many sources above, this story has been confirmed by an individual who used to work with Mr. Berkowitz at, get this, Generation GOP. GenerationGOP is the organization created to recruit young people to the GOP platform (including the denial of civil marriage equality) and candidates.

My God, he's recruiting young people to be depraved Republicans! Replace the word Republican with homosexual, and that makes for an eerie familiarity in rhetoric.

Rogers claims one of the sources for his latest outing came from within the White House. If someone within the White House is not only aware of the person's orientation, but willing to share it with others, doesn't it track that the president or at least his advisors are aware of it as well? Wouldn't that grind against the notion that George Bush is a homophobic bigot who wants to cleanse the world of us all? (Not that I'd mind that train to Montana if Brokeback Mountain is any indication of what awaits).

Then there is the urging to contact the Jewish media. I realize Rogers is Jewish, but I cannot imagine what he hopes to achieve with this. As far as my experiences go, secular Democratic Jews seem to have little problem with homosexuality, and if he's banking on the fact they do, well, that's appealing to some pretty self-loathing impulses. If he thinks they're going to go wild over the "hypocrisy" of it all, well, good luck with that.

All that is aside from the fact that Jews tend to have some sort of pesky aversion to persecution in any form. It is a mystery.

People like Mike Rogers are anathema to the notion that what we do in our bedrooms is no one's business but our own. Had he limited this to merely political officials, his reasoning might make more sense. But notice his caterwauling that Anderson Cooper is not quite as out as Rogers would personally like him to be. Would he be happier if we all wore badges so the public may more readily identify us? Something in pink, perhaps? Three sides would be good. Oh, Mikey, but that's already been done, sugar.

People like Rogers deserve unabashed shunning within the community when they resort to these tactics. Not only does he break one of our most sacred codes, but he creates and nourishes an atmosphere that thrives on destroying the hard won sexual privacy of his so-called brothers and sisters.

This is no service to any of us, conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican.

Note: I've contacted several gay rights organizations for comment. So far they have hemmed and hawed and seem very much like deer caught in headlights. We will see if the gay community will put their principles where their rhetoric lay.

Update: Karol at Alarming News notes the recently indicted Tom Delay will be replaced by Rep. David Dreier of California. Dreier was once subjected to a vigorous outing campaign led by Rogers. I think we can expect a reinvigorated attempt in coming weeks by those on the Left who have allowed themselves to be consumed by hatred.

h/t: Chad at Cake or Death


I love this story.

DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 27) - A man who immigrated from Kenya to the United States found prosperity beyond his expectations on the day he became a U.S. citizen.

Shortly after Moses Bittok, of West Des Moines, took the oath of citizenship on Friday, he discovered he had a $1.89 million winning ticket from the Iowa Lottery's Hot Lotto game.

"It's almost like you adopted a country and then they netted you $1.8 million,'' Bittok said Monday as he cashed in his ticket. "It doesn't happen anywhere - I guess only in America.''

When I briefly emigrated to Britain, the oasis over the M6 offered me a free black, goopy mass consisting of dried blood that they insisted was some sort of breakfast comestible.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Pictures, Thousand Words, Etc.

In a development everyone saw coming, Cindy Sheehan has been arrested in front of the White House today. The story, however, isn't half as interesting as the accompanying pictures:

Nothing epitomizes a mother's suffering quite like a diabolical, shit-eating grin.

It almost seems like a bit of childish fun, doesn't it? "Wheee, I'm going to be on TV again! Wheeeee!"

There she is . . . Miss anti-America . . .

Sheehan, 48, was the first taken into custody. She stood up and was handcuffed, then led to a police vehicle while protesters chanted, "The whole world is watching."

Yes, that is the point, after all. I suppose the greatest anti-war protest in all human history didn't generate the kind of media attention certain fame whores require.

It's a shame I have no vestiges of pity left for this woman, else this would have exhausted it. That's right, dear, embrace the crazy. After all your friends have left you and you're safely tucked away in the gentle white room, you'll find peace and a movie of the week contract.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

They're Trying So Hard

What happens when a major disaster doesn't offer up a racial feast the media can gnaw for weeks on end? Tch, you borrow one.

