The HHH – Hamas/Hezbollah Huggers on the Left, LGBT Rights Deniers on the Right

Between the Hamas and Hezbollah Huggers on the left and the gay haters on the right, it can get lonely.

Let’s call the Hamas/Hezbollah Huggers the “HHH”. And, then, there are the “gay haters” on the religious right? Are they merely strong “dislikers” of The Gay and LGBT in general?

OK, these gay “dislikers” claim they don’t hate, they just think the Gay is a “lifestyle” that can be cured or prayed into non-existence. Good luck with that.

I’m not always inclined to eschew hyperbole, but in political discourse a person must tread carefully, if he or she wishes to communicate and not simply engage in rhetorical grandstanding. But, it is hard having to hear nonsense about LGBT people on one hand, and on the other – to hear the most radically hateful torturers of gay and lesbian, and sometimes trans people lauded, often by LGBT people themselves.

But let’s start with the facts. The Christians who are anti-LGBT are easy targets. Which isn’t to say they aren’t dangerous or at least — very irritating, but they are sitting duck targets. Call them stupid, hateful and misinformed and you’ve won the day. Not only because you are right as per their views on LGBT rights and people, but also because they are now becoming easy pickings. Even prominent conservative Republicans are beginning to see that gay people have rights and can’t be prayed to straight salvation. I mean Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Rob Portman, and of course, the fighter for gay marriage — Ted Olson. So, it is easier now, with the tide turning, to ridicule the conservatives who cling to gay hating, and you can kick their imagined or real Hillbilly ways and government funded wheelchairs, as in this post:
When your godless Marxist president and his thuggish fascist cabinet officers and his entire godless liberty-hating socialist democrat party and sicko sycophant complicit leftist mainstream media and the god-hating, constitution-twisting black-robed socialist liberal activist judges continue conspiring to promote homosexualism and perversion as not only normal but a healthy, wholesome, desirable activity and way of life and then force it into the curriculum of even our youngest school children, that is tyranny!

You can, poke fun at their perceived inability to distinguish Hitler from Stalin, as some commenters on the above rant do. Certainly this will prove that you are very smart…right? But then, what do you do with the LGBT activists who are often unable to distinguish Hamas from the NAACP?

In the universe of left wing Hamas huggers, anyone who would chide Hamas and deign to point out that women in Gaza are being jailed for having out of wedlock babies, and that people who smoke Hashish are being executed, after a year in prison, are simply being “racist. Hamas and Hezbollah don’t want simple peace and a beneficial co-existence with Israel; they want Israel’s complete and utter destruction. You don’t even want to know how they kill gay people. Let’s leave it at that. These left wing sophisticates seem to want to ignore willfully, that Islam is not a race, and that the radical Islam of Hamas is anti-woman’s rights, and very much anti-gay rights. In fact, it is anti-human rights, and so anti-equality. The concept of “human rights” appears to be missing altogether from the Hamas charter; the idea that every last Jew on earth must be killed, is not.

But I can already hear the cries, the Hamas and Hezbollah Huggers screaming, “But, what about the horrible Christians!” It is true, of course, that there are indeed “horrible Christians” walking amongst us, or at least, Christians who are against gay marriage, or possibly — against even any semblance of gay rights. Most extremely, again, there are Christians who believe that lesbians and gays are “perverse”, and can be prayed to a “cure”, their numbers are dwindling, but they are around. I won’t deny it. These same Christians are most likely not friendly with transsexual people either, or transgender. They are a problem in my universe, don’t get me wrong, I have real issues with this particular Jesus fandom.

However, it is also true that some of these Christians while having reprehensible or just plain mistaken beliefs about LGBT people are otherwise, decent and good people. I know at least one online, and I have known a few in passing, I am related to a few.

Hamas and Hezbollah hugging (“HHH”) left-wingers may also otherwise be decent, intelligent and even – “educated”. Take for example, the well known and influential Hamas/Hezbollah hugger Judith Butler! That woman is obviously “educated”, she now teaches gender performativity at Columbia, but apparently still can’t distinguish Hamas/Hezbollah from social movements that are part of the progressive left. Here:

“Understanding Hamas/Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important. “

Below, a nuanced and fair denouement of Butler’s views by Michael Totten. The entire statement from Butler above is quoted and put in context, and her latter statements are also considered. Totten points out that to her credit, Butler has stated she is not in favor of violence, although, as he also points out, violence is certainly being used by the most un-socially liberal Hamas and Hezbollah to accomplish their stated goal of erasing Israel. There is no other way to eradicate a country. And, how Butler can conflate Hamas or Hezbollah with social progress is an obscure point indeed.

Anti-Imperialism Fools

Butler later attempted a facile and smug de-construction of her statements with her usual rhetorical slight of hand, but I can’t help but feel cynical about her smug quibbling. To be fair, she may be denouncing violence, but she is not denouncing Hamas or Hezbollah, and she must if she is to come out on the righteous end of human history. And it is impossible to separate these two organizations from violence. Here a very good assessment of Butler’s inability to tell the good guys from the bad guys, here from writer Petra Marquardt:

“Unsurprisingly, Butler has reacted to criticism of her views regarding Hamas and Hezbollah by complaining that her remarks “have been taken out of context.” Butler mainly emphasizes now that she has “always been in favor of non-violent political action” and explicitly declares: “I do not endorse practices of violent resistance and neither do I endorse state violence, cannot, and never have.”

