Monday, November 29, 2010

Climate Change and its National Security Implications Part II

The effects of climate change on humans will not arise as former Vice President Al Gore explains in his Inconvenient Truth nor will it be the cataclysmic Hollywood summer blockbuster brought to you by Jerry Bruckheimer.  Instead, it is a slow change that still has a severe impact on the human population of the planet.  

Lack of access to fresh water, diminished capacity to produce food, affects to human health and the loss of land are the larger impacts of humans based on climate change.  These factors have an effect on the national security policies of not only the United States, but also all of the other developed nations in the world.

Studies have shown that the increased ferocity of storm systems around the planet, ranging from Katrina in 2005 to the cyclone that devastated Myanmar in 2009 is affected by the warming of the planet.  Models have shown that the planet may see a rise in sea levels by 3 feet (1 meter) by the end of the current century.  There is also a possibility that this rise could increase based on receding ice on the planet uncovering permafrost that expels great amounts of methane that adds to the warming of the planet. 

Severe storms and rising sea levels affect coastal nations, none more than Bangladesh.

Bangladesh sits at thirty feet above sea level and protected by a series of dikes from the rising ocean.  The nation is a great risk against severe cyclones and the rising seas.  Estimates of a three-foot rise or greater in sea levels threatens Bangladesh through sea water affecting local water tables and invading crop lands, making it difficult to raise crops.  Threats of powerful cyclones rampaging across Bangladesh raises concerns of creating great numbers of refugees in the wake of these storms.  The very worst estimates show that Bangladesh will be mostly seawater or devastated by constant storms, leaving approximately 20 million refugees without homes. 

20 million refugees without homes streaming into India or Southeast Asia is a nightmare for those dealing with national security.  What will be done with these refugees who no longer have a home to return?  Where will they be relocated?  Will the stress of the influx of refugees have an adverse impact on the infrastructure of the neighboring nations leading to instability in the region?  These questions weigh heavily on the minds of security think tanks now studying the effects of climate change on security doctrines.

Even in the United States, dangers of rising sea levels are relevant.  For example, Norfolk, Virginia, the home of the Atlantic fleet and thirty percent of the US Navy's assets.  Norfolk is built on a filled in marsh and is currently feeling the effects of natural sinking matched with rising tides.  If Norfolk is no longer a suitable location for a base, six Nimitz class carriers and her escorts will have to find a new home that can handle the immense draft of the nuclear powered carriers. 

Norfolk and Bangladesh are not the only area affected; a majority of the world's population is located in close proximity to the oceans of the world.  Rising seas not only consume land but it also taints the local freshwater reservoirs.  Massive numbers of persons will be forced to move away from the coast in developed in lesser-developed nations.  These migrations will create stresses on the infrastructure of other nations, some greater than others. 

The concern will be those stresses on less developed nations and the potential of extremist groups taking advantage of the unfolding situation. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A few quick thoughts

This post is unrelated to the "Climate Change and National Security Issues" series I'm trying to put together here, but perhaps in a way there is a attenuated relationship. Maybe. Maybe not.

It appears that there is a lot of resistance from one party on dealing with ending the Bush Era Tax cuts for those making $250k and greater. I had the joy of watching via The Young Turks ( Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN-8) go on about how ending the Bush era tax cuts would hurt plumbers who work with one or two family members. I'm not a wizard at tax law (seeing that I have not taken tax here in law school and probably will not), but I'm pretty sure that Rep. Bachmann is confusing personal tax with business tax. But as Rep. Prior in Bill Mahr's "Religiulous" stated: "There's no IQ test for Congress." Oh if it wasn't for the constitution...

In other news the GOP bloc in the Senate is seeking to block the ratification of the START Treaty between the United States and Russia. The basic idea of START, as a progeny of the earlier START I and START II treaties is to reduce the size of each nation's nuclear capacity. While the true number of nuclear warheads is still up for debate for those of us without TOP SECRET clearances; one can easily assume that each nation has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world over at least a couple of thousand times.

Somehow the idea of eliminating those weapons makes plenty of sense to me. But the GOP is terrified at the idea of reducing the amount of the destructive weapons that were within the reach of one moron from popping off into the night. Without naming names, the general consensus is that by reducing the number of nuclear weapons we currently have in our arsenal, we are weakening our ability to defend the US with the old Cold War theme of "Self Assured Mutual Destruction."

