Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Normal Majority

Will somebody please, PLEASE tell me what the protestors really have gained this past week? Mega-thousands took to the streets around the nation to protest the proposed changes to immigration policy. The TV news is still full of footage of affluent-looking Hispanic teens, merrily chatting to one another on cellphones as they play hooky from school. And amid the marches themselves last weekend, we got a pretty good look at all the Mexican flags, the upside-down American flags, and the stupid and ugly slogans on the picket-signs. What has it all accomplished?

Non-Hispanic Americans are angrier about illegal immigration than they ever were before. They are more certain than ever that the criminalization of undocumented aliens is a necessity. Was that what the protesters were trying to achieve? I can't help but think not. Had they stopped to give it any intelligent thought beforehand, there's no doubt they would have come to the conclusion that, at the very least, this was a boneheaded way to do it.

Americans don't scare easily. We resent attempts to intimidate us. We're being bled to death by taxes to pay for all the services undocumented immigrants are using, and we know the game well enough to realize we're being asked to give even more. What makes this so wickedly ironic is that Mexico so unceremoniously boots out anyone who tries to emigrate there from the countries further South. It's "hospitality for me, but not for thee."

The real shame of it is that the very hard-working families who really need the chance to come to America are going to get the shaft. And those who genuinely hate Latinos are going to make America that much less hospitable to those who have come here legally. The troublemakers always screw things up for everybody else.

Next weekend, Phoenix holds its annual Gay Pride Festival. This is, I have heard, expected to be the largest parade ever to march down Central Avenue. What a wonderful opportunity for us to let the people of the Phoenix area -- and all over Arizona -- see who we are. We are their neighbors, their coworkers, their customers and their friends. We are part of their very families.

But is that what they'll be shown? I can't help but wonder. Let a bunch of Leftists get ahold of a march, and they will ruin it every time. Will Arizona see the real face of its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens, or will they see Tinkerbell, popping out of a cake? Will they recognize us as a part of them, or will they think we're all a bunch of depraved loonies?

Of course TV coverage makes it look worse than it is. They won't show Log Cabin or Faith Lutheran -- they'll focus on Tinkerbell and the Leather Dykes. I intend to help hold the media accountable, this year, for how the parade and the festival are portrayed. Sure, all the usual wackies will be there, but so, too, will the normal majority.

The Normal Majority. Sounds like a good name for a movement!

Stay tuned. I'll have a report on the action once I've been a part of it. Although not everybody would agree that I'm entirely "normal," by and large I count myself as part of that Normal Majority. We'll just have to see how accurately this majority is reflected in the news coverage.

Given all that's at stake in the legislature concerning us right now, this year's impression could be make-or-break.

Let's see whether we actually help our cause along, or shoot ourselves, once again, smack in the foot.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Heads and Hearts at War?

Of course, much confusion was generated by the massive protest-marches of this past weekend. Of course. What we essentially have in this country right now are two different herds of sheep, each listening blindly to their own partisan and statist shepherds. Most of our hearts are in the right place, but our heads are in a position that should be anatomically-impossible.

It doesn't surprise me that the two major parties, and their mindless minions, don't know what to do about the flood of illegal immigrants pouring up from Mexico. Both parties are run by shameless political whores, who care about nothing more or less than power. The Democrats know a voting-bloc when they see one, and they will pander to the illegals 'til the cows come home. Some Republicans (the President among them) also whore after the Hispanic vote, but many others remember that the Party of Lincoln sold its soul to the bigot vote decades ago and therefore owes its increasingly-creepy "base" its full allegiance.

Even the Libertarians don't understand what to do about this. We're supposed to follow the script and believe in something called "open borders." This is probably the sole point upon which I depart from Libertarian dogma. Though I, too, realize that our "immigration laws" are nothing but a pathetic joke.

We are a nation of laws, and a society that operates under the rule of law. We cannot long remain a nation without having laws to regulate whom we keep out, whom we let in and whom we let stay. To compare the Latino refugees streaming over the border to potential terrorists is not only racist, but extremely unfair. Our Latino citizens are contributing far more than their share of the cannon-fodder for Bush's glorious war on terror in the Middle East. And those of Hispanic descent share, in common with those born in this country, our Western, Judeo-Christian heritage.

Obviously we need some sort of immigration policy, and laws to enforce it. But since the ones we have now are obviously not working, we need to change them fairly drastically. Of course Bush's "base" hollers that we merely need to enforce the laws now on the books. Where these people part from even a rudimentary understanding of reality is that they don't seem to realize THESE LAWS DON'T WORK.

Typical Right-Wing Republicans. Pass laws that make us feel good -- laws that give us a good and hearty thumbsuck -- totally without regard to whether they work or whether they are fair. Well, the Middle Eastern nations in which terrorists so prolifically breed also have laws, and also pride themselves on being respecters of the law. That law is called SHARIA.

Many -- all too many -- of those violating our borders are criminals. The only contribution they make to this country is to swell the ranks of membership in the most-violent inner-city gangs. The racists in the Democratic Party love to call OTHER PEOPLE racist for protesting that the gangs are growing, and now spreading to our suburbs. What they conveniently overlook is the fact that many conservatives began complaining about the gangs back in the days when only Hispanic and Black citizens were being victimized by them. The Democrats did not care then; they wilfully subjected minorities to terrorization by gangs because they obviously considered these people as nothing more than fodder for the polls.

Those who are most endangered by illegal immigrants are legal immigrants. We are victimizing Hispanic and African-American citizens. Now that there are so many illegals in this country that the gangs are spreading to suburban and even rural areas, all of a sudden some Democrats are beginning to care. If we go on this way much longer, it will be too late to save our country. No country that cannot -- or will not -- defend its borders from invaders can long survive.

When will we ever learn that bad laws -- laws enacted by grandstanding politicians who care everything about winning elections and nothing about actually doing the jobs they are elected to do -- actually erode and undermine our rule of law? When will we learn that giving honest, hardworking families a viable legal means of immigrating to this country, while being far pickier about who else we let in, is actually good for everybody?

A great many of those who come here illegally do not respect the laws of this country even after they arrive here. Duh.

Some sort of guest-worker program would be a good thing. That way, we could make sure that those who came to this country did not NEED to sneak over with the help of "coyotes" and drug-smugglers. When are all the liberals, supposedly so brimming-over with "compassion," ever going to wake up to the fact that law-abiding immigrants deserve protection, too?

We have not only the right, but the sacred obligation to make sure that those who become citizens of this country are the people who love this country, understand what it's all about and aspire to help build it up instead of tearing it down. If it were possible to do this consistently under our current immigration laws, we would not have an illegal-immigration problem. Duh, and ditto-duh.

I've got a rare and radical suggestion. Let's ACTUALLY ASK the citizens of this country who emigrated here legally what THEY think about all this. What suggestions can THEY give us? The Good Lord knows we've heard more than enough about it from affluent white people of either major political party. Many of those most opposed to the current border-invasion are actually citizens of Hispanic descent. How very, very odd that, in the minds of so many of the Anglos who supposedly love them so, their opinions would have counted for more had they not bothered to come here legally.

