Yes, I'm still here. My brain has been on vacation.
Anyway, I have nothing to say, but Little Cicero had some insights on America's ban on LGBT people serving openly in the armed forces that I thought were worthy of discussion. (Is it wrong of me to start a flame war in a heat wave?)
A couple weeks ago, Little Cicero suggested that the ban actually protects gay people "from homophobes within the army" and isn't "a method of screening out gay soldiers."
Yesterday, he had this to add: "As I said, in the military thing, you are not deprived of a right of association or sexual activity, but rather of the right of speech, as in speaking of your homosexuality. As countless precedents may indicate, you cannot shout "Fire" in a crowded building when it serves no purpose. Analogously (very loosely so) you cannot shout "I'm gay" in a barracks when it really serves no purpose. The only way it WOULD serve a purpose is if you're looking for a good time with another gay soldier, which would be prohibited anyways. Since sex is detached from the military realm (theoretically) and homosexuality is a sexual condition, what is the rational basis for protecting the right to pronounce your sexuality in a non-sexual institution?"