Friday, November 10, 2006

Light Blogging

I'll be out of the country again for a few days. Don't know if there'll be an Internet connection nearby -- it's very likely that I won't be blogging or checking in for a while.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy Pelosi favors a leadership role for the corrupt and inept Murtha in the House. He was taped discussing the possibility of taking bribes in the past and has irresponsibly advocated immediate withdrawal from Iraq. He will lose to a moderate Democrat, showing how much the looney left lost last Tuesday.

Pelosi won't be in the leadership a year from now.

November 14, 2006 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noe found guilty of racketeering, theft, forgery
By Mark Niquette
The Columbus Dispatch
Monday, November 13, 2006 6:32 PM

TOLEDO -- Coin dealer Thomas W. Noe today was found guilty of racketeering, aggravated theft, forgery, tampering with records and money laundering by a Lucas County jury.

The jury convicted Noe on 29 of the 40 felony counts. He was found guilty of the most serious charges in the indictment, including theft and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

Judge Thomas J. Osowik is set to sentence Noe next Monday, but Noe was handcuffed in the courtroom after the verdict and taken into custody on an unrelated federal case.


Besides the racketeering charge, Noe, 52, was found guilty of two theft counts, including one of more than $1 million; four money-laundering counts; four counts of tampering with records; and 18 forgery charges. He was acquitted on seven money laundering and four tampering charges.


Noe already faces 27 months in federal prison after an unrelated conviction for making illegal campaign contributions to President Bush's re-election campaign.

He was expected to be taken into federal custody to begin serving that sentence after the state trial, no matter what the verdict was.

The collapse of Noe's investment in May 2005 sparked a series of scandals that prompted Democrats to declare there was a “culture of corruption” in GOP-controlled state government.

The scandals helped Democrats win races for governor, attorney general and other state offices in Tuesday's election.

November 14, 2006 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so interesting how clear the difference in integrity is between Republicans and Democracks. When a Republican lawmaker becomes corrupt, Republican voters vote him out. When Democracks get caught they also get sent back by ethically deficient supporters. Gerry Studds, trailblazer for Mark Foley and caught in the exact same behavior, was sent back for decades after he was found out. Barney Frank, with a ring of gay prostitutes operating out of his townhouse- he's the Congresional expert on sexual diversity (wink-wink). William Jefferson, caught red-handed, back to "serve" the fine citizens of his district. Murtha, taped by the FBI discussing his future availability for bribery, is now slated to be Nancy Pelosi's Mr Big.

American voters were sold a bill of goods last week by lying Democracks pretending to be moderates. They're finding out now that we need a new party if we want to return to a two-party system.

The Democracks are not what they're cracked up to be!

November 14, 2006 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


November 14, 2006 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've actually always been opposed to them because I think the decision should be left up to voters in a democracy. You do make some compelling arguments though.

November 15, 2006 2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa said:

Term limits of 4 years - one shot, that's it. Would address a lot of these problems - by getting rid of the career politicians.

I haven't really thought this one through.. it sounded like a good idea ...


Hehe. I guess you would say

November 15, 2006 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hehe. I guess you would say"

When you think about it, alot of this crop of Democracks has a built-in term limit. They'll be gone in two years.

November 15, 2006 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There are two big problems with term limits of four years. First, there would be virtually no institutional memory among the members of Congress. Any large organization with great responsibilities needs people who have that memory. If that memory is left to staffers who may work for a series of members of Congress over the years, then the staffers, rather than the elected members, will have more practical control over decision making -- because those with the best (or what seems to be the best) information tend to have the most influence.

The second problem is a related one. Lobbyists have a huge amount of power now, not just because of their ability to generate campaign contributions and the like, but also because they purport to be (and sometimes are) "experts" in the areas they lobby about. Consequently, lobbyists (i.e., special interests) likely would have even more undue influence if the members of Congress did not themselves have enough experience and exposure to the fairly unique and complex issues Congress must face.

