Civil Rights

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and Don't Ever Apologize. It's a Sign of Weakness[*]

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The AP reports that Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "won't apologize for calling homosexuality immoral" in an interview yesterday with the Chicago Tribune:

Pace was asked about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve if they keep their sexual orientation private and don't engage in homosexual acts.

Pace said he supports the policy, which became law in 1994 and prohibits commanders from asking about a person's sexual orientation.

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Pace was quoted as saying in the newspaper interview. "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way."…

"As an individual, I would not want (acceptance of gay behavior) to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior," he said.

Pace didn't or wouldn't respond to a 2005 Government Accountability Report which found that 10,000 members of the military, including 750 whose specialities were "critical" to the war on terror, have been cashiered since Don't Ask, Don't Tell went into effect. Nor, apparently, did he comment on a December 2006 Zogby poll which found that almost three-quarters of military folks were "comfortable" serving with gays and lesbians. More on that here.

The AP article ends by noting that

John Shalikashvili, the retired Army general who was Joint Chiefs chairman when the policy was adopted, said in January that he has changed his mind on the issue since meeting with gay servicemen.

"These conversations showed me just how much the military has changed, and that gays and lesbians can be accepted by their peers," Shalikashvili wrote in a newspaper opinion piece.

The whole AP story here.

[*]: Headline allusion explained. Scroll down about 14 exchanges.

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  1. Unfortunately, the brass is going to be way behind on the cultural curve in acceptance of gays (Pace graduated from Annapolis in 1967). Fortunately, they are probably professional enough that they’ll accept it if the President or Congress tells them to suck it up. Unfortunately, this probably couldn’t happen until 2009 at the earliest.

  2. “‘…just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else’s wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior,’ he said.”

    We do?

  3. Shannon Chamberlain,

    The military does, yes.

    I like the comparison of adultery with orientation, though. Pace didn’t go for the obvious ones like polygamy and / or bestiality.

  4. Yes Shannon, we do.

    There was a case a few years ago where a female pilot, married I believe, was having an affair with the spouse of someone in her unit.

    IIRC, they court martialed her and kicked her out of the service.

  5. I like the comparison of adultery with orientation, though. Pace didn’t go for the obvious ones like polygamy and / or bestiality.

    Adultery is a choice made by an individual rather than the inherent nature of an individual.

    This characterization of “immoral behavior” is particularly annoying because it treats homosexuality as a choice — “these soldiers are choosing to engage in an immoral act”. Cheating on a spouse is an immoral act. Taking a partner that you are attracted to is a natural action almost all human beings engage in.

  6. One man taking another man’s girl could cause dissension and squabbling within a unit, thus making the case for prosecuting adultery. The only way this could be vaguely related to gays is if one takes away another one’s man…

  7. a December 2006 Zogby poll which found that almost three-quarters of military folks were “comfortable” serving with gays and lesbians.

    Doesn’t that mean that over a quarter of our military folks don’t feel comfortable serving with pubic homosexuals?

    I hate to get all “half empty” on y’all, but isn’t forcing 1 in 4 of our fighting forces to sleep and bathe with people they don’t feel comfortable with asking a bit much?

  8. I still don’t get it though, they prosecute immoral behavior my ass. I remember visiting my brother on a base in Germany. Staying in his apartment, I was greeted with the joyful sounds of the downstairs neighbor beating his wife on a nightly basis. The wife across the hall had a different man with her every night, her husband was in Iraq I was told. Meanwhile my brother routinely drank himself unconscious when off duty.

    Its a joke anyway, insisting that a group of 18-25 year olds (for the most part) living away from their parents for the first time with free housing and relatively large amounts of disposable income are going to be responsible or verging on saints. It’s true that the majority of these men/women are nothing but professionals of the highest caliber on duty, and my brother and his colleagues have my deepest respect and gratitude. But to insist that they are the face of moral behavior off duty is a farce, as is the assertion that various types of moral failings get equal treatment in the military.

  9. “Cheating on a spouse is an immoral act. Taking a partner that you are attracted to is a natural action almost all human beings engage in.”

    More specifically, cheating on your spouse violates the marriage contract you freely entered into, whereas most gays have never taken vows of heterosexuality.

  10. How does the Navy feel about a married female Captain having an affair then driving across Texas in a diaper? She is out of NASA, but back on duty as a Naval officer.

  11. This characterization of “immoral behavior” is particularly annoying because it treats homosexuality as a choice . . .

    Currently, homosexuality is defined by behavior and behavior only.

    Different item, same thread, yes I am with the others in knowing that adultry is currently still actively prosecuted. A General “plea-bargained” into a lesser command about 2 years ago for being charged with an adulterous act the day before his divorce was granted.

    All sorts of other acts, that folks out on the street don’t see as that big of a deal. Like the wife of a service member giving lap dances of other service members at a party.

  12. ChicagoTom,

    You are right in saying that a homosexual does not choose his/her orientation. However, engaging in sexual acts is a choice, and since most heterosexuals are not serving with their spouses, it’s a case where anyone engaging in sexaul activity while deployed is subject to prosecution.

  13. ChicagoTom,

    As a clarification, I don’t actually “like” Pace’s comparison and I agree with you that it’s bullshit. It was just a novel argument that I hadn’t seen before and hence my comment.(Although, in his favor I mischaracterized what he said slightly. He was comparing the behaviors not necessarily criticizing the orientation.)

  14. I hate to get all “half empty” on y’all, but isn’t forcing 1 in 4 of our fighting forces to sleep and bathe with people they don’t feel comfortable with asking a bit much?

    Not at all much. As a soldier, there are many things you don’t “feel comfortable doing” but you suck it up and do it.

    I’m sure there were lots of white soldiers that didn’t feel comfortable serving with black soldiers in the same units at some point. They got over it.

  15. I hate to get all “half empty” on y’all, but isn’t forcing 1 in 4 of our fighting forces to sleep and bathe with people they don’t feel comfortable with asking a bit much?

    I wonder what percentage of soldiers in WWII and Korea felt the same way about sleeping and serving with black soldiers, and does it really matter? We segregated our military in those conflicts to accommodate the sensibilities of bigots. That was a mistake.

  16. Regardless the morality of it should be weighed against the pragmatic implications.

    Personally I don’t care if 1/4 of service men feel uncomfortable with gays in certain positions. Don’t they feel more uncomfortable that we’ve fired their translators and have lost out on intelligence that could keep them alive on the battlefield or help to find terrorists.

  17. Staying in his apartment, I was greeted with the joyful sounds of the downstairs neighbor beating his wife on a nightly basis. The wife across the hall had a different man with her every night, her husband was in Iraq I was told. Meanwhile my brother routinely drank himself unconscious when off duty.

    All of that is actionable. What is your point? I agree that not enough of this is reported and handled properly, if that is your point.

  18. If people disagree with Pace, they should say so. But what does the guy have to apologize for? A lot of people believe homosexuality is immoral. They may not be right, but it is a free country and they have every right to believe that and say that. Either we have a free country where people can express their opinions or not. Pace doesn’t owe anyone an apology anymore than the people who disgree with him owe Pace an apology for calling him an idiot. I hate this “you must apologize for every non-PC opinion you ever express” environment. Bullshit. You say something, you run the risk of people calling you out for it, but there is nothing that says you should have to apologize for what you believe.

  19. Damn.

  20. I hate to get all “half empty” on y’all, but isn’t forcing 1 in 4 of our fighting forces to sleep and bathe with people they don’t feel comfortable with asking a bit much?

    Substitute “black people” or “ethnic minorities” for “homosexuals.” Would anybody argue for a segregated army based on that poll?

  21. Okay, I just really suck.

  22. I wonder what percentage of soldiers in WWII and Korea felt the same way about sleeping and serving with black soldiers, and does it really matter? We segregated our military in those conflicts to accommodate the sensibilities of bigots. That was a mistake.

    It was already segregated then. Perhaps I missed your meaning.

    Barry Goldwater got the Arizona Air Guard desegregated before Truman did anything like that with the active forces.

  23. All right, now I’m kind of stuck on the fact that we court martial people for adultery. How is that right–or, for that matter, justified vis a vis the purpose of the military?

  24. crimethink | March 13, 2007, 1:33pm | #
    a December 2006 Zogby poll which found that almost three-quarters of military folks were “comfortable” serving with gays and lesbians.

    Doesn’t that mean that over a quarter of our military folks don’t feel comfortable serving with pubic homosexuals?

    I hate to get all “half empty” on y’all, but isn’t forcing 1 in 4 of our fighting forces to sleep and bathe with people they don’t feel comfortable with asking a bit much?

    Crimethink, Do you think that forcing atheists to say the pledge of allegiance is asking a bit much?

    Do you think that forcing them to use money that contains the words “in god we trust” a bit much?

    I have no facts, but I’m sure the military does not discriminate against atheists, right? What of the people that feel uncomfortable serving with atheists? With women for that matter? With blacks?

    If that 1/4 doesn’t like it, they can stay at home. There’s still another 3/4 that will proudly serve with them.

  25. However, engaging in sexual acts is a choice, and since most heterosexuals are not serving with their spouses, it’s a case where anyone engaging in sexaul activity while deployed is subject to prosecution.

    stop it crimethink. That isn’t what is happening. The policy of the army isn’t “no sex allowed” is it? Pace isn’t saying that its wrong for anyone in the army to be having sex. They are throwing out people who are found to have significant others waiting for them who happen to be of the same sex.

    Single heterosexual soldiers aren’t banned from having sex on leave or whatnot. In fact many hetero soldiers even form relationships with the locals where they are deployed and marry them or whatever. None of that is punished. Nor is it considered “immoral” — So please spare us the bullshit

  26. Single heterosexual soldiers aren’t banned from having sex on leave or whatnot.

    Ahem, it depends on where you do it.

  27. “isn’t forcing 1 in 4 of our fighting forces to sleep and bathe with people they don’t feel comfortable with asking a bit much?”

    Whereas asking them to get their nuts blown off in Iraq is a perfectly reasonable request.

    I’m perplexed by the idea that the American fighting men who valiantly battle Iraqi insurgents are in dread terror of someone fruity in the shower.

  28. This is quite different from racial segregation. Despite our enlightened views of gender equality, we still segregate bathrooms and dressing rooms between men and women, so as to avoid forcing people to expose themselves in view of those who may be sexually aroused by one’s naked body. I don’t know how more enlightened men feel, but if I’m in a locker room shower with a guy I know is homosexual, I won’t feel comfortable, just like I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a random woman next to me.

