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Thread: Ask, Tell

  1. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallypiper View Post
    Our military is currently an all volunteer force. Doesn't that mean that it is, inevitably, a reflection of our society. That doesn't mean it's a percentile by percentile equivalent. It means that the population of the military is going to be, overall, a pretty representative slice of the population at large. On the one hand, it might include a higher proportion of John Wayne wannabe's, anxious to blow some shit up. It also includes an abnormally large proportion of people who can't find another viable path to follow. But overall, I believe it's basically the same group. For a while, I was traveling regularly to St. Louis. Lambert Field (STL) is a major transit point for new Army recruits and new grads from basic training. I spent a lot of time around crowds of these guys and gals and, on the whole, would say that they were pretty similar to a crowd of the same age kids outside of the military, with the exception that most of them were facing the likelihood of being sent to a war zone soon. They were, generally but not always, polite. There were some jerks among them, some geeks, some hotties and some homelies. If you stood 50 of them in a line and spent 10 mintues with each, you could probably identify two or three that were probably gay, whether the army was asking or not and whether they were telling or not. Beyond that, you would also find that they represented a very typical cross section of 18-24 year olds. Some seemed incredibly young. Some seemed quite mature.

    In short, whether you wish it was reality or not, they reflected our society pretty much.
    Bullshit. The average age of servicemembers is substantially lower than the average age of the US population. The military is mostly male. Blacks and hispanics comprise a much higher percentage than they do in the general population. And that is just the physical differences. Politically, they are conservative by a vast majority. Our volunteer force is not even remotely reflective of our society.
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  2. #172
    Senior Member wallypiper's Avatar
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    I dunno Dan. You are right that they are younger. That, of course, tends to make them much more accepting of things like being gay than the overall population since they have all grown up in a environment of steadily increasing acceptance of gayness in general. They are more male than the population in general, but not overwhelmingly, at least based on the throngs passing through STL. Politically conservative? Maybe. Generally, the young recruits I've been around seem pretty apolitical overall.

    They didn't join to make a political point or take a political stand. They join to learn a marketable skill and get access to GI benefits when they get out. They talk a LOT about what school (military, that is) they're headed to and how they expect that to utilize that training after their enlistment is up. It's an overriding theme in their conversations. There's no gung ho can't wait to shoot a rag head chest beating. I think most of them would skip that part if they could. Serving their country and freedom and so on is part of it, but it's more like a fringe benefit than the primary motivation, based on my conversations with them and listening in to their conversations with each other. They want to learn a skill, get out, maybe go to college and get a good paying job as civilians. They talk a lot about how to stay under the radar while they're in, how to do your thing, not get noticed, get your ticket punched and get out.

    I can't say how they change over the course of their enlistment. But that is what I see and hear from the hundreds of kids I've seen at one primary transit point. They are, almost universally, between basic training and the next phase of their enlistment, typically headed home for a few days before reporting to a training post somewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallypiper View Post
    I dunno Dan. You are right that they are younger. That, of course, tends to make them much more accepting of things like being gay than the overall population since they have all grown up in a environment of steadily increasing acceptance of gayness in general. They are more male than the population in general, but not overwhelmingly, at least based on the throngs passing through STL. Politically conservative? Maybe. Generally, the young recruits I've been around seem pretty apolitical overall.

    They didn't join to make a political point or take a political stand. They join to learn a marketable skill and get access to GI benefits when they get out. They talk a LOT about what school (military, that is) they're headed to and how they expect that to utilize that training after their enlistment is up. It's an overriding theme in their conversations. There's no gung ho can't wait to shoot a rag head chest beating. I think most of them would skip that part if they could. Serving their country and freedom and so on is part of it, but it's more like a fringe benefit than the primary motivation, based on my conversations with them and listening in to their conversations with each other. They want to learn a skill, get out, maybe go to college and get a good paying job as civilians. They talk a lot about how to stay under the radar while they're in, how to do your thing, not get noticed, get your ticket punched and get out.

    I can't say how they change over the course of their enlistment. But that is what I see and hear from the hundreds of kids I've seen at one primary transit point. They are, almost universally, between basic training and the next phase of their enlistment, typically headed home for a few days before reporting to a training post somewhere.
    Liberals and progressives for the most part do not join the military. In almost a decade of service I can count the number of people that I meet with a leftist political opinion on one hand. They are rare enough that I can remember their names and where we served togeather. I think if you have an actual discussion about specific issues with people in the military, you will find that the majority of them line up with in the center or the right. Being a conservative does not equal being gung ho, can't wait to shoot a raghead or chest beating. The fact that you make that assumption says a lot about your thought process in the first place.
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  4. #174
    Senior Member wallypiper's Avatar
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    Your assumption that only a leftist can work/live/coexist side by side with an only gay person without being stressed by it says a lot about your thought process. There's plenty of conservatives that don't care about homosexual or not. Many consider opposition to gay rights and integration into society to be the territory of the radical fundamentalist right wing. It really isn't the place of the government or the military to say what your sexual preference should or can be or even to ask what it is. That's a truly conservative perspective on it.
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  5. #175
    Senior Member MrBlah's Avatar
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    swedes are ok with stuff that Americans aren't


  6. #176
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    Dunno why but right now Im all pro womens rights.

  7. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallypiper View Post
    Your assumption that only a leftist can work/live/coexist side by side with an only gay person without being stressed by it says a lot about your thought process. There's plenty of conservatives that don't care about homosexual or not. Many consider opposition to gay rights and integration into society to be the territory of the radical fundamentalist right wing. It really isn't the place of the government or the military to say what your sexual preference should or can be or even to ask what it is. That's a truly conservative perspective on it.
    I never made the assertion that only a leftist could live/work/ coexist side by side with a gay person. Nor have I ever voiced opposition to gay rights and integration into society. I defy you to show me ANY post that I have EVERY made doing so.

    You seem to be trying to attribute things to me that I never said nor implied in an effort to undermine my message. Is that because your message can not stand on it's own merits?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBlah View Post
    swedes are ok with stuff that Americans aren't

    Never worked with the Swedes. But if they are at the same level of competence as the Danes their military is...how should I put this......suboptimal.
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  9. #179
    Senior Member Steve750's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBlah View Post
    see my previous posts, I thought I was clear, I am attracted to women, I'm not allowed to shower with them, it's just that simple, are you saying that men should be allowed to use the women's rooms/showers in our schools and military and government buildings? Or are you saying that gay men are not attracted to men the same way straight men are attracted to women?

    if you want to change my opinion, those are my concerns

    I have gay friends, I have no problems with gays in the military provided accommodations are made for them, I probably served with some and did not even know it
    Hence why "Don't ask...don't tell works" Why is it important to be "out" in the military. I thank them for their service but don't see why that is important for serving?!?

    Steve
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  10. #180
    Senior Member winmutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve750 View Post
    Hence why "Don't ask...don't tell works" Why is it important to be "out" in the military. I thank them for their service but don't see why that is important for serving?!?

    Steve
    I dont think anyone is saying that sexuality SHOULD be an issue here. The problem is when someone's sexuality becomes an issue. Eg activities outside work.

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