FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Don't Ask Don't Tell (Page 2)

  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: Don't Ask Don't Tell
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"and I hope to see the day where it won't affect mission objectives. "

Do you have proof that including gays in combat units NOW reduces military effectiveness? Because I certainly haven't seen it. This is literally the same thing that racists were saying prior to desegregation of the military. It never turned out to be a problem in terms of completing mission objectives... and some of that desegregation DID happen on the fly. And how about branches of the service that don't see active combat? In what way does excluding gays from signals intelligence reduce mission objectives?

"Actually, Paul, 'are you a full citizen, or not?' is not - nor should it be - the only test one must pass before being allowed to serve in the military."

I agree. I'm not arguing it is. I'm arguing that excluding a group, without performing any other tests to determine fitness for military service, is indicative of lack of full citizenship for that group.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes...there have been at least 3 major studies done my several branches of the service (Army, Marines and 1 combined study done in 1994) that bear this out. The armed forces have looked at this issue several times in the last decade as well, but my aunt retired so I am less familiar with it.


And you can draw a parallel between almost anything and racism...it's almost as tired an analogy as drawing comparisons to Nazis or to WWII Germany. It doesn't mean it's true, just that there are surface similarities.

And how would you now if it had or had not affected mission objectives, particularily when it first happened? It most assuredly DID....and that was with NO sexual issues involved.

Integration made the armed services stronger, but it didn't happen overnight. And it wasn't without serious issues at the time. Add sex into the mix and it is just as volatile of an issue, perhaps even more so these days. It makes people insecure, and insecure and distrustful in a combat zone often means dead.

I think the day where this changes is not far away, but that doesn't mean these issues don't exist.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A couple years ago I did a fairly big hunt for problems arising from integration of gays into the military, and from what I could find, you're wrong. If you'd like to point me to the studies you're talking about, I'd love to read them. They'd fly against the dozen or so that I've previously read, as well as much of the testimony before congress when don't ask don't tell was enacted by military personnel.

You created the parallel between this and racism by using the same arguments that were used 70 years ago.


"It makes people insecure, and insecure and distrustful in a combat zone often means dead."

Again, this whole line of reasoning is a strawman.

"And how would you now if it had or had not affected mission objectives, particularily when it first happened? It most assuredly DID....and that was with NO sexual issues involved. "

In fact it didn't. Military units that come from diverse backgrounds, and train together before heading into the field, perform at a higher level than units that are from homogenous backgrounds.

[ June 23, 2009, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: Paul Goldner ]

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wrong. In the end it made us far stronger, but there WERE problems, and it did affect specific missions and campaigns.

I'll let my aunt know that the congressional report she helped produced was wrong. I'm sure she will be glad to hear it. She worked on a large number of issues, including but not limited to the "don't ask don't tell" policy, women in combat areas, and other issues affecting integrating armed forces as a whole.

She was also the Marine expert teaching Rapid Mobilization for all of Desert Storm, so I'd say she was more than competent even if she wasn't my aunt. [Big Grin] Never mind that she has her PhD in education, has published several papers on education that are used even today to develop learning programs across the country, and served as a Marine for 30+ years. (can you tell I am proud of her?)

Several studies by the armed forces are not available for the public, or they weren't when I last checked. I'll see if my aunt can recommend some resources. She should be able to, since so much of her work the last few years before retiring was related to these issues.

I remember being shocked to learn that she didn't feel that women should be included in combat specialties, as she was in the very first class of women officers to graduate, ans she spent her whole career proving that women could be great officers. She faced prejudice herself constantly from those in the Marines (and other armed forces) who didn't want women officers or even woman marines, so I thought she would of COURSE be in favor of full rights for women.

She said it wasn't about rights, it was about mission integrity. It wasn't that women (or gays)couldn't do the jobs...most of the time they could. It was about how volatile the situations were, and she listed 4-5 ways that it could affect mission integrity. And that was just the stuff she knew off the top of her head, based on her own experiences.

In the future I believe it won't be an issue, but as of right now I don't thin it is in our best interests to change things abruptly.

You are free to disagree, of course. [Big Grin]

[ June 23, 2009, 09:33 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*Shrug* I don't believe you, Kwea, because the evidence that I have been able to find suggests that you, and your aunt, are wrong. Both on gays in the military, and blacks in the military.

And, of course, "in the end it made us far stronger."

Fine. Do it yesterday, so we get to the point were we are stronger sooner than if we keep putting it off.

And, really, the final point: Excluding people who are fit to serve, because allowing them in makes other people uncomfortable, is not the right answer.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Feel free to enlist and try to change it, Paul.
Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why should I need to enlist to work to change bigoted policy?
Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You might understand a little more about mission integrity, and see how close you have to be to your unit?

(It was pretty much a joke, though...my fault, I forgot the smiley)

There are a lot of issues that aren't as clear when people are shooting at you, Paul. Even if you won't want to believe that.

Hell, even if they MIGHT shoot at you.

I for one wouldn't have an issue serving with a gay guy (I think I already did, actually), but the living conditions make things problematic even stateside.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"You might understand a little more about mission integrity, and see how close you have to be to your unit? "

I get that.

But:

1) The concern is misplaced, for the following reasons: a) Our military, as you say, is stronger because of integration. b) Gays have served in the military, sometimes openly, in the past with no, or minimal problems. c) Not all service members are in combat or combat ready units. d) The evidence I can find indicates heterogenity is better than homogenity. e) Other militaries do not have this problem that our military seems to anticipate.

2) The policy mis-places blame for any assumed lack of unit cohesion. We shouldn't be kicking out gays for being gay. We should be kicking out people who are unwilling to serve with other people who are capable of performing their duties. They at least have demonstrated they are not capable of performing their duties.

