Dat ole debbil sex Archives

May 4, 2006

Howard, you BITCH!

Alan Smithee reports:

Strolling through the morning news I ran across this frankly puzzling item, by way of AmericaBlog:


Howard Dean fires gay man in apparent retaliation against his partner

by John in DC - 5/03/2006 10:53:00 AM

Can you say Valerie Plame?

The Democratic National Committee yesterday fired its gay liaision, my friend Donald Hitchcock, and immediately replaced him with someone else (thus showing the position wasn't phased out). What's odd about the firing, to put it lightly is that it comes within days of Donald's partner, Paul Yandura, publicly criticizing the DNC for not being pro-gay enough.

The DNC claims they aren't retaliating against the spouse for the other spouse's politics. From all appearances, that's exactly what they're doing.


That the dems have been slowly sidling away from gay issues as part of their imitation-republican "god, guns 'n gays" strategy has been fairly obvious for some time. But this bit of transparent fag-bashing seems unusually, well, flashy for Dean. Has the pressure of being head DNC cheerleader made Howard the Dem pop his top? Enquiring mind and all that...

May 11, 2006

Nobody here but us hets, boss

The invaluable Alan Smithee writes:

I have to confess, it's scary how much I've come to depend on your blog as a resource for ideas and insight. Fer instance, J. S. Paine's Anti-Partisan Pledge is a hit with just about everyone I regularly e-mail.

But on with the story...

Howard the Donk has put his foot into it again. This via PageOneQ:


National Gay and Lesbian Task Force slams Howard Dean, Returns $5,000 gift from DNC

by PageOneQ

After it was reported that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean misrepresented the portions of the party platform relating to marriage, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force returned a $5,000 contribution to the party, PageOneQ has learned.

In a release issued by the Task Force, a quote from Chairman Dean was reported as:

"The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says that marriage is between a man and a woman. That's what it says. I think where we may take exception with some religious leaders is that we believe in inclusion, that everybody deserves to live with dignity and respect, and that equal rights under the law are important."


The GLBT community seems to be increasingly fed-up with Dean's donkey doublespeak. Though the actual part of the Dem's 2004 platform is a perfidious piece of wishy-washy ABBism, it doesn't quite put it that baldly. Per the article...


The actual part of the party platform reads:

"We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families. In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there. We repudiate President Bush's divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a 'Federal Marriage Amendment.' Our goal is to bring Americans together, not drive them apart."

Dean made the statements on the Christian Broadcasting Network during its popular 700 Club program.


Which begs the question, is Howard the Donk actually trying to court the Chimperor's fundamentalist supporters? Perhaps hoping to peel off a few votes from Bush's eroding base? Seems unlikely, but who knows? If he can make his party seem anti-gay and anti-choice enough, perhaps ol' Howard can paint the blue party red.

March 10, 2008

Spitzer, spritzer

What infinite delight -- one of my least-favorite New York Democrats, former prosecutor and merit-class megalomaniac Gov. Eliot Spitzer, appears to have been caught with his hand in the, erm, cookie jar, making a date with a hooker for a hotel assignation in DC -- drolly enough, on the eve of St Valentine's Day.

There is so much to like in this story it's hard to know where to start. For one thing, it's yet another data point for one of Smith's (many) Laws Of Life, to wit, scratch a prosecutor, find a perv. People don't become prosecutors unless they're overcompensating for something that makes them feel dirty and ashamed, in a way that they just can't live with.

Spitzer's fairly unremarkable dalliances with top-drawer professional sack artists wouldn't seem so very dirty to a normal person, of course, if it weren't for the hysterical hand-washing hyper-cleanliness that the guy has always projected. His toilet training must have been something right out of Bergen-Belsen.

Then of course nobody would have investigated him or gotten the goods on him or revealed them if they had, were it not for his having made so many people really mad at him with that holy-Joe act of his. Chalk this one up to Joe Bruno and the Washington strings he knows how to pull.

