Home / Culture and Society / Netherlands Military Outraged Over U.S. General Blaming Gay Dutch Soldiers For Massacre

Netherlands Military Outraged Over U.S. General Blaming Gay Dutch Soldiers For Massacre

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Before the Srebrenica Massacre of 1995, it was estimated by United Nation officials that a total of 34,000 soldiers would be needed to protect six Serbian towns that had been declared “safe zones”. As the Bosnian ethnic cleaning and mass murder of Muslims continued, NATO allocated too few men with only light equipment to protect the town of Srebrenica. Amidst pleas from them for supporting air strikes that fell on deaf ears, a force of only 450 Dutch Soldiers tried to hold back the Serbs, but were quickly overwhelmed, handcuffed to utility poles and rendered helpless to prevent between seven and eight thousand Muslim men and boys being marched off and slaughtered before their eyes.

There was swift and at times angry Dutch reaction after retired NATO commander and U.S. General of the Marines John Sheehan told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that former Dutch Chief of Defense General van den Breemen told him that homosexuals were partially to blame for the Netherlands’ impotent reaction during that infamous 1995 massacre. The Dutch government and people’s response to the bigoted American General’s attempt to rewrite history was immediate.

Dutch leaders and military officials were shaking their heads in outrage that anyone in their government would state such a thing, since gay soldiers have been allowed to serve openly with honor, gallantry, and distinction in their unionized military for over thirty-five years.

Retired General van den Breemen himself reacted to the use of his name by stating through official military channels that Sheehan’s statement was, “absolute nonsense.”

Dutch Defense Ministry spokesman Roger van de Wetering stated, "It is astonishing that a man of his stature can utter such complete nonsense, the Srebrenica massacre and the involvement of UN soldiers was extensively investigated by the Netherlands, international organisations and the United Nations. "Never was there in any way concluded that the sexual orientation of soldiers played a role."

Friday morning Radio Netherlands’ commentaries agreed with van de Wetering and asserted that with all of the studies in the aftermath of the massacre, the presence of homosexuals in their military was never even brought up as a factor, and to assert so was ridiculous. Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen and Defense Minister Elmert van Middelkoop both branded the bigoted attempt to blame gays in their military as “Extreemly strange” and reasserted that gays have served honorably in Britain, Canada, Australia and most notably Israel with no upset of morale or courage. On Dutch media Middelkoop later branded Sheehan’s remarks "scandalous, and unworthy of a soldier."

Sheehan’s additional assertion during the hearings that a squad leader trying to molest a fellow soldier under his command could have dire consequences in the heat of battle drew swift reaction as well from people with years of experience serving with openly gay soldiers. Dutch military union leader Jan Kleian appeared on television and said of Sheehan, “That man is just crazy,” then considering that statement added, “That sounds harsh, but what else can I say, because it is complete nonsense.”

Appalled, Renée Jones-Bos, the Dutch Ambassador to the United States, expressed her utter disagreement with General Sheehan’s assertion by posting the following on her website:

"The military mission of Dutch U.N. soldiers at Srebrenica has been exhaustively studied and evaluated, nationally and internationally. There is nothing in these reports that suggests any relationship between gays serving in the military and the mass murder of Bosnian Muslims."

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • I’ve dugg dozens of your articles lately-how about returning the favor kids?

  • Betty

    if the article was worth it, maybe more people would digg or whatever.

  • Betty

    I’m not trying to be rude, but if people like your writing, they’ll digg it if they want to. Why push people to do something they don’t want to.

  • Maybe it’s because of all of the articles I’ve dugg recently regardless of whether I agreed with them or not, and no one returned the favor despite EO sending out a mass request that we ALL, do it for the BC team. WHERE WAS ALL THIS UPROAR WHEN ERIC asked us to do it for each other several times in the last month or so?

  • One person does not constitute an uproar Jet. And all this is accomplishing is the “Digging” subject turning attention away from your actual article, not to mention irritating some folks who might otherwise be inclined to “Digg” your work.

    Also, last time I checked my name was not “no one.”


  • Forgive me… almost no one, and I believe Mr. Olsen made it a major issue, and I believe it’s one that deserves to be on the front burner.

    The vast majority of people seem to be overwhelmingly interested in the comments sections over the actual contents of BC articlse anyway.

  • Betty

    If I wanted to cause an uproar, I’d definitely do it over something that was actually worth it. For instance, the lack of professionalism that some of the writers here seem to display.

  • zingzing

    i’m really struggling to see what the possible connection between gay soldiers and the massacre is. i don’t even understand how the general is connecting it in his mind…

    as for the digging shit, whatever.

  • zingzing

    betty, since the writers aren’t paid… they’re not professional. and now you’re just being snotty. hoity-toity. snoot.

  • I find the entire topic (of “diggs”) demeaning. It smacks of a dog begging for his bone.

    Excuse me, Jet, but I can’t empathize.

    Fuck fame and fortune.

  • Just to be clear here, as an editor here I am mandated to “digg” any article that I actually publish. Beyond that, “Digging” is purely subjective. But in my case I usually do it based on an article’s individual merit, or in a few rare cases when it’s something by one of my friends here. The bottom line is that if someone likes your work, chances are they might “Digg” it.

    I think I understand your intentions here Jet, and I also think that they are mostly good ones. I also hope that by trading off Diggs with other writers, you are on to something that might catch on — I really do.

    But right now you are kind of shooting yourself in the foot by drawing attention away from your actual article, and whatever actual merit it may or may not have. You’re also coming off just a tad whiny — this doesn’t compliment you or your cause.

    As to the idea of “comments” being more interesting than the articles, I think that notion is somewhat insulting to the writers and editors who put in the time and energy to create them.

    Articles for BC or any other publication should stand or fall on their individual merit.

    I’ll wish you luck on this cause, but aren’t you just a little interested in what people think of what you took the time and effort, to…you know…”write”?


  • Jordan Richardson

    I like to exhibit a lack of professionalism on a daily basis. It’s good for the liver.

  • Not with the amount of vino you consume, Jordan.

    Try another tack.

  • Betty

    Zingzing, professionalism isn’t just about being paid. It’s about embarrassing yourself by using inappropriate pictures as avatars and being demanding of your readers.

    Not being paid has nothing to do about how people perceive you.

  • My liver must be about as “professional” as they come based on the Jordan Richardson criteria, then.

    Speaking of which,…Barkeep?


  • Betty, zingzing, and Jordan, are you writers on BC or readers?
    If you are writers, why don’t you leave comments with your link?
    If you aren’t writers, why don’t you sign up?

  • Thanks for the rare on-subject comment Zing. The bastard is just using a phony (read lie) excuse to cover his bigotry and ignorance. A lie that the Dutch govenment is vigorously uncovering as we speak.

    Gee, I wonder if that’s typical of American Generals?

  • Glen, the subject came up when I was digging one of your articles and the non-BC article on the same subject beneath it had over a thousand diggs.

    I thought that was pathetic and decided to raise hell about it, since EO started the ball rolling.

    That’s why I’m here.

    …and asking a bunch of barely educated bloggers, avarage housewives and rednecks to put out professional grade stuff is silly, and smacks of the massa complaining at his slaves about the quality of work he gets out of them because his ad revenue isn’t putting enough money in his pocket… doesn’t it?

  • Thank goodness. Now we’re back to the substance of things rather than bitching.

    Although I’d rather stay on the old topic a bit longer. It was more interesting from the human point of view.

  • Roger wrote something about this article???… must’ve been deleted?

    Betty, I’m touched, you’re the first one in over five years to complain about my avatar!

  • cannonshop

    gee, not one comment on the actual article…

    okay, one.

    Jet, the finding is like noting water is wet, of course the sexual orientation of the Dutch soldiers had nothing to do with their being utterly ineffective.

    NOw, if someone could just admit that the problem is deploying untrained people in blue beanies with no ammo or fire support in war zones…

  • zingzing

    FCEtier, i have written here, but i don’t feel the need to mix up my writing with any link to the garbage i write in the comments.

    betty, you’re silly. “inappropriate avatars?” now you’re being petty.

    jet, unless i’m mistaken, he’s blaming the undermanned dutch soldiers for being overwhelmed based on the fact that their military includes gay people? …that there might have been a gay person or two in their outfit, who are, of course, wimps, or something, and that that gay person’s wimp-ness turned them all into a bunch of distraught flamers, or something like that? is that his theory?

    was this just an offhand remark, or is he really putting that forward as his military opinion? if so, someone of his intellectual abilities would be better off pursuing a career in window-washing. not to offend any window washers. noble career. birdshit don’t clean itself.

  • No, I haven’t read your article, Jet, not yet. But I found the comments interesting.

    I’m surprise, though, that zing refers to his own output as “garbage comments.”

    Is that in keeping, zing, with your earlier stated view of your presence on the net as but “an online persona”?

  • Thank you Canon and thank god they’re not pink!

  • And yes, most comments on almost any BC thread are more interesting than the article itself.

    Wonder why!!!

  • 22-Yes Zing he was being completely serious, as evidenced by his remark about a squad leader hitting on an underling in the head… uh heat of battle.

  • #23-first sentence… I rest my case.

  • Sorry,I was digging an overworked housewife, which if read out of context could be misinterpreted…

  • zingzing

    roger, it’s more that some of the articles i’ve written here are included in my online portfolio for music writing that i’ve done. although there aren’t too many editors in the music mag business that would disagree with my politics, i just don’t want the two of them to get mixed up (politics and music, i mean).

    and yes, i’ll maintain that the “person” i am around here doesn’t truly reflect who i am. for one, i curse a lot more in reality. but i lie a lot more around here. fine, don’t fuckin trust me.

  • Zing curses????

  • It’s not a matter of trusting or not trusting, zing. It’s more a matter of why you, I, anybody, is here.

    I can think of better games of pretending. Besides, a masked ball is only a once-a-year event.

    I just see no point.

  • Roger?

    Am I also welcome here?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Betty, zingzing, and Jordan, are you writers on BC or readers?

    Maybe you should look me up. Written over 500 articles here.

    If you are writers, why don’t you leave comments with your link?

    I guess I should finally get around to doing that. Maybe later…


  • Of course you are, Jeannie.

    Without your input, any thread is dull.

  • Let me guess.

    Jordan doesn’t care for getting crank calls.

  • zingzing

    roger, my point is more that people think they can really get to know someone online, but that, while it’s possible, i suppose, it’s just not likely. we reveal what we choose to reveal around here, and the stuff we conceal could be much more difficult to hide in real life. trust me, if i acted like i do around here, i’d be a butthole. but i’m not a butthole. if this place were real life, i’d be conjuring up a coed underneath my desk right…

    oh my. look at you. ain’t you pretty… oh. now don’t do that… ok, do that… oh. my. god. can i call you susie? thank you, susie. nope, nope, you’re doing fine. excellent, oh perfect… holy mother of god, woman, where’d you learn how to… well, don’t answer me. no, no, you’re… oh. damn, woman.

    such vulgarity.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Jordan loves crank calls, it’s the real ones I hate.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Have her back by 11, Zingzing.

  • Lynn Voedisch

    Hello! Look, it was a good article and worth digging.
    I also resent this concept that all of us are not professional. I was a professional newspaper reporter for more than 20 years. As newspapers fell apart, I went off on other projects. BC and TR give me a chance to still write, which I do in as *professional* a manner possible. So whoever slagged us off can just… I won’t say it. We all write here for different reasons. I have mine.
    Jet, you are welcome to the books section or where ever else I pop up to read my articles.

  • zingzing

    fantasy women never stick around, jordan.

  • Jeannie you’re always welcome here.

  • OH COME ON JORDAN! It’s not a school night, she can stay out till midnight.

  • Thank you Roger, but I’m feeling really dull tonight…

    I’m going to go digg Jet’s article and then turn in.

    :0 nite all

  • It looks to me, zing, you’ve got a lot of growing up to do.

    I’m all for the sexual impulse, but I’ve always – well, not always – learned to separate it from intellectual pursuits.

    And I don’t mean it (any longer) as a kind of sublimation. But then again, I’m willing to entertain the possibility I’m fooling myself.

  • I wouldn’t digg Jet’s article, Jeannie, just for spite.

    Who does he think he is?

  • I was going to say I was no one Roger… but apparently Glen beat me to that handle… I would be interested to find out who you think you are and what you think of the article, but Bill Maher’s “real time” is coming on, so I’ll have to wait about an hour to read your snappy retort…

  • Snappy it will be. But please rest assured that I meant in only polemically.

    Talk to you to later, friend.

