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DADT comes to an end

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    Posted: 18 Dec 2010 at 22:34
After losing over a dozen thousand troops to summary dismissal, including much needed specialist personnel to help fight its overseas interventions, the US has laudably decided to repeal its policy of "don't ask, don't tell". This brings the United States into line with policy pursued by many of its allies including Israel, the UK and Australia to name just a few. Doing so will significantly reduce the costs of hiring replacement troops for the ones who keep getting fired and will allow the US military to better exploit the skills she has instilled in her personnel which are not entirely of a heterosexual persuasion.

As early as the 1960s a navy investigation refuted the idea that disclosure of sexual orientation would have a damaging effect on troop unit cohesion. Certainly, such openness has not affected the ability of Israel or Australia to carry out highly successful combat and peace keeping operations. It won't affect US troops either; not anymore than Alexander or Caesar's homosexual history had any effect on the willingness of their troops to perform superhuman feats of combat.

Still, I wonder how long it will take the usual suspects in the US media and their various op ed agents to blame the impending US withdrawal from Afghanistan on a collapse in troop morale due to the presence of nancy boys, rather than stubborn Pashtuns fighting a guerilla action in some of the most inhospitable combat terrain on earth against a military that didn't throw enough resources at them early on.

Still, a good day for America. Bravo

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/us-senate-ends-ban-on-gays-in-military/story-e6frfku0-1225973374586
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 10:32
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Still, I wonder how long it will take the usual suspects in the US media and their various op ed agents to blame the impending US withdrawal from Afghanistan on a collapse in troop morale due to the presence of nancy boys, rather than stubborn Pashtuns fighting a guerilla action in some of the most inhospitable combat terrain on earth against a military that didn't throw enough resources at them early on.


I'd say its already started within the minds of severely twisted and delusional right wing nutters.
http://xkcd.com/15/



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 11:19
I personally am not comfortable in changing rooms where people flaunt their sexuality or have some sort of macho or camp bravado (gay or otherwise).   I have gay friends and they are people who I deem normal (i.e.) people I feel comfortable around.  As long as people act appropriately in the given environment, then everything is fine.  But this is especially true in a military context.

I fear however, that the rescinding of DADT will lead to an increase in bullying and discriminatory behaviour regardless of what the legislation is. 

Other than going against the grain of the popular gay rights movement: what's wrong with DADT?  What are some of the challenges gay soldiers face because of it?  Would it be better in a military environment where every hick, gangsta and homie knew a comrade was gay? 
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 11:21
Add religious nut, given that it is the US military we're talking about.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 13:00
There have many cases were otherwise perfect soldiers have been courtmartialed as it became public knowledge that they were in a gay relationship. If you're a soldier on the front line whose life has been saved by your comrade, you won't give a shilling whether you comrade enjoys 'arse sex' or not. If you do, you probably have your own issues to deal with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2010 at 14:13
True, but if you have mixed up with the types of people that generally become soldiers then they are usually working class male chauvinists.  And we're not always at war (or at least we didn't used to be) - what about the times when you're stationed in Germany or Cyprus for months at a time, an openly gay man in that environment - there are many forms of bullying and discrimination.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 00:27
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:


Other than going against the grain of the popular gay rights movement: what's wrong with DADT?  What are some of the challenges gay soldiers face because of it?  Would it be better in a military environment where every hick, gangsta and homie knew a comrade was gay?


Yes, because that is all we allow into service are a bunch of negative stereotype into our military. College educated, intelligent, respectable, hard working, tolerant, normally average everyday run of the mill citizens simply don't exist in our military at all!? Too boring of a news story. Not to sound condescending, but i think it would be a miracle if i ever found somebody other than a US citizen who could give me an honest assessment of my nations military! That person simply does not exist in this politicized world!

Forget it. Never mind. why did i even bother?...

More about the repeal of DADT

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theticket/20101219/ts_yblog_theticket/in-a-historic-vote-the-senate-overturns-dont-ask-dont-tell


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 01:21
The pro DADT argument seems to me to only apply to gays and not lesbians. And I also wonder what the ratio of the two is in the US armed forces.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 09:34
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:


Other than going against the grain of the popular gay rights movement: what's wrong with DADT?  What are some of the challenges gay soldiers face because of it?  Would it be better in a military environment where every hick, gangsta and homie knew a comrade was gay?


Yes, because that is all we allow into service are a bunch of negative stereotype into our military. College educated, intelligent, respectable, hard working, tolerant, normally average everyday run of the mill citizens simply don't exist in our military at all!? Too boring of a news story. Not to sound condescending, but i think it would be a miracle if i ever found somebody other than a US citizen who could give me an honest assessment of my nations military! That person simply does not exist in this politicized world!

Forget it. Never mind. why did i even bother?...

