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On John McCain & Indiana Jones

I just returned from Senator John McCain’s press availability at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. It was first such event I have attended. I found the whole process as fascinating as the content of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s remarks.

Having had to rush across town (as I needed to pick up my car from the dealership–perhaps more on that anon), I had to wait outside to gain admission. I did arrive well before the “availability” was set to begin, but not well enough before. Those familiar with such events said you typically need to arrive an hour in advance.

A few of us “latecomers” remained outside as they needed to bring in a bomb-sniffing dog to check our equipment for explosives residue or some such. As one person put it, “We’re waiting for the dog,” which seems to be the title of some bad essay or mediocre movie.

Once inside, it seemed we local press were outsiders while the traveling press corps had developed a certain camaraderie as well as a sharp tone when questioning the Republican candidate, as if that were part of their job description.  As I’ll be covering this for Pajamas, I’ll save my reporting on what the Senator said for that post.

As I left, I passed a familiar-looking man in the hallway near the parking garage. When he ended his cell phone conversation, I introduced myself as a blogger to Senator Lindsay Graham. I wondered if I could ask him a question. Of course, it’s easier to think of a question when you’re sitting at home than when you’ve been running around all day.

Recalling that he had spent the holiday weekend at McCain’s ranch in Arizona, I asked him about that. They had a good time, the South Carolina Senator responded.  They watched the new Indiana Jones movie which he enjoyed because, as he put, “I like it when the old guy wins.”

Obama: Iran’s Dictator or US CentCom General?

As John McCain said yesterday, “Why is it that Senator Obama wants to sit down with the President of Iran, but hasn’t yet sat down with General Petraeus — the leader of our troops in Iraq?”

Good question. Let’s help encourage Senator Obama and have him visit our troops in Iraq (and Afghanistan) as well as meet with General Petraeus. Surely Obama wants to have all of the facts, since he regularly suggests President Bush only heard what he wanted to hear.

Here’s some encouragement, Barry…

(I’m not sure the counter is working here…. so I refer you to the top of the right sidebar!)

What IS Obama afraid of?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

GayPatriot’s America Podcast TONIGHT

Since there doesn’t seem to be anything on the Boob Tube (oh, can I say that anymore?) tonight, I suggest you pop on over to our little podcast show tonight.

UPDATED: Listen to GayPatriot’s America right here, right now!


GAYPATRIOT’S AMERICA

8PM EASTERN TIME ON BLOGTALKRADIO.COM

SUBSCRIBE TO GayPatriot’s America on iTunes.

We will be talking about a new documentary focusing on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the US government. The film is called Ask Not“.

ASK NOT is a rare and compelling exploration of the effects of the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The film exposes the tangled political battles that led to the discriminatory law and examines the societal shifts that have occurred since its passage in 1993. Current and veteran gay soldiers reveal how “don’t ask, don’t tell” affects them during their tours of duty, as they struggle to maintain a double life, uncertain of whom they can trust. The film also explores how gay veterans and youth organizers are turning to forms of personal activism to overturn the policy. From a national speaking tour of conservative universities to protests at military recruitment offices, these public events question how the U.S. military can claim to represent democracy and freedom while denying one segment of the population the right to serve.

Our guests tonight include the Director/Producer of the film, Johnny Symons; Al Steinman – Rear Admiral (Retired), USPHS/USCG; and Jarrod Chlapowski & Alexander Nicholson – Deputy Director and Executive Director of Servicemembers United.

Please join in the discussion tonight at GayPatriot’s America!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from John, Average Gay Joe): It was truly a pleasure and an honor to speak with all of these gentlemen last night. I just wanted to share some links to websites that were referred to and others that you can visit for more information.

First of all, 3 of our guests have their own blogs which are interesting to read. For anyone currently serving in the military, thinking of joining or if you just want more information about efforts to repeal the DADT policy, you can contact them through these sites :

  • Admiral’s Call (Al Steinman)
  • Showers & Foxholes (Alex Nicholson)
  • Ground Coffee (Jarrod Chlapowski)
  • Secondly, in addition to Servicemembers United, other fine organizations working to have the ban repealed include the following:

  • American Veterans for Equal Rights
  • Integrity In Service
  • Michael D. Palm Center
  • Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
  • Thirdly, the predecessor group to Servicemembers United spoken about on the podcast, The Call to Duty Tour, has some excellent video and audio I highly recommend to learn more that can be found here. Although these folks were not on last night, if you are interested in listening to a podcast by a gay soldier and his straight buddies who are all currently serving, I highly recommend the DADT Podcast. It’s very entertaining!

