Thursday, December 30, 2004

Christmas, Travel, Modem

Had a very good Christmas with part of my extended family. With a sudden and young death in the family this past year and so much else, this was a much-needed time for the family to come together and celebrate what we do have: each other, memories of a man both great and good, victories, lessons learned from failures, music, faith, hope and love. There were songs and presents, stories and feasting, grins and tears and laughter hearty and hale, and indeed, everything bitter and sweet.

All the things I came home for, although, greedy me, I will grab all I can before I fly back to my other home across the seas.

Then, of course, came a technical difficulty that cut my Internet access (hence a shortage of posts), resolved about 20 minutes ago.

Part of the time in between, I met an old friend whom I hadn't talked to in probably 16 years. We picked up like it was 16 days instead and I invited her up to visit more of my family and spend a few days at a lake with my Dad. Got a fly fishing lesson from Dad, along with a rod and reel, went boating, saw two bald eagles, and had some very civil political discussions with Dad and my friend, who are both anti-Bush. Outnumbered, I gave as good as I got (better, I think, though they would count the score differently I imagine). On the long drive home we found a classic country station playing old songs we knew and sang into the sunset.

I hope everyone had as good a Christmas or better.

Now it's time for New Years - [deadpan]yaa-hooooo[/deadpan].

Have a good one!

Friday, December 24, 2004




Peace On Earth, Good Will Towards Men

Smiley, over at The Daily Demarche, posts his Christmas Manifesto:

Peace, apparently, means a lot of things to a lot of people. For the multitudes that took to the streets in Europe and the US in the run-up to the most recent war in Iraq, “peace” apparently means allowing a cruel, unreconstructed Stalinist to remain in power ...

From my favorite book of the Bible:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plan and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Now is a time for war. I pray for a time for peace to come soon, real peace, not street theater peace.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

No Photos?

Well, I intended to post photos of the trip over, but it hasn't happened (obviously). It seems I need to learn how to resize, etc., in the Microsoft Imaging program.

My first choice for image editing is, of course, The GIMP, but it just takes too long to download on dial-up and I didn't bring a copy with me. (Darn me!)

I'll see what I can do with Imaging, but it seems pretty primitive and there may be no photos until I get back to the Kingdom of Wa.

Update: Well, Microsoft Imaging doesn't do what I want, so there will indeed be no photos posted until I post them over good sushi, or a Hokka Hokka Tei dinner. Please refer all queries about the lack of photos here to Bill Gates.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

How's It Going?

Been back a few days now and pulled myself away from, er, sleeping, and have some anthropological notes about America today.

My first reaction - gaijin bakkari! Yeah, they're all "foreigners" (from a Japanese perspective, of course). And so many different colors! Japan is only about 1% immigrants, and most of those are Asian, so you have something like 99.9% Asians there. I see about one white or black person a day. After 6 years in Japan it is a pleasant shock being back home.

Second, Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas! Have a merry CHRISTMAS everyone!

Ahem. Excuse my dissent.

Last observation for the day - My, it's nice to be back home! Americans, even blue-staters, are wonderful people.

Monday, December 20, 2004

... And Are My Arms Tired!

Good flights, great to be back on home soil. Updates to follow after promised long winter's nap.

If I can scrounge some software to resize photos, I'll post one or two of the trip over, too.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I'm Migratory!

It's time to head back to the homeland for the winter break - Woohoo!

I love Japan, but Dorothy had it right, there's just no place like home.

In a couple hours I'll hit the road and for the 36 or so hours following will be A Guy In Transit. There'll be a big BBQ and a long winter's nap immediately on reaching my home nesting grounds, then almost a month of tall tales, good food, and renewing the bonds that free us.

I won't be posting while in transit, but will probably post periodically after I get home. What those periods will be I can't say until I get there. Regular blogging will resume upon my return to the Land of the Rising Sun.

While I'm in transit, I'm turning the comments section over to you. Any question you're just dying to ask A Guy In Pajamas? Have a comment, a critique, a request? Want to smack me in the head for something? Here's your chance! The comments are right below!

Once you've finished, enjoy this article a reader sent in on Santa training for the Japanese:

Every Christmas, Seiji Makino used to dread facing up to his three children whose questions about Santa Claus would leave him blank.

But this year Makino and other Japanese who want to be able to bellow out a perfect "ho, ho, ho" are getting help in the form of professional training by the country's only "certified" Santa Claus.

