And, Jenner is a Republican too!

US flag

I’ll admit that I have yet to watch the Bruce Jenner interview with Diane Sawyer that is making headlines today.  I am very burned out on trans issues and mostly I yawn when I hear of a news story.  Even so, I have to admit that apparently, we are making progress.   There’s no question that today it is easier and more acceptable to medically transition than it was when I began in 1989.   Certainly, people who change their sex and legal and social gender are still pariahs, on both the left and the right – but we are more accepted than we have ever been and certainly more visible.   Continue reading

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RIP Andrew Breitbart: He had vision and he skated on rollerblades

Woke up yesterday to the news of Andrew Breitbart’s death. There’s been a lot written and a lot of it is memorable. I remember seeing this speech not long after it was given at CPAC. A true warrior! Here, after facing down the Occupy crowd outside CPAC who were busy hassling people entering the convention, Breitbart relates his recent dinner with ex-domestic terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers (the Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson had won a dinner with them and invited him along) and his greater vision regarding the far and hard left’s agenda of intolerance and tyranny (they call it “revolution”). I think Breitbart was an ex-leftist himself and knew them well. Once, he skated over on rollerblades to the site of an Occupy Wallstreet demo and ended up taking them all out to Appleby’s. No doubt, they still disagreed, but apparently, the intrepid Occupiers were charmed, and — for once, opposing sides met as people with disagreements and ideas, instead of as cartoon opponents. He was funny, fearless and passionate — and he knew the stakes are high.

Breitbart at CPAC 2012

Other bloggers have amazing links and testimony on knowing him or seeing him work, here from Pamela Geller: BREITBART: BIG, BIGGER THAN LIFE

Here, neo-neocon: Devasting news: Andrew Breitbart dead at 43

And, from The National Review, Here from Michael Walsh:

“In the war against the institutional Left, Andrew Breitbart was the Right’s Achilles; the bravest of all the warriors, now fallen on the plain. There was no combat in which he would not engage, no battle — however small — he would not join with glee, and no outcome acceptable except total victory. His unexpected death last night at the young age of 43 is not the end of his crusade, but its beginning.

No figure on our side was more despised in the whited sepulchers of the media/academic/political Left, and Breitbart wore their loathing as a daily badge of honor. His refusal to grant even a glimmer of moral absolution constantly enraged them, and his very existence was an affront to their carefully constructed — to use one of Andrew’s favorite words — “narrative” of moral superiority. Naturally, they are already dancing on his grave, with the manic joy of being suddenly and miraculously delivered from one of their most potent enemies.

Breitbart’s death is a tragedy, not only for those who delighted in following him into battle but for those who cheered him on as well. Andrew was larger than life, a charismatic natural leader, a big man in every way — physically, spiritually, and intellectually. He would meet a total stranger and immediately try to enlist him or her into his army, railing against the Left’s mendacity and misdeeds. He would practically pick you up by the lapels and shake you in order to make you understand the furious, urgent necessity of his fight.

Confrontation was his métier, and he routinely and gleefully waded into groups of lefties to challenge them face to face. Puckish humor was his stock-in-trade, and he would often disarm opponents with his boyish, goofy side. He was a virtuoso of the Twitterverse, a master of multi-tasking, and would think nothing of having a meeting with colleagues in his Westwood home while talking on the phone to someone else and working his Twitter feed. He joked that he had ADD, but what he really had was an outsized heart, fueled by courage and passion and, as the title of his recent book had it, by Righteous Indignation.

That indignation came to Breitbart in mid-life. A bluff Irishman who had been adopted as a baby by a Jewish couple in Brentwood (one of L.A.’s tonier neighborhoods), he moved to the right in college, at Tulane University in New Orleans, and crossed over completely with the Clarence Thomas hearings, which fueled his rage against the Left for their hypocritical treatment of American blacks. I can personally attest that no cause fired his righteous indignation more than the Left’s plantation attitude toward African-Americans. ”

From here: Goodbye Andrew

And, here, about Breitbart’s quest to create “punk rock” Republicans…

“The left is smart enough to understand that the way to change a political system is through its cultural systems,” he told The New Yorker’s Rebecca Mead in 2010. “So you look at the conservative movement — working the levers of power, creating think tanks, and trying to get people elected in different places — while the left is taking over Hollywood, the music industry, the churches.”

