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Old 04-11-2019, 02:41 PM
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Trans Folks In The Military- I Need Help Countering Arguments- And Fast


To sum up- I support transgender people in the military. My friend does not. I already got him to concede that there is a biological basis for being trans. He countered with 'The military won't let you in with bad teeth. Why should it pay for therapy, hormones, and surgery?' He was a Marine. So he obviously knows the military better than I. Still, I could swear that argument was brought up and countered here. But, my Google Fu sucks.

I posted this in GD as I anticipate some posters will want to respond from the 'No trans folks in the military' side.


Thanks in advance for your help
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:58 PM
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A different Marine seems to have no problem with transgender troops serving their country. When you get someone like that saying that being transgender is compatible with national service, I tend not to sweat too much about the details of how every little thing works with respect to any medical care that may be needed.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:22 PM
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What if a trans person has already transitioned and has a medical regimen that is no more complicated or expensive than a cis-woman's birth control pills?



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Old 04-11-2019, 03:39 PM
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I'd answer this is all making a mountain out of a molehill.

There are 1,281,900 people in the US military.

Current estimates have people who identify as transgendered in the US at about 0.6% of the population.

If we assume that the military has the same percentage of trans people as the population then about 7,700 people in the military identify as transgendered. How many of them want sex re-assignment surgery? I do not know but we do know not all transgendered people want to surgically transition. As for hormone therapy it is not hugely expensive (something like $1500 over two years) and surgical transition is around $20,000.

I would submit that the military has nowhere near a 0.6% transgendered population. The military is kind of a hostile place for transgendered people and I would not think many would choose it. Some do, certainly, but I'd be surprised if it was the same as the population at-large.

But let's pretend there are 7,700 trandgendered people in the military and they all want $20,000 sex reassignment surgery. That would come out to about $154 million or about 0.02% of the US military budget (and that assumes you do it all on one year...the reality is some few would come in each year and do it and be nowhere close to that number).

$154 million is less than the cost of two F-35 fighter jets.

But remember, the real number would be nowhere near that (whatever it is). That is the worst case scenario those opposed to this can come up with.

In the end, of all the issues facing the US and its budget and whatnot, this barely registers. I suppose you could argue it on some philosophical grounds if you want as the principle of the thing but even then it is so remote and abstract a thing for Joe Citizen to get worried about I cannot see it is worth the effort to argue about.

For me, if a transgendered person wants to serve the country and part of us paying for that service is helping them get gender reassignment treatments then fine.
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Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 04-11-2019 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:47 PM
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I would submit that the military has nowhere near a 0.6% transgendered population. The military is kind of a hostile place for transgendered people and I would not think many would choose it. Some do, certainly, but I'd be surprised if it was the same as the population at-large.
You're actually wrong here. The trans community serves at a higher rate than the cisgendered population.

http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.ed...e-May-2014.pdf
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:56 PM
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Leaving the costs aside, the "bad teeth" comment is a non-sequitur. Here's where I'm totally guessing, but having bad teeth can lead to unfitness to serve -- you may be in pain all the time, you can get infections, etc. The military doesn't ban people with bad teeth because of the cost of dental care, but because people with bad teeth are considered unfit for duty.

So, this is irrelevant to any argument against trans soldiers.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:56 PM
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If it were about money for medical procedures, then the military could stipulate that it wouldn't pay for certain procedures. Lots of trans people don't need any more medical procedures than cis people.

But it's not about money for medical procedures -- it's about hatred of trans people. There are plenty of trans veterans who have no extra medical needs, and forcing them out of the military is weakening our military and our national security. Further, turning the military into an explicitly bigoted and hateful organization will greatly harm recruiting, since lots of young Americans have no interest in joining a hateful organization.

It's doing great harm to our national security, and benefiting no one but anti-trans bigots.

I was in the Navy and there are plenty of other veterans who are against this bigoted policy.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 04-11-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:07 PM
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Maybe I mis-remember, but wasn't the top brass fine with trans folk in the military? I thought they were resisting the President's order, uh, tweet. If that's the case, doesn't your friend think that the top military brass know what's better for the military and military readiness than a president who never served and used a bogus excuse not to?

They're not being kicked out on the recommendation of the generals, it's so the president can appeal to his base. That's no way to run a military.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:12 PM
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You're actually wrong here. The trans community serves at a higher rate than the cisgendered population.

http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.ed...e-May-2014.pdf
Well, that's disputed. You link to one study which reached that conclusion, but which did not do so by actually surveying or counting members of the military who are transexual. A more recent study commissioned by the Pentagon had a much lower estimate of the number.

