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The nature of Hugo Chávez’s appeal on the American left?

Does Rich Lowry get it?

Chávez got his first political break in a failed military coup and never lost his taste for militarizing politics. Fidel Castro was his mentor, and he propped up the Castro regime with Venezuela’s ample oil. He funded guerrillas warring against the democratically elected government of Colombia. He praised every heinous dictator around the planet as a brother-in-arms. He was hell on the plutocrats, and also on the Jews. “Don’t let yourselves be poisoned by those wandering Jews,” he warned his countrymen, in a sentiment worthy of the 15th century.

All of this should make Chávez an unsympathetic figure for everyone in America. Not so, sadly. For some, all is forgiven if you hate the rich with a white-hot passion and talk the language of populist redistribution, while wrapping your program in a bow of rancid, paranoid anti-Americanism. Then, every allowance will be made for your thuggery. Everyone will obsess about your colorful and charming personality. And praise you when you’re gone.

Emphasis added.  Via Powerline Picks.

Social Psychology, Politics, and Disgust

I saw this item at Reason.com the other day.  It’s a short piece reflecting on a video of a speech by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt talking about how one’s “sensitivity to disgust” is supposedly some sort of predictor of one’s political views.  I haven’t watched the whole video yet, but the speech was given at the Museum of Sex in New York City, so some amount of its content seems designed to appeal to the audience that would be attending a speech in that location.

Jim Epstein at Reason.com summarizes the key points of the speech as follows:

“Morality isn’t just about stealing and killing and honesty, it’s often about menstruation, and food, and who you are having sex with, and how you handle corpses,” says NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who is author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics.

Haidt argues that our concern over these victimless behaviors is rooted in our biology. Humans evolved to feel disgusted by anything that when consumed makes us sick. That sense of disgust then expanded “to become a guardian of the social order.”

This impulse is at the core of the culture war. Those who have a low sensitivity to disgust tend to be liberals or libertarians; those who are easily disgusted tend to be conservative.

The full video of the speech is available at the above link.

My reaction to all this is that it 1). depends on how one defines conservative, and 2). it depends on what kinds of things one labels or considers to be examples of disgust.

With respect to point 1)., I think that a large portion of the conservative coalition is rather heavily libertarian-leaning, and it just makes more sense for us to identify as conservative and vote for Republicans because  the Libertarian party seems doomed to remain a fringe party, at least as long as that party’s leadership continues to endorse an isolationist or head-in-the-sand approach to foreign policy.  Now while it may be the case that many traditional “social conservatives” have a “high sensitivity to disgust” with respect to issues of sex, I’m not even convinced that that is as widely the case as Haidt’s remarks suggest.  I’ve heard socially-conservative Christian ministers talk about sex in ways that show they may have a better understanding of the variety of human sexual experience than many academics who claim to be experts on the subject.

On the other hand, with respect to point 2)., I can find many, many examples of “disgust” fueling the attitudes of liberals and leftists.  One could begin by looking at their intense hatred of Sarah Palin and anyone like her.  Some of that hatred, I would argue, was fueled by a disgust at the lives of anyone who doesn’t live the life of a modern liberal in a major coastal city.

Most modern liberals are disgusted by hunting, by the people who shop at Wal-Mart, by the petroleum industry, by the food industry, by the military, by evangelical Christians, and by the reality of life in small-town, rural America.  James Taranto and British Philosopher Roger Scruton call it “oikophobia”: it is a worldview which accepts or excuses the transgressions of select special-interest groups or of non-western cultures, while it judges the familiar by a harsh standard and condemns them with expressions of disgust at the nature of their lives.

Christian Radio Show Host Wants Gays Tortured

Aw crap…. I incorrectly spelled “Muslim” in the headline.

Ofcom upheld two complaints from listeners about Leeds based Radio Asian Fever after presenter Rubina Nasir hit out at homosexuality and mixed faith marriages.

She said that homosexuals should be ‘beaten up’ and that a Muslim marrying a non-Mulslim was on ‘the straight path to hellfire’.

The presenter, known as ‘Sister Ruby’, said: “What should be done if they do it? [practise homosexuality].

“If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture.””Allah states, ‘If they do such a deed [i.e. homosexuality], punish them, both physically and mentally.

