2012-11-27

The Drain

Eric Allen Bell: The Drain
... The drain says that a killer and a rapist was the final prophet of "god". But that which is Infinite needs no such final spokesman. That which is Infinite, it thinks you, it breathes you. It needs no special vows, chants or hymns, as all of creation sings its praises. It is nameless and all names. You can hear it in every word and in the silences between each word. You can hear it in the sound of the breeze. You can find it looking out through your eyes.

The dark drain in the dry desert sucks in only those who seek to avoid knowing who and what they truly are. But if we remove the drain, if we were to blast it from the sky - would we remove also the condition in man which caused it to be built? To see the drain is to be free of it.

Uganda: Anti-Gay Bill Advances

Advocate:
Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill was approved by a parliamentary committee Friday, according to several media reports, and is moving toward a vote by the full Parliament.

The Committee of Jurisdiction OK’d the legislation, which would mandate harsh punishments for homosexual acts and pro-gay activism, and it is likely to come to the floor of Parliament before the body adjourns December 14, the Washington Blade reports. It is unclear, however, whether the bill still includes the death penalty in certain cases, such as multiple offenses or sex with an HIV-positive person. Some sources have reported that the provision was removed, but the committee has not released definitive information yet. ...

2012-11-26

Republican Lesbians Come Out

New York Times:
In 1996, Kathryn Lehman was a soon-to-be married lawyer working for Republicans in the House of Representatives. One of her major accomplishments: helping to write the law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Today, Ms. Lehman, 53, no longer has a husband, and no longer identifies as straight. And she is a lobbyist for Freedom to Marry, which is devoted to overturning the very law she helped write, the Defense of Marriage Act.

But Ms. Lehman is still a fervent Republican.

“I’m trying to break the stereotype that all gays and lesbians, especially lesbians, are Democrats,” she said.

Although the Republican Party has long drawn gay men who believe in the party’s message of small government and a strong military, Republican lesbians are a rare political breed.

“Oh, we’re like unicorns,” said Erin Simpson, 51, who cites “personal liberty” as a fundamental value and teaches firearms safety in Tucson. ...

GOP and Demographics

D. G. Myers at Commentary:
If the Republicans are going to be the party of married churchgoers, though, they need to change their tune on two key issues. They must drop their opposition to same-sex marriage, and they must quit obsessing over illegal immigrants. These two issues alone are almost entirely responsible for the Republicans’ image and reputation as the party of old white men.

What conservatives do not seem to grasp is that same-sex marriage is not an issue for gays only, but also for the young, who support it overwhelmingly, without question. And if the GOP really is the party of marriage, shouldn’t it be in favor of extending the goods of marriage to as many as possible? If marriage is everything we conservatives say it is, why should we want to deny its moral benefits to gays? The point is to stand for marriage, for an institution that promotes human freedom, and not to barricade ourselves behind the status quo ante. That’s how the party of freedom becomes the party of reaction.
I'm old enough to remember when Commentary, under Norman Podhoretz, published some viciously homophobic stuff. Commentary changed for the better, because it needed to change. The Republican Party needs to change too.

2012-11-25

Saudi Arabia: Keeping Women In Their Place

Radical Islam: Tracking system monitors Saudi women.
A new tracking device monitors the movements of Saudi women. Any cross-border move prompts an SMS message sent to the cell phone of the women’s “guardian.” That means that any Saudi woman who tries to leave the country will be immediately found out by the man assigned to “monitor” her.

The “service” was intended to be elective for the guardian, but a recent incident showed that all men are being alerted through the new e-passport system, even if a man’s wife is travelling by his side.

The new system was publicized on Twitter by Manal al-Sharif, a well-known women's right campaigner and political activist, who received a message from a couple as they were leaving Saudi Arabia at the Riyadh international airport and the husband received a text message saying that his wife was leaving the country. ...

Sunday Morning Roundup

Israel: After Iron Dome, Magic Wand.
In the wake of the great success of the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which was able to intercept many of the rockets fired from Gaza at populated areas during Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel is now pushing ahead with the development of Magic Wand, which is supposed to be able to intercept short-range and medium-range rockets.

According to a report in the Boston Globe on Saturday, Israel will test the system in the Negev in the coming days. ...

