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December 24, 2010

Comments

Agree.

megadittos

bad budget - killed
DADT - passed
DREAM - deferred
START - passed
tax cuts - passed

The Senate doing real work, priceless.

I don't have much to say on the underlying issue that isn't being said better elsewhere. It was unjust, ridiculous, and it is well for the country and the armed forces that it is gone.

Actually, I think you covered the underlying issue pretty damned well, right there in your second sentence.

Agree with you 100%, Sebastian.

(I just hope all the so-called "moderates" and the Republican dead-enders remember that, when it came down to it, only 7 Republican Senators voted for repeal. Seven. And every single "No" vote was a Republican, including man of honor John McCain.)

Just so this doesn't become liberal circle jerk within an echo chamber.....Disagree with you Sebastian.

A bunch of academics and overly pc politicians who, overwhelmingly, never did serve or plan to serve (and probably not allow their children to either) in a combat arms MOS push a potentially detrimental social agenda on a deadly serious organization that they have no understanding of.

Great! Hoorah!

This pile of crap and others like it, say the global warming hoax, make hook/line/sinker liberals equally goofy as hook/line/sinker conservatives with their creationism et al.

Nothing to celebrate here.

It's good news, avedis notwithstanding.

And I agree with Sebastian's further point that it would be desirable to let more questions be dealt with on a stand-alone basis.

it would be desirable to let more questions be dealt with on a stand-alone basis.

It would indeed. Unfortunately, because the Senate rules are broken, that is impossible for most bills. The rules allow all sorts of time-consuming obstructionism, so that little time is left on the legislative calendar so that the only way for most bills to be considered is as part of enormous assemblies of legislation. As Senator Merkley said:

My first vote was on the package of wilderness bills, 165 wilderness bills. Why were there 165 bills backed up? Because it's so easy for one person to object to everything so, essentially, the Senate can't digest these bills one by one. The ease with which a person can object, often never even being public about it, go away to dinner but inflicting a week of delay, serves as a deterrent to any small piece of legislation.

So little things get folded into big things.

Sebastian: unsurprisingly, full agreement, and well said.

Marty: Merry Christmas and happy New Year, or whatever your choice of celebration is!

START - passed

[...] The Senate doing real work, priceless.

I have a post in mind about all the unhappy-making implications of the START treaty, but we'll see if I actually write it.

Keynote: Priceless? Are you effing kidding?

That it was this enormous an amount of trouble to pass a treaty that reduces no arms whatever, and instead commits the U.S. to:
a) spending six times the total scale of the Manhattan Project in New Mexico, measured in constant dollars on new nuclear weapons;
b) that all spending on nuclear weapons will be exempt from any budget cuts, and, okay, should draft this as a post, not a comment.

It's really quite appalling, though.

Comprehensive Test Ban is almost certainly dead until god knows when, and so much for getting anywhere towards, you know, fewer nuclear warheads and launchers or oh, even spending several billion dollars more than the U.S. was already going to spend on such vital upgrades, instead of the $85 billion, 10-year plan we're now committed to.

That this was a "good" accomplishment is horrific.

But more later, or not at all.

Press Releases
Home / Press Room / Press Releases
Alexander to Support New START Treaty
Says, “It leaves our country with enough nuclear warheads to blow any attacker to Kingdom Come”
December 21 2010

[...]

“The president has committed to an $85 billion, 10-year plan to make sure these weapons work. The Treaty allows for inspection of Russian warheads. Our military leaders say it does nothing to interfere with development of our missile defense system.” – Lamar Alexander

Gosh, that's wonderful. I consider $85 billion not pocket change. (I'm not even going into, here, how much more money it implicitly commits to spending, but if I do a post, it'll be there.)

But all part of fiscal responsibility and balancing the budget, eh?

Not like those nasty unemployment benefits extensions, or health care fascism, that we can't afford to spend money on because it hurts people. What's a few hundred billion more on those new nuclear warheads we so desperately need?

Thanks, Senators Alexander, Cochran, Feinstein, and Inouye! Good job!

Anyone like an old nuclear weapon? We have some to spare.

Meanwhile, getting rid of DADT is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful thing.

Though it never should have happened in the first place, and for that, we have the Republicans of the 103rd Congress to thank.

On START, the issue is that it was a trivial piece of boilerplate that should have passed unanimously so negotiations for a treaty that would, you know, lower the amount of nuclear arms on either side, rather than increase spending on them vastly could take place.

I don't advise anyone to hold their breath waiting for that.

Thanks, Republicans of the 111th Congress! We should be so grateful!

Avedis:

Nothing to celebrate here.
Nonsense! Let's all celebrate the joys of argument by assertion!

It's a well-known fact that if we engage in such celebrations, we'll ALL GET PONIES. And spaceships and candy and fusion power tomorrow.

I've provided equal support for my assertion as you did yours.

So they must be equally true.

Prove me wrong.

And we can all celebrate! Joy to us all, especially those of us who aren't homophobes, and do know some things about military organizations, that:

[...] Of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO, more than 22 permit gay people to serve; of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia permit gay people to serve openly.

[...]

Nations that permit gay people to serve openly in the military include the Republic of China (Taiwan), Australia, Israel, Argentina, Canada, all member states of the European Union and every original NATO signatory except Turkey.[1]

But I'm sure heterosexual armies with gays forced to live undercover would undoubtedly defeat them all, as opposed to the crippling defeats we'd suffer if we operated under the same handicaps as * 1.1 Albania
* 1.2 Argentina
* 1.3 Australia
* 1.4 Austria
* 1.5 Belgium
* 1.6 Canada
* 1.7 Republic of China
* 1.8 Colombia
* 1.9 Czech Republic
* 1.10 Denmark
* 1.11 Estonia
* 1.12 Finland
* 1.13 France
* 1.14 Germany
* 1.15 Greece
* 1.16 Republic of Ireland
* 1.17 Israel
* 1.18 Italy
* 1.19 Japan
* 1.20 Lithuania
* 1.21 Luxembourg
* 1.22 Malta
* 1.23 The Netherlands
* 1.24 New Zealand
* 1.25 Norway
* 1.26 Peru
* 1.27 Philippines
* 1.28 Poland
* 1.29 Romania
* 1.30 Russia
* 1.31 Serbia
* 1.32 Slovenia
* 1.33 South Africa
* 1.34 Spain
* 1.35 Sweden
* 1.36 Switzerland
* 1.37 United Kingdom
* 1.38 Bermuda
* 1.39 Uruguay

Woe is our military! Woe!

Also, let's talk specifically about unit cohesion, if you like.

You are, after all, more knowledgeable about this than hook/line/sinker liberals like me. Educate me and the rest of us.

You have the floor. Go for it.

This pile of crap and others like it, say the global warming hoax, make hook/line/sinker liberals equally goofy as hook/line/sinker conservatives with their creationism et al.

Let's all raise a glass to ignorance and false equivalence! Hooray!

I'm curious if anyone has or could recommend a read as to why DADT repeal and other things even got to the floor. I'm not sure if I read this or if I am making it up, but some of the theories I think I have seen were:
-Republican moderates were taking revenge on McConnell for reneging on the budget, which freed them to register their displeasure
-moderates were looking at this strategically, and saw no value in prolonging these sorts of fights and so let them be decided at this point rather than down the road
-moderates saw the coming tsunami of craziness and felt they needed to deal with these things now
-packaging these as stand-alones made it impossible for moderates to do the usual shuffle.

Of course, this gets into speculation about motives and mental states, and the above are not either/or choices but how those moderates were gotten to seems to be an important cog in any future efforts to get things thru.

A bunch of academics and overly pc politicians who, overwhelmingly, never did serve or plan to serve (and probably not allow their children to either) in a combat arms MOS push a potentially detrimental social agenda on a deadly serious organization that they have no understanding of.

Speaking as active-duty Army personnel, lol. Thank you for a hearty chuckle, Avedis. That is all.

(If you had your heart set on a substantive response, Gary covered that quite well. "[H]ave no understanding of", indeed...)

Gary:

The START Treaty wasn't very good on a few levels, some financial and some deficiencies were not addressed because the Senate refused to amend anything.

It was one of the few debates I watched days of on CSPAN. If anyone wants to watch and listen to professional obstructionist tactics they should replay the rope a dope tactics Kerry used to make this get through this Congress.

All that said, sort of jumping to lj's point, once the omnibus budget was killed I sent an email to several Senators (a first for me) asking them to deal with DREAM, DADT and START in the lame duck.

As standalones they will have little long term political downside for anyone, they will be out of the news cycle by the time the next Congress convenes, and the new Congress can focus on the budget and fiscal policy.

Plus, it's a ray of hope things may move forward for a few more months until we get into the full 2012 election cycle.

Gary, presenting the list of countries allowing openly gay service members is a red herring.

The guys wearing the CIB (you, "envy"?) are not Europeans; nor are they in a cumpulsory service society like Israel where there is greater representation of all segments of that society. Neither are they graduates of liberal arts programs.

Rather, they are disproportionately young men from rural USA - a very different breed of cat - and there is some representation from the tougher urban areas.

In short, the guys doing the hard, dangerous, dirty work are not at all like the people pushing the gay agenda.

If the people behind the agenda were actually out there walking point I suppose that openly gay integration would probably work. But they're not and never will be. They don't dare. Instead they preach and impose their "values" on those that do.

You don't get this because you don't want to.