More about the repeal of DADT

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theticket/20101219/ts_yblog_theticket/in-a-historic-vote-the-senate-overturns-dont-ask-dont-tell




The US army is what, 13m strong? So obviously there are uneducated hick, gangsta and homie delinquents as well as nutty Christian types.  
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 14:50
Why all the fuss? despite all of the to-dos the bottom line in military discipline remains fixed: no "fraternization" between officers and the enlisted; and, more important, no sexual harassment! Besides, there might be a secret weapon involved. Can you imagine the fear that might arise in the eyes of Muslim jihadists if a batallion regaled in full Ru Paul drag descended upon them!?!Wink
 
This 
 
versus this
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 14:55
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Yes, because that is all we allow into service are a bunch of negative stereotype into our military. College educated, intelligent, respectable, hard working, tolerant, normally average everyday run of the mill citizens simply don't exist in our military at all!? Too boring of a news story. Not to sound condescending, but i think it would be a miracle if i ever found somebody other than a US citizen who could give me an honest assessment of my nations military! That person simply does not exist in this politicized world!
 
That's not entirely fair either. My prejudice against the US army and pretty much every army that ever existed, is that those respectable individuals you describe tend to fill in the higher to middle ranks, while the "lowborn plebs" with their uneducated attitudes fill in the lower ranks, and those are the ones most civilians will be faced with on an everyday basis. That's not to say people from the lower classes can't have a high degree of integrity, but I think on average you will find more of those attitudes most educated people would deem politically incorrect.
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Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 16:22
somehow, there is a disconnect here. to premise that the US military is somehow a reflection of the 'lower classes' that will normally display a lack of integrity and give voice to the politically incorrect is somehow suspect. Yes, as long ago in the past, the military does provide an avenue for social mobility but its constituent can not in anyway be described as the 'dregs' of the society, undeducated and possessing the gamut of sociopathological insecurities. To be  quite frank, those social types do not enlist. And, yes, we might give ear to the cavils of the 'brass' in the US Marine Corps, but then such is but a voicing of the typical sexual insecurities in the transition to full adulthood among males.
 
 
Now we can undestand that the origins of the inanity known as "don't ask/don't tell' can not be explained in terms of overall social fears and insecurities [after all the whole matter arose in the late 90s], but instead is nothing more than an example of pussy-footing in politics. Frankly, the entire issue is but a remnant of the old 4F avenue from the the good old "draft" days set forth from 1947 onwards and compulsory military service.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 19:29
@drgonzaga: Of course the French have rather a different take on it:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 20:17
Why is the lower half of the man in the bottom left stripped? And why is the face just above staring at him so deviously? 
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 01:20
...and did the kid on the right create that orange blast or is Paris on fire? or how' bout that perv in the middle checking out the breasts of Marianne. Is he interested in liberty, egality or fraternity?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2010 at 23:17
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

 
That's not entirely fair either. My prejudice against the US army and pretty much every army that ever existed, is that those respectable individuals you describe tend to fill in the higher to middle ranks, while the "lowborn plebs" with their uneducated attitudes fill in the lower ranks, and those are the ones most civilians will be faced with on an everyday basis. That's not to say people from the lower classes can't have a high degree of integrity, but I think on average you will find more of those attitudes most educated people would deem politically incorrect.


Hmmm... What is low class, lowborn uneducated plebes exactly in US military terms, aside from economics, which is a given? Is it, as Zagros tries to point out, made up of homies, gangsta's, redencks, religious zealots and what not? Or are they simply products of their chaotic home life and upbringing? Upon reaching military age, are they not a part of a society that is always constantly changing, never standing still for any groups of people long enough for them too adapt into? A beginning for a new thought...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2010 at 01:49
And in other news that is promoting a new normal, an astronomer is suing the University of Kentucky for religious discrimination in denial of a job

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/us/19kentucky.html?_r=3&ref=science

How shocking is this, a christian astronomer? Being accused of being an evangelical! Gasp... No, no, no... that simply will not do! The guy should have been a gay, transsexual, non-white, non-christian, democratic party operative. Then they would not have dared revoke the job offer!

I'm all for tolerance and non-discrimination in a society, but articles like this only feeds my cynicism for what had really been learned from the civil rights era. Tolerance... is it only extended too those of a like mind?

Is it just my misinterpretations or are civil right supporting Christians like myself being turned into enemies of the state?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2010 at 06:23
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

And in other news that is promoting a new normal, an astronomer is suing the University of Kentucky for religious discrimination in denial of a job

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/us/19kentucky.html?_r=3&ref=science

How shocking is this, a christian astronomer? Being accused of being an evangelical! Gasp... No, no, no... that simply will not do! The guy should have been a gay, transsexual, non-white, non-christian, democratic party operative. Then they would not have dared revoke the job offer!

I'm all for tolerance and non-discrimination in a society, but articles like this only feeds my cynicism for what had really been learned from the civil rights era. Tolerance... is it only extended too those of a like mind?

Is it just my misinterpretations or are civil right supporting Christians like myself being turned into enemies of the state?


Thanks for the article you posted, Panther, I read through it.

First thing's first. How do we know they discriminated against him because of his religious persuasion? How do we know it wasn't instead because the man may have a tendency to push religious agendas within the classroom? If he does have a history of doing such as thing, then the university must safeguard itself. Teaching staff are not to use their position to push religious views on students, not anymore than they may push a partisan political view. The issue with the man, it seems, is not that he is a Christian but rather than he is an avowed Evangelical. How do we know that in the course of looking into the man's past, the university staff did not find him doing precisely that, using his position to push an agenda that could land the university in hot water?

I can't say one way or the other what their motivation was, as the article doesn't present us with many facts.