November 15, 2006 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In May 2005, readers of Spokane's Spokesman-Review awoke to a startling story: Spokane's Republican mayor Jim West had been leading a double life. In public, he was a conservative politician who had co-sponsored legislation forbidding gays from teaching in public schools. But in private, the paper reported, West spent hours trolling for young men on the Internet, sometimes using the trappings of his office as bait to lure them into more intimate relationships."


All of the right-wing gay-haters are absolute phonies, who, while claiming to be good Christians, somehow missed the admonition to "work out your own salvation", and become obsessed with other peoples' sex lives.

And the world now knows.

November 15, 2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

A letter to the editor in the Denver Post, 11/15/06

"Saving" Ted Haggard

I feel sorry for Ted Haggard and any gay person who has to exist in a religious culture that condemns the essence of who they are. They must hide it from themselves as well as everyone else. The masquerade seems to break down in mid-life.

So Haggard's fundamentalist colleagues will "help free him" with counseling, reprogramming, exorcism. Maybe waterboarding would help.

Instead, Haggard could step away from this guilt- and shame- based religion. There are plenty of Christian and non-Christian groups that will accept him for who he is. Then he will be free.

Carole McWilliams, Bayfield


Yes, the John Shelby Spong franchise Christian Talk about itching ears...

November 15, 2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

On the issue of Term Limits...

David is 101% correct, though I would have placed the second concern first as this has already happened in the State of California (I am a native of CA and lived there until early 1999). I recall reading an incident related by then Califorina State legislator Marion Bergeson. She told of being approached by a lobbyist with an idea for a piece of legislation. Bergeson replied that she and her staff were already at their limit, and that she would not be able to sponsor such legislation. The lobbyist replied that he and his staff would do *everything* for her and her staff...write the proposed legislation, provide all the research that would be needed to back up the legislation and even write out her comments when the proposed came before the appropriate committee.

She politely declined.

Oh, and by the way, she was a conservative's conservative (she represented an area in Orange County CA), but she had a clear idea of what it meant to represent the people who elected her.

There is an "antidote" for elected officials that have been in office too long: elections. Term limits take that responsibility from the voters, and that is why I have always opposed them...even when one of my favorite conservative columnist, George F. Will, came out in favor of them.

November 15, 2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

And this bit of bad news for the oh-so-tolerant disciples of diversity,

"In the Show Me State, Missouri State University recently sided with Emily Brooker in her grievance against a professor who imposed his anti-family views on students. Frank Kauffman, an assistant professor of social work, demanded that his class sign a letter supporting the notion that homosexuals make healthy foster parents. When Brooker refused, Kauffman said her beliefs conflicted with the social workers' code of ethics. She disagreed and sued the school for violating its standards of diversity. In a university environment, where tolerance is taught but seldom practiced, MSU's president offered Brooker a generous settlement that included free school tuition, living expenses, and additional financial compensation. Kauffman was removed from the classroom."

Oh, but please, don't take my word for it,

When will they "learn"?

November 15, 2006 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Re term limits, it is nice to find something we agree on.

And thank you for sharing the Denver Post letter with us.

Nevertheless, in your reference to "the John Shelby Spong franchise Christian churches," is an attempt to suggest that such churches are at the fringe. Fortunately, they are not. Actually, I have read some of Bishop Spong's writings and find them very interesting -- and useful to people of faith who seek to square their internal sense of right and wrong with theology.

With respect to the Missouri State University settlement you discuss, here is the actual link to the MSU announcement: It does not say what the allegations were and what allegations the University’s investigation found to be warranted. From where is the quote you provide?

In any event, if a professor were to demand that a student sign a petition that the student did not agree with, that, of course, would be totally unacceptable. I don’t think you would find any member of who would think that such conduct would be ok. People are free to believe whatever they wish to believe – even if their beliefs do not comport with reality.

November 15, 2006 12:38 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Term limits are wrong- in a democracy, people can be as smart or stupid as they choose. I am amazed at some people who are returned over and over again to office-but that is the right of their constituents.

Anon- talking about looney people- pretty funny! And same anon or different talking about Republican integrity-yeah, right. Your canned "statement" is similar to one I have seen- but longer - about Republican sexual activities.

