Sad Clowns in the Circus of Life

sad clown

The current brouhaha over “Duck Dynasty” is getting the predictable treatment, both in the largely-liberal mainstream media and in its right-wing equivalent. Those who aspire to wield the power of big government over the peasants must, by all means, control the narrative. And as usual, the supposed rivals are actually working off of the same script.

It is of little consequence to me what some fool on trash-TV says about gays. Despite the outrage generated on the left, this is exactly what we might expect from a redneck with voodoo-fundamentalist religious beliefs. If he’d been ignored – as he deserved to be – none of this tempest in a piss-pot would ever have arisen.

Then, of course – in the spirit of the game – the right had to become outraged because A&E, the network that ran the popular filth in question, punished the yokel who made the anti-gay remarks. Social conservatives, and those who toady to them, would have us believe that he is the victim of full-scale persecution. As if he were being marched off to a gulag.

What actually happened was exactly what conservatives usually claim should happen — until it happens to them. A private employer disciplined its employee. At no level did government become involved, so there was no censorship. As my colleague at Purple Elephant blog, Lori Sanders, pointed out, this all happened the way it should in a free society.

Let me explain, for those in the Heartland, what is really going on here. Gay Christians are too inconvenient for either the statist right or left to mention. We’re the proverbial fly in their ointment, because we don’t do the bidding of either side. They don’t know what to do with us, so they ignore us in the hope that we’ll disappear.

This is called lying by omission.

The social-conservative right wants a new way to demonize gays. It intends to do this by painting ALL gays as anti-religion, and especially as anti-Christian. No gay Christian flies must be permitted into their ointment.

The secular left wants to demonize religion, in particular Christianity. It plans on accomplishing this by painting ALL religious people as anti-gay. No gay-welcoming churches, or heterosexual Christian allies – not to mention actual gay Christians – may be allowed to toss any monkey wrenches into their works.

Social conservatives know very well that gay Christians exist. So do secular liberals. In omitting us – on purpose – from the dialogue, they are bare-assed liars.

Social conservatives are also abject, lily-livered cowards. They are afraid of the public debate — on whether that handful of Scriptural snippets they’ve clipped out of context to “support” their argument actually say what they claim — that would surely follow if the truth about gay Christians’ existence were more widely known. Lying by omission is not the behavior of people confident that the argument is theirs to win. It’s the behavior of those who know that they would lose.

I will point it out. I will shout it from the rooftops. I will do my utmost to mobilize other gay Christians, and our allies in the churches, to loudly, vigorously and insistently enter the fray. If the spiritually-sick and twisted souls who want us out of the Church want a fight, they’ve got one.

Okay, by their chickenhearted dishonesty, they’ve indicated that they DON’T want a fight. They’re going to get one, anyway.

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The Two Faces of Anti-Libertarians: Which One to Slap First?

two_faced_dog

“When people are two-faced, the only thing you’ll know for sure is that you can’t trust either of them.”
— Doe Zantamata (author, artist and photographer)

I’ve noticed something really interesting about the stuff many “progressives” say about libertarians. They say two different things — each of which contradicts the other:

(A) “Libertarians are paper tigers: essentially toothless. They’ll never get anywhere, because the social and corporate conservatives run the whole show on the political Right. We basically like libertarians – don’t get us wrong. We simply think they’re too inconsequential to bother with. So move on, everybody…nothing to see there.”

(B) “Libertarians are DANGEROUS! They don’t believe in taxes, or government, or any of the things that make life good. Once they get into power (which is inevitable, and will happen very soon), all our streets will be toll roads, there will be no police or fire departments, the schools will be closed, our children will starve to death and ANARCHY will prevail!”

But which is it? I, of course, would guess neither. “Progressives,” however, quite often maintain that both A and B are true – and they sometimes say so in the space of a single paragraph.

