How Much Do You Have to Hate Someone Not to Proselytize?

Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

One of My Favorite Songs

An Inspiring Song


Sunday, November 28, 2010

The American Thinker on Unchecked Executive Power

The whole article is worth reading, and I strongly recommend you do so. Here's the end:
Never in the history of man has a government with highly centralized powers and minimal checks and balances ended well. Today, the executive branch in the USA has the power to do almost anything it wants. The legislature is all but powerless, having ceded all their authority to the executive-appointed bureaucracy. The judicial branch is still alive and kicking feebly, but the death or retirement of one conservative justice will put a stop to that. The law enforcement political appointees have become arbitrary in their enforcement of the law and politically motivated. Never has America faced such troubling times. All of this has been accomplished slowly and cautiously to avoid raising the alarm, because the powers involved definitely do not want to raise that alarm.

The only weapon left against the rise of the autocracy is the light of truth. If the vast majority of Americans, your neighbors and coworkers, knew all of this was going on, they wouldn't stand for it. Constitutional amendments would be passed, politicians would be dismissed, and corrupt politicians would be tried and jailed. We can only hope that the sword of truth can yet prevail. However, there is not much time left, and it is time we get to work in earnest.
My caveat: rather a lot of Americans simply either do not want to know the truth, or do not care to make even a minimal effort to discover it, or even listen when it is explained to them. They are pathetically consumed with whatever sort of vapid, mass-market entertainment happens to catch their fancy at the moment.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Water-Smoker Turkey

The last time I was out at my folks' place, the discussion fell to who would fix what for Thanksgiving dinner. Usually, my stepfather makes the turkey, but as he has been dealing with some back issues and isn't one-hundred percent, I took the opportunity and volunteered to smoke the turkey. I have always wanted to have smoked turkey on Thanksgiving. I mean, seriously. We live in Oklahoma. I have often characterized us as "redneck central." Cheez louise, who wouldn't want smoked turkey? At any rate, a thirteen-and-a-half-pound frozen bird was promptly sent home with me that night, and it stayed in my small chest freezer for most of the last month.

I had smoked a turkey once before, and my eldest son remembered it fondly, but I could scarcely remember what I did, or whether I had liked it all that much. I did remember that the previous turkey was about nine pounds, and I seemed to recall having read somewhere that nine to ten pounds was the optimal size of turkey for smoking, so my tentative plan was to smoke the bird for four to six hours, depending on how long I could maintain temperature (if you didn't know, I have gone to the trouble of installing a halfway decent thermometer in the lid of my little Brinkman water smoker), and then wrap it in foil and finish it off at low temperatures in the oven. I fished the turkey out of the freezer on Sunday afternoon and let it start thawing in the refrigerator, and this morning before I left for work, I put it in a five-gallon bucket of very salty water and put the bucket in the fridge--a process called "brining," if you're not familiar with it.

The forecast for today was for a fifty percent chance of nasty thunderstorms in the afternoon, with a fairly wicked cold front moving in around seven in the evening, so I decided that I would fire up both my charcoal chimney starters--I always use hardwood lump charcoal--and fill the smoker's firepan up just as full as it would go, so that I would at least start off with decent heat. Then I took this evil-looking instrument (no, I hadn't yet cleaned it at the time I took the picture) and shoved it up the turkey's posterior.

That contraption is intended to facilate "beer-can" chicken, but I figured it would at least hold the bird upright, and since I was going to be perching the bird directly over the water pan of the smoker, I figured to get much the same effect.

At any rate, I put the turkey in the smoker and added some well-soaked hickory chunks to the firepan, and pretty quickly I was up to 200 degrees. Every thirty minutes, I went back outside to check the temperature.

It was necessary to add charcoal and hickory every forty minutes to an hour. If the heavy rain or the cold front had ever materialized (as of this writing they have not), I might have had to do it more often, or I might not have been able to control the temperature as long as I did. I also had to add more water to the water pan at about four hours. At any rate, I managed to keep it at a pretty steady 200 degrees for six hours, at which time I decided that I was going to bring the thing in and finish it off in the oven, just so I could get to bed.

