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26 July 2017

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Larry Kart

An estimated 12,800 transgender citizens are currently members of the U.S. military. Are they serving in order to be part of a social experiment and/or to somehow validate their gender identity, or are they serving for much the same reasons that other members of the U.S. military are? I can't say for sure, but I would guess that the last alternative is much more likely. As for "those who will object to Trump's decision would never serve themselves," doesn't the presence of those estimated 12,800 transgender citizens in the U.S. military raise some doubts about that? Now if you mean that those who are not now serving in the U.S. military and who object to Trump's decision would in most cases never chose to serve themselves, I would agree. But that's a rather different matter, no?

English Outsider


I have always believed that in this poem Yeats was pushed by his superb sense of cadence and pace into writing something he himself did not know the meaning of. Your interpretation brings meaning to the final passage but I suspect any meaning we find in it is meaning we put there ourselves rather than find there.

It may not be that good a place to find our meaning in, that final passage. The first section hits the spot. Yeats was a Londoner as well as an Irishman and could not but have been unaware of the vapidity of English thinking in those days. Our greatest writer of that time, Kipling, gave us the most vivid prose and verse but didn't, in truth, have two ideas to rub together. Or rather he had several, but they weren't ideas worth rubbing together. Over in Ireland they had been playing about with their own version of late Romantic mediaevalism fondly imagining they were doing the Celtic thing. They weren't, and weren't doing much else either. Overall, and most importantly on the Continent, the totalitarian materialism of the modern world was shaping up for its long battle with the totalitarian Blut und Boden vision already foreshadowed by Nietzsche in his more apocalyptic moments. Underlining in blood that time of spiritual, political and intellectual decay were the killing fields of Verdun and the Somme.

So Yeats got all that, and that is why the first passage contains the most quoted lines of modern poetry. They're as relevant now as then. More so. We're still in much the same place.

But that final passage? They're still divided as to whether Yeats was a fascist. I don't think he was but Auschwitz lies so heavy on our thinking about that time that most would categorise him as such. I think he was just a mess, in terms of political philosophy, but not the sort of mess I would feel sympathetic to or would want to take as any sort of prophet.

But as I say, I don't think he really knew what he meant by those final lines. If that makes it open season on interpretations of them, I'll take yours; we could do with a bit of cheerfulness while we wait to see whether Trump makes it past the totalitarians .

Dubhaltach

Attempting to close Leander's use of the strike tag.

elaine

Nancy, Kristen Beck, formerly Christopher Beck, did serve with honor for 20 years in SEAL teams 1, 5 & 6. I think she received reassignment surgery, etc
after she was no longer active military. Did she use her VA benefits to
transgender? Perhaps. She does have a powerful message & I doubt the President intends to meet her "face to face to tell her she's not worthy."

Chelsea Manning receiving reassignment surgery/therapy while doing time
in Leavenworth seems to be a totally different matter. Admittedly I'm
perplexed.

walrus

Good decision. A few years ago I paid a visit to an Australian warship with an "integrated" crew. In the enlisted mess you could almost smell the hormones. young sailors, of both sexes as well as a "butch" table. Adding transgender would be a powder keg. As it was, I was told of several romances, plus affairs, that were most definitely prejudicial to good order and discipline.

As for combat infantry, there is enough emotional tension in a single sex unit as it is. Adding transsexuals or women with the scholarly admonition of the social justice warriors to "treat them just like any other soldier" is an impossible request.

ISL

Dear Publicu Tacitus,

I think to US leaders (and maybe some generals?), more and more problems look like nails for a military solution, rather than developing proper (social) tools.

So the politico's say lets use the military for nation building. lets use the military for policing. Lets use the military for social engineering. and so on.

Reminds me of the F-35 which is designed to do so many tasks it does none well.

Except shift barrels of cash into Lockheed Martin's coffers.


Old Microbiologist

Lars, you make a good point. It all should be performance AND risk based assessment. The latter is the more important aspect and always requires long observation periods and complete data collection. Once the civilian leadership opened up the military to overlook gender in all of its aspects, this started the ball rolling as to the long term effects both physical and psychologically. The military has always been the pressure cooker for social experimentation and today is no different. Time will tell what the effects are.

Personally, I think this is more a typical Trump diversion away from whatever it is he doesn't want the MSM to focus on. He only pisses off the people who already hate him. They will never reconsider regardless of anything he does. So, for him this is an easy one. Obama did the same when he ended the don't ask - don't tell policy. It was also a freebie diversion.

However, this does provide an opportunity to capture real data using scientific methods and the military is very adept at doing this. It has a fixed base cost so they can research anything more or less for free and it is a captured audience as soldiers are not covered at all by the Constitution but rather by the UCMJ. You lose your basic Constitutional rights when you become a soldier. It is similar but not identical. We cannot permit free speech in the military or insubordination, or failure to follow orders etc,. These are recognized facts and are required for a fully functional military organization to be effective.

