Friday, February 27, 2004

Why I Love the Military
I’m Surprised I Beat the Sikh Geek to This
Here is a story about a Sikh who volunteered for Army, but was turned down because he would have had to cut his hair and shave his beard. Admittedly, I know little about the Army, but their reasoning sounds like bullshit to me. Can’t have a beard because it could lead to a gas mask leak? The army is concerned with “unity?” Courts tend to be very deferential towards military leadership and accept whatever reasoning they are given, no matter how far-fetched. I don’t buy this at all though. I do have one suggestion for Mr. Singh, if you are going to be interviewed by a newspaper and talk about constitutional law, do a little reading first. Mr. Singh said, “Forcing a Sikh to shave - then he's a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian. Congress is supposed to pass no law promoting one religion; here they are promoting three." Um, not really. There are two different religion clauses in the first amendment. The Establishment Clause (which is what I think he is referring to) is not really at issue here. This would seem to be a violation of the Free Exercise Clause though. Hey, at least he can wear his turban to school.

Unprofessional Gender Related Behavior
This is a rather disturbing story about soldier on soldier rape in the U.S Armed Forces. It took them two years to produce a study about the issue. Nothing was actually done to solve the problem, there was just a study. You know, because they are so concerned with “unity” and all. As the story points out, only 16% of rapes, generally, are reported and the number is definitely much lower than that for the military. A general said that the fact that they had only six victim advocates for a 10,000 person division “may not be adequate.” No shit. Isn’t one of the new justifications for the Iraq Quagmire that we had to eliminate Saddam’s “rape rooms?” Maybe Bush will send the army to invade the army to stop the sexual assaults. I just confused myself, I’m going to shut up now.

-Lil' Antonin