  29. However, engaging in sexual acts is a choice, and since most heterosexuals are not serving with their spouses, it’s a case where anyone engaging in sexaul activity while deployed is subject to prosecution.

    That assumes that all the heterosexuals serving are married or that the military routinely prosecutes married soldiers who discreetly visit prostitutes, neither of which is true.

  30. John,

    People are free to ask for the apology. He is free to do so or not.

    Frankly he was an idiot for saying what he believed about the morality of gay sex when he had a perfectly acceptable response in the form of “Our civilian leadership sets the policy for acceptable behavior within Constitutional bounds. My job is to implement that policy.”

  31. Either we have a free country where people can express their opinions or not. Pace doesn’t owe anyone an apology anymore than the people who disgree with him owe Pace an apology for calling him an idiot.

    I dunno if he should apologize, but the government should issue an apology. He was speaking as a government representative, not merely about his personal beliefs. The government should not be discriminating against homosexuals.

    I don’t care what Pace or anyone else personally believes. But when they are speaking in the capacity representing the government then they should keep their morality to themseleves. The government is supposed all Americans not just the “moral” ones, no?

  32. It was already segregated then.

    So? Did I ever indicate that our troops weren’t segregated prior to WWII, and why does that matter?

    Perhaps I missed your meaning.

    No kidding.

    Barry Goldwater got the Arizona Air Guard desegregated before Truman did anything like that with the active forces.

    No one said anything about Barry Goldwater or Truman. What the hell are you talking about, and why can’t you ever make relevant comments?

  33. we still segregate bathrooms and dressing rooms between men and women, so as to avoid forcing people to expose themselves in view of those who may be sexually aroused by one’s naked body.

    Uhmm..that’s not true. There is no special locker room for gay men at the gym. That “segregation” happens based on which parts people have not who gets aroused by those parts.

    Even in your own locker room example….you may not “feel comfortable” (poor baby) but there really isn’t anything you can do about it right?? Either you can switch gyms and try to find one that has no gays (good luck) or you can suck it up

  34. Captain Nathan Brittles: You’re not quite “Army” yet, miss… or you’d know never to apologize… it’s a sign of weakness.
    Olivia Dandridge: Yes, but this was your last patrol and I’m to blame for it.
    Captain Nathan Brittles: Only the man who commands can be blamed. It rests on me… mission failure!

    shouldn’t it be “mission akkomplishd”. what with the liberul media ‘n’ all?

  35. It always amuses me when someone brings out the “it will make people uncomfortable to serve with gay people.” Some members of the military are no doubt uncomfortable with:

    The purpose of their missions
    Being separated from their families from months on end
    Serving alongside women
    Serving alongside people of different racial, ethnic or religious groups

    However, no one rushes in to say “Oh, you poor baby” to these.

  36. The government is supposed all Americans not just the “moral” ones, no?

    Should have read:

    The government is supposed represent all Americans, not just the “moral” ones, no?

  37. This is quite different from racial segregation. Despite our enlightened views of gender equality, we still segregate bathrooms and dressing rooms between men and women, so as to avoid forcing people to expose themselves in view of those who may be sexually aroused by one’s naked body. I don’t know how more enlightened men feel, but if I’m in a locker room shower with a guy I know is homosexual, I won’t feel comfortable, just like I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a random woman next to me.

    Do you feel better being naked in a locker room with closeted and repressed gays?

  38. crimethink,

    Get over it. He’s not that into you.

  39. “I don’t know how more enlightened men feel, but if I’m in a locker room shower with a guy I know is homosexual, I won’t feel comfortable, just like I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a random woman next to me.”

    Get over yourself. You’re not that hot.

  40. In your face, damaged justice! BTW, mine was funnier.

  41. The reason for separating on the basis of which parts you have, though, is because it is presumed that each gender is attracted to the other’s parts. Obviously, the possible presence of homosexuals is going to screw up the implementation of that principle, but it remains the underlying principle.

    The reason men are not allowed in women’s locker rooms is not because their parts don’t match, but because they are presumed to want to ogle at naked women.

  42. I think Crimethink is just afraid these big muscular gay men are going to force him on his feeble, weak, pasty knees and…

    ’nuff said.

  43. And everyone…make sure that no one brings up crimethink’s religious beliefs.

    They are completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. His religious beliefs have no bearing on his position

  44. de stijl / damaged justice,

    All right, I’m a little chubby…and a little hairy…but you never know, there’s some weird fetishes out there…

  45. The reason men are not allowed in women’s locker rooms is not because their parts don’t match, but because they are presumed to want to ogle at naked women.

    Maybe, but I think it’s just as fair to assume that the reason we are segregated by sex and not sexual orientation is that people aren’t as intriguied by the parts they currently have.

    By your logic, you would be completely comfortable with lesbians in your locker room, right?

  46. John,

    If Pace has any say in continuing or changing or eliminating “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, then it’s absolutely an issue if he’s injecting his personal morality into the debate. Otherwise, yes, who gives a shit?

  47. I think this is really a generational thing. I know very few people under the age of 40 in the military who care if homosexuals are allowed to serve openly. In addition, this is much more of a female issue than a male issue. The percentage of gay men who want to serve in the military is very low. Gay men in the military are few and far between. Women on the other hand are a different story. There are a lot more gay women who want to join than gay men. If anyone is going to be effected by openly serving gays, it will be straight women not straight men.

    As far as the morality of homosexuality, that has no bearing on the policy. Gambling, drinking and going to strip clubs is in many people’s view just as immoral as homosexuality, yet we don’t kick people out for that stuff. The issue is what would lifting the policy do to moral and readiness and I really can’t see how it would make a dime’s worth of difference to moral and readiness if you lifted the policy.

  48. What about guys that claim to be heterosexual, and lead normal, heterosexual lives, but foray into homosexual acts on occasion. Surely, they might be turned on in the showers as well. What then, do you kick them out as well?

  49. As for my personal feelings, it’s not a matter of fear; I’m not worried about most women being able to harm me, for instance, but I still wouldn’t expose myself in front of them. I don’t really have a rational explanation for such inhibitions, but they’re present in me (and in almost everyone else) just the same.

  50. “If Pace has any say in continuing or changing or eliminating “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, then it’s absolutely an issue if he’s injecting his personal morality into the debate.”

    So no one can ever inject their moral thoughts into any law or policy? Would you apply this to other areas? Should a legislator who beleives gambling is immoral recuse himself from voting on gambling legislation? Are policy makers suppose to check their morality at the door when going to work? If so, how exactly are they supposed to make decisions?

  51. The reason men are not allowed in women’s locker rooms is not because their parts don’t match, but because they are presumed to want to ogle at naked women.

    I think one reason might be that lots of “moral” heterosexual men act abominably towards women, that sexual crimes by heterosexual servicemen against servicewomen is out of control, and that’s without them even showering together.

    Men who aren’t comfortable showering with someone they know is gay will get over that discomfort after about the third or fourth shower in which nothing happens. I was uncomfortable showering with any guys before I got to junior high. The discomfort passed after a short time.

    Army men are tough. If it takes a few uncomfortable showers to end the official bigotry against homosexuals, so be it.

  52. John,

    Most times they make decisions based on which lobbying group pays the most…morals be damned.

    I am curious to know how many land based casinos backed the anti internet poker legislation. Surely not because of morals, even though that is what’s claimed.

  53. By your logic, you would be completely comfortable with lesbians in your locker room, right?

    Wouldn’t you have to have a rule of one lesbian per room, though? Otherwise they’d get uncomfortable.

  54. it’s not a matter of fear

    Yes, in this case, the “phobia” refers to “hatred” or “disgust”, not fear.

    So no one can ever inject their moral thoughts into any law or policy?

    Of course not. If the morality is wrong, they should be roundly and loudly condemned for it. That’s what makes it an “issue”.

  55. I’m a little chubby…and a little hairy

    Dude, you’re a “bear!”

  56. “Don’t ask don’t tell” seems like a good compromise to me.

    It disallows bigotry but maindates a certain set of behaviors – which is what the military is all about.

    What’s the problem?

  57. Didnt Churchill, a hero of Pace’s I’ll wager, say something like “Don’t blather on about military tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.”

  58. ChicagoTom,

    I’m not so sure that asexual curiosity about other people’s parts is as much a problem; even heterosexual guys look at each other to “compare” etc., and if a guy has something weird about his privates in a school locker room he might be made fun of for it, but these things aren’t at the same level as someone with a sexual interest in your privates.

    jimmydageek,

    What about guys that claim to be heterosexual, and lead normal, heterosexual lives, but foray into homosexual acts on occasion. Surely, they might be turned on in the showers as well.

    As long as no one else knows about it, they won’t have reason to feel uncomfortable. Hence “don’t ask, don’t tell” works just fine in that regard.

  59. If they reinstate the draft, we should all demand that gays be banned. Watch how many gays pop up then.

    Gay will be the new Canada.

  60. What’s the problem?

    There are lots of problems with it.

    It institutionalizes bigotry. “Gays are bad so keep quiet about it” Now if the policy were expanded so that anyone who talks about their sexuality at all can get shit-canned then that would be more acceptable. making a groups of people lie/hide the truth about yourselves is discriminatory.

    It forces gays to pretend to be something they are not. Not the best way to build relationships with people whose lives are in your hands and vice versa.

    Also, if someone else outs you, despite your going to great lengths to conceal your homosexuality you still can get shit-canned

  61. By your logic, you would be completely comfortable with lesbians in your locker room, right?

    No, because if she’s hot, I’d…I mean, the other guys would… be ogling her. And if she’s unoglable, I definitely don’t want to see her naked.

  62. “I don’t know how more enlightened men feel, but if I’m in a locker room shower with a guy I know is homosexual, I won’t feel comfortable, just like I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a random woman next to me.”

    Crimethink, would you feel more “comfortable” showering with someone who is openly gay, or with someone who was in fact gay but had not disclosed his orientation?

    I for one worry that one who gets heebie jeebies at the thought of showering may lack the basic courage that society expects of its service members.

  63. “Most times they make decisions based on which lobbying group pays the most…morals be damned.

    I am curious to know how many land based casinos backed the anti internet poker legislation. Surely not because of morals, even though that is what’s claimed.”

    All of that is true. That doesn’t mean that one’s moral beliefs should never come into play.

    “Of course not. If the morality is wrong, they should be roundly and loudly condemned for it. That’s what makes it an “issue”.”

    Why don’t you just admit the truth that you don’t like what he said and drop the part about objecting to moralizing? You don’t object to moralizing, you just object to moralizing you disagree with.