Secondly, this is pretty much an anomaly. The ACLU representative claims that this is the only time anyone has felt strongly enough that they were discriminated against on religious grounds that they sued. Out of a nation of 308 million people? I would say one lawsuit out of 308 million people is pretty trivial and should if anything be very reassuring for anyone worried about religious discrimination.

In the event he was being discriminated against for a reason other than his ability to do his job well, then that is of course wrong and that must be corrected. But looking at that article there is a lot of information that is missing and it is impossible to make that call.

How we can compare a single lawsuit to the summary dismissal of 13,000 people is beyond me. How we can compare a decision made by a few individuals to one applied nationwide on the instruction of the US President is also beyond me. Mountains and molehills, you know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2010 at 08:21
Your welcome Constantine.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:


How do we know they discriminated against him because of his religious persuasion? How do we know it wasn't instead because the man may have a tendency to push religious agendas within the classroom?


It is interesting that they based their decision after doing some research about him being and finding out he is an evangelical. From the tone of the article they dismissed the idea of employing him based on an assumption that he would be bad for their business because of his belief, regardless of whether they ever bothered in finding out if he was malignant or benign in pushing his belief. In my opinion, this is not too far removed from the 1950's communist red scare, when one thinks about it. For all we know, the man's belief are probably on the US political left rather than to the right of it?

Quote
 If he does have a history of doing such as thing, then the university must safeguard itself. Teaching staff are not to use their position to push religious views on students, not anymore than they may push a partisan political view.


True, they do need to guard themselves against any unwanted politicization. However, if they applied the same standards to the "assumed practice" of non-employment for evangelicals to every other minority, religious, sexual orientation, ethnic, & gender groups, then there wouldn't be a teaching staff worth their salt at any universities to worry about in this country or the wider west.

Quote
The issue with the man, it seems, is not that he is a Christian but rather than he is an avowed Evangelical. How do we know that in the course of looking into the man's past, the university staff did not find him doing precisely that, using his position to push an agenda that could land the university in hot water?


Unfortunately, it has not been proven that he has done just that. Much less, that they even bothered talking with him in a one on one to find out what he is really like!

Quote
I can't say one way or the other what their motivation was, as the article doesn't present us with many facts.


Regretfully true. Such is the state of what passes for journalism here in the states! I probably should have known better and done my own research on this?

Quote
Secondly, this is pretty much an anomaly. The ACLU representative claims that this is the only time anyone has felt strongly enough that they were discriminated against on religious grounds that they sued. Out of a nation of 308 million people? I would say one lawsuit out of 308 million people is pretty trivial and should if anything be very reassuring for anyone worried about religious discrimination.


It does indeed sound like a trivial anomaly, but i suspect, and if i may be presumptuous here, that most cases such as this one have largely gone unreported for one reason or another. Like the need in protecting themselves from professional embarrassment, retaining ones anonymity, not a big deal to them - so it wasn't worth their effort and ect... Not wanting to rock the boat, so to speak. Not to sound intentionally inflammatory, and i mention this only because of the similarities in how we go about trivializing these type of issues far longer than we should, but reading up on this kind of reminds me of cases that involve females raping males and with the male victims reporting it to the police and being met with a dismissive shrug of the shoulders as if it weren't big deal. Very little of these types of cases are/were taken seriously either? Keep in mind that, at least here in this country, the existence of female on male rape wasn't in judicial existence until sometime in the last five or ten years and perhaps it is still an unrecognized crime?

Quote
How we can compare a single lawsuit to the summary dismissal of 13,000 people is beyond me. How we can compare a decision made by a few individuals to one applied nationwide on the instruction of the US President is also beyond me. Mountains and molehills, you know.


Unfortunately we can't currently tell if this is a systematic abuse or an epic oversight of university management nationwide?  However, reports do exist of some type of political disenfranchisement going on here i am afraid and it does lead to the question of why there are statistically more self identified liberal professors than there are conservatives ones in academia?

http://www.popecenter.org/clarion_call/article.html?id=2302

Anyway, i hope you get the idea that i am not trying to stray off topic, at least i don't think i am, but that i am only noting the possibility of an existence for the reversal of discrimination going on here, at least as far as the US is concerned. As i said earlier, could this be a new normal, acceptable to any soceity? I really don't know... but it will be interesting in seeing how "this" will play out as time goes on. And by "THIS", i mean the possibility of the existence of a restructuring of a society. What have they called it in the past,  ummm.... social engineering, i believe?


Edited by Panther - 27 Dec 2010 at 08:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2010 at 09:18
[quote-Panther]It is interesting that they based their decision after doing some research about him being and finding out he is an evangelical. From the tone of the article they dismissed the idea of employing him based on an assumption that he would be bad for their business because of his belief, regardless of whether they ever bothered in finding out if he was malignant or benign in pushing his belief. In my opinion, this is not too far removed from the 1950's communist red scare, when one thinks about it. For all we know, the man's belief are probably on the US political left rather than to the right of it?[/quote]

We don't know. Maybe they came across evidence that he was pushing evangelical views in the classroom, or teaching theories that have no scientific merit. The article doesn't tell us many of the facts and I expect these will be presented in court.

Quote True, they do need to guard themselves against any unwanted politicization. However, if they applied the same standards to the "assumed practice" of non-employment for evangelicals to every other minority, religious, sexual orientation, ethnic, & gender groups, then there wouldn't be a teaching staff worth their salt at any universities to worry about in this country or the wider west.