Last edited by ITR champion; 04-11-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:41 PM
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Thanks


The debate is still ongoing, but you've all been very helpful.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:36 PM
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It's doing great harm to our national security
Please don't use this as any sort of argument.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:40 PM
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I saw on The View that the military spends over ten times the amount of money supplying troops with Viagra than it does spending on people with trans type stuff going on. I am trying to find the exact figure that they used.

I mean if the Pentagon can cough up millions for boner pills, then whats the problem? Obviously its not the money that is the problem. I mean I'm not sure that swinging a thick rod has anything to do with foxholes and stuff like that.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:42 PM
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Ah here it is. Sorry for the double post.

https://www.politifact.com/punditfac...aims-plenty-c/
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:50 PM
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Please don't use this as any sort of argument.
Long term damage to our military's recruiting capability is long term damage to our national security.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:57 PM
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Long term damage to our military's recruiting capability is long term damage to our national security.
Sure. But a simple counter to that argument is "What evidence do you have that not allowing trans folks into the military damages our military's long term recruiting capability?"

That's why I suggest you use other, better arguments instead of this one.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:04 PM
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Sure. But a simple counter to that argument is "What evidence do you have that not allowing trans folks into the military damages our military's long term recruiting capability?"

That's why I suggest you use other, better arguments instead of this one.
I made several arguments, including ones with statistical backing. At some point someone will do opinion polling on young people's perceptions of the military and this issue, and then there might be statistical backing for this one too. Further, the assertion that booting qualified and experienced servicemen and women for no good reason harms national security seems so self-explanatory and obvious as to not require additional evidence.

But how do you feel? Do you have any opinions on this, or do you just want to poke at arguments you may not even disagree with?

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 04-11-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:07 PM
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I made several arguments, including ones with statistical backing. At some point someone will do opinion polling on young people's perceptions of the military and this issue, and then there might be statistical backing for this one too.

But how do you feel? Do you have any opinions on this, or do you just want to poke at arguments you may not even disagree with?
How do I feel? Trans folks should have the same opportunity to join the military as everyone else, of course.

But if some bad policy bans them, it doesn't affect National Security, it's just bad policy. That's my point. There are other, better arguments than "It harms National Security" because you can't actually show that it harms National Security.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:09 PM
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How do I feel? Trans folks should have the same opportunity to join the military as everyone else, of course.

But if some bad policy bans them, it doesn't affect National Security, it's just bad policy. That's my point. There are other, better arguments than "It harms National Security" because you can't actually show that it harms National Security.
It does harm national security. Kicking out good people for no good reason harms national security. Feel free to pretend that we have an unlimited amount of good people to rely on, but we don't, and getting rid of good people harms national security. Just like sending them to their deaths for no good reason.

What's the point of challenging this notion that seems about as obvious as possible?

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Old 04-11-2019, 07:16 PM
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It does harm national security. Kicking out good people for no good reason harms national security. Feel free to pretend that we have an unlimited amount of good people to rely on, but we don't, and getting rid of good people harms national security. Just like sending them to their deaths for no good reason.

What's the point of challenging this notion that seems about as obvious as possible?
Because I thought we were talking about recruitment and not "kicking people out". And you saying "It harms National Security" does not actually prove that it harms National Security.

Use all the other, better arguments, just don't use "Harms National Security" is all I'm saying.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:16 PM
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Because I thought we were talking about recruitment and not "kicking people out". And you saying "It harms National Security" does not actually prove that it harms National Security.

Use all the other, better arguments, just don't use "Harms National Security" is all I'm saying.
Okay, so you don't think kicking out good people for no reason harms national security (and this was indeed part of my original argument, if you go back and read it).

That seems incredibly, mind-blowingly obvious to me, but you're free to disagree. We don't need to go on and on about this.

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Old 04-11-2019, 07:24 PM
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Okay, so you don't think kicking out good people for no reason harms national security (and this was indeed part of my original argument, if you go back and read it).

That seems incredibly, mind-blowingly obvious to me, but you're free to disagree. We don't need to go on and on about this.
Well, it seems obvious to me that kicking out 5,000 people from the military, which contains about 2 million people, does NOT in fact affect National Security. If you think it does, prove it. Last time this topic came up, it got moved to the Pit where you weren't required to prove anything. Now it's still in Great Debates, so prove it, beyond "I say it harms National Security"

Should be easy for you, if it's so obvious.