Rita's Victims Wealthier Whiter than Katrina's

I've read this article several times and cannot fathom its purpose.

Aside from, did you know Katrina's victims were mainly poor and black?

In case, you know, you missed it in the first several thousand stories.

In the Name of Sex, Booze, and Celibacy

One of the most vivid memories I have of my freshman year at a Catholic university is that of a friend, Megan, standing in the boys' bathroom, tapping her black heels, and applying make-up thicker than most caulking. It wasn't unusual for a Friday night. She knew how to find the good parties and often left us all behind as she mixed with seniors at local bars, frat dens, or off campus housing. This time, however, she reached over every now and then between lipstick strokes to tug on my sleeve.

"You should come. You'd like these guys. They asked to meet you."

I leaned backwards out the bathroom door, throwing glances up and down the halls with a paranoia that only a recently decloseted homosexual possesses. "These are priests, right?"

An eye roll. "Noooo. They're in the seminary. They're going to be priests."

Confusion. "Is that . . . better?"

She knit her brow in puzzlement. "Well, they haven't taken their vows, right?"

"Uhm, right." Though I was already thoroughly convinced I was going to hell, going drinking with potential priests seemed like a final, clumsy vault into the inferno.

Three hours later, Daniel, a young seminarian, drunkenly leaning over me as we made out on the pier. It was a scene that would repeat itself throughout my freshman year.

I never went very far with Daniel. There is only so much Catholic guilt that may be assuaged by a fifth of rum. He seemed content to introduce me to other gay seminarians, and we'd often go as a group to Boystown to take in the bar scene. A little money and a well-connected would be priest gets you a fake ID pretty easily.

Whenever I hear about controversies like this, I think back on those days. Since then, I've often compared seminary stories with other gay friends who attended Catholic universities.

"My first was with a seminarian!"
"They always threw the best parties."
"It was like our own private gay club."

That seminaries are chock full of homosexuals doesn't seem like much of a controversy to me. They simply are. While there are no doubt many good, solid celibate gay priests, there also seem to be no small number who are decidedly not.

When 80% of sexual abuse cases reported since 1950 consist of adult men with adolescent boys, this seminarian subculture is worth more than an eyebrow raise or two. There is something deeply, deeply rotten involved in all this. It would be morally bankrupt for the Church to ignore the potential connections between seminaries full of gay men and the epidemic level of male-to-male pederasty incidents.

The Anchoress' thoughts on this matter seem to be my own. The Church must come down harshly on the seminaries to remove priests who do not seem predisposed to take their vows seriously. Sexuality ought to be a non-issue with a priest. It is the celibacy that is important.

In light of the Vatican taking a stricter look at a homosexual culture in seminaries, gay rights groups have - surprise, surprise - gone absolutely bonkers. When thousands of children have been irreparably damaged, this is not the time to get your PC freak on. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force could have chosen the constructive path by offering to work with the Vatican and the American Church to uncover and resolve the problem while still protecting celibate gay priests who honor their vows.

The NGLTF doesn't even get a full sentence into the press release before decrying the Catholic Church as "evil." The witch-hunt comparisons and medieval persecution metaphors come fast and furious.

Does this strike anyone as particularly helpful? Understandably, gay rights groups aren't exactly fans of the Catholic Church. However, thrusting sexually abused children aside to grind a persistently disreligious political agenda seems a little . . . misguided. Not only misguided, but disingenuous. I would be hard pressed to believe Matt Foreman doesn't know more than a few people who have experiences with seminarians similar to my own.

I do not blame those seminarians I had experiences with when I was younger. By then, I was an adult, capable of my own choices, even if they weren't always the wisest ones. However, the audacity, the sheer brashness of their behavior belies a religious organization that does not exercise control over the standards it is meant to protect.

I do not wish to conflate homosexuality with pedophilia as some might claim. Quite obviously, I do not believe there to be a correlation. However, in most of these abuse cases, we're discussing pubescent males. I'm sure there are a variety for reasons for this. My personal pet theory involves an arrested sexual development and entry into the Church as a method of self-control. However, that's all pop psychobabble bullshit.