3) The concern is backwards. Fear over surmounting difficulties should not be a barrier to lifting unjust policy.

"but the living conditions make things problematic even stateside. "

This isn't a good enough excuse to bar people from participating in a fundamental function of the state. Its not even remotely close to being a good enough excuse.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It depends...trust is perhaps the most important issue in battle. If you don't trust your bunkmate then nothing else really matters.
How is Trust an issue?

How is Trust lost by being open and gained by being secretive?

Open gay people are not a security risk, but closeted ones are. Similarly, an openly gay bunk-mate, who has proven himself in basic not to be one who will rape you in the night, not to be one to force his sexuality on you, but being one that has proven his loyalty to the unit, his skill, and all the other areas where "trust" is an issue in combat, should not be a hindrance to unit cohesion.

Posts: 1941 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Except that it isn't, and a lot of the young men in the service don't trust a gay guy to shower with them, or bunk with them. I am not going to rape any woman, but I am not allowed in the womens barracks or showers for the very same reason.

I think in the next 5-10 years we WILL see gays serving openly in the service, and I for one will be glad. However, there will still be areas where it won't work, such as Subs, and that is just the way things are, IMO. Being in a Sub is hard enough wihtout bringing sex into the equasion, and by the end of a mission half the crew is already ready to kill the other half most of the time. [Big Grin]

I know some people who have already spent some time trying to figure out the logistics of a change in policy. It isn't going to be cheap, or easy, but I have faith that it will happen eventually.

To be honest, if we kicked out all the service members who are against gays serving, we would probably lose at least a third (if not more) of our armed forces, and THAT isn't good for our national security. We are already having a hard time meeting our mission objectives, so we really can't afford to lose more people at this time, IMO.

And once again, Paul....I don't see it as a fundamental right of citizenship. I don't think people who don't, or can't serve are any less citizens. You may (although I don't think that's what you meant), but there are plenty of examples to prove my point. Some have already been given in this very thread.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"And once again, Paul....I don't see it as a fundamental right of citizenship. "

Please construct the logical argument that defends the proposition: "People forbidden from participating fully in the most important functions of the state are full citizens of that state" without diving headlong into absurdity.

" I don't think people who don't, or can't serve are any less citizens."

Not "don't" or "can't" but "forbidden from."

"Some have already been given in this very thread."

Actually, no they haven't. No current analogues exist in the United States exist.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Khavanon
Member
Member # 929

 - posted      Profile for Khavanon   Email Khavanon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've served in the Air Force over the last six years, in the joint service intelligence community, and there are a lot of gay service members in our shops. A much higher percentage than I would have ever guessed. Most of us know this because most of us really don't care what orientation any of them are. There isn't a "don't ask don't tell" policy between us, and it's completely their risk to do so. If someone doesn't like it (and I'm sure there are plenty who don't) they've never said anything out loud about it in my presence.

I can't speak for every unit, but most of the folks in my unit would have no problem bunking with any of them for several reasons:

(1) Gay service members have plenty of options to chose from among themselves because there are plenty of them around, even within their units. In fact, if they were allowed to be open, that would make this point that much easier.

(2) Most of them are not interested in me or most of the other straight folks. I've heard one of my gay friends describe what it was like going through boot camp in the Navy, and he said he was quite turned off by the other sailors, especially in group showers. Straight guys are apparently just nasty. [Wink] Yes, you cannot guarantee this in every scenario, but what's the point of hiding it? It doesn't magically go away just because you say they can't be open about it. Nobody is fooled into thinking "the accent" (for some, not all) is just about where they came from.

(3) They aren't any more likely to harass anyone than a straight member is.

(4) You can be openly gay without making any references to sex. Straight relationships are obvious. Nobody is fooled by what "might" be happening behind closed doors.

(5) Keeping it a silent policy only perpetuates discrimination. We don't tolerate any other kind of discrimination in the service, and especially not harassment. Anyone who's not comfortable bunking with a gay person ought to change rooms. The percentage of paranoid straights isn't high enough to make this unfeasible.

I think it really is only a matter of time. I really hope this policy changes while most of my gay friends are still in the service.

Posts: 2523 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Paul, people are not allowed into the service for any number of reasons. They are not allowed to engage in specific behaviors are are acceptable in civilian life on a regular basis.

You are the one who wants to frame military service as a major part of citizenship. Yet many people, by far the large majority of American's never even come close to serving, and quite a few of them are not allowed to do so for many reasons.

Your argument is specious, and just because you fail to admit this doesn't make it any less true. Regardless of how confrontational you try to make it, how ignorant/inexperienced you are, or how many times you state it as true, the fact is that people who HAVE the experience, have BEEN in combat, who have POLLED ACTUAL service members (enlisted and officers), all disagree with you.

But I am sure they don't know what they are talking about either. [Roll Eyes]


People who are too old to serve, who are disabled while IN the service (although this is starting to change), who aren't fit mentally or physically....all of them are productive members of our society despite not being able to serve. So are felons who have rehabilitated. Yet none of them can join the service, or stay in if they are critically injured while serving.

People who cheat on their wives can (and a=often are) prosecuted in the service as well, people who sleep with their commanders or subordinates, people who engage (and get caught) in sexual harassment or sexual behaviors have been thrown out as well. It isn't JUST gay men who have restrictions placed on their behavior, you know.

And all of this also ignores the fact that I am in favor of allowing gays in the service. LOL. And have said so more than once. What I DON'T support is making a half-assed change in policy without figuring out how to do it, and IF it will work.


