published Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Don't Ask

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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whatever said...

It was a stupid compromise in the first place, and it's a stupid process that continues it.

September 22, 2010 at 12:17 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Why do Republicans hate the Troops?

Senate Republicans just killed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill because it included the repeal of DADT. Why are they delighted to block military spending just to score political points with their wing nut base?

Senate Republicans decided to block the bill BEFORE debate because their weak arguments were just too embarrassing to state on the record.

Apparently the GOP has turned its back on our men and women in uniform and is now taking legislative cues from selected Bible passages.

Like I said, why do Republicans hate the troops?

September 22, 2010 at 12:33 a.m.
acerigger said...

The repubs don't hate the troops,they hate Barack Obama and "his efforts to impose his tyrannical agenda on America and her brave soldiers."

September 22, 2010 at 1:23 a.m.
Livn4life said...

I get the picture Clay of your one-sided liberal biased drawings. People know who you are dude. Only one side has a right to an opinion. Keep drawing your opinions.

September 22, 2010 at 6:13 a.m.
alprova said...

acerigger wrote: "The repubs don't hate the troops,they hate Barack Obama and "his efforts to impose his tyrannical agenda on America and her brave soldiers."..."


Talk about stupendous statements -- That one takes the cake, for today anyway, and so far.

September 22, 2010 at 6:33 a.m.
woody said...

Whatever..it's apparent you may not read your own words before you post them...because compromise is what the military is all about.

A person gives up his/her life as they know it to serve in the military. Of course, I can't quote 'chapter and verse' like many others who visit here, but I do know that even with all of the changes made to our combined services since my time of service, military personnel throughout the ages serve without the benefit of certain constitutional guarantees.

This fact is certainly the basis for DADT in the first place. Once you have enlisted you are a soldier, first and foremost..please check your sexual identity at the door.

I realize that may sound unfair, but that is what voluntary service is all about. You set aside your personal effects so that you don't carry any excess baggage wherever you may be sent.

'Back in the day', as some in my age group are fond of saying, draftees may have had an argument to a DADT type of situation, but an all-volunteer service should understand that DADT is just another way of saying, "I am now a soldier of this great land and soldiers are one of a kind. Who I was and will be are now secondary to the job I have to do."

The words above may be mine, but I am sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of recruits who feel that way everyday, regardless of their sexual/political/religious orientation.

Still proud, Woody

September 22, 2010 at 6:43 a.m.
alprova said...

Livn4life wrote: "I get the picture Clay of your one-sided liberal biased drawings. People know who you are dude. Only one side has a right to an opinion. Keep drawing your opinions."


Sorry acerigger. You were dethroned 20 minutes later.

This issue is not something new. If there is one thing that has been proven beyond any and all things, it is that this nation has had MANY people who were gay, who have served this country without any problems whatsoever, that is until they decided to declare themselves to be homosexual.

Many of these people were high ranking military, with exemplary records of service. What happened to them when they were outed or decided to out themselves? They were discharged.

To date, there has never been one person who has given or who can give a convincing argument as to why these men and women deserved to be thrown out of the military, or why a person who is homosexual should not be allowed to serve in the military.

13,000 men and women have been discharged since DADT was implemented. These are 13,000 men and women who made a conscience decision to serve this country honorably and proudly. These are 13,000 men and women who were told that they are people who are not worthy to serve in the military.

Why? What convincing argument can be made as to why they are not worthy to serve this nation? There is no such argument that can be made.

Prejudice and bigotry are at the core of every argument that has ever been offered. Fear and misunderstanding are also embedded in most of those arguments as well. Hate and loathing exist in the closed minds of many as well.

American taxpayers spend more than $30 million each year to train replacements for gay troops discharged under the "don't ask, don't tell" law. The total cost reported since the statute was implemented is nearly $200 million dollars. The actual cost is significantly higher, as this figure does not include administrative and legal costs associated with investigations and hearings, security clearances, and military schooling of gay troops such as pilot and linguist training.

According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, recent surveys show up to 79% of Americans support gays serving openly. The Urban Institute estimates there are 65,000 gay and lesbian service members in uniform and nearly 1 million gay and lesbian veterans in the U.S. today.

September 22, 2010 at 7:03 a.m.
alprova said...

From a study on the Canadian military, which lifted their ban in 1992:

Lifting of restrictions on gay and lesbian service in the Canadian Forces has not led to any change in military performance.

