Jonah, Inc. and Other Thoughts

RandomThoughtsThumb2by Brad Nelson
I am a freak, a fool, and just sometimes plain naive. But I have this strange thought that there is more to life than marketing, self-interest, self-promotion, and the accumulation of “hits” or “likes.”

If I had a neighbor, I would want him to be Jonah Goldberg. Here’s a man who is intelligent, funny, articulate, and from all accounts, a very nice guy. And yet, watching him these past couple of years at National Review Online, he’s morphing into a David Frum-ish sort of character.

Everyone has an opinion, but Jonah’s opinions of late have often been odd, to say the least. He’s driven many times off the conservative reservation, but the two that stand out most were his flimsy rationale for gay marriage (his Sesame Street-ish argument of “One of these things is not like the other”) and his recent post in which he says that the “ratchet effect” of Big Government is a myth.

Jonah has always appealed to me for his wit, wisdom, and good sense of humor. But what is becoming of this man? What infection is it that turns very sharp people into ideological ninnies?

Well, a man certainly has a right to change his mind on issues. But the train of bizarre opinions these last couple years from him is so long and constant that it begs an explanation. And a friend of mine the other day I think came up with it. He’s no longer Jonah Goldberg. He’s Jonah, Inc. That is, he has tailored his message to the market (or the market he desires) rather than (as any good conservative must these days) ask that the market listen to and be changed by him.

Believe me, when I started this site I had no illusions about being “Brad, Inc.” and still don’t. One of the things I have come to terms with (well, mostly) is just how outside of mainstream culture I am. I am the lone man standing on the shore waving in alarm while watching the “settled consensus” Titanic of public opinion head towards the iceberg. I’m not preparing a vast “I told you so” when the time comes. It’s just that the momentum of that great ship, even if it wanted to stop, cannot stop, and most people who are swimming in this fishbowl of our culture cannot see the water they are swimming in.

And, really, describing that water has always been the job of the poet, the prognosticator, or just the curmudgeon. And as they say, no one erects statues to critics. So I have no illusions of being the online equivalent of Miley Cyrus, writing and gyrating in a proverbial naked fashion that will soon land me (or one of my excellent cohorts here) on whatever is the writer’s equivalent of Saturday Night Live. This is surely so because, in truth, we are at the point now were mere mild truth-telling is scorned.

So perhaps I can understand Jonah becoming Jonah Inc. But I don’t have to like it.

Turn Signals

Put this in the department of petty complaints. But doesn’t anyone use their damn turn signals anymore? With all this talk of a culture of narcissism by Glenn and other fine writers, I can’t help thinking that this is the explanation for why someone can’t be bothered for even this small bit of civilized action. Are these the same people who throw trash out the window? And am I the only one seeing an increase in this?

Tattoo You

One of the oddest developments in our culture is the plethora of tattoos. And I’m not talking about the small, somewhat tasteful, heart on the upper buttocks. I’m talking full-body stuff, or nearly so.

This is truly an odd development indeed. It’s part of human nature (or at least part of mass-marketed pop culture) for fads to run through the masses. I remember in high school (or was it junior high?) taking part in one of the dumbest fashion fads. It was so dumb that it made even platform shoes look sane. I’m talking about bell-bottom pants. (They don’t look so bad on the chick, but guys used to wear them too, including me.) In retrospect, that had to have been someone fashion designer’s practical joke.

But the pants came and went. My legs are still here, able and willing to slip into a pair of 501 Levis — or something else, should the desire occur. But tattoos, by their very nature, are permanent. Who in their right mind would want to adorn their bodies with graffiti that — and I’ll be kind — might not be of the quality even to grace the pages of a comic book?

If someone in the 70’s would have stitched bell-bottomed pants directly onto their skin, I wouldn’t have followed. As much as bell-bottomed pants seemed like a good idea at the time, I doubt I would have ever followed any fad that involved permanently sowing the flared bottoms onto my calfs. And yet that’s exactly what the fad of tattoos entails.

Or is it just a fad? Our culture has done some really stupid stuff of late. But most people understand the different between changing fashions and permanent ink. I have another theory about all this, one which you may take or leave. But I think some of this is an attempt to quite literally escape one’s own skin.

