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Iraqi Mayor Thanks US Army

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:03 pm - February 28, 2006.
Filed under: Media Bias,War On Terror

Expanded post @ Mudville Gazette

The Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Iraq, wrote a letter to the men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and their families that was published in an Iraqi newspaper.

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID AL-JIBOURI
Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

Why haven’t I seen 24-hour non-stop live coverage of Tall ‘Afar’s success on CNN? Oh, right.. they are too busy doing 24-hour non-stop live coverage of Mardi Gras and finding ways to remind folks of how terrible President Bush is.

(GP Editor’s Note – On this one particular post, I will delete any comments that are not directly germaine to the letter from the mayor. This is NOT a Katrina/NOLA posting.)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from GPW): I added a category (Media Bias) to this post because I find it significant that most MSM outlets have not reported this letter which would seem important to report to a nation whose armed forces liberated a nation from tyranny. But, such a letter conflicts what appears to be the MSM’s agenda—presenting the war as (yet another – in their minds) failed American military endeavor (like Vietnam).

If the MSM did not have such prejudices and were interested in honestly covering the war in Iraq, they would report this letter—and other news of positive developments since the fall of Saddam—as well as the news of the latest bombings.

In the past few days, MSM reporters have been practically tripping over themselves to declare civil war in Iraq. But, they have alas turned a blind eye to all the good things happening in that decreasingly troubled land. No wonder public support for the war is slipping.

GayPatriot Makes WSJ: Best of the Web!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:58 pm - February 28, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay America,Movies/Film & TV

I’m only posting this to get that darned religious story off the lead here. I was hoping my BlogPatriots would take up my slack today! (nudge, nudge)

Best of the Web – OpinionJournal.com, Tuesday Feb 28, 2006

I Wish I Knew How to Quit You, Oscar
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson asks: “Why is it that Washington often seems so out of touch with the rest of the country?” He answers this cliché with an absurdity:

Maybe it’s because people here are so busy taking themselves seriously that they don’t have the time, or the inclination, to go to the movies. Just look at this year’s contenders at the Academy Awards.

When homosexuality is raised as an “issue,” which is the only way anything gets raised around here, politicians in the nation’s capital tend to fall into two camps: those who invoke Sodom and Gomorrah in flights of demagoguery and those who suddenly realize they have pressing appointments elsewhere.

Yet the leading contender for the Oscar for best picture is “Brokeback Mountain,” a love story about two gay cowboys–not Village People “cowboys” prancing up and down the streets of some godless big city where “values” means nothing more than a half-price sale at a fancy boutique, but real cowboys who live in the flyover, red-state American West. (Okay, it’s been noted by some that actually they herd sheep, but they’re definitely what most of us think of as cowboys.). . . .

Hollywood, which doesn’t make movies to lose money, seems to have decided that most Americans will neither faint dead away nor riot in the streets if homosexuality is openly depicted and discussed.

Well, maybe, but as GayPatriot notes, as of last week “Brokeback” had grossed a mere $67.8 million domestically, less than a quarter of the $285.3 million for “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Washington may be out of touch will Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of touch with the rest of the country.

I think this may be our first (maybe second) time on Best of the Web, which is one of my favorite blog summaries of the day! Woo hoooo!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The Violent Anti-Christian Leftists In America and Abroad

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:05 pm - February 27, 2006.
Filed under: Conservative Discrimination,War On Terror

Is there a connection between the 2004 political speech crimes against Republicans, the rise of anti-Semitism in France and Europe, the riots by radical and moderate Muslims alike over cartoons, the Secular Left’s “War on Christmas”, and the recent spate of anti-Christian violent acts in the United States that I note below?

Officials Say They’re Close to Cracking Arson Case – Associated Press

Ten Baptist churches in rural parts of the state have been burned by arsonists this month. Nine of the fires – five on Feb. 3 in Bibb County and four on Feb. 7 in west Alabama – have been linked. Another church fire on Feb. 11 in Lamar County has been ruled arson, but investigators have not determined if it is connected to the others.

Man Kills, Wounds Mother and Child in Church – FOX News

DETROIT — A man opened fire inside a church Sunday, killing an 18-year-old woman and wounding her child before shooting another man outside, according to police and broadcast reports.