What standard? And why would they apply it to persons who happened to be part of a group but didn't necessarily politicise the subject matter of the classes they taught?

The issue here is also one of teaching the required knowledge. Doubts were raised concerning the man's subscription to and willingness to teach the accepted body of knowledge in the curriculum. This is a valid concern. No history department in their right mind would employ a professor who would quite willingly teach Anatoly Fomenko's theories in medieval history class. Neither should the science faculty employ a man not willing to teach the accepted scientific theories with the most credibility rather than alternatives with no credibility. But of course, we can't tell from the article what the man's previous activities have been nor what the academics found when researching his past.

They would have a responsibility to work out whether or not he was going to be the sort to push 'alternative' theories that students did not pay good money to have to listen to.

For all we know they might simply have been exploring that possibility; and at the end of the day they decided to go with another academic who was just more experienced. We are both just making suppositions here, because we don't really know.

Quote Unfortunately, it has not been proven that he has done just that. Much less, that they even bothered talking with him in a one on one to find out what he is really like!


They did talk with him one on one to find out what he was really like. That is precisely why he is suing them.

Quote Regretfully true. Such is the state of what passes for journalism here in the states! I probably should have known better and done my own research on this?


From what I have seen the NYT seems better than most. Hopefully more info will come to light in future. The outcome of the court case will be interesting.

Quote It does indeed sound like a trivial anomaly, but i suspect, and if i may be presumptuous here, that most cases such as this one have largely gone unreported for one reason or another. Like the need in protecting themselves from professional embarrassment, retaining ones anonymity, not a big deal to them - so it wasn't worth their effort and ect... Not wanting to rock the boat, so to speak. Not to sound intentionally inflammatory, and i mention this only because of the similarities in how we go about trivializing these type of issues far longer than we should, but reading up on this kind of reminds me of cases that involve females raping males and with the male victims reporting it to the police and being met with a dismissive shrug of the shoulders as if it weren't big deal. Very little of these types of cases are/were taken seriously either? Keep in mind that, at least here in this country, the existence of female on male rape wasn't in judicial existence until sometime in the last five or ten years and perhaps it is still an unrecognized crime?


Having worked alongside high level academics like this man for a time, I can't see someone with this much pride in their career and regard for principle not taking action if they thought they were wronged. High echelon academics tend to be a proud and touchy bunch, and far more likely to know the ins and outs of things like discrimination legislation than your typical person. Perhaps more than most people the high ranking academic is likely to go down the litigious path if they feel wronged. It surprises me, therefore, that we only have this one piece of litigation.

Quote
Unfortunately we can't currently tell if this is a systematic abuse or an epic oversight of university management nationwide?


We also don't know if the university staff actually did a good job by hiring an alternative candidate with superior qualifications, which is what they are claiming. We must remember, innocent until proven guilty.

Quote However, reports do exist of some type of political disenfranchisement going on here i am afraid and it does lead to the question of why there are statistically more self identified liberal professors than there are conservatives ones in academia?


I question how an entire nation of people can be neatly sorted into two very separate boxes and just left there. I also wonder why labels like liberal and conservative can be simultaneously understood by 300 million people to have precisely the same meaning. It seems to me like a very overly simplistic form of categorisation. Where do professors fit who support community housing projects but favour pre-emptive strikes on overseas enemies? What about those who support equality for homosexuals but think two years national service should be compulsory for all?

For me, labels like 'liberal' and 'conservative' in America are so simplistic they are devoid of any practical meaning. American society would be a lot less politicised if less people thought in terms of this fallacious duality and simply discussed each issue on its merits, rather than arbitrarily sorting people into camps.

Quote Anyway, i hope you get the idea that i am not trying to stray off topic, at least i don't think i am, but that i am only noting the possibility of an existence for the reversal of discrimination going on here, at least as far as the US is concerned. As i said earlier, could this be a new normal, acceptable to any soceity? I really don't know... but it will be interesting in seeing how "this" will play out as time goes on. And by "THIS", i mean the possibility of the existence of a restructuring of a society. What have they called it in the past,  ummm.... social engineering, i believe?


We are fairly off topic, I must say. But I don't see what you are claiming here except in a very tenuous form. Out of 308 million people one lawsuit develops and so far no one has been proven to have engaged in any wrong doing. We also know for a fact that legislation protects an individual in the workplace against discrimination based on personal religious belief.

No reversal is going on. I don't know how you can link the repeal of DADT to this one individual having a disagreement with a prospective employer.

As for a restructuring of society, yes I think that is what is happening with the end of DADT (although only on a small scale tactical level, it won't dramatically affect society as a whole). Lawmakers are making a conscious effort to improve their society by putting new laws in place. Not everyone will like it. But just like polio vaccinations, mandatory primary education and flouridising the water supply we can make an effort to improve society despite the objections. This one litigious astronomer does not constitute a valid counterpoint to the repeal of DADT, nor does his situation have anything to do with DADT.


Edited by Constantine XI - 27 Dec 2010 at 09:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2010 at 11:46

Seems to me there is the same kind of muddled thinking going on here that goes on when people use 'religious' to mean 'Christian'.

