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Gay Community’s Two Conversations on Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:39 pm - December 31, 2006.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics

In my most recent post on gay marriage, I repeated a point I have been making for as long as I’ve been blogging on the topic, noting that many gay leaders, including some staunch advocates of gay marriage, seem unwilling to debate this issue. I have long thought that a debate would serve us well, very well.

As I look at the conversations taking place on gay marriage, I see an interesting dichotomy in our community. On the one hand, in the judicial (and sometimes political) arena, gay leaders and activists are pushing for state recognition of gay marriage. In our communities, however, they seem reluctant to discuss what this institution means.

To be sure, there are exceptions, notably writers Dale Carpenter and Jonathan Rauch, the latter who penned a chapter, “What Marriage is For,” in his book, Gay Marriage : Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America which gets at the meaning of marriage.

We seem to be having two conversations on gay marriage. In pushing for gay marriage, advocates demand “marriage equality,” requesting that the state recognize our unions as it does straight unions — and call them by the same name. But, in our community, those very advocates seem reluctant to promote the idea of marriage. Unlike Jonathan Rauch, they are unwilling to discuss the benefits of this ancient institution.

It seems that just as gay leaders — and other advocates of same-sex marriage — are eager to keep the issue out of the political arena (preferring to push it through the courts), they’re also eager to keep it out of the social arena. They seem to see marriage as “right” to which we are all entitled, merely because the state grants this “right” to straight people. They limit their conversations on gay marriage to advocating for that “right,” state recognition of marriage.

Yet, if we are truly serious about marriage, we need to understand that while it is be a legal institution, it’s a legal institution with significant, social and moral aspects. We need not only bring the conversation about gay marriage out of the courts and into the public square, but also into our community organizations, the places we socialize and into our very homes.

In one of the few serious pieces on gay marriage, his 1989 essay “Here Comes the Groom,” Andrew Sullivan noted that it was “no accident” that his case for gay marriage sounded “socially conservative:”

Gay marriage also places more responsibilities upon gays: it says for the first time that gay relationships are not better or worse than straight relationships, and that the same is expected of them. And it’s clear and dignified. There’s a legal benefit to a clear, common symbol of commitment. There’s also a personal benefit.

That the “same is expected of us” means that, in electing marriage, we agree to undertake the same obligations that straight married couples undertake. If we’re serious about marriage, we need to talk about those obligations — and make clear that we are capable of meeting them. And while those obligations may be burdensome, there is a personal benefit to the sacrifices we make.

Marriage not only helps promote a more stable and secure social life for the individuals involved, it also helps deepen the connection between the two individuals joined in this sacred union. By fulfilling the obligations of marriage, we develop a more intimate relationship, a stronger, lasting bond with another human being. And thus together, we are better able to weather the difficulties which inhere in life — and to celebrate its joys.

As 2006 draws to a close, in order to show how serious they are about their cause, advocates of gay marriage should vow to talk more about their issue. They should make clear to the world at large that gay people who choose marriage are willing to live up to the obligations of this ancient institution. And to our own community, they need show the benefits that arise from meeting those obligations.

-B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

UPDATE: One thing I have learned as I go through the mass of papers in my apartment is how long I have thought about these two “conversations.” I discovered a note where I had scribbled:

Two conversations on marriage: 

M[arriage] equality
covenant

As we push for the privileges which states offer married couples (which advocates calls “marriage equality”), we need make clear that we understand the covenant which marriage entails.

For, as I wrote on another piece of paper, in the marriage debate, the “burden is on those proposing change.” Since advocates of “marriage equality” want to extend the privileges of this ancient institution, long defined as a union between individuals of different genders to those of the same sex, they need to articulate why this change is a good thing — both for our society at large and for the individuals who would enter into such covenantal relationships.

Sondra K — Grande Conservative Blogress Diva 2007

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:07 pm - December 31, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Mythology and the real world

With 531 votes at 5 PM EST, Sondra K of Knowledge is Power has retained her title as Grande Conservative Blogress Diva, this year surviving two rounds. Sondra had a strong finish, besting three amazing blogresses, Ann Althouse, Townhall’s Mary Katharine Ham and Michelle Malkin.