So, naturally, just before wrapping it in foil, I decide to pull sideways on the leg--and it mostly came free, which is generally considered proof-positive that a bird is "done." I was very surprised. I fully expected that a bird of that size might take ten hours of low heat to finish cooking. So I pulled on the other leg. Same thing. Took my gorgeous Henckel's chef's knife--a much-appreciated gift from my parents--and carefully sliced through the breast. Fully done. Wow.

And let me say, folks, that that turkey breast is easily--easily!--the moistest, juiciest, most delectable turkey breast I have ever tasted. They are not gonna know what hit 'em tomorrow.

So, to recap, if you want to try this yourself--and let me add that with a better smoker, you could probably control the temperature better and longer--this is the method I suggest, based on tonight's cooking:

1) Thaw the bird--this is about a thirteen-pound turkey--in the refrigerator just like they always tell you to do.

2) Brine the bird on cooking day for about 8 hours in the fridge. How strong is the salt water? Darned if I know. I just know I put a lot of kosher salt in there. A lot.

3) Use the beer-can stand to hold up the bird.

4) Fill the firepan all the way up with hot hardwood lump charcoal.

5) Put in the water pan and fill it with hot water.

6) Put the grill rack over the water pan and put the bird on it. Make sure to splay the legs out as far sideways as you can get them.

7) Put the lid on the smoker.

8) Add charcoal and soaked hickory chunks as necessary to keep the temperature at least 200 degrees and the environment smokey. Check your water level every so often and replenish with hot water when you get low. If the weather is really a witch, you may have to finish the bird in the oven. If you have to do that, what I was going to do was butter the surface of the bird, wrap it in foil, and roast it for a few hours at 250 degrees. Maybe that'll work for you. I wound up not having to go to the trouble.

9) About six hours later, check the turkey for doneness--I prefer the pull-the-leg test--and let it rest a good fifteen minutes or more before carving.

Hey, it worked for me. Your mileage may vary, or you may choose to rub the bird with other seasoning or what-not.

This is Not Going to Stop Islamic Terrorism

Ordinarily, I dislike quoting whole blogposts, but this one, from Diana West, is pretty much crying out for it. Fear not, it's short. Emphasis in the original:
Marine Sgt. Michael Brattole has been evacuated from Afghanistan to be treated in a US military hospital for extensive wounds suffered when a fragmentation grenade, which disperses "notched wire and ball bearings," ripped through his chest while he was leading a patrol earlier this month. He has already had open heart surgery "to remove shrapnel."

What was Brattole, 22, doing when he was so grievously wounded? Military officials aren't saying much, but a photographer who had been embedded with the Marine's unit last month made his overall mission pretty clear to the Brattole and his men had been ordered to find and domesticate a herd of unicorns.
In Afghanistan, Brattole led troops on patrol in Marjah in Helmand Province and tried to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, according to Cali Bagby, a journalist who was embedded last month with Brattole’s unit, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

"There’s a lot of mud buildings spread out, but it’s extremely impoverished. A lot of areas are just desert," Bagby said. "It’s a very depressing landscape, and they’re trying to get the local people to stand up (to the Taliban)."

Bagby recalled Brattole’s regiment enduring temperatures of 120 degrees in the summer and 100 degrees as late as September.

On one mission, the soldiers tried to find a tribal elder to offer their support. They walked all day and climbed walls each carrying 90 pounds of gear, but couldn’t find the man.
Bold type isn't enough to draw attention to this lunacy -- COIN lunacy. Let's try that again:
On one mission, the soldiers tried to find a tribal elder to offer their support. They walked all day and climbed walls each carrying 90 pounds of gear, but couldn’t find the man.
My dream Congressional House Armed Services Committee hearing: I want to know who conceived of this find-a-unicorn program, who ordered the mission, whether anyone, anyone at all, expressed any doubt whatsoever that such a man existed, or if he existed was worth finding because the whole hearts-and-minds racket was nothing but a utopian mirage, not a battle plan, and whether this particular theoretical heart and mind out there was worth potentially losing one of our own.

The news report continued:
The mission could be described by the same word that Brattole’s family uses for him: tough.
Brattole is tough. This mission is insane. Come home, America.
Now, listen, before some of you on the Left decide that I've become anti-war-on-terror and some of you on the Right decide that I've gone soft on terrorism:

That's horsecrap. Much of Dar al Islam is making war on us, and we need to fight back. I have never had any objection to that.

