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Scott Brown Won’t Rule out Voting to Repeal DADT

When Barbara Walters asked U.S. Senator-elect* Scott Brown (R-MA) where he stood on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he said he’d wait to hear from the generals before making up his mind:

I think it’s important, because as you know we’re fighting two wars right now. And the most — the first priority is to — is to — is to finish the job, and win those wars. I’d like to hear from the generals in the field — in the field — the people that actually work with these soldiers to make sure that, you know, the social change is not going to disrupt our ability to finish the job and complete the wars.

His answer shows he trusts the military to set its own policies.  I hope he’ll also consider the numerous studies which show that lifting the ban will not affect unit cohesion or morale.

So, it seems gay activists were wrong to fault this good man for supporting the ban.  His answer shows that he harbors no animus against gay people and that his primary concern is the effectiveness of the military.

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*Um, why is he still a Senator-elect and not a Senator and why is interim Senator Paul Kirk still voting?

First, it was Himalayan glaciers, now it’s the Amazon rainforest

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:01 pm - January 31, 2010.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming)

Can the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chairman Rajendra Pachauri get anything right?

A startling report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise.

(H/t: Instapundit.)

BTW, has anyone seen Al Gore recently?  Figured he might be back home in Tennessee given that his home state bore the brunt of the recent snow storm.  The global warming zealot always does seem to find himself where temperatures are coldest.

Joy Behar: Gays Unable to Fulfill Obligations of Matrimony
Gay Groups Silent

One of the main reasons I find it difficult to embrace the gay marriage, er, marriage equality movement, is that its proponents seem more interested in the abstract notion of “equality” than in the real institution of marriage. Its advocates are less interested in promoting marriage than in winning, to borrow an expression from my friend Dale Carpenter, a “trophy in the cultural wars.

We see this again this week when none of the national gay organizations took issue with those in the media who contend that gay people are incapable of meeting one of the primary obligations of matrimony:  monogamy.  Last Tuesday, January 26, on The View, Joy Behar said that gays, “don’t take monogamy and infidelity the same way that the straight community does.”  Two days later in the New York Times, Scott James reported approvingly on the number of gay couples trying “to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony.”  Many are omitting monogamy:

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area.  The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

Now, I don’t know what percentage of those couples consider themselves married.  And to be sure, while it wouldn’t be my choice to be part of an open relationship, I do believe individuals should be free to design their relationships as they see fit.  Open relationships may well be fulfilling to the individuals involved, but they’re not marriages.

Given that marriage is based on sexual exclusivity, to call a nonmonogamous union “marriage” is indeed to subvert the meaning of the institution.

By refusing to criticize those who see gay people as incapable of monogamy, gay organizations lend credence to social conservative arguments that gay marriage advocates seek to subvert the institution they’re ostensibly trying to promote.  I could find nothing denouncing Ms. Behar on the web-sites of the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Lesbian Rights or even Freedom (sic) to Marry.  Even my various google searches turned up no commentary from the head of these organizations taking Ms. Behar to task for her prejudice against gay people.  I could find none addressing the New York Times article.

As can be expected, it was only on blogs where gay people defended the ability of their fellows to meet the same conditions of marriage expected of our straight peers. The folks at Queerty responded that conversations about gay monogamy are best left in hands other than The View gals. Over at Good As You, Jeremy Hooper was astounded that Behar “could have such an uninformed opinion about gay relationships as a whole“: (more…)

The Contradiction at the Heart of Obama-ism

In 2008, Barack Obama won, in large part, in the same way that Bill Clinton won in 1992, Ronald Reagan won in 1980 and 1984 and Jimmy Carter won in 1976.  He ran against Washington.  In that way, he was able to tap into a frustration long shared by a substantial segment of the American people, a suspicion of an ever stronger state.

At the same time, however, that this Democrat was running against our nation’s capital, he and his congressional allies were developing policies which would centralize more power in a city which has often become an object of ridicule for those living beyond its narrow confines.  Peggy Noonan contends that he continued to push this contradictory message in his State of the Union address last week:

The central fact of the speech was the contradiction at its heart. It repeatedly asserted that Washington is the answer to everything. At the same time it painted a picture of Washington as a sick and broken place. It was a speech that argued against itself: You need us to heal you. Don’t trust us, we think of no one but ourselves.

The people are good but need guidance—from Washington. The middle class is anxious, and its fears can be soothed—by Washington. Washington can “make sure consumers . . . have the information they need to make financial decisions.” Washington must “make investments,” “create” jobs, increase “production” and “efficiency.” (more…)

Who’s Calling Whom Unpatriotic?

Remember back in the dark days of the Bush Administration when liberals were afraid to sleep at night because jackbooted thugs were readying to break down their doors and arrest them for speaking their mind?  When printing presses were smashed and internet servers disabled merely for carrying criticism of the then-incumbent president?

When it took great courage for a left-winger to walk down the streets or across a university campus lest he face an angry right-wing mob hurling insults and questioning his patriotism?

Well, those days are long gone.  Many liberals survived without serving a jail sentence for expressing their views.  And we’ve now learned that the conservatives challenging their patriotism existed on the fringes of the movement and in the imaginations of the left-wing punditocracy and blogosphere.

Well, today, via Byron York, it seems that we’re about to return to those dark days of the “aughts.”  New York Times columnist Frank Rich is at the vanguard of a movement to mete out the same treatment to conservatives that liberals experienced in his mind when the diabolical genius George W. Bush held the reins of power with evil henchmen Cheney and Rove controlling the secret police.

