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January 02, 2007

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hit and run

I question the timing of New Year's Day! Jan 1? Every year? Coincidence? I think not. It's Bush's fault.

Ranger

So I guess the Dems have a choice. Allow an open vote and face an early defeat that will show that the liberal leadership isn't in step with the views of the country, or force a party line vote that will demonstrate how all those "conservative" Democrats that won in november aren't anything of the sort. I think the next few months are going to force the Dems into this situation over and over again. But that's what you get when you run away from your core beliefs to win.

Should be a fun couple of years. Can't wait till the press starts asking why all their pet (like gays in the military) issues aren't being addressed.

cathyf

Well, ultimately Shalikashvili's argument is just stupid. Gays make up a tiny fraction of the population. Any increase in the number of military bodies gained by accepting gays would be more than offset by the loss of bodies as bigoted homophobes (even if they are also a tiny fraction of the population) flee the military.

Now you can certainly make a principled argument that the military is better off without the homophobe nutcases. (For example, the paranoid who reacts to totally innocent non-sexual behavior as a pass that needs violent refusal has a pretty crappy effect on discipline.) But while you can certainly believe that you'd rather do without such soldiers, the laws of arithmetic still apply -- getting rid of them represents a decrease in headcount not an increase.

quest33

The problem isn't that if gays come in the "homphobes" will leave.

No, it is that there will be violence that will cause further worse turmoil. And just like there are gays in the service now though not welcome, the "homophobes" will also continue to be there, and the problems will continue as injuries, and deaths mount.

The real problem is that the ranks are billeted/bunked together. They use the same facilities as a group. I don't know if you have ever been in a mens military latrine. Some are nice and modern, but in the old ones, and in the field, many or most are open, and there is nothing but a row or rows of comodes in a big room, and the urinals are nothing but long sinks (troughs) tilted toward the drain end with spigots slightly open along the way. The mens showers are also completely open.
{Not at all like the womens.)

So men are looking at each other's private parts in these settings as in any highschool and some colleges/professional locker rooms.

Homosexuals are at risk in such an environment, from themselves and their actions, and from those that will take offense even if they aren't openly homophobic.

Of course maybe an increased number of deaths and injuries are a cost the politicans and America are willing to incur on principle.

I personally think it is mostly talk, and like Clinton, when faced with the real possiblities, the Dems will back down.

Or maybe the military will get some new shower/bathroom facilities? That would be nice and an absolutely required first step if the gay thing is pushed.

quest33

cathyf

I forgot to say this.

You seem to think of and describe a pass as something totally innocent non sexual.

i.e. your quote - "totally innocent non-sexual behavior as a pass"

I am sorry to inform you that you are totally mistaken at least as far as men are concerned. It will be taken at the bare minimum as sexual, hurtful, humilitating, worrisome, and upsetting by almost any man. And the group will also take offense, and give the man who receieved it grief, if he doesn't react very negatively toward the pass and the person who delivered it.

That is the way it is in the real world, especially in the macho/manly/everyman a killer environment of the military.

clarice

Many of the adult homosexuals I know served in the military. No one knew or apparently cared. Many of them also shared prep school and university bathrooms as well.

I have no idea how the military would regard the change--induction of openly gay man. It would be interesting to ask them. No?

Other military operations induct them and I have seen no reports of widespread problems. I doubt in the present atmosphere one can find--outside of ex-Congressional pages at election time-men so shocked by gays that they cannot refuse an advance .

Patton

DEMOCRATS HAVEN'T CHANGED:

As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking.

House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans.

But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills ......

PROMISES, PROMISES.

cathyf

quest, you misunderstood me. I was making the point that there are cases where some heterosexual will do or say something which a particularly paranoid homophobe will misinterpret as a pass, and that such situations is a real danger to discipline and morale. Especially since there is basically an unlimited supply of totally innocent behavior -- if somebody who is mentally ill sees a sexual advance in every interaction he has with another man, then he's going to be wrong virtually every time. It's just basic arithmetic -- the vast majority of his interactions are going to be with heterosexuals, and even if he stumbles upon the real (as opposed to imagined) homosexual on occasion, even then it would be unusual for a pass to occur. I'm not saying that paranoid homophobes are particularly common, but then homosexuals aren't particularly common, either.