  64. ChicagoTom, Chris S, NotThatDavid,

    I was about to say, Damn, you’re all faster than me, then I remembered.
    Ha!

  65. “Don’t ask don’t tell” seems like a good compromise to me.

    It disallows bigotry but maindates a certain set of behaviors

    Except for that whole “equal treatment under the law” dealie.

    rum, sodomy and the lash

    Plus, a hell of a good album by The Pogues.

  66. Chris S.,

    Because this phrasing
    We segregated our military in those conflicts to accommodate the sensibilities of bigots. reads like it was something special we did for those conflicts.

    Tossing a little fit about this really does not help the discussion.

  67. A man can be absolutely stouthearted in battle and still not like the idea of a gay man staring at his naked rear end. The two are completely independent.

  68. I’m not so sure that asexual curiosity about other people’s parts is as much a problem; even heterosexual guys look at each other to “compare” etc., and if a guy has something weird about his privates in a school locker room he might be made fun of for it, but these things aren’t at the same level as someone with a sexual interest in your privates.

    Actually, to people who aren’t homophobic, these things are exactly at the same level. In fact, I would be much more uncomfortable if I thought straight men were judging me for the size (or lack) of my pecker than a gay man looking at me and thinking “wow he’s hot”.

    And I noticed you ignored my question about lesbian women in the male locker room.

  69. It institutionalizes bigotry. “Gays are bad so keep quiet about it” Now if the policy were expanded so that anyone who talks about their sexuality at all can get shit-canned then that would be more acceptable. making a groups of people lie/hide the truth about yourselves is discriminatory.

    It forces gays to pretend to be something they are not. Not the best way to build relationships with people whose lives are in your hands and vice versa.

    It’s the military. The whole idea is to lose your individual identity and do what you’re told. If you don’t want to conform, find something else to do.

  70. Well you noticed wrong BITCH!!! πŸ˜‰

  71. With all the money spent on the military, is it true that we still don’t have separate shower stalls for the troops?

    I don’t want to shower with anyone (other than my wife). I don’t give a crap whether they are gay, straight, or purple.

  72. It’s the military. The whole idea is to lose your individual identity and do what you’re told. If you don’t want to conform, find something else to do.

    The point, trolly, is that only a small segment of the enlisted men are expected to lose their individuality. Like I said. If everyone had to conform to a don’t ask don’t tell that would be different. but singling out certain members of a class like that is problematic.

  73. It’s the military. The whole idea is to lose your individual identity and do what you’re told. If you don’t want to conform, find something else to do.

    Dan T.,
    It’s our military. We can decide what kind of military we have.

  74. The general must believe homosexuality to be a choice for him to believe it immoral. Every gay man and lesbian woman I have ever known, (about 25 total)were molested sexually as children. I tend to believe it is a chosen lifestyle as a result of a horrific experience as a child.
    The general is entitled to his opinion, but is he entitled to express an opinion if it is contrary to army doctrine?

  75. crimethink,

    my bad — I missed that reply..

  76. Can you also get a dishonorable discharge if caught masturbating?

  77. Homosexual orientation is not a choice.

    Engagement in sexual activity is, however, regardless of the genital combinations involved.

  78. “All right, now I’m kind of stuck on the fact that we court martial people for adultery. How is that right–or, for that matter, justified vis a vis the purpose of the military?”

    The reasoning behind this, at least from my perspective, is that if you can’t abide by the contract you swore to keep faithful to the one you love, your ability to abide by the oath to protectserve a country that sends you off to die in some godforsaken deathhole is suspect.

    Frankly I think the military should consider the willingness to engage in marriage prior evidence that a recruit is unfit due to mental illness.

  79. Why don’t you just admit the truth blah blah blah

    Maybe I misspoke. When I said “of course not” I was rejecting your entire sentence, not agreeing with it. I DON’T object to moralizing in general.

  80. Ooh, Bad General! Bad!!

    You’re supposed to pretend that discriminating against homosexuals has absolutely nothing to do with your personal beliefs. Repeat after me: “It’s about unit cohesion and readiness. It’s about unit cohesion and readiness.”

  81. Don’t ask don’t tell policy: While in battle, extremely homophobic man learns that one of his fellow servicemen is gay! Thoughts run through his head about how betrayed he feels after all the times he had to shower with that fudge-packer probably staring at his ass the whole time. Rage ensues, friendly fire at said homosexual, or fail to protect said homosexual as he should be doing.

    No “don’t ask don’t tell” policy Everybody that really cares is aware of everybody else’s sexual orientation. They either get used to it or they transfer units or they get ousted. No possible betrayal at the battle lines.

    Extreme case scenario? Maybe. But I’d rather it not happen once.

  82. “Frankly I think the military should consider the willingness to engage in marriage prior evidence that a recruit is unfit due to mental illness.”

    AMEN!

  83. I wonder if crimethink’s high school gym class segregated openly gay and straight students. It would seem since students are essentially forced to shower in that environment (and ALL the males are looking everywhere at that age and doing “comparisons”) there is a fairly clear parallel.

    In any case, on DADT generally I find it fascinating that Israel Italy, and Japan (among many other countries) allow open homosexuals to serve in the military. I don’t believe studies in these or other countries have noted a signifigant drop in either morale or military service. Nor did I note any friction between gay soldiers from other countries such as Australia, Britain, Ireland etc. and American troops serving in Iraq. Perhaps I missed that story.

  84. Every gay man and lesbian woman I have ever known, (about 25 total)were molested sexually as children.

    How is that anecdote even remotely relevant? (By the way, the implication your drawing is completely untrue.)

  85. Frankly I think the military should consider the willingness to engage in marriage prior evidence that a recruit is unfit due to mental illness.

    The USMC made it clear to us that wives weren’t welcomed with open arms by the military. I heard this said by DI’s more than once:

    Private, if this Man’s Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife, we would have issued you one.

  86. And I noticed you ignored my question about lesbian women in the male locker room.

    Many don’t even want guys in “their” bars, what would they be doing in a guy’s locker room?

    Accidentally walk into “Phase 1” in DC if you don’t believe that.

  87. I don’t think any of my classmates were openly gay, for the simple reason that no one got beaten up in the showers. Not my doing, I merely foretell.

  88. Homosexual orientation is not a choice.

    Engagement in sexual activity is, however, regardless of the genital combinations involved.

    So the military should regulate ALL sexual activities of ALL soldiers? How could this be accomplished?

  89. ALL the males are looking everywhere at that age and doing “comparisons”

    Speak for yourself. I never once looked, for fear of getting the shit beat out of me.

  90. How is that anecdote even remotely relevant? (By the way, the implication your drawing is completely untrue.)

    Well, it does track with Loveline callers. But Drew and (when he was on ) Adam do caution that it was only from callers to their show and should not be assumed about the general population.

    Hey! I think you two could put on a show! What is a catchy name for Libertarian . . .

  91. Rhywun | March 13, 2007, 2:37pm | #
    ALL the males are looking everywhere at that age and doing “comparisons”

    Speak for yourself. I never once looked, for fear of getting the shit beat out of me.

    I never looked because the sheer size of my package obstructed my view πŸ™‚

  92. Rhywun,

    “It’s like the sun. You don’t stare, you just take a glimpse, get a general impression, and quickly look away.”

    Everything I know I learned from Seinfeld

  93. So the military should regulate ALL sexual activities of ALL soldiers? How could this be accomplished?

    Page through the UCMJ sometime.

  94. crimethink,

    Having sex is as much a part of our biology as taking a shit.

  95. I never looked because the sheer size of my package obstructed my view πŸ™‚

    I think you’re confusing yourself with me.

  96. I don’t think any of my classmates were openly gay

    None of mine were, either (this was 20 years ago). “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is basically the default childhood policy – and much as in the military, it’s a way for the majority to pretend that the minority doesn’t exist, while the minority either makes do in secret or not at all.

  97. The relevance is this: it supports the argument that being gay is a choice. For something to be immoral, as the general said of homosexuality, it has to be a choice.

    Does the general’s statement contradict military code? If so, is he forbidden from issuing that opinion publicly? If so, then the action taken against him is justified.

  98. jimmydageek,

    We don’t want to hear about your locker room erections…

    That, of course was the real fear of showering with other guys, since at that age they happen spontaneously a lot of the time. But the guy next to you might get the wrong idea.

  99. “If it takes a few uncomfortable showers to end the official bigotry against homosexuals, so be it.”

    i agree with your sentiment, but taken out of context this sentence is quite hilarious.

  100. Pace’s greatest offense here is being dumb in a No-Dumb Zone. Contra John’s comments — and as any, oh, say, JAG officer would know — there are all sorts of expressions of personal opinion commissioned officers are prohibited from expressing and an even larger number that general officers in particular are admonished against uttering publicly. As I have noted elsewhere, homosexuality is a political issue, whether Pace realizes it or not. Moreover, again contra John’s comments, Pace was making the argument, at least implicitly, that it was the immorality of homosexuality that justified it being banned by the military. That he did so ineptly, comparing it to adultery, only makes matters worse because the best arguments the armed services have in opposition to such behavior (joe, note I am saying “best,” not “sufficient” here) are pragmatic arguments, not moral ones.

  101. brotherben,

    The more time goes on the more unsustainable the ban on gays in the military will be. Just as it has become less and less popular in our society for prejudice to be exhibited against gays.

  102. Holy crap, Rhwuyn’s a guy?!

    Damn, this internet thing is hard. Next you’ll tell me that that guy in Chicago isn’t actually a moose.

  103. Having sex is as much a part of our biology as taking a shit.

    That’s true as far as it goes, I guess. But is it normal to share the idiosyncracies of their defecation habits with others, as some homosexuals insist on sharing their sexuality?

  104. Um, how about some shower stalls?

  105. it supports the argument that being gay is a choice

    Huh? Unless these people “chose” to be sexually abused, I’m not following your logic.

  106. crimethink,

    The point of course is that sex often isn’t about choice; it is often a response to various unthought out biological factors. The fact that most of the population masturbates without any sort of planning is evidence enough of this.

  107. Holy crap, Rhwuyn’s a guy?!

    Last I checked.

  108. Isaac Newton went his whole life without sex, but he defecated many times.

  109. crimethink,

    Newton also suffered a mental breakdown. I wonder if it was because he didn’t get some from time to time.

    Anyway, asexuality is part of the continuum of human sexuality.

  110. Grotius,

    As a soon to be married man, I must say that masturbating when the future missus is on her inactive pill takes a lot of careful planning…so as to not let her know that this takes place…:/

  111. some homosexuals insist on sharing their sexuality

    Those damn gays, always talking about sex and love. Why can’t they be more like straights?

