Gay Patriot Header Image

Thankful for friends with whom I disagree

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:36 am - November 28, 2013.
Filed under: Holidays

In the past twenty-four hours, Facebook has become increasingly fun, with friends reducing their political commentary and focusing instead on holiday preparation.  It’s as if people made a pact to avoid contentious issues and focus on family, holiday baking, travel stories and the fact that this year the first day of Chanuka falls on Thanksgiving Day.

Like many Americans, I’ll be hitting the road to spend the day with family, in my case, with a sister who holds political views different from my own.  And that does not prevent me from loving her and looking forward to sharing this day with her, her husband and her sons.  I’m grateful that our relationship remains strong despite our political differences — and am thankful that I have many other such family members and friends.

It’s been nice to turn to Facebook in idle moments these past twenty-four hours — and to see erstwhile ideological adversaries posting on things we both enjoy.  This may not last, so let’s be thankful for it while we can!

Happy Thanksgiving!

God Bless America

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:51 pm - July 4, 2013.
Filed under: Holidays,Patriotism,Ronald Reagan

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — Valetine’s Day 2013

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:44 pm - February 14, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas,Holidays

Council Submissions

Dr. King’s Dream: “deeply rooted in the American dream”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:54 am - January 21, 2013.
Filed under: Freedom,Great Americans,Great Men,Holidays

In making the case for civil rights for black Americans in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often cited not just the founding (and other defining) documents of our country, but also its patriotic hymns.

In his “I Have a Dream” speech spoken almost fifty years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he referenced the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution as well as the Emancipation Proclamation.  He recited verses from “My country ‘Tis of Thee.”  He did not fault the American ideal, instead wanted to make that ideal real for all citizens of this great republic.

In that great address, he spoke the word, “free” or “freedom” twenty-five times.  He knew the word defined as aspect of the American ideal.  And he was ever the optimist:

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. (more…)

With Connecticut horror fresh in our minds, ’tis not the season to politicize

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:06 am - December 17, 2012.
Filed under: Family,Holidays

Like many of those who are more supportive than critical of the National Rifle Association, I have struggled mightily this weekend not to respond to friend’s Facebook posts holding the organization responsible for Friday’s shooting in Connecticut.

Horrified, as we all are, by what happened, they want to pin the blame on someone and choose an outfit of which they have long been critical.  Perhaps, it makes them feel better.  Or perhaps, it helps them make sense of actions which transcend the understanding of rational, civilized people.

As the ancient Greeks so well understood, we will never fully understand the irrational.

What makes this one so particularly painful was the murder of twenty children, none older than 7.  And that they were killed in a season where most of us celebrate with our families.  Twenty-seven families will have less to celebrate this year, feeling the loss of a child, a girlfriend, a wife, a sister, an aunt or a mother.

It is those murdered individuals and the families we should be thinking about right now.  As a nation, we are united in grief.  Yes, there is political rhetoric to criticize and media behavior to condemn, but in criticizing it, we lose sight of what really matters.

Some people get it.  I have seen numerous Facebook posts from friends on both sides of the political aisle and those about whose political leanings I know nothing who have offered touching tributes to the fallen as well as gentle reminders to cherish our family and friends. (more…)

Vacant storefronts in Westwood Village (near UCLA)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:33 am - December 12, 2012.
Filed under: California politics,Economy,Holidays,LA Stories

I began my holiday shopping yesterday in Westwood Village, the shopping/dining district immediately adjacent to UCLA; was struck by the amount of vacant retail space.  On Westwood Blvd itself, I counted five empty storefronts on each side of the street just on one block (between Kinross and Weyburn).  And that’s not counting the signs on the second floor.

And I could see signs advertising “Space available” on other buildings beyond this block.

When I mentioned this in one store where I bought some gifts, a clerk commented that someone had just said the same thing about Beverly Hills.  He noted that Westwood Blvd had been particularly hard hit, with a Mexican restaurant that had served the area for twenty-five years, recently vacating its Westwood premises.

I believe this the space that restaurant once occupied:

Restaurant

Note these two storefronts, immediately adjacent to one another: (more…)

Why do more Americans put Mitt Romney on the “nice” list*?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:47 am - December 11, 2012.
Filed under: Holidays,Random Thoughts

Are they having second thoughts about the election? According “to a lighthearted new survey released Monday by Public Policy Polling (PPP)“:

More Americans put Romney than Obama on Kris Kringle’s “nice” list: 63 percent said the former Massachusetts governor would get presents, versus just 51 percent for the president, PPP found.

Mr. Obama won just under 51% of the vote last month.

Assuming all those who voted for Mr. Romney put him on the “nice” list, then over one-quarter of those who voted for Mr. Obama also would put the Republican on the list.

* (more…)

Happy Independence Day!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:28 am - July 4, 2012.
Filed under: American History,Freedom,Holidays,Patriotism

On Flag Day, the Duke Salutes the Flag

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:08 pm - June 14, 2012.
Filed under: Great Men,Holidays,Patriotism

Happy Flag Day!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:06 pm - June 14, 2012.
Filed under: Holidays,Patriotism

Watcher of Weasels Results–Passover/Easter Edition

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:48 pm - April 6, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Holidays

As I’m busy organizing a first-night Seder, I will alas not have much time to blog as I had hoped. Instead, let me offer the results of the latest Watcher of Weasels Council considerations. Taking home the Council laurels this week is Joshuapundit for his piece, Silent Scream;The Sudan Ethnically Cleanses Its Christians Meanwhile the non-Council winner is Victor Davis Hanson with The New Anti-Semitism.

