Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination eg. History paper I ) examination.
In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me
O Holy Ghost enlighten me
Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me
Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me.
Prayer to St. Thomas More for Lawyers and Judges
Dear Scholar and Martyr, it was not the King of England but you who were the true Defender of the Faith. Like Christ unjustly condemned, neither promises nor threats could make you accept a civil ruler as head of the Christian Church. Perfect in your honesty and love of truth, grant that lawyers and judges may imitate you and achieve true justice for all people. Amen.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
And his depiction of the contemporary college president is eerily exact: "cozening, smarmy, confidently boring, an appeaser of all and offender of none, an idiot savant of success" -- we've all met this man. On Parents Weekend, you may even get to shake his hand. Even if he puts on a roman collar for the occasion, the odds are enormously against his being able -- still less his being inclined -- to mount a moral defense of Catholic doctrine where the wrong folks will be made uncomfortable thereby. His clerical garb, like his presidency itself, betokens not a positive faith commitment but a career history of successful capitulations. So instructed as to be unconscious of the latent ironies, he is -- more truly than he knows -- a "person for others."
Uncle Di nails the Presidents and administrators of most Catholic universities in this insightful piece.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Carrying on a philanthropic tradition begun by his late father, Adrian C. "Ace" Israel of the Yale Class of 1936, investor and Yale alumnus Thomas C. Israel has made a gift of $5 million to the School of Medicine. Israel, who says his family has long had a deep interest in medical science, placed no restrictions on the new gift, saying that confidence in the medical school's leadership overruled any need to earmark the funds.See, it is possible to be a philanthropist and to donate large sums of money to an institution without seeking its control!
Pace was one of five men inducted at the gala. Thomas S. Monaghan, a former Marine who went on to start Domino's Pizza and who now serves as chancellor at Ave Maria University was inducted, as were three civilian honorees who are founders of the the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. (Emphasis added)
I am very familiar with Transition Teams. I have actually run a couple of them myself.
A Transition Team is a management tool that is used to make a predestined unpalatable policy, procedure, directive, Etc. more easily swallowed.
In my case the Transition Team traveled to each institution and set up input discussion groups whose members were those most likely to raise objections. It started with the given fact that there was a problem to solve and our help was needed.
The Transition Team did a lot of charting of suggestions on how to solve the problem, Etc. These suggestions supposedly would be used in forming a solution to the problem. I have noticed that the better the buffet lunch the more unpalatable the directive would be.
The final, approved directive would not reflect any of the suggestions. The date of the first draft of the directive would predate the formation of the Transition Team
in most cases. I found it personally insulting that the administration would not
even bother construct decent cover documentation.
When this Transition Team starts using the word stakeholders, when they start handing out big fat markers for the group to write their suggestions, when they start grouping these suggestions together and drawing arrows between groups of suggestions and when they promise to get back to you with a position paper prior to the final draft then you know it’s time to put on the Wellingtons.
The whole process is the old “Do you still beat your wife?” conundrum. If you didn’t participate then you can’t complain. If you did participate then you can’t complain.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
long version that discusses how to make equivalents, and notices that actual command is hidden.
1) You must subject yourself to the decision because it was not yours to make and you have a duty to support it.
2) Because we are not behind the founder, but those people made the decision, some moral duty demands we support it or we are not supporting the mission.
3) [Get behind / Shut up about / Adopt the language of] the decision or you are not supporting the mission.
and, my favorite (and least intrusively rendered):
4) The moral duty says you must subject yourself to the decision/founder, because those people made that decision, and if you don't, you aren't Catholic because you don't support the mission.
Reading Comprehension Questions:
1) Is there any language that describes why the moral duty applies to anyone?
2) Can the moral duty to act be understood to be caused by the Church?
3) If yes to 3, what is the likely response of someone who is complying with the command to someone who is not?
4) Is joining the "transition team" the only way one can comply with that command?
Compare this tactic to the following phrase: "Stalin's committee has studied all options thoroughly and decided that catholics are not Russians. The decision has been made, we must get behind Stalin's decision and support mother Russia."
and, "Internal police forces are currently forming a transition team to assist in the execution of the decision. All loyal Russians are encouraged to volunteer to work on the team in order to help this decision be executed smoothly. Internal forces will be gathering names of loyal Russians who indicate thier interest in helping mother Russia."