Egyptian protesters torch Muslim Brotherhood offices.
As enraged demonstrators torched Muslim Brotherhood offices in several Egyptian cities, a defiant Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi defended his recent decree granting himself sweeping powers before a crowd of supporters outside the presidential palace in Cairo Friday.

"Political stability, social stability and economic stability are what I want and that is what I am working for," said Morsi. "I have always been, and still am, and will always be, God willing, with the pulse of the people, what the people want, with clear legitimacy" he said from a podium before thousands of supporters. ...

CSP: Andrew Bostom, Diana West and Stephen Coughlin discuss Islamic influence in US policy with Frank Gaffney. Video is 1h34m, at the link.

Bill Federer: Pilgrims faced Muslim terror too.

How to build a political social network. The key ideas:

User-generated opinions
Single units of opinion
User verification
Surfacing and sorting
Open, demographically indexed data

Read the article at the link.

2012-11-19

Israeli Artists, Intellectuals Sign Petition Urging End to Nasty Stuff

'When I read a survey that claims that 84 percent of the Israeli public supports this violent and foolish campaign, I am happy that at least a few public figures are willing to stand up to this.'

84 percent of Israelis may support the campaign, but journalist Yuval Ben-Ami knows better. He, along with other brilliant military strategists such as celebrated playwright and author Yehoshua Sobol, award-winning writer and painter Yoram Kaniuk, internationally acclaimed author Amos Oz, filmmaker David Ofek, Batsheva Dance Company founder Ohad Naharin, have declared that

Our hearts are with you, residents of the South. It is the government’s duty to protect you, but its way is not our way.

Well, personally I'd go with the government's way, but that's just me. I'm not a writer, painter, choreographer, or filmmaker, so what do I know? Anyway, I salute these creative intellectuals for their enormous courage.

And by "enormous courage", I mean "unbearable arrogance".

For me, the really sad thing about something like this - and this is scarcely the first such instance - is that it devalues these artists' work for me. Amos Oz, what a writer - I'm reading "A Tale of Love and Darkness" now. No doubt these people imagine that their stature as artists lends greater weight to their political pronouncements. It doesn't. It only tells us that these people - who have built their reputations on their supposed understanding of life and human nature - aren't as wise as they imagine themselves to be.

Tel Aviv, Before the Rockets

I visited Israel last month, following up on last year's trip. As things worked out, I missed the rocket attacks by a month. I stayed in Tel Aviv again, and got to see a little more of the southern part of the city, and was able to make two visits to Jerusalem.






2012-11-16

Mark Levin: Only Tea Party Against Tyranny

Mark Levin at Breitbart:
Reagan administration official Mark Levin said conservatives need to first overthrow the Republican establishment to more successfully take on President Barack Obama and the institutional left.

“We cannot get through Obama and the left until we get through the Republican Establishment,” Levin said, railing against establishment consultants who attack the base and politicians who know nothing of “Burkean reform” because they have spent their whole careers “clawing their way to the top.”

In a talk at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday with his mentor, former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, for whom Levin served as Chief of Staff, Levin said the Republican Party is, “devouring the conservative movement,” and the old bulls need to step aside in favor of a new generation of conservatives who are fluent in conservatism.

“It’s time for the old bulls to get out of the way and for the fresh faces who believe in conservatism and liberty and originalist principles to step up,” Levin said, criticizing those like House Speaker John Boehner for “yielding territory” to the left in negotiations.

Levin said the Tea Party consists of constitutionalists, libertarians, Evangelicals, and those who are against the rigged establishment, beltway culture that for too long has not embraced conservatism and, as a consequence, lost national elections (George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney). ...

Israel Under Attack

Tablet has video of Iron Dome intercepting incoming rockets.

Confirmed hits near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv force reserve call-up.

Rocket intercepted over Ashdod, another strikes an open area in Gush Etzion.

IAF strikes home of Hamas commander Mohammed Abu Shamala.

Home Front Command says get ready for seven weeks of this stuff.

2012-11-12

Post-Election Thoughts for the Right

B. Daniel Blatt at GayPatriot:
... we shouldn’t be hasty in deciding the way forward. That said, we’re already beginning the process of considering the way forward. Now is perhaps the time for consideration, to put ideas out there. Later will come the time for action, choosing which ideas to adopt and determining the best ways to put them into practice.
Instapundit agrees, and cautions conservatives against responding to the election by doing stupid shit.