And again, all I'm saying is use other, better arguments than "Harms National Security". Nothing more than that. Strange that you are so hung up on it.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:28 PM
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Well, it seems obvious to me that kicking out 5,000 people from the military, which contains about 2 million people, does NOT in fact affect National Security. If you think it does, prove it. Last time this topic came up, it got moved to the Pit where you weren't required to prove anything. Now it's still in Great Debates, so prove it, beyond "I say it harms National Security"

Should be easy for you, if it's so obvious.

And again, all I'm saying is use other, better arguments than "Harms National Security". Nothing more than that. Strange that you are so hung up on it.
No thanks, this is just basic math and logic (2 million - 5000 is less than 2 million, for example), and I'm not interested in such a silly conversation (how would you quantify national security? This discussion is clearly entirely in the realm of opinion). You're free to disagree -- that's okay. You're still a fine person and a fine poster, even if you're arguing against something so blatantly obvious.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 04-11-2019 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:35 PM
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No thanks, this is just basic math and logic (2 million - 5000 is less than 2 million, for example), and I'm not interested in such a silly conversation (how would you quantify national security? This discussion is clearly entirely in the realm of opinion). You're free to disagree -- that's okay. You're still a fine person and a fine poster, even if you're arguing against something so blatantly obvious.
Well now I'm offended
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:51 PM
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Well, it seems obvious to me that kicking out 5,000 people from the military, which contains about 2 million people, does NOT in fact affect National Security.
Wow, you really aren't following his argument at all, are you?
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:53 PM
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Wow, you really aren't following his argument at all, are you?
Of course I am. And his argument is "It harms National Security" without offering any proof of that beyond "I say so"
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:02 PM
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The "bad teeth" thing actually isn't true per se, I think there is something in the regulations about not being able to join if your teeth are so bad you can't eat or something like that. I was in basic and AIT with a guy who clearly had "meth mouth" when he joined, idk maybe he really liked Mountain Dew. His teeth were literally black and rotting out of his head. He was a good soldier, and he did what he was told and tried his best. By the time we graduated AIT he must have had $20,000 to $30,000 worth of dental work performed on him, maybe more and it was a long process.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:07 PM
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Of course I am. And his argument is "It harms National Security" without offering any proof of that beyond "I say so"
You're really not. And is that standard you offer in your second sentence one you hold yourself to? You've never speculated on this board what you think a particular course of action might lead to?
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:11 PM
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During Obama’s second term, the Army was shrunk by several tens of thousands of soldiers - somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000 soldiers. Even though that was a lot of soldiers to let go, I can’t really make a serious argument that our national security was harmed by it. Yes, it made life harder for all the remaining soldiers who had to pick up more slack for the units that were missing people... but I just can’t conclude that Americans were quantifiably less safer.

So if several thousand transgender troops were kicked out of the service tomorrow, I just can’t get on board with one-tenth of the Obama-era troop cuts making us less safe.

What I would say, though, is that it would make us a more prejudiced and bigoted nation.

Last edited by Ravenman; 04-11-2019 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:14 PM
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During Obama’s second term, the Army was shrunk by several tens of thousands of soldiers - somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000 soldiers. Even though that was a lot of soldiers to let go, I can’t really make a serious argument that our national security was harmed by it. Yes, it made life harder for all the remaining soldiers who had to pick up more slack for the units that were missing people... but I just can’t conclude that Americans were quantifiably less safer.

So if several thousand transgender troops were kicked out of the service tomorrow, I just can’t get on board with one-tenth of the Obama-era troop cuts making us less safe.

What I would say, though, is that it would make us a more prejudiced and bigoted nation.
Those folks weren't removed regardless of skills, experience, etc. And I'm not saying that suddenly we're at risk of invasion. I'm saying this is an own goal, and own goals should be avoided, even if we're leading 20 to 1.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:15 PM
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And is that standard you offer in your second sentence one you hold yourself to? You've never speculated on this board what you think a particular course of action might lead to?
Well, I was going with the standard of "Make a statement in Great Debates, back it up with facts"

Something that I thought was standard around here. Perhaps I'm wrong.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:29 PM
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Those folks weren't removed regardless of skills, experience, etc. And I'm not saying that suddenly we're at risk of invasion. I'm saying this is an own goal, and own goals should be avoided, even if we're leading 20 to 1.
Actually the Chief of Staff of the Army at the time complained that good soldiers were being let go:
“Unfortunately some people now are being let go that have done a very good job. ... But with the downsizing we no longer can keep them.” Odierno said.”
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:45 PM
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Actually the Chief of Staff of the Army at the time complained that good soldiers were being let go:

“Unfortunately some people now are being let go that have done a very good job. ... But with the downsizing we no longer can keep them.” Odierno said.”
So you're saying that it was his opinion that that decision may have done some harm to our national security?
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:54 PM
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If it were about money for medical procedures, then the military could stipulate that it wouldn't pay for certain procedures. Lots of trans people don't need any more medical procedures than cis people.