But it is arguably revealing that Butler chose the Mondoweiss website to publish her most recent rebuttal. Surely an academic of her standing had many other choices and did not have to turn to a site that has often been criticized for posts and as well as antisemitic cartoons? On such a site, it is somewhat strange to read Butler’s lament:

“For those of us who are descendants of European Jews who were destroyed in the Nazi genocide (my grandmother’s family was destroyed in a small village south of Budapest), it is the most painful insult and injury to be called complicitous with the hatred of Jews or to be called self-hating.”

And how come that somebody who evokes such a family history has nothing to say about the Jew-hatred espoused by Hamas and Hezbollah, and their acknowledged ideological sponsors, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime?”

Butler is not alone. There are more than a few Big Q – Queers who welcome Hamas into their bag of lefty tricks, and I regard them with as much opprobrium and bewildered angst as I regard the religious, conservative anti-LGBT right. Big Q Queers are, after all, more than simply LGBT, they regard their mission not as gay marriage or gay soldiering, but as a queer transformation of society, an in-your-face adolescent attitude that is as much uptight curmudgeon/snob and disdain of the ordinary or “normal” as it is visionary or leading edge. While I certainly believe it is important and life affirming to always be leading to the future from a place of new possibilities, the facts often lead just as often to older certainties. Sometimes Queer is a posture and a pose and not about leading us all to a better world. But again, let us distinguish between big Q Queers who wish to abolish marriage altogether, and those lesbians and gays who want the option to get married and have legal recognitions, responsibilities and rights — and who wish to lead productive lives, whether or not these lives are perceived as “in your face” or – well, normal. We can’t all be naked and polymorphous perverse in happy communes and not all of us want to be. I, for one, hate long meetings. Some of us are resigned to an LGBT normalcy that is not trend following, but often, profoundly satisfying to live. As a trans guy, I’m mostly just a normal dude. You wouldn’t think twice if you saw me on the street, and that suits me fine.

So, possibly, since they are “in your face” and hate to think of themselves as anything other than special and trendy, it is only logical that the far left Queer contingent would feign a friendly comradely relationship with the extreme and violently queer hating Hamas/Hezbollah. I mean, Hamas and Hezbollah both hate Amerikkka, and maybe, that’s enough.

Even so, I have always expected more discernment from high riding lesbians like Butler and Sarah Schulman. Schulman has been described thus by Daniel Greenfield… (she) was declaring that gay rights in Israel were part of a conspiracy to “pinkwash” the evil Zionist entity.

Sarah Schulman, a gay rights activist, had to make the confusing argument that gay rights activists should support anti-gay Islamists over Israel. And Schulman was predictably incoherent in trying to make that case. While Sarah Schulman accused pro-Israel advocates of pinkwashing Israel, Schulman was the one actually pinkwashing Hamas.

Butler, Sarah Schulman and other high visibility left wing Hamas huggers are a disappointment, a profound one. As a leftist in my not so distant past, I always had expected them to come down on the right side of human rights. But, possibly I was happily deluded. In fact, I now know for sure that I was. I mean, really now, when has the far left ever come down on the humane side of human rights? I don’t mean the moderate left of center of the Democrat party, I mean the far socialist left, and that’s why Jim from the first blog is not confabulating or confused, when he conjoins Hitler, Mussolini, Mao and Stalin – fascists and communists both in an alignment of tyrants, he’s actually absolutely correct. We can thank Jonah Goldberg’s book
Liberal Fascism for his uncovering of this similarity and conjoinment at the waist of Fascism and Communism. In hindsight, one can certain see the family resemblance.

Conflating the tyranny of National Socialism and Communism is not the sign of an uneducated, drooling rube, but of someone with more than a little common sense and possibly even, some historical acumen. If nothing else, it indicates that a person has a bedrock understanding that liberty, fascism and communism, are not bedfellows. Liberty is not aligned with communism or – fascism. Unfortunately, this simple, straightforward and utterly reasonable understanding does not extend to some of the most politically prominent if not actually astute, LGBT intellectuals. Possibly this is because ultimately, liberty is not their chief concern? It is not a core value. I think the same people who are now making positive, warm-feeling statements about Hamas would have been the same people making positive statements about Stalin. They would have declaimed Stalin as an important part of the “social movements” of the “progressive left”.

Now, this is odd, since you would think that Hamas/Hezbollah and the Christian religious right would make good bedfellows, since they are both not exactly queer friendly, however, obviously — this has not proven to be the case. I have found it confounding that the religious right hates Hamas as much as the queer left appears to embrace it. Even though Hamas and Hezbollah would happily make sure that gays are not only unmarried, but also not alive. This gave me pause; did this mean that our own religious, socially conservative right was different from what I come to believe? Well, yes, and also – no. There is a spectrum… some on that side are only critical of the use of the word “marriage” but would grant civil unions, and while not super keen on gayness or trans people are nevertheless of the understanding that LGBT people are not inherently deranged, evil or bad. Some conservatives are fine with gay people, but these cannot be understood as strict social conservatives. However, on the other hand, there are those on the religious right who don’t give two hoots about gay or trans people, make no mistake. They don’t understand us, they don’t like us, they clearly would rather we did not exist, however, they won’t join with Hamas and Hezbollah to kill us. The story is always more complicated, and in this blog I will attempt to shed the light I’ve found.

Certainly I have come to know, with some painful recognition, that the far left was different than what I had always believed. . Although there are also nuances on that side, and complications.