Certified Santa?

Anyway, after that, check out the new sites on my blog bagel (hey, some people have blog rolls, I have a blog bagel), Evil White Guy, Smoking Gun, and C. Buddha's Hasty Musings.

If you work through all that in the next 36 hours, check out the rest of my blog bagel. They're all great sites!

The Cost of Hating America

Dr. Demarche has probably the best post I've ever read about the cost of hating America. I'm not even going to excerpt a word; you'll just have to go read it.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Well Ex-CUUUSE My Wa!

Japanese living in Paris are waking up to certain realities:

Paris sends Japanese into suicidal state: report

... More than a 100 expatriates a year are sinking into a state called "the Paris syndrome" which is characterised by feelings of persecution or suicidal tendencies, according to the mental health facilities of city hospitals.

Part of their clinical depression stems from having to reconcile their romanticism about Paris with reality, psychiatrists said.

... After a relatively short period of only three months or so, Japanese immigrants expecting to find a haven of civilisation and elegance instead discover a tougher existence with many problems dealing with the French.

"They make fun of my French and my expressions", "they don't like me" and "I feel ridiculous in front of them" are common refrains heard by the doctors.

The UK's Times Online offers a few more details:

Tadahiko Kondo, 59, a conference organiser, said he fell ill when he first arrived in France. “Everything was unpleasant. People were cold, rude and never smiled. It is completely different in Japan. Especially the girls who come to France thinking it is all about Louis Vuitton and gastronomy. They become depressed because France is not like that,” he added.

What an interesting phenomenon. In my experience, the Japanese in general, including the media, public education, etc., do have a tendency to only talk about the good parts of most foreign cultures, particularly European ones. (The only exception I can think of being America, and recently North Korea.) I think this contributes to an overly simplistic world view, including skewed ideas on security issues, but that's an issue for another post.

The very few French people I've known personally have been nice. Speaking of which, The Diplomad has something genuinely nice to say about (certain) Frenchmen.

And, since this is my French-themed post for the year, here's a good, recent article over on The Dissident Frogman, a blog by a Frenchman who is actually on our side.

(Mug tip for the Paris Syndrome articles to Tim Blair.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Atomic Friendly Fire

From the Japan Times:
A U.S. Army second lieutenant was officially registered as an atomic bomb victim Monday at the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims.

Joseph Dubinsky of Pennsylvania died at age 27 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, where he was being held as a prisoner of war, in August 1945. He is the eighth American POW to be registered at the hall.

There is apparently a drive to get four more US POWS who died in the bombing registered as well.

Today's Season Word: 鷹 (taka)


According to William J. Higginson's Haiku World, migrating hawks fall into autumn, but "hawk" by itself is a winter season word. "Falconry," along with "hunting," "deer hunting," and "tracking" are all winter season words as well.

I grew up watching hawks and have always enjoyed them. I am also a big fan of castles, and I've noticed there are usually plenty of hawks around the castles here. The romantic in me likes to think its because they remember the old days when they hunted with the samurai. The realistic side of me thinks it's more likely to be that castles are essentially parks with lots of trees and a moat, and so tree critters and fish to feed on.

Either way, they are beautiful birds.

Monday, December 13, 2004

HaHaHaHa (cough-wheeze) HaHaHaHa

This video over at Evil White Guy's is the single funniest video clip I've seen in a long, long time.

Yes, it is entirely work safe and clean humor, but don't let that deter you. Completely priceless!

Oh, and when you're finished there, if you enjoy laughing, Chrenkoff has a great reply to an email scammer. He also has Good News from Afghanistan, Part 7 up, darn him.

Doesn't he ever sleep!?

Damascus Votes for Bush
(Um, More Or Less)

Speaking of foreigners who like Bush, the Daily Star gives us this story from an English teacher in Syria:
A few days after moving into my new home in the middle class Christian quarter of old Damascus, my landlady asked me whom I preferred between the two American presidential candidates. I replied, almost in passing, that of course I was voting for John Kerry. Besides being an Ivy League-educated New Englander and the son of extremely liberal parents, I was a foreigner and a guest in a country laboring under American economic sanctions. As a guest, surely I would be expected to distance myself from my own government, which had started a pre-emptive war against Syria's neighbor, denied considerable foreign investment to the Syrian economy and branded Damascus a "supporter of terrorism."

