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Movies and The Right


Conservatives often complain about
Hollywood’s liberal agenda. Here are some conservatives doing something
positive about it. The American Film Festival is planning its debut spring/summer
in Dallas. Organizers are seeking “independent films which celebrate classic
American values.” Festival founder Jim Hubbard says, “I get people
complaining to me all the time, saying let’s boycott Hollywood. I say let’s
not boycott, let’s compete.” This is a good, and much-needed initiative. If
you can help, financially or creatively, please do.



I am so relieved Jonah didn’t get ticked about me messing with the couch earlier. All for the cause…


Thanks a Ton


Ok. First fundraising drive is officially over. Thank you, every single one of you who has contributed this week or in the past. Thank you for your loyalty and goodness. If you ever want to subscribe or donate, the option is alwyas there, and your interest is deeply appreciated. And, since a few people just asked, the subscription link is here and the donation link is here. You can send checks to:

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Thanks again. I’m now going to shut up about this for a bit. Really.

Web Briefing: July 30, 2014

Free Ways to Support Nro


There is an absolutely free way to support NRO–click on our advertisers. Need a homeloan? Want a book? Want a t-shirt? Check out the ads on the homepage and elsehwere on the site.


Pledge Plus


I should add something. While we welcome, love and appreciate the contributions and subscriptions, there’s something else some of you can do: Advertise. If you work for — or own — a firm which you think might benefit from advertising on one of the best and best-read sites of its kind, you could help yourself and us (and the country, and the world and the Universe, and the multiverse!) at the same time. Contact Jim Fowler and tell him Jonah Goldberg sent ya.

The Final Stretch


I interrupt the gay marriage debate of 2003 with this message: we are officially in the final few hours of our first fundraising drive. Go to the homepage and do your thing. You know the drill by now. Thank you. Thank you.

Marriage—a Possible Future


Uh Oh, I Didn’t Think of That


From a reader:

Before the recent discussion about Keynes in the corner, I didn’t know he was gay (I guess I missed that chapter in gender studies). But I find myself ruminating on the other possible implications. For one, it certainly creates all sorts of innuendo surrounding Richard Nixon’s famous declaration that “We are all Keynesians now.”

Re: Gay Marriage


Jonah: I would certainly count myself a do-nothing person on this. I don’t myself agree with legal disabilities against homosexuals doing what they do. Once those disabilities have been removed, however, I can’t see what else is required. Inheritance? I don’t know the laws of testacy that well, but I’m not aware of anything that prevents me leaving my stuff to anyone I please. Hospital visiting rights? Yes, some injustice there, but requiring only a change to hospital registration requirements, surely not a constitutional upheaval. And so on. I very much want the institution of marriage left

Incidental to this: There is more to the issue of male-homosexual promiscuity than meets the eye. I have read in numerous places that male homosexuals are promiscuous at levels stunningly higher than single male heterosexuals. Most recently, in Michael Bailey’s book /redirect/amazon.asp?j=0309084180 , p.86: “The panel [of male homosexuals invited to speak to Michael's undergraduate class] is also asked about the number of sex partners they have had, and their answers always elicit gasps. All the men have had hundreds of sex partners…”

Well, now. An acquaintance of mine, a conservative journalist–but this is from private correspondence, so no names–is doing some research into this topic on his own account. He points out that a study widely regarded as sound delivers much less dramatic numbers. The study is Laumann, Gagnon, Michael & Michaels, “The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States,” 315, tbl 8.4. I confess I find the numbers, as presented, very confusing, but my acquaintance says that they “show that the averages [i.e. of numbers of sex partners] for gay men are about 1.5 to 3 times higher than for straight men — certainly a difference, but not a ’stunning’ one, I think.” He also quotes something called the General Social Survey to similar effect.

This is a curious and interesting finding. Apart from the fact that I can’t follow his readout of the numbers, which is probably just a consequence of my own mental laziness, it occurs to me that there could be a number of things going on here. For example: (1) Great differences between urban homosexuals (which would include those who have deliberately migrated into the metropolitan areas to enjoy the “gay culture” there) and provincial or rustic ones. (2) Perhaps some small subset of homosexuals is terrifically promiscuous, thus skewing the statistics, and the rest not. (3) Perhaps some larger (and possibly overlapping) subset go through a “wild phase” of great promiscuity, then settle down. I asked one of the few homosexuals I know about this, and he said he thought (3) the most probable.

As I have said before–started out by saying, in fact–I don’t think the social-science arguments are the whole story, and I don’t think they should be decisive. They are important in the debate, though, and persuasive to a lot of people, and to resolve them we need as much data as we can get. As in anything to do with people’s most private activities, there is a thick fog of misunderstanding, misrepresentation, dishonesty, propagandizing and wishful thinking shrouding the whole area.

Treat Homosexuality Like a Religion?


It’s an interesting argument, I’ve been pondering something similar too for a while. Though I think it would open up all sorts of unintended consequences too. Anyway, here’s an interesting take from



All this chat about Hayek is the perfect excuse (particularly as I am stuck in a near deserted hotel in the middle of nowhere) to tell my only story about the great man. It was some time in the late 1970s and the venue was (appropriately or inappropriately enough) the Keynes Auditorium (or Hall, or something like that) in Cambridge. Hayek was the speaker and most of the audience, stuck in the orthodoxies of that era, was either astonished, appalled or both.

At the end of his talk (which was, needless to say, quite brilliant) Hayek bravely asked for questions. Brimming with indignation and bubbling with bile, one man rose to his feet and asked “that’s all very well, Professor Hayek, but don’t you believe it is possible to have an egalitarian society.”