It has never been satisfactorily studied (without bias) as to whether any of these alternate sexual behaviors and gender self-identification is in fact "normal". We have apparently accepted the self-certifying by those in the LGBT community that they are normal and identical in every respect. But, that has been done without scientific basis. Now we have an opportunity to study a self-selected population (service is all voluntary since the end of the draft in 1975) for long term effects at every level including physical. It is a regulation that every soldier who dies on active duty have a complete autopsy not for forensic reasons but to gather data on the adult population in the US using military as a sample of the overall population. This is how we get all those wonderful statistics we use. We also get to have a hard look at personnel interactions and judicial/disciplinary aspects as well. It is a wonderful opportunity to finally answer some very basic questions and the LGBT actually have forced these questions to be answered. They may not like the results though. On the other hand it may prove that it is no big deal. We will see because this is already happening in a big way.

FourthAndLong

Orwell on Yeats and fascism:

"Translated into political terms, Yeats's tendency is Fascist. Throughout most of his life, and long before Fascism was ever heard of, he had had the outlook of those who reach Fascism by the aristocratic route. He is a great hater of democracy, of the modern world, science, machinery, the concept of progress — above all, of the idea of human equality. Much of the imagery of his work is feudal, and it is clear that he was not altogether free from ordinary snobbishness. Later these tendencies took clearer shape and led him to “the exultant acceptance of authoritarianism as the only solution. Even violence and tyranny are not necessarily evil because the people, knowing not evil and good, would become perfectly acquiescent to tyranny. . . . Everything must come from the top. Nothing can come from the masses.” Not much interested in politics, and no doubt disgusted by his brief incursions into public life, Yeats nevertheless makes political pronouncements. He is too big a man to share the illusions of Liberalism, and as early as 1920 he foretells in a justly famous passage (”The Second Coming”) the kind of world that we have actually moved into. But he appears to welcome the coming age, which is to be “hierarchical, masculine, harsh, surgical”, and is influenced both by Ezra Pound and by various Italian Fascist writers. He describes the new civilisation which he hopes and believes will arrive: “an aristocratic civilisation in its most completed form, every detail of life hierarchical, every great man's door crowded at dawn by petitioners, great wealth everywhere in a few men's hands, all dependent upon a few, up to the Emperor himself, who is a God dependent on a greater God, and everywhere, in Court, in the family, an inequality made law.” The innocence of this statement is as interesting as its snobbishness. To begin with, in a single phrase, “great wealth in a few men's hands”, Yeats lays bare the central reality of Fascism, which the whole of its propaganda is designed to cover up. The merely political Fascist claims always to be fighting for justice: Yeats, the poet, sees at a glance that Fascism means injustice, and acclaims it for that very reason. But at the same time he fails to see that the new authoritarian civilisation, if it arrives, will not be aristocratic, or what he means by aristocratic. It will not be ruled by noblemen with Van Dyck faces, but by anonymous millionaires, shiny-bottomed bureaucrats and murdering gangsters. Others who have made the same mistake have afterwards changed their views and one ought not to assume that Yeats, if he had lived longer, would necessarily have followed his friend Pound, even in sympathy. But the tendency of the passage I have quoted above is obvious, and its complete throwing overboard of whatever good the past two thousand years have achieved is a disquieting symptom."

LondonBob

Women who desire to be in the military are often butch dykes. The wives and girlfriends of soldiers aren't big fans of women in the military, for obvious reasons.

I remember commentator Steve Sailer pondering many years ago what would come next now the gay marriage issue had been fought and lost, he suggested transgender would be the issue they would move on to next. I was little sceptical at the time.

Transgender in the military, great issue to campaign in favour of in 2018. Big issue in the rust belt.

b

Those who want more diversity in the military should be asked why soldiers (since at least 2,000 years) are dressed in "uniform", why do they "march in lockstep", why is basic training constructed to created "esprit de corps".
There are sound military reasons for all this. It increases efficiency (more dead enemies, less own losses). More diversity would like have the opposite effect.

raven

Please you ignorant motherfuckers, ban me for good.

Seamus Padraig

"Trump's aim was to divert attention from the mess the Repubs are making with their health care nonsense."

IMO that's the other piece of good news for the week: yet another Republican failure to pass Ryancare.

Single-payer now!

English Outsider

"Aware". Sorry. That "Post" button is remorseless.

Cape Cod Skeptic

I loved reading your comment, EO. My younger son's English teachers in school were fond of trying to find meaning in every symbol and phrase that an author wrote, to the point of saying "Sometimes authors don't realize the meaning they put into their stories when they write them." Yeah, sure.