"I like Bush," she said, without a trace of irony. "He's a good man - a good Christian."

Okay, I thought. This is a Christian woman, representing a tiny and often overlooked minority in a predominantly Muslim region ...

Read the rest and see what revelation awaits this Kerry supporter. Go ahead. I'll wait here.

Back already? Well, here's my two yen on it.

I think it's true that Bush and religious Americans have more in common with many in the Middle East than Kerry and the non-religious do, and because of this, there is a greater chance that religious Americans will understand Middle Easterners better than non-religious Americans will.

Before some "reality-based community" members start flinging around the religious fanatic silliness, again, I'd like to point out that the average religious red stater is a couple orders of magnitude more liberal than the average Syrian. But since both are religious, they have some common ground and probably understand each other better, and so probably have a better chance of communicating and dealing with each other effectively. As the author of the article suggests, maybe the "reality-based community" needs to wake up to that reality.

Oh, and by the way, doesn't "reality-based community" sound a lot like "Ministry of Truth"?

Just sayin' ...

(Mug tip to Instapundit.)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Self-Defense Forces Get An Overhaul

From the Japan Times:

With Friday's announcement of the new National Defense Program Outline, however, the SDF is on the verge of being transformed into a military ready to go to war in the event of a terrorist or missile attack.

The forces are also expected to play a greater role in improving international security.

"It's a time of operation," Hajime Massaki, chief of the Joint Staff Council, said Thursday. "Up to now, we have engaged in training to serve as a deterrence. But from now on, our capabilities will be tested."

By specifically naming China and North Korea as threats to national security and pledging to revamp the SDF to counter them, Japan's security policy is becoming that of a normal state, observers say.

The Japanese constitution's Article 9 forbids Japan from having a military:

ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

However, the government's interpretation of Article 9 allows for purely defensive forces, and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, including the Ground SDF, Air SDF, and Maritime SDF, were established in 1954.

The controversial part of these most recent changes will be the SDF's increasing cooperation abroad with the US military. The Japanese supreme court has interpreted the constitution to mean that Japan may defend itself, but it may not exercise collective defense. That means that Japan cannot defend an ally from attack.

For example, the Coalition invasion and liberation of Afghanistan would be an act of collective defense. The US was attacked, and its allies formed a coalition and acted against the aggressors. When Japan sent SDF supply ships to refuel Coalition war ships participating in the invasion, did Japan join in this act of "collective defense"?

At what point does a nation cross over from supporting an ally to acting in collective defense?

This is one part of a significant debate going on in Japan right now, about which I'll write more at another time.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

SDF Deployment Extended, Limits Set, Commies Whinge

From The Japan Times:
The government made it official Thursday: the Self-Defense Forces troops in Iraq will stay for another year, as Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi renewed his commitment to reconstruction efforts and to Japan's alliance with the United States.


But the government has this time specified four new conditions that could lead to the SDF's withdrawal over the coming year: progress in local reconstruction development; advancement in the political process in Iraq; the deterioration of the local security situation; and changes in the activities and configuration of the U.S.-led multinational forces.


"(Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi) has not fulfilled his responsibility" in the Diet in explaining how Samawah could be deemed a "noncombat zone" for another year, as stipulated by the special law authorizing the deployment of Self-Defense Forces troops, Democratic Party of Japan leader Katsuya Okada said.


Both the Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party criticized Koizumi over the nation's role in a war they said cannot be justified.

"The government must pull the troops out as soon as possible and try to find a way to live in harmony with Iraqis," said SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima, voicing concern that the troops' continued presence will increase the chances of Japanese becoming targets of terrorists.

The justification for the SDF deployment has been a tightrope act from the beginning. By law, the government can't dispatch SDF troops to a foreign combat zone, so it has declared Samawah to not be a combat zone, and in fact has made a point of saying how safe it is now. The government also says there is a need for humanitarian aid to help the Iraqis, so they must send the SDF to help the Iraqis and support the US.

So, many Japanese ask, if it isn't a combat zone and there's a need for humanitarian work, why send SDF troops? Why not use civilian aid agencies? The government response is that it's too dangerous for that.

Some days it's a bit convoluted over here.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Where Are My Mobs!?

I demand a mob, darnit!

Lord David Hannay says "get the rope," (and hang America):

American critics of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan have been accused by a former British UN ambassador of leading a "lynch mob."

