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March 23, 2007

Comments

Patrick Mueller

Well said. I hope that as more mainstream institutions, like IBM, embrace diversity and inclusion, we'll have an impact on society as a whole.

David Scott Lewis

Just a little bit of a correction. From what I've read, most scholars tend to agree that the statement in the Torah is really meant as SOP within the Jewish community and not necessarily meant as model behavior toward Gentiles.

However, your New Testament citation does have universal appeal. However, seeing a quote from the King James Version is kind of funny; it's an awful translation, at that time a compromise between the Bishops' Bible used by Anglicans and the Geneva Bible used by Calvinists. For better or worse (mostly worse), many "popular" Biblical sayings are noted from the KJV.

David Scott Lewis

In the final analysis, what General Pace thinks about homosexuality, pornography, bestiality, the "missionary" position, masturbation or anything of this sort doesn't really matter, does it?

What he said was inappropriate, but I believe that he's entitled to his beliefs and should be free to express them. Frankly, I'm tired of political correctness ad nauseum. Should he get a slap on the hand? Yes, but nothing more.

I'm writing from China and what really matters (especially for a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) is how the U.S. and China are going to play together. The fate of the world may rest on this. And from this perspective, General Pace is doing a SUPERB job. The ChinaRedux blog recently published a post titled, "Military to the Rescue: General Pace the Perfect Diplomat in China." Not a satirical title, either. See http://doiop.com/Pace (I shortened the URL.)

Frankly, how General Pace handles China is what matters, NOT how he handles homosexuals. Like I said, give him a slap on the wrist: "Bad boy, General Pace." And then let him continue on his way toward a continuing peace with China.

Try to get more facts about somebody before you bash him (or her) in a post. I couldn't give a rat's @$$ that your liberal sensibilities were hurt when I see General Pace doing more to creating a lasting peace with China than anyone in modern history.

J A MUrphy

I applaud the general for having the guts to speak out against immoral practices, just as I respect those who may feel otherwise to speak out from their perspective. Since when does political correctness only condone one side of our collective perspectives to be OK to be heard in public?

Get off your moral pedestal, and accept the reality that not everyone accepts deviant moral behavior as being acceptable, or that what people do in their own bedrooms being such a contribution to the success of a business.

Jeff

JA MUrphy & David Scott Lewis, if Pace's comments had been targeted at other groups would your reponses have been equally supportive?

David, you provide a link to Startech Global in China. What if Pace stated that no one from Asian heritage should be allowed in the US Armed Forces due to their immoral lifestyles in China? OK by you?

JA, you described homosexuality as deviant behavior. What if Pace stated that no one with children outside of marriage should be allowed in the military? Would you be support that view? You seem to want morality for all to be defined on your terms. It's a big world out there. I know I could find a culture that would find your personal lifestyle to be abhorant and immoral and I don't even know you!

All Mr. Wladasky-Berger is suggesting is that we not pass judgement on others simply because they are different. Why is that so distasteful?

Writing about Pace bringing his personal religious and moral beliefs into the workplace of a government organiztion while being a senior executive would need a book to complete.

Frank Jania

Irving, its clear thought like this makes me continually proud to be part of IBM. Thank you.

Peter Moogk

Irving, thanks so much for your insightful commentary. It is very inspiring to hear you speaking up against General Pace's insensitive words. Since, his comments didn't relate to your sexual orienation you could have just ignored his comments, but instead you countered his hurtful comments with words of compassion and tolerance. Bravo! Hopefully more people will follow your example and speak up, since in this case silence is not golden. If only more people lived by the golden rule the world would be a much better place.

Neil Ramjewan

Golden Rule:

It is wonderful to see (an) IBM('er) take a non-dichotomous stance with factual support and emotional conviction.

David Scott Lewis

Jeff, which immoral lifestyle practices in China are you referring to? I live here and I don't see anything terribly unusual. Are you referring to "Second Wives" and things like this? If you are, it's merely a cultural variation on what happens in the West.

Anyway, my criticism of Irving was that he didn't treat General Pace with the respect that he deserves. Like I said, give the General a slap on the hand -- and then let him continue building peace with China.

For all the others applauding Irving, get real: What's more important, a General's views on homosexuality or his views on China, especially given the lack of transparency in China's military rise and the potential for a conflict (even a nuclear conflict) over a Taiwan dispute, perhaps even in the Indian Ocean (regarding oil/petrol supply lines)?

Irving's attack simply wasn't fair. Is that something IBM should be proud of? I don't think so. If Irving would have noted (as I did) how much General Pace is doing to help create a lasting peace with China and THEN noted his inappropriate comments about homosexuality, then I'd say it was a somewhat balanced piece.

Jeff

David, I find no fault in any of China's cultural practices (nor is anyone asking my opinion!). My comment regarding "immoral lifestyle" in China was merely representative that different cultures and different people have differing views on what is or is not immoral. What you find acceptable is viewed as horrible by your neighbor. What General Pace finds immoral is not viewed as such by millions/billions.

You seem to think that because Pace is a terrific general, he is exempted from acceptable business or social practices. If your CEO stated that women, Africans and Jews were not allowed to work at Startech Global because they were immoral, would your reaction be the same as your views on Pace. Afterall, I'm sure he is a great CEO.

I don't think anyone needs to do a dissertation on the success of Pace's career to write about their strong disagreement with his comments. Pace didn't preface his condemnation of homosexuality with a description of their contributions to science, commerce and society.