We’re confident that, in the coming year, she’ll show, through her frequent, witty posts that she truly is a Diva.

Congratulations, Sondra K. While you may be the Grande Conservative Blogress Diva, your erstwhile competitors — in both rounds — are all divas as well. And we gay men will continue to look up to them and admire them and their work.

Gerald Ford And Gays: The Unknown Story

Hat tip to GayOrbit for highlighting this article.

Ford Praised For Backing Gay Equality – Washington Blade

Although Ford did not take a public stand on gay issues during his presidency, gay activists have credited him with using his enormous stature as a past president and elder statesman to speak out for gay civil rights.

In a widely read interview in October 2001 with lesbian columnist Deb Price of the Detroit News, Ford called on his fellow Republicans to join him in supporting equal treatment for gay people.

“I have always believed in an inclusive policy, in welcoming gays and others into the party,” Ford said. “I think the party has to have an umbrella philosophy if it expects to win elections.”

When asked by Price if gay couples should receive the same economic benefits as married couples, such as Social Security and tax deductions, Ford said, “I don’t see why they shouldn’t. I think that’s a proper goal…I think they ought to be treated equally. Period.”

Ford’s gay-supportive comments in the Price interview prompted the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight alliance that advocated support for gay issues within the Republican Party, to invite Ford to join its advisory board.

****

Ford later expressed support for legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace.

In September 1975, shortly after Ford became president and years before he spoke out on gay issues, a gay man in San Francisco saved his life by grabbing the arm of a deranged woman as she pointed a revolver at Ford’s head. The incident occurred as Ford emerged from the Saint Francis Hotel, with more than 2000 people waiting to greet the new president. 

This piece was great to read because I wasn’t aware of President Ford’s presence on the board of the Republican Unity Coalition (to which I have donated in the past), or his position on gay issues.  That being said, I have always shared the same fondness for President Ford that Dan expressed earlier.

Although the media has been characterizing Ford as being somewhat of a transition figure from Rockefeller Republicans to Reagan Republicans, I believe history will show that in only two short years, Gerald Ford helped this nation ten times more than the man who defeated him in 1976.

Certainly Ford’s vocal support for gay equality completes my admiration of our 38th President.  Rest in peace, Mr. President.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Lieberman: We Need More Troops In Iraq

Thank God there is at least one sane Democrat who understands the stakes in World War III.

Why We Need More Troops In Iraq – Sen. Joe Lieberman, Washington Post

I’ve just spent 10 days traveling in the Middle East and speaking to leaders there, all of which has made one thing clearer to me than ever: While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging. On one side are extremists and terrorists led and sponsored by Iran, on the other moderates and democrats supported by the United States. Iraq is the most deadly battlefield on which that conflict is being fought. How we end the struggle there will affect not only the region but the worldwide war against the extremists who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001.

Because of the bravery of many Iraqi and coalition military personnel and the recent coming together of moderate political forces in Baghdad, the war is winnable. We and our Iraqi allies must do what is necessary to win it.

The American people are justifiably frustrated by the lack of progress, and the price paid by our heroic troops and their families has been heavy. But what is needed now, especially in Washington and Baghdad, is not despair but decisive action — and soon.

As the hostile regimes in Iran and Syria appreciate — at times, it seems, more keenly than we do — failure in Iraq would be a strategic and moral catastrophe for the United States and its allies. Radical Islamist terrorist groups, both Sunni and Shiite, would reap victories simultaneously symbolic and tangible, as Iraq became a safe haven in which to train and strengthen their foot soldiers and Iran’s terrorist agents. Hezbollah and Hamas would be greatly strengthened against their moderate opponents. One moderate Palestinian leader told me that a premature U.S. exit from Iraq would be a victory for Iran and the groups it is supporting in the region. Meanwhile, the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have bravely stood with us in the hope of a democratic future would face the killing fields.

