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Republicans of Rohan

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:21 pm - October 31, 2005.
Filed under: National Politics,Supreme Court

At the battle of Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings, the Riders of Rohan, led by their King Théoden who, only days before, seemed incapacitated and unable to control his kingdom, are besieged and outnumbered by the forces of Saruman, orcs, half-orcs and wild men of Dunland. As these forces breach the fortress’s outer wall, it seems only a matter of time before they will break through the final gate, defeating Théoden and destroying his kingdom.

But, in his darkest hour, the good king fretted in what he called a “prison,” longing to feel again “the joy of battle.” Even as he fears the end, he will not be taken “like an old badger in a trap” so, instead of hunkering down, the besieged (and seemingly defeated) leader elects to go on the offensive.*

The great horn of Helm rings out and Théoden leads his loyal troops, riding out to take on their relentless foes. His troops rally behind him while their adversaries “cried and wailed, for fear and great wonder had come upon them with the rising of the day.”

So too has President Bush rallied his base with the nomination early this morning of Samuel J. Alito, Jr. as Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. I just spent a couple hours reading conservative blogs and news sites and discovered a unanimity of support for this good judge among writers who were only recently divided over the nomination of Harriet Miers. William Kristol, one of the harshest critics of the Miers pick, wrote this morning that the president hit “a home run” in tapping Alito for the vacancy.

While our adversaries have not yet fled in fear as did Saruman’s armies, they have already begun to tremble, wailing at this allegedly “extremist” pick. The president’s opponents will fight, but because the president made a bold move in appointing a conservative jurist, he has put himself back on the offensive. The left is playing defense now. If the president wants to ensure Judge Alito’s confirmation, to continue the progress in Iraq and to accomplish his domestic policy goals, he needs to keep them there.

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Happy Halloween!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:45 pm - October 31, 2005.
Filed under: Liberals

In honor of Halloween, I remembered some photos I had taken on our cruise this summer. I was surprised of how many liberals we ran into. I can only assume that they are on the prowl today, trying to scare the money out of my wallet and appease Al-Qaeda at every chance.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid – “Huh-huh…. I’m from Searchlight…”

Senator Robert Byrd – (looking through his old KKK scrapbook)

Hillary Clinton

Democratic Underground – “Take us to our talking points… we can’t think for ourselves”

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Alito For SCOTUS — Thank You, Mr. President!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:25 am - October 31, 2005.
Filed under: Constitutional Issues,Supreme Court

Okay, I admit it reluctantly…. I’ve been very disappointed by the start of the 2nd term of the Bush Presidency. There… are the lib readers all happy now? After all, I’ve been accused of everything from being a front for the RNC to a Bush-apologist. But things haven’t gone well recently and I have felt the President was becoming disengaged, and he was beginning to personally let me down. Folks, when the gay Republican who voted for the Prez, despite the whole marriage debate, starts to go soft….the man is in trouble.

So, I was on the verge this morning of writing an “open letter” to the President asking him to grow a spine and start looking more like Ronald Reagan than George H. W. Bush. I was going to urge the Prez to pick a nominee specifically to get into a robust debate with liberals about the direction of the Supreme Court. No need for the letter this morning.

You may note that I was reserving judgment (though Dan opposed) on Harriet Miers until the confirmation hearings. I will do the same with Samuel Alito until the hearings. For example, I have no clue about his views on gay issues…. and I’m not one of those people that automatically connects gay issues with Roe v. Wade.

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese called on LGBT Americans to voice their concerns about the nomination. “Alito is the far right’s choice,” said Solmonese. “His record on Congress’s power to protect Americans and a woman’s right to choose give us a level of understanding as to why he was the far right’s choice. Our Constitution does not belong to one narrow ideology. It belongs to all of us.”

(Hat tip for that quote from Charging Rhino who points out…”Always nice to see that Joe Solmonese hasn’t forgotten that he heads an abortion-rights organization.”)

Hell, I may wind up opposing Alito when all is said and done.

So why am I thanking President Bush this morning? Because it is about time he stood up to the media, stood up to the Democrats in the Senate, and frankly stood up to the Republicans in the Senate…. and took a strong stand to force a loud boisterous debate on the Constitution and the conservative views of “constructionists” versus “activists.”