  112. What do you call a man masturbating on Valentine’s Day?

    Marriage.

  113. I think ‘crimethink’ just wrote the funniest thing I’ve ever read on this forum…

    crimethink | March 13, 2007, 2:51pm | #
    Isaac Newton went his whole life without sex, but he defecated many times.

  114. I still cant read that while keeping a straight face…omg…

  115. Newton also suffered a mental breakdown. I wonder if it was because he didn’t get some from time to time.

    It’s more likely he was just severely constipated.

  116. “If it takes a few uncomfortable showers to end the official bigotry against homosexuals, so be it.”

    i agree with your sentiment, but taken out of context this sentence is quite hilarious.

    I’m still laughing…

  117. Isaac Newton went his whole life without sex, but he defecated many times.

    Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza abstained and became a genius?

  118. thoreau,

    I dunno, Abelard was a genius and he never abstained – well, until he was castrated.

  119. “But is it normal to share the idiosyncracies of their defecation habits with others, as some homosexuals insist on sharing their sexuality?”

    For some, evidently it is.

    But then again, things are different on teh intartwebs vs. real life.

  120. crimethink,

    All right, I’m a little chubby…and a little hairy…but you never know, there’s some weird fetishes out there…

    What’s weird about it? I like bears. They’re manly! Twinks look like women, and women are disgusting.

  121. What do you call a man masturbating on Valentine’s Day?

    Marriage.

    I’m going to give my woman a big hug and kiss when she gets home. Not only does she think all the hype surrounding Valentine’s Day is stupid, but she is almost never “not in the mood.”

  122. crimethink,

    Anyway, I hate to break it to you; heterosexuals get their freak on with all manner of bodily fluids, etc.

  123. Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza abstained and became a genius?

    Heh, that’s a whole nother topic. Denying your essence may not preserve the purity of your precious bodily fluids, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it allows your so-called “creative juices” to build up. Further study needs to be done.

  124. Grotius,

    You just made sex sound icky. Please don’t do that.

  125. Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza abstained and became a genius?

    Yes, some fans call that episode “The Bet”. Elaine was supposed to have a date with JohnJohn Kennedy, but he did Jerry’s virgin girlfriend instead.

  126. Loundry,

    You’re a woman, right? πŸ˜‰

  127. The Real Bill,

    What is or isn’t icky about sex depends on what two (or more) consenting adults think is cool and is not cool. Generally none of that is going to undermined military preparedness.

  128. But is it normal to share the idiosyncracies of their defecation habits with others, as some homosexuals insist on sharing their sexuality?.

    crimethink: Hey craig, what did you do this weekend?

    craig: Not much. My boyfriend and I went to Pottery Barn to look for a new couch. Then we took the dog to the park for the afternoon. It was a beautiful day!

    crimethink: Please don’t share your sexuality with me.

  129. Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza abstained and became a genius?

    I read a short story once about a physics genius boy who was about to solve a great scientific question. He hooked up with a woman before it was completed and became dumb. It always made sense to me. Puberty hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t think I ever recovered. ; )

  130. BTW, I’d like to note that wife swapping was common amongst the Greek Spartiates – the elite Spartan warrior citizens. Or so
    Plutarch tells us.

  131. crimethink,

    No, I’m a man. But I’m not gay. I just like masturbating other guys with my mouth and my butthole. It’s a hobby.

  132. Real Bill,

    My wife has never made me see a movie I didn’t want to see. Ever. Not one. She’s awesome. And she laughed at that joke when I told her.

  133. What is or isn’t icky about sex depends on what two (or more) consenting adults think is cool and is not cool. Generally none of that is going to undermined military preparedness.

    I agree. I didn’t say sex was icky; I said that you made it sound icky. It’s nothing to do with the military. I don’t care if the soldiers have bisexual orgies; I just want them to be able to kick ass when necessary.

  134. The Real Bill,

    Ok, how did I make it sound icky?

  135. It is “sharing” your sexuality to hold your boyfriend’s hand in public. It is NOT “sharing” your sexuality apparently to have a picture of your girlfriend on your desk at your office. It is not “sharing” your sexuality to wear a wedding ring. it is not “sharing” your sexuality to speak of marriage plans.

    Notice anything? Its not that gays talk about their sexuality more than heterosexuals, its that any mention of normal intimate gay relationships in any context is considered promoting an agenda.

  136. Basically, I think that the creative abilities of humans are ultimately geared towards survival and reproduction, as all traits developed thru natural selection must be. The brain’s activity is very expensive from an energy standpoint, so when these urges are satisfied, the body doesn’t divert as much of its resources to the brain.

    Of course, I have no evidence of this, but it seems like a fruitful area for someone to study.

  137. My wife has never made me see a movie I didn’t want to see. Ever. Not one. She’s awesome. And she laughed at that joke when I told her.

    Sweet, SugarFree!

    My wife loves sci-fi/action movies and cares less for chick-flicks than I do. (It’s a personal shame of mine, but I like a good chick-flick from time to time.)

  138. Grotius,

    It may have been “freak on” and “bodily fluids” in the same sentence. I’m not sure. Now that I read it again, it doesn’t seem that icky. Oh, no! I’ve been desensitized!

  139. wife swapping was common amongst the Greek Spartiates – the elite Spartan warrior citizens

    Yes, and burning homosexuals at the stake was common in the Middle Ages…that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea now.

  140. Gays in the military fight for a country that does not recognize their right to marry. That reminds of the Tuskegee airmen… patriotism more authentic than that claimed by many.

  141. The brain’s activity is very expensive from an energy standpoint, so when these urges are satisfied, the body doesn’t divert as much of its resources to the brain.

    Given the number of geniuses who gorged themselves on wine, women/men and song there have got to be at least a few major exceptions to that claim.

    Anyway, the notion that going without sex leads to piety or some other good has a long history in human society. Indeed in the middle ages certain Christian monks monkeyed around with the idea of jerking off into various mixtures in order to create babies so as to cut women (and thus lust!) out of the picture.

  142. Basically, I think that the creative abilities of humans are ultimately geared towards survival and reproduction, as all traits developed thru natural selection must be. The brain’s activity is very expensive from an energy standpoint, so when these urges are satisfied, the body doesn’t divert as much of its resources to the brain.

    I would assume the opposite. That it’s very difficult to concentrate with an unfulfilled need for sex. Sort of like being hungry. Once the need is satisfied, you can attend to other things.

  143. Grotius,

    Well, I think masturbation would “drain the batteries” in my theory just as much as sex with a partner. I don’t see how the male body would even be able to tell the difference. Like I said, I’m just conjecturing, don’t believe me until there’s evidence.

  144. crimethink,

    Yes, and burning homosexuals at the stake was common in the Middle Ages…that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea now.

    I’m not quite sure why I should compare the two.

    See, homosexuals were being burned by a bunch of ignorant, bigoted religiously motivated folks.

    Wife-swapping today would be a voluntary practice (as it was I guess amongst the Spartiates).

    The Real Bill,

    One of the best things I think folks can do is desacralize sex. Look, we’re animals. We screw.

  145. crimethink,

    Actually I was trying to get at the fact that celibacy has often been as part of an effort to treat women like, well, depraved creatures.

  146. Peter Pace is the guy’s name? Guess I’ll have to change my porn name.

  147. Personally I’ve always wonder what those monks were thinking about as they masturbated. It is almost too humorous to consider. πŸ˜‰

  148. I can’t get over the Rate My Poo link. People are strange.

  149. One of the best things I think folks can do is desacralize sex. Look, we’re animals. We screw.

    That makes sense, as such a view of sex is conducive to your atheist materialism. For those of us who aren’t of your ilk, such talk is disgusting.

  150. celibacy has often been as part of an effort to treat women like, well, depraved creatures.

    What about female celibacy? Was that an effort to treat men like depraved creatures?

  151. crimethink,

    What about female celibacy?

    Given that so many of the Christian fathers had so many really bad things to say about women that ought not be surprising.

  152. You know, ilk is another good word. Put me down in the pro-screwing ilk.

  153. What ought not be surprising?

  154. Zombie FinFangFoom,

    Heh. πŸ™‚

  155. That makes sense, as such a view of sex is conducive to your atheist materialism. For those of us who aren’t of your ilk, such talk is disgusting.

    I agree, treating humans as just another animal is disgusting. It’s misanthropic.

    That doesn’t mean man on man sex is wrong though. In fact, it’s teriffic fun. Plus, you never have to sit through one of those god-damned Hugh Grant movies.

  156. “The fact that most of the population masturbates without any sort of planning is evidence enough of this.”

    Trust me on this one, G. They’re not so far apart.

  157. “Yes, and burning homosexuals at the stake was common in the Middle Ages…that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea now.”

    Aha! So THAT’S why they’re called faggots!

  158. Loundry,

    Well, we’re not just another animal, we have our special traits just like giraffes, but it also the case that we likely aren’t the only sentient critters with culture on this planet either.

  159. crimethink,

    Read “Saint” Jerome on marraige and sex sometime.

  160. One of the best things I think folks can do is desacralize sex. Look, we’re animals. We screw.

    Sacred sex always sounded horribly boring to me. It’s also stupid. There ain’t no way that bumpin’ uglies is holy, ever. Also, I agree wholeheartedly with the “we’re animals” statement.

    I agree, treating humans as just another animal is disgusting. It’s misanthropic.

    No; it’s honest. Also, it’s only misanthropic if you hate all nonhuman animals.

  161. Aha! So THAT’S why they’re called faggots!

    Ozzie, your team sucks. Screw you.

  162. I like the sacred sex in Ancient Greece, where the priests and priestesses doubled as prostitutes.

  163. I think it was tax deductible.

  164. BTW, here’s a question:

    Do any religious organizations ever take away the sainthood from someone who was sainted for either something we consider to be vile today, or who led a life that was otherwise vile?

  165. Zombie FinFangFoom,

    There was plenty of sacred sex in the Old Testatement.

  166. I don’t know about for something they did, but the Pope did declare, about 20 years ago I think that there is no Santa Claus!

  167. You and me, baby, we’re nothin but mammals
    So let’s do it like they do it on the Discovery channel

  168. Crimethink:

    All right, I’m a little chubby…and a little hairy…but you never know, there’s some weird fetishes out there…

    As noted by de Stijl, chubby, hairy guys are called “bears” in the gay community. So you think it a “weird fetish” that anyone would be attracted to this body type? Does that apply to your wife/girlfriend?