You can’t be young these days and not have been inundated by the propaganda that white people are bad and “people of color” are good. People almost apologize these days for being white. That’s how bad it’s gotten. And some subcultures have gotten the message so well that they will actually act-out in a self-evidently destructive way and call getting an education “acting white.”

The demonization of white America has been non-stop. You can’t escape it in movies, TV, radio, the state education system, or the media. It’s an idea that is reinforced at every turn, often subtly but often blatantly. And that’s not to say that only white people are getting tattoos. But I do think that what is subconsciously in the minds of many white yutes is to escape their own skin color. By covering their bodies with drawings they can look “ethnic” or “tribal.” They can turn themselves into the more sympathetic class of “people of color.”

If you have a better explanation for this bizarre behavior, I’m all ears . . . ears that have neither been dyed or pierced, by the way. • (2643 views)

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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

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53 Responses to Jonah, Inc. and Other Thoughts

  1. Terri King says:

    He’s no longer Jonah Goldberg. He’s Jonah, Inc. That is, he has tailored his message to the market (or the market he desires) rather than (as an good conservative must these days) ask that the market listen to and be changed by him.

    You’ve pretty much described what’s happened to the church as well. I don’t get THAT either. Even though we’re rural…very rural…it’s happening here and has been for years. Very disturbing actually.

    As for being ashamed of being white, yep, I’ve noticed that, too, although I hadn’t thought about it in the context of tattoos. And if anyone wants to get technical, who really IS white? I’d venture none of us. We’re all multi-ethnic, so the whole race game shouldn’t even apply.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      To be fair, I think Goldberg’s point about the ratchet effect of entitlements is that it isn’t inevitable. Welfare reform is a reminder that entitlements can be reformed. But of course, welfare reform didn’t get rid of welfare, and welfare wasn’t a middle-class entitlement and thus not used by the great mass of the public. But the Overton window (which can go either way) still applies.
      As for turn signals, I certainly use them. In fact, one thing I note is that it’s so easy to do the minor courtesies, so why not? It’s probably a lack of empathy on some people’s part.
      Oops, I meant this as a response to the article, and not specifically to Terri King’s response. No great matter.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Tim, I don’t think Jonah’s article about the ratchet effect even passes the smell test. Hey, it’s great that there was a rollback in welfare way back when. But that was an anomaly, and Jonah knows it. For ever one step back there are literally thousands of steps forward.

        Jonah also knows that the reason the Democrats are trying to cram Obamacare down our throats, despite the fact that it is so unpopular, is because once enacted, the ratchet tightens. Once an entitlement is enacted, people then feel entitled to it as a right.

        Jonah knows all this. He’s obvious intelligent and informed, so the reason he’s is giving some of the opinions that he does is that he has some agenda other than the truth.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, my own response wasn’t so much to agree with his view, but rather to say that it wasn’t entirely unreasonable. The Overton window isn’t just a novel by Glenn Beck, but an actual sociopolitical concept. There are instances (and not just welfare reform) of reversing the ratchet. But they tend to be rare, special cases, and very difficult.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Right. It’s certainly conceivable to roll back the entitlement state. But nobody has done it. This leads to the obvious conclusion that the wind primarily blows in one direction, that there is the ratchet effect, and that Jonah Goldberg likely has some other agenda than stating the facts.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Terri, you and me have had this conversation before. My favorite story is when you told me about the time you decided you felt that you needed to do a bit more for your own church and volunteered. I haven’t forgotten that and will leave it for you to tell more if you see fit. But it was, as you said, an eye-opening moment.

      But as far as I can see without actually setting foot inside of a church, Jesus has become either the stand-in for Che Guevara (aka “social justice”) or he’s the lead self-esteem Guru for the “me” generation. I guess if you wanted to turn it into the anti-Trinity, you could throw in the “prosperity” church as well, the kind marketed (not preached….that would be the wrong word) by Joel Osteen. And I actually kind of like that guy. But it’s a valid question as to whether or not the first imperative of the Redeemer of the universe is that you fully stock your 401k plan.

      In discussing this general subject, I first do what one must always do. You exclude from criticism all those suffering loss or an illness. But there is little excuse for the rest of the people for buying into this stuff.

      I collect anecdotes, good and bad — both for the defense and the prosecution. And I weigh them as best I can. And it would seem that religion has gone the way of the rest of the culture. It’s all infused with “nicey-nice.” As Dennis Prager says, people are nice but they’re not good.