Tear up Afghanistan from end to end because they wouldn't turn over Bin Laden? No problem on my end!

Tear up Iraq from end to end if you have credible information that Saddam Hussein has WMDs and is prepared to fork them over to terrorists for use against the US? (Yes, I know: all I'm going to say about it is that everyone I heard, including the ranking Democrats, had been saying precisely that about Iraq and Hussein for quite a while before Bush took action.) No problem on my end!

All I asked for in either event was that Congress do its job and declare war before doing either.

What I have objected to--objected to from the beginning of our sojourn in Iraq--is making war without a declaration of war--no, "authorizations to use force" do not count, the Constitution knows nothing of such an animal--and trying to make Islamic societies which, historically, top to bottom, do not care for or about such Western niceties as inalienable rights and representative government into Western-style representative republics. It won't work. It never had a chance. It was doomed from the start. If your approach to stopping Islamic terrorism is contingent on winning Islamists over to our way of thinking, you might as well bring the troops home and let them secure our borders.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Told Ya

Free Trade does not actually exist. It is a chimera, a phantom, something from the make-believe world. Other countries find ways to protect their markets.

I keep saying that. And people--at least the people who have a clue what "free trade" means--just look at me (metaphorically speaking--they're seldom physically present) like I have a horn growing out of my head.
Now, with U.S. political, military, industrial and strategic decline vis a vis China manifest to the world, we hear the wails of American businessmen that they are not being treated fairly by the Chinese. And the politicians responsible for building up China are now talking tough about confronting and containing China.

Sorry, but that cat cannot be walked back.

Review commission chair Dan Slane says his members have concluded that "China is adopting a highly discriminatory policy of favoring domestic producers over foreign manufacturers. Under the guise of fostering 'indigenous innovation' ... the government of China appears determined to exclude foreigners from bidding on government contracts at the central, provincial and local levels."

Imagine that! The Chinese are ignoring WTO rules and putting China first. Don't they understand how the Global Economy works? You're not supposed to tilt the field in favor of the home team.

One knows not whether to laugh or cry.

The policy the Chinese are pursuing, economic nationalism, was virtually invented by the Republican Party. Protectionism was the declared policy of the GOP from the day its first president took office in 1861 to the day Calvin Coolidge left in 1929.

Free trade was the policy of a Great Britain whose clocks those generations of Americans cleaned, even as the Chinese are cleaning ours.
The quote is from Pat Buchanan--and about all I have to say is, "Told ya so."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You Had Me at "Bacon Wrapped"

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. Okay, this, I gotta try. Via Susan at Food Blogga.

I Know You Don't Like to Hear It...

...but in the end, for the American people, there would really be no greater bulwark against over-reaching government than a population that read the Bible and The Federalist Papers through every year.

It only ticks you off 'cause you know it's true...

Friday, November 19, 2010


You need to watch this. If you have any interest in genuine capitalism, genuine free-market economics, real food, liberty, and so forth, you need to watch this trailer.

Farmageddon Trailer from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.

Via Cheeseslave

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stupid? Even I Don't Think That

I just read yet another short piece excoriating Sarah Palin for her stupidity--this one coming from elements of the political right.

This sort of thing is not as uncommon as one might suppose. There are plenty of conservatives that think that Mrs. Palin is being unduly influenced by a series of neocons, especially when it comes to foreign policy. And indeed, there are elements of her foreign policy statements where I, too, would say, "Tread lightly, and be careful what you say."

But that doesn't mean that I think she's stupid.

Brethren and Sistren, I've seen stupid. I mean, I've seen and dealt with people who are genuinely not up to snuff in terms of raw intelligence. I've dealt with the profoundly retarded, the somewhat mentally handicapped, and those who fall into the low end of the normal range of human intelligence. I know what "stupid" is all about. The genuinely stupid generally have their hands too full just dealing with day-to-day life to worry overmuch about politics.

I can't think of anybody I disagree with politically that I would characterize as stupid. Not one. Misinformed, yes. Ideologically blinkered, yes. Even willfully blind. Even lying. But stupid? No.