I don't think that all people in the service hate gays, or would be unable to serve wiht them. But I also think we need to look at our service levels, our world-wide commitments, and our retention plans before we change anything. As it stands now we are already screwed....and changing this could very well threaten our safety and our ability to complete our nations objectives.

And I don't care if you disagree. Your opinions aren't informed enough to matter, to put it bluntly.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://mentalhealth.about.com/od/gender/a/bosexpreference.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9v2uk99o2E

Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
flyby
Member
Member # 3630

 - posted      Profile for flyby   Email flyby         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Ok. Here is a practical question.

If I was handicapped, I would be able to serve up to the point where my handicap becomes a detriment.

If I am a woman, I would be allowed to serve up to the point where my gender becomes a detriment.

If I am a person of faith, I would be allowed to serve up to the point where my faith becomes a detriment (you are not allowed to evangelize in many posts that you serve, nor are you allowed to distribute Bibles and other literature to the native population. Such evangelism would anger the native clerics.)

Why can't a person who finds their own sex attractive be able to serve up to the point where it becomes a detriment. I would think that having any Arab translator in your unit would be a much bigger plus to morale than their sexuality would be a negative.

This is the argument that I have found most compelling in this thread, because it is not trying to make it a non-issue. I have no military experience, and little exposure, so I have no idea what those detriments might be, but I think making a policy where someone can be openly gay, but if there are issues, having recourse for dealing with that is the most optimal solution.

If the policy was put into place with that attitude at least, then if there are no issues, then equality will follow. But then if there are issues, they can be dealt with too.

Posts: 1261 | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KarlEd
Member
Member # 571

 - posted      Profile for KarlEd   Email KarlEd         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
What I DON'T support is making a half-assed change in policy without figuring out how to do it, and IF it will work.


I don't think that all people in the service hate gays, or would be unable to serve wiht them. But I also think we need to look at our service levels, our world-wide commitments, and our retention plans before we change anything. As it stands now we are already screwed....and changing this could very well threaten our safety and our ability to complete our nations objectives.

And I don't care if you disagree. Your opinions aren't informed enough to matter, to put it bluntly.

What do you think it is about the US military that makes it so frail it's likely to collapse in the face of something other militaries have already embraced with little or no negative consequences?

Personally, I think this "problem" has been looked at long enough and hard enough that there's really little to no chance of making a "a half-assed change in policy without figuring out how to do it, and IF it will work."

"Don't ask, Don't tell" has been in place for nearly 15 years now. Military leadership has known even longer that the day was coming when gays would be serving openly. It's absurd to think the military hasn't already figured out all the ins and outs of making this change and exactly what changes need to be made. The only reasons this change has not already been implemented are purely political. Once the change is made, members of the military will adapt. It's really that simple. This whole bruhaha is much more about the feelings of the general populace, and the value of the issue as a right/left benchmark than it is about soldiers or military effectiveness itself.

I served in the USAF for 6 years. I wasn't in combat, but I was in South Korea. My training was second only to fighter pilot training in terms of cost to be trained before being productive. (Or at least so I was often told). I'd probably still be in the Air Force were it not for the fact that current policy made me unwelcome. It cost quite a lot to train my replacement. I imagine similar stories are repeated many times over throughout all the armed forces. The financial savings alone make it worth making the change.

Posts: 6392 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

1) The concern is misplaced, for the following reasons: a) Our military, as you say, is stronger because of integration.

I think what Kwea is getting at, Paul, might be partially similar to this quote from West Wing:
quote:

"I also think the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change... Problem with that is, that's what they were saying about me 50 years ago. Blacks shouldn't serve with whites, it would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an admiral in the U.S. Navy and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Beat that with a stick."

Frankly I think it's absurd, given current quite often negative opinion about homosexuals (see SSM, adoption, politicians, etc) to seriously suggest that there won't be any impact on unit cohesion and mission integrity.

Will the unit 'get over it'? I certainly think so. Will there be some period of getting over it? Well, obviously.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 12043

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems like there are contradictory claims being made.

1) Gay people serve in the military openly, while everyone around them officially pretends not to know. And they officially pretend not to know because the gay person is contributing to the unit.
2) If gay people serve openly in the military, it will drastically affect unit cohesion and mission integrity. So DADT can't be repealed.

I don't see how both statements can be true.

Posts: 185 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by KarlEd:
... What do you think it is about the US military that makes it so frail it's likely to collapse ...

Why must you tempt me with these rhetorical questions? [Wink]
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rakeesh, that's pretty much exactly what I was thinking, although I didn't get it from a TV show. [Wink] Although now that you mention it, I think I remember that one, it was a great show almost always.

I know that the gay guys I served with did have a lot of issues serving, but most of those were problems within the service, not those guys themselves.

While I was in the Army, one of the guys I roomed with in the barracks (we were 2 to a room until we hit the rank of at least E-4) was bisexual, but even though we were friends he didn't talk about it. I had no issues...in fact I offered to room with him because we talked AROUND the issue. We both agreed to not ever bring anyone home without warning, and we both stuck to it.


I also saw some of the shit he went through, even when he didn't talk about his choices, so anyone saying that it won't affect missions is full of it.

Eventually I hope to see the policies change, but I am not sure when they will.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Your opinions aren't informed enough to matter, to put it bluntly. "


Kwea, your opinions are too distorted by being too close to this issue to matter, to put it bluntly.

And, to put it bluntly, by comparing the ability of old people (or who are physically unfit, etc) to serve, and the ability of gay people to serve you are demonstrating you are so foolish that your opinion doesn't matter.

And, to put it bluntly, if you think "everyone," in the service disagrees with me, your opinion is too uninformed to matter.

And, to put it bluntly, your reading and logic as demonstrated by the counter-arguments you use to my posts, are too underdeveloped for you to have an opinion that matters.