I submit there is. Despite their hysterical rantings about the massive reduction in civil rights under BushAshcroftGonzales, the facts are that the violent acts against free speech and freedom of religion in America are directed against and not by American conservatives and people of faith (mainly Christians and Jews).

Why was there 24-hour coverage on CNN of the Mohammed cartoon uproar (where they shielded our eyes of the cartoon by blurring it), but no equal coverage of the church fires and the murder of the young Jewish man in France?

I report and connect the dots…. you decide.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

DADT: A Gay Servicemember’s Perspective. Part IV: A Winning Argument?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 12:30 am - February 27, 2006.
Filed under: Gays In Military

Blogger’s Note:
Thanks for indulging me once again. This is Part IV in a 6-Part piece on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the US Military’s policy barring openly homosexual servicemembers. See here for Part I, Part II, and Part III.

We’ve discussed previously why some arguments for repealing the ban on open homosexuals in the US Armed Forces have fallen so far on deaf ears (see previous posts). So how can we get the policy changed? I’ve argued we need to frame the debate in such a way that those who are dedicated to the mission of the military will sit up and take notice. Which is to say, how can we show that the policy of actively barring open homosexuals from serving puts the military’s mission in jeopardy?

I have a couple ideas:

First of all, there’s no such thing anymore as compelled service. I don’t just mean the draft, of course. I also mean that anybody currently serving can walk into his commander’s office, declare his homosexuality (whether it’s true or not), and if the commander is convinced his troop is telling the truth, he gets to stroll out, ditch his commitment, and nary a sly word is spoken. This argument needs further development, but the idea is there to present a position about how wantonly allowing people out of their commitments to the military is definitely harmful to the mission. We’d also need some strong numbers.

Another, much more formidable argument comes from seeds of thought planted by Grandpa Patrick, who commented on an earlier post, and it goes like this (please have patience with me, I’ve tried to set this up in a logical fashion):

National Security will be enhanced through a stronger Armed Forces and America will be safer by allowing openly homosexual members to serve because the current policy unnecessarily and unreasonably puts Classified Intelligence at risk. Here’s why:

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Oscar Audience to Decline

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:17 am - February 27, 2006.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

Although the TV show Commander in Chief did quite well in his first weeks on the air, I predicted that its ratings would soon drop and it would be canceled after no more than one season. Alas, that I did not make this prediction public. ABC put the show on hiatus last month because its ratings were “in a free fall.” So, today, barely a week before the telecast of the Oscars, I will make public my prediction that the Oscar audience will decline this year, though it may register an increase in gay households.

I’m not really going out on a limb in saying this. A number of people have been predicting as much. In the February 3 edition of OpinionJournal’s Political Diary (available by subscription), John Fund wrote:

The TV ratings for next month’s Oscar award ceremonies in Hollywood will show a continued slide, and one very large reason is that few Americans will have even seen the five movies nominated for best picture this week by a show-business community increasingly obsessed with left-wing causes rather than movie making.

As Liberty Film Festival co-director Jason Apuzzo put it, the Academy Awards have devolved into just another marketing tool for ‘indie’ films nobody’s seen.” To be sure, every year, there are a number of first-rate independent films, many as good as, if not better than the best of the Hollywood flicks. But, those quality independent features tend to explore universal themes (often in a quirky manner) and appeal to a broad audience. Not so with this year’s nominees. Only two of the films nominated for Best Picture (Brokeback Mountain and Crash) earned more than $50 million at the box office (and the latter just barely). This past weekend, just one week before the ceremony, Munich brought in a pathetic $1,501 per theater.

It’s not just the Oscar nominees that aren’t making money, last year the movie business experienced a huge slump in ticket sales. Filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney believes fewer people went to the movies last year because Hollywood has focused more on the tastes of the Tinseltown’s denizens than those in the American heartland:

Hollywood is making films that Hollywood wants to consume, not necessarily what the rest of America does. Hollywood needs to decide whether it wants to be a political party or whether it wants to entertain.

(H/t: Instapundit.) And by tapping Jon Stewart, a man known for his political and media satire rather than his love of movies, as the host of the Oscar ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences seems more interested in promoting social commentary (of a leftish sort) than quality filmmaking.

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Tom Malin, Media Culture & Redemption

After a pretty intense three weeks of blogging, I found myself slowing down a bit this week. It seems I’ve been more in a thinking than a writing mood, some thoughts for future posts, others related to ideas for my dissertation (ideas which I have finally been putting down on paper) and yet others for screenplays and this fantasy epic that has been kicking around in my head.

