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THE DRAGONSLAYER

A series of pertinent — and impertinent — thoughts on military justice.

Good philosophy: My legal talent is for sale…but I am not for sale.

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Losing as a DC:  “They’ll try your soul, son.  But don’t give up your cause.  Occupy the high ground and make them take it foot by bloody foot.”   –attributed to General Jeb Stuart in James Lee Burke’s ELECTRIC MIST WITH CONFEDERATE DEAD.

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Apt expression:  “Do not believe the prosecution argument.  It’s as flawed as an old fairy tale — remember how the wolf dressed up and pretended to be Little Red Riding Hood? “

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Recent Supreme Court decisions have divided the jurists.   Fine.     But aren’t overly-percussive words  a bit over the top vis-a-vis the dignity of the High Court ?

Some examples from this week’s dissents:

·         The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistical.

·         …the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent….

·         The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

 

·         ..the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the [majority]  opinion….

 

·         [the majority’s opinion is  characterized as a  Nazi-like conquest ]– a “Putsch.”

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Given recent developments in legalizing marijuana, will the military someday replace Article  112a with offenses similar to alcohol abuse –e.g., driving while intoxicated:, incapacitating oneself for work?

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A trooper with a Confederate flag in his room in the barracks/dorm claims a First Amendment “right.”  Likely result:  Remove it…you can’t do this on a military reservation.   What about off-base living quarters?

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Military gay weddings?  We understand chaplains will not be required to officiate at gay marriages if doing so violates their denomination  rules.  Sounds like a lot of weddings for “liberal” faith systems, such as the Unitarians.

OLDIES BUT GOODIES

It really happened in Texas in the early days of Xerox-type reproducing equipment.  Our local Air Force OSI acquired a new machine.  They were interviewing a young airman accused of larceny; he stoutly denied the offense.  The OSI agents preprinted a sheet of paper with the word GUILTY in large letters and inserted it into the paper tray.  Then, they invited the unsuspecting airman to place his hand on the clear glass.  The word GUILTY came out of the machine along with the airman’s handprint…and resulted in a quick confession   J


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