A Philosopher's Blog

DADT Repealed

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on December 23, 2010
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The infamous Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was recently repealed.

As has often been argued, the policy was rather  questionable. After all, it seemed to say that it was okay for homosexuals to serve provided that they did so secretly. This seems to imply that what mattered was not someone’s sexual orientation but what other people happened to know about that orientation.  Of course, the “don’t ask” policy seems to have often been ignored and when confronted, military personal were supposed to tell. As such, it seemed like a rather weird sort of policy that needed to be fixed.

While some folks worked hard trying to repeal it, others worked hard to try to stall and prevent the repeal. Most famously, John McCain fought an impressively dogged defense against it (in many cases, fighting against his previous self): each time one of his conditions (such as endorsement by the Joint Chiefs) was met, he would insist on another (such as a survey). Even when all his conditions were met, he still opposed the change. However, his opposition failed and it was repealed.

As I see it, this is a good thing. The top officers and most personal seem to be fine with the situation. Also, nations that have allowed homosexuals to serve do not seem to have run into any problems specific to this factor. In fact, lifting such restrictions seems to be beneficial. See, for example, the Palm Center report on this matter. Naturally, the report can be challenged. However, doing so would seem to require presenting cases in which allowing homosexuals to serve openly was a significant causal factor in creating problems to military effectiveness. Naturally, these cases would have to be properly compared to comparable cases involving heterosexuals to determine if the cause was specific to homosexuality or due to another factor. However, the most reasonable argument against the repeal (that it would impair military effectiveness) seems to have been soundly defeated. As such, the repeal seems reasonable.

Also,  if someone wishes to serve his/her country and can make such a contribution, then it would seem both wrong and wasteful to deny him/her that chance on the basis of sexual orientation. We do not, it would seem, have the luxury of prejudice, what with Iraq, Afghanistan, the endless war on terror, and with possible future conflicts with Iran and North Korea.

Naturally, if the future shows that repealing DaDT has damaged our military due to some factors that did not affect any other military, then a change should be strongly  considered. After all, the military cannot (as many would argue) afford the luxury of equality at the expense of its core mission.

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34 Responses

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  1. magus71 said, on December 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

    A few comments here:

    First, I can attest by first hand knowledge and from a lot of reading on the matter, that America should not be copying foreign militaries. We are the best. Not only because we have lots of stuff–we go out and do almost all the fighting. The Brits, Germans and French sit inside their bases drinking and smoking and writing misleading reports as to the effectiveness of their efforts. I swear this is true. Europe’s military is simply not effective here. When the Marines went into Helmand and Kandahar this last time, the people were begging for them. They wanted the British to leave because they did nothing to figh the Taliban guerillas. The Taliban just walked in and took over.
    The Dutch Army actually has a union. It may sound incredible to some but they do. They “liberalized” their army, and made it basically just another job. And they are amonst the most hated armies in Afghanistan because they are wholly ineffective.

    So the comparison as to what works for otehrs doesn’t fly with me. I hope for the sake of the free world that the American military does not follow the lead of Europe’s.

    Secondly, this is about behavior, not which sex someone is attracted to. The military controls all sorts of behavior, and no one since DADT was allowed to have sex with the same sex. Period. Men were not allowed to engage in homosexual behavior. It was not about being homosexual, as the only thing that was pusnishable was behavior and it was a rule that everyone, regardless of orientation, had to adhere to. There are many behaviors the military controls: A soldier cannotr have a mustache beyond the edge of his mouth and lip, he cannot wear and ear-ring–males cannot wear them even off-duty. His hair must meet certain standards. A person canb be kicked out of the army for “not having a military appearance”! That’s right–even if you pass your physical tests–if you look like Beetle Baily they can kick you out–and I’ve witnessed it. I cannot put my hand sin my pockets when I’m uniforms, can’t walk and eat or drink or talk on a cell phone while moving. I must salute every officer within 5 paces of me.

    What about all of these rules that don’t really matter? But the repeal of DADT will have *real* impacts. Some Soldiers will leave, possible as much as 35% if recent polling is correct. I’ll be one of them.