And some stories in the news (and on this blog) have given me pause.

As I follow the news about vile terrorists blowing up a shrine sacred to one sect of Islam, I see some similarity between the sectarian violence those terrorists hope to foment and that which took place Great Britain for the better part of two centuries (the 16th and 17th).

When I read that Senate Majority Bill Frist has scheduled a vote on the “Marriage Protection Amendment” for June 5, 2006 (as part of his already-doomed bid for the White House in 2008), I wonder if advocates of gay marriage would use this an occasion to have a serious debate on the topic or return to the juvenile rhetoric which has dominated the debate in the past. (The initial signs are not good.) But, there’s more than three months until the vote.

Let us hope that gay leaders come to their senses and make arguments for gay marriage like Jonathan Rauch (especially in the chapter “What is Marriage for” in his book Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America) and Dale Carpenter (in his columns) have made. Instead of having angry adolescents, ever eager to repeat mantras from Poli Sci 101, dominate the debate, it would be nice if such grownups would lead the way, encouraging all gay marriage advocates to engage their opponents with serious arguments rather than ideological attacks. (Yes, I have been accused of being a “cockeyed optimist.”)

One subject which has occupied my attention has been the case of Tom Malin, not so much because I particularly care whether or not this man wins a seat in the Texas legislature but because of what his case says about gay culture and American politics today. First, it shows the hypocrisy of many gay left bloggers, eager to expose the hustling past of a Republican journalist, yet indifferent to a Democratic candidate’s similar past. (And it seems those very bloggers believe “hypocrisy is quite possibly the greatest crime one can ever possibly commit.“)

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Our Last Olympic Gold Hottie?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:35 pm - February 25, 2006.
Filed under: Olympics

I have been waiting for two weeks to do this post on our great USA speed skater champ, Apolo Anton Ohno. He finally struck Olympic Gold in Turin/Torino on Saturday!

Leading from start to finish, Ohno upset favored South Korean Ahn Hyun-Soo to win gold in the 500m Saturday. And before the final night was done, he skated to his third medal of these Winter Games.

With a burst at the end, Ohno passed an Italian skater to grab bronze for the Americans in the 5000m relay.

So much for being a bust. For the second Olympics in a row, Ohno is a star.

Congrats to Apolo and to all of our awesome US athletes who give up so much to train and compete in their respective sports.

Three cheers for Team USA!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Maryland May Be Next To Ban Phelps Protests

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 8:38 am - February 25, 2006.
Filed under: Constitutional Issues,Free Speech,General

From 365Gay.com:

Maryland may join a growing number of states to put limits on protests at military funerals amid fears that a conservative church group from Kansas may target funerals with anti-gay picketing.

The bill, to be considered by a House committee Friday, would make Maryland at least the 15th state to regulate funeral protests in response to the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., which believes American military deaths are God’s retribution for tolerance of gay people. Church members have publicly given thanks for soldiers’ deaths at military funerals, raising calls to regulate the protests…

The measure would ban protests at funerals within an hour before they start. It would also make it a crime to obstruct mourners from funerals or burials. Violations would be misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Sponsors conceded that the bill could lead to free-speech lawsuits if it is passed. The measure, like in other states, is modeled after regulation of protests at abortion clinics. Courts have ruled that some limits on free speech, like the laws banning protesters from blocking access to abortion clinics, are allowed…

This may not be a popular position to take, but this bill seems to be an unconstitutional abridgement of free speech. I will admit to having probably the most unChristian view of Phelps and his coterie of nut-jobs and I also despise their protests of military funerals. These wackos offend me greatly given that I am Catholic, gay, and former military, all of which they seem to have problems with (as if I cared). I sympathize and agree with Delegate Mary-Dulany James, who sponsored the bill, that “We shouldn’t have to subject any family to this. I’m stunned anybody would do that when people are grieving.” These people are heartless, cruel bastards and hardly paragons of Christian morality. Yet, I do not have to like these clowns in order to stand for protecting free speech nor is it the job of government to regulate what is acceptable speech at a protest (save in very extreme cases such as incitement to violence). The First Amendment gives no guarantees that one will like what another has to say, only that they have the right to say it regardless. The provision to prohibit “obstruct[ing] mourners from funerals or burials” should pass constitutional muster and is one I could support, but not the portion to “ban protests at funerals within an hour before they start”. That will be tossed out in court as it should be. It pains me to say this, but Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of the ‘Rev.’ Fred Phelps, is right when she says, “They’re going to give away rights that they claim these soldiers have died for? They’re going to spit in their graves – for what? Some words?”. Of course when she also adds that this proposal is “spitting in the face of God”, I have to laugh. She and her group have done this so many times with their anti-Christian behavior it makes one sick.