The former diplomat, Lord David Hannay, said of those who have called for Mr Annan's resignation: "The United States has many traditions, some good and some bad.

"The worst of the bad is the lynch mob. The best of the good is due process. We need more due process and less lynch mob," he said.

Didn't you hear? Those horrid neo-con hordes have been out ranging the streets, shouting "No Blood For Kojo's Oil!" and burning Kofi in effigy. Gangs of black-clad neo-con youth have been seen burning the UN flag in multiple protests around the country, many of them carrying signs showing Kofi with a Hitler mustache and swastika crudely drawn next to his face.

What? They haven't? What do you mean?

After all, Max Boot, in the LA Times, informs us:
Even now, if you're not an inveterate U.N.-watcher, you probably don't know that Ruud Lubbers, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, was accused of sexually harassing a subordinate, only to have the charges dismissed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan despite an internal investigation that supported the woman's complaint. Or that U.N. peacekeepers have been accused of a variety of sexual offenses involving children for more than a decade, most recently in Congo. Or even that Annan's son, Kojo, and Benon Savan, the head of the U.N. "oil for food" program in Iraq, are said to have benefited financially while Saddam Hussein stole $21 billion.

Where are my mobs, darnit!? I DEMAND mobs!!!


Mug tips to The Diplomad, which also posts about this, and Instapundit.

Dave over at A Red Speck On A Blue Sun also weighs in on the topic, with comments about the BBC.

The Terrorists Will Have Won IF ...

Dr. Frank J. discusses this timeless question over at IMAO:
I seriously think that, if the terrorists killed us all off and put the world under the rule of mad mullahs, they would declare victory. You might think that's hyperbole, but don't you think that if America is razed and Islam the only religion in existence, the terrorist will find that as cause to celebrate?

For a clear, relevant essay on how the terrorists could win, I recommend reading it in its entirety. As a bonus, he also discusses how to react when faced with Allah.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

Because of the time difference between Hawaii and Japan, December 8 is when the Japanese record the Pearl Harbor attack, so my "official" Pearl Harbor Day post comes today. (That or I was too lazy to do this yesterday. Whichever.)

The planner of the Pearl Harbor attack was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (1884-1943). (The officer in charge of carrying out the attack was Admiral Chuichi Nagumo.)

Yamamoto was firmly opposed to going to war with the US. As vice-minister of the navy and an active-duty officer, he warned the Japanese premier at the time against it, saying:

If I am told to fight... I shall run wild for the first six months... but I have utterly no confidence for the second or third year.

As if on cue, Yamamoto's fleet's worst defeat, the Battle of Midway, came almost exactly six months after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Yamamoto knew America and Americans much better than most Japanese officers of his time. He had studied at Harvard from 1919-1921, and was naval attache to the Japanese embassy in Washington from 1926-1928. He travelled extensively in the US during his time there.

In those days, both the army and navy had cabinet ministers in the government who were active duty officers. These positions were exploited to exert control over the government, primarily by the army. This is one reason the Japanese Self-Defense Forces today have an agency, with no cabinet-level representation, instead of a ministry.

In addition to opposing war with the US, Yamamoto also opposed the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and the alliance with Germany. When his government ordered him to attack the US, he was the one who insisted on the sneak attack, which he considered the only thing that might give Japan a chance against the US.

Two years into the war, the US intercepted and decoded Japanese signals that detailed the dates and route for an inspection tour Yamamoto was taking. US Army fighters were dispatched to intercept him. They shot him down on April 18, 1943.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Jiichan, Baachan

Struck up a conversation with "Jiichan" (gramps) and "Baachan" (granny) in the park last week. Jiichan is always out tending his garden, talking to the neighbors, watching kids in the park, or playing gateball, and he and I'd talked a few times before. But Baachan, behind her thick glasses and leaning on a cane, was new to me. She asked me how long I'd been in Japan, and I told her that and how much I like it here.

"Yeah," Baachan said. "Japan is OK, I guess. But kids today ..."

"Yeah," Jiichan said, nodding, his voice deep and rough from wear. "They never knew the war, so they don't understand anything about hardship."

"Their grandparents are OK. We told them the stories and they remember."

"Yes. The generation after the war generation is OK, but the Japanese started going bad after them. They don't understand that freedom comes with responsibility. They think they can do whatever they want."

Baachan nodded. "But it's good Japan lost the war, though I'm sorry for the people in Hiroshima."

