Letters to the Editor

Inconvenient facts

December 10, 2010

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To the editor:

In his column supporting the U.S. military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, (Journal-World, Dec. 7) “Uncle” Cal Thomas displays his penchant to erga dissimulo incommodus verum: IGNORE INCONVENIENT FACTS.

Here are some incommodus verum that Uncle Cal chose to ignore:

  1. Most western military forces have now removed policies excluding non-heterosexual individuals from service.
  2. Of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO 22 permit gay people to serve.
  3. The United States and China are the only members of the United Nations Security Council to restrict gays from serving openly in their military. China’s human rights record is not illustrious.
  4. The Israeli military has a reputation as one of the most tested and successful armies in the world. Israel, a country about which Uncle Cal virtually never finds fault, has for decades permitted gays to serve openly in its military.

But then, Uncle Cal is a columnist, so he has a license to ignore inconvenient facts.

Comments

Liberty_One 4 years, 4 months ago

For an LTE, simpler is better, and we could have done without the latin and all-caps words. One other criticism--Mr. Day you forgot to state the conclusion! I know it's obvious, but it's still important to state it none the less, so here it is:

None of these other armies were devastated by allowing gays to serve openly, and neither would ours.

Joe Blackford II 4 years, 4 months ago

I disagree. erga dissimulo incommodus verum, is that what's printed on Treasury Bills?

denak 4 years, 4 months ago

Well as a former Marine, I would say "Good Riddance" If they put their beliefs over the mission then they should go.

denak 4 years, 4 months ago

Tom,

All Marines who have been discharged, are former Marines. We use the word, former, to differentiate ourselves from other branches. There are ex-soldiers, there are ex-Coasties, there are ex whatever, but there are never ex-Marines.

Secondly, how can you say you do not know my political leanings and yet go on and subscribe "left" thinking to me.

My views on DADT have nothing to do with my political beliefs and everything to do with being a FORMER Marine. I personally don't buy what some papers are saying about the Marines. I have much more faith in my fellow Marines to put aside thier personal beliefs....as they do with all their beliefs... and just concentrate on the mission at hand.

And as many others have pointed out, there are other armies that allow gay people to serve openly and they still have an effective military. So, I don't buy into this doom and gloom scenario that many people subscribe to. I think our military men and women will rise to the ocassion and adjust without it negatively impacting our military.

Dena

parrothead8 4 years, 4 months ago

See, according to Tom, the vocal minority who "might" leave are more important than the silent minority who apparently feel so strongly about serving their country that they're willing to hide who they are in order to do it.

gudpoynt 4 years, 4 months ago

So leave DADT in place for the USMC. Why hasn't that been proposed?

denak 4 years, 4 months ago

Yes, the mission comes first. Whatever an individual Marine may feel about any particular political agenda, president, fellow Marine or anything else doesn't matter. The mission is first and foremost what he or she should be concerned with and if that individual Marine is going to put his or her beliefs BEFORE the mission, then they should not be a Marine.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 4 months ago

A persons sexual habits and preferences should not be a matter of public debate. While I think the gay agenda is ridiculous, why should we know the sexual habits and preferences of other people? If they want to practice sex in non-procreative ways let them, it is their own personal affair (pun intended). If I don;'t know you are gay, but think you are gay is a different call than I know you are gay because you told me.tt

I think the military is not the place to test a heated topic like this during two wars, even though the public wants it. Keep DADT until the wars are over and the huge change in the military won't affect our effectiveness.

And I don't care what other militaries do, that is their problem,but don't compare the US Military with anyone, especially Israel.

BorderRuffian 4 years, 4 months ago

So the main thrust of Day's argument is that we ought to be like lemmings and do it, simply because everyone else does it. Dumb approach. The likewise, inferred, thrust is that we, the United States, ought to let somebody else's standards dictate what we do, just to satisfy the rantings of a very vocal (minor) minority. Another dumb approach.

christy kennedy 4 years, 4 months ago

Using that argument you might say we were lemmings to finally abolish slavery and allow women the right to vote. I believe his point is that we're right in there with nations rather backward in their civil rights practices and should probably hurry the hell up and repeal DADT, which was a rather bizarre and temporary way to put off actually dealing with the issue.