My personal experience with paranoid homophobes is that gays are the least of the things that they are paranoid about, and that these are the last people whom you would want to have to work with under any circumstances, let alone circumstances where you give them guns. These people are mentally ill, and to be honest I don't expect that most of them make it through basic training -- this is the guy who convinces himself early on that every member of his platoon is a faggot and is leering at him in the toilet and shower, and any halfway-clueful drill sargent probably washes the nutcase out even before he has a nervous breakdown.

Patton

I have no problem with gays in the military, but why do so many want to hise them amonsgt the hetersexuals?

We don't allow men to room with, shower with, bunk with men, maybe we should. I would think we don't allow that because their is a sexual attraction.

Same for gays, separate showers, separate dormas, etc. etc.

Fixes the problem. By the way, we can't help being homophobes, its called evolution, look into it.

Patton

I think I'm having a stroke, excuse that last postk..............

We don't let women dorm with men.

anonymous

Cathyf,

I am not sure what your experience has been with gay men.

But you should understand a few things about your avergae gay man (at least us here in San Fran).
Gay men seek out other men to have sex with in a promiscous nature.
Gay men normally have sex on the first date because there is no other reason to date.
Gay men normally have 26 times as many sex partners then heterosexual males.
Gay men require much hire medical bills and die much earlier then straight males.
Gay men for the most part have mental problems or problems with relationship.
Some gay men enjoy as many as 30 sex partners in one evening.

No wonder so many are in the Navy.

Jane

Actually they are now letting women room with men in at least one MA college.

cathyf

anonymous, I have no doubt that promiscuous gays are promiscuous. I've known promiscuous straights, too. And I've known gays who are not promiscuous. Including 80-something widowers whose partners died after 30 or 40 years together, and to all appearances, they were faithful to each other all those decades. (One such couple even lived in San Francisco.) Including gays who believe that homosexual behavior is immoral and so they remain celibate. Including gays who have children, mortgages, and act all the world like Old Married People.

I've also had some experience with straight teenaged boys freaking out over a guy making a polite pass at a party. I'll let you in on a little secret -- teenaged girls think that this is hilarious. The straight guys always think that somehow we girls are going to be really sympathetic and utterly as outraged at the notion of a guy making an unwelcome advance. As in it never seems to occur to them that 97% of all sexual advances from guys are directed towards girls!

But anyway, the military is disproportionately made up of late adolescent straight males, who have a disproportionate problem with freaking out over knowledge of homosexuality. Most of these boys will outgrow their freaked-out-ness with some more age and experience, but it's a fact that they are there. You can argue (as I have) that the really paranoid homophobes are mental cases and don't belong in the military (and that the military is probably reasonably good at washing out these and other mental cases.) You can argue that the normal late-adolescent creeped-out-by-gays attitudes are morally wrong, and so you should run off tens of thousands of normal late-adolescent straights in order to allow hundreds of gays to work comfortably in the military. Or you can make a utilitarian argument that mild homophobia is so common among young straight men that we can't afford to lose the thousands who will leave the military to avoid gays in order to gain mere hundreds of gays.

But the one argument that you can't make is an amoral utilitarian argument in favor of gays in the military based upon increasing headcount. Gays are a tiny minority of the population, while (especially in the age range which makes up most military recruits) straight men who are at least mildly bigotted against gays outnumber them by a huge margin.

ed

Hmmmm.

As a former Marine my views are:

1. Well. We may not be more effective in battle. But at least our outfits will be better color coordinated.

2. Oh. So *that* is why the Air Force pukes wear cravats!

3. Explains the beret-fetish the Army guys have.

4. Navy. Ever see them do that jig of theirs? No further explanation necessary.

5. Well this would make for a bizzare new tv sitcom series. A McHale's Navy redo with obvious undertones. A McHale's Gay Navy. It's McHale's Gavy!