"That's true," Jiichan said.

"Why?" I asked.

Baachan looked around and motioned to the neighborhood with her cane. "Things have been so much better since the war."

"Yeah," Jiichan said. "America won the war, but we won, too. Our government back then was bad and led us into the war, and it was terrible. Things are much better today. I remember, I was a kid during the war. This area out here, along the coast," he pointed along a series of highrise apartment buildings. "It was an important shipping yard." He grinned at me. "Do you know 'B-29'?"

"Yes, I do."

Jiichan chuckled. "Well, a flight of B-29s took out that whole part of town. I was a kid back then. We didn't know the taste of sugar because of war rationing. The bombs set the warehouses on fire and we could smell the sugar burning. The mayor ordered us to grab buckets and get some sugar, and we did. After that we had sugar, although it was illegal."

Baachan was staring off into the distance, the blue sky reflected in her glasses.

Jiichan continued, "None of us would have done it except the mayor told us to. We Japanese, we follow our leaders like that. The way our government works now, that's probably OK. It's a good system for us. But the world can't trust our leadership. That's why the world needs a strong America."

Baachan nodded. "Yes, that's true. People joke about America being the 'world police,' but the world needs that. Americans are always questioning their leaders, and everything is so open. That's why we can trust America."

"Yes," Jiichan said. "We like Bush."

"A lot of people were disappointed Kerry lost," I said.

Jiichan nodded. "That's true, but Bush is good."

"Yes," Baachan said. "Bush is good."

The conversation turned to other things after that, and ended as we got on about our days.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Why Are You Here?

Arthur Chrenkoff's Good News From Iraq, Part 16, is up!

Archbishop Sako's frustration is increasingly shared by other Iraqis, who can hardly recognize their country from the foreign media coverage. Westerners, too, both military and civilians, upon their return are often finding to their surprise and concern they had lived and worked in a different country to that their loved ones, friends and neighbors back home saw every night on the news. "Our" Iraq is a place of violence, uncertainty, and frustration; "their" Iraq all that, too, but also so much more: work and renewal, hope and enthusiasm, new opportunities and new possibilities. Here are the last two weeks' worth of stories you might have missed while watching "our" Iraq on the news:

Good stuff, Maynard.

Welcoming A Red Speck On A Blue Sun

A new blog:

My blog is aptly titled 'A Red Speck On A Blue Sun' because I am relatively conservative, young, and living in one of the worlds most liberal countries - New Zealand.
To make it worse, I work in the Film Industry.

Good stuff.

Mug tip to Murray at Silent Running.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

It's A Pain In The Posterior ...

getting followed around by the Communist Party propaganda broadcast truck.

I had to go to the office today and decided to drive. That was a mistake. Traffic was heavy and sloooww. Then the Communist Party truck pulled behind me, and their loudspeakers were blaring.

I discovered that Charlie Brown's teachers were all communists. The propaganda truck broadcast sounded just like this:
Wa wawa wawawa wa. Crime wawa wawa wa wa waa. Elementary schools wawa junior high schools wawa wawawa waaaa. The Japanese Communist Party wawawa, wawa, wa, waaa, wawawaaaa. Waawa, waaaawa, wawawawawaa wa.

Now that I think about it, though, I dated a girl for several years whose parents were communists, and they didn't sound anything like that. Odd.

Loudspeakers in the neighborhood are a fairly common way to advertise something in Japan. In the evenings, there are vans that drive very slowly through the neighborhood broadcasting little ditties about ramen, baked potatoes, or kerosine, on an almostly nightly basis. I was down in Oita once and a Cessna 172 flew over the town with industrial strength loudspeakers wailing away about something or other.

I have only rewarded this behavior once. Once, after a long day at work, I had resigned myself to wading into the grocery store to get something, when I heard that lovely ramen ditty going by. I ran out the door, caught the van, and had myself a hot, tasty bowl of ramen. Very convenient.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Getting What We Pay For

In yesterday's post I noted the hypocrisy of Harvard Law School, which banned military recruiters while the university profits from DOD contracts.

In the same vein, I would now like to point out a series of three excellent articles on US foreign aid. But before I do that, I would like to repeat something Dr. Demarche pointed out in my comments once: The US government has no money. All the money it spends, all the money it gives in research grants, all the money it gives in foreign aid, belongs to the American people.