Edit much later: From what I have read, social cohesion in the military has zero correlation with task completion. If you'd like to convince me I'm wrong in my position, you need to demonstrate that social cohesion negatively impacts task completion. In the military studies I've read, it is ASSUMED this is true, but never demonstrated. In the non-military studies I've read, this is looked at, and no correlation presents itself (some suggest that social cohesion is inversely related to task completion, actually). The military often does not distinguish between task and social cohesion, and this makes those studies much weaker than they could be.

[ June 27, 2009, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: Paul Goldner ]

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not everyone, Paul, but almost 80% of all enlisted members, and over 75% of all service members, as of 2005. I think part of the problem is that depending on who is doing the polling there seems to be fairly different results. I know that a very recent study, I think in 2008, found that it was down to 65%.....but I haven't read that report yet. It also found that there is a strong case to be made that gays serving openly would NOT affect mission coherence or mission objectives.

I think his is a positive thing, and as I said before, I hope that I will see this change in my life time. However, I also think that the fundamental change has to happen to our society as a whole, and that forcing these changes on the services before people are ready for them could cause a huge amount of issues not easily resolved.

Paul, since you are so fond of personal attack when you can't make your point any other way, feel free to continue to post them. So far all that you've demonstrated is that I was correct in dismissing your opinion. You are not well informed, and I doubt the services cares what your opinion is on this topic.


Which is funny, considering my own experiences while enlisted. But those would be the experiences you discount. Anyone in the service is probably too close to it to make a decision, I bet, according to you. At least if they disagree with you.


Keep in mind that nowhere did I completely equate age with sexual orientation. I used that to show YOUR lack of logic, because military service in and of itself does not confer a special class of citizenship (you called it "full citizenship") ...and therefore the lack of it doesn't take any such thing away. There are many reasons why people can't serve...and since you don't know this I should probably tell you...I wasn't talking about OLD AGE either. LOL

IF we required service in the armed forces from all people to be awarded citizenship, you might have a point. In case you didn't notice, we don't. Nor is there now, or ever have been, a constitutional right to serve in the armed forces.

The armed services restrict enlistment based on age. Not old age...I think the cutoff age when I was in the Army was 32, which is not OLD at all. Just too old to enlist. According to YOUR OWN assessment, I guess we are treating 33 year olds as second class persons, denying them the right to serve. [Roll Eyes] Most people are fit enough (or could be) at that age, but there are a number of other reasons why they can't serve at that point.

I never said that ALL service members disagreed with you. Read it again. I can break it into smaller words if you need me to.

I said the people who HAD served, been in combat, and who had polled service members disagree with you. And they did so on the strength of more than one opinion, more than one poll, and for more than one reason. Not every service member (speaking of strawman attacks), but the ones who spent a few years actually researching it for the armed services.

I care far more about their opinion than yours, at least as far as this anyway. Hell, after your attitude in this thread, I can't think of why I should care about your opinions on anything, to be honest.

But don't let my actual statements and facts stop your personal, insulting, and incorrect assumptions of me, or interfere with your posting style.

I guess we have to disagree on this one, Paul, and I am fine with that.

[ June 28, 2009, 12:10 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
WHAT THE LAW ACTUALLY SAYS
In a series of statutory findings, Congress affirmed that:
· "There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces;
· "Military life is fundamentally different from civilian life;"
· There are "numerous restrictions on personal behavior that would not be acceptable in civilian life;"
· Conditions are often "spartan, primitive, and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy;"
· Standards of conduct apply to members of the armed forces "at all times...whether the member is on base or off base…on duty or off duty;" and
· "The armed forces must maintain personnel policies that exclude persons...who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts, [which] would create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order, and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability."
( an analysis of 10 U.S.C. Par. 654

And then there is this....

[ June 28, 2009, 12:00 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Corwin:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Check this out... interesting develpment regarding subs though....

Heh, the first comment under the article (from 28.11.08, 2:26pm) is from a woman who serves on a submarine in the Australian Navy. Strangely, they seem to manage having women included...
Yeah, that's why I said interesting. [Big Grin] Didn;t mean to ignore that, Corwin, just didn't see it until right now.

Sorry. [Big Grin]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kwea, I didn't start the personal attacks. You want to make the claim that making personal attacks means that you can't defend your position? Fine. Then you have argued that you can't defend your position.

I don't care what military people believe, or how they would feel about serving with gays, I care about what can be demonstrated. People believing they would be uncomfortable serving with gays tells me nothing about whether they would be less effective soldiers. From the evidence available to me as a civilian, there is no reason to believe that task completion or military readiness will suffer by allowing gays to serve openly in the military. In fact, there is much reason to believe our military will be stronger, immediately.

Again, if you think comparing the situations of people who are able to serve but choose not to, or have an inability to perform the duties required for their jobs with people who are unable to serve ever without individual examination, then you are making a faulty analogy. Looking at age as an example of why, everyone in the US is eligible to serve in the military for a period of 17 years of their life under these requirements. No person is forbidden from serving because of this restriction. Old people are not lesser citizens because of this restriction, they had the opportunity to serve should they have chosen to exercise that option.

"You are not well informed,"

I do not believe that you understand the relevant practical question, which is "Is there evidence that demonstrates allowing gays to serve openly in the military would prevent task completion?" Proving that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would disrupt social cohesion doesn't get you there. You would also have to prove that disrupting social cohesion would disrupt task completion.

And, as I implied above, I don't think you can make an argument that a group forbidden from serving in the military is a citizen at the same level as a group not forbidden from serving in the military without diving headlong into absurdity. Its equivalent to arguing that women were denied full citizenship before they had the right to vote.