But the best part, really, is his Act of Contrition. Usually these boil down to a two-part proposition: 1) I'm a bad, dirty person; 2) But please don't stop loving me!

Now there's a lot to be said for taking this double stance from time to time. Confession, they say -- and they say rightly -- is good for the soul. Dirt is the tie that binds. Acknowledge it. Join the rest of the dirty human race.

And it's good to ask for continued love, recognizing right out that it's undeserved -- good to stop expecting it, or demanding it as of right. It's good to acknowledge that love is more even than a gift; it's an act of grace.

Eliot, however, just couldn't make a good A of C. He doesn't have it in him, either the realism and resilience to understand that he's just a dirty guy, like the rest of us, or the childlike hopeful capacity to imagine that love undeserved might yet be granted.

Here's his preachy, truculent, stiff-necked version, an Act of Uncontrition contrived to show just how good, how un-dirty, how deserving, he really is:

I have acted in a way that violated the obligations to my family and that violates my — or any — sense of right and wrong. I apologize first, and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public, to whom I promised better.... I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard that I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family. I will not be taking questions.... I will report back to you in short order.
Man! The guy just can't help telling us what to think and feel, even when he's supposed to be wearing the hairshirt and beating his breast. Consider that parenthetical "any". Here's a fella who just got caught paying for a BJ, laying down the law about what "any" sense of right and wrong ought to contain. So those of you who think it's perfectly OK to pay for a BJ -- consider yourselves knuckle-rapped by Sister Eliot. Maculate she may be, but her ruler is still poised like a comet.

Then he importantly informs us that he has "failed to live up to the standards I expected of myself" -- as if anybody gave a hoot in hell what he expected of himself. Whatever it was, we collectively expected a lot less -- and probably would have been happier with a less close approximation than what we got.

And of course he's going to "regain the trust of his family." What a fool. He may well retain the love of his family; he may even obtain their forgiveness, God knows how; but he will never "regain" their trust. And why should he? Is he not a miserable unreliable untrustworthy frail human sinner, like the rest of us?

But the best part: he'll "report back." Breathtaking. I don't know about you, but I do not want to see his "report". Paid BJs: down 99%. Uncompensated BJs, marital: up 10%. Uncompensated BJs, non-marital: No change.

Do we care about his improvement? Who does he think we are, the editors of the Harvard Law Review? Does he think he can change his opinion of us? He can't. We'll always think of him as that poor schlub purchasing the over-emphatic moans of a top-drawer sex worker -- a person, in fact, who is to the BJ what Eliot is to the LSAT.

Personally, I'll take the BJ virtuoso over the LSAT virtuoso, any day of the week.

June 10, 2008

Don't order the herbal tea

Among Hillary's auxiliary troops might we number the Lesbian-American nation?

Yet who dares speak their name?

Not Mother Clinton, at least while in this final bruising stretch. If, say, this February last, St Hill was found to have once attended one of these folks' legendary Famous-Amos roasts -- I ask you, kind and gentle readers, would that not out-Jeremiah Jeremiah?

November 29, 2008

The ever-receding future

Don't cut the cake just yet, guys. The New York Times reports:

N.Y. Democrats May Skip Gay Marriage Vote

ALBANY — After a pledge from New York Democratic leaders that their party would legalize same-sex marriage if they won control of the State Senate this year, money from gay rights supporters poured in from across the country, helping cinch a Democratic victory.

But now, party leaders have sent strong signals that they may not take up the issue during the 2009 legislative session. Some of them suggest it may be wise to wait until 2011 before considering it, in hopes that Democrats can pick up more Senate seats and Gov. David A. Paterson, a strong backer of gay rights, would then be safely into a second term.

“We want to get there, but we want to get there the right way or else we risk setting ourselves back another decade,” [says State] Senator Liz Krueger.

