Iran admits that it is governing out of the 7th Century

I firmly believe that military force should be the last option in dealing with Iran. But I also believe that, whether we talk with the Iranians, enact embargoes against the Iranians, threaten the Iranians, or whatever else the heck we decide to do vis a vis the Iranians (including an Osirak or Syria approach), we ought to understand that we’re dealing with 7th Century people who are on the verge of possessing 21st Century WMDs:

Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learned.

Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged.

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The latest row involves a woman hanged this June in the town of Gorgan after becoming pregnant by her brother. He was absolved after expressing his remorse. Britain said that this demonstrated the unequal treatment of men and women in law and breached Iran’s pledge to restrict the death penalty to the most serious crimes.

A series of reported executions of gays, including two underage boys whose public hanging was posted on the internet, has alarmed human rights campaigners.

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Under the Freedom of Information Act, the FCO released papers to The Times about the death penalty being used in Iran for homosexuality, adultery and sex outside marriage.

Minutes taken by an official describe a meeting between British and Iranian MPs at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a peace body, in May. When the Britons raised the hangings of Asqari and Marhouni, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mr Yahyavi, a member of his parliament’s energy committee, was unflinching. He “explained that according to Islam gays and lesbianism were not permitted,” the record states. “He said that if homosexual activity is in private there is no problem, but those in overt activity should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed]. He argued that homosexuality is against human nature and that humans are here to reproduce. Homosexuals do not reproduce.”

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Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Nigeria apply the death penalty for homosexuality, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

The same article concludes with a helpful list of some of the victim so Sharia law, a law that, when originally enacted, was probably consistent with the law in Western countries as well, during the 7th through 16th Centuries.  The problem is that we in the West have moved on, while those in Iran and other Islamist nations, have not:

2005

— Homosexuals Farbod Mostaar and Ahmad Chooka sentenced to death. Iran said Chooka had kidnapped, knifed and raped a student

— A woman called Soghra was sentenced to stoning for adultery and being an accomplice to her husband’s murder

— Two men executed in public after being found guilty of a homosexual relationship. A newspaper said they were convicted of sodomy, rape and kidnapping

— Zhila Izadi, 13, sentenced to stoning after becoming pregnant with her brother’s child

2006

— Malek Ghorbany sentenced to stoning for adultery

— Leila Qomi sentenced to stoning for adultery and assisting a man who killed her husband. He received 100 lashes

2007

— Jafar Kiana stoned for adultery. His female lover Mokarrameh Ebrahimi sentenced to the same fate.

While I have absolutely no doubt that there are thousands, nay, tens of thousands or even millions of good, decent, humane Iranians, it is patently clear that the country as a whole has embraced a leadership that has no conception of human rights as we understand them in the West.  Iran’s morality and belief systems are entirely different from ours, and we make a terrible mistake if we assume that they use the same decision-making algorithms we in the West do, whether we’re talking about women, gays, WMDs, or the destruction of nations.

The foot tapping problem continues

The Larry Craig story, arising as it did in isolation, sounded almost silly, what with all the foot tapping and shuffling. It turns out, though, that there’s nothing silly about it, and it was such a problem for one local business that it called in the police:

Seven men ranging from 32 to 80 years old were cited in an undercover sting operation targeting sexual solicitation in a restroom at a San Rafael hotel, police said.

The two-day sting – similar to the recent police operation that ensnared U.S. Sen. Larry Craig in June in an airport restroom – was conducted at the request of the Embassy Suites on McInnis Parkway, said San Rafael police Sgt. Dan Fink.

The hotel sought police action after noticing an increase in men around the ground-floor restrooms over the past several months, Fink said. The hotel management suspected that men were meeting there for sex, and investigators found Internet postings that seemed to offer confirmation.

“Just bring it now early morning you know where and what, or after 5 pm today,” someone wrote in a craigs list posting titled, “E suites rigth now – 28 (san rafael).”

Police sent undercover detectives into men’s room stalls from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The detectives were solicited for sex three times Wednesday and four times Thursday either through spoken propositions or signals such as foot-tapping and throat-clearing.

“We had two situations where the suspects would actually put their heads underneath the wall to communicate with the officer,” Fink said.

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The seven men were released pending court hearings. They include two San Rafael residents, one 36 years old and the other 45; a 42-year-old Novato resident; an 80-year-old Tiburon resident; a 39-year-old Guerneville resident; a 52-year-old Rohnert Park resident; and a 32-year-old San Pablo resident.

Fink said the men were cooperative with police. One said he was married, while others were wearing wedding bands.

“Everybody’s story was that they had a legitimate reason to be in San Rafael,” he said. “Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. It was a nonstop flow.”

News of the bust was posted to Craigslist within hours of the first round of citations.

I consider myself a libertarian when it comes to private sexual activity. I am not, however, a libertarian when it comes to sex in public places, and a men’s bathroom is a public place. I have on many occasions been out with the children and had to send my 8 year old son alone into a public men’s room. I’ve always been worried about kidnapping or assault; apparently I now have something new to be worried about.