And, in case its not clear, a group being forbidden from serving means "a group disqualified for reasons other than ability to meet the job requirements, and that never has the opportunity to serve."

"In a series of statutory findings, Congress affirmed that:
· "There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces;"

Congressional acts are often idiotic. This one is.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Funny, SCOTUS agreed with them on more than one occasion.

You are the only one who has claimed that not being able to serve make you less of a citizen. You are the one who claimed that there is a fundamental right to serve, and denying that to someone
One study. Two.
The counter-rebebuttel of link 2

Yet another...
An article siting some interesting view of unit cohesion and continuity of service.

Paul, there is a difference between doubting if someone is informed enough to debate something...particularily in this situation, where the person is a fairly sheltered individual who has never served in the armed forces, and who tends to disregard the opinions of those who have simply because they disagree with his views.

If you can't see the difference between that and what you said, it would explain a lot about both your posting style and your interactions here at Hatrack with other people.

Take a look at my first few posts in this thread. The funny thing is that we don't disagree as much as you seem to think we do. I just don't think that not serving makes anyone less of an American, nor do I see any sort of second class citizenship being set up for those who don't. You seem to see exactly that, yet you have not been able to even address that point, let alone prove it.

Making a statement doesn't mean you have proved anything. You may feel it's OK to use your beliefs to change the way our military operates, regardless of the consequences, and I understand that.

After all, it's not like you will have to deal with the consequences. [Roll Eyes]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm. Seems like a gay man is in more danger from straight men than vice versa. It seems to be a very anti-gay establishment.
The folks who want to serve despite that are extremely brave, I think. Even braver than non-gay soldiers who face a war, but these guys want to serve (and girls) and face a WAR from people they serve with and from hostile outside situations.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
" I just don't think that not serving makes anyone less of an American, nor do I see any sort of second class citizenship being set up for those who don't. You seem to see exactly that, yet you have not been able to even address that point, let alone prove it."

You don't understand my position. I think I've been fairly clear in explaining the difference between what you write here, and what I believe. To clarify AGAIN, however,

Being permanently barred from performing an essential function of government or the state (state: group who may legitimately use force), for reasons other than individual ability to meet the job requirements, sets up a differentiation between groups of citizens. In the same way that women were not full citizens before being allowed to vote, gays are not full citizens because they are not allowed to serve in the military.

People who choose not to perform a given function of government or state are not lesser citizens under the law than those who do choose to perform the function. However, those who are barred by law from some functions do not have the opportunity to choose to serve or perform the function, and thus have their level of citizenry reduced, because they do not have equal access to the government or state.

"You seem to see exactly that, yet you have not been able to even address that point."

This, kwea, is ****ing hilarious. You haven't addressed my argument because you've refused to understand it. Its not about performing the job or not. Its about access to the choice of whether or not to perform the job or function.


And, on a more personal note, I've read over this thread again (third time today from start to finish) and I'm fairly confident that I've been more polite than you. If you don't like how I'm interacting with you, you should try to refrain from making personal remarks. I've always been easy to provoke on hatrack, and that is definetely a failing of mine. Being provoked, though, means there is a provocoteur. In this case, that is you.

I also believe I have addressed several times why being barred from service creates distinctions in citizenship, and that these have gone unanswered: only the repeated refrain that saying it doesn't make it so, which is true of course. But that applies more to your statements on the matter than mine.

[ June 28, 2009, 12:45 PM: Message edited by: Paul Goldner ]

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Philosofickle
Member
Member # 10993

 - posted      Profile for Philosofickle           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I've read the entire topic and was about to just step out because it looks like it was getting a bit too heated in here. However, I've had a thought, and me being who I am, am going to submit it to your perusal.

*Note: I am in Army ROTC at the Virginia Military Institute, I don't believe in Gay Marriage, I am morally against homosexual acts, and when it comes to gays in the military I believe that in most cases and areas they should be allowed to serve.

Anyway, my thought is that (and this is a very very long reach) perhaps they are afraid of letting gays into the military for some of the same reasons that women aren't allowed in the Combat Arms Service (Infantry, Armor, etc.) I'm not talking about a lack of privacy on the battlefield. As soldiers we're trained to always put the mission first. Psychologically speaking would a soldier who has grown romantically attached to a member of the opposite (or same) sex, be able to put the mission first? This wouldn't just have to be in normal circumstances, this would have to be in EVERY circumstance. If you were on a high priority mission that had to be accomplished and your partner was wounded, killed, or placed in a situation that put them in extraordinary danger, would you be able to put it to the back of your mind and continue to follow the mission parameters EXACTLY as ordered to do so.

This situation seems like a bit of a reach, and I'm not saying that it is going to come up automatically, very often, or even often. But if you allow openly gay members into the same unit, or desegregate the sexes in combat arms units, eventually that situation would come up. (Please do not infer that I'm saying gay people fall in love with any other gay person that they see.)

I'm not saying that this is the reason for DADT, but it may have been thought of.

What do you think, does anyone find this situation likely, unlikely, realistic. I am not super committed to this position, so I promise that I will be coolly rational and open to any argument.

Posts: 208 | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know, can a soldier who has formed a lifelong bond with his companions be trusted to put the mission first over their lives?
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes. As a matter of fact, it makes them more likely to do so. If they are willing to risk their lives, to die for the mission, then most of their fellow soldiers would respect that, and try and complete the mission in honor of them. There is hardly any difference between mission cohesiveness and unit cohesiveness, other than to ivory tower theorists.

Of course there is no study to back that up...just the personal testimony of thousands of soldiers who have done just that.

Good question, though.


