April 7, 2007
        GAYS AND THE MILITARY
US soldier shakes hands with Iraqi children as he patrols an area in Baghdad, 03 April 2007. A top Iranian diplomat seized at gunpoint in Baghdad two months ago has been released, as Iraq confirmed it was still working to secure the release of five other Iranians held by US troops.(AFP/Ali Yussef)
(AFP/Ali Yussef)
Wow, will this topic of conversation ever go away? I don't think so.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, recently got in trouble by saying that homosexuality was immoral and gays should not serve openly in the military.

The next day, Pace said he should have stayed away from the issue of morality and should have only discussed current military policy(don't ask, dont' tell policy with which Pace agrees.)

I agree with Pace. He should have stayed away from the topic of morality. Had Pace said being gay is not compatible with some aspects of military life, he might have escaped a lot of the criticism, or he might have at least sounded better.

Many Marines, hardcore infantry, macho type soldiers are homophobic, let's face it. The idea that at least philosophically they are not male chauvinists, beer guzzling, gung ho, "kill, kill, kill" is an anathema to them. "Being gay" with all the stereotypical views of "who a gay is" will not hack it in today's military environment. Regardless of one's view, it is simply the way it is.

Who are these soldiers with all these homophobic views? They are the guys who are out there dying in Iraq. They are the "front line" troops. They are macho to the max. These are the ones probably that the good General Pace, Marine extraordinaire, is talking about.

Is this right or good that today's military is considered homophobic? Not the most appropriate question to ask? The better question: "Is being gay in the military compatible with military life?" Yes, in many instances it is.

From what I read, we are discharging scores of qualified soldiers even though we have the "don't ask, don't tell" policy [Discharging the equivalent of at least half a division (division is usually with support troops, twenty thousand men and women)] This is ridiculous. Many of these soldiers are skilled technicians, many we've spent a great deal of money training in languages and medicine. Discharging qualified soldiers who happen to be gay will continue to be an issue.

General Pace is right and wrong. "Outed" gay Marines are not going to fare well. It is reality. What I equate it to, in some degree, is women in the military. Introducing one woman into a classroom of Marines and the dynamics change. It is not the woman's fault. It is nobody's fault- simply the human element of men and women. Is this going to change? No. The reason we can't force it or push it is that the homophobic Marines are at war and they're dying which places social issues like homosexuality in the military on the back burner. In a perfect world, not a problem. But guess what? Duh! This is not a perfect world.

    ED JEW: ALL AMERICAN POLITICIAN
Ed Jew did his final day of campaigning by chartering a cable car bus and riding it all around his district. Chronicle photo by Frederic Larson
(San Francisco Chronicle photo by Frederic Larson )
Ed Jew is on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, like on the Town Council(4th District Supervisor- Neighborhoods: Central Sunset, Outer Sunset, Parkside, Outer Parkside, Pine Lake Park).

Supervisor Jew was elected in something of a fluke, rising from the pack with a new system in San Francisco called, ranked choice voting- voters select three top choices and then each choice has some weight. Ed became the winner because he won enough second choice votes to beat out the other two candidates.

Besides education and transit issues, Ed ran on the idea that San Francisco should concern itself with the business of running San Francisco and not world events, like impeaching the President and getting out of Iraq. Ed doesn't want to take valuable time away from fixing pot holes, horrendous traffic, the ripoff of its citizen with millions collected on parking tickets, etc. San Francisco Supervisor, Ed Jew, says let's cut it out and get away from the idiocy of all these ridiculous pronouncements.

Does it escape anybody that this supervisor's name is Ed Jew? Is there anything more American than such a name; and, of all things, this all American named guy thinks San Francisco is silly. KT





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