  • zingzing

    roger: “It looks to me, zing, you’ve got a lot of growing up to do.”

    damn thing just went down.

    “I’m willing to entertain the possibility I’m fooling myself.”

    or maybe i am. see?

  • The greatest military leader in history was in love with a man. Obviously General Sheehan has nothing in common with Alexander the Great. Eisenhower warned us about the American military industrial complex and their relationship with military brass. If anything the almost sexual nature of that relationship tells me there are a lot of closet cases leading the brigade.

  • And as Silas and I both know the closet cases are usually the most anti-gay of them all.

  • Just like Semites are greatest antisemites.

  • Roger, to respond would be an act of floccinaucinihilipilification

  • Tote THAT up on your Scrabble board!

  • Whatever suits your fancy, Jet. Good nite.

  • Jet, I know that’s (or it used to be) the longest word in the Oxford English Dictonary, but I still had to go and look up what it means.


    What a dreadful worthless doctor I am… 😉

  • Ahhhh Doc, you’re too modest 🙂

  • Stop floccinaucinihilipilificating!

  • EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEk! Stop peeking you pervert!

  • Just to get back to the article itself for a second, it would be nice if it provided at least some explanation of why Sheehan reached this conclusion. Surely it was based on something. He ought to be professional enough not to say something so utterly stupid without at least some reasoning behind it.


  • He lied about the Dutch general’s statement to him. Obviously he didn’t think his statement would get back to the Dutch government and was caught with his lying pants down…

    …so to speak.

    In all or your reading Dave, are you trying to insinate that he had a valid reason other than outdated macho marine prejudice?

  • Betty’s right about many things. If you are digging articles to get something in return you completely miss the concept.

    “And yes, most comments on almost any BC thread are more interesting than the article itself.

    Wonder why!!!”

    Because you have an overinflated opinion of your comments, Roger. They aren’t as interesting as you think.

  • cannonshop

    I think, Jet, you have to ask yourself “Would this have happened with Marines?”

    The answer is probably not-the Serbs wouldn’t have handcuffed ’em to telephone poles, they’d have killed them after a protracted and bloody re-creation of the streets of Mogadishu….

    because the Marines wouldn’t have surrendered easily. Same could be stated of Poms or Aussies. It has to do with organizational changes in continental armies in Europe leading up to this, as well as cultural changes in those originating nations.

    Sheehan picked the WRONG portion of those organizational changes to criticize-the one point, matter of fact, that is NOT a bad move in countries where it’s hard to get anyone to volunteer to serve.

    (after all, when you can make on the dole what a Sargeant is paid after four years of service…) The fighters of WWII and earlier are long gone. A bunch of long-haired disaffected eurotrash kids (or skinheaded disaffected eurotrash kids) isn’t going to put up a fight when you need them to-especially when they’re guarding people they couldn’t give less than a shit about, from people who’ve already shown skill and daring in ripping off french convoys right down to the body-armour, personal weapons, and vehicles.

    There was no organizational ethos that would MAKE the Dutch troops fight for these strangers, and so, they did not.

    it isn’t being ‘gay’, it’s being un-trained, un-motivated, badly led, and left to hang by the UNPROFOR command structure.

    It’s a perfect demonstrator model of how you can give a man a gun, and it doesn’t mean he’ll fight.

    Sheehan got it wrong.

  • EB the purpose was to follow EO’s lead-plain and simple. the more diggs they get the more attention they get from Digg and the more traffic that BC gets.

  • The Marines would’ve surrendered too Cannon-From my article:

    it was estimated by United Nation officials that a total of 34,000 soldiers would be needed to protect six Serbian towns that had been declared “safe zones”. As the Bosnian ethnic cleaning and mass murder of Muslims continued, NATO allocated too few men with only light equipment to protect the town of Srebrenica. Amidst pleas from them for supporting air strikes that fell on deaf ears, a force of only 450 Dutch Soldiers tried to hold back the Serbs

    The Dutch were vastly out numbered and outgunned with no hope of doing anything but keeping themselves alive, much less the town full of people they were trying to protect.

    There’s only one scenario that works-if they were American Marines-you can be damned sure that NATO would’ve sent the airstrikes the Dutch were pleading for but didn’t get.

    Those soldiers were heroes for holding out for as long as they did against such odds, and for that asshole to imply (using a bald-faced lie) that they gave up for any other reason is ridiculous and irresponsible, just to try to justify a stupid prejudice.

  • STM

    They were supposed to be peacekeepers. From what I know of the incident, the Durch military has willingly shouldered the blame. They had certain rules of engagement dictated by the Durch government that only allowed for a response that might be best descruibed as less than aggressive, mainly because of the perceived repercussions at home should there be high casualties, although it’s wrong to denigrate the individual soldiers.

    Sadly, though, as well know it led to a dreadful massacre in a supposed safe zone. Had it been anywhere but Srebrenica, you’d never have heard anything about it.

    As for the good general’s views: they’re bollocks. What, all the Dutchies were supposedly mincing pnasies, were they? What a joke.

    It says more about general sheehan than it does about the gay durchies.

    As for any views that it might have been different had it been Americans, possibly … but all I’ll say is: Oh, how quickly the US military forgets its own litany of military blunders and disasters.

  • STM

    But at least American or British troops would have been allowed to fire AT their attackers under their rules of engagement, not over their heads – which was actually part of the problem in this instance.

  • cannonshop

    Jet, first off, if it had been Marines, they would not have accepted or operated under the ROE that the Dutch allowed to be imposed on their troops.

    Americans aren’t trained to shoot “Over” the heads of advancing enemies-they would have been shooting AT the enemy, ROE or not.

    Second: Clinton learned from Mogadishu-Marines (or Army) would not have had fire-support witheld, UNPROFOR policies or no, and no commander of an Expeditionary Force of U.S. Marines would have allowed his men to be deployed under such ROE. (this may be why the U.S. tends to snarl and refuse command rights to non-U.S. entities.)

    Third, the Dutch did what U.N. focused troops who aren’t Canadians or former Commonwealth troops do-that is, they failed, just as the French troops did six months prior (the french failure involved a column of APCs stopped by Serb checkpoint on their convoy route, turning over the vehicles and combat equipment to the Serb bandits, instead of fighting.)

    Fact is, Jet, it’s a European Defect that has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the individual soldiers. The “Pansies” in this case are entirely in the General Staff and UNPROFOR command structure-regardless of THEIR sexual orientation.

    Beyond that, though-the Dutch were infamous in NATO circles before Yugo ever broke up-for a time, their army didn’t even have basic discipline, as it had been restructured to a more “Socially Progressive” model in the seventies, including beards, long hair, and a Union.

    When you combine poor training, lack of motivation, shitty leadership, AND kowtowing to Geneva, you get civilian massacres when the understrength, undertrained, badly led troops are faced with larger numbers of motivated, willing killers who don’t suffer the detrimental effects of incompetent officers, OR well-meaning but idiotic rules of engagement.

    It’s not the fault of the individual soldiers-they weren’t trained to fight in the first place, it’s ENTIRELY the fault of those soldiers’ commanders, who didn’t do even the most basic preparation or accept the conditions as they actually existed (and had, at that point, for more than four years). Commanders who neither prepare their men, nor stand up for them before the fighting starts, ARE Pansies, regardless of who they sleep with or how.

  • cannonshop

    Civilian lives were at stake, the Dutch government and the Dutch Command structure dropped the ball.

  • cannonshop,

    Just like you did on my thread? Then just walked away…

    Civilian lives were at stake, the Dutch government and the Dutch Command structure dropped the ball.

    That was really a cheap way to get the last word in on your part, wouldn’t you say?

  • Jet, this is your first article that I’ve read, and I find it very well done, especially your non-adversarial narrative and informative links to mainstream news sources. (My only cavil is your misspelling of “Extreemly”–or is that how the Dutch render it?) However, with your Comment #1, you ruined what you’d so skillfully set up, immediately distracting attention from the subject at hand and instigating an inane, overlong discussion of diggs. Maybe you and Eric Olsen care about this, but to me it’s like schoolboys bragging “My digg’s bigger than your digg!” Such foolishness sucked the air out of what ought to have been an interesting exchange.

  • Clavos

    Everybody’s a critic.

  • Clavos


    Well said, EB.

  • STM

    Cannon: “this may be why the U.S. tends to snarl and refuse command rights to non-U.S. entities.”

    Actually, they DO let the Poms command US troops from time to time, going right back to WWI, and including during the invasion of Iraq when some US Marines were under their command … but I’d say they are the only ones they would give the nod to, and if so, it’s more a matter of joint training enabling it and a matter of logistics, with some US units able to be spared with the aim of bumping up the operational capability of an ally.

  • STM

    Cannon’s right to a certain extent here in regard to how that whole thing happened. There had been people scratching their heads about the long hair of the Dutch military, and the idea it could be “progressive”. What does that mean in the Army? Seriously …

    The Dutch government was to blame, though, ultimately: they agitated for that role and their military weren’t prepared for it.

  • “Everybody’s a critic.” -Clavos

    :)Where ya been? Good to see you back!

  • Bill Maher’s “real time” is coming on, so I’ll have to wait about an hour to read your snappy retort…

    I wish all of you would watch him, you might see your world a little differently.

  • #61

    I wasn’t referring to my comments, LB. Why would you assume that?

    Besides, how can my comments be interesting to me since they are mine?

    As to your estimation of how I view myself, you exactly are on target. It’s just that your particular dig misses the point given the present context.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop, that’s a rather long explanation when basic arithmetic would have done.

  • One must wonder if was easier to blame the fags than bring up the open tolerance of pot in the Netherlands as the root of the military problem. After all, there’s a real movement on to legitimize pot whereas the queers, well, they’re abominations. Reality is that neither homosexuals or pot are the root cause. Our military leaders are quite in tune with the buzz words which resonate in Congress and the Nation. It’s amazing how simple we really are and it is profoundly sad.

  • zingzing

    yeah, it’s “queer” timing, i say…

  • Cannonship-I don’t care if they were all John Wayne Rambos-450 men can NOT defend an entire town-ROE be damned, if you’re life if threatened you’re not going to prevail against overwhelming odds. The ONLY reason those dutch soldiers weren’t killed was because no ne suspected any of them of being Muslim.

    by the way; calling someone a pansy to me is like calling someone a darkie in front of a black man. the insult and inference is still there, but in a lighter and obsolete form-though I doubt you meant any harm.

  • Alan #76, first thanks for the compliment.

    DO NOT ever ever ever critisize someone’s spelling or typing skills unless you’re willing to be a hypocrite and say you’ve never missed a screwed up/mispelled word while proofreading… that is a no no.

    As to the digg thing, Eric has pointed out several times that the more diggs an article gets, the more traffic we get from other sources who have never even heard of BlogCritics.

    We were all asked to participate several (many) times in promoting EACH OTHER’S articles by submitting them to other forums as a way of someone showing up here and my article, they may just stay long enough to read YOUR article as well!!!

    The more people that read YOUR article, the more feedback and encouragement YOU get.

    As I’ve said before, in the last few days I’ve Dugg nearly a hundred articles and was appalled to see BC artiles with only three or four diggs and others with upwards of hundreds to a thousand of diggs in some cases.

    It’s a matter of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.


    if someone twitters or logs onto digg and sees 345 diggs on one article and 7 diggs on a BC article on the same subject…

    Who are they going to click on?


    6 out of ten articles I’ve “dugg” I didn’t give a damn about or disagreed with the subject matter… or in one case the author has done nothing but give me grief since the day I joined BC, but I did it for the team.

    The fact that I’m willing to do it and yet am taking so much grief for it says a lot about the pettiness of the regular readers here who care more about having a social gossip network and trading arogant insults instead of being article readers… which is why BC articles have the lowest referal/digg rate I’ve ever seen and is totally unnecessary-considering the little effort it takes to help one another.

    …we now return you to your regular programming

  • Jet,

    1. I have to agree with Alan Kurtz; you did a very good job on this article, but by pimping for diggs at comment #1 you did yourself terrible damage that you need not have done.

    2. I have to agree with Cannonshop’s general analysis here. The Dutch have a shitty army (by choice, it appears), and shitty rules of engagement that increasingly are applied to our soldiers as well, probably in order to break their morale.

    3. Had the soldiers involved been US Marines, the story would have read differently. There would have been a battle, and air support would have been called in. If it didn’t come in a timely manner, the Muslims massacred would not have been the story at all. The casualty rate among the Marines would have, and Clinton would have suffered yet another black eye in the press.

    4. Four hundred and fifty soldiers, well equipped, might not have been able to stop the Serbs – but they might have been able to hold them off until air support or artillery support arrived had they been willing to shoot to kill, and keep killing without letup. Americans are known for this willingness.