On Independent Gay Forum, a blog of Right-of-center, libertarian-leaning gay and lesbian opinion, every commentary thread is swarmed by “progressives.” One minute they’re cooing about how nice those harmless libertarians are, and assuring us we’re wasting our time if we support them. And the very next, they’re warning of the impending doom that will result if those evil, heartless libertarian hordes take over.

It’ll never, ever happen – but it must be stopped!

Some idiot, on a recent commentary thread, tried to pass off Mona Charen (?!) as a libertarian. This is how far gone these people are. They are ignorant sheeple, their lords and masters tell them this crap, and they accept it without question. Based upon no evidence whatsoever, they tell themselves that they are more enlightened, more sophisticated and better educated than anyone else. They are living in the Twilight Zone.

There are two types of comment you’re almost bound to find on every commentary thread at IGF. You guessed it: A and B.

As I have already tried to explain, I’m at the far left end of the political Right. There is no center; in between Left and Right there’s a huge, yawning chasm. The Left is a narrow ledge, and everybody on that side is packed together in an undifferentiated mass of people who dare not think for themselves. The Right, however, is a wide plateau, where a large variety is gathering.

I throw a rope to as many on the other side as I can reach. All they can see, from their side of the chasm, are social and corporate conservatives – because that’s all they’ve been told are over here. I introduce them to libertarians. They can’t see us, for some reason – but even though they have no clue what we look like, they’re sure we’re dangerous.

Totally ineffectual, and destined never to have a voice on the political Right – yet, at the same time, a lethal threat to the world. I don’t know how we can be both, and they don’t, either. All I can figure is that their brains are in the face that looks behind them. And that they spend most of their time sitting down.

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Eeeeew! I See Cooties!

spacy kid

The strategy of avoiding the GOP table in the cafeteria has worked SO well for libertarians. Not to mention for all those other social liberals who’ve shunned the Republican Party because…eeeew! Those social conservatives have cooties!

I’ll tell you who’s won because of that strategy. Social conservatives and “progressives.” America has lost big-time. And libertarians, libertarian-leaning conservatives and socially-liberal fiscal conservatives have lost along with it.

America is in the fifth grade. We’re all still ten years old. We have decided that because we don’t like some of the people at the table, we’re not going to sit at it, because…well…eeeew! – icky people we don’t like are sitting there! In my case, those icky people are big-government collectivist, gripe-grouping social conservatives.

I’ve been guilty of this, too. I joined the Libertarian Party, when I realized I couldn’t stand the Democrats anymore. Sure, I switched to the GOP briefly, just so I could vote for Ron Paul in the 2012 primary, but then right back to the Libertarians I went.

I’m as diehard a libertarian as they come. I believe that social conservatives are nothing but a mirror-image of the statist, collectivist, identity-politics-mongering “progressives” they claim to hate. They’re the reverse image of them, but a mirror always shows everything in reverse. Sooner or later, we must admit that the Libertarian Party – and like-minded holdouts from the GOP – are the main reason the social conservatives ever got so powerful in the first place.

Political parties change direction because the people in them force those changes. That does not – and cannot possibly – happen when we flick off the cooties, hold our noses and take our trays to a different table.

“Progressives” want us to become Democrats and be assimilated into the Borg. Social conservatives don’t care where we go — as long as we don’t become Republicans. But in many ways, these sham enemies are Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Behind the mummery that they are rivals, they are really partners: snug as two peas in a pod.

Now is the time for us to join the GOP and fight to take back the party of Lincoln – and our country. Will we ever force the soc-cons completely out of it? Probably not, because where the hell else are they going to go? They could form their own crackpot party and throw temper-tantrums every election year until they die off. But they can throw their tantrums just as loudly as Republicans – and it does make for an entertaining show.

My friend Sonicfrog believes that we should all vote for independents, and separate ourselves from both major parties. I must respectfully disagree. We’ve been on the outside looking in for far too long. It’s time we took power, and restored this great country to the glory the statists – Left and Right – have so pathetically diminished. If the only two choices left to us are Obamacare Nation and the American Taliban, we are doomed.

And if we don’t take back the only major party capable of soundness and sanity, and use it as our vehicle for rescuing America, that will be the only alternative that remains.