And to be frank, when I read someone saying that someone--anyone--politically opposed to them is stupid, my opinion of their opinion dives dramatically.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stuff My Stepfather Did

I swear, my stepfather is one of the most brilliant men I have ever met. You will probably never read anything he's written, though; his brilliance is mostly expressed in stuff he does with his hands. Like his house, for example. It is earth-sheltered on three sides, and he built the overwhelming majority of it himself. To the best of my recollection, he had someone else lay the foundation and apply the gunite for the earth-sheltered sides of the house, and did everything else himself.
He made these nunchaku for me some months ago. Don't know a thing about using 'em yet, but I'll get 'round to it. They're made of bodark, or Osage Orange.
This is one of his pepper mills.
This is a decorative "egg" he made.
This is an earring stand and a couple of sets of earrings. He made it all.
A bracelet made of Osage Orange.
Another bracelet.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pat Buchanan on the Fed and QE2

Not much I can add to this, methinks. You'd serve yourself well by reading the whole thing.
If it is the first responsibility of the Federal Reserve to protect the dollars that Americans earn and save, is it not dereliction of duty for the Fed to pursue a policy to bleed value from those dollars? For that is what Chairman Ben Bernanke is up to with his QE2, or “quantitative easing.”

Translation: The Fed is committed to buy $600 billion in bonds from banks and pay for them by printing money that will then be deposited in those banks. The more dollars that flood into the economy, the less every one of them is worth.

Bernanke is not just risking inflation. He is inducing inflation.


The other Chinese complaint is that they lent us trillions to buy Chinese goods and now we are robbing them by depreciating the dollar-denominated Treasury bonds they accepted in return for their goods.

Pay back your banker in Monopoly money, and you will find you are soon unable to borrow from anyone anywhere.


The Fed...retains a confidence that it does not deserve, when one considers that, when it was created in 1913, a $20 bill could be exchanged for a $20 gold piece.

Today, it takes seventy $20 bills to buy a $20 gold piece, which means the dollar can buy in 2010 what you could get for 2 pennies in 1910. Quite a record for a central bank set up to protect the dollar.
Well, it was ostensibly set up to protect the dollar. Before you fall for that one, maybe you ought to find out what Andrew Jackson thought of the idea of a central bank.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Maybe Your Fat Friends Are Leading You Down the Wrong Path

Read it and weep, those of ye wearing the relaxed-fit jeans:
Americans will keep growing fatter until 42 percent of the nation is considered obese, and having fat friends is part of the problem, researchers said on Thursday.

The prediction by a team of researchers at Harvard University contradicts other experts who say the nation's obesity rate has peaked at 34 percent of the U.S. population.

The finding is from the same group, led by Nicholas Christakis, that reported in 2007 that if someone's friend becomes obese, that person's chances of becoming obese increase by more than half.

They now think this same phenomenon is driving the obesity epidemic, which will climb slowly but steadily for the next 40 years.
You may wonder why I harp on this every so often.

Again, I'm not trying to pick on people for being fifteen or twenty pounds overweight. That's not such a big, hairy deal, not as long as--and this is important--you are otherwise fairly fit.

But people that are fifty, sixty, even a hundred or hundred and fifty pounds overweight--they are killing themselves, and are partly responsible for killing the country's budget as well.

One of the smartest things that Mike Huckabee ever said--remember, Huck used to be amongst the ranks of the quivering fatties--was that lifestyle represents about eighty percent of the cost of health care in this country. I haven't ever looked it up, but my day-to-day working experience makes me quite willing to believe it. Over and over and over again, I deliver and install medical equipment, almost without exception for people whose complexes of medical conditions are directly related to their weight and/or smoking too many cigarettes (I will admit that I'm not convinced that an occasional cigarette is all that big a deal. However, hardly anybody ever smokes an "occasional" cigarette). COPD, diabetes, bad knees, bad backs--you name it! Obesity even makes asthma worse.

Younger fatties--you people that are in your twenties and thirties, but are already seventy or eighty pounds overweight--please believe me, you have absolutely no idea what sort of medical hell awaits you.