...

All kidding aside I'm frankly uncertain about the whole gay in the military thing. Living as a Marine in barracks, it was very very close quarters. As an experiment, I think it's a bad idea. Because it takes a very long time to build an effective military and the long-term consequences of bad decisions can be really bad.

So I'd suggest leaving things well enough alone. Besides. If the Army, Navy and Air Force are any indication; there's plenty of gays in the military.

:)

Patton

CNN apologized Tuesday for mistakenly promoting a story on the search for Osama bin Laden with the headline "Where's Obama?"
A spokesman for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said the apology was accepted.

The blunder came Monday evening on Wolf Blitzer's news show "The Situation Room." Both Soledad O'Brien and Blitzer offered separate apologies during CNN's morning show Tuesday.

CNN called it a "bad typographical error" by its graphics department.

"We want to apologize for that bad typo," Blitzer said. "We also want to apologize personally to Sen. Barack Obama. I'm going to be making a call to him later this morning to offer my personal apology."

IS THERE ONLY ONE GUY NAMED OBAMA?

PeterUK

Blitzer,would that be one of Santa's reindeer?

ed

Hmmmm.

Well there's a Japanese restaurant in my area named "Oyama". Does that count?

Jane

CNN apologized Tuesday for mistakenly promoting a story on the search for Osama bin Laden with the headline "Where's Obama?"

That's great. I hope someone got a screen shot.

Patton

"""Actually they are now letting women room with men in at least one MA college.""

But are they 'forcing' women to room with men?

michael

The military needs unit cohesion, which implies a significant shared identity, and the potential for aggression. Historically, those who have publically acknowledged 'uncertainty' over their sexual identity have been attacked, not good for anybody concerned. The Israeli Army, which has now apparently accepted openly homosexual men, showed a "slipshod" performance in the recent conflict with Hezbollah according to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper. Perhaps this is because the Army's cohesion has been too much around 'do your own thing.'

maryrose

The current policy seems to be working just fine. Why mess with it?

clarice

Someone did a screen shot, Jane. I think it was Hot Air.

clarice

Here.Jane:
http://www.drudgereport.com/obama.jpg

Jane

Thanks Clarice!

MayBee

Would openly gay men be allowed to question Gitmo prisoners? Would that be considered prisoner abuse, like women standing too close was?

Daddy

The mental image of Sergeant Carter smoochin' Gomer Pyle just don't seem to be working for me. Shizamm!

Larry

We supported an all-volunteer military nearly twice as large as our current force from a significantly smaller population pre-1993, when the drawdown began. There are plenty of young people out there who will volunteer with the right incentives. The services have continually increased eligibility requirements. Frinstance, going from H S diploma desired to required, etc. Although gatekeeping is partly responsible for our attaining the most lethal forces ever known on the planet, having a few G E D recruits won't be a big drag on the force. This gays-in-the-military thing is a red herring. Sounds like Shak is prepping for a liberal political campaign.

Daddy, surely you know Jim (Gomer) Nabors is openly gay. Shouldn't take a lot of mental contortion to get the vis you want, lol.

Ed, I was in the USAF for 26 years. I knew two gay men by name and after the fact. They were both cashiered within 48 hours of openly gay behavior.

Daddy

Larry,

Didn't know that about Jim Nabors, but that probably just shows how oblivious about such stuff I am. No wonder Gomer could sing "Santa Lucia" so well. It's always stunned me how Rock Hudson could be making all them Pillow Talk movies with Doris Day and not be interested in jumping her bones--What a waste. Anyhow, I was Navy for 20, and I don't ever recall knowing any guys who were gay. I do know that in my reserve squadron there were some gay gals, but them being good, dependable troops, it wasn't overt and never became an issue.

TCO

Next, the girls are going to try to get in.

goddessoftheclassroom

I attended a women's college. Men were not allowed to stay overnight in the dorms. Of course, a few men DID stay overnight, but they and their hostesses were very discreet and no one else was aware of or bothered by them.