But it's not about money for medical procedures -- it's about hatred of trans people. There are plenty of trans veterans who have no extra medical needs, and forcing them out of the military is weakening our military and our national security. Further, turning the military into an explicitly bigoted and hateful organization will greatly harm recruiting, since lots of young Americans have no interest in joining a hateful organization.

It's doing great harm to our national security, and benefiting no one but anti-trans bigots.

I was in the Navy and there are plenty of other veterans who are against this bigoted policy.
The military already has medical procedures they won't perform or pay for.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:58 PM
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The "bad teeth" thing actually isn't true per se, I think there is something in the regulations about not being able to join if your teeth are so bad you can't eat or something like that. I was in basic and AIT with a guy who clearly had "meth mouth" when he joined, idk maybe he really liked Mountain Dew. His teeth were literally black and rotting out of his head. He was a good soldier, and he did what he was told and tried his best. By the time we graduated AIT he must have had $20,000 to $30,000 worth of dental work performed on him, maybe more and it was a long process.
Not bad teeth yet, but when I was in they would extract (angled at least) impacted wisdom teeth for those likely to be in submarines, because we don't want to interrupt underwater deployments.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:09 PM
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To sum up- I support transgender people in the military. My friend does not. I already got him to concede that there is a biological basis for being trans. He countered with 'The military won't let you in with bad teeth. Why should it pay for therapy, hormones, and surgery?'
The US Military does let you in with bad teeth. If they didn't, there's whole socioeconomic swaths they wouldn't be able to recruit from. I had a student, a US Army Lieutenant, who was one of the local ROTC teachers. He was the scion of two rich families: one Spanish, one American. Artsy, bohemian parents. He'd grown up between his parents' 6B in Spain and his grandmother's summer house in Cape Cod. How do you rebel against such a family? Join the miltary as an enlisted.

And that's where, after a lifetime of despising his Spanish classmates for their crooked teeth (he'd visited the dentist every six months, of course, and worn braces, of course) he found himself looking at visible caries and missing pieces. He was assigned an MOS of Dentist Assistant and saw 18yo mouths that would have been considered bad in a Spanish 81yo. He went to OCS when offered and was trying to become a dentist, with the intent to stay in the military so long as they would have him, to be able to serve those men and women who hadn't even visited a dentist until the military paid for it.

There's a lot of medical conditions that you can have; the military doesn't require perfect specimens. There are also many conditions which are not acceptable when you sign up but which will not get you automatically discharged if acquired while in service. That doesn't indicate what to do about transgenderism, but "the military only accepts super-perfect folk" is not an argument for not accepting transgender soldiers (either those who already know it when they sign up, or those who figure it out later).
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Last edited by Nava; 04-11-2019 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:33 AM
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I saw on The View that the military spends over ten times the amount of money supplying troops with Viagra than it does spending on people with trans type stuff going on. I am trying to find the exact figure that they used.

I mean if the Pentagon can cough up millions for boner pills, then whats the problem? Obviously its not the money that is the problem. I mean I'm not sure that swinging a thick rod has anything to do with foxholes and stuff like that.
Viagra can also be used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:35 AM
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Either keeping trans people out of the military or keeping non-trans people out of the military is fine with me. Whatever the military wants to do to limit the damage it can do is a good policy, even if it is mean-spirited.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:47 AM
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Either keeping trans people out of the military or keeping non-trans people out of the military is fine with me.
Did you feel the same way when Truman integrated the military? And as women were allowed to serve in combat positions? If there is any damage being done to our military (and I don't think there is any), we can address the problem and move past it, like we've done several times in the past.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:22 PM
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Either keeping trans people out of the military or keeping non-trans people out of the military is fine with me. Whatever the military wants to do to limit the damage it can do is a good policy, even if it is mean-spirited.
That's great, but in no way addresses the OP's needs. Anyway, the military were fine with keeping them in, it was the president who wanted them out. Where does that leave you?
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Did you feel the same way when Truman integrated the military? And as women were allowed to serve in combat positions? If there is any damage being done to our military (and I don't think there is any), we can address the problem and move past it, like we've done several times in the past.
Whatever reason the military has for keeping people out is fine with me. Their reasoning could be mean-spirited, compassionate, tactical, whatever. I’m not up in arms about a policy to allow more people in, nor am I up in arms about letting them in. I would prefer they keep as many people out as possible. The less military personnel, the better.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 04-12-2019 at 12:34 PM.
  #41  
Old 04-12-2019, 12:33 PM
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That's great, but in no way addresses the OP's needs. Anyway, the military were fine with keeping them in, it was the president who wanted them out. Where does that leave you?
I’m not hear to address the OPs needs. This is a debate?