Oh, and the comparison of gays to blacks (the link you provided) is another red herring.

Skin color and sexual orientation are two entirely different issues.

Again, you should know better and that you apparently do not causes me think that a discussion on this topic with you is a waste of time because you don't want to understand.

This is an interactive map of the where the American casualties came from.
http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_international/iraq3000/index.html?SITE=WIMIL

If the people behind the agenda were actually out there walking point I suppose that openly gay integration would probably work. But they're not and never will be. They don't dare. Instead they preach and impose their "values" on those that do.

You don't get this because you don't want to.

And yet, "avedis", by strange coincidence polling shows a minority of my peers opposing the repeal.

You don't get this because it's ideologically inconvenient.

Look, to be clear, it's been a while since military personnel have been opposed near so staunchly and fiercely as the right-wing ideologues who sit back far from harm's way having fainting spells at the idea of open service by homosexuals, wailing "Won't someone think of the poor homophobic Soldiers?!?!?!?". For all your lofty talk of the utter gall of non-military personnel daring using military policy to push political and cultural agendas... methinks your house is looking rather glassy.

envy, get real. 72% of those polled nevered returned their answers. Who knows what they think. Maybe they're indifferent; maybe they are resigned to unwanted change.

Of the 28% that did return responses there is a clear split between rear echelon/service troops and combat arms; with combat arms personnel being mostly opposed to the repeal. Were you aware of that little nuance?

And then there is the fact that even of those in combat arms who replied that they are serving or had served with someone they thought is gay without a problem, the experience was under DADT. So it isn't really a proxy because more openly gay behavior might ellicit a difference response from straight peers.

also, to be clear, I served (USMC) and both my children are currently in; one in combat arms (son, USA) and one (daughter) in the Navy.

For the record, I do not consider myself a conservative.

So I don't know what glass houses you could be referring to.

The glass houses sheltering your right-wing ideologue allies in Congress, in the media, etc., who you don't seem to find objectionable for using this as a tool to push their agenda. You know, the non-military personnel favoring your personally preferred outcome regarding this that are using military policy as a political and ideological bludgeon, despite not ever serving themselves or even having children serving. But oh wait, it's only suspect to lack that cred' if they disagree with you. Sorry, forgot. It's Okay If You Agree With Someone Who Doesn't Consider Themselves A Conservative (IOIYAWSWDCTAC).

And in re: your 1223, absence of evidence is evidence of absence now, is it? I think that says all I need to hear. Have fun with your convictions unshakable by any force.

Avedis:

[...] In short, the guys doing the hard, dangerous, dirty work are not at all like the people pushing the gay agenda.
It's certainly true that feelings in the armed forces are, of course, mixed.

It couldn't be otherwise.

Beyond that, it pays to be specific. And beyond that, last I looked, the military isn't a democracy.

If the people behind the agenda were actually out there walking point I suppose that openly gay integration would probably work. But they're not and never will be. They don't dare. Instead they preach and impose their "values" on those that do.
Be specific, please. Which individuals are you referring to, what polls of serving active militay, and then we're back to "are military policies set by majority vote of serving members of the military?"

I assume you yourself are actively serving, and not retired or Reserve or inactive?

I make no claims to having any military service, since I have none.

Neither do I claim to speak for anyone other than myself.

Are you speaking for anyone besides yourself?

You don't get this because you don't want to.
I'm afraid I'd like to see your telepathy license before I could agree with the notion that you know what I want or don't want better than I do.

I'm quite sure I can't read your mind, and I'm quite sure I don't know what you think. Mileage clearly varies on our belief in our respective telepathic powers, but thanks for the input on what I think.

If you already are having a conversation with an imaginary version of me, or anyone else, in your head, you don't need my help to continue.

But if you'd like to know what I, in fact, actually think, do feel free to ask.

[...] Skin color and sexual orientation are two entirely different issues.
They're different issues, but, of course, "skin color" was not quite the issue; lack of understanding of the fact that "skin color" is meaningless beyond what color your skin is, was the underlying issue.

Sexual orientation is indeed a bit different, but in what ways it is and isn't is, again, worth being specific about. If one wants to make an argument, rather than an assertion.

You're free to make any argument you like here, and you are equally free to stick to mere assertion. Enjoy either.

I think you may find that some may find argument more persuasive than assertion, but many find argument tedious and makes their head hurt, so you'll also find many who will agree with assertion so long as they're previously disposed to, and if that's what you enjoy, may it bring you great pleasure.

Again, you should know better and that you apparently do not causes me think that a discussion on this topic with you is a waste of time because you don't want to understand.
Your logic and support for it with cites to facts that you have so compellingly laid out for us may cause me, and many others, to completely reconsider our views and ponder the irrestible nature of your argument.

Or not.

If you'd like to leave it there, then happy new year.

But, whoops, more comments:

[...] envy, get real. 72% of those polled nevered returned their answers.
There have been many polls: which one are you citing? Link, please?
Who knows what they think.
Interesting question you have there.

What's your own answer?

Maybe they're indifferent; maybe they are resigned to unwanted change.
Indeed.
For the record, I do not consider myself a conservative.
If you read this thread, or just do a "find" search on it, you may notice that the only person so far to mention the word "conservative" is you. Who, specifically, are you responding to here with this announcement? Which person, which comment?

It's helpful to quote the words you're responding to, or at least enough to let us know which comment you're responding to, and it's helpful to address individuals.

We only have individuals around here. We don't have any appointed spokespeople for anyone else, as a rule, other than those of us who have been elected or appointed so some specific position, which, as a rule, people tend to mention when relevant.

You are, of course, free to announce anything you'd like here about yourself, so long as it's vaguely on topic, and not in violation of the posting rules.

Hang out and tell us more, as much as you like. Or not. It's all up to you.

Thanks for your thoughts, and have a merry celebration of your choice; if it's Christmas, merry Christmas.

Please allow me to apologize, Avedis: it's clear that you were responding to "methinks your house is looking rather glassy" from envy.

However, when you state that you "don't know what glass houses you could be referring to," have you considered the possibility that some might interpret your writing in this thread so far as an attempt to speak for someone or ones other than yourself, while you are making claims about unnamed people ("bunch of academics and overly pc politicians": who, specifically?), and that that might strike some as questionable?

You may be entirely correct in your point of view. But I'm unclear why or how you would expect anyone to consider your arguments if you don't get around to making any.

And then we're back to that being a choice that's up to you or not.

No need to rush; I'm sure this thread will still be around on Sunday and Monday. I hope you're having a good time with family and friends, and if not, may you find happiness otherwise.

Thanks for your service to our country. I owe you one. Or more.

I forgot, twice, to mention that I'm sure Sebastian will enjoy finding out that he's a liberal.

I may have misunderstood this statement by you to indicate that that's what you were saying, avedis:

Just so this doesn't become liberal circle jerk within an echo chamber.....Disagree with you Sebastian.
May I ask: are you suggesting that Sebastian is a "liberal"? Or is that a misinterpretation of what you intended to say there?

"Posted by: Walter Willis"

You wouldn't perchance be the Walter Willis I've met in person several times, would you?

If so, I'd be grateful for an email to gary underscore farber at yahoo dot com

If you felt like it.

If you're someone else, never mind.

Rather, they are disproportionately young men from rural USA - a very different breed of cat - and there is some representation from the tougher urban areas.

In short, the guys doing the hard, dangerous, dirty work are not at all like the people pushing the gay agenda.

Do you suppose no gay people -- even those who "push the gay agenda" (wink wink) -- come from "rural USA" (wherever THAT is) or "tougher urban areas?"

I fear that Barney Frank confessed to the Gay Agenda on Wednesday.

The Sekrit Plan laid down for us by Bill Ayers, Gore Vidal, George Soros, Osama bin Laden, and Vladimir Lenin is revealed. Oh noes!

Worse, there's video. Warning! Those gay people do disgusting things, so you may not want to watch a gay homosexual male lesbian sissyboy queer doing one those things he does with his mouth.

But if you, the generic you, man up, you may be able to get the thrust of it, though it probably won't penetrate.

Neither are they graduates of liberal arts programs.
I'm 52 years old, and have had 3 months of college. September to December, 1975.
Rather, they are disproportionately young men from rural USA - a very different breed of cat - and there is some representation from the tougher urban areas.
Could you elaborate on the distinction you're making, please? I was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and when I was 4-5, we moved not terribly far away to another neighborhood in Brooklyn, Midwood. In junior high, I had to run a gamut on the stairwells every day of being shaken down at knife point. When I moved out on my own at age 15, I moved to one of the tougher areas of the Bronx, and then to Washington Heights, in different locations, but if there's a "tougher urban area," I'd be curious to know which, specific, neighborhood, in which specific city or cities, you have in mind.

It's true that I've lived a life of idle luxury, what with having spent years being homeless, but my vast educational credentials have allowed me to overcome this.

[...] The guys wearing the CIB (you, "envy"?) are not Europeans
mostly.
[...]
Statistics on Immigrant Service Members on Active Duty

* Approximately 65,000 immigrants serve in the armed forces.
* More than two-thirds of the foreign born serving in the armed forces are naturalized citizens.
* The foreign born represent approximately 5 percent of all active-duty personnel.
* Of all military branches, the navy has the highest number of foreign-born personnel.
* Approximately 8 percent of those serving in the navy are foreign born.
* Over 11,000 foreign-born women are serving in the armed forces.
* The top two countries of origin for foreign-born military personnel are the Philippines and Mexico.
* Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for the largest percentage of the foreign born, followed closely by Asia.
* As of February 2008, there were 359 service members born in Western Asia and 826 born in south-central Asia.
* Nearly 11 percent of those serving in the armed forces are of Hispanic origin.