The problem is that it is no longer a nuclear standoff between the Soviet Union and the United States that holds the world in a death grip of fear. The real problem is radical terrorism, unstable states, warlords with too much power that are threats to the modern civilization we all enjoy.

The true motivation besides reducing the numbers of nuclear weapons in our arsenal is to limit the ability for terrorists or unstable nations to have the opportunity to gain access of nuclear material that can be upgraded for use in weapons. That's the main fear. By having greater oversight in the actual numbers in each nation's arsenals and by reducing those weapons available, it cuts down on those opportunities for terrorist organizations to gain access to nuclear material.

But I guess the GOP only likes to raise the spectre of terrorism only when it suits their political purposes.

I could go on about how the GOP is attempting to block unemployment benefits for the thousands of unemployed Americans who need help. Or how the Senate is not moving forth in repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT). But I have to be somewhere in a few minutes.

Well, at least Rep. Ron Paul (TX) is seeking to protect the dignity of Americans travelers from the 4th Amendment violator in airports across the US.

More to be posted.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Climate Change and its National Security Implications Part I

Climate Change and its National Security Implications Part I

Last year, I recall reading a column in the Forum that started with the following, and I paraphrase: “It’s snowing outside, so therefore there must be global climate change.” Along with the information disseminated from legitimate scientific sources such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, local weather observations sufficiently prove that climate scientists are really obscuring the truth of climate change: that there is no such phenomena as climate change.

But if that were the case, why is the Department of Defense taking steps to deal with reducing use of fossil fuels and studying affects of climate change?

The Navy established a goal to have a “Green Strike Group” that will run on bio-fuels by 2015. The Army and Marine Corps have run studies as to how to minimize the use of fossil fuels both in the field and on base. The Air Force by 2011 will be certified to use biofuels for flight. Rising costs in transporting fossil fuels and the vulnerability forward deployed forces in Afghanistan face in protecting those resources from insurgent attacks have forced the US military to seek new means to minimize that need for fossil fuels. The Department of Defense has organized senior officers to investigate the impacts of climate change on national security, involving members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other major commanders.

If climate change is just a canard created by climate scientists to secure more funding, then there would be no reason why the military would look to alternative sources of energy and investigate the impacts of climate change.

Climate change does have an impact on our ecosystem that directly affects humans. The following is just a short laundry list of those effects on our species:

1. A lack of access to supplies of fresh water. Sources of fresh water derive from mountain glaciers, rainfall, snowfall and subsequent snowmelt. Changes in temperature can lead to the reduction of snowfall that replenishes glaciers when they melt in the warmer seasons. With higher temperatures, there is more rainfall, leading to flooding during rainy seasons and less glacier run off during the drier seasons.

According to the 2007 CNA report on Climate Change and National Security, over 40% of the world’s population receives around half of its fresh drinking water from glaciers in the world. The bottom line, with rising global temperatures, the more flooding in the spring, similar to the floods that hammered the Midwest in 2009 and more droughts, similar to the droughts that have hammered sub Saharan Africa.

2. Diminished capacity to produce food. The before mentioned lack of glacier water during droughts lead to an inability to grow crops. With each 1.8 degree (F) rise in temperature there will be a 10% drop in grain production according to Lester Brown’s World Grain Stocks Fall to 57 Days of Consumption.

3. Human health will be affected greatly by climate change. The main issues are those of vector borne diseases and the impact on human health based on a lack of clean fresh water sources. The disaster in Katrina is an example of how a devastating climate event can cause the spread of disease or risks to human health (malaria, mold), the impact on humans without sufficient clean water (see the Superdome debacle) and the massive federal and state resources required to deal with the situation that unfolded.

4. The loss of land and major flooding that can lead to population displacement. As above, the Katrina disaster is a case study of the effects of flooding and land loss and the subsequent population displacement. Over two thirds of the human population lives in close proximity to coastlines around the world. Rising sea levels caused by the melting of Arctic and Antarctic glaciers will endanger major cities located near the ocean. The rising seas and its associated storm surges will affect populations clustered around the world’s major rivers as the salt water from the storm surges can contaminate ground water and destroy croplands.

These are the direct effects of climate change on humans. Next month, I will discuss how these effects contribute to threats against not only US National Security, but also on a worldwide scale. Then I will discuss what we can do to limit our contribution to anthropogenic climate change and how to influence our leaders to take stands to address these issues.

But for now, “Act Locally, Think Globally.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blocking DADT. Glad to see the GOP still lives in the world of make believe

The GOP in late September prevented a military appropriations bill from reaching the floor of the Senate. The next question is why the GOP who fully supports American military expeditions in the Near East and Central Asia would block a bill that would allot funds to the military to complete its mission? The reason was because the House in its version of the bill inserted a provision that would have repealed the Department of Defense’s “Don't’ Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT) policy.

Permitting gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and bisexuals to serve openly in the US military probably causes sleepless nights for GOP senators. Perhaps it is more terrifying than the idea of health care reform for American citizens. Whether these august Senators have nightmares that repealing DADT would lead to an out of control Village People music video spreading through the military is only empty speculation.

Senator Saxby Chambliss gave us an insight on what truly lurks in the fears of these GOP Senators that blocked the bill. Sen. Chambliss warned that repealing DADT would lead to “alcohol abuse, adultery, fraternization, and body art” and the military must “exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion...the presence in the armed forces of person who demonstrate[s] a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would very likely create an unacceptable risk to those high standards.”

Since the GOP has excellent rapport with the armed services, the opinions of Sen. Chambliss and other GOP senators must reflect the sentiments of the senior officers of the military.

On February 2, 2010, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen stated that it was the right thing to do by permitting gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US Military. Adm. Mullen is the highest-ranking uniformed officer in the military.

To date, approximately 13,000 servicemembers were processed out of the military for their sexual orientation since DADT was introduced in 1992. Many of those losses are linguists, pilots, lawyers, doctors, and individuals with important skills to complete a variety of missions. Two recent examples that come to mind are Lt. Dan Choi, an Arab Linguist and Maj. Mike Almy. With the involvement of the US in the Near East that Arab Linguists should be worth their weight in gold.

They are: unless they are homosexuals.

Yet, the GOP hawks believe that honorable individuals who had the courage to step forward and raise their right hand and swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic” should not be permitted to serve because of their sexual orientation. Including Sen. Chambliss, who did not serve since he received a deferment for “bad knees.”

As a former commissioned officer in the Navy, I think it is a needless waste of resources to continue to separate homosexuals from the military. It is a disservice to the Nation to prevent those who are openly homosexual from serving. According to the Truman Report, approximately 19% of the US populace is suitable to volunteer for military service. Outdated opinions on homosexuality that prevent the military from allowing qualified people to volunteer does more damage than good for national defense. Having served with homosexuals during my time in the Navy, I can say that they did not undermine good order and discipline, despite Sen. Chambliss’s fears.

But it seems as if Sen. Chambliss and his colleagues want to bully homosexuals; no different than the despicable individuals who bulled Tyler Clementi from Rutgers and Raymond Chase from the University of Rhode Island to the point those two young men took their own lives.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My first school paper column

Below is the column I wrote for my Law School's paper, The Forum for its September issue. I might actually break off a blog from here and actually make a dedicated blog to vets issues since I only get 600 words per column and I'm sure I'll have more than 600 words worth of things to raise.

So, here it is:

Episode one of "The SITREP"

What happens when the cameras stop and the lights fade?

The cessation of US military operations in Iraq, on August 31 brought to a close a seven year ordeal, for the United States, Iraq, and their citizens. Over 4400 US armed services personnel died in combat operations. According to Iraq Body Count ( roughly 97,000-106,000 Iraqi civilians died since the commencement of “Shock and Awe” in 2003.

After the politicians give their sound bytes, network anchors sign off, and pundits exchange heated and empty words, a post-war reality will set in. Military cuts. They came after the end of the major military campaigns of the 20th century. They will come again renewed in a reality of a weak American economy and the need to reallocate money to other sectors of society.

Service members will be released, to comply with new manning requirements in each military branch. It is not that they are unfit. Instead, it is the reality of personnel cuts. The highest performers are retained and the rest sent home with a severance check and a thank you for a job well done. Those facing separation will attend week-long class to prepare these individuals with the pending transition to civilian life. They will receive training on resume writing and interview skills, but the lingering question is whether it is sufficient.

