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Posts tagged ‘military’

Yokota Teens Pull Childish Prank With Adult Consequenses

A green highway sign for interstate 25 pointing to exit 79, to Truth or Consequenses.A group of teenagers from Yokota Air Force Base, Japan, thought that a fun prank would be to pull a length of rope across a road, for whatever reason that some (not all) teenagers decide that things sound like good ideas. A Japanese woman on a motorcycle was “clotheslined” in the taut rope, and flung from her bike, cracked her skull and at one point fell into a coma. The teenagers stopped an oncoming car to call for help, provided the police with false names, and fled the scene.

The oldest teen is being tried as an adult in Japanese court. Part of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that allows U.S. Forces to bring their families to overseas stations with them allows host-nation authorities to exercise jurisdiction over crimes that happen in their country when appropriate. Curiously enough, the charges against the other three teens have all been dropped, and only the one teenager remains to take the blame for all of this.

The teenager has paid a “gomennasai,” which included a monetary payment, to the woman, and told her that he is really very sorry that his thoughtlessness caused her to crack her head open on the pavement. I am sure it came out of his own pocket. Though under Japanese law he was a minor, at 18, when he committed the crime, the Japanese family court passed the case to the criminal court. Given the nature of the crime, I fully support this decision, but I honestly think that in some capacity the other three teens should be standing with this teen, because the violence that they enacted upon this woman is inexcusable. She was in the hospital for 17 days and unable to work for two months. 200,000 Japanese yen (the equivalent of $2,200) doesn’t cover that.

Why does this one teenager stand alone? When I write and act in defense for teenagers to have for themselves the right to make decisions as autonomous people, that entails the responsibility to see through the consequences of those choices. It is a part of growing up. We have to learn from our mistakes because they shape us into the people we become. While I don’t think that a prison system is how you do that, I think that a punishment for a prank that resulted in the severe injury of a Japanese national woman is warranted.

Even when they make heinous mistakes.

I don’t really believe that they should throw the book at these teens and forget about them forever, but what they did was cruel. Each of them acted, and each of them should be punished accordingly.

Especially when this is a systemic problem.

There is a problem, ongoing, of violence enacted by servicemembers stationed overseas and even by their dependents towards the nationals of host countries, especially in Asia, and most notably recently in Japan. A part of me believes that part of what led these teens to believe they could just flee the scene was a disregard for a Japanese woman’s life. I don’t believe these things happen in a vacuum, and I have spent enough time living on and around a military base in Asia, that I have seen the way people interact with nationals.

The lone teen’s defense lawyer believes that his case should never have been handed up from family court. Because the teen never intended to hurt anyone, you see, this should have stayed in family court. Obviously, this is just a childish prank. The boy claims that they never meant to hurt anyone, that they thought that motorists would only turn around when they saw the rope. That the woman was injured so terribly must have been her own stupid fault for not being telepathic. Gosh, she’s lucky to be alive.

The prosecutors seem to have it right. They said in court that “they were focused on holding the teen accountable for his actions, not his intentions,” because at least someone remembers that intent is not always the most important thing.

That is a lesson worth remembering.

Photo Credit: einalem

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The 60th Anniversary of The Korean War, Hillary Clinton Visits the Korean War Museum, and Some Musings on Classism and Disabilty…

A statue of South Korean soldiers poised as if fighting curved in the frame from front left back to right, ending in a line of what looks to be Korean civilins suffering from the strife of war.It’s the 60th Anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. The Forgotten War, as some will call it, but if you ask my Papa, and many of the other veterans, and many of the people living here in Korea today who are over 60, the will tell you that this war is not forgotten. It is a war that still simmers at the DMZ, where soldiers from both sides stand at the ready to fire upon anyone and anything they see moving, no matter what pretty message you may hear. For the younger generation of Koreans who live here, they seem to believe that there is a hope that there will be reunification with their fellow Koreans above the demilitarized zone. They believe the 38th Parallel to be a political boundary, and not a national one (true story, The Guy actually got into quite a heated discussion with one of his teachers over this, and eventually let the subject drop).

Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Bob Gates hopped over here for official talks with the South Korean Defense Minister, Kim Tae-Young, who used to be my neighbor, as a weird little “my world is so small” factoid. As a matter of honor, they did a ceremony at the National Korean War Museum here in Seoul. In a gesture I was delighted to read, the USAG Yongsan put up on its Facebook page that all family members were “cordially invited” to attend the ceremony.

Exterior of the Korean War Museum, showing a pond with small fountains, a manicured lawn, and many flags of the various nations that came to the aid of South Korea during the Korean war next to the flag of South Korea in a wide semi-circle starting from the front left and arching around to the back right.What a wonderful experience, thought I. The commemoration of joint forces by a laying of a wreath and a thoughtful gesture by these world leaders would be a beautiful thing to see. Kid and I decided to join a friend (who had called to let us know to check the aforementioned Facebook page for that information) and check out the whole thing. I thought it would be a wonderful gift for my Korean Veteran Grandfather, to send him some photos of this ceremony, of these people remembering his service and the service of countless others from so many nations, and from right here on this very soil who protected this country from being shoved off of the Peninsula.

But the information we were given was not very complete. People were turned away for improper attire. Sundresses and open-toed shoes, as it turns out, were not appropriate for attending this ceremony. Our bare shoulders were not appropriate and not to be in direct line-of-sight of Clinton and Gates and Kim as it turns out (even that was not uniformly enforced, as I saw a woman in a sleeveless t-shirt and flip-flops with three kids and a stroller leaving the ceremony later — a regular t-shirt, not a sleeveless shell). It seems that we just addressed the bare-arms issue when people asked if it was appropriate for Michelle Obama to attend official functions in sleeveless attire. (The answer? She said she would wear whatever she damn-well pleased to see her husband speak, and I agree!) As my mom reminded me today in a phone call, Jacqueline Kennedy wore a sleeveless dress to her husband’s inaugural address (bottom right of linked photo, Jackie is in a black sleeveless dress, and none of the other women are dressed so)… so it isn’t without precedent, which is what I wanted to tell the dude who told me that it is “common sense” to wear certain kinds of clothes to these kinds of things.

Which I thought was kind of an odd thing to say to someone … because I have a bit of trouble with my body self-regulating temperature at times. It was 95 degrees and ridiculously humid out Wednesday, and in Seoul, it is a good chance that I am going to be walking a good distance when going somewhere. We had on nice sundresses what covered our bodies in the socially acceptable way, but allowed us to sweat and breathe. In fact, I have worn the particular dress that I had on with black tights and dress shoes in the Winter with a sweater. It is a really versatile dress. I also wore the only shoes that I can walk in that don’t leave cuts and blisters on my feet right now when I have to walk long distances in this heat, which causes them to swell considerably for reasons I don’t wish to go into right here right now. I am really apologetic that they are Rainbow flip-flops, but they are well-made, leather, and fit and support my feet like I was born in them. The dress also has pockets, allowing me to carry a small wallet and my cell phone, and to hook my cane onto, freeing my hands for using my camera. It seems that I dressed according to my good sense for where I was going and what we were doing.

But people don’t really consider disabilities when they say flip things like that, and they almost always consider things like “common sense” in the scope of their own experiences.

An extremely cropped photograph of the National War Museum of Korea's front steps and main doors, with various Republic of Korea military standing at attention, and in the center, the very tiny figures of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, and Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young are walking down the stairs.So, as it stands, for the third time since I have lived in Seoul, Hillary Clinton has evaded me, and similar to my President Obama sighting, I managed to get a laughable picture to prove I was there.

Apart from everything else, I find dress codes for occasions like this quite classist.

Common people should not be denied the opportunity to partake in the events that their world leaders open up to the public simply because they don’t own proper shoes or more than one pair of pants. If someone shows up in blue jeans they should not be turned away. I doubt very much that Hillary Clinton agrees that proper clothes should separate her from people, and I have been advised by many people since Wednesday that writing to her would be a positive suggestion.

