A series of pertinent – and impertinent – comments on military matters
EQUAL JUSTICE? Rick Jones, a public defender in the Harlem area of New York City, comments on racism in American justice. His main points – supplemented with extensive notes:
- 42% of all school referrals to law enforcement are for black students, as opposed to 23% white and 29% Hispanic
- Black juveniles are more than four times as likely as white peers to be committed to detention facilities
- Black drivers are 2 ½ times more likely to have their cars search during routine traffic stops, compared to white drivers
- People of color represents 2/3 of the life-sentenced population
- Despite using and selling drugs at similar rates, African-Americans and Latinos comprise 62% of those in state prisons for drug offenses
ETHICS IN BLOGGING. The NACDL’s Champion magazine warns about ethical pitfalls for attorneys using blogging and social media. One problem is protecting client confidentiality. Another common issue is inadvertently establishing a client relationship online by answering specific questions in response to queries.
CHALLENGES IN FEMINISM. Commentator Ann Bernays recalls with affection her mother in the early part of the 20th century. She continued to use her maiden name even after she married; and she became the first married woman to obtain a passport in her own name. She soon found it a nuisance to repeatedly explain her name to clients, social contacts, schools, banks, and doctors.
ELEVATED BLOOD PRESSURE. Northwestern University’s alumni magazine reports that segregation impacts the blood pressure of minorities. An assistant professor of preventive medicine, Kiari Kershaw, found that the systolic blood pressure of African-Americans dropped between one to five points when they moved to more integrated neighborhoods.
SHIPS OF THE LINE. For those not “Navy,” the expression ships of the line seems exotic. Turns out the phrase simply refers to war vessels sufficiently large to join the “line” of fighting ships.
LOOKING FOR TERRORISTS IN THE WRONG PLACE? Peter Bergen, a CNN national security analyst, says that Americans are worried about the wrong terrorists. Of the 13 perpetrators of significant lethal and jihadist terrorism attacks in the United States since 9/11, all were American citizens or legal permanent residents. In another study of 406 cases, more than 80% of those involved in terrorism were US citizens or permanent legal residents.
SECOND AMENDMENT ARGUMENT? We haven’t heard it elsewhere, so respectfully advance this thought – the Second Amendment speaks of a “well-regulated militia.” Question: does “well-regulated” simply describe Reserve/Guard forces? Or does it imply that the militia (those who keep arms in defense of the Nation) are subject to regulation?
COMMAND INFLUENCE. Recently, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals set aside the conviction of a Marine SSgt. named Chamblin. The reason – command influence, with the service’s top general supposedly meddling in the case.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT. Current news reports have involved powerful individuals and inappropriate sexual behavior. We think back to the former Judge Advocate General of the Air Force, who was found to have engaged in such conduct during sanctioned office visits. He targeted female attorneys, some of them holding high rank. It is troubling thought that these professionals, holding doctorates in law, nonetheless felt uncomfortable refusing his unwanted advances.