Thursday, September 05, 2002


        Congratulations to Neil Gaiman for winning the Hugo for best novel for American Gods.  If Bujold's Curse of Chalion had to lose, at least it lost to the best.  Anyhow, as Tyler Stewart, proprieter of Pandemonium, pointed out, Lois has enough Hugos as is!

        I was at the Millenium Philcon, when the Hugo went to the Harry Potter book. People left the presentation snarling with anger. I’m glad to see a winner everybody can get behind.

        Analogy time. American Gods is to Neverwhere as Casino is to Goodfellas.

        And speaking of movies, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings won Hugo the Best Dramatic Presentation.

        Gee. What an upset.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002


        Schadenfruede unbound!  Harvard Law has just discovered the joys of discovering Uncle Sam's purse strings tend to turn the recipient into a marionette.  The school has been forced to allow military on campus.  Previously, the services were barred from Harvard, ostensibly to protest the 'don't ask don't tell' policy.  This replaces the earlier bans, ostensibly because of the Vietnam War, the Cold War, etc.

        So, what changed their minds?  Two words: 'Filthy lucre.'  See, there's a 6 year old federal statute, known as the Solomon Amendment (Look for Pub. L. 104-208), which cuts off all of f all of Uncle Sam's do-re-mi if a college or university discriminates against military recruiters or ROTC. As the amendment says...

"None of the funds made available in this or any other Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for any fiscal year may be provided by contract or by grant (including a grant of funds to be available for student aid) to a covered educational entity if the Secretary of Defense determines that the covered educational entity has a policy or practice (regardless of when implemented) that either prohibits, or in effect, prevents . . . access by military recruiters for purposes of Federal military recruiting. . . ."

        From the article...

        In an emotional letter to students and faculty, Clark wrote that under the threat of enormous financial loss, the greater good of the university would have to override the law school's stance against discrimination and the military's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy. The decision is expected to influence policy at other law schools.

        "I have personally struggled with this issue," Clark wrote. "At the same time, most of us reluctantly accept the reality that this University cannot afford the loss of federal funds.... To say that this decision is just about money trivializes the significance these funds have on students' educations, faculty careers, and scientific research that can lead to cures to life-threatening illnesses and debilitating diseases."

        To coin a phrase... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

        Sorry, Dean, but the PC movement has done a tremendous job in trivializing education. And frankly I don't respect your trivializing the services merely because you and your narrow minded ilk disapprove of their policies.

        Of course the trivials are not taking this lying down. The Harvard hooligans want to keep discriminating to protest discrimination. According to the Crimson...

"Lambda board member Lindsay Harrison said last night that the group will protest the Defense Department policy by, for example, filling all interview slots with its members when military recruiters come to the campus."

        Heaven forbid students should be exposed to actual diversity.

        But it's not only in Cambridge that the Soloman Amendment is desipsed. South of the Charles in Boston College - the Jesuit institution historically best known for point shaving, a misandronist professor and drunken louts staggering out of off limit bars, has an orbaization dedicatied to the repeal of the amendment.

        And then there is this article by Sean Roaney a Washington School of Law 2L.

Further clouding the amendment's future is the fact that certain states, including virtually every state in the northeastern United States, have enacted state civil rights legislation banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. Compliance with the amendment, therefore, requires that law schools in these states directly contravene their own state law.

        Sean clearly needs to re-check his Con Law notes. There's no conflict. When a state statute and a federal law are at loggerheads, Uncle Sam wins.

As Representative Solomon opines, however, these laws are of little importance. These states, he reasons, can merely amend their legislation to allow for military recruitment. Amendment opponents do not find this a palatable option, however, and continue to hope that the Supreme Court will eventually overturn the military policy.

        Highly unlikely. The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is itself a compromise and the current court makeup will not interfere so deeply with military policy during wartime.

        Anyhow, as a wise man said, every doctor needs to be a patient at some point, every law professors need to know what it feels like to be smacked with the club of laws used for social engineering ends. If it's good enough for the high school students of Southie and Roxbury, it's good enough for the law students in the Ivies.

        Still, with apologies to Tom Lehrer...

        Fight feebly Harvard! Faint, faint faint!

        Impress them with our cowardice... do!

        Faint in Harvard's disgrace and shame!

        We're just unworthy of your name!

        (Oh poopie!)

        Okay. Weird Al, I ain't.


        Maggie Gallagher chimes in, unfavorably comparing craven Crimson to the Augusta National Golf Club’s defiance in turning down advertising revenue rather than acceding to the National Council of Women's Organizations’ demands that they grant immediate membership, to women in their club. William ‘Hootie’ Johnson declared, "We are sorry, but not surprised, to see [the sponsors] drawn into this matter but continue to insist that our private club should not be 'managed' by an outside group. "


        One note on my fantasy draft. While I firmly believe my team is solid, I darn near made a fatal error thanks to the quintet of Yuengling beers I consumed that afternoon. I drafted two quarterbacks (Donovan McNabb and Jim Miller) with the same bye week. Fortunately I traded Miller for a pick I used on Mark Brunell.