I live in a place where people wear blue jeans to work on a military base, and “peeky toed” high-heeled shoes are considered appropriate shoes, because they are the trend (and I noticed that they were allowable footwear, while flat-heeled sandals were not). It seems that the line is blurred, and left completely up to the discretion of whomever is standing at the door to decide who can and can not enter. Many people, especially people with children, or lower enlisted couples trying to balance budgets, don’t have the money to keep many sets of clothes just in case someone important visits. I keep my clothing utilitarian. I like it to be versatile and able to be worn through many seasons adding or taking away layers accordingly. I also like them machine washable and dryable. I just bought my first ball gown this year, which we saved up for with my writing stipend, and will attend my first Navy Ball this year (I was never able to attend them in years past because child care was so inadequate, so I missed the chance to be a sailor at a Navy Ball — something I will never get back /digressing). This was only available because we found a wonderful Korean tailor in Osan who made if for me and offered us a good price for paying in Won, being polite, and because my partner spoke Korean to her. Dress codes for civilian attire ridiculous.

This isn’t even to say anything about the fact that the Army did a poor job of disseminating information. If they knew ahead of time that people needed to be dressed a certain way then they should have put more than “families are welcome” or whatever in their Facebook blurb. And don’t even get me started on how awful it is to depend on Facebook to disseminate information. ACCESSIBILITY FAIL!

The important thing, however, is that we did visit and enjoy the museum, as did Secretaries Clinton and Gates, which I think are important and touching gestures. To acknowledge all that was lost in order to gain what was held on to. Later, when we stood in the halls with all of the names engraved of the people who gave their lives to hold onto the bottom of the Peninsula, I held my breath for a moment, and I wondered in my mind if my Grandfather’s feet may have passed under mine or my daughter’s. I paused, and thought of the troops we have elsewhere, and thought of them, and of the ones who will be names on walls. I thought of the Korean War Veterans of all the nations who fought here, who know that their legacy is to be of The Forgotten War. At least for a few minutes I became overwhelmed with it all.

Part of coming to Korea, while separating us from our family, has put a connection between me and some of my family; this ghost of a war still smoldering on the edge of two nations pulls me into a place where I feel this ache of loss for them. This connection. And yet, I know I can never really know.A pale Native American girl with short-cropped hair in a long purple and black maxi-style dress with a messenger bag slung over her shoulder and an umbrella in her hand pauses to look at the wall of names carved with names of those who gave their lives during the Korean war in a long hall of columns.

© All material Copyright Brandann R. Hill-Mann/Ouyang Dan 2010

How I Deserve…

We were at the pool today, as we are wont to do after school since we are apparently living on the Surface of the Sun these days. The sky has been that foreboding shade of I Can’t Decide If I Will Rain Or Shine for the last two or so days, but throwing caution to the wind, or rather, deciding that we were sick and tired of sweating like it was going out of style, we took a chance and went off to the pool.

Now, the base policy that I have been handed personally when signing Kid up for swimming lessons states that the pool is to be evacuated if lightning is seen w/in a ten mile radius of the area. Lightning. Seen. This I can understand. This has been the common sense rule since I was a kid living on the lake and in a fishing community. So, I was a little taken aback when the tiniest rumble was heard today (there were so many helios and jets flying around that I am still not convinced that anyone heard anything) and the lifeguards immediately blew all of their whistles and made everyone get out of the pool. We had just settled in and were applying The Kid’s SPF 70 when this went down, so The Guy asked a man who was directing a group of teens out of the deep end if he could come over and answer a question.

He asked the khaki-clad white man why they had evac-ed the pool, and he said because of thunder. I looked up at him from my chair , shielding my eyes from the sun, and explained my confusion, because of the base policy on lightning that I had read. He said to me “Yes, and what causes lighting?” in a very “you must be in kindergarten and have never heard of this thing we call science” voice. “Thunder!” he said w/o giving me a chance to answer and walked away as if I was too much of a drop-out to know the answer. I get this a lot. Young mom of enlisted husband with child older than kindergarten equals uneducated woman whose only qualifications are vacuuming (and way too stupid to home school, lest I get too full of myself). I’ve seen that face. I also get it online when I reveal that I grew up on a reservation or when I admit to being disabled. I get people chasing me down on my very own blog in comments treating me this way. It is not a new sentiment.

Sure, basically he was right (let’s forget that whole thing about charged ions and the speed of sound and light and that given that we didn’t actually see the damned lightning he was still wrong…), but being right did not give him the right to talk down to me. What I was asking for was a clarification of the base and pool policy. If someone had simply said “yes ma’am, well the pool’s policy is that if we hear the tiniest rumble or anything we think might be a rumble or if your stomach growls too loudly then we pretty much make all swimmers get out for thirty minutes or until we ascertain that there is in fact no threat of actual lightning”, then perhaps that would have been just fine.

