June 5, 2007

Another debate tonight? Okay, I guess I'm simulblogging again...

This is getting bizarre! Are people really watching? Anyway... I'm going to watch. I'll try to pay more attention tonight, now that "The Sopranos" aren't on.

(It's on CNN, at what I like to call 6 Central Time.)

UPDATE #1: Introductions. "My name is Thompson. Tommy. I'm the candidate, not the actor." Giuliani says he believes in the New Hampshire slogan "Live Free or Die." Huckabee says he's from Hope: "Give us one more chance."

UPDATE #2: The first question goes to Romney. Was it a mistake to invade Iraq? Romney resists the hypothetical (and twice calls it a "null set"). He won't assume a world where we know what we didn't know. Giuliani goes right for it: it would still be "absolutely right" to remove Saddam -- "it's part of the war on terror." McCain gets a different question: Did he read the National Intelligence Estimate. He clearly states that he did not (but read other documents and knew what the situation was). He goes back to the other question voluntarily and says the decision was right.

UPDATE #3: McCain is asked what he will do if General Petraeus reports in September that the surge is failing. There is no option to bring the troops home. Al Qaeda will follow us, and there will be chaos. He attacks Hillary Clinton for saying this is George Bush's war. Wars belong to the whole nation, and it is we who lose, and we cannot. Wolf Blitzer brings him back to the question asked. We'll have to examine the options then, he says, but Brownback's proposal -- to divide Iraq into three ethnic regions -- isn't physically possible. We have to go on, even if the surge hasn't worked. Tommy gets the question now. He speaks forcibly and says we should force the Iraqi government to vote whether they want us to stay or go.

UPDATE #4: The question is Iran. Is it acceptable to talk to them? This is a boring question, so Blitzer spices it up by asking if it's okay to nuke them. When the question gets to Giuliani, it's all about: Can we nuke them? Giuliani: "You can't rule out anything." The Democrats are living in the last century. Iran could hand nukes over to terrorists. "This war is not a bumper sticker," he says, referencing Edwards's remark in the last Democratic debate. "This war is a real war." Romney: He wants to "move the world of Islam... toward modernity." He says a lot of other things, speaking quickly, and it's too scattershot. He sounds nervous and a little desperate for some reason. In the background, we see Giuliani, looking rock hard.

UPDATE #5: Immigration. Giuliani says the current proposal "has no unifying purpose." We need a way to identify everyone who's here from a foreign country. Credit card companies handle more information that this. He's cut off. On to Romney, who says we should enforce the immigration laws, but the proposal would let all the illegal aliens stay here for the rest of their lives. It's not fair to put all those people at the front of the line. So what does McCain say? "Rudy, you just described our legislation." He ends by saying he'd love to hear it if anyone has a better idea, and the audience goes into an uproar and half the guys on the stage seem to want to jump in. Various proposals flow in, mainly about enforcing the law we do have.

UPDATE #6: Incredible! Giuliani is asked about the Catholic bishop's remark that his position on abortion is like Pontius Pilate's washing his hands of the crucifixion, and Giuliani's answer is buzzed out as lightening outside the hall affects the microphone. He jokes that for someone who's gone to Catholic school "it's very frightening." As he tries to restate his position, the buzzing continues to interrupt him. Yikes. Huckabee is asked about his belief in creationism, and he does an amazing job of turning it into the question of whether he believes in God and passionately affirms that he does. Blitzer follows up with the question whether he believes in the literal creation story in the Bible. He says he doesn't know, but he does know that God created us. Brownback is asked where he stands on evolution, and he makes a similar move. McCain is asked whether children should be taught creationism. He says he'd leave it up to the local government, then jumps on the Huckabee train and says there is a God who created us and loves us. Romney's asked to talk about being a Mormon. He stresses the beliefs that are shared with other Christians.

UPDATE #7: Global warming. Blah, blah... Gays in the military. "This is not a good time to deal with disruptive issues like this," says Giuliani. Romney: Don't ask, don't tell is working; don't change it during wartime. McCain: "The policy is working." Our military is the best, so don't change it.

UPDATE #8: How would you use George W. Bush in your administration? Tommy would send him out to talk to kids. Brownback would ask him what he wants to do... and thinks he'd want to bow out the way his father did (and unlike Bill Clinton). Ron Paul Tancredo says that Karl Rove told him to stay away from the White House so he'd tell George Bush the same thing.

UPDATE #9: Should the President pardon Scooter Libby? Giuliani says the sentence was "grossly excessive," and this argues in favor of pardon. He adds weight to his answer by saying he's prosecuted over 5,000 cases. Romney and Brownback stress that there was no underlying crime about which Libby committed perjury. Tommy Thompson compares what happened to Libby to what happened to Bill Clinton for committing perjury. Clinton just lost his law license. Well, he got impeached! He was tried in the Senate and he prevailed. The difference from Libby is that when Libby went to trial, he lost. Anyway, the support for pardoning Libby is so pervasive here, that I suppose we should assume that in the end, if the appeals fail, Bush will pardon Libby.

UPDATE #10: Now, after a break, the candidates are sitting in red chairs, and the questions are from the audience. The first question comes from a woman whose brother was killed in Iraq. She mainly expresses the devastation her family is feeling. McCain's response is what you would expect, but he says it well and sincerely: She should feel proud of his sacrifice. The second question is also about Iraq. How will we keep Iraq from ending up with another dictator? Ron Paul says give them "an incentive," essentially, by leaving them to do the work of securing the country themselves. Whoa! Giuliani gets out of his chair and walks forward and talks directly to various audience members. We have to "take on the responsibility of nation building." Overthrowing Saddam was a brilliant military success, and now we must accept the responsibility that this incurred. He brings up the earlier question about General Petraeus and the surge, but just to insinuate that the news media will play up the report if it's negative and bury it if it's positive.

UPDATE #11: A question about conservatism. Gilmore answers. Like Giuliani, he gets up out of his chair. I guess they all will now. No, Tancredo stays seated. Thompson leans toward him and glares. Now, a man asks about prescription drugs. Giuliani hops up to denounce the Democrats as offering "socialized medicine." He tells us all about his health insurance plan, under which you'd buy your own insurance with the help of tax benefits and not rely on government or your employer. The the free market will solve the problem of overpriced drugs. Another question about health insurance: Would you accept a single-payer plan? Thompson is roused. This is the question for him. He wants to transform the whole system into a "wellness" and "prevention" system. He's stressing educating people about smoking and obesity.

UPDATE #12: What's the most important moral challenge? Giuliani says we need to share American ideals with the world (that is, he makes this another anti-terrorism question). Ron Paul says it's our acceptance of preemptive war. For Brownback, it's the need to be pro-life. Blitzer butts in with the question whether he could support Giuliani. He says he will support his party's nominee.

UPDATE #13. A question about campaign advertisements in the Spanish language. Is it somehow inconsistent with a tough immigration position? Tancredo thinks it's absolutely wrong... and he's all passionate about it. A question about how each candidate is different from Bush. McCain: "Spending, spending, spending.... We've got to stop the earmarking." Giuliani: Accountability. Measure success, the way he did in New York. Romney says: "It's going from small bore to large bore." Everyone still tuned in now makes a wisecrack about how he's a large bore. Either that or they're all: What's with the null set and the small bore/large bore? He says weird things! Brownback is going to end deaths by cancer. (Yeah, that horrible Bush with his cancer death!) Hmmm... Duncan Hunter. This is the first time I'm noticing him. But I didn't notice what he said.