Paul, I don't believe that it creates any such thing, no does Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, any number of panels that have been formed to look into these issues....it's hardly my own argument I have been advancing. Stating that you feel it created another class of citizenship doesn't make it so, and there has never been a "right" to serve in the service.

I had no issue in the 90's serving with people who were gay, male and female, and I felt sorry for them that they had to hide who they were. But I also know beyond a doubt there there WOULD have been huge issues had they come out while serving, even if the laws had changed. I know it would have affected our mission stateside, where no one was even shooting at us.

It shouldn't. Really, it shouldn't.....but what should be is often not the same as what actually is.

Paul, let me take a different approach with this, and I really am interested in your opinion. I really don't think IRL that our personal interaction with people are that different.

Why do you think that the people in charge of making these decisions don't want this to change? Do you think they come into this with their minds made up? Are they all ignorant of the actual situations?

It's not a trap, I promise. I am just trying to understand something....not why we disagree, but why your seem so dismissive of the very people who would have to deal with the changes. And if you aren't dismissive of their opinions, why does it seem like you are?

My original point was that this is a complex issue, with far reaching ramifications. You disagreed, saying it was simple.

One way or another, I think I made my point.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kwea: exactly. In many ways my question was a response to Philosofickle's.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Part of the issue I have with this topic is that my personal beliefs vary greatly from the actual stance of the Armed Forces. I know Paul has a point....one I personally agree with, mostly.

But I have met people who were involved in making this decision, and they weren't ignorant, dismissive, or hateful. They were fearful of the consequences of changing this policy, in large part because a lot of the people in the service have expressed very strongly that allowing gays into the military would affect them.

I know that my own personal experiences in the service indicate that there is still often friction between races in the service, years after integration. And not just from the whites, either.

So while I think that the current policy sucks, I don't think that as a society we are ready to change the policies. At least not in the armed forces....and we need the armed forces to stay strong to protect us. Their mission is tough enough as it is.

It's a form of cognitive dissonance that bothers me, and makes me testy. Particularily when the person "discussing" it with me seems to have a complete disregard for any opinion that varies from his own, and is completely dismissive of the opinions of those who actually are serving in those forces.

I mean, by that standard no one who has ever served should ever be allowed to discuss it. LOL

It may be right, it may be wrong... The one thing it is not is simple.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Paul, I don't believe that it creates any such thing, no does Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, any number of panels that have been formed to look into these issues....it's hardly my own argument I have been advancing. Stating that you feel it created another class of citizenship doesn't make it so, "

You haven't advanced an argument. You've stated an opinion, with zero argument to back it up. I guess there's an appeal to authority in there, but that's a logical fallacy, so lets not use that.

I've stated my reasons why I believe it creates another class of citizenship. There are functions of the state that certain people are barred, permanently, from participating in, because of their membership in a group, said group being perfectly capable of performing the duties required of the job (other than not belonging to the group).

Full citizenship requires that you be capable of making the choice to participate in all the functions of government and the state that you are capable of carrying out. If you do not have access to all the rights, responsibilities, and privleges that another person in the same community has, then you are not equal citizens. That's pretty basic social contract theory. Gays are barred from active citizenship through military service. Means they may not be active citizens in the same way as straights.

Insofar as anyone disagrees that being permanently barred from being an active citizen of your country, by virtue of group membership rather than ability to perform the task, that person doesn't understand what the word "citizen," means.

I honestly think that the statement "barring a group from military service reduces the level of that groups citizenship," is tautological. You'd have to change my mind on what the definition of a citizen is in order to even start debating me on this particular point.

"Why do you think that the people in charge of making these decisions don't want this to change?"

Honestly? Because most people are afraid of hard change, many people are bigots, people defend their own turf, the military functions largely on an us vs them footing, and most of the military is socially conservative and I don't believe social conservatives want gays as equal members of society, and the people who are social conservatives in charge of looking at this in the military would have to deal with working alongside people they are uncomfortable with and think are their inferiors. And the military takes as axiomatic that social cohesion creates a better military. The "why they fight," bit that you linked before is a great example of how the military is looking at this issue all wrong.


"but why your seem so dismissive of the very people who would have to deal with the changes."

Because I am dismissive. Dealing with hard change is part of the job when your job has a bigoted policy that needs to change, and that should never have come into existence in the first place I don't give a flying crap if its tough for some, or even a lot, of people in the military to deal with the change. Almost exactly in the same way I wouldn't have given a flying crap about those men for whom it was tough to see their wives walk out the door to vote for the first time.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Particularily when the person "discussing" it with me seems to have a complete disregard for any opinion that varies from his own, and is completely dismissive of the opinions of those who actually are serving in those forces."

Yes, I am dismissive of the opinion that access to serving in the military is not a question of full citizenship. It is, by definition of the word citizen, a wrong opinion.

And once the question is answered "Are gays full citizens or not?" as a yes, I do not believe there are other issues that outweigh that answer in such a way as to continue to prevent gays from serving.

I am not dismissive of the position that allowing gays into the military might cause problems with social cohesion (it probably will), and I am not dismissive of the position that allowing gays into the military might cause logistic problems (it probably will), and I am not dismissive of the position that it will reduce military readiness and task compleition (I don't think it will, but its a very arguable point).

But the thing is, I don't think any of those things matter when placed alongside making sure all members of society are equal citizens. In terms of whether or not "don't ask don't tell," should continue, the question gets answered when we say "Yes, gays should be full citizens of our country."

But I don't trust military command to make that decision, in the same way I don't trust the teacher's union to make decisions about how to administrate schools.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

I am not dismissive of the position that allowing gays into the military might cause problems with social cohesion (it probably will), and I am not dismissive of the position that allowing gays into the military might cause logistic problems (it probably will), and I am not dismissive of the position that it will reduce military readiness and task compleition (I don't think it will, but its a very arguable point).