The fact of the matter is, there is a subculture within seminaries full of gay men who are not celibate. Furthermore, the pederasty incidents are overwhelmingly male-to-male in nature. To attempt to separate the two seems irresponsible at best. People who do that are worrying more about their political sensibilities than the serious problems at hand.

When the Catholic Church finds out what is going on here, I fully expect them to go medieval on some asses.

It is, after all, what they do best.

Call Nicole Ritchie's Agent!

This woman is the biggest fame whore since Paris Hilton.

i am watching cnn and it is 100 percent rita...even though it is a little wind and a little rain...it is bad, but there are other things going on in this country today...and in the world!!!!

Other things, like shivering in the cold dark while contemplating the horrific "if they mated" scenario this picture engenders.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Pixie Folk Music Is Also Discouraged

I'm beginning to think I'm missing out by breezily dismissing the anti-war protests. But, hey, I couldn't even be bothered to look sideways at the recent Farm Aid concert even though it was, literally, three minutes down the street from me. I'm unable to get into activism for definitional reasons. "Activism" - from the French: a gathering of lunatics in dire need of a bath (hoses mounted on anti-riot trucks an acceptable substitute).

Still, the do's and don'ts of protesting make it all sound almost glamorous. This is not a parody. Some of my favorite bits:

Don't have a hippy drum circle:

There are few things more annoying and irrelevant than a bunch of dreadlocked Boulderites banging on drums while dancing around with erect nipples under their hemp shirts.

Don't have a gothic pagan chorus on the stage talking about mermaids:

This actually happened at the last November 3rd movement rally. It has nothing to do with the overall point of the protest. Rather it is just an opportunity for superficial hipsters to whine about "mother earth". They then leave to go get coffee and don't stay for the rally.

When the East Romanian Witches Alliance For Abortion Rights produces a herd of griffins, I'm going.

h/t Mudville Gazette

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Right-Winger Underneath

Working from home today. The benefit? Being able to run around in your skivvies all day. The downside? There is nothing less arousing than doing mortgage calculations in your underwear. Cruising porn in this case would actually be a step-up in "really depressing things you do while practically naked at your computer."

I just realized something. These boxers I'm wearing have little piggies running around with money bags. As Queer Conservative noted, "Being a capitalist pig is good!"

So, yeah. I'm wearing right-wing underwear.

I'm not sure whether or not I should be worried about this.

Blogroll Maintainance

I've been more than a little inundated with work the past two weeks. Apparently, Americans seem to have some sort of affection for credit cards. I walked in on one client talking dirty to his capital one. Something about sliding it in an out of a machine just the way he likes it. Best to ignore these things, really.

So, I haven't really kept up with comments or referrals like I should.

If you've blogrolled me and want to be blogrolled in return, just drop a comment with a link here. I assume it's a simple courtesy. Still not entirely certain how this whole blogging thing works, so if plague-infested ninjas come swooping through my windows late at night, well, they'd better be hot. I can survive the shame of ninja blogger assassination if the assailant is cute.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Adolescence Revisited: Part One - Earn It

I had no real intention of returning to this post, but the minor debate that has broken out in its wake seems to deserve another treatment with clarifications and, in some cases, elaborations. So, I’ll try to get up a series of posts, each individual one addressing certain issues in the liberal vs conservative divide.

I noted gay conservatives tended to be the ideological parents in politics, while gay liberals tend to approach these issues with a distinctively teenaged mindset. With that being said, let’s jump right in.

One thing almost all teenagers want as soon as they reach a certain age is a car. They have arrived at a point and place in society where it has been collectively determined they’re ready for the privileges and responsibilities that come with driving. However, the question isn’t merely one of whether or not they’re ready to drive, but whether or not they should have a car, and if so, how will they go about getting it?

Most teenagers want a car right away. If their parents can buy it for them, great. However, many parents believe their child should earn the car. If they earn it themselves, they will value it more, take better care of it, take seriously the responsibilities that attend ownership. Furthermore, a teenager having a car handed to them causes an awful lot of resentment among his peers. Earning it lends an appreciation that extends beyond himself.

Such is the divide over conservative and liberal homosexuals in the gay marriage debate.

