Monday, May 30, 2011

More on New York vs. D.C.

One thing about New Yorkers that visitors from Washington tend to notice right away is a frankness about sexuality that much of the country lacks. A friend who has lived in New York since the seventies tells me that that frankness has been toned down since the seventies, but it is still there. In D.C., by contrast, no matter what happens on the back porch of the leather bar, we observe the polite fiction that we are all asexual and that the goddess has assigned us our sexual orientations solely as a social statement.

My friend also mentioned an aspect of growing up in New York, namely, exposure to viewpoint diversity. Such diversity has traditionally been anathema in D.C., although we see more of it as a more diverse crowd moves into the capital.

Quote of the week

"[F]reedom of speech is not freedom for the thought you agree with, but the one you hate the most." — Larry Flynt, quoted in The Times of London, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

President Barack H. Bush (3): The Patriot Act

Now that Obama has signed the extension of the Patriot Act, Obama voters are expressing regret over having voted for him, Bush supporters are gloating, and the true-blue Obamapologists are oddly silent. According to the one-dimensional political spectrum so beloved by one-dimensional political thinkers, Obama has placed himself to the right of that person whom progressives love to hate, Rand Paul.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quote of the week

"[We're winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory. What about same-sex marriage?] We're losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don't know if that's going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We've probably lost that. I don't want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture." — Jim Daly, President and CEO of Focus on the Family, interviewed by WORLD Magazine (June 4, 2011, issue).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Religious right or P.C. left? Quote 24

In this series of blog posts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read each quote and guess, before doing a Web search, whether someone in the religious right or the politically correct left said it.

I believe, however, that sadomasochism--both on the part of its practitioners and of the community of media voyeurs which propagates it--is not a deviation from the philosophical origins of liberalism but a realization of them.

* * *

We have become reluctant to be labelled as moral crusaders in an age when human potential has degenerated to "doing your own thing." We are conditioned to making bland observations and cynical jokes in response to obscenities of a national scale and perversity of universal magnitude. We are numbed to the point of being at home with cruelty and despair. Sadomasochism is but one more absurdity to be greeted with a blank stare. But to do that is to yield to yet another assault upon our own decency. Whatever contempt the human race may have merited in the past and may have brought upon itself, we are not destined to live by the traditions which perpetuate it. We cannot capitulate to the liberal dogma which treats as normal and neutral the volitional debasement and humiliation of one human being by another. If this is the logic of liberalism, then [our] philosophy can and must do better. Traditional philosophy would be well served by such revision.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My first post-Rapture post

The Rapture happened just as scheduled, but I'll bet you were too busy sinning to notice. I'm still here, as are, I'm sure, all of Congress and the Virginia General Assembly.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Power failure

One aspect of the undergraduate navel-gazing that passes for analysis in much of the LGBT community is the talk of power. While I realize that power imbalances exist in the real world, they do not work the same way in the real world as in the politically correct world. In the latter, broadly defined groups of people (e.g., younger vs. older gay men) have more or less power than others, strictly on the say-so of the person talking about such power. The talk of power has the earmarks of politically correct silliness: exalting emotion over reason and speculation over evidence, painting with an extremely broad brush, presenting a cartoonish oversimplification of an issue, "knowing" all about the lives of people whom one has never met, and proclaiming one's own martyrdom.

Today's vocabulary word: starve

starve, v.t. to feed with fattening food bought on credit: We mean to starve the beast to reduce the size of government.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Religious right or P.C. left? Quotes 22 and 23

In this series of blog posts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read each quote and guess, before doing a Web search, whether someone in the religious right or the politically correct left said it.

You have to understand what a human is. The modern Western person thinks a human being is an evolved monkey who came by accident from a piece of mud.
Many, many of their advocates do not really believe in God at all - that is to say they reduce [God] to something psychological or ultimately human-based (as the evolutionist/scientistic mythology demands).

Religious right or P.C. left? Quote 21

In this series of blog posts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read each quote and guess, before doing a Web search, whether someone in the religious right or the politically correct left said it.

[In response to someone who defended those who had created the experimental method on the ground that their efforts had led to the discovery of DNA:] You believe in DNA?