WRT Trump's declaration I am satisfied, but uneasy. Uneasy because I think Styxhexenhammer 666 (youtube political commentator) has a point when he says this will be taken up in the future by the Supreme Court and found unConstitutional (if the LGBTQ+animal/fairy-kin movement doesn't get it struck down via other means, such as libtard President in the future). I do not look forward to the social unrest that will be forced on the majority by this extraordinarily small minority of Americans. The Williams Institute has collected data that suggest that trans individuals are actually overrepresented in the military because it is a stable place for employment and allows them to hide their issues; the men join to suppress their feelings of being a woman, and the women join because it allows them to act more like the men they believe themselves to be. My concerns are prompted by the fact that nationally, 40% of trans individuals attempt suicide (10x the average US suicide rate). They are deeply unhappy people, and will obviously need extreme psychological care throughout life. The negative consequences to their fellow soldiers because of their troubled mental states may be significant and unreported. Then there will be the inevitable requests for hormone therapies and gender reassignment surgeries; the taxpayer should not be expected to pay for these.

I agree with Publius Tacitus and other commenters; I have never felt that the military should be the testing ground for SJWs. People are prevented from entering certain career paths for all kinds of reasons, including intellectual capacity and physical ability. While I believe everyone should be treated humanely and compassionately, it is not the government's responsibility to contort the military so that it is a place of refuge for all the people who believe they don't fit into society.

turcopolier

raven

Were you speaking to b? you are displaying the inability of the snowflakes to cope with people who disagree with them. Was "ignorant motherfuckers" directed to all here? As you must know by now a very high percentage of people on SST have one or more advanced degrees. pl

Seamus Padraig

"If you disagree with Trump then, in my view, you are an extremist and in denial by human biology. While transgender people exist, they are an extremely small minority. A biological rarity if you will."

I'm confused. I thought transgenders were people who had had sex-change operations. If so, they are not "biological" but artificial.

As far as it goes, I agree with Trump here. It just keeps getting crazier and crazier. First, it was women in combat. Then it was homosexuals in the military, and now ... trannies? Where's it going to end? None of this does anything at all to boost readiness, so we've got to put our foot down somewhere.

On another subject, it's also nice to see that the current de-escalation scheme in Syria seems to be working, despite Bibi's sour grapes.

turcopolier

LeaNder

NAVY SEALS are in the navy, not the army. Get it? 20 years is a normal time for someone to RETIRE, not resign. Your ignorance of anything military is embarrassing. pl

Fred

Larry,

" Are they serving in order to be part of a social experiment "

Yes and this is just the first return salvo of the war on traditional America.

Eric Newhill

Larry Kart,
How on earth would the DoD know if there are 12,800 transgenders serving? That figure sounds like it's way too high.

What is the study methodology? How is transgender defined?

Are the transgenders deployment ready? How are they being evaluated on their enlisted evaluation reports and officer evals? Center of mass? Higher? Lower?

Simply tossing out a figure like "12,800" may evoke an emotional response in some, but it is, really, meaningless. It's a "news" person technique.

jdledell

Deep seated emotional dysfunction is not proprietary to gays and transgender people. Look at the drug and alcohol abuse prevalent among white males. Look at the suicide rate among ex-military. It was not that long ago that being gay was considered a dysfunction, but now society and the military seem much more at ease with gays. How many more decades will it take for transexuals to reach that status?

Tom Cafferty

Makes me think of endocrine disruptors in the enviroment and hermaphrodite bass in the upper reaches of the Potomac river in West Virginia. Ha, ha, that would be a hoot if America is turning itself trans or ambivalent sexual through poisoning the enviroment. Didja see the study where sperm counts are at 50 percent of 40 years ago. Gonna have to get on that synthetic T, cancer be damned. We do it all to ourselves.

jdledell

Pat - I think you hit the nail on the head - society and the military need time to get used to these kind of changes. I'm 73 and have seen many of these kind of changes in my lifetime. Changes in attitudes come slowly as women, blacks, and gays have found out. Frankly, with my upbringing, I am astonished at how much change has occurred and been accepted. 30 years ago who would have thought gays would be in the military and serving without an absolute upheaval.

BillWade

"Rand estimates that there are 2,500 transgender people currently on active duty in the military, and about 1,500 in the reserves."

OK, some of the posters have convinced me that due to my "old-fashioned" notions that I was wrong to think that lady boys shouldn't be allowed to serve. So, now that you've won me over, please convince the army of North Korea, the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the Russian army, etc., as well so they can be at least as butch as we are. And, then onto our allies, such as the Thai military who's country, in spite of having a very large and visible population of lady boys, considers them to be mentally ill; now there's a challenge for you if ever there was one, go for it please.

Bill H

Somewhere civilian leadership, if indeed the term is not an oxymoron, needs to ask itself what is the fundamental purpose of the military. At the moment they seem to think that its purpose is to serve as a career opportunity, primarily for those who find the civilian job market unwelcoming.

Its real purpose is, of course, defense of our nation, and all else should be sublimated to that end. Pleasing the wishes of the citizens who want to serve is not relevant. Taking on those to serve who can best accomplish the mission is the only reasonable criteria.

Too much of our legal social framework is based on "it's not fair," but life in reality is often unfair. What's fair about a falling cliff, or a hurricane? Crying about unfairness is for six year olds, and the military does not need any of those.

ked

maybe just change your name to raving & things will feel better?
cheers,

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