In Iraq today we have a responsibility to do what is strategically and morally right for our nation over the long term — not what appears easier in the short term. The daily scenes of death and destruction are heartbreaking and infuriating. But there is no better strategic and moral alternative for America than standing with the moderate Iraqis until the country is stable and they can take over their security. Rather than engaging in hand-wringing, carping or calls for withdrawal, we must summon the vision, will and courage to take the difficult and decisive steps needed for success and, yes, victory in Iraq. That will greatly advance the cause of moderation and freedom throughout the Middle East and protect our security at home.

If only our Commander In Chief had as this much support in the American news media, the public would be as aware of the stakes as Senator Lieberman.  On the other hand, his fellow Senate Democrats like Christopher Dodd, John Kerry, Arlen Specter (yes, I know…) and Bill Nelson spent their holidays meeting with our enemy in Damascus

But Joe Lieberman is truly is an example of a Profile In Courage in our time.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Putting Freedom Above Football

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:00 am - December 30, 2006.
Filed under: Freedom,Heroes,War On Terror,World War III

Our final poll this week for Grande Conservative Blogress Diva has spurred me to re-visit four of my already favorite bloggers.  Michelle Malkin never fails to disappoint me with stories I don’t see (or hear) anywhere else.

Putting Freedom Above Football – Michelle Malkin/Baltimore Sun

There were signs. They were small signs, but they were there, and they suggested that Maryland guard Donnie Woods was serious about quitting football to defend his country.

An American flag hung from his locker, and he kept another in his room. Favorite movies? United 93 and World Trade Center. The hunter green camouflage Terps football hat he always wore. His criminal justice major.

Nobody, though – not even his parents – expected Woods to forgo his senior season of football to join the military or pursue a career in a police department with the hopes of eventually landing a job with the FBI or CIA.woods.jpg

“He sort of threw the idea out and we said, ‘Yeah, OK, sure Donnie, whatever,’ ” said his father, Don.

Said Terps center Edwin Williams: “He talked about it during the season, but nobody really listened to it.”

They’re listening now.

Woods, one of the Terps’ top offensive linemen, has contacted military recruiters, and the Montgomery County Police Department has contacted Woods. He will play the last football game of his college career Friday against Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. It was a decision he secretly made before the start of the season – while daydreaming one day in a summer class – and one he said he will not regret.

“I always wanted to serve my country,” said Woods, who will turn 23 on Jan. 27. “I think freedom is an amazing thing. I love what this country stands for. I want to give back for what we have. There’s no other high for me.”

Another American hero…. doing the jobs American liberals will not.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

DEATH OF A DICTATOR: SADDAM HUSSEIN EXECUTED;AMERICAN LEFT MOURNS TYRANT’S JUSTICE

**UPDATED**

hanging.jpg

Excellent news. 

Another important milestone in World War III is achieved tonight — the prosecution, conviction and execution of one of humanity’s great mass murderers and terror-supporters. 

GatewayPundit reminds us of Saddam’s cruelty and systematic reign of death.  America liberated the world of this beast.

Captain Ed takes The New York Times to task for its opposition to putting Saddam to death.  I’m sure the Times’ editors and those who follow them would rather see President Bush in the gallows tonight.

The reluctance of the Times to support Saddam’s conviction is puzzling, given that they concede all available evidence paints him as one of the worst monsters in the past few decades. It seems to spring from an objection to his sentence rather than his conviction, as they end with a warning that Saddam’s execution will not create a “new and better Iraq,” but that’s not the purpose of criminal sentencing, either. Sentences serve dual purposes: to protect society and to serve as a deterrent to others, neither of which has anything to do with creating a new and better anything.

Stay close to PajamasMedia for breaking coverage of the Saddam execution.

Mohammed at Iraq The Model is liveblogging the execution and related events on the ground in Baghdad.

