Showing posts from December, 2019

Merry Christmas!


Advent demands we learn patience

According to a traditional Hebrew story, Abraham was sitting outside his tent one evening when he saw an old traveler, weary from age and travel, coming toward him. Abraham rushed out, greeted the traveler, and then invited him into his tent. There he washed the old man's feet and gave him food and drink. When the old man immediately began to eat without saying any prayer or blessing, Abraham asked him, "Don't you worship God?" The old traveler replied, "I worship only fire and reverence no other god." When he heard this, Abraham became incensed, grabbed the old man by the shoulders, and threw him out of his tent into the cold night air. When the old man had departed, God called to his friend Abraham and asked where the stranger was. Abraham replied, "I forced him out because he did not worship you." God answered, "I have suffered him these eighty years although he dishonors me. Could you not endure him one night?" [1] This mor

Impeaching President Trump

The House of Representatives should impeach President Trump. Evidence that the House has so far been able to collect depicts President Trump as guilty of bribery, obstruction of justice and using his office for personal gain. Admittedly, as Professor Turley’s testimony last week before the House Judiciary Committee emphasized, the House may not have sufficiently strong evidence to convict President Trump in a Senate trial. However, President Trump has refused to cooperate with the House investigation. Legally obtaining evidence from President Trump and his subordinates in a timely manner may be impossible. Analogous to a grand jury proceeding, the House may reasonably proceed to vote for impeachment; the Senate has the responsibility to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to convict President Trump. In that venue, President Trump will not be able to hide behind his blanket refusal to cooperate – unless Senate Republicans become complicit in his obstruction of justic

President Trump, military justice and mililtary ethics

In the high-profile case of Navy Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, President Trump has repeatedly intervened in the military justice system. Trump pushed for the Chief’s pretrial release, pardoned the Chief for allegedly committing war crimes, prevented the Navy from demoting him and finally stopped the SEALs from stripping Gallagher of his SEAL pin. On the one hand, President Trump is the Commander-in-Chief and has unlimited Constitutional authority to issue pardons. In the case of Chief Gallagher, Trump has not in any way violated the law. On the other hand, President Trump’s actions have three very serious negative consequences. First, his actions directly impugn the integrity and capability of the chain of command. This happens any time that a senior repeatedly interferes with the actions of subordinates. If subordinates are competent and trustworthy, then a senior owes those subordinates appropriate freedom of action and the attendant respect that accompanies that f