      That is, people have taken to heart, and to the extreme, “judge not lest you be judged.” And I don’t believe those words mean to do away with courts, punishments, and government because much of Christianity talks about justice as well. I believe that saying means specifically “Do not use the sins of others as a means to pump yourself up.”

      For lack of a better word, there is no longer any “balls” in much of Christianity. It’s all this “nicey-nice” stuff of “diversity.” It’s feelgoodism. As one author put it (and I forget his name), too many churches are about self-fulfillment instead of self-denial. Christianity has gone from being a teacher of morals to just one more arm in our therapeutic culture in which the point is to unburdened yourself of your sins by denying that they even exist. That’s sort of a change of pace for this religion.

      I once heard a fellow (a relative, actually) say that he chose his particular church because it stressed “diversity.” The poor lad probably didn’t know that he had just announced his own frivolousness. He is part of a movement that places outer appearances over inner character development.

      In setting up this web site, I did a lot of reading and looking at examples of what other people were doing. Not once did I read anything like “Explore you passion with vigor and enthusiasm and the world will beat a path to your door.” Obviously the world wide web is so ginormous that one has to do a little marketing, if only by registering with Google (which is one pain in the ass, I can tell you). And I’d really like to find someone who could market this site in their spare time. So far, no takers.

      But most of what I ran into was advice that sounded like Joel Osteen for web site makers. It was all this Scientologist stuff, if you know what I mean. It was all focused on mechanical techniques for increasing hits. There was no soul in it. Everyone needs to make a buck, but we have become a nation of shallow marketers.

      The first article I rejected for publication was one which was little more than a chain letter sprinkled for and aft with a little conserva-talk. The meat of it was full of self-references to someone’s own site. The article was simply meant to do what so many people are doing — get their fifteen minutes of fame. Increase their “likes.” Increase their “hits.” And if they can’t get their fifteen minutes they’ll take 30 seconds. But everything is obviously measured by how one fits into the mass market, not in regards to any higher measurement.

      And there we stand — or wobble, really.

  2. Kung Fu Zu says:

    In today’s mass-marketing culture, the message has to be soft and fuzzy enough to appeal to a broad spectrum of the populace. At the very least, it should not offend the majority unless one really wants to enter a niche market.

    I think a good example of where we are going is Barney.

    He is a cuddly, fuzzy, roundish, slightly manic, magical dinosaur which spouts pablum in a soothing voice. He has no hard edges, is always happy and is a threat to no one and loves us all. In other words, he has nothing to do with reality and is a perfect example of the wuzzification of our culture.

    I guarantee you, he was created to be the least offensive creature possible. Just the thing to sell to the greatest number of infants and toddlers.

    As the “infantilization” of our culture waxes, the marketers will increasingly develop hazy, non-offensive, content free messages aimed at the every growing mass of lotus eaters in our country.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Holy crap, Mr. Kung. You just nailed it.

      So here’s to niche markets! Americanism is now officially a niche market. And that sucks indeed.

  3. faba calculo says:

    “He’s no longer Jonah Goldberg. He’s Jonah, Inc. That is, he has tailored his message to the market (or the market he desires) rather than (as any good conservative must these days) ask that the market listen to and be changed by him.”

    Alternatively:

    * he’s a man who doesn’t see the alleged harms of gay marriage appearing or likely to do so
    * he’s a man who doesn’t put a lot of weight behind endless warnings of societal damage at some point in the future
    * his conservatism isn’t particularly driven by religion
    * he favors a broad interpretation of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under law

    In short, he may be doing exactly as you suggest: explaining himself to his market, and asking them to change.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      You’re simply rationalizing.

      • faba calculo says:

        Why?

        • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

          Faba – the point of Conservatism is to conserve those values and institutions which have proven their timeless benefit to civilization. Marriage is unquestionably one of those institutions, which is why it is under indirect attack by the Left. Instead of denouncing marriage, they extol the wonders of gay “marriage” and in so doing cheapen and weaken the real thing.

          As to the “ratchet effect”, the fact is that when the Left has the ball, they move it down field. When Republicans have the ball, they don’t move it an inch thanks to the quarterbacking of the Establishment GOP, which has little interest in fighting to win anything from the Left. (Forgive the football metaphors, but it’s that time of year). That is the “ratchet effect” and it is all too real – in which direction would you say the U.S. has moved these past 50 years?