A great many of those who have emigrated to this country legally did not show up at the protests of this past weekend. They didn't at all agree with what was going on, but they wanted to keep the proceedings as orderly as possible. Some of them may be giving up on ever having their own voices heard. They believed enough in the American dream, and in the American rule of law, enough to become legal citizens. Too bad America no longer seems to believe in them.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What We Did For Love

As I cruise the blogosphere, sitting in on debates here and there concerning gay marriage, the same ol' argument is being used against it time after time. It is a faulty argument, and we need to keep on fighting it. It won't go gently into that good night, because the foes of gay rights are hoping they can keep on using the same arguments, over and over again, and simply wear us out by pretending we have no counterargument. But since they are REFUSING TO EVEN DEAL WITH OUR counterargument, this proves they have no response to it. We are the ones in the right, and we must not allow ourselves to be worn out of the victory we deserve.

The standard exchange goes something like this:

Gay Person: "I can't get legally married, so I am being treated like a second-class citizen and denied my rights."

Anti-Gay Person: "Yes, you most certainly can get married. You can marry a nice man/woman (whichever is of the opposite sex), settle down, and live happily ever after."

GP: "But I can't marry the one I love, because he/she is of the same sex. And I can't love anyone of the opposite sex the way I can someone of the same."

AGP: "That's ridiculous...blah-blah-blah...(changes the subject)."

Now, by any honest standard, our Gay Person has won the argument. GP has made clear that he/she loves someone of the same sex, has no reason to believe -- due to hard-won personal experience -- that he/she could love someone of the opposite sex the same way, and stated the obvious fact that no one in this situation can marry for love.

Notice that GP did not say "I cannot marry, period." GP simply made the plain observation that he/she cannot marry FOR LOVE. Can AGP marry for love? Of course. Does this make GP a second-class citizen? Absolutely and without question.

Long ago, in lands in which the concept of freedom was developing, the decision was made to allow people to marry for love. As time went on, this became clearly seen as a basic component -- one of the MOST basic, as well as crucially important -- of the ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness. AGP simply takes this for granted. GP cannot.

AGP is asking GP to settle for a sadly second-class life. AGP is asking gays and lesbians to do something that no heterosexual would any longer find tolerable.

How many of the songs on the radio have to do with love? How many of the TV shows and movies we watch have to do with love? How much of the literature we read concerns love? More important than any of this, how high on their list of priorities is love for the overwhelming majority of people we know? So how honest is it for anti-gay heteros to claim they aren't being unspeakably cruel to gays and lesbians when they claim that we should just tough it, lump it and go without one of the most important parts of human life?

Problems like divorce and "the woman question" began when ever-greater numbers of people began marrying for love. As long as marriages were arranged, homosexuality could safely and quite easily be ignored. Now that heterosexuals no longer find arranged marriage acceptable, it is indeed odd that they scratch their heads in wonderment that we're no longer content with that, either.

If we really wanted to solve the problems besetting the modern family, we would do away with both divorce and marriage for love. That'd fix it but good, and it would fix it like probably nothing else would. As hetero marriage for love is what has, up to now, caused all the problems, it makes far more sense to ban love matches between those of opposite sexes than it does those between members of the same sex. But then again, none of this is really about sense. It is about bigotry. It is about hate.

And let's dispense, once and for all, with the lie that if you treat others in a way that you would hate to be treated yourself, you do not hate them. That is pure hogwash.

Let me also clarify something, here, for those who are offended by this and think I've slandered them. I'm not defining "hate," here, as some airy-fairy feeling deep in your heart. Hate is an attitude that goes far deeper than mere feeling. Both hate and love do, indeed, begin with feelings, and feelings are very important. But just as -- as we are so often reminded by preachers and shrinks -- "love is a verb," so, too, is hate.

Hate is as hate does.

In repeating these truths, I follow in the footsteps of an untold number of other folks, who've already said pretty much the same thing. Why do I say it yet again? Because the truth always bears repeating. Truth is always worth repeating -- as many more times as necessary than lies.

Though it would be the right thing to do, I don't advocate pushing for same-sex marriage at the present time. Too many people just aren't ready. Their reasons are, in large measure, either selfish or ignorant, but that does not matter. Whatever their reasons may be, they aren't apt to change very drastically anytime soon.

There's no use beating our heads against a brick wall. Continuing to clamor for full marriage equality now, while all the 'fraids are still curled into their defensive, fetal positions and sucking with such determination on their thumbs, is not going to do us any good -- and may even do our cause real harm. The enemies of any sort of gay and lesbian equality will only keep pointing to our insistence on same-sex marriage and use it as a bogeybear to scare even many of those who might otherwise be supportive of domestic partnership rights. Let's be realistic, keep our feet moving forward (even if it is only one small step at a time), and keep our eyes on the goal ahead -- however far ahead it may seem to be to us right now.

We have it better than gay and lesbian people had it in any previous generation in the history of humankind. Let's not reverse any of the gains we've already made.

But we must never stop reminding the heteros what they've already done for love. And that any lasting solution to the problems besetting marriage and the family can never be solved by hate.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How to Talk to an Evangelical (Because You Must) -- Part 1

My loyal readers, making its debut today is another new feature I intend to make a regular part of this Blog. "How to talk to an Evangelical (Because You Must)" is an attempt to serve two purposes. It will help you to reason with religious people -- when they are willing to be reasonable -- in a manner considerably more constructive than the silly, childish, whiny, irrational way that so many Leftists do. It will also help me to speak directly to the religious folks who happen upon this Blog.

I am sick unto death of entrusting the cause of equal rights for gays to Leftist liberals. They have proved to be an unworthy vessel in which to hold such precious cargo. Though the Right -- both political and religious -- has some very wrongheaded notions about gender issues, the Left is doing nothing to change them. It is simply hammering those stupid ideas even more deeply into conservative heads. Most of the time, when someone refuses to consider womens' rights or gay rights, it is not because they hate gays, but because they have developed a strong dislike for liberals.

Today, I wish to focus on one of the most important things we need to get across to anti-gay Evangelicals who would "minister to" gays. Which is that we have as much right to expect them to be honest with themselves as they do to expect the same from us.

This does require that we begin by being honest with ourselves. It doesn't feel good to be told that we are sinners who are risking damnation, but most of the people who say this are NOT bad people. Not everyone who insults us, or makes us feel less than delightful, is evil. Most of them believe that we really ARE on our way to Hell unless we repent of whatever it is they think we need to repent of, so they believe they are doing us a great kindness by warning us about it. I don't regard the fact that they want to keep us from spending eternity in torment as any reason to be angry with them.

The ones who make me angry are those who are dishonest about their intentions. They claim they want to save our souls, but they refuse to take no for an answer. And when they get a "no," because we happen to disagree with them, they proceed to persecute us and try to ruin our lives. Those who do this are showing that their supposed piety is a lie. For them, it's all about control -- and they couldn't care less about our souls.

All genuine Christian, Biblical morality requires of an anti-gay Christian is that he tell me I am a sinner in need of repentance. Once he has delivered his cheerful little message, his job is done. God will not hold him responsible for how I choose to respond to that message. Those who say that they must get me fired from my job, or thrown out of my house, or tossed into jail because they fear for my soul are either liars, idiots or both. All they're doing is making it more difficult for sincere and genuine anti-gay Christians to minister to me as they believe they must.

That's as far as I want to take my first posting on this subject. If we could get even this much to sink into the craniums of anti-gay Christians, we could make tremendous headway in getting along better with them. As long as we are willing to show them the same goodwill that most of them believe they are showing us.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Scoop of Non-Poop

I wish to correct a possible misapprehension, based on yesterday's post.