**UPDATE** — As I predicted above, the American Lefties are calling on President Bush to be executed instead of recognizing the justice tonight for the hundreds of thousands of nameless Iraqis slaughtered at the hands of Saddam Hussein. (h/t – RedState)

**SATURDAY MOURNING UPDATE** — The American Left across the board are mourning the execution of Saddam Hussein.  Gateway Pundit has the full round-up of disgusting reaction from those who claim to be Americans.

saddamhanged.jpg

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

As Year Draws to a Close, Support these (or other) Charities

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:54 pm - December 29, 2006.
Filed under: General

As the year draws to a close, I, like many Americans, am making last-minute charitable contributions. Given my past donations, I seem to find myself on the lists of countless non-profits, many surely worthy cases. And while most make appeals, highlighting the problem they seek to address, the hard-sell of some often annoys me. As I was tidying my apartment earlier this week, I recycled (we can recycle paper in California) four 2007 calendars that arrived unsolicited.

I have drawers full of note pads and address labels — not to mention greeting cards. Yesterday, after mailing a donation to one veterans’ group, I returned home to receive yet another solicitation, the envelope informing me that my “personalized notepad and address labels [were] enclosed.” I didn’t order such labels — and was delighted to give without such a gift.

Some groups send me solicitations so frequently that I stopped giving. Others send out “Urgent” appeals on a regular basis. When I first started donating to Project Angel Food, an LA organization which delivers nutritious meals to people affected with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses, they would send me regular weekly mailings. I had donated to help provide food to sick people, not to receive more mail. Apparently, I was not the only contributor who did not welcome this volume of correspondence. The group has long since reduced the amount of mail they send out. And I have increased my contributions to that worthy organization — and encourage you to do the same.

Earlier in the week, Hugh Hewitt was promoting the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund which provides assistance to Marines injured in combat and training. This is another good group to support. Hugh also recommends Fisher House and Soldiers’ Angels, both of which I have supported in the past.

If your finances allow, please support one of these four groups — or other charities of your choice. If you do, you may well see an increase in the volume of your charitable solicitations. And what that may be burdensome, it may well provide further suggestions for future donations.

US Forces Rescue Iraqi Hostages Held By Terrorists

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 10:33 am - December 29, 2006.
Filed under: Freedom,War On Terror,World War III

News from the frontlines of World War III….. 

CAMP AL ASAD, Iraq – U.S. forces rescued two Iraqis who were held captive by insurgents in the Euphrates River-city of Hit, Iraq, Wednesday.

Soldiers from the Friedburg, Germany-based 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division rescued the kidnapping victims after pursuing insurgents who were fleeing in three vehicles containing the captives.     

In their escape, the insurgents fled on foot, abandoning their vehicles and victims.  The soldiers found the victims under a palm tree, handcuffed near the abandoned vehicles.  No one was killed or injured during the incident.      

“This demonstrates Coalition forces’ ability to quickly respond,” said Col. W. Blake Crowe, commanding officer for the Twentynine Palms, Calif.-based Regimental Combat Team 7.      

RCT-7 is the Coalition forces unit responsible for training Iraqi security forces and providing security in communities throughout more than 30,000 square miles in western Al Anbar Province.      

A search of the vehicles revealed multiple weapons and munitions as follows:

  • (7) RPGs
  • (5) Hand Grenades
  • (6) AK-47 Magazines
  • (1) Draganov sniper rifle with magazine
  • (1) 57 mm. Projectile
  • (3) Mortar propellant     

Further investigation revealed that the kidnapping victims were relatives of Iraqi policemen in nearby cities.  Marines here say the insurgents view the developing Iraqi police forces throughout western Al Anbar as their greatest threat.      

“They (insurgents) know that well-led, well-trained and well-equipped Iraqi police will defeat the insurgency”, said Crowe.     

Since RCT-7 assumed responsibility of the region in February, more than 2,800 Iraqi men have joined the ranks of police forces and are working in cities throughout western Al Anbar.     

1-36 is responsible for training Iraqi security forces and providing security in Hit, in support of “Operation Al Majid.”   Majid is an on-going, synchronized Coalition and Iraqi security forces “clearing and holding” operation intended to disrupt and defeat insurgent activity throughout more than 30,000 square miles in western Al Anbar Province.    