    Thirdly, I will now have to live under one more condition that no free person in America has to–as if the military hadn’t already given all of these soldiers enough difficulties. The argument that “there are already gays in trhe military” doesn’t hold much weight either, because as I said, it’s about behavior. They can now exibit homosexual behavior in close quarters with men whom are not homosexual. Think of it: How would you feel if your entire house was 10X10 as some barracks rooms are, and your room mate brings his boyfriend in and they start making out right next to you? I don’t care how “open-minded you are; if you’re heterosexual, it is likely to bother you in more ways than if he were kissing his boyfriend. Not to mention the fact that we must routinely shower in “prison” stalls, piss next to each pother, practically sleep on top of each other in tents. Why not just make trhe men and women share rooms and showers, too?

    I, for one, am done. And I know of plenty more taht are, particularly in the combat arms. It will not be accepted and it will have an effect. I have served my time, went to war, did my best. But the military is no longer for me as it now is. There are many, many easier ways to make a living and actually be home with my family.

    I came, I played ball, but now it’s time for the girl’s team to take the field.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      Soldiers can make out in the barracks?

      • magus71 said, on December 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm

        Yes they can. They can have sex in the barracks. It’s their room.

    • kernunos said, on December 23, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      We must level the playing field Magus. It isn’t fair that our military is that much better than everyone other nation’s military. Social justice military style.

  2. magus71 said, on December 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

    “than if he were kissing his *girlfriend*”

  3. T. J. Babson said, on December 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Magus,

    There were always rules prohibiting “public display of affection.” I assume these will not change. Am I wrong?

    • magus71 said, on December 23, 2010 at 11:10 am

      yes, but I’m not talking about public displays. If you’re in your room and your gay room mate brings his partner in, whatever goe son in that room is not public. the room mate has to put up with it or leave.

      • FRE said, on December 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

        Are room mates now permitted to take opposite sex partners into their rooms when the room mate is present? Does this often happens? How many times has your room mate had sex in your presence with an opposite sex partner? Would you find that disturbing?

  4. T. J. Babson said, on December 23, 2010 at 10:36 am

    If Magus is representative, there will be heavy losses of quality people due to repeal of DADT. I suspect that in a few years we will need a draft. That may be a good thing, as the burden of defending the U.S. has mainly been shouldered by the South.

    I don’t these kids in Rhode Island will be taking up the slack:

    Dominic joined dozens of children yesterday at the annual Toy Gun Bash in the gymnasium of Pleasant View Elementary School. There, they lined up to toss their toy guns, from dainty purple water guns to camouflage-painted pistols, inside the Bash-O-Matic, a large black, foam creature with churning metal teeth and the shape of a cockroach spliced with a frog.

    *****************************

    Diane Levin, professor of education at Wheelock College, said police and parents coming together to destroy toy guns sends a powerful message to children.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2010/12/19/providence_program_destroys_childrens_toy_guns/?page=full

    • magus71 said, on December 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

      God help us. And I mean it.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

        We’ll be fine. Other countries have suffered no problems, so I think that our military can handle it. People predicted dire consequences when blacks were allowed to serve, when women were allowed to serve and so on. History speaks for itself in these cases.

        However, if everything goes to hell in a hand basket, I will lead the way in demanding that everyone be pushed back into the closet of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

        • magus71 said, on December 24, 2010 at 12:04 am

          Being black or a women is not a behavior, unlike sodomy.

          • FRE said, on December 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm

            Being gay is not a behavior either.

        • magus71 said, on December 24, 2010 at 12:06 am

          And actually Mike, if history has any lessons, it’s that out military is less effective than it used to be. We used to win all of our wars. Ones that were much, much tougher than these mere skirmishes that make liberals quake in their boots.

  5. magus71 said, on December 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I am now for a draft. I really am. I think everyone should have to see how the world really is, and just how tough things are in the world. I think all of the elite and priviledged should be forced to go through basic and then at least two years of service. It will change their views on a lot of things.

    About the only Democrats I like are ones that served. It’s not because they served but because their service smartened them up. Jim Webb of Virginia is by far my favorite Dem. Check out his war record. Great author, too. Also check out his views on women in combat and Affirmative Action.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      Well, Heinlein made a good case for this in Starship Troopers.

    • erik said, on December 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      I’ve always respected but sometimes disagreed with Jim Webb. Even when he was a Republican. He’s thinking of switching back I hear. I he does that often enough he’ll resemble Arlen Specter in at least one aspect. From a WSJ online article from July 22 of this year:

      “Where should we go from here? Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.

      “Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible, both in our markets and in our communities. Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes.

      “Memo to my fellow politicians: Drop the Procrustean policies and allow harmony to invade the public mindset. Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.”