Complications, nuances, and deconstructions aside – the cold fact remains. Many, if not all, on the socially conservative and religious right are still in opposition to basic LGBT civil rights. The far left is infested with the HHH, Hamas/Hezbollah Huggers, who are oblivious to facts and apparently to basic human rights and liberty. Folks like me who see liberty as extending to all, and who believe in individual rights as bedrock to that fundamental liberty — have an issue. For me, neither the Hamas/Hezbollah hugging left, nor the social conservative religious right, are comfortable places to be. I remain an outlander, an outlier, and an outsider… I think both sides are nuts. And, I can’t decide which is more dangerous to my own personal mental health and peace of mind.

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Voter ID Laws and Trans People

So, my big coming out here, in public as not a left winger or even a Democrat is here… I was interviewed by a reporter for The Daily Beast. Of course, on a trans issue as it relates to possible Voter ID laws. Never had a problem myself with ID and voting, even when I was earlier into my transition. I think I say it best in the article, and it is toward the end.

For Max Wolf Valerio, a transgender man, the political transformation from a Democrat to a Republican was more daunting than transitioning from female to male. Valerio, author of The Testosterone Files, a memoir about his transition, said obtaining a state ID is part of every adult person’s life in the U.S. and not an additional challenge. “Trans people are not hothouse flowers who wilt at the slightest obstacle or pressure. We are resourceful, resilient, and often, extraordinarily strong people,” he said.

While I fully support educating poll workers for the possibility of trans people being ambiguous, if there are Voter ID laws established, just as they would be educated for any oddity or stray possibility, I honestly believe that this issue is being blown way out of proportion. I mean, trans people use state issued IDs for getting jobs, buying booze, entering a nightclub, traveling, picking up an airline ticket — and well, driving a car. Many things… in many states, it is not that difficult to change your F to M, if you have a note from a doctor. In some states it is a bit more difficult, and name change is more difficult. But, we manage. There are trans advocacy organizations that are fighting to make these laws more reasonable or to liberalize them. I support these efforts by and large. I do NOT agree with the trans guy, the lawyer speaking in the video, Dru Levasseur, who states that it is a “privilege” to be able to have an ID congruent with your gender, the gender or sex (actually) that you change to. If that is true, it’s news to me… Anyone who reads my memoir would know… I was mostly unemployed and certainly without savings,living hand to mouth, when I got my ID and name changed on my California State ID in 1989. And, that was way before “FTM” had any credence as hip or trendy. Things were far more difficult then. Listen, if I can do it, just about any one can. Yes, California’s laws are fairly liberal but even so… This hysteria over Voter ID, and this painting of trans people as victims, well – it doesn’t wash. I hate and despise this constant portrayal of us as weak, inept victims. We can manage to get IDs, we are adults, we’ve been doing it for a long time now…

Further, please, Democrat party, please stop using us for your ridiculous political agenda! In this case, being against people showing an ID at the polling place! It is not that big of a deal, really… trans people can manage, yes — we can! To borrow a slogan.

I say it better in the article…

 

Leaving the left, Media Matters and paradigm shifts

Neo-neocon is probably my favorite ex-lefty. She actually was never an extreme leftist but nonetheless she was not, as she is now, a neocon. My own political persuasion registers most strongly as neocon and as moderate libertarian on all those political tests. Neocon is misunderstood by many, and most neocons are former leftists (David Horowitz) who had a very radical and deep change of heart. It is characterized primarily by a hawkish foreign policy and often, socially liberal attitudes. That’s me: pro-Israel, anti-radical Islam, hawkish on defense, and fiscally fairly conservative — socially liberal (pro-choice with reservations but pro-choice, and — pro-gay marriage). And I don’t whine on about “white supremacy” or the “patriarchy” or even about “transphobia, homophobia, fatphobia, racism and sexism”. Those things exist, in some way, shape or form, but they are not the screen through which I view the world. I am a happier person for that. I believe in individual liberty and individual rights first and foremost over the primacy of collective identities.

I consider now, most of what I believed in the past, these obsessions with race, class and sexual orientation and gender identity to be “mind trash”. I mean, while certainly again, there are concerns about discrimination that are real, an obsession with who is “privileged” and who is not, with deconstructing for instances of these “isms” — is a waste of time. A big waste of time and of a life.

Neo-neocon writes often about her own journey from left leaning to right leaning and all the pain along the way. Mainly, the sudden and abrupt loss of friendships, sometimes, amounting to people leaving in the midst of a conversation at a party, and never speaking to her again. Yes, it can be that way. It is a common story, nearly all political apostates from left to right tell it and — it is most likely the hardest thing about this transformation. And, it is a transformation, a “paradigm shift”. Today, Neo-neocon writes below about this and refers to the Ace of Spades here at his blog…


It’s called a paradigm shift. It’s going to seem a little weird and scary at first, but it will also be thrilling and ultimately liberating.

A lot of things that have bothered you for…years — which haven’t seemed to make sense to you, because your brain was screening the truth from you — are suddenly going to make a lot of sense indeed. And you’re going to be kicking yourself for not seeing it sooner, like an optical illusion that suddenly changes from a lady’s face to a candle.

I think it’s a great description of a process I know well. But Ace, what’s with this “lady’s face to a candle” business? I always thought it was either two faces to a vase:

And, at Ace’s blog there is an excellent post about Media Matters and their anti-semitism:


Formerly Reliable Liberal Alan Derschowitz: I Vow I Will Not Vote For Any Candidate With Any Direct Association With the Anti-Semitic, Nazi-Friendly Media Matters

I have read about recent outings of Media Matters as being very connected to the white house, like through an IV drip. Apparently, Media Matters gets daily updates from Valerie Jarrett, who is a top adviser to the Prez. And, they’ve attempted to target Fox News by finding dirt on the personal lives of their anchors and pundits, and – by even “planting a mole”. Pretty crazy stuff. Here more about Derschowitz and his take on Media Matters:

Here from a Daily Caller article by Jeff Poor:
In 2008, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz came out in favor of then-Sen. Barack Obama in his presidential election contest with Arizona Sen. John McCain. He said Obama and McCain had similar positions on Israel, but gave the nod to Obama because of his liberal stance on things “unrelated to Israel.”

