Big Surprise... Congress acted with no evidence... again...

Hambydammit
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Big Surprise... Congress acted with no evidence... again...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080708/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/military_gays

 

We haven't had a blatant shifting of the burden of proof in a little while.  Here's an obvious example, and yet another example of just how screwy things can get when we allow bad critical thinking to prevail.  This is just one example.  Imagine how many government programs -- No Child Left Behind (sic!), Abstinence only education, the War on Drugs -- wouldn't even be in existence if we only required the government to meet a reasonable burden of proof before spending our money.

(I won't even go into the War in Iraq discussion.)

Quote:

WASHINGTON - Congress should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.

The study was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton's policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation.

"Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion," the officers states.

To support its contention, the panel points to the British and Israeli militaries, where it says gay people serve openly without hurting the effectiveness of combat operations.

Undermining unit cohesion was a determining factor when Congress passed the 1993 law, intended to keep the military from asking recruits their sexual orientation. In turn, service members can't say they are gay or bisexual, engage in homosexual activity or marry a member of the same sex.

Supporters of the ban contend there is still no empirical evidence that allowing gays to serve openly won't hurt combat effectiveness.

"The issue is trust and confidence" among members of a unit, said Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, who retired in 1993 after working on the issue for the Army. When some people with a different sexual orientation are "in a close combat environment, it results in a lack of trust," he said.

The study was sponsored by the Michael D. Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, which said it picked the panel members to portray a bipartisan representation of the different service branches. According to its Web site, the Palm Center "is committed to keeping researchers, journalists and the general public informed of the latest developments in the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy debate." Palm himself was "a staunch supporter of civil rights in the gay community," the site says.

Two of the officers on the panel have endorsed Democratic candidates since leaving the military — Army Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, who supports Barack Obama, and Marine Corps Gen. Hugh Aitken, who backed Clinton in 1996.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Minter Alexander, a Republican, was assigned in 1993 to a high-level panel established by the Defense Department to examine the issue of gays in the military. At one point, he signed an order that prohibited the military from asking a recruit's sexual orientation.

Alexander said at the time he was simply trying to carry out the president's orders and not take a position. But he now believes the law should be repealed because it assumes the existence of gays in the military is disruptive to units even though cultural attitudes are changing.

Further, the Defense Department and not Congress should be in charge of regulating sexual misconduct within the military, he said.

"Who else can better judge whether it's a threat to good order and discipline?" Alexander asked.

Navy Vice Adm. Jack Shanahan said he had no opinion on the issue when he joined the panel, having never confronted it in his 35-year military career. A self-described Republican who opposes the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war, Shanahan said he was struck by the loss of personal integrity required by individuals to carry out "don't ask, don't tell."

"Everyone was living a big lie — the homosexuals were trying to hide their sexual orientation and the commanders were looking the other way because they didn't want to disrupt operations by trying to enforce the law," he said.

 

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deludedgod
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Is this like where's Waldo?

Is this like where's Waldo? Spot the fallacy? It's right here:

Quote:

Supporters of the ban contend there is still no empirical evidence that allowing gays to serve openly won't hurt combat effectiveness.

*Slams head into wall*

...

*Wakes up*

If you see double negation in an evidential assertion, it's an ad ignorantium fallacy!

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Hambydammit
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DG, I almost entitled this

DG, I almost entitled this thread:  "Spot The Logical Fallacy" but I decided not to.  Too bad.  You'd have won the prize.

 

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TomJ
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2 thoughts, kinda

I wanted to write something witty and funny but all I could come up with is:

A) Proto-humanity should have stayed in the trees.  At least then we'd be happy picking lice out of each other's backs and having a good time laughing about the local tribal version of Lindsay Lohan's sex antics.

B) This is why there are so many prophecies about the end of the world.  If God doesn't get around to it we subconsciously perceive that we'll just simply do ourselves in.

Time to go to sleep methinks.

Remember how you figured out there is no Santa? Well, their god is just like Santa. They just haven’t figured out he’s not real yet.


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I've got an idea!  Instead

I've got an idea!  Instead of banning gays and lesbians, let's ban christians.  Oh, wait; on second thought keep sending christians over to Iraq, maybe we can get rid of them that way.

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Ken G.
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Congress ?

 Congress ? what Congress,these people have no back bone,that's why we can't count on these Jelly Fish,what a shame,it's like "Naomi Wolf" wrote in "The End of America" we have lost our Government !!!

 

Signature ? How ?


latincanuck
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Ok so lets look at history

Homosexuality in the military is an ancient thing, mainly because the idea that one would fight harder and obey orders far better because the lives of not just their fellow soliders but their lover(s) as well was at stake, hence better moral usually. Why would a homosexual bring down the military? I don't get it, they are in it (no pun intended) to serve their nation, as such a homosexual can obey orders just as good as a straighter person and kill just as effective. So yeah this is smack your head against the wall thinking in the US military.


Renee Obsidianwords
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*from the

 

 

*from the article:

"Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion," the officers states.

To support its contention, the panel points to the British and Israeli militaries, where it says gay people serve openly without hurting the effectiveness of combat operations."

 

Are Britain and Israel less sexually repressed than the US? If the military here were to suddenly take away the don't ask, don't tell---what would happen?

-When asked about sexual orientation someone that is homosexual still won't divulge (concerned for well-being)

-If a person's sexual orientation is 'leaked' or told---Don't you think there would be some major discrimination?

Just wondering your views

 

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nigelTheBold
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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

-If a person's sexual orientation is 'leaked' or told---Don't you think there would be some major discrimination?

Just wondering your views

I've been out of the military for almost 20 years now, so my experience might not count (our attitudes are changing), but:

Twenty years ago, the military was filled with generally-conservative people. Most people joined the military because they had nothing else, they were trying to avoid trouble, they were "patriotic" and thought it was their duty, they saw it as a career-starter, or they were trying to get money for college (like me).

In general, their attitudes fell along party lines -- most were Republican, though not libertarian in the least. The general attitude was strongly against gays and lesbians. (Well, gays, anyway. Many thought they liked lesbians, but really they just liked woman-on-woman porn.)

Strange thing is, many of the older soldiers were fairly liberal in many of their attitudes, including homosexuality. One SFC told me, "I'm in the army to help protect freedom. That's the oath I swore. I meant it then, and I mean it now." Concerning gays, he said, "I might not agree with it, but that doesn't make it wrong."

To sum up, it was a mixed bag back then. But I think that attitudes were changing even then.

I can't imagine being known as a homosexual in the army back then. It would've sucked. But, so did being known as an atheist.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers