A new day for the GOP and the LGBT? Coulter at HomoCon, Log Cabin GOP

So, while I’ve been away in LA, at a certain book fair, the Grand Old Party has been continuing to build momentum toward a change, or at least a diversity of opinion, on the ever contentious issue of gay marriage. First, Ann Coulter’s highly anticipated and controversy causing appearance at HomoCon (for gay conservatives) was widely misrepresented in the liberal press as divisive. Looking for another perspective, I went to Coulter’s twitter feed to find out what she recommended as the real scoop, and found a link to the following article by Lisa De Pasquale of Human Events who reports:

“I was fortunate to be a guest of Coulter’s at a New York City cocktail party where she gave a short speech and did Q & A with GOProud, a group of conservative-minded gays. Unsurprisingly, Coulter stuck to her principles by defending traditional marriage between one man and one woman. They were completely charmed and loved every minute of the repartee. What’s a reporter to make of a crowded room of open-minded conservatives with Ann Coulter at the helm? Lie, of course!

Politico reported that there was “nervous laughter” when Coulter addressed the frequent argument that gay marriage is a civil right and akin to denying blacks their rights. Coulter pointed out, both with truth and in jest, “Gays have the highest income of any demographic group in America. Blacks must be looking at gay rights activists in bewilderment thinking, ‘Why couldn’t we be oppressed like that?’”

There was no “nervous laughter” except, perhaps, by a reporter unsure of the location of the 14th Amendment.

Toward the end of her speech, Coulter gave a reasoned argument for traditional marriage. She said, “The purpose of marriage isn’t for society to honor the strong feelings people have for one another, it’s solely and exclusively to provide children the best environment for developing into law-abiding, socialized, productive citizens—so they don’t end up on welfare or mugging us someday.”

There was no booing. No haughty retorts. No one left the room in a dramatic huff. Members of the audience were tolerant not because they’re gay, but because they’re conservatives.

Coulter also offered a proposition that was well-received by the event’s organizers and the crowd. After reminding the crowd of the devastation of single motherhood on children, she said, ‘Instead of promoting something that’s a terrible idea, that everyone hates and that I know you secretly don’t even want anyway, my proposal is that GOProud demand that heterosexuals start taking marriage seriously.’ “

Here’s the story: Reporters Freak as Ann Coulter Meets Gay GOPers

I think it’s true that in many respects, the conservatives I’ve interacted with SO FAR, and I admit these are not too many since really, I am only beginning this journey, but the ones I’ve interacted with are generally far more tolerant of viewpoints not entirely in agreement with their own. I can discuss choice or gay marriage with people who disagree with my perspective, and not be maligned as a woman hating, moronic, sexist, insane, or — (insert nasty insult of choice). The person I am speaking with does not appear to be about to explode or evaporate with anger. I learn a lot from many of these discussions, and I feel the other party might also, or I hope so. My experience with the (far) left is far more contentious and I add, far less respectful of disagreement. I’m not talking about you moderates out there! In any event, I am not surprised that Coulter went over well, after all I doubt that anyone thought she was going to go to HomoCon and pitch gay marriage, but her perspective and humor was valued nonetheless.

The GOP is grappling with gay marriage anew, as I’ve written recently. This is fascinating to watch and of course, I am hoping personally for a real change or an opening here. I think it will be a mixed bag, but I do see a change occurring. After all, the case for gay marriage can be made principally from the perspective of liberty and individual rights; when marriage stopped being about marrying girls off to the highest bidder, about property or status, when people decided to marry for love as much as for pragmatic concerns, gay marriage became inevitable. Some people, after all, fall in love with the same sex, and not – the opposite.

Another story on this strange and unexpected sea change from the GOP here by Matt Lewis:

“Other conservatives even went so far as to argue that supporting gay rights is inherently conservative.

“Conservatism and gay rights are actually natural allies,” said S.E. Cupp, conservative columnist and author of “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity.” “Conservatism rightly seeks to keep the government out of our private lives, and when you strip away the politics of pop culture, it’s this assertion of privacy and freedom that the gay rights movement is essentially making.”