I said I didn't want to watch the same Dr. Wayne Dyer special fifteen times. I might make an exception for the one he had on last night. PBS has probably played it twenty times already, but this was the first time I sat down and actually gave it my attention.

Dr. Dyer's specials have always been wonderful. They somehow make you feel that life's a special adventure, and that God has a purpose for your life that nobody else but you could ever fulfill. Of course that's also exactly what orthodox Christianity says, so I feel no real conflict between his message and my faith. Established religion tends to view him with some suspicion, even though he does quote St. Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa and folks like that. Not only does he speak of God as "Spirit," but he even quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson -- so the guardians of Christian purity don't know WHAT to make of him.

I must admit that I don't, either, though I'm not as sure as they are that it matters. Jesus said "Anyone who isn't for us is against us." It's up to God to determine whether Dr. Dyer's theology cuts all the necessary mustard. It is absolutely evident that, even though he isn't necessarily steering people toward Pastor Billy-Bob and the Jesus Channel, Dr. Dyer is allowing God to do some mighty fine work through him. Thank God on behalf of us all, it isn't the sourpusses of the professional religious establishment who get to have the final word on Judgment Day.

The points I made, yesterday, on PBS's troubles remain valid. Dr. Dyer is an enthusiast -- one could almost call him an evangelist -- on behalf of public broadcasting. I suspect we not only must agree to disagree on the best way to fund good television, but that we probably don't vote alike. That's okay, I like him anyway.

If you get the opportunity to catch his latest special, "Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling," I would highly recommend it. (If this pledge drive goes on any longer, you'll probably get at least a few more chances.) Bring a notebook and pencil with you to your armchair. And it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a box of Kleenex handy, too.

You can find out more about Dr. Dyer at

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nothing on But Poop

How many frickin' pledge drives is PBS going to have this year, for crying out loud? How many, already this year, does THIS one make?!

I have loved PBS just about all my life. I grew up watching Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. Masterpiece Theatre has been a favorite ever since I saw I, Claudius in high school. My favorite miniseries based upon a novel, based on my favorite novel, Brideshead Revisited, made its debut there. I am an Antiques Roadshow junkie, the very opening theme for The American Experience makes my eyes go misty, and after Frasier, As Time Goes By is the best sitcom in the entire world.

There. All that having been said, I am REALLY getting fed up with PBS. They keep crying about how much more money they need, but they won't do what every other network as successful as theirs would do (IS there another one as successful as theirs?), and go commercial. Their funding is gradually being bled away by legislators who can find better uses for it (and who are no longer daunted by being called philistines). So we, the loyal viewers, must suffer through interminable appeals to our consciences by people too arrogant to put their product on the market.

The folks at PBS, you see, think the American people are such nitwits that only a select few can be counted on to watch quality programming. I watch PBS less often than I used to, but it's only because cable offers so many other options -- including old movies, which PBS has abandoned. And because PBS has dumbed-down its fare to the point where real classical music is almost never featured. (I'm not talking Pops in the Park and spacy, New Age chicks from Europe who sing Bach in Gaelic. I'm kidding...but only just barely.)

PBS is a victim of its own, schizoid snobbery. It never occurs to these geniuses that some people watch less of them, or have stopped watching at all, because not everything the other channels put on is crap, while an increasing number of the shows on PBS are. And the most incomprehensible thing, to me, is that during pledge drives -- when any reasonable person would think they wanted to attract the sort of viewer who likes the stuff they usually have on -- they PUT DIFFERENT CRAP ON.

I don't want to see the same Wayne Dyer lecture fifteen times. Nor do I need Suze Orman to tell me how to save my money. All I've got to do to accomplish that is to ignore all future appeals for my pledge dollars.

PBS has consistently offered some of the most beloved programming in America. If they ever get back to doing that, they can more than hold their own in the commercial market.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What Color is the Sky in YOUR World?!

My friends, I bring you so many edifying tidbits from my journey around the blogosphere. Let me fill you in on the latest.

At one of my favorite blogs, I got into a shouting-match with some folks who, to put it bluntly, simply weren't raised right. I will stick with a commentary thread for as long as I believe I can constructively contribute to it, but as that sometimes runs its course simply because nobody wants to listen to me, I then feel it's better simply to bring it over here.

My remarks on that thread, mind you, were a sort of ink-blot test. I made a point of stating that I was not targeting any specific individuals. Those who chose to attack me revealed WAY more about themselves than they did about anything or anybody else.

It was another shoutfest over who has the right to feel more aggrieved: men or women. The mens' rights groups, it seems, want to make it even easier than it already is for men to knock-up women and then walk away from any responsibility to their kids. They are trying to repackage this in nice, bright, shiny, brand-new wrapping and give it a different label, but it certainly is the same ol' same ol' underneath. Women, on the other hand, want to go on denying reality about the differences between themselves and men and expecting men to be nobler than they all too clearly are. Both men and women want the right to be stupid and then make other people pay for it.

For reasons "He" did not see fit to explain to us, the Good Lord made men bigger and stronger, physically, than women. Perhaps to compensate for this, "He" made women emotionally stronger and morally superior to men. Through most of history, people understood this. Since the Twentieth Century, many have been hell-bent on denying it. That does nothing, however, to make the fact of it shut up and go away.

The reason the family is falling apart is that throughout most of human history, we all counted on the moral superiority of women to hold families together. This worked quite nicely, until the feminists decided we were all going to pretend that no differences between the sexes actually exist. Now, they did bring up one point that was worth considering, which is that maybe we should be honest about what men do to women instead of simply looking the other way. Girls are socialized from an early age to lie to boys, and we're told that the poor guys are so weak and cowardly that they simply cannot stand the truth. This, I would strongly suspect, is why men so often seem to be so insecure.

Let me make this perfectly plain. The traditional family depends upon the ability of men to take advantage of the moral superiority of women. Children absolutely MUST count on it, because it's all they've got.

I made the "mistake" of remarking, in the midst of the nursery school mudball fight between the boys and the girls on that blog, on what lovely morals straight people have. Boy, howdy, did I ever hit a nerve! I was promptly informed that because I am gay, I have no right to express any opinions on the subject. My critics seem to be under the impression that gay folks come from some other planet, where the sky is a different color and there are a different number of moons, therefore we cannot possibly know what's going on on Earth.

Men labor under a significant limitation, and women ignore that fact at their own peril -- as well as that of their kids. A man's ability to feel affection for his children seems to be dependent on the amount of affection he feels for their mother. Women have decided they don't like this, but it makes it nonetheless true. They insist they have the "right" to rut like alleycats with guys they've only just barely met, and then hold them accountable for the brats they beget. It's not working very well, but women would rather go on cutting their children to pieces in their wombs, or starving them to death, than admit that.

I remarked, on this other blog, that at bottom, this is a matter of respect. Women no longer respect men, they no longer respect their children and they no longer respect themselves. Both men and women are indulging in vile, filthy behavior unworthy even of beasts, and because this is creating problems from which they can no longer hide, they are attempting to scapegoat gays for it. When people like me call attention to this fact, we are viciously attacked for it. The fact that these damn fools are willing to sacrifice their own children to their carnality, and then turn around and try to use the supposed well-being of those same children as their "justification" for attacking gays, is so far beneath contempt that it would make any decent person sick.