What is always left out of the discussion is that sexual preference does not determine or define work-related performance or behavior. If it does, in any negative manner, from anyone no matter what their preference, that's a violation of the conduct code. Period. No different from wage discrimination. If you do the job you should be treated like anybody else doing the same job.

People will look back on this and laugh at how long it took and how stupid it all was.

madameX 4 years, 4 months ago

No, the main thrust of Day's argument is that Cal Thomas' claims that allowing homosexuals to serve in the miltary will be devastating are not true, and Day backs up his argument by pointing out that many countries have highly effective militaries where homosexuals are allowed to serve.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

"So the main thrust of Day's argument is that we ought to be like lemmings and do it, simply because everyone else does it."

Or as the Founders would have said (and did) "A decent respect for the opinions of mankind."

There is no "inferred thrust" of mimicking others for the sake of doing so. You're just desperate to counter his facts, cannot do so, and decided to make indecent crap up.

parrothead8 4 years, 4 months ago

Why are people okay with heterosexual troops openly displaying their sexuality, but not homosexual troops doing the same?

BorderRuffian 4 years, 4 months ago

I, for one, am NOT okay with ANYONE overtly displaying their sexuality. As far as I'm concerned, what I do sexually should be a matter solely between me and my partner. I am hetero. But I do not make the expression of that fact my primary, even secondary, public witness.

And especially in a military setting where attentiveness to task and discipline are of paramount importance, the injection of sexuality of any kind is highly innapropriate. The same ought to be for the workplace. While I am at work, I am being paid, by my employer, to perform certain tasks for his benefit. My employer pays me to work for him, a minimum of 8 hours each day I work. My time belongs entirely to said employer. So therefore, unless my expression of sexuality is of direct benefit to my employer and is part of my job description, that expression or display of sexuality is totally out of place.

mbulicz 4 years, 4 months ago

"I, for one, am NOT okay with ANYONE overtly displaying their sexuality. As far as I'm concerned, what I do sexually should be a matter solely between me and my partner. I am hetero. But I do not make the expression of that fact my primary, even secondary, public witness."

Paraphrased:

"I don't think anyone should flaunt their sexuality but HEY GUYS I'M STRAIGHT EVEN THOUGH NO ONE ASKED OKAY"

I'd bet if you were on the front lines, being shot at and returning fire with your fellow soldiers, you would want to talk about those who are close to you. Those praying for your safe return home. Those wincing every time an unexpected call comes at a late hour.

It's not like when you're asked to stop texting your girlfriend between flipping burgers.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

"I am hetero. But I do not make the expression of that fact my primary, even secondary, public witness."

There are only 2 choices here:

  1. You do and you're so blind you don't realize that you do.

  2. You actually manage this and all of your coworkers just assume you're gay.

I strongly suspect it's #1.

(Besides, the problems with DADT are not soldiers "overtly" displaying anything but an inability of the system to allow them to not do so.)

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 4 months ago

The resistance to gays serving in the military is just a natural historical process. The arguments are weak, the bias is thick and illogical and the leadership prefers change that they initiate, thus, maintain the status quo.

There was far greater resistance to allowing Blacks and Japanese soldiers but history shows that these soldiers were among the greatest of all the soldiers who fought for the cause of Liberty beneath the American flag.

I vote against ignorance. Let them serve.

Joe Hyde 4 years, 4 months ago

Around ten years ago a news story caught my eye, about the Navy discharging a sailor who had come out publicly as being gay. This was no ordinary sailor, either; he was the Navy's top-rated instructor in anti-submarine warfare.

In the Vietnam war I served on an attack aircraft carrier that operated off the coast of North Vietnam (the so-called "Yankee Station" area of operation). While we were at sea it crossed my mind many times, just how vulnerable surface warships are to being attacked and sunk by enemy submarines. And of course, the loss of surface vessels to torpedo or sub-launched missles pales next to the devastation that a single enemy sub could inflict on my country by means of nuclear ballistic missles.

