I’ve decided that the right

I’ve decided that the right has no sensible arguments against gay marriage. Whenever it mentions it, it reverts to “tradition”, or just takes it as an obvious fact that marriage shouldn’t be made equal. Of course, if we followed “tradition”, we’d still have slavery, and women would be the property of their husbands. So far, no one to the left of the John Birch Society is advocating that. The following is my dissection of common conservative arguments against gay marriage.

Argument #1: Homosexuality is a choice/perversion.

Rebuttal #1: This is an easy one. Science is on our side. And even if it wasn’t, why wouldn’t heterosexuality be a choice as well?

Argument #2: Homosexual marriage will destroy straight marriage.

Rebuttal #2: Got proof? No, no, you don’t. In Scandinavia, straight marriage have actually increased since gay unions have been allowed.

Argument #3: If homosexuals are allowed to marry, people must be allowed to marry goats, relatives, and marry multiple people.

Rebuttal #3: 10% of people are gay. I don’t know many people who want to marry their goats, relatives, or want to be polygamists. Besides, marrying goats is impossible, as they cannot consent to it, and marrying relatives harms the children in a straight marriage, and is, to use a term that I personally hate, unnatural: people are genetically predisposed to not be attracted to their family members. For more on this argument, see Dahlia Lithwick’s excellent article, “Slippery Slop”.

Argument #4: The Bible prohibits homosexuality.

Rebuttal #4: No, no, it really does not. The most commonly cited passages in this argument are Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination”, and Leviticus 20:13, “If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death”. Never mind that Leviticus is a book of rules for the Israelites traveling for 40 years from Egypt to Palestine, and thus contains rules that dictate not morality, but what must be done for the Israelites to survive. Thus, sex that does not lead to reproduction is counted here. Also, Leviticus 19:19 bans the sowing of two different types of seeds in one area, the crossbreeding of animals, and the wearing of clothes made from mixed textiles. I don’t suppose that James Dobson is campaigning against mixed wool and cotton. The two other Biblical phrasing that are used, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Romans 1:26-27, don’t condemn homosexuality either. The former is meant as a condemnation of inhospitality, not of homosexuality. Besides, the homosexuality in the story isn’t consensual. The latter speaks of men giving up “natural relations” and lusting for one another. But “natural relations” for gays are with members of the same sex; therefore, the passage condemns going against one’s sexual orientation, not homosexuality. And none of this matters in a policy debate, of course, due to the separation of church and state.

Argument #5: Homosexuals molest children, and are terrible parents.

Rebuttal #5: Yes, homosexuals molest children. So do heterosexuals. Homosexuals are not any more likely to. And there is no evidence that gays and lesbians are any worse parents than heterosexuals.

All in all, these are very weak arguments. In most political arguments, the case can be made for either side. That’s simply not true with gay marriage.

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Imperial Hubris’ anonymous author has

Imperial Hubris‘ anonymous author has been identified by the Boston Phoenix. He’s a CIA officer named Michael Scheuer, who ran Alec, the CIA’s bin Laden station, from 1996 to 1999. He might be fired, but I don’t have much empathy due to this passage from this interview he gave to Spencer Ackerman (via Kevin Drum):

To secure as much of our way of life as possible, we will have to use military force in the way Americans used it on the fields of Virginia and Georgia, in France and on Pacific islands, and from skies over Tokyo and Dresden. Progress will be measured by the pace of killing….

Killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes. With killing must come a Sherman-like razing of infrastructure. Roads and irrigation systems; bridges, power plants, and crops in the field; fertilizer plants and grain mills — all these and more will need to be destroyed to deny the enemy its support base….[S]uch actions will yield large civilian casualties, displaced populations, and refugee flows. Again, this sort of bloody-mindedness is neither admirable nor desirable, but it will remain America’s only option so long as she stands by her failed policies toward the Muslim world.

Scary.

I’ve been published! My local

I’ve been published! My local paper has published a letter I wrote to them. It was rebutting the following letter:

To the Editor,

I sometimes wonder if headline writers bother to read the stories they are headlining. The recent headline about the 9/11 commission report is a case in point. The headline claimed that the report contradicted the claims of the Bush administration.

The headline is contradicted by the facts, by the report itself and by the chairmen of the commission. The fact is that the Bush administration never claimed that there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11. The administration claimed that there was a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda, not necessarily 911. The report confirmed that there was a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida and that there was no credible evidence of a connection between Iraq and 9/11, which is precisely what the Bush administration had been saying from the beginning.

Finally, both chairmen of the commission (one a democrat, the other a Republican) stated that they were surprised at the media reaction to the report because the report did not refute claims by the Bush administration, despite headlines to the contrary.

Of course, this is obviously wrong. So I sent this to the paper:

To the Editor:

In Spec Bower’s June 23 Forum letter, he claimed that a recent Valley News headline, about the 9/11 commission’s conclusion that there was no substantive link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime, was contradicted by the facts of the case. On the contrary: it is Mr. Bowers’ letter that is contradicted by those facts.