          The logical endpoint of moving always Left must be eventual totalitarianism – is that enough “societal damage” for you? William F. Buckley famously said that his purpose was to stand athwart history, shouting “Stop!”. This is not the same thing as shouting “Full speed ahead!”.

          Now there are certainly people who cannot see this – David Frum is one and Goldberg seems to be another – and they’re entitled to their opinions, but such views are not and cannot be “Conservative”. The Conservative asks that society become more conservative in order to save itself; Frum and Goldberg ask the Conservative to become more like – well, like Frum and Goldberg, who have staked out an intellectually incoherent territory of no practical use in the fight against the hard-core Left. I hope you now understand the difference.

          • faba calculo says:

            1) I don’t believe that allowing gay civil marriage significantly weakens marriage as a whole. If I did, I’d be on your side of this issue.

            2) I don’t share your pessimism about the right being able to move the ball to the right. I mean, in that light, what’s the purpose of fighting? Certainly not any hope of scoring a victory.

            3) I think that equal protection of the law is itself a key, time-tested principle, which also deserves our allegiance

            4) There’s nothing particularly unconservative about backing gay marriage. I can’t see making it compatible with RELIGIOUS conservatism, but, were he alive today, I doubt that Barry Goldwater would be much bothered by it.

            5) There’s no specific issue that is so core to small-government conservatism which, should one disagree with it, one would, on the value of that issue alone, cease to be a small government conservative except, of course, a tautological attempt to be a small government conservative who openly admits they don’t believe in small government.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I agree that we should be wary of using single-issue litmus tests to throw anyone out of the movement. I also agree that reversing the ratchet (in other words, moving the Overton window rightward) is possible, but it’s very difficult, and made even more so when many on our side (or supposedly on our side) don’t seem interested in fighting back.
              As for homosexual marriage, the main problem in terms of small government is that, combined with laws banning discrimination against homosexuals, the results have proven to be VERY bad in a number of places.

              • faba calculo says:

                I certainly won’t deny the the outcome in Massachusetts of the Catholic church being banned from setting up adoptions is a very, very, bad one. But, other than that, I don’t know of a single case where permitting gay civil marriage has harmed the freedoms of others. (People seem to constantly forget that the cases of photographers and caterers forced to work gay weddings were all in states where there was no civil marriage rights for gays. Those were mere promise ceremonies, not actual marriages.) That being the case, our efforts would best be spent restoring the right to set up adoptions in Mass.

            • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

              I don’t think I want to explore the gay “marriage” question in any further detail, but I would ask you to observe one important thing: there is no fight to keep gay people from living together. So what’s the big deal about marriage that has the Left so determined to win on this? It’s about forcing all of us to accept gay relationships as being as normal and natural as straight ones, and I do mean “force” since marriage has a legal status merely living together does not. Forcing the normalization of homosexuality is another way of transforming society (not for the better), and it is still an attack on real marriage by the Left to weaken the family, one of those non-governmental institutions which must be destroyed or neutered that the state may become all-powerful.

              You misunderstood my point about the ratchet effect: I did not say Conservatives could not move the ball, I said the Establishment GOP, in firm control of the Party, simply refuses to do so. Hence my recent call to “Take the GOP” – if Conservatives could do that, we could at last move the ball down the field.

              • Kung Fu Zu says:

                I am convinced one of the main, if not the main, aim of the homosexual marriage crowd is to destroy the religion of those who disagree with homosexual marriage from a religious point of view. By doing this, they weaken age old institutions which are competitors of the State.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I’ve pointed out on a number of occasions that the issue isn’t banning homosexual marriages, but formal state recognition of them. And, by way of anti-discrimination laws, forced approval of them by the public — which no legitimate conservative or libertarian should support.

              • faba calculo says:

                I think it is you who has misunderstood me. Not only CAN Republicans move the ball, they have actually done so in the recent past. SCOTUS decisions on vouchers and gun rights are the first thing that leaps to mind. Free speech rights in the form of much looser limits on campaign contributions is a third. The Bush tax cuts for all but the upper 2% are now locked in as well. The already-mentioned victory in welfare reform and earlier reversal of the ban on death sentences are further examples.

