1 day ago
The Christianists were once in the Democratic party, engaged in an endless and bitter but integrating coalition with economic liberals and secular progressives. And this helped soften the hard edges, even when they were dictating policy. Today, the GOP is controlled entirely by the religious right, and its manner of thinking has altered to a purely religious one. Policies dependent on circumstances are now doctrines (no tax hikes ever) unable to be altered. Foreign policy is dictated by Christianist dogma (on, for example, Israel) rather than prudential advancement of national interests. As the society has moved on, the GOP has become more noticeable for its white-knuckled resistance to all such change.And in another post, Sullivan says:
Today's GOP, for example, favors repeal of the repeal of DADT, a constitutional amendment to ban all relationship rights for gay couples, criminalization of all abortion including cases of rape and incest, the undermining of evolution in education, disbelief in climate change, support for torture, cheers for the death penalty, and a global Judeo-Christian war against Islam. Yes, reality in a changing, more individualized world, is stacked against them. But that doesn't mean reactionaryism doesn't have traction. Closing the EPA is a radical stance, compared with, say, Nixon's environmental policies. Calling the very term gay the "work of Satan," as Bachmann has, is not the spirit of Reagan in the Briggs Initiative. Embracing torture 20 years after Reagan signed the UN Convention against it is another grim development. The expulsion of all pro-choice Republicans from the party is another. Yes, Dick Cheney has a gay daughter. Like Mead, I thought that would make a difference. But the GOP subsequently stripped his daughter of any rights (even private contracts) in her relationship in Virginia, launched successful efforts in a majority of states to ban recognition of gay relationships in state constitutions - and the Bush administration backed the Federal Marriage Amendment. . . .
Compare the GOP with the Tories they once shadowed. The Tories were prepared to raise some taxes to cut the debt. They have pioneered and embraced conservative environmentalism. They are backing full marriage equality for gays. They leave abortion and the death penalty to the individual consciences of legislators, without taking a party position. But they are also emphatically in favor of private enterprise, and a prudent foreign policy - and are cutting spending in ways that the GOP has only ever aired theoretically. This is what conservatism used to be. And like Mead, I am old enough to remember it.
I have not faced the consequences of war up-close and have nothing but awe for those who have. But my own, much more cloistered experience as a war supporter is similar. I will never think of America the same way after the Bush-Cheney administration. They ripped the scales off my eyes; they proved that America isn't, in the end, different; that its core moral principles, such as the prohibition of torture, are nostrums to be tossed aside at the whim of a few very scared and incompetent men; that the rule of law ends when it comes to presidential power, when he can simply order dipshit lawyers to say black is white; when no regret is ever truly expressed about the tens of thousands of Iraqis who died under US occupation; when the architects of these strategic and moral disasters are given legal immunity and peddle books on talkshows defending and bragging of their own awful legacy.And after thinking over the booing of this gay soldier, Sullivan gets angry:
It has sickened me - the lack of morality, the lack of accountability, the constant recourse to mass amnesia. And in a man like Perry, you see all the characteristics of this belligerent, diplomatically autistic, aggressively stupid, and fundamentalist psyche. The dragon we thought we had slain is stalking the land again.
But somehow the fact that these indignities were heaped on a man risking his life to serve this country, a man ballsy enough to make that video, a man in the uniform of the United States . . . well, it tells me a couple of things. It tells me that these Republicans don't actually deep down care for the troops, if that means gay troops. Their constant posturing military patriotism has its limits.
The shocking silence on the stage - the fact that no one challenged this outrage - also tells me that this kind of slur is not regarded as a big deal. When it came to it, even Santorum couldn't sanction firing all those servicemembers who are now proudly out. But that's because he was forced to focus not on his own Thomist abstractions, but on an actual person. Throughout Republican debates, gays are discussed as if we are never in the audience, never actually part of the society, never fully part of families, never worthy of even a scintilla of respect. When you boo a servicemember solely because he's gay, you are saying he is beneath contempt, that nothing he does or has done can counterweigh the vileness of his sexual orientation.
And then I think of all those gay servicemembers who have died for this country, or been wounded in battle, or been on tours year after year . . . and the fury builds.
And to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must allow our citizens to reach theirs. No country can afford the corruption that plagues the world like a cancer. Together, we must harness the power of open societies and open economies. That’s why we’ve partnered with countries from across the globe to launch a new partnership on open government that helps ensure accountability and helps to empower citizens. No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.
|Book and DVD available thru TLA, click the pic|
|Prime Minister Cameron with Deputy Prime Minister Clegg, whom Cameron jokingly introduced at as "my own civil partner" at a Gay Pride reception held at 10 Downing Street last year|
What a contrast. In the U.S. GOP, gays are the spawn of Satan, and a leading candidate runs a business designed to “cure” them. In Britain, the Conservative-Liberal Coalition government has just announced it is moving ahead with legislation for full marriage equality. . . .