It’s unfortunate that Advocate Magazine is too busy printing hatred of fellow Americans instead of focusing on systematic anti-gay actions by Islamic regimes in Egypt and Iran that prefer their gays on the end of ropes.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Carney clueless about Islamofascist anti-Americanism

Somebody needs update White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the anti-American nature of Islamicist movements. In his press briefing earlier today, he claimed that those protesting in the Middle East are not angry at the United States or its policies, but because of a video released on the Internets.

Via the Blaze, also National Review.

The video was only a pretext.  The protesters were planing to protest.  This mentality is akin to that of the statement the Romney campaign criticized — and which the State Department later retracted.

Oh, and, when Mitt Romney initially criticized that statement, it still stood as the only one of three administration reactions to the attacks on our embassies. The embassy statement stood for nearly fourteen hours until the Obama administration claimed it had not been “cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government”. [NB: Tweaked this paragraph by adding in the italicized words and striking the “struck” words when I learned that Secretary of State Clinton condemned the Benghazi violence before Romney released his statement.]

UPDATE:  A reminder to Mr. Carney:  The attack was pre-planned:  “According to U.S. intel, the attack on the Benghazi consulate was pre-planned and unrelated to the protest over the movie outside the building, except to the extent that it used the latter as a diversion for security.”

We Interrupt Our Petty Lives for this Announcement:

Ever since I first heard of Yousef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian pastor held captive in that horrible subnormal nation by its rulers for the crime of apostasy, I’ve had as my homepage at work the American Center for Law and Justice website which had been counting the days of his incarceration.

That count has ended.

While I was out of town this weekend with my partner and away from the news, Pastor Nadarkhani was released by the court that had originally sentenced him to death. The charge of apostasy has been reduced to that of evangelizing, and his punishment to time served.

There is so much to say that if I did would look like gift-horse material. For now, let’s all just say a prayer of thanksgiving that he has been delivered from these savages and is currently back in the embrace of his family.

Let’s also further pray that now that he’s out of jail he will find safety. All to often in places like Iran, prisoners of conscience are released from official bondage only to be torn apart by the mobs that populate such backward countries.

If you’d like to know more about Pastor Nadarkhani and his trials, check out the link to the ACLJ above.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

They Turned Their Backs On God — Three Times

Someone did that to Jesus, too. Until he became a believer. (YouTube video restored)

This is the modern Democratic Party: anti-religious, anti-freedom, anti-liberty and anti-Israel.  Truly an extremist party if ever I’ve seen it.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Democrats Boo “God” & “Jerusalem” As Platform Chaos Ensues

Well, I am SURE not going into Uptown Charlotte now… until the Godless Democrats leave town!

YouTube Preview Image

If there was any doubt as that anti-Christian and anti-Israel forces have taken over the Obama Democrat Party, there should be none after today.

America worships God and Our Creator, not Barack & Michelle.

 -Bruce (GayPatriot)

Maybe Dan Savage Was Confused?

I just noticed this quote from Savage’s wild-eyed bullying tirade…

“There is no effort to amend state constitutions to make it legal to stone women to death on their wedding nights if they’re not virgins — at least not yet,” Savage said. “We don’t know where the GOP is going these days.”

“People are dying because people can’t clear this one last hurdle,” he said. “They can’t get past this one last thing in the Bible — about homosexuality.

If I didn’t know better, I would think he was criticizing Islamic governments around the world that routinely stone women & hang gays NOW. I don’t recall an American government official doing anything of the sort in at least 50 years. And back then, it would have most likely been a Democrat.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Why do leaders like Havel not win more accolades*?

Don’t expect the media to make a big deal of it,” writes Rand Simberg about the passing of an artist who devoted much of  theatrical career to challenging Communism.

Although Vaclev Havel stood up for artistic freedom and defended the political systems which allowed for freedom of expression, he never achieved the accolades as did many with fewer accomplishments and a smaller vision.  He was, as Simberg put it,

. . . the wrong kind of dissenter, being too American for Europe. The fact that he never won a Peace Prize, while Yasser Arafat and Barack Obama did, says something very fundamental about the corruption and uselessness of that once-honorable achievement.

(Via Insapundit.)  Why do so many on the left so often champion those voices dissenting not just the systems which oppressed them, but also the Western ideals which promote the very idea of dissent?

Bruce Bawer thinks we need more leaders like Havel.   More on this great man, anon.  Much more.

*from Western intellectuals.