Citizenship and the Armed Forces

* A July 2002 executive order made noncitizen members of the armed forces eligible for expedited US citizenship.
* More than 37,250 immigrant service members have become US citizens since September 2001.
* USCIS has granted posthumous citizenship to 111 military personnel killed in the line of duty since September 2001.
* The 2004 policy changes have allowed USCIS to hold naturalization ceremonies at US military bases around the world.

[...]

As of February 2008, there were 65,033 foreign-born individuals on active duty in the US military. This number includes both naturalized citizens and noncitizens.

[...]

More than two-thirds of the foreign born serving in the armed forces are naturalized citizens.

The 44,705 members of the US armed forces who were naturalized citizens in February 2008 represent 68.7 percent of the 65,033 foreign-born serving in US military. The 20,328 noncitizen members account for 31.3 percent of the total.

The share of naturalized members on active duty has increased since May 2006, when it was 51.3 percent (or 35,262) of the 68,711 foreign-born military personnel.

The foreign born represent approximately 5 percent of all active-duty personnel.
The foreign born represented 4.8 percent of the 1.36 million active-duty personnel in the armed forces as of February 2008.

Of all military branches, the navy has the highest number of foreign-born personnel.
There were 26,597 foreign-born individuals in the navy as of February 2008, representing 40.9 percent of the total foreign-born population on active duty. There were also 14,896 foreign-born individuals (22.9 percent) serving in the army, 13,436 (20.7 percent) in the air force, and 10,104 (15.5 percent) in the marines.

Approximately 8 percent of those serving in the navy are foreign born.
Foreign-born individuals constituted 8.1 percent of the 327,680 navy personnel as of February 2008. The foreign born also comprised 5.4 percent of the 188,511 men and women serving in the marines; 4.1 percent of the 324,881 individuals in the air force; and 2.9 percent of the 520,386 individuals serving in the army.


Over 11,000 foreign-born women are serving in the armed forces.

As of February 2008, 11,182 foreign-born women were on active duty in the US armed forces, representing 17.2 percent of all foreign born serving in the military.

The top two countries of origin for foreign-born military personnel are the Philippines and Mexico.
The Philippines, with 22.8 percent (14,854), accounted for the largest percentage of the foreign born in the armed forces in February 2008. In addition, 9.5 percent (6,188) of the immigrants were born in Mexico; 4.7 percent (3,064) in Jamaica; 3.1 percent (2,007) in Korea; and 2.5 percent (1,372) in the Dominican Republic.

Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for the largest percentage of the foreign born, followed closely by Asia.
Foreign-born military personnel from Latin America and the Caribbean constituted 38.7 percent (23,926) of all the foreign born in the armed forces while 35.9 percent (22,226) were from Asia (see Figure 1).

But your statement is essentially true.

I'm unclear what conclusion you are drawing: could you elaborate, perhaps? Are Europeans inherently bad at war-making? Do you have a link to some data about how not forcing out of the service tens of thousands of distinguished veterans has harmed their military? Or?

nor are they in a cumpulsory service society like Israel where there is greater representation of all segments of that society.
This is true, and the merits and demerits of a volunteer military versus a fair draft, and the problems resulting from a volunteer military, as well as the benefits, can be a quite interesting discussion over an entirely valid distinction with a great many implications, many of which have been written about at length.

We can discuss that, if you like.

Neither are they graduates of liberal arts programs.
Let's go to those wacky liberals at the Heritage Foundation, shall we?
[...] This paper reports the results of summary research into the demographic composition of two groups of recruits: those who enlisted between October 1998 and September 1999 and those who enlisted between January 2003 and September 2003. These groups are referred to as the 1999 and 2003 recruit cohorts, respectively. Nationwide Census data for citizens ages 18?24 were used as a baseline for comparison. Comparisons of these three different groups highlight the differences not only between the general population and military volunteers, but also between recruits who volun­teered for the military before 9/11 and those who volunteered after 9/11.

Our analysis of the demographic composition of enlisted recruits vis-à-vis the general population considers the following characteristics:

* Household income,
* Level of education,
* Race/ethnicity, and
* Region/rural origin.

This paper also reviews other evidence that is at odds with the image, painted by some supporters of the draft, that the military exploits poor, ignorant, young Americans by using slick advertising that promises technical careers in the military to dupe them into trading their feeble opportunities in the private sector for a meager role as cannon fodder.

[...]

In summary, we found that, on average, 1999 recruits were more highly educated than the equiv­alent general population, more rural and less urban in origin, and of similar income status. We did not find evidence of minority racial exploitation (by race or by race-weighted ZIP code areas). We did find evidence of a ?Southern military tradition? in that some states, notably in the South and West, provide a much higher proportion of enlisted troops by population.

The household income of recruits generally matches the income distribution of the American population. There are slightly higher proportions of recruits from the middle class and slightly lower proportions from low-income brackets. However, the proportion of high-income recruits rose to a disproportionately high level after the war on ter­rorism began, as did the proportion of highly edu­cated enlistees.

[...]

We find that, on average, recruits tend to be much more highly educated than the general pub­lic and that this education disparity increased after the war on terrorism began. Comparable detailed education data from the Census classify the educa­tion level of individuals into one of seven categories (from less than high school up to graduate/profes­sional degree). We generated a binary variable that assigns a 1 for individuals with a high school diploma or higher and a 0 for less than a high school diploma.

If one single statistic could settle this issue, it is this: 98 percent of all enlisted recruits who enter the military have an education level of high school graduate or higher, compared to the national aver­age of 75 percent.[5] In an education context, rather than attracting underprivileged young Americans, the military seems to be attracting above-average Americans. What remains to explore is whether this pattern of military enlistment is (1) consistent across ZIP codes, (2) consistent across all branches of service, and/or (3) consistent proportionally across all levels of education.

The claim could still be made that highly edu­cated recruits are being pulled from underprivi­leged areas, marked by below-average high school graduation rates. Further analysis shows that any such claim would also be incorrect. We used the binary measure to make a ZIP code?level compari­son. By comparing the records of 183,288 individ­ual recruits from the 1999 cohort, using ZIP code of origin, against other Census populations by ZIP code, our analysis shows that roughly half (48.5 percent) of enlistees came from three-digit ZCTAs with above-average national graduation rates. The other half of enlistees came from areas with below-average high school graduation rates.

Regardless of ZIP code area, we also find that enlistees are almost universally better educated than the general population. In all but one of the 885 three-digit ZCTAs, the graduation rate for 1999 recruits was higher than the graduation rate for non-recruits ages 18?24. In 2003, recruits had a higher graduation rate in every ZCTA. Figure 2, by using a gray scale to show the intensity of the educational gap, clearly shows that recruits are often better educated than the general population.

There are many helpful charts, and more data, if you'd like to peruse.

Or we could go to another source, if you'd like to discuss facts.

Rather, they are disproportionately young men from rural USA - a very different breed of cat - and there is some representation from the tougher urban areas.
This is true.

I couldn't agree more than this is problematic. We could continue that discussion, if you like.

Gary, while DADT absolutely needed to go, it is over the top to say that "it never should have happened in the first place". It is worth remembering that the policy which it replaced was worse. Having a policy which would not allow the military to actively research the private lives of soldiers was a step forward over one which enabled repeated witch-hunts.

We progress, albeit slowly and (apparently) reluctantly. But we need to keep in mind that even some of the things that we believe must be changed may have been, when they were started, also a step forward. A sense of history is a good thing.

@avedis Skin color and sexual orientation are two entirely different issues.

Well, except that
a) both are, on the evidence, something that the individual is born with, rather than a choice,
b) the arguments against repealing DADT are, overwhelmingly (actually, with only one exception), the same as were made half a century ago when Truman was ordering the racial integration of the military.
The only difference that I can see is that it is (in some cases) harder to conceal race than to conceal sexual orientation. Although a over the years a lot of people have "passed" in order to avoid discrimination.

So what is the one exception I mentioned? The one argument against repealing DADT that I am aware of, and which would not apply to race, is all about sexual unwanted advances. But the military already has in place (as I'm sure you are aware from your service) regulations dealing with sexual harassment and similar issues.

So what those concerns amount to, IMHO, is this: "If we enforce the sexual harassment regs when homosexuals are involved, we might have to start enforcing them when only heterosexuals are involved. Oh, the horror!" No doubt that's an overstatement. But, unfortunately, not as much of one as those who haven't known women in the military might like to believe.

"It would indeed. Unfortunately, because the Senate rules are broken, that is impossible for most bills. The rules allow all sorts of time-consuming obstructionism, so that little time is left on the legislative calendar so that the only way for most bills to be considered is as part of enormous assemblies of legislation."

Let us consider an alternate explanation: The general theory of Chinese menu bills is that by shoving enough widely popular items into a bill, people will overlook the unpopular items, and it will sale through.

But perhaps what happens is that they do NOT overlook the unpopular items, and the only result is that the popular items, which would NOT have been obstructed as stand alone bills get blocked along with the unpopular.

I can understand the appeal of assuming one's foes are indiscriminately obstructive, but that's usually not the case.

more openly gay behavior

What do you mean by this? Do you mean that they'll be more tidy and decorative, or that they'll be indulging in some gay orgies right out in the open?

