Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

I’ve almost always been opposed to any limits on campaign spending, campaign contributions, or spending by single-issue advocacy groups, nor am I fond of most of the other power-preservation techniques the media-coastal elite promote as “campaign finance reform.”  That said, having lived in Illinois, I do know that it matters if the few guys that contribute to the campaign of a senator or governor miraculously also get all kinds of government contracts, sinecure power-sharing jobs, and the like.  In other words, some disclosure of spending to politicians may be warranted to detect corruption associated certain kinds of lobbying.

I would make distinctions between spending tied to personal financial gain and those tied to the concerns of the broader community.  Surely, political action and spending activity is on a bit of a continuum.  On one extreme, are purely ideological groups like the NRA and the ACLU.  On the other are the Aluminum Manufacturers Association or the National Association of Home Builders.   Perhaps a third group would be groups like AIPAC or the Serbian Unity Congress that have formal and informal ties with foreign powers.   More middling groups would be organizations like the AMA or the AARP.  The latter seek goods for their members, but those members are sufficiently disbursed among the community to have at least some arguable claim on the public interest.

One problem with reporting political donations is that groups fighting for purely ideological goods are lumped in with groups engaged in naked rent-seeking.  In California, this reporting requirement has led to particularly ugly outcomes, as otherwise anonymous opponents of gay marriage have been harassed, boycotted, and unable quietly to support a cause they believe in.  A website has even popped up to show anyone and everyone the opponents’ home addresses.

Those who contribute to political causes are a distinct minority in society.  They exercise disproportionate power.  It’s appropriate that corruption be detected and avoided, and thus ordinary political donations above a certain amount probably should be reported, but beyond this requirement most of the the campaign finance rules are noxious, tending to empower incumbents and the mainstream media above organized pluralities of decentralized citizens.  Even distinguishing one lobbying from another carries with it certain risks, as groups on the margins like AIPAC or the AARP are clearly in the middle of the spectrum of rent-seeking and purely ideological political activity, and any set of rules should probably err on the side of nondisclosure.

In no sensible world, however, should Americans be required to condition their First Amendment right to anonymous speech, including the “speech” of supporting political causes, on the risks of harassment by violent opponents, such as certain cadres of gay marriage supporters in the counter-cultural cesspool that is California.  Far from ending corruption, this leads to a new kind of corruption, the corruption of private violence against those with popular or at least defensible views from organized and recalcitrant factions.

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God Help Us

I am literally speechless. Huh!?! This photo and this story should be brought up whenever the topic of “gay marriage” comes up:

Some of the most unlikely attendees of Sunday’s kinky leather fetish festival were under four feet tall.

Two-year-olds Zola and Veronica Kruschel waddled through Folsom Street Fair amidst strangers in fishnets and leather crotch pouches, semi and fully nude men.

The twin girls who were also dressed for the event wore identical lace blouses, floral bonnets and black leather collars purchased from a pet store.

Fathers Gary Beuschel and John Kruse watched over them closely. They were proud to show the twins off.

Incidentally, Miller Brewing Company is one of the sponsor’s of this event, which infamously featured a mock Last Supper in its advertising where a bunch of freaks dressed in bondage gear were arrayed like Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.  Big business and pro-business politicians should never be confused with conservatives; businesses exist to make money, and they’ll gladly promote counter-cultural causes so long as they can make a buck off of it. They’ll also support tyranny and just about anything else, as evidenced by their dealings with countries like Iran, Burma, and China.

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Andrew Sullivan, as usual, is confused and lets himself get carried away when it comes to homosexuality. He notes, “In 1994, just 19 Fortune 500 brands advertised in the gay press. Last year, 183 did.”

He concludes solemnly, “The private sector has long led the government in recognizing the simple reality of gay America.”

Umm, no. The government has always recognized this just fine when it is relevant, and it certainly can’t be said to have ignored gays in the bygone age of criminal sodomy laws. No, the government treats us all the same, except when we’re different in a relevant way. It doesn’t need to recognize the “gay reality” more than any other. The government and its laws rightfully do not care if we have long or short hair, or if we spend our money on books or on CDs, or if we are stylish or dull. A gay person’s legal reality is no different than anyone’s else. A gay person can call 911, file a lawsuit, and apply for a student loan. And, of course, a gay person can marry a person of the opposite sex just like everyone else. What Sullivan really is saying by innuendo is the theme underlying so much of his writing: since esteemed big businesses don’t seem to get hung up on gays, and indeed make money marketing to them, why can’t I and every other gay person get my surrogate daddy’s approval through government-recognized gay marriage? I hate to be so harsh, but this theme runs through his and all other gay people’s appeals to acceptance rather than mere toleration.

Of course, the difference between the government and the market is profound. It is the differences between law and its attendant social approval on one side and voluntary, private arrangements on the other. The government does sometimes care if we’re a man or a woman, or a citizen or a foreigner, or any number of other distinctions. In these areas, the law’s otherwise one-size-fits-all rules recognize that people are not equal in all respects. But these exceptions are exactly that: exceptional. For the most part, the law treats all of us the same.

Businesses are quite different, since there is a great deal of money to be made by appealing to niche markets. Thus, instead of one movie or one book or one type of car or one type of music, there are many examples of each. Unlike the laws, the market and its participants gain a great deal by recognizing our differences in finer and finer detail. This doesn’t prove that the business world is more decent than the government, but rather that it functions differently. It appeals to our voluntary choices, does not use force against us, primarily seeks to make a profit, and does not purport to codify our moral sensibilities.

Indeed, the behavior of businessmen historically shows that they are prone to avarice and indifference to the common good and should, therefore, be appropriately regulated to prevent anti-social activity. Businesses, after all, have sold everything from radar detectors and unsafe cars to Olde English 800 and security systems for drug lords. Various businesses might appeal to gays–gay people do, after all, have money–but they also appeal to everyone else: good, bad, and indifferent. Government, with an entirely different set of tools and concerns must keep people and their businesses within certain boundaries. It must bestow its benefits parsimoniously. And this means, at times, it must operate far behind the curve of social change, lest faddishness be enshrined in law, e.g., urban renewal, prohibition.

Sullivan’s lazy, hair-brained, and easily refuted blog entries are a real disgrace to his own intellect and an insult to his numerous readers. His latest example of sophistry is, sadly, just one of many.

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