Before Canada lifted its gay ban, a 1985 survey of 6,500 male soldiers found that 62% said that they would refuse to share showers, undress or sleep in the same room as a gay soldier. After the ban was lifted, however, follow-up studies found no increase in disciplinary, performance, recruitment, sexual misconduct, or resignation problems.

None of the 905 assault cases in the Canadian Forces involved gay bashing or could be attributed to the sexual orientation of one of the parties.

September 22, 2010 at 7:04 a.m.
najones75 said...

Republicans hate the troops? That's rich.

It likely has something to do with the DREAM Act, as well...another sneaky little political addition...along with DADT...that has absolutely nothing to do with defense spending.

It is actually very easily argued that Liberals hate the troops. They're hijacking the funding for our troops for there political agendas on DADT and amnesty. You agree with that though, huh?

Mkay.

September 22, 2010 at 7:07 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I'm still waiting on ONE secular argument for treating gays and lesbians differently than any other US citizen.

September 22, 2010 at 7:29 a.m.
Francis said...

liberals and spineless republicans should butt out of the military's affairs. if the military says something distracts from training for combat and being in combat, then they would know best. just get out of their way and let them do the job no one else wants to do. a liberal agenda has no place in the military.

liberal democrats can't be trusted when it comes to the military. they've done everything they can to discount military ballots overseas in the last two elections.

mr. bennett's cartoon displays pure ignorance, which is typical of the liberal/leftist view of the military. to label it as bigotry and prejudice is juvenial, knee-jerk and takes as much thought as passing stool.

the military doesn't exist to please everyone. it has to discriminate in order to get the job done. if something puts soldiers in danger, or, distracts them, then they get rid of it. tough. if your feelings are easily hurt you don't belong in the military. the military is no place for a liberal crusade.

September 22, 2010 at 8:23 a.m.
OllieH said...

acerigger wrote: "The repubs don't hate the troops,they hate Barack Obama and "his efforts to impose his tyrannical agenda on America and her brave soldiers."..."


You mean the tyrannical agenda of equality and liberty. Boy, that's scary.


Woody writes, "Once you have enlisted you are a soldier, first and foremost..please check your sexual identity at the door."


You're certainly right about a soldier's constitutional guarantees being different than those of a civilian, Woody, but any abridgements are applied uniformly to every member of the armed services. The military does not ask heterosexuals to hide their orientation or to keep quiet about their romances or sexual exploits. If the standing rule was that nobody can be openly sexual in any way- that any mention, any displays, or any indication of sexual identity at all (gay or straight) would result in an immediate expulsion from the military, that would be an unfair rule, fairly applied.

And although many females serving in the military might prefer it if their male counterparts were not so openly heterosexual, that's not the rule... not by any stretch of the imagination. And since the rules treat some recruits different from others, it is unjust and unconsitutional.

What if the military had a rule that Christians troops could openly express their faith and practice their religion, but Muslims could not? That would be seen as blatantly and obviously unconstitutional. This is really no different at all. Except for the fact that you can always change your religion, but you can't change your sexual orientation.

September 22, 2010 at 8:44 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Francis weighed in with "liberals and spineless republicans should butt out of the military's affairs. if the military says something distracts from training for combat and being in combat, then they would know best. just get out of their way and let them do the job no one else wants to do. a liberal agenda has no place in the military."

Your ignorance is staggering. The military is reviewing the DADT policy right now. Their findings are expected in November. They may decide to keep the policy. Congress is not telling the military what to do. They are saying that repealing DADT would be legal.

By the way, the public seems to favor repealing it, too.

A poll from July 10 – 13, 2008, conducted by ABC News/Washington Post.

Question: Do you favor repealing DADT?

The affirmative responses broke down this way:

Republicans: 64%

Democrats: 80%

Independents: 75%

As I stated in my earlier comment, blocking the defense was a political move. Republicans are delighted to block military spending just to score political points with their wing nut base.

September 22, 2010 at 8:49 a.m.
toonfan said...

Thanks, Clay.

Your unrelenting commitment to the equal rights of gays and lesbians in this country is inspiring.

September 22, 2010 at 9:09 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Throughout Francis' blathering I couldn't find the secular argument I asked for. Could it be that it was coded?

September 22, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.
acerigger said...

The repubs don't hate the troops,they hate Barack Obama and "his efforts to impose his tyrannical agenda on America and her brave soldiers." Username: acerigger>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>you DO realise that my tongue was in my cheek don't you?

September 22, 2010 at noon
memphisexile said...

No one hates the troops. Both sides need to stop making this ridiculous argument.

