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.