Jamie Kirchick’s window into (the reactionary nature of) contemporary liberalism

On Monday, realizing that nearly 500 e-mails had accumulated in my blog and personal e-mail accounts, I started wading through them, going through nearly 200 e-mails.  I did catch a few personal ones I missed, but most (fortunately!) were just links to (or summaries of) news and opinion pieces which I mostly skimmed over.

A number caught my eye, including this one from the globe-trotting Jamie Kirchick:

The subtitle struck me even more than the title, “The political legacy of opposition to apartheid has devolved into hostility toward the West — and sympathy for anyone else engaged in ‘anti-imperial struggle'”. It’s almost as if that statement defines many facets of American liberalism — and other left-wing ideologies — particularly since the Civil Rights movement.

All too many on the left saw segregation not as an ugly stain on a noble experiment, but instead as a defining aspect of America. In opposing that heinous system, many became hostile toward the United States and, by extension, the West. Their animosity is often furthered by the way the legacy of the Civil Rights’ movement is taught on college campi. Western civilization, our teachers tell us, is fundamentally hostile to “the other.”

No wonder some left-wing outfits show support for the ostensible representatives of other oppressed groups, even when those representatives are themselves hostile to those supposedly represented by the groups themselves. Witness Codepink. Or “Queers for Palestine.

All too few (alas!) recognize that Dr. King drew on the very best of the Western tradition in crafting his (successful) movement to end segregation, frequently citing, in his speeches, our country’s founding documents and national hymns and regularly referencing Scripture and lessons drawn from his education in Christian theology.

Why is Codepink supporting Gaza flotilla?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:06 pm - June 23, 2011.
Filed under: Anti-Western Attitudes,Liberal Hypocrisy

Seven months ago today, Khaled Abu Toamah described the plight of women living in the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip:

Since Hamas seized full control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Palestinian women have been deprived of many of basic rights, such as strolling along the beach alone or smoking in public. Under Hamas, female lawyers are not allowed to appear in court unless they are wearing the hijab.

They are also barred from going to male hairdressers. A woman who is seen in public with a man is often stopped by Hamas policemen and questioned about the nature of the relationship between them.

Women in the Gaza Strip who have dared to participate in public political and social events have been repeatedly harassed by the Hamas government. As a result, many of them have been forced to stay at home out of fear for their lives.

Yet, over on Codepink’s website, we find this:

Why is this women’s organization so concerned about how the nation in the Middle East which provides the fewest restrictions on women because of their gender treats a flotilla providing supplies to an enclave run by terrorists who treat women as third-class citizens?

Guess these folks are so opposed to “U.S. funded wars and occupations,” as they bill it, that the enemy of their enemy is their friend even if said “friend” restricts women from participating in civil society.

Where’s the Syria Flotilla?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - June 17, 2011.
Filed under: Anti-Western Attitudes,Liberals,Politics abroad

Reading Glenn’s report of efforts to stop the Gaza Flotilla, I started wondering if those do-gooders eager to help those suffering under the Islamicist tyranny in Gaza had organized such aquatic caravans to provide relief to those suffering under similar regimes in Syria, Iran and Libya or in such impoverished places like Somalia.

BIN LADEN IS DEAD

I’m on the west coast on business and last night at about 8pm Pacific time, I was getting frantic texts from home: “Obama will be giving a major national security speech from the solemnness of The White House at 10:30pm. Very weird, especially for this President who prefers cheering audiences as much as his TelePrompTer.

And then came the words I had longed to hear for nearly 10 years: Osama bin Laden is dead.

I began to cry as I thought of the thousands incinerated, slaughtered, and fell to their deaths on Sept. 11, 2001.

My heart goes to the family of our close friend — Joe Ferguson — who died when Flight 77 slammed into the side of the Pentagon that bright blue September morning. I hope they will have some sense of closure. The War isn’t over, but the AQ Commander In Chief has been defeated in battle.

My hearty thanks goes to our intelligence and defense communities. A big thanks to President Obama, CIA Director Panetta and SecDef Robert Gates for what appears to be a rare coordinated intel/military ops that worked flawlessly.

Finally, nothing can express my grief and sadness toward the families of 9/11 victims and to those families who gave our nation their sons and daughters in the first round of the Global War on Islamic Terror.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!

Must white Christians be to blame for all the world’s ills?