Or something else? I mean, what could this mean? What, in a like vein, could "more openly heterosexual behavior" mean in a military-personnel context?

ISTM that there are strictures against fraternization that might apply, even in the Hellmouth that is the US military without DADT.

Oh, by the way: I AM a conservative, in some sense, to the extent that I firmly believe that what people do in their private, spare time with other consenting adults is none of my business, nor should it be.

Also in other senses that don't apply here.

@Avedis:

I was gonna leave off, but there was one point you were arguing that I made the mistake of thinking back to, and it kinda did offend me more than a little. As Gary observed,

And beyond that, last I looked, the military isn't a democracy.

This. This, this, this, this, this. Your arguments seem by turns to hinge on a denial of this point, or perhaps instead a refutation of civilian control of the military. See, when I raised my right hand, I swore to uphold the Constitution we had, not the Constitution I wanted. And the Constitution we have does not grant vetos to the military when outlining its control by the civilian branches of government. It doesn't say that the military only has to follow the rules laid out by civilians if it likes them, or if they poll well among the troops... or among the real troops, as opposed to the fobbits. But that seems to be what you're arguing.

I'd say I'm overstating this, and you're just arguing this is an ill-advised policy imposed by the civilian government that it really should re-consider... but you argued something stronger than that. You argued that there are certain classes of individuals, who by virtue of their fundamental disconnect from the likes of 11s and 18s and jarheads and suchlike, should not be allowed to make rules governing their behavior. I'm sorry, no. That's not the Constitution I, nor you, swore to uphold. Civilian control of the military. It's a cornerstone of the republic.

Again, the military is not a democracy. If the civilians writing the laws governing the armed forces decide the military will conduct themselves in a certain manner, it doesn't matter if the infantrymen are a "different breed of cats" - they're not such shrinking violets that they can or should get special exemption from obeying the chain of command above them. The military is not a democracy. When my superiors discussed the perceived inevitability of the repeal, they hammered that point home. Our personal opinions do not matter. Ultimately, we serve society, and we obey their whims. Yes, we're citizen-Soldiers, but our opinions carry no more weight than those of citizen-civilians, or citizen-academics, or citizen-overly-pc-politicians. We don't get to veto the civilian government that controls us, and if they change what is lawful, we're obliged to obey it. It doesn't matter if we'd rather not. We gave up the option to "rather not" when we raised our right hands.

Gary, while DADT absolutely needed to go, it is over the top to say that "it never should have happened in the first place". It is worth remembering that the policy which it replaced was worse.
DADT was created as a result of a purely political attack by Republicans on Clinton; DADT should never have happened; the current policy should have been put into place at the time, and would have if the Republicans in question had been sane, decent, people informed about gay people.

I hope this clarifies where I stand without my having to write a full post about the history of DADT, which would be a good thing to do, but which is not in my plans in the next few days.

I don't think we're disagreeing.

Who knows what they think

good point.

and yet you seem to be claiming to know what everybody else in the country thinks, what motivates them, etc..

wj:

[...] The only difference that I can see is that it is (in some cases) harder to conceal race than to conceal sexual orientation. Although a over the years a lot of people have "passed" in order to avoid discrimination.
I tend to let uses of the word "race" pass, because otherwise one is in the same discussion endlessly.

But since it's directly relevant to what's being discussed here, I feel compelled to stress the point that, even though I'm sure you don't mean it that way, and are simply using the language that has been customary since the pseudoscience of "race" was invented in the 19th century, that there are, in fact, no such things as "races" of human beings, and there's no actual "passing" as one or the other.

What actually occurred was the construction of a false and absurd set of categorizations whose assumptions and terms most people, even many of the most clear-thinking, still use.

I can go into the history of this at great length, and have been known to, unsurprisingly, many times, including on this blog, but it's almost as easy to write it all again from scratch, as I've done many times, as go find links to my past writings about this, but since it's an important topic, it's one that I'd very much make a priority of disussing again if this is controversial.

Otherwise, full agreement, as is often the case.

[...] So what is the one exception I mentioned? The one argument against repealing DADT that I am aware of, and which would not apply to race, is all about sexual unwanted advances. But the military already has in place (as I'm sure you are aware from your service) regulations dealing with sexual harassment and similar issues.
Just so.

The issue is fear. Fear of The Other.

Our military personnel must not be fearful. Perhaps especially of their own citizenry, and compatriots.

Brett:

I can understand the appeal of assuming one's foes are indiscriminately obstructive, but that's usually not the case.
Define "usually" as you're using it here, please?

I can agree with it over a range of specifics, but very much not over others, and I have no idea what you are being inclusive or inclusive of in your "usually."

It may be clear to others than myself, and you.

envy: what you said.

Gary, you are correct -- we aren't disagreeing. DADT was not what should have been put in place at the time. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't a step in the right direction. Not as big a step as should have been taken; but a step nonetheless.

there are, in fact, no such things as "races" of human beings, and there's no actual "passing" as one or the other.

Gary, I agree completely. Which is why I always respond to queries about my race (e.g. from polls, the census, etc.) with "Mixed" . . . blue eyes and blond hair notwithstanding. As any anthropologist knows, it's the only accurate response.

But in the context of the mid-20th century, "race" was used (e.g. in segregating the armed forces), and "passing" [as white] was, in fact, a strategy for avoiding the racial biases of the time. For that matter, there were instances of things like Jews "passing" as non-Jews in circumstances where their religion was likely to cause them to be discriminated against -- name changes, avoiding using certain words, etc. Today, that seems almost inconceivable; half a century or more ago, it was simply reality.

wj: yes.

"Gary, while DADT absolutely needed to go, it is over the top to say that "it never should have happened in the first place". It is worth remembering that the policy which it replaced was worse. Having a policy which would not allow the military to actively research the private lives of soldiers was a step forward over one which enabled repeated witch-hunts."

I can't agree. The number of soldiers investigated and discharged under DADT went up dramatically under the previous regime.

"DADT was created as a result of a purely political attack by Republicans on Clinton; DADT should never have happened; the current policy should have been put into place at the time, and would have if the Republicans in question had been sane, decent, people informed about gay people."

This is also not true. DADT was championed by the ranking Democrats on the Senate committees at a time when Democrats controlled the Senate.

I AM a conservative, in some sense, to the extent that I firmly believe that what people do in their private, spare time with other consenting adults is none of my business, nor should it be.

That is not a conservative trait.

Liberals weren't the dissenters in Lawrence v. Texas, conservatives were: Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas.

Among a million other instances where conservatives make it their business what people do in their private, spare time with other consenting adults.

Liberals weren't the ones who wanted to ban contraceptives.

Liberals weren't the ones who wanted to ban interracial marriage.

Those were conservatives, making their case using conservative arguments.

It goes on and on.

Sebastian:

[...] DADT was championed by the ranking Democrats on the Senate committees at a time when Democrats controlled the Senate.
Quick note to say that I think that's a fair statement and mine was obviously an immensely simplistic generalization, which I think is still defensible up to a point, but you're perfectly correct that my taking the time to make a more careful and accurate description would be better.

I have a friend coming over shortly, until we decide it's time for him to leave, so I don't expect to be around ObWi until then. I'll be happy to discuss the details of this further, later, if it seems sensible.

Merry happy, Sebastian, and to all those you care about.

Liberals weren't the dissenters in Lawrence v. Texas, conservatives were: Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas.
This seems to be a complete non-sequitur to a statement of personal beliefs. I'm sure you don't wish to leave people with the impression that you know Slartibartfast's views and notions -- which I've observed evolve considerably over the past several years -- better than he does, right?

What some other folks think probably isn't what Slart thinks, unless he, you know, says so.

Similarly, I might say that since I'm familiar with, oh, Thurgood Marshall's written legal opinions, and many of his other views and far more detail about his life than I have more than some bare facts that I know about Slart's life, that therefore I should assume his views are yours, and I should argue with you on that basis.

Maybe I'd be correct, but it wouldn't be the approach I'd think best.

I'd prefer to ask you what you think, rather than decide you fit under a simplistic label, and then respond to what I imagine you might think. Would you rather I, or others, do otherwise?

By the way, Duff Clarity, you have some nice links on your blog; I may make use of a couple or more; if I forget to credit you, please remind me.

And thanks for indirectly bringing them to my attention.

Hope you're having as good a holiday as you can.

Me: "...that therefore I should assume his views are yours, and I should argue with you on that basis."

Apologies for poor construction and faulty antecedent: "his" refers to Thurgood Marshall's views, not Slart's.

Perhaps the opponents of DADT repeal were saying to our brave hetero men and women who serve, with regard to the (heretofore secret) orientation of their gay and lesbian colleagues:

"You can't HANDLE the truth!!"

Unless, of course, Santa Claus brought these service members an additional measure of testicular fortitude (and whatever the feminine equvalent thereof is).

I'm sure you don't wish to leave people with the impression that you know Slartibartfast's views and notions

I have no idea what Slartibartfast's views and notions are and am happy to accept his word for them.

What I disagree with is his characterisation of those views as conservative. It is not my perception that conservatives believe in leaving consenting adults to decide what they do in their private time. It is my perception that that is what liberals have been advocating for the last half century at least, in the face of opposition from conservatives.

you have some nice links on your blog; I may make use of a couple or more; if I forget to credit you, please remind me

No credit needed, I'm glad someone found the blog worth reading.