The situation appears to be simply that he was barred from the job beause he was an Evangelical - i.e. someone committed to the active spreading of his religious beliefs. His lawyer anyway seem sot be claiming that he was debarred because he was Christian which is a first order non sequitur.
 
There are bags of Islamic evangelicals around: Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are evangelical atheists. One would hope that all of them would at least be viewed with suspicion before being appointed to any academic post, as also would evangelical Communists.
 
It cetainly does not of itself have anything to do with religious discrimination.
 
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

...the question of why there are statistically more self identified liberal professors than there are conservatives ones in academia?
Professors are smarter than most people.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2010 at 23:51
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:


What standard? And why would they apply it to persons who happened to be part of a group but didn't necessarily politicise the subject matter of the classes they taught?


What standards there are, i think the questioning of them has been sufficiently asked but never answered, just greeted with a dismissive attitude.

Quote
The issue here is also one of teaching the required knowledge. Doubts were raised concerning the man's subscription to and willingness to teach the accepted body of knowledge in the curriculum. This is a valid concern.


If he had the required knowledge, a balanced view for the subject and the self restraint from preaching what ever his views are, then i don't see how his evangelicalism would be a problem. I mean if the exact opposite of an evangelical, such as Ward Churchill, could be employed for so long at one of our universities, then how in the world can a nobody like this discussed gentleman make things any worse for that Kentucky university as compared to Mr. Churchill?




Quote Unfortunately, it has not been proven that he has done just that. Much less, that they even bothered talking with him in a one on one to find out what he is really like!


They did talk with him one on one to find out what he was really like. That is precisely why he is suing them.
[/quote]

Really? I must have missed that in the article.

Quote
From what I have seen the NYT seems better than most. Hopefully more info will come to light in future. The outcome of the court case will be interesting.


I don't know. I am quite a bit more cynically skeptical of the NYT's then most foreigners are. True, they do have good articles from time to time, but when they mess up, boy oh boy is it ever a big ol' whooper of slanted piece of trash, with the day's piece being only suitable for toilet tissue!


Quote
Having worked alongside high level academics like this man for a time, I can't see someone with this much pride in their career and regard for principle not taking action if they thought they were wronged. High echelon academics tend to be a proud and touchy bunch, and far more likely to know the ins and outs of things like discrimination legislation than your typical person. Perhaps more than most people the high ranking academic is likely to go down the litigious path if they feel wronged. It surprises me, therefore, that we only have this one piece of litigation.


I did try to point out that this may be an issue that only effect the US?

Quote
We also don't know if the university staff actually did a good job by hiring an alternative candidate with superior qualifications, which is what they are claiming. We must remember, innocent until proven guilty.


We also don't know if this gentleman was treated fairly by a future employer? So yes, i do agree to an extent except, was he innocent of what they claimed he is guilty of or did the prejudge him because of his beliefs?

Quote
I question how an entire nation of people can be neatly sorted into two very separate boxes and just left there. I also wonder why labels like liberal and conservative can be simultaneously understood by 300 million people to have precisely the same meaning. It seems to me like a very overly simplistic form of categorisation. Where do professors fit who support community housing projects but favour pre-emptive strikes on overseas enemies? What about those who support equality for homosexuals but think two years national service should be compulsory for all?


I don't know, and yes it seems i have been largely and obviously effected with this sort of thinking that is currently afflicting this country.

Quote
For me, labels like 'liberal' and 'conservative' in America are so simplistic they are devoid of any practical meaning. American society would be a lot less politicised if less people thought in terms of this fallacious duality and simply discussed each issue on its merits, rather than arbitrarily sorting people into camps.


Actually, i do agree with you, though i can largely admit my guilt in becoming trapped in that thought process. Though, i do wonder what image pops into your mind whenever an issue that involves a evangelical person is raised?

Quote
We are fairly off topic, I must say. But I don't see what you are claiming here except in a very tenuous form. Out of 308 million people one lawsuit develops and so far no one has been proven to have engaged in any wrong doing. We also know for a fact that legislation protects an individual in the workplace against discrimination based on personal religious belief.


My apologies then. Embarrassed Though i would tend to think this has been raised before, though not to the level that captured the attention of anybody in the media.

Quote
As for a restructuring of society, yes I think that is what is happening with the end of DADT (although only on a small scale tactical level, it won't dramatically affect society as a whole). Lawmakers are making a conscious effort to improve their society by putting new laws in place. Not everyone will like it. But just like polio vaccinations, mandatory primary education and flouridising the water supply we can make an effort to improve society despite the objections. This one litigious astronomer does not constitute a valid counterpoint to the repeal of DADT, nor does his situation have anything to do with DADT.


Overall, the existence or repeal of DADT, has always left me with a feeling of indifference. Not that i don't care about either sides point of view. I just felt there were more pressing issues that always needed to be focused on. It's creation only gave it's opponents something to focus all their vitriol on and it's supporters just another thing among hundreds of others that they felt needed to be defended against from the contrary view. It became a no brainer to me that it's eventual repeal would come at some point. Just like it is a no brainer that a few more rabidly violent bigots came into existence with the repeal.