    Have a good week!

  • STM can you imagine what the uproar would’ve been if international media covered every single civilian death during World War II?

    When will the U.S. learn that the ONLY way to win a war is to make its civilian population suffer enough to rise up against its government.

    That’s what happened in Germany, Italy and Japan when we bombed the piss out of them and we should’ve have got the message when the World Trade Center was destroyed that that was what the towel heads were doing but thankfully failed to do to us because of patriotism and GOP breast beating.

    One thing that they succeeded in doing very well though, was to raise worldwide headline outrage out of all proportion every time some housewife in Afghanistan was hurt during a bombing raid or a brick was chipped at a Mosque.

    We need to send a bunch of B52s over and carpetbomb afghanistan poppie fields and northern Pakistan until the son-of-a-bitches scream uncle; civilian casualties be damned.

    The fucking world is becoming an old episode of Star Trek where war is painless, so there’s no reason to end it.

    We lost thousands of people in New York and didn’t learn a thing from the loss.

  • 77-Roger you often call me an egomaniac… you can dish it out but you can’t take it???

  • 79 Thanks for veering back onto subject my friend…

  • Hey, I’m egomaniac too, does it make things any better?

    I was referring to the “digg” thing. I think that’s ridiculous.

    I don’t give a hoot what others think about the quality of my stuff. Neither should you.

  • This is a only representative list of the hundreds I’ve dugg over the last few months. The first number is the number of diggs that article has TODAY!

    This is pathetic and goes to our BC (or lack of) spirit. For Eric to be pissed that more of us aren’t supporting each other is completely justified and frankly I’m ashamed of all of you.

    3 Music Review: Title Tracks – It Was Easy – Blogcritics Music
    3 Movie Review: Tales from the Script – Blogcritics Video
    3 Book Review: Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand –
    3 Book Review: Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed Amer
    5 Book Review: America at War in Color by Stewart Binns and Ad
    4 Music DVD Review: A Gospel Calling: Mahalia Jackson Sings –
    3 Commentary: Reading for Survival by John D. MacDonald – Blo
    2 DVD Review: Weight Loss Workouts – Blogcritics Video
    2 DVD Review: FlashForward – Part One, Season One
    3 DVD Review: Walker, Texas Ranger: The Seventh Season
    7 DVD Review: Believe It Or Not, Starring Robert L. Ripley
    2 DVD Review: Fit in 5: Ultimate Body Blitz
    6 Ohio University Is Proof You Are Stupid – Blogcritics Sports
    6 FlashForward Flashes Back onto TV – Blogcritics Video
    11 Netherlands Military Outraged Over U.S. General Blaming Gays
    4 The Rockologist: Why Paul Revere And The Raiders Belong In T
    6 Fred Phelps and Fellow Idiots Are Walking on the Fighting Si
    5 The Vote is Your Voice — Defend It and Use It – Blogcr
    7 Tinkering Texans Tamper With Texts To Teach Slanted Right-Wi
    5 TV Review : Survivor 20 – “Slay Everyone, Trust No One”
    5 TV Review : Survivor 20 – “Slay Everyone, Trust No One”
    6 Music Review: Was (Not Was) – Pick Of The Litter 1980 – 2010
    5 Music Review: Johnny Cash – American VI: Ain’t No Grave – Bl
    6 The Rockologist: Talkin’ Bout My Record C-C-C-Collection
    5 The Rockologist: What If They Were On American Idol?
    4 Music Review: Seasick Steve – Man From Another Time – Blogcr
    8 You Can’t Always Get What You Want by Sam Cutler
    7 Hooray, An Actual Box Score – Blogcritics Sports
    3 Jake Delhomme Has Thrown His Last Panthers Pick
    3 Pistons’ Rodney Stuckey Suffers Apparent Seizure During Game
    3 MAC Basketball Tournament Preview: One Is Enough
    3 THF: You Can’t Break The Trapezoid – Blogcritics Sports
    2 Ridiculous Female Connecticutians Win 71 Straight
    5 U.S. Curling Nationals May Cause ADHD – Blogcritics Sports
    3 A Republic, If We Can Keep It – Blogcritics Politics
    3 The America We All Want – Blogcritics Politics
    5 DVD Review: Dallas: The Complete Twelfth Season
    4 DC Snowed In – America Safe for 72 Hours – Blogcritics Polit
    8 Pat Robertson Remains an Idiot
    6 TV Review: Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura – “HAARP”

  • Sorry, Jet. I just don’t happen to believe in the idea of self-admiration society, even if that means supporting one another as part of the BC community.

    The articles should rise or fall on their own merits, not because they’re written by “our own.”

  • Your right Roger-we should do absolutely nothing to bring traffic/interest to this site. After all they might happen onto one of your articles and trigger a mass exodus.

  • I didn’t say that, Jet, I was only arguing for merit.

    Personally, I think BC and Technorati management ought to be more pro-active in drawing attention to the quality of some of the writing – apart from the understandable concern of drawing in the advertisers.

    If I understand it correctly, EO himself had come from “humble beginnings.”

  • And to the best of my knowledge, Jet, you’ve never left a comment yet on any of my articles. So what gives, your trying to call everybody’s attention to yours?

    It’s a kind of double standard, or so it’d seem to me.

  • Roger, it may interest you to know that I’m stoned on pain meds most of the time and it’s rare that I’m functioning at all.

    I just recently had another heart operation (my sixth for someone as young as I am) which I can’t pay for and have to field at least 10 collection calls each and every day except Sunday.

    With post traumatic Stress from the attack and beating, being a medicare victim of the change over, being almost a millionaire to filing bankruptcy in 2007 and having barely enough money for two-weeks groceries, having to beg doctors for drug rep samples of prescriptions that I can no longer afford (I went january and most of February with no insulin and nearly died), and from deep Depression I’m either sleeping all the time or awake 22 from flashbacks and nightmares, it’s a wonder I’m on BC at all-which you may have noticed I’ve been absent a long stretch at a time.

    every so often, the old Jet comes out and I can laugh and joke between being treated at Ohio State… all covered in my on line diary.

    You paint me as some self-centered asshole who doesn’t give a damn about anyone but myself, and yet through all that here I am promoting hundreds of articles that I DIDN’T EVEN WRITE.

    Forgive me for resenting that I’m doing all that for all of you and barely getting anything of the kind in return.

    [personal attack deleted]

  • Why is anyone going to want to return to the site when they see you using it as your personal playpen in the comments?

    You write good, interesting articles on topics no one else here covers. It’s too bad you counter that with such immature, unprofessional behavior.

  • Jet,

    I’m aware of your medical problems and believe me, I’m trying to make an allowance for that. But that doesn’t mean I must agree with your immature behavior. We all have problems, perhaps not as severe as yours, but problems nonetheless. You don’t hear me complaining, for example, or asking for special treatment.

    And where were you, BTW, when I and Cindy tried to raise money for Realist on these here, BC pages? Not a boo from you.

    It’d certainly seem to me that Jet is concerned with only number one. Not that I blame you, given I’m not in your shoes. But the point, my man, is that if you want sympathy from others, you ought to show sympathy in return.

    And again, the matter of “diggs” sounds awfully juvenile to me. I’m certain you can do better.

  • Roger asks;

    And where were you, BTW, when I and Cindy tried to raise money for Realist on these here, BC pages? Not a boo from you.

    You obviously missed the part about not being able to afford insulin for nearly two months?

  • Good way to take thing out of context EB, I’m supposed to let people verbally shit all over me while trying to bring traffic to other people’s articles by getting them interested over at digg to come to BC and read two or three other article besides mine.

    In the last two months I’ve dugg over 300 articles trying to brew up traffic for bc-of that maybe 4 were my own-

  • I wasn’t talking about money, Jet. None but Cindy and me have joined the cause. So much for the BC community, dear friend, never mind the frickin’ diggs.

    But even a word of support would have gone a long way.

  • In the last three months I’ve been on BC maybe a total of 12 days-did I get an appeal from you by e-mail that I missed?

    Most of those three months were spent in the hospital or doctor’s office

    excuse the hell out of me if I wasn’t around.

  • Jet,

    It’s nice that Your here now and that’s all that matters.

    : )

  • OK, I stand corrected and I withdraw.

    But now you’re on. I haven’t seen you commenting on any other article but your own.

    Think about that!

  • Surely there are a few authors out there that have seen my comments on other articles lately who can straighten this pinhead out?

  • I know, I know-don’t call you Shirley… sigh

  • Just point them out yourself, Jet, for all and sundry to see.

    No problem, as far as I’m concerned, nothing wrong with being egocentric. But you’re carrying this attitude to the nth degree.

  • And I do understand, BTW, that you have an ax to grind – the gay issue. But I submit,t contrary to your idee fixe that there are issues which command our attention just as much.

    It’s perhaps this more than anything else that I find most objectionable.

    We’ve all got to step outside of our own immediate problems and recognize that our problems are but a part of human problems at large.

    It is precisely in this respect that you appear to be most deficient – identification of self with the rest of us.

  • Yeah, all those hundreds of other’s articles that I’ve dugg were for selfish reasons.

    I’m really ashamed I even tried-it won’t happen again

  • I ain’t going to say that it was for selfish reasons. But your asking for recompense kind of is.

    I’m sorry I broached the topic. I’ll respectfully withdraw.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Holy hell, Jet, get off the cross.

    You can digg articles quietly without seeking constant recognition and adulation for your “good deed,” you know. Producing a list of the “good deeds” you’ve done is just tacky.

  • I should add to Jordan’s apt saying,

    “Somebody else needs the wood.”

  • The purpose of the list was to show how few diggs each article got not to brag about it.

    I can see I have no friends here

  • What does the idea of friendship entail, Jet, I really mean it, especially in the context of BC site? Does it mean I have to commend every Tom, Dick and Harry for mere posting?

    If you’re talking about solidarity and the kind of values we all should stand for – gay, straight or lesbian – than I’m all for it and you can count on me. But what else could you possibly require? What else is needed to see you’re not alone?

  • This video has to be seen to be believed. This isn’t a statement of fact, it’s a political statement blaming liberals and unions, and then a lame attempt by adding actual facts into it to say that if we let liberals and/or unions anywhere near our military everything will fall apart like a soggy doughnut!

    Click here

  • Considering that the very Dutch Defense Ministry General that Sheehan claims told him that denies saying it-isn’t him quilty of perjury and Lying to Congress?

  • cannonshop

    Jet, 450 men might not have stopped the Serbs-but then again, they actually MIGHT have-or at least, slowed them down some-homicidal maniacs tend to be somewhat disinclined to advance if they think they’re going to get hurt and/or killed, and when a situation moves from “advancing to Cleanse” to “advancing into battle”, the pace drops considerably-which is to say, 450 men fighting back and inflicting casualties CAN slow a division or more long enough to get reinforcements or to evacuate some of the civilians. What you’re also minus understanding on, is that ROE also dictates access to resources-such as air-support, artillery, and heavy weapons that act as force-multipliers in the field, and training for MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) that also acts as a force-multiplier-but only when you’re not under the kind of ROE that UNPROFOR likes to use, which is more suited to controlling large crowds of unarmed, frightened people, than engaging the hostiles that are scaring the shit out of them.

    In short, you don’t send riot-cops to engage armoured columns, which is the tactical situation in Srebenice.

    As for the he-said-he-said games between Sheehan and the Dutch general, there isn’t a uniformed service in any country that will ‘own’ a general indicting his own military for weakness…even when it’s deserved.

    This doesn’t mean that there aren’t generals that’ll do that very thing on the assumption that their words won’t leave the officer’s mess. Given that the Netherlands has shown to be owners of one of the worst trained, worst prepared, armies in Europe, I’d be more like to take the denial with a grain of salt, than the original claimed statement.

  • Thanks for your point of view Cannonship, consise and clear. I disagree about the denial though because Holland has had openly gay troops for over 35 years. If it wasn’t working out, they’d have ended the “social experiment” long before this; don’t you think?

    By the way the Dutch general is retired and would have nothing to lose by agreeing with Sheehan, but seeing his former position in the defense ministry, you’d think he couldn’ve dismissed the gay soldiers a lonnnnnnng time ago if they were so much of a problem and embarrassment without much retribution.

    Also Dutch fighting soldiers are serving right alongside American Soldiers in Afghanistan and to my knowledge no big strong macho U.S. marines have been gang raped in the heat of battle with the Taliban.

    I can see how Sheehand would be concerned for American troop safety considering the possiblity of some poor defenseless Army corporal screaming for help while a horny Dutch animal has his way with him with bullets flying over their heads.