In the Daily Demarche's first article, the good doctor poses the question "Why do we give foreign aid?" The answer is a good one, and here is a taste:
When I was still in training for the Foreign Service a retired Ambassador gave my class the best advice I've received in this job. He said "always remember a country exists to serve it's own best interests." I know that sounds like it should be common sense, but sometimes you just have to stop and remind your self of that, even when it is your own country.

In the case of the US, I think you have to remind yourself especially because it's your own country.

Dr. Demarche's second post, First, Do No Harm, discusses foreign aid that works, and that doesn't work.

The final post in the series Good money after bad, brings the series to its conclusion and gives Dr. Demarche's answer as to what we should be doing with foreign aid.

The series and the comments made by readers are well worth the time.

One of his commenters, M. Simon, has posted an interesting article on his blog about Hernando De Soto's theory that lack of formal property rights is holding back the developing world. This ties in well with the good doctor's posts on foreign aid, and is a fascinating theory in itself.

My own comment on this topic is simple. The American people need to get what we pay for. Yes, there are times we should give aid just to help people with no expectation of getting anything back. These cases are mostly disaster relief. However, in the case of long-term foreign aid, when the US is helping another nation out, I think it's reasonable to get a return on what is essentially an investment.

I also think this is true in every area, not just foreign aid.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Harvard Law School Re-Imposes Discrimination Against Military

USA Today brings us the story:
Harvard Law School will return to a policy that keeps the military from recruiting on campus in the wake of a federal court decision allowing colleges and universities to bar recruiters without fear of losing federal money.


Harvard had forbidden any recruiter from campus — military or otherwise — that couldn't sign off on the school's nondiscrimination policy. Harvard, like other schools, said the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was discriminatory, because it forbids overt gays and lesbians from serving in the armed forces.

The ban on open homosexuals serving in the military is part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the system of laws the US military follows. The UCMJ was passed into law by the US Congress and consists of Title 10, Chapter 47 of the United States Code.

So, Harvard is punishing the military for laws passed by the US Congress, laws the military has absolutely no control over.

According to the article, in 2002 the Pentagon invoked the Solomon Amendment, which allowed the DOD to deny funding to colleges and universities that restricted military recruitment or ROTC on campus. The schools backed off, but about two dozen law schools sued the government. On Monday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Solomon Amendment infringed on the free speech rights of law schools.

The Volokh Conspiracy, a legal blog, covers the legal arguments and explains exactly how allowing military recruiters on campus might be a violation of the school's free speech rights. However, the author, Orin Kerr, concludes:

... the Solomon Amendment case does seem trickier than when I first looked into it. To the extent it's relevant — it's not, but some will think it is — I still disagree with the military's ban on service for gays and lesbians. At the same time, I continue to be rather puzzled by the Third Circuit's ruling; it seems to reflect a misapplication of Dale.

The Solomon Amendment sounds like a good idea to me. If it violates the university's right to free speech (which I hope the government contests), then I suggest a new clause be written into every single government contract that provides funding to any educational institution for any reason. That clause would give government recruiters from any and every part of the government free access to recruit on the campus. If the school doesn't wish to sign, that's fine. They get zero government bucks.

UPDATE: Just want to add that my main problem with Harvard is the hypocrisy of taking Defense dollars, but banning recruiters. If Harvard refused DOD bucks as well, I would probably post in praise of their integrity. As it is, Harvard Law School is just playing a childish game.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

See You in the Funny Pages

Fruit of Doom! Evil Pundit is at it again.

Chris Muir is BACK! Especially check out his December 1 strip - I can't link because he uses ASP, but just click the date on his sidebar.

Sean Gleeson, creator of the famous Autorantic Virtual Moonbat (AVM), now brings us the next issue of Scooby Dooby Doo.

I've gotta tell you, after 16 hours in the salt mines, I head over and have it out with Gleeson's AVM. No better therapy on the 'net. Don't tell him or he'll start charging me.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Great-Grandmother Volunteers For Duty In Iraq

Jean over at GrandmaJeansOpinions ("Old. Opinionated. And right. What more do you need to know!") posts this story:
A 72-year-old great-grandmother is preparing for deployment to the war zone in Iraq and will become one of the oldest Department of Defense civilian workers in the war zone.
'I volunteered,' said Lena Haddix of Lawton, who has five children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 'I wanted to do something for the country, because I was always left behind taking care of the children.'

She raised five kids and thinks she hasn't done something for the country?