Pace has every right to voice his opinion. Everyone else has the same right to forcefully disagree. Just like you and me.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

First, I said up front in my blog entry that from everything I know General Peter Pace is a very caring human being as well as a great leader. Frankly, if he was not, if I did not have great respect for him, then my blog would make no sense.

Please, also keep in mind that I never said that he should resign or anything remotely close to that over his remarks. Being criticized for his public remarks in my blog is frankly in the category of a very small slap in the hand. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates actually gave General Pace a much bigger public slap when he said that such personal opinions have no place in the military.

But, when I heard about his remarks about homosexual acts - and by implication - homosexuals being immoral, I felt very bad for all the gay and lesbian friends and colleagues I have. If someone I greatly respect made anti-semitic or anti-Cuban remarks I would feel very bad. I honestly felt that I had to say in my little blog that in my opinion, being gay and lesbian is no more immoral than being heterosexual.

I think people should try to live their lives in as moral a way as possible, but our romantic feelings, and what we do behind closed doors as consenting adults is no one's business. I felt that given how strongly I felt about my views, I should not be quiet.

I wrote an entry in my blog recently expressing my frustration that one of CNN's principal programs - Lou Dobbs' 6 pm daily program - is, in my opinion, essentially built around demonizing illegal Mexican immigrants. I just could not understand why CNN and its parent company TimeWarner, whom I hold in very high regard, and whose reporters and commentators I generally greatly respect, could descend so low just because of ratings. Other stations and programs that I have little respect for I do not bother criticizing. I would not even criticize Lou Dobbs himself because he is not worth it.

But, precisely because I have great respect for General Peter Pace I felt that I should express my personal opinion about his unfortunate remarks.

I really do appreciate all the comments, including the ones criticizing my views.

David Scott Lewis

Jeff, nobody thinks that being Asian, White, Black or Jewish is immoral, so it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. Maybe 50 years from now nobody will think that being homosexual is immoral. But in today's world, a large number of people still view it as immoral. My guess is that two-thirds of this planet may view it as immoral. (10%, 50%, 90% ... what do you think, Jeff?) I suspect that most Chinese and Indians view it as immoral, so there's a good chuck of the world's population right there. And are we so-called (and self-designated) "enlightened" Westerners necessarily right about moral issues? Maybe. Maybe not. Remember, General Pace is a Westerner, too. Why is liberal "enlightenment" right and conservative "enlightenment" wrong?

Anyway, I said General Pace was wrong, but that things need to be put in a broader and proper perspective.

Erin C Burke

I find this thread utterly ridiculous not because of the points made by Irving, but because of the fact that the military's stance of "Don't ask don't tell" is a financial and personnel drain on a US Military system which is having an incredibly hard time recruiting enough individuals to serve. Gay and lesbians are in the military. The majority of the American public is in favor of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. The vast majority of US Military personnel are comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians. The US, Turkey and Portugal are the ONLY NATO nations that forbid gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Why on earth is this even an issue? In my opinion, Pace's remarks should be considered as much of a mistake as if the CEO of Dell said he didn't want divorced people to purchase his laptops. It wasn't just a stupid comment, it's bad business.

Check out the facts below.

"At least 65,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans are already protecting our homeland (Urban Institute report). More than 10,000 have been discharged under DADT since the policy was implemented in 1993."

Now, a small look into the cost of this arcane policy:

"American taxpayers have paid between $250 million and $1.2 billion to investigate, eliminate and replace qualified, patriotic service members who want to serve their country but can’t because expressing their sexual orientation violates DADT (Government Accountability Office report). That money could be better spent on at least a dozen Blackhawk helicopters, armored plates for tanks and Humvees or Kevlar body armor for troops."

And here's the kicker -- US Citizens are IN FAVOR of allowing Gays and Lesbians to serve openly in the military:

% of US civilians in support of allowing gays to serve openly in the military:
66% (Annenberg 2004 survey)
64% (Fox News 2003 survey)
79% (Gallup organization)

73% of troops say they're personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians (Zogby International & the Michael D. Palm Center 2006 study)

24 other nations, including Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Israel, already allow open service by gays and lesbians, and none of the 24 report morale or recruitment problems. 9 nations allowing open service have fought alongside American troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition, 12 nations allowing open service fought alongside U.S. troops in Operation Enduring Freedom.

23 of the 26 NATO nations allow gays and lesbians to serve openly and proudly. The United States, Turkey and Portugal are the only NATO nations that forbid gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed services.

Federal CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency and Secret Service agents all serve proudly as openly gay and lesbian personnel fighting the war on terrorism.

Learn more at http://www.hrc.org/alva/dadt.html

GBM

It is precisely because a person's sexual preference is none of my business that GLBT issues are not for the workplace. A person's sexual behavior is his or her own private concern. It is sad to see a fellow Jew making comments that suggest that homosexual behavior is acceptable, when it's not acceptable according to the Bible. By promoting GLBT at work, companies are ignoring the feelings of the vast majority of religious people that find such behavior dispicable. Diversity seems to have become a euphemism for acceptance of homosexuality at work. Diversity is a good thing but promotion and acceptance of homosexuality, and indeed open discussion of any sexual behavior at work, is a bad thing.

Why is homosexuality any less evil than marrying a minor, having several wives, marriage between uncles and nieces or between cousins (all of which are allowed according to the Bible)? This is a sick society that prohibits relationships that are allowed in the Bible, but which condones relationships that are described as an "abomination" in the Bible.

I think I speak for the silent majority of Americans that support the original comments by General Pace.

IBM is a great company and Irving is a great person that I admire greatly but their stance on GLBT issues is flawed, and it's sad that I have to use a pseudonym in order to express these views and keep my job.

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