Because there are service members who have only a high school diploma or GED but no further civilian education, whether or not they are able to relate their military skills to the civilian sector is essential. Most of their professional skills are limited to their military specialty or rating.

Disabled veterans, suffering from PTSD or physical disabilities have a stake in the social awareness of veterans in the post OIF/OEF world. Disability benefits do provide compensation to veterans with disabilities: but the higher the benefit, the greater the disability. Although eligible for money, they still have to pay for their health care and other living expenses. Not every veteran lives within driving distance to a VA Hospital. If the disability is severe enough, the veteran is unable to get to the hospital without assistance.

Without sufficient support at home, many of veterans may end up as their post-Vietnam brethren, either struggling with substance abuse problems or amongst the ranks of the homeless. The VA estimates 107,000 veterans are homeless at any night ( Around 1/5th of the homeless in the United States are veterans. Shameful statistics considering many of these individuals gave loyal service to their nation.

Without the reminder of war to maintain interest in veterans, reservists and the active duty personnel, will the sensitivity and concern for this group continue? When the cameras stop and the lights fade will the current priority for veterans and their families recede to the social backburner?

What can be done to support veterans and to keep the issues that affect them squarely in the public’s eye as OIF/OEF fade into the pages of history?

Next month, “Lest We Forget, Part I” a look into the issues facing disabled veterans.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dr. Martin Luther King would probably not be so thrilled about Glenn Beck using his legacy.

In the wake of Glenn Beck assuming the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr upon the very steps where Dr. King stood looking out upon a great gathering to share a his hope for the future of American race relations, one question stood out in my mind. While Dr. King would continue to be hopeful for the United States, his eyes would reveal an ugliness that would cause him great consternation.

The roiling national controversy sparked by the Cordoba House. Also known as the "Ground Zero Mosque." I refuse to call it the "Ground Zero Mosque" in that it is neither where the World Trade Center Towers once stood, nor is it only a mosque.

From New York to Indiana to California, a renewed vitriol is directed at Muslims and their faith. Protests abound, raising false claims about the Islamic faith and Muslims themselves. A group is singled out soley based on their religious belief and their desire to practice their own religion. A group of American citizens no less. American citizens who are afforded the protection and rights of the laws of the United States, to include the United States Constitution.

I do not write to demonize the protests. Despite logic and facts based either in myth, fanciful ideas, misinformation, or simple ignorance; those protesting do have the right to protest. Despite how foolish, racist, and plain mean they present themselves to the world. Just as the Westboro Baptist Church has its place to spread its inflammatory rhetoric at military funerals (I have my own personal opinion on that, involving keelhauling the lot of them), just as these misguided people have their right to protest.

What terrifies me, having given six years of service is that those rights protected by the Constitution, specifically by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment could be simply pushed aside to calm the angry masses. Elimination of civil rights without any due process, nothing to recognize that these American citizens have constitutional rights. It should cause great discomfort to any person that one group singled out because of one racial or ethnic or religious trait to name a few can have their rights stripped away.

Where does Dr. King fit in all of this? Seeing the unmasked hatred pointed towards Muslims based on their religious beliefs would cause him great pain. It would be another example of how his "Dream" has not yet been met. It would also cause him to probably confront Glenn Beck and find out why Beck has only worked to stir the flames of nativist-jingoist hatred and not defeat those very mindsets.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doubts about there being any winners in a sexual molestation case...

Sitting in court today, and while I cannot give the details at all of what went on inside, I thought the following (which I recorded in my Moleskine notepad):

I feel terrible for the victim just knowing the type of emotional and psychological trauma they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Even though justice may be served in the eyes of some people and in the eyes of the law, no one is a winner at all in a case like this.

The next thought that came to my mind (that I didn't write down):

Even though justice may be served as well, what about the offender? Yes, that individual may serve time in jail, but would that solve the problem at all? Hard time in jail without any treatment to try to figure out why that person has that impulse to molest children? Doesn't that just seem to only plug the gap in the dyke with a temporary measure?