“Oh yes, “ replied Hayek, “you can have an egalitarian society – but only at the lowest possible level.”

“Gay Marriage Versus Booty Call”


Good point from a reader:

It seem somebody, liberals presumably, is re-writing the guidelines about the sanctity of marriage. On one hand, they’re claiming that a man and a woman who shack up together can live just as securely, and raise children just as well, as a married couple, and therefore they should not be looked down upon because they’re sharing a bed without a pair of wedding rings.
On the other hand, the liberals claim that a marriage between a man and a man, and a woman and a woman, is a sign that gays are committed to a stable, monogomous relationships, and hence can become part of the American family.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” they say.
So…which is it? Is marriage an archaic tradition whose time has passed only when a man and woman want to skip the altar and hit the sack? Or is it a “beautiful thing” only when it helps legitamize a man shacking up with a man and making booty-call sound less Sodom- and Gomorrah-like?

My Kind of Reader!


This guy hits all the right buttons:


A few months ago, you floated the idea of making an anti-communist alarm clock along the lines of the Batman & Robin alarm clock from your youth (that alarm clock was a few years before my time.) I suggested that one could wake up to a song called Alger Hiss Was Guilty, sung to the tune of “You Don’t Win Friends With Salad.” [A taunting tune sung by Homer and the rest of the Simpsons to tease Lisa for her vegetarianism] I thought you might like to know that the song works with the Rosenbergs as well. “The Rosenbergs Were Guilty, The Rosenbergs Were Guilty etc…”


[Name withheld]


If the donation drive is still running next week (a pay week for me,) count on my contribution. I have a dentist bill to pay this week.

Bad Idea For Epa


The current front-runner to replace Christie Todd Whitman as EPA Administrator is Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne. He would be an unfortunate choice. While Kempthorne is better than some of the names floated to date (e.g. Whitman’s number two, Linda Fisher), Kempthorne would likely give the administration both bad policy and bad P.R. In the Senate, Kempthorne led the charge to adopt amendments to the Endangered Species Act that catered to big business and major environmental groups, at the expense of small property owners. The original sponsor of unfunded mandates legislation, Kempthorne watered down his bill to ensure passage by consensus. The result was a meaningless law. Again with his efforts to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act, Kempthorne was more interested in passing “reform” than in getting reform right. Only the intervention of more conservative Senators saved the substance of the bill.

Despite this history, Kempthorne’s conservative reputation ensured that anything he did was labeled a right-wing attack on environmental laws. It would likely be the same at the EPA: Kempthorne would be savaged in the press any time he sought to reform existing rules, while his actual record would be no better than Whitman’s. The Bush Administration can do better at EPA than this.

Another Terrific Reason to Have Nrodt On Your Coffeetable


From a reader and subscriber and donor: “it’s worth the subscription price just to see what Roman Genn has on his drawing board every fortnight.”

F.a.Q.--How to Renew


Here’s the key, if you want to renew your subscription to NROT.

Lowry’s Cat


As you may have noticed, Rich has been a bit absent lately because he’s crashing on his book. I thought only we at NRO were mad at him. But apparently he’s been neglecting his cat too, judging by the look on its face.

Gay Marriage


You may have noticed, I’ve stayed out of much of the Corner badinage over the issue of gay marriage. I am sympathetic to all — or almost all — of the arguments made by Frum, Kurtz, Derbyshire and others. I’m also sympathetic to Stuttaford (and Andrew Sullivan). On the one hand, I’m perfectly willing to accept the possibility that if we legalized gay marriage it would turn out to be an unmitigated disaster. Of course, as with so many cultural disasters, the odds are it would unfold so slowly few people would recognize its causes. We’d probably just redefine disaster as another form of success as we do so often when the culture goes to hell.

But I guess the only question I have for the conservative opponents of gay marriage — and I count myself among them, I suppose — is: What do they propose to do about gays? Let’s assume gays aren’t going anywhere. Let’s assume that whether it’s nurture or nature or both, there’s nothing we could do culturally or medically or otherwise to change the fact that out-of-the-closet-gays are a permanent fixture of human reality for centuries to come. What then do they propose? If their answer to the permanence of homosexuality is “nothing,” that’s certainly ideologically defensible. Inactivism should always be the first instinct of the conservative.

But if we take Stanley at his word that homosexual promiscuity is as bad as he seems to think it is, what cultural signals should we send to discourage it? After all such promiscuity is bad for the unmarried too, right? Certainly encouraging gays to enter stable relationships would curb such behavior. As a matter of politics – cultural and democratic – it just strikes me as impractical not to have an alternative social institution on offer for gays if, as a society, we are going to deny them access to the institution of marriage. If marriage is off-limits, is it such a horrendous compromise to change the laws so as to allow gays to share assets and entitlements with their partners? What is wrong with permitting private contracts to deal with such things as visitation rights to hospitals and all of the other “rights” currently denied to couples who cannot marry? Yes, I think government should give social space to the institution of marriage, but why should government forbid private contracts between private citizens. If a single man wants to designate another man who is not a blood relative as the beneficiary of his social security death benefits why should the government stand in the way?

In short, while I’m tempermentally sympathetic to “do nothing” proposals, this seems like one of those cases where you can’t beat something with nothing. I’ve come out in favor of civil unions of one kind or another, not because I’m excited about it, but because I don’t see how there’s any other option in the long run.

The World War Ii Economy


The idea that the war ended the Great Depression has served both Keynesian and anti-Keynesian polemical purposes over the years. A critical examination of the Keynesian version of the idea can be found here.

This Is The Perfect Attitude


Another e-mail:

To: [email protected]

Subject: onate again.



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