Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Sure I wanted to do a whole post with this whopper of a question from Judge Carol Kelly to the canoodling priest who couldn't resist the sins of earthly temptation:

"How does she have emotional control over a priest?'' an incredulous Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly asked Dueppen.

"It came from my own difficulties, from my past,'' he said. ``The sexual abuse as a child; it created for me a loss of self-esteem.''

"She demanded you have sex with her?'' Kelly asked.


All I can say is haven't we all been there before?

But then I wound up reading this very powerful and moving piece by her colleague Judge Schlesinger regarding the debilitating post-traumatic stress suffered by his uncle, a WWII combat veteran, and suddenly the carnal adventures of a wayward priest didn't seem all that interesting.

Thank you to all veterans and their families for your sacrifice and service.

Is it me, or does there just seem to be a general lowering of the standards lately?

The recent lawyer and financial scandals are a depressing part of it, with a guy allegedly forging federal court orders in order to bilk millions from a client.

But I mean just today we have Blackwater using taxpayer funds to bribe Iraqi officials and journalism students allegedly paying off witnesses.

Hail, even Justice Kennedy now wants to pre-approve quotes from a recent speech he gave in which he already said whatever he said that was going to be quoted.

Fraud, misconduct and general bad behavior are at epic levels, yet courts seem increasingly powerless to intercede, even in situations where US policy directly led to the extradition and torture of a completely innocent man:

Written by Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, the 59-page majority opinion held that no civil damages remedy exists for the horrors visited on Mr. Arar. To “decide how to implement extraordinary rendition,” he wrote, is “for the elected members of Congress — and not for us as judges.” Allowing suits against policy makers for rendition and torture would “affect diplomacy, foreign policy and the security of the nation,” Judge Jacobs said.

The ruling distorts precedent and the Constitutional separation of powers to deny justice to Mr. Arar and give officials a pass for egregious misconduct. The overt disregard for the central role of judges in policing executive branch excesses has frightening implications for safeguarding civil liberties, as four judges suggested in dissenting opinions.

It is painful to recall that this is the same federal circuit court that declared in 1980 that even foreigners accused of torture in foreign countries can be called to account in American courts. The torturer is the “enemy of all mankind,” the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit declared back then. One of the dissenters, Judge Guido Calabresi, said that “when the history of this distinguished court is written, today’s majority decision will be viewed with dismay.”
Greenwald has more on that disturbing 2d Circuit opinion here.

Every day you open up the papers or turn on the TV to new horrors -- mass shootings, kids burning other kids, Islamophobe/homophobe/future gay pinup Marine reservists attacking bearded priests, it really is beginning to seem like at some point we just kinda collectively went off the rails.

I feel like the Sam Waterston character slowly losing his sight from Crimes and Misdemeanors -- "But the law, Judah. Without the law, it's all darkness."

I hope we find some light today.

Let's close with words from the President, delivered today at Arlington National Cemetery:

If we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that there have been times where we as a nation have betrayed that sacred trust. Our Vietnam veterans served with great honor. They often came home greeted not with gratitude or support, but with condemnation and neglect. That's something that will never happen again. To them and to all who have served, in every battle, in every war, we say that it's never too late to say thank you. We honor your service. We are forever grateful. And just as you have not forgotten your missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. Our servicemen and women have been doing right by America for generations. And as long as I am Commander-in-Chief, America's going to do right by them.

That is my message to all veterans today. That is my message to all who serve in harm's way. To the husbands and wives back home doing the parenting of two. To the parents who watch their sons and daughters go off to war, and the children who wonder when mom and dad is coming home. To all our wounded warriors, and to the families who laid a loved one to rest. America will not let you down. We will take care of our own.

And to those who are serving in far-flung places today, when your tour ends, when you see our flag, when you touch our soil, you will be home in an America that is forever here for you just as you've been there for us. That is my promise -- our nation's promise -- to you.

Ninety-one years ago today, the battlefields of Europe fell quiet as World War I came to a close. But we don't mark this day each year as a celebration of victory, as proud of that victory as we are. We mark this day as a celebration of those who made victory possible. It's a day we keep in our minds the brave men and women of this young nation -- generations of them -- who above all else believed in and fought for a set of ideals. Because they did, our country still stands; our founding principles still shine; nations around the world that once knew nothing but fear now know the blessings of freedom.

That is why we fight -- in hopes of a day when we no longer need to. And that is why we gather at these solemn remembrances and reminders of war -- to recommit ourselves to the hard work of peace.

There will be a day before long when this generation of servicemen and women step out of uniform. They will build families and lives of their own. God willing, they will grow old. And someday, their children, and their children's children, will gather here to honor them.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Have a safe and peaceful holiday.


in love with Kim Rothstein said...

SFL, this should cheer you up,

South Florida Lawyers said...

Yowza -- my mood has already improved.

Anonymous said...

Scott can hang his wedding pictures on the wall in his jail cell.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Doesn't take much to shake SFL out of a funk.

Anonymous said...

why the funk?

Anonymous said...

Heh-heh he said canoodling priest.

Anonymous said...

You called it on the gay pin up!

Anonymous said...

I'd hit that. On second thought, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

I could can clean my shoes on Scotts' hair spikes.

balunov13 said...

I like obama. Thanks for share good post.

Vinati Patil said...

Nice lesson to Scott.