Now, we get a question of what it means to be an American. Tancredo makes it into another immigration question. He uses the phrase "enough is enough," and I'm thinking, yeah, enough with the immigration questions tonight. Another question about what Republicans need to do to win. I'm about to burn out. This 2-hour format is a pain. But my mood is lifted a bit when Giuliani says: "Ma'am, the way to do it is to nominate me."

Ah! The end at last! Am I the only one still watching?

132 comments:

Dewave said...

Are people really watching?

I hope not. The election is what, 17 months away?

Mark said...

There is some annoyinh "buzz" that keeps going off while the guys are speaking. It started while Mccain was introducing himself. Anyone else notice these?

Methadras said...

God... Dullards, all. The more I watch the republican bull pen of players, the less enthused I'm becoming, while Ron Paul will most likely be the most entertaining of the bunch, but he's still a nutjob.

Doyle said...

[Romney] won't assume a world where we know what we didn't know

I can't help but think that if a Democrat weaseled out of a very important question that flagrantly, you'd be a little less charitable.

George said...

Of the 10, Thompson looks and sounds forceful.
Hunter, too, whoever he is.

McCain, old; Guiliani, elderly; Romney, attractive. The others didn't register with me.

Re: Iraq—WSJ oped piece today quotes Zinni, Scowcroft, NYT reporter Burns, others as saying if we leave Iraq now the entire Middle East may blow up.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118101405403924760.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

LonewackoDotCom said...

The buzzing sound is lightning. My comments here. Someone might want to point out that he's partly responsible for allowing millions of IllegalAliens to come here, now he's warning about the dangers if we don't legalize them, including 2 million criminals? Too bad Wolf is such a lightweight, because I would have spent a few minutes driving McCain's support down to the single digits.

Simon said...

It seems like such an odd thing to do, to have this debate after Fred Thompson's made clear that he isin, but before he's in enough to participate in the debate.

Eli Blake said...

You miss the point.

Giuliani was asked whether he would invade Iraq. He said that he thought that removing Saddam was the right thing to do.

Those things are not one and the same. We removed the leaders of the Soviet Union, not by invasion, but by making the case that we had something better than what they had. For that matter, even a covert operation (such as the one that undermined the Allende regime), while I don't generally favor such operations, would have been much preferable to an invasion (particularly the aftermath of the invasion.)

If you want, update to right now: Everything that was charged about Saddam building nukes, supporting terrorists, etc. is presently being charged against the Iranian regime.

So do I support an invasion of Iran? Absolutely not. But that isn't the same thing as saying that I support leaving them alone. My solution about what to do about Iran: Iran defies U.N. ans what we should do about it.

In Iran, 2/3 of the population is under thirty, and they don't remember the Shah, Ayatollah Khomeini or the revolution. Many of them hate living under the strictures of an Islamic society. Young people in Iran want reform, and they want a better life, which despite the countries' oil wealth they aren't getting. Ordinary Iranians don't hate us, and in fact the only way that Ahmadinejad got elected was that the mullahs who pull the strings there had to disqualify many candidates from the ballot... People in Iran want something else, and American and western goods, music and celebrities, while officially on the 'bad' list, are very popular in the subculture that exists among the youth in Iran. A current of wanting to break out of the vicelike grip of this society is bubbling just under the surface and the mullahs have to spend a great deal of effort now just to keep it under wraps.

And we have the perfect weapon to deal with Tehran. The same weapons that brought down the thousands of nukes in the former Soviet Union, and the same weapons that we haven't used against North Korea or Cuba (hint: alone among old line traditional communist societies, they still stand.)

Disney. McDonalds. Hillary Duff. MTV.

And with products, inevitably follow ideas.

I'm surprised conservatives (who are still railing for an invasion of Iran, as if we have some secret armies somewhere that are just waiting for the command) don't see this. If anyone would see it, I'd expect it to be conservatives.

Some conservatives praise free trade, suggesting that the market determines the direction of society, and point out that it was free trade that opened the door behind the iron curtain that evetually led the people there to replace their system with a free system. Other conservatives bemoan monetary mammon and the effect materialism has on the religious fervor and strength of society.

And that's why we should unleash our best weapon on Iran.

Let mammon go to work.


Remember the students at Tehran University who were burning the pictures of Ahmadinejad last year during his Holocaust Denial conference? Instead of threatening to invade Iran, let's recognize that the next generation there will sooner or later take control, and they appear to be much more reasonable than the generation who grew up hating the Shah (and hence hated us as his benefactors.)

But unfortunately Giuliani's answer probably resonates with Republicans because they have such a narrow, black-and-white view of things that they can only imagine that there are two options for dealing with a Saddam or an Ahmadinejad: Either use force to get rid of them or surrender and let them have their way.

AJD said...

Update #8: Incredible, indeed! A-House manages to avoid all comment on the blathering idiocy across the board about creationism.

But A-House can't afford to point that out because she is going to vote for one of these bozos!

ktmnyny said...

I can't wait to hear your comment about them getting out of their chairs.

It's so awkward!

Revenant said...
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Revenant said...

Giuliani was asked whether he would invade Iraq. He said that he thought that removing Saddam was the right thing to do. Those things are not one and the same.

Yes, they were.

We removed the leaders of the Soviet Union, not by invasion, but by making the case that we had something better than what they had.

We didn't remove the leaders of the Soviet Union at all. We hastened the collapse of their government by engaging them in an arms race they couldn't keep up with, yes, but the fact that Russia is now ruled by an increasingly-dictatorial KGB agent demonstrates that we failed to clean house there. Hell, *Stalin* -- the man who murdered more people than any other European in history -- is enjoying a surge of new popularity among Russians. Does that sound like we successfully cured Russia of its problem?

B said...

I Second Revenant on his above comments.

Seperately, wish Huckabee had a chance.

B said...

As of today, it's gonna be Giuliani vs. Clinton come next April.

Whither Fred Thompson . . . ?

ktmnyny said...

By the way, Trancredo who would do to Bush what Rove and Bush did to him.....Ron Paul's the old guy!

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

I made some comment ripping on Huckabee. I just realized it wasn't. Crap, I can't tell who half these clones are.

Too Cool for School said...

I keep reading Guiliani quoted as saying US must be on the offense in the war on terror. He must have gotten the memo that repetition works because he says this over and over again. Still trying to figure out what that means.

And his response to the question about Iraq doesn't clear it up for me. Is a pre-emptive war justified?

I'm socially liberal, fiscally conservative and opposed to our Iraqi occupation. My one and only reservation about supporting Rudy is his position on Iraq.

Revenant said...

Tommy Thompson compares what happened to Libby to what happened to Bill Clinton for committing perjury. Clinton just lost his law license. Well, he got impeached! He was tried in the Senate and he prevailed.

Well, yeah -- he was President, and Presidential impeachment trials are about politics, not evidence. Clinton was unquestionably guilty of perjury, and unquestionably enjoyed the support of a huge majority of Americans in staying in office. Had his trial been a criminal one he'd have been convicted after less than an hour's deliberation.

