Homosexualism v Homosexuality

(This post continues a discussion on Samizdata. Like at CCK, Samizdata’s comment system works… sometimes.)

The reason I’m using “homosexualism” and not “homosexuality” is that the latter is so vague as to be meaningless. As John Derbyshire wrote, homosexuality sometimes is used to include

  • homosexualism (male preference for sex with men over men)
  • ephebophilia/pederasty (male perference for sex with youths)
  • monasticism/faute-de-mieux (male sex with men as a substitute for women)

Monasticism clearly existed then, as it exists now in prisons. Likewise, we have detailed descriptions of ephebophilia from the Greeks (such as the Ganymede story).

Some quote from Leviticus

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.

(or more literally)

And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman

as the very preceeding verse is a condemnation of rival religion ceremonies

You shall not offer any of your offspring to be immolated to Molech, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD

And the very next condemns an obvious form of substitution

You shall not have carnal relations with an animal, defiling yourself with it; nor shall a woman set herself in front of an animal to mate with it; such things are abhorrent.

The context argues against knowledge of homosexualism. Additionally, as Hebrew boys became “men” at a young age, Leviticus 18:22 may be intended as a double-condemnation of monaticism and ephebophilia. Whatever its meanings, there’s no evidence in the chapter that shows knowledge of homosexualism.

Friedman: Vote Labour

Sizzle, Yes, but Beef, Too,” by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 22 April 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/22/opinion/22friedman.html.

Earlier, I wrote why the British should vote against the Conservative Party. Tom Friedman explains why the British should vote for Blair.

New York Times columnists are not allowed to endorse U.S. presidential candidates. Only the editorial page does that. But in checking the columnist rule book, I couldn’t find any ban on endorsing a candidate for prime minister of Britain. So I’m officially rooting for Tony Blair.

I’ve never met Mr. Blair. But reading the British press, it strikes me that he’s not much loved by Fleet Street. He’s not much loved by the left wing of his own Labor Party either, and he certainly doesn’t have any supporters on the Conservative benches. Yet he seems to be heading for re-election to a third term on May 5.

Indeed, I believe that history will rank Mr. Blair as one of the most important British prime ministers ever – both for what he has accomplished at home and for what he has dared to do abroad. There is much the U.S. Democratic Party could learn from Mr. Blair.

  • Because of Blair’s political bravery in supporting the Iraq War

In deciding to throw in Britain’s lot with President Bush on the Iraq war, Mr. Blair not only defied the overwhelming antiwar sentiment of his own party, but public opinion in Britain generally. “Blair risked complete self-immolation on a principle,” noted Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a pro-Democratic U.S. think tank.

Remember, in the darkest hours of the Iraq drama, when things were looking disastrous (and there have been many such hours), Mr. Bush could always count on the embrace of his own party and the U.S. conservative media machine and think tanks.

Tony Blair, by contrast, dined alone. He had no real support group to fall back on. I’m not even sure his wife supported him on the Iraq war. (I know the feeling!) Nevertheless, Mr. Blair took a principled position to depose Saddam and keep Britain tightly aligned with America. He did so, among other reasons, because he believed that the advance of freedom and the defeat of fascism – whether Islamo-fascism or Nazi fascism – were quintessential and indispensable “liberal” foreign policy goals.

  • Because of Blair’s expansion of globalization

The other very real thing Mr. Blair has done is to get the Labor Party in Britain to firmly embrace the free market and globalization – sometimes kicking and screaming. He has reconfigured Labor politics around a set of policies designed to get the most out of globalization and privatization for British workers, while cushioning the harshest side effects, rather than trying to hold onto bankrupt Socialist ideas or wallowing in the knee-jerk antiglobalism of the reactionary left.

  • Because of Blair’s conservative fiscal policies

And these improvements, which still have a way to go, have all been accomplished so far with few tax increases. The vibrant British economy and welfare-to-work programs have, in turn, resulted in the lowest unemployment in Britain in 30 years. This has led to higher tax receipts and helped the government pay down its national debt. This, in turn, has saved money on both interest and welfare benefits – money that has been plowed back into services, The Financial Times explained.