But, I am one of "those people" who also thinks that the United States should eliminate the death penalty. It seems a bit ridiculous that we, as in the US government, are quick to criticize other nations for their violations of human rights, but there is little to no unease about putting American citizens to death. Yes, I'm well aware that juries find these people guilty of murder, but overall it just seems that we haven't left the dark ages of Europe by clinging to capital punishment. And even worse, innocent people have been put to death.

In the end, what does capital punishment solve? Another person dies. It doesn't bring back those who were murdered. There is no magical equation that brings the murdered person(s) back to life once the killer is put to death. It only just proves that we, the United States have not joined a good part of the modern world.

I am leaving out the whole argument as to the deeper social problem that seems to be ignored in the misguided and primitive blood curdling cries for vengeance. Because that's good Christian morals there for you.

What would that Jesus character a lot of these conservatives who support capital punishment love so much say about visiting justice on a murderer?

What does this have to do with my somber thoughts from court today? Well, in that I think the cries for retribution for a heinous crime drown out the need to rehabilitate the offender. Yes, the crime is horrible, I'll be the first to admit that; and its probably worse than murder. But, just tossing someone in prison for a couple of years or the rest of their lives solves nothing. Just another number to our growing prison population (fact, the United States while making up around 5% of the world's population makes up nearly 25% of the incarcerated population of the world...yeah, so how do we have moral standing to criticize China about their human rights violations?). Shouldn't we be interested enough in trying to rehabilitate a person?

Or are we still just a bunch of "savages" that just want our pound of flesh in retribution?

Simply stated: On what moral ground does the United States have in enforcing human rights on other nations when we still kill our own citizens?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A true committment to Equal Justice?

After a few days of sitting in on a sexual misconduct case (well, to be more specific, sexual molestation of a child), one idea lodged itself in my mind while sitting on the tram: Do I really have a commitment to my idea of providing equal access to justice and I like to think I do?

It only sits with me because a legal career is two years and a Bar examination away right now. What do I do if placed in the situation where I have to defend a person who is accused of sexual assault or one accused of child molestation. Not to mention rape, murder, etc. Its a big thing I think some law students need to think about besides gunning for a job at a top firm (uh, not one of my goals.), because not everyone is going to get that job at the top firm in Chicago, New York, LA, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, etc, etc.

I know its been running around in my head right now. Lawyers are to advocate for their clients, but as was brought up in my Civ Pro class last semester: is there a line where you can't advocate for your client? As in...the client tells you in not so many words they did x offense.

Maybe I think too much, seeing that I tend to believe that I'm not as "high speed," "Low drag" as many of the other law students at my humble little non Tier 1 school, (more ranting on that...its like the BCS, except with more at stake in the long run. Well, the BCS is bullshit too, and I might as well bash it in the future. Go fuck yourself Nebraska. We don't want you in the goddamn Big Ten. Fuck tournaments, fuck TV money....Universities are there to educate people, not to pay some mouth breathing, greedy, asshole coach who is as interesting as the dog shit I almost stepped in running in West Brunswick yesterday millions of dollars. Hey Unis, you do realize kids leave school with 40-100k in debt with an interest rate around 7-4% and a zero fucking job market...and to even be competitive, you have to drop a 100k to get a graduate degree with the same interest rates in loans. What is wrong with this goddamn picture? Lets not even go into how the NCAA is a house of exploitation, where we demonize some kid because he got $10k under the table while the school, the BCS and the NCAA is racking in millions upon millions of dollars. Ok, rant done.) but what really sticks in my mind is that an idea of equal justice should be on the mind of anyone entering the legal field.

Lets not fool ourselves, the United States for all of its great perks, there is an ugly underside that no one wants to accept. The Katrina disaster in New Orleans should have made that clear to everyone. The news that children go to school without eating at all because their family cannot provide meals; and the reason why for me is immaterial. If the parents have a drug addiction, that's a sign that there's somewhere else our society has failed to care for its citizens; but in a country so wealthy, as many bombastic Americans like to claim, what is wrong with providing free breakfast and lunch to young children in school.

This is where I wish I had bookmarked the page of the study that illustrated data that young children need to have sufficient nutrition in order to learn; specifically protein, which the brain requires. And a quick science lecture there: the basic reason why homo sapiens sapiens was able to be a "thinking" organism was that we included a lot of protein in our diet which permitted the brain to operate at its high capacity. Though, not as much as my laptop.