Cheers.

Duff, I'm not sure where Slarti is actually located. But in the western part of the country (where I am), "Conservative" has historically had strong libertarian overtones. (See, for example, Barry Goldwater.) So "mind your own business" would be an unexceptional conservative position.

I realize that elsewhere "conservative" has other overtones. Including the one which has captured the public perception of the term over the last decade or two: "once upon a (mythical) time, things were much better. So nothing should be changed and anything that differs from how we think things were (accurately or not) should be reversed." Plus heavy overtones of "Morality, as I see it, is endangered and everybody's actions and thoughts must be controlled to restore at least the outward appearance that I am comfortable with." But that isn't the only way to view "conservative"; and in earlier times "reactionary" would have been a more usual way to describe it.

If only "mind your own business" could shake loose some money, so that the culture warrior fundraisers who live off of rousing the rabble would not be so terrified of having to -- shudder -- get .. a .. job!!!

"Conservative" has historically had strong libertarian overtones

If by conservative, one means libertarian, why not just say libertarian?

Libertarians are in favour of the right to privacy for consenting adults. Surely Slartibartfast isn't insinuating that liberals are not in favour of the right to privacy for consenting adults. So now we are supposed to believe that conservatives have also been in favour of the right to privacy for consenting adults all along?

If liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have all been in favour of the right to privacy for consenting adults, then why were there laws on the books, until 2003, that made homosexual sex illegal?

Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas wanted the laws making homosexual sex illegal to stay on the books. How would you characterise them politically? Liberals? Libertarians? Or something else?

They're were certainly not being reactionary in this case. Homosexual behaviour has been punished for thousands of years. Arguing that something that has been punished for thousands of years should continue to be punished is not reactionary.

Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas wanted the laws making homosexual sex illegal to stay on the books. How would you characterise them politically?
Reactionary seems to pretty well characterize their view. Scalia and Thomas especially. In this particular case, it isn't that they want something to not change (although they do), but that the reason that they want it to not change seems to be because it harks back to their image of how things were in the Golden Age they believe in. Even though anyone who lived through said "Golden Age" is likely to have a somewhat different take on what it was actually like.

As for why not simply differentiate libertarians and conservatives, there are some differences but also some overlaps. Just as there are overlaps between liberals and libertarians. And ignoring the libertarian parts of each is IMHO what leads people to miss the libertarian variety of conservatism.

"Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas wanted the laws making homosexual sex illegal to stay on the books."

That's not entirely clear to me; I know that they think THEY aren't entitled to remove them from the books, but unless you're just assuming that every justice feels themselves entitled to overturn any law they happen to dislike, and uphold any law they approve of, the fact that they aren't willing to overturn a law doesn't necessarily imply they want that law in place.

"And beyond that, last I looked, the military isn't a democracy.

This. This, this, this, this, this. Your arguments seem by turns to hinge on a denial of this point, or perhaps instead a refutation of civilian control of the military."

I agree, Envy, the military isn't a democracy; nor should it be. How else can orders be given that knowingly send men to their deaths. I'm retired for many years. I work in the civilian sector now. I can't remember the word "fairness" ever coming up as an issue for discussion when giving or receiving orders in my Marine Corps. I fact, I can't ever remember anything resembling the Bill of Rights being in effect in the chain of command.

It looks to me like this repeal is all about "fairness" (i.e. it's not fair that gays can't openly act out their lifestyles when in the service). As you well know, there are many lifestyle choices that can't be acted out in the service. Don't volunteer if you can't abide by the rules.

As for your point about upholding the Constitution and civilian control, well, it just doesn't hold water. I am saying that the civilians in control made a bad decision. Sure, the organizations will hold their noses (yes, even the Marines, SOF, regular 11s) and mostly accept this imposition, but that doesn't make it a good idea. There are all sorts of classes/types of people currently barred from service that are given a helping hand and/or are protected to some extent in the civilian world. Would you be so ok with any or all of these being permitted membership in the armed forces if the civilian leadership decided that it would be the right thing to do in the interest of fairness?

Gary,

I am expressing an opinion. My opinion. I do not claim to speak for anyone else; though I know there are many who do agree with me. And you and the other DADT repeal supporters here are merely expressing an opinion. The difference is that you appear, at least to me, to think that you have the ultimate answers and righteousness on your side. You don't care what the guys doing the fighting think about this or how it will effect them. You just want to use their service as an opportunity to lecture them and teach them to be better people in your image.

I do not pretend to know what the result of the repeal will be with certainty. I am merely offering a perspective that is not in agreement with yours. You don't know what the result will be either, though you are willing to risk some severe consequences on the alter of "fairness".

A few homosexuals have been discharged because of their sexual orientation despite otherwise good service records. That is too bad (really, I mean that), but, as Envy notes, the Armed Forces is not a democracy. All sorts of sacrfices are made to keep combat effectiveness at maximum. You are just emphasizing one of the more insignificant of those.

You continue to attempt to assert your correctness by citing "evidence" and asking me to do the same. The facts and figures concerning zip codes of enlistees that you provided up thread ignores the important distinction I made between hardcore combat troops and other military occupations (which are the majority by many times). I assert that among the hardcore the rural skew is even higher that what your stats show. I don't think I need to explain the difference in attitudes of young testosterone charged male high school grads from rural areas who seek combat roles versus more educated and cosmopolitan suburban and city males. BTW, we are only talking about males because females are not allowed in combat arms (though I suppose that is next on the civilian leadership's agenda).


Whether you like it or not, combat arms is a culture and that culture is very male/macho in every connotation and denotation of those terms. Those connotations may offend you. Sorry. The world is as it is; not as you'd wish it to be.

Integration of blacks could happen because blacks could prove their manhood within the definition of such by the warrior culture in this country. Openly homosexual men will have a much more difficult time accomplishing this. Some of them are going to get hurt; maybe killled by their peers. Some otherwise fine straight men will be discharged or jailed over this. Some good troops - perhaps many - will not re-up over the consequences the repeal has on their tight knit society.

What do you care if unit cohesion and combat effectiveness suffers a mere 10% -15%? That can't be too many lives lost. The
gain is worth it, right? Now we have a protected class within the military. Now two guys can make out in the barracks in front of everyone else. Wow! That's social advancement!. Now, if a homosexual service member is reprimanded for being slack/deficient they can hide behind allegations of harassment due to sexual orientation and probably get away with it.

That is not a conservative trait.

I suppose that you could make a strong case for that, in the context of modern-day conservatism. But conservatives have been, at one time or another, at least notionally for less government intrusion into the private lives of people. That may not be what Republicans are about these days, but it's probably worth pointing out that there's a certain flexibility to what counts as "liberal" these days.

Anyway, if you're wondering what the hell I meant by that sexual orientation of any member of the service is none of anyone's business, provided the people involved adhere to the rest of the rules of the game, the above (hopefully) clarifies. You're welcome to disagree.

Surely Slartibartfast isn't insinuating that liberals are not in favour of the right to privacy for consenting adults.

Surely I'm not. And stop calling me Surely.

They're were certainly not being reactionary in this case. Homosexual behaviour has been punished for thousands of years.

Um...reactionary, paying particular attention to the very first sentence.

Also, as much as John Cole and I disagree these days, back when he still adhered strongly to the conservative label (no idea where he says he is these days), he was (IIRC) pretty hard over (if you'll excuse) in favor of gays in the military.

And he served, which should give him extra worthiness, in the eyes of people who think that's extra important.

They're were certainly not being reactionary in this case. Homosexual behaviour has been punished for thousands of years.

Um...reactionary, paying particular attention to the very first sentence.

I'm paying attention to it but I'm not getting your point. I'm probably missing something obvious.

In 2003, homosexual sex was illegal in Texas. That was the status quo. The court was deciding whether or not to change that.

The status quo ante would be the days when Thomas Jefferson was considered a liberal for advocating that homosexuals merely be castrated instead of killed.

That's what a reactionary would look like in 2003 - someone who advocated that homosexuals be killed or castrated rather than imprisoned.

I just don't get why you would preface your belief in a right to privacy with a nod to conservatism. Liberals believe in it, libertarians believe in it, to find conservatives that believe in it you have to squint real hard.

Conservatives opposed interracial marriage, they opposed the right to use contraceptives, they opposed abortion, they opposed homosexual sex.

When you say "I firmly believe that what people do in their private, spare time with other consenting adults is none of my business, nor should it be", you don't sound like a conservative. That's what I believe and I'm certainly not a conservative, I'm politically to the left of Gandhi and Dennis Kucinich.

That's what a reactionary would look like in 2003 - someone who advocated that homosexuals be killed or castrated rather than imprisoned.

You're saying that a true reactionary would want to return to a state where the penalty for homosexual sex was death? That's a pretty high bar for reactionary, there. Not one that everyone would agree with, I think.

I'm saying someone who advocated continuing the status quo can't be described as a reactionary.

In 2003 homosexual sex was punishable by imprisonment in some states.

Before 1962, it was illegal in every state in the US.

If a reactionary is, as you imply, someone who seeks to return to a previous state in society, what would a reactionary in this instance have been in 2003, or 1962?

In contrast to a conservative.

I just don't get why you would preface your belief in a right to privacy with a nod to conservatism.

I'm not sure that I'd call it belief in a right to privacy so much as a desire to limit the extent to which governmental powers intrude where they have no business.