    And if [a hypothetical lesbian in a male locker room is] unoglable, I definitely don’t want to see her naked.

    So, men, who you presumably aren’t attracted to are OK, but a woman unattractive to you is a problem?

  169. Zombie FinFangFoom,

    Well, if so, it is a step in the right direction. πŸ™‚

    crimethink,

    That makes sense, as such a view of sex is conducive to your atheist materialism. For those of us who aren’t of your ilk, such talk is disgusting.

    That’s cool.

  170. All right, now I’m kind of stuck on the fact that we court martial people for adultery. How is that right–or, for that matter, justified vis a vis the purpose of the military?

    Shannon, it all relates to unit cohesion and its ability to complete a mission. If a superior is having an affair with a subordinate’s wife and the subordinate finds out about it, is the subordinate likely to follow orders from his superior?

    Or, if the reverse happens, the superior could make life hell for the subordinate.

    In my previous comment regarding the pilot having an affair with one of her subordinate’s spouse, the officer was the pilot of a bomber. The subordinate worked maintenance on the bomber. In a worst case scenario, and the scenario the military is most worried about, the maintence person could have sabotaged the bomber, possibly killing all on board.

    The unique nature of the military is the reason why the military prosecutes adultery.

  171. Ursus (pun intended?),

    I regret to inform you that I’m not familiar with terms used by the gay community to refer to different male body types, and the degree of attractiveness of those types to gays.

    A lot of women don’t like fat, hairy men, and that’s what I was basing my comment on.

  172. Do any religious organizations ever take away the sainthood from someone who was sainted for either something we consider to be vile today, or who led a life that was otherwise vile?

    Can’t speak for churches other than the RC (I know some Russian Orthodox churches have saints and stuff), but in the True church, canonization is just the process by which we recognize that a person has been accepted into heaven. If there was irrefutable evidence that person didn’t belong there, the Pope might rescind the canonization. The church de-sainted St. Christopher when overwhelming evidence suggested that he never existed in reality. There’s been some grumbling about St. Louis because he committed some anti-semitic acts as king of France. Don’t expect any quick actions, however. The Roman Catholic Church is the longest continuous running government bureaucracy in the history of the earth.

  173. A lot of women don’t like fat, hairy men, and that’s what I was basing my comment on.

    You can feel safe in the knowledge that a lot of gay men don’t either πŸ™‚

  174. “Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza abstained and became a genius?”

    Along lines that are 180* off, there was also a section in Cryptonomicon where one of the protagonists discovered that after getting laid he was able to think more clearly.

    This resulted in his finding and marrying a woman.

    There were graphs and mathematical equations and everything. It was hilarious.

  175. The Real Bill,

    No; it’s honest.

    That, like my calling it “disgusting”, is a value judgment. I value humans above all animals. You denigrate humans to being on the same level of animals. If humans are “just another animal”, then our choice to live as we do is a holocaust, and the only remedy to it is to genocide the human species. All animal-rights dogma and environmental dogma, especially including veganism, share the same logical conclusion of genocide. It’s inescapable.

    Hence, I hate all environmental dogma, all animal-rights dogma, and especially all veganism. It’s anti-human, suicidal, and it sucks. Period.

  176. You can feel safe in the knowledge that a lot of gay men don’t either πŸ™‚

    Speak for yourself, Mary. Woof to all the bears out there! (Not you, crimethink. You can return to your girl-on-girl porn.)

  177. If a superior is having an affair with a subordinate’s wife and the subordinate finds out about it, is the subordinate likely to follow orders from his superior?

    Well, okay, but the problem here seems not to be adultery per se, but adultery within the ranks. What if some soldier is having an adulterous affair with someone unconnected to the military in any way? How does that hurt “unit cohesion”? (Which, by the by, seems to be thrown about a bit as an excuse for all sorts of invasive questions.)

    Also, I don’t work for the military, but if my superior was having an affair with my husband, it would affect my ability to do my job and possibly make me lash out at my superior. But my employer doesn’t make any rules about such things, and I imagine there would be quite the hue and cry if it did. I don’t happen to work in a job where lives are at stake, but what if I worked for a fire department? Or a police department?

    The military has a tendency to use its “uniqueness” to justify all sort of unpleasant practices, and, as an excuse, it’s wearing a bit thin.

  178. Whoopsie.

    If a superior is having an affair with a subordinate’s wife and the subordinate finds out about it, is the subordinate likely to follow orders from his superior?

    Well, okay, but the problem here seems not to be adultery per se, but adultery within the ranks. What if some soldier is having an adulterous affair with someone unconnected to the military in any way? How does that hurt “unit cohesion”? (Which, by the by, seems to be thrown about a bit as an excuse for all sorts of invasive questions.)

    Also, I don’t work for the military, but if my superior was having an affair with my husband, it would affect my ability to do my job and possibly make me lash out at my superior. But my employer doesn’t make any rules about such things, and I imagine there would be quite the hue and cry if it did. I don’t happen to work in a job where lives are at stake, but what if I worked for a fire department? Or a police department?

    The military has a tendency to use its “uniqueness” to justify all sort of unpleasant practices, and, as an excuse, it’s wearing a bit thin.

  179. I’m still trying to figure out how other seemingly more conservative countries such as Italy and Israel aren’t affected by “unit cohesion” issues that keep coming up with DADT. Are we honestly saying our soldiers are not as mature or tolerant as Israel’s?

  180. “Well, I think masturbation would “drain the batteries” in my theory just as much as sex with a partner. I don’t see how the male body would even be able to tell the difference.”

    I can’t think of a way to phrase this without giving somebody a case of the Tee-Hee’s, so I’m just going to put it right out there:

    Are you a virgin?

    I mean, it’s totally cool if you are, I’m not going to make any judgments about your masculinity or whatever. Just seems like it would explain a lot.

  181. Loundry,

    Your are taking a bit too much from my statement.

    Compare what you have written to what I wrote:

    One of the best things I think folks can do is desacralize sex. Look, we’re animals. We screw.

    I didn’t write that we’re like all other animals in all respects, but we clearly are animals and we share lots of traits with other animals. One of those traits being sexual intercourse. Of course one could counter that argument and state that we’re a species that screws outside of specific periods often referred to as “being in heat.” But that is also true of bonobos.

    Anyway, I don’t value humans above all other animals. What I do tend to value is all self-conscious creatures above non-self-conscious creatures. Which is why I wouldn’t carve up and eat an alien who landed here on a spacecraft (not that aliens are vistating the Earth with any regularity; I mean, it would be cool, but there is no evidence for it that I am aware of). Of course it is likely the case that other creatures on this planet are self-conscious, whales for example, and that’s why I abstain from whale meat.

  182. Loundry,

    If that makes me an animal-rights activist or what have you, so be it. I just do not think that humans are the exclusive practitioners of self-consciousness.

  183. I do not avoid women Mandrake, but I do deny them my essence.

  184. Grotius,

    Your are taking a bit too much from my statement.

    I disagree. The logical conclusion is inescapable.

    I don’t value humans above all other animals. What I do tend to value is all self-conscious creatures above non-self-conscious creatures.

    So pigs and humans are equal?

  185. Are you a virgin?

    Well, I never!

  186. “So pigs and humans are equal?”

    Ever been pulled over?

    /cheapshot

  187. I don’t value humans above all other animals. What I do tend to value is all self-conscious creatures above non-self-conscious creatures.

    So pigs and humans are equal?

    Oooo, can I take this one?

    I value quarters and dimes above pennies, but I don’t equate quarters and dimes.

  188. Loundry,

    Actually it is not the logical conclusion of that statement, as I have already explained.

    As to pigs, as far as I know, pigs are not self-conscious or self-aware in the sense that humans are. These are pretty dense philosophical concepts I realize, but still, your questions seems odd even in light of that fact.

  189. highnumber,

    I value quarters and dimes above pennies, but I don’t equate quarters and dimes.

    If I kill a pig and eat it, should I be prosecuted for murder?

  190. If humans are “just another animal”, then our choice to live as we do is a holocaust, and the only remedy to it is to genocide the human species.

    Lucky bastard – I wish I could get high right now.

  191. If I kill a pig and eat it, should I be prosecuted for murder?

    no, you should just realize that you’re eating mammal meat. You know what that is, right?

  192. Grotius,

    Actually it is not the logical conclusion of that statement, as I have already explained.

    I disagree, and your explanation is lacking.

    As to pigs, as far as I know, pigs are not self-conscious or self-aware in the sense that humans are.

    If I kill a rhesus monkey, should I be prosecuted for murder?

  193. “All animal-rights dogma and environmental dogma, especially including veganism, share the same logical conclusion of genocide. It’s inescapable.

    Hence, I hate all environmental dogma, all animal-rights dogma, and especially all veganism. It’s anti-human, suicidal, and it sucks. Period.”

    Loudry, I’m curious about these assertions you made even though I’m no vegan and I like my steaks rare and dripping juice. How is a desire not to endorse the killing of an animal “anti-human” or “suicidal”? I mean, just from a practical standpoint aren’t humans perfectly capable of surviving without meat/animal biproducts?

    I’m curious where the extreme animus towards veganism in particular comes from. Although I don’t agree with it as a personal matter, I’ve always viewed veganism as a cogent and admirable philosophy that requires a great deal of will power (certainly more than I have). The only thing I would object to is militant vegans who believe that their dietary choices should be forced onto everyone as a way of life, but the philosophy itself I have no problem with.

  194. no, you should just realize that you’re eating mammal meat. You know what that is, right?

    Delicious! Pig fat is awesome (but duck fat is better).

    Is it wrong to eat mammal meat? If so, why?

  195. I for one worry that one who gets heebie jeebies at the thought of showering may lack the basic courage that society expects of its service members.

    or they’re french.

    i was pleased to see that the general’s quote was quite specific that this was his personal belief. i hope that this doesn’t cause him to get a medal of freedom or to have to enter rehab. the whole no-gay policy is stupid, but the pc thing that does not allow anyone’s personal beliefs to be offensive to the average resident of berkeley is even stupider.

  196. That, like my calling it “disgusting”, is a value judgment.

    Saying that “human are animals” is honest is simply recognizing that I am born, eat, sleep, shit, have sex, and die. It is not a value judgement; it is a fact.

    I value humans above all animals. You denigrate humans to being on the same level of animals.

    I value my pet cat above the vast majority of humanity, just as I value anyone I love more than anyone I don’t. I don’t consider all nonhuman animals to be on the same level as human animals. Humans are superior to most other animals. I do value some animals quite a bit, especially those animals that have complex brains similar to humans.