November 15, 2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

I received this from a gay librarian friend of mine in California, and I am passing it along as a FYI (a little late, as you might note on the date). Oh, and sorry about the formatting...I received it in an old email format (PINE for you "old-timers" out there).


Los Angeles Times

For Gays, a Loud New Foe

Sacramento's large enclave of immigrant Slavic evangelicals is becoming a force on social issues. Their actions shock many.

By Rone Tempest
Times Staff Writer

October 13, 2006

SACRAMENTO: Organizers of the annual Rainbow Festival were prepared for trouble.

The Q Crew, a local "queer/straight alliance," distributed cards telling people what to do if approached
by hostile demonstrators. Sympathetic local church groups formed a protective buffer along the festival ground's cyclone fence. Mounted police were on patrol.

Jerry Sloan manned a table for Stand Up for Sacramento, a recently formed gay self-defense organization.

"So far, so good," he said. "No Russians."

The festival, held last month amid the gay bars, restaurants and shops of midtown's "Lavender Heights"
neighborhood, went off without conflict. But the elaborate security preparations reflected growing
tensions between Sacramento gays and the city's large and vociferous community of fundamentalist
Christians from the former Soviet Union.

Over the last 18 months, Sacramento Russian-language church members have picketed gay pride events, jammed into legislative committee meetings when gay issues were on the agenda and demonstrated at school
board meetings.

Incited by firebrand Russian Pentacostal pastors and polemical Russian-language newspapers, the
fundamentalists turn out en masse for state Capitol protest rallies.

Last June, urging readers to attend a massive rally, the Russian newspaper the Speaker told them:

"Make a choice. It's your decision. Homosexuality is knocking on your doors and asking: 'Can I make your
son gay and your daughter lesbian?' "

In most instances, the Russian-speaking demonstrators far outnumber representatives from all other anti-gay groups combined. Anti-homosexual rallies that a few years ago attracted a few dozen participants now regularly draw hundreds and sometimes thousands, many with a heavy Russian accent.

Even in a state capital where impassioned public demonstrations are a daily event, the Slavic
fundamentalists stand out. Elderly women in babushkas stand next to small children carrying signs
stating: "Perversion is Never Safe" and "I Am Not Learning About Gay People."

Speakers address the crowds fervently in Russian and Ukrainian.

After a wave of religious refugees that began coming here in the late 1980s, Sacramento now has one of
the largest Russian-speaking populations in North America: an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 Slavic
immigrants, community members say. They came primarily from the Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and the other southern Soviet republics, and settled mostly in Sacramento's northern and western suburbs.

These immigrants are different from their Russian-speaking counterparts in New York's Brighton Beach, San
Francisco's Richmond district or West Hollywood, all established Russian-immigrant enclaves that are
mostly Jewish or Russian Orthodox and generally coexist with large gay populations.

West Hollywood's 11-member Russian Advisory Board recently voted 8 to 3 to send a letter to Moscow Mayor
Yuri Luzkov, asking him to reconsider his decision banning gay pride events in the Russian capital.

"We want you to consider the unique partnership that has developed here in West Hollywood between the
large population of Russian-speaking immigrants and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
community," the letter said.

The Sacramento community, on the other hand, is overwhelmingly evangelical ^× Baptist and Pentecostalist. The charismatic Pentacostal church, introduced in the Ukraine in the 1920s by missionary and martyr Ivan Efimovich Vornaev, includes speaking in tongues and washing of feet. The churches' social views are based
on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

"The main issues in the Russian community here," said Vitaly Prokopchuk, a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy, "are gay issues, abortion issues and family-definition issues. To these people, these issues are very cut-and-dry in the Bible."

Sacramento has more than 70 Russian fundamentalist congregations. One of them, Bethany Missionary Slavic
Church, has 3,200 members and claims to be the largest Russian-language church outside of Europe.

"Sacramento is the No. 1 gathering place for non-Jewish, non-Russian Orthodox, fundamentalist Russian and
Ukrainian immigrants," said University of Oregon geographer Susan W. Hardwick, an expert on the Russian immigrant community. Similar but smaller communities, Hardwick said, have established themselves in
Portland and Seattle, where they also are beginning to flex their political muscle.