If those two things sound equivalent to you, fine.

FWIW, I think you're mostly arguing that Religious Right == conservative, which I disagree with. The Religious Right has undeniably affected Republican policies (such as they are) for the last three decades or so, give or take, but that doesn't mean conservatives universally agree with those on the Religious Right.

In short, the guys doing the hard, dangerous, dirty work are not at all like the people pushing the gay agenda.

I have to admit I'm completely unclear on what this "gay agenda" is that everyone is so concerned about.

As far as I can tell, the "gay agenda" is that gay men are attracted to men, gay women are attracted to women, and both groups would prefer to not take a ration of crap from everybody else because of it.

If there's more to it than that, I'm not aware of it.

Whether you like it or not, combat arms is a culture and that culture is very male/macho in every connotation and denotation of those terms.

If you think that machismo, a strong warrior ethic, and a robust capacity for general yang-itude is underrepresented in the homosexual community, I believe you are mistaken.

Maybe it's time to update your blinders.

The "gay agenda" phrasing sounds a great deal like the "gay mafia" phrase that Michael Savage was using with gay abandon last time I heard a snatch of his show, which was years ago.

When you're too crazy for me, you're certifiable.

russell, You know perfectly well what I am talking about re; male/macho with regards to the military society. To be blunt, I have no doubt whatsoever that there are homosexuals who have the phsyical and psychological right stuff to go out slaughter human beings with the best of 'em. However, the typical 18 to 24 year old who is out there doing that kind of work sees sexually conquering females as an important aspect of the personna and sucking dick and taking it up the ass as being antithetical to it.

The gay agenda? Change the thinking of the typical 18 to 24 year old (and everyone else) to accept that what the other 2% +/- does for fun is acceptable. That, or punish them into silence for expressing distaste.

BTW, Personally, I don't care what gays do with other consenting adults. I get hit on by them from time to time and I always politely explain that I don't swing that way and let it go at that. That's me now. I can't fully recall what I thought about it when I was 18 to 24. I do know I was a lot less understanding.

I'd guess that people are effective soldiers, irrespective of who they're fncking.

And people will get adjusted to that a damned sight quicker, once their superiors quit telling them that it's important, who they're fncking.

My take, anyway.

I can't fully recall what I thought about it when I was 18 to 24. I do know I was a lot less understanding.

Possibly, because you were told that you should be a lot less understanding.

Culture. You're soaking in it.

Same culture as I soaked in, when I was younger. So I suspect, anyway.

"However, the typical 18 to 24 year old who is out there doing that kind of work sees sexually conquering females as an important aspect of the personna and sucking dick and taking it up the ass as being antithetical to it."

Come to San Diego, I'll introduce you to gay Marines and gay SEALs. Especially now that they can admit it. For the most part they don't have the remotest problem getting the respect of their peers if they are good at what they do.

Avedis,
including reserves, there are over 2 million people in the US armed forces (and over 20% of them are women). Do you really believe that an organization like the military is simply made up of people who have the 'physical and psychological right stuff to go out and slaughter human beings'. Don't you think the whole concept of a national military requires a huge array of skills in addition to what you feel is the essential quality? If you are making the argument that we need to keep gays out because the 'tip of the spear' forces need to keep their macho worldview? (Note that the number of combat troops in Special Forces commands are 'less than 10,000' and that they are " older and more rigorously trained." link), it would probably be better to make that more explicit. However, it seems that you have a rather warped view of the requirements of the Armed Forces in general and the Special Forces in particular (As you acknowledge, you were a lot less understanding in your youth, so maybe you could consider that filling up the Special Forces with 18-24 year olds primarily interested in scoring with chicks would not be a good idea), which is complemented by a warped understanding of what homosexuality entails. And while I don't want to silence you, I would suggest you be a little less colorful about how you describe homosexuality or you may be asked to leave. Of course, if you state it a bit more prosaically, you end up saying 'We can't have gays in the military because they are too passive to deal with the requirements of being in the military' However, by stating it so colloquially, it seems like you think it is something where everyone receives and no one gives, which makes me think that you are more writing this out of some sense of threatened masculinity than clearly thinking this through.

Culture to an extent, Slarti. Perhaps.

Then again, throughout history homosexuality has never enjoyed a cultural melieu where it gained equallity with the hetros. If culture is the key, then somewhere in history there should have been more acceptance. On the other hand, if resistance to it is something deeper in the human psyche, then we would expect to see a persistent reluctance to grant acceptance to homosexuality; which is what we have and which bodes badly for the gay community's current efforts.

Any how, before signing off for good on this thread I ask, rhetorically, when the US military will allow open practice of necrophilia. Surely there must be a few necrophiliacs suffering the same oppression as gays under their own form of DADT. What is the difference? Where are their liberal champions?

Finally, I hope that the gays that are now attracted to the service for its new protective policies do more for it than they have done for the Catholic Church.

Then again, throughout history homosexuality has never enjoyed a cultural melieu where it gained equallity with the hetros.

If you leave out Ancient Greece and feudal Japan

On the other hand, the Greeks and the Japanese were not up with necrophilia. So draw your own conclusions.

Maybe avedis is right in a kinky sort of way.

We should keep both gays and females out of the military and let wigged out, "my dick is my life", testosterone governed zombies have their way in combat. After all, dick waving has a definite hetero bias.

Straight guys have a historically documented tendency to rape homosexuals-not the reverse. This is an undeniable fact. I mean this theme practically knocks you in the chin when you watch MSNBC's "Lockup", read prison fiction, or actually pay attention to reality. They (young heteros) also tend to rape females. Your surprised? Please. In fact, their "rape-acity" tends to know no bounds. Just ask wingnuts about the Soviet rape of (everything in) Berlin in the spring of 1945. Young heteros in combat are omni-rapists. If it moves (sometimes even that is not necessary) and they can stick their dick in it, it's fair game.

I guess that makes them special. Since we have tasked them with defending our country, we should acceed to their needs as it were.

Clearly, the armed forces is no place for homosexuals (/females). They will only be taken advantage of.

http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/01/why_are_straight_guys_so_aroused_by_pris

"Come to San Diego, I'll introduce you to gay Marines and gay SEALs."

I have already met both, thank you.

"Especially now that they can admit it."
That might be the problem. I was ok with DADT. The openness is where I think the trouble starts.

LJ,"If you are making the argument that we need to keep gays out because the 'tip of the spear' forces need to keep their macho worldview? (Note that the number of combat troops in Special Forces commands are 'less than 10,000' and that they are " older and more rigorously trained." link), it would probably be better to make that more explicit."

I have made that explicit repeatedly.

"so maybe you could consider that filling up the Special Forces with 18-24 year olds primarily interested in scoring with chicks would not be a good idea), ."

Huh? That is what 18 - 24 year olds are interested in. That is nature.

"...which is complemented by a warped understanding of what homosexuality entails..."

Really? 18 - 24 year olds are interested in sex. Period. Homo or hetro.

"I would suggest you be a little less colorful about how you describe homosexuality or you may be asked to leave."

I am telling you how it is seen by those that you want to impose acceptance on. If you can't handle that then I am afraid you are utterly unqualified to comment on the topic.

"Of course, if you state it a bit more prosaically, you end up saying 'We can't have gays in the military because they are too passive to deal with the requirements of being in the military' However, by stating it so colloquially, it seems like you think it is something where everyone receives and no one gives"

Again, you have lost me. I wasn't inferring psychology traits from the sexual acts performed.

"which makes me think that you are more writing this out of some sense of threatened masculinity than clearly thinking this through."

Ah yes,there it is. The famous fallback position. If one is critical of something homosexual, then one must be secretly attracted to homosexuality. Sorry, That doesn't work on me.

That is what 18 - 24 year olds are interested in. That is nature.

Yes, but that is not the composition of the Special Forces. So the military powers that be seem to specifically reject your notion that 18-24 year olds interested in getting the girls is needed. And I would tend to think that they have a better read on the requirements than you.

As for the famous fallback position, I'm not the one who felt compelled to bring up particular acts that are associated in your mind with homosexuality in florid terms. (and btw, they aren't just for homosexuals) Perhaps you feel those emotive terms strengthen your position, but resorting to them suggests that you see this as an emotional argument rather than an objective one, claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

Perhaps you didn't see my comment about ancient Greece and feudal Japan. I'd be interested to know if that changes your claim that throughout history homosexuality has never enjoyed a cultural melieu where it gained equallity with the hetros. I really think you need to rethink your position as it is not supported by the facts.

"You don't care what the guys doing the fighting think about this or how it will effect them. You just want to use their service as an opportunity to lecture them and teach them to be better people in your image."

I'd really appreciate seeing your telepathy license. I you can't produce one, I'm afraid I can't accept your assertions as to what I want, since you are, you know, completely wrong.

Come back and try a conversation where you ask me a question.

I promise I won't announce to you what you want, and think, if you'll give me the same courtesy. Thanks.

If you just want to converse with the imaginary Gary in your head, you really don't need me around that.

Any how, before signing off for good on this thread I ask, rhetorically, when the US military will allow open practice of necrophilia. Surely there must be a few necrophiliacs suffering the same oppression as gays under their own form of DADT. What is the difference? Where are their liberal champions?
There are no mainstream champions for necrophilia. If you can't figure out why, and how homosexuality differ, I suggest thinking about it more, and learning more about it. If that doesn't work, indeed ask questions.
Finally, I hope that the gays that are now attracted to the service for its new protective policies do more for it than they have done for the Catholic Church.
In 2007, over 1400 military personnel were assaulted and raped while serving in the armed forces.