The problem with Thompson's argument is that nearly every perjurer in America is less obviously guilty than Clinton was. It is a bit like arguing that all murderers deserve a pardon because OJ got away with it. Giuliani's got the stronger position -- two and a half years is an excessive sentence.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't think I mixed up Tancredo and Ron Paul... I'll go back and check.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, you're right. Will correct.

markg8 said...

Hey Ann Guiliani said tonight as an asst. US attorney back in the 1980s he implored Reagan to pardon 1000 felons. That's ONE THOUSAND. An enterprising reporter I'm sure could dig up a few of the less worthy - and with Guliliani there ought to be some real worthless scum - to tell her readers about. Doncha ya think?

Beth said...

Thanks for the summary. I'm now comfortably sure I won't be voting for any of these guys. That frees my attention for the next year. I'll tune in when someone is actually running for president.

Fen said...

Cool for School: I keep reading Guiliani quoted as saying US must be on the offense in the war on terror. Still trying to figure out what that means.

I'm surprised you can't figure it out. It goes to the concept of static defenses - you cannot be strong in all places at once. You have to play offense as well.

Is a pre-emptive war justified?

Yes. Its immoral to wait for the destruction of a US city and vaporize millions in Tehran in retaliation.

opposed to our Iraqi occupation.

What did you think of the liberation of Iraq? Did you call it an invasion? Imperialism? Refering to the current situation as an occupation is silly. We're there to help the Iraqi people and government get back on their feet, to hang around long enough [as we did with Germany & Japan] to fill the power vacumn with something better than a bathist-nazi despot or fundamentalist cleric stuck in the 4th century.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Hey Ann Guiliani said tonight as an asst. US attorney back in the 1980s he implored Reagan to pardon 1000 felons. That's ONE THOUSAND. An enterprising reporter I'm sure could dig up a few of the less worthy - and with Guliliani there ought to be some real worthless scum - to tell her readers about. Doncha ya think?"

markg8, you must be one of those unbelievably talented "idea men."

Now if only you can find someone to pay you gobs of money to come up with ideas and have others do the work, then you will be on easy street!

Fen said...

Well, he got impeached! He was tried in the Senate and he prevailed.

He wasn't punished or acquited by the Senate, but he remains Impeached. That sole power resides with the House.

Revenant said...

An enterprising reporter I'm sure could dig up a few of the less worthy - and with Guliliani there ought to be some real worthless scum - to tell her readers about.

Given a few hours per case to make an honest, informed assessment of the defendant's merit, at a rate of two hours per day spent studying the cases with time off for weekends, she should be finished analyzing Giuliani's recommendations just in time to comment on the 2016 elections.

Simon said...

Did anyone at the debate pause to say some words for Sen. Thomas? It seems quite unseemly how there has been practically no coverage today of the man's passing.

EnigmatiCore said...

Watching on DVR, I think the best answer tonight so far was Huckabee's "we deserved to lose in 2006."

It was honest. It was accurate. It was surprising for the venue.

hdhouse said...

Huck seems like a decent sort. I divide the rest into two camps...camp one is the flat earth society and camp two is the macho macho duck society....that nice teeter-totter between superstitious ignorance and chest thumping bravado.

Behold Scrooge, let me show the orphans of humanity..ignorance and want....they will destroy you ...

EnigmatiCore said...

Worst line of the night came from the guy who had the best performance-- Rudy. "he reason Republicans lost is because they became Democrats."

If that was the case, then it would have been another 50-50 election. People did not just lose the distinction between Republicans and Democrats. They decided they liked the Democrats better.

Or, more likely, that they disliked them less.

Huckabee got that one, Rudy did not.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Behold Scrooge, let me show the orphans of humanity..ignorance and want....they will destroy you ..."

Ignorance and want will destroy us. Great reason to reject leftism. hdhouse, you added value!

Simon said...

EnigmatiCore said...
"I think the best answer tonight so far was Huckabee's 'we deserved to lose in 2006.' It was honest. It was accurate. It was surprising for the venue."

...And it was nothing Newt hasn't said more loudly.

EnigmatiCore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EnigmatiCore said...

Simon,

Hadn't heard. He mustn't have said it as loudly as you thought if people like me hadn't heard.

But there are two points that come to mind.

1) Newt is not (yet) a candidate, and

2) If and when Newt becomes a candidate, he won't break into the top tier. Too much baggage.

PatCA said...

"Still trying to figure out what that means."

It means you don't wait till they blow something up to do something about it.

This was actually the first one I watched. Huckabee was surprisingly eloquent on pro-life. In fact, all the answers to the philosopher were good. The pragmatic solutions offered tonight, not so good. The crackling lightning with Rudy? Sister Lina somewhere is smiling knowingly.

Ron Paul fell into the abyss when he said of Iran, they've never done anything to us. Romney is too much the family scion, like Bush or even Hillary. I do like someone who comes up through the ranks of real life, like Rudy.

LonewackoDotCom said...

How unfortunate that Althouse thinks there were too many questions about immigration. Of course, if she were actually familiar with this issue a) she would have asked McCain a series of tough questions during the conference call that would have greatly influenced the race, and b) she would have realized that immigration is the weak point of around 75% of the candidates and, if we had a good moderator, could be used to have, once again, a great influence on the race. Immigration matters are linked to many other issues, such as PoliticalCorruption and foreign meddling by the MexicanGovernment.

Wolfie is a lightweight, as are those who try to avoid asking difficult questions about immigration.

downtownlad said...

So every single candidate wants to purge gay Arabic linguists from the military, even if they are celibate.

And it's just about "marriage". Lie.

And they want to make our country safer. Lie.

They're all anti-gay bigots.

My friend's gay friend is a pilot in the Navy. I am so tempted to send an e-mail to the Navy outing him. I mean that's the right thing to do right? If faggots are destroying the military, then let's out every single one of them. You know - for the good of America.

dave™© said...

So let's start the countdown:

Day One and not a single solitary word on the Libby sentencing from the Blithering Idiot "Law Perfesser."

Simon said...

dave™© said...
"Day One and not a single solitary word on the Libby sentencing from the Blithering Idiot "Law Perfesser."

She hasn't said anything about the latest antitrust case in the Northern District of who-cares-less, either, or the 7th cir's ERISA ruling this afternoon (the latter's real). Lawyers and law professors specialize, and bloggers can talk about what they want to. Like DTL, you need to learn that your issue isn't, in fact, the only or most important issue under the sun.

John Stodder said...

How would you use George W. Bush in your administration? Tommy would send him out to talk to kids.

Was he subconsciously making a joke about Bush reading the goat book to kids when the WTC was hit?

John Stodder said...

Day One and not a single solitary word on the Libby sentencing from the Blithering Idiot "Law Perfesser."

In Dave's fantasy, the judge's sentence is new data that is supposed to persuade people that, yeah, Cheney, Rove & co. outed an undercover agent. In fact, the trial resolved nothing. I doubt anyone in America who had an opinion on this matter have changed their opinion one bit as a result of the trial.

Simon said...

You know, Tommy Thompson appointed Diane Sykes to the highest court within his power to do so as Governor of Wisconsin. If he does one of these conference calls again, maybe someone ought to ask him if he'll commit to doing the same thing again as President of the United States.

Beth said...

dtlad: you're only half right. A few of them are actual anti-gay bigots. The others just pander to them to get elected.

Sloanasaurus said...