But nowhere approaches Sacramento, which has a 24-hour Russian-language cable television station, two
radio stations and several newspapers, all of which push a conservative message marked by strident opposition to homosexuality. A recent edition of the Speaker, for example, promoted a book, "The Pink Swastika," that contends that the extermination of Jews during World War II was the work of homosexuals inside the Nazi Party.

For Sacramento gay leaders, the sudden appearance of organized demonstrators was a major shock after years of building support in the state capital.

"We've been accepted and were just perking along," said Sloan, a 69-year-old church pastor and co-founder of Lambda Community Center, which serves the gay community. "That's why this Russian thing was such a jolt to people."

Leaders of the religious right, however, celebrate the Russian efforts as a revival.

"My hope and my prayer," said Mark Matta, a former legislative aide who heads the Christian Public Awareness Ministries, "is that they will become a voice in the wilderness for the rest of the country."

Many credit the Slavic Christian immigrant community with filling a void left by the traditional American church and providing reinforcements in the ongoing culture wars over what should define family, acceptable sexual relationships and marriage.

"Russian Christians bring a fresh faith and uncorrupted family values to this country. They are a shining
model for the rest of us in terms of faith, family, work ethic, patriotism and community," said Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families.

Gay civil rights activists, meanwhile, accuse the demonstrators of hateful and aggressive tactics that they say sometimes lean dangerously toward violence.

Signs displayed by the demonstrators often equate homosexuality with pedophilia and describe the AIDS
epidemic as a message from God. One of the common tactics of the demonstrators is to tap gays forcefully on the head and announce that they have been "saved."

"They've declared war on us for some reason," said Stand Up for Sacramento founder Nathan Feldman, a
jewelry store clerk. "They got it into their heads that California is the land of sin and that it is
their duty to cleanse the state, starting with homosexuals."

Feldman said he formed his self-defense organization after he was surrounded by dozens of
Russian-speaking demonstrators at a June gay pride parade.

"I ended up getting spit on and yelled at," said Feldman, whose organization recently staged a
counterdemonstration outside Bethany Slavic Missionary Church.

Prokopchuk, the Sacramento County sheriff's deputy, is for many here the voice of law and order in the
Russian-Ukrainian community. A garrulous bear of a man with a burr haircut, he appears regularly on local Russian television and radio. His cellphone constantly rings with calls asking him to interpret and
explain American laws and responsibilities.

Like many here, Prokopchuk, 32, arrived with his family 16 years ago from his native Ukraine after Soviet
leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev loosened emigration rules for religious refugees who faced persecution under
the Communist regime.

Before emigrating, many of the refugees learned about Sacramento from two sources: a short-wave
fundamentalist religious radio program, "Word to Russia," that originated here, and a Russian-language newspaper, Our Days, that was printed in Sacramento and distributed to underground churches in the Soviet Union. A local Russian Baptist church persuaded several Sacramento evangelical churches to sponsor the

Prokopchuk attributes the recent political activities in Sacramento to culture shock and anti-homosexual
prejudices imported from the home country.

"Back home," Prokopchuk said, "homosexuality was looked at as kind of a disgrace and a lifestyle for
immoral people and prisoners. I came from a town of 30,000 people but did not know even one openly gay person."

But an even bigger factor, Prokopchuk said, is the widespread fear in the Russian-Ukrainian community that the American popular culture will capture their children.

"It's not only about homosexuality. It's also about drinking, about premarital sex and about drugs,"
Prokopchuk said. "Some of these people even regret coming here because they have a feeling they are
losing their kids."

At a shopping center in suburban Antelope outside Sacramento, young Russians and Ukrainians skateboard in the parking lot and gather on the outdoor patio of a Starbucks.

Across the lot, Natasha Bugriyev, 31, watches warily from the counter of her Russian vitamin shop.

Compared to many immigrants, Bugriyev and her husband, a building contractor, have been quite successful since coming to Sacramento from their native Moldova 12 years ago.

The couple, active members of a Russian Baptist church, live in a 4,500-square-foot home in Roseville, an affluent Sacramento suburb. She drives a new BMW 745. He has a new Nissan Titan pickup truck.

