Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hit With A Clue-By-Four

     Yesterday's big-deal problem turned out to be in large part an "upstream" or GIGO issue: if you're sent bad or (worse) inconsistently-wrong content, often you can't fix it in real time.  Oopsie.

     More clue-by-fourage: yesterday's big news was a Presidential policy-change-by-tweet, barring "transgender" persons from military service once again.  Except that:
     A) It's actually "still," the Pentagon having already put off until January 2018 implementation of the Obama Administration policy change that let 'em serve.
     B) The best (i.e., the Pentagon paid for 'em) estimates are that we're talking about maybe as many as 2500 full-time troops and 1500 reservists; this would be a lot if they all showed up at the mall but with over two million people in the armed forces, it's literally a rounding error, 0.19%*  So be outraged pro or outraged con, either way you're snuffling after trifles.
     Sure, it's a big deal, cultural-signalling-wise.  But you could watch a regiment march past with that percentage and never notice.  So I'm calling the whole issue as beneath notice except by those directly affected. Hate it?  Love it? Wait three and a half to seven and a half years.
     My best guess is that people in battle don't spend a lot of effort wondering if they still like being called "Gladys" or if the person next to them does.  YMMV.
     And for those worried about a possible draft, the old standby of showing up at the draft board in a dress -- or, in this modern equal-opportunity age, with a mustache -- is once again good.
     C) The monetary angle is nonsense, another rounding error.  This bothers the hell out of me -- because the price of policing the world is so insanely expensive that we can lose eight and a half million of our nice clean tax money in the sofa cushions. Mote in one eye, log in the other, which you gonna go after first?

     But they wave the ol' freak flag and everyone is supposed to pick a side.  Heck with that; I don't run the .mil.  I'm going to treat people as well as they treat me, and not speculate on their pasts.  Ex-commie?  Former girl?  Married to six people?  Tattooed head to toe?  Voted for the wrong horse, last race?  I don't care, as long as you're clean, polite and not unfriendly.
* Using numbers from several different articles, the highest percentage I get is 0.51%, which just barely gets out of rounding error territory.  Frank Sinatra songs about rams and dams aside, that's no leverage at all.


Carteach said...


Paul Schwa said...

Another nail hit squarely on the head.

Will Brown said...

As regards the use of economics as a justification not to change existing policy (in effect), it does offer the political advantage of (mostly) avoiding the rest of the arguments for-and-against. Trump and Co. will still get called out on the issue, of course, but if they stick to their guns on the "it's a needless expense and complication of the logistics system" argument - and nothing else - most people are going to get tired of the topic and move on to something else to find fault with (not all that hard a task, sadly).

As you say, YMMV, but that's my $ .02 worth of political mysticism.

Jay said...

Interesting that the newsies and social media are making a mountain out of this molehill.

It's illegal, and it's always been so. Being homosexual is disqualifying and against the UCMJ. That law was signed by Eisenhower in the 50's. Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" was an executive order - BUT you can't use an EO to change a law, it's really just saying "we're not really going to enforce that one any more, as long as you don't tell us". So homosexuality (and all other gender disorders) are still illegal and disqualifying for military service.

Obama later changed the Clinton EO, to "were not really going to enforce that EVEN if you tell us - but it was still illegal. Then he went one better and explicitly added trans (not in effect yet, as pointed out) but Congress still hasn't changed the law.

Klinger stayed in Korea in MASH - but only because his CO KNEW he was faking it just to get an early out.

pigpen51 said...

I am of the opinion that all people deserve to be treated with respect and called by the pronoun that they desire. The issue of serving in the armed forces, however, I think that just like the standards of height, weight, and being free from taking certain drugs, such as psycological drugs, the military perhaps has the right to also have the standard of a person being free from the need to take drugs to maintain their hormone balance for the purpose of gender suppression. I admit that I don't know enough about the entire thing to understand everything. But the entire issue should be looked at with compassion, and not with hatred.

Glenn Kelley said...

There is actual footage of Trump making a campaign promise to support the LGBT community .

He has a pattern of throwing people under the bus as a diversionary tactic and he he is running out of people in his administration to sacrifice .


Will said...

This post with comments covers the subject well, I think:

Roberta X said...

It reads like a rehash of the arguments against women and homosexuals serving in the military, and like those arguments, ignores that the same fitness requirements apply: if you can't do the job, you're out. No exceptions.

There are different fitness requirements for men and women (and that's a whole other argument), but if you're gonna hunt with the hounds or run with the foxes, you're gonna have to keep up, or you don't get to serve. There are mental fitness requirements, too.

The "unit cohesion/social engineering" argument has an interesting history, dating back to when the Army was racially integrated: critics said black and white soldiers couldn't possibly be expected to work side by side. Ahem.

Will said...

De-integrating the military is one more idiocy that can be blamed on President Wilson.
I noted that post because Peter and most of the commenters are former military, so the perspective is from the horse's mouth, not the typical social engineering chatter from those who didn't serve.
Peter's perspective is typical for those who spent time in an armed force, especially for those at, or near, the pointy end of the spear.
One of the Navy guys mentioned the huge percentage of women in the various military branches that are single mothers, and how this screws up deployments. That, and the large number that become pregnant while serving.
BTW, I never served. I was gung-ho for 'Nam, but by the time I was old enough to enlist, I could see the idiocy of that micro-manager Johnson. My draft number was high enough to not have to worry about it.
Just as well, I suppose, considering that by then troops had taken to frag-ing officers they thought were too enthusiastic, or stupid, as the case may be.
Speaking of frags, had a co-worker a couple decades ago who spoke very disparaging of gays, and he told a story of finding a couple in a dugout/bunker, and tossing a frag inside. Might be a true tale. Who knows? Combat seems to bring emotions to a sharp edge.