I have re-registered as a Republican. I have had enough. Some who hear that will laugh, and others will cry. But I don’t believe grownups should be afraid of cooties.

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Separating the Sheep from the Goats

"I love everybody! Really, I do!"

“I love everybody! Really, I do!”

Lawsuits continue to be filed, and legislation pushed, to force those who disapprove of gay marriage to offer services to same-sex couples. This is a complex subject, and in my opinion the question comes down to whether those services are essential (i.e. involving life and health) or nonessential (weddings photos and the like).

But for the moment, I’d like to concentrate on specific religious rituals, such as weddings and baptisms.

I absolutely disagree with the clamor, from some “progressive” quarters, for religious people who disapprove of same-sex love to be legally forced to perform gay marriages, baptisms for the children of same-sex couples, etc.

A rapidly-growing number of churches and denominations are perfectly willing to treat same-sex couples as equal to heterosexual couples. We simply don’t need to force anybody to do anything. Even more and more conservative Christian congregations are willing to do this. Why are some pushing for all to be forced to do so?

I don’t believe that the “progressives” trying to force the issue are even Christians at all. Not because they’re wrongheaded in this matter, but because they (A) fail to understand that not all Christians see homosexuality the same way – something they would certainly know if they themselves were Christians – and (B) because they simply lack any respect for religious convictions. And I mean, for anybody’s.

When a minister marries a gay couple, it means something important if he or she does so willingly. When forced to do so against his or her will, the gesture is robbed of its significance. I applaud those whose hearts have been opened to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. They deserve to be recognized as willing participants in the Holy Spirit’s work toward our full inclusion in the Church. When we don’t know for certain who’s willing and who isn’t, we’ve lost that sense of appreciation.

It is important that we appreciate our allies in the Church. We can’t always appreciate them if we don’t recognize them. And we can’t always recognize them if they can no longer stand up and be counted. Legally forcing them to marry us robs them of the chance to stand up and be counted.

What’s more, the view that churches must be forced to honor us is based on a notion that is ignorant at best, and at worst an insidious lie. It’s based on the notion that ALL Christians must be automatically opposed to same-sex love. That hasn’t been true for at least thirty or forty years, and it is less true now than ever before.

Forcing anti-gay Christians to serve same-sex couples also makes martyrs out of them. They have quite enough of a persecution complex already. They would probably love nothing better than to be forced into complying with a law that violated their convictions about same-sex love. They thoroughly enjoy feeling they’ve been driven back into the catacombs.

Anti-gay Christians used to stand astride the whole, wide world. All they’ve got left, now, is an island that gets tinier day by day. More and more pieces of that island are crashing into the sea, and they must huddle closer and closer together, bawling ever more loudly, like walruses on a melting glacier, about how victimized and oppressed they are.

On the Last Day, the Bible tells us, the sheep will be separated from the goats. Those who willingly served Christ, recognizing Him in their fellow human beings (including, Jesus says, “the least of these”) will be led, like the faithful sheep they are, into their eternal reward. Those who rejected their fellow human beings will be led away to everlasting shame. Like stubborn, balky goats. Or bawling walruses.

And yes, I know I’ve posted a picture not of a sheep, but of a goat. I just thought he was cute. This one will surely escape perdition. No angel could resist a smile like that!

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You Go, Pom-Pom Girls!

I don't know if this was the most appropriate picture for the post.  But I liked it best!

I don’t know if this was the most appropriate picture for the post. But I liked it best!

When spectators understand the finer points of the game, power-playing can be an interesting sport to watch. Very entertaining – if you’re smart enough to realize it’s nothing but a game.

Observe how the color of your team jersey is supposed to dictate the side you take. As is the color of your skin. Pathetically, many people believe it must also determine how they think.

The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case is a perfect example. There’s one prefab position for Team Red, and another for Team Blue. Each is partially right, and each partially wrong. The truth doesn’t totally conform to what either side is supposed to believe. But what the hell – in the words of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?”