But, no. This guy had to mansplain to me as if I had never taken a high school science course with a text book written later than Ancient Greece. Or perhaps it is because we are not white (even though I am oft read that way, but The Guy is VERY much not). Or whatever his reasoning, this dude just decided that my question was not worth a courteous response.

I sat there, stunned. Did that happen? The Guy told me it was no big deal.

Sure.

But it ate at me.

I wanted to go and ask this guy who he thought he was that he could talk to me like that when I was asking him a question, or better yet who he thought I was that he could talk to me like that and tell him how wrong he was. It made me think back to Chally’s post from the other day, about the way that her teacher spoke to her, and the way the department head immediately sided with that teacher, and how I wished in this moment that I had a fraction of that courage. I wanted to stand up strong and not be quietly marginalized by someone who decided I was less-than. Because that is sure how he made me feel in the three seconds he wasted on me.

But I was not raised that way.

I was raised to not make a fuss. I was raised to just let it go if no one (other than me) was hurt. I was raised to be more polite than that and be respectful of anyone with perceived authority, so much so that it has taken me several years to realize that “Fuck that, I have equal footing here”, because this man does not actually have the authority to dismiss me. Not just because he decides I do not deserve the time of day.

It took me a long time to realize that I am a parent too, I am an adult too, and other parents and adults don’t get to dictate what my actions should be. If I am abiding by rules and not harming anyone, I get to dictate my actions and have a say in what happens too.

I deserve to have misunderstandings cleared up.

I deserve to have base policies made clear to me so that I understand them and can abide by them

I deserve to be treated in a respectful manner, especially when my family and I are leading with respectful behavior.

I wish I had the courage to stand up and demand to be treated the way I know I deserve to be treated. I am working on it. I can recognize it now, so I guess that is a step.

But knowing and doing something about it are seldom the same thing.

Who DADT is Really Hurting: A Signal Boost

a piece of barbed wire against a blurry green background, with small, thin strands of fine spider webbing holding on to the prongs.Every weekday leading up to the launch of the Defense Authorization Bill the Servicmembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is running a new media campaign called “Letters from the Frontlines: Letters to President Obama“, which is a collection of open letters from actual servicemembers and their family membes who are affected by the horrendously awful DADT policy. Gay Rights Blogger Michael A. Jones from Change.org is running them, and I would like to share a recent collection of them, some of which I have shared at my Tumblr.

Also, the Senate Armed Services Committee happens to be chaired by my Rock the Casbah senator, Karl Levin. You can find the info for that committee here, if you are so inclined.

Discharged Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” … Twice

I was ousted from the service I loved, facing a recoupment of $13,000 sign-on bonus I received, and ushered to the gate. I felt shunned, broken and confused.

After a year of recovery, I received a letter recalling me back to service. While I didn’t understand why, I had an overwhelming sense of joy to return to the service I so loved.

I was sent to Kuwait for a year with the U.S. Navy Customs Battalion Romeo in 2006 where I continued to garner accolades for my service and even upped in rank, all while serving completely open. My immediate commanders and colleges were aware that I had been discharged once under DADT and knew that I was gay, yet they supported me because I was a great sailor.

The Humiliation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) on base, acting without authority, continued her own investigation and convinced the ranking Admiral that regulations mandated that he move to administratively separate me with an “Other Than Honorable” discharge; a move that would result in the loss of my 20+ year retirement.

Acting without the proper authority, she even went over the Admiral’s head and appealed to the Navy’s personnel office, telling them I was taking “sexual liberties” with patients, which she knew was not true.

I wanted to serve my country. Now, I was fighting to not be humiliated by it. At the SJA’s encouragement, the command initiated discharge proceedings. I knew I’d be discharged but my retirement and my livelihood was also on the line.

Gay Troops are Fit For Military Duty

But everything changed a few months later. A cadet went to my commanders and told them I was gay and dating a fellow cadet. During the investigation that followed I made no comment to the JAG officer conducting the investigation. I was eventually called into my commander’s office and disenrolled from ROTC in August 2002. I received a piece of paper saying I was no longer fit for military duty due to “homosexual conduct.” You can’t even imagine how that feels. Almost 8 years later, I still remember wearing my flight suit for the last time and handing my ID card to the NCO who was trying not to cry.