The operation began late last month. The battalion deployed to Iraq in February.

Another example of true American heroes doing the jobs that liberals don’t want themselves… and don’t want our military doing at all.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

GRANDE CONSERVATIVE BLOGRESS DIVAFinal Round of Voting!

Our final round of voting will go until 5PM Eastern on December 31, 2006.  Vote now and all week! 

Who Is Your Favorite Grande Conservative Blogress Diva?
Ann Althouse
Mary Katharine Ham – TownHall.com
Michelle Malkin
Sondra K – Knowledge Is Power
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

-Bruce & Dan (Your GayPatriots)  

Massachusetts, Mitt Romney & Marriage

Gay activists appear to be up in arms with outgoing Massachusetts Republican Governor — and likely 2008 GOP presidential candidate — Mitt Romney for requesting that the the state’s Supreme Judicial Court place an initiative on the Bay State’s ballot banning gay marriage and so overturning its Goodrich ruling mandating that the state recognize gay marriage.

Yesterday, that court held that “while state lawmakers have a constitutional duty to vote on a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage, the justices could not order the Legislature to vote.” Lee Swislow, executive executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, like many gay leaders and activists hopes the legislature won’t respond to the court’s invitation as she wants to keep the issue off the state ballot. Despite the hopes of these activists, the Massachusetts legislature may take up the issue next “Tuesday, the last day day of its current session.

Unlike Ms. Swislow and gay leaders, I hope the legislature puts this important issue on the ballot. By keeping it off the ballot, Massachusetts legislators would do a tremendous disservice to the cause of gay marriage. Since most polls show a majority of voters in the Bay State favor gay marriage, the initiative stands a good chance of passing. If it does pass, it would be the first time citizens in a state voted to approve gay marriage. (Last month, Arizona voters were merely the first to defeat a proposal which would have prevented state recognition of same-sex marriage and other similar unions.)

A victory in one state, even a deep blue one, would provide great momentum for the cause of gay marriage. Not only that, the initiative process itself would provide an important forum for debate on gay marriage. I believe very strongly that we need this debate, a chance for marriage advocates to put forward sound arguments in favor of changing this ancient institution to include same-sex unions.

Governor Romney may be appealing to social conservatives who vote in GOP primaries in pushing for such a referendum, but he may well serve to undermine the very cause these conservatives advocate — preventing states from recognizing same-sex unions.

Yet, gay leaders remain focused on keeping the issue off the ballot, even in a state favorably disposed to gay marriage. I remain puzzled at their reluctance to discuss this issue which is, I believe, of paramount importance to our community.

In Memoriam Gerald R. Ford

It is with great saness that I learned just a few moments ago of the passing of our nation’s 38th president, Gerald R. Ford. While this good man will, alas, merit little more than a footnote in American history, the only president never elected to nationwide office, he provided steady leadership at a time of national unease and, through his most controversial action, pardoning Richard Nixon, helped the nation move past Watergate.

This steady leader also inspired a young boy in Cincinnati who, after being disappointed with Ford’s predecessor, thought that the former Michigan Congressman helped restore honor to the presidency and helped make us all proud once again to be Americans. That boy took a bus downtown after school to volunteer for his campaign. At age 13, working for Jerry Ford, I got my start in American politics.

I met that good man when he came to Cincinnati in June 1976. I recall he was wearing a gray suit. He signed a paper in my notepad and was delighted that someone so young would volunteer for his campaign. I’ll always remember how his face lit up when he thanked me for my efforts on his behalf. It seemed he was almost laughing.

Yet, as president he was not always laughing. Called by some “an accidental president,” he only became Vice President when Nixon appointed him to the office after Spiro Agnew, the elected Vice President, had to resign for his role in a bribery scandal. Shortly after assuming the presidency himself, Ford found the media more interested in criminal proceedings against his predecessor than in his own plans to move America forward.