This is how institutions evolve and emerge within a conservative culture,” says Jon Henke, a libertarian-leaning blogger. “In time, gay people will be married, extending the valuable social institution of marriage to more people. In time, conservatives will argue that the positive impact that marriage has on the gay community is further evidence of the importance of the institution of marriage.”

National Review’s Dan Foster believes the changing attitudes are largely generational, but added that “a central thread of conservatism, going back to Edmund Burke, is . . . gradualism.”

Change has come gradually, and it’s worth noting that Coulter’s decision to speak at HomoCon is merely the latest example of prominent conservatives (of all ages) lending, at least, tacit support to the cause of gay rights.

Conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist serves on the board of directors for GOProud, and RightWingNews, the blog site run by conservative blogger John Hawkins, has agreed to co-sponsor HomoCon.

Meanwhile, Ted Olson, the lawyer who represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore, the case that resolved the 2000 presidential election, recently worked to overturn Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages in California. Fox News host Glenn Beck recently said he thinks government should stay out of the gay marriage debate. And The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson is speaking at an event hosted by the Log Cabin Republicans.”

From this article by Matt Lewis: Ann Coulter Applauded by Young Conservatives for ‘HomoCon’ Speech

And, where does the notorious and populist Tea Party stand on this? Of course, the Tea Parties are not actually unified political parties, but they are swinging libertarian. An amalgam of political impulses, ideas, and passions, they are a work in progress and represent discontent with big government and a huge deficit more than a veering toward pushing government mandated traditional values. That’s not to say that social conservatives are not well represented at the Tea Parties, because they are, but these same social conservatives also share libertarian free market principles and appear presently, more engaged with pushing back what they believe is the encroachment of nanny state socialism and big government spending. Here, the founder of Log Cabin Republicans gives his take on the Tea Parties and LGBT politics in an interview on NPR with Linda Wertheimer:

Mr. TAFEL: Well, it was a big experiment in the Republican Party for a decade over a decade, which was the fiscally conservative, less government, free market party was going to become the family value, social conservative party. And it sort of switched identities. And I think, actually, the rise of the Tea Party and the loss of moderates and independents has been a signal to the party that hey, there’s a lot of people out there who’s issues are fiscal issues, less government, possibly the military issues, and probably pretty libertarian on a lot of social issues. Those folks have been lost and now they’re coming back in different ways, they’re finding their way back. And I think the social issues folks have lost.

WERTHEIMER: So Glenn Beck says that gay marriage is not a threat to the country. Ann Coulter, who is a conservative political commentator.

Mr. TAFEL: Um-hum, um-hum.

WERTHEIMER: Speaks at a gay Republican event; Senator John Cornyn who is a Republican chairman of the Republican Campaign Committee in the Senate speaking at your fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans. It’s beginning to sound like you’ve won.

Mr. TAFEL: Well, we’re not there yet. I always felt like we were going to win because I spoke to so many young people in the ’90s.

And, no the GOP is not there as the recent “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” vote shows, but time will tell, and — I have a feeling that a lot will change simply because – as Tafel describes in this interview later, the culture itself has changed.

The interview is included here in an audio clip and the transcript:

GOP Shifts Stand On Homosexuality Issues

As a heterosexual trans man, this is not actually even my fight. But, I am not foolish enough to believe that denying gay and lesbian people their right to create intimate partnerships is going to help make my rights any more secure. I understand that gay marriage represents a radical change, I won’t deny this, however, people universally have experienced many radical changes in the last few hundred years. Some have not worked out, and others are working just fine. The time has come to loosen the bonds that restrict people’s ability to choose who they marry or partner with . People are doing it any way, as Glenn Beck has pointed out, gay people are “marrying” for all intents and purposes. Marriage or at least, civil unions with the same rights as civil marriage, can only create more stability for society as it secures and strengthens the idea that people make commitments that have consequences and responsibilities, as well as privileges. I actually agree with Coulter when she said that gay people should try and make heterosexual marriage stronger, how about some no-fault divorce? Or, an automatic opt-in for such for couples with children. Of course people may be discouraged from having children, which would not necessarily be a good thing. So, I’m not sure about this issue people, but I do think we have to free people to create lasting partnerships, if they wish.

I just believe ultimately in individual liberty.

Moderate Muslims vs Radical Islam

We hear a lot of qualifying statements about “moderate Muslims” when “radical Islam” is mentioned. Now, certainly, one can postulate that the majority of Muslims, are most likely people who just want to get on with their lives and that in western countries in particular, many keep a low profile and just live their lives with a low current of religiosity. Like people everywhere, they are trying to get through the day, and not start a revolution or ignite a war. Even so, some are sympathetic to radical concerns or issues, even if they are not entirely seized with passion for the cause. Others, are completely against radicalism, but stay on the down low and don’t make waves. Then, there are the Muslims who become leaders, and actually attempt to impress some kind of moderate change on the current situation within Islam, many of these high-profile moderates or liberal Muslims don’t get as much press as the radicals, but they do exist, and — often, they live their lives under threat of death, from their co-religionists. I found this amazing film chronicling the work and lives of a number of moderate Islamic leaders, most of them not Imams, who are pushing for Islamic assimilation to western values (outside of actual religious practice) and for an end to Islamic terrorism; they also do not support sharia law being implemented in the west and have fought against it in Europe and in Canada.

The film also traces the origins of Wahabi Islam from Saudi Arabia to the rest of the world. Apparently, the Saudi royal family has been exporting Wahabi for some time into Europe, Canada and the USA — partially to free themselves from an imminent threat to their own power. This began with a siege on Mecca and the royal family by Wahabists and a deal actually forged with the royal Saudi Arabian family. I knew about Wahabi, but I certainly learned more about its spread worldwide and the influence of so many radical Imams, even in places like Arizona!

The Muslims who fight extremism deserve our support, they are unbelievably brave as you will see as you watch. And, they are, apparently, not exactly winning this battle.
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The film here, all parts from the amazing efforts of Frank Kitman on Kitman TV– his description:

Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center” tells the story of courageous anti-Islamist Muslims in Western Europe, Canada and the United States and the extraordinary challenges they face in taking on adherents to the theo-totalitarian ideology known as Islamism. What is happening to these moderates – who are being ostracized, bankrupted, intimidated and in some cases, threatened with death – offers critical insights into the dangers that both they and non-Muslims are facing. These films by acclaimed Director/Producer Martyn Burke also suggest steps that can and must be taken to help empower the anti-Islamist Muslims in the struggle for their faith.”

Mark Steyn on Danish Television on Europe, Muslim Demographics, Islamic Radicalism

Here, an interesting recent segment taken when he was in Copenhagen to win the Sappho Prize, of Mark Steyn on Danish television being interviewed about Europe and demographics, the radicalization of native born Muslims in universities, the coming clash between the west and Islam in Europe that is already here and will most likely get worse… not cheerful stuff but important. Nice to see him out and about after taking a recent hiatus. I guess even firebrands like Steyn have to take a break once in awhile. He’s traveling a lot in Europe currently and giving speeches.

Mark Steyn Wins Sappho Prize in Copenhagen, “You’ll Have to Kill Us All”

Mark Steyn, Canadian humorist and polemicist and free speech crusader, has won the Sappho Prize in Copenhagen. Here, some photos from the awards ceremony and a recording of Mark’s speech with an introduction (that includes the inevitable cheesy lesbian jokes, all in good humor however) by Eva Agnete Selsing. Her introduction is bracing and fearless, and Mark’s speech is funny and as he builds, intense and fiery. Well, worth a listen… He states that his sense of humor is “not subject to state regulation.”

You’ll Have to Kill Us All!

