Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bread, Circuses, and Teh Gheys

"The people that once bestowed commands,consulships, legions, and all else, now meddle no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses."   Juvenal, 55-127 A.D.

During the decline of the Roman Empire, whenever the great unwashed citizenry became unhappy, the Caesar would bestow upon them gifts of free entertainment (gladiators) and free bread.  These were, for a time, quite effective at keeping the population's mind off of politics, and the general dimming of the great light of civilization that was ancient Rome.  Happy to be entertained, and happier still to eat freely from the government trough, the people of Rome were distracted while the empire slowly collapsed beneath them.
Recently, Blackfive, et. al., have issued a public proclamation supporting the careful, measured adaptation of Staff of the Armed Forces.  Those recommendations will not be made until December, but milbloggers are  asking Congress to adapt whatever the Chiefs recommend, in the manner they recommend it.  The odds-on bet is that the Chiefs will NOT ask to Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  You can't repeal DADT, it is a policy, not a law.  The law, US Code Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 37, Subsection 654, specifically states that:  (emphasis added)

  •  (12) The worldwide deployment of United States military forces, the international responsibilities of the United States, and the potential for involvement of the armed forces in actual combat routinely make it necessary for members of the armed forces involuntarily to accept living conditions and working conditions that are often spartan, primitive, and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy.
  • (13) The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a longstanding element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service.
  • (14) The armed forces must maintain personnel policies that exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.
  • (15) The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability. 
For those who aren't read in on this, The Department of Defense can't change the law.  Neither can the President repeal this or any law, as that power belongs ONLY to Congress.  The President does not have the power to change laws with the stroke of his pen.  If that were the case, he'd never need enter the halls of the Capitol, he could just sit at his desk and dictate new laws for the rabble. 

The Milblog community is split on this.  of course, taken out of context by the monkeys in the Mainstream Media who spend all day banging their booger-hooks on their smith-coronas, the unintelligentsia will come out and proudly declare "Milbloggers support repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell!"  Since they mentioned support and DADT in the same post, that must me the case, right?  Fact is, what many have said is that "it appears to us the Chiefs of Staff are going to recommend changing the policy and repealing the law to implement the open service of homosexuals.  If they recommend that, we urge that you take their advice, and IMPLEMENT IT THE WAY THEY SAY TO DO IT."  In other words, "We can smell the way the stink is blowing.  If the Advisor says "Yes, we can," please continue taking his advise on how to suck the egg.  Don't immediately start dumping eggs on us and tell us to start sucking, let us learn how to suck the egg slowly, so we don't choke."

Personally, I agree with the law.  Serving and living in very close confines with homosexuals would impact my morale and unit cohesion.  It's just the way I'm wired.  To quote the other side's view, it's not a lifestyle, it isn't a choice--it's how we're born.  Maybe I wasn't born that way, but I was certainly raised that way.  The same Judeo-Christian ethic that guides every other aspect of my approach to life guides this one, too.  The same upbringing that taught me to love, honor, respect, serve, sacrifice, care, and taught me right from wrong really IS black and white, taught me that homosexuality is wrong.  In my mind, in my being, it is wrong.

That ethic also taught me to hate the sin, love the sinner.  I think that applies here.  I don't have any problem, in normal, daily life, with homosexuality.  A few of my peers won't watch certain TV shows because they portray homosexuality in a normal daily life.  To me, that is extreme, but that is their choice.  Blackfive once said, "if I were wounded, I wouldn't care if the medic dragging me off the battlefield was gay or not."  And you know what?  I fully agree with that.  I wouldn't say, "No, I'll wait for the next available straight guy."  In that respect, I didn't care when a female nurse put in, or removed, my catheter, or gave me a sponge bath.  I wouldn't care if it had been a male.

Let me try to explain it like this:  Do you support the idea of same sex public restrooms?  What about same sex public showers at the gym?  Why not?  Maybe it's a remnant of our puritan founding.  Maybe it's just the way I was raised, to have privacy, and modesty especially when less-than-clothed.    Maybe it is completely acceptable to the civilian world for open homosexuality in all circumstances.  The military is not the same thing as civilian society.  Of course, there are homosexuals who've served honorably, although closeted.  Of course, there are homosexuals serving now, although closeted.  Their experience is anecdotal, not proof of concept.  Because they didn't (couldn't) serve openly, the differences in how they were perceived, and the impacts of those perceptions if they'd served openly didn't exist.

So where do I stand?  On this particular issue, of changing the DADT Policy, or Repealing the subsections of United States Law that deal with homosexual service:

I stand with Juvenal.  We are fighting a multi-front, multi-theater war; the economy is in the toilet, unemployment is at 10%, the stock market is bipolar at best, the Nation is $13,000,000,000,000 in the red, and the Administration is giving us Bread and Circuses.  There will come a time when visiting this idea of open homosexuality in the ranks has a place.  That time, that place, is not here and now.  There are far more important things for the United States Congress, and The Chiefs of Staff, to worry about than changing laws covering homosexuality in Uniform.


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