Standing With Denmark

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:14 am - February 25, 2006.
Filed under: War On Terror

(Hat tip – Charging Rhino)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Where In The World?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 1:29 am - February 25, 2006.
Filed under: Travel

No, I’m not going to be on TV like Michelle Malkin when she has a posting with this headline. But I am the world traveler these days.

Earlier this week… Milwaukee and Green Bay.

And this evening, I’m in the City by the Bay — San Francisco. *waving to GayPatriotWest to the south*

And back to Charlotte on the red-eye Saturday night. Ugh.

I hope everyone had a great week and a wonderful weekend.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

DADT: A Gay Servicemember’s Perspective. Part III: What Doesn’t Work

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 9:38 am - February 24, 2006.
Filed under: Gays In Military

Blogger’s Note:
Sorry in advance for the huge post today. This is Part III in a series I’ve decided now will come in 6 parts. Link here for Part I and Part II. (If you’re jumping in right now, I’d suggest reading the others–and the comments, too!–before continuing. There’s been a bit of set-up so far.) Again, thanks in advance for not allowing this to get personal and keeping on topic with all your great feedback and comments.

The numerous insightful comments to Part II gave me many more ideas, and actually helped me develop a great argument for changing the policy. We’ll get to good reasons for changing the policy in Part IV, but today this one’s going to piss everybody off because I’m going to take the hard-line military perspective and explain why many arguments made against DADT don’t help the cause because they don’t sufficiently finish the thought I mentioned earlier, that being: “National Security will be enhanced through a stronger Armed Forces and America will be safer by allowing openly homosexual members to serve because…

By the way, please keep in mind, I’m doing a little Devil’s Advocate on most of this. We’re all on the same side here, I’m just trying to help prepare us for the battle. No good argument is going to be developed in a vacuum and we have to consider the other side of things if we’re ever to make any headway. So here goes:

Show me the money
I’ll only briefly touch on this because I already addressed this as a comment on a previous post. An analogy of the $360M spent over the past decade discharging gays under DADT is to suggest going into the CEO of a Fortune 5 company and telling him you can shave off 0.01% of his budget, and all he’d have to do is make a radical and sudden change to his entire HR department including new standards for recruiting new employees as well as what would be expected of them. Oh, not to mention, the lives and liberties of 300,000,000 people are directly effected by how well his company operates. Although he’d appreciate your concern for the bottom-line, it’s not likely he’d take such a risk for such a small gain.
*Another interesting concern here would be the cost involved in having to develop (and more importantly enforcing) new standards for “Conduct Unbecoming”. All would agree showing up at the unit in drag would be out of the question, but how far into the personal lives and actions of gay servicemembers would commanders have to go to enforce good order and discipline? Before you object to this train of thought, have you been to a gay bar recently? This is a huge can of worms.

What will we ever do without him?
In an attempt to appeal to the mission-oriented folks, one argument against DADT is that we’re losing precious resources in, to name just a couple in vogue, the medical and linguistic fields. This is a good argument in that it actually does pose a question about the mission: Since we’re so in need of these career fields, DADT is directly negatively impacting the mission. Unfortunately, similar to the preceding argument about money, the numbers aren’t really there to back up the rhetoric. For example, as a graduate of the Defense Language Institute myself, I can attest to the rigorous nature of the curriculum. I started in a class with two sections and a total of about 30 students. By the end of the course, we were down to one section, and a dozen graduates. Linguistics is a demanding field of study and a recent call I made to the registrar’s office confirmed what I had recalled from my time there: Far more students wash out of these courses due to poor academic performance than for DADT. In fact, the wash-out rate is upwards of 50% overall, even higher for Arabic linguists. DLI graduates several hundred Arabic linguists a year. Currently there are several thousand Arabic linguists in the Armed Forces and about the same number of civilians working for the DoD, FBI, CIA, and other government departments. The loss of 54 of them to this policy over the past decade is not likely to ruffle many feathers. Again, good point, thinking along the right lines. It’s simply not enough to take such a risk from the military perspective.