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particuluarly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fastingand almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).
In order to aid in your penitential practices, I offer the following for your consideration. Mr. Michael Martin has done the Church a wonderful service in deepening the devotional life of Catholics through his Thesaurus Precum Latinarum:
Exercitium Viae Crucis de Sancto Alphonso Maria de Liguorio
Exercitium Sanctae Viae Crucis (for you Franciscan types)
Tempus Quadragesima (various prayers throughout all of Lent)
St. Augustine observed many years ago that the cause of strife among peoples and nations begins in the hearts of individual men. Where there is disorder in the soul, there is disorder in the family, in the community and in the world. Let us have the humility to admit that we have dirt on our face (Dies Cinerum); and let us go forth and spend this Lent as pauper et humilis.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Ever since Professor Emeritus Charlie Rice was ejected from the Board of Governors, many of us hoped that his candid and truthful advice, help, and character would have some continuing effect on our legal community.
Unlike some actors who use their tongue to deceive, everyone can agree that Rice will tell you what is on his mind -- he'll tell you the truth. In so many ways elaborated by the Ave Maria School of Law when they hired him, he truly is an example of what we strive to be as lawyers. Indeed, the words of Dobranski would make you think he was an indispensable cog in the machinery of Catholic legal education -- that is until such places change their mission to be real estate assets. Coincidentally, that's why God gave us a tongue -- to tell others the truth. but I digress...
Now, he can again be on the Board of at least one nonprofit supporting Catholic legal education in Michigan.
I write in response to some of the many questions we have already received about the transition process.
A transition of this sort is a major task, and it is critical that we obtain the input of a broad cross-section of faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Although it is not practical to place every person who volunteers on the Transition Team itself, it is important that the transition planning process be as inclusive and as transparent as possible. We welcome your support and involvement, regardless of whether you have an interest in moving to Florida or agree with the Board of Governors decision to relocate. For those of you who do not desire an active role on the transition process, your input and advice is still valuable and I encourage you to offer any ideas you think would help make the transition successful.
Some have asked about what kind of time commitment is involved if you volunteer. The time commitment could vary depending on many factors. No one should be concerned that they would be committing to more time than their schedule allows. Your participation would be on a voluntary basis and so your commitment would involve as much or as little time as you could spare.
I want to thank all those who have already emailed us at email@example.com or have stopped by to see me and chat. Please do not hesitate to ask questions or to let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Eugene R. Milhizer
AM's response to the powers that be: "FA Q."
(Incidentally, unlike the AMSL Board of Governors and Administration, FUMARE releases all relevant information that regards the law school. I suspect that the Admin sends out these missives to get the widest possible circulation via FUMARE. Nevertheless, we will call a spade a spade and recommend that these missives be recognized for the steaming piles that they actually are. Charitably yours, AM)
QUERY: For what purpose did we watch the Nuremberg trials during law school?
Wasn't there discussion about chain of command issues and whether an order was just?
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: Friday, February 23, 2007 2:10 am
Subject: Re: Message to Community
To: "Milhizer, Eugene R"
Cc: [Transition Team]; [Alumni Board]; [Board of Governors]
Dear Dean Milhizer,
I must candidly confess that I am among the many disappointed with this week's news of AMSL's "relocation." I am heartened to see, if I understand the import of your email below, that you will be substantially involved in matters going forward. I have great respect for you both professionally and personally and I do not envy your position, given the strong feelings on all sides of this matter.
It is thus with a heavy heart that I must tell you in all charity that the invitation to participate in AMSL's transition is among the coldest indignities I have yet endured in my life. Since my tenure as a student, many of my classmates and I have sought to assist the law school in a host of constructive ways, and we have acquitted ourselves well. In 2003-04, I led the Alumni Advisory Committee that drafted the bylaws for and successfully erected the school's Alumni Association. Since then, many alumni have served the school with class and distinction not only as ambassadors in the larger legal community but in smaller, often overlooked ways. Many alumni have returned to campus annually to assist with moot court and client counseling competitions. We have fielded calls from and initiated calls to prospective students. We have regularly attempted to assist in securing externships and job placements, constructing a network of goodwill on the law school's behalf. Through the tenacity of Professor Pucillo and other faculty members, 28 students and alumni have secured federal clerkships--half of them with judges in United States Courts of Appeals. Chris McGowan poured time and energy into coordinating class gifts from the class of 2003 and others. Dave Kelley could probably tell you how much money tudents and alumni have donated, down to the last penny. For many alumni with loans and family expenses, these donations have been a widow's mite.