I have said for years that though I am, in principle, opposed to federally-funded medical care programs, the reality is that if you could deny services to people who've literally eaten themselves into a state of ill health, cruel as it sounds, there would, in fact, be plenty of money to help the people who've been crippled in car wrecks through no fault of their own, the people who contracted some loathsome disease that no one could possibly have seen coming, etc.

The pitiful thing is that avoiding obesity is so darn simple. I can flatly guarantee you that--barring some weird genetic abnormality--if you do these two things, you will never get huge:

1) Don't eat very much crap. Don't ask me for a detailed definition. In general, "crap" is anything with a bunch of empty calories and/or transfats in it.

It floors me that people indulge in complicated calorie-counting and "points" schemes. It is totally unnecessary. Just don't eat very much crap and the calories and so forth will take care of themselves, okay?

2) Move. Get some exercise that at least mildly stresses your musculature and heart and lungs. You don't have to run marathons, just be reasonably active, dadgummit.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wise Words on Self-Defense

I should note at the outset that I do not agree with Mr. Redmond about everything in the universe. More than once he has said that he thinks--well, as he put it in this post:
Karate is not self-defense. Karate is a tactical dueling system only.
He has frequently given me the impression that he really does think that Shotokan (the system he practices) sums up what "karate" is, and that it is less a real-world self-defense system than a sporting contest with a historical connection to mano-a-mano macho contests. I, on the other hand, enter a practice session with an acute focus on the problem of keeping my pale tuchus alive and unharmed in the event of a violent assault, and think that karate--specifically RyuTe--is an excellent "life protection" art. Be that as it may, I rather liked what he had to say in this post. Herewith, a short quote:
I avoid violence. I, like most others who have practiced fighting arts or have been in the military, am well aware that when violence starts, so does chaos. And in the chaos, anything can happen. No matter which of you is the master and which is the fool, either one can step on a banana peel and end up injured severely or dead.

Those who engage in violence when ANY other option is available roll the dice that they will not be killed. Good luck to those people. I prefer to de-escalate and avoid violence unless I judge it to be absolutely necessary.

Self-defense is not about winning fights – it is about using strategy and decision making to avoid them completely.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Truth About that Snide Little "Coexist" Sticker

That sticker has annoyed me from the first moment I saw it. This explains why.

You can, of course, click on it for a larger image. Found it on Jihad Watch.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The American Thinker on Free Trade Again

I really enjoyed this post. The author puts objections to free trade into a small, well-managed space. You really ought to go read the whole thing, but since I know you're not actually like to do so, here's a sample, with my comments interspersed:
Free trade sounds nice. Protectionism sounds ugly. Free trade sounds capitalist. Protectionism sounds Marxist. So it is worthy of note that free trade was actually viewed by Karl Marx as a strategic force, a tool with which to undermine capitalism as an economic model:
But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen that I vote in favor of free trade [i].
Marx was not far from wrong. After nearly fifty years of progressive tariff reductions, America has suffered significant economic losses. This comes as a surprise to many Americans, for years inebriated with the free trade mantra.

This is because America does the "free" while the rest of the world does something else. China, for example, manipulates its currency and engages in persistent dumping, driving down Chinese prices and displacing domestic American industries.
Amen, and amen! There are few things that annoy me more than listening to or reading someone extol the benefits of free trade without so much as noticing the elephant in the room: free trade does not actually exist! Other nations protect their markets.
The results of such one-sided free trade have been catastrophic for America. Consider that in the last fifty years, U.S. tariffs have gone from 40 percent of the price of goods to 5 percent [iv]. Over the same period, manufacturing as a share of employment has fallen from 30 percent to 11 percent and is still falling.
I swear, as God is my witness, every free trade economist that I have read writes as though any idiot can do manufacturing, or as if it is somehow a low-class form of employment.

My ***. Look, I've done manufacturing. I rather like it. I started at one factory by running a large set of industrial sheet-metal shears, then operating a CNC laser cutter, then moving on to a machine shop where I spent my days operating CNC mills and lathes and my nights learning more about how it's done. When I was laid off and moved into other fields, I wasn't even close to being a full-fledged machinist, despite having been in the field for close to two years and going to school for most of that time. It takes time, time and experience, to be a good manufacturing employee. Oh, anybody, or almost anybody, can drive a small forklift, to be sure, but to be a machinist? A fab (fabrication) worker? A welder? A tool-and-die maker? Those guys don't just fall off the trees. When we lose manufacturing jobs, those guys eventually have to move on to something else. Their skills deteriorate, and for the most part, are lost to the country.