Well, Canada does it
One of the most often repeated arguments is that other militaries around the world allow gays to openly serve. This is certainly undeniable. The argument continues that there are no problems in these militaries relating to their respective policies. This has not been shown to me, but even if we accept that as true, what difference does it make? Surely we learn from other nations’ militaries, so a precedent in another country isn’t to be ignored. However, this argument really is only of use when it comes to, say, the implementation of a new policy (how would we do it?) rather than an argument for changing the policy. We don’t take cues on which policies to emulate as much as we view tactics and strategies and measure their applicability. This is because from a broader perspective (which is where the DoD views a policy such as DADT), sure, another military might do something well, or have a great technique we’d benefit from learning, but when was the last time one of these other nations’ militaries liberated anybody or convincingly led a coalition, let alone won a campaign on their own? They could be doing all sorts of great stuff in Canada, but, no offense to our neighbors, who really gives a flip?

The Citizen-Soldier
A surprisingly common argument is that the military should “reflect” the society it shelters. This, from a military perspective is preposterous. Sorry to be harsh, but take a look around you: there are handicapped people, old people, infirm people, weak and out-of-shape people, people addicted to drugs, criminals and people of questionable moral fortitude. This list of characteristics making individuals unfit for serving could go on and on. Not to (necessarily) compare gays to these other groups, but the suggestion that the military needs to be representative of the Nation as a whole is so full of obvious holes (from a mission perspective), it hardly needs but the example of its absurdity already shown herein. It’s not the military’s mission to “reflect” its sponsor (it never has been), and its ability to do so has nothing to do with its ability to win wars (its actual mission).

You Know You Want It
Polls these days show an increasing comfort among soldiers with gays and there have even been some internal studies done (.pdf link) showing a growing acceptance for serving alongside homosexuals among certain audiences (qualification needed here, as the cited study was very limited). This is actually a very good argument to counter the position taken by DADT defenders that a change to the policy would break down unit morale. Of course, simply countering that point won’t be enough. It’s good, but probably not conclusive enough (what with the soft-science nature of it and all).

That Whole Truman Thing
Desegregation of the military is often used as a model for changing the policy on homosexuality. Indeed, it should be, but the circumstances around that policy change are often misunderstood. When Truman changed the policy (and Eisenhower really did most of the implementation…President Eisenhower, that is, not General Eisenhower), there was a clear and pressing mission-oriented reason for it: Maintaining two separate militaries (albeit, one of them sorely underfunded) was simply not fiscally possible. In 1948, with the military in drawdown after WWII, the infrastructure requirements of two militaries were unreasonable, especially as the face of war and war-fighting was changing with the further expansion of the Soviet Bloc. The need for better flexibility and a new way of fighting demanded more funds than the policy of a segregated military could spare. Although Truman was a good guy and a forward-thinking leader, to suggest his reasons for desegregating the military were purely righteous (in 1948?!) is hardly telling the whole story. This, by the way, also puts the lie to the argument on the other side about “good order and discipline”…the reason it wasn’t really implemented until Ike was president was due to wrangling by the top brass. They saw their way fit to do it eventually, which just goes to show: If there’s a good solid mission-related reason for doing it, it’ll get done even if it pisses everybody off. That’s how the military works, after all.

Hang in there, gang, because in my next post, I’ll present an argument that I believe will show how DADT and barring gays hurts the mission of the US Armed Forces. Play nice in the meantime…

AP Fails to Identify Iranian Ties of Iraqi Critic of U.S.

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:28 am - February 24, 2006.
Filed under: Media Bias,War On Terror

In yet another sign of bias at the AP, reporter Robert H. Reid concludes his article on the violence following the evil attack on the Shiite Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq with Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim’s criticism of U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad by identifying al-Hakim as a “Shiite party leader” and failing to indicate that his party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, is backed by Iran.

Does Australia Have Gay Cowboys, Too?

Our blog-ally Down Under, John Heard (aka – Dreadnought) had this positive take on Brokeback Mountain in this January 30 column in The Australian, one of that country’s biggest publications.