That could change in the 2012 presidential contest between and the yet-to-be-determined Republican candidate. In an appearance on Jay Severin’s Boston Talk 1200 radio show, Dershowitz spoke out against two organizations that have close ties to the Obama White House: Media Matters and the Center for American Progress.

“Media Matters and Center for American Progress are two extremely left-bigoted groups that are so virulently anti-Israel and anti-supporters of Israel that they’ve gone over the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz said. ”They now use the term ‘Israel firsters,’ the way anti-Catholic bigots used to use the term ‘Vatican firsters’ or ‘Irish firsters,’ as if to suggest Americans who support Israel have dual loyalty. This false charge goes back to the Bible — goes back to the Book of Esther, goes back thousands of years. It was one of Hitler’s justifications for killing the Jews: ‘Dual loyalty, they’re not good Germans, they’re not good Americans,’ whatever it is.”

Dershowitz has been vocal against Media Matters in recent days, making that charge of anti-Semitism. However, his classification of the Center for American Progress as borderline “anti-Semitic” is noteworthy because both Media Matters and the Center for Progress have received money directly from billionaire left-wing financier George Soros, who has faced similar charges in the past.

“These two organizations have been found to be anti-Semitic by many of the objective monitoring groups,” he said. “And now they are closely associated with the Democratic Party and I have said very clearly there is no room in this tent for me on the one hand, and for Media Matters and for this other group on the other hand. We can’t be in the same tent. I will not be in a tent with fascists, with supporters of Ahmadinejad, with supporters of Hamas, with supporters of Hezbollah, with anti-Semitic bigots, whether they’re Jewish or not. Some of them are Jewish. Some of them are not.”

Read more: David Duke of the extreme left

The Vindication of Clarence Thomas

I’m easing back into blogging, and just had to note the new perceptions of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that are appearing in the wider media. I cite two below. I especially enjoyed Thomas’s assessment of “the elites”. He is an anti-snob who received an Ivy League education and who remains especially suspicious of the elite Ivys and their audacity and monopoly on opinion in the media and (especially) the judiciary. I really gained a new respect from him from the sources I cite below (Jeffrey Toobin and Walter Russell Mead’s article on Toobin), enjoy if you haven’t already read about this new take on the man.

I also agree with Justice Thomas that Affirmative Action tends to negate the prestige of an individual’s accomplishment since it is forever cast under a veil of suspicion as to its authenticity. I mean, I’m half American Indian and half Hispanic (Sephardic New Mexico roots) and have often been told that “I must have gotten (x or y or z) because of Affirmative Action. I am always shocked and always protest that this is not the case, as I was usually at the top of my class in test scores and often in the gifted classes – but, of course, one can never defend oneself enough and the taint remains. Apparently, Judge Thomas knows this also from hard experience.

As most people are aware, Clarence Thomas has been an embattled and often belittled Supreme Court Justice from his nomination to the present day. Most people I know think he is a mute idiot and a token African American Justice chosen by George H.W. Bush to give him some kind of credibility regarding “diversity” while also shoring up the extreme constitutional conservatism of Scalia on the bench. He’s widely regarded as a mere intellectual follower of Scalia and widely derided by lefties of all stripes from mild and moderate to extreme as being a dummy. Well, apparently, it is becoming apparent even to constitutional scholars who are left wing and ideological foes, and who have held a scornfully low opinion of him, that actually Thomas is brilliant and that he knows exactly what he is doing and is following no one, first from a blog post by Walter Russell Mead commenting on Toobin’s article in the New Yorker:


If Toobin’s revionist take is correct, (and I defer to his knowledge of the direction of modern constitutional thought) it means that liberal America has spent a generation mocking a Black man as an ignorant fool, even as constitutional scholars stand in growing amazement at the intellectual audacity, philosophical coherence and historical reflection embedded in his judicial work.

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Thomas may get the last laugh, and apparently, he is a man with a razor sharp intellect and strongly felt opinions who despises those he calls “the elites”. That is, the graduates from Harvard, Columbia and other Ivy League schools that tend to be the only people selected for important judgeships. While he is also himself a graduate of Yale, he refuses to do speaking engagements at Ivy league schools, and is the only Supreme Court Justice to select law clerks from schools that are not Ivy League, here from Toobin’s article in the New Yorker :

“We talk about diversity. The real problem of our Court is that it’s all Ivy League,” Thomas said. Currently, all nine Justices attended law school at either Harvard or Yale. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there are other law schools out there,” he said. Alone among his colleagues, Thomas usually selects at least some of his law clerks from less prominent schools. In recent years, his clerks have included graduates of the law schools of Creighton University, in Nebraska; Rutgers; George Mason; and the University of Utah.”