Straight folks have become so inflamed with their own renegade lust that they now prey sexually upon their own children. Yes, Virginia, it HAS gotten just that bad. And then they are so foul and totally disgusting, they are such festering boils on the ass of humanity, that they blame gays for THAT, too.

Shame on those of you to whom this indictment applies. You can talk all you want to about how I will supposedly rot in Hell. I know for a fact that you will.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My Thing About Mars

I have a confession to make. I have a thing about Mars.

I can't get enough of those Rover pictures. Nearly every day I'm on the NASA website, checking out the latest transmissions back.

Why, you might ask, am I so fascinated by Mars? And it's kind of you not to suggest that it's because it might be my home planet. Maybe it's because it looks so much like certain parts of Arizona. I can almost picture myself there, shagging golf balls.

One of the best sci-fi novels of all time was Robert Heinlein's Stranger in A Strange Land. I know...of course a Libertarian would like that one. The way the Red Planet was portrayed therein turned out to be very different from what it's really like. But it still seems, to me, to be someplace human beings not only could go, but might find fairly hospitable once we got there.

Scanning the landscape as far as the eye can see, I sometimes like to imagine that I'm in the driver's seat of one of those Rovers. Where might I explore today? The sun falls on the boulders, hills and dales of Mars pretty much the same way it does here. All that beauty, and for a bazillion years, nobody to behold it but maybe some tiny virus, swimming in a puddle here or there.

I believe that scientific inquiry is a form of worship. What a crying shame it is that so many Christians find science so repugnant. In all the awesome vastness of space, nothing can hide the glorious presence of God. That Soviet astronaut, years ago, who claimed that because he saw no giant eyeball looking back at him in space, God therefore must not exist was a moron. God is not impaired by the need to peer through any eyeball detectable by our own.

Why did God make so many worlds upon which no life at all -- or at least nothing with an I.Q. greater than mold -- exists? To what purpose do these globes spin?

How sad that some so-called Christians think we must not think too long or hard about things like this. What cowards they are, and what utter frauds. They boast of a faith that has never been anything but a fiction.

Glory be to God for every supernova, every black hole. I will probably never realize my dream of traveling to Mars. The prospect of space travel is a scary thing to many, but I believe that even in the biggest black hole, we would find God.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Truth and Justice -- Part 1

Over the past year, a story has gradually been developing in my life. I haven't commented on it on this Blog yet, and have said next to nothing about it online or in print anywhere else. I was somewhat wary of publicizing it while it was still going on, as I didn't want to adversely affect the outcome of this story. But as it's beginning to look more and more as if justice will not be done, the only way I can keep the story from having a totally crappy ending is -- in the interest of helping to bring about future justice -- to pursue the truth.

While a friend and I were going over my father's financial records just after his death, we learned that his live-in caregiver had taken literally tens of thousands of dollars from him in advances on her paycheck. It's all there in black-and-white, and she herself described each of these -- in her own handwriting, on the "Message" line of each check -- as an "Advance." Go look it up for yourself. An "advance" is NOT a gift; it is a LOAN. Being from Poland, the woman may try getting cute and claiming she didn't know she had to pay any of it back, but I'm pretty sure that even in Poland, when you borrow money, you are expected to pay it back.

My attorney sent this woman a letter, telling her to turn in the minivan my father purchased for her just before his death. In the letter, he also demands she provide us with a full accounting of the funds she has taken. Of course she must have lied to her attorney and told him that all the checks were reimbursements for household expenses, because that is what her attorney claimed they were in his reply to mine.

By all rights, I ought to be able to blow her right out of the water. We have concrete proof that she took these advances, SHE HERSELF identified them as "advances" on the checks (any competent handwriting analyst could prove this in a matter of seconds) , and if her lawyer wanted to claim these checks were reimbursing her for things she had bought up-front with her own money, he'd get laughed clean out of any courtroom in the country. It defies common sense to believe that my dad would have made her spend seven thousand dollars of her own money to buy anything for the house -- and then get around, only afterwards, to issuing her a check paying her back. Several of these "advance" checks were that large, the smallest was for a thousand dollars, and they're all for nice, round, even amounts. Precisely where, pray tell, might she have had to pay a household expense coming out to exactly even a thousand dollars even (no change, no taxes, etc.)?

Further cooking her goose is the fact that there ARE a large number of "household expense" reimbursement payments on the books. These were MARKED "household expense" on the "Memo" line of the checks (or, more specifically, what the particular expense was: "groceries," "hardware," etc.), and -- as any reasonable person would expect -- they were not only for much smaller amounts (few were even for so much as one HUNDRED dollars, much less one thousand), but they were for odd amounts. We're talking "$59.95," "$32.68," "$12.10" -- y'know, amounts like that.

To this day, the woman has not paid back so much as a single cent. The fact that she lied about even having taken advances shows pretty clearly that she does not intend to pay anything back. There is a name for this. It is called THEFT, and it is a crime. Given the amount involved, I believe the correct term would be GRAND LARCENY.

Now, my dad also lent her daughter $3,500 to buy a car. Of this amount, $2,600 remains outstanding to this day. A further insight into the character of these people (or rather, the lack thereof) is that they don't intend to pay THAT back, either.

Perhaps they can try to claim that since they're from Poland, they didn't realize that when the man who lent you money dies, THEY STILL OWE THE FREAKIN' MONEY. They now owe it to his estate. But I would venture a guess that even in Poland such would be the case. If they had no means of accounting for this sort of thing, they would have no economic system whatsoever.

Lo and behold, my lawyer tells me that there's a wonderful, gee-whiz "Vulnerable Adults" law on the books here in Arizona. But what I am only just now finding out is that families victimized by crooked caregivers are expected, under this gee-whiz law, to hire their own attorney if they wish to seek justice. Tens of thousands have been stolen from my family, and now it's time for Judge Judy!

Let me explain to you what this "law" really does. It rewards thieves for being successful in their thievery. The more money a caregiver is able to steal, the less likely it is that the family will be in any financial condition to seek justice. This is a law that rewards evil and punishes the innocent.

And let's be clear about the consequences of this "caregiver's" actions. My mother is not only an elderly widow, but she suffers from Alzheimer's AND a brain tumor. This woman took tens of thousands of dollars that could have been used to provide for my mom's care. If I want to use the rest of it to fatten some lawyer's pockets, then maybe -- JUST MAYBE -- we can get some sort of a settlement. Few families in the same situation as mine will want to throw good money after bad.

We can sit around and debate all day as to how wise it was for Dad to lend this creature all that money. He liked and trusted her -- just as most victims of a swindle do the con artists who fleece them. He had too much pride to let anybody oversee what was going on there at the end, and his "caregiver" wrote all his checks for him, bringing them in for him to sign. That last year of his life, his macular degeneration was so far advanced that he could scarcely see what he was signing.

Why did I trust her? Because he told me I'd damn well better. It WAS his money, after all, and she had him so totally fooled that he thought he couldn't do without her. He used to tell people that he was alive only because she was there. Any family member who tried to check up on her was banished to the outer wastelands, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

All that said and done, the evidence clearly shows that he thought he was LENDING her that money. Again, an "advance" is a loan an employee takes from an employer, with the understanding that it will be paid back to him out of future paychecks. Not only was this not done, but he very generously paid her even more each month than the amount he received in claim checks from his long-term-care insurance company. She had, as I recall, one sob-story after another as to why she couldn't make do with even twice each month what her salary was supposed to be. As unrealistic as it was for my dad to hope he'd live long enough for her to pay him back (good Lord, I don't think the earth will be here that long), when you're old, sick with both congestive heart failure and lymphoma, dependent, nearly blind and desperate, I suppose hope is the last thing you can afford to lose.