  • cannonshop

    #115 Jet, what you’re missing here is this: you’re presenting arguments that are…well, straw-men? The concern isn’t some “gay threat” here-the concern is more along the lines of Dutch troops being ineffective, not being aggressive about their sexuality or lack thereof.

    In 1995, they WERE ineffective-it strikes me that, in twelve years and after such a humiliating event as Srebenice, they probably at least acknowledged the actual problems leading into that, and made some efforts to fix them.

    Historically, in 1995, the Dutch likely were NOT prepared in terms of training, organizational ethos, discipline, or command structure, to face an enemy that uses live ammo (as the Serbs did in the Balkan conflicts), this doesn’t mean that particular defect travelled forward over the next twelve years. Having your soldiers handcuffed to telephone poles while the civilians they were supposed to protect are murdered right in front of their eyes would tend, I think, to create some pressure to address the conditions that led up to that experience. THe mockery and humiliation on an international scale probably would help to drive the political will to correct those issues as well.

    but Honestly, while it might be fodder for a fetish-site, I don’t think any of our soldiers or marines are particularly worried about a Dutch Gang-rape event actually happening, or even particularly concerned about Horny dutch sargeants touching their privates. A more reasonable worry would be concern that, with the shame of what happened in Srebenice, today’s Nederlanders might go a little…overboard, or abu-ghraib, to show that they are NOT limp-wristed pansies who can’t fight.

    The gays-in-the-military issue goes down to one thing: UCMJ.

    The UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) includes regulations on what sort of sexual contact a soldier may engage in-and defines as “Sodomy” everything not missionary sex between a man and a woman.

    Sodomy is worth five years in prison if you’re convicted. Fix that, and the other issues fall away (including don’t-ask-don’t-tell).

    Fixing the UCMJ requires not Generals or Presidents, but Congress. Congress writes the UCMJ, Congress can amend, alter, or adjust it. Unlike Civil government, Military authorities have very little leeway in whether or not to enforce the laws they operate under-chaptering out gay soldiers instead of court-martialling them is a route taken, but it’s actually a very lawyerly abuse of another chapter of UCMJ-one meant to deal with people who can’t adapt to military life for other reasons.

    (and anyone who’s had time to observe knows-the more virulently homophobic someone is, the more likely they’re just in denial about themselves.)

    I think Sheehan screwed up, I also think he believed every word (more or less) that he said-self delusion is one of those skills most human beings practice for free.

  • So General Sheehan shot off his mouth off about homosexuals. This is indicative of the bigotry in the US military – and there is plenty of it – rather than any intelligent assessment of Dutch fighting capability.

    As it stands, the Serbs did not kill the fellow Europeans (and presumably fellow Christians); they humiliated them by letting them live handcuffed to poles. “Soldiers” who don’t fight should be sent home to drink coffee or schnaps.

    They made fools of the Hollanders, and their commanders, and added a new dimension to the term “Dutch courage”.

    Some stupid bigot from one of the most bigoted militaries in the world, that of the United States, should be taken as seriously as some white trash saying that all blacks are stupid and lazy, and that all Jews are thieves.

    Give the general a bottle of moonshine and tell him to enjoy himself, and then sleep it off in his pick-up truck next to the pigs and the garbage. Give him permission to share out the moonshine with his driver, too.

  • cannonshop

    #107 Ruvy, White trash do Meth, not moon-shine, they don’t work (not even raising pigs), and most of ’em might talk about trucks, but they DRIVE smoke-billowing, ill-repaired, old econo-box cars they picked up for three hundered bucks and are still making payments on, two years later.

    Sheehan screwed up, Ruvy, it’s not “organizational” in the Military, and your characterization of the service just shows how little you know about the culture inside the Service, and how your views were entirely generated by your youth as an activist in the 1960s.

    In short, Ruvy, as much as I respect your positions WRT Israel, you’re talking out of your ass on this one.

  • Cannonshop,

    I want to know as little as I can about the US “military culture” as I can – except for knowing how to kill American soldiers should they invade Israel.

    I didn’t get to learn what I know about your military from any “activism” in the 1960’s. I’ve learned about it from Jews who have been discriminated against in the US Armed Forces, I’ve learned about the active efforts to force Jews to convert to Christianity in the military, from the endemic Jew-hatred at West Point, and other sources as well.

    Things are a bit different today, now that there is no draft in the States. But the underlying Jew-hatred remains. And it appears that General Petraeus, who now wants America to view Israel as a threat to American soldiers lives, was part of this culture of Jew-hatred.

    As to white trash, and their particular culture, I leave you to tell us all about them.

  • cannonshop

    #119 Ruvy, you might consider your sources there are plenty of skinhead scumbags who’ll regale someone of their “unfair discharge” for antisemitic activities, or for gang membership/recruitment. There are places around bases where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone who’s got a beef with the military, usually claiming that their particular ethnic group (including white supremacists and ‘identity Christians’-basically nazis) is being or has been systematically discriminated against by the military, and while there is some truth to past allegations of antisemitism in the armed forces (especially before WWII), it’s not institutional, except in terms of being a chapter the armed services do NOT want repeated.

    In other words, shit the professional soldiers are ashamed of from their past.

    as for White Trash, I CAN tell you quite a bit about them-I have the misfortune of having family members who qualify, and I despise them in ways you likely can’t even begin to imagine-to the point where I may bend over backwards to help a total stranger, but I wouldn’t piss on these people to put them out were they on fire (though I might turn a wire-coathanger out and roast marshmallows and weenies over the flames while laughing…You’re fortunate in not having anyone in your family worthy of such disdain.)

  • Jet, I’m sorry you were offended (#82) by my pointing out (#70) a misspelled word in your article. Having earned a living for decades as a proofreader/word processor, these things jump out at me. I was simply amused that you attributed the quote to Dutch cabinet ministers. Somehow, in my total ignorance of their language, “Extreemly” looks Dutch to me. But obviously you couldn’t see my tongue in cheek, so I apologize.

    I feel especially bad because I had no idea of your severe medical/financial problems (#93). As I said, this is your first article that I’ve read, and I haven’t followed your online diary. Nevertheless, in response to your plea (#102), I can confirm that two months ago you left not one but two comments on one of my articles, for which I thank you. And in response to your assertion (#102), “I can see I have no friends here,” please be assured that is not true. I would be proud to count you among my friends, Jet.

    As for the side issue here, which seems to have assumed a life of its own, I accept that you encouraged us to digg other people’s articles in a spirit of teamwork, with the goal of attracting traffic not just to your own posts but to everyone’s. That’s a commendable. However, you clearly misinterpret the negative response to that idea, as if the backlash were directed solely at you and not symptomatic of a larger problem.

    At Blogcritics, the lack of teamwork runs deeper than diggs, as illustrated by comment #94 on this thread. For non-insiders, “El Bicho” is the pseudonym of Gordon Miller, who like several other BC editors routinely attacks authors via comments on their threads. In this instance, he accuses you of using BC “as your personal playpen” to indulge in “immature, unprofessional behavior.” To me, Mr. Miller’s conduct is immature and unprofessional, not yours. (If he contacted you privately by email before resorting to this public denunciation, then I retract my statement. But I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that he didn’t bother.) When I recently complained to BC publisher Eric Olsen about editors backstabbing authors, he dismissed my concerns as “bizarre.” Yet now you tell us (#88) that Olsen is “pissed that more of us aren’t supporting each other.” Now that is bizarre.

    Jet, I wish you well. But you’re misguided in supporting Eric Olsen’s brand of hypocrisy. He has his own personal agenda for Blogcritics, and it sure as hell doesn’t involve teamwork.

  • Correction: The “no friends” reference in my preceding post should be #110, not #102. Having been retired for several years, my proofreading skills are obviously getting rusty.

  • STM

    Silas: “One must wonder if was easier to blame the fags than bring up the open tolerance of pot in the Netherlands as the root of the military problem”.

    My understanding of it is that in the 70s and 80s, the Dutch were having problems recruiting any one with half a brain in to the military, so they changed made it so that if you wanted to have long hair, you could. That’s OK for a peacetime army doing nothing but it did make them a laughing stock …

    However, I think things had changed somewhat by the time of the srebrenica debacle. Simply, they were totally unprepared for what happened, and in fact many Dutch soldiers have said they didn’t even realise what was happening in regard to the civilians being carted off until it was too late. I think the commanders initially thought they’d averted an incident by appeasing the Serbs. Then, whammo … the Serbs grabbed them, took their vests, uniforms and helmets in many cases, and began rounding up as many bosnian men as possible.

    The real problem lies with the Dutch government, which had agitated for what it saw as a very prestigious role, but without preparing its military for what might happen, and the Dutch commanders. It’s not down to the individual soldiers and Sheehan has been foolish to make this claim. The Dutch have moved on and have done OK in Afghanistan, where they are based at a very active firebase with the Australian infantry and special forces in Karin Towt (although they are likely to be pulled out soon) in what is quite a dangerous part of Oruzgan province.

    The Dutch withdrawal of their 2000 troops will be a purely political move (indicative of how public perception can affect such things, and which is partly why rules of engagement in Bosnia required the Dutch to fire over the heads of the enemy, not at them), and that now places the Australian operation there in jeopardy, with Australia either being required to boost its presence in Oruzgan as requiested by Obama – most Aussies deployed are currently special forces soldiers or experienced infantry units with plenty of experience under their belts from Afghanistan, the East Timor invasion and Iraq fighting – or to train up troops from whichever nation replaces the Dutch. The whole thing is currently looking like a logistical nightmare.

    That notwithstanding, my understanding from a friend who has returned recently is that the Dutch have a more traditional grasp on military matters than they might have done in the 70s and 80s.

  • Nils Florman

    Alan @ # 121,

    I wonder that you don’t observe your own pontificating about keeping disagreements between writers and editors off the threads. I note that for weeks now you have pursued Gordon Miller, who comments under the name of El Bicho, from thread to thread, apparently seeking to castigate him for alleged transgressions.

    Apparently, in your case, it’s “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    You, Sir, are the hypocrite.

  • Well put Mr. Florman…

  • The minor point may be that Alan is not an editor and therefore, that different standards apply (not that I agree with him, necessarily, especially if the editors work pro bono and aren’t part of “the management”).

    As to use of a handle, I don’t see why it should enter the discussion at all.

  • “(If he contacted you privately by email before resorting to this public denunciation, then I retract my statement. But I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that he didn’t bother.)”

    Looks like your ignorance is going to cost you. I first addressed this behind the scenes when Jet brought it up and then did so here after seeing his comments.

    Also I didn’t attack Jet. I attacked his behavior. You might have been able to discern the difference if you weren’t blinded by an agenda no one else cares about and whatever is stuck up your backside.

    Considering you can’t let go of this “issue”, you might want to focus on your own maturity before concerning yourself with anyone else’s.

  • Well, Jet was kind of negligent then in allowing the misunderstanding to continue.

  • But hey, he’s got 13 diggs now to show for his efforts. Persistence does pay off.

  • Jet,

    I just dug another article…how about you dig mine? : )hmmm? lol

  • I take it back. Teamwork is alive and well at Blogcritics. At least Nils and Jet are on the same team. Jet, I also rescind my offer of friendship. You and Nils make a much better couple.

  • That’s the spirit.

    Although “teamwork” is perhaps too gratuitous a term. I’d be more inclined to speak of cliques.

  • And now, since Alan made his apology, let me make mine.

    I accused Jet earlier on this thread that almost without exception, most of his comments appear on his own threads; I was mistaken to think such a behavior a shameless act of self-promotion.

    Apparently, I was proven wrong. Jet does post occasional comments on other people’s threads. Mea culpa.

  • Groan… A. Jeanie; I DID digg your article and several others had you looked at the digg page and clicked “Who Dugg this article”

    B. Gordon, the idea was to bring traffic to BC so that OTHERS would be dugg, and that they’d hang around to read other’s articles-Which was at Eric’s suggestion and he’ll confirm that…

    —–The idea was to connect my name to Digg so strongly that every time someone saw me on a thread, they’d think “did I digg this article yet?” and then go do it.—–

    C. I don’t really need any dating help, thank you.

    I AM NOT AS MUCH OF A SELF-SERVING, CONCEITED JERK as you people seem to think I am.

    All that work to veer back on topic down the drain…

    I’m “extreemly” disappointed in all of you.


  • I wonder wha the general thinks of women now serving on submarines?