Recently, however, they have been considering moving back to Moldova.

"Honestly, I'm scared for the kids," Bugriyev said. "We have a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old. I'm scared
that when they go to school they will be in a class where they are taught it is OK for a man to sleep
with another man. We are thinking that after another five years, we will move back to Moldova."

Michael Lokteff, 69, is a former high school teacher who was the voice of the "Word to Russia" broadcasts into the Soviet Union. A cheerful, white-haired lay Baptist who takes a glass of wine with his meals, Lokteff said that many of the immigrants were unprepared for culturally laissez-faire California.

In part, Lokteff blames his own broadcasts, which he said left the listeners with the impression that
America, and particularly Sacramento, was a Christian bastion.

"They even thought my program was government-sponsored," Lokteff said. "They came here expecting a
Christian commune, and all of a sudden the first thing they see is a gay parade."

Like the Calvinist Puritans who were the first to settle in the New World, many in the Slavic religious
community have an apocalyptic worldview. To them, the United States is a chosen nation but the American church is apostate and hapless, not up to the job. The Slavic Christians view it as their duty to cleanse and save the nation in preparation for Jesus Christ's return to Earth.

"We feel the American church already lost the battle 20 years ago by remaining silent," said Victor
Chernyetsky, 47, a Soviet-trained engineer who serves as administrator for the Bethany Slavic Missionary
Church. "We can't remain silent. There are a lot of sins."

One of the first Slavic immigrants to jump into politics was Galina Bondar, an energetic 39-year-old
registered nurse from Ukraine whose father is a leading fundamentalist pastor.

Bondar said she was inspired by a radio interview with conservative activist Randy Thomasson, who took
her under his wing and taught her the rules of engagement in Sacramento. "He was the first one who taught me the civil process, Political Science 101," Bondar said.

In 1997, Bondar started her own weekly Russian-language radio program, "Heal Our Land," which tracks legislation of interest to the Russian church. She began speaking at Sacramento Russian Baptist and Pentacostal churches, urging political action.

Bondar, as much as anyone, was responsible for organizing and directing public protests, including a raucous 2005 appearance at a legislative hearing on gay marriage that marked the political coming-out of the Slavic community.

"We hate government oppression of religious freedom and family values, whether in Russia or California,"
Bondar said. "We just have more we can do about it in California."

Taking her movement to a new level, Bondar was one of three people in the Russian-language community to
file as a candidate for a suburban school board.

On Sept. 5, the day after the Sacramento Rainbow Festival, several hundred sign-wielding demonstrators
appeared at the Capitol to oppose a state Senate bill, SB 1437, that would have banned negative
references based on sexual orientation from state textbooks and classes.

In the crowd were Bondar's mother, father and grandmother.

The next day, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, stating that protection against discrimination already existed in state law.

"We may not have gotten the veto without them," said Thomasson, who spearheaded the lobbying effort
against the bill.

To Bondar, the veto was a clear victory.

"Very satisfying," she said. "It shows people who participated in the civic process that their hard work
was not in vain."

November 15, 2006 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet another hypocrite obsessed with other peoples' personal lives (The right-wing better start protecting its own marriages):

From the Star Tribute:

State Rep. Mark Olson was being held in the Sherburne County jail today after being arrested in connection with an alleged domestic assault on his wife at their Big Lake, Minn. home Sunday afternoon.

Olson, 51, a Republican who was just elected to his eighth term in the House, was taken into custody without incident at the Calvin Christian School in Blaine. Blaine police had been advised they might find Olson at the location.

A Publius reader also informed us that he called the jail and they confirmed that Olson is still in there; that e-mail was sent at 2PM today, but I'm not sure of when the call was made.

Olson is a extremely conservative member of the Republican party. He has been one of the foremost proponents of plans to "protect marriage" by banning gay marriages and has been deeply involved in similar social conservative wedge issues.

November 15, 2006 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Term limits are wrong- in a democracy, people can be as smart or stupid as they choose. I am amazed at some people who are returned over and over again to office-but that is the right of their constituents."

Can't believe we agree on something, Andrea. Way to wise up.