The legislators who put this boondoggle over on the people of Arizona ought to be fired. They are unable to tell even the most basic difference between right and wrong. I am astonished that anyone who knows my story still wonders why I am a Libertarian.

Oh, but look how "pro-family" so many of them are! "Protecting families" by attacking the private-property rights of gays and lesbians and attempting to ruin the lives of their children. What they are is a pack of fiends, and I am going to expose those behind this fraud if it is the last thing I do.

Though many seem not to know the difference, a libertarian is not an anarchist. We don't believe in NO government -- we merely believe in LIMITED government. For crying out loud, if the government is worth even the powder to blow it to hell, it ought to enforce the laws it makes -- WITHOUT treating a major crime as if it were a petty squabble to be settled like a small-claims suit.

Our legislators believe it is their job to persecute innocent people -- again, for the sake of "family values" -- but when a family is ravaged by someone who has betrayed the trust of an elderly loved-one, these gallant "defenders of the family" look the other way. They are so far beneath contempt that merely dumping them in the next election is too lenient a punishment. This is legislative malpractice. It is political quackery.

I suppose I could have fudged this story a tad and said that it happened to "a friend of mine" instead of me. But as I am the LAST person involved in this who has any reason to be ashamed, I'm going to shout it from the rooftops. I can prove every damn thing I said -- and if I have to, I will. The only name I've named here is my own, and in any case, truth is still a defense in this country. I don't believe they've taken THAT away from us yet.

I am not going to shut up, I will not go away, and I have only just begun to expose the filthy frauds who run the government here in Arizona. As long as she has the good sense to steer clear of me, the caregiver probably has nothing further to fear. She stands to gain absolutely nothing by coming forward and identifying herself, and I have no intention of identifying her. Everybody who knows who she is already knew it long before I went public with the story on this Blog. But I will not rest until those who refused to seek justice here are exposed for what they really are: the enemies of vulnerable senior citizens, and the enemies of Arizona's families.

This is shameful beyond belief. Not only have our legislators done NOTHING to protect the families of seniors in Arizona, but they are lying to us all and telling us they have taken action. Arizona politics have been a cesspool for generations. The people who get elected here tend, morally speaking, to be about a dozen notches below child-molester.

I'm at least a hundred times angrier at the con artists who have gotten themselves elected to run our government here in Arizona than I am at the one who swindled Dad. Everybody who screwed us seems to think they're gonna get away with it. Well, we'll just see about that!

I am "coming out of the closet," you might say, in yet another way. I intend to go VERY public with this, and anybody who tries to retaliate against me will have to do it under the glare of the public limelight. The children of darkness, to paraphrase Scripture, hate the light. The quacks who think they're fooling us with bogus "family protection" laws are about to get dragged, kicking and screaming, out into the light. I intend to find out exactly who is responsible for this deceptive legislation, and make sure the citizens of Arizona know just what they have done.

Before I am through with this, you will be hearing it all over the Internet, on the radio, on TV and in the newspapers. This post is titled Truth and Justice -- Part 1 for a reason. Just stay tuned.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Guns and Nutters

As I have already confessed, I am something of a gun nut. One of my favorite things to do is take Big Maggie, my Smith & Wesson .357 magnum, out to the Ben Avery range and blast away at paper targets in the fresh air amid the birds and bunnies. I have no ethical problem with shooting birds and bunnies, too, but ordinarily I prefer shooting things that aren't cute.

One of my favorite blogs is As soon as I have figured out how to blogroll on this system (yes, I's time for "Blogspot for Dummies"), that is one of the blogs I will be listing. Jeff Soyer has many insightful pieces on his blog about responsible gun ownership, the politics of gun rights and the sheer fun of shooting.

Our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is under siege in this country as it has never been before. Whatever its shortcomings may be, the National Rifle Association is doing crucial work in staving off the gun-grabbers in many states and municipalities.

The hysterical rantings of the anti-gun crowd have brought me to an inescapable conclusion. Gun-o-phobia is very much a form of mental illness. These people simply don't make any sense.

They seem to think that "guns" kill people without people having to be involved. As if these weapons are capable of simply floating around in midair and singling folks out for attack. Sorta like that spooky, levitating axe in the "Haunted House" episode of The Andy Griffith Show. Well, I've got news for 'em. Even on Andy Griffith, the floating weapon turned out to be a hoax.

There are entire countries where innocent, law-abiding people have been rendered virtually defenseless against violent crime. Even the proud land of Australia, as well as England -- where the murder rate has soared to a nightmarishly historic high. What a terribly unfair, wantonly cruel situation in which to place people who have done nothing to deserve it.

Of course banning guns does nothing to protect anybody from violent crime. All it does is leave those inclined to obey the law sitting ducks for those who use guns to commit crimes (duh -- a crime in the first place). Criminals simply ignore gun laws, just as they do all others they find inconvenient.

Then there are the dimwits who want to stop all hunting. They are able to appeal to a lot of folks who -- like me -- recoil from shooting cute little bunnies. Again, I don't mind at all if other people want to hunt bunnies, just as long as I don't have to do it myself. Elmer Fudd's favorite pastime is perfectly safe from me.

The "animal rights" loonies, however, do not intend to stop with banning hunting. That is merely where they plan on getting started. These jokers in the card-pack of life want to abolish zoos and aquariums and "liberate" all dogs and cats to the wild. Not to mention limiting us to tofu diets for the rest of our lives.

Especially susceptible to this sort of Leftist rot are gays and lesbians. A great many of whom are unable to visualize a weapon in the hand of anybody other than a homophobia-crazed redneck. Fortunately, there are a few rays of sanity in "the community" -- as so many insist on calling it. One of those is the Pink Pistols, a shooting club specifically for gays, lesbians and our friends.

Thanks to the Pink Pistols, not all sexual minorities must content themselves with crossing their fingers and hoping-to-die no homophobia-crazed redneck shoots them. Unless there just-so-happens to be a cop conveniently around the corner when such a misfortune befalls them, all of their finger-crossing may be in vain -- and hoping to die might just as well be what they're doing.

We'd all better get serious about protecting the Second Amendment. Once all of our guns are gone, we might not have a Constitution left to protect. It's okay to get misty-eyed over cute little bunnies. Just as long as we don't let all that mist blind us to our own best interests.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Multiculturalist Little Me

The Academy's coronation of a rap song as Best Song of the Year drove home to me how tremendously important multiculturalism really is. The last thing I want is for my readers to consider me insensitive to other cultures!

And so, in my continuing effort to expand my horizons, I am learning a new language. Someday I hope to be bilingual. What is my second tongue of choice? I've decided on Ebonics!

A huge help has been The Ebonics Translator at

I'm just learning so much! It's very exciting! Here, for your enlightenment and cultural edification, are three short passages in English, translated then into Ebonics:

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky."

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what ya iz! Up above da world so high, like uh diamond in da sky. An dat boil on mah ass."

"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country."

"Now iz da tyme fo' all pimp-tight men ta come to da aid o' they country. An don't make me pull mah gat!"