Personally, I don't think it's anyone else's business what your sexual preference is. If someone wants to be openly gay, let them. If it affects their performance in the military, discharge them. My guess is that who someone likes to sleep with won't affect their performance in the military at all. The only reason anyone is still fighting this is because the Republicans don't want to piss of the religious right. It's a shame that a bunch of so called "religious" people have nothing better to do with their time then worry about what gay people are doing.

This is a waste of time and resources. We should be focused on fixing the economy not whether G.I. Joe may like G.I. John.

Let them be gay and serve. Lets move on.

September 22, 2010 at 12:03 p.m.
whatever said...

Whatever..it's apparent you may not read your own words before you post them...because compromise is what the military is all about.

There are some things you don't compromise. Any number of military examples apply to that, but I'll leave them to your imagination.

A person gives up his/her life as they know it to serve in the military. Of course, I can't quote 'chapter and verse' like many others who visit here, but I do know that even with all of the changes made to our combined services since my time of service, military personnel throughout the ages serve without the benefit of certain constitutional guarantees.

They don't ask you to give up your religion. Your name. Your identity. A lot of other things.

This fact is certainly the basis for DADT in the first place. Once you have enlisted you are a soldier, first and foremost..please check your sexual identity at the door.

Great, where's the line for the neutering all soldiers into faceless asexual killing machines? Is it before the haircut or after?

Have you been around any young soldiers or sailors? They're as hyped up sexual beings as any you can imagine. They aren't made to give it up. At least once they're out of bootcamp.

DADT hasn't even done anything except give them a continuing reason to harass others, whose sexuality is the likely the same as their own.

So no, dude, it was a stupid compromise, and it's a stupid process that continues it.

I realize that may sound unfair, but that is what voluntary service is all about. You set aside your personal effects so that you don't carry any excess baggage wherever you may be sent.

Doesn't work, and it's not true. If anything, giving emphasis to DADT adds yet more baggage, meaning it has the opposite effect.

'Back in the day', as some in my age group are fond of saying, draftees may have had an argument to a DADT type of situation, but an all-volunteer service should understand that DADT is just another way of saying, "I am now a soldier of this great land and soldiers are one of a kind. Who I was and will be are now secondary to the job I have to do."

No it's not. For one thing, homosexuality has NOTHING to do with whether or not you're a soldier or a citizen. The mere idea that you seem to be implying it is the case is about as disgusting an idea as basing it around religion or race. In case you didn't know, we don't do that in this country.

The words above may be mine, but I am sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of recruits who feel that way everyday, regardless of their sexual/political/religious orientation.

Recruits feel a lot of dumb things. Part of boot camp is to disabuse them of it.

You want to perpetuate an idea just as stupid as segregated units, well, no, sorry, but I don't agree.

September 22, 2010 at 12:04 p.m.
Sailorman said...

lkeithlu

One secular argument, which I don't find persuasive, revolves around the concept of unit cohesiveness. Military leadership questions the effect of openly gay members. During my service, we had gays in our unit. Everybody knew who they were and, except for the usual percentage of dimwits, nobody cared. They didn't behave any worse, or better, than anyone else.

"Do you want to be in a foxhole with an openly gay soldier?" As long as he does his job, I don't care. Sexual orientation has no effect on the ability to shoot straight or protect the other unit members.

I don't care for including DADT or the Dream Act in the defense budget bill though. It only provides a forum for endless political posturing. Same old Washington I guess.

Personally, I think it ought to be repealed.

September 22, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.
chattreb said...

Once again ole Clay has his "Good ole Boys" network working for him today. Or is that Girl/Boy network? Praise the liberal agenda all you want. It's going down in November.

September 22, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I agree Sailorman, as even the reason you described has shown to be false in countries where gays were never barred from serving, or prohibition of gays was ended.

September 22, 2010 at 12:27 p.m.
hambone said...

Am I seeing things? Francis put up a post without blaming MR Obama. Very mellow Francis. I'm for repealing DADT, it will reduce the size of the closets, er footlocker, er duffle bags in the service.

September 22, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

I thought the main reason for the blocking of the defense bill was because of the amnesty for illegals. Who cares if gays serve in the military? I am not too proud to let a gay man or woman give their life for my freedom. That would be stupid and counter-productive.

I have a good friend who has his own command in the Army (forgive me for not remembering the correct jargon). He's served in Iraq on three different deployments, and almost lost his life on two occasions. His hard work and dedication to our country didn't go unnoticed. Even though he was the best man for the job, he could be dishonorably discharged if they find out he's gay. That's just as stupid as a person who is less qualified for a job than another person who's applying being hired just because he/she is a minority.