You’ve got to wonder at our mainstream media, eager to report the shenanigans of a crackpot preacher with a congregation of about 50 families.  Had the media not made an international celebrity out of Terry Jones, few people outside of the neighborhood surrounding his “Dove World Outreach Center” in Gainesville, Florida would have known this publicity-hungry former hotel manager was going to burn a Koran.

And now that he has carried out this juvenile stunt, we’ve seen murder and mayhem in Afghanistan:

Stirred up by a trio of angry mullahs who urged them to avenge the burning of a Koran at Florida church [sic], thousands of protesters overran the compound of the United Nations in this northern Afghan city, killing at least 12 people, Afghan and United Nations officials said…

Unable to find Americans on whom to vent their anger, the mob turned instead on the next-best symbol of Western intrusion — the nearby United Nations headquarters. “Some of our colleagues were just hunted down,” said a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Kieran Dwyer, confirming that the attack.

Via Daily Caller via Instapundit.)  And “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)” has told “CBS’s Bob Schieffer . . . that some members of Congress were considering some kind of action in response to the Florida Quran burning that  sparked a murderous riot at a United Nations complex in Afghanistan and other mayhem.”

“People,” Doug Powers quips, “were murdered in Afghanistan and members of Congress are pondering how to clamp down on somebody who burned a book in Florida. Now that’sproblem solving, DC-style.

What is it about our political and cultural “elite” that they have to pin the blame for a murderous rampage on the antics of self-promoting Christian rogue. It’s as if, they believe, that the worlds ills stem from the actions and attitudes of white Christian males, the very aspects of their culture rejected by the politically correct.

American Christians must be to blame; the foreign other is always blameless. (more…)

Kenyan Prime Minister (and Obama Cousin) Rounds Up Gays

I guess real Hope & Change for The Gays comes at the expense of everyone in the Obama Family.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has ordered a nationwide crackdown on homosexuals in Kenya.

Mr Odinga on Sunday said that police should arrest anyone found engaging in such behaviours and take appropriate legal action against them.

“We will not tolerate such behaviours in the country. The constitution is very clear on this issue and men or women found engaging in homosexuality will not be spared,” Mr Odinga said.

“Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested. Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested,” the premier warned.

Speaking at a public rally at the Kamukunji grounds in his Nairobi’s Kibera constituency on Sunday afternoon, the Prime Minister cited the recent population census results which put the ratio of men to women equal and wondered why people should engage in homosexuality.

“This [homosexual] kind of behaviours will not be tolerated in this country. Men or women found engaging in those acts deserve to be arrested and will be arrested,” he told a hilarious crowd.

Jim at GatewayPundit reports:

While visiting Kenya as a guest of the government Obama campaigned with opposition leader socialist Raila Odinga, who claims he is Obama’s cousin.

Don’t expect any of the American Gay Leftist Lickspittles to protest this Obama family state-sponsored action.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

REPOST: The Mathematical Formula for Barack Obama

UPDATE:  I just found this post that is nearly a year old.  It still seems to fit (even MORE so now, perhaps). 

Take the very worst personal and leadership traits of these Presidents:

lbj nixon carter

Combine the Socialist, statist and world-view philosophy of this one:

wilson

And add the big-spending ways of this one:

bush

And you get this big mess:

obama

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Progressive Protestor Discloses The True Goals of “Social Justice”

Ben Howe confronts a Progressive protesting the “Restoring Honor” rally yesterday.  Funny how the event was at the Lincoln Memorial…. but the misguided protestor was lamely hanging out by himself at the Washington Monument.  Heh.

This  is three minutes of pure fun as Ben rips this guy apart and demonstrates the sheer lack of principles of the Progressive movement.  At the end, the poor fool stammers and shouts “Well, you’re a RACIST and an IDIOT.”  Yup, when their intellectual argument breaks down after three minutes — Progressives pull the race card out as their last gasp of hope. 

This is why I don’t associate with the Gay Left — straight, gay or whatever — this protestor exemplifies the Progressive movement; and the Gay Rights crowd are a keystone of the American Progressive movement.

It IS all about redistribution of wealth.  But that isn’t “social justice” folks; it’s Marxist-Communism.