What do we have to fear from this film? Is it irrational or unworthy or corrupt? Does it attack and tear down or does it exalt the human spirit and mark out, for once and for as long as our popular entertainments continue to capture the imagination of the masses, a space for men who love — sometimes despite hardship, wives, children and duty — other men?

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that by portraying ranch hands rather than Mardi Gras-ready homo-activists, Proulx via Lee has presented perhaps the first real gay characters in a zone too often crowded with walking stereotypes. Ennis Del Mar couldn’t tzuz to save his life, and no wonder, as Michael Kirby is fond of saying: homosexuals are as boring as everyone else.

Who, after all, could reasonably object to this film? Certainly not the good, hard men of the midwest, who’d be the first to reject any prissification of their livelihoods; they’ve already given it their seal of approval. Not even serious Christian reviewers see it as a threat. They’d be on the lookout too, for unworthy storylines and the anti-Christian heavy-handedness that often characterises modern films. No, the only people who need regret Brokeback Mountain are the dry of heart, the irredeemably bitter and those who see love and know only fear.

Even so, I defy them to watch this film and come away unmoved. For anyone who has seen it cannot let it rest. Brokeback stays with you and it will stay with our culture, long after any silly objections have fallen back into obscurity.

While we differ on the content of the film, I do agree with John’s conclusions: I also defy anyone to watch the movie and come away unmoved. It was a moving piece. I just didn’t think it was the masterpiece that it is being hailed as. But hey, my favorite movie of all time starred a DeLorean.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Best Movie Villainess — Open Thread

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:33 pm - February 22, 2006.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

When I logged onto AOL, I saw that they were running a poll to determine the “vilest” movie villains. Their poll reminded me that ever since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences once again slighted Tilda Swinton, that few women have done as good a job playing the villain as she did in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Thinking about movie villainesses (and talking about them with other movie buffs), a few names of other stellar & sinister performances came to mind, including Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate, Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, Kathy Bates in Misery and Dame Judith Anderson in Rebecca.

What great performances have I left out? Who do you think are the best female movie villians? Please feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments section or by e-mailing me.

Send David Gregory to Antarctica?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:01 pm - February 22, 2006.
Filed under: Media Bias

Last week, at the height of the media frenzy over the White House’s failure to cater to their every whim in informing the MSM about the Vice President’s hunting mishap, I suggested to a reader that if NBC News were serious about providing balanced coverage of the Administration, they would relieve its White House correspondent David Gregory of his current duties and replace him with someone less excitable. Since the White House is the plum berth to which all reporters aspire, it would seem that if a White House correspondent acts is a less than a professional matter, he should be dispatched to a less prestigious post.

Given the growing interest in penguins as result of this wonderful Oscar-nominated documentary (and because their sexual behavior may teach us something about human relationships), I jokingly suggested that they should send him to Antarctica, the native land of these fascinating creatures, to open up an NBC News Bureau there. Now I’m not so sure NBC need dispatch Gregory as far away as that chilly southern continent, but wonder if a serious newsgathering organization would want to keep someone as a White House correspondent who compared the White House to a “rodeo.” Even as he apologized losing his cool at a news briefing, he seemed to retract that apology, indicating that he was not apologizing for his aggressive manner.

More than that, he borrowed a Democratic talking point to describe the White House’s handling of the Vice President’s mishap as “emblematic of the rather secretive style with the press by the vice president.” He sounds more like a flack for the DNC than an unbiased reporter. So, while Mr. Gregory may claim the White House press corps is a “proxy for the American people,” writer Randall H. Nunn finds Mr. Gregory to be rather “a proxy for liberal Democrats, the ‘beautiful and smart’ opinion leaders in Hollywood, the academic community and the mainstream media.” (Via Transterrestial Musings via Instapundit).

No, I don’t think NBC News need dispatch Mr. Gregory to Antarctica, but if this network wishes to show that they’re doing their best to cover the White House fairly, they would do well to offer him another assignment, preferably one that is not so prestigious and one which would enable him to better understand the American people whose proxy he claims to hold. By replacing David Gregory as its White House correspondent, NBC News can show they take seriously the charges that their coverage of the Administration is slanted. They could show as well that they are serious about gathering the news and reporting it fairly rather than spinning it to fit a pre-set agenda.