Readers older than, oh, say, twelve, may have noticed a pattern with the Democrats. They campaign on some issue -- in the previous Most Important Elections Of Our Lifetime, the 2006 midterms, it was the Iraq war, for example. Then once safely in office, the find a reason why they can't actually do anything about the issue until they get something else on the next election cycle -- the White House, or the state senate, or a second term for the Governor (why? This one seems especially arbitrary).

It's really exactly like the dear old Spanish Prisoner scam, more familiar in our own day as the Nigerian "419" advance-fee con:

...[T]he ... con-man tells ... the mark that he is in correspondence with a wealthy person of high estate who has been imprisoned in Spain under a false identity. The alleged prisoner cannot reveal his identity without serious repercussions, and is relying on the confidence trickster to raise money to secure his release. The confidence trickster offers to let the victim supply some of the money, with a promise that he will be rewarded generously when the prisoner returns; financially and perhaps also by being married to the prisoner's beautiful daughter. However, once the victim has turned over his money, he learns that further difficulties have arisen, requiring more money, and the trickster continues attempting to get more money until the victim is cleaned out....

July 7, 2009

Let's hear it for the boiz

Thus far, the only one of the many constituencies seduced and abandoned by Obie that seems to be recognizing the fact is gay folks:

Obama Faces Gay Groups' Growing Anger
The anger from gay rights advocates toward President Obama is starting to boil over.

On Monday, Joe Solmonese, the president of the establishment gay rights group The Human Rights Campaign, sent an angry letter to the president objecting to the decision by the Obama Justice Department to file a brief defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, mandates (1) that the federal government not recognize same-sex marriages and (2) that states not be forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

Mr. Obama vowed to repeal DOMA as a presidential candidate but he has not taken any action to do so since becoming president. The Justice Department brief calls the legislation a "valid exercise of Congress' power" and says it is "reasonable and rational for Congress to maintain its longstanding policy of fostering this traditional and universally-recognized form of marriage."

... [T]he president has also declined to take action on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibits gays from serving openly in the military, despite campaign promises to do so. While the administration has suggested it is working with the military to repeal the policy responsibly, the Pentagon says there have not been any serious discussions along those lines.

...On Sunday, John Berry, who is director of Office of Personnel Management and the highest-ranking gay official under Mr. Obama, told The Advocate that the administration plans to take action on both DOMA and "don’t ask," as well as an employment nondiscrimination bill, "before the sun sets on this administration."

Asked if that timeframe included a second term, Berry said, "I say this in a broad sense -- our goal is to get this done on this administration's watch."

It's noteworthy that Obie could abolish "don't ask, don't tell" -- another exercise in Clintonian Pecksniffery -- with a stroke of the pen under his very broad "stop-loss" powers, but he hasn't done it. Passing the buck to Congress -- when it's convenient -- seems to be this Administration's style. All hail King Log!

You could argue that it's a good thing, in a perverse way. The less president we have, the better. Trouble is he's inconsistent about it. If he were King Log about Afghanistan, now...

October 6, 2009

Sympathy for the devil?

An earlier post, dealing tangentially with the Roman Polanski nine-days'-wonder, evoked some comments that deserve a bit more than an offhand answer.

Okay, so... if you're a Marxist you can't be against child molestation because of, uh, the cops. Or something.

Speaking as an androgynous extra-terrestrial eggplant, I gotta say, that's fucked up.

The response to this is obvious enough -- it's a false dichotomy. One might well dislike child molestation and still not want to become a cheerleader for the cops, as so many of my Lefty comrades have done in the Polanski case.

It's as though they felt they had to take sides: Child molesters versus storm troopers. As if it would matter which side they took.

This is one of the luxuries of being utterly powerless: you have no responsibilities. Comrades, we don't have to answer questions of the form, "If you have no X, how do you do Y?" -- where X might be, for example, cops, and Y might be, "prevent child molestation." If we had power we would have choices to make, perhaps difficult ones. Right now we have no power, and we really don't have to backed into any corners: Truncheons or roofies? Polanski or LAPD? Take your pick! We're allowed to say "none of the above," and in fact that's just what we should say.