UPDATE: Ben Howe will be my guest tomorrow night on my BlogTalkRadio show, “GayPatriot’s America” at 8:30PM Eastern Time.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Oliver Stone Takes Western Notion of Self-Criticism Too Far

Speculating about the media’s (and Hollywood’s) double standard in responding to anti-Semitic tirades from Hollywood bigwigs, Jeff Jacoby concludes:

Gibson and Stone are both guilty of indulging in rank anti-Semitism (for which both promptly “apologized’’), but only Gibson was buried under a newsroom avalanche of outrage and disgust. What explains that glaring difference? Surely the media don’t think Jew-baiting is intolerable only when it comes from a right-wing Christian like Gibson. Surely they wouldn’t overlook Stone’s noxious rant just because he is a pluperfect left-wing activist.

(Via Instapundit.)  And as Glenn might say, read the whole thing.

Jacoby’s right, but there’s more to it than that Gibson represents a dying breed, the anti-Semitic “right-wing Christian,” Oliver Stone embodies a certain breed of self-styled intellectuals, always present, but now increasing in number, in our culture:  the left-winger who includes Jews in their list of people responsible for world problems.

There are, alas, all too many folks like Oliver Stone who see all the world’s problems as products of Western hegemony.   They cuddle up to tin pot tyrants, looking away from their failing economies and dismal human rights record and see only problems in the societies of which they themselves are products.

It’s almost as if they have so internalized our culture’s laudable tradition of self-criticism, that they believe only our culture merits criticism.

How to explain liberal fascination with left-wing tyrants*?

On Monday, in the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary (available by subscription), Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote about how Oliver Stone’s film South of the Border, “which lauds Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez as the nation’s messiah, has flopped spectacularly in, of all places, Venezuela”

To be fair, the film is about more than Mr. Chávez. It also praises the region’s latest crop of left-wing authoritarians, from Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Mr. Stone’s favorite Latin bad boy, Fidel Castro. In Mr. Stone’s mind, however, none is more unjustly maligned than Mr. Chávez. The director pulls no punches in his admiration for the Bolivarian bully. “I think he is an extremely dynamic and charismatic figure,” he told the press last year. “He is open and good-hearted, as well as a fascinating personality.”

And this got me wondering why so many liberals in America’s cultural élite, particularly self-described intellectuals. have become so fascinated with despotic rulers like Chávez and Castro.  (I doubt their views would change if they talked to some of the refugees from those tyrannical paradises, including a number of gay people of my acquaintance.)

For such cultural élitists, a critique of Western society has become admiration for, if not adoration of, its enemies, no matter how diabolical their ideas or record (in office).  These tyrants may preside over systems far worse than those the élite criticize, but so long as they oppose such systems, they are (to the élite at least) by definition, worthy of adulation.

——–

*and other demagogues.

Today’s Must Read: Is US Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

Thomas Sowell, one of our time’s great political thinkers, has a chilling piece up today

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

The president’s poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don’t believe in constitutional government.

That last bolded statement is so simple and true.

When it comes to Sowell’s question though, I believe the answer to it is: “We are already there.”  I think the next few weeks, especially events toward the end of the year, will show if Americans want to give up 200 years of our Constititutional experiment and drift into a dark age of tyranny.

Last summer I asked readers “Is The US In A Low Grade Civil War?”   I stated seven reasons why I thought so:

  1. There is a clear distinction between those who want a more authoritarian/socialist nation versus those who want to preserve the capitalist/democratic America we live in.
  2. There is a clear distinction between those who understand the principles and guidance and importance of the representative legislative process versus those who hide behind the Constitution as an excuse to create laws from the bench.
  3. There is a clear distinction between those who favor strong national security vs. those who want a borderless, global government.
  4. There is a clear distinction between those who hold US Constitutional principles dear (1st, 2nd, 10th Amendments in particular) and those who are ignorant or want to subvert those principles.
  5. There is a clear distinction between those who want to maintain a sensible fiscal policy versus those statists in Washington who spend our tax money with reckless abandon.
  6. There is a clear distinction between those who see themselves as Americans first versus those who want to segregate themselves into communities and ignore the national identity.
  7. Despite his promises, surveys show that Americans have elected one of the most divisive Presidents [Obama] since Richard Nixon.

These factors have gotten worse, not better in the course of the year.  You know it when you talk to friends and relatives.  I can feel the tension everywhere: airports, supermarkets, office complexes.  Those who don’t are Unicornists or aren’t paying attention.

I pray I am wrong and that the resolution to these severe conflicts happens in November at the ballot box.  I don’t think it will.  This will be a long hot summer for the United States of America and future generations will mark the year 2010 for its historical inflection point.  For that, I have no doubt.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)