      >>>>>

      “We have a “continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need. . .”
      and “Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible…” ”

      Who would argue with that? But what are the specifics for providing for the African-Americans still in need? And how do we implement those steps to the satisfaction of those who do not exemplify Mr. Webb’s positive view of the human condition?

      For most majestically of all Mr. Webb ends with
      “Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.”
      I almost expect a trumpet fanfare at that point.

      I suspect I take a somewhat less Utopian view of the world we live in. I don’t believe “Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.” If the human mind tended in that direction, we wouldn’t need laws to put people who cannot “let go of their bitterness” in jail for committing crimes against those who caused(or who are believed to have caused) the bitterness. And we wouldn’t need laws to prevent those who are unfair from taking advantage of others. Certainly, those laws aren’t perfect, but the alternative (no laws) would surely be much less perfect.

      Perhaps ours is the galaxy and this is the world that some aliens far far away are currently imagining, where fairness happens and bitterness just fades away. Mr. Webb has fought bravely for his country. Have his war experiences truly convinced him that this is that world, this is that galaxy? Does he or doesn’t he believe that when Adam and Eve were evicted from Eden (symbolically or otherwise)they carried with them uniquely human baggage–imperfections like the tendency to be bitter and unfair. Does he have evidence that we don’t that these tendencies have faded since Eden?

      • kernunos said, on December 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm

        Don’t worry, they will try and legislate that bitterness right out of us. They always do.

        • erik said, on December 24, 2010 at 11:06 am

          Why legislate? According to Webb, and others, things like bitterness, hatred, racism, etc. will simply go away if we simply put them behind us. Being human, and knowing humans, I know that isn’t going to happen.
          Why try? Who cares?

          • magus71 said, on December 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

            So when do we stop, eric? When will things be good enough?

            • erik said, on December 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm

              You mean when do we stop legislating? Not my job to answer. My job is to point out that a statement like Webb’s is full of holes. Things like racism don’t just go away. Bitterness doesn’t just go away. We know these things.

              The Supreme Court, a body of erudite men and women, debates these issues on a regular basis and splits frequently 5-4 . They debate when enough is too much. And I don’t have to agree with them. But the law they establish is the law until determined otherwise.Yet I’ve not seen any SC decisions where they claim that we can just stand by and watch bitterness, racism, selfishness, etc. just evolve away. Or have I missed something?

            • magus71 said, on December 25, 2010 at 8:36 am

              We’re not trying to legislate racism away, or at least we shouldn’t be. We’re trying to give equal opportunity under the law. As is is now, minorities have *more* opportunity and less is required of them. This is justice? This is how we teach our children that we’re all equal?

            • erik said, on December 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm

              Again, ask the SC. The current court will eventually give you an answer that satisfies you.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

              Perfection. Then we can stop improving because we must.

  6. magus71 said, on December 24, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Just to beat a dead horse. I’m not overly broken up about the DADT decision, because i’ve sene it coming for 15 years. However, I will leave the Army. The only reason I would not leave the Army is if I could not find another job; but given that I have a college degree, 8 years in law enforement and a high level security clearance, i hope that won’t happen. I would never make my family suffer because something made me uncomfortable–i’ll just grind it out and look for other opportunities. The Army life is tough on the Soldier and their families suffer just as much, even more than mine did as a cop.

    That being said, i believe the impacts of gays in the military in other countries have been deliberately hidden by the liberal media. People will see what they want to see, and most people who WANT gays in the military would never serve. They aren’t even gays themselves, only liberals on a mission from their liberal gods. There are some things that the British Army actually does better than the US Army in my opinion. For instance, their Basic training is much more complete, and longer, adding in quite a bit of academics, which is good. But the political atmosphere in their army actually hurts them a lot. Soldier for Soldier, British men are as good as any in the world; as a systemic whole, they’re about 6th.

    I’d like people to read this, as an example of what’s probably going to happen to some extant to our military. It will be subtle and relatively unnoticed in the non-military world.

    Here’s a report from the Center for Military Readiness that highlights the testimony of retired Marine General John Sheehan, the former Cammander of NATO; he testified before Congress in March about gays in the military:

    http://www.cmrlink.org/HMilitary.asp?docID=378

    Senate Testimony: European Militaries Are Not Role Models for U.S.
    3/22/2010 1:03:00 PM
    At a March 18 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, two former service members who had been discharged for homosexuality focused their testimony on their own personal stories. The third witness, retired Marine General John Sheehan, came across as a credible grown-up with more serious concerns on his mind.

