aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell & Undescended testicles???
Hilzoy’s discovered that it’s not just gays the Army doesn’t want:
If you actually read the Army’s Standards of Medical Fitness (pdf), you’ll discover that the Army seems to have a truly bizarre devotion to the idea that only men and women with absolutely, completely normal genitalia and reproductive systems can possibly defend us in time of war. Among the people who do not meet its standards:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Women who experience unusually heavy menstrual bleeding, or bleeding at irregular intervals, or no periods at all.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Women born without a uterus.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ In men, “Current absence of one or both testicles, either congenital (752.89) or undescended (752.51) is disqualifying.”
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ And, for both men and women: “History of major abnormalities or defects of the genitalia such as change of sex (P64.5), hermaphroditism, pseudohermaphroditism, or pure gonadal dysgenesis (752.7) or dysfunctional residuals from surgical correction of these conditions is disqualifying.”
Undescended testicles??? Unless I am very, very wrong about what exactly service in the military involves, I can’t see that an undescended testicle would affect a soldier’s ability to perform his duties. I checked to see whether undescended testicles might lead to some more severe problems later; apparently, they reduce fertility, which is hardly the Army’s concern, and increase the odds that one will get testicular cancer. But since the Army accepts smokers, I can’t see that this explains why they disqualify recruits with undescended testicles…
Last year, the Army had to grant waivers to nearly one in five recruits because they had criminal records.” If they’re willing to overlook criminal records, I imagine that they’re probably granting waivers to people with undescended testicles as well. But that’s only a stopgap measure: the real question is: why on earth does the Army care whether or not its soldiers have undescended testicles in the first place? Why not just ask whether a soldier is physically able to do his or her duty, and leave it at that?
Midwest Teen Sex Show says, “choose abstinence”
More from MTSS.
Judge bans shoplifting teens from shopping
Just down the road in Dublin, GA:
There are six shopping days left before Christmas, but for five Laurens County teens, the shopping season is over - for a while.
The five juveniles have been officially and legally banned from entering any retail establishment in Laurens County, thanks to Juvenile Court Judge William L. Tribble, who issued the bans as part of the court’s sentencing for shoplifting.
“No more shopping sprees for you, courtesy of the Juvenile Court of the Dublin Judicial District,” said Judge Tribble, “or should I say ‘no more stealing sprees’?”
One by one, the five separate shoplifting cases were called before the judge’s bench Tuesday. Soon it became apparent that the judge had decided to give each defendant a little something extra along with the regular sentence of probation.
The first to appear before the judge entered a guilty plea to the shoplifting lifting charge along with a theft by taking charge. “She’s already on probation for other theft charges,” Tribble said as he studied the teen’s record, “in fact there’s seven theft charges and one burglary charge here.”
“I’m placing you under house arrest,” Tribble told the 15-year-old defendant. He then addressed the child’s mother, “and you are now her jailer ma’am. She is to go home, close the door, do not go outside except for medical emergency.”
“What about church your honor?,” asked a woman observing the proceedings who identified herself to the judge as pastor Cynthia Rolle of the St. Paul AME Church. “If our church van picks her up and her mother too, may she come to church?”
Judge Tribble found the pastor’s offer amenable and revised the sentence, “You are not allowed to go anywhere except for medical emergency and church - if this church sends a van to get you, you may go.”
Tribble asked the pastor if the church had a means to address habitual thieves.
“We do your honor, we have a viable youth program,” said Pastor Rolle.
“She’s got seven theft charges and burglary,” Tribble reviewed. “Just what does it take to teach someone not to be a thief?” Tribble asked aloud, but no one in the courtroom responded with an answer.
Good for that judge! I hope the kids will be better for it. Asked he, “Do you know how to shop online?”
Justice Department no-show at hearing on KBR gang-rape case
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing [yesterday] into the allegations of Jamie Leigh Jones, a young Texas woman who claims she was drugged and gang-raped by her fellow KBR/Halliburton employees in Iraq—and then imprisoned and threatened with the loss of her job after reporting the incident to her bosses. KBR has denied the allegations.
While Jones courageously testified before the committee, no one from the Justice Department bothered to show up. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski sent a letter [PDF] yesterday to Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) explaining that the Department was unable to testify because of its “pending investigation” into the incident, which occurred more than two years ago.
Conyers’ reaction from a prepared statement:
Simply put, it is unacceptable for our own Department of Justice to refuse to testify today. The letter they sent me last night does not begin to respond to the tragedy and injustice that we are looking at now. The department claims to be committed to law enforcement in Iraq, but 1) they will tell us nothing about what is being done in Ms. Jones’ case; 2) they cannot give us even one example of a prosecution where the victim was a civilian contractor employee in Iraq; and 3) they cannot describe any steps they have taken to ensure that such Americans in Iraq can report crimes by contractor employees there to federal law enforcement and that prompt investigation and prosecution will occur. The American people and this committee have the right to demand justice and accountability, and I intend to see that that is exactly what we get.
Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) also testified before the committee. Jones’ father got help from Poe in getting Jamie Leigh freed. In his prepared testimony Poe said that his office had been contacted by three women other than Ms. Jones about sexual assaults they sustained while working for KBR in Iraq.
Jamie Leigh Jones says she has been contacted by 11 other women who have also been assaulted by contractors in Iraq.
LATER: Crooks and Liars has video of Jamie Leigh’s testimony.
Think Secret no more: keeps sources, shuts down
Remember how back in 2005 Apple sued Think Secret, one of the most infamous Apple rumor sites on the block? Apparently TS’s publisher Nick Ciarelli (aka Nick DePlume) settled and even managed to keep his inside sources hidden (and the man has many), but paid the ultimate price: he’s agreed to shut down the site, presumably for good—at least in its current incarnation. [...]
Update: It’s real alright. Nick just wrote back: “I’ll just say that I’m very satisfied with the settlement, and that I’d like to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation and my attorney, Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky, for their support.”
Happy Blogiversary Digby!
Five years of Hullabaloo:
The blogosphere is changing, becoming much more sophisticated and much more innovative. It has to. I’m a dinosaur in many ways, still plugging along on my own, writing on a random daily schedule and basically following my bliss. It’s not necessarily the smart move, but it’s the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done and I’m loathe to change it. Perhaps, for a while, there’s still a place for the (almost) lone blogger like me to keep doing this the old fashioned way.
I, too, am an old fashioned blogger in that dinosaur mold. There’s a place for us…