                We’ve lost on Obamacare. He lost of the tax hike for the upper 2% (and that percentage is not given in any way to minimize that loss). Entitlements have remained in place (and expanded, via Obamacare), but serious talk about putting Social Security on a chained-weight inflation adjustment is, imho, growing stronger, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that the long-term effect of that would be small. And abortion rates continue to fall, no small accomplishment in a nation where the percentage of births that are to married couples is also falling.

                Bottom line: this is not a ball moving all in one direction.

              • faba calculo says:

                Gay civil marriage no more “forces” you to accept homosexuality than does the fact that a single mom remains the legal mother of her child “force” you to accept extra-marital sex.

                This is the US, not Canada.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Great answer, Nahalkides.

            The issue isn’t gay marriage, per se. It’s Jonah’s lame rationalization for it. He didn’t even take up any of the obvious objections — which his readers, including myself, did. And I won’t repeat it here but one (Faba) can certainly scour that thread. But, in short, it’s impossible to have a conservative nation without the family as the primary means of social support. And gay marriage isn’t about gay marriage. If it was, I could support it. But it’s not. It’s simply part of a naive Utopian agenda to deny the necessity of family and gender altogether. And this leaves the state as the central support structure.

            And the issue of the supposed myth of the ratchet effect is just another instance of Goldberg either trying to be too clever by half or just, again, wandering off the reservation into Frumville.

    • jc says:

      ditto what faba said. And in addition: I don’t think Lucianne Goldberg’s son has the genetic ability to BE insincere.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Read my replies to Timothy. It’s obvious that Jonah is overlooking just plain, hard facts.

        • griffonn says:

          To be fair, I don’t think it’s greed or self-interest.

          I think it’s peer pressure – the kind you don’t even see, because it’s just “how the world is” where you live.

          In his world, some things are viewed as “inevitable”.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            That’s an interesting thought, Griffonn. I guess that whole idea of standing athwart is passé. Too bad. We need that. We need men and women of wisdom and integrity. We need leaders.

            We don’t particular need wobblers who go through the Overton Window is if it were a revolving door.

            • Kung Fu Zu says:

              I think the extra money he is now making as a fairly regular panelist on Fox and perhaps some other places helps him makes it easier to bow to the “inevitable” the pressure.

              • faba calculo says:

                This makes little sense, given that his primary cash-in is probably his books. Going on the shows and writing for NRO likely doesn’t pay much. Write a best-seller, and you’re doing much better.

                The shows and the NRO exposure help net an audience for a book, of course, making it easier to make the big(ger) money. But it is going to hardly help ones book, if it’s aimed at conservative circles, to say non-conservative things on Fox and NRO.

                The fact is, there’s been a bleeding away from the anti-gay marriage position and towards the pro-side, and it can’t just be dismissed as bad motives.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I think the extra money he is now making as a fairly regular panelist on Fox and perhaps some other places helps him makes it easier to bow to the “inevitable” the pressure.

                That might be so, Mr. Kung. And it’s certainly not an odd thing for someone to move with the culture, to blow with the wind. It’s just that Jonah has obviously done so and left behind him a bunch of half-baked rationalizations for doing so. This leads me to believe that he has not reasoned his way to some of his new positions but is just following the herd or has some other motive.

                And this issue of Jonah isn’t just about gay marriage, although his thin, unintentionally comical, rationalization for that is one of his worst articles in recent memory. But he’s moved left regarding a number of things. (There’s no longer any equivalent of the Rockefeller Republicans? Jonah, it’s difficult to take you seriously anymore.) He’s starting to parse politics through the very “centrist” lens that he mocked in “Tyranny of Cliches.”

                And this is one of my beefs with the whole pseudo-conservative establishment. It’s become little more than a marketing circus. Or, as I often refer to it, “The Conservative Book Club,” because that is actually their real function, not restoring America.

                Again, contrast that with the men and women who put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line in the American Revolution. What we have now is a wafer-thin conservative establishment that is simply about book sales, little more. And when this is at your core, you will tend to take whatever position you deem is convenient.