September 22, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Gay would never breed, so it's a choice, not genetic. If it were genetic, what if gene therapy got to the point where gayness would be "cured"? Join the Army and get your shot?

Keep the discussion secular? What a narrow-minded demand, even on "secular" terms. Broader-minded to ask whether secularism or Christianity is the truth, and then follow the truth. Jesus Christ was crucified, died, was buried, and rose up alive on the third day. (Read "The Challenge of Jesus" by N. T. Wright--short, readable, up to date, challenging.) The resurrection shows God at work in the world, overturning the vrdict of the only superpower of those days. So God outranks the only superpower.

If God says all fornication, all sex outside holy marriage, is sin (I Corinthians 5-7)--men get a lot of military women pregnant, which interferes with their work-- and if God hates divorce (Malachi 2, I Corinthians 7) though loving divorced people (John 4), then God's people need to be of God's opinion, need to practice what God wants (John 14:15), and need to tell the world to repent and practice what God requires (Luke 24:44-47, Acts 17). Seems to me a lot of us fundamentalists are more concerned about gays, especially in the military, than with divorce and fornication in our homes and the churches we're in. Aren't we supposed to get twigs out of our own eyes before we get dust out of our brothers' eyes? "Be ye holy for I Am Holy," declares God. But once the twigs are out, we can help with dust.

But this might not require laws against gays in the military. I Corinthians 5 says to throw a fornicator out of the Church--not even eat with a supposed Christian who is "a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer (Clay?), or a drunkard, or an extortioner (Mr President and other liberal, and conservative, tax hogs?)"--again, beware of our own sins, not just of exotic sins over there in the Army--but not worry about avoiding sinners who don't call themselves Christians; OK to eat with them.

It's one thing to send the police after gays; it's another thing to send the police after those oriented to chastity (i.e. abstinence or holy marriage, which are the two forms of chastity.) If, say, a landlord refused to rent to fornicators (of whatever orientation), it's bigoted to crack down by law on such a landlord, though I don't think the Bible requires a landlord to have such a policy. Surely we can agree that sex ethics are controversial--different people think various things are right or wrong.

September 22, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.
whatever said...

Keep the discussion secular? What a narrow-minded demand, even on "secular" terms. Broader-minded to ask whether secularism or Christianity is the truth, and then follow the truth.

I'm sorry, but unless you intend to overthrow the current government of the United States, it's going to remain secular, and so are is policies, or at least neutral in regard to religion.

And if you do intend to start such a revolution, expect to be opposed. But at least be honest about it.

September 22, 2010 at 1:27 p.m.
whatever said...

I am not too proud to let a gay man or woman give their life for my freedom. That would be stupid and counter-productive.

Similarly I'm not too proud to stop an otherwise fine person from becoming part of this country through good service and a willingness to offer their life for it.

September 22, 2010 at 1:33 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

"Similarly I'm not too proud to stop an otherwise fine person from becoming part of this country through good service and a willingness to offer their life for it."

Fine, neither am I. The problem with what I think you are implying is that they (illegal immigrants) BROKE THE EXISTING LAWS TO GET HERE TO BEGIN WITH. If congress wants to reduce the difficulty level to gain entry legally, they have that right, but don't just forgive all that law breaking. Many many many illegal aliens in this country are working jobs where they're paid under the table strictly because they aren't allowed honest work as they are here illegally, so guess what; they're not paying taxes. That I have a problem with. (I am aware of the citizens who work under the table too, and I angers me just the same... As does the person who knowingly hires illegals under the table.)

Anyway, I've digressed far enough from the topic of the toon. Have a good one.

September 22, 2010 at 2 p.m.
alprova said...

acerigger wrote: "you DO realise that my tongue was in my cheek don't you?"


The fact that you put the sentence in parentheses should have clued me in to that.

I apologize for not understanding the intent of your comment.

September 22, 2010 at 2:03 p.m.
whatever said...

The problem with what I think you are implying is that they (illegal immigrants) BROKE THE EXISTING LAWS TO GET HERE TO BEGIN WITH.

I'm willing to forgive the offense, since as I recall the DREAM Act requires you to be have come here illegally before you were 16. For most people, that'd mean they were brought here by their parents as minors, and didn't willfully break any laws themselves. Hard for me to get outraged over that.

Sorry, but I just can't do it.

If congress wants to reduce the difficulty level to gain entry legally, they have that right, but don't just forgive all that law breaking.

That would be why they'd require service in the military to get it. As recompenses go, I'd say that's a fair enough one.

