This is a debate?

President Trump has issued an order that, except in unusual circumstances, transgender people will not be able to serve in the US military. This is a good idea. No, not because that means we all get to trample on the rights of those who are or decide to be transgender, rather because the point of a military, like any other organisation, is to produce an output. That output to be go kill the other poor bastards for their country while not dying for our own. That, in turn depends upon a number of things, sure, logistics, equipment, training, they’re important, but the vital part of the system is the culture.

We actually say this about all the other organisations out there. Google must have a culture that reflects the standard liberal progressive values of the day. Because that’s how it’s going to be relevant to a society which embodies those liberal progressive ideas. Humph, well, yes, but that is the argument being made, isn’t it? We’ve seen people arguing that as Twitter has a higher penetration among the black population therefore Twitter must hire lots of blacks because. Humph again, that Twitter seemingly serves the black population well is proof that the melanin content of the producers of Twitter doesn’t matter but that is not an argument likely to be accepted today.

But we do have these two competing ideas, perhaps ideals. One is that an institution should be engineered to reflect what we’d like the wider society to be like. Or perhaps what some of the more vocal people insist they’d like society to be like and therefore so should the rest of us. Social engineering, obviously. Then there’s the other view, one I hold, that we don’t or at least shouldn’t give a damn about that and instead just concentrate on the output of said organisation. If, however it’s working, it is actually working then that’s fine.

Twitter is, as it is insisted it is, serving blacks well. Great. Google seems to be serving up search requests (or more accurately, selling ads) whatever the gender preoccupations of the engineers inside it. Which brings us to the military:

The White House has announced orders to formally ban transgender people from serving in the military, following up on Donald Trump’s controversial policy pledge that sparked widespread backlash last year from civil rights groups and US defense chiefs.

Despite opposition from top military officials and previous rulings against the ban, which LGBT rights groups have challenged in court, a memo from the secretary of defense released late Friday night said trans people are “disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances”.

Should we be changing that military culture in order to reflect the liberal progressive ideas of a certain minority of the wider culture? Or should we be concentrating upon the effectiveness of said military, its output? I would argue the second.

The US military very definitely skews more conservative than the rest of the wider society. The Army, more than the other arms, very definitely skews more Southern than the country does. There’s nothing at all right or wrong about such, it just is. The American military is also an extremely effective organisation at its job, killing other poor bastards for their country. That depends to a great extent upon that internal culture – accepting that logistics, equipment, training, also play their part.

The US military was also a ghastly shambles in the 1970s, when that culture thing got away from them and the institutions themselves are petrified of it happening again.

Is it morally correct that trans people cannot serve in the military? Not that I can see, not in any manner. Is it likely to increase the effectiveness of the output of said military, the thing we’re actually, or should be, worried about? Given that conservative nature of the institution and its culture, yes. Therefore it’s a good idea.

But it is obviously true that in order to agree with that position you need to be doing what isn’t generally done these days, consider the output rather than the form of an organisation as being the paramount interest.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. Should we be changing that military culture in order to reflect the liberal progressive ideas of a certain minority of the wider culture? Or should we be concentrating upon the effectiveness of said military, its output? I would argue the second.

    So of course not only Transsexuals should not be allowed to serve, but women should not either. As there is ample evidence that women are physically and mentally not up to the job and they are culturally very disruptive.

    The problem with the output example is that racial integration has also been a problem. Blacks are flatly refusing to fight. You only have to look at the rate they were dying in Iraq and/or being awarded medals. They are not willing to fight on the whole. Which mean if you are sharing a fox hole with a Black you may be fine – it is an average after all – or you may be about to die because he does not want to do his job.

    The output logic says that the Army should be re-segregated and Blacks assigned to rear echelon duties like construction. However that is undoubtedly a step too far. No one is willing to make that argument. So White Southerners will continue to carry a disproportionate share of the burden. And they should hope they do not serve with too many Blacks or women.