"Hurricanes in Hartford hardly ever happen."

"Hurricanes in Hartford hardly ever happen. An don't make me pull mah gat!"

As you can see, Ebonics differs little from English in many ways. It seems to distinguish itself primarily in its use of (A) foul language and (B) the frequent use of the curious warning, "Don't make me pull mah gat!" (I didn't break my Lenten cussing ban here -- the Ebonics Translator did it for me!)

I'm an old movie fan, and in the gangster films a "gat" was a gun. Assuming the word still means the same thing, as a gun enthusiast, I suppose I should be able to relate to Ebonics well. I'm not too sure, however, why a relatively-benign comment about the weather must be accompanied by a threat.

This whole "sensitivity to other cultures" thing is going to take me some time. If I take to ending my sentences with an admonition not to make me pull my gun, it's highly possible I may end up getting an even better view of another culture: from behind the bars of a jail cell.

I'm still not real clear on why it's so constructive for our children to learn how hard it is being a pimp.

Many people shunned Brokeback Mountain because it didn't stereotype gay men. That has to be the reason, because most of these same people seemed to see nothing wrong with La Cage Aux Folles. I don't like the fact that a large portion of our society gets its views on gays and lesbians from movies about simpering queens and homicidal dykes. Were someone to suggest that Thelma and Louise presented an accurate portrait of women -- even straight ones -- I would also be offended.

How many of those in Black churches who don't like gays get their ideas about us from Hollywood? Probably the same number as that of White rednecks in the deep South who get their ideas about African-Americans from Hollywood. This is a sad, sad, sad, sad world.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Avenge Ronald McDonald -- Smoke a Stogie Today!

One of my favorite down-time activities, here at the manor house that is now mine, is kicking back on the front patio and smoking a fine cigar.

Now, I have been sitting outside my front door and smoking everywhere I have lived in my adult life. But here in my childhood neighborhood, I find that it shall I put this...frowned upon.

Not the smoking part, mind you -- only the cigar. This is an affluent neighborhood (Senator McCain lives just down the street), and I guess the sight of a dyke sitting on her patio with a stogie sticking out of her face is not the image all my neighbors prefer.

The looks I get can be clearly read. "A woman smoking a cigar! Death to America!"

Call the Taliban and report me right away!

Now, I must admit I'm somewhat tempted to do my smoking on the back patio where nobody can see from whence that sumptuous, Honduran aroma comes. But dammit -- 'scuse me, I mean uffda! -- I refuse to give in.

Over the years, I have done a great many strange and noteworthy things in front of my neighbors. Quite a number of whom were here before I ever left home and live here still. When I was seven or eight, I used to strut around with my Marshall Dillon sixgun set on and shoot caps at everything that moved. Then came an even more pyrotechnic phase, in which -- while my chums and I were shooting a Super-8 war epic -- we nearly blew up one of Mrs. Quackenbush's trees. The year I got my horse (and subsequently did almost everything on horseback), I rode down the street on Halloween night in an elf-suit, my then-skinny legs in grasshopper-green tights and my feet in those shoes with the toes that unfurl, like party-favors, with every step.

Our war epic seemed to have been far more entertaining in the shooting stage than in the viewing. We did a pretty realistic crash-and-burn scene with a model plane, but our attempt to blow a whole guy up was somewhat less successful. We tucked a black cat firecracker in the back of the pants of a G.I. Joe, stuck his bootheels in the dirt to stand him upright, and filmed an "aerial" shot of him -- supposedly -- being blasted clear into the air. All that firecracker did, however, was blow his pants down. G.I. Joe, you some mack daddy -- anatomically incorrect though you may be.

I really don't understand why some of my neighbors are so offended because I smoke cigars. Don't these people realize what a slippery slope this intolerance business can be? I mean, just look at the jihad waged a couple of weeks ago against Ronald McDonald. Not that they ended up damaging him much more than we did G.I. Joe.

Ronald's a tough guy...just you never mind all those rumors! Who says you can't be a he-man and wear red-and-yellow striped socks?

I'm not afraid for the neighborhood's image. I think it will survive. And I'm pretty sure my stogies aren't the reason Senator McCain is selling his house. Now, if my friends were ever to see any photos of me in those grasshopper-green tights, I think my image just MIGHT take a beating.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Naked or Nuts?

Just a little factoid my readers might find interesting. Did you know that in Villahermosa, a city just outside of Mexico City, it is illegal to be naked in your own house?

I have a question. How the heck could anybody report such a violation? Especially since Villahermosa also has a law on its books prohibiting peeping Toms.

Interesting that the good folks of Villahermosa find nudity, in the privacy of one's own home, to be as great a danger to society as peeping in other people's windows to see if they are nude in the first place.

The B.O. problem there must be terrible. After all, if you can't be naked in your house, that kinda rules out showers. Unless, of course, everybody washes down in speedos or bikinis. As for making whoopee, I suppose sexy nighties are still allowed. Or if not, there are always Jesus jammies...

Hmmm...Villahermosa sounds like one, gigantic convent.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before the Focus on the Family crowd takes up the cause here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Talking Things Over About Abortion

Although nobody posted a comment regarding yesterday's post, I have received some complaints. Ah, well...I hope I haven't knocked down a hornets' nest here.

Let me elaborate a little on my position on abortion. There are actually two different arguments concerning abortion: one moral and the other political. They certainly do both concern the same subject, but each argument asks a different and distinct question.

The moral argument asks whether abortion is MORAL, while the political debate concerns the question of whether abortion should be LEGAL. One of the reasons our society is so conflicted about this is that many people are of one mind on the first question, while they answer the second altogether differently. At the risk of sounding like Bill or Hillary Clinton, I believe that abortion is immoral, but I believe that it should remain legal. I think I have already adequately explained why.

As a Libertarian, I do not believe that every evil can be whisked away with the wave of a magic wand. And, essentially, that is what politicians and activists propose doing when they agitate for legislation to outlaw the things that they don't like. As I made clear yesterday, I'm afraid that, if the practice is entirely outlawed, the abortion rate might actually go up.

Of course those who see "society" in theoretical, airy-fairy, ideological terms object to this. They say that abortion must be illegal because of the "message" legal abortion supposedly sends. "What sort of a society does it say we are?" is their recurring question.

Well, what sort of a society does it say we are if we pass yet another law against something -- or repeal a law FOR it -- when, very clearly, many people will go on doing what they want to regardless of what the law says? If abortion KEEPS ON HAPPENING, then whatever that says about our society -- whatever "message" it sends -- goes right on being said and sent regardless of the fiction we have created with our laws.

We are a society that practices abortion. That isn't going to change anytime soon, though (however inconvenient this fact may be to the pro-life crowd) the abortion rate in this country is actually down. How will we even be able to track the abortion rate, with any accuracy at all, once the practice is illegal?

There are a great many pro-lifers who have doing a world of good. They are working at the grassroots level to befriend unwed youngsters who are pregnant, and giving them an option that is better than abortion. They are doing much other positive work besides. All this is highly commendable. But there are, unfortunately, a huge number of others in the anti-abortion movement who are generating a whole lot of heat, but precious little light.

Most of the women in this country are tired of being shouted at and pushed around. More shouting and pushing isn't about to change their hearts or minds. Just look at those gigantic coat-hangers in those "reproductive rights" demonstrations. They tell you exactly where the majority of women in America are on this issue.