He has a low regard for his own education at Yale feeling that Affirmative Action sullied the brand saying: “When he recently received an honorary doctorate from the Stetson University College of Law, in Gulfport, Florida, he said, “Thank you for a law degree that I can put up on my wall.” The audience greeted the remark with polite laughter, but Thomas’s sentiment has a long history. Thomas graduated from Yale Law School in 1974, and he maintains a rich and public loathing for the institution. In his autobiography, published in 2007, he wrote, “As a symbol of my disillusionment, I peeled a fifteen-cent sticker off a package of cigars and stuck it on the frame of my law degree to remind myself of the mistake I’d made by going to Yale. I never did change my mind about its value.” Thomas has refused entreaties from a series of deans at Yale to sit for a portrait for the school…”

Read more Toobin article

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Finally, Toobin testifies that Thomas may well soon have a chance to nullify many of the structures of the modern progressive (post New Deal) state, giving a new credence to the 10th amendment just as in the recent past, the 2nd amendment came to be viewed in a different light — giving new weight to the idea that the 2nd amendment protects individual gun owners’ rights and not simply the right of states to have an armed militia. I’m just getting clear with all of this right now, but I found this article very informative and surprising since I had also been boondoggled into seeing Thomas as at the least, a mediocre Justice. Apparently, once again, I have had to rethink this received and formerly unquestioned opinion. Soon, he may have a chance to declare Obama’s mandate to purchase health insurance unconstitutional, and this could have broad implications for other instances of the Federal government mandating policy to the states. And, Toobin, BTW is not a booster of conservative views apparently, but a liberal himself. He writes this in warning.

More here, directly from Jeffrey Toobin:

“These tempests obscure a larger truth about Thomas: that this year has also been, for him, a moment of triumph. In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication.

The conventional view of Thomas takes his lack of participation at oral argument as a kind of metaphor. The silent Justice is said to be an intellectual nonentity, a cipher for his similarly conservative colleague, Antonin Scalia. But those who follow the Court closely find this stereotype wrong in every particular. Thomas has long been a favorite of conservatives, but they admire the Justice for how he gives voice to their cause, not just because he votes their way. “Of the nine Justices presently on the Court, he is the one whose opinions I enjoy reading the most,” Steve Calabresi, a professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and a co-founder of the Federalist Society, said. “They are very scholarly, with lots of historical sources, and his views are the most principled, even among the conservatives. He has staked out some bold positions, and then the Court has set out and moved in his direction.”

Thomas’s intellect and his influence have also been recognized by those who generally disagree with his views. According to Akhil Reed Amar, a professor at Yale Law School, Thomas’s career resembles that of Hugo Black, the former Alabama senator who served from 1937 to 1971 and is today universally regarded as a major figure in the Court’s history. “Both were Southerners who came to the Court young and with very little judicial experience,” Amar said. (Thomas is from Georgia.) “Early in their careers, they were often in dissent, sometimes by themselves, but they were content to go their own way. But once Earl Warren became Chief Justice the Court started to come to Black. It’s the same with Thomas and the Roberts Court. Thomas’s views are now being followed by a majority of the Court in case after case.”

The implications of Thomas’s leadership for the Court, and for the country, are profound. Thomas is probably the most conservative Justice to serve on the Court since the nineteen-thirties. More than virtually any of his colleagues, he has a fully wrought judicial philosophy that, if realized, would transform much of American government and society. Thomas’s views both reflect and inspire the Tea Party movement, which his wife has helped lead almost since its inception. The Tea Party is a diffuse operation, and it can be difficult to pin down its stand on any given issue. Still, the Tea Party is unusual among American political movements in its commitment to a specific view of the Constitution—one that accords, with great precision, with Thomas’s own approach. For decades, various branches of the conservative movement have called for a reduction in the size of the federal government, but for the Tea Party, and for Thomas, small government is a constitutional command.

In his jurisprudence, Thomas may be best known for his belief in a “color-blind Constitution”; that is, one that forbids any form of racial preference or affirmative action. But color blind, for Thomas, is not blind to race. Thomas finds a racial angle on a broad array of issues, including those which appear to be scarcely related to traditional civil rights, like campaign finance or gun control. In Thomas’s view, the Constitution imposes an ideal of racial self-sufficiency, an extreme version of the philosophy associated with Booker T. Washington, whose portrait hangs in his chambers. (This personal gallery also includes Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher.)

In recent weeks, two federal courts of appeals have reached opposing conclusions about the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care law; the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, upheld it, while the Eleventh Circuit, in Atlanta, struck down its requirement that all Americans buy health insurance. This conflict means that the Supreme Court will almost certainly agree to review the case this fall, with a decision expected by June of next year. It is likely to be the most important case for the Justices since Bush v. Gore, and it will certainly be the clearest test yet of Thomas’s ascendancy at the Court. Thomas’s entire career as a judge has been building toward the moment when he would be able to declare that law unconstitutional. It would be not only a victory for his approach to the Constitution but also, it seems, a defeat for the enemies who have pursued him for so long: liberals, law professors, journalists—the group that Thomas refers to collectively as “the élites.” ”


Read more more Toobin on Thomas

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I recommend everyone read the article! Quite an eye opener. Yes, Toobin talks about Anita Hill. Whether or not Thomas has a potty mouth and a weakness for bad sexual politics in the office is not historically clear, although I have always tended to believe Hill — but now that issue is not of great importance. Not when Clarence Thomas is poised to help make history. Apparently, Judge Thomas has more brains than he has been given credit for and finally, he may be able to vindicate himself and his views on a larger historical stage.

One year for Liberty Wolf — (!!!)

I noticed that it has been a year since I started this blog. So, I’d like to insert a short and earnest celebratory gesture. In other words, YAY!

So, certainly, the blog has a long ways to go, and I’m only scratching the surface. It’s a kind of notebook, and modest in its ambition. Well, at least at this point. I’m still exploring and learning and noting what I find of interest.

Now, how did I go from left to right? What happened actually?