"Anon- talking about looney people- pretty funny! And same anon or different talking about Republican integrity-yeah, right. Your canned "statement" is similar to one I have seen- but longer - about Republican sexual activities."

I'm sorry but facts are facts. They will always be scandals and affairs. If it's a Republican, he's held accountable. If it's a Dem, let it slide. It's because the expectations of integrity are so much lower for Democrats.

Be honest now: If you could, you'd vote for Bill Clinton again.

November 15, 2006 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orin's article said, "To them, the United States is a chosen nation but the American church is apostate and hapless, not up to the job."

"American church?" Haven't these Slavs bothered to read the laws and Constitution of their adopted homeland yet? There is no "American Church" because the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States forbids it:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

November 15, 2006 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be an idiot. The church is international. The part that is located in America is the American church.

November 15, 2006 9:26 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Anonymous writes,

And yet another hypocrite obsessed with other peoples' personal lives (The right-wing better start protecting its own marriages):

...with reference to a conservative state legislator in Minnesota accused of domestic assault.

Sigh..."obsessed with other peoples' personal lives" or simply affirming as PUBLIC policy a normative social standard??? What my gay neighbors do a block down from where I live is none of my business, and I know of NOBODY (esp. including those quite conservative and religious) where I live that has the least bit of interest (much less obsession) in what they do in the privacy of their home.

Take the issue PUBLIC however, and you are bringing up an issue that is entirely different, and is rightly a matter of PUBLIC matter how much liberal activists may attempt to privatize it.

Here is an observation on hypocrisy,

Hypocrisy is a much worse form of moral wrongdoing. It’s a certain kind of lying, and so can be done only consciously and intentionally. In particular, a man’s moral character comes from what he takes as his final end in life, his understanding of the human good, and the hypocrite is a man who dissembles about what he thinks this good is. The hypocrite pretends to accept and live by one set of values when, in fact, he accepts and lives by quite different ones.

Was Bill Clinton a hypocrite, or merely a man with weaknesses (like all the rest of us)?

And here are the numbers on the the defense of marriage initiatives from this past election:

Marriage Amendment Vote Totals

527,492 (48.6%) For
558,681 (51.4%) Against

767,858 (55.7%) For
611,315 (44.3%) Against

276,397 (63%) For
159,790 (37%) Against

South Carolina
624,435(74%) For
173,680(26%) Against

South Dakota
172,242 (52%) For
160,173 (48%) Against

1,417,293(81.3%) For
325,435(18.7%) Against

1,320,477 (57%) For
994,313 (43%) Against

1,259,489 (59.4%) For
860,996 (40.6%) Against

Absent the defeat in Arizona, defense of marriage initiatives garnered 63% of the vote (add in those that voted in favor of marriage in Arizona and still lost, and the number drops to 61%. In a year that was tough for one of the core constituencies of the Republican Party, i.e. religious conservatives, that was a pretty darn good showing.

November 16, 2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orin said What my gay neighbors do a block down from where I live is none of my business, and I know of NOBODY (esp. including those quite conservative and religious) where I live that has the least bit of interest (much less obsession) in what they do in the privacy of their home.

"NOBODY?" Then why is it that some "quite conservative and religious" people like an Anon or two who post on this blog are ONLY interested in the pornification of gays? One Anon who posts here repeatedly brings bestiality into this discussion. Do you think he does that because he is NOT obsessed with what goes on in the privacy of LGBT people's homes? He is obsessed. He brings up such topics to bring the vilest imagery to mind. He seeks to INFLAME, not to reason. We know this playbook very well.

You have claimed that you wish your gay neighbors no harm and that they have the same rights as everybody else, and yet you insist that they should not be able to marry each other, which would enable them to visit each other in the hospital when only "family members" are allowed, inherit each other's estate, etc. Denying LGBT couples these simple human rights IS harmful to them, Orin, no matter what you say. And besides, the fact that you are now gloating over what you call "a pretty good showing" for "one of the core constituencies of the Republican Party, i.e. religious conservatives" in the recent election says it all.