And, from a report on Steyn’s speech by the International Free Speech Society:

That is Mark Steyn’s diagnosis of Western Civilisation anno 2010. And that the man knows what he is talking about became clear to everyone on this anniversary of the murderous attack in New York and elsewhere on 9/11 nine years ago. The same might be said of the other participants in this international conference –the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the Norwegian-Pakistani comedienne Shabana Rehman, the Danish-Iranian actor, comedian and commentator Farshad Kholghi and the Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekshot.

Every one of these artists, comedians and critics had played the role of the little boy in Andersen’s tale. And they had all paid the price. Had anyone been in doubt, it sufficed to look around in the hall, where several officers from the Danish Security Police were posted.
America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It is the title of the book that gave Mark Steyn his international breakthrough. It describes a Europe that in the absolute autumn of its life can neither maintain itself demographically nor culturally and is therefore threatened by rapid Islamization.

Based as it is on dry facts and thorough research, the book has had a major influence on the discourse on Islam and multicultural society…

Steyn’s message in Copenhagen was far from uplifting.

Paraphrasing the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Grey’s comment on the outbreak of World War 1, Steyn remarked: ”One by one the lights go out in Europe because those who have created the multicultural societies will not defend them.”
He went on to say that authors, comedians and everyone else that does not believe in a multicultural utopia are being persecuted and witch-hunted into silence. The Canadian authorities have even tried –in the best totalitarian tradition – to criminalize Mark Steyn’s jokes. Even his “tone” has been subjected to legal scrutiny…

Though the title of Steyn’s book refers to an America that finds itself increasingly isolated in its defence of Western values, things are far from ideal on the other side of the Atlantic.

Steyn noted that Obama has never criticized honour killings or other outrages taking place in the Muslim world. But if Westerners commit the slightest transgression – as is now the case with the mad priest in Florida who wanted to burn the Koran – he immediately feels called upon to issue an official condemnation. That is a disgrace, said Steyn, who could only express his contempt for Western governments that think Islam should be exempted from criticism.

Among the governments that in Steyn’s words compete to be “Islam’s most obedient ‘prison-bitch’” is the one in Sweden. That blue-yellow nation was horrified when one of its own sons drew the Muslim prophet as a dog. ”

From the article here: Humour Conference: It Takes Children, Drunkards and Death-defying Artists to Get the Truth.

Academics anti-Israel but not really anti-wife beating

Why do you think I left, the ah – left? Not only this, but things like this, pure and simple. (and yes, my story is – I left the left)

Here…

“Prof. Fred Gottheil told Front Page Magazine that he compiled a list of 675 email addresses from 900 signatures on a 2009 petition authored by Dr. David Lloyd, professor of English at the University of Southern California, urging the U.S. to abandon its ally, Israel. Prof. Gottheil discovered that six of the signers, who hailed from more than 150 college campuses, were members of his own faculty.

“Would these same 900 sign onto a statement expressing concern about human rights violations in the Muslim Middle East, such as honor killing, wife beating, female genital mutilation, and violence against gays and lesbians?” he wondered. “I felt it was worth a try.”

The results? “Almost non existent,” he told Front Page editor Jamie Glazov. Only 27 of the 675 “self-described social-justice seeking academics” agreed to sign Gottheil’s Statement of Concern – less than 5 percent of the total who had publicly called for the censure of Israel for human rights violations.

The refusal of women’s studies professors to publicly condemn honor killings, or academic advocates of gay rights to speak out against the treatment of homosexuals in Muslim countries, is just about as hypocritical as it gets. Their loathing (dare we call it hate?) of the UN-created Jewish state is so deep that it “trump[s] their professional interests,” leading them into a “ideologically discriminatory trap of their own making,” Prof. Gottheil added.
“The academic Left may be just a little more sophisticated [than the non-academic Left] in their loathing of Israel, but scratch the surface and it’s all the same…It turns out that with all their professing of principle, they are sanctimonious bigots at heart.”