Simple. I began to read the other side.

So, in the hope that someone else may stumble on this blog and begin their own journey of questioning and investigating — I begin it’s second year.

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!

Don’t those right wingers HATE transsexuals? And why it doesn’t matter when it comes to Free Speech

When it comes to light that I’ve made the switch, oh – not that one, but the apparently even more mind boggling and scandalous switch from left to somewhere on the right — my left leaning friends will always exclaim, “BUT THOSE PEOPLE HATE YOU!”

And, what they mean is, you’re a transsexual, those right wing people hate you! I remain calm and state that actually, I have not encountered that really, well, not as they imagine I have. However, I have to admit, after a sigh, that yes, I do see blog posts now and then that appear to indicate less than a — perfect understanding of transsexuality. OK, damn it, yes, even a couple of my favorite bloggers have expressed disgust and confusion, and condemnation, on a couple of occasions. Maybe, it is possible then that some of them do – hate me or hate what I am. However, I don’t know if I would take it that far, to “hate” — but certainly, a few are disapproving and have weird ass ideas about trans people.

Of course, since I’ve been transitioned for over 21 years, however one counts these things, I am possibly a bit less sensitive. I am a man first and foremost, although I got there in ways that most men do not. I am confident of my masculinity and manhood, even while remaining aware that I am different. And being different in and of itself is not so bad. After all, there are many things about me that are “different”. I am half American Indian, half Latino (Hispano) and even so – light skinned and with light eyes and even – when I leave it alone, light hair (before it grayed). I am a poet and punk and bohemian and I prize difference and individuality, even eccentricity. I mean, I’m not the run of the mill non-trans straight white male if there is such a thing. And, yes, I have nothing, against straight white males, I am often mistaken for one. And, I am — straight, or at least, heterosexual. So, I have grown a bit of a thicker skin over the years. Like most men, I’ve learned ya gotta roll with the punches and a “victim” attitude is not real manly. The majority of people don’t sympathize.

I am also aware that many kinds of people are confused by or are upset by me, not just the right. The left wants me to “queer gender” and just “queer” period. I can understand that my difference makes me “some kind of queer” but I also feel just like an average straight dude a lot of the time, and not queer gendered at all. And, for me, that works just fine. My life project is not to create a world without binary gender, and I actually have little interest in such a world. However, I certainly don’t mind if someone else feels “non-binary” or gender queer, but it could also be – that we are in two different worlds, even if in some ways, our worlds are related.

I have always been in awe of the ability of the human sexual imagination to create and generate possibility. So, I respect actually, the gender queers of the world. However, I also understand that all possibilities are limited by the actual world we inhabit of flesh and blood. For me, transsexuality is very much about flesh and blood.

I have radically altered, changed my biological sex, and for me, that transformation is the root of my understanding of transsexuality. Not so much an identity as a process, although the process does help to contextualize my identity as male. And, while it is an imperfect process and helps to create a complex identity, that male identity is also more coherent, than some give it credit for. Additionally, the process of sex change is again, simply a process and does not dictate politics. That process of sex change does not make one a Democrat or a Republican or a left winger or a right winger, it is not a cult or a political party. It is a sex change. (I’ve said this elsewhere, like in a book I wrote)

But that’s an aside… but it is by way of background to my perspective on this perplexing matter of allies and people who are, not necessarily allies. I can write more on this as the blog goes on, it is beyond a single entry.

What I mean to say mainly is this — it is true that sometimes, the people I otherwise agree with or even admire do not apparently understand or approve of transexual people. I was shocked today to see this post by Kathy Shaidle, someone I have featured here on Liberty Wolf. I was thrilled when Kathy noticed one of my first posts, one where I pulled a story about Johnny Rotten being an apparent Israel supporter from her blog. We both have at least a couple of things in common, we were punk rockers in a past life, and I can attest that the punk never really rubs off. And, we are both former leftists. But here she writes and quotes from a news story:

‘Human rights’ are crap, and transexuals are sick, lonely and confused
A renowned human rights lawyer allegedly pushed to his death under a Tube train was living a secret life as a transsexual escort.

David Burgess, 63, who was also known as Sonia, offered his services on a website, where he advertised himself as a ‘pre-op’ transsexual escort looking for paid encounters with men.

As you can see there is a link there to a wrenching story about a trans woman who was murdered by being pushed underneath a train in the UK. This is apparently being investigated as a murder and a suspect, a young woman, is already in custody. The article refers to the trans woman as “he” and I was unsure as to whether she was transitioned or cross living part-time and still living as male, but – it does appear that she had transitioned (although relatively recently) and also– apparently, she was a secret prostitute or escort. The paper was simply being disrespectful and sensationalistic. Of course, sex workers or escorts/prostitutes are often killed and their lives are seen as next to worthless. This is true regardless of whether they are trans women or non-trans women.

What struck me about this particular post was that it appeared to be so callous about the loss of a human being’s life, someone who was apparently murdered. I was shocked that her death was not noted as being brutal and wrong, nd that she was simply written off as “confused”. As though transsexuals deserve to die if we are confused or lonely. This woman, no matter what one may think of her life or identity, was just murdered in a horrible way. She has friends and family, and I am stunned to see her death written about like this.