    Having served as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic and as Commander-in-Chief for the U.S. Atlantic Command (1994-1997), Gen. Sheehan was uniquely qualified to provide strong testimony that weakened the claims of civilian gay activists who want America’s military to be more like European forces.

    Referring to the military officials from nations that Sheehan led as NATO commander, Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) asked whether the general had discussed the issue with them. “Did they tell you that they had unit cohesion or morale problems?” Much to Levin’s surprise, Sheehan answered “Yes” and proceeded to provide details.

    After the Soviet Union dissolved, Sheehan said, European nations began focusing on peacekeeping because “they did not believe the Germans were going to attack again or the Soviets were coming back.” After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and other European nations came to believe that there was no longer a need for an active combat capability in the militaries. “They declared a peace dividend and made a conscious effort to socialize their military – that included the unionization of their militaries; it included open homosexuality.”

    He continued,

    “That led to a force that was ill-equipped to go to war. The case in point that I am referring to is when the Dutch were required to defend Srebrenica against the Serbs. The battalion was under-strength, poorly led, and the Serbs came into town, handcuffed soldiers to the telephone poles, marched the [Bosnian] Muslims off, and executed them. That was the largest massacre in Europe since World War II.” 1

    Chairman Levin asked whether Dutch leaders had told the general that the inclusion of homosexuals had contributed to the military debacle. Unlike some news reports’ descriptions, Gen. Sheehan chose his words carefully, saying that commanders he had spoken to “included that as part of the problem…. [T]he combination was the liberalization of the military, a net effect, basically of social engineering.” 2

    Confronted again by the red-faced Sen. Levin, Sheehan cited a personal conversation with the former chief of staff of the Dutch Army. Levin tried to do damage control later in the hearing by promising, “We’ll check into that,” and by adding a sound-bite accusing the general of being “off-target.” (Levin did not challenge anything said by the other witnesses.)

    The hearing transcript reveals that Gen. Sheehan’s most insightful points about military culture went right over the head of Senator Levin and others present at the hearing. When Dutch officials decided to embrace peacekeeping as the primary mission of their military, embracing unionism and social goals more suited to a civilian institution, combat effectiveness suffered. Then and now, this issue is all about priorities. 3

    Gen. Sheehan warned against a similar transformation of America’s military. “Our enemies, especially the extremists, do not care how enlightened or progressive our culture may be. The only thing that matters is the effectiveness on the battlefield.”

    Levin changed the subject to inquire why homosexuals should not be as free as heterosexuals to announce that they are gay. Sheehan responded, “I think the issue, Senator, that we’re talking about, really hasn’t a lot to do with individuals. It has to do with the nature of combat. Combat is not about individuals. It’s about units.” Asked whether the law should change, Sheehan said, “My recommendation is no.”

    Rene Jones-Bos, the Dutch ambassador to the United States, issued a statement taking issue with Gen. Sheehan’s testimony and expressing pride in the gays and lesbians who serve in the Dutch military. Her comment missed the general’s point.

    Once a military force puts liberalization above military effectiveness, hallmarks of “success” only relate to social goals, not military effectiveness. By this inadequate standard, all foreign militaries will continue to declare their experience with homosexuals to be completely successful. This is why militaries with priorities skewed by social goals should not be considered role models for the U.S. military. 4

    The general’s unequivocal observations about cultural change that weakened the liberalized Dutch military scored a direct hit on the credibility of gay activists who keep citing 25 mostly-European militaries as examples that the United States should emulate.

    Gen. Sheehan also drew upon his experience as an infantry officer in Vietnam to counter the notion that disciplinary proceedings and courts-martial are sufficient to handle all problems involving homosexual misconduct in deployed units.

    Ranking member Sen. John McCain drew out details of an incident that occurred in Vietnam when Sheehan was an infantry company commander with the 9th Marines, west of DaNang, on a night when the North Vietnamese were expected to attack. Sheehan testified,

    “About 1 o’clock in the morning, a fight broke out in a bunker because [a] young Marine was being molested by his squad leader. To the right of that fox hole there was a machine gun section that opened up and almost killed the combat patrol that was out in the front.”

    The well-liked sergeant who attacked the PFC denied sexual assault, causing sharp division between his supporters and the junior Marine, who was new to the unit. When the young man was not believed he lost faith in his chain of command. Everyone took sides, and unit cohesion suffered greatly. The situation remained unresolved until three days later, when the sergeant molested another young Marine and was quickly removed from the unit.