It also shows you missed the point of the "thumpin'" last week. Compare this year's gay marriage ban vote percentages to those in prior years and tell us which way the issue is trending. It's just like we've been telling you all along. Just like the civil rights movement for racial equality moved slowly, the civil rights movement for sexual orientation equality moves slowly too. Slowly but surely toward tolerance.

Aunt Bea

November 16, 2006 9:31 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Orin, even you can understand that public policy affects private lives.
How do you expect gays to have the right to be married in their private lives if they don't have it in their public lives? By trying to keep public policy biased against gays you are interfering in their private lives.

You're trying to create an artificial barrier between the public and private lives, to insist that gays only live their lives in the closet (private lives) when you'd never agree that that's a reasonable restriction to place on heterosexuals like yourself.

November 16, 2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Aunt Bea writes,

It also shows you missed the point of the "thumpin'" last week. Compare this year's gay marriage ban vote percentages to those in prior years and tell us which way the issue is trending. It's just like we've been telling you all along. Just like the civil rights movement for racial equality moved slowly, the civil rights movement for sexual orientation equality moves slowly too. Slowly but surely toward tolerance.

Sigh...once again, there is no such thing as a "gay marriage ban". I know, I is the way everyone likes to characterize this controversy, but it simply is not true. I understand the reason why you, Randi and others characterize the defense of marriage as an "anti-gay marriage ban"...because then it casts folks like myself as the uneducated, backwards, narrow minded, hateful, bigoted (have I left anyone out?) homophobes. And what all of that namecalling and labeling accomplishes is to dismiss deeply held ethical and moral concerns about a PUBLIC institution, you know, marriage.

Just like the civil rights movement for racial equality moved slowly

And just as often as I see or hear that expressed I hope someone, somewhere will point out how fundamentally inaccurate that comparison is...but hey, keep making it and it may yet wear enough people down.

Slowly but surely toward tolerance.

And who could be against "tolerance" but those intolerant troglodyte Bible thumpers...right?

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

Alexander Pope

Seldom were truer words ever spoken...

November 17, 2006 5:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"there is no such thing as a "gay marriage ban". I know, I is the way everyone likes to characterize this controversy, but it simply is not true."

Semantics Orin. The TRUTH is that limiting marriage to only opposite sex couples has precisely the same effect as banning marriage for same sex couples.

The fact that you insist on playing wordgames is illuminating.

Aunt Bea

November 17, 2006 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CRC provided an excellent example of a "quite conservative and religious [person]...that has... [an] obsession [about what same sex coupled do] the privacy of their home."

November 17, 2006 8:40 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Anon- my expectations of republican intergrity are nil. I was not surprised by the dirty tricks of Steele and Ehrlich in PG count towards the end of the election- The humorous bit was the blatant denial of any knowledge. I consider the Republican credo to be lie, deny, blame(someone else or something else- drink, drugs, or a priest - a la Mark Foley).

November 17, 2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Orin said "there is no such thing as a "gay marriage ban...others characterize the defense of marriage as an "anti-gay marriage ban"

Again with the childish word games, eh orin?

Saying there is no gay marriage ban because the bans don't mention gays is like insisting a flipped coin is not heads down because its tails up. Its like insisting business establishments didn't once ban blacks because the signs didn't mention blacks, they said "Whites Only". You remind me of the KKK people I heard on TV the other night - "We're not anti-black, we're pro-white"

You contradict yourself by referring to the "defense of marriage". If you aren't trying to keep gays from marriage who are you "defending" it against? If its solely about bringing men and women together, why don't you refer to it as "the promotion of marriage" instead? When the sole act in your "defense of marriage" is to exclude gays its an anti-gay act.

You're led to making that absurd statement because you want to be a bigot but not be identified as such.

November 17, 2006 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The audience's responses have been tallied, and I am here to announce that it's now official: you just got your ass handed to you on a platter.


November 17, 2006 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orin Ryssman said:
"And just as often as I see or hear that expressed I hope someone, somewhere will point out how fundamentally inaccurate that comparison is...but hey, keep making it and it may yet wear enough people down."

You've attempted to explain the difference, but your explanation rests on the premise that marriage is about bringing men and women together. Unless others accept this premise, your reasoning fails.

