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Sen. Dan Inouye of Hawaii, a WWII veteran and now the third-longest-serving senator in American history, may have voted in roll call for Al Franken’s amendment to a larger Defense appropriations bill, which would end federal funding for defense contractors who abuse mandatory arbitration clauses to deny victims of assault (including sexual assault, like rape) the right to bring their case to court. But that amendment is now in danger at Inouye’s hands.
Inouye’s office, sources say, has been lobbied by defense contractors adamant that the language of the Franken amendment would leave them overly exposed to lawsuits and at constant risk of having contracts dry up. The Senate is considering taking out a provision known as the Title VII claim, which (if removed) would allow victims of assault or rape to bring suit against the individual perpetrator but not the contractor who employed him or her.
Well, we can’t let those contracts dry up, can we? That would be bad, wouldn’t it?
OH WAIT, prioritizing a bunch of fucking contracts over the rights of sexual assault victims would be more than bad. It would be a total fucking EPIC FAIL.
Time to tell that to Grandpa. Email or Call Inouye’s office now and tell him you don’t want victims forced into secret arbitration after they’ve suffered through the worst of violations, just because groups like KBR are making a big stink about being “exposed.”
Inouye’s office contact information is as follows:
722 Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1102
300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850-4975
101 Aupuni Street, #205
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
In the current issue of the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal, Joint Force Quarterly, Air Force colonel Om Prakash has published an article arguing that openly gay troops do not hurt unit cohesion or combat effectiveness, calling the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy a “costly failure” and asking President Obama to find a way to repeal the ban.
The essay was selected as the winner of this year’s Secretary of Defense essay contest and was reviewed in advance of publication by the office of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the NY Times. Prakash, who works in the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, studied the issue while a student at the National War College. The article signals a shift in the thinking of the Pentagon’s top officials and is expected to put pressure on Obama to repeal DADT.
In “The Efficacy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Prakash reasons:
…the law as it currently stands does not prohibit homosexuals from serving in the military as long as they keep it secret. This has led to an uncomfortable value disconnect as homosexuals serving, estimated to be over 65,000, must compromise personal integrity. Given the growing gap between social mores and the law, DADT may do damage to the very unit cohesion that it seeks to protect.
Yes sir, Colonel! We couldn’t agree more.
What’s shocking is that, according to HuffPo contributor Chris Rodda, the mixing of religion and military policy at the highest levels is nothing new. What’s also shocking? These Crusade Memo-cover sheets are about as smart and sophisticated as your typical youth group-messaging. They used to put Scripture like this on t-shirts in my Southern Baptist youth group, to get us kids pumped about spending the first week of summer, the first taste of freedom…quietly studying the Bible while getting murdered by mosquitoes in the woods, teenage hormones on tilt because you were surrounded by beautiful people you wanted to fuck but couldn’t because Jesus didn’t approve, and the most you could do about it was maybe get felt up in the Prayer Garden at night, but that was only if you were really, really bad and hooked on getting saved and re-saved, which so many kids were because, hey, you had to get high somehow.
Yep, this was the sort of fist-pumpy Bible-beater stuff we kids would get brainwashed with during Wednesday night Bible study or before we went to witness to slack-jawed teens at the mall on a Friday night because, because, because…
We were responding to a higher calling? Because we had purpose? Because we were chosen and righteous?
No. It was because, frankly, we were bored. There were only so many movies you could see at one of the two local movie theaters, only so many frames you could bowl, only so many times you could sit in the Safeway parking lot after closing getting wasted on Bud and wine coolers. Going out and saving the world was a thing to do because there was kinda nothing better in our podunk town.
And to think this is the way the Bush administration ran the military and justified invading Iraq. God help us.