    If humans are “just another animal”, then our choice to live as we do is a holocaust, and the only remedy to it is to genocide the human species. All animal-rights dogma and environmental dogma, especially including veganism, share the same logical conclusion of genocide. It’s inescapable. Hence, I hate all environmental dogma, all animal-rights dogma, and especially all veganism. It’s anti-human, suicidal, and it sucks. Period.

    I don’t care about any kind of dogma. Dogma is the enemy of rational, dispassionate thought. Eating other animals is not a holocaust, and anyone who thinks so is a moron. We, humans, are animals. We, humans, are animals that eat meat. We, humans, have a “natural right”, just like any other meat-eating animal, to kill and eat our prey. I do think that factory farms can be nasty, concentration-camp-like places. I also believe that using intelligent animals for medical research is wrong.

    Anyway, I don’t need to denigrate humans. Humans do so much evil shit that we denigrate ourselves every day.

  197. Loundry,

    Well, give me a good reason that shows why my explanation is lacking and maybe I’ll adopt your opinion.

    I disagree, and your explanation is lacking.

    If I kill a rhesus monkey, should I be prosecuted for murder?

    If you were to kill a self-aware being, and it wasn’t “sanctioned” somehow (say a war – I’ll leave aside that thorny issue for later), yeah, you should be prosecuted for murder. Whether rhesus monkeys are self-aware I can’t say. Anyway, the general scope of my answer was pretty easy to predict so I’m not quite sure why you asked it.

  198. Hayekian Dreamer,

    How is a desire not to endorse the killing of an animal “anti-human” or “suicidal”?

    It depends on the rationale behind “not endorsing the killing of an animal”. You’ve framed it in a very reserved context. For instance, the other day, I slowed down to a stop in the middle of the road to avoid running over and killing a squirrel.

    I mean, just from a practical standpoint aren’t humans perfectly capable of surviving without meat/animal biproducts?

    Aren’t we also “perfectly capable of surviving” without electricity, clothing, gasoline, industry, the Internet, computers, etc? Why stop at meat/animal by-products?

    I’m curious where the extreme animus towards veganism in particular comes from.

    Because of their extreme animus toward humanity. They regard humans as scum. Being a human, I take it personally, particularly since they would rejoice at the mass death of humans.

  199. Is it wrong to eat mammal meat? If so, why?

    I don’t think so. I do think it’s wrong not to recognize that what you’re eating was at one time alive, and depending on what animal it was, had SOME capacity for thought, emotion, pain, etc.

    I personally don’t eat mammals. I do eat birds and fish.

  200. Loundry,

    Oh, and I am neither a vegan nor a vegetarian. I eat foie gras and I’ll more than happily draw a live lobster into a steaming pot.

  201. “Delicious! Pig fat is awesome (but duck fat is better).

    Is it wrong to eat mammal meat? If so, why?”

    No, it’s not wrong, but it is pleasurable.

    Which means that some moral scold somewhere would be happy to outlaw it and tell us that it is, indeed, wrong.

  202. If I kill a rhesus monkey, should I be prosecuted for murder?

    No, you should be prosecuted for animal cruelty, assuming it wasn’t in self defense, or sanctioned for medical reasons.

    Are you for animal cruelty?

  203. Ooops, draw should be “drop.”

  204. Because of their extreme animus toward humanity. They regard humans as scum. Being a human, I take it personally, particularly since they would rejoice at the mass death of humans.

    What “they”, did you meet some obnoxious vegan at a party once and decide the whole lot are no good?

  205. craig,

    One of the basic arguments for animal cruelty laws seems to be that needless suffering is immoral and I suppose that there is a utilitarian argument in there as well; namely that folks who abuse dogs or some such might be inclined as a result of that practice to abuse other humans.

  206. It depends on the rationale behind “not endorsing the killing of an animal”. You’ve framed it in a very reserved context. For instance, the other day, I slowed down to a stop in the middle of the road to avoid running over and killing a squirrel.

    just going by the standard vegan lines, it seems they believe that eating meat or animal biproducts (milkm eggs, honey etc) is fundamentally immoral because the animal is being unnecessarily exploited for our personal benefit. Now, my response to that would be something like “and…” because I don’t agree with it. But I wouldn’t exactly call it anti-human.

    Oh, and to your squirrel example, I suspect most people regardless of their diet would do everything to avoid the squirrel except compromise the safety of the vehicle. In other words, if you had time I think most people would slow down. But I don’t think a vegan would threaten their survival to save a squirrel (or anyone) that wandered in their path suddenly.

    Aren’t we also “perfectly capable of surviving” without electricity, clothing, gasoline, industry, the Internet, computers, etc? Why stop at meat/animal by-products?

    Well, for most of those the answer would be “the Amish don’t” but in a practical sense I was responding to your assertion that veganism is “suicidal” and I’ll ask again. WHY is veganism suicidal?

    Because of their extreme animus toward humanity. They regard humans as scum. Being a human, I take it personally, particularly since they would rejoice at the mass death of humans.

    Really? a VEGAN would rejoice at the mass death of humans? I feel a PETA link coming forward somehow… but then I could say that all Christians want to assassinate world leaders who disagree with US foreign policy because Pat Robertson said Chavez should be killed.

  207. Because of their extreme animus toward humanity. They regard humans as scum. Being a human, I take it personally, particularly since they would rejoice at the mass death of humans.

    Let it be known, when loundry says “they” he is actually speaking on our (the collective “our”) behalf. We vegans actually do hate humananity, and loundry knows this because we beam our thoughts directly into his head. These thoughts manifest as “voices,” and we often tell him to kill people, scream obscenities, and post messages online.

  208. Because of their extreme animus toward humanity. They regard humans as scum. Being a human, I take it personally, particularly since they would rejoice at the mass death of humans.

    Wow. Seriously, you need to get out more.

  209. Well, vegans were the bad guys in Leonard Part 6.

  210. The Real Bill,

    Forgive me for being curt with you. Clearly you have some intelligent thoughts about this issue and I treated you with the contempt that vegans deserve. I loathe misanthropy, and veganism/environmentalism is nothing but misanthropy masquerading as morality. It’s repulsive, and my disdain comes out far too easily sometimes. Forgive me.

    Saying that “human are animals” is honest is simply recognizing that I am born, eat, sleep, shit, have sex, and die. It is not a value judgement; it is a fact.

    Yes and no. The disagreement we have is semantic. If humans are an animal, as in, an organism, then yes, that’s true. If humans are “just another animal”, then we are guilty of genocide and should all die for our mass crimes against animality. Clearly you don’t think that humans are “just another animal” because you wrote “Humans are superior to most other animals.” Naturally, that begs the question, which animal is superior to a human?

    And, yes, I acknowledge that your cat will have more value to you than most other humans. I value my pets more highly than I value most other humans as well, since don’t even know them. At the same time, if I had to choose between killing my dog and killing some stranger, then I would, of course, kill my dog. I know that is a ridiculous hypothetical situation, but it’s done to express my committment toward the betterment of humanity.

    Exception: there are some folks, such as the Ayatollahs of Iran, would would die before my dog would. But that’s not because they’re worth less than a dog, but because they pose a greater harm to humanity alive than dead and have no chance of making amends. Again, another ridiculous hypothetical, but it’s done to explain my values.

  211. In Loundry’s defense, there are some vegans out there that want humans to go extinct.
    Godwin alert!

    Wasn’t Hitler a vegetarian?

  212. craig,

    I don’t think so. I do think it’s wrong not to recognize that what you’re eating was at one time alive, and depending on what animal it was, had SOME capacity for thought, emotion, pain, etc.

    Are you saying that birds lack the capacity for thought, emotion, and pain? Congo African Gray parrots are more intelligent than dogs and pigs.

    Or are you saying that we should only eat the stupid birds?

  213. I can just imagine a whole cottage movie industry based on the threat of veganism:

    “Die Vegan scum!”

    “Get away from her you Vegan bitch!”

    “The only good Vegan is a dead Vegan!”*

    *These are of course not my real views. I ain’t down with veganism, but I don’t think that vegans as a rule “would rejoice at the mass death of humans.”

  214. yes TRB and there are SOME of almost every group with wacko agendas. There are islamo-fascists that want to see us killed. There are extremist Christians that want to see non believers die. There are political socialists that believe the best form of government is brutal dictatorship that controls every aspect of society. None of that has any bearing on group members generally.

  215. there was also a section in Cryptonomicon where one of the protagonists discovered that after getting laid he was able to think more clearly

    I really enjoyed that book. Is the trilogy as good?

  216. Okay guys, WTF. This thread is clocking in way too long. From gays in the military to whether or not vegans are traitors to humanity? It stops . . . now!

  217. Rhywun:

    The trilogy is not as good. The first book is engrossing, the second not quite as good as the first, and so on and so forth (even though it’s just one more book). Perhaps I tired of Stephenson’s writing because I read Cryptonomicon first, then read the other three. Of course, I didn’t get tired of Proust, and that dandy writes a lot.

  218. Lemme clarify: I like Stephenson’s books, but by page 1,200+ in total, I found myself wandering.

  219. “Is the trilogy as good?”

    I have no idea. I really need to pick up the stuff he’s written since then.

  220. No, you should be prosecuted for animal cruelty, assuming it wasn’t in self defense, or sanctioned for medical reasons.

    What if I did it because I was hungry? Is it only okay to kill and eat certain animals?

    Are you for animal cruelty?

    Cruelty is immoral, and I understand cruelty this way: cruelty is the taking of pleasure in causing the suffering or death in another living thing. Hence, it’s possible to be cruel to plants. For instance, if I grew a bunch of flowers, and then poisoned them all, taking great joy and glee in watching them wither and die, then wouldn’t you have reservations about me? The reason why cruelty is wrong, toward any living thing, is because it casts doubts on the individual’s character in that he or she might transfer their desire to inflict pain and death on a human being. It all comes around to humans and the valuation of humanity.

    Hence, a man who works in a slaugherhouse, killing lots and lots of animals, is not necessarily cruel. Most likely, he’s numb to the killing. If he did that kind of job because he truly enjoyed the killing, then I’d feel really, really worried about spending any time with him.

    Hence, eating foie gras is not cruel. I don’t take pleasure in the gavage. We do it to get a wonderful product, not for the goose, and not because we enjoy the gavage.

    I hope I’ve explained myself well. The notion of “animal cruelty” must be defined before it’s used.