In his column yesterday, the one-time theater critic questioned a Navy veteran’s patriotism:

If [Harry] Reid can serve as the face of Democratic fecklessness in the Senate, then John McCain epitomizes the unpatriotic opposition.

As a new dark age emerges, let us hope that media are as vigilant in challenging Rich and his followers as they were in attacking those nameless conservative hordes who faulted noble men such as he for lacking patriotism.  York reminds us of Rich’s vigilance: (more…)

Administration lays groundwork for DADT repeal

On Thursday, considering what the president said in the State of the Union Address about repealing the ban on gays in the military, I wrote:

We have yet to see whether his Administration has, in private meetings with the Pentagon brass, laid the groundwork for repeal and whether its legislative liaison has been working with congressional leaders to set a timeline for moving the appropriate legislation forward.

Well, it appears that the Administration has indeed laid the groundwork for repeal:

The Defense Department starts the clock next week on what is expected to be a several-year process in lifting its ban on gays from serving openly in the military.

A special investigation into how the ban can be repealed without hurting the morale or readiness of the troops was expected to be announced Tuesday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

While it seems like such a process shouldn’t take so long, I do trust the military for taking charge of such matters.  It is important that this be done in a manner which does not impact in an adverse way the effectiveness of our armed forces.  The AP article quoted above also reports something of which I had previously been unaware: “the 1948 executive order for racial integration took five years to implement.”

The President also will be meeting next week with Gates to discuss repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.  But, while the Administration is working with the military to lay the groundwork for repeal, progress on the legislative front is much slower with “Democrats in Congress . . . unlikely to press the issue until after this fall’smidterm elections.”

Given the initiative the Administration has taken in working with military leaders on this matter, right now it seems those congressional Democrats more greatly merit the scorn of the gay left than does the president.

Was CBS wrong to reject gay dating site’s Super Bowl ad?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:18 am - January 31, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America,Movies/Film & TV,Sports

As you may have heard by now CBS  has “rejected an ad submitted by a gay dating website to air during next Sunday’s Super Bowl.

And all this hullabaloo has made me aware of mancrunch.com, a site with which I had heretofore been unfamiliar.  Moreover, since I’m not going to be watching the Superbowl, I likely wouldn’t have heard about them had CBS run the ad.  So, if the site owner’s purpose in proposing the ad were to draw attention to their site, they succeeded.

The ad shows two men making out.  And according to the Hollywood Reporter that was too much for CBS:

The network shot down the commercial Friday in a letter to the site — ManCrunch.com — saying the “creative is not within the Network’s Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday.”

Also the network said its sales department had difficulty verifying the credit of the site to guarantee payment of the estimated $2.5 million cost to air the ad.

The ad seems a pretty low budget affair, so it doesn’t appear the site has a lot of money to promote itself.  CBS should have just left it at the creditworthiness of the company without raising the standards issue

Saying it did raise that issue, the network has given the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) grounds to fault the network. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said, “This network should come clean to the public about what’s going on because this seems to be a homophobic double standard.”  Barrios is right to question the company.

Though, considering the questions about the company’s ability to guarantee payment of the cost to air the ad, it does seem to be “a publicity stunt.”  A lot of gay people now know about the site.

So, I’m wondering if the same folks who sued eHarmony for not offering a service to match up gay people will sue Mancrunch for not offering to match up straight people or lesbians for that matter.

HEADS-UP:  In the comments section of the Newsbusters piece on the hullabaloo, a very smart young man defends CBS on capitalist grounds.  You should be able to identify him by the quality of his arguments and the name of his family.

Was the Emperor Hadrian “Gay”?

Whenever I read some “accepted” text on homosexuality or see the section on homosexuality throughout history, I’ll be astounded by how many historical figures it labels as “gay.”  Now, to be sure, with many of them, there is some evidence they took a same-sex lover, described the beauty of members of their own sex or had otherwise manifested such attraction.  What was troublesome about the tactic of labeling such individuals as “gay” was the application of an identity established in our era to describe individuals from a period long gone.

The Native American berdache (or two-spirit) lived a far different lifestyle from that of modern gay men and lesbian.  A berdache was an individual who lived in the guise of the opposite sex, marrying a member of his (or her) biological sex, but (usually) assuming the social responsibilities of his assumed sex and always wearing its costume.  In many cases, this was not by choice.

But, could we say that they were “gay”?

Now, from what we know about Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde, the evidence is pretty strong that each great writer was exclusively attracted to members of his own gender.  And while some gay people want to claim Abraham Lincoln as their own, all available evidence suggests that he was bisexual at best (as it does for Cary Grant).

We today believe that our sexuality is an immutable characteristic, that someone is either born straight or gay, or that it is determined very early in our childhood.  But, was our sexuality always so?  We can peruse the documents that have survived of the world that existed before our forebears began considering the immutability of this characteristic.  While the ancient Greeks allowed men to take a young male lover outside the bonds of matrimony, with strict rules governing their sexual expression.  Aristophanes in the Symposium, posited that some people are drawn to members of their own sex, indeed pointing to the host of the gathering, Agathon, a just such an individual.  That tragic poet lived together with Pausanias and did not marry a woman.

More than five centuries after Agathon’s death, the Roman Emperor Hadrian maintained the pretense of marriage while taking a Greek (male) lover Antinous.  (All evidence suggests that his marriage was a most unhappy one.)  But, was he, by contemporary standards, “gay”?   Was he only attracted to men? (more…)