And equal justice fits in here somehow. Dealing with social inequality is important. From the many speakers I've heard and the random articles I come upon, providing equal justice to everyone is important. Simply, why should someone who is poor not have access to the same legal mechanisms that the richest can easily afford?

That said, I find it interesting that the media is quick to paint in a negative picture a person who murders a person, robs a store...and somehow focuses on fact that the non offenders are not white (hrm, isn't that just another indication of social inequality in this country at some level?)...but when GinormoBanks that participated in the near collapse of the conservative movement's beloved capitalist market in 2008, there's not demands for hard prison time. No loud screams for punitive justice. I'm sure as soon as the BP machine starts rolling, the rhetoric against them may level out.

But back to equal justice. (Wow, I am a crappy law student, I can't even keep the focus on my blog. Well, it is a blog.) It's something that needs to be considered. And while the interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is reinterpreted in different fashions based on the current political climate or the methods used by SCOTUS Justices to interpret the constitution (I'm sorry, that originalist stance is ridiculous. Even Chief Justice John Marshall in an 1803 decision, Marbury v. Madison said that interpretation of the Constitution should not be based soley on an originalist theory), we are still afforded an opportunity to be heard in court. And I don't think your ability to defend yourself or seek justice should be determined soley on your social and economic status.

So even staring mindlessly out of the 55 Tram, thinking of a hypothetical client charged with sexual molestation of a child, I still think that hypothetical client deserves my utmost effort to advocate for them.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

東京ゾンビ 【予告編】2005年

くるり - 赤い電車

Not really sure what was so great about this idea.

Three weeks since my last final and I'm still questioning whether I want to continue on with this law school farce. I can't say I get disillusioned, that's for people who have foolish ideals of the world; instead I think its more of a general distaste, disgust that grows at the back of my throat hearing students bitch about this professor or that professor or simply listening to the empty comments bantered about.

I highly doubt that the background noise at an Ivy League, Top 10 school would be any better. Actually, I'd probably be even more disgusted.

Probably explains why I enjoy drill weekends or generally just paddling out on my standup paddle board for hours without anyone around. Well, except for the really cool guys hauling around in their speed boats, going 15-20 kts within 2 nm of the shoreline of the National Lakeshore in Indiana. Those guys think they are cool, but in the words of George Carlin: "You're not cool, you're chili...and chili's never been cool."

Actually, I was moments from preventing myself from my general biting my tongue in class when this cluebird wasted 20 minutes of our last class asking about what will be on the exam--screwing everyone else out of 20 minutes of the last topic. What really set me off was that there was supposed to be a review session right after that class. Hm. Hint, hint, that is the time to ask those questions instead of wasting my time. It's been a month since that moment of jackassery, I still think I should have stood up and told him in not so many words: "Shut the fuck up. We've heard your goddamn whining all fucking semester and I'm fucking sick of it. Shut your fucking pie hole. Shut the fuck up."

I was so sick of law school that I chose not to spend my time working on a case comment for the law review competition. Personally, I just think its ridiculous to determine whether someone is good enough for that position soley on one personal project which no one had any experience doing. Maybe I guess that I was too ingrained on the OJT and practicing and practicing before getting grilled on a board--and even then, you really didn't learn the job until you actually executed it on your own.

Eh, I have these moments from time to time, and when I really think about it, I get pretty pissed off. Maybe its the whiny complaints I hear, or just the general immaturity that just sets me off. Not that I'm all the wiser or august--but at least I know not to insult a professor by telling them that I don't think they worked to get to their position. But of course, these kids are so much smarter than me. I'm just some knuckledragging vet. What do I know?

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Back in Japan for the first time since I left last summer.

And I am glad I dropped the extra bucks to fly JAL. Oh boy it was worth it.

One point: I could have taken advantage of getting Asahi Super Dry without shelling out extra dollars for it.

Two points: The first meal was curry. You don't know how happy I was having curry.

Three points: Rice crackers.

Four points: They don't charge you for checking in a bag. Or a second bag.

Five points: The seats seem to be better than those on American Airlines or United. Northwest just sucks, no matter what.

Well, simply put, flying overseas to Japan...I'll choose JAL over any of the US carriers.