  • Point of order-some of the people you few are calling callus, heartless and down right selfrighteous were part of a group of editors and readers that collectively contributed over $900 in order to help me with lawyer fees in 2007 when I was forced into bankruptcy.

    Forgive me if I don’t join in your little feeding frenzy.

  • zingzing

    wow, alan. time to grow up.

  • Roger (#132), did you perhaps mean grandiose? “Gratuitous” doesn’t quite fit.

  • Quite right, Alan. Just the word.

  • STM

    Perfectly good thread gets destroyed by bollocks.

    Hope no one writes a piece about gay Diggers or we’ll really be in the shit.

  • Someone is serving women submarines? I hope they are Italian ones. Wow, I am hungry. I could use one of those.

  • There were all kinds of Diggers in our historical past, such as this little group, but I’ve never heard of gay Diggers.

    Is it some secret society I don’t know about?

  • Stan,

    We can bring it right with a few comments about food. 😉

  • Back in NY when I was working on Wall Street, hero sandwiches made it big and famous, especially with meatballs.

    Now I’m salivating.

  • Come think of it, the very idea of a gay digger is too explosive for words.

  • dear god

  • Everything is better with meatballs.

  • STM
  • STM

    “Everything is better with meatballs.”

    Except Vegemite. It only works on hot buttered toast.

  • Yes, Stan, the Anzac troops were notorious.

    Constantly on their Blackberries, Digging, Twittering and Facebooking away when they should have been going over the top.

    But for them, World War One really would have been over by Christmas…


  • I can honestly say that meatballs and Vegemite is one combination I haven’t tried.

    My brother probably has, though. His favourite sandwich when we were kids was mayonnaise and marmalade.

  • STM

    Yuk …

    Actually, you probably could add a bit of Vegemite to meatballs just to make them a bit beefier-tasting. Not too much though.

    Still, it’d be a fraught operation, just getting the right amount. Just a hair between success and disaster.

  • STM

    Doc: “Anzacs … Twittering”.

    Whatever they were up to and most of it would have been nefarious one way or the other … they did think their Pommy leaders were Twits.

  • Haggis is good with mayonaise and Marmolaide

  • Pommy?

  • I take it there were no John Bulls amongst them?

  • I take it there were no John Bulls amongst them?

    The Brits are overstuffed with bull…. Nah, better not go there. I’m liable to express my opinion of them, and am in too much of a good mood to ruin it all thinking about the British.

    Tell you what Jet. Go to Arutz Sheva article, and learn something about the Brits from Dov Gruner.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • STM

    There are many thousands of my countrymen’s mass graves and memorials to them littered across Ruvy’s neck of the woods, from two world wars.

    And yes, the was a bit too much bull a lot of the time from certain quarters. I won’t go there either 🙂

  • STM

    Ruve: One here, at Beersheba, probably not far from you Ruve, where the Light Horse supposedly carried out the last great successful cavalry charge in history, using their 18-inch rifle bayonets instead of swords.

    Believe it or not, they were galloping so fast, the Turks and Germans were a bit like the Dutch – as they got closer they fired over the heads of the horsemen because they couldn’t keep their range, which is probably why it succeeded.

    Otherwise, it probably would have been the last great suicidal cavalry charge in history. Bad enough as it was, without that.

  • If you look up redundant in the dictionary it says “see redundant”

  • Stan,

    I read the rest of the article. Thought I would bring a paragraph of it over here to educate the Americans and brush off just a bit more of their ignorance. It is believe it or not, germane to one of the the topics at hand here, massacre, dugg out from history’s bowels….

    Beersheba was a major administrative center during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine. A railway was constructed between Rafah and Beersheba in October 1917; it opened to the public in May 1918, serving the Negev and settlements sout of Mount Hebron.[10] In 1928, at the beginning of the tension between the Jews and the Arabs over Palestine, and wide-scale rioting which left 133 Jews dead and 339 wounded, many Jews abandoned Beersheba, although some returned occasionally. After an Arab attack on a Jewish bus in 1936, which escalated into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, the remaining Jews left.

    We’ve retaken the city where Abraham and his descendants used seven wells. It is ours once again – with no officious British bastards to stand by and do nothing while Arabs murder Jews.

  • Pommy?

    Oh, come on, Jet, you’ve hung around with Stan and me for long enough now to know what that means.

  • Until John Boehner, the House GOP Leader, comes forth with the “baby killer” member of Congress he better get ready. Starting Wednesday it’s going to be Out a Congressperson a Day until we know the culprit. So put on your best heels, Jet. It’s going to be a fun week in Washington.

  • I just wanted to show I was paying attention Doc.

  • I already have a bunch of generals and congressmen listed on my Jet’s Gay Pride site Silas…

    …I’m waiting to ad to the list of honor and the list of shame. It’s located just beneathe the table of contents.

  • Major Bill Weaver

    Though I do not agree with the General’s assessment (particulary due to a lack of evidence) his comment may speak to why repealing the policy of don’t ask/don’t tell in the US is a bad idea.

    Socially, the US military is on average more conservative for multiple reasons (not the least of which is the machismo inculcated and frankly necessary for a group of males trained to kill (I refer particularly to the all male combat arms branches)).

    Recent commentators have suggested that combat effectiveness of the organization should be the primary consideration for or against repealing the US policy. Based on my own 14 years of experience in combat arms, the effects on combat readiness will not come from gay soldiers but from members of the military who are not socially liberal enough to accept them.

    Though a socially conservative perspective is not universal, it may be widespread enough to affect individual gay soldiers and their units negatively.

    student, Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

    The views expressed in this comment are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

  • oops typed in the wrong html

  • Peace, Jet. I was being contrary the other day, I admit it.

  • Really, Roger? I’d have never have know if you hadn’t told me! 🙂

  • Well, we all have our days. I was as moody as a woman on a rag.

  • Now, Cindy’s going to give me hell for the last remark.

  • Thank you Major Weaver for that well thought out comment. All (with few exceptions) are welcome here.

    I too have gay and staight friends and relatives in the armed forces and I can tell you that they all know gay soldiers and tell me that that it’s a rare occasion that anyone in the military DOESN’T know a gay soldier personally and not only do they like them, but would trust them with their lives.

    You fear what you don’t understand, but once you understand something you find there’s nothing to fear.

    Thanks again for your input.

  • When I was in the service, the average understanding was that all WAC were lesbians.

    That didn’t detract me any from getting into their pants, but I can’t claim any spectacular successes either.

  • trying to get into . . .

  • When I was mustered out
    I thought without a doubt
    That I was through with all my care and strife

    I thought that I was then
    The happiest of men
    But after months of tough civilian life

    Gee, I wish I was back in the Army
    The Army wasn’t really bad at all

    Three meals a day
    For which you didn’t pay
    Uniforms for winter, spring and fall

    There’s a lot to be said for the Army
    The life without responsibility

    A soldier out of luck
    Was really never stuck
    There’s always someone higher up where you can pass the buck
    Oh, gee, I wish I was back in the Army

    Gee, I wish I was back in the Army
    The Army was the place to find romance

    Soldiers and WACS
    The WACS who dressed in slacks
    Dancing cheek to cheek and backs to backs

    There’s a lot to be said for the Army
    A gay was never lost for company

    A million handsome guys
    With longing in their eyes
    And all you had to do was pick the age, the weight, the size
    Oh, gee, I wish I was back in the Army

    There’s a lot to be said for the Army
    The best of doctors watched you carefully

    A dentist and a clerk
    For weeks and weeks they’d work
    They’d make a thousand dollar job and give it to a jerk
    Oh, gee, I wish I was back in the Army

    Three meals a day
    For which you didn’t pay
    A million handsome guys
    With longing in their eyes
    I thought that I was through with all my care and strife
    But after months and months of tough civilian life
    Oh, gee
    I wish I was back in the Army now

  • Okay, so if fudged the lyrics a little… sue me (:p~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

  • Sounds like a Gomer Pyle monologue.


  • Gomer was in the Marines-pay attention!

  • Well, in that case let me attribute it to Audie Murphy.

    Is that better?

  • It’s from the movie White Christmas. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sang it to each other

  • Ah yes. Bing Crosby the rabid anti-homo and Dame Danny Kaye. When producers told Crosby that Danny would be his costar he exclaimed, “Kaye! Why?” I guess Louis B. Mayer didn’t hear him right. He arranged for them to share the same trailer. It’s amazing what we hear when we hear “K” “Y”. I think of Mitch McConnell. Either way, when Mitch speaks, we better be lubed.

  • Okay Silas, I’ve got the html fixed, click my name and below the table of contents you’ll find a current list of athletes, celebrities and congressmen (I’m still debating Massa). Also above the articles column there’s an up to the minute gay headlines ticker covering legislation, hate crimes, general and celebrity news…

    This is only one of six pages I handle covering Politics, Science, Astronomy, Medicine, entertainment news etc.


  • You should add, Bing the wife beater.

    No relation to Archie, as Ruvy endearingly calls him. I really have no idea what goes on between the two of them, but I don’t want to know.

    Must be love at first sight.

  • John Wilson

    Seems to me that Major Weavers comment is based on the presumption of ultra-masculinity of combat units, but I think that’s open to attack on two fronts:

    1-maybe the presumption is wrong. Maybe the hyper-aggressive, easy to provoke, soldier that we commonly see on TV and film isn’t the best soldier. Maybe a different type works better.

    2-Why assume that a gay soldier is less aggressive, less violent? An interesting gay man once spent a half hour after dinner convincing me that gay maledom is more macho than hetero maledom, indeed, it’s all about masculinity.

  • Hey Jet, David Dreier on your list? He’s on mine but for an entirely different reason. I’ll check out your site.

  • STM

    One of the firecest men ever to play Rugby League, which is the toughest game in the world – and yes, I’m including American football in that – was a guy named Ian Roberts, who played for a number of different teams in the Australian National Rugby League.

    And yes, he was gay. Now we have Gareth Thomas, the Welsh Rugby Union international, who came out recently and who has now switched codes to play Rugby League for the Welsh-based Crusaders side in the British Super League. I watched him go around on his first outing the other night, and went pretty damn good for a newbie to Rugby League.

    There seems to be some idea in some quarters that all gay blokes are mincing pansies. Not so.

    All those other very tough guys in the NRL who’ve been tackled by Ian Roberts and been nearly broken in half – or put in disneyland or hospital – in the process would be able to disavow anyone of that notion in a heartbeat.

    He hasn’t played for some years but is still regarded as one of the toughest men to pull on a pair of footy boots.

  • Silas, Unfortunately Dreier hasn’t come out yet and might possibly be a victin of a vindictive opponent.

    I’m trying to be faire here.

    An example would be when Paul Lynde (uncle Arthur) who is gay “outed” Agnes Moorehead (Endura) as a lesbian when they were both on Bewitched.

    Lynde later admited it was all a spiteful fabrication that he spread all over hollywood because of Mooreheads anti-gay slurs towards him when they worked together on the show-you can see the contempt in her eyes on every episode they appear together.

  • Thanks Stan, I included a whole section on him in my “How many famous athletes are gay Vol. I” article here and on my own site.

    drool drool

  • I also included a photo of Gareth in my “Jet’s Gay Pride Page” banner.

  • re #176 I’m particularly fond of this because I played the tough-as-nails general in our high school production of it.

  • Silas to you remember the scene where Bing and Danny sang in drag abuot being “sisters?”

  • There seems to be some idea in some quarters that all gay blokes are mincing pansies. Not so.

    So true. The mincing swishes get the media attention and the “looks” because they’re so out. The quiet, reserved ones never gain any attention or notoriety. And that bodes well for the gay community. I would say only 5% of out of the closet gays/bisexuals get all the attention because of their “spontaneity”. But it shouldn’t matter. It’s not who one loves or how one loves. What’s paramount is that one is capable of knowing love both giving and receiving which is not of a parental nature.

  • zingzing

    stm: “One of the firecest men ever to play Rugby League, which is the toughest game in the world – and yes, I’m including American football in that…”


  • Oh, cripes, Stan and zing, don’t start that argument again…

    OK, OK, look, no-one walks off the field at the end of either an NFL game or a top-level rugby league game with the same number of limbs they started it with.

    Both games tough enough for you? Everyone happy now?

    Now pipe down and sew each other’s heads back on.

  • Zing, he’s right. Their game is just as rough as our football but they don’t wear pads

  • Careful guys me might wake up Sussman!

  • zingzing

    no, no… not starting. i just promised him that every time he brought it up, i’d be quick to point out that he does in fact view life through a cultural lense. but if you ever do want to bring it up again, i actually did some research on the subject… suffice to say, pads actually increase physical pressure…

  • zingzing

    doopee doopee doopee doo

  • MEN play rugby. Masculine poufs play American Football and they wear pads even when they’re not in that time of the month. I’ll take Roller Derby, thank you very much.