Paul, you clearly were dismissive of these things at one point:
quote:

Do you have proof that including gays in combat units NOW reduces military effectiveness? Because I certainly haven't seen it. This is literally the same thing that racists were saying prior to desegregation of the military. It never turned out to be a problem in terms of completing mission objectives... and some of that desegregation DID happen on the fly. And how about branches of the service that don't see active combat? In what way does excluding gays from signals intelligence reduce mission objectives?

That's not all you said on the subject, but when you make such emphatic statements, I don't think it's reasonable to be surprised when people get a mistaken impression.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think that is being dismissive, but if it came across that way, I apologize. It wasn't my intent. I am SKEPTICAL, but not dismissive.

Edit: Well, I am dismissive when it comes to the particular question of whether or not don't ask don't tell should be repealed. I don't think its relevant. I'm not dismissive of the question in other contexts, though.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
If you were on a high priority mission that had to be accomplished and your partner was wounded, killed, or placed in a situation that put them in extraordinary danger, would you be able to put it to the back of your mind and continue to follow the mission parameters EXACTLY as ordered to do so.
Isn't like every single war movie ever made about the grievously powerful and non-sexual bonds between heterosexual men made during war? I have an exceptionally tough time believing that these powerful friendships that must occur even if we ignore movie evidence ( [Wink] ) are all that much less powerful than a romantic attachment.

If allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the US armed forces causes them to implode due to any the scare scenarios mentioned in this thread, I'll eat my hat and my sunglasses to. The only way it would affect the armed forces is if the heterosexual homophobic men allow it to impede [i]their[i] judgment. Perhaps that's what everyone is actually worried about.

Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And I don't think that possibly risking the safety of your armed forces is justified to make sure that everyone can serve. Not everyone can, for may different reasons.

We don't have a second tier citizenship....in this country you don't have to be in the service to get a tax break, to get elected to public office (well, most of them), to drive, to vote, or to work. If we did, the way that some of those other countries do, then perhaps you'd be right. But none of the privileged associated with citizenship have any service requirement attached to them at all.

And since you are a citizen regardless of if you served in the Armed Forces or not, I don't believe your arguments for a second.

Thank you for replying, BTW. As I said, I really wanted to know. You DID seem very, very dismissive of the concerns. I realize that you'd like this to be a simple question....to you it very well may be....but that's because at least in part you are the person tasked with keeping our military armed and ready for action.

I think I understand where you were coming from a little better now (although I still disagree in part), and I hope you understand my position better as well.

I still think it is complex, and that there is no easy answer. At least not one we should be ready to try tomorrow.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:

If allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the US armed forces causes them to implode due to any the scare scenarios mentioned in this thread, I'll eat my hat and my sunglasses to. The only way it would affect the armed forces is if the heterosexual homophobic men allow it to impede [i]their[i] judgment. Perhaps that's what everyone is actually worried about.

Unfortunately, eating your hat wouldn't fix the problem if that happened....but thanks for the offer. [Wink]


Your second point is right though...it isn't because of the actions of the homosexual men (or not completely) that this is a problem.

It would be a logistical nightmare. I mean, just in my own personal experience...I am not gay, or a homophobe, but I didn't shower with my gay roommate. I liked rooming with him because we both were private people, and didn't bring company home....but if he had I would have asked him not to do it again....and if he had I'd have moved out, or forced him to.

For the record, I did that to a straight guy I roomed with too. It isn't just about being gay...although I have to admit that does involve a squick factor for me as well.

I don't want to screw every female I see, but that doesn't mean I should be able to climb in the shower with them either.


I have an 18 year old guy in my class who keeps talking about his sex life. He is gay, and very "in your face" with his sexuality. I heard an entire conversation he had, at full volume in the middle of a classroom, about what his dates' sperm tasted like. I told him off, and he accused me of being a homophobe, and threatened me with a sexual discrimination complaint.

I told him to read his handbook, because if I heard one more thing about his sex life I'd file one myself, against him, and being gay wouldn't prevent him from being thrown out of the program....and I was right. I have every right to do so.

I don't talk about my wife's sexual preferences, or my own...not because I am ashamed or perverted, but because it isn't something to share with the public (you can all thank me later [Big Grin] ). Simply talking about it in public can be cause for dismissal, and being gay doesn't give him a free pass. [Big Grin]

Not every person who is gay is like that...and among friends, I have friends who are gay who are open about their sex life. As long as it doesn't go into detail....details I wound't want to hear even from my straight friends...I have no issues with it.

But battle is the last place I'd want to have to deal with that, particularily from people I don;t know or like, which is why I was fine with my roommate, but can still not want the policy to change yet. And let me tell you....there were a LOT of people I didn't particularily like while I was in the service. I don't think either side of this is mature enough to deal with it under the most stressful of situations, and I feel it would affect morale to the point that we would have trouble maintaining our fighting strength.

[ June 28, 2009, 09:12 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have an 18 year old guy in my class who keeps talking about his sex life. He is gay, and very "in your face" with his sexuality. I heard an entire conversation he had, at full volume in the middle of a classroom, about what his dates' sperm tasted like. I told him off, and he accused me of being a homophobe, and threatened me with a sexual discrimination complaint.
This is not a gay/straight thing, though. There are lots of indiscreet jerks in the world. I don't know what it's like in the bunkrooms (or whatever they're calling them these days) of the armed forces but I'm guessing it's not a terribly clean place in terms of conversation. A homosexual would no doubt be unable to join in the conversation.