With that said, i think it does tie in with the DADT issue in the bigger picture. I also think it is very important that while there is some sort of a process in redress going on, nobody's rights are needlessly being trampled by going ridiculously overboard while trying to prop up the rights of others! This astronomer only highlights the other stories i have read and incidences i have personally experienced, where the supposed disadvantaged groups have stuck it yet again to the supposed privileged groups, whatever that means. IOW, i am all for a balanced society that extends equality to all and not a society that favors the majority over the minority or the minority over a majority.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2010 at 00:08
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 There are bags of Islamic evangelicals around: Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are evangelical atheists. One would hope that all of them would at least be viewed with suspicion before being appointed to any academic post, as also would evangelical Communists.


Personally, i am surprised at whom our universities will employ versus who they will not. I suppose subtlety is not a character trait of a evangelical?

 
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

...the question of why there are statistically more self identified liberal professors than there are conservatives ones in academia?
Professors are smarter than most people.
 [/QUOTE]

Huh? Sure, professors have certain amount of knowledge that most people lack. But that certainly doesn't mean that they are full of every day practical common sense! Teachers they are, sages they are not!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2010 at 04:05
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

And in other news that is promoting a new normal, an astronomer is suing the University of Kentucky for religious discrimination in denial of a jobhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/us/19kentucky.html?_r=3&ref=scienceHow shocking is this, a christian astronomer? Being accused of being an evangelical! Gasp... No, no, no... that simply will not do! The guy should have been a gay, transsexual, non-white, non-christian, democratic party operative. Then they would not have dared revoke the job offer! I'm all for tolerance and non-discrimination in a society, but articles like this only feeds my cynicism for what had really been learned from the civil rights era. Tolerance... is it only extended too those of a like mind?Is it just my misinterpretations or are civil right supporting Christians like myself being turned into enemies of the state?


Panther, the ACLU constantly defends and represents Christians. At times, the bulk of their defense cases are mainly Christians.

Panther, the Civil Rights era has helped the U.S. become a better place. Tolerance is a good value, and it is through the value of tolerance and the legal victories of the civil rights era that this man is able to defend himself.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2010 at 11:12
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 There are bags of Islamic evangelicals around: Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are evangelical atheists. One would hope that all of them would at least be viewed with suspicion before being appointed to any academic post, as also would evangelical Communists.


Personally, i am surprised at whom our universities will employ versus who they will not. I suppose subtlety is not a character trait of a evangelical?
Well, we're involved with one of those words that has been tossed around and abused so much, especially in the US, that it no longer really has any useful meaning. Like 'Protestant' and 'liberal' and 'conservative'.
 
But insofar as some thread of general meaning can no be given to it, 'evangelical' does imply a determination to 'spread the word' and try and convert others to one's own concept of 'the truth'. No something that one should look for in an academic purporting to be a scientist. 
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Quote
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

...the question of why there are statistically more self identified liberal professors than there are conservatives ones in academia?
Professors are smarter than most people.
 

Huh? Sure, professors have certain amount of knowledge that most people lack. But that certainly doesn't mean that they are full of every day practical common sense! Teachers they are, sages they are not!
They must be smarter. They're more liberal. Approve


Edited by gcle2003 - 28 Dec 2010 at 11:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2010 at 14:18
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 There are bags of Islamic evangelicals around: Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are evangelical atheists. One would hope that all of them would at least be viewed with suspicion before being appointed to any academic post, as also would evangelical Communists.


Personally, i am surprised at whom our universities will employ versus who they will not. I suppose subtlety is not a character trait of a evangelical?

 
 
I think that the overwhelming majority of conservative brains behind conservative politics are academicians in respected institutions. Unfortunately many highly educated conservatives tend to see their own fields in an ideological lens which is why they fail to get into universities.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2010 at 14:32
Let us post the setting as relevant as well. After all, we are talking about Kentucky where among political storms the Lexington lightning rod includes all sorts of irritants among them state support through "tax breaks" of a theme park that envisions the reconstruction of Noah's Ark!
 
 
However, the theme here is DADT and not the divide generated by Fundamentalist Christianity and its eruption, once again, into the political dialogue and its demand that all be filtered through the lens of aberrant dogma. [Now that's  statement that will get juices flowing] Thus if we wish to discuss this corollary a different thread should ensue.
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 18 Jan 2011 at 12:20
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I have no moral objection to the end of DADT. That said, I do worry that it is going to wind up getting someone killed. I suppose all we can do is pray for everyone -- and especially gays -- in the military at this point.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2011 at 05:23
Ah how real life detracts from forum obligations. Let us return to the fray!

Originally posted by panther panther wrote:

If he had the required knowledge, a balanced view for the subject and the self restraint from preaching what ever his views are, then i don't see how his evangelicalism would be a problem.


Yes, but we can't be certain he did refrain from pushing his personal agenda in the classroom. Whether he stuck to the curriculum or tried to pull a fast one, neither of us can say.

Quote I mean if the exact opposite of an evangelical, such as Ward Churchill, could be employed for so long at one of our universities, then how in the world can a nobody like this discussed gentleman make things any worse for that Kentucky university as compared to Mr. Churchill?


I have worked for a time as a tertiary level instructor myself, though I am unfamiliar with Mr Churchill. If you would like to fill me in on some of the things he did wrong, I would be happy to comment on them from a professional perspective.

Quote
Really? I must have missed that in the article.


Ok, to quote the link you gave me:

Quote

Both sides agree that Dr. Gaskell, 57, was invited to the university, in Lexington, for a job interview. In his lawsuit, he says that at the end of the interview, Michael Cavagnero, the chairman of the physics and astronomy department, asked about his religious beliefs.