Gay liberals want gay marriage right now. They don’t particularly care how they get it, just so long as they get it. When they don’t get it, they tend to throw temper tantrums of enormous proportions. Gay conservatives, on the other hand, realize the importance of how we get it. We know we cannot simply demand it and have it granted through the beatific wave of the magical judicial wand. We must argue for it, persuade for it, and convince others of why we must have it. The method is just as important, if not more so, as the final result.

Conservatives, in general, tend to be more constitutionally conscious than their liberal brethren. There is a reason our constitution has worked so well for as long as it has. It upholds, above all things, the rule of law. It is specifically designed to protect against emotionalism by making it supremely difficult to amend. These are our founding principles, the most basic machinery that runs the republic. Tinkering with it should be done reluctantly, only after a great deal of thought and consideration.

Taking the gay marriage issue to the courts in the hopes that four black-robed individuals will give us what we demand harms the constitutional order. We have that car, but at what price? What happens when a right-wing judge grants opponents to gay rights what they want, without asking the people, the electorate what they think? Without giving us recourse to decide for ourselves as a Republic whether or not it is a good thing?

We might have gotten what we wanted in Massachusetts, but the resentment unleashed in the wake of Goodridge vs Massachusettes is still washing over the land to this day. In direct response to that decision, states all across the country began passing protection of marriage amendments – amendments that will take years, if not decades to undo. Not only that, but those activists and the judges who agree with them have thrown gasoline on a raging political bonfire of anti-judicial sentiment that will lead to greater and greater numbers of conservative and right-wing judges being appointed to the bench. These justices can and quite possibly will repeal many of the protections currently enjoyed by homosexuals in our country today.

That is what has been done by the liberal, “I have to have it now, no matter what!” mindset.

So, well done there.

Conservatives, on the other hand, know the value of earning gay marriage. Not only must we convince legislatures, but we must also convince the electorate. Through ardent, but respectful engagement of the issue, we seek to slowly bend the political winds to our conservative will. By working through legislatures and the electorate, gay marriage will have more solid foundations. Opponents will have much less ground to stand on. The constitutional order will remain intact, limiting the potential of judges to overturn it. People will appreciate it more and see the value in it, because we will have shown we are responsible and serious about obtaining this societal privilege in a manner that is inclusive and respectful of the constitution and the people of this country.

That is a vital difference in ideological approach. Gay liberals, again, have done the childish, demanding thing, and it has blown up in all our faces.

It is time to take the adult approach and earn gay marriage through sound argument, serious discussion, and constitutional means.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

See-Through Senate Spin

I've always told people one of my biggest problems with Hillary Clinton is the simple transparency which permeates everything she does. Like a clear plastic anatomical model in high-school biology, there is little Hillary(!) does that doesn't recall a circulatory system filled with red dye laid bare for all the world to see. Every inner movement and internal engine is exposed. Even her supporters leap onto the Sunday shows and discuss at length how the former First Lady is "positioning" herself to appeal to this or that constituency.

I demand a little smoothness from my politicians. If you must feed me serving after serving of bullshit, drizzle it in honey. If you plan on wrecking the constitution and government, have the sense and sheer talent to frame it in such a way that I have no idea it's happened until it's too late.

It seems Senate Democrats are taking a play out of Hillary's book.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid announced his opposition to Chief Justice-nominee John Roberts on Tuesday, voicing doubts about Roberts' commitment to civil rights and accusing the Bush administration of stonewalling requests for documents that might shed light on his views.

Let's be honest here. The Democrats have lost control of every branch of government as well as a majority of state legislatures and governorships. A Senate filibuster to sway the course of the Supreme Court and other aspects of the federal judiciary is all they have. However, Judge Roberts is so well-qualified, so intelligent, and so just plain damn likeable, filibustering his nomination would be the final bit of sepukku for a party already bleeding profusely from dozens of self-inflicted wounds.

Instead, they must position themselves for the filibuster of the next nominee. Unfortunately for them, it's blatant:

"I'm inclined to vote for Roberts unless something else comes up," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. "It's a close call."