To the True Believers on both "sides," I seem like a waffler. They simply cannot seem to accept that there are two different issues involved in the abortion debate. But the truth is what it is: it is the sum of its parts. Truth is no better served if it is "simplified" by reducing two to one than it would be by those who would "complicate" it by multiplying two times two. The whole picture is the whole picture.

Whenever I try to explain, to a True Believer of either "side," what my position on abortion is, I get the predictable reaction. Off flies the wig, the head begins to spin around and out spew the pea-soup and the bumper-sticker slogans. The red-alerts I get, almost daily, in my email from the National Organization for Women would be comical, if they were not so sad.

Pro-lifers, if lives truly are at stake here, then consider something more important than your own egos, venture out of your narrow, little comfort-zones, and MAKE YOUR CASE. To do that, you will need to do something that, up 'til now, all too few of you have shown any willingness to do: treat women like grownups who are capable of reason, and make the effort to reason with us. Sure, from many of us, you'll get the wigs flying off and the spinning heads and the pea soup, but if the lives of the unborn are your real concern, you will stick with it. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. More shouting and pushing will only lead to even more shouting and pushing.

There is no other way to save the unborn than to win over one heart and mind at a time. I'm sorry nobody told you that earlier, but you need to stop listening to the demagogues and the ideologues and the political opportunists and begin paying attention to the voice of reason.

As a Libertarian, I believe that free and open debate is the only means of bringing about a widespread recognition of the truth. The abortion debate is, morally-speaking, the pro-life side's to win. Now, stop acting as if your battle is un-winnable (the clear message you send by refusing to do anything but try to force your way to victory), and go out there and win it! Too many people, within your ranks, have damaged your credibility already. You can ill afford to indulge them anymore.

What would the abortion industry do if pro-lifers ever stopped disgracing themselves and actually persuaded the majority of women to join their cause? For far too long, pro-lifers have been their own worst enemies. They may end up winning the battle -- only to lose the war. And if that comes to pass, then the casualties will end up being the very innocent unborn human beings they strove so long and hard to save.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Pesky Question #1

I am introducing a new feature to the blog today. I'm calling it "Pesky Questions." As a newly-minted Libertarian, I feel that the reintroduction of free speech, and the free thought it will stimulate, are crucial to the survival of the American experiment.

All indications, thus far into the Twenty-first Century, are that America will not survive another hundred years. At this point in the Twenty-second Century, if things keep going the way they are, the United States will be a socialist state, offering no semblance of protection for even the most basic human rights, and the Constitution will simply be a rather quaint museum piece. That is, if humanity hasn't bombed itself back into the Stone Age by then.

The Third Reich did not survive. The Fourth Reich, however, has an excellent chance of survival. If we can't find some way to ship all the cowards, traitors and sheep who support this nonsense off to Iraq (you know, that wondrous paradise they keep telling us we're making in the Middle East), then our only hope of saving the republic is in GETTING THEM TO THINK. Questions are the very best means of doing that. And the peskier the questions, the better.

Let's start out today with our first one.

What bothers pro-lifers about abortion: that it exists, or that it is legal?

Oh, they ever hate getting that one! One of the clearest signs of the pathetic state conservatism finds itself in today is that every time you ask a conservative to think, he or she automatically dismisses you as a liberal. (This is as puzzling as it is amusing, since liberals give no greater indication that they think than do conservatives.) The dismissal of anyone who asks this question as a typical, "pro-abortion" leftist is as cowardly as it is dishonest and just plain stupid. It enables your cornered wingnut to fire a volley of standard-issue pro-life dogma at you -- hopefully deflecting your question without ever having to make an honest attempt at answering it.

Given what's going on right now in South Dakota, and what might soon follow in Mississippi, this is an especially timely question. If they were to achieve their objective of outlawing most abortions everywhere, would the majority of pro-lifers be happy?

If their stand is truly a moral one -- if they have any moral integrity at all, or logical integrity, either -- then of course the answer must be NO. But for most pro-lifers, it has become more than obvious that their honest answer would be yes.

Unless a self-professed pro-lifer wants to bring about an end to abortion -- period, he or she is nothing but a hypocrite. It is precisely BECAUSE most so-called pro-lifers simply object to the practice's being legal, and would be content simply to wave their wands and make it IL-legal, that they have not been able to achieve their objective. Not only that, but they WILL NEVER be able to achieve it. Unborn babies will continue to die, and these monstrous excuses for humanity just don't give a rip.

It's the Fantasy of Abracadabra, rearing its ugly head again.

Answer the question, you cowards, liars and cheats. Give it the honest answer, which is that you just want another excuse to push women around and to punish them for having sexual pleasure. Those of you who are serious, sincere pro-lifers, however, have your work cut out for you. It is highly possible that once the wand is waved and the spell cast, it will actually become EVEN MORE DIFFICULT to stop the actual practice of abortion. Even more unborn children may die (and without regulation, this could happen to them at any stage of the pregnancy) -- and most of the phoney-baloney pro-lifers won't care.

Just because they'll no longer be able to count the unborn dead, they will pretend they do not exist. Not only is this pathetic, it is beneath contempt.

The beauty of today's Pesky Question is that it would force "pro-choicers" to be honest, too. What most of those who proclaim their devotion to "choice" would rather not admit is how dadburned early that choice really begins.

Getting pregnant is not like catching a cold. You just can't do it by accident. And let's just cut the doodoo about rape and incest (after which you could have gotten an abortion even BEFORE Roe v. Wade, all mythology aside). Statistics make clear that the overwhelming majority of abortions were NOT the result of such dire scenarios. Most of the women who have abortions were simply too lazy, sloppy, gutless, immoral or irresponsible to use birth control.

The choice for women begins BEFORE SEX. Any suggestion to the contrary is a lie. Women in this country are too rooster-pecked to stand up and tell the truth about this. It might interfere with mens' ability to use us as disposable sex toys, and of course we mustn't have that.

Let's just get something straight here. Abortion is not legal for the sake of womens' convenience. It is legal for the sake of mens' convenience. If only the convenience of women were at stake, there never would have been a controversy to begin with.

Given how politically-outspoken I am, people frequently ask me my stand on abortion. The only reply I can give is the true one. I'm not on either "side" in the issue, because BOTH "sides" are wrong. Abortion is one of those evils that cannot simply be legislated away -- but abortion IS evil. Any country in which women destroy their own unborn children is under the Judgment of God and will not last long.

Not every form of evil can be wiped out simply by the passage of yet another law. We can't even begin to fight evil, in most of its frighteningly-many forms, until we get this fact through our heads.

This is, to me, the surest sign that America will not survive another century. Not only do we have a shamefully high abortion rate, but we refuse even to tell the truth about what to do about it. The next time somebody asks me my opinion on abortion, I'm going to ask them Pesky Question Number One. I can think of no greater service I can do for my country than simply to get it to think.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Slam, You Slam, We All Slam for Islam...

Someone tell me, puh-leeze, why more isn't being made of this. James Kirchick, a regular contributor to the Independent Gay Forum, has a piece in the Yale Daily News about that Ivy League institution's latest great catch of a student: Rahmatullah Hashemi (thanks to Stephen H. Miller of the IGF for this link). Catch it at

Mr. Hashemi has been a sort of P.R. man for the Taliban, or, as he was called, a "roving ambassador," spreading Islamist goodwill far and wide with their blessing. Don't you know, Yale considers itself glad to have him. Its bigwigs are positively salivating with glee. But their new star student has not indicated any real change in viewpoint since his Taliban days. And, as both Kirchick and Miller make clear, there is nothing on the matter from any of the feminist, gay or generally leftist groups on campus but deafening silence.