At this point I could care less if Alito actually survives. I want the DEBATE to happen. Give me a filibuster by the Democrats! That would be priceless. Let’s have a talk about the role of government in regulating abortion and why my tax money should pay for abortion-on-demand with no balance in favor of life. (Keep in mind, I consider myself “marginally pro-choice”… I just don’t want abortion to be used as birth control.) Let’s force the so-called “Republicans” in the Senate (yes, you Mr. McCain) to put a stake in the ground about their political, ethical, moral and Constitutional beliefs. Harriet Miers and John Roberts’ confirmations did not or would not have resulted in such a rigorous debate.

Already, the Left is beside itself in hysteria. Guess what folks, elections matter. This is what winning the Presidency and the Senate is supposed to be about, not nominating your personal friend to the Supreme Court! Having a line in the sand on where Republicans, conservatives, liberals and Democrats stand on the fundamental issues of government and the roles of the legislature and the judiciary. If that is all that comes from Alito’s nomination, this country and Republicans running for re-election in 2006 will all be better off for it.

As ColoradoPatriot told me over the weekend….. he thought Bush was about to go “balls-to-the-walls.” I’m glad he has. Ronald Reagan never shied away from a fight. President Bush needs to keep going now and stop the handwringing over what Democrats might do or say. Hint – they will oppose you and stab you in the back at every turn — even if it means endangering national security. They stand for NOTHING anymore except regaining their own power for power’s sake.

So the battle is on. I for one am just happy that we finally have a battle taking place.

[Related Story: Justice Alito and the Constitutional Option – Hugh Hewitt. Ed. Note – I’ve already called Senator Warner, as a constituent, to weigh in.)
And I’ve called Senators Boxer and Feinstein. While the latter is waiting to hear from constituents, the former has already made up her mind, more interested in opposing the president than in considering the views of those whom she serves–a real embarassment to the Golden State. –GPW

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

For Some Democrats, it’s (Still) All About Rove

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:47 am - October 31, 2005.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,National Politics

In the wake of the indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby on a variety of charges related to the way he responded to the investigation of the “leak” of Valerie Plame’s name to the news media, many Democrats and some in the media (particularly the folks at 60 Minutes) seem to be regurgitating talking points they had written long before special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced the indictment.

Based upon what they are saying, one would expect that Fitzgerald had uncovered a vast conspiracy (aggressively led by the president’s heinous henchman, Dr. Evil himself, Karl Rove) to smear Joe Wilson. Yet, when I read the indictment this weekend, I learned exactly what I had gleaned from news reports (and Fitzgerald’s press conference) on Friday that Libby had been indicted on serious charges, but none of them for the underlying (alleged) crime. And Mr. Rove was not indicted. There was no conspiracy. Indeed, before the investigation, there wasn’t even a crime.

Some Democrats, however, seem to have read a different indictment than I. While Mr. Libby has stepped down, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says Rove should also resign “because of his role in exposing an undercover CIA officer.” Even though, after a lengthy investigation, Rove wasn’t indicted, wasn’t implicated in any crime, Mr. Reid acts as if the president’s longtime aide had committed some great crime. Perhaps that Democrat is just looking to punish him for the great crime of being the “architect” of President Bush’s re-election last fall.
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In Reaction to Miers Withdrawal, HRC & NGLTF (once again) Fail to Understand Conservatives

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:48 pm - October 30, 2005.
Filed under: Conservative Discrimination,Gay Politics

In their reactions to the withdrawal of the Miers nomination, both the Human Rights’ Campaign (HRC) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) show that they have absolutely no understanding of American conservatism, the dominant political philosophy in America today. Joe Solmonese, HRC”s president, claimed last week that her withdrawal “demonstrates that the president is beholden to extremist groups rather than to the American people

Had this many paid any attention to the conservative debate over her nomination? While several pretty “extreme” social conservatives, namely Focus on the Family‘s James Dobson and Pat Robertson, supported the nomination, many mainstream conservatives, indeed, many libertarian conservatives opposed it. (Indeed, as I noted when I first blogged on the nomination, I was “troubled” that Ms. Miers’ “most enthusiastic support . . . came from social conservatives.”)