“Cavagnero stated that he had personally researched Gaskell’s religious beliefs,” the lawsuit says. According to Dr. Gaskell, the chairman said Dr. Gaskell’s religious beliefs and his “expression of them would be a matter of concern” to the dean.

So clearly, they did sit down with him and try to find out what he would be expressing to the students and whether that would be acceptable. Fair enough.

Quote I don't know. I am quite a bit more cynically skeptical of the NYT's then most foreigners are. True, they do have good articles from time to time, but when they mess up, boy oh boy is it ever a big ol' whooper of slanted piece of trash, with the day's piece being only suitable for toilet tissue!

Ok, to be honest I do like the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer. America does produce good quality impartial journalism (we even have access to it here!).


Quote I did try to point out that this may be an issue that only effect the US?

Why would only American academics behave in this way?


Quote We also don't know if this gentleman was treated fairly by a future employer? So yes, i do agree to an extent except, was he innocent of what they claimed he is guilty of or did the prejudge him because of his beliefs?


Innocent until proven guilty is a cornerstone of your legal system and mine. But the academic is the person bringing the discrimination case. Just as it is unfair of us to accuse this man of being an unprofessional zealot, it is equally wrong for us to accuse university staff of unfair discrimination when they might actually have been doing a good job. Until something is proven, they must both be considered innocent.


Quote
I don't know, and yes it seems i have been largely and obviously effected with this sort of thinking that is currently afflicting this country.


Possibly. The USA seems like an awfully partisan place at the moment. I wouldn't be too hard on Americans though. They rose to the pinnacle of achievement as guardians of a better world order while the rest of the civilised world was in ruins through warfare. A decline was inevitable. Not because America became terrible, but because the rest of the world simply rebuilt itself after the horrors of a war of annihilation. And naturally within the USA questions will be asked as to why they are no longer raised so far above the others as they once were. This reality should not be a reason to turn brother against brother in the US, but must simply be accepted as the inevitability of living in the human world. America comprises 4% of the world's population, massive influence and very significant agricultural and industrial resources. They won't ever again be the hyper power they were in the 50s and 90s, but if they play their cards right they will remain the pre-eminant power of the 21st century.


Quote Actually, i do agree with you, though i can largely admit my guilt in becoming trapped in that thought process. Though, i do wonder what image pops into your mind whenever an issue that involves a evangelical person is raised?


Dear Panther, I am not one to lie, even for the sake of holding my own in a discussion or saving face. To be honest, I despise evangelicals. I hate them utterly. I look down upon them as my intellectual inferiors, because they are. They are a blight upon the intelligent and thinking people of the world, and I look forward to the day this earth is rid of them.


When I was 15 my mother was approached by Mormons. She is an intellectually weak woman and they convinced her that my step-father (who had supported myself, my mother and my intellectually handicapped younger bother, and had also sired another brother and sister with her) that because my step-father drank each night and swore that he was a very bad man (what nonsense!). Nothing could be further than the truth. Though rough around the edges, he took in a very single minded child and his handicapped younger brother to raise them as his own. He never raised a hand to either of us, and though he was not highly educated he always employed reason and rational thinking in every decision he made. He is hard working, genuine, honest and while my biological father grows ill and weak and I do nothing for him I will lavish on my new father every care and comfort I am able to provide.


The Mormons, with their evangelical fervour, broke up this happy union. One day after coming home from school at the age of 15 I was instructed by my mother to pack all my belongings because we were moving (out of the family home and into a new rental property). I did as I was told, as at that stage I was a well behaved and compliant child. I was to very soon learn that obedience is only desirable so long as the master is in their right mind. Within 3 months my mother had interpreted a passage from the book of Mormon which in her view commanded us to seek refuge to avoid the coming apocalypse. The year was 2001. A month before my 16th birthday the terrorists struck in America. This convinced her utterly that we needed to escape to the sanctuary of a hill in Ireland so we could all be safe from the apocalypse.


She raided the GST tax account of the business she had with her now ex partner (my step father and father to my two youngest siblings) in order to buy the tickets to the United Kingdom (her home country, where we were meant to stop off, see relatives and convince them to come with us to the mythcal hill in Irealnd). I didn't know this at the time. I had just finished my year 11 exams. I was achieving in the top 1% of all students in the state without tutors or parental help, and I was exhausted. To achieve that highly on so little backing was utterly daunting. All I wanted to do was rest and recover from the ordeal. On Dec 24, after a month of suggesting to me how nice a holiday in NSW would be, she sprung on me that we had a flight to England and we had to go. I flatly refused, because I was still tired. So she broke down in tears and implored me to go. I couldn't resist that and relented. Since then I have never let the tears of another human being sway me when making any decision. I ended up booking the flight on the mobile phone on the way to the airport, unaware that the funds to pay for it were coming from my step-father's GST tax account for his business (so money that wasn't his, it belonged to the government).


We boarded our flight, my mother, full of unrelenting religious zeal, mistook my broad shoulders and height for someone much older than a 16 year old and she unsympathetically loaded me up like a pack mule as I carried the worldly possessions of 5 people on the journey from Melbourne to Heathrow with all the stop overs. Her mind was on the impending apocalypse, never mind the human being suffering with his burden.