God forbid we should have to rebuild our manufacturing in a big-*** hurry. I'm not sure we could do it.
The late Milton Friedman was a committed free trade proponent. In a stunning dismissal of traditional economic theory, Friedman once remarked, "Who is hurt and who benefits ... U.S. consumers benefit. They get cheap TV sets or automobiles ... Should we complain about such a program of reverse foreign aid?"

That may sound good for the short-term, but, as classic economist Friedrich List wrote,
The forces of production are the tree on which wealth grows...The tree which bears the fruit is of itself of greater value than the fruit itself...The prosperity of a nation is not...greater in the proportion in which it has amassed more wealth (i.e. values of exchange), but in the proportion with which it has more developed its powers of production.
Manufacturing matters. Service jobs, the primary source of U.S. employment, depend on capital inputs from manufacturing even if said manufacturing is foreign. This presents problems should foreign manufacturing undergo shocks or disturbances that disrupt supply lines and, by extension, the sole source of employment for most Americans. Dependence on foreign manufacturing is inherently dangerous, since it is out of U.S. control.

The loss of manufacturing is not a trivial matter, and it has national security implications. It must be the ultimate oxymoron that Communist China is now the "arsenal of democracy." China is a strategic enemy and has threatened open nuclear war on America's homeland, and yet CFIUS has cleared the sale of factories to China responsible for producing the rare-earth magnets used in American laser-guided munitions. What happens if America ever needs to fight China?
Or, what if, God forbid, America ever needs to fight some country with which China is at all friendly?
Service economies can't issue ultimatums; only industrial economies can do that.

It is on this basis that free trade arguments fall apart. In a world with no nations, where national governments are not accountable for the economic and political security of their people, doctrines like "comparative advantage" would have validity.
Again, amen, and amen! As long as nations exist, trade wars will be just that--trade wars. And nations that refuse to protect their own people are derelict in their duties.
Refusing to protect the American economy when other nations are using manipulative "protectionist" devices is not competition, but economic suicide.

Free trade cannot work when some play by the rules and others do not. While competition and openness are desirable in ideal circumstances, reasonable protectionism has proven effective and is indeed necessary to preserve American economic strength.
This whole subject is one of the things that genuinely concerns me about the crop of "conservatives" that we are about to send to Congress. I flatly guarantee you that the vast majority of them know next to nothing about this subject and will back free trade most of the time because, if they have heard anything about it at all, they have heard it from the open-borders/free trade/free-movement-of-goods-and-people, libertarian-leaning economists that dominate most of the economic discussion in the Republican Party. You would not believe the number of "conservative" writers who pen such inanities as "free trade is a bedrock conservative principle," when it is no such thing. It might well be a bedrock libertarian principle, but whilst libertarianism and conservatism do have their areas of overlap, they are not the same thing. It is sheer idiocy to tell a nation that grew to greatness, in part, by protecting its markets, that doing the opposite is somehow "conservative," yet we have more than a few conservatives who will do just that. It's mind-boggling.

Lastly, I must point out--again--that yes, I'm aware that tariffs are not perfect and do have their flaws and negative effects. Personally, I favor the Fair Tax, which, like a tariff, is a consumption tax and will have much the same effect as a tariff, though it is likely to eliminate some of the negative effects associated with tariffs. However, if I can't get the Fair Tax, bringing back tariffs, coupled with a great lowering of income tax rates, would be something I completely support.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Robert Knight on the "Born Gay" Idea

At the risk of getting myself labeled "bigoted" again for holding the same opinion that--what? Probably at least fifty percent of Americans hold? Considerably more, if you judge by the results every time homosexual marriage comes up at the ballot box--I give you Mr. Knight's closing thoughts on the subject:
The Washington Monthly’s Steven Benen described Buck’s views as “bizarre,” “cartoonish” and worthy of “national ridicule.” Well, of course. That must also describe the views of tens of millions of Americans who strengthened marriage laws in 45 states over the last 15 years. Or any parents who simply think it’s better that their son date a girl instead of a boy.

