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Ronald Reagan’s Christmas Message to the American People

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:48 am - December 25, 2009.
Filed under: Freedom,Ronald Reagan,We The People

On Christmas’ past, I have posted one of my favorite Christmas passages from The New Testament here at GayPatriot. This morning, as our nation deals with many troubles and challenges I thought a change was in order.

I am pleased to present President Ronald Reagan’s Christmas Address to the American people from Christmas 1981.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Merry Christmas from a Jewish GayPatriot

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:52 am - December 25, 2009.
Filed under: Holidays

In our first year blogging, I wrote a piece on why I, as Jew, wish people a Merry Christmas.  Then, as now, I felt it absurd that people try to strip this season of his sacred significance to Christians who celebrate today the birth of their Savior.  Knowing how holy this day is to those of that faith, I’ve keeping up my tradition, wishing people a Merry Christmas, wanting to share their joy with them.

Tomorrow, I’ll be doing just that with my brother-in-law, celebrating Christmas with him and my sister in their home as per their tradition.

Below, in slightly revised form, I include my original “Merry Christmas” post. 

In 2004, when our governor Arnold Schwarzenegger lit what most of us (including Jews) know as a Christmas tree. Some reporters sensed a controversy because his Democratic predecessor had called the decorated evergreen a “holiday tree.”

You see, that politically correct Democrat, like too many in our society, strove to eliminate all references to religion in public ceremonies and holiday displays. They seem to think that the Constitution has created some sort of wall of separation between church and state. Unfortunately, that expression (“wall of separation“) comes not from the U.S. Constitution, but from a letter of Thomas Jefferson. The actual text of the First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (quoting only the first part of the amendment referencing religion).

And frankly, this Jewish writer just doesn’t see how calling a decorated evergreen tree a “Christmas Tree” represents the establishment of religion. Or why it is so offensive.  And yet, so many over at the ACLU get their panties all in a bundle every time someone tries to put a religious symbol on public property.

Now this wave of political correctness has spread beyond the public square. Some corporations train their employees to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Indeed, a few of my friends worry that they might be offending me if they wish me a “Merry Christmas.” Those very individuals, some of them devout Christians, are touched when I wish them “Happy New Year” at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). Back in 2004, I lit the Chanuka candles for my mostly non-Jewish class of mythology students. They appreciated that I had shared this religious ritual with them.

Why should non-Christians be offended by a Christian’s sharing his or her joy in celebrating their religious holiday when they appreciate me sharing our joy in ours?

If someone wishes us a “Merry Christmas,” they speak from their heart, wanting to share the spirit of this festival (sacred to them) with us. So, let’s welcome their good Christmas wishes, even when expressed to their non-Christian fellows. (more…)

This Isn’t A Good Christmas Gift, Is It?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:18 pm - December 24, 2009.
Filed under: End of Human Race

Calling Senate Health Care Passage What It Is

Ed Morrissey explains it:

Harry Reid bribed members of his caucus to support the Democrats’ highest priority domestic agenda item.  Why?  Because it was so radical that not even all of the Democrats could support it until he started using taxpayer money to buy their votes. That’s not “deftness,” it’s crude corruption of the kind that Reid and the Democrats ran against in 2006 and 2008.

The more people find out what’s in this bill, the more they learn how it was passed, the more disgust they will feel for the party of government.

Christmas Eve Quick Survey

I’m just curious what people think….

Who Is More Corrupt?
Harry Reid
Tom DeLay
  
pollcode.com free polls

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

You only find the perfect gifts when you’re not looking . . .

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:18 pm - December 23, 2009.
Filed under: Family,Holidays,Random Thoughts

I just returned from last minute holiday shopping, actually, even though I’m Jewish, I can actually call it Christmas shopping as I’ll be spending Christmas Day in San Francisco with my Mom, my sister, her husband and their son (the most important person in the Golden State whose adorable mug has appeared multiple times on this blog).

Given that my brother-in-law celebrates Christmas, word is there’ll be some kind of festivities at their home.  So, today, I made sure to buy presents for all and sundry.  Until this afternoon, I never fully realized how draining gift-buying and present-wrapping can be.  It may well have been that I had no idea what I was getting for anyone, save my brother-in-law, until I set out on my various errands.  The good news is that I was also able to find presents for a niece and nephew whose birthdays are coming up.