Clearly we need get men out of the service, because they rape and sexually assault other solders.

Is there anything wrong about this view that isn't wrong with "Finally, I hope that the gays that are now attracted to the service for its new protective policies do more for it than they have done for the Catholic Church."

Are you saying that gay people are more prone to child molestation than heterosexuals? Really? Have you looked into the figures on that? If so, please cite them.

You probably want to look for yourself, because if you don't, I'll happily give them to you.

A few homosexuals have been discharged because of their sexual orientation despite otherwise good service records. That is too bad (really, I mean that), but, as Envy notes, the Armed Forces is not a democracy. All sorts of sacrfices are made to keep combat effectiveness at maximum.

Gotta complete the argument here, pal. Did discharging these otherwise good soldiers solely because of their sexual orientation make combat effectiveness better, or did it make it worse, or did it stay roughly the same? Without the answer, you're just stringing together words.

To be blunt, I have no doubt whatsoever that there are homosexuals who have the phsyical and psychological right stuff to go out slaughter human beings with the best of 'em. However, the typical 18 to 24 year old who is out there doing that kind of work sees sexually conquering females as an important aspect of the personna and sucking dick and taking it up the ass as being antithetical to it.

Ah! I get it now. You're not interested in preserving military culture. You're interested in preserving rape culture. See, that's not something I think we should do. At all.

Ok Gary; some direct questions.
1. Why do you think that gays should be allowed to serve openly?
2. Why do you think that their doing so won't have a deletorious effect on combat troops (i.e. why do you disagree with the Commandant of the US Marine Corps, General Amos)?
3. Why do you think there is a distinction between allowing the open practice of homosexuality and the open practice of necrophilia?

Thank you in advance for you logical and considerate response to all of the above.

"You're interested in preserving rape culture."

Phil and Lib Jap, you two just don't like male warrior - maybe any non-gay male - culture. Again, these guys do what you are afraid to do. Don't ask them to be like you because then the job of protecting you won't get done. I mean, you're not gonna protect yourselves, are you?. And, lib jap, we are not just talking about 10,000 SOF, we are talking about tens of thousands more in the Marines and regular Army infantry, arty and armor.

avendis, perhaps, while Gary is contemplating the answer to your questions, you could favor us with the reason you disagree with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen. Who, from his statements, expects no deleterious effects (provided only that the military has a chance to manage the transition). Are you saying that the Admiral just doesn't like the mail warrior culture? Just wondering.

Thank you for enlightening us.

Phil LJ, your portrayel of men in the armed forces as a bunch of rapists is insulting. I don't need to be psychic when you toss out tells like that.

The rape rate in the armed forces, in fact all violent crime rates, is much lower than the general population; especially given the demographic involved.

wj, the short answer is politics.

The fact that the heads of 3 of the 4 main branches - Gen Amos of the USMC being the most vociferous - did indeed put up some opposition during the hearings is very telling (Gen Amos was clear that his Marines don't want this and that there would be negative impact). Normally, at this level, there is a scramble to find the right words to support what civilian leadership wants. The carreer depends on it.

If you understood how these things work you would recognize that what was being said is something along the lines of, "we don't like this and we think it's a bad idea, but we recognize that you are going to do it any how. If we generally (no pun intended) go along with you, then we can keep our jobs and we can bargain for various considerations if not compromises"

Well, I'm glad you guys have something to wank about so I won't have to worry about anyone arguing with ME. ;)

I was there when DADT was another one of those not-progressive-enough compromises of the Clinton administration. The fact that it's now been repealed means it DID ITS JOB to open up this conversation.

Thank you, DADT, and grateful farewell.

"we don't like this and we think it's a bad idea, but we recognize that you are going to do it any how. If we generally (no pun intended) go along with you, then we can keep our jobs and we can bargain for various considerations if not compromises"

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that there is no disagreement on the issue among the Joint Chiefs. But, except for General Amos, they are more concerned with their careers than with their sworn duty to "protect and defend the United States of America." In short, that they have no honor. Please correct me if you see some other way to put career above military effectiveness.

Alternatively, it may be that there is sincere disagreement among the Joint Chiefs as to the probable effects. (Which is my personal view.) In which case, it becomes a matter of looking at the rationale that each side brings to their view. We can agree with either one, but what we can not do is maintain that either position is based on general opposition to the military and its culture.

Why do you think there is a distinction between allowing the open practice of homosexuality and the open practice of necrophilia?

Troll Alert. Level 6.

I would say that Amos came out of this with his honor clean (Semper Fi). Otherwise, yes, of course, the Joint Chiefs are politicians. There is a lot of putting career ahead of what's actually best. This is no secret. We used to say that the last honest rank is Captain. After that it's all about bucking for promotion.

It has occurred to me that there is something bigger happening here and that the repeal is just a symptom. Civilian control of the military is another of the necessary checks and balances built into the Constitution. However, it used to be - and this was true of the men that wrote the law of the land - that those who would be in civilian leadership positions had, overwhelmingly, military service; sometimes extensive service. So there was this informal means of ensuring that civilian leadership would not ask the military to do anything too far out of step with its culture or capability. There was an understanding.

That understanding has been lost as these days civilian leadership - and the special interest groups they pander to - disproportionately has no personal experience with the service. Civilians expect increasingly unrealistic results from the military. This includes everything from DADT to two simultaneous ridiculously conceived endless counter insurgency nation building wars.

@avedis it used to be - and this was true of the men that wrote the law of the land - that those who would be in civilian leadership positions had, overwhelmingly, military service; sometimes extensive service.

Let's see, leaders and authors of the law of the land with no military service:
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
(three Presidents out of the first four)

Not to mention Abraham Lincoln -- who kept working thru military leaders until he got to someone (General Grant) who was willing to do what needed doing (and which the military was, on the evidence, entirely capable of doing).

I could go on. But, while some leaders certainly had military experience, it was hardly seems to have been an "overwhelming" fraction.

avedis, with your age and remoteness from the military and modern cultural mores and expectations, I think that you are really not in a position to start explaining what our troops can and cannot deal with. Moreover, the fact that our military has gone from being conscription based to volunteer based means that we are running a highly professional, trained military whose members have to perform up to physical and professional expectations to succeed. There is no reason to assume that our military men are uniquely stupid in comparison to other modern western nations or that Americans in the military are uniquely unable to deal with openly gay members, compared to other American institutions.

The fact that your complaints about DADT are placed right alongside nonsensical talking points about global warming and liberal arts colleges and the like indicates to me that your primary objection to DADT is a cultural/partisan one: youre angry that your cultural/political "side" has ended up on the losing end and are lashing out against gays in your frustration and your declining relevance as the world passes you by.

wrong, wj. Just plain wrong.

Jefferson was a Col in the VA Militia. Lincoln fought in Indian wars......I could go on. Military service in the days before independence was a little more murky than post independence. Pre-independence warfare relied on militias as opposed to a standing army.

If you're going to nitpick at least pick the right nits.

Tyro,
Interesting analysis, but I am not that old. I had children relatively young. And, with both of those in the service - one having gone through four years of a military college - I do not feel that I am that far removed either. Maybe you are closer?

I don't have "political side". I think repub.s are out to put all the money and control in the hands of a few rich families; a thought which I abhor. I think dem.s are weak kneed and ineffective. The Libertarians are just plain nuts (what with not wanting to pay any taxes and all that). All parties have their hardcore elements that want to tell me how to think, feel and behave; which I also abhor. If anything, I am probably philosophically closer to a pure communist. Since that won't work in a society as large and materialistic as ours, I guess maybe "my side" is lost.

I never said the troops are "stupid" and I don't believe that they are. I also stated that I really don't care about gays one way or the other except that in regards to their new found protected status to be openly so in the armed forces. There is a couple of older gay gentlemen living together right down the road from me. I have been known to join them for drinks and conversation from time to time. Nice guys, intersting conversation. I'm not lashing out at anyone.

Why does Gen Amos disagree with your assertion re; assimilation? Is he removed from the modern military as well?

avedis:

Then again, throughout history homosexuality has never enjoyed a cultural melieu where it gained equallity with the hetros.
Meet the Classical Greeks whom we claim, rightfully, that much of contemporary Western society is built upon. Do you context either claim?

Please do read all the words at both links before replying, ok? Thanks.

Meet the Romans. Ask me if you need to quote any of the words, but otherwise I'd prefer you to read all the words below that link until you get to the Notes. It's not a long read.

If you'd like more cites on these facts, I'll be happy to provide more reading to point out to you that your assertion is difficult to support with claims to contemporary or modern knowledge of the Greek and Roman cultures, which is reasonable extensive, though imperfect.

More facts:

[...]In a detailed compilation of historical and ethnographic materials of Preindustrial Cultures, "strong disapproval of homosexuality was reported for 41% of 42 cultures; it was accepted or ignored by 21%, and 12% reported no such concept. Of 70 ethnographies, 59% reported homosexuality absent or rare in frequency and 41% reported it present or not uncommon."[116] [...] Africa

Though often ignored or suppressed by European explorers and colonialists, homosexual expression in native Africa was also present and took a variety of forms. Anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe reported that women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned "long term, erotic relationships" called motsoalle.[122] E. E. Evans-Pritchard also recorded that male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male lovers between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with their older husbands. The practice had died out by the early 20th century, after Europeans had gained control of African countries, but was recounted to Evans-Pritchard by the elders to whom he spoke.[123]

The first record of possible homosexual couple in history is commonly regarded as Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, an Egyptian male couple, who lived around the 2400 BCE. The pair are portrayed in a nose-kissing position, the most intimate pose in Egyptian art, surrounded by what appear to be their heirs.