  • zingzing

    say it on a gridiron, silas. double dare you.

  • All this testoserone… my my

  • zingzing

    meh. it’s not football season. where else we gonna squirt it? did i have to put it that way? what’s wrong with me…

  • STM

    Of course, the other thing is Silas, there’s no offensive or defensive teams in Rugby or Rugby League (they are very different games).

    You play the full 80 minutes, tackle your tits off, get pounded and get up again … or get a new handbag.

    Suck eggs zing … it IS football season down here. Starts in February with the Super 14 Rugby in NZ, Australia and South Africa, and then the NRL goes right through to September … and then we’ve got the international games.

    That disgraceful abomination of a game they play in the heathen southern and western states of this country, Australian Rules Football, is also on as of now. But who cares … I’m not into sleeveless tops.

    It’s just an all-in brawl without punches (mostly). Should be called No Rules Football. Or Girly Men Football 🙂

  • STM

    zing: “suffice to say, pads actually increase physical pressure…”

    Bollocks. The poor overpaid dears wear pads and 1960s motorcycle helmets in case they get a bit of a knock.

    Yanks …

  • zingzing

    science disagrees, stm. it actually boils down to psychology… do you really want to do this?

  • say it on a gridiron, silas. double dare you.

    I once said at a Huskies game that I thought 80% of the team were flamers and got a lot of pissed looks. The amazing part? No one disagreed.

    You play the full 80 minutes, tackle your tits off, get pounded and get up again … or get a new handbag.

    OK, now THAT sounds gay. Hey ,Stan, I’ll be Down Under in April 2011. Think they’re ready for a bloke like me? I thought I’d come down and commiserate with the anti-Rudd folk.

  • Oh, and another thing. I once did ask a couple I met from Green Bay if it “was true that every citizen of Green Bay owns a share of the Fudge Packers.” Come to think of it, no one disagreed then, either.

  • zingzing

    all well and good, silas… especially on the packers one. screw them. stupid packers. do you make it obvious that you say these things as a gay man, or do people walk away thinking you’re a homophobe? that would be pretty funny.

  • STM

    Silas: “I’ll be Down Under in April 2011. Think they’re ready for a bloke like me? I thought I’d come down and commiserate with the anti-Rudd folk.”

    You’ll have plenty of mates in that case. Rudd’s not real popular at the moment. A lot of us voted for him because the other mob were only slightly to the left of Genghis Khan and Atitila the Hun but he’s just done some really stupid stuff, although our economy remians the strongest in the western world. Still …

    It’s unusual for a government to only last one term, but he’s going to run close.

    How come you’re heading down here Silas?? And if you’re going to be in Sydney, let’s make sure we catch up. I’m in the city six days a week so if you’re staying in town it should be easy enough.

  • STM

    zing: “science disagrees, stm.”

    What has science got to do with it. You’re either a tough bastard without pads or your not.


    Yanks …

  • zingzing

    oh dear. ok.

    i know i’m opening up a can of worms, but i looked at some of the science of rugby vs. football… someone strapped on some sensors to players of each sport and had them make hard tackles against each other. because of the way each game is played, the rugby players hit each other with approx. 1600 pounds of force (this was on a high pass), while football players hit each other with almost 4800 pounds of force (on an open-field tackle after a pass).

    in a way, it’s the padding that creates this amount of force. because you are padded, you’re more likely to use the full force you are capable of. even a rugby player knows that if he runs into someone full steam, he’s going to get hurt. padded football players don’t have to worry about this. also, lateral positioning has much more meaning in rugby than it does in football, so the idea is less to keep someone from moving forward than it is to take them down out of position, and stopping power isn’t as important as slowing momentum.

    of course, the researchers duly noted that rugby players hit each other in such ways with higher frequency, and that, all told, the pounds of force a player can expect throughout a game are about equal.

    still, 4800 pounds of force is like getting hit by a car going 35 miles per hour. if you want to try it (or let one of your rugby heroes try it) without some padding, you let me know what your insurance number is and i’ll telephone ahead for an ambulance. bring your favorite team out and your bookie’s number and we’ll place some bets for their next opponent.

    pads are necessary in football because of the increased force with which players hit each other. simple as that. rugby players bones would break (more often) if they were hitting each other with that kind of force,
    but they simply aren’t.

  • STM

    Zing: “i looked at some of the science of rugby vs. football…”

    I’ve seen that too. The problem is, it was some mickey mouse amateur rugby team from LA being compared to a professional American Football team.

    Doesn’t compute.

    You need to compare the two (three) games at the very highest level.

    If you were to compare The Springboks or the All Blacks, or England, to one of the professional american football teams the results would be very different.

    Also, the hits in rugby league are much harder and occur much more often than in rugby, so if you were to compare pro American football to the top level of professional rugby leage .. the NRL, say … then the results would be very, very close.

    Trust me on this zing.

    But that sports science thing: amateur LA rugby team (not even at the level of the suburban competition in Sydney, which is about the 10th tier down) vs pro american football team doesn’t make for ANY kind of scientific experiement.

    Most of those rugby players in that experiement would be a) left standing and wondering what happened if they played at the top level, or b) be in Disneyland in five seconds flat.

    There is a huge difference at the top level. It’s fast, furious, bone crunching … and professional – and hardly anyone is good enough to make it, just like in american pro football.

    Let’s have a proper experiment mate, or perhaps I can get some poor gibberers who play in the amateur american football league in Australia to do a sports science experiment against some professionals from the NRL.

    Do it in reverse, and I bet the results would be exactly the same in reverse.

  • STM

    How many more bloody times do I have to post an NRL state-of-origin series rugby league big hits video, which zing probably doesn’t even watch, to prove my point …

    Anyway, I rest my case – and some of these games are very old.

    Even better in HD.

  • zingzing

    was it a professional player? they never made that clear as far as i remember. but i wrote that a while back, but deemed it not the proper time, and it took me a while to find it the first time….

    still, you’re quick to dismiss the experiment because you don’t like the results. i doubt an australian is going to hit at three times what an american can hit at. doubt it very much.

    if unpadded rugby players WERE hitting each other at the force of a car going 35 mph, do you think they’d survive that impact time and again? doubt it. and yet that’s what (apparently) the nfl players are hitting at. the math just doesn’t add up, stm.

  • zingzing

    “How many more bloody times do I have to post an NRL state-of-origin series rugby league big hits video, which zing probably doesn’t even watch, to prove my point …”

    i’ve watch them. every time you put them up. i’ve also watched rugby players knock themselves out on stupid plays because they hit each other in a way that they just can’t without pads. a padded football player would walk away fine, but there are just certain ways that rugby players can’t hit each other, because they wouldn’t get up again. and they know that. so they avoid it.

  • STM

    zing: “was it a professional player?”

    The experiment you are using to support this argument was pro footballer vs amateur (American) rugby player. The US national team isn’t even close to the top tier. There are some good players, but still … it’s not even comparable to the professional game.

    Rugby league players hit with the same velocity as american footballers, only more often … and without pads.

    This argument is getting tedious and is another classic example of americans never wanting to be regarded as being second at anything.

    Especially when it comes to whose toughest.

    We know who is … and we don’t think it’s you guys 🙂 Not that we carry on about it though except when faced with America’s national pastime … bragging.

    Too much mouth, too little action up there. Or too many wires loose between brain and mouth over that side of the Pacific.

    No smiley face this time.

  • zingzing

    christ. look, the math doesn’t back you up. care to answer the question above? “if unpadded rugby players WERE hitting each other at the force of a car going 35 mph, do you think they’d survive that impact time and again?”

    “This argument is getting tedious and is another classic example of americans never wanting to be regarded as being second at anything.”

    stop it. i’m just pointing out that pads are necessitated by the facts. people would die in the nfl (and they get paralyzed and crippled regardless) without pads. that’s why they wear them.

    you can act as if rugby players are all more manly than football players, but whatever. it’s the nature of the game. if rugby players were hitting with the same force, and didn’t wear pads, they’d die. stright up fact, stm. your bones aren’t stronger than ours.

  • STM

    Some players wear a thin layer of soft padding on their shoulders and chest, but it’s only to take the sting out of the high-impact collisions.

    I’m not going to debate it any more zing. You keep believing what you want to believe. I know who needs to be a) fitter and b) more physically robust … and it’s not on that side of the pond.

    Come on, mate. You didn’t even know the difference between rugby and rugby league a few months back. At least I watch American football all the time so I’m not coming from a position of ignorance here.

    I do appreciate the athleticism required of American football players, and how tough they need to be even with pads and helmets because I DO understand how those things can be used as weapons, but I think the game has become too slow, too dull and too bogged down in recent decades. The most exciting thing I’ve seen in NFL for a while was the touchdown scored in the superbowl before last where the scorer stepped around a couple of people and into open space to score. I’m sure it was played over and over again over there. Worth watching the whole thing just fotr that.

    I also realise it’s just a nuance of the game but I find it really bizarre that there are two teams as well: one for attack and one for defence, but hey, there you go.

    But it’s not the hits that makes me like rugby league. I used to play it and I know how much it hurts even at the level I played at.

    It’s this kind of stuff – the speed of the game and the excitement factor, which I think has been diminished in recent years in American football.

    Except for plays that that one I mentioned. If you know the touchdown I’m talking about zing, could you please post a link to it in your next comment so I can have another look. It was good stuff.

  • You ain’t gonna win this argument, zing. Stan is just as stubborn as any Yank, especially when it comes to prowess; of course he’ll never admit it because he’s always in the right.

    Must be a complex, I guess, always being told you’re a second best. Wonder why, though. I’ve never told him so.

  • STM

    Here’s one you’ll like if you liked that one in the superbowl. My all-time favourite from that annual series in Oz, way back in the ’90s.

  • STM

    Rog: “Must be a complex, I guess, always being told you’re a second best.”

    Sorry Rog, you’ve got it arse-about. This is Australia … no one with half a brain tells us we’re second best at anything.

    It might be true, but it’s always good ammo for proving the opposite. Rule 1: Never give your opponents anything.

  • zingzing

    “Come on, mate. You didn’t even know the difference between rugby and rugby league a few months back.”

    for the second time, THAT WASN’T ME. you’re confused. remember it this time, please…

    the situation you describe is one that is physically impossible, as if rugby players are a breed of superhumans who can survive impacts that a normal human being cannot. it’s just not possible. unless your rugby coaches have transcended physics, rugby players cannot get up and play a game after getting hit by a car going 35 mph. that’s 56 kph if you’re getting confused by that. all human bones break at a certain amount of pressure. rugby players are no different.

    so is it that they’re superhuman? or is that they don’t hit hard enough to break bones every damn time? if a rugby player was hit with 4800 pounds of force, his bones WOULD break. that’s just the way it is.

    i know you’re ignoring my question because it doesn’t reconcile with your point of view, but that’s too bad.

    “I also realize it’s just a nuance of the game but I find it really bizarre that there are two teams as well: one for attack and one for defence, but hey, there you go.”

    strategy. players are specialized. it’s a complex game.

    and no, i don’t know the touchdown that you’re talking about. the situation you describe isn’t uncommon enough.

  • I tried to find stats on the average player’s size in both leagues.

    Here are some NFL stats.

    And now NRL’s, youngsters, though, so the comparison is somewhat off.

  • “but it’s always good ammo for proving the opposite. Rule 1: Never give your opponents anything.”

    In that case, we see eye to eye. Sorry, though, but I couldn’t resist it. You do tend to be a tough opponent, we all know that.

  • STM

    I notice the same debate going on in that NFL stats thread Rog. Lol. Bunch of 14-year-olds gioving it to eavh other like me and zing. Good job no one can throw a punch in cyberspace.

    Those NRL stats are about right … but they’re for backs, who are supposed to be lighter and faster. Also, as youngsters, they won’t be quite up there.

    RL players are actually slightly smaller on average than NFL players, that much is true, but that’s also because they need to get arouind the park.

    The two games are different … each has its athletic requirements.

    I reckon one’s better than the other – so does zing.

    He’ll never agree with me; he thinks it’s all bullsh.t and I’ll always believe he just talks bollocks about American football … so that’s where it’ll stand, forever and a day.

    Nice to behave like a 14-year-old again though.

  • What about a Dutch soldier wearing pads?

  • It sure looks like that, Stan, that there’s nothing new in cyberspace. But I do have a good one for Jet:

    You couldn’t mean kneeling pads, could you now?

  • I had better sign off before getting kicked off.