Certainly, this is what my dismayed friends on the left have been warning me about all along: “those people hate you!” You can’t be on their side, they hate you and — even, would sneer over your dead body if someone killed you for being trans. Or even if someone just killed you. They hate you that much. (it has not been established that Sonja was murdered for being trans)

Now, I know Sonja, was a Human Rights attorney, and maybe this explains at least some of Shaidle’s vitriol. While it looks as though she did some work for cases involving North Korea, work that is likely to be a very good thing — the association with Human Rights are often grounds for suspicion given the Canadian Human Rights Commissions and their attack on speech. I can well understand Shaidle’s dislike of Human Rights attorneys and the machinery of Human Rights activism. I mean, she has been brought before the Canadian Human Rights Commission for hate speech, and now, her husband is also being sued for his anti-Section 13 activism and the contents of his blog Blazingcatfur. His crime? He linked to the website of Mark Steyn. The story here: :

Richard Warman Sues Blazingcatfur for Linking to Mark Steyn

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Now, Shaidle did not get pulled in for speech against transsexuals, like the remarks above. What happened was more of a confusing amalgam of weirdness from one former HRC employee named Richard Warman who is using Section 13 for all its worth. He’s also sued Ezra Levant, a Canadian publisher, for publishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons. He lost that one, but it was a long three year circus. Here from Ezra Levant:

The Circus of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Free Speech

That post is from 2008, but it is a detailed rundown of the effect of Section 13 and how some, like Warman, intend to use it to shut down diversity of opinion in Canada. And, when I say diversity of opinion, I mean just that.

While I find Shaidle’s remarks about the horrible murder of this transsexual woman in the UK hateful and wrong, I also will defend her right to state her beliefs in her blog, or to write them in articles, or to put them in emails to friends. While I disagree and am personally mortified, I also recognize that she has a right to her speech, just as I have the right to disagree on this blog. The remedy is not censorship but more speech. Otherwise, I have no illusion that my right to speech, might be curtailed as well at some point in the future, and maybe, right now if I was a Canadian.

Thankfully, I am an American, and I have the protection of the First Amendment. But, we live in times when the term is “hate speech” is increasingly used to shut people up in spite of that. When people are bullied when they express opinions not in line with certain sensibilities, right or wrong. There is always that threat that speech could be curtailed and on campuses, it is – often unconstitutionally. There are organizations like FIRE that fight that fight and usually win.

Recently, here in the USA, in another recent blog post, Shaidle also clued me into another interesting battle around speech. Radio show hot Dan Fagen was pulled off the air after Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski threatened him with legal action for “illegal electioneering” when he satirized her write-in campaign for Senator. Sarah Palin, in a recent Facebook entry, is taking up his cause. According to Palin, this type of on air satire is not electioneering but an exercise of free speech. She could be right, but Fagen was pulled off the air because lawsuits are costly and he is not on a radio station with deep pockets. Sarah Palin writes of this on her Facebook page here: Lisa, are you going to shut down my Facebook page for writing this? . I quote:

“Yesterday, Lisa Murkowski’s hired guns threatened radio host Dan Fagan, and more importantly, the station that airs Fagan’s show, with legal action for allegedly illegal “electioneering.” The station, unlike Murkowski, who is flush with millions of dollars from vested corporate interests, does not have a budget for a legal defense. So it did what any small market station would do when threatened by Beltway lawyers charging $500 to $1000 an hour – they pulled Dan Fagan off the air.

Does all this sound heavy handed? It is. It is an interference with Dan Fagan’s constitutional right to free speech. It is also a shocking indictment against Lisa Murkowski. How low will she go to hold onto power? First, she gets the Division of Elections to change its write-in process – a process that Judge Pfiffner correctly determined had been in place without change for 50 years. She is accepting financial support from federal contractors, an act that is highly questionable and now pending before the FEC. And today, she played her last card. She made it clear that if you disagree with her and encourage others to exercise their civic rights, she’ll take you off the air.

The concept of “electioneering” involves several issues, but typically refers to campaigning at the polls, which is appropriately banned. Under federal law, it can also mean paying for advertising on broadcast media during a federal election cycle, and it requires disclosures if done by groups and corporations. Fagan used satire to mock Murkowski’s write-in efforts and encouraged Alaskans to run as write-in candidates. That is not illegal. That is free speech.

Individuals like Dan Fagan have a fundamental right to speak their minds without threats from the incumbent Senator from Alaska. It is hard to find a constitutional right Americans cherish more than the right to free speech.”

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She continues to say that Fagan has often insulted her and her family in the past, he is no friend of Sarah Palin. His remarks have been hurtful and possibly quite unfair, here:

“Dan Fagan has not always agreed with me, but I will gladly defend his right to speak freely on his radio show, which he has often used to criticize me. In fact, Fagan has actually used his radio show to attack and insult me, my husband, my children, and my family in just about every way possible. He was especially insulting to my son, who left for a war zone to defend Fagan’s right to attack our family. But when I was his governor, I never would have dreamed of threatening his right to free speech. I support him in this fight because this D.C. Beltway thuggery, as exemplified by Lisa Murkowski’s latest threat, is ruining our country.

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I agree with Palin that free speech must be defended in this country even if the speaker is someone we violently disagree with, or find personally hateful. Even if they insult your family, or — your manhood or womanhood. Because without free speech, the gates are opened for all kinds of governmental abuses and eventually the dumbing down of debate. As a writer, I understand the stakes are high. As a trans person and a member of at least two more minorities, I know that censoring “hate speech” will only work against my interests and even the interests of my group in the long run. It is all about who has the power and who gets to say something is officially off-limits, and that tends to shift with the winds.