Reid said much the same about the narrowness of the decision in remarks that nonetheless pleased women's groups and civil rights organizations that had feared he would support Roberts.

"This is a very close question for me. But I must resolve my doubts in favor of the American people whose rights would be in jeopardy if John Roberts turned out to be the wrong person for the job," he said.

A moderate like Roberts is a "close-call." There are "grave doubts" and "serious questions" about his nomination. However, Democrats, being the stand up partisans that they are, won't filibuster his nomination. They're being nice, damnit.

Until the nomination of O'Connor's replacement. If that nomination is anywhere to the right of Cindy Sheehan, well, they'll just have to filibuster. They've already allowed one of Bush's nominations through, despite their very great concerns. How could they possibly live with themselves and their consciences if they allow someone even worse onto the Court?

We now have the set up. During the next nomination, we'll see if they can spike it. If history is any guide, I fully expect them to end up with a face full of net.

Shout to Time Life

You know, I really want to buy those Songs 4 Worship CDs.

The commercials are hypnotic and, more importantly, the songs sadistically addictive.

I realize I'm hemorrhaging princess points for even considering this.

I can't help it.

I'm weak.

I'm sorry.

Whatever you do, don't pray for me.

Not At All Predictable

Yet another gay rights group has come out in opposition to future Chief Justice John Roberts. Hrm. Yahoo puts this story far more euphemistically than I would. Time for some creative editing.

"Having carefully monitored the testimony during those hearings," Lambda said, "we have reached the unavoidable conclusion that Judge Roberts, despite being given every opportunity, has failed to demonstrate that he is a Democrat."

Lambda now joins the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays as part of a growing LGBT slide towards utter irrelevance.

A range of other progressive organizations, including pro-choice groups, People for the American Way and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have also transformed their voices into the purest notes of shrill, harpyish shrieking.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Roberts' nomination this Thursday, a vote that will almost certainly recommend the 50-year-old appellate court judge to the full Senate, proving once again that leftist gay groups must be politically retarded to have opposed this thing.

Judge Roberts may not have won much enthusiasm from the left - mainly due to his refusal to perform a live abortion during the proceedings - but he concluded his committee hearings without alienating the political center. He achieved this by maintaining silence on any issue that might be brought before the Court in the future, and by offering crowd-pleasing generalities about the rule of law in a strategy legal experts call "The Ginsburg Technique."

His polished confidence left Sen. Charles Schumer of New York babbling like a drunken baboon in a bad Armani suit. Schumer, one of the many, endlessly tedious, constitutionally vacant leftist-appeasers on the committee, called his appearance a "tour de force," but remained undecided until he had adequate time to calculate how his decision would affect future campaign contributions.

California's Dianne Feinstein, in turn, dubbed Roberts a "hot slice of beefcake," last Wednesday, telling the nominee, "I don't really know what I'm going to do." Declaring she needed time to meditate in her "parlor," Senator Feinstein promptly stumbled into a committee cloakroom.

Part of their dilemma lies in the prospect of a second nomination, the selection of a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Speculation about the O'Connor replacement swirls in all directions - mainly, in the direction of whether or not there will be a vagina - as does the analysis of how and why the left should position itself for the upcoming battle. Roberts, in an unsolicited remark, cited precedent and noted the position would likely involve being bent over and generously lubed.

In a conference call with LGBT reporters, Lambda's legal director, Jon Davidson, rejected the notion that catty, partisan bitchiness had a role to play in his organization's thinking.

"It seemed to us important to judge [Roberts] on the basis of what we assume about him," said Davidson. "He has not manifested, in the testimony that he provided, the sort of commitment to fur-trimmed rhinestone capes and the bacchinalian orgies that are important to our community to deserve to be confirmed. If they want our support for another nominee, they're going to have to nominate Noam Chomsky. That seems to be an important message to send."

Who says there's no accuracy in the media? Pffft.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Self-Parody Isn't Fair

From the "It would be hilarious if it wasn't entirely in earnest" files.

Cindy Sheehan: "What Bush's Katrina shows once again is that my son died for nothing."

Random DUer: "Atheist/Agnostics: Do you ever get socially pressured to say grace at dinner?"