I did learn today that one should never go to Target two days before Christmas.  Farmer’s Market was manageable, but the Grove was hectic.  I did find gifts for all, things that relate to family member’s various passions, tastes and preferences, but, given how much I spent, regret that I didn’t find any “home-run” gifts.  I mean, I always try to get something perfect for someone, such that when they open it up, their face will light up, knowing that their uncle, brother or son knew what they loved, having bought something that they really wanted. (more…)

Small Business Bankruptcies Way Up in Golden State

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:54 pm - December 23, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Entrepreneurs

Just up the street from me, a new business opened earlier this year in what had once been a furniture shop.  As I drove past it last week, the store was empty, the walls painted white, a “For Lease” sign perched in the doorway.  What struck me about this new business is that it was one of the few new enterprises I had seen in the Hollywood/West Hollywood neighborhood in the first year of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi era.  It didn’t make it to Christmas (or Chanuka for that matter).

Drive down the major commercial thoroughfares in this area, Santa Monica Blvd., Melrose, Beverly or 3rd and you’ll see a whole host of shuttered storefronts, with signs like “This Space Available” abounding.  Travel up the 5 to Sacramento and I would expect you’ll see a different sign.  While my friends in some professions report taking pay cuts so their employers don’t have to lay anyone off, state employees don’t appear to be suffering.  And many in the private sector in the Golden State have not been as fortunate as my friends with smaller salaries.

And the outlook doesn’t look good for California.  Small businesses, as even the President has said, create the most net new jobs.  But, as we learn via Jim Hoft, small business bankruptcies in the Golden State are far outpacing the national average:

“While bankruptcies are up, overall, small-business closures are up even more,” Headd [Brian Headd, an economist at the Small Business Administration's office of advocacy] said.

California has been particularly hard hit. The latest data show small-business bankruptcies up 81% in the state for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, compared with the previous year. Filings nationwide were up 44%, according to the credit analysis firm Equifax Inc.

The article focuses on the reluctance of banks to loan to small businesses.  Typical of the LA Times to ignore the burden of federal and state regulation which impact small enterprises the most.  Banks might lend more if the government didn’t attach so many strings to their lending of fear the legislation Barney Frank is pushing to regulate the financial sector even further. (more…)

HAPPY FESTIVUS!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 1:22 pm - December 23, 2009.
Filed under: Post 9-11 America

Today is the day.  It is a festivus “for da rest of us”!

Grab your aluminum pole, tape recorder and start thinking up your family grievances to air tonight at the dinner table!

Happy Festivus to you and yours from all of us at GayPatriot!!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Don’t Blame Republicans for Passage of Obamacare

Some conservatives, notably RedState’s Erick Erickson, are quick to blame Senate Republicans for failing to block the expected passage today of Harry Reid’s legislation to overhaul our nation’s health care system.  And while to be sure, the GOP reaction has been far from perfect, with Erickson himself offering some sound criticisms, on the whole, Senator McConnell has done a remarkable job.  He held his caucus together, even Republicans eager for media accolades as well as moderates from a state where John McCain got barely 40% of the vote and carried only one remote county.

To fault Republicans from blocking Obamacare (and some say it could still be defeated) is to look at a football team which starts the game on its own 20 yard line, with 50% fewer men on the field than its opponent who has home field advantage.  The referees are favored the larger lineup.   And with home field advantage, the opponents have packed the stadium with supporters eager to cheer them on and jeer the GOP team, pelting them with snowballs, tomatoes and rocks.  To be sure, our team has managed to sneak a few supporters into the bleachers.  And they held their own as the home team used fisticuffs to silence them, attempting to bite off their fingers and smear them as haters for daring to attend the game and root against the ol’ home team.

While it suffered all these disadvantages, our team still managed to slow the opponents’ advance, holding it back even as the refs continued to give the home team a new set of downs for only marginal advances. (more…)

Ma’am’s Incompetence & Harry’s Loony Legerdemain

If the election for the U.S. Senate seat for California next fall is waged on party identification, Barbara Boxer, the all-but-certain Democratic nominee, will win. If, however, it is waged on her record in the Senate, her ideological extremism and her responsiveness (er, lack thereof) to her constituents, the Golden State will send a Republican to represent it in the United States Senate for the first time since voters rejected the appointed Senator John Seymour, now nearly 18 years ago.

