Last week, Fox News rock star Tucker Carlson launched into criticism of the U.S. military for, in his terms, prioritizing “diversity” over its mission. He said in part,
“So we’ve got new hairstyles and new maternity flight suits, pregnant women are going to fight our wars.It’s a mockery of the U.S. military. While China’s military becomes more masculine as it assembles the world’s largest Navy, our military needs to become more feminine, whatever feminine means anymore because men and women no longer exist. The bottom line is it’s out of control. And the Pentagon’s going along with this. This is a mockery of the U.S. Military and its core mission which is winning wars.”
The ethical issue here does not require debating Carlson’s point, but for the record, the mission is what matters, not who performs it or what group they “identify” with. If the nation would be best defended by an all-female armed forces, then all-female armed forces is what we should have. If all-trans would do the trick, great; I’m on board. If clinical schizophrenics were found to be the best soldiers, draft them all, I say, and make sanity a disqualifying feature for volunteers. Prioritizing demographics over efficiency and effectiveness is incompetent and irresponsible, and while the U.S. can survive incompetence in all other aspects of our government, and does, we cannot tolerate it in the military.
But I digress. The ethical issue here is that someone at the Pentagon (or <cough> elsewhere) told the military to attack Carlson, a civilian commentator giving his opinion, for his criticism.
1. More historical ignorance to make you suicidal: Here’s Anna L.’s review of her visit to the Gettysburg Battlefield on the park’s Yelp page:
Boooorrrringggg. First off, it was nothing like the movie. All I saw were a bunch of fields and rocks. All the tourist shops, bars, and hotels in the area kept saying how I should check this place out. I kept getting confused with all of the plaques and monuments. Who was fighting who, I have no idea. The abandoned cannons looked tacky. I give this one star for the overweight character actor in the square, but that’s about it. Yaaawnnn.
I don’t even want to think about the political positions and favored candidates of an American this…this…I can’t even think of a good description. “It was nothing like the movie”????? And how many people like her are out there, rotting our culture and values from within?
2. It’s about time. wouldn’t you agree? I’m amazed this took so long. Starting next year, BMC Toys in Scranton will begin adding little green Army women to the little green Army men that are such a standard kids’ toy. Since they debuted in 1950s, none of the iconic toy’s manufacturers have crossed the gender line. BMC is one of the ew producers of plastic soldiers left in his country, and will soon be offering these:
Yay! Continue reading
Well, that was humbling. Given the opportunity with this week’s open forum experiment to fly solo, the Ethics Alarms commentariat exceeded all reasonable expectations, producing multiple excellent topic threads and over a hundred comments (and counting) by 22 participants. It also generated several Comment of the Day quality posts, and I may end up posting all of them.
First up is this one, by Michael R, prompted by Steve’s jump-ball:
Now, a few years after women have been allowed to join the infantry, and hundreds have tried, only 30 percent pass compared to over 90 percent of males, but there are still only 24 women total in the Marine Corps Infantry.
Is it ethical to continue such an expensive and inefficient program?
Here is Michael R’s Comment of the Day on the training thread on the post, Open Forum Ethics:
Education is expensive. Should we accept people to training when we know that 70% of them will not be able to complete the training? We could be training people with a much better chance for success instead. A better question would be why don’t we have better screening for the female applicants? That would reduce the number in training, but increase the percentage that succeed
Better examples are probably the FAA’s air traffic control program and the military’s pilot programs. The FAA is facing a shortage of air traffic controllers. The new FAA biographical pre-screening for air traffic controllers is geared to select a ‘diverse’ force. They give more points for being unemployed than graduating from an FAA certified controller training program or having aviation experience in the military. The test gives more points for failing science than being good at science. People who do well on the Air Traffic Skills Assessment Test have no preference over people who haven’t taken it. This results in most graduates of the CTI (FAA collegiate training initiative) programs don’t ‘pass’ the new biographical screening. People who have CTI degrees pass the air traffic control training at a high rate. Those who haven’t, don’t. So, each class of air traffic control trainees now graduates fewer students. This new program has resulted in FEWER air traffic controllers being produced and the CTI programs are drying up because being prepared and educated hurts your chances of being selected. Continue reading
Sixteen-year-old high school sophomore wrestler Joel Northrup forfeited his match against a fourteen-year-old wrestler with two X chromosomes, Cassy Herkelman, at the Iowa state wrestling championships, saying that “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner.” Obviously Herkelman didn’t require protection from anyone or anything. She was her district’s 112-pound champion wrestler, and she won the Iowa championship for her class as well. Cassie had won 20 of 33 matches, all against male wrestlers, on her way to the state championship. Maybe Northrup didn’t want to risk being ridiculed for losing to a girl; maybe he was uncomfortable with the sexual overtones of an inter-gender contest. All we can do is assess his conduct by taking him at his word: he believes a young man wrestling a young woman is morally wrong, and was willing to forfeit a match he might have won. Joel was, after all, the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state at 112 pounds, and had a 35-4 record.
Was his decision admirable, or sexist? Was it gentlemanly, or demeaning? Continue reading