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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Interesting Military News

Three interesting military related stories in the news today.

The first, is that the Supreme Court in an 8-0 decision (Alito didn't hear the case, so couldn't vote) upheld the Soloman Amendment, a law that requires schools accepting federal tax dollars to allow military recruiters on campus. (h/t Mudville Gazette)

To me this was a no-brainer. The courts have upheld the federal policy of attaching strings to money for as long as I can remember. If you wonder why your state's drinking age is 21, the answer is the Department of Transportation refuses to release federal highway funds to states with a lower age.

Now a bunch of law schools who banded together, and San Francisco are going to have to figure out what is more important, their stated principles, or Uncle Sugar's free money. My guess is they will take the money.

The second story comes from Robert Stokely, who's son Mike's life and service have been chronicled here and on many other blogs. It seems Georgia is going to name a couple of roads for Mike. From The Times-Herald

Legislation offered to name highways in Coweta, Walton for fallen soldier
Senate Resolution 639 would dedicate a strip of roadway to the fallen soldier. The portion, which would bear the name "Sgt. Mike Stokely Memorial Highway," would stretch from U.S. Highway 54 from the Fayette County line to its intersection with U.S. Highway 16. The resolution has been passed by Georgia's Senate and is currently pending in the House.

Resolution 864 would dedicate a span of highway to Stokely from U.S. Highway 81 in Walton County from its intersection with U.S. 78, which runs straight through Mike's hometown of Loganville, to the Newton County Line.

Robert, I know that it won't make up for the loss of your son, but it will keep him in people's minds for many years to come.

The Misleading Headline of the Day award goes to USA Today (via Yahoo News):

8,000 desert during Iraq war
Which sounds like a horrible thing. The article eventually explains the number in the sixth paragraph, which brings out the truth.

The Army, Navy and Air Force reported 7,978 desertions in 2001, compared with 3,456 in 2005

Wait! That means that since the start of the Iraq War, 2 and a half years ago, the military has seen about HALF AS MANY desertions as they did pre-9/11!

So the headline could have been: Military Desertion Cut In Half Since 9/11, which would have been as truthful as theirs, a positive way of looking at it, and less misleading.

Why do I think that they chose to word it the way they have, simply for the shock value of the number. It sounds like a huge number, and if folks don't read the entire article, they'll never figure out that it's lower than it was before we went to war.

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Blogger LargeBill said...

No matter whether we have a draft or a volunteer military and no matter how much the military is paid there will always be some folks who desert. Folks leave for various reasons. Usually they incorrectly assume some temporary problem is insurmountable.

8:16 PM  
Blogger crazypoliticoswife said...

We average one deserter a month just in our school department, usually its because they don't like being held accountable for their actions. Most all of our deserters in our department were pending non judicial punishment prior to going. Very few just up and leave and stay gone for personal reasons. Granted maybe one in every 20 is a leadership failure, however, by far the majority is already going to be kicked out.

8:28 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Of course the schools will take the money! Turning down government money is against their religion.

As far as deserters go. I was in during peacetime and we had a few. Including one (my roommate) who deserted because he missed his girlfriend.

9:08 PM  
Blogger yankeemom said...

Oh I'm so glad to hear that Georgia is doing that in Mike Stokley's memory.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I finally did a post on the port deal and linked to 2 of your posts on it.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

LargeBill, that was generally my impression in 20 years, especially when I dealth (as my wife still does) with the newest sailors. Some problem that could have been handled with a 20 minute phone call ends up costing the kid a chance at a decent job.

CPSWife-You only have to deal with them for a little longer.

Shoprat, I'm sure the folks will do some pontificating on how horrible it is to be held to the law, but yeah, they'll take the money and run.
That desertion reason, or "because she'd gonna dump me" were two of the big ones.

Yankeemom, I thought it was pretty cool that it's two roads getting named for him.

Thanks LMC, I'll have to go check it out.

3:33 AM  

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