**UPDATE from GP: Did you know Crazy David is blogging on the UAE/port control issue at NBC’s The Daily Nightly blog?**

Gay Dems Tell Their “Gannon” To Quit

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:12 pm - February 22, 2006.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

I just saw this story and since we brought you our varying takes (mine here and Dan’s here) on TX House Candidate Tom Malin (aka – The Democrat’s Jeff Gannon) earlier this week, I figured this development was at least worth mentioning.

Malin admits ‘lurid past’ - DallasVoice

The board of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas on Friday rescinded the organization’s endorsement of Tom Malin, Democratic candidate for the District 108 seat in the Texas House of Representatives, after Malin acknowledged Thursday that he once worked as a male escort.

Malin said Thursday he is not withdrawing from the race against Jack Borden in the Democratic primary on March 7.

But [Michael] Moon [Stonewall's President] said Friday he believes Malin has hurt Stonewall Democrats and the Dallas County Democratic Party by lying about his history.

“This is not about him being in recovery. It’s not even about him being an escort in the past. This is about the fact that he lied to us,” Moon said. “We asked him before we endorsed him if the rumors were true, and he said they were not.”

Moon added, “I hate to say this, but I think if he really cares about the Democratic Party, he will withdraw from the race.”

What’s your take on this, gang? Are the Stonewalls right in pulling the rug out from their guy who is apparently openly gay based on this article? Are they really upset because of his statements about religion? Did he find religion just last week or before the Stonewall Dems endorsed him?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

American Idol – Male Night

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:56 pm - February 22, 2006.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

It was the girl’s shot last night as the final 12 females sang (some great, some not-so). But tonight begins the paring down of the final 12 men. I think that this is the best crop of guy singers that ‘Idol’ has ever had. I’m guessing most would agree that these are the two frontrunners for the guys.


Chris Daughtry


Ace Young

They both have “the look” as well as great voices from what we’ve been able to hear so far. I’m rooting for the two Carolinians in the competition, though….. Daughtry and Kellie Pickler.

So consider this “American Idol Open Thread Wednesday”. I’ll be watching in an hour!!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Brokeback Fan Breaks Own Bank For Film’s Famous Shirts

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:47 pm - February 22, 2006.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

Whew. And I thought my obsession with Back To The Future bordered on crazy!

Brokeback Shirts Go For $100,000 – CNN.com

Tom Gregory just spent more than $100,000 on two used cowboy shirts.

And he couldn’t be happier.

The shirts are the ones worn by the ill-fated lovers, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, in Oscar front-runner “Brokeback Mountain.” The shirts that represent their relationship. The shirts that, to Gregory, represent the ongoing plight of gays for acceptance in society.

“They really are the ruby slippers of our time,” said Gregory, 45.

Actually, I have to say it would be kind of cool to own real movie props like that. As I always say, if you got $100,000 to dump, you can dump it where ever you want. (Okay, I don’t “always say” that….)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

DADT: A Gay Servicemember’s Perspective. Part II: What’s Really Important Here?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 8:17 am - February 22, 2006.
Filed under: Gays In Military

Blogger’s Note:
Here is Part Two in a short series of posts regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Oh, and again I’d ask everybody to show respect by please doing what you can to limit conversation to the topic at hand rather than use this as an opportunity to attack each other. All criticisms, of course, are always welcome.

In my previous post (Not-So-Straight Facts), I helped shed some light to the often used, but unsubstantiated argument that the number of discharges of gay servicemembers has increased in the past decade since DADT was introduced. As nobody took any issue with the substance of that clarification, today I endeavor to walk a little further out on the limb in hopes of adding some military perspective advocates should keep in mind if they’re ever to get this policy changed.

Let’s start with something simple: Yes, I’d prefer to be able to serve openly as a gay man in the US Military. It would be much easier for me and I’d also enjoy my service a lot more. Every gay military colleague with whom I’ve discussed this feels likewise. I presume all our friends, families, and co-workers (to whom we are out) also agree.

Now let’s look at the facts on the ground: The US Military doesn’t change the type of toilet paper we use in the latrine without an exhaustive feasibility analysis and thorough study of its impact on the mission. Hell, it takes us years to make simple changes to our uniforms.

Our mission in the US Armed Forces is to kill the enemy and break his things. Period. And no policy change, even as logical and right as it may seem from the outside, is even going to be considered if it hasn’t been shown to enhance that mission.