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force had a similar reaction suggesting that its leadership has spent more time reading its own press releases and other left-wing interpretations of the conservative movement than paying any attention to that movement itself. Its president, Matt Foreman, called Miers’ withdrawal “a sorry testament to the absolute control right-wing evangelicals have over this administration.” Moreover, he claimed that “Miers’ intellectual and professional abilities and accomplishments were never really on the table.” Actually, had he bothered to read conservative op-eds and blogs on the nomination, he would have noted that criticism of her intellectual ability, particularly her lack of demonstrated understanding of complex constitutional issues, was at the heart of countless conservative critiques of her nomination.
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Fitzgerald, Libby and Liddy

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:02 pm - October 28, 2005.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,National Politics,War On Terror

***UPDATED POST WITH TRANSCRIPT OF FITZGERALD REMARKS — 8:37PM***

In this fast-paced world of cable TV and the Internet, I rarely have a day like today. I’ve been in my car driving from noon to about 4:00PM and had nothing else to do but listen and absorb the indictments handed down today in the “Plame Affair.” Dan has devoted a lot of time to this topic recently, but I’ve not had time. But there was so much going on in my brain as I was listening to the pre-indictment coverage, then live coverage of Fitzgerald’s press conference — that I had to sit down and get write before I forgot it all!

Upfront let me state the obvious: Scooter Libby was stupid. According to FOX News Channel (via XM radio), he apparently was a zealot with White House staff in warning them about the contents of their emails and their notes. Yet his own notes contradicted his “compelling story” (Fitzgerald’s words) about how he was last in a long line of phone calls and his sources were all reporters. So while it remains to be seen if Plame was or was not a “covert” CIA operative (the original charge of Fitzgerald), I completely agree with his decision to indict Libby based on the evidence I’ve heard in the indictment. I honestly think that Libby and Rove thought they could “spin” their way out of this story…. but for heaven’s sake, you do not lie to the FBI or a grand jury! Period.

Which brings me to my second thought. Unfortunately, VtheK and Lorie Byrd beat me too it! Fitzgerald made a strong defense of the seriousness of the law applying to public officials and that perjury and obstruction of justice were serious crimes that violate the public interest. (I will post the transcript when I find it.) When I heard Fitzgerald say this, I smiled broadly. He had just indirectly reinforced the credibility of Ken Starr’s efforts and indirectly condemned President Clinton. President Clinton, too, had “thrown up sand” in the eyes of then Independent Counsel Ken Starr. President Clinton, too, had been ‘indicted’ on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. I bet Hillary must have choked at that point in the press conference. And I figured the wacky Lefties who would glorify Fitzgerald must have coughed up some bile on that point as well.

**UPDATED at 8:37… Imagine these words, by Fitzgerald, in the context of the Clinton impeachment…

but if it is proven that the chief of staff to the vice president went before a federal grand jury and lied under oath repeatedly and fabricated a story about how he learned this information, how he passed it on, and we prove obstruction of justice, perjury and false statements to the FBI, that is a very, very serious matter.

FITZGERALD: And I’d say this: I think people might not understand this. We, as prosecutors and FBI agents, have to deal with false statements, obstruction of justice and perjury all the time. The Department of Justice charges those statutes all the time.

When I was in New York working as a prosecutor, we brought those cases because we realized that the truth is the engine of our judicial system. And if you compromise the truth, the whole process is lost.

In Philadelphia, where Jack works, they prosecute false statements and obstruction of justice.

When I got to Chicago, I knew the people before me had prosecuted false statements, obstruction and perjury cases.

FITZGERALD: And we do it all the time. And if a truck driver pays a bribe or someone else does something where they go into a grand jury afterward and lie about it, they get indicted all the time.

Any notion that anyone might have that there’s a different standard for a high official, that this is somehow singling out obstruction of justice and perjury, is upside down.

If these facts are true, if we were to walk away from this and not charge obstruction of justice and perjury, we might as well just hand in our jobs. Because our jobs, the criminal justice system, is to make sure people tell us the truth. And when it’s a high-level official and a very sensitive investigation, it is a very, very serious matter that no one should take lightly.

*****

It was also quite telling that Fitzgerald went out of his way to say first, then stress after being questioned, the total cooperation given to him by this Administration. Paul at Powerline has it on the money. This was the “anti-Watergate.” Maybe we have learned something…..