Day One and not a single solitary word on the Libby sentencing from the Blithering Idiot "Law Perfesser."

Fitzmas convicted Libby in a perjury trap. This was revealed after the trial when we found out Fitzmas knew that Libby and the white house was not the leaker of Plame's name. Why then was Libby being questioned at all other than to try and get him for perjury.

I though perjury traps were illegal? Libby should be pardoned.

hdhouse said...

NO FAIR AND STOP THAT. Ann Althouse is NOT an indiot..blithering or otherwise. Those topics are presented elsewhere and you are welcome to blog there I am sure.

Christ sake. You sound like a kid who goes into a shoe store and demands to know why they aren't selling CDs.

If you are going to just spew some pent up venom toward her, then pick a real reason..don't just spit.

It is tiresum and insipid. Moreover it moves the discussion nowhere. go pee on your own shoes.

Freeman Hunt said...

I didn't watch, but by this account it sounds like Giuliani was excellent. I love his toughness, and I love what he did for New
York, but I don't like that he's an open borders guy, and I really don't like that he's pro abortion rights. I think we're eventually going to look back on abortion the way we look back on slavery.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"Why then was Libby being questioned at all other than to try and get him for perjury."

Oh Sloan you jolly jokester you...Libby was probably question on the odd chance that he might deem to tell the truth..but alas .. he didn't. he lied.

mustent lie to mother nature honey.

Fen said...

hdhouse: Libby was probably question on the odd chance that he might deem to tell the truth..but alas .. he didn't. he lied.

Do you recall the exact lie? I'm looking for a direct quote.

Beth: A few of them are actual anti-gay bigots.

Would you want to share a berthing space with opposite gender - eat sleep and shower together for the next 9 months? If not, you must be a hater...

Beth said...

Other militaries manage it, Fen. Your argument has been met, and overcome.

Beth said...

They manage it in space travel, too, Fen. How have you missed that?

Freeman Hunt said...

Other militaries manage it, Fen.

There are other militaries, and then there is the the United States military. The others should be looking to emulate us, not the other way around.

Revenant said...

"he reason Republicans lost is because they became Democrats."

If that was the case, then it would have been another 50-50 election.

Well, no -- when members of Party X start acting like members of Party Y, they lose more X voters than they gain in Y votes. The Y voters, after all, have no reason to switch, and the X voters tend to stay home in disgust.

Thought experiment -- if Hillary came out for tax cuts, the war in Iraq, and a ban on gay marriage, would Republicans flock to vote for her? Would Democrats keep supporting her? Isn't the answer obviously "no" on both counts?

Anyway, Rudy's answer makes sense to me if only because that is exactly the reason I didn't bother voting in 2006 -- I'm not going to bother showing up at the polls unless I see a clear difference between the candidates. I know more than a few Republican-leaning voters who felt exactly the same way -- and I know a LOT of California Republicans who are absolutely disgusted by the way McCain, Bush, and other Republican leaders are joining with the Democrats in kowtowing to the illegal immigrant lobby.

Joshua said...

the reason Republicans lost is because they became Democrats.

Tis true. Remember those GOP-led efforts to implement universal health care, appoint pro-choice judges, and raise taxes?

Fen said...

Other militaries manage it, Fen. Your argument has been met, and overcome.

Other militaries. The ones we ask to stay out of our way while we do the heavy lifting?

And my argument was whether you could spend 9 months eating sleeping and showering with me. You sidestepped that.

Revenant said...

dtlad: you're only half right. A few of them are actual anti-gay bigots. The others just pander to them to get elected.

The anti-gay vote is a lot more powerful than the pro-gay vote -- a majority of Americans favor changing DADT, but most of that is weak support by people who really don't care enough to change their vote over it. The same's not true of the homophobe vote. That's why the Democratic Congress hasn't taken a break from stuffing the latest bill with earmarks and actually passed a law repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Statistically speaking, blacks, Hispanics, and union workers are even more homophobic than the average Republican, and those three groups are vital to the Democratic coalition. The gay vote isn't, which is why the gay lobby had to eat shit and rally votes for John "George Bush and I have the same position on gay marriage" Kerry in 2004.

And yeah, I know Bush would veto a DADT repeal, but that's got nothing to do with anything. Democrats passed the cut-and-run Iraq bill knowing they couldn't override his veto, so it isn't like they're unwilling to waste time on a political statement.

Too many jims said...

Fen said...
Do you recall the exact lie? I'm looking for a direct quote.


Libby's lies are conveniently underlined in this (.pdf) document (see pages 18-22).

Fen said...

BTW Beth, are you cool with trannies using the women's restrooms [civillian world]. What about unisex, where men and women share the same toilets? Or showers at the local gym? If not, you must be a hater...

Fen said...

Thanks Jim. Good link.

Beth said...

Fen: The ones we ask to stay out of our way while we do the heavy lifting? Like Britain?

Beth said...

Fen, what do trannies in the women's room or opposite gender sharing showers have to do with gays in the military? Turn your questions into statements and make an argument of your own.

Fen said...

Beth: Fen, what do trannies in the women's room or opposite gender sharing showers have to do with gays in the military?

You implied that opposition to gays in the military was based in bigotry, but your opposition to uni-gender bathrooms/showers is somehow different. Seems hypocritical of you. You wouldn't tolerate what you're demanding of the military, yet we're bigots and you're not? Try to consider for a moment that opposition to gays openly serving in military does not stem from hatred or bigotry.

They manage it in space travel, too, Fen. How have you missed that?

No, didn't miss it. I just wouldn't use Lisa Nowak to argue that sexual relationships are not bad for unit morale and cohesion.

Maxine Weiss said...

Speaking of gender-confusion....get a'load of the new Oprah Book Selection.....(Middlesex) which I've already read last year---900+ pages in large-print, and not about to pour through again this Summer.

What is the Althouse Summer Book Selection?

I have a few recommendations, but Althouse never takes my advice. She doesn't read novels either, so---ditch that.

So, if no summer book, is there anything else, whatsoever, going on around here this Summer?

Beth said...

I didn't use the word hatred, Fen. Bigotry I stick by. Your hypotheticals and analogies don't stack up to reality. Your bathroom argument is a time capsule back to the anti-ERA arguments with the spector of forced mixed gender bathrooms. Mixed gender bathrooms are not the same thing as people of the same sex in the same bathroom. Fully transitioned trannies? Of course they use the women's bathrooms. Why not?

And while you're what iffing, right now there are tens of thousands of gay people in the military. It's not hypothetical. And in those militaries where gay people serve openly, there hasn't been a meltdown of all that's good--or do you want to mock Britain again?

Beth said...

I'd use Lisa Nowack to argue that institutions survive individual violations of decorum and policy. NASA isn't melting down, either. Every day there are problems in heterosexual relationships in the military. Are you also arguing that ours should not include both genders because some men and women date people above or below their station, or some male soldiers commit rape, or some female soldiers get pregnant?

Fen said...

Beth: I didn't use the word hatred, Fen. Bigotry I stick by.

Fine. Play your word games. I'll correct the question:

Would you want to share a berthing space with opposite gender - eat sleep and shower together for the next 9 months? If not, you must be a bigot...

Fully transitioned trannies? Of course they use the women's bathrooms. Why not?

Fully transitioned? Why the qualifier Beth?

Beth said...