The president is commander-in-chief. He IS the military.


I wouldn’t pursue keeping a certain group out because I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I can’t deny that keeping people out and hobbling the military would benefit mankind.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 04-12-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
Whatever reason the military has for keeping people out is fine with me. Their reasoning could be mean-spirited, compassionate, tactical, whatever.
The fact that you personally feel that anti-military sentiment is more important than antidiscrimination principles is not a valid justification for the armed forces themselves to adopt discriminatory policies. They don't have the excuse of being rabid anti-militarists who don't care what the military does as long as it ends up smaller.
  #43  
Old 04-12-2019, 12:50 PM
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The fact that you personally feel that anti-military sentiment is more important than antidiscrimination principles is not a valid justification for the armed forces themselves to adopt discriminatory policies. They don't have the excuse of being rabid anti-militarists who don't care what the military does as long as it ends up smaller.
Didn’t say it was a valid justification for them. I said that the policy would benefit mankind.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 04-12-2019 at 12:50 PM.
  #44  
Old 04-12-2019, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
Whatever reason the military has for keeping people out is fine with me. Their reasoning could be mean-spirited, compassionate, tactical, whatever. I’m not up in arms about a policy to allow more people in, nor am I up in arms about letting them in. I would prefer they keep as many people out as possible. The less military personnel, the better.
OK, so you have absolutely nothing to contribute to this discussion. Good to know.
  #45  
Old 04-12-2019, 01:03 PM
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OK, so you have absolutely nothing to contribute to this discussion. Good to know.
You’re right. Better to reflexively signal virtue like many others.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:04 PM
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Didn’t say it was a valid justification for them.
Then, as Telemark noted, your opinion on this subject isn't really relevant to a debate on the topic of the validity of particular justifications for the military's adopting a discriminatory policy.

However, if it was important to you to inform the people engaged in such a debate that you don't like the military, you can now rest secure in the knowledge that you have successfully accomplished that.
  #47  
Old 04-12-2019, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
I’m not hear to address the OPs needs. This is a debate?

The president is commander-in-chief. He IS the military.


I wouldn’t pursue keeping a certain group out because I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I can’t deny that keeping people out and hobbling the military would benefit mankind.
The OP was looking for help countering an argument. Another relevant post may counter that counter, so the OP is prepared or simply because it's a debate forum. What you wrote seems like an admission of threadshitting to me, but I'm not a mod. But since you have no intention of addressing the topic at hand, I'll stop engaging with you.
  #48  
Old 04-12-2019, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
I’m not hear to address the OPs needs. This is a debate?

The president is commander-in-chief. He IS the military.


I wouldn’t pursue keeping a certain group out because I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I can’t deny that keeping people out and hobbling the military would benefit mankind.
A clue as to whether this is a debate could take the form of forum placement. In any event, this thread is about arguments regarding transgendered folks in the military. The 'let's go with no military' approach is offtopic. Let's not derail further exploring this path in this thread.

[/moderating]
  #49  
Old 04-12-2019, 01:50 PM
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So far-

I've posted (thanks again!) what I feel are several strong points. My friend has yet to respond. I don't know if he's genuinely busy, if he's marshalling resources and allies of his own, or if he's walked away from the debate.
  #50  
Old 04-12-2019, 02:23 PM
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Yes, clearly it is off topic if someone does not take a token view from either side, but a nuanced one. Since when have these debates been limited to two narrow views set out by an OP? Truly bizarre.

I have clearly stated that it would be positive for humankind if transgendered folks were not allowed in the military, but that I would not be up in arms either way about the policies on the table. I have backed this statement up with my reasoning.

How some could fail to see how it is relevant to the topic is beyond me.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 04-12-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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