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THE CENTURION

A series of pertinent – and impertinent – observations about military matters.

 

WOUNDED WARRIOR SCANDAL?  CBS News reports that the Wounded Warrior Project spends 40 to 50% on overhead, including extravagant parties.  Two high ranking executives were fired, according to press reports of 13 March.

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LAWYERS AND ADDICTION: The January/February 2016 Journal of Addictive Medicine has uncovered “a concerning amount” of behavioral health problems for American attorneys. Among the alarms – excessive drinking and high rates of depression and anxiety. 

In the Journal survey, a broad, highly educated workforce screened positive on a test called the AUDIT-C  at the rate of 11.8% having potential problems.  At almost double that,  lawyers scored 20.6% on the test.    

Advocates in their first 10 years of practice appear to experience the highest potential for abuse.   Among barriers to treatment – fear of losing a good professional reputation.

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PORN ON COMPANY TIME: The Navy reports that Rear Admiral Richard Williams, commander of Carrier Strike Group 15, was removed from his post and reprimanded for conduct unbecoming an officer. The admiral spent several hours watching pornography on government computers.

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PROGRESS FOR WOMEN:  The 11 March Navy TIMES notes that women could well enter Navy SEAL training in a few months.  Controversy still exists: Reportedly, the head of Navy SEALs foresees that — if training were open to women – few would succeed and even those who qualify might prove a distraction to combat effectiveness.

In another ‘take’ on progress of women in the military, a pioneering Minnesota aviator named Elizabeth  Strohfus recently died at age 96.   She piloted military planes across the country during World War II and received two Congressional Gold Medals. She was one the last remaining pilots of the  WASPs [Women Airforce Service Pilots].  Ms. Strohfus ferried military planes in 1943-1944, releasing male aviators for combat duty.  She was one of 1,074 female pilots earning silver wings in the  WASPs.  

Meanwhile, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been calling for  a policy change allowing WASP pilots to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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TODDLERS REPRESENTING THEMSELVES IN COURT?  The 6 March Sunday Washington Post speaks of a senior Justice Department official making an  absurd argument – three and four-year-olds can learn enough law to represent themselves in court without adult legal representation!   The Post reports that these are immigration hearings at which the children face charges ranging from entering the country illegally to overstaying their visas. Most of the children cannot speak English and must use government-provided interpreters.

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SUPREME COURT DOINGS.  Two recent articles in the Washington Post Outlook section speak to the current vacancy on the United States Supreme Court.  The 3 January Outlook section reveals a liberal legal advantage – when the Supreme Court is tied 4-4,  decisions below stand.  That means that Democrat policies win.  The reason:  13 conservative states are served by “liberal” Federal courts.   In contrast, only six liberal states are under “conservative courts.”

In the same vein, the 21 February Outlook section of the Post speculates that – with the passing of Justice Scalia –Originalism is less likely to prevail over the progressive vision of a living Constitution.  Among the issues which might well be favored by a new 5-4 progressive  working majority:  support for organized labor and  liberal initiatives on emission control and immigration.  Other possibilities tantalizing the progressive wing: the chance to reverse several 5-4 precedents, including Citizens United; and a re-energized Voting Rights  Act.


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