Simply put, after 17 years in the Senate, Ma’am hasn’t done much for the Golden State nor does she return here regularly to meet with her constituents and listen to our concerns.

As we learn the full details of the payoffs Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Mt. Crumpit) made with our tax dollars to various states to secure the votes of their respective Senators, we note one state severely short-changed, the state with the biggest population and almost the lowest rate of employment, the very state represented by the most unable Barbara Boxer in the United States Senate.  Our state is ailing, its coffers depleted and our Democratic Senator can’t deliver in an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate.

While “Nebraska’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in November,” roughly a third the rate in the Golden State, the Senate bill showers Ben Nelson’s bailiwick with goodies, but doesn’t offer much of anything special for Barbara Boxer’s backyard.   (more…)

This is the Change Obama Voters Hoped For?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:36 pm - December 22, 2009.
Filed under: HopeAndChange

CHANGELobbyists On Pace For Record Year.

Dick Cheney: Conservative of the Decade

I’m writing this on my iPhone with a new WordPress app. If it works, I’ll be blogging more!!

Yesterday, Human Events declared Dick Cheney to be the “Conservative of the Year.” (read the whole thing!)

In Washingtonian “inside the Beltway” terms, the most amazing aspect of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s new clout is that he is achieving it the old-fashioned way: talking about public policy. He is not running for President or any other office. He has not formed a PAC or a D.C. lobbying firm. He is not dishing on former colleagues, not spreading gossip, not settling scores. He is, instead, writing a memoir about his extensive career in public service, and giving occasional speeches and interviews, mostly on national and homeland security policy, long his central focus.

How is it, therefore, that someone who has no political ambitions can cause so much angst at the White House and in the mainstream news media? The irrefutable answer is that what Cheney is saying, primarily on foreign policy, defense and anti-terrorism, makes sense to more and more American citizens growing increasingly worried by the Obama Administration’s insouciance when U.S. national interests are threatened, both at home and abroad.

I’ll go one further. Cheney is without doubt The Conservative of The Decade and perhaps the most important and influential true American Conservative since Ronald Reagan.

Cheney proves again and again that he has core values and principles that are TRULY conservative and mirror the Founding Principles of this nation.

His devotion to individual American freedom and liberty is so pure that he becomes a progressive on the issue of gay marriage.

History will judge Cheney well. He helped make decisions that needed to be made to save the Republic. And I am confident that by 2012, a majority of Americans will only wish that Dick Cheney was our President or Vice President.

- Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from Dan):  The former Vice President is not only, as Bruce noted above, devoted to his country, but also to his family, including his lesbian daughter.  He has treated Mary as we wish all parents to treat their gay children, loving her for who she is, welcoming Heather, her partner, into the family as he has her elder sister’s husband, including that same-sex couple in official events, including three inaugurations.

It is unfortunate that more gay Americans, including the heads of various gay organizations, don’t give this good man his due.  They may not share his politics, but they should at least appreciate his example.

The Coercive Policy and Special Interest Politics of Obamacare

As Senator Harry Reid (D-Mt. Crumpit) rammed the Democrats’ health care overhaul legislation through the Senate, many conservative bloggers, pundits and even the New York Times reported the various payoffs to certain Senators to secure their votes.  Now, some bloggers, pundits and policy wonks (having the time the average Americans do not) have been scrutinizing the actual text of the bills which have cleared the House and Senate to find them stuffed with payoffs to various special interests favored by the Democratic Party as well as provisions of dubious constitutional merit.

And they’re pointing out the coercive nature of the bill itself, stipulating what the soon-to-be “mandatory insurance must cover,” as well as its costs and our penalties for failing to comply with that mandate.  Yep, soon, we’ll have government telling us what kind of insurance we should have.  And if our income is high enough, we won’t be able to comply by buying a cheaper plan offering only catastrophic coverage.  Young people who would rather save up for a house or a car or whatever they believe would best serve their personal interests and professional goals, will soon be forced to spend more on insurance offering benefits they don’t need and likely won’t use.