Rounding out the Council balloting we have:

The remainder of the Non-Council competition are as follows: (more…)

Slow Blogging/Remembering Dr. King’s American message

I apologize for the slow blogging of late, but my mind has drifted away from politics these past few days.  Do have something to say about Huntsman’s withdrawal basically revolving around the notion that he offered a conservative platform, yet campaigned as a moderate.  That, in the end, I believe did him in.

As today is Martin Luther King, Jr. today, let us remember that great man with his greatest speech, indeed, one of the greatest expressions of the American ideal:

Happy New Year. . .

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:30 am - January 1, 2012.
Filed under: Holidays

. . . to all our readers!

Merry Christmas from a Jewish GayPatriot

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:07 am - December 25, 2011.
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 (as I did in 2009) my original “Merry Christmas” post.

In 2004, when then-California 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 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.  Indeed, a few of my friends worry that they might be offending me if they wish me a “Merry Christmas.”

Those very individuals, however, some of them devout Christians, are touched when I wish them “Happy New Year” at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). When I lit the Chanuka candles with gentile friends on this holiday’s fourth night, they were touched that I would share the festive tradition with them.

Why should non-Christians be offended by a Christian’s sharing his or her joy in celebrating a religious holiday of his faith when delight in sharing our joy in celebrating 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…)

Denver Brunch Friday November 25

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:28 pm - November 23, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Holidays,Travel

Just a reminder about the brunch for our readers at High Noon in the Mile-High City this coming Friday, November 25, 2011.  Drop me an e-mail if you can join us as you take a break from your Black Friday shopping.

Why is the federal government promoting Christmas trees?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:01 am - November 9, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Holidays

At a time when one might think the federal government had better things to do than further meddle is a sour economy, we’ve got bureaucrats imposing a new tax to promote Christmas trees:

President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees — the Christmas Tree Tax — to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)).

Although not a Christian, I welcome those, including the Governor of Wisconsin who wish to dub a festive pine tree decorated during the days preceding and immediately followed the Winter Solstice as a Christmas Tree. The First Amendment protects those individuals’ free exercise of religion.

It is, however, none of the federal government’s business to promote this holiday symbol.  To be sure, it should protect the rights of those individuals who wish to display it. (And the ACLU who should be opposing this silly measure has yet to get injunctions against private homeowners who proudly decorate their trees.)  It’s not just the tax that’s the issue. It’s the waste of federal resources.

And it does seem that whenever governments starts “promoting” an industry, federal officials soon start meddling.  Ed Driscoll wonders if “the administration be raiding Christmas tree dealers, a la their raids on an other famous wood-based merchant?” (more…)

Thanksgiving 2022

Just got this in the e-mail from my brother and thought it quite clever.  Methinks the author chose the name Winston to honor the protagonist from another story of a dystopian future.  I have done a few google searches to try to identify that individual, but seems that the others who posted this piece, like me, received it in their e-mail:

Wednesday, November 24, 2022

“Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to her husband. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered. Actually Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington.

Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its “unseemly violence” and the “bad example it sets for the rest of the world,” Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn’t nearly as exciting.

Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another TofuTurkey. Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey. And ever since the government officially changed the name of “Thanksgiving Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020 to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the TofuTurkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats-which were monitored and controlled by the electric company-be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter. (more…)

Happy Birthday, Leah!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:47 pm - February 25, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Holidays,Romance

Just wanted to wish our loyal reader and GayPatriot-get-together organizer Leah a Happy Birthday today.  Apparently, she’ll be celebrating the way some of our male readers like to celebrate, by spending the evening with a studly guy!

Leah, thanks for all the support you’ve provided to this blog and for the friendship you’ve shown to me.  You certainly have earned the right to spend not just evening with a stud, but also to share your life with such a guy.

Valentine’s Day Post: How Did you Meet Your Schweetie?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:40 am - February 14, 2011.
Filed under: Holidays,Romance

I always thought the term “significant other” was a bit clunky, so I’ve adopted the term schweetie to describe the individual who is the long-term object of our affection, spouse to some, boyfriend or girlfriend to others, husband or wife to the more traditionally inclined or just plain partner to the practical.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, let  me ask those of you who are attached to provided anecdotal advice to those of us who long to be and to tell us in the comments how you met your schweetie.

Celebrating Ronald Reagan’s Centennial

To remember the Gipper on the hundredth anniversary of his birth, I headed up earlier today to the Hollywood Walk of Fame where a blog reader joined me as we placed four red roses together with some American flags on his star.  Red is Nancy’s favorite color.

As we stood there and people passed, taking note of the flowers, they recalled that today was Ronald Wilson Reagan’s centennial.   Apparently, the news media, the heirs of those who disparaged this great man when he served as the nation’s chief executive, did their due diligence as this great day approached.

To many of us Reagan-lovers, today like a holiday.   And indeed it was, giving us another chance to commemorate the vision and accomplishments of this graceful and gallant great man.