    • All of that is true. But the US military has remarkable creativity to achieve fighting effectiveness despite the stated rules. The military would normally move underperformers to the rear echelon as a matter of course. A problem is that the military must not just comply with a Presidential order but establish a program to measure compliance. Equal opportunity for X in the military results in a de-facto quota. An unfortunate effect of the current Executive Order is that it may lead to a purge, even of soldiers who are effective, do not evangelize in the bunkhouse, and do not engage their entire company in overlong discussions of their worldview.

  2. The false theory that homosexuality could be “cured” – and indeed, that it should be – led to the judicial abuse and frequent suicide of thousands of people like Alan Turing. The first time round might be excusable out of ignorance, but we’ve got no excuse for doing it all over again. Have we learnt nothing?

    The psychological characteristic that most commonly “leads to tears” is the belief that there is only one right way to live, and other people should be made to live it. History records it as one of our most dangerous delusions. I don’t propose to indulge it.

    • Why is it false to assume we cannot cure homosexuality? We are not allowed to research this question after all, but if we were, what makes you think it could not be cured?

      There was no judicial abuse of Turing. He broke the law and then begged the police to pay attention to him so he could be punished for it. I doubt that half a dozen homosexuals have committed suicide because they were arrested. The evidence is weak in Turing’s case.

      You do insist there is one right way to live – your absurd tolerance for trannies or nothing.

  3. Your comment is awaiting moderation

    The false theory that homosexuality could be “cured” – and indeed, that it should be – led to the judicial abuse and frequent suicide of thousands of people like Alan Turing. The first time round might be excusable out of ignorance, but we’ve got no excuse for doing it all over again. Have we learnt nothing?

    The psychological characteristic that most commonly “leads to tears” is the belief that there is only one right way to live, and other people should be made to live it. History records it as one of our most dangerous delusions. I don’t propose to indulge it..

  4. The output logic says that the Army should be re-segregated and Blacks assigned to rear echelon duties like construction. However that is undoubtedly a step too far. No one is willing to make that argument. So White Southerners will continue to carry a disproportionate share of the burden. And they should hope they do not serve with too many Blacks or women.

  5. The Army should be about fighting wars not about leftist politics.

    And no one was trying to “cure” Turing. He committed what was a crime then. It should not have been but he was up to be punished not cured.

  6. The function of the military is to defend the nation, not to provide employment, nor a non-threatening work environment, nor collect soldiers for social engineering, nor indulge games of pretend that a man is a woman or vice versa, especially given that the military is set to remedy “medical conditions” at taxpayer expense. And prominent in Trump’s order is enlistees with “dysphoria” and other mental conditions attendant to their pretend game. To paraphrase the first commenter, there are no pretend games on the battlefield or in preparation for the battlefield.

    Trump issued a comparable order a year ago and the military pushed back, as they mostly want minimal barriers to the All Volunteer Force. Apparently, this Executive Order also has to compete with impulses to the contrary in U.S. Law.

    Surely some Obamoid District Judge somewhere will be receptive to the argument that campaign rhetoric suggests that Trump simply hates everyone in the affected class, and it would violate Due Process to base our policy on hate.

  7. Given that there are often a range of mental issues, such as depression, associated with such conditions and that he hormone treatment can lead to mood instability then refusal on medical grounds seems reasonable

  8. “But it is obviously true that in order to agree with that position you need to be doing what isn’t generally done these days, consider the output rather than the form of an organisation as being the paramount interest.”

    That argument cuts both ways. The only thing you should be considering is people’s ability to do the job. If a TG can do the job, and you reject them purely because they’re TG, then you’re not “considering the output rather than the form”, are you? You’re just considering the form in a different way. It’s still political correctness – just a different brand of politics.

    The military already has and will continue to have performance requirements for joining. So there’s no need for any change. It’s a purely political move on Trump’s part, to placate the religious authoritarians. Putting politics ahead of performance doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

    “i thought part of the problem for the us armed forces that transexuals were joining up in the hope that the army/navy/airforce would pay for their transition”

    Does that apply to people with other pre-existing medical conditions? Do people with other medical conditions ever seek out employers with medical insurance schemes in the hopes of getting their treatment paid for? What do employers normally do about that?