Perhaps you think I'm being evasive. You may be wondering, shouldn't we think these things through? Shouldn't we have answers ready? Shouldn't we have alternatives to propose? Shouldn't we be, well, prepared to rule?

Well, no, I'd say. It's absurdly grandiose. It reminds me of some old Maoist friends of mine, back in the late 70s when Three Mile Island blew up. They were a bit reluctant to make an opportunist alliance with the anti-nuke folks. Comrade Steve York, the ranking commissar in these parts, laid it all out for us: "When we take state power, we may have to operate these reactors." How different is that from us wondering what we would do about child molesters -- if we had any power or responsibility?

This Walter-Mittyish outlook betrays us into a kind of imaginative complicity with the enforcement state. Once we start sifting through its operations, trying to decide where it goes wrong and where it goes right, we've made a mental investment in it.

This, I believe, we need to avoid.

Personally, I'm a creature of my time, and I find the idea of an old guy having sex with a 13-year-old pretty repellent. I'm not filing a brief here for the child molesters -- though there is more than one kind of child molestation; as a culture we throw up our hands in horror at the sexual kind, while simultaneously piling on a dozen other kinds. Our collective righteousness about the Polanskis of the world serves to mask our ingrained and ingeniously-justified institutional brutality towards children in every sphere but the sexual.

But okay. Point taken. Polanski's a creep. Fair enough.

Still: from what I have seen of life, the cops are a much bigger problem than the child molesters. There are lots of cops. They are heavily armed. They are running around the streets with time on their hands and a hypertrophied sense of entitlement. A good many of them work out, and not a few take steroids. If they decide to fuck you up, the DA and the Mayor and the local newspaper will back them up.

The child molesters are not so numerous, and they enjoy none of these advantages. From where I'm sitting, twice as many child molesters and half as many cops would be, on balance, a change for the better.

October 7, 2009

The innocence of childhood

Full disclosure: I personally was not an innocent child. I was a filthy-minded little bugger with an imagination whose eccentric prurience the Marquis de Sade would have admired. Readers who were more like the sweet creature pictured above will perhaps be kind enough to make allowance for this in reading what follows.

In a couple of previous posts -- here, and here -- I seem to have staked out a shall-we-say contrarian position on some rather sensitive topics. (Among other things, I asserted that cops, generally speaking, are as a matter of concrete present fact a bigger menace than child molesters.)

My colleague Owen Paine, in the comments, raised a rather interesting point: why do we treat rape and sexual assault in general differently from other types of assault?

Now this is a question that deserves an answer: where a distinction is made, we ought to be able to articulate the basis for it. I'm sorry to say, however, that no satisfactory answer was forthcoming from any of the enragé comrades who have exercised their eloquence on this topic. Samples:

Holy shit, I just saw where you equate rape and assault. That's awesome! Cause people are emotionally traumatized from forced sex as infrequently as they are from simple assault! You're goddamn brilliant OP!

Tell me, which would you rather I do; stick a finger up your ass or punch you in the face?

* * *

... an equation of rape and simple assault only makes sense completely removed from the context of human history. Psychologically and socially it's completely different, and birth control doesn't make that go away. The effect on the victim, conditioned by society and by biological factors too, determines the meaning and impact of the crime, not the amount of momentum transferred from one body to another or the extent of the bruising. Only if neither the victim's state of mind nor ultimately society itself matters is rape just another kind of assault.

Sexual activity isn't just an unusual form of extended bodily contact. Genitals aren't just another body part, not in terms of our minds.

The second of these comments is more thoughtful than the first, but it still amounts simply to re-asserting a supposedly self-evident principle. Now I have always believed that anything which seems self-evident is almost certainly wrong, and in any case deserves a very critical sifting.