President Barack H. Bush (2)

It's a good thing we have a Democratic President, since Democrats aren't at all like those nasty Republicans, who try to impose their morality on the rest of us. Then again, according to this, the Obama administration is busy restricting our individual liberty for our own good. Someone has to protect us from such horrors as salty food and online poker.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fabulous queer dating tip #24: Once you've fouled your own nest, try to find a new one.

If you've faithfully followed the all too common dating protocol, you may well have unaccountably developed an entirely undeserved reputation for being an emotionally unstable drama queen. Let's look at some ways in which people have tried to overcome this problem.

1. Abruptly move to a larger metropolitan area. While I've known people to do so, it isn't for everyone. Some people are actually saddled with totally not kewl things like careers and home ownership. Also, if you've managed to pick up a stalker, he may get the same idea (I've seen it happen).

2. Start a new online profile. Get a completely different user I.D., and change your stats enough to avoid detection. It's not as though anyone expected stats in online profiles to be anything but bald-faced lies. This is bound to work, but only until someone asks to trade pictures with you.

3. Start running with a new crowd. Become involved in a different organization, change your church membership, or go to different bars. But since LGBT communities can be like small towns, in which everyone is constantly in everyone else's business, this will work only so long.

4. Live the life of a hermit until everyone has forgotten you. This one may actually work. The drawback is that it will give you time to ponder your past mistakes, something that you must under no circumstances ever do.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ron Paul, Democrats, and marriage

While Ron Paul's waffling on marriage does not thrill me, Democratic politicians routinely take positions to the right of Paul's on that and other topics. Yet the politically correct crowd excoriates Paul while making endless excuses for those Democrats, who presumably are using the issue as the next move in their 4D Vulcan chess game, or whatever the rationalization du jour is. Yet again, we see one standard for the anointed ones and another, vastly higher one for everyone else.

The gilded mean

The golden-mean fallacy, otherwise known as the middle-ground fallacy and the appeal to moderation, holds that a middle ground between two extreme positions must be true simply because it is the middle ground. It differs from actually proving that the middle position is the sound one.

Lazy thinkers can use the golden-mean fallacy to discount any position they don't like, without the bother of having to disprove it on its merits. For example, local journalists have been known to pair a pro-LGBT argument with an argument from the American Family Association or some such organization and grandly declare, with no further analysis, that because the truth is in the middle, both sides must be wrong.

Quote of the week

"When the voters penalize candor and reward pandering, what are politicians going to give them?" — Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I am shocked, shocked!

American officials have reported finding a huge amount of pornography in the computers and storage devices in Osama bin Laden's compound. It seems that yet another puritanical religious fundamentalist preached one thing and practiced another.

The article says,
But the disclosure could fuel accusations of hypocrisy against the founder of Al Qaeda, who was 54 and lived with three wives at the time of his death, and will be welcomed by counterterrorism officials because it could tarnish his legacy and erode the appeal of his brand of religious extremism.
I'd like to think so, but true believers have a way of blocking any reality that interferes with their beliefs, including revelations of sexual sins by their leaders.

To people who have commented recently

I did not delete your comment; the recent Blogger failure ate it. I have deleted comments only for spam; since I am neither a Freeper nor a radfem, I do not delete comments for the sin of disagreement with me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sixty years together (2)

In the comments section of the article to which I linked yesterday, someone brought up "God's commandments." I responded thus and got 28 "Recommended" clicks:
#18 is right. Marriage should be exactly as set forth in the Holy Bible: the union of one man and as many wives, concubines, POW sex slaves, and rape victims as he can afford to support, with no remarriage after a divorce between believers. How dare mere mortals try to redefine marriage from that holy and perfect standard.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sixty years together

We read here an article about two men who have lived together for over sixty years and have become the self-described "poster boys — poster seniors, [they] should say" for same-sex marriage in New York. In telling their story, they will both put an appealing human face on the issue and show younger gay men that a long-term relationship is possible. On the other hand, the fact that they have been together for so long shows that the magical piece of paper is not a necessary condition for commitment.