  • zingzing

    oh, stm… i’ve got you back into a corner where you’re making an argument that breaks the laws of physics and medical science.

    i’m not saying that football is better or the players are tougher. both have their athletic and physical requirements, and all of those requirements are remarkable.

    but there’s a reason for pads in football. and it’s not because americans are pansies. that’s all i’m arguing. and i think i’ve argued it pretty well. but you haven’t answered my question, which i’ve stated twice (or more) and i think i know why… it’s up to you if you want to man up and explain it in some way that doesn’t make it impossible.

  • STM

    I also think zing’s stats are a load of rubbish. If I was dressed up in a mountain of plastic armour, I could hit like a truck too.

    The difference is, it’s not REAL. It’s plastic armour vs plastic armour … which protects a player from the impact.

    The truth is, the real injury damage in all these games is done through contact with the ground during the tackle, twisting of the limbs or from collisions in the air.

    Both of which occur at speed, which is the key factor.

  • As someone who grew up with the version of football where you actually use your feet, and so don’t have a dog in it, this fight is a bit bizarre. Amusingly so, but still…

    It’s a bit like how you two might regard a pair of fans arguing over whether ballroom dancing or figure skating is a more Olympic-worthy sport.

  • STM


  • STM

    Ballroom dancing is for pansy mincers.

    You only have to look at the big shoulder pads to know that.

  • Oh, God, what have I started now? 🙂

  • STM

    Now, how can I rev up more Americans?

    1) By suggesting the 2nd amendment be repealed.

    2) By calling the founding fathers a bunch of “old farts”.

    3) By suggesting that people earning over $US100,000 pay a tax rate of 42 per cent so that people who are earning less can get free health care; and that those earning less than $100,000 pay less on a sliding scale, right down to the single mother on welfare who pays NOTHING but still gets the same care as the millionaire.

    No, done all those. Come on Doc … clue me up mate.

  • Both sports require a high degree of athleticism, artistry, teamwork and coordination. Both are recognised by the IOC, and it’s just a historical accident that one is a long-established Olympic sport and the other isn’t.

  • …do you make it obvious that you say these things as a gay man, or do people walk away thinking you’re a homophobe? that would be pretty funny….

    Actually, unless I indicate otherwise I present myself as a rabid heterosexual without even trying. Problem is I see a nice set of breasts, I’m a wolf. I comment on either sex if I see something that tickles my fancy — which is rare. I know my nephews were mortified when I spake those words especially when I pointed out that one player in particular was definitely a rainbow boy. Several months later they came back and reported that I was right. Gee, gaydar anyone?

    How come you’re heading down here Silas?? And if you’re going to be in Sydney…

    We’re going down for business and vacation. About 10 – 14 days in Melbourne. We’re planning 21 days total but may increase it to 28 depending on how funds are at the end of the year. We’re definitely going to be in Sydney for a minimum of 5 days but want to get over to Hobart in Tasmania. I really want to spend a few days in the old Gold Rush towns. As we approach launch, I’ll let you know. Perhaps we can do a special radio show from Sydney!

    I tried to find stats on the average player’s size in both leagues.
    Roger I glanced past that line and for a moment my heart stopped. You really need to expound lest Jet gets the wrong idea.

    Now, how can I rev up more Americans? 1) By suggesting the 2nd amendment be repealed.

    Tee hee hee. Now I would have to fight that one. Stan, I have been telling more people lately that I’m ready to have us region the Commonwealth. Let the Queen deal with this mess and call for new elections post haste. I’m almost at the point of being a Monarchist.

  • STM

    Mate, Hobart is my favourite city in this country. Doc’s been there too.

    It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Problem for you is, once you’ve been, you’ll want to live there, although it’s a bit cold there at the time of year you’re going (cold for us, anyway).

    If you want to know where to go and what to do in Tassie, let me know and I’ll clue you in. I used to fly all the way down there just for long weekends, I love it so much.

    At the very least, in Hobart, you must eat fresh seafood at Constitution Dock;

    Take a drive up the top of Mt Wellington, which looks out over the Derwent, the Harbour and the city and its surrounds;

    Stay in an 1800s B&B in Battery Point and take in the weekend markets in Salamanca Place.

    Walk around and look at the old houses in Battery Point and the shoreline and the houses on Sandy Bay.

    In Melbourne, make sure you see an Aussie Rules football game – they get huge crowds – and take the tram out to St Kilda for dinner.

    There’s a million more and Hobart is surrounded by beautiful rural towns and villages … tell me if you want to know, but they’re pretty good ones for starters just in Hobart itself.

    I reckon Sydney’s better than Melbourne, especially in autumn, but then I’m biased.

    How come not visiting far northern NSW or south-east Queensland?? That’s the spot these days. Do that and you’re doing the whole east coast without going tropical.

    Make sure you look me up while you’re here.

  • STM

    Silas: “I’m almost at the point of being a Monarchist.”

    Make sure you’re only a constitutional monarchist Silas … you’ve seen what happened to all those fancy continentals (Europeans) and their misguided absolutism. If you’re going to have a monarch, make sure they have no power and are answerable to the people, not the other way round.

    Spain and Portugal have only been genuine modern democracies since the 1970s. Both had 40-odd years of fascism. I find that totally bizarre.

  • STM

    As for France and Germany, nuff said.

  • zingzing

    oh, stm… ok, rugby is played by physically-impossible ubermenschen and football is played by a bunch of tinkerbells in 80s fashion. have your reality. “The difference is, it’s not REAL.” if you can’t even explain how your rugby players negate physical law, and won’t even bother to try, i guess the argument is pointless, as you say. you won’t budge. btw-the 9/11 truthers could use you on their side. all you have to do is want to believe.

    and i’d go with ballroom dancing, as that’ll get you more chicks. might as well use it to your advantage. unless you live in canada or something where there’s more ice than beds.

    as far as revving up americans goes, all three of those suggestions make quite a bit of sense. too bad the first and third probably won’t happen. but poot away on the second…

  • STM

    zing: ok, rugby (legaue) is played by physically-impossible ubermenschen and football is played by a bunch of tinkerbells in 80s fashion.”

    I knew you’d come round to my way of thinking. The truth is always out there zing … you only have to look for it!

    But congrats are in order for finding it!

  • zingzing

    ahem. “If I was dressed up in a mountain of plastic armour, I could hit like a truck too.”

    could you be hit by a truck without it? (and could you REALLY hit like a truck?) no. (and no.)

    could. not. resist. stop. me.

  • zingzing

    we really need to just boil this down to a game of roshambo. is that how you spell it?

  • zingzing

    maybe “rochambeau.” never had to spell that word… or say it… or really even think it before…

  • STM

    I’m with you on that. I’ve never had cause to spell it either. I’m actually about to madly go looking it up.

  • STM

    According to the urban dictionary: “2. A nut-kicking contest, usually performed between two males, taking turns to see who can take the most kicks in the nuts.”

    That makes sense, since the original Rochambeau was a Frenchman.

    We just calls it nut-kickin’ down this neck-a-the-woods.

  • STM

    Silas, if you wanted to do a radio show from Sydney, we might be able to use the studio here.

    And we can have an on-air Vegemite tasting. Lol. That’d be a hoot.

  • Now just look at this, all I did was log onto my article and all this athletic equipment fell out of my monitor, jocks, plastic pads, ice skates, maxi-pads, footwear, footy boots??, a huge naked poster of Ian Roberts, a seafood menu, a jar of mayonaise, a rugby referee’s shirt, a dictionary opened to a page with “pansy mincers” circled, and an unfolded and crumpled map of Europe…


  • zingzing

    stm: “That makes sense, since the original Rochambeau was a Frenchman.”

    i think it’s actually an agglutination of the french phrase for “rocks-scissors-paper.” take from that what you will…

  • Why not argue Coke vs Pepsi which should produce just as much leeway?

  • Boeke

    “If I was dressed up in a mountain of plastic armour, I could hit like a truck too.”

    If Footballers replaced the plastic armor with Real Steel Armor the resulting clanking would be much more satisfying. You’d gain some fane from the”Renaissance Pleasure Faire” crowd, too.

    Then if they eliminated timeouts and had to drag the dead and wounded off the field during actual play it would be exciting.

  • Jet @ #249: LOL. That’ll teach you to leave your computer on standby while you’re asleep.

  • Problem for you is, once you’ve been, you’ll want to live there

    I dunno. Hobart is very pretty, but I didn’t feel like I wanted to live there. Sydney, on the other hand…!

    Melbourne: I loved the weather (all four seasons in one day… I’m English, remember), the excitement (it was the first city we visited in Australia) and finding a decent kebab shop. But living there? Eh. Bit too staid for my taste.

  • Boeke @ #253: Makes sense. American football is often compared to chess, which in turn is often compared to warfare.

    Perhaps the American version of football really is the oldest code, and was invented not in some Ivy League college but on the battlefields of medieval Europe. 🙂

  • I’d like to go black opal hunting in Australia

  • I had a strange dream last night that Ian Roberts was tied to a windmill and Gen. Sheehan was hurling maxipads at him trying to get him to divulge where the football was that he’d hidden microfilm of a street map of Sydney in…

  • The ten most dangerous sports arrrrrrrre…

    10. RUGBY: Possibly the most brutal contact sport on the planet. These boys put NFL stars to shame by being just as vicious in their tackling but without any of the protection. Given that fact, it’s hardly surprising that rugby has more injuries per player than any other participation sport. In fact, they’re three times more likely to get injured than someone in martial arts. Torn muscles, concussion, broken bones – these boys don’t stop unless they can’t physically continue.

    9. CAVE DIVING: Being a diver is bad enough, what with the risk of decompression, which can cause failure of the spinal cord, brain and lungs. But diving in caves takes things to a whole other level. At depths of 100 feet in a pitch-black cave it’s incredibly easy to lose your bearings, have problems with your air supply – or even be eaten by some big, vicious creature. According to the Texas-based San Marcos Area Recovery Team, more than 500 people have died since 1960 while cave diving in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean alone.

    8. CHEERLEADING: In the US alone, there were more than 20,000 reported injuries last year alone, making cheerleading the world’s most injury-prone sport in the world for women. In fact, the girls on the sidelines are more at risk of hurting themselves than the guys on the football field. Broken legs and spinal injuries are not uncommon. Don’t tell these hardcore girls that cheerleading isn’t a sport – they’ll eat you for breakfast.

    7. MOTORCYCLING: The most dangerous motor race in the world is, without doubt, the Isle of Man TT event. In its 100-year history, this one race has seen more than 220 deaths. The race mainly involves trying not to die by falling off your bike and ploughing headfirst into a tree at ridiculously high speeds.

    6. FISHING: The sedate pastime of angling has one of the highest mortality rates of any sport due to the number of people who drown every year. Rock fishing – which involves casting a line into the ocean from the shoreline – is also notoriously dangerous, with people often losing their lives when they are dragged under by huge unexpected waves. In Australia alone, 15 people died while rock fishing in 2001. Plus, which other sport’s competitors routinely take part in what is, to all intents and purposes, mass murder? Fish have feelings too, you know…

    5. ROCK CLIMBING: According to Accidents In North American Mountaineering, the year 2000 saw 24 deaths in the US due to rock climbing mishaps. As well as getting up to wherever it is you want to go, you’ve got to be able to get back down, which is what makes this such a dangerous sport – it’s not too easy to get medical help when you’re 1,000 feet up and there’s nowhere to land a chopper. Bad weather can prove extremely hazardous, quickly causing frostbite or hypothermia. In the insurance world, rock climbing is classed as a Category 5 sport. The only things more dangerous are Category 6 sports, which include naked knife fighting and blind archery.

    4. GOLF: It may be just below boxing and ice hockey in the brutality stakes, but golf is right up there in the death stakes. Some figures suggest more than 4,000 of us take our last breath on the fairway every year. It’s also a killing field when it comes to bad weather, with five per cent of all lightning-related deaths taking place on the golf course.

    3. HORSE RIDING: A recent survey on the number of fatalities per 100,000 participants in the US put riding a horse – including eventing, racing and show jumping – at the top of the list with a whopping 128. And that’s without taking into account all the horses that perished too. Compare this number to the seemingly much more dangerous sport of boxing – which has just 1.3 deaths per 100,000 – and it puts into perspective quite how dangerous getting your leg over a horse can be.

    2. BASE JUMPING: Dangerous for the simple fact that it’s all or nothing – if your parachute opens you’ll be fine, if it doesn’t you’re looking at certain death. A comprehensive study has revealed that since the first BASE jump around 30 years ago, 175 people have been killed. Anyone taking part in this sport is basically betting their life on whether a chute opens properly or not. Think I’ll stick to lawn bowls, thank you very much!