    Finally, for those interested in giving support to our soldiers overseas, as one listener asked about, please check out some of the fine organizations listed below. Give generously as their service and sacrifices for the country are certainly worth it:

  • America Supports You
  • Any Soldier
  • Armed Forces Children’s Education Fund
  • Armed Forces Relief Trust
  • eCarePackage
  • Fisher House
  • Help For Heroes (UK)
  • Operation Gratitude
  • Semper Fi Fund
  • USO
  • McCain’s Class in Television Appearances

    Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:42 pm - May 28, 2008.
    Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Movies/Film & TV

    For someone who lives in Los Angeles, I spend remarkably little time watching television. My own TV serves primarily as a screening device for the DVD movies and documentaries I own and rent.

    It seems the only other times I watch TV are when I am working out at my gym and when I’m puttering around the apartment, beginning the day, doing laundry and preparing meals. So, I do miss a lot of pop culture. I had never watched American Idol for more than I few seconds until a friend (and fan of the show) had come over for dinner and insisted we watch. I found it preferable to wash the dishes.

    Well, perhaps, if I watched more TV, I might have more quickly gained a more favorable impression of my party’s presumptive presidential nominee. On Sunday, while preparing dinner, I caught a bit of John McCain’s interview with Sean Hannity and was impressed with how he fielded questions about his sons, proud of their military service, but unwilling to boast about them. He believed family matters were private.

    Last night, I caught a bit of Ellen’s interview with the Arizona Senator. Once again, I came away impressed.

    He was graceful, if a bit awkward at times, in handling the conversation on gay marriage.  While making clear his support of the traditional definition of marriage, he wished the talk show host and her intended “every happiness” in her coming nuptials.

    The common thread of these two interviews was that John McCain did not seek to politicize the personal. While he has pursued a career is politics, he recognizes that all is not political.

    John McCain has shown tremendous class, humility and humor in his various TV appearances, at least those I’ve seen. And I’m wondering if he may end up playing better in that medium than does his more apparently telegenic Democratic rival.

    Obama may have a more electrifying presence, but McCain has a more solid one, both self-deprecating and confident. And watching the two together over time may increase his standing with the American public at the expense of his opponent.

    Or, maybe I’m basing too much on having seen only a limited number of his television appearances.

    On “Homophobia” Accusation & the Gay Marriage Debate

    Last March, I pointed out why I don’t use the word, “homophobia,” a term which many gay people and even those in the media use to describe anti-gay attitudes:

    Simply put, I don’t like the word. I understand that it means an aversion to homosexuality and gay people, but as a lover of words, I also know that it is derived from Greek words meaning same (”homo”) and phobia (”fear”) so it really means fear of sameness whereas I believe that most people described as “homophobic” are really afraid — or incapable — of understanding, appreciating and/or accepting difference.

    Reading Mark Steyn’s America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It , I learned that he also has difficulty with the word:

    “Homophobia” was always absurd: people who are antipathetic to gays are not afraid of them in any real sense. The invention of a phony-baloney “phobia” was a way of casting opposition to the gay political agenda as a kind of mental illness: don’t worry, you’re not really against same-sex marriage; with a bit of treatment and some medication, you’ll soon be feeling okay.

    While I do believe there are people who harbor a fear of gay people, I think Steyn is onto something. I’ve been amazed to discover the number of people who cast those who favor the traditional definition of marriage as “homophobic” or “anti-gay.”

    It seems that all too many use the term “homophobia” to dismiss the opponents of same-sex marriage. If they were serious about gay marriage, instead of bandying about this term, they would make an effort to understand their adversaries’ arguments and then take the time to rebut them.

    Questions for Scott McClellan

    If former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan were over 70, we might consider him for the Jimmy. With the upcoming release of his book, it seems he has learned something that he never seemed to master while in the White House, how to garner favorable press attention. It’s simple really. All you need do is attack George W. Bush, his team and his supporters.

    In this book, McClellan apparently emerges for a stance during his White House tenure which Bill Kristol defined as a “defensive crouch” to go on offense against his former Administration colleagues.

    With this offense, I have some questions for McClellan:

    According to Mike Allen, you fault the president for his “failure to be open and forthright on Iraq.” I agree he should have been more forthcoming on Iraq. But, Scott, you were press secretary, did you press the president to do so? Wasn’t that your job?

