Monday, January 21, 2008
MLK's legacy is enormous and like the legacy of all great men, ambiguous. He was no plaster saint --none of them are: we're talking great men here, not great statues-- and those who followed him were and are, well, let's say, a mixed bag.
But I have a reason to mark his birthday, a very personal one. The man I love most in this world, whom I have known for over 15 years, with whom I have had the most significant relationship of my life so far, is a black man. And I am pretty sure that without Martin Luther King, he and I would never have met, much less become so much a part of each other.
So for that alone, thanks, Martin.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I have discovered a sixth.
Though perhaps it's more an illustration of the fifth way, the argument from...design.
PS Thanks for the pic, T. Good choice!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I am planning to get a copy of this new book, National Review editor Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism: the Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning". I think of Jonah as a sort of the GenX righty answer to William F. Buckley.
Bruce Thornton, an even way rightier accomplice of my man VDH, reviews the book. His final paragraph contains a lot about my increasingly visceral dislike of what passes for "liberalism": (and the bolding in JG's quote is mine.)
"Goldberg’s book ultimately is a call for correctly understanding a conservatism besmirched by liberal smears and its own partisans’ compromises: “Conservatism is neither identity politics for Christians and/or white people nor right-wing progressivism. Rather, it is opposition to all forms of political religion. It is a rejection of the idea that politics can be redemptive. It is the conviction that a properly ordered republic has a government of limited ambition.” These are the ideals of the American republic, and they are the best guarantors of our freedom. Goldberg’s important book is a good first step towards reinvigorating the conservative tradition.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Mark Steyn is a righty with a very sharp wit and a pen to match . Funny guy with a seemingly endless supply of mauvais-mots . As he styles himself on his website, "One-man global content provider". He is now being sucked into the entrails of the Canadian Human Rights Commission gulag for making poor little Muslims feel icky. In character, he is promising not to go down without a major, but no doubt manly, scene.
Mr. Steyn, despite (or because of?) being a published devotee of the Broadway musical, shows no love for menloving men like USMaleSF. To his credit, he finds the culturally-different custom of burying us under walls or throwing us off buildings quite repellent and says so often...unlike Queers for Palestine and other "gay activists" who, when faced with Muslim barbarsim toward us, morph into Helen Keller. But MS has little if anything nice to say about us otherwise.
I have to admit, I feel similarly some days here in SF Homo Central. But then...yes, I know...I have never belonged to any group I couldn't occasionally find intolerable.
Yet Mr. Steyn has now found common ground with us. And, no surprise, he's a top!
With typical overachievement, he is bypassing Sodomy 101, not planning on using a condom, and well....this could make quite the hot and kinky porn video. I welcome him to the company of the Sodomites (you have to wait for it in the end....sic!) and wish him the best in his endeavor...or, as they say in Canuckistan, endeavour.
The pseudo-heroic Mayor and the cryptocommisars on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who would like to run all our lives for our own good, since they are the chosen and anointed, recently got a shot (sic) back at them. I couldn't be more pleased.
Click on pic for the details...or else.
My sense of Barack Hussein Obama has changed little since my earlier post on him, describing him as merely a nicer version of John Edwards, with better teeth, less histrionic hair, and a smaller house. And all-importantly, his PC color, without which he would be utterly nobody, or maybe a motivational speaker or pastor of a Black Church (however those two things differ).
The usually insightful part-Canuck Charles Krauthammer puts it quite nicely, that in the midst of the swooning rockstar response that for this "nice looking" (really? He's no JC Watts, not even a Harold Ford Jr in that department) half black, half white atonement icon, one thing remains unchanged:
"The freest of all passes to Obama is the general neglect of the obvious central contradiction of his candidacy -- the bipartisan uniter who would bring us together by transcending ideology is at every turn on every policy an unwavering, down-the-line, unreconstructed, uninteresting, liberal Democrat."
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The always stimulating Lee Harris ponders Why We Are Still Arguing About Darwin and comes up with this arresting summary:
"Thou shalt not act like a monkey—this is the essence of all the higher religions, and the summation of all ethical systems."
The whole thing.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
"There is great virtue in the American way, which expects CEOs to perform on a quarterly basis, presidents and Congresses to reinvent politics in 100 days, generals to wipe out opponents in 100 hours without taking significant casualties, doctors to save life and limb every time, search engines to yield a million results in less than a second, and so on. There is also great virtue in the belief that what is bad can be made good, and that what is good can be made great, and that what is fractionally less than great is downright awful.
But these virtues can spawn vices. One is impatience. Another is a culture of chronic complaint. A third is the belief that every problem has a solution, that trial is possible without error, that risks must always be zero, that every inconvenience is an outrage, every setback a disaster and every mishap a plausible basis for a lawsuit."The whole thing.
Columbia University mistakenly invited the President of Iran to speak and then Lee Bollinger, CU's own president, tried to soften the gaff by addressing some very clear and critical remarks to Ahmadinejad. Many liberals were outraged by his "impoliteness".
Now it gets worse. A group of Columbia officials and faculty are travelling to Iran precisely to... apologize. Craven dhimmi fools or craven collaborating traitors? You decide. And all too predictable, really.
I provide just a few examples of life in a theocratic Muslim state, the only kind of Muslim state that makes any sense. And as a gay man, the jaw-dropping betrayal of them going on bended knee to the head of a country that tortures and executes people like me (as well as lots of other folks)...
...And I am supposed to feel at home among the multiculturalist liberals of Columbia? I have known for a long time that when it came to choice between a white American male homo and some brown-skinned barbarian ThirdWorld Other, I would be kicked to the curb and trampled in the rush to kiss his thuggish Muslim ass.
Hat tip to Fred in Ottawa.
*And for them of you what don't read Latin, meretrix has given us the English word meretricious and it means "whore".
Update: some contrary voices at CU deny that such a thing is in the offing.
Monday, January 07, 2008
But I have suspected from first hearing that it is not American music. For some reason, it has such a mindlessly and dicklessly Europop sound, I thought it might be Dutch. Turns out I was wrong.
It's Swedish. Done by a band called Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and it's called "Rent-A-Wreck".
I am impressed with my musico-cultural intuition. And I hate the song.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
For the highminded Western liberals 'mongst whom I live and move and have my being. In various ways they seem to have fallen in love, whether they know it or not, with a strange form of the alien (sic!) doctrine of ahimsa, harmlessness as the highest moral value.
"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion". William Inge, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London early in the last century.
And Exhibit 2344, from formerly Great Britain.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 18, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. Pharisees, the ancestors of Rabbinic Judaism, were pious laymen who strove to keep the Law of Moses perfectly in all circumstances. Publicans were Jews who work for the Romans as contract tax collectors. Paragons of religious virtue vs craven collaborators with an occupier.
The parable: To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Due to the vast ingenuity of mankind, even this binary upset can be re-turned on its head. In Christian churches, we have the phenomenon of the Pharisaical Publican: because humility and self-reproach are praised in this parable, some people emphasize their sinfulness precisely in order to occupy the more favorable position of the Publican. You may have met such people: you can tell that they are proud of their humility.
One of the ways in which I view the world, especially liberal Western culture, is through the lens of Christianity. Most Western liberals have emancipated themselves both from God --though not from "spirituality"-- and from the Church. But I detect the ongoing structure of the Christian dispensation in these post-religious saints.
I recently heard from someone about a group of well-off liberals asserting that the value of human life is so high that it would be wrong under any circumstances to take a human life. Even the example of being attacked by a Muslim terrorist intent on murder did not budge them from this view. And, to a wo/man, they also asserted that the Divine lived within them and not outside them. My initial puzzlement gave way to unease and then to horror. Pacifism holds no honor in my eyes; it is simply the collaboration of the highminded with evil. I am sure that all these folks have "evolved" views on a great many things. I remain horrified.
As well, some of my gym-mate were asserting recently that there is no reason to think that humans are the highest species on earth. They opined that the chickadee...yes, the chickadee, might be superior to ourselves. After all, how could we know? Again, what do I say?
Another gym fella found it mind-bending that the US Government declined to intervene in Pakistan's current problem after the Bhutto assassination. After all, didn't we put Saddam in power? If we can break the rule once, why not again? His ethical outrage was palpable and his upturned nose at his own country quite noticeable.
All these folks, it seems to me, are unhinged from reality. But they are unhinged for reasons of ethical superiority...always expressed in terms of confessed inferiority. Pharisaical Publicans.
To say that I find them dishearteningly typical of the denizens of this place would be an understatement.