So for the Navy to dishonorably discharge this particular Warrant Officer for being gay, the whole deal struck me as total insanity. By training other sailors in the complex technical means used to find and destroy enemy subs, this gay man was doing perhaps more than any other sailor at the time to defend the United States and our allies.

Politicians have their own special worries, but I contend that if all our Representatives and Senators worked in compartments located below decks on warships at sea instead of offices in Washington, D.C., they wouldn't give a rat's ass what another serviceman or servicewoman enjoys doing between the sheets on their own time. If Battle Stations ever got sounded all they'd care about is whether the sailors on board their ship -- and those on nearby U.S. ships and subs -- have got the training, skills and guts to counter-attack and kill our enemy.

oldvet 4 years, 4 months ago

"The Israeli military has a reputation as one of the most tested and successful armies in the world. Israel, a country about which Uncle Cal virtually never finds fault, has for decades permitted gays to serve openly in its military."

You're right, Larry, we should do like the Israelis do... no problem with gays serving... and the entire graduating classes of Lawrence High and Free State will begin their 36-month compulsory military service (21-months for females) as soon as graduation ceremonies end...

BorderRuffian 4 years, 4 months ago

Actually, I think the new generations would benefit entirely by compulsory military service. It would get them out of all this entitlement, tthe world exists to serve me, attitude, and instill in them a sense of duty to others and a sense of responsibility, which frankly, is increasingly rare these days.

Brandon Devlin 4 years, 4 months ago

Awesome. . .I've been thinking the same thing for years. Hooah!

mbulicz 4 years, 4 months ago

To the DADT proponents - when your house is being robbed, and a police officer arrives, do you first ask whether they are gay? Why should the other people who would give their lives to protect you be any different?

Why are you so special that you can't even allow someone of "lesser" beliefs to fight and die for the freedoms of you and your loved ones? Do you even know how many have already paid the ultimate price for your rights while you were busy subverting theirs?

It was a gay man, Alan Turing, that broke the German enigma and arguably gave the Allies the advantage needed to gain their momentum in WWII. And yet, when it was discovered he was a homosexual, his security clearance was revoked and he was chemically castrated.

How utterly self-righteous to dismiss someone's contributions to your safety and freedom just because they openly admit that they love differently. Grow up.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 4 months ago

You left out the fact that Alan Turing committed suicide, a broken man. The fact that he was hounded into doing so, in my opinion, was murder. About 100 years ago Konrad Lorenz did an experiment he called the "painted crow". He took one of the crows that frequently flocked around his farm/research facility and splashed red paint on it. After he released it, the other crows flocked around it and attacked and killed it. The community (flock) didn't just reject the one that was different, they murdered it. I understand that it's dangerous to compare animal to human behavior, however I think there is an appropriate place to make parallels and this is one of them.

tomatogrower 4 years, 4 months ago

The other day, can't remember who it was, I heard someone say they were afraid allowing gays to serve openly would make the armed services effeminate. Was that Cal? I am real certain that if they allow gays to openly serve, that some big, mean Marine isn't suddenly going to start decorating the barracks, and go all Liza Minnelli this and Liza Minnelli that. This person obviously has a real stereotype of gays. It was good for a laugh though.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 4 months ago

A couple of quick points. Anybody ever wonder how many gays served in WW2? I know of one who had a drawer full of medals. Of course he wasn't openly gay then.

Two. Why do people always think gay is feminine? The best golf instructor I ever had was an openly gay female who did a long stint in the Air Force. Pardon me, but there was not a lot of femininity about her. Excellent instructor and fun to share a few brews with too.

These are different times and as always we change our norms to fit the time.

grammaddy 4 years, 4 months ago

How much longer should we ask the troops to risk the ultimate sacrifice while demanding that they not reveal their authenticate selves. Repeal DADT!!

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