When Virtually Normal came out in 1995, I didn’t dare hope that this day would come — or that it would come from the Conservative party in Britain, which now has more openly gay members of parliament than the more liberal opposition. And it is, of course, a conservative position: promoting family, responsibility, and civil equality in response to an emerging social reality — large numbers of openly gay citizens. In this sense, the GOP is not in any way “conservative.” It is better understood as a religious movement with radically reactionary political objectives, like undoing much of the New Deal.
One day, it may recover, and candidacies like Jon Huntsman’s show the way forward. But not yet. And perhaps not for a very long time. When a party becomes a religion, and when policies become doctrines, change is very hard.
The Marines were the service most opposed to ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but they were the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar at the center Tuesday morning. Although Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also ferociously promote their view of themselves as the best. With the law now changed, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.
Still, judging by the traffic at the gay rights center on Tuesday, there will not be an immediate flood of gay and lesbian Marine applicants. By 3 p.m., more than four hours after the Marines had set up their booth opposite the center’s AIDS quilt, only three women had wandered in, none ideal recruits. The local television crews who had come to watch the action — or inaction, as it turned out — easily outnumbered them. . . .
By 5 p.m. the Marines had packed up their booth and chin-up bar and headed out, with plans to come back later to attend a panel discussion. It was all uncharted territory. As Sergeant Henry had said the day before of the new world the Marines now inhabit, “At first it’s going to be kind of shock and awe.”
But like a good Marine, he was with the program: “My take is, if they can make it through our boot camp, which is the toughest boot camp in the world, then they ought to have the opportunity to wear the uniform.”
Just as the formal repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy took effect, Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were married before a small group of family and friends.Congratulations to the happy couple.
The two men, who'd been together 11 years, decided to marry in Vermont in part because the state is in the Eastern time zone. That way, they were able to recite their vows at the stroke of midnight — at the first possible moment after the ban ended. "I think it was a beautiful ceremony. The emotions really hit me...but it's finally official," Ross said early Tuesday.
Hours before the change, the American military was also making final preparations for the historic policy shift. The Pentagon announced that it was already accepting applications from openly gay candidates, although officials said they would wait a day before reviewing them.
Ross, 33, and Dan Swezy, a 49-year-old civilian, traveled from their home in Tucson, Ariz., so they could get married in Vermont, the first state to allow gays to enter into civil unions and one of six that have legalized same-sex marriage.
Ross wore his dress uniform for the double-ring ceremony that began at 11:45 p.m. Monday at Duxbury's Moose Meadow Lodge, a log cabin bed-and-breakfast perched on a hillside about 15 miles northwest of Montpelier. The lodge says it hosted the state's first gay wedding in 2009.
Justice of the Peace Greg Trulson proclaimed the marriage at exactly midnight.
“The service is just for family.”
This is the life our worst opponents want for us. What they want our culture to go back to. What they consider the proper order of things. They might object, perhaps with truth, that they don’t wish on us this trauma and grief.They merely want us to be celibate, to avoid temptation, to stifle our chances for a loving partner.
But if we refuse to do that, we certainly shouldn’t expect to be family.
Clark Gable and Jean Harlow team up once again and make the sparks fly in Tay Garnett's action packed adventure CHINA SEAS (1935). Wallace Beery, Rosalind Russell, Lewis Stone, C. Aubrey Smith and a cast of thousands join them for a trip through typhoon winds and pirate waters. Produced by MGM boy wonder Irving Thalberg , it's loaded with top flight production values, endless excitement and all the glamour MGM was famous for. CHINA SEAS is one voyage you won't want to miss!
It took months for this initial trauma to ebb, years for my psyche to regain its equilibrium. And it took me close to a decade to realize just how slickly Osama bin Laden had done his evil work, how insidiously his despicable performance art had reached into my mind and altered it, how carefully he had set the trap and how guilelessly I—we—had walked right into it.
We need to understand that 9/11 worked. It worked as a tactic to induce American self-destruction, even if it failed spectacularly as a strategy to advance Al Qaeda—and its heretical message of suicidal warfare—across the globe. It worked because this was not just another terror attack. The emblems were clear: the looming towers of Western capitalism in New York, the cradle of Western democracy in Washington. When the third plane crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth (United 93) was brought down by its passengers, the drama didn’t cease. We saw the symbol of America’s military preeminence lying with its side opened like a tin can. And we imagined the panic and courage in the air over Pennsylvania as people just like us finally found their bearings and fought back. . . .
The simplicity of the plot made it even scarier. On that day the West’s own airplanes, which had taken off peacefully, were transformed into makeshift weapons of mass destruction; the only actual weapons deployed were a handful of box cutters you could find in any office-supply store. The rest was merely human will and the advantage of surprise. More to the point, the people murdered that day, charred in the remains of the towers or jumping from windows in the sky only to thud onto the pavement below, had only that morning been just like us: settled complacently in airline seats or beginning their day at the office. At some point some of them must have looked out a window—in the plane or the World Trade Center—and saw what seemed like the apocalypse coming. There are times when I think of those people who saw, in their final seconds of life, the nose of an airplane hurtling toward them at inhuman speed. Their terror ended quickly. Ours had just begun.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
|Antique example of unnecessary brain-strain from the paleo-human era|