He reluctantly agreed to the pardon, telling then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “we’ve got to put this behind us, and go on with all the other things we have to do.” At the time, many people thought there had been a quid pro quo, that Nixon only tapped Ford to be Vice President so that when he resigned and Ford became President himself, he would pardon the corrupt former Chief Executive. But, there was no quid pro quo. While the decision hurt Ford politically — and probably cost him reelection in 1976 — most historians today agree that Ford made the right decision.

Such concern for the national interest would mark Ford’s short term in office. He stood up to the Democratic Congress, vetoing 66 bills, 12 of which were overturned. He was a level-headed leader at an awkward time in our history.

In the 1976 campaign, he recovered from a nearly 30-point deficit in the polls, to come within a whisker of defeating Jimmy Carter; he ran just 11,000 votes behind Carter in Ohio. After a tough Republican primary battle against Ronald Reagan, he surprised everyone with the energy and intensity of his fall campaign.

While he did not win that election, he conceded gracefully and retired a statesman. Barry Goldwater observed:

Ford was a good President, not a great President but a good President. He restored honor to the White House, and the country could not ask him to do more, or expect more. History should treat him kindly for that.

Historian Edmund Morris said, “Gerald Ford was our most underrated modern President.”

I will always recall my first political campaign — and my first loss. I had worked so hard to reelect the president that I was sure he would prevail. I went to bed on Election Night 1976 not knowing its outcome. When I woke to learn the sad news, I was so upset that I could not go to school.

Today, while sad at the passing of this good man, I am proud that I worked so hard to keep him office. Now that thirty years have passed since his loss, the American people have become better able to recognize Gerald Ford’s accomplishments, his leadership and his courage. He may have served only for a short time, but he did serve us well and gave his very best for the country we all love.

Thank you, Jerry Ford. When you took charge, there really was a feeling come over America that was wonderful to see. You did help make it better than it used to be. Thank you.

B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

Power of Movies to Entertain & Enlighten

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:15 pm - December 26, 2006.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

One of the many things I enjoy about this time of year is that, in order to better appeal to Academy voters who will soon be picking the Oscar nominees, Hollywood dumps all its “quality” films in December. Whereas a few months ago, there were only a handful of movies I really wanted to see, now there are at least a dozen. This past weekend, I saw one of those on my list, The Painted Veil, where once again Edward Norton distinguishes himself in a period piece. (He was quite good in The Illusionist as well.)

What distinguishes a movie like The Painted Veil (to me at least) is that the story resonates days after I saw it. One line of the Mother Superior (played so well by Diana Rigg) still rings in my ears as it kind of serves to summarize the flick: “When love and duty are one, then grace is within you.”

A movie, however, doesn’t have to resonate to entertain us. After dinner one night during the Thanksgiving break, my step-brother and I were channel surfing and we chanced upon the beginning of one of my favorite Bond films, Goldfinger, the third film in the franchise. I had expected to watch the film only until my favorite exchange:

James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Auric Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.

But, so much did I enjoy the flick that I suffered through the commercials and watched the whole thing.

Such is a good movie — one which you continue to watch even when you had intended to do something else.

There are a number of good movies out there this season, some I expect will be like The Painted Veil which will entertain us while we watch them and remain with us after we’ve seen then, nourishing stories which help us better fathom the complexities of our lives. Most will be more like Goldfinger which engage us when we watch them, but, despite a few select lines and images, quickly fade from our consciousness, stimulating neither thought nor reflection. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

Christmas Day Raid Nabs Key Terrorist Leader

While many of us spent yesterday with family and friends and celebrated the meaning of Christmas… many of our fellow Americans continued to work in the War on Terror to help rid the world of evil.

BAGHDAD - Coalition Forces captured the suspected leader of a murder and kidnapping cell during operations Dec. 25 near Baghdad. The suspect is allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of an Iraqi Army soldier as well as the kidnapping and murder of other Iraqi civilians in the area. During operations, Coalition Forces detained four additional persons for questioning. There was minimal damage done to objective. There were no Iraqi civilian or Coalition Forces casualties.