Fen, you keep asserting that opposing opposite gender shared quarters is the same as members of the same gender, some gay, some straight, some bi, some ambivalent, some asexual, sharing quarters. You need to explain that. What is the analogy between me sharing quarters with you, and you sharing quarters with a male who is in anyway other than heterosexual?

Besides, I said only half of those candidates actually hold a bigoted opinion on the topic. Guiliani and Romney, for example, are just spineless and willing to pander to the usual gay hysteria in the GOP base.

Beth said...

And Fen, you keep refusing to address the reality that there are gays in the military, and the fact that other militaries (like our stalwart ally, Britain) allow gays to serve openly with no problems. Again, how about you respond to real-world conditions before you create any more "what ifs"?

Freeman Hunt said...

Britain has a great military, one of the finest in the world when compared to those of other countries not the United States. Comparing our military to any in Europe is apples to oranges.

Laika's Last Woof said...

"... creationism ..."

Talk about a freebie for Giuliani.

He must have a Rovelike shadowy figure in the background planting questions like this one that make him appear as the only electable candidate of the night.

hdhouse said...

Ahhh like the setting of the full moon...up pop Rev and Fen to add their own particularly unreasoned views on the abomination of homosexuality. Abomination I say.

I surprised that these two jackals haven't added communist, satanist, and as many other "ists" as can roll off their forked tongues.

Look boys. Beth wins this one. For whatever peverse reason you boys seem to think that every homosexual male is just praying he can hunker down in a fox hole with you for the night and do his thing with you. You live in and around homosexuals all day (probably don't know it do you) and have you been attacked yet? But you suggest that the military purge them out becauase they are a threat to a fellow soldier in a foxhole? Is that your argument? Can you really be arguing that?

Tell you what...produce the statistics on rape in the military - men raping women or for that matter men simply abusing women in some form and then compare that number (and weight it so the base numbers are equal) to the number of women who sexually go after other women in the military and you'll see why you are so mistaken.

Last, next time you fly on an airplane tell me which toilet is for men/men only?

kevin said...

In the background, we see Giuliani, looking rock hard.

Ye gods...

Fen said...

hdhouse: But you suggest that the military purge them out because they are a threat to a fellow soldier in a foxhole? Is that your argument? Can you really be arguing that?

Nice strawman. Never said anything about a purge.

Tell you what...produce the statistics on rape in the military - men raping women or for that matter men simply abusing women in some form and then compare that number (and weight it so the base numbers are equal) to the number of women who sexually go after other women in the military and you'll see why you are so mistaken.

Another strawman. Straight men & women are already in conflict in military, so adding yet another gender to the mix is okay? Its like saying we should legalize pot soley because people already abuse alchohol.

Last, next time you fly on an airplane tell me which toilet is for men/men only?

3rd strawman. Airline toilets are private, men and woman do not use them together in a common area.

Look boys. Beth wins this one

...said the biased homosexual. Look, Beth keeps dodging my question: She insists military be forced to berth with known homosexuals, but opposes the same arrangment for straight men and women. If she wants to be fair about this, she should be arguing that all genders be forced to sleep/shower/toilet together in the same space.

Fen said...

Fen, you keep asserting that opposing opposite gender shared quarters is the same as members of the same gender, some gay, some straight, some bi, some ambivalent, some asexual, sharing quarters. You need to explain that

Just as bigotry = hatred only when it serves your argument, you deliberately confuse gender with sex when its convenient:

you keep asserting that opposing opposite gender shared quarters is the same as members of the same sex sharing quarters.

Fixed. If its any easier for you, assume there are 5 genders - male, female, gay male, gay female, trannie. You can't argue that one pair of genders should be forced to share quarters but not the rest. Its either all 5 or none.

[...]

"Social scientists make careful distinctions between these two terms. Sex generally refers to biology, to the actual form of the human body, including such factors as chromosomes, genital configuration, and secondary sex characteristics, while gender refers to the social meanings and characteristics associated with certain types of people."

George said...

A question for the next GOP debate, via Beth, above...

"Fully transitioned trannies? Of course they use the women's bathrooms. Why not?

hdhouse said...

Ahhh Fen, let me help you out here as you seem to have been watching too much Faux and Fiends..

Gender: masculine, feminine, neuter. remember?
Sex: male or female or in the adjective sense..the attraction there in..as in sexual attraction.

I'm sorry that wasn't clear to you.

Fen said...

hdhouse: Last, next time you fly on an airplane tell me which toilet is for men/men only?

BTW House, the fact that you would use that as an analogy tells me you have no concept re the lack of privacy in military common spaces.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

hdhouse: I'm sorry that wasn't clear to you.

Its the Feminist Left that taught me there are five genders. Just like the Civil Rights Left taught me that bigotry = hate.

You trying to tell me They Don't Really Believe In The Things They Lecture Us About? I already knew that.

But it fun to watch you and Beth insist words only mean what you want them to mean, when you want them to mean that.

How about you House? You have any daughters? You cool forcing them to sleep & shower with me?

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

It may have won them a few victories, but something tells me the party overall will rue the day when targeting homos became a campaign platform.

Targeting 'homos'? Isn't the appropriate term gay?

I don't think the GOP ever targeted gays but rather decided not to grant them special rights over anyone else. There is a difference.

Personally I as a conservative could care less what two same sex folk do. In fact, when it comes to gay marriage, I say let them have it so they too can experience the joys of divorce, property settlements, child support and alimony.

But I am just one voice and the majority of Americans polled are opposed to gay marriage. So I guess if one holds sancrosanct the 66% opposed to the Iraq war as defense of thier anti-war principles then I suppose you'll have to defer to the majority on gay marriage as well.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"That's why the Democratic Congress hasn't taken a break from stuffing the latest bill with earmarks..."

Actually, it seems that Dave Obey has decided that earmarks are going to be added at the 11th hour, conference, in violation of the House and Senate rules. (I join the rest of your comment, however.)


Beth said...
"Other militaries manage it, Fen. Your argument has been met, and overcome."

IIRC, the only reason European militaries did so was because they were forced to by a court. And as Freeman Hunt pointed out above, the premise that if other countries have done it so can we rests on the assumption that either (a) we have the same culture as those countries or (b) countries' individual cultures don't play any role in such matters. Both of those assumptions strike me as flawed (which is a hard sell on any level, but I'm hard pressed to believe that any American who's been abroad would seriously try to maintain that other countries have identical cultures to ours).

And even setting aside the foregoing, when do we follow the example of foreigners? Most of the rest of the world -- y'know, including the civilized part, not just Saudi Ariaba and what have you -- almost none of those countries have an exclusionary rule, and virtually all of them have far more stringent laws against abortion. Should we follow their examples in these areas? I'm betting you think not. So do we look beyond our own borders, not for the wisdom of foreigners, but when their results can be marshalled into a case for our own prejudices (in this case, the prejudice being "gays in military good"), notwithstaning the square-peg-into-round-hole nature of such comparisons?

To be sure, unlike a court, Congress can look to foreign experience, it's legitimate for it so to do (and perhaps even wise), but it should treat such materials with the awareness -- this seems embarassingly obviously to have to point out -- other countries are other countries. There's a reason why immigrants are initially termed aliens and need to be assimilated.


Beth said...
"[Fen's] bathroom argument is a time capsule back to the anti-ERA arguments with the spector of forced mixed gender bathrooms."

