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A series of pertinent – and impertinent – comments on military law .  Follow us at


An article in the Washington Post Outlook section claims that aggressive lawyers spent $128 million to air 365,000 advertisements seeking clients willing to sue drug and medical device companies.  The author decries hard-hitting lawyer advertising disguised as public service announcements, medical alerts, or FDA warnings.   Sometimes, she warns, patients see these ads, panic, and stop taking their medication.   The author is president of an advocacy group seeking tort  reform.

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Faced with obesity trends, the military is redefining basic fitness standards, according to a recent Military Times.  For years, the Pentagon enforced  body fat levels using a notoriously low-tech tape test.  Today, new research and technology will enable the services to distinguish between truly unhealthy troops and those with nontraditional body type who are otherwise fit.  [On a personal note, we remember – decades ago – a student at the Air Force JAG School who failed the tape test;  he didn’t meet then-existing standards.  His former job – lineman for the New York football Giants!]

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A military historian comes up with the following:

·         In the early days, aircraft throttles had a ball on the end.   To go full throttle, the pilot pushed the throttle all the way forward into the wall of the instrument panel.  Hence, “balls to the wall.”

·         During World War II, US fighter planes were armed with belts of bullets for dogfights and strafing runs.  These belts contained hundreds of rounds of bullets and measured 27 feet.   When a pilot returned from a mission having expended all the bullets, the comment would be: “I gave them the whole 9 yards.”

·         The phrase “God willing and the creek don’t rise” has an interesting derivation.    It was allegedly written by a politician named Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. When he received notice from the President to return to Washington DC from work with American natives, his response was positive, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise.”  He capitalized the word “Creek, ” referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.

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 A recent Northwestern University alumni magazine relates efforts to combat voting roadblocks.  Historically, expansion of the right to vote has been basic to our democracy.  In the beginning, only a privileged few – mainly white male property owners – could vote.  Over time, broader classes were brought into the tent, including persons of color, women, and more recently, 18 to 20-year-olds.

Recently, there has been an effort to constrict the right to vote.  Among the challenges:

·         In Arizona, local election officials reduced the number of polling places in the county from 400 to 200, then down to only 60.

·         More than 1 million independent voters in Arizona were prohibited from voting unless they re-registered as a member of one of three parties with  candidates on the ballot

·         In Texas, a valid concealed carry permit is an acceptable form of ID for voting;  the student ID card is not

·         North Carolina attempted to disallow people from registering and voting on the same day – “souls to the polls”

·         Ohio attempted to purge voter rolls of individuals who – for whatever reason – failed to cast a ballot in three consecutive Federal elections

·         Wisconsin passed several new laws affecting elections.  One established a comprehensive voter education program so everyone would know of the new laws.  The legislature then declined to appropriate funds for the education program.

·         The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials argues that, since 2012, restrictions in 19 states could seriously impede almost 900,000 eligible Hispanic voters

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Interesting thought: A recent Washington Post Outlook section deals with the Internet at age 25.  Stringent requirements of criminal liability do not affect the Internet.  As a matter fact, Federal legislation immunized service providers from lawsuits over the speech of users, freeing  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, to enable even truly provocative speech. 


In a kind letter, an Army warrant officer client states: “your guidance, mentorship, and resolve have helped me cope with an excruciating point of my life.”


A young sailor shouts frantically into the phone,” my wife’s pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!”

“Is this her first child?” asks the doctor.

No!” he shouts,” this is her husband! “

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