And for those of you who (like James Baker) who think the USA should negotiate with the Iranians….

The Bush administration said on Monday the arrest in Iraq of alleged Iranian provocateurs, including two diplomats, underscored U.S. concerns about “meddling” amid rising U.S.-Iranian strains.

U.S.-led forces detained the Iranians during operations “against those planning and plotting attacks against multinational forces, Iraqi forces and Iraqi citizens,” the State Department said.

“In the course of those operations, multinational forces recently picked up groups of individuals involved in these kinds of activities, including Iranians operating inside Iraq,” it said.

U.S. military and civilian officials in Baghdad and Washington did not respond to questions about any evidence the arrested Iranians were plotting attacks.

“We suspect this event validates our claim about Iranian meddling,” said Alex Conant, a White House spokesman, “but we want to finish our investigation of the detained Iranians before characterizing their activities.”

The War on Terror continues no matter what the season.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Be Not Afraid! I Bring You Good News Of A Great Joy!MERRY CHRISTMAS 2006

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:59 pm - December 24, 2006.
Filed under: World History

birth_of_jesus_christ_nativity_scene.jpg

 

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.  This was the first enrollment, when Quirin’i-us was governor of Syria.  And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.  

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  

And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.  And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

(Luke 2:1-14)

The MSM “Divining Stick” for 2008

In a piece noting the Boston Globe‘s biased coverage of outgoing Massachusetts Governor (and 2008 GOP presidential hopeful) Mitt Romney, Hugh Hewitt writes:

Negative MSM coverage of Republican candidates is like a divining stick pointing towards those Republicans the Democratic Party fears the most.

Hugh notes that one reason “Rudy Giuliani has credibility with [the] base despite his views on abortions rights etc is that the MSM clearly fears him.” Now just read the whole thing!

PatriotPooch Xmas-Gram

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 4:16 pm - December 23, 2006.
Filed under: Dogs
saxby.jpg

i wanted to let all of my dad’s readers know that i will accept any type of tasty food as presents for myself.  please send attention “saxby”.

thank you.

ps – we are all tired of shopping.

-saxby (patriotpooch)

Gay Penguin Book Causes Uproar in Charlotte

The big news of the week here in the Queen City has been the newspaper-driven controversy about the book, And Tango Makes Three.

Tango, the storybook penguin with two daddies, is headed back to the libraries of four Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary schools until a CMS panel decides the fate of the briefly banned book next month.

Superintendent Peter Gorman spent Wednesday fielding questions about penguins, homosexuality and censorship after the Observer reported that he and his staff banned “And Tango Makes Three” on Nov. 30. The picture book, based on a true story from New York’s Central Park Zoo, is about two male penguins who pair up and hatch an adopted egg.

Gorman said he “screwed up” by yanking the book. He blamed a miscommunication between him and Chief of Staff Robert Avossa.

After the Observer questioned the ban Tuesday, Gorman had his staff brief him on CMS policy for handling challenges.  The Tango books will be returned to Eastover, Hickory Grove, Mallard Creek and Myers Park elementary schools today, Gorman said.

“One of the copies I have right now,” he said Wednesday evening. “It’s in my briefcase.”

Before this, CMS hadn’t banned a library book in more than a decade.  Normally, a parent or community member would file a complaint that would be reviewed at the school in question.

Frankly, it is refreshing for a leader (elected or not) to take responsibility for his or her actions.  Gorman is new to his role and many things he has done have been a welcome change to the monolithic Charlotte-Mecklenberg School District.

Banning a book is not one of them, but admitting he messed up is.

Not having read the book, I can’t make a judgment on its merits.  But I do think parents have a right to challenge the idea of having a sensitive subject like gay parenting presented to young children in a cartoon-like book.

Meanwhile, an update on the original gay penguins

A quick recap: Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo, paired up and hatched baby Tango from an adopted egg. Their story was immortalized in a 2005 children’s book.