Finally, for the longest time, the two-headed monster known as the religious right and the politically correct left has brainwashed us into believing that gay men are incapable of forming lasting relationships. I can hardly wait to hear what that monster has to say about this couple beyond that all-purpose scathing rebuttal, "La la la, I can't hear you."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poll on same-sex marriage in Virginia

A Washington Post poll purports to show that Virginians are almost evenly split on legal recognition of same-sex marriage — 47% to 43%, with a 3.5% margin of error. I am guardedly optimistic.

Polls show two other things: that people often lie to pollsters to sound more high-minded than they are and that asking the same question in different ways can greatly affect the outcome. Both factors may well be at play here. As anti-liberty social conservatives like to point out, the only poll that counts is the actual vote.

Still, I see hope. For one thing, a breakdown by age shows that support increases as age decreases; the poll numbers range from 73% for people 18-29 to 22% for people 65 and older. Same-sex marriage also enjoys strong support in Northern Virginia, which is growing relative to the rest of the state. Both facts bode well for the future.

I have two asides. First, the poll figures show a whopping 80% support among Virginians identifying with "no religion." Second, I wish that The Post had printed a breakdown by level of education.

Fabulous queer dating tip #23: If it's 1:15, you must be back together.

After that drama-filled breakup, do not go gentle into that good night; rage, rage, against the very situation into which you've chosen to put yourself. After having done everything in your power to alienate him, beg him to take you back; if nothing else, your mutual friends can use the entertainment. If you and he used to be one of the power couples in your community, try to get him to appear with you at public functions. You need to maintain your appearance as the god-emperor of the hypocrites a responsible member of the community.

Quote of the week

Arnold Schwarzenegger explains the secret to success: "I say, number one, come to America. Number two, work your butt off. And number three, marry a Kennedy."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Today's vocabulary term: appeal to ridicule

appeal to ridicule, n. phr. a logical fallacy that consists of ridiculing an opposing argument rather than explaining what is wrong with it; pretty much The Washington Post's entire business model.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Today's vocabulary word: self-loathing

self-loathing, n. or adj. disagreement/disagreeing with the party line in any respect; used here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why some people don't think rationally

In the wake of birtherism, people are talking about the anti-rationalism of the right (since we all know that everyone else is completely immune). I have seen a variety of reasons for anti-rationalism, from intellectual laziness to the effects of religion to an emotional need to believe nonsense. While some people either cannot or will not think rationally about their pet issues no matter what, I believe that many other people do not pursue rational inquiry about such issues simply because no one has told them that it is an option.

For example, in the public schools that I attended, we studied formal logic for all of one grading period, and even then only in the context of geometry. No one pointed out any wider applicability, least of all the history teacher whose answer to every challenge was to restate his original assertion more loudly.

Later, when I did volunteer work in HIV education, I sometimes had to step callers through the process of understanding relative risks. I quickly realized that I was the first person to explain to them how to do so, and I could almost hear the light bulbs going on over their heads when they got it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Religious right or P.C. left? Quotes 19 and 20

In this series of blog posts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read each quote and guess, before doing a Web search, whether someone in the religious right or the politically correct left said it.

And how often does it not happen that the proud and conceited judgement of an expert is put in its proper place by a layman! Numerous inventors built 'impossible' machines. Lawyers show again and again that an expert does not know what he is talking about. Scientists, especially physicians, frequently come to different results so that it is up to the relatives of the sick person (or the inhabitants of a certain area) to decide by vote about the procedure to be adopted. How often is science improved, and turned into new directions by non-scientific influences! it is up to us, it is up to the citizens of a free society to either accept the chauvinism of science without contradiction or to overcome it by the counterforce of public action.
The argument is not about science or about facts—ultimately, the argument is about how you interpret the facts—and this depends upon your belief about history. The real difference is that we have different “histories” (accounts about what happened in the past), which we use to interpret the science and facts of the present.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quote of the week

'People of this bent don't proceed from facts to a conclusion. They prefer to reach a conclusion and then scrounge for any facts—or "facts"—that support it.' — Steve Chapman,, talking about the birthers