A Letter From a Gay Soldier in a War Zone

Mr. President, my unit is extremely undermanned. We’re working around the clock in Baghdad. My commander informed me that the Army cannot afford to lose me. I was told that they would prepare my discharge paperwork, “stick it in a Manila envelope, and keep it in a desk — for now.”

One moment they wanted to throw me out and the next they are hiding evidence to keep me in.

My comrades now know that I am gay, and they do not treat me any differently. Work runs as smoothly as ever, and frankly the only difference I see — besides my pending job loss — is that I am free of the burden of having to constantly watch my words and ensure my lies are believable.

Losing Some of Our Best Soldiers to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Eventually, the stress of constant fear that I could lose my job no matter how hard I worked or how well I performed, became too much. I knew from the stories of others that even serving to the very best of my ability could cost me my job. I knew that an anonymous tip — by someone who was jealous of my success, angry with me because of a disagreement, or mad because I rebuffed a sexual advance — could trigger a demoralizing, demeaning investigation under DADT. And if I was not willing to lie, I knew an investigation could lead to my discharge.

I was lucky, though. I did not get kicked out, but that does not mean that DADT didn’t affect me. The uncertainty and fear of knowing that anyone with a grudge could end my career, and the sadness in realizing that at any time my country could callously discard me for no other reason than the fact that I was gay, pressured me to give up the career I loved. I chose not to reenlist.

A Mother’s Dream For Her Gay Son in the Military

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” throws more than just service people into the closet; it throws moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, godparents, friends and loved ones in there as well.

As a mom, my heart breaks for all the gay and lesbian “kids” in the military, and for all the special people in their lives who live with us in the closet.

I dream of actually being able to write to the President, my senators and representatives in the Congress, and actually signing my name, something I can’t do now due to the risk of outing my son.

Serving in Iraq an an Openly Gay Soldier (trigger warning for ableist language)

After an investigation into my statements and the harassment, I was told I was an exceptional Soldier and to “drive on” with my work. It was a great a relief to break the silence. My colleagues suddenly understood why I had always been so detached and began asking me to join them in activities outside of work.

Later that year my division deployed again and I served the entirety of the deployment as an openly gay Soldier. I no longer had to lie if someone asked if I were married or had a girlfriend, I didn’t have to write my emails in “code.” I no longer feared being “outed.” I finally was able to be honest.

A Lesbian ROTC Cadet, Denied the Chance to Serve

As much as I longed to be an officer, I realized I was not willing to compromise my integrity to do so.

Mr. President, I tell you this not looking for sympathy but rather to plead with you to do everything possible to end this arcane, discriminatory law. It hurts our military every day to force our men and women in uniform to lie or else face discharge.

You gave me hope that I might be able to serve honestly and openly in your State of the Union Address. If you repeal this law today, I’ll sign up to serve my country tomorrow.

Photo: jonycunha

Me, Elsewhere — Some Shameless Self Promotion

Katie Leung as Cho Chang holding a tiny owl. Text bubble reads "It can only carry messages of 140 characters or less. I call it 'Twitter'."It’s been a while since I have updated Readerland on where I have been and why it has been abnormally quiet on random babble… lately.

In no particular order:

Racialicious — Wopajo

FWD/Forward — For Cereal, Time?

For Cereal, Stars and Stripes?

A Conversation With a Pharmacist

Trust Me

Change.org’s Women’s Rights Blog — KBR to Jamie Leigh Jones: You Were Asking For It

Military Restricted Reporting Does Not Put Rapists Away

WASPs Receive Congressional Gold Medal For WWII Service

Judge Sentences Abuse Suspect to Marry His Victim

MyCAA Program Reinstated for Existing Account Holders

Lesbian Sergeant Outed by Police and Discharged Under DADT

Repeat Offenders Account for 9 Out of 10 Rapes on College Campuses

Equal Rights? Men Make All the Policies for Women in the Military

DoD Stops Payment on the Military Spouses Tuition Assistance Program

Gates Declares It’s Time For Women on Subs (with an attached Action Item)

So that’s what I’ve been up to…well, a little bit of it anyway. I have more tumbling around in my head. What have you been up to?