  221. If God didnt want us to eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them taste like meat.

  222. FinFangFoom,

    So far we’ve had a fairly interesting and broad ranging debate. One of the better H&R threads ever.

  223. Naturally, that begs the question, which animal is superior to a human?

    Loundry,

    I should have said that most humans are superior to most animals. My point is two-fold: 1) I don’t know that some species aren’t more intelligent and caring than humans, and 2) some humans are so evil that I consider them “monsters”. I believe that some humans have lost their humanity and do not deserve to be considered human. For example, any person who would kidnap, torture, and rape a child. I would exterminate them and feel happy about it. (BTW, I was serious when agreeing with you that some vegans are people-haters. I have know vegans that do not resemble your description in any way, though.)

  224. loundry,

    I’m saying I recognize that any animal I eat was alive at one time. Since I’m a mammal I feel more of a kinship with cows, pigs, etc., than I do with birds or fish. I’d also factor in the quality of its life. For example, I’d probably feel better about eating a free-range, grass-fed cow than I would a factor-farmed chicken.

  225. To be fair, I’ve heard the “humans are the enemy; there are too many of them” line from more vegans than I could shake a stick at. Plus, they’re often annoyingly nanny-ish. Bit unfair to generalize, though πŸ™‚

  226. “The AP reports that Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “won’t apologize for calling homosexuality immoral” in an interview yesterday with the Chicago Tribune:”

    Why should he apologize for stating his opinion on the subject?

    No one has to apologize for expressing his or her moral views on any subject, Joint Chief’s of Staff included.

    And how in the world did this thread morph into a long-winded argument about vegans and animals?

  227. I knew one vegan that wasn’t nanny-ish at all, but she was a vegan because of an illness. It was particularly sad, because she really liked meat, especially sausage.

  228. I totally agree with Rhywun. Actually my best friend happens to be a vegan which is probably why I’m more defensive of their dietary choice. He respects that I’m not and while we have had discussions about why we eat what we it the discussion was more social and informative rather than attempting to force his values on me (or vice versa).

    I do think that its fair to say that vegans are more likely than most other dietary groups to bring up their diet as “morally superior” than other groups but I don’t think I’ve yet met a vegan who truly believes the government should impose veganism on an unwilling world.

    Again though, there are extremists in any belief system and most of the time when someone IS an extremist it is because they believe in imposing their values on everyone, whether it is a religious or a social choice.

  229. Again though, there are extremists in any belief system and most of the time when someone IS an extremist it is because they believe in imposing their values on everyone, whether it is a religious or a social choice.

    I really, really hate those people.

  230. Cruelty is immoral, and I understand cruelty this way: cruelty is the taking of pleasure in causing the suffering or death in another living thing.

    That’s a bit narrow. It’s possible to be cruel to an animal without taking pleasure in it.

    The reason why cruelty is wrong, toward any living thing, is because it casts doubts on the individual’s character in that he or she might transfer their desire to inflict pain and death on a human being. It all comes around to humans and the valuation of humanity.

    I think the pain and/or fear the animal experiences should be a factor.

    I hope I’ve explained myself well. The notion of “animal cruelty” must be defined before it’s used.

    You have, I just don’t agree with your definition.

  231. I only have one more comment on the general’s stance on the immorality of being gay.
    I would be safer as a homophobe in the showers with gay men than as a gay man in the showers with homophobes.

  232. As to cruelty, what about the kind directed at the Israeli ambassador to El Salvador? Is that immoral?

  233. Years ago, my college roommate dated a vegetarian. Naturally, she was a very sanctimonious, pompous bitch because of it, but that’s beside the point. Being the zealot she was, she invited her boyfriend (my roommate) to a vegetarian rally at the university. My roommate returned from this event horrified, saying that the hatred for meat-eaters was palpable and, at one point, one of the vegans in his vicinity turned to his friend and spit with venom, “Things would be better if all the meat-eaters just DIED!” And that view is in no way controversial in veganism.

    I recently read an article in National Geographic in which the environmental author recoiled with “horror” at the prospect of human development, any of it, in the United States. In his view, the human population must necessarily decrease so that the precious mother Gaia can be returned to her natural state. Do you think he would give a shit if a plague killed off a few million human beings? Of course not. He thinks humans are trash!

    Need I mention that virutally all vegans are environmentalists? Search for “vegan misanthrope” on google and see what you find. Mind you, many vegans are now aware that people are turned off by their blatant hatred for humanity (they get really defensive about “misanthropy” because the truth hurts) so they try to hide it.

  234. “I really, really hate those people.”

    Extremist! Heh…

    Seriously, I think that most people who lean libertarian have a very low opinion of “extremists in any belief system and most of the time when someone IS an extremist it is because they believe in imposing their values on everyone, whether it is a religious or a social choice.”

    To be honest, it’s one of the reasons joe pisses me off as often as he does.

  235. Yes, and joe isn’t even that bad compared to some.

  236. “I never looked because the sheer size of my package obstructed my view :)”

    I think?.viewing from such an angle?.might bring into play?..other issues?.package being the least of such?.

  237. craig,

    I’m saying I recognize that any animal I eat was alive at one time. Since I’m a mammal I feel more of a kinship with cows

    The truth comes out. You FEEL the kinship. Animal rights notions come from feelings, not from reason.

  238. The Real Bill,

    1) I don’t know that some species aren’t more intelligent and caring than humans

    I think that’s a skeptical argument (and I’m using “skeptical” in the negative sense). I’ll treat humans as supreme and special until another species comes along with indoor plumbing.

    2) some humans are so evil that I consider them “monsters”. I believe that some humans have lost their humanity and do not deserve to be considered human.

    I don’t think that they lose their humanity, but that they do lose their right to live among the rest of us in a peaceful society. We who do not wish to deprive other people of life, liberty, and property are not morally obligated to cater to the whims and needs of those who wish to kill, rape, and steal. Instead, we are morally obligated to remove them from society.

    For example, any person who would kidnap, torture, and rape a child. I would exterminate them and feel happy about it.

    Yeah, that’s where my rules on cruelty get a little soft. I love it when some dickhead tries to rob someone, and the potential victim pulls a gun and lays waste to the human garbage. I love to see murderers, gangsters, and thieves get justice. I have to remind myself that they are humans too, as much as I despise what they do and hate the fact that they were permitted to walk as free humans for any point in time.

    (BTW, I was serious when agreeing with you that some vegans are people-haters. I have know vegans that do not resemble your description in any way, though.)

    I do, too, but they don’t seem to be doing a good job of kicking the misanthropes out of the ranks of veganism. That’s a common problem among all sorts of religious people. The Christians don’t seem intent on kicking Fred Phelps out of Christendom. Likewise, “moderate” Muslims seem awfully content to let the mujahedin walk and worship freely in their mosques. Am I preaching “guilt-by-association”? You bet I am!

  239. The truth comes out. You FEEL the kinship. Animal rights notions come from feelings, not from reason.

    I never said anything about animal rights. I was talking about cruelty to animals.

    My FEELING was about my preference for one animal over another, and why that is. Similar to your preference for your dog over the Ayatollahs of Iran.

  240. Loundry,

    For being part of a group that people like to make broad, negative and inaccurate statements about you sure seem to do the same.

    Yes, SOME vegans and SOME environmentalists are whackos- just like some queers are child molesters.

    Your willingness to villify large groups of humanity, frankly, frightens me.

    “The truth comes out. You FEEL the kinship. Animal rights notions come from feelings, not from reason.”

    Not necessarily. A being doesn’t have to be able to perform calculus to be able to feel, suffer, love and think. The average dog is more sentient than a retarded baby. Why, other than the anthropocentric inherent in Western culture for thousands of years, shouldn’t we value the dog more?

  241. I do, too, but they don’t seem to be doing a good job of kicking the misanthropes out of the ranks of veganism. That’s a common problem among all sorts of religious people. The Christians don’t seem intent on kicking Fred Phelps out of Christendom. Likewise, “moderate” Muslims seem awfully content to let the mujahedin walk and worship freely in their mosques. Am I preaching “guilt-by-association”? You bet I am!

    Wait a second though, all humans are individuals, what makes one person morally responsible for the actions or beliefs of someone else? And who exactly should do the condemning for the extremist? You mentioned Phelps, yet Phelps does NOT consider himself a mainstream normal Christian, he considers himself separate from Baptists or other Christian groups. I don’t think then that it follows the president of the SBC should be obligated to do more than ignore his hate speech because Phelps is not a member of the SBC.

    You also mentioned Muslim extremists, but again there I don’t see the obligation of every Muslim to do more than live their lives peacefully as they see fit. I’d rather not have to apologize for the actions of every white male that ever lived either.

  242. If I kill a pig and eat it, should I be prosecuted for murder?

    No. Why would you eat a pig though?
    Have you not seen Babe?
    “That’ll do, pig.” sniff.

    You want to know what’s weird? I’m half serious. I don’t eat the pig, and I very sincerely love that movie. Just a coincidence.

  243. “Yes, and joe isn’t even that bad compared to some.”

    True!

    Hayekian Dreamer’s right – you can be vegan without being crazy. Not all vegans are crazed about other people’s dietary habits…. You can be Muslim/Christian/fill-in-the-blank-depending-on-who-your-imaginary-friend-is and tolerant of other religions groups. But nearly all belief systems have intolerant extremists in their ranks. It doesn’t mean they’re all nuts…

  244. And for the record, Pace has the right to his opinion, but he’s still an unenlightened knuckle-dragger who is apparently completely uninformed about what it actually looks like to have gays serve in a modern military.

    Or to put it the way a friend of mine did: “Gay, straight, or bi, they can take a bullet as well as I.”

  245. Wait a minute, the thread made the transition from gays to animals without me even posting? I feel sooooooo useless now.

  246. Are you a virgin?

    My degree of sexual experience has nothing to do with my argument… πŸ˜‰

  247. my goodness, i don’t get any criticism for supporting pace’s right to express his personal opinion, but now i find that i hate humanity because i don’t eat animals. whiskey tango foxtrot indeed. i’m not gay, so maybe that got me a free pass, i dunno.

    intersection with biotech: how many vegetarians would eat meat if the animals in question were genetically altered to be anencephalic? show of hands, please.

  248. my goodness, i don’t get any criticism for supporting pace’s right to express his personal opinion, but now i find that i hate humanity because i don’t eat animals. whiskey tango foxtrot indeed. i’m not gay, so maybe that got me a free pass, i dunno.