His project was to take that cultural space back for free market conservatives. To make his brand of economic freedom cool.

He was often disheveled, unshaven, and looked more like a wild eyed provocateur than a button down and mild mannered conservative. He wanted more conservative (classic liberal) artists and writers who had edge and who understood pop culture. He was supportive of gay and lesbian people being invited into the larger tent of conservatism and supported the inclusion of GOProud at CPAC. Here:

Breitbart, who had joined the advisory board of GOProud in January 2011, hosted a party for the organization at CPAC that year.

When the presence of GOProud at CPAC in 2011 was questioned by some on the right, it was Breitbart who told Metro Weekly, “If being conservative means rejecting gay conservatives because they are gay, then fine, I’m not a conservative.”

He will be missed, but his example leads all of us with similar values and principals onward. In my own quest to find and embody the spirit of — “Punk Rock Republicans”, I guess I can start by stepping out a bit more on the ledge that he loved to dance on. I did some battle on FB with a post on his death, and in the ensuing dialogue I ended up inadvertently and with some specific intent — coming out! Coming out on FB. And, people actually go there in larger quantity than here (most unfortunately). I guess, that is the most fitting tribute I could begin to give.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011: An individual who changed the world

Steve Jobs – an individual who changed the world, creating beautiful machines with air light efficiency. Thank you

As I reflect on his creative journey, while typing this on my MacBook, I reflect also on all the recent “Occupy Wall Street” protests morphing all over the country. And, while I can well understand their frustration with crony capitalism, high unemployment and a sagging economy, a frustration they share with the Tea Party, I also see a lot of mindless anti-capitalist cries for “revolution” or for money they feel is owed to them somehow by banks, or the rich and successful. And, of course, there’s “Power to the People”, and other silly rejoinders. I know more than a few want to end free enterprise, or tether enterprise even more strongly to government control.

So, it’s a good time to remember entrepreneurs like Jobs, who couldn’t have created his beautiful machines in a system that did not encourage innovation and allow free enterprise. He came from relatively ordinary beginnings to discover his dream through hard work and a ruthless imaginative power that demanded the best. The wealth created by Apple products is not just shared by its founders, employees, or stock holders, but by anyone who owns one of these elegant machines.

Many of the protesters are Apple fans, I wonder how many of them are able to draw this simple connection?

Thankful to be an American — considering Daniel Hannan’s warning to us

One of the first conservative shows I ever watched was “Uncommon Knowledge” with Peter Robinson. At that time, it was on Channel 9, I believe KQED, and I remember trawling through the channels flipping them to find something that would catch my attention – and there was this uber-SQUARE looking guy, with the suit and the glasses and this sort of earnest questioning of his guests — and they were alone at a table, bare-bones decoration and always discussing something of intrigue — economic policy, history. I remember thinking at some point as I listened, “Oh my god, I think these people are… CONSERVATIVES!” Oh oh….

But, I usually didn’t change the channel. I was curious and held by the discussions and sometimes just shocked at what I heard. Many of the ideas were strange and fresh and new sounding to these then far left ears and somehow, over time, it began to leak in that possibly, some of these people made sense.

Then, I began to look forward to the shows, although I always felt odd that I liked them so much.

And, that was a long time ago now, back in the early 2000’s. It was a transformational and sometimes anguished long journey from then to now, but I sometimes still tune in to the show, which is now featured at National Review and on the web.

Today’s Thanksgiving, and I just want to say — when I think of what I should be thankful for, the first thing that comes to mind is – –being an American. I could put that in leftist speak, that my biggest privilege in life is to be an American, but I’ll say it the other way, since really, today, that’s what I actually mean.

Here, an episode from Common Knowledge where Peter Robinson speaks with Daniel Hannan, a British member of the European parliament and an author of a new book called The New Road to Serfdom – A Letter of Warning to America . Here, Hannan speaks eloquently and with some degree of passion about our country and its founding principles. He discusses the differences between our system and the European systems and why ours is more conducive to prosperity, freedom and innovation. Touching on the European welfare state and our defense policies, on Obama and on European demographic decline — and explaining why you won’t find a Tea Party in the UK, Hannan lays out why we should not Europeanize. The complete show is here, but you can also watch the segments. And, there is a transcript available as well, if that works better for you.

Daniel Hannan—A Letter of Warning to America

Have a great Thanksgiving!