Finally, must all of our scandals have a similar name involved? G. Gordon Liddy, I. Scooter Libby. Weird. At least if convicted, Libby can look forward to a career in talk radio.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF FITZGERALD PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE JUMP….. (more…)

Libby Indicted for Doing what Wilson Did–but under Oath

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:01 pm - October 28, 2005.
Filed under: National Politics,New Media

As I listened today to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald outlining the charges against I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, it became clear that what I had been gathering in new reports about the imbroglio over the last week was accurate; the Vice President’s then-Chief of Staff lied to investigators and grand jurors.

Libby has now been accused of doing exactly what Joe Wilson has been doing since that “Administration critic” wrote the New York Times op-ed at issue in this whole mess. He deceived people. With one big difference. Libby lied under oath and Wilson did so in the pages of newspapers, in the pages of his book, on the lecture circuit and on a variety of talk shows.

The First Amendment protects Mr. Wilson’s freedom to lie to the media. It doesn’t protect Mr. Libby’s to do so in a judicial proceeding. As a lawyer, he should have known better than to invent a story of how he learned Ms. Plame’s name, then tell it, not to amuse his friends, but to deceive federal investigators. He should have told them the truth. And now he appears to be guilty of serious crimes. Still, as the president said in his brief remarks just a few moments ago, “In our system, each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial.”

It doesn’t look very good for Mr. Libby now. If he did indeed lie to the grand jury (as the indictment indicates), he hurt the Vice President and the president as well. And he broke the law. He did the right thing in resigning. If a jury of his peers finds him guilty of the crimes for which Mr. FItzgerald indicted him today, he should pay a heavy penalty.

Plame Was “Out” A Long Time Ago — Refresher

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 4:48 pm - October 28, 2005.
Filed under: General

Here are two of the many reasons why Fitzgerald couldn’t charge anyone with the original crime. It wasn’t committed! (Hat tip: TheMalcontent)

CIA Scandal Tars Everybody – Nicholas Kristof, Oct. 14, 2003

First, the CIA suspected that Aldrich Ames had given Mrs. Wilson’s name (along with those of other spies) to the Russians before his arrest for espionage in 1994. So her undercover security was undermined at that time and she was brought back to Washington for safety reasons.

Second, as Mrs. Wilson rose in the agency, she was already in transition away from undercover work to management, and to liaison roles with other intelligence agencies. So this year, even before she was outed, she was moving away from “noc” – which means non-official cover, like pretending to be a business executive. After passing as an energy analyst for Brewster-Jennings & Associates, a CIA front company, she was switching to a new cover as a State Department official, affording her diplomatic protection without having “CIA” stamped on her forehead.

Nevermind that Ambassador Wilson was introducing her as his “CIA Wife” long before June, 2003. So why did Libby lie?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

“This indictment is not about the war”

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:02 pm - October 28, 2005.
Filed under: National Politics

In his press conference, Special Prosectutor Patrick Fitzgerald said, “This indictment is not about the war.”

UPDATE: Now that Bruce has posted the entire transcript of Fitzgerald’s press conference, I can include the entirety of the special prosecutor’s answer to the question as to whether the indictment represents “a vindication of their argument that the administration took the country to war on false premises.”

Fitzgerald’s response:

This indictment is not about the war. This indictment’s not about the propriety of the war. And people who believe fervently in the war effort, people who oppose it, people who have mixed feelings about it should not look to this indictment for any resolution of how they feel or any vindication of how they feel.

This is simply an indictment that says, in a national security investigation about the compromise of a CIA officer’s identity that may have taken place in the context of a very heated debate over the war, whether some person — a person, Mr. Libby — lied or not.

The indictment will not seek to prove that the war was justified or unjustified. This is stripped of that debate, and this is focused on a narrow transaction.

And I think anyone’s who’s concerned about the war and has feelings for or against shouldn’t look to this criminal process for any answers or resolution of that.

Scandal About To Break In NJ Gov. Race?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 10:33 am - October 28, 2005.
Filed under: National Politics

EnlightenNJ has been following hints of a possible red-hot scandal and embarrassment about to crash all over Sen. John Corzine’s campaign for governor.

Corzine’s Next Scandal? – Oct. 25

Reporters are after a videotape of Corzine, inebriated, making statements that will damage him beyond belief with African Americans. (Carla Katz supposedly makes an appearance.) People who have seen this thing say it’s bad. African American leaders are aware of its existence, and don’t think the damage can be undone no matter how many $2 million “contributions” he throws their way. The only question is whether we find out about this before he’s governor, or after.

The Corzine Tape – Oct. 27

The person who has the Corzine tape is in intense discussions with the news media about releasing it. Whether or not the tape is released before the election, those who have seen it WILL be heard from. The next 48 hours could dramatically change the direction of this race.

My sources in the NJ GOP tell me that the rumors are hot and heavy, but skepticism remains as to whether there is any “there” there.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Hollywood Conservatives: Armed with a Sense of Humor and the Wherewithal to Make Great Movies

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:25 am - October 28, 2005.
Filed under: Free Speech,Movies/Film & TV

Just over a month ago, I blogged about the warm reception I received at a National Review fundraiser in LA. The conservatives there welcomed me even when I introduced myself as gay. I experienced the same thing this past weekend at the Liberty Film Festival, a festival to promote conservative and libertarian films and filmmakers.

In a post on Tuesday, I noted how impressed I was with the panel on the Hollywood blacklist (so impressed that I bought books by two of the panelists). Well, that wasn’t the only thing I enjoyed about the fest. I saw some great films as well.

The fest opened with Fellowship 9/11, a hilarious short imagining Michael Moore‘s journey to Middle-earth in the aftermath of the War of the Ring. Evan Maloney’s amusing Brainwashing 201 showed the liberal bias on many college campuses today while Broken Promises: The United Nations at 60 explored how the U.N. has failed to lived up to the promise of its founding. It has not intervened to protect civilians victimized by terrorists or rogue militias. Indeed, the film related how U.N. workers forced Moslem refugees from a secure compound, effectively delivering them to Serbian troops who would subsequently murder the men and boys.

As engaging as those films were, the most entertaining event of the evening was when angry protesters stormed the stage, trying to prevent David Horowitz from speaking. Security quickly ushered the hecklers out of the auditorium as we in the audience erupted in laughter and applause. (Check out Cathy Seipp’s more in-depth coverage of the spectacle.) A few minutes later, fellow blogger, radio commentator and out-lesbian, Tammy Bruce, addressed the gathering.

On opening night of this conservative fest, when we saw a film about liberal intolerance, leftists tried to prevent a conservative from speaking freely while the audience enthusiastically welcomed a pro-choice lesbian feminist. Doesn’t seem like an image of the conservative world the MSM is likely to present.
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Miers Withdrawal–Victory for the Constitution

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:40 pm - October 27, 2005.
Filed under: General,National Politics

Like many conservatives, I was relieved to learn this morning that Harriet Miers had withdrawn her nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. While I was initially disappointed with her nomination, I believed that, as the president’s nominee, she deserved the benefit of the doubt. But, the more I heard about her, the more I began to lean against her confirmation.

As I said before, I believe the president blundered badly in picking her. He did not adequately consult with Republican Senators and his conservative supporters and was thus not prepared for their strong opposition to his choice. Many were not convinced that she would be a conservative jurist while others were troubled by her lack of judicial experience. Still others (including yours truly) were troubled that her writings did not show much understanding of constitutional issues and that her answers to questions from Senators (both in her questionnaire and in her meeting with them) were inadequate or mealy-mouthed.

Her failure to convince Senators she was up to the job of a Supreme Court Justice led to her decision to withdraw. While Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — and other Democrats — claim that “The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination,” even some of his Democratic colleagues, notably Charles Schumer, questioned her qualifications. Had she demonstrated an understanding of constitutional law to Senators, I believe that most Republicans would have supported her confirmation — despite her lack of any conservative record on judicial issues.

As it was Senators’ concerns which led to her withdrawal, we see once again the genius of our Constitution which, in Article 2, Section 2, gave the President the power to appoint “Judges of the supreme Court,” conditioning that appointment on the “Advice and Consent of the Senate.” More than two centuries ago, in a piece for the New York Packet, preserved for us as Federalist No. 76, Alexander Hamilton saw the Senate’s “co-operation” in such appointments as “an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President:” (more…)

“Plamegate”–Still Trying to Figure Out if Rove Told All

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:11 am - October 26, 2005.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,New Media

Just before bed, I read this curious paragraph in the New York Times about the “Plamegate” investigation:

Three days before the grand jury in the case expires and with the White House in a state of high anxiety, the special counsel, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, appeared still to be trying to determine whether Mr. Rove had been fully forthcoming about his contacts with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Robert D. Novak, the syndicated columnist, in July 2003, they said.

I call this paragraph curious because it seems kind of late in the game “still to be trying” to figure out whether a key witness in this case has told investigators all he knew about his contact with reporters.

Granted, unlike Mr. Fitzgerald, I don’t have access to all the facts in this case nor I have heard Mr. Rove’s testimony — or even read a transcript of that testimony. Since Mr. Cooper has been rather forthcoming about his testimony, we know that Rove’s contact with him on the topic was a “brief conversation” during which Rove merely warned Cooper not to “get too far out on Wilson.” To be sure, Rove did not mention this brief conversation in his initial appearance before the grand jury, but when his attorney alerted him to an e-mail he had written confirming the conversation, Rove voluntarily returned to testify.

In a thoughtful analysis of the discovery of that e-mail, the Anonymous Liberal shows how it came to pass that that neither Rove nor his attorneys discovered that e-mail at that outset of the investigation. (Hat tip: JustOneMinute.) Accepting that the White House may not have deliberately withheld this e-mail, this thoughtful liberal concludes:

The question that remains is whether Rove’s failure to mention his conversation with Cooper was the result of a genuine lapse of memory or a purposeful lack of candor. I suspect the latter, but ultimately it’s the opinions of the grand jurors that will matter.

Perhaps, the prosecutor, like this liberal, suspects Rove’s purposeful lack of candor. And that explains what he is still trying to determine at this late date. While I agree with Anonymous’s first sentence, I disagree with his second. As I blogged recently, I suspect Rove’s failure to testify about the conversation was due to a lapse of memory.
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Gone With the Idealism–The Cynicism of Today’s Leftists

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:33 pm - October 25, 2005.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Liberals,Movies/Film & TV

This past weekend at the Liberty Film Festival, in addition to the great flicks I saw, I also enjoyed some fascinating panel discussions. My friend Craig Titley and one of my favorite bloggers, Roger Simon, participated in the Screenwriters’ Panel (perhaps more on that anon) while a panel on the Hollywood Blacklist, a diverse array of speakers considered the question, “Was Communism a Threat to Hollywood?” (I wonder if a liberal film fest would include such a mixed group.)

Impressed by the panel, I bought two of the participants’ books, Richard Schickel’s book on Elia Kazan (in large part because that graduate of America’s finest small college is one of my favorite directors) and Ronald Radosh’s Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left. I began reading Radosh’s book just a few minutes after buying and have found it hard to put down.

In the early chapters, he addresses the idealism of the early Hollywood communists. Back then, communism represented a path to build a better world. Some Hollywood celebrities who joined — or were linked to the Communist Party through their associations or their support of causes with which Communists were involved — did so because of their own experiences with poverty. Others signed up because, in the 1930s (until the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939), the Communists provided leadership “in the resistance to fascism.”

In testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1940, James Cagney explained his involvement:

Under the circumstances under which I was raised . . ., I saw poverty on all sides for a long time. Such a thing leaves its impression; you can’t go through life and build a wall around yourself and say “Everything is fine for me and to hell with the other fellow.”

For the 1930s idealists, Communism served as a positive means to address pressing problems like poverty and what we today would call, social injustice. And the first nation to adopt communism, the Soviet Union, became a “mythic homeland of the radical imagination where the future was being born every day.”

Contrast the idealism of the early Communists with the attitudes of today’s leftists. In the 1930s, leftists had a noble vision of a better world. Today, leftists just project a nasty image onto many present-day leaders, particularly President Bush and his closest associates. They seem more interested in trashing their opponents than in putting forward a positive vision of what they would do in his stead.
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A Writer Who Understands What’s at Stake in the Marriage Debate

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:52 pm - October 25, 2005.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,General

I have frequently recommended the chapter “What is Marriage for,” in Jonathan Rauch’s book, Gay Marriage : Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America as one of the few pieces which actually takes seriously the meaning of gay marriage. Today, I was delighted (and surprised) to discover another such piece while checking out National Review Online.

On their front page, that conservative journal offers a piece by law professor (and GPW acquaintance) Dale Carpenter listing the ten areas of agreement on gay marriage. Articulating anew an idea that Andrew Sullivan introduced in his Conservative Case for Gay Marriage, Dale contends:

This “conservative case” has rested on the idea that marriage would benefit gays, generally by encouraging long-term commitment among gays and particularly by settling gay men. It would therefore benefit our whole society.

Hmm. . . . doesn’t seem much different from ideas addressed in Plato’s Symposium.

These ten areas of agreement include the societal and institutional benefits of the institution and allowing “churches and religious authorities” the freedom “to refuse to recognize such marriages if they wish to do so.” Dale recognizes that we need to consider the “social effects” involved in changing “an important social institution like marriage.” Thus, perhaps the most important of his areas of agreement is that the change should be gradual:

If any significant change to an important social institution like marriage is undertaken at all it should occur slowly and incrementally, state-by-state, rather than in one fell swoop (as by court-ordered, nationwide gay marriage), so that we can assess the impact of the change and adjust the direction of reform or completely halt the reform.

I have one minor quibble with his piece in that he does not include monogamy in his list of the ten areas of agreement, waiting only until his conclusion to bring it up.

That said, it’s a great piece and a must-read for those committed to the debate on gay marriage. I frequently fault advocates of gay marriage for not addressing the real issues of the debate. Dale’s article is a reminder that there are a few who understand what’s at stake, who recognize the impact of this significant social change and who have considered the meaning of gay marriage. It’s a great credit to the National Review that this conservative publication would post such a serious piece.

Now, as Glenn Reynolds would say, just read the whole thing!

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

Plato’s Symposium–an Ancient Work Essential to the Contemporary Conversation on Gay Relationships

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:32 pm - October 24, 2005.
Filed under: Mythology and the real world

I have made it no secret that I am not pleased with the caliber of the debate on gay issues. Gay writers and activists repeat the same mantras over and over again and label nearly every idea they disagree with as “anti-gay.” Their social conservative opponents are no better; they seem to think that all gay people have the same “lifestyle,” that we are incapable of committed monogamous relationships and that such relationships are little more than two individuals shacking up so that they can more easily pursue sexual dalliances.

It never occurs to those people that gay relationships can have as transformative and effect on the individuals involved as marriage has for straight individuals. And with few exceptions (for example, Andrew Sullivan’s first piece on gay marriage), it doesn’t seem to occur to gay people to talk about that “civilizing” potential of gay marriage.

Fortunately, for my class on Græco-Roman Mythology (part of my graduate program), we are required to read a book that has long been on my list of books to re-read. As I began reading Plato’s Symposium, this weekend, I realized that although that it was written 2,400 years ago, it remains the best book on gay relationships ever published. And remains as fresh as relevant today as it was in classical Athens.
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“All Quiet On The Baghdad Front”

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:23 am - October 24, 2005.
Filed under: War On Terror

Here’s a great dispatch in today’s Weekly Standard from Michael Yon, an embedded blogger/journalist in Iraq. Michael contrasts and compares the Iraqi elections in January and October.

All Quiet On The Baghdad Front – Weekly Standard

I WAS IN BAQUBA during Iraq’s January elections, having hitched a ride with the U.S. Army to a polling site. There were bombs exploding, mortars falling, and hot machine guns. The fact that the voting was going great despite the violence was something few people expected. Until that day, I’d been skeptical about Iraq.

The courage of the Iraqi people that January day planted a seed of confidence. These were not timid or cowering souls. There I was: an American alone in a dangerous Iraqi city, at the very polling site that soldiers were wagering would be bombed. One after another, Iraqis came and shook my hand, showing me their children, laughing, smiling, saying over and over, Thank you, thank you, thank you. I felt like an honored guest, and I felt a twinge of shame that I’d been less confident in the Iraqis than they were in themselves. The voice of the Iraqi people had risen above the clamor of insurgent violence.

Michael was on full “tour mode” on Referendum Day last week as well.

On the eve of the election, I wanted to be fully prepared for combat in the morning. Once we started out, we’d have no idea how long we might be away, so I headed as quickly as possible to my room, showered, and managed to fall asleep. While I slept, terrorists knocked out electricity to most of Baghdad. Iraqis pulled out their lanterns.