                Again, there’s nothing wrong with selling books. But I think those with eyes to see will note just how much emphasis the conservative commentariat puts on selling books and how little on changing America for the better. There are exceptions such as Mark Levin who actually does try to sue the pants off the this unconstitutional government now and then. But most are just happy to publish books to a market that increasingly isn’t about changing America for the better but simply having a good rant and scratching the itch of those who have wantonly mistook having a good rant for actually doing something. It’s become a bit of a circle-jerk echo chamber, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I am convinced one of the main, if not the main, aim of the homosexual marriage crowd is to destroy the religion of those who disagree with homosexual marriage from a religious point of view. By doing this, they weaken age old institutions which are competitors of the State.

    Exactly, Mr. Kung. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Not to see gay marriage within the context of the overall culture wars is just willful blindness.

    Equally to the point was Mr. Nahalkides point of:

    …one of those non-governmental institutions which must be destroyed or neutered that the state may become all-powerful.

    Jonah’s take on this? All you got was crickets chirping. He doesn’t even acknowledge the overall game being played, thus he loses his street cred as a conservative, at least with me.

    • faba calculo says:

      Maybe Jonah hasn’t addressed it because he doesn’t think that this is either the motive or a goal within the reach of most of the left that backs gay civil marriage, let alone the moderates and conservatives who support it.

      • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

        The Left’s support for gay “marriage” is another clue that should have awakened you to what the true nature of the struggle is: the Left cares not at all for any individual rights and indeed is doing its best to undermine them, and they are focused like a laser on gaining power. The only “rights”, apart from the “right” of someone to marry whomever he pleases which they support are abortion and other forms of sexual license. Why would an intellectual movement geared toward abrogating our rights suddenly support one particular right? Answer: they wouldn’t, and this fact alone should convince Conservatives that there is no “right” to marry.

        And indeed there is none: marriage is a legal status that society recognizes (that is, each member of our society is forced to recognize), and it follows that our society may decide what constitutes a marriage and what does not. Admit gay “marriage” and polygamy necessarily follows, along with consanguineous “marriages” (simply apply your “equal protection” argument to brothers and sisters, and they must be allowed to marry, no?). Up to now, society has recognized real marriage and not gay unions, incest, polygamy, or bestiality (it could happen too once gay unions are recognized) because only real marriage offers any benefit to society; the other are either neutral factors or harmful ones not to be granted legal encouragement by the rest of us.

        The push for gay “marriage” has nothing at all to do with anyone’s rights, there being no right to marry whomever you choose. Two adults can live together and do whatever they want in their own home without needing to be married, which is as far as their rights go. The alleged “right” to marry is a subterfuge to force the rest of us to recognize a homosexual relationship as having the same meaning, status, and benefits to society as a real (heterosexual) marriage, and nothing more.

        • Kung Fu Zu says:

          “Gay civil marriage no more “forces” you to accept homosexuality than does the fact that a single mom remains the legal mother of her child “force” you to accept extra-marital sex.”

          http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/14/mennonite-couple-files-counter-lawsuit-in-fear-having-to-host-same-sex-weddings/

          More proof that religious freedoms are under assault.

          • faba calculo says:

            Given that exactly the same type of issues are arising in states that don’t recognize gay civil marriage, my original statement stands. It’s not the marriage that creates the problems; it’s the anti-discrimination laws.

            • Kung Fu Zu says:

              “It’s not the marriage that creates the problems; it’s the anti-discrimination laws.”

              So do you live in a different dimension?

              The anti-discrimination laws are not going anywhere anytime soon. And while they are in existence many many more people’s rights will be trampled on than the number of homosexuals who will marry. But that’s ok with you.

              It easy to pretend you are offended at what’s wrong with other laws when you know they will not be repealed.

              • faba calculo says:

                You’re missing the point: with the anti-discrimination laws in place, the vast majority of these trampling of people’s rights will take place with or without gay marriage. Even if a lesbian couple can’t get legally married, they can still have a promise ceremony, to which the unwilling and still be forced to serve at.

                I’ve already granted that there is one area where actual gay marriage has, in one state, created a problem: the banning of the Catholic church from conducting adoptions in Massachusetts – and now, apparently, in DC and possible California, with even more likely to follow. (Even here, however, the problem was primarily rooted in anti-discrimination laws. It’s just that, in this case, Catholic Charities could argue that they were discriminating against the unmarried – as they were certainly allowed to do – rather than against gays, so once gay marriage came along, they lost their out.) Can you name me any additional areas where it’s gay marriage, as opposed to gay ceremonies, that’s creating problems? If not, given that stopping the ceremonies is impossible, the case against gay civil marriage on the grounds of it triggering religious discrimination is looking like it’s limited to the issue of adoption licenses (and even then, just in states that require licenses).