We turned up in England on Dec 25 2001. My mother had not informed her relatives we were coming. Of course, it was better no one knew. Because her beliefs were not compatible with the law. It was not legal to steal from a businesses' tax account. And as she later learned after a two month legal fight with my step father, she had also broken a law set in 1911 called the Hague Convention, which prohibited a parent from taking their child to another country without the prior knowledge and consent of the other parent. In her religious zealotry, she had managed to simultaneously break state, federal and international law. Quite the trifecta.


And so we were sent back home. And in my final year of high school, the year in which my grades actually counted towards my university entrance score (the only thing I have going for me as an awkward and alone 16 year old with no backing), my mother withdrew to the bedroom to listen to U2 music all day along with reading her scripture. I, meanwhile, having started back at school 1 month late (not my fault), had to take care of 3 younger children (1 enormously hyperactive and intellectually limited, and another an infant of less than 2 years old). I did it for several months until my mother had regained some semblance of competence, at which point I moved out for my own sanity. I remain a sane and functionable person to this day.


So to answer your question directly, yes, I despise evangelicals. I despise being approached by a poorly educated and intellectually weak person with lots of passion and conviction, who knows nothing about me and tries to convince me that because I do not think as he does that I am wrong.


And more than that, I look down on them. I look down on them, because they prey on the mentally, socially and intellectually weak in our society. They convince these poor people that their unhappiness can only be cured by some ridiculous imaginary protector. People like my mother. Who would otherwise have given her children a much happier upbringing had it not been for those zealous bastards who came along and decided to try and rip it apart. People who spend their lives judging and commenting rather than doing something meaningful like my step father and actually supporting other human beings to make them all that they could be.


At the end of the day, if what is on offer is so good you then you don't need to send people around the globe on zealous missions to con people into it. People should love it because it is genuinely good. From what I have seen of evangelicals, what they have to offer is exploitative, cruel, inhumane and just plain intellectually moronic. I will commit all my resources to oppose them intellectually, financially and politically wherever I can.


I hope that answers your question fully and articulately.


Quote Overall, the existence or repeal of DADT, has always left me with a feeling of indifference. Not that i don't care about either sides point of view. I just felt there were more pressing issues that always needed to be focused on. It's creation only gave it's opponents something to focus all their vitriol on and it's supporters just another thing among hundreds of others that they felt needed to be defended against from the contrary view. It became a no brainer to me that it's eventual repeal would come at some point. Just like it is a no brainer that a few more rabidly violent bigots came into existence with the repeal.


How would you feel having never to mention that you are a Christian in the workplace. Ever? At least with you, it is a choice. For most people, sexuality is not. If you value being able to be a Christian, an American, and a whateverelsesolongasitdoesntgetinthewayofyoudoingyourjobwell - why would you not feel the need to support something that guarantees the safety and job security of a committed and hard working American?


Quote With that said, i think it does tie in with the DADT issue in the bigger picture. I also think it is very important that while there is some sort of a process in redress going on, nobody's rights are needlessly being trampled by going ridiculously overboard while trying to prop up the rights of others! This astronomer only highlights the other stories i have read and incidences i have personally experienced, where the supposed disadvantaged groups have stuck it yet again to the supposed privileged groups, whatever that means. IOW, i am all for a balanced society that extends equality to all and not a society that favors the majority over the minority or the minority over a majority.


The way I see it, you should be looking at the repeal of DADT as a godsend. You can now say, "hey, it's not fair to discriminate against people's personal lives when it doesn't interfere with how they do their job. Christians who do their job well and follow the curriculum must be able to teach, like any gay who loves his country enough to keep a stiff upper lip and shed blood for the country he calls home".


Israel, Britain and Australia all have in place a very accepting policy of homosexuals in the military. And all three countries have gone on to perform some of the most marvellous feats in modern combat history. I have every faith that the United States will do the same.



Edited by Constantine XI - 17 Jan 2011 at 18:20
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Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

I have no moral objection to the end of DADT. That said, I do worry that it is going to wind up getting someone killed. I suppose all we can do is pray for everyone -- and especially gays -- in the military at this point.

-Akolouthos


Hey Ako! I do enjoy your contributions to these discussions. Please keep them coming!

I do agree with your point that we need to look at why DADT was introduced in the first place. For those not familiar with why, it was prompted by this case of military brutality in the context of political discussion about how to handle the issue. Here is the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_R._Schindler,_Jr.

The degrees of brutality which homophobic tendencies were at had allowed this level of barbarity to occur:

Originally posted by wiki wiki wrote:


After Schindler's body was held by the key witness, the medical team from the Sasebo Base announced his death. The medical examiner compared Schindler's injuries to those sustained by a victim of a fatal horse trampling saying they were worse "than the damage to a person who’d been stomped by a horse; they were similar to what might be sustained in a high-speed car crash or a low-speed aircraft accident."[2]

At the wake in the family's home in Chicago, his mother and sister could only identify him by the tattoos on his arm as his face was disfigured.


So I certainly agree with your concerns that we need to put in place protections to ensure these sorts of incidents do not reoccur. Certainly if nothing like that occurs in Israel, Britain of Australia; then America, the finest military in the world, can surely work out how to destroy these awful and remorseless attitudes.



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