Saturday, November 27, 2004

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Kinsey, Alexander, and Human Rights

Amanda at Mouse Words has some interesting thoughts on Alexander the Great, the gay-straight continuum, and the extent to which it applies to important political questions:
I want the Kinsey scale back in a lot of ways. In politics, it's pointless to talk about where you fall on some scale, because the issues are rights and that is black or white in many ways. Either you have the right to marry someone of the same sex who is your lifelong partner or you don't. If you are slightly bisexual on the Kinsey scale is irrelevant, because you have your life that you have now and that deserves respect. Period.

[. . .]

I know my history and know it well. There is no doubt that Alexander the Great was gay. He had a constant companion that he was clearly in love with that was a man. But he married women and by some accounts made love to these women in a genuine way. Does that make him straight? No, and you can't turn him straight no matter how many women you fling around. I'm not a lesbian for loving one woman out of many men, and Alexander wasn't straight due to obligatory heterosexual encounters.

[. . .]

I see the other side of this, a desperate, grasping side to the religious right where they interpret even mild heterosexual behavior as "evidence" of lurking heterosexuality. The religious right lives for "reformed homosexuals", who are generally bisexuals who hide themselves well. Kiss one girl, and you are straight.
I suspect that the repressed sexuality of many in the religious wrong (and fundies of any stripe, for that matter) plays itself out in lots of rather unhealthy ways. One only has to look at their politics for the evidence of that.

Amanda's point above is well-taken. There may be lots of grey on the Kinsey Scale. But legal rights are black and white.

Thanks to Avedon, who now resides at http://sideshow.me.uk/index.htm.


Friday, November 26, 2004

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Political Thought on the AM Dial

Igor Volsky at Marist College asked me to link to his radio show and web log. So here it is.

You can check it out online at: www.politicalthought.net. Or, if you have the great good fortune to pick your feet in Poughkeepsie, NY, you can tune in to his show at Marist Radio every Friday from 4pm-6pm. That's at WMAR, 1630 on your AM dial.

There. That's my good deed for the day.

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Is Osama Alive?
It's all a Matter of Perspective

See the Forest:
After numerous rounds of "We don't even know if Osama is still alive," Osama himself decided to send George W. a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game.

Bush opened the letter and it appeared to contain a coded message:

Bush was baffled, so he e-mailed it to Colin Powell. Colin and his aides had no clue either so they sent it to the FBI. No one could solve it so it went to the CIA, and then to the NSA, then to the Secret Service. With no clue as to its meaning, they eventually asked Canada's RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) for help.

The RCMP e-mailed the White House. "Tell the President he is looking at the message upside down."


Thursday, November 25, 2004

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Giving Thanks

I have to confess that I haven't been in a very thankful mood since Black Wednesday. I suspect that I'm not alone on that one.

So when I reflect on what I have to be grateful for today (Thanksgiving Day here in America -- Land of the Free Lunch, Home of the Brave New World, where 51% of us are either mentally incompetent or just plain dumber than dog shit), it makes me a little sad. It's pretty lousy to give thanks because, hey -- things could be worse!

I left the military in 1999. For several months after 9-11 I got phone calls from the Army asking me if I wanted to come back in for a while. But my wife and I had a couple small kids, I was in my early 50s, and while the thought crossed my mind (and I had some old comrades from the Army who did go back in), I chose to remain a civilian.

So today I'm giving thanks that, at least for the time being, I'm not getting any letters in the mail ordering me back to active duty. But the pool of people they can pull back in is getting a little thin, so it could happen.

I'm also grateful that my family and I have a roof over our heads, and so far at least, we've managed to make the mortgage payment each month. Strange to live in the richest nation on earth and know that there are families living in storage containers.

You might want to get to know some of those folks. You're going to want somebody to show you the ropes when the economy really turns to shit, as it's very likely to do, given what passes for national leadership these days.

I am really thankful for all the bloggers over there to the left: Josh, Atrios, Susie, Kevin, Kos, Digby, Avedon, David, Rodger, Kim, Jess, TCF, Publius, Mark & Mark, The General, Brad, Natalie, Billmon - wherever he is, and everybody else. And of course, many thanks to all of you who stop by from time to time. You need to get a life, but in the wee hours I'm grateful for the company. And you keep me going when it isn't much fun anymore.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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