          • The motive for joining the military includes the willingness to lay one’s life and limb on the line in service of the country not for the taxpayer to pay for extreme genital mutilation and drugs in service of a confused self-indulgent fantasy.

          • “The motive for joining the military includes the willingness to lay one’s life and limb on the line in service of the country”

            Right. So the only question you need to ask is “Are you willing and able to lay one’s life and limb on the line in service of the country”? Whether they’re TG is irrelevant to that.

            “not for the taxpayer to pay for extreme genital mutilation and drugs in service of a confused self-indulgent fantasy”

            It’s no more a fantasy than a heart condition is.

            And as I said earlier, if you want the military health insurance to not pay for pre-existing medical conditions, then you can do that. But there’s no distinguishing between conditions. The doctors consider it as much a treatable medical condition as any other, your idiot delusions notwithstanding.

            If you want to stop people signing up just to get their medical bills paid, then don’t pay for any of them. If you only want to stop it for those politically incorrect medical conditions that conflict with your personal belief system, then you’re playing partisan politics with the military, interfering with its function. If you’re allowed to do that, then why isn’t the other side?

            I’m pretty sure that employers offer comprehensive medical insurance as part of their compensation package precisely because it’s attractive to prospective employees who want their medical conditions treated, and gets more people and more talented people to sign up. So that’s already factored into the costs of employment. (Including TGs would add less than 0.13% to the healthcare bill.) So if they think it worthwhile to offer it, presumably plenty of other soldiers join up in order to get treated too. It’s nothing unusual.

  9. Hold on, now. Stop this damn talk of “no women in the military.”

    There are many roles in the military which women can do quite well. Ipso facto, if the draft is reinstated, it MUST INCLUDE WOMEN! If they are going to demand combat roles, then by God they need to be included in the draft.

  10. The best fighter pilots are shorties. The electrical signals have less distance to travel to the brain and back and their reactions are quicker. Ditto F1 pilots and superbike racers, although lower weight might be the critical factor here, as the general rule goes that every extra kilogram adds point one of a second to your lap time.

    The average woman is shorter than a man. She will have faster reactions. In general men are better spatially orientated than women, but the exceptional woman will do just as well as the exceptional man.

    I’ve seen plenty of super-fit women who could run most men into the ground. And it isn’t like the transgenders will modify their uniforms to flower camouflage and stiletto heels with rouge face paint instead of Black is Beautiful. They will all look exactly the same. (That’s why it’s called uniform.)

    Trump to aide: I bet I can get liberals to defend joining the army.
    Aide: No wayyy!!
    Trump: Watch this! [tweets]

    • Actually the best fighter pilots tended to be boys with discipline problems in school and even criminal records. It is a thuggish business well suited to loners who like sneaking up behind people and hitting them before they know they are there. While women by and large lack the desire to kill, maim and hurt people with sharp objects. Every war since Panama has featured women who have been given an order and they refused to do it. They have sat down and cried at the idea they might drive a truck through an area where people might shoot at them. Not one has been prosecuted. Instead they always get some other unit of men to do it. Female helicopter pilots have refused to press an attack while soldiers have been under fire because it is too dangerous.

      There is no reason to think that just because women are shorter they will have faster reaction times. The exceptional woman may well do as well as the exceptional man. It is just out of 200 men and women, the best 97 are going to men.

      What makes you think trans “soldiers” will not modify their uniforms? Women do.

      Universities took a lot of women. Now you cannot say “b!tch” on campus. That is really going to work out well for the Marines.

    • This is nonsense. The reaction time differences, if caused by height, between a 5′ and a 6′ person are negligible. The differences between male and female reaction times are considerable, on average.

        • And yet racing drivers are all male, women need to be protected in their own “Special Olympics” section in fencing competitions, and I am not sure that fast reactions are all that important to a fighter pilot. As compared to a ruthless willingness to kill. And I would like to see any evidence women are faster. If that were true you would expect to see more women compete well at things like skeet shooting.

  11. If transgenders in the military divert it from its designated purpose as often as NiV has diverted these discussions of public policy to overlong cheerleading about his own location on the sodomy spectrum, it will wreck the military more swiftly than another Obama.