- - Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back of bus

“Sadly, the socialist movement had more attendees [at the ‘One Nation’ rally] than the LGBT community. They brought a huge group of folks while there were small groups from GetEqual, HRC, Stonewall Democrats and other orgs floating through the crowd.

“In an e-mail to me, Lt Dan Choi of GetEqual reported on the reception the group got as they carried signs with the faces of six LGBT youth who recently died by suicide. ‘We attended the “One Nation” progressive march on Washington today and were met with mixed reactions by “progressives.” All we intended was to bring visibility to the recent gay suicides. Some remarked: “Yeah … If y’all just stop killing yourselves, and turn to God.” and “You guys are stupid.”’

“Why wasn’t the LGBT community front and center as part of the progressive community? Because, as we’ve seen with the current crop of ‘progressive’ leadership — both inside and outside of the administration — our rights are not a priority for our friends and natural allies. We are the group that is always the easiest to lop off when the going gets tough — when people start to feel ‘uncomfortable.’ We are the group that gets ‘support’ if we’ll promise to keep our mouths shut.”

Bil Browning, writing on “One Nation: The progressive march that wasn’t,” on Oct. 4 at the Huffington Post

Mata Hari OK’d

“Rabbi Ari Shvat’s ruling — which appeared in the marvelously-titled study, ‘Illicit sex for the sake of national security’ — says that its okay for female agents of Israel’s foreign secret service, Mossad, to have sex with the enemy in so-called ‘honey-pot’ missions against terrorists:

“’Schvat wrote that honey-pot missions are not just a thing of modern-day espionage … [but] are rooted in Biblical lore. Queen Esther, who was Jewish, slept with the Persian king Xerxes around 500 BC to save her people, Schvat noted. Yael, wife of Hever, slept with the enemy chief of staff Sisra to tire him and cut off his head, according to tradition. …’

“Although that’s great stuff, my favorite line from the Haartz article is this one: ‘Male agents in Mossad apparently have no limitations on sleeping with the female enemy, as they were not mentioned in the writings.’

“Whaddya think? Is it moral to sleep with the enemy for the purposes of national security? What if it’s a ‘ticking-bomb’ scenario and the only way to get the information from the terrorist is a bit of ‘illicit sex’? Many people seem to think that torture is justified in those situations. What about a little fornication?”

Joe Carter, writing on “Israeli Rabbi Says Sexpionage Is Kosher,” on Oct. 6 at the First Things blog On the Square

New paranoia

“One mark of the paranoid style in American politics, Richard Hofstadter wrote in his famous essay, is its concern with ‘factuality,’ a piling up of random details to create a coherence that reality itself can’t provide. Journalism of a certain sort becomes a convenient instrument of the paranoid partisan. ‘The paranoid’s interpretation of history,’ Hofstadter wrote, ‘is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will,’ an ‘amoral superman’ who ‘manufactures the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way.’

“With [Charles and David Koch], the American left gets two amoral supermen in one. [New Yorker staffer Jane] Mayer’s article, and the larger campaign it’s a part of, is meant not only to alarm its audience but to soothe it as well. Any Democrat unnerved by the rise of the Tea Party movement will find it comforting to learn that it’s a giant confidence trick. The belief requires both a deep cynicism about one’s fellow citizens and a touching credulity about the ease with which they can be manipulated. All those angry, badly dressed people shouting into megaphones on TV: they’re not evil, they’re just stupid.”

Andrew Ferguson, writing on “The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics” in the October issue of Commentary