Given that the Democrats are attempting to resuscitate the rotted carcas of the ERA as we speak, I don't think that any argument against the ERA or its consequences can be called a time capsule.


Joshua said...
"the reason Republicans lost is because they became Democrats. Tis true. Remember those GOP-led efforts to implement universal health care, appoint pro-choice judges, and raise taxes?"

If you want to admit that those are Democratic priorities, I'll lend you a megaphone to shout from the rooftops that democrats' priorities are the evisceration of the rule of law, the abolition of the federal system and the ruin of the economy. You tell as many people those are your priorities as you can, young man!

MadisonMan said...

I didn't watch the debate -- at a meeting -- but the summary here makes me wonder about the Totalitarian leanings of Mr. Giuliani. I can easily imagine him making the Presidency even more Imperial than it is today. I don't get that vibe from any other candidate. There are three branches in Govt for a reason.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

MadisonMan - What, as you see it, are Guiliani's "totalitarian" leanings?

MadisonMan said...

Simon, I don't know -- it's really a gut reaction and is totally irrational. Update #4, though, does nothing to counter my irrational gut reaction.

Simon said...

MM- Well, I ask because of the spectacularly inapt word choice, "totalitarian." Now, authoritarian, I could see, because that's quite a malleable concept, but the common denominator of definitions of totalitarianism are "the attempt to mobilize entire populations in support of the official state ideology, and the intolerance of activities which are not directed towards the goals of the state, entailing repression or state control of business, labour unions, churches or political parties." It seems to me that, to the extent it defines anyone in the mainstream of American public life, this far more aptly described the credo of liberals -- particularly the climate change zealots, whose real problem with the price of gas is that the extra cash is being skimmed by the private sector instead of the U.S. treasury -- than of any Republican on the stage last night.

(I should add that I share your distrust of the executive branch, going all the way back to Andrew Jackson. I agree that it's inherently the most dangerous branch -- Frank Easterbrook invoked Robert Heinlein the other month, Heinlein having suggested that the greatest threat to freedom is efficient, competent government, and even though is institutionally more powerful than the President, its singular incompetence and inefficiency act as checks on this power. Kakistocracy indeed, Ms. Jacobson. I'd also add my well-rehearsed concerns with the difficulty of construing Article II, which provides both a reason to keep a close eye on what the executive branch does and a problem in knowing where the line is that they might cross.)

MadisonMan said...

I should add that I read the summary of the "debate" on salon.com, and I didn't get the Imperial Giuliani vibe there at all. Curious.

Simon said...

^ Sorry, I missed a word; that sentence ought to have read "even though Congress is institutionally more powerful than the President, its singular incompetence and inefficiency act as checks on this power."

Fen said...

Mary: Aww fen. Sounds like you really want a piece of me. I'm touched, but find your own

Please. Don't flatter yourself. If you get under my skin, I'll get a flea collar. BTW, didn't Ann designate you a troll and ask you to leave a few months ago? You agreed, but now you're back? With three posts of nothing but ad hom?

Beth: you keep refusing to address the reality that there are gays in the military

No I don't. Clinton's Don't Ask Don't Tell is a compromise. Gays are allowed to serve as long as they don't declare their gender. My issue with you revolves around you equating support of that policy to bigotry.

Look at it another way Beth: Assume you have a daughter who is blind. She shares living quarters with me, on the assumption that I'm female - she changes clothes in front of me, shares the bedroom, bathroom and shower with me. Two months in she realizes I'm a male and wants to move out. By your argument, she's a bigot...?

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Gays are allowed to serve as long as they don't declare their gender.

I hope you forgot a word at the end of that sentence. It's utter nonsense otherwise.

Jim said...

Ann,

This is the absolute best summary of the debate I have seen.

Nice work!

mtrobertsattorney said...

Madison Man is on to something. There is something spooky about Guiliani. Maybe it has something to do with his physical appearance: he looks like the heavy in a B horror film. And his strange relationship with his two children doesn't help matters.

Admittedly, this is a subjective thing but it's there and I think it will make him unelectable.

Ann Althouse said...

Please don't interact with the commenter whose posts I always delete unread. If you see them, regard them as already deleted. Thanks.

Invisible Man said...

Madison Man is on to something. There is something spooky about Guiliani.

Bill Maher had a great side by side with Guiliani and Nosferatu that had me in tears last weekend and also made the joke that Guiliani was the first candidate who should "bring the comb over back." I doubt that his physical appearance is going to be an edge in this election.

And as for the argument about him being a Totalitarian vs. Authoritarian, I unfortunately have to side with Simon even though that doesn't make it much better. If one loves Bush penchant for usurping Constitutional powers, hiring only loyalists and giving a big middle finger to those who don't agree with him, then Rudy is your guy.

hdhouse said...

Fen said...
"How about you House? You have any daughters? You cool forcing them to sleep & shower with me?"

Well two observations spring to mind:

1. Currently the armed forces demand that you mark a box either male or female...which did you mark?

2. I wasn't aware you showered.

PatCA said...

Giuliani is "spooky" and "totalitarian"? Are we into prsonal insults and innuendo already, before he even gets nominated?

MadisonMan said...

PatCA, it's just a vibe I get from him, sometimes. As I said, it's an irrational gut-level thing. How is it an insult to say I get an Imperial Vibe from him?

Beth said...

Fen, you keep equating gayness with gender, and I keep calling you on it, and you keep refusing to explain it. Your arguments seeks to equate serving with members of your own gender who are gay with serving, or living, with members of the opposite sex. So, what are you saying? Gay male = like a woman? and Lesbian woman = like a man? There's nothing for me to respond to in your what if questions when the assumptions are fundamentally wrong.

Beth said...

And yes, Fen, if you're fine with gay men in the shower with you so long as you don't know they're gay, but once you know it turns icky for you, that's bigotry.

nick danger said...

And yes, Fen, if you're fine with gay men in the shower with you so long as you don't know they're gay, but once you know it turns icky for you, that's bigotry.

I see his point though, which presumably is, what other reason is there not to have unisex restrooms and showers and barracks, other than that it's "icky?" If that's good enough to segregate the sexes, why isn't it good enough to segregate based on sexual attraction? I don't really agree with DADT, but I think that if you take a strong position against it you really ought to address these issues: Is there a rational basis for ANY segregation? If so for sex, then why not for sexual orientation?

It's also very, very unfair of you to accuse somone of "bigotry" because they are uncomfortable with others perceiving them sexually. Presumably, if you used a restroom and were fine, and then later found out it had a hidden camera in it, that would make you feel "icky," right? Is that bigotry?

Fen said...

beth: Fen, you keep equating gayness with gender, and I keep calling you on it, and you keep refusing to explain it.

My mistake. I was trying to speak in terms the Feminist Left had taught me, thinking it would help us communicate. I should have used sexual orientation instead.

But Nick got my point anyway.

Anthony Cartouche said...

Fen, you have got to be the most gay-obsessed person alive today.

Why don't you ask everyone how many Barbra Streisand CDs they own?

PatCA said...

"How is it an insult to say I get an Imperial Vibe from him?"

I thought you meant Imperial as a bad thing.

And you gave no argument, just a feeling. But that's politics--I'm just surprised at all the personal negative feelings so early. Must mean he's perceived as a front runner.