The nanny state provisions of the legislation are just the start of its problems.  The House bill, for example, includes generous payoffs to trial lawyers who have been generous in rewarding Democrats with campaign cash:

the Democratic majority in Congress has included multiple trial lawyer earmarks in the House version of Obamacare. Section 257 authorizes state attorneys general to sue companies that violate any federal health care provision and to delegate the work of such suits to class-action plaintiffs’ firms. Another trial lawyer earmark in the bill pays states not to enact caps on attorneys’ fees or lawsuit settlements.

Why can’t congressional Democrats let the various states decide to whom they delegate the work of enforcement?  Clearly, Democrats want to steer work to firms which support their candidates, increasing their income so they can keep paying off supportive politicians. (more…)

No Mainstream Gay Criticism of Kevin Jennings’ Errors & Excesses?

As more information comes out about the content of the books Kevin Jennings’ organization GLSEN finds appropriate for children in Grades 7-12, I have yet to find any heads of gay organizations or even non-conservative gay bloggers taking Kevin Jennings to task for his lax supervision of conferences he chaired for schoolchildren or for recommending books on or about homosexuality which are not appropriate for the age group.  No one even seem to question his judgment.  Or ask that GLSEN remove certain books from the list.

Perhaps, I’m wrong,  A few google searches surely don’t suffice to explore the universe of gay opinion.  So, maybe some of our readers have encountered criticism and questioning of this Obama official.  If you have seen something, let me know.

But, so far, I have reached a (tentative) conclusion:  the only gay people who receive criticism or censure from gay organizations, blogs or media are those who are open about their Republican politics or conservative views.

We need to do a better job policing our fellows.  Is this how we want to educate teenagers about the reality of homosexuality?

More on this anon, much more.

While Stealing Senators’ Christmas, Reid Asks for Christian Comity

According to Byron York, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Mt. Crumpit), after forcing the Senate to vote in the dead of night in the middle of the holiday season on bills hacked together in back rooms to meet a deadline that, the New York Times reports, he set, is asking his colleagues to get into the Christmas spirit:

“Let’s try to work through this,” Reid said of the protracted health care struggle. “For those of the Christian faith, we have the most important holiday, and that is Christmas, and we hope everyone would keep in mind that that’s a time when we reflect on peace and the good things in life, and I would hope that everyone would set aside the animosity and focus on that holiday.”

There is, Reid conceded “a lot of tension in the Senate.”

Yeah, Harry, you’re right, there is a lot of tension in the Senate.  Wonder if your evil-mongering rhetoric has anything to do with it.  Can’t remember the last time a Republican Leader, in the majority or minority, took to the Senate floor, telling opponents of a particular piece of legislation they were on the wrong side of history, likening them to supporters of slavery:

Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. . . .  When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.’

If that’s not the height of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.

If Harry Reid wants to inaugurate a new era of comity in the Senate, he could start by apologizing for his mean-spirited attacks, then agree to move up his retirement by a year, making it voluntary and not forced.

Health Care Debate Reveals Prejudices of Liberal Elites

Throughout my life, I have enjoyed some wonderful friendships with people on the opposite side of the political aisle.  With some, our conversations never turn to politics.  We focus instead on the passions we share and the activities we enjoy.  With others, we discuss politics, always striving to appreciate the sincerity of each other’s convictions.  Each knows that the other does not promote the ideas that he does, adhere to the ideology to which he subscribes or belong to the party which he has joined (or otherwise supports) out of dark and/or dastardly motives, but because he truly believes those ideas will best promote the general welfare.

Yet, there are some, on both sides of the political aisle and in the current debate, overwhelmingly on one side, with whom you can’t have a conversation.  They doubt the very sincerity of their opponents’ motives, believing they hold their convictions not because of a concern for general well-being of society and the individual freedom of men and women of all stripes, but because they want to put down men and (especially) women of a certain stripe (or stripes).

If someone opposes the policies they support, then that person is not just wrong, he’s racist too, misogynist, anti-gay and, well, a just plain evil-mongering dunce.

No wonder some gay people can’t relate to the conservatives in their midst.  Their prejudices against conservatives are so strong that they can’t imagine we came to our conclusions through a rational thought process.  They believe all conservatives seek to preserve a status quo advantageous to straight white men and, as that “quo” loses its “status,” think we want to return to those days when segregation was the rule and homosexuality was neither discussed nor tolerated.

But, the world has changed since such liberals fixed their views.