What the bleep is the matter with these people? And why, when someone like Mr. Miller posts an item bringing this to the attention of a largely-gay readership, do he and those who echo his sentiments get so much flack for it?

In fairness, the commenters on his post seem indignant not that Hashemi is accepted on campus with hosannas and palm branches, but that no distinction is being drawn, by those who call attention to this, between themselves (the "good" liberals, I suppose) and those on the Left who are responsible for the hosannas or the silence. Even though these supposedly "good" liberals have been as silent as all too many of the "bad" ones.

Well, 'scuse me, but America, we do have a problem. Our guardians of fairness and compassion have finally reached the point at which their mishmash of a philosophy -- patched together almost totally out of a visceral reaction against Right-Wing overemotionalism -- has imploded. It is a victim of its own incoherence. Not only are the lunatics running the asylum, but they have blown it up.

I still believe in fairness and compassion. But these virtues are simply not compatible with any philosophy so hostile to them that it considers itself hell-bent on destroying them. Early liberalism (of the Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy years) had a lot going for it, even though it wasn't perfect way back then. But it has since loaded some burdens onto itself that are so incompatible with certain of the other principles it holds dear that the whole works are falling apart.

Were liberals serious about saving their movement, they would stop looking at people who warn them of this as if they'd just farted in church. Digesting unpleasant realities, and making constructive sense out of them, are skills they would do well to learn. Long before the days of No Child Left Behind, these used to be taught in kindergarten.

This is one of the main reasons I have moved to the libertarian view of liberalism -- classical liberalism, if you will -- and no longer consider myself what passes so pathetically for a liberal today. When Jerry Falwell or Trent Lott say stupid things about women or gays, I'm not only allowed to be righteously outraged, but SUPPOSED to feel that way. And to make as much noise about it as possible. But when the likes of Rahmatullah Hashemi sound off with their stone-age notions about women or gays, I'm expected to sit there silently at their feet, worshipfully soaking it all up. As ridiculous and erroneous as the Jerry Falwells and the Trent Lotts are, they are not calling for my imprisonment, torture or execution.

The truth, for liberty-loving women and for gays, is depressing and downright frightening. We don't have any political allies who will fight for our rights no matter what -- AND tell us exactly what we want to hear, a hundred percent of the time, without ever, ever insulting a one of us. Which is not to say that we don't have allies. The Libertarian Party, and the "small-l" libertarian movement, are the only true allies we've got -- not to mention the best that we could possibly hope to have, under the circumstances. But in order to enjoy alliance with these true friends, we must first give up the notion they will never offend us.

There are a fair number of homophobic libertarians, and I've heard a few of them say pretty stupid things -- both about women and about gays. But none would call for my death, or support legislation to have me hauled off to jail. Ladies and gentlemen, kindergarten is over. We need to learn to live in an imperfect world. It's the only one we've got.

Should Mr. Hashemi have been admitted to Yale? That is not my call to make. But is it too much to ask that the ideas he expresses be subject to the same sort of rigorous scrutiny that would be applied to a College Republican? I hardly think that here in our "free" society, this would be too much to expect.

Maybe we will all learn that Islam IS hostile to freedom, after all. The price you pay, when you determine to commit yourself to the protection of truly free speech, is that you can't duck down a side road once you recognize where the pursuit of truth is taking you.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's Ash Wednesday! Uffda!

I'm almost to Ash Wednesday evening, now, and things aren't going so great for my sterling resolution. I have probably let loose with a cuss-word at least twenty times. This is going to be a tougher haul for me than I thought.

I'm going to try substituting really bad words with an epithet used by members of my family (at least, the Norwegian side) for centuries. Uffda! It's a good, old Norse word, and as far as I know, it seems to mean something very benign -- basically along the lines of "Well, then!" So it doesn't even mean anything dirty in Norse!

Let's try it out:


There, I feel better already!

Now if I could only get rid of this craving for lingonberry jam on a butter-soaked Eggo waffle topped with whipped cream.

Somebody make it stop!!!

On that note, I'm off to get ashes smeared on my forehead. "Remember, dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return."

Now I REALLY feel better.

It's Ash Wednesday! Yipee!

Well, today my resolution takes effect. I will give up cussing 'til the end of Lent. Of course my real hope is that after forty days of making a conscious effort to stamp out that bad habit, it won't be a habit anymore.

Does that mean I'll never cuss again? Not only do I think that goal is -- in our potty-mouthed society -- probably unattainable, but I don't even regard it as necessary. Cussing can be quite effective, when done sparingly and saved for special occasions. I know very ladylike women who hardly ever let a blue word pass their lips -- except when they were very, extraordinarily angry -- and then they let it rip. This accomplished what cussing, for far too many people, doesn't: it let people know that these good ladies meant business and weren't taking any mess.

Most people who try to intimidate others with their cussing just come across as dunces. The impression they leave is that they're just plain stupid, and probably moral low-lifes, as well. Whenever I hear a young woman utter expletives at somebody else, I always think, "she's trash, her parents are probably trash, any guy (or girl) she gets is going to be trash, her kids are going to be trash and her whole life will be lived in trash." It may not be very fair, but I can't pretend I think anything else.

A separate problem for me is that I have a temper that kicks butt and takes names. It's pretty much a family trait. My dad didn't take crap from anybody, my older sister doesn't take crap from anybody and neither do I. And I, most especially, find this temper frequently an asset. A woman -- and a lesbian -- and especially a CHRISTIAN lesbian -- would pretty much be designated, in life, to be a doormat for everybody unless she stood up and refused the role.

Is it wrong for a Christian to have a temper? According to his portrayal in the Gospels, Jesus was about as ill-tempered as anybody in Scripture. There was somebody who REALLY stood up and kicked butt and took names. His anger was never petty or vindictive (He commanded forgiveness and "turning the other cheek"), but He was nobody's milquetoast. Nor does the New Testament portray the apostles as having been wimps.

Christians, as a matter of fact, CANNOT be wimps. We can't afford to be. There are too many forces that would step on us and trample us down. The key, for us, is to recognize the difference between anger on our own behalf (which is selfish and egotistical) and righteous anger (which is on behalf of God). Our anger must exist not merely for the sake of ourselves, but for the good of others and so that right may vanquish wrong.

These are some of the issues I intend to explore in my meditations this Lent. I have always loved Ash Wednesday, and Lent in general. Some of my most important spurts of spiritual growth -- at least the few that have been in any way self-directed -- have taken place during this season. All growth, however, comes ultimately thanks to God.

God has called me to one of the most-embattled ministries to which "He" possibly could have called anybody. Me -- with my tempestuous temper! Some might say this is proof that God has a sense of humor. But God knows what "He" is doing. One of the true signs of a genuinely God-called ministry is that it calls upon us to grow, just as much as it calls upon us to encourage growth in others.

God regarded it as no obstacle that Moses was halt of speech, that Sarah was barren or that Peter was so impetuous that he denied his Lord three times. And God will use me -- me! -- if I will but let "Him."

It is all to God's glory, not ours. And besides that, it just makes life so much more interesting.