But What Would Jesus Do? I Bet It Is Like That “Golden Rule”…

This, though, is neither.

Not by a long shot.

I might be a little rusty on my Bible these days, having not actually read it cover to cover like I have in days since passed, but those other concepts stick with me pretty intensely.

An appellate court in Richmond, VA decided that Albert Snyder, the father of slain Marine, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose funeral was protested by the deplorable ilk of the Westboro Baptist Church, will have to pay the appeals cost — an amount reaching some $16,510 — to Fred Phelps at a time to be determined by Phelps himself. Snyder’s lawyer (and I, but when do I matter?) believes that this should have been held until the Supreme Court had a chance to rule on this case.

Phelps and his followers are best known for their “God hates fags” slogan and their penchant for picketing the funerals of people who have died of AIDS and of servicemembers, some gay, some not. There is a reason he and his wonderful daughter are not allowed to visit the UK.

One of the reasons that I left the church is that I have long had a hard time believing that any god who is supposedly benevolent would support any kind of person who would espouse the kind of behaviour promoted by Fred Phelps or his followers, family, or church. I don’t believe that an omnipotent being such as the Christian God could possibly first create children and then believe that it is OK to turn his back upon them in such a cruel manner.

And it is despicable that any court or judge would award anyone an appeals award like this that would cause such a hardship while a Hate Speech decision is still pending. Especially when we are still seeing more and more decisions in the favor of protections against hate speech recently, like in the Harvard-Westlake School cyberbullying case [Trigger Warning on that link for descriptions of violence]. But I am not a lawyer.

The two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa., offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

Attorneys also said Snyder is struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The paper edition of S&S differs slightly, saying that the American Legion is helping to set up a fund to assist Snyder with the fees, and Snyder himself has one set up in his son’s name, if you are so inclined. They are also filing an amicus brief in support of the Snyder family as well.

Hate speech against marginalized groups should not be protected free speech. Funerals, of servicemembers or otherwise, should not be breeding grounds for protesters. Families should be left to mourn their lost in peace, particularly those who have lost their loved ones to these wars.

But What Would Jesus Do? I Bet It Is Like That “Golden Rule”…

This, though, is neither.

Not by a long shot.

I might be a little rusty on my Bible these days, having not actually read it cover to cover like I have in days since passed, but those other concepts stick with me pretty intensely.

An appellate court in Richmond, VA decided that Albert Snyder, the father of slain Marine, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose funeral was protested by the deplorable ilk of the Westboro Baptist Church, will have to pay the appeals cost — an amount reaching some $16,510 — to Fred Phelps at a time to be determined by Phelps himself. Snyder’s lawyer (and I, but when do I matter?) believes that this should have been held until the Supreme Court had a chance to rule on this case.

Phelps and his followers are best known for their “God hates fags” slogan and their penchant for picketing the funerals of people who have died of AIDS and of servicemembers, some gay, some not. There is a reason he and his wonderful daughter are not allowed to visit the UK.

One of the reasons that I left the church is that I have long had a hard time believing that any god who is supposedly benevolent would support any kind of person who would espouse the kind of behaviour promoted by Fred Phelps or his followers, family, or church. I don’t believe that an omnipotent being such as the Christian God could possibly first create children and then believe that it is OK to turn his back upon them in such a cruel manner.

And it is despicable that any court or judge would award anyone an appeals award like this that would cause such a hardship while a Hate Speech decision is still pending. Especially when we are still seeing more and more decisions in the favor of protections against hate speech recently, like in the Harvard-Westlake School cyberbullying case [Trigger Warning on that link for descriptions of violence]. But I am not a lawyer.

The two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa., offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

Attorneys also said Snyder is struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The paper edition of S&S differs slightly, saying that the American Legion is helping to set up a fund to assist Snyder with the fees, and Snyder himself has one set up in his son’s name, if you are so inclined. They are also filing an amicus brief in support of the Snyder family as well.

Hate speech against marginalized groups should not be protected free speech. Funerals, of servicemembers or otherwise, should not be breeding grounds for protesters. Families should be left to mourn their lost in peace, particularly those who have lost their loved ones to these wars.

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