Meanwhile, Silo ditched Roy last year for Scrappy, a California gal. Wednesday’s report left some readers worried about Roy, after the Observer quoted a New York Times report saying he “has been seen alone, in a corner, staring at a wall.”

Roy remains a bachelor, says zoo spokeswoman Kate McIntyre. But she says readers shouldn’t fret.

“Penguins do that (look at the wall) when they don’t want to look at a visitor,” she said.

Silo and Scrappy nested together but failed to produce a chick. It seems Silo, a mature 19-year-old (penguins live to their mid-20s) took up with a much younger mate, who isn’t ready to reproduce.

Tango is 6 now and has found a mate of her own: Tazuni, another young female.

Ah….. what a “Will & Grace” ending.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

VOTE FOR GRANDE CONSERVATIVE BLOGRESS DIVA — Round One Ends Sunday!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:30 pm - December 22, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Mythology and the real world
   

Who Is Your Favorite Grande Conservative Blogress Diva?
Ann Althouse
The Anchoress
Little Miss Attila
Tammy Bruce
Dymphna of Gates of Vienna
e-Claire
Townhall’s Mary Katharine Ham
Sondra K of Knowledge Is Power
National Review’s Kathryn Lopez/K-Lo
Michelle Malkin
Virginia Postrel of Dynamist Blog
Kathy Shaidle of Relapsed Catholic
Alexandra von Maltzan of All Things Beautiful
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Let Kindness & Generosity be the Hallmark of your Holiday Season

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:20 pm - December 22, 2006.
Filed under: General,LA Stories

In her column today, Peggy Noonan imagines Brian Williams reporting on Santa’s journey this Christmas Eve. That NBC anchor concludes his fictive newscast, observing:

Santa comes to remind us that kindness and generosity can be a surprising gift from someone you don’t even know. To remind us that something can be a gift even if it arrives awkwardly, such as tumbling down a chimney. Maybe Santa comes just to touch our hearts.

I wish more people in LA paid attention to Santa’s reminder. We could use a little more kindness and generosity in this town.

Just yesterday, lunching at a local restaurant, I was amazed at the sullenness of the waitress. Perhaps she had had a bad day — or a busy holiday season. But her attitude seemed similar to that of so many others in her profession.

After my workout earlier today, I realized I would rather pay a few bucks more for a protein shake at the gym, then go over to the neighboring health food store where the shakes are cheaper, but where the staff tends to be as sullen and listless as my waitress yesterday.

That is, I would rather spend a buck or two extra and deal with a friendly clerk (at my gym), then have an indifferent clerk darken my day — and perhaps also delay my departure while she takes her time ringing up the customer before me.

At this time of year, we would all do well to let Santa be the reminder that Peggy’s Brian Williams imagines him to be. When we leave our homes and face our fellows, let us show them a little kindness, offer good wishes to a neighbor and smile at a stranger. And realize that if we so conduct ourselves in our professional lives, we may well increase our standing with our co-workers — and our clients.

Wishing all of you all a Merry Chanuka and a Happy Christmas, filled with good cheer and good friends, good health and much happiness.

B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

ADDENDUM: While I normally check Peggy’s column every Friday, Peter alerted me to this one before I had check the OpinionJournal website so a hat-tip is in order.

Al-Qaeda’s #2 Takes Credit for Democrats Election Win

Is there any doubt left that al-Qaeda sees the Democrats as the party of concession and defeat?

Al Qaeda has sent a message to leaders of the Democratic party that credit for the defeat of congressional Republicans belongs to the terrorists.

In a portion of the tape from al Qaeda No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, made available only today, Zawahri says he has two messages for American Democrats.

“The first is that you aren’t the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen — the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq — are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost,” Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News.

Zawahri calls on the Democrats to negotiate with him and Osama bin Laden, not others in the Islamic world who Zawahri says cannot help.

“And if you don’t refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate,” he said.

Since a number of Democrat politicians have been preening to Syria’s dictatorial government the past two weeks, I have no doubt that the Democras would look for a way to surrender to Osama bin Laden if they had the chance. 

-Bruce (GayPatriot)