Fen said...

Anthony: Fen, you have got to be the most gay-obsessed person alive today.

No. The argument between me and Beth is about assuming people who oppose DADT are bigots.

Fen: Look at it another way Beth: Assume you have a daughter who is blind. She shares living quarters with me, on the assumption that I'm female - she changes clothes in front of me, shares the bedroom, bathroom and shower with me. Two months in she realizes I'm a male and wants to move out. By your argument, she's a bigot...?

Apparently its a good analogy, because you chose to make a personal attack instead of responding to it. Thanks for the assist.

blake said...

"And yes, Fen, if you're fine with gay men in the shower with you so long as you don't know they're gay, but once you know it turns icky for you, that's bigotry."

So, if you're fine with straight men in the shower so long as you think they're gay, but once you know it turns icky, is that also bigotry?

I'm not taking a side here, I'm just trying to follow the logic. Because certainly some people feel that it's the sexual attraction, not the sex, that matters.

Fen said...

I'm just trying to follow the logic.

Yah, I think Beth is saying military personel should forced to do something she wouldn't - share living quarters [bedroom, bathroom, shower] with people who are sexually attracted to them. They're bigots for refusing to, but she's not as its somehow different.

Revenant said...

Guys, MadisonMan is hardly the only person to get an authoritarian vibe off of Giuliani. Cato had an article dealing Giuliani's authoritarian leanings last week.

MadisonMan said...

Should I be alarmed or honored to have the same reaction as cato?

As to whether Rudy is a front runner, I'd say that being a front-runner 17 months away from an election is kinda like leading a marathon after a mile.

Beth said...

Fen, once again your assumptions are off, and you refuse to acknowledge that in other militaries gay people serve openly with no problem. I reject your assumption that gay equates with opposite gender. But we also see that in some activities, opposite gender crews share living quarters, as on the space shuttle and in the space station. I've had male roommates, and we all know that it's not unusual for opposite gender people to share houses. You're pissed because I believe the objection to gay people serving openly in the military is a bigoted view. I can't change that. And I believe the candidates for the GOP who have in the past expressed support for gay rights are now pandering to bigotry in their newfound views against gay service members. They know the right answer is "no" when any question begins "Should gay people be able to...". The GOP requires of its candidates a certain amount of pandering to anti-gay views. The sky is blue. The sea is wet. These are just easily observed truths.

Revenant said...

Fen, you have got to be the most gay-obsessed person alive today.

Holy shit -- Downtownlad's dead?

Fen said...

Beth: you refuse to acknowledge that in other militaries gay people serve openly with no problem

I acknowledge them. I also recognize our culture is different than theirs. What works in France won't necessarily work here. What works here won't necessarily work in Isreal. Apples and Oranges. Work on changing the culture first - not bootstrap levitation, using the military as a political & societal experiment.

You're pissed because I believe the objection to gay people serving openly in the military is a bigoted view

Not pissed. Just tired of the victim rhetoric: if you oppose Affirmative Action you're a racist, if you oppose Illegal Immigration you're a racist, if you oppose Same Sex Marriage and Gays in the Military you're a bigot.

Its a bad faith argument Beth. I don't mind that we disagree, in fact its why I like this blog. All I ask is that you argue in good faith.

The GOP requires of its candidates a certain amount of pandering to anti-gay views. The sky is blue...These are just easily observed truths.

Actually, the sky is NOT blue, its just your perception [as is yours of GOP bigotry] See, it has to do with scattering of wavelengths and...

...oh nevermind. Play your bigot card. My views on homosexulity have been shifted to center more from civil rational discussion from others here anyway. You and dtl and hdhouse et al have fun indulging in your hatred of those who disagree with you.

Palladian said...

Don't forget the Israeli army when mentioning modern armies that successfully integrated openly gay people. But I'm sure there will be some reason we shouldn't emulate them either. And don't get me started on the Spartans.

So what do you do with bisexual people, Fen? I know a couple of soldiers who pitch (and catch) for both teams. Are they disqualified from your straights-only military? Is sexuality as binary and sealed-off as some here assume? Don't even the straightest of boys check out each other's packages? Of course they do.

zzRon said...

....."Because certainly some people feel that it's the sexual attraction, not the sex, that matters.".....


Indeed. And it boggles my mind that some just dont get it. If not for human sexual attraction, I can't think of a single reason why people of all "genders" would or should feel "icky" in any of the situations mentioned thoughout this thread. If thinking like this makes me a bigot is some minds, then so be it.



Beth said...."You're pissed because I believe the objection to gay people serving openly in the military is a bigoted view. I can't change that."


Why? Is it in your genes to think this way? Or were you refering to Fen being pissed?

Fen said...

Palladian: So what do you do with bisexual people, Fen?

Honestly? I think they are primarily responsible for vectoring AIDs into the hetero population.

Are they disqualified from your straights-only military?

I never said gays were disqualified from military service.

Really, its like you guys need me to hate homosexuals. Beth had me with you're a bigot. Gee, I had almost forgotten that I "hate" gays. Thanks for the course correction.

Fen said...

/edit. my 1:55 should read:

The argument between me and Beth is about her assuming people who support DADT are bigots.

Revenant said...

Honestly? I think they are primarily responsible for vectoring AIDs into the hetero population.

The primary vector into the heterosexual population was (and, if I recall correctly, still is) intravenous drug use.

Simon said...

Beth:
"[Fen] refuse[s] to acknowledge that in other militaries gay people serve openly with no problem."

But as I pointed out upthread and Fen rejoined, you can't simply assert nothing more than "other countries do it" as a reason to do something, without accounting for cultural differences. As the left readily acknowledges when it serves their agenda, Britain, for example, is culturally more open to homosexuality than is America.

And even if the experience of foreigners were per se comparable, these are recent developments (and in Europe, have been imposed, not chosen) that haven't been studied in enough depth or over enough time to know whether it's genuinely "no problem." I know that the Brits have had some kind of study, but again, this is a recent development, and what have the French found? The Germans? And so on.

Other countries get by without the exclusionary rule and protections of women's rights. If we're basing our policy on their experience, what principle limits that deference to DADT? It's incumbent on you to explain why we should look to the experience of other countries in some areas, yet not in others - and surely you need a more satisfying criterion than "because I agree with them on this particular point."

Revenant said...

Simon,

While your "other countries are different" point is a valid one, it is pretty weak in this situation -- Britain is culturally much like America, and Australia even more so. Furthermore, the cultural-differences angle doesn't have much bearing on the specific argument Fen's using. The Brits may have different attitudes about homosexuality, but they have the same attitudes about co-ed living arrangements and showers.

Besides, Fen isn't making a cultural-differences argument -- he's saying that it is simply wrong to make people live together under those circumstances. If it was just a matter of the US being more homophobia than the rest of the Anglosphere then there wouldn't be a problem. Racial integration worked out just fine, despite the strongly-felt racism of many within the military.

In any case, the "it could be bad!" argument needs to actually offer some, you know -- evidence. The underlying "its bad" theory has thus far failed all of its actual field tests, while the "letting gays serve won't do any harm" theory thus far fits with real-world observations. "We will not try it here and we will not accept evidence from trials elsewhere" is not rational thinking.

Palladian said...

"Palladian: So what do you do with bisexual people, Fen?

Honestly? I think they are primarily responsible for vectoring AIDs into the hetero population."