Especially since it's not an automatic legal status, just allows you to apply for it.

September 22, 2010 at 2:09 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Andrew, everything you wrote was religious; in order for it to apply to others they must first subscribe to the same beliefs. This is a country governed by secular laws guided by a secular constitution.

September 22, 2010 at 2:20 p.m.
acerigger said...

That's cool Al,, 'bout had you fired-up for a minute there huh?LOL

September 22, 2010 at 4:05 p.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Repeal it! We can use the help.

September 22, 2010 at 5:50 p.m.
Francis said...

gays, ducks, scarecrows, siamese twins......whatever...why serve if the com- mander in chief does not have victory as the ultimate goal in a military camp- aign? he cannot get himself to use the words united states and victory in the same sentence. he can seriously sit there and lecture career military officers about what to do but can't get himself to use the word victory. why would anybody, gay, straight...whatever ..serve under this guy?

September 22, 2010 at 7:41 p.m.
miraweb said...

Because the military is under the orders of the Commander in Chief, a civilian.

Members of the military do not have to like the guy or even agree with his policies. It isn't some sort of beauty contest.

But they do have to follow the orders that are given. That was the oath they gave.

If that is beyond your understanding, then being in the military is clearly not for you.

September 22, 2010 at 8:02 p.m.
whatever said...

Are you saying that the military can't just declare that they're in charge??

What a wacky world we live in! Wacky I tell you!

September 22, 2010 at 8:16 p.m.
acerigger said...

Fran,please detail what you would consider "victory" in America's current military campaign(s).

September 22, 2010 at 8:27 p.m.
Francis said...

miraweb...it's a volunteer army, i'm referring to wanting to join. of course, they have to do what he says once they get in. is that beyond your understanding?

you know damn well i'm not talking about the military taking over...i'm talking about confidence in a leader who does not see victory as the outcome. i never suggested they not do what the commander in chief says....if i were a general, though, i'd resign rather than send troops out there without the idea of victory.

i emphasized the word serve as in volunteering/ signing up..i never suggested not following orders.

September 22, 2010 at 8:43 p.m.
acerigger said...

Fran,still waiting for your(any)definition of "victory"

September 22, 2010 at 9:34 p.m.
whatever said...

Unrolling a banner that says "Mission Accomplished" without it turning into a farce.

September 22, 2010 at 9:46 p.m.
moonpie said...

I think there are reasonable people who wish to keep gays in the closet while serving in the miliary. I don't believe that all of them are bigots, either.

I do think they have a fear that we will bring another layer of complexity, if not instability, to the military.

Despite well-publicized exceptions, the US Military is quite elite in terms of training and discipline, and I think there is real concern that changing this equation is a risk. To some rational people, it is an unknown risk that they are not willing to take.

We can't simply point to other countries and regard how they have gays serving openly. Compared to many nations, the United States citizens by and large have different attitudes toward many social situations, including homosexuality. Our soldiers are no different.

I realize that tangential arguments were once made regarding women and blacks serving in the military, and the direst predictions of the biggest detractors did not come to fruitiion.

The old argument was that female soldiers were going to distract male soldiers and male soldiers may make poor decisions to inequitably protect women who could not adequately protect themselves.

The new argument is that gays will distract the "regular" soldier and potentially disrupt morale.

Has allowing women to serve created problems we did not have before? Yes.

Has allowing blacks to serve created problems we did not have before? Yes.

On the flip side, have we solved some problems by allowing blacks and women to serve in the miliary? Yes.

Are our fighting forces inferior to the ones we had in the past? Are they less fierce? Are they less?

I don't know. I really don't.

I will say this, if our country was being invaded, if our way of life, our ideals and our beliefs were at risk of annihilation, exactly how many people would really care about the sexual orientation of the soldier bravely holding his or her ground in the defense of liberty?

In my opinion, this obviously isn't about fighting. This is a social cause, a social issue. It's about the society of the military and how it reflects us as a nation.

What does it say when the leader of the free world suppresses freedoms which do not harm others?

I realize that the counter argument is that repealing don't ask don't tell will harm our troops. But where is the proof?

I think we sometimes need to take a chance on liberty.

Let them serve openly.

September 22, 2010 at 10:52 p.m.
acerigger said...

STILL waiting Fran,for your definition of "victory" sTROLL over and let us know.

September 23, 2010 at 7:26 a.m.
Nagoc said...

Francis - using your logic concering victory - the entire armed forces should have resigned during Bush's tenure. He had no plan for "victory". He just wanted to go to war.

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

September 23, 2010 at 8:48 a.m.
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