Yet, you wouldn’t know it from listening to the Senate Majority Leader or the junior Senator from California.  Or from the junior Senator from the Ocean State.  Sheldon Whitehouse has now joined a growing chorus of Democratic elected officials and liberal pundits comparing opponents of health care reform to Nazis and lynch mobs.   (more…)

How Some Audition for a Role in the Obama White House

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:14 am - December 22, 2009.
Filed under: Obama Health Care Tax/Regulation,Obamania

The ultimate Washington insider and purveyor of liberal conventional wisdom engages in a little hyperbole: Gergen Compares Senate ObamaCare Vote to Brown v. Board of Education.

Will Obamacare Passage Lead to Inverse Cloward-Piven?

While some conservatives have, in the past 72 hours, found a silver lining in the cloud of all-but-certain passage of Obamacare, others caution that the silver lining, Republican victories in next year’s election, will be ephemeral while the cloud, greater government control over our lives, will be permanent, a perpetual gloomy day.

When, they ask, has Congress ever repealed a federal program?  Even Ronald Reagan, in his heyday, was only able to contain the rate of growth of federal programs, he wasn’t able to eliminate any, even some which had long outlived their usefulness.  This, they argue, is just one more step on the road to serfdom, from which there is no turning back.

Some say Obama’s spending spree is part of the Cloward/Piven Strategy

to overthrow capitalism by overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands. The created crisis provides the impetus to bring about radical political change.

And this health care reform only helps accelerate that process.  A number of conservatives have referenced this strategy. Libertarian iconoclasts, like Glenn Beck, have followed suit.  Indeed, the Piven/Cloward thesis became all but conventional wisdom.  “It was,” Michael Barone writes, “widely supposed that economic distress would increase America’s appetite for big-government measures to restrict carbon dioxide emissions and control the provision of health care.

All this government spending, however, seems to be having having the opposite effect.  Never before has Congress enacted such a massive reform on a pure party line vote.  A number of Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in passing Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.  Popular opinion had not turned against those reforms at the time they were enacted.

This isn’t how Miss Piven and Mr. Cloward imagined things would turn out.  Not only do we have public opinion running against health care reform, we have the American people turning against government reforms of all kinds.   (more…)

Obama’s Earmark Explosion

During the campaign, Barack Obama promised to rein in earmarks.  He didn’t go as far as did his Republican rival who “pledged to eliminate earmarks and ‘veto every earmark pork-barrel bill,’” but in first debate, he did agreeing with John McCain “that the earmarks process has been abused” and vowed to clean up the process:

Absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.

Wonder if he’ll go line by line through the health care reform bill to eliminate earmarks and payoffs.  Even the New York Times have taken note of the legislation’s payoffs:

Items were inserted into the bill by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, to get or keep the support of various lawmakers. He needs support from all 60 members of his caucus to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass the bill by his self-imposed Christmas deadline. . . . .

Another item in the package would increase Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors in any state where at least 50 percent of the counties are “frontier counties,” defined as those having a population density less than six people per square mile. . . .

Another provision would give $100 million to an unnamed “health care facility” affiliated with an academic health center at a public research university in a state where there is only one public medical and dental school.

Kudos to the Times for pointing out that Reid set the Christmas deadline.  And for reporting these unusual expenditures.  These earmarks may lack the specificity of the kind in which Congress specializes, but not to worry, Harry Reid’s Senate has passed thousands of the old-fashioned kind:

Last weekend, the Senate passed an omnibus spending bill that contained 5,224 disclosed earmarks worth $3.9 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. Then this past Saturday morning, the Senate passed a Defense spending bill for fiscal 2010 that included 1,720 disclosed earmarks worth $4.2 billion.

Wonder if Obama will be going line by line through those 6,944 earmarks to make sure the federal government is not spending money unwisely.

2010 Grande Conservative Blogress Divas Nominees Announced

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:27 pm - December 21, 2009.
Filed under: Blogress Divas

After much discussion, Bruce and I finally settled on a list of nine distinguished divas blogresses to compete for the coveted “Ethel,” the prize which goes to the Grande Conservative Blogress Diva for 2010.  There were many qualified candidates and we debated increasing the number of nominees, but, in the end, settled on these nine distinguished web pundits:

To be sure, by keep the contest at a manageable number, we could not include each and every blogress worthy of consideration.

I expect to get a poll up until sometime tonight, at which time the balloting will officially begin.