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that this is a society which both sentimentalizes children and systematically brutalizes them, both physically and psychologically. We hocus up a sacred taboo around their genitals; then we subject the rest of their bodies to all kinds of ill-usage, and mangle their souls, or try to, in our feedlot schools.

And that's just American children. What our righteous institutions do to children elsewhere in the world is too grisly to contemplate.

One has to wonder whether these two things -- the sentimentality and the brutality -- are perhaps two sides of the same coin.

This would have the advantage of explaining the intense psychic energy that drives much discussion of child abuse and child molestation. We can talk quite calmly about the number of children run over by cars, or afflicted by juvenile diabetes, but the quaver creeps into our voice and the fire ignites in our eye when genital contact comes into the picture. Is sexual abuse the area where we compensate, or over-compensate, for all the other abuse we accept and even collude in(*)?

If so... why is sex the chosen area for our piaculative zeal?

If memory serves, moral panic about child abuse started to gather steam back in the 70s, and reached a wild peak of collective dementia in the day-care witch-hunts of the Reagan and Clinton years. One wonders if we didn't perhaps give ourselves something of a fright when we opened the sexual floodgates back in the 60s. Have we erected the adamantine wall of childhood innocence -- before 18, nothing; after 18, everything -- by way of locking the stable after the horse has escaped?


(*) I'm thinking here, among other things, of parents acting as homework enforcement agents for the schools.

April 15, 2011

Fear of women: we just can't help it

I seem to have given some offence recently, on one of my lefty mailing lists, by characterizing another post as an exercise in sociobiology -- or perhaps by disparaging the latter, implicitly, as pseudo- science.

Not to aggravate the offence, but it seems to me that there might be a general question here. The contribution that evoked my ire read, in part:

Don’t the Occam’s Razor’ish explanations suffice for explaining [men's] fear of female sexuality(*): we see time and again that males of species attempt to control the reproductive activity and choices of females.
It seems to me that this argument, if we accept it, probably has the opposite effect to the one we want.

Consider, for comparison purposes, the usual bourgeois-liberal argument for non-discrimination against gay people. This usually turns on the postulate that gayness is innate and biologically determined, and *therefore* mustn't be discriminated against.

It's always seemed to me like a poor choice of tactic, because it assumes facts not in evidence, and because it would collapse embarrassingly if the aetiology of same-sex object choice were actually investigated, successfully, and proved to be completely epigenetic. There'd need to be some scrambling done.

Why not choose higher ground in the first place? Even ordinary uncontroversial notions like personal freedom, autonomy and privacy seem to offer a better basis for the case than some venturesome empirical hypothesis about the ontogeny of sexual preference.

Who knows, there might even be more than one reason why some people go down the same-sex path and others don't! Suppose some same-sexers really carry the gene and others are just wannabes. Will the town clerk in Vermont require a DNA test to make sure that Adam and Steve are both real, bona-fide, biological gay people?

But in any case, the way the assumption of innateness is usually deployed in our current political culture is to *justify* the behavior for which innateness is being claimed. Now surely that wasn't the intent of the individual who posted this particular just-so story about men's supposed fear of female sexuality, right?

In general, hypotheses of innateness are a lot more likely to have reactionary implications than the reverse. One very good reason to steer clear of them.


(*) Don't ask. The supposedly deep and pandemic male fear of female sexuality had been mentioned by a thoroughly feminist male comrade, to widespread applause.

June 8, 2011

Well, who can resist?

I really wanted to stay away from the Weiner's-wiener scandal, but it's actually quite piquant to me, for entirely personal reasons.