        • faba calculo says:

          You are incorrect. It’s entirely about rights. And, believe it or not, the left isn’t the monolithic monster you make it out to be. Are their crazies there? Hell, just look at most days of Salon.com output. So what? And it is ridiculous to think that gay marriage is going to lead to bestiality.

          • Kung Fu Zu says:

            http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/14/us-army-defines-christian-ministry-as-domestic-hate-group/?intcmp=trending

            More proof that the Left’s homosexual agenda is about abridgement of rights of the many for the gratification of the few.

            To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton “the best time to fight tyranny is before it takes root.”

          • Kung Fu Zu says:

            “And it is ridiculous to think that gay marriage is going to lead to bestiality.” Faba Calculo

            “Bestiality is not my thing. But it seems to be a harmless foible or idiosyncrasy of some people. As long as the animal doesn’t mind (and the animal rarely does), I don’t mind, and I don’t see why anyone else should. ”
            “ If something which someone arbitrarily defines as a ‘sexual perversion’ provides happiness for consenting adult participants, then its enjoyment is enshrined in basic Americanism. So let us have more and better enjoyment of more and better sexual perversions, by whatever definition, by more and more consenting adults. We will all be the better off thereby. And that will be Americanism in action.”

            Frank Kameny -Radical father of the homosexual movement in the USA.

            Perhaps Faba is right. Bestiality is already with us as shown by the father of the homosexual movement. So of course, those pushing for homosexual marriage now, will not push any further in future. It’s only about equality. A man, is equal to a dog, is equal to a rat, is equal to an ant.

            The radicals who wish to destroy our culture and nation are doing so one slice at a time. Their dishonesty is despicable

            • Timothy Lane says:

              We already see this sort of thing with polygamy (supporters love the idea of the courts imposing homosexual marriage as a right, since it opens the way to them). Note too that Pelosi is a regular at NAMBLA rallies, so hebephilia and pedophilia are coming our way (within a decade I think those will be as unchallengeable among liberals as homosexuality currently it). Incest doesn’t have any particular movement for it that I know of, but in time EVERY sexual perversion will be normalized if the liberals have their way.

              • faba calculo says:

                Polygamy I might not rule out as a possibility. There ARE groups backing it (e.g., fundamentalist Mormons and some Muslims), so I could see this one as at least a slight possibility.

            • Brad says:

              If you haven’t, go back and read Jonah’s article. You’ll see, Mr. Kung, that it is devoid of any awareness of a larger issue. That is not how a conservative is supposed to think. (I’m using a guest account at the moment to test some software.)

            • faba calculo says:

              Yes, Frank Kameny was so radical for objecting to being fired from his federal government job merely for being gay. He was so radical for objecting to homosexuality being listed as a mental disease. I mention this not to address your point (I do that below) but, since you brought up the issue of the “radical” Kameny, to make one of my own: the history of the treatment of gays in this country (and elsewhere, sometimes to an even greater degree) makes plain that much of that relationship was driven by animus. While that’s not to say that all opposition to this or that gay right these days is driven by such hatred, it makes law direct against gay rights suspect, and further subject to counter claims on equal protection grounds.

              As for your point about his statement on bestiality (assuming it really was his statement, as their appears to be little confirmation out there other than the letter he allegedly wrote to Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, an anti-gay rights organization), one man’s letter is one vote. Even if gays are 2% of the population, that’s over 6,000,000 people. This is what I meant, above, about guilt-by-association being your primary tool here.

  5. CCWriter CCWriter says:

    I haven’t had a problem with anything Jonah has said. Even whatever he may have said about gay marriage if it wasn’t hostile. However, I usually avoid reading any columns or posts about that subject as the discussion only descends into sound and fury and worse. And it’s not going to change my opinion. So don’t waste your time jumping all over me about it.

    I’m in the middle of reading his book “The Tyranny of Cliches” on my Kindle, and feel he is right on target about a lot of leftist nonsense.

  6. Kung Fu Zu says:

    “Funny, it seems to me that those who claim the big conspiracy are self-deluded and dishonest.”

    Oh, you got me there! What a rapier like counter-thrust!