    The incident, said Sheehan, explains why judicial proceedings and courts-martial cannot be relied upon to prevent demoralizing sexual misconduct in deployed units. He also brought the issue forward to the present by quoting the newly-released 2010 Department of Defense Annual Sexual Assault Responses and Prevention Report (SAPR).

    According to a March 16 news release from the SAPR office, in FY 2009 a total of 3,230 reports of sexual assault involving service members were filed—an 11 percent increase from FY 2008. Of these, 87% were male-on-female, but 7% of the cases (about 226) involved male-on-male assaults. 5 Several of the 2009 cases were male-on-male assaults similar to the incident that destroyed unit cohesion in John Sheehan’s Marine company when he was serving in Vietnam.

    Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who is sponsoring legislation to repeal the 1993 law, did not get the general’s point. Lieberman expressed confidence that existing disciplinary rules would be sufficient to deal with problems of sexual misconduct, but Sheehan answered,

    “If we’re talking about the 7 percent male-on-male type of a problem, and, as you say, the remainder is male-on-female, and we put that whole group into a combat environment, I think those numbers would significantly increase. That’s my speculation, based on my experience.”

    The Senate committee also received testimony from former Lieutenant Junior Grade Jenny L. Kopfstein, a Naval Academy graduate who served in the Navy for three years before revealing herself to be a lesbian, and former Air Force Major Michael D. Almy, who was deployed many times during his 13 year career before his discharge for homosexuality in 2006.

    The two witnesses’ testimony focused on their personal circumstances, with few comments on the mission of the military as a whole.

    Vietnam veteran Sen. James Webb (D-VA) downplayed the value of personal stories, suggesting that the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) should conduct a comprehensive survey to find out what active-duty military people think of the issue. “We’ve had a lot of anecdotal comments today,” said the former Marine, “And they’re valuable, in terms of understanding the issue.” Webb continued,

    “But we need the data. We need to be able to see, not in a political way, and not simply as to how this policy would be implemented, but in a way that we can understand the attitudinal characteristics in play, by age, by officer/enlisted, by service; in many cases, I think, by occupational specialties, so you would truly have a matrix, here, in terms of understanding attitudes in the military.”

    Concluding the hearing, Chairman Levin kept pushing for a “ready, fire, aim” approach to repealing the 1993 law. Several times Levin pushed for a “moratorium” on discharges that would be tantamount to outright repeal:

    “I also believe it’s unconscionable when the Commander- in-Chief and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have both said we should repeal a policy for us to continue to discharge people solely because of their sexual orientation, during a period when there’s a study going on as to how to implement that policy─not whether to implement it.”

    Really? When did President Barack Obama and Adm. Mike Mullen–or the Secretary of Defense issuing guidelines for the Pentagon working group–get the unilateral power to repeal duly-enacted laws? As Senator McCain noted at a previous hearing, radical change should not be imposed by “fiat,” and we have a Congress for a reason.

    Once again, Democrats and gay activists attempted and failed to obscure the debate with anecdotal, individual stories and arguments assuming a “right” to military service. Gen. Sheehan expressed the belief that everyone should serve our country in some way, but “not everybody is qualified or eligible to serve in the military for a variety of reasons, including age, health, education, and so on.” He added,

    “I can acknowledge that the popular culture has changed in many ways. However, the nature and requirements of military life have changed very little. Military culture is deliberately developed and structured to mold individuals into a coherent group…In fact, the cohesion of a unit is predicated in part on the lack of individuality of its members…To the degree possible, we try to make Marines interchangeable. This makes the military a unique institution in the broader American society that asks─no, it really demands─that individuals put aside individual interest and behavior for the good of the unit. Self-sacrifice is the cornerstone of the unit cohesion that builds effective combat organizations.”

    The uniqueness of our military’s culture separates our armed forces from those of our politically correct, socially liberal allies. America values these nations’ friendship and support, but their militaries should be following the lead of the United States Armed Forces—not the other way around.

    • seanwillsalt said, on December 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      The first point, about so-called ‘liberalisation’ of some European militaries, is primarily about the differing armed policies of (for example) Luxembourg’s versus the USA’s armies. At no point does that article draw a connection between the supposed ineffectiveness of those European armies and the fact that they allow open homosexuality – in fact, it doesn’t even try to draw that connection. It just says ‘These armies allow open homosexuality, and they’re ineffective (in one man’s opinion), therefore open homosexuality makes armies ineffective’. You’ll have to excuse me if I remain unconvinced.