Oh, don't get me wrong -- I don't send penis pictures through Twitter, or anything else. Nor have I received any of Anthony's. The personal connection I had in mind is that Anthony once did me a favor. Well, not me personally, but a little anti-car activist group that I was part of, called Right Of Way, whose butt-ugly still-extant Web site -- maintained by me, which is why it's so ugly -- has the piquant name of

Right Of Way had the ambitious scheme of doing an in-depth analysis of several years' worth of pedestrian and cyclist deaths under car wheels. We needed to get a comprehensive series of police reports from the state Department of Transportation. Now the Freedom Of Information law, in New York, is a pretty toothless affair -- unless you're an elected official. In that case, you can get most anything you ask for.

As it happened, we numbered among our ranks in those days a young, energetic chap named Harris Silver. And Harris was some kind of old pal of Anthony's, and Anthony was then an 'umble member of the city council.

Harris prevailed on Anthony to request the documents, which we duly received, and after a good deal of work, wrote a rather good pamphlet about.

So we owe Harris and Anthony a debt of gratitude. Harris went on to become a Segway shill, and Anthony a pervy congressman, and I a blogger -- and which is worst, God alone knows.

Harris was a bit of a hipster avant-la-lettre, a very cool dude, but you had to stay off the topic of Israel with him. He was a complete Likudnik, as far as I could tell, on that question, and his coolth would drop away like a butterfly's discarded cocoon as soon as the subject came up. He married outside the tribe, however -- to a very fetching Persian girl.

Oddly enough, Anthony did something along the same lines. Though he is a frothing mad-dog Zionist, he married a Muslim girl from Pakistan.

Kinda thought-provoking. These two gents both personally did the thing that "American Jewish leadership" most deplores -- they intermarried. Which shows that they're both sensible people, at least up to a point. I don't know Anthony's wife, and it's true that she does work for Hillary Clinton, but surely she's a long step up from, say, Hadassah Lieberman, spouse of the Man From Bridgeport. And I can tell you for sure that Harris' wife is a prize.

Harris and Anthony both had the Zionist chip firmly lodged on their respective shoulders -- though maybe Harris has changed; it's been a while since I've seen him; but I doubt it. Yet here are two guys whose ideological attitudes led them one way, and whose eminently reasonable personal choices led them another way.

All good news, on balance.

If Weiner ends up leaving Congress -- as he probably will -- I won't weep; regression to the mean, if nothing else, is likely to replace him with somebody slightly less insane about Israel.

But his woody-shots are less discreditable to him than the nauseating Pecksniffery of, say, a Nancy Pelosi, who wants to investigate whether any of these boner.jpg's were transmitted over taxpayers' fiber. She can't really make much of a case that tweeted stiffies are such a Bad Thing, but the misuse of office equipment...!

June 9, 2011

More Weiner whiners

Shown above, at right, is the toothsome and toothy Dana Goldstein, next to somebody named Ezra -- boyfriend? Colleague? At any rate Ezra is equally toothy, and no doubt equally toothsome as well, if one's taste runs that way.

Enough of Ezra. This post is about Dana, who writes for The Nation these days.

Here's a recent Dana column:

I disagree ... that Weiner’s online sexual habits are irrelevant to his role as a congressman or liberal bulldog. As I’ve already argued, I find it alarmingly unprofessional that Weiner pursued these activities from his Congressional office in the middle of the day, with his staff just outside the door. (As an employee, I certainly would feel uncomfortable if I guessed my boss was spending his workday in this way.)
Now Dana appears to belong to the generation -- Aphrodite bless 'em -- who coined the term 'sexting'. So it's a sorry depressing thing to hear her slinging around priggish corporatese shibboleths like "unprofessional" and "uncomfortable" -- not to mention the Pelosi-like tut-tutting about sexting on company time. Oh, and guess what, Dana -- your much-revered "boss" probably is spending his workday this way; and if he's not, then he's an even sicker puppy than if he were.

I can't even begin to unpack the phrase "liberal bulldog". It's enough to make you believe in the Whorfian hypothesis.

About Dat ole debbil sex

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the Dat ole debbil sex category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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