Hmm. That's a strange answer to the question "what would you do with bisexual people?". Anyway, since we seem to be throwing out non sequitur inexpert opinions for no apparent reason, I think that the Standard Model of Cosmology can be reconciled with the Standard Model of particle physics by understanding the nature of guava jelly. I also think that Midol really does reduce the pain and bloating of my period, and that jellyfish toxin can be effectively neutralized with ethanol.

"Really, its like you guys need me to hate homosexuals. Beth had me with you're a bigot. Gee, I had almost forgotten that I "hate" gays. Thanks for the course correction."

Huh? Don't put words (or anything else, for that matter) into my mouth. I don't need you to do anything, except perhaps keep barking out opinions so I can keep making fun of you.

zzRon said...

......"Besides, Fen isn't making a cultural-differences argument -- he's saying that it is simply wrong to make people live together under those circumstances. If it was just a matter of the US being more homophobia than the rest of the Anglosphere then there wouldn't be a problem. Racial integration worked out just fine, despite the strongly-felt racism of many within the military."


Yes, racial integration worked out just fine, and I believe it was because racism can easily be shot down with a bit of human decency and rational thinking. IMO, racism, at its bottom line level, is nothing more than insecure people (particulay when in groups) trying to bolster their own self esteem by down grading the value of others. But, for what its worth. I think the "homophobic" problem(?) runs much deeper than that.

The term homophobic (God, how I hate that word) by definition, must imply fear. But I dont think the natural "ickyness" (for lack of a better term) many folks feel about homosexuality has anything to do with fear. Maybe it's a learned response? Maybe it's in the genes? Im not sure. All I know is that for me and many others, it cant be rationally washed away. DADT is as good a compromise as I can and am willing to come up with, for now.

Revenant said...

Maybe it's a learned response? Maybe it's in the genes?

It is either entirely or almost entirely a learned response. If it was not, the sharp decline in anti-homosexual sentiment over the last 50 years could not have been possible.

All I know is that for me and many others, it cant be rationally washed away.

Isn't irrational concern just another term for "fear"?

zzRon said...

...."It is either entirely or almost entirely a learned response. If it was not, the sharp decline in anti-homosexual sentiment over the last 50 years could not have been possible."....


You very well might be right. But I sometimes wonder if some people havent been beaten into submission over the last 50 years. For a decent person(of any sexual persuasion), being called a bigot or hater gets pretty tiresome after a while, so many might well have changed their sentiment due to frustration and even guilt.


....Isn't irrational concern just another term for "fear"?....



In most cases, I would answer yes. But on this subject, for some, there seems to be absolutely nothing rational at all about their sexual behavior. That seems to be the gist of the problem here, dont you think? Call me silly or homophobic, but whenever I am around irrational people, I get just a wee bit "concerned" :-).

PatCA said...

"... it is pretty weak in this situation -- Britain is culturally much like America..."

Maybe...but when the British sailors were captured and accepted goodie bags from the Iranians and cried themselves to sleep after being told they looked like Mr. Bean, there was quite a lot of discussion of the differences in training and culture of their military and ours.

PatCA said...

Thanks for the Cato article. I would agree with the author on surveillance cavils if we were at peace. My feeling is, I think we're in a time of war. His aggressive crime fighting is fine, state of war or not.

Fen said...

Palladian: Hmm. That's a strange answer to the question "what would you do with bisexual people?".

Yah, I was hurried at work and read it wrong as "what do you think of bisexual people". My bad. What would I do with them? Nothing. I've already stated I have no problem with gays serving in the military.

Don't put words (or anything else, for that matter) into my mouth. I don't need you to do anything, except perhaps keep barking out opinions so I can keep making fun of you.

Have fun making fun. But you said: Are they disqualified from your straights-only military?

I never advocated a straights-only military. I never said gays/bisexuals were disqualified from military service. You're the one putting words in people's mouths. Its like you guys need a bogeyman.

Revenant said...

But I sometimes wonder if some people havent been beaten into submission over the last 50 years.

That makes no sense; a minority of malcontents can't "browbeat" the overwhelming majority of society into changing their fundamental views about sexual morality. The world doesn't work that way.

I didn't have to be "beaten into submission" to not be bothered by homosexuality; I don't know anybody who did. I'm not bothered by homosexuality for the simple reason that nobody ever convinced me there was any reason to BE bothered by homosexuality.

But on this subject, for some, there seems to be absolutely nothing rational at all about their sexual behavior. That seems to be the gist of the problem here, dont you think?

I'm afraid I don't understand your point at all. Who are the people with irrational sexual behavior that you're referring to? Homosexuals? What's irrational about gay sex? An orgasm's an orgasm.

zzRon said...

...."I didn't have to be "beaten into submission" to not be bothered by homosexuality; I don't know anybody who did".....


Beaten into submission was just a figure of speech. How about just trying to make people feel guilty for what many consider to be a normal and natural reaction to homosexuality - uncomfortableness? If you have never felt this uncomfortableness, I envy you. Obviously there are lots of men and women who think like you do.

Personally, I know quite a few people who have at least sometwhat reluctantly made themselves accept homosexuality over the years. I also know many who are angry about the guilt trip certain gays and staights alike have tried to put on them. This has caused them to be even more determined to avoid change. At this stage in my life, I seem to fall somewhere in between.


....."Who are the people with irrational sexual behavior that you're referring to? Homosexuals?"


Yes.


...."What's irrational about gay sex?"......


I view it as irrational because the act has nothing to do with what nature obviously intended. I am aware that homosexuality exists in other mammals, but it is a minute exception to the norm. As a rule, animals exsist on instinct, and do whatever they do because they have little choice in the matter. But mankind is genuinely different in this respect. We could go on about genetic predetermination and the like, but maybe save it for another time. For now, I will just say that if it's feasible homosexual attraction is in the genes, it is also feasible that feeling naturally uncomfortable with it is in the genes. It then becomes the old "I cant help myself" way of thinking and acting on both sides, and I have never been very found of that outlook. So, that is my dilema.



...."An orgasm's an orgasm." ....


Well, I guess I cant argue with that....except to say that experience has taught me that not all orgasms are created equal :-).

Thanks for you time Revenant. I alway enjoy reading what you contribute to this site.

Revenant said...

How about just trying to make people feel guilty for what many consider to be a normal and natural reaction to homosexuality - uncomfortableness?

But it isn't a natural and normal reaction to homosexuality. If it was, I and my friends would feel it. I didn't get guilt-tripped into not fearing homosexuals -- I was simply never bothered by them in the first place. The anti-gay slogans are so disconnected from empirical reality that I'm always surprised to encounter people who actually believe in them. It is obvious that it is the homophobes who are the brainwashing victims in this scenario.

I view it as irrational because the act has nothing to do with what nature obviously intended.

The idea that nature "intends" anything is, itself, irrational. Nature doesn't have a plan.

zzRon said...

....."The idea that nature "intends" anything is, itself, irrational. Nature doesn't have a plan."



I will admit there is no way of knowing if nature has a "plan". Nature is what it is and it is impossilbe for it to be anything else. One question for you though, if I may: Why do you believe orgasms exist in nature? I mean, do you think they serve any useful purpose other than allowing living beings to get their "rocks off", relieve stress, and smoke ciggerettes afterwards? :-).