Mr. Bowers wrote that President Bush never claimed that there was a connection between Hussein’s regime and the events of 9/11. But President Bush did claim this. In his letter to Congress announcing the war, on March 19, 2003, Bush wrote that invading Iraq, “is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. ”

The administration’s claims of a link between Hussein’s regime and al-Qaeda were also contradicted by the commission, contrary to Mr. Bowers’ assertations. The commission said that there was no “collaborative relationship” between the two groups. But even the commission overestimated the relationship. John Lehman, a Republican member of the commission, claimed that an Iraqi intelligence agent was employed by al-Qaeda in Kuala Lumpur. Mr. Lehman apparently mixed up the names of two entirely different people. The al-Qaeda employee in Kuala Lumpur is named Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi. The Iraqi intelligence agent was named Lt. Col. Hikmat Shakir Ahmad. These are two entirely different people.

Most of all, President Bush’s continuing insistence on the existence of a link between these two groups reeks of hypocrisy. After the 9/11 commission released its report, Bush claimed that Abu Masab al-Zarqawi was the best evidence of a link between al-Qaeda and the Hussein regime. But Zarqawi, before the invasion, operated in the Kurdish no-fly zone, which was controlled by the U.S., not by Saddam. This begs the question of why we didn’t assassinate him. According to NBC News, the answer is that Bush thought that killing Zarqawi would undermine his case for war. Bush turned down Pentagon plans to assassinate Zarqawi on several occasions in 2002. The full story is located at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/.

Simply put, there is no evidence of a substantial relationship between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime, let alone that Hussein assisted in the 9/11 attacks. The Valley News covered the 9/11 commission’s report just as it should have.

This is the version that was printed:

To the Editor:

Spec Bower’s June 23 letter claimed that a recent Valley News headline about the 9/11 commission’s finding that there was no substantive link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime was contradicted by the facts of the case. It is Mr. Bowers’ letter that is contradicted by those facts.

Mr. Bowers wrote that President Bush never claimed a connection between Saddam and 9/11. But in his letter to Congress announcing the war, on March 19, 2003, Bush wrote that invading Iraq, “is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. ”

Contrary to Mr. Bowers’ assertions, the commission staff report said that there was no “collaborative relationship” between the two groups. But even the that preliminary report overestimated the relationship. John Lehman, a Republican member of the commission, claimed that an Iraqi intelligence agent was employed by al-Qaeda in Kuala Lumpur. Mr. Lehman apparently mixed up the names of two different people. The al-Qaeda employee in Kuala Lumpur is named Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi. The Iraqi intelligence agent was named Lt. Col. Hikmat Shakir Ahmad. Bush’s continuing insistence that a link exists between these two groups reeks of hypocrisy. After the 9/11 commission released its report, Bush claimed that Abu Masab al-Zarqawi was the best evidence of a link between al-Qaeda and the Hussein regime. But Zarqawi, before the invasion, operated in the Kurdish no-fly zone, which was controlled by the United States, not by Saddam. This begs the question of why we didn’t assassinate him. According to NBC News, Bush thought that killing Zarqawi would undermine his case for war. Bush turned down Pentagon plans to assassinate Zarqawi on several occasions in 2002. The full story is located at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/.

Simply put, there is no evidence of a substantial relationship between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime, let alone that Hussein assisted in the 9/11 attacks. The Valley News covered the 9/11 commission’s report just as it should have.

This changed what I said. Lehman lied about Kuala Lumpur during a Sunday talk show, not in the report. I never said that his mention of it was in the report. But overall, the message has gotten through.

So Instapundit’s buddy thinks that

So Instapundit’s buddy thinks that people like me, who don’t believe that Islam is inherently violent, and that it has extreme factions, just as Christianity and Judaism do, live in a P.C. paradise. I personally have no idea what people have against political correctness; to me, it’s synonymous with tolerance. However, when the right expresses dislike for tolerance, they can’t tell the truth and say that they’re intolerant; no, they have to say that their enemies are “P.C.” Well, count me as a P.C. thug. I’m certainly loving being one.

This is just so undeniably

This is just so undeniably stupid. Calling for Middle Eastern autocrats to step down will 1) Not get them to step down and 2) Alienate potential allies. The only thing Bush is accomplishing by doing this is making more enemies for himself in the most volatile region on Earth. And trust me, we have plenty over there already.

Atrios links to this Roger

Atrios links to this Roger Ailes post, attacking Peggy Noonan for allowing her teenage son to drink beer. First of all, Mr. Ailes can’t do math. He says that the son, who Noonan said in an article was 11 in 1998, is 18 or 19 at the oldest. He can’t be 19. If he were 19, he would have been born in 1984, or 1985. If he was born in 1984, he would have been 13 at the youngest in 1998, and if he was born in 1985, he would have been 12 at the youngest in 1998. He must be 17 or 18. Now, on to the substance of the accusation. First off, this isn’t some kid; he’s in his late teens. Second off, his parent is purchasing the alcohol for him. While technically illegal, this isn’t exactly “delinquency”. For once, I’m on Nonner’s side.