Letters: The coy tactics of JAG opponents and Palmer-Dodge corrects the RECORD

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Gays not of one mind on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Lindsay Harrison and Matthew DelNero may have good reasons to oppose the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but to call it “irrational,” as both do, is false and not a little disingenuous. Homosexual activists and theorists are in fact of two minds concerning mainstream “hetero-normative” institutions such as the military. For every Andrew Sullivan urging homosexuals to assimilate into bourgeois society as noiselessly as possible, there is a Richard Goldstein, who in a recent The Nation piece castigates Sullivan’s “homoconservatism” for impeding the project of political and moral emancipation. Goldstein and his ilk view assimilation as either impossible or undesirable, and advocate joining mainstream institutions only in order to subvert them.

Thus, while they stipulate, as the radical queer group Outrage! put it, that “[e]verything about the military is inimical to queer freedom: hierarchy, domination, prejudice, aggression, conformity, and authoritarianism,” they applaud the work of Steve Zeeland, who has published several books (all The Advocate bestsellers) of homosexual erotica involving the military.

Now, it is one thing to want gays in the military so that they may improve it, but quite another to want it only to the extent that they may destroy it. To speak to a predominantly heterosexual audience as if the latter school of thought does not exist – and to insinuate that no heterosexual can say otherwise without countenancing bigotry – is no more than a rhetorical ruse, if not, shall we say, a technique of domination designed to silence dissenters.

In the meantime, the armed forces – to say nothing of the public – are perfectly justified in waiting to see what homosexuals’ intentions are before consenting to become a laboratory for social experimentation.

Coy tactics such as taking up all the JAG corps’ time slots for interviews, I might add, can only increase their suspicion. Dean Clark’s politic but pusillanimous letter to the contrary, I cannot see how inviting Eros into the barracks will make our soldiers more efficient killers any more than inviting him into the seminaries has made Catholic priests more caring pastors. I, for one, should be glad if the custodians of our establishment institutions continue to place the burden of proof on homosexuals, and not the other way around.

– Austin W. Bramwell, 3L

Law firm contests rollback allegations

On September 19, 2002 The RECORD published a Career Guide which listed Palmer & Dodge as among the firms that have “rolled back salaries.” (See page 12 of the guide.) This is not correct. Palmer & Dodge increased its starting base salary for first-year associates to $110,000 in 2001, and it has remained at that level since that time. (This is in addition to substantial bonus compensation which is available to all associates, including first-years, who work in excess of 1800 hours of billable time, including pro bono time.) Nor has there been any roll-back in salaries for other associates. I also am pleased to note that we welcomed all of our new fall associates to the firm earlier this week, without any deferral of their start dates, and that we enthusiastically made offers of full-time employment at the end of this summer to all 14 of our 2L summer associates.

Harvard students are bright and savvy consumers. Gathering accurate information is essential at the start of any job search. I appreciate this opportunity to set the record straight.

– Daryl J. Lapp
Hiring Partner
Palmer & Dodge LLP

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