Among indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a common form of same-sex sexuality centered around the figure of the Two-Spirit individual. Typically this individual was recognized early in life, given a choice by the parents to follow the path and, if the child accepted the role, raised in the appropriate manner, learning the customs of the gender it had chosen. Two-Spirit individuals were commonly shamans and were revered as having powers beyond those of ordinary shamans. Their sexual life was with the ordinary tribe members of the same sex.

Homosexual and transgender individuals were also common among other pre-conquest civilizations in Latin America, such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Quechuas, Moches, Zapotecs, and the Tupinambá of Brazil.[124][125]

The Spanish conquerors were horrified to discover sodomy openly practiced among native peoples, and attempted to crush it out by subjecting the berdaches (as the Spanish called them) under their rule to severe penalties, including public execution, burning and being torn to pieces by dogs.[126]
East Asia

In East Asia, same-sex love has been referred to since the earliest recorded history.

Homosexuality in China, known as the pleasures of the bitten peach, the cut sleeve, or the southern custom, has been recorded since approximately 600 BCE. These euphemistic terms were used to describe behaviors, not identities (recently some fashionable young Chinese tend to euphemistically use the term "brokeback," 斷背 duanbei to refer to homosexual men, from the success of director Ang Lee's film Brokeback Mountain).[127] The relationships were marked by differences in age and social position. However, the instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period.

Homosexuality in Japan, variously known as shudo or nanshoku has been documented for over one thousand years and was an integral part of Buddhist monastic life and the samurai tradition. This same-sex love culture gave rise to strong traditions of painting and literature documenting and celebrating such relationships.

Similarly, in Thailand, Kathoey, or "ladyboys," have been a feature of Thai society for many centuries, and Thai kings had male as well as female lovers. While Kathoey may encompass simple effeminacy or transvestism, it most commonly is treated in Thai culture as a third gender. They are generally accepted by society, and Thailand has never had legal prohibitions against homosexuality or homosexual behavior.

[...] During the Renaissance, wealthy cities in northern Italy—Florence and Venice in particular—were renowned for their widespread practice of same-sex love, engaged in by a considerable part of the male population and constructed along the classical pattern of Greece and Rome.

[...]

Among many Middle Eastern Muslim cultures egalitarian or age-structured homosexual practices were, and remain, widespread and thinly veiled. The prevailing pattern of same-sex relationships in the temperate and sub-tropical zone stretching from Northern India to the Western Sahara is one in which the relationships were—and are—either gender-structured or age-structured or both.

[...]

n many societies of Melanesia, especially in Papua New Guinea, same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture until the middle of the last century. The Etoro and Marind-anim for example, even viewed heterosexuality as sinful and celebrated homosexuality instead. In many traditional Melanesian cultures a prepubertal boy would be paired with an older adolescent who would become his mentor and who would "inseminate" him (orally, anally, or topically, depending on the tribe) over a number of years in order for the younger to also reach puberty.

Over to you for your better cites on history to support your claim. Thanks for any corrections from more knowledgeable and authoritative sources! I'd appreciate any, so I could find out if, and contemporary scholarship, are in error. Thanks if you can help with this.

The rape rate in the armed forces, in fact all violent crime rates, is much lower than the general population; especially given the demographic involved.

However, rape compared to other violent crimes is less reduced. see: http://www.answers.com/topic/rape-by-military-personnel

Comparing Military and Civilian Rape Rates

To place military rape rates in context, it is valuable to compare them with civilian rates. Comparisons of the crime rates of civilian and military populations during peacetime periods in 1986–92 reveal that contemporary peacetime rates of rape by American military personnel are actually lower (controlling for age and gender) than civilian rates. However, the data also indicate that peacetime military rape rates are diminished far less from civilian rates than are military rates for other violent offenses. This “rape differential” is also reflected in the World War II data: U.S. Army rape rates in Europe climbed to several times the U.S. civilian rates for that period, while military rates for other violent crimes were roughly equivalent to civilian rates. Thus, in both contexts studied, a rape differential exists: the ratio of military rape rates to civilian rape rates is substantially larger than the ratio of military rates to civilian rates for other violent crimes

Additionally the data may be suspect. see: http://www.dtic.mil/dtfsams/docs/11_09docs/DTFSAMS-Rept_Dec09.pdf [page 77]

The Task Force found DOD’s procedures for collecting and documenting data about military sexual assault incidents lacking in accuracy, reliability, and validity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_militaries_of_ancient_Greece

Gary, take a look at some of the historical quotes. It is clear that homosexual relationships in the ancient Greek military led to potentially mission compromising behaviors (e.g. special preference for lovers, jealousy over lovers among the ranks, needless self sacrifice for a lover's sake).

That is the issue you must address. Would openly gay behavior and the possible influx of more gays into the service have an adverse effect on the mission. The example of the Greeks - which you cite - seems to point to the answer as being "yes".

I don't care how gays were treated in society at large or their impact on that society. I am talking about the special circumstances of the military and, within that, the even more unique environment of combat arms. I have yet to see anyone here, yourself included, intelligently address those specific circumstances. It's like you just can't seem to grasp that there is a difference.

russell, You know perfectly well what I am talking about

Yeah, I know what you're talking about. Gays are too limp-wristed and insufficient balls-to-the-wall macho to fight wars.

I know perfectly well what you're talking about. I also know it's a load of bullshit.

You have issues with gay people. That's your problem, dude, not ours.

"Jefferson was a Col in the VA Militia." True, it was common for wealthy men to receive such appointments to organize militia units. But never saw combat. Lincoln likewise was in a militia unit which never saw combat. Drill and training may give some glimmer of an idea of military culture. But I'm not entirely clear how they show anything special about unit cohesion in combat -- which appears to be at the core of General Amos' (and your) concerns.

Phil and Lib Jap, you two just don't like male warrior - maybe any non-gay male - culture.

Both father and grandfather are decorated combat vets, the former in Vietnam, the latter in WWII. I grew up on military bases. So try again, hotshot. Or not, as is your wont. But so far the mind-reading thing has failed on Gary and on me, so might I suggest it's probably not a real practical line of argument for you? Not, at least, until you get a LOT better at it.

Oh, incidentally, both Dad and Granddad managed to get through their respective wars, get shot, get medals, get promotions, and -- in Dad's case -- have a fruitful 26-year Army career without ever "sexually conquering females". Nor, I venture to guess, would they ever have considered it part of either liberating Europe from the Nazis or of fighting the NVA and the Viet Cong.

Maybe you and the people with whom you served are just a**holes? Much like civilian life, you can find them pretty much anywhere.

Again, these guys do what you are afraid to do. Don't ask them to be like you because then the job of protecting you won't get done. I mean, you're not gonna protect yourselves, are you?.

My goodness, you seem to know an awful lot about me! Could you tell me if I have enough gas in my car for the coming work week? I really don't want to make a trip out today.

Oh, hey, if you don't mind, can you maybe take a tiny second away from attempted -- and pitifully failed -- mindreading to answer my question? Did removing otherwise fine soldiers from service solely for their sexual orientation improve, compromise or have no effect on combat readiness?

You know, since you brought it up and all.

I'm not lashing out at anyone.

Uh, yeah.

Phil and Lib Jap, you two just don't like male warrior - maybe any non-gay male - culture.

Wait, wait, wait, wait -- is this supposed to imply that I'm gay? Are you really going to resort to that third-grade gambit? Are you that stupid?

My wife of 20 years is sitting next to me on the couch. She'll get a laugh out of that, after which maybe I'll sexually conquer her.

The Avedis Mind-Reading Machine(TM patent pending) fails again!

I think I'll call my buddy Larry, who did four years active duty, is a colonel in the Reserves, and did 18 months in Kuwait just before Gulf War II, and ask how much time he spent sexually conquering females while he was there.

wj, Until recently with this silly war on terror, military life, even in combat units, is all about drilling and barracks life with most service members never seeing action. It doesn't detract from my point that someone like Lincoln didn't see action.

While, as I pointed out to Gary, the repeal has potential negative impact on actual combat effectiveness, I also believe that barracks life will also be impacted; which, in turn, has impact once the unit is actually deployed.

You know in the Marines, in boot camp, male and female recruits are totally separated from each other. There is no contact. There is a reason for this. But now you want to throw a wrench in this time honored and proven system by introducing open sexual attraction into the process.

Phil LJ, your portrayel of men in the armed forces as a bunch of rapists is insulting. I don't need to be psychic when you toss out tells like that.

That is, of course, not what I said. You're the one who claimed that part of being a US combat soldier involves "sexually conquering females." I happen to think better of our soldiers than that, as, I would venture to say, does most of the commentariat here. (You may want to read this link from the top right corner of the site you're on now.) I'm sorry that you don't think better of them, but don't make that my problem.

(The ways in which "sexually conquering" differs from "rape," given the implicit connotations of overcoming defenses and taking something against an opponent's will, are trivial here. If you want to rescind that phrase, I'm all ears.)

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