    Did you really expect to be criticized for supporting Pace’s right to express an opinion? This is a LIBERTARIAN BLOG, not Democratic Underground (or Free Republic for that matter)

  249. Loundry, go smoke a bowl, have a beer, eat a pulled-pork sandwich, get laid, or sit on a veranda and watch the sunset.

    Whatever it takes.

    Because you *seriously* need to chill out.

  250. Loundry,

    Woof to all the bears out there!

    I don’t think bears woof. Or is this part of the secret gay code that I’m not in on?

  251. crimethink had the “Asshole of the Thread” award in the bag for a while there… then Loundry showed up.

    Sorry, crimethink, maybe next time.

  252. wingnut, if people aren’t calling me an asshole on abortion and homosexuality threads, I’m not doing my job.

  253. If you’d like, we could start calling you an asshole on every thread.

  254. Did you really expect to be criticized for supporting Pace’s right to express an opinion?

    actually, yes, especially with the crypto-democrat contingent around here.

    so, fellow vegetarians, would you or would you not eat meat if it were created and raised without consciousness?

  255. highnumber,

    On most issues, my opinions coincide with the great libertarian milieu, so no one gets the urge to call me an asshole.

  256. Jessica Simpson seems lacking in consciousness, and, well…

  257. i had an interesting argument with a bunch of dudes from brooklyn a few years back, where the whole “they’re forcing their parade upon my eyes” thing was laid out. it’s hard to argue against because it’s so clearly laden with a complex web of fear, political and social clashes and no small degree of fuckfacery.

    a la:

    “That’s true as far as it goes, I guess. But is it normal to share the idiosyncracies of their defecation habits with others, as some homosexuals insist on sharing their sexuality?”

    1) old people talk about the state of their bowels like [group x] talks about [witty comparison].

    2) stop being such a pussy.

  258. “One of the best things I think folks can do is desacralize sex.”

    fear and taboo != sacred.

    there are very few people who treat sexuality as a sacred thing, religious or otherwise.

  259. 259 comments and nobody’s said it yet…ok I will: The General doth protest too much, methinks!

  260. “intersection with biotech: how many vegetarians would eat meat if the animals in question were genetically altered to be anencephalic? show of hands, please.”

    How many meat-eaters would eat other humans if they were genetically altered to be anencephalic? Would they still be humans if they were?

  261. Damn…wish I had said that after 269 comments.

  262. jw, the “long pig” issue will come up next. mmmmmm, long pig, hrggggggghhhhh (homer simpson sound).

  263. Or to put it the way a friend of mine did: “Gay, straight, or bi, they can take a bullet as well as I.”

    I heard the Apache drivers prefer having them in the gunner’s seat in combat, especially if they are on the heavy side.

  264. “How many meat-eaters would eat other humans if they were genetically altered to be anencephalic? Would they still be humans if they were?”

    Finally! we are now back on the homersexual thread.

  265. Why wouldn’t you eat people? Are you saying that there is something wrong with the Eucharist? Why is it, in America in 2007, that anti-Catholic bigotry is the last acceptable prejudice?

  266. Loundry,

    I’ll treat humans as supreme and special until another species comes along with indoor plumbing.

    I realize that this is a tongue and cheek response of yours, but the technology of a species doesn’t say anything definitive about this matter.

  267. I don’t know about that Grotius. The ability to get rid of our poop is the absolute height of civilization. Would you rather live in Egypt with its grand monuments or Rome, where you would’t have to deal with your poo? Think about it.

  268. FinFangFoom,

    Well, from that perspective we’d be judging the merits of particular groups of humans based on their technology, which is likely a perilous path (as Montaigne so brilliantly argued).

  269. FinFangFoom,

    Then again, some population of beings not originating on the Earth might not have any need for flush toilets or sewage systems.

  270. I don’t think it would be very comfortable to have to hold it for your entire life, so those aliens can keep their advanced technology.

  271. crimethink,

    Why are you even interested in homosexuality? I mean I realize that you think that embryo, fetus, etc. is a person and that’s your angle on why you’re interested in the abortion issue, but with homosexuality, I just don’t get why you’re interested.

  272. FinFangFoom,

    Well, maybe they excrete their wastes in a gas form. The point is possessing a bit of technology than some other society lacks is not by itself a paticularly convincing argument re: who is more advanced.

  273. Excrete their wastes in gas form? To get the same amount of mass out, they’d have to fart all the time. How could they possibly be scientifically advanced? With that much farting they’d either have to live under the open skies or never develop flame or electric based lighting. Otherwise they’d cause an explosion that could destroy their entire civilization. Not that they could be very social, what with all that farting.

  274. FinFangFoom,

    Maybe what they eat is high in energy and low in overall mass. Anyway, I am sure that you get my point by now.

  275. I love it when folks who murder people in foreign countries and torture those who are captured tell us how they don’t want to be associated with any “immoral acts”

  276. c’mon dave , get with the program!
    If we dont do it over there, the terrorists will come over here again!

    Homophobia is a Christian duty!!!
    Hate is the new love.

    can I get an amen?

  277. On most issues, my opinions coincide with the great libertarian milieu, so no one gets the urge to call me an asshole.

    Don’t sell yourself short. You can be a “good” libertarian and an asshole.

  278. Oh, Amen!

  279. edna,

    Sorry I’m so late in replying – there was a lightening storm and I thought it best to disconnect my computer for awhile.

    The point of my question was this: Your question about vegans (or vegetarians?) implies that they, or some of them anyway, refrain from eating meat because it comes from sentient or conscious beings. You wish to know if they would still refrain if the meat came from beings that were not conscious.
    I think most of them would still refrain, and I think the reason why is akin to the fact that most meat-eating humans would not engage in canabalism even if the main course was from someone who was brain dead. And it is not a thing about killing something – people don’t eat others even when that other has died of natural causes or by another’s hand. Likewise, most vegetarians I’ve ever known, or heard of, will not eat animals or by-products even when the animals died under similar circumstances. I don’t think it matters whether the animals in question are capable of consciousness or of feeling pain.

  280. I think the reason why is akin to the fact that most meat-eating humans would not engage in canabalism even if the main course was from someone who was brain dead.

    ahh, the “ick” factor. trumps logic every time.

    personally, this vegetarian is lickin’ chops just thinking about all that vat-raised long pork. i’m somewhat conflicted about wine matching- the canonical “fava beans and chianti” has a cinematic resonance, but i suspect that gamay might do better. yes, that’s it, gamay. maybe an edmunds-st john bone-jolly from california or perhaps the michel tete julienas…

  281. “I love it when folks who murder people in foreign countries and torture those who are captured tell us how they don’t want to be associated with any “immoral acts””

    EVERYBODY DRINK!

    *slams a shot*

  282. andy,

    For being part of a group that people like to make broad, negative and inaccurate statements about you sure seem to do the same.

    Broad? So what. Saying that “Christians believe in the gospel” is also a broad statement. The question is whether or not it is accurate.

    Negative? Of course. What’s wrong with making a negative statement about people if it’s accurate?

    Inaccurate? That is the point in dispute.

    Yes, SOME vegans and SOME environmentalists are whackos- just like some queers are child molesters.

    I ignore all “You’re generalizing!” comments.

    Your willingness to villify large groups of humanity, frankly, frightens me.

    The reason I am so down on veganism is because of the attitudes that were displayed at that vegetarian rally that my college roommate went to — the one where the vegan turned to his friend, and, dripping with hatred and venom, stated, “Things would be better if all the meat-eaters just DIED!”

    Now, tell me, does his willingness to wish for the deaths of the vast majority of humanity frighten you?

    Do you agree with me that his attitude is not controversial among vegans? I bet I could go to any vegan board, post that comment, and get kudos for saying it.

    Not necessarily. A being doesn’t have to be able to perform calculus to be able to feel, suffer, love and think. The average dog is more sentient than a retarded baby. Why, other than the anthropocentric inherent in Western culture for thousands of years, shouldn’t we value the dog more?

    You’ve raised a valuable point, and it touches on a question which is not related to the bogus notion of “animal rights”. What you are talking about is the answer to the question, “What is a human?” That is a complex question with no easy answer.

    A handicapped human is worth more than a dog. I love my dogs more than I love handicapped human strangers, but if I had to choose between killing my dog and killing a handicapped human stranger, then I would kill my dog without reservation. Mind you, that’s a ridiculous hypothetical situation that would never happen. I’m only using it to show you where my values lie: Rights are not derived from an organism’s capability to feel, suffer, or think. (“Love” is a combination of feeling and thinking.)

  283. Hayekian Dreamer,

    what makes one person morally responsible for the actions or beliefs of someone else?

    1. When the actor and the non-actor adhere to the same ideology

    2. When the non-actor gives aid and support to the actor in full knowledge that the actor is depriving other individuals of life, liberty, or property in the name of that ideology

    3. Whent he non-actor fails to condemn or stop the actor from depriving other individuals of life, liberty, or property in the name of that ideology

    For example, Eric Robert Rudolph was able to evade capture for so long because of like-minded Christians who shielded him and aided him. If Rudolph had managed to kill again, the people who provided him aid would be complicit in the deaths of Rudolph’s future victims just as they are obviously in support the murders of Rudolph’s past victims.

    And who exactly should do the condemning for the extremist?

    1. Anyone who doesn’t wish to appear as if they are in support of depriving others of life, liberty, or property as part of an ideology

    2. Anyone who doesn’t with that their ideology be regarded as one that is in support of depriving others of life, liberty, or property

  284. Peter Pace: He got a silly porn-sounding name, but realistically, who cares whether he hates homos or not? The left seems to think that he doesn’t have a right to his opinions.

  285. The reason I am so down on veganism is because of the attitudes that were displayed at that vegetarian rally that my college roommate went to

    well, there ya go, unassailable logic. we were all there that day, every blessed one of us.

    in 40+ years of vegetarianism, it never occurred to me to go to a rally.

  286. The military will be ready for openly gay service members when we have gender neutral living spaces; I suggest that across the board, in the military and civilian world that all gender lines are erased, everyone uses the same bathrooms (we’ve all seen what the others have, no surprises). Currently, gays are allowed to serve, what the don’t ask don’t policy creates is a compromise between two very different views. The military does not deny any benefits that are federally reconized. The last time I checked the military is an all volunteer service, if you don’t like the rules (and we have a lot of them) don’t volunteer.

  287. Anthony – You mentioned a lot of fallacies. No where else (public or private gyms, high school gym class, etc) do we force together both genders, but neither do we separate based on orientation. For that matter, other countries (the UK, Israel) didn’t go through your total gender neutrality program first, why not? I personally believe our military is even BETTER than theirs and is mature enough to deal with it.

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