For all of these services, the alumni as a body have had one small request that Dean Dobranski and/or the Board of Governors have spurned in perpetuity. Not one of us has ever served on the Board of Governors. Members of my class put this request to Dean Dobranski and the Board of Governors before we graduated, and as alumni we have renewed this request with a regularity that borders on monotony.
And now, after having made the decision to "relocate" AMSL on the basis of a feasibility study whose authors could not consistently spell Mr. Monaghan's name correctly and with steadfast refusal to grant a hearing to a majority of the faculty in the face of well-reasoned opposition, the Board, Dean, and administration have the audacity to enlist the assistance and indulge the goodwill of the entirety of the greater AMSL "community" to aid in the transition? This is a treachery akin to asking the condemned man to build his own gallows. It is morbid, distasteful, and, quite honestly, very much beneath a man of your integrity.
Those in power quite obviously view this as a community of convenience, and I will not stand for it. The Board of Governors saw fit to bow to Mr. Monaghan's will in this endeavor and spurn the input and assistance of the school's main constituencies--faculty, alumni, and students--at every turn. They have made this bed in the face of all reasoned judgment to the contrary, and they should be the ones to figure out how to sleep in it.
Be assured of my continued prayers for the Dean's speedy recovery and for your efforts in his stead.
Daniel J. Kelly '03
[email address deleted]
cc: AMSL Alumni Association Board of Directors
AMSL Board of Governors
"Milhizer, Eugene R"
Dear Ave Maria School of Law Community:
As you now know, the Board of Governors has resolved to relocate the Law School in Florida. We want to begin the transition planning immediately and I encourage you to get involved. If you are willing to participate in the transition planning process, send me an e-mail at transitionteam[at]avemarialaw[dot]edu. We are working to establish the various teams during the few weeks.
After our Mid-Term Break we plan to host a visit from members of the Collier County bench and bar who can speak about the employment and externship opportunities for students and graduates in Southwest Florida. We will share details of this visit as they become available. I invite you to suggest other presentations that may provide you with useful information at the e-mail address above. Also, I am available to meet personally with anyone who has questions or would like to talk.
Finally, please join me in praying that Dean Dobranski has successful surgery and a speedy convalescence.
Eugene R. Milhizer
Email addresses were redacted. This email was sent to Associate Dean Milhizer, and cc'd to the Alumni Board and the Board of Governors.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Association of Ave Maria Faculty remains committed to providing a sound program of legal education in Ann Arbor, Michigan in accord with ABA Standards and the teachings of the Catholic Church as envisioned in Ex Corde Ecclesiae. That, and no other, is the vision of the law school community demanded by our faith and avowed mission.
In an effort to promote the best interests of this community—most importantly the interests of the students and alumni who provide the true reason for the Law School’s existence—we are continuing our efforts to explore all possible avenues of maintaining our program of legal education in Ann Arbor.
During the last 48 hours, faculty have been contacted by hundreds of alumni who support and wish to join in this endeavor. We have also been contacted by many others who support our efforts. We ask for your prayers, your support, and your full participation in the efforts we will engage in to foster our community and, together, to advance the law school.
Yours in Christ,
The Association of Ave Maria Faculty
Professor Joseph L. Falvey, Jr.
Telephone: 734 . 827 . 7932
E-mail: A2Faculty AT gmail DOT com
NOTE the email address for your records.
Thank you Prof. Falvey and The Association of Ave Maria Faculty for your courage and constant example of Catholic principle.
Chesterton makes the point that who he calls the evolutionist, and who we might more precisely call the anthropologist, is frequently inclined towards the most extravagant claims about what prehistorical evidence proves. Chesterton's example is of the prehistoric cave drawings that prove nothing more than that prehistoric men (or women or children) liked watching animals and drawing pictures of them.