_____________________________________
Read more at the Washington Examiner: Prof Calls Fellow Academics Sanctimonious Bigots

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Possibly, it is not so much that they are “sanctimonious bigots” but simply — cowards. And, unable for whatever reason, to stand up for the values they profess that would condemn horrific violence against women. Or, could it be that these lefty professors are that anti-semitic? I honestly don’t know. But, I got tired of hoping the answer was one that I could live with.

Ahmadinejad at the UN – anti-Free Market

Possibly, it is not altogether surprising that the far left finds common cause with totalitarian leaders like Ahmadinejad, even if most of them, with their often unconventional or libertine lives, would be entirely unacceptable in an Islamic Fundamentalist regime. Apparently, they do find things in common nonetheless, since after all, he is also aligned against free market economics as well as Israel… Here, from Libertarian Republican

“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a speech to the United Nations this morning in New York City, specifically singled out free market capitalism for special criticism. And sounding like an old Soviet Union aparatchik he vowed that capitalism will eventually be defeated.

He stated at a speech in front of the U.N.:
United Nations (CNN) — Attending a United Nations session on alleviating world poverty Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed capitalism for the world’s woes.

“The demanding liberal capitalism (see below) and transnational corporations have caused the suffering of countless women, men and children in so many countries,” Ahmadinejad said at a U.N. General Assembly session on the Millennium Development Goals.

“It is my firm belief that in the new millennium, we need to revert to the divine mindset, to our true nature for which man was created and, indeed, to the just and fair governance,” he said.

At past global conferences, Ahmadinejad’s strong words against Israel have prompted world leaders to walk out. But the hard-line Iranian leader’s comments Tuesday were relatively tempered.

“”Now that the discriminatory order of capitalism and the hegemonic approaches are facing defeat and are getting close to their end, all-out participation in upholding justice and prosperous interrelations is essential,” he said.

Strange bedfellows indeed – the far left and Islamic Fascist extremism. And everyone tippy-toeing to not offend Muslim sensibilities. It’s enough to make you want to become, a – Republican! And, a libertarian leaning one at that. Hah.

Koran burning is a constitutional right – like flag burning

I’m no fan of burning books, but no doubt that crazy preacher had a constitutional right to burn the Koran, just as someone may have a right to burn a flag. He did call it off, but his bank actually canceled his Church’s mortgage, his internet provider pulled the plug on his website and his insurance company canceled the church’s policy before he got around to canceling his plans. And, while I may call him “crazy”, well, maybe the Koran burning was one of the least crazy things he’s attempted to do. I mean, I am not a fan of extreme Christian fundamentalists, but I am even less a fan of extreme Islamic fundamentalism or Islamic fascism.

Diana West, the author of Death of the Grownup which I am planning to read after I read the other numerous books I am reading, has an interesting column on this instance, and on other Koran burners recently who have received nothing but grief for their protests of Islam’s radical and fascist agenda. Here, she writes first about Pastor Jones, and then others:

“… The irony here is that as Jones-the-person was increasingly objectified as a dangerous “nut,” Koran-the-object that commands jihad was increasingly enlivened with a uniquely inviolate status. Which brings us to the next installment of our new 9/11 legacy, Derek Fenton. On 9/11 Saturday, Fenton tore pages from a Koran and lit them in front of the planned Ground Zero mosque. According to New York Daily News sources, Fenton said, “he wanted to stand by (America) in a tea party kind of way” by exercising his “right to protest.” Police ushered Fenton away but released him without charges.

Come Monday, it was a different story. Constitutional rights aside, New Jersey Transit fired Fenton, ending his 11-year career with the agency for burning those Koran pages (and on his own time), an act which, again, violated not America’s law, but Islam’s.

Fenton’s story repeated itself almost exactly in Australia where, also on Monday, Alex Stewart, a Queensland University of Technology employee, was placed on “indefinite leave” after satirizing mass Koran hysteria in a YouTube video — now censored — in which he smoked pages from both the Bible and the Koran.

And on Wednesday, the Seattle Weekly (rather calmly) announced the planned disappearance of its cartoonist Molly Norris, she who once called — in a cartoon — May 20 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” The paper wrote: ‘On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.’

“Wiping away her identity”? For a cartoon? But this is exactly what Western civilization itself is doing. And that’s why all you hear, past those echoing denunciations of the Florida preacher, is … silence.”

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That’s right, Molly Norris is going ghost. May she have some peace and safety, poor woman.

The whole uncompromising and clear article is here: Burned for Being American

How many have to die before we figure out this is a bad idea?

One of the things I often think about a lot is how it is possible for thinking and sensitive people, artistic people, aware people, or well – just people, to still feel favorably about communism. To still be communists, or so far left, that they are essentially the same thing. How can this be possible, when so many millions have been murdered in the countries that have been communist, and when those countries have inevitably, in time, become extremely poor, become in effect, starving death camps or dysfunctional, grim labor camps? I don’t understand it. And, the information about these places, the stark truth, has been around for awhile although more comes to light as time goes on and archives are opened. Here, a writer and researcher delves into previously unseen Chinese archives revealing the horrors of Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” where so many starved and were abused and murdered. This speaks for itself, in this passage from The Independent By Arifa Akbar, Arts Correspondent:

“Mr Dikötter is the only author to have delved into the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago. He argued that this devastating period of history – which has until now remained hidden – has international resonance. “It ranks alongside the gulags and the Holocaust as one of the three greatest events of the 20th century…. It was like [the Cambodian communist dictator] Pol Pot’s genocide multiplied 20 times over,” he said.

Between 1958 and 1962, a war raged between the peasants and the state; it was a period when a third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertiliser and when the nation descended into famine and starvation, Mr Dikötter said.

His book, Mao’s Great Famine; The Story of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, reveals that while this is a part of history that has been “quite forgotten” in the official memory of the People’s Republic of China, there was a “staggering degree of violence” that was, remarkably, carefully catalogued in Public Security Bureau reports, which featured among the provincial archives he studied. In them, he found that the members of the rural farming communities were seen by the Party merely as “digits”, or a faceless workforce. For those who committed any acts of disobedience, however minor, the punishments were huge.

State retribution for tiny thefts, such as stealing a potato, even by a child, would include being tied up and thrown into a pond; parents were forced to bury their children alive or were doused in excrement and urine, others were set alight, or had a nose or ear cut off. One record shows how a man was branded with hot metal. People were forced to work naked in the middle of winter; 80 per cent of all the villagers in one region of a quarter of a million Chinese were banned from the official canteen because they were too old or ill to be effective workers, so were deliberately starved to death.”

Mao’s Great Leap Forward ‘killed 45 million in four years’

Caucasian Guilt – Noh Mercy flashback

In the late seventies, I remember seeing a band called “Noh Mercy” at the SF School for the Deaf on Valencia Street (a venue now gone) featuring just two women – Esmeralda and Toni. Toni was a tough, swaggering butch lesbian who was also an on and off junkie, and Esmeralda was het but a very femme and glamorous yet tough as nails dark haired singer, magnetic and sultry, yet raw. Both women were white, yes, far as I could tell. Esmeralda went on to do her own one woman thing without Toni in time, Esmeralda then simply called her act “Esmeralda”. Noh Mercy was just drums and Esmeralda’s large voice and theatrical presence, as I remember. And was one of the earliest punk bands with a very strong female presence in San Francisco. There was another then here in town called VS. Noh Mercy had a very unique sound, with just the drums and the voice. Anyway, here, an edgy and possibly ah, offensive song for some, on white guilt. It is true that in those days, certain types of art and music happened that could probably not happen now I think, people are so much more careful to not offend — back then, in that early punk scene, I think it was all about offending and breaking through artifice. I remember this song from 1979, and saw it performed live a few times. And, well, as I’ve always said, “a little white guilt goes a long ways”, and as a non-white person — I actually, find it annoying and counterproductive. Any way, here goes: