Joseph Rocha

JUDGE DECLARES ‘DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL’ UNCONSTITUTIONAL

 

By Miriam Raftery
Former ECM intern Joseph Rocha gave key testimony at trial

September 10, 2010 (San Diego) – U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled yesterday that the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning openly gay soldiers from serving is unconstitutional, violating the First and Fifth Amendments. The judge found that the policy has a “direct and deleterious effect” on military readiness by hindering recruitment in wartime and requiring discharge of service members who have critical skills or training.

"I am overjoyed that so many veterans and active duty members have been honored with justice. The decision upholds the constitution proving that no patriots blood is any less valuable in the defense of our nation." Joseph Rocha, an award-winning ECM journalism intern who testified at the trial, told ECM in an e-mail this evening. A former Navy dog handler, Rocha underwent 93 counts of abuse at the hands of an officer while serving in Bahrain.

Read our prior coverage and interview with Rocha on his ordeal. View his testimony (pagse 27-34) here.

EDITORIAL: THE SLIPPERY “SOAP” THEORY OF REP. HUNTER

 

By Joseph Rocha

 

February 16, 2010 (San Diego) --On the first day of college, many new students across the country make the fatal error of trying to defend an argument on grounds of the Slippery Slope Theory. Without fail, this unfortunate bunch is met by the crushing blow of professors eager to send a message that this theory is not welcome in academia. Basic principles of logic identify the Slippery Slope Theory (a fallacy and obsolete premise to any argument) with this textbook definition: “It occurs when the conclusion of an argument rests upon the claim that a certain event will set off a chain reaction, leading in the end to some undesirable consequence, yet there is not sufficient reason to think that the chain reaction will actually take place.” (Ph.D Hurley-A Concise Approach to Logic)

 

Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. was done a great disservice in never having been taught this fundamental principle.  He has irresponsibly brought this fallacy to the forefront of the debate on whether to allow all of our troops to serve under honorable, dignified conditions via repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy.

EX-ECM INTERN JOSEPH ROCHA LEADS NATIONAL EFFORT TO HALT ABUSE OF U.S. SOLDIERS

 

BREAKING NEWS: TODAY  SERVICE MEMBERS LEGAL DEFENSE FUND  SENT A LETTER TO DEFENSE SECRETARY GATES, URGING NEW INVESTIGATION OF CHIEF PETTY OFFICER WHO ABUSED ROCHA AND OTHERS


By Miriam Raftery

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE NAMED BEST GENERAL INTEREST WEBSITE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY, SWEEPS SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB WITH 18 AWARDS

 

October 20, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine took home 18 awards at tonight’s San Diego Press Club dinner, including some of the top honors in the region. Our publication was named best general interest website in San Diego County and second best news site (after the San Diego Union-Tribune). Five of our writers (E.A. Barrera, Gayle Early, Miriam Raftery, Jamie Reno, and Joseph Rocha) also won individual honors, beating out many of the top writers and publications in the region. Not bad for an upstart nonprofit media site that’s barely one year old!