That may seem stupid and short-sighted and we may seem like blinded ogres. But these are the facts, and when it comes to changing military policy, advocates would be best served to learn to argue from the military’s perspective. Appeals to the mainstream of American thought and sensibilities and cries of unfairness are good and well, but the advocate community has to realize it’s not going to get anywhere with its goal of allowing homosexuals to openly serve until they start coming up with hard facts (that stand up to scrutiny) that show how a change to the policy will better enable the military to perform its duty.

Generals and admirals, top DoD officials and powerful Congressional committee members are not going to advocate for a change to the policy simply because enough people show up on a poll saying it’s unfair. At least I hope not. Hopefully there’s a clear and demonstrable mission-related reason to change the policy. Hopefully advocacy groups are looking actively for these reasons. Historically, with a few interesting exceptions, they’ve fallen quite short.

Ending the policy for the wrong reason could have disastrous consequences. If a precedent is set for changing our strategic military defense policies because enough people cry about it being unfair, it’s only a matter of time before the Armed Forces better resembles your local neighborhood watch than the world’s greatest military machine it is today–not because of openly-serving gays, but because of a lack of standards in the decision-making process. On the other hand, if we are able to show beyond reasonable criticism how ending the ban would strengthen the military and enhance our ability to perform the mission, not only would we get our way (as recalcitrant and backward as the brass may seem to the outside world, they’re always looking for ways to do their jobs better), but we’d probably also gain more respect as a “community” by having earned our way in through a presentation of the facts rather than pouting until we got our way.

Long story short, don’t expect folks who don’t shit without doing a mission-impact assessment to change a policy because it seems unfair and makes some soldiers feel bad. On the other hand, give them some proof that it’ll make it easier to fight and win wars and you’ll have decision-makers on your side.

Let’s start our argument with: National Security will be enhanced through a stronger Armed Forces and America will be safer by allowing openly homosexual members to serve because…

When we can unquestionably complete that thought–with facts to back it up–we’ll have made our point and it will take care of itself. In my next installment I’ll show how some of the arguments don’t finish that thought, and how closely some of them actually do.

“Un-American, untruthful and a lie”?

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 9:54 pm - February 21, 2006.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,General,Liberals,National Politics

My apologies for neglecting to contribute here for awhile…

I’m a little confused by comments from Brian Melendez, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic Party, that ads supporting efforts in Iraq are somehow “un-American, untruthful and a lie“. How exactly does he arrive at this? The fact that the veterans and families of slain veterans who did these ads do not cop to the radical Left agenda? His logic seems to escape me given the numerous ads opposing the war from such groups as MoveOn.org, Not In Our Name, Win Back Respect, and a host of other antiwar groups, let alone Michael Moore’s infamous hit-piece Fahrenheit 9/11. Need I even mention that darling of the Left, Cindy Sheehan? Perhaps Mr. Melendez is referring to the fact that Progress for America receives donations from many conservatives and has ties to the Republican Party. Odd reasoning if this is so, given how much in bed the Democrat Party is with not only the groups listed above but others such as Iraqi Veterans Against the War. No, the only one being “untruthful” at least is Mr. Melendez and his party. The Minnesota DFL Party website makes this absurd claim:

The ad then states that the enemy in Iraq are the same terrorists responsible for 9/11, and images of Saddam Hussein are shown along with the Twin Towers. This tactic is misleading at best, as the 9/11 Commission Report states that there is no connection between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorist attack.

In a word, that’s a “lie”. Neither ad places blame for 9/11 on Saddam Hussein or his defunct regime in Iraq. Instead both rightly claim that Coalition forces in Iraq are fighting the same al Qaeda which attacked us on 9/11 and was responsible for numerous other atrocities. There is no dispute about this, in fact Leftists have used this fact to claim that Bush is somehow responsible for a rise in terrorism by invading Iraq. Whatever one wishes to believe on that score, Mr. Melendez is deluding himself and others if he really believes that al Qaeda isn’t in Iraq now and has been at least since Saddam was removed from power.

I’ve seen both of these ads from PFA and find nothing objectionable about them. They are not political attack ads, unlike many from the Left, but argue in support for the war. Regardless of what anyone’s views on the war are this is hardly “unAmerican”. Besides being politically stupid for the Dems to take such a position, one has to wonder where all the whining about challenging people’s patriotism went on the Left? Lemme guess, Karl Rove put them up to this. Perhaps the man truly is an evil genius after all…

Hat tip: Power Line