I'm not sure it would be a logistical nightmare. I'm sure it could be *made* into one. If people are really that worried at being oogled naked, I'm sure the armed forces could spring for some curtains.

Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
quote:
I have an 18 year old guy in my class who keeps talking about his sex life. He is gay, and very "in your face" with his sexuality. I heard an entire conversation he had, at full volume in the middle of a classroom, about what his dates' sperm tasted like. I told him off, and he accused me of being a homophobe, and threatened me with a sexual discrimination complaint.
This is not a gay/straight thing, though. There are lots of indiscreet jerks in the world. I don't know what it's like in the bunkrooms (or whatever they're calling them these days) of the armed forces but I'm guessing it's not a terribly clean place in terms of conversation. A homosexual would no doubt be unable to join in the conversation.

I'm not sure it would be a logistical nightmare. I'm sure it could be *made* into one. If people are really that worried at being oogled naked, I'm sure the armed forces could spring for some curtains.

I know...its' more of an ignorant 18 year old thing. I heard a lot about my fellow soldiers sex lives too, and I never asked, that's for sure.

...but for a significant portion of the armed forces, it's more than that....and saying curtains will solve it is not only is dismissive, it's ignorant. Ignorant of their beliefs, their concerns, and their situations.

I guess I pretty much have said what I have to say. It's fine with me if people disagree with me. [Big Grin]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AvidReader
Member
Member # 6007

 - posted      Profile for AvidReader   Email AvidReader         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
Insofar as anyone disagrees that being permanently barred from being an active citizen of your country, by virtue of group membership rather than ability to perform the task, that person doesn't understand what the word "citizen," means.

*raises hand* I don't understand the word the way you're using it.

I'm familiar with the basic dictionary version of the word: a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection. Heck, the dictionary even has a definition of citizen as differentiating a civilian from a serviceman or police officer.

Could you explain citizen the way you're using it? Because I at least am missing some of the nuance of your meaning.

Posts: 2283 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A citizen is differentiated from a non-citizen by the rights he has protected, and the responsibilities he has for his state and government.

Active citizenship means working towards the betterment of the community.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Different people have different responsibilities, but last I checked the all have the same rights. Seems to me that your definition is phrased just for this argument, and ones like it. [Big Grin]
Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Paul,

The difficulty I see with defining (in part) 'full citizenship' with the ability to engage in military service is this: there are going to be, by necessity, some folks who just cannot serve in the military, just because of the sort of military we have.

Just as an extreme example, someone suffering from quadriplegia while simultaneously being not especially intelligent. Shall we manufacture work for them in the military? If we don't, does that mean this average-intelligenced quadriplegic is not a full citizen?

As a much less extreme example, because we have an all-volunteer military, some folks with certain criminal pasts are going to be barred entry as well, even if they've served their time. Are they no longer full citizens, even if all other rights and responsibilities are restored to them?

And as the least extreme example I can imagine, shall obese people be permitted to serve in the armed forces 'as-is', because to do otherwise is to deny them 'full citizenship'? After all, fat folks are full citizens in all other respects, aren't they?

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And I don't think Rakeesh is equating gays with any of those groups, just using them as other possible examples of other people who are not allowed to serve, just like I was.

What about people who are thrown out for infidelity, or other infractions of the UCMJ? There are other restrictions placed on behavior while you are serving, not just on gays.

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Different people have different responsibilities, but last I checked the all have the same rights. Seems to me that your definition is phrased just for this argument, and ones like it. [Big Grin] "

You'd be an idiot if you think so.

Rakeesh-
You are talking about people evaluated on their individual merits as to whether or not they can perform the task required for the job. There is no blanket legal classification that limits them from serving, if they can demonstrate they can perform the job.

In the same way, (and to use another example of the responsibilities of citizenship), individuals are often excused from jury duty for a variety of reasons, such as an inability to be impartial for the case they've been called for. But we do not excuse asians from jury duty because they are asian.

Gays do not have the right to serve, nor can they meet the responsibility to serve, because of a legal distinction made that has nothing to do with ability to serve. A legal classification has been created preventing people perfectly capable of serving from doing so.

I am not sure what is so difficult to grasp about that distinction.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
"Different people have different responsibilities, but last I checked the all have the same rights. Seems to me that your definition is phrased just for this argument, and ones like it. [Big Grin] "

You'd be an idiot if you think so.

Rakeesh-
You are talking about people evaluated on their individual merits as to whether or not they can perform the task required for the job. There is no blanket legal classification that limits them from serving, if they can demonstrate they can perform the job.

In the same way, (and to use another example of the responsibilities of citizenship), individuals are often excused from jury duty for a variety of reasons, such as an inability to be impartial for the case they've been called for. But we do not excuse asians from jury duty because they are asian.

Gays do not have the right to serve, nor can they meet the responsibility to serve, because of a legal distinction made that has nothing to do with ability to serve. A legal classification has been created preventing people perfectly capable of serving from doing so.

I am not sure what is so difficult to grasp about that distinction.

Paul, enough with the personal attacks, please. I am not an idiot, nor am I deliberately trying to twist your words. They are cumbersome, and don't seem to match any other definition of citizenship I can find, or that I have heard recently.

Considering your definition varies by a wide margin from the traditional definition, and that seems to be one of the main points of contention between us, it seemed contrived to be honest. I didn't actually think you had formulated it just for this argument, which is why I had the grin on it at the end, but it seems overly restrictive to me.

I know that isn't what I mean when I say the word.

But of course, everyone must accept YOUR definition of the word or be an idiot. [Roll Eyes]

That's what I get for trying to actually discuss things with you. God forbid anyone actually dare to disagree with your brilliance. [/end irony]

Posts: 15080 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2