      The second point is about a superior officer sexually assaulting the soldiers he was supposed to command, which has nothing to do with allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly. Repealing DADT is not going to allow officers to sexually assault people and get away with it.

      Comments like “I think the issue, Senator, that we’re talking about, really hasn’t a lot to do with individuals. It has to do with the nature of combat. Combat is not about individuals. It’s about units.” are obfuscation, not argument. As far as I can tell, they boil down to ‘I believe that gay people make for poor soldiers’. By all means, correct me if you can work out what was actually being said here.

  7. FRE said, on December 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    People opposed to equal rights for gay men and women have a history of lying. Of course that does not PROVE that DADT should be repealed, but it does indicate that the arguments to retain DADT should be examined very carefully.

    When St. Paul, MN, and other cities enacted laws to prevent discrimination against gay men and women, it was argued that gay men and women would flock to those cities; it never happened, i.e., there was no mass migration.

    It has also been argued that gays cannot reproduce, therefore they must recruit; that has been thoroughly disproven. Many gay men and women, before ever having knowingly met another gay person, have recognized that they are attracted to others of the same sex.

    I could list more lies told by those who oppose equality for gay men and women, but I believe that I have already made the point, i.e., some people opposing equality lie to support their positions and that therefore, arguments opposing equality must be very carefully examined because they may be untrue.

    • magus71 said, on December 30, 2010 at 8:38 am

      Nope–only opposing certain behaviors for ALL soliders, not just gay ones.

    • WTP said, on December 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      “People opposed to equal rights for gay men and women have a history of lying.”

      Muslims have a history of lying.
      Diplomats have a history of lying.
      People named Clinton have a history of lying.

      Of what use are any of these sentences?

  8. erik said, on January 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/02/AR2011010201160.html?hpid=topnews

    49 YEAR OLD Capt. Owens Honors (ironic) in tip-top form. Serving his country well (pre-/DADT repeal) aboard the USS Enterprise. Our own Captain Kirk “boldly going where no man has gone before.”

    If the repeal fails, it’s likely to be because officers like Capt.” Honors” are among those tasked with seeing to it that the repeal succeeds. There’s a lline from The Pardoner’s Tale that fits nicely here: “. . . if gold rust, what will iron do?” In this case we’re talkilng silver but the point is the same. You can’t expect the best from the rest unless you get the best from your best. If the parish priest, Christ’s representative on Earth (at least that was the case in the Middle Ages) rapes his young parishioners, what’s to be expected of average human beings?

    • magus71 said, on January 4, 2011 at 4:56 am

      Oh my! Someone made a gay joke in the military! Call out the Thought Police and bring in the Hair Salons! Those dirty bastards need to pay.

      Big deal. Sophmoric, yes. But if it weren’t about gays no one would give a crap. Most of that is about non-gay issues. Sticking reproductive organs in the same-sex’s colon seems like good chaff for jokes. But hey, I’m just represent the hate-mongering Right here. Watch South Park and learn multiple lessons in life.

      My goodness there are some sensitive people out there. Guess people like me just need some of the Ludovico Technique lest we commense with a bit o’ the Ultra Violence, and all because of a joke.

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 4, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Crude humor in the military? I’m shocked…shocked…

    • erik said, on January 4, 2011 at 9:01 am

      The issue here isn’t “crude”or” sophomoric” humor in the miliatary and you both know it. Or you should. I’m sure that even introducing the possibility that that’s all it’s about is some kind of logical fallacy. I’ll let someone else who cares figure out specifically what it is. Probably strawman. Seems everything else that isn’t really strawman somehow is.

      While DADT was in place Honors did what he did. But now DADT has been repealed. Honors’ world has changed. As long as that repeal remains in effect, Honors’ superior officers must deal with this situation, right. If they don’t, they’re neglecting their duty. With DADT repealed, it’s their responsibility to make the repeal work. If the chain of command truly functions in the armed forces, that should be a small problem. Especially if the people from the top of the chain to the bottom do their duty (whatever their admitted or hidden prejudices).

      Clockwork Orange. My second favorite Kubrick film, after The Shining. My favorite dead director. Barry Lyndon is another fine SK film.

      German Girl: “It must be very danger for you, to be in the war.”
      Redmond Barry:” I’m an officer and I must do my duty.”
      Officers’ duties extend beyond the field of battle, no? And with the repeal of DADT, one duty officers are faced with is making the repeal work.


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