George Zimmerman seems to be sort of a Barney Fife. He’s neither the knight in shining armor he’s portrayed as being to Team Red, nor the white-hooded Grand Wizard being sold to Team Blue. What is really amusing, to all of us still capable of adult thought, is that he’s now being sold as a “Cracker,” or as the descendant of those who came over on the Mayflower. Even though he looks like he was born in Guadalajara.

For generations, people of color have been patronized and condescended to on the issue of self-defense. When they arm themselves in self-defense – even though they tend to live in high crime areas, where the desire to do this should be understandable – criminality is automatically assumed, of them, by the police.

Now, the authorities are starting to treat White people the same way. But-but-but…don’t they know how special we are? The Tea Party is outraged, and must spring into action!

The truth of the matter, of course, is that the Second Amendment applies to EVERYBODY – regardless of skin color or ethnicity. If we’re going to preserve the right of self-defense, we need to be as concerned about that right as it applies to people of color as we are for those who are White.

Had George’s last name been Gutierrez instead of Zimmerman, we’d be having a very different sort of conversation in this country right now. Had he been out, on that dark and rainy night, in a neighborhood other than his own, precisely because he does look more like a Gutierrez than a Zimmerman, the cops would have given him the same sort of hassle to which they might have subjected Trayvon Martin.

All this rah-rah, pom-pom girl stuff is idiotic. The two officially-approved ways of thinking about this issue both lead to dead ends. Wake up, Americans. Let’s start thinking for ourselves.

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Arizona, Unity and Idi Amin

No, I know this isn't Idi Amin.  This is every Right-Wing statist's Inner Dictator.

No, I know this isn’t Idi Amin. This is every Right-Wing statist’s Inner Dictator.

At last night’s Outright Libertarians meeting, we discussed ways to address liberals’ legitimate concerns. One of the ideas now gaining currency in Arizona would also address a legitimate concern of conservatives. Not that they’re listening. Only the liberals have expressed an interest. This particular idea, believe it or not, was actually the brainchild of some of the progressives so demonized, by conservatives, as mind-numbed Nazis bent on taking over the world.

Now circulating in our state is something called the Unity Pledge. Businesses and individuals can sign it – totally voluntarily – to commit themselves to a social compact. No storm-troopers will break down their door if they break the compact. They are merely giving their word of honor, and publicly expressing support to a cause.

The Unity Pledge, according to its website, is dedicated to achieving the following:

UNITY Pledge is a concerted effort by Arizona businesses and individuals to advance workplace equality and equal treatment in housing and hospitality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals and their allies. The business community and like-minded individuals understand that if we want to compete for top talent, we must have diverse and inclusive workplaces. UNITY Pledge was created by ONE Community, a member-based coalition of Arizona businesses and individuals dedicated to growing Arizona’s economy and otherwise improving our community.

Again, though the pledge did not originate with libertarians, it has our support. Why? Because it would achieve a genuinely progressive goal without using force. It would be an alternative – and we believe a very effective one – to legislation forcing businesses to hire or trade with gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people.

Oh, but conservatives want that, don’t they? Don’t they? (Crickets.)

What they actually seem to want is the freedom to be assholes without any interference whatsoever. Which is precisely why they show no interest in a voluntary solution like the Unity Pledge. They will decry tyranny when it’s used against them, but as soon as they get their grubby hands on the levers of power, they will tyrannize everyone else without compunction.

Despite all their big talk about morality, they have no moral compass. For a tiny glimpse of this, just trek on over to Gay Patriot – if you’ve got a strong stomach – and look at the way they savage those who disagree with them on any matter whatsoever. Once in a while, the bloggers will put up a post about goodness and light, just to try to get the rabid dogs to calm down. Then more red meat will be thrown to them, and the snarling will begin anew.

This is what they are. It’s what they will always be. There’s no reasoning with them. Attempting to deal with them is a totally fruitless experience.

I only point toward one tiny example, but you don’t have to go far to find others. In fact, you’d need to hide under a pretty big rock to avoid them.

