Friday, September 21, 2012

The Sprigg is an imbecile

Family Research Council is a designated hate group at least in part due to the contributions of Peter Sprigg. Sprigg has the pretentious academic title of Senior Fellow for Policy Studies which is odd for someone whose educational background is confined to religion     but this is FRC. He is the genius who claimed that the way to reduce teen suicide is to reduce the number of teens who choose to be gay. He has also said that he wants to criminalize homosexuality.

Enter the one year anniversary of the repeal of DADT. Sprigg has sprung noting that "Advocates of repeal are declaring that the warnings of its opponents, such as Family Research Council, have been proven to be unfounded." Sprigg takes particular issue with a Palm Center study [PDF] concluding:
The repeal of DADT has had no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.
Little wonder given that Sprigg claimed, upon repeal:
I do fear the consequences. I fear the consequences in terms of sexual tension, sexual harassment and even sexual assault. I fear the threat to freedom of speech and religious freedom for those who disapprove of homosexuality. And I fear that this will cost us in terms of personnel, both in the areas of retention and recruiting.
What? You expect Sprigg to admit that he was wrong? The Commandant of the Marine Corps did so. Why not the Sprigg?

Sprigg claims that "the Palm Center’s mission is to serve the needs of the homosexual movement," whatever that means. However, he fails to note the authors of the study:
  • Professor Aaron Belkin, Ph.D, Palm Center
  • Professor Morten Ender, Ph.D, US Military Academy
  • Dr. Nathaniel Frank, Ph.D, Columbia University
  • Dr. Stacie Furia, Ph.D, Palm Center
  • Professor George R. Lucas, Ph.D, US Naval Academy/Naval Postgraduate School
  • Colonel Gary Packard, Jr., Ph.D, US Air Force Academy
  • Professor Tammy S. Schultz, Ph.D, US Marine Corps War College
  • Professor Steven M. Samuels, Ph.D, US Air Force Academy
  • Professor David R. Segal, Ph.D, University of Maryland
So there is some conspiracy among these scholars     most of whom work for the armed services? Sure Peter. Sure.

Then Sprigg claims, incredulously, that "the most important finding" is a footnote that the authors tried to bury. He quotes only a portion of the footnote which is a January, 2012 Military Times web survey in response to Palm Center advertisements. According to the survey, "4.5% of respondents indicated that after DADT repeal, their units were negatively impacted when someone disclosed being gay or bisexual or when an openly gay or bisexual person joined their units."

Sprigg's eureka is that it fails to "mention that it represents twenty percent of those who had a homosexual come out or join their unit. Twenty percent represents a significant risk of harm for the units involved." What I think Mr. Sprigg is trying to say is that, when presented with a gay person in their unit, 20% had a negative reaction.

That may very well be true and so what? Apparently, in the nine months since that survey it is no longer an issue. However, Sprigg being Sprigg:
Predictions that the use of the military to advance a radical social/sexual agenda would place us on a “slippery slope” have clearly come true. Furthermore, assurances given in the November 2010 report of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) regarding the limited impact of repeal have not been fulfilled. Since the CRWG report was to a large extent the basis for the Congressional vote for repeal in December of 2010, it can even be argued that repeal was adopted under false pretenses.
I guess that we could have eliminated the report and all of the scholars as well and all of the work that they did. We can substitute it all for a voluntary web survey conducted shortly after repeal without a measurable margin of error. 792 "clickers" should determine the outcome of the repeal of DADT! Very scientific!

Sprigg should stick to his shtick being a Baptist minister because critical thinking is not exactly his strong suit. No Mr. Sprigg! Your predictions have clearly not come true. No Mr. Sprigg! You cannot argue that repeal was adopted under false pretenses. You have cited nothing to support either of those propositions.  A small web survey just after repeal is a very tiny part of the assessment. An assessment, I will remind Mr. Sprigg, that was conducted by scholars with direct day-to-day knowledge of, and exposure to, the issue.

The way this is done, Peter, is to draw conclusions based on the evidence. Assuming the conclusion and then selectively seeking evidence to support it is the enterprise of an incurious person who is intellectually dishonest. And that pretty much sums up what I think of Mr. Sprigg.

As long as I am at it and thanks to the reference by the Palm Center:
The flag and general officers for the military, 1,167 to date, 51 of them former four-stars, said that this law, if repealed, could indeed break the All-Volunteer Force. They chose that word very carefully. They have a lot of military experience... and they know what they’re talking about.
— Elaine Donnelly, Center for Military Readiness, May 2010 

Has Elaine found a new hobby yet?
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