    Then, you go on to call the war a “serious strategic blunder,” contending it “was not necessary.” When did you come to that conclusion? If you came to that conclusion while working at the White House, why didn’t you resign? Or at least share these doubts with the president and your colleagues?

    You fault the Administration for its “excessive embrace of the permanent campaign approach to governance,” yet claim that you were “outside” the walls the president’s team “built against the media,” indciating you were not part of any White House inner circle. Wouldn’t an Administration engaged in a permanent campaign want to keep the press secretary in the loop so as to better get its message out?

    I’m eager to hear your answers to these questions and wonder why you have so completely embraced the rhetoric of the president’s “liberal critics.” Are you looking for the MSM to provide you your next job?

    I mean, now that you have offered red meat for the Bush-hating crowd, I’m guessing this book will put the kibosh on the rumors about you circulating on left-wing web-sites.

    What Is Obama Afraid Of?

    In a very savvy move the other day, John McCain “sharply criticized Democratic rival Barack Obama for not having been to Iraq since 2006, and said they should visit the war zone together”. In his support for the war effort McCain has been remarkably stalwart as Obama has been in seeking defeat at all costs. When it comes to the war against Islamofascists, Obama’s ‘plan’ appears to be nothing more than retreat and appeasement – neither of which he has been very good at disguising in rhetoric for “change” and “hope”.

    “Look at what happened in the last two years since Senator Obama visited and declared the war lost,” the GOP nominee-in-waiting told The Associated Press in an interview, noting that the Illinois senator’s last trip to Iraq came before the military buildup that is credited with curbing violence.

    “He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time,” the Arizona senator added. “If there was any other issue before the American people, and you hadn’t had anything to do with it in a couple of years, I think the American people would judge that very harshly.” (Yahoo! News)

    As per their usual strategy of spin and ignore, the Obama campaign released this response to McCain’s proposal through its spokesman Bill Burton:

    John McCain’s proposal is nothing more than a political stunt, and we don’t need any more ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners or walks through Baghdad markets to know that Iraq’s leaders have not made the political progress that was the stated purpose of the surge. The American people don’t want any more false promises of progress, they deserve a real debate about a war that has overstretched our military, and cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars without making us safer. (TPM)

    What is Obama afraid of? Even if the idea of travelling to Iraq with McCain is a political impossibility, surely someone who is putting themselves forward as the next Commander-in-Chief can see the wisdom of getting an accurate picture of the facts on the ground as they exist now? After all, a lot has happened since early 2006 and unless Obama wants his position to be dismissed by the voters as the naive empty rhetoric it truly is, he should at least do like Eisenhower did and go to Korea Iraq.

    C’mon Barry, what are you afraid of?

    – John (Average Gay Joe)

    RELATED UPDATE FROM GAYPATRIOT:

    Judgment Day Is Near

    I’ve asked this question before, and I guess I’ll have to ask it again….

    HAVEN’T THESE PEOPLE SEEN THE TERMINATOR SERIES?

    Rex Jameson bikes and swims regularly, and plays tennis and skis when time allows. But the 5-foot-11, 180-pound is lucky if he presses 200 pounds—that is, until he steps into an “exoskeleton” of aluminum and electronics that multiplies his strength and endurance as many as 20 times.  With the outfit’s claw-like metal hand extensions, he gripped a weight set’s bar at a recent demonstration and knocked off hundreds of repetitions.  Once, he did 500.

    “Everyone gets bored much more quickly than I get tired,” Jameson said.

    Jameson—who works for robotics firm Sarcos Inc. in Salt Lake City,which is under contract with the U.S. Army —is helping assess the 150-pound suit’s viability for the soldiers of tomorrow. The suit works by sensing every movement the wearer makes and almost instantly amplifying it.

    The Army believes soldiers may someday wear the suits in combat, but it’s focusing for now on applications such as loading cargo or repairing heavy equipment. Sarcos is developing the technology under a two-year contract worth up to $10 million, and the Army plans initial field tests next year.

    But the technology already offers evidence that robotics can amplify human muscle power in reality—not just in the realm of comic books and movies like the recently debuted “Iron Man,” about a wealthy weapons designer who builds a high-tech suit to battle bad guys.

    Or… to kill all of the good guys.  CALLING SARAH CONNOR! PICK UP THE PHONE PLEASE!

    *sigh*

    -Bruce (GayPatriot)