Science, biology, religion, history, common sense and human experience all argue against homosexuality, as do grim, persistent health statistics that the media ignore. They are apparently too busy painting as “haters” a lot of good people who know, love and worry about homosexual relatives or friends but are not “pro-gay.”

Since the facts overwhelmingly favor morality and normalcy, the only thing to do is to smear and shout. "After the Ball," a 1989 blueprint for gay power by Harvard-trained public relations experts Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, explains in detail how to “jam” opponents by charging them with “hate.” And it’s worked. Even most conservative talk show hosts ignore the issue or appease by ceding moral ground.

The “born gay” myth has been nurtured since the early ’90s, when a genetic component was suggested by some homosexual researchers’ well-publicized studies. But none has been credibly replicated, and several have been exposed as junk science, including Simon LeVay’s 1991 study of nodules on hypothalamuses, and Dean Hamer’s 1993 National Cancer Institute X chromosome study.

Even Dr. LeVay warned, “It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work.”

In fact, virtually all studies involving homosexuality, from Alfred C. Kinsey’s fraudulent “Kinsey Reports” from the late 1940s and early 1950s and the Evelyn Hooker psychological studies from UCLA in the late 1950s, have been exposed as either fraud or misrepresented to convey what activists want the public to hear.

As with the now-debunked estimate that 10 percent of the population is homosexual, the “born gay” myth has fueled claims of parity with race or ethnicity. Never mind whether it’s true. And, whatever you do, keep those former homosexuals out of the spotlight, lest the public start thinking about this.

It’s been a grand deception, and they’re not going to let real science, Scripture, genuine compassion or “cartoonish” candidates get in the way of their script.
So far in my life, I have never seen an argument for "born gay" that didn't work just as well for any other sexual peccadillo.

"Considering all the garbage homosexuals have to go through, MOTW, why would anyone choose homosexuality? They wouldn't! They must be born that way!"

Well, considering all the garbage pedophiles have to go through, why would anyone choose pedophilia? They wouldn't! They must be born that way!

"Hater! Bigot! How dare you compare homosexuals to perverts!"

And so it goes. As far as I can tell, all the arguments for "born gay" suffer from this defect. If they prove that homosexuality is inborn, they prove with equal force that other sexual oddities are inborn. If you're not willing to concede, on the basis of what is substantially your own argument, that pedophiles, foot-fetishists, sadists, masochists, and so forth are "born that way," if your counter-argument amounts to "You're a bigot!" there's not a darn reason in the world that I should take your argument seriously when it comes to the issue of homosexuality.

Understand: I am not condemning homosexuals or denying their personhood--one critic suggested that I somehow didn't realize that homosexuals were people, too. Nor am I saying that straight people are necessarily without sexual sin. I am fairly sure that if you could get them to 'fess up to it, 'most everybody with a functioning set of glands would end up confessing to some sort of sexual sin, even if just the one about lusting after other people's spouses. I am simply saying that homosexual behavior is one more on the list of sexual behaviors that scripture clearly identifies as sin and that rather than pretending otherwise, we would do well to speak the truth about it in love and get on with helping those who want to come out of it--and with preserving the liberty of those who think it is sinful to make decisions in accordance with their convictions. For this, I will most likely be labeled a bigot and a hater.

Such is the state of discourse on the subject these days.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Compromise? Really?

I'm not naive enough to believe that all the people that voted Republican the other day agree with me on every jot or tittle of my political philosophy. I don't expect that, not at all.

On the other hand...

Since November of '06, I've listened to intellectual deadbeats on the left--and putatively on the right, in some cases--tell me that conservatism was dead, that the era of Reagan was over, that we had to pander to this constituency and that constituency, that we had to give up huge amounts of ground in terms of liberty and fiscal sanity, that we had to "reach across the aisle" in order to attract enough voters to win. That drumbeat only picked up steam with Barack Obama's--peace be upon him--election in '08.

My, how the tables have turned. Turns out that--while again, acknowledging that not every independent that voted Republican agrees with me on all things--conservatism isn't dead, pandering not only doesn't work but isn't necessary, and voters are open to arguments concerning the Constitution, liberty, and fiscal sanity. Not that conservatives have scored the ultimate victory and can rest on their laurels. Never. We must continue to make our case from now 'til the Second Coming, no doubt about that.