    1. LAWN BOWLS: Forget those UFC pussies, lawn bowls is for REAL men (and women!). Going off the number of deaths per player, it is the world’s most dangerous sport, killing literally thousands worldwide every year. Its hardcore competitors will stop at nothing in pursuit of victory. If you’re one of the lucky ones that escapes death, there are thousands more who end up with dislocated ankles, broken hips, torn knees or who simply keel over with a heart attack or a stroke due to the incredibly stressful nature of the game. Either that or it’s down to most of the competitors being over 85 and lugging great big balls around.

    1a Jet asking someone to digg an article

  • cannonshop

    #259 nah, don’t need to get that elaborate-just make all televised games (esp. the Superbowl) played outdoors at sites like Minot N. Dakota in the middle of winter. Or just give them swords…

  • I’d like to go black opal hunting in Australia

    Ah yes, the feared black opal of central Australia, the most ferocious of all gemstones: responsible for more human deaths than mountain lions, bears, deer and being forced to watch VH1 combined.

    In its natural habitat, the vast deserts of the Outback, the black opal preys mainly on small lizards and carrion, but human encroachment on its range has given this ferocious mineral an appetite for sheep, beer, barbecued meat – and people.

    In the harrowing episode 96 of Lethal Australia, season 243, Sheila Mental, of Coober Pedy, recalls vividly watching her husband Doug carried off by a huge swarm of opals in October 1997. “They came out of nowhere,” she sobs. “Their fangs were flashing in the sun and they had the most horrible red eyes. And they were made a snarling noise like a thousand growling sharks. Poor Doug didn’t stand a chance. Didn’t even get to finish his beer. I can still hear the screams. I haven’t slept an uninterrupted night since, even that time I attended a midnight screening of Speed 2: Cruise Control at the local drive-in.”

    Sporadic reports fuel rumours that the black opal is starting to colonize the suburbs, and even the feared surfer gangs who started the 2005 Sydney race riots are said to be losing territory to marauding bands of bling.

    The Commissioner of the New South Wales State Police, Ken Stump, denied reports that his force had set up an Opal Rapid Response Squad, but was seen to be swigging discreetly from a hip flask after a reporter confronted him with the rumour at a recent press conference.

    But some are in little doubt of the danger that opals pose to the Sunburned Continent. “Black opals are in our midst,” insists Luigi Whizzer, self-appointed Chief Inquisitor of the Sydney Reckless Hunting Society, “and they’re deadly. So naturally we in the Society want to go and put ourselves in as much pointless danger as possible from them. They make funnel web spiders look like fluffy puppy dogs.”

    This is literally true, as the rapacious rock is said to exude a venom which can turn living tissue into a mass of wool-like fibres.

    (Arlo Phantasm and Brett Mincer, of the AP, contributed to this report from Miami, a reassuring number of thousands of miles away from Australia.)

  • Cute Doc… real cute

  • How did a conversation inspired by Gay Dutch Boys turn into a debate about football and a travelogue of Australia? I feel like this is the Dr. Strangelove version of Pirates of Penzance.

  • We aim to please, Silas.

  • STM

    “Dr. Strangelove version of Pirates of Penzance.”

    Lol. Yeah, it is a bit like that.

    Me and zing love butting heads … my sport’s better than yours-style, or (from him) Aussie music is crap.

    I can fully understand why Americans like American football as I grew up playing rugby, even if I find it very slow going at times.

    What I can’t understand is why the heathens from the southern and western states of this continent go so mad over the 2-hour-long giant all-in brawl played on an oval-shaped 200m ground they call Australian Football.

    I’ll just never get it because it’s not big in the eastern states.

    I also can’t understand why the Europeans and South Americans go so mad over soccer … 22 overpaid bogans with mullets and earrings booting a bag of wind up and down the field in the forlorn hope that in the course of the 90 minutes, someone might actually kick it between the sticks.

    And therein lies the secret to all this: it’s what you grow up with. It’s why zing likes American football; I like rugby and rugby league; heathens like Australian football; Doc likes soccer, and why Chris Rose, our other resident Englishman, also likes rugby league and rugby because that was the game they played in the part of England in which he grew up.

    Also, I just like stirring the pot. Sorry boys. It’s a national trait in these parts.

    If you’re not getting a razzing down here, or no one’s bothered to give you a nickname no matter how bad, it means no one cares.

  • US general apologises for gay Dutch troops slur:
    An American general has apologised for his claim that the presence of homosexual troops was responsible for the Dutch army’s failure to prevent the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

    Bruno Waterfield, in Brussels
    Published: 1:38PM BST 30 Mar 2010

    John Sheehan, a former US General and Nato commander, caused outrage two weeks ago when he alleged that open homosexuality in the Dutch ranks had so damaged military morale that the country’s army was powerless to prevent genocide in Bosnia.

    He claimed, before a US Senate hearing, that Henk van den Breemen, the Dutch chief of the defence staff in 1995, had told him of problems related to gay troops.

    “I am sorry that my public recollection of those discussions of 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social issues on the military,” he wrote in a letter to the Dutch general.

    Without explicitly referring to gay Dutch military, General Sheehan acknowledged that a weak United Nations mandate for troops was the problem facing peacekeepers.

    “To be clear, the failure on the ground in Srebrenica was no way the fault of individual soldiers,” he wrote.

    A spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Defence said General Van den Breemen was satisfied with the apology.

    Up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces after Dutch UN peacekeepers failed to prevent the fall of the Srebrenica enclave in July 1995, a legacy that has continued to haunt the Netherlands.

    Following the apology, the “Pink Army”, a group representing gay Dutch soldiers, has withdrawn its threat to take Gen Sheehan to court for slander.

    “It is quite something for a senior military man to admit he was wrong and say sorry,” said a spokesman.

    Gen Sheehan claimed on March 18 that Gen Van den Breemen had told him that gay soldiers were seen as “part of the problem” which contributed to the fall of Srebrenica.

  • Jac

    I here the Dutch government wanted to file a defamation lawsuit because of this. From what I recall of the incident Sheehan was speaking before a Congressional committee and would have or does have immunity against any alleged defamatory statements, be it national or international.

    In light of this individual Dutch soldiers would have no standing to bring an action on behalf of the Dutch Army and the Dutch Army has no standing before United States courts. Also Sheehan did not publish or broadcast any statements,

    He only testified verbally before Congress. Defamation would be correct for what he said although Congressional immunity for testimony before committees nullify any potential claim(s). It kind of reminds me of the Danish cartoon defaming Muhammad and it’s consequence regarding free speech.

  • Sort of like when I was broadsied by a police car and couldn’t sue the city under omnipotent domain because the city is the people and the people can’t sue themselves.

    More likey it’s the same as when spies and diplomats have diplomatic immunity.

    Maybe they can sue through Hague international court.

  • 270-270: My pleasure-glad you liked it.

  • 269-Try previewing it first and then publishing

  • JUST when you thought this asshole general was through twisting the truth, he opens his lying mouth yet again!

    The fourth paragraph…

    ….Just a few months after apologising for suggesting gay soldiers were responsible for the Srebrenica massacre, US Army General John Sheehan has said allowing gays to serve openly in the military would have a “devastating” effect.

    He was writing jointly with the anti-gay Family Research Council president Tony Perkins for Politico magazine.

    The pair wrote that homosexuality has “profound behavioural implications” and “inevitable” sexual attraction among soldiers could “devastate morale, foster heightened interpersonal tension and lead to division”.

    They added that an increased risk of HIV in gay and bisexual men would be “devastating” and have “pronounced implications for battlefield blood transfusions”.

    Quoting data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they said gay and bisexual men were “50 times more likely to have HIV than heterosexual men”.

    The wrote: “This proposal is not about bigotry. Race is a superficial and benign element of one’s humanness, while homosexuality is a matter of behaviour.

    “Homosexuality is not about civil rights but conduct detrimental to the discipline, trust and combat readiness of what has been — and still is — the world’s finest military.”

    They concluded: “If we want to keep it that way, we should not permit openly practicing homosexuals to serve in the US military.”

    Gen Sheehan avoided a reprimand for his remarks at a Senate hearing on the military’s ban on out gay soldiers.

    He said that Dutch military officials told him that allowing gay soldiers the Dutch army had led to poor morale, which led to a failure to prevent the genocide of 8,000 Muslims.

    He later wrote to Dutch officials to apologise for “inaccurately ” remembering discussions

  • He should be demoted to major immediately.

    Then he’d be a Major Asshole.

    Perhaps he has a brother who’s a gunner… Gunner’s Mate Philip Asshole.

    “I knew it! I’m surrounded by Assholes!”


  • You’ve been watching Spaceballs again haven’t you?

  • Jet… I am your father’s brother’s cousin’s uncle’s former roommate.

  • Or…

    Doc: Jet… I am your father.
    Jet: Really?
    Doc: No, not really. I can’t back that up.

  • Doc Dread & Soccer fans please HELP! Tell me if this is a parody or if they’re actually serious!

    A Baptist church is actually accusing pro-soccer of using the word “football” without permission of the NFL!!!!!!

  • My aunt Margaret’s next-door-neighbor had a step sister whose hairdresser was one.

  • She had one in the refridgerator too, but it wilted when the light blew out.

  • Are you playing that game of yours again, jet?

  • And yes, Jet, “Landover Baptist Church” is a well-known internet parody.

  • 279-It fell off a shelf into my aquarium and disolved, so I had to start a new one-damned near killed the fish.

  • 280-I knew it was Doc, I just thought you’d get a good laugh out of it…

  • Phil

    To bring this up to date. I see that Obama is trying his best to repeal the law in the states to allow gays to operate openly. It is surprising still that he has so much opposition to this pathetic law. A close relative of mine here in the UK is a closet gay and a sergant in the army. He has to keep his sexuality secret from all but his closest friends however, after 6 years of service he is the proud owner of not one but two, bravery awards. It is difficult to understand what the General was really getting at here in this now infamous incident. What exactly can’t a gay man do that a straight one cannot? It sounds to me as an easy target for a scapegoat but ultimately we probably will never know the reasoning behind his argument entirely. One thing is for sure though, as the bullets fly and your life is in the hands of your comrade in arms next to you – sexuality is the last thing on soldiers minds other than preservation of themselves and their mates.

  • A lie that the Dutch govenment is vigorously uncovering as we speak.

  • Thanks Def, Click on my name/link and you’ll discover 10 separate news tickers that display gay news headlines/links from around the world. They’re updated every 30-45 seconds and rotate worldwide sources and subjects independently of one another every 2 minutes.

    I’ve actually got small local gay newspapers that now rely on them to keep in touch with our world in real time.


  • Clover Leaf

    Hey Jet! I just checked out your link and the headline service is GREAT. You said there were 10 tickers above-I counted 17. Way cool!

    Why haven’t you written anything new here lately?


  • Thanks Mr. Leaf. I was concerned that 15 newsreels would make the page load too slow, but after a bunch of e-mails asking me to expand it, I revamped the feature just this monning.

    I haven’t written for a while because I’m still going through physical therapy for my last knee operation and I’m stoned on percocet half the time.

    I’m hoping for a “comeback” soon.

    be patient… and thanks for the feedback.

  • AMSTERDAM (AP) — Embracing a policy of “Do Tell,” the Dutch military joined Amsterdam’s annual Gay Pride parade for the first time, with uniformed men and women saluting the crowds from a boat chugging through a historic city canal.

    A balloon-festooned barge bearing the standards of the service branches and sponsored by the Defense Ministry sailed among about 80 other floats.

    The parade, watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the Prinsengracht canal, capped a weeklong festival of around 300 parties and events.

    U.S. and British activists sailed with Dutch generals and other senior officers — some gay and others showing solidarity — among some 80 military and ministry civilian personnel.

    Unlike the U.S. military, gays have openly served in Dutch units since 1974, and for 25 years have had a department within the ministry that minds their interests, the Foundation for Homosexuals in the Armed Forces.

    Still, gay servicemen say having their own presentation in the famed floating parade marked “a huge step forward” in a country already noted for sexual equality.

    In the last two years soldiers were allowed to participate in military dress on other boats.

    “This shows everyone that the climate is changing,” he said.

    Hamstra said 6 to 8 percent of the Dutch military are gay or lesbian — about the same as in the general population.

    “It’s so amazing to be here. This country got it right,” said former U.S. Army Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged last year after violating the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Choi applied to re-enlist after President Barack Obama signed a law last month repealing the ban.