I walked through the morning darkness to meet the soldiers, who were laughing at the terrorists: Don’t those dumbasses know that the voting will happen during the daytime? When it comes to winning hearts and minds, cutting off the electricity didn’t win any support. I have been saying it for many months: The terrorists are losing. But today was litmus-day.

There had actually been somewhere between 300 and 350 total attacks on the January election day. And the army would later say that there were 89 total attacks during the voting last week. Who knows? I know that it was quiet from my perch, and that the guns had been silenced long enough that we could hear the Iraqi voice speak for a second time. The voice was louder, stronger, and prouder than it had been in January.

My biggest question is this: With the money, toil, and treasure of the American people on the line in Iraq, why didn’t doesn’t the Mainstream Media have more comprehensive reports like Michael’s on a daily basis?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Sign Iranian LGBT Freedom Petition

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:08 am - October 24, 2005.
Filed under: Gays in Other Lands

Even if our American gay “rights” organizations are too busy with being fronts for the Democratic Party agenda, we can do our part to stop this from happening again.

We Support the Iranian Gay and Lesbian Community

We the undersigned declare that:
1. Iranian gay men and lesbians are suffering persecution in Iran and we demand that they be granted freedom and legal protection by the ruling government;
2. Iranian gay men and lesbians live under a homophobic regime in Iran;
3. According to the Islamic penal code, homosexuality is punishable by lashing, torture, harassment, persecution, and death;
4. Iranian gay men and lesbians have no legal rights in their home country and deserve the legal and political protection of outside governments and organizations;
By signing this petition, we state our support for the freedom and legal protection of gays and lesbians in Iran.

SIGN THE PETITION

Music City, USA — Nashville

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 4:15 pm - October 23, 2005.
Filed under: Country Music,Travel

My rump has found itself in Nashville for the next few days for a conference.

But it is a horrible weather day here — rainy & chilly… pretty much like the DC area yesterday. There is supposed to be an opening reception at the Grand Ole Opry tonight, but I sure hope it isn’t outside.

Perhaps the most jarring experience I’ve had in the first few hours of my Nashville trip was listening to “The Wolf , 95.5” — Nashville’s contemporary country station. First of all, those of you not familiar with the history of radio probably won’t care, but WSM was one of our nation’s first AM broadcast radio stations. WSM was also the anchor for the old radio programs broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry. So it seems kind of cheap to have “re-labeled” this historic station — “The Wolf.” Ugh. (Okay, it is the FM station….but still.)

But I was most disturbed by the voice of the Sunday afternoon DJ on The Wolf today — Karen Keeley. Imagine being in the heart of Country Music and hearing a thick British-accented DJ introducing songs from Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. It was like BBC America had invaded Country Music Television. Just darn creepy, I tell ya.

Anyway, howdeeeeeeeee to y’all from Nashville.

If there are any GP readers in the area, drop me an email hello!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Yeah, I’m Still Alive.

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:54 pm - October 22, 2005.
Filed under: General

I figured I should post *something* so everyone knows I’m okay. I guess I’m still “recovering” from a pinched nerve in my back/neck that happened about a week ago. Now there was some pain! Whew. Anyway, after a few days of moving up from percoset to vicodan, I’m now back to naproxyn. Can’t hang onto those Schedule II drugs for long or ya get hooked. I don’t think it is in my chemistry to become a drug addict anyway, but hey, I don’t need to find out.

There is still some numbness in my fingers and a sporadic, “achy” pain down my left arm… but nothing like the P-A-I-N of the pinched nerve.

Anyway, I just took the week off from life last week. No work, no blog, no nothing. But as of Sunday I’m back trudging through airports and doing what I do… including mouthing off as “GayPatriot”. Heh heh.

One final thought on this Saturday night. I wanted to thank the hosts of the wonderful party in suburban DC last evening. It was a great gathering of conservative gays and their friends. I joked with PatriotPartner that we had finally made the Gay Republican “A-List” just as we are moving away from the area! That’s pretty much my luck.

Our friend from Philadelphia was down for the weekend and went with us to the party. He’s a far cry from a gay GOP’er, but very gay GOP friendly. He had a blast and all three of us felt like it was one of the best and friendliest gay parties we had ever been to. And as our Philly friend said, “Gay Republicans are hot!”

Thanks again to our friends who had an outstanding party on Friday night!!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)