  • Because Blair will be a good lesson for the American Tory Democrat Party

Along the way, he has deftly eviscerated the Conservatives, leaving them with only their most fringe policies – another reason American Democrats could learn a lot from him. Their own ambivalence toward globalization and the new New Deal our country needs to make more Americans educated and employable in a world without walls, and their own ambivalence toward muscular diplomacy, cost Democrats just enough votes in the American center to allow a mistake-prone Bush team to squeak by in 2004. So if Mr. Blair does win in the U.K., I sure hope that Democrats in the U.S. are taking notes.

As Tom Friedman says, vote Labour.

Dayton: John Kerry Will Run in 2008

Kerry’s Minnesota visit may have wider purpose,” by Rob Hotakainen, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 22 April 2005, http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/5362878.html (from Democratic Underground).

Senator Mark Dayton, a man who tired 8-time loser Bob Shrum as a campaign advisor before bailing out of a reelection race, says John Kerry will run again for President in 2008

As Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and his wife prepare to visit Minneapolis on May 3, Sen. Mark Dayton said he has little doubt that Kerry is planning to run for president again in 2008.

When New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton attended the DFL Humphrey Day Dinner in Minneapolis less than two weeks ago, Dayton, D-Minn., told the crowd he hoped he was introducing “the next great president of the United States of America.”

Two days later on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Dayton said Kerry approached him “with daggers in his eyes and said, ‘What are you doing endorsing my 2008 presidential opponent?‘… He was very serious.”

Of course, Dayton may not be reliable. The “quote” seems clunky. And as he’s also busy attacking Kerry

Asked about his support for Kerry last year, Dayton laughed and replied: “As Winston Churchill once said, I’d rather be right than consistent.”

Dayton is cosponsoring Kerry’s bill, but he appeared to criticize Kerry when he first recounted his interaction with him on the Senate floor during a weekend interview with KTCA-TV’s “Almanac.” In the interview, Dayton said that “any politician that embraces children clearly has some motive beyond that, because otherwise they would be doing something about it rather than talking about it.”

John Kerry in 2008? Let’s hope. That’d actually give Gingrich a shot!

A Joint Chief for the Global War on Terrorism

Peter Pace,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pace, 21 April 2005.

Bush Nominates Pace to Lead Joint Chiefs,” by Robert Burns, Associated Press, 22 April 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050422/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_joint_chiefs (from Free Republic).

President Bush has nominated Marine General Peter Pace to be the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

medium_pace_bush_rumsfeld.jpg

President Bush on Friday named Marine Gen. Peter Pace, who quietly helped shape the Pentagon’s role in the global war on terrorism, to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Pace, 59, would succeed Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers. He was expected to win easy Senate confirmation.

“He knows the job well,” Bush said in announcing the nomination.

Pace is a perfect choice. He is a veteran of Vietnam and Somalia, so he knows 4GWs first hand. Additionally, he is a Marine: the service with the greatest experience in insurgent warfare.

Pace’s nomination shows that Bush realizes the “unconventional” nature of the war in Iraq and the Global War on Terrorism.

I expect to hear something similar from Thomas PM Barnett pretty quickly…

Update:

Barnett comments:

The Pace-to-Giambastiani scenario comes true on Chairman: Peter Pace steps up from Vice to Chairman in Joint Chiefs, the first Marine to hold the position. Rules say he has two more years available to him, although you never know with Rumsfeld, who likes to change personnel rules more than any other sort in his never-ending transformation quest. Ed Giambastiani, the Navy admiral, moves up from Joint Forces Command and will likely become Chairman in two years, following Pace (“A Marine on Message: Peter Pace,” by David S. Cloud, NYT, 23 Apr 05, p. A10.). Pace is on message. He is one of the band of brothers that rules in the much tighter civil-military style of Rumsfeld. Expect more changes, not less, under him. Not because he’s a push-over, but because he believes . . ..

while Dawn’s Early Light opines…