I wish Kathy Shaidle’s husband all the best in fighting this suit, and I urge anybody who wishes to support her and her husband Arnie in this cause to contribute here: Contribute here and read his thanks ahead of time from Blazing Cat Fur

Maybe someday Kathy and I can talk about trans people and the whole kettle of fish can be sorted out in a different way. Or, maybe not. Maybe if I’m pushed into the path of a moving BART train she will sneer that at the time of my demise my bedroom was found to be a den of chaos, I was not working and died dead broke with a small three legged dog as my only companion, and of course, it should come as no surprise then that I was — transsexual!

However, let it be known even so that I was not a fan of the Human Rights Commission in Canada, and I am, in fact, quite suspicious of them here or anywhere they pop up. And, I sincerely hope that Canada rids itself of Section 13 before I get my dual citizenship (as a Canadian Native from my mother’s side, I’m eligible) and some loony uber-left feminist calls me a misogynist, woman hating, notorious gender queer hating trans man and hauls me in front of the Canadian Human Rights Commission for “hate speech”. Yes, that happens. The vitriol runs not only one way, but from the left as well. Why do you think I started reading right wing blogs? Hah.

Or, maybe, upon obtaining my Canadian citizenship, I will be hauled before the HRC for — linking to Kathy Shaidle!

Stranger things have happened.

Juan Williams – Neo-neocon can relate! (and so can I)

Neo-neocon in witnessing the recent Juan WIlliams firing is reminded of her own process of political change moving from left to right and how it felt to realize that people she thought previously were at least reasonable, were anything but…

She writes:
“I see it in Williams eyes when I happen to catch him on Fox these days: he’s spitting mad. Personally outraged, and most of all surprised.

I don’t know whether the NPR firing will lead to any political change for him, and it almost doesn’t matter. But it is interesting to watch—and to recognize—the emotional process he’s undergoing. He appears to be struggling with a sense of betrayal and of shock, because he seemed to have previously been a believer in the essential fairness of the liberal world of which he was a part….

It’s not for nothing that I have a category on the right sidebar entitled, “Leaving the circle: political apostasy” (a category to which I will assign this post when it’s done). I remember quite vividly when I first experienced the phenomenon. At the time, I was far from being a Juan Williams, having lived a relatively apolitical life. The reaction I got when I first politely voiced my relatively moderate disagreements wth the liberals who surrounded me sent me reeling, in the emotional sense.

I’ve adjusted in the many years since it first happened (neo’s not so neo any more). I’ve gotten used to it and come to expect it. But in some ways I’m still reeling, and probably always will be. It’s that profound an experience.”

I think I know exactly what she means, although certainly not everyone has reacted in this way, but certainly one proceeds with caution as one leaves the fold of the left.

Here, the short post:

The neofication of Juan Williams

binaries in politics — how I began my journey

In my own journey, I’ve often wondered if  the old “right” and “left” political binary have become obsolete.   Binaries in my neck of the woods are considered fluid, flimsy as gossamer veils, subject to endless interrogation.  Binaries are very nearly, “evil” or at least, tainted by a certainty that is stolid and suffocating  — repressive.  Now, really, I think that type of thinking is just plain wrongheaded.  I mean, binaries are also creative and generative of possibility, while also supportive of a basic structure that is fundamental and sustaining.  Any way, there are all kinds of binaries and one is —  left and right.

I began to question my own allegiance to the left, which was deeply rooted in my identity as an outsider, when I kept running up against a morbid and deep intolerance.  That’s right, an intolerance from the left.  I was too manly, when I became a man, and too heterosexual, when I became an apparently straight or heterosexual dude.  I used words that were too raw and primal in my writing, I was not endlessly qualifying or non-judgmental in my language or tone.  I made fun of people, everyone, but still, I made fun of people.  And, while I made fun of the religious right and Republicans, I also made fun of genderqueers and feminists. The first got me laughs, and the other got me in trouble.  I made fun of what I considered pretense on the left.  I was pro feminist but also not anti-male, at least not enough to satisfy my critics.

So, I began to question.  Was I right?  Or, was I wrong?  Or, were those not even the things I should be considering.   Had I just not seen deeply enough my “male privilege” now that I was a man?

Over time,   I began to see that my critics, my radical leftist feminist critics, often saw the world in a very cartoonish way.  In some way,  I discovered, they were as simplistic as any right-wing theocratic hate-monger – our nemesis.  They were just as simplistic and as certain of their own righteousness, and therefore just as dangerous and deluded, even if these “progressives” were nominally on “my side”.    And, really the bile and hatred hurt more, coming from the left, my left, my home, then it ever could from the right.

Any way, I started to look around, and I now am bringing you in on this journey.  I’ve found another perspective.  And, I have come to realize that the left I loved, is not the left as it is today, or maybe– it is quite possible that I did not see them so clearly before.  It is possible, yes – it is.

You see, I think that the hard left, the one that was once called “communist”, but is now simply the left,  the progressive left, that left sucks up various groups that are embattled and fighting for their voice or rights, or that feel squeezed out or misunderstood, I think the left takes those groups and uses them.  It uses them for its own purposes, it is very, very opportunistic.   Now, I am not saying that there have not been actual rights won, or crucial battles that needed to be fought.  Even so,  these legitimate grievances are used for a greater agenda, that I have found, to be antithetical to the rights of individuals – to liberty.  These groups become victims and oppressed champions of the struggle, the struggle for that utopian ideal, and they are — the latest flavor of oppressed.   All is fine until, someone in one of these groups says something outside the program, and it is a program.  Until you write or paint or dream or just are, something that doesn’t fit in the little place they’ve got for you.  Until you no longer sound one day, like the victim.  Then, you have problems.

I leave you with that thought.  Those thoughts, and I’ll be back, to add some more.