On an only slightly related note, Reason magazine just came out with an article listing the 45 Enemies of Freedom. It details the worst offenders since the magazine’s founding in 1968. One of Arizona conservatives’ greatest heroes made the list. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is ranked Number Three. Right behind Michael Bloomberg and Idi Amin, and just ahead of Osama bin Laden and Leonid Brezhnev. Senator John McCain (who falls in and out of favor with conservatives, depending on how ugly and reactionary he succeeds in being) makes the list at Number Twenty-Seven.

They want to get their hands, once again, on all the guns, and bombs, and jail keys, and police dogs, and drones — and NOT because they want to liberate anybody. You figure out what they do want to do with them.

Wake up, everybody. Let’s make sure they never swindle us again.

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Reaching Into the Great Beyond

they're out there

They’re out there…somewhere in the great beyond. We can reach them. We have the technology, and we possess the wisdom. They’re really not aliens – they’re just like us!

They’re liberals. I used to be one. In the classical liberal (libertarian) sense, I still am. Contrary to what conservatives may tempt you to believe, they’re not green, and they don’t have pointy ears, football-shaped eyes or spindly fingers.

When the Obama administration morphed into the Second Coming of Dubya, I took a long vacation from them. I scrupulously avoided all political conversation with my liberal relatives and friends. I was disgusted with their seemingly-indestructible admiration of The One. I drank deep from springs Right-wing wisdom like FOX News and Gay Patriot. And much of what they said about liberals seemed plausible.

Then came the 2012 election season, and the conservatives treated libertarians like crap. After four years of nonstop bellyaching about Obama, they showed they cared about nothing more than regaining power – principles be damned. Inspired by the growing number of liberals speaking out against the Obama regime’s abuses, and by the surprising readiness of my liberal friends to listen to libertarian ideas, I began to get a different picture.

All that, coupled with the apparently-invincible obtuseness of the conservatives with whom I’ve tried – and failed – to reason for years, has proved decisive. Outright Libertarians are a breath of fresh air. Gay Patriot’s hard-core commenters and FOX News – that endless fount of Right-wing political correctness – continue to languish in a swamp of noxious gas. I now turn my satellite dish spaceward, to see if I can reach some of the liberals who still orbit the Earth, at a great distance, in the thrall of Obama-mania.

Some of them can be helped to understand that corporate tyranny cannot be defeated by the Democratic Party – which is just as much a servant of big-corporate America as the GOP. They can be shown that socialism, far from helping the poor, only gives the rich a license to steal. They can be awakened to the fact that ALL politicians are essentially power-seeking slime-balls who’ll say any pretty stuff they need to say to get elected – and then do nothing but loot and betray us.

They can be challenged to live up to their high ideals, instead of betraying them at every turn because some fraud in political office, or on TV, or in some fundraising front for the Democratic Party tries to seduce them with a line of self-serving bullshit.

I’ve had all of the conservatives I can stomach. I’ve really tried, but I just can’t stand most of them. I refuse to spend five more minutes listening to some idiot call my church “The Church of What’s Happening Now” or accuse innocent people of saying nutty shit they’ve never given the slightest indication they believe.

Goodbye to all that, and good riddance.

In person, most of the people I’ve ever met who express the sort of opinions you hear in the more extreme conservative blog comments are assholes. They may behave as if they’re housebroken, but the assholishness lurks just below the surface. It’ll come ripping out of them, like one of those monsters on Alien, when you least expect it. Decent people just don’t think like that. I know a lot of liberals who believe goopy stuff, but they are, generally speaking, decent folks.

There doesn’t seem to be any satellite dish powerful enough to reach hard-core Right-wingers. From that quadrant of deep space, SETI will never get an intelligent signal back.

Libertarians, in general, love space. It is, as Star Trek tells us, the final frontier. I think it’s worth exploring. So onward and upward we go!

…And as the accusation that I wear a tinfoil hat: at least I have a head to put it on.

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