By dismissing any comparison made with your flawed reasoning, you fail to address the actual point being made: that discrimination is taking place. Back then, discrimination was on the basis of race, and now discrimination is on the basis of sex. Like you have done so often before, you just pull another red herring to try and avoid facing up to facts.

Aunt Bea said:
"The TRUTH is that limiting marriage to only opposite sex couples has precisely the same effect as banning marriage for same sex couples."

That's partly true. While gay couples will be affected, other arrangements -- such as groups -- are also forbidden to marry. It's not entirely accurate to call it a "gay marriage ban" because it's not only gay couples that are affected.

November 17, 2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

K.A. its accurate to call it a gay marriage ban because these ammendments were introduced as a response to gays seeking the right to marry, not polygamists

November 17, 2006 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While they may have been introduced as a response to gays seeking to marry, it doesn't change how the amendments are worded. They forbid any arrangement that isn't a one man one woman couple, so it's not entirely accurate to call it a gay marriage ban. They effectively do ban gay marriage, amongst other arrangements.

This is analogous to the ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The bans were introduced as a response to LGBT folk being discriminated against, but the bans protected everyone. If you choose to see the amendments as gay marriage bans, you'd also have to see discrimination bans as granting special rights.

November 17, 2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Studies show that contrary to popular opinion, belief in a god does not have a beneficial effect on nations:

Some important points:

"In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner [Benjamin] Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. ".

" No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of evolution with high rates of societal health. Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction, and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional. None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction."

" Indeed, the data examined in this study demonstrates that only the more secular, pro-evolution democracies have, for the first time in history, come closest to achieving practical “cultures of life” that feature low rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex related dysfunction, and even abortion. The least theistic secular developed democracies such as Japan, France, and Scandinavia have been most successful in these regards. The non-religious, pro-evolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator. The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted. "

"The United States’ deep social problems are all the more disturbing because the nation enjoys exceptional per capita wealth among the major western nations (Barro and McCleary; Kasman; PEW; UN Development Programme, 2000, 2004)...Pressing questions include the reasons, whether theistic or non-theistic, that the exceptionally wealthy U.S. is so inefficient that it is experiencing a much higher degree of societal distress than are less religious, less wealthy prosperous democracies. Conversely, how do the latter achieve superior societal health while having little in the way of the religious values or institutions? There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms (Aral and Holmes; Beeghley, Doyle, 2002). "

November 17, 2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

K.A. technically you are correct, but in spirit these measures are solely a gay marriage ban.

November 17, 2006 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mostly agree, but I won't doubt that polygamists are also feeling the effects of the amendments.

November 17, 2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The U.S. has many societal problems because we a magnet for the world. Immigrants teem to our shore to start a new life and we embrace them but the assimilation process is not easy. The dynamic always looks messy but we have a more vital society than anywhere else.

I've been to Canada. It's not that exciting.

November 17, 2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Anonymous at November 17, 2006 3:36 PM

How incredibly bigoted and facile - "its all the immigrants fault".

Before you go making absurd comments like that you might want to have some semblance of fact to at least disguise your bigotry.

If you consider crime exciting I guess Canada is a lot less exciting than the United States. Canada has chosen to be a world leader in morality by putting fairness first - we have equal marriage for same sex couples. I'm thrilled to be living here and I'm afraid to venture into your country to visit friends - you've abandoned habeus corpus (sp?) and so much that is essential to the rule of law, fairness, and justice. Your wannabe theocracy makes me feel like I'm living next to Iran.

November 17, 2006 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm thrilled to be living here and I'm afraid to venture into your country to visit friends"

What a loss for us!

I was up in Montreal a few years back and happened across a gay pride parade. The crowd was heckling them and several spectators told me they were digusted by the lurid floats. A heterosexual version of the type of stuff going on there wouldn't be tolerated anywhere.

November 19, 2006 5:40 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Anonymous said "A heterosexual version of the type of stuff going on there wouldn't be tolerated anywhere.". You're full of it - like you never heard of Mardi Gras or Carnival in South America.

November 20, 2006 12:12 PM  

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