Friday, December 31, 2010

Ah Gotta Guy and his name is Saaammm....

Calhoun’s Can(n)ons for Dec 31 20l0

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
                                       Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ooops, well there goes the country. First black people got into the Army.  Then women.  Now gays. What’s the world coming to next? Well, since so many of our old, draft-dodging chicken-hawk politicians keep getting us into wars, I guess we’ll need everyone we can get our hands on to keep our military well-stocked with the finest professional soldiers in the world.

But I found the battle over gays in the military particularly funny.  Like gays haven’t been serving all along? And all the wink-nudge comments about being fearful taking showers with gay soldiers?  Like straight soldiers haven’t been scrubbing up with gay soldiers all along?  Snuggling in foxholes?  Yup, though if you’re under fire I suspect the sexual orientation of the guy next to you is the last thing you’d be worrying about.

For years, it’s been a constant battle to officially NOT know that there were gays in the military, and in an effort to codify that NOT knowing, Congress invented DATA: Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell, which was supposed to legalize NOT knowing.  Unfortunately, a lot of people were asking and telling so about 14,000 soldiers were booted out, including desperately needed Arab linguists at a time when the military was scraping the bottom of the barrel in a search to recruit enough warm bodies. So one military hand started desperately accepting citizens with criminal records while the other hand was kicking out highly trained soldiers. It was a destructive and pointless policy that constantly damaged mission readiness.

Despite the obvious futility (to say nothing about issues of simple equality under law of all citizens), the strongest opposition seemed to break along age lines.  To the old generals (and old politicians), gays in the trenches were a scary thing that conjured up tasteless jokes about bars of soap and showers; to the young kids actually in the trenches and in the showers, it was no big deal.  They’d grown up with gay friends amidst a popular culture loaded down with openly gay icons, had seen the rise of gay rights and had little problem with “gayness.”

Except for the Marines.  As Congress ordered the military brass to “study” the issue, all the branches came back with a report that pretty much said, “No Big.  With some minor tweaking, we will implement the new policy smartly, Sir!” 

But not the Marines.  Not the manly-men, macho Marines, guys famous for hyper-maleness, the rippling oiled muscles, the ripped abs gleaming in the sun, the testosterone-drenched manliness, the over-the-top HooRAH tough, chew-iron-spit-nails, take no prisoners, quintessential non-girly-men bonding in the deep mystical brotherhood of guyness.  Which, let’s face it, is all sooooo gay.  Probably explains why the mere thought of an actual, real gay marine snuggling up next to a straight marine in a foxhole had the top Marine brass rattled. Rattled!

Well, I have one word for those scared generals:  Sparta.  

Politically, the age break was also sadly apparent in Senator Grumpy Gramps McCain who in his dotage has turned into a spotlight chaser who waffles and flips over anything that’ll get him some TV face time.  That’s what he did on this issue, first declaring he’d listen to what the top brass had to say, then, when the top brass had their say, decided he didn’t like their say and voted against repealing DATA, declaring “this is a sad day.”  It was, indeed.  A sad day for Gramps McCain and other politicians who fail to see that arc of justice, bending.

Said Senator John Kerry of the historic vote; “The military remains the great equalizer.  Just like we did after President Truman desegregated the military, we’ll someday look back and wonder what took Washington so long to fix it.”

Ah, well, that’s always the question that goes unanswered when all the injustices we fight so hard to keep in place finally fall.  When the change comes, often after a terrible struggle, we blink and suddenly the world is the same but slightly different.  Then we ask, “Uh, what was all that about, anyway?”

And there never is a good answer.


Mike said...

Read all about that PZLDF Lawsuit which the Lisa led LOCSD paid ALL the legal fees:

Sorry Ann, but your PZLDF Lawsuit lost...!!!! Another example of wondering what that was all about...!!! WE do know...!!!! and it was another example of a few with their own agenda to disrupt any sewer with any method possible... I am still pissed that the PZLDF lied to this community...!!! They (You Ann!) did NOT pay your person legal fees... WE go stuck with YOUR folly...!!!!

Maybe ronnie or your new again buddy aaron will finally do an expose of that "agreement" with the LOCSD to pay those legal fees...!!! YOU Ann, never paid for YOUR PZLDF lawsuit...which we all knew was never going to win...!!!!

Mike said...

Sorry (not really), but just read the Tribune... Great article Bob Cuddy....!!!!!!

Bottom line... PZLDF lost because they never had a case, just a few whinners who wasted LOCSD funds (the PZLDF folks NEVER PAID the legal fees...!!!!) in their personal crusade against the RWQCB...!!!!

Churadogs said...

(Donna's post from an email)i know one marine who applauds the DADT being son, eric. he joined the marines AGAINST HIS MOTHER'S CAREFUL TEACHING to go to canada if he was about to be drafted. his mother (me) taught him this since early childhood. but did he listen? no. so, i got notice of his enlistment in the mail the day my second son, jesse, died.

isn't life strange?

anyway, my son eric said a few years later that i was right. (this, of course, was after i told him HE was right. that the military had given him organization and comradeship which he had been looking for.) he told me that the military was, after all, an organization that kills.

i have some very intense emotions about the military. i guess i'm still in the 60s. "What if they had a war and nobody came?"

Sandra Gore said...

Coming from a long line of Marines, whom I deeply respect and am grateful for when I need defending, I have to say that it kind of goes with the territory not to think. If you think - aka question - you don't take the risks they do.
I too wish there was no war - alas, its importance is shown by the way we study history: a long chronological march of the reign of this or that guy and the wars. Give peace a chance! The problem is everyone has to agree.

M said...

The problem I see is now the military has to provide training in how to be tolerant of co-existing with gay members. It turns them into a seperate class. I don't understand why it needs to be acknowleged at all. If their gay, their gay. If their not, their not.
Sincerely, M
P.S. Hopefully if we ignore Mike he will go away.

Mike said...

...probably not M... too many ego's still out there crusading against the coming sewer and who just love to have their personal agenda's dashed....!!!! LOL

BTW, how do like paying for the PZLDF's failed lawsuit...??? I'm surprised you haven't put up a 4-Sale sign by now...

The Razor said...

It's good that DADT is repealed so the military can now shift its focus to effectiveness that's not rooted in petty prejudices.

Mike said...

Aaron, where YOU ever in the military...??? Of course have a medical exemption... You also have NO experience in the real world, only your imagination.... I almost feel sorry for your father who has to protect you from the things you know nothing about... How's your aunt?

Churadogs said...

Off topic AGAIN, Mikeee

Mr. Ed said...

"Don't ask, don't tell," Lynette.

Churadogs said...

oops, off topic, Foghat

GetRealOsos said...


I'll be off topic too and please feel free to delete me, for being off topic?! -- but for the FIRST time I agree with Lynette (Foghat).

I'd really like to know what's going on with the lawsuit. What happened and any details you could provide.

Many people, not just CDO's, donated to the lawsuit and it would be nice to get some information rather than a black-out on the issue. It's a shame to have to rely ONLY on the Tribune (with their bias and awful reporting.)