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June 10, 2007

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Lingua Franca

Amen Brother Roach. You've got it exactly right. Stone has a gay daughter and therefore anything that bugs gays must be bad bad bad.

The Dude

Why do the responders who wish America to be destroyed care whether America admits open-gays into the military? It seems as though they would want America to make the worst decisions possible, or at least to make the decisions that would cause this nation to crumble? Why do these responders live in America? If I hated my country so much, I would move to another country, rather than sit brooding in my own hate and self-loathing.

Anyway, it seems to me that the best and most meaningful reforms are those that occur from within.

As far as DADT being a sexist (discriminatory) policy, it was invented by a rather open-minded and liberal sociology professor at Northwestern, Charles Moskos. At the time, it was widely applauded by progressives as, well, progressive. I wish we lived in a society where all people were respectful of other's choices regarding sexual preference, within reasonable bounds. (IE, I don't think we should respect Jeffrey Daumer's sexual preferences.) But until that is the case, it seems like we should be more interested in how to change prevailing social views, rather than forcing progressive minority views on the nation. To wit, I think the best thing to ever happen for the Republicans was the Roe decision. It has changed legal reality (and almost certainly it has improved the US; look at crime rates since Roe), but it has not changed mindsets. I worry that too many progressives believe that government solutions to social issues create positive change, when in reality, I think that these forceful pushes actually cause social backlash. I don't write this as a republican apologist. Cass Sunstein actually teaches this in his behavioral law class-- the article is called "Gentle Nudges v. Hard Shoves" and was written by a very liberal professor. (See Dan M. Kahan, Gentle Nudges vs. Hard Shoves: Solving the Sticky Norms Problem, 67 U. Chi. L. Rev 607 (2000).)

Anyway, a few of the posters have taken stances that are so partisan, there is really no way to engage with them in a reasonable debate. Certainly to contend that America is always right or always wrong, such that America should either receive a free pass or such that America should be destroyed, is beyond the pale of reason.

I am all for a time and society where America fully accepts gays, and as a result, gays have a normal and accepted role in all institutions, including the military. People hate what is different and what they don't understand, and most heterosexual men do not understand sodomy, and some probably fear it and fear those who practice it.

But to claim America will be on the wrong side of history for this less-than-optimal social policy ignores a million other factors, many of which are in America's favor, and many of which are errors on America's part that are far worse than whether gays can serve openly in the military. For instance, would not public and legal acceptance of gay marriage be a better place to start than whether gays can serve openly in the military? Just a thought.

Finally, I would just say this: Prof. Stone don't be so hard on yourself! In the last 200 hundred years, America has accomplished a great deal, both internally and abroad. Much of the good done in the world is the result of America's progressives, from FDR to Woodrow Wilson to JFK to Bill Clinton. There is no reason to think he sky is suddenly falling because of the current set-backs caused to American progressivism by the Bush administration. As a matter of fact, considering the 9/11 event, the detriment to social liberties and generally liberalism could have been much worse. Who would have guessed in 2002 that liberals would retake the house and senate? Take some solace progressives!! The sky is not actually falling!!

Joan A. Conway,

Lee Optical's "one-step at a time" logic means all decisions have assurance of being set-aside and redetermined.

The Woman's Movement, to my mind, never sought inclusion in the military, like the Gays and Lesbians do, as well as in the Police Force ranks. Am I wrong here?

Gays and Lesbians have survived through a hostile environment and are atuned to the behavorial weaknesses of their homosexual partners, and the heterosexuals in their mists. They seek to take advantage of the discrepancies.

About Jeffrey Daumler's sexual preference, I hold that he suffered from a lack of discriminating preference, and he could not discern from the body parts he refrigerated to the body connecting those parts to the human being made up of the body connecting those parts. It is rather like the House that Jack built. Jeffrey Daumler's sexual preference was not his problem. Jeffrey Daumler was a flawed human being unable to discern. The issue is Daumler was mentally ill. Not - whether or not he killed males or females.

The military is therefore under-inclusive by not protecting the rights of gays and lesbians in their request to serve the military in an arbitrary government.

The military is therefore over- inclusive by not seeing saboteurs, disloyalty, in its heterosexual recruits, and only in the homosexual hopefuls seeking to join those ranks.

This is a "fundamental right" that has been denied to defend one's country with weapons, and not with rainbow banners, float costumes, pasties, and tiaras it reigns upon the heterosexual community every year. And it falls under the New Equal Protection and Strict Scrutiny - about the issue and not the impact - the right to defend oneself. Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution.

So in spite of the complication and confusion of what this brings about to our core beliefs in the military and with the military "GI Joes" and "Tommies," we must include "Peter Allen" and "Rock" and "Ellen" and "Rosie" too!

But I believe the military, like business, is a little behind the times, and it is still 25 years away from full acceptance.

Pericles

The reason gay men and women should be allowed to serve in the military has nothing to do with "morality." It has to do with the fact that the U.S. Military is stronger than Rome, stronger than the Mongols, stronger than Britain at its height -- stronger than any military that has ever existed in human history (even despite the current manpower crisis). Since at least the days of Alexander some of the finest warriors in the history of the West have been men who happened to be sexually attracted to other men (alas, women are not allowed to serve in the combat arms). Homosexuality in the Roman legions is perhaps exaggerated, but it was certainly well represented. There is absolutely no reason to prevent homosexuals from serving openly in the military -- and I say that as a conservative. Britain and Israel both allow homosexuals to serve openly. Are there any conservatives who think either of these countries have "weak" or "unstable" militaries?

LAK

Exactly. That is why all the repubs are on the wrong side of history. A bunch of homophobic bigots. But then again, they are attempting to appeal to Republicans, the party of homophobic bigots and creationism.

Political Umpire

Given the current recruitment crisis, which can only get worse in the light of the way things are going in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military would be wise to consider on what grounds it wishes to exclude applicants. Physical and mental weakness are the two obvious grounds of proper exclusion from the military. Being homosexual does not necessarily imply either. All kinds of scare stories were dreamt up about black people joining, but the military moved on and, in comparative world terms, became stronger after admitting them. Perhaps the same will occur with gays.

ADR

These are precisely the sorts of non-legal posts that are NOT needed. Professor Stone should find another outlet for his increasingly strident, shrill polemics.

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