    Yes Faba, you are just the person to trust. One who redefines the meaning of words, throws out historical claims which are easily refuted, ignores facts and generally takes things out of context when it fits your agenda.

    • faba calculo says:

      Kung, it wasn’t meant to be witty, simply to reflect the weakness of your own rant. Yours is the epitome of an empty argument with guilt-by-association your primary tool. You have a scarecrow version of what liberals in general believe or are after.

      If pushers of bestiality and/or incest manage to get their perversions legalized within my lifetime, clearly I will have been wrong about what I said here. If marriage begins an even steeper decline in a pattern that can be clearly linked to the allowance of gay marriage, I will have been wrong. If gays succeed is forcing gay marriage in churches, I will have been wrong.

      What, may I ask, would need to happen, should gay marriage continue expanding, would be required to prove that you were wrong? Are there ANY factual claims you are making that time will prove or disprove to an outside observer? Or is your argument, self-contained within your own head, completely self-proving to you?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Those are very good questions; the essence of conservatism is caution about change, which does NOT mean reflexive rejection of change. First, there is a strong campaign (supported by Nancy Pelosi among others) in favor of pederasty, and the negative consequences of homosexuality-as-right have actually occurred occasionally in America and even more seriously in other Western countries. (This includes treating moral preachments against homosexual behavior as banned hate speech.) So to some extent our concerns are based on reality. If these abuses stop for long enough, then perhaps you’re right. What reason is there to expect that to happen? Certainly the homosexual activists have no reason to stop using a fascist technique that works for them, and there will continue to be liberal juristocrats who reflexively support them.

        • faba calculo says:

          I don’t think that what happens in other countries legally speaking is necessarily all that relevant to what will happen here, as the US in virtually unique in the high level of protection that free speech has.

          The core area, I believe, where we are vulnerable to abuses arising from gay marriage are those where “but they aren’t married” has been the shied used to protect current rights. Examples of this include the ability of organizations that arrange adoptions in states where licenses to do so are required (e.g., Massachusetts) and religious colleges where married gays are currently blocked from student housing.

          But, again, the problem is only indirectly related to gay marriage, coming most directly instead from licensing requirements and anti-discrimination laws. While these things are unlikely to change completely, with regards to gay marriages, I could see exceptions being written into laws if those who oppose such things act now, while their side maintains considerable political strength.

          Make a deal now. Grant the gays their rights in return to securing your own. If that requires a constitutional amendment, so be it.

  7. Timothy Lane says:

    I note that Goldberg had an article today on the Republican split, which he hopes doesn’t end up as a intra-party civil war. He does say that if that happens, he’d be on the Tea Party side. I suspect that Goldberg sees himself as something of a populist conservative (for whom the Left is the pre-eminent enemy) rather than a populist libertarian (who opposes Big Government in general). To a great degree, I would agree with that stance: weak as the GOP is, they aren’t the ones who push for Big Government (and are tolerant of dissent, unlike the Obamacrats).
    I will add that Kurt Schlichter also had a nice column on Townhall dealing with the subject. His argument is that the Tea Partiers in fact dominate the party except at the upper level, where the fondness for government perks inevitably makes them the enemy of grassroots-driven reform of government. He thinks Christie is the likely nominee in 2016, and conservatives should concentrate their effort on down-ballot races in order to secure a reliable Congress.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      If you think Romney was a disaster, get ready for the flood if Christie is the Rep nominee. Start building your ark now. The Dems will have at least another four years in the White House.

      Why anyone would think this obese blowhard would be the right man to represent the party is beyond me. While he may answer many in the Left with the same language they use, his rudeness gets old. Furthermore, it seems his willingness to take on some in the Left in an aggressive manner, has blinded some Reps to his less than sterling record as regards the New Jersey judiciary, sucking up publicly to the Obamanation days before the election, etc., etc.

      After serving in local government he became a lobbyist. And he is supported by the same billionaire types who are pushing for amnesty in order to keep the wages of Americans low.

      Even Ann Coulter seems to have figured out he is not worth supporting.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Schlichter didn’t say he liked the idea, merely that he considers it likely and would certainly support Christie over Slick Hilly (which any sensible person would). That’s why he urged conservatives to concentrate on down-ballot races. Then, 4 or 8 years later, it might finally be possible to take over completely.

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