But now, what do I hear? What do I hear from the same people that have been telling us, "I (they) won"? What do I hear from the same people that have been telling us that we--Republicans and conservatives--need to "sit in the back"? What do I hear from the people that said they didn't want to hear Republicans and conservatives do a whole lot of talking?

Of course, what I hear are calls for "bipartisanship" and "compromise."

I have four answers. The first is one I heard from Michelle Malkin:
Take your olive branch and shove it, Democrats
Now, for what it's worth, that's not intended for every Democrat--there are some I know and am quite friendly with--but for those who march in lockstep with Obama/Reid/Pelosi. What we conservatives have learned, with pain, over the years, is that when that caliber of Democrat talks of bipartisanship and compromise, what actually happens is that conservatives lose. It is always the old story of how the wife wants a cat and the husband wants a dog, and they wind up "compromising" by getting a cat.

By now, we know better. At least, some of us do.

The second is this:

The third is this (hat tip to Sister Kat:
Every Democrat in the House, I don't care, every Democrat in the House, Blue Dogs that went out and openly campaigned, supporting Obama and health care lost. We are two Americas. We have flyover America and we have the coasts. Take a look at the map. It's 90% red. The blue is on the coasts, a little bit in Texas, a little bit here in south Florida. We do have two Americas and Obama is gonna do his best to continue to divide this country. I have to laugh. I laughed when I listened to these guys, Democrats, Obama and his aides talking about, "Well, now it's time to compromise." No. Compromise is off the table. They didn't want to compromise with us and we have no business compromising with them. They lost. Losers compromise. We don't. We've got nothing to compromise. Where do we compromise with this agenda? There's not one aspect of this agenda that's worth compromising. This agenda must be stopped. That's what this election meant.
And the last is mine:

Compromise? With those who have made a career and/or a sport of trashing the Constitution and doing their darndest to wreck my country and pick my pocket, destroy my inheritance, take away various and sundry of my liberties, all in the name of implementing Jacobinist ideas that were discredited 200 years ago?

My ***.

Pardon my French.

Muslim "Tolerance"

This apparently happened in Minnesota, rapidly becoming home to large numbers of Muslims. From The Grand Jihad:
...what happened to an Owatonna High School senior who, in an assignment to write a class paper, chose the topic "Somalian Privileges," complaining that the Muslim students were not required to adhere to various school rules. He and his mother were promptly summoned to the school and advised that he would be suspended, officially for "language and inappropriate comments," but unofficially because school officials feared he would be attacked. After a few days that officials hoped would be a "cooling off period," the boy returned to school...and was mauled by a gang that grew to somewhere between twenty and forty Somali students. He had to be hospitalized for head injuries.
Now, stop. I already know what you are going to say. "Most Muslims aren't like that." Well, let's say that is true. Let's say that in that high school, there were a couple of hundred Muslims and most of them didn't have anything to do with that attack.

That still left "only" twenty to forty Somali students carrying out that attack.

Are you beginning to see the problem here? That it's not necessarily all that relevant that most Muslims aren't like that?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Grand Jihad on "Blasphemy"

Sharia makes blasphemy a capital offense. It considers blasphemy to be any form of expression that casts Islam and its prophet in a poor light. Islamists refer to this concept as "defamation," and their apologists follow the script. But the equivalence is absurd. Defamation is slander: harming the reputation by the publication of things that are untrue. It is not defamation to call attention to the true parts of a doctrine that believers are embarrassed by or on which they would, for strategic reasons, prefer that you didn't focus. Islamists don't see, or at least won't acknowledge, this distinction because they see Islam as the one true religion, and there fore anything said against it must, by definition, be false...and punishable by death. In fact, in a recent case in Afghanistan, now under a new, U.S.-supported constitution that installed sharia as part of the fundamental law, merely expressing criticism of the crime of "insulting Islam" was itself deemed an offense against Islam by the court.
You know, one of the quickest ways to get labeled a "bigot" is to say perfectly true and applicable things about Islam--or to confess that you think it's reasonable to be apprehensive about some Muslims under certain circumstances. Just ask Juan Williams.