My senior year the rules were revised to allow men to stay overnight on Fridays and Saturdays with the roommate's permission. The noise was horrible, and men in various states of undress parading into the bathrooms was disconcerting, at best.

I'm truly in favor of the Victorian hypocristy: you can't control people's attractions, but you can control their behaviors (by condoning or condemning). I'd like to think that as long as a gay man or woman was discreet, his or her orientation would not be an issue. However, if his or her behavior became an issue by the person's behavior in barracks, there would have to be some kind of mechanism for discipline, not because of the orientation but because of the actions--an very important difference, I think.

Jane

However, if his or her behavior became an issue by the person's behavior in barracks, there would have to be some kind of mechanism for discipline, not because of the orientation but because of the actions--an very important difference, I think.

Yeah and while we are at it, let's address all those complaints of guys coercing sex from women at the acadamies.

It seems to me gays in the military will solve one thing - and that is the tendency to see them like they aren't just like you.

donald

Daddy, when I got to my ship, I found out immediately (1982) that two guys in the office were openly homosexual and we had another that was closeted. Out of 18 men! Absolutely nobody gave a damn.

ed

Hmmmm.

@ Larry

Ed, I was in the USAF for 26 years. I knew two gay men by name and after the fact. They were both cashiered within 48 hours of openly gay behavior.

Yeah but how could anybody tell?

You Air Force guys wore blue uniforms with cravats!

:) j/k

PeterUK

There have always been gays in the military,the Spartans,the Gay Hussar,the Laughing Cavalier...

quest33

cathyf and others,

I haven't been entirely forthcoming. I startred twice to bring up other instances that I have seen that conflict with your premises that it is only the real crazies that are a danger to homosexuals.

I still won't bring up details for the sake of the civility of this blog, and will only make one reference to those events that I was at the very least familar with personally. This is that homosexuals by their nature are easily preyed on by males willing to be frendly and who then suggest moving to more secluded areas for "privacy." When I say "preyed" I mean robbed, beaten, blackmailed, etc.

I will say that mildmannered and nice (according to most guidelines) males will give a fellow male a lot of grief if it appears that a male is attracted to him, and particularly if that male is known or suspected to be a homosexual. It doesnt' matter that their friend (and I mean "their friend") has a girl friend or they know that he has acted hetrosexually in the past, the very thought of a male-male attraction is enough to provoke reactions. Of course the non homosexual friend resents this and he himself may provoke an altercation with the homosexual to "prove" that he himself is straight. Add that tension to a straight male that has alreay problems of his own, and maybe some of emotionally dealing with women or a particular woman, and you have a tragedy in the making.

This happens everywhere and expecially where the homosexuals are known. Just a look or comment from one to a male in a group will cause this bantering mechanism to start. All males know this, and so they react even before their buddies do as preventive action. THis could only be a comment.

You put this in a closed situation where the people can easily move off and away, like a military barracks where for the males at least, everything is wide open. Showers, urinals, comodes (slit trenches, cat holes or whatever), things get much worse.

Add to all that the fact that the military ranks are not composed of the nicest, most well mannered, intelligent, educated, most lawful people, and you have not a melting pot, but a bubbling cauldron of problems, with or without gays.

Add to that the license of conflicts, and I mean the tension, and pressure of life and death, and known homosexuals can have a very hard time.

Now some of you ladies perhaps have had a different picture painted to you about how things work. I disagree with what you are saying about men's tolerance to homosexuals. And yes, the law, good leadership, prevention, classes and all that make things better, but it is a subject that men are very sensitive to.

(got ot run so can't check text)

quest33

(The dinner wagon went past, and I had to jump on, so now I will correct the errors above.)

"You put this in a closed situation where the people can easily move off and away, like a military barracks"

This should have been
"You put this in a closed situation where the people [[CAN'T]] easily move off and away, ..."

In the best situation men and homosexuals can get along more or less as any two groups, and the best people can get along in most any situation.
The military is not that kind of "good situation" and doesn't have a lot of the "best people."

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