May I recommend to you. . . .

. . . . a wonderful opinion piece that Cinnamon Stillwell wrote about the San Francisco drag queens dressed as nuns who took Holy Communion, not as an act of faith, but to ridicule the Church.  Not only does Cinnamon expose the fundamentally anti-Christian attitude behind this attack on the deepest principles of the Church, she also shows the hypocrisy inherent in the attack on an easy target, one that will not fight back, while the same activist groups, for the most part, ignore completely the violently anti-homosexual policies in the Muslim world.

Thinking about Dumbledore

As you recall, people cheered wildly at Rowling’s announcement that Dumbledore is gay, and many in the media have been thrilled.  Certainly Dumbledore is one of the best and most honorable characters in the Harry Potter series.  But think about it:  Dumbledore’s first and only love was a murderous psychopath (clearly meant to remind readers of Hitler).  Even Rowling conceded that this love was disastrous:

She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds “true love.”

“Dumbledore is gay,” the author responded to gasps and applause.

She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling said of Dumbledore’s feelings, adding that Dumbledore was “horribly, terribly let down.”

Dumbledore’s love, she observed, was his “great tragedy.”

After this tragic relationship, which took place when he was a teenager, Dumbledore apparently retreated forever from any other romantic relationships, gay or straight, devoting himself instead to a celibate life.

So should gays really be celebrating this revelation?  It seems to me as if Rowling is saying that, while homosexuals can quite obviously be loving, brilliant, powerful, honorable and brave, their sexuality can blind them and celibacy is the better option.  That seems to be strictly in keeping with the religious doctrine that says that, while gays can’t help being gay, they shouldn’t act on it.  (I actually find this view troubling, since sexuality is such an integral part of the human condition.  I just like bedroom conduct kept in the bedroom, and off the streets and out of politics.)

In any event, if I’m right about the conclusions you have to draw from Rowling’s writing, I doubt that what she’s saying is something gay rights activists really want to support.

Where it’s all going

In today’s Friday Quickies post, I wrote about the rather bizarre sexual identity civil war being played out in Congress now that the Dems are in control, as the different sides to the argument fight over whether “transgendered” individuals should be included in an employment discrimination bill.

By the way, before I get any further in this post, I want to say I want a short persons anti-discrimination bill. Or maybe I want a “looks lousy in pea green sweaters” anti-discrimination bill. What am I saying. How about an “anything that offends my sensibilities is discrimination” anti-discrimination bill. Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964* is, apparently, inadequate to the purpose, despite it’s laundry list of people against whom there cannot be discrimination, and since we apparently need to legislate to the fringe in order to keep Americans behaving decently at work, we’d better line up every single kind of discrimination imaginable and start passing laws like crazy. End of digression. Back to the main purpose of this post, which is transgendered individuals.

If the post RD directed me to is to be believed, the feds are already acting as if transgendered individuals are a protected class. How else to explain this:

James Watson’s forced recantation reminds me of a situation that has arisen at a particular government-administered intelligence program with which I am familiar. One of the employees at this office has decided he is a woman, and has demanded–and so far received–the right to use the women’s restroom. Management has informed the women who work there that if they even voice disagreement, they will lose their jobs on the spot. All employees are required to call him by his new female name, to use female pronouns in reference to him, and to otherwise assent that this very sick individual really is a woman. Again, failure to do so will result in immediate termination, no questions asked. They have been instructed, in other words, that they shall accept as true whatever they are told. Any suggestion that they believe their own eyes over what management tells them shall result in being cast into the outer darkness–this is a very privileged world and once you’ve been expelled, it is nearly impossible to get back in.

What has been astonishing to behold is the number of employees–particularly the functionaries in middle management–who have taken the view that because we humans make our own reality, they now believe–really believe–that this man is a woman. Management has said so. He has said so. To deny it is to commit an act of discrimination. All discrimination is wrong. I believe he is a woman. And so forth.

There are some who have privately reacted with horror, and the thing that horrifies them most is that so many people are willing to surrender their minds to the control of others, and to believe that reality is whatever they are told it is by the authorities. A scene which as always stuck with from from 1984 involves Winston watching his interrogator destroy a piece of evidence that the government was lying. You must remember that such evidence existed, he insists. You yourself held in in your own hands only moments ago. “I do not remember it,” his tormentor replies, and Winston sinks into despair.

Watching men as accomplished as Watson debase themselves and profess not to believe what they know to be true fills me with the same kind of despair.

I don’t think the 1984 comparison goes too far at all. George Orwell, raised in the socialist milieu fully understood would happens when variations of socialism take over.

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* By the way, regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it’s interesting to note the operative language:  “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”  By “sex,” Congress of course meant “gender,” as the legislative history clearly shows.  Nevertheless, it would seem to me that a court can easily expand sex to mean sexuality, as well as gender, without the necessity of enacting brand new legislation.