Not As I Do?

This weekend, I finally managed to finish a bit of home improvement in between listening to long stretches of the Christopher Hitchens vs George Galloway debate.

Personally, I preferred the tediousness of caulking, tiling, and pipe-fitting. At least, when writing about that, I can make it vaguely sound like porn.

Suffice to say, there was very little to be learned from this debate. Mr. Hitchens came loaded with facts, and Galloway came loaded with opprobrious paragraphs full of invective delivered in his characteristically sonorous Scottish slur.

Galloway's entire argument, it seemed, was that Christopher Hitchens opposed intervention in Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, thus supporting it now nullifies anything to be said on the topic. Similarly, Galloway's answer against the present war on terror seems to rest entirely on the realpolitik practices of the U.S. and Britain during the 1970's and 1980s. We helped create the situation, you see.

To oppose these various regimes now makes us hypocrites.

For many on the Left, hypocrisy is quite possibly the greatest crime one can ever possibly commit. Are the demogogues ever more gleeful than when a William Bennett has a gambling problem? If it were limited to personal failures, that would be something. However, to base an entire anti-war philosophy on the surface hypocrisy in an ever-shifting foreign policy?

It is a mark of the rank unseriousness and shallowness of thought that infects much of the anti-war left in our country. It is a teenager throwing a parent's past drug use in their face, as if it is a stand alone piece of logic. Whether or not the drug is harmful and the parent correct, it seems some people believe the hypocrisy in and of itself is adequate to nullify all arguments against its use.

To the adult mind, hypocrisy is a tool of great use and a mark of personal experience. A heroin addict warning school children against it is a hypocrite. He is, however, also correct. His experience lends a credibility. He is there. He knows. What better way to make amends and scavenge some meaning from his life than to use that experience to warn others, even if he is still in the grips of personal horror?

Similarly, 9-11 proved to the American government that the Middle-Eastern policies followed over the preceding three decades were seriously flawed. They believed they could put a lid on a pot of boiling water, and the smallest jets of steam might fire harmlessly off to the side. They did not expect it to blow up in their face.

Who now would know better the consequences of their follies? Who now would be better positioned to admit to having done wrong and doing their best to remedy it? Who now has the most responsibility to return to that region and make some atonement by undoing decades of policy which supported quasi-controlled dictators? If we are in fact guilty on any level for the oppression and fascism which permeates the Middle-East, is it not in fact a moral imperative that we enable and promote democracy when and how we can?

Instead, the anti-war movement believes this to be hypocrisy. A paralytic hypocrisy that must stall any attempts to take action in the Middle-East. In a similar vein, we often hear "If we cannot remove all dictators, we must remove none." For, in their eyes, removing one and not all is also a form of hypocrisy.

This is, quite simply, wrong.

Someone like William Bennett might very well be a hypocrite for countenancing a gambling addiction. However, his advice on character building is not necessarily incorrect as a result. While the hypocrisy certainly signals that we look at his words with a more studied eye, it is ultimately the words and arguments themselves which must endure the light of scrutiny.

America may now be behaving differently than it has in the past and recommending a course of action that is at odds with how foreign policy was conducted decades ago. However, the current arguments must be addressed on their merits. What we have done in the past is nothing more than experience, a guide, a history book we must read and understand. It is not a negating argument.

The hypocrisy argument is a dodge, a pass, a bob and weave against making serious arguments for or against the Iraq war. When one does not have reasonable or rational arguments, they must find some baser flaw that would seem to undermine the logic. Many believe hypocrisy is always effective as this flaw.

It is not. When hypocrisy is your main argument, it is because you have no others.

Friday, September 16, 2005

This Explains Everything

One of my favorite assignments in college was writing a paper on the dual homosexuality in my favorite childhood cartoon, He-Man. On one side of the coin, you had Prince Adam, the very definition of effeminate in his pink and purple outfit and love of words like "fabulous." However, once he grasped his sword, he became He-Man, quite possibly the butchest man in the universe. Even the name, He-Man, drips with excessive testosterone.

A friend passed this along from slack circus, and it was too amusing not to share. Quicktime required.

Fabulous Secret Powers