A recent archaeological discovery reminded me of Chesterton's point. The 5,000 year old skeletons of a man and a woman in what appears to be an embrace were found recently in Mantua. The article also mentions that both the skeletons have an arrowhead in them. With these brief facts, the person in charge of the dig thinks that it is possible "the man died first and then the woman was killed in sacrifice to accompany his soul." Now, I won't deny that there have been and perhaps still are cultures where such sacrifices occur, but there is nothing in regard to this couple to suggest such a ritual at work.
First, both skeletons have an arrowhead in them. Second, they are in an embrace - not laid out (like is common in graves the world over). Third, nothing in the article gives any indication that they were buried (and you frequently can determine this). Keeping in mind these facts, the more obvious conclusion is that they were both shot with arrowheads and died in each others arms. Now, I will grant that this new theory does not have the flair of human sacrifice, but it has the advantage of more closely corresponding with both common sense and the facts that we actually have. As Chesterton continually reminds us, people are human and will generally act in accordance with normal human behavior. I think Chesterton would find it particularly humorous that it is the anthropologist who lacks an appreciation for human nature.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Yesterday, the Ave Maria School of Law announced that it was relocating to Florida. In response, the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors held an emergency meeting the same day, at which nine of its fifteen members approved the statement below that criticizes the school's decision. The Alumni Association's only official means of communication with alumni is by the school emailing the alumni through the school email system. However, shortly after the meeting, law school officials refused to send the Alumni Association's message despite the clear majority vote to do so, and they refused to explain why it refused to send the message. Furthermore, when the law school administration learned that the Alumni Association Board would expose the administration's refusal to send the board's message, the administration sent an unauthorized message through Ermin Gornik on Wednesday evening, February 21, 2007, purporting to be a "Statement From the Alumni Association Board of Directors." The Alumni Association deplores the school administration's refusal to carry out its duty to communicate with alumni. It is an affront to academic freedom and it tends to confirm our earlier-stated reservations about governance of the school. Accordingly, the Alumni Association is authorizing the dissemination of its decision along with this note to all public and private outlets.
Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors
February 21, 2007
UPDATE: The text appearing here is the full text of the statement as ratified by the directors by a vote of a valid quorum. President Vernon was aware of the meeting (email and telephone call), but chose not to attend. (he's probably jet lagged and not able to read these little documents in enough time for such complex decisions). Faithfully yours, Casimir.
The Administration also felt that it would not be appropriate to publish the attached statement before all of the public announcements regarding the relocation could be made.
Ironically, this statement defeats itself... The alumni association's announcement, as it is part of the school, is a public announcement, and thus, should have been included with all of the other announcements.
As you see, when they like what we say, they include us (aka Vernon).
When they don't like what we say, we aren't included (see your alumni email).
And they wonder why we blog. Good thing Naples News can read public announcements.
Statement of Board of Governors Member, Professor Gerard Bradley on the Board Vote (I hear he no longer is interested in a hip replacement):
I cast the lone dissenting vote at the special Board of Governors'meeting on
Saturday, February 17, 2007. During that meeting I had ample opportunity to
state and explain my reasons for opposing the move to Florida. Other Governors
listened attentively to my reasons, engaged me in a candid discussion of their
merits, and advanced their reasons for supporting the move. It was a fair and
spirited give and take. I regret that I was not able to attract additional
support for my position but, now that the decision to relocate has been made, I
wish Ave Maria Law School all possible future success.
Ave Maria, Barron-Collier Officials Announce Ave Maria School of Law in Solidarity with New Community
While many would see this as necessary evil, von Woffenschmidt indicated that the law school wanted to drive home the fact that officials at the law school wanted to be one with the community. "We understand that most of the folks that will be coming to Ave Maria are elderly retirees. That the Dean would undergo a hip replacement shows his solidarity with the aged and his commitment to this area." The Dean is not the only one who has demonstrated this commitment. Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told AP that Kate O'Beirne, Gerry Bradley and Michael Uhlmann have all indicated their desires to have their hips replaced in the near future. Officials from Barron-Collier were delighted at the prospect and a spokesperson for the organization was quoted as saying "Every family, every lifestyle, every prosthetic limb."
UPDATE: The Dean's Missive to to the AMSL community:
On Thursday, February 22, I will undergo hip replacement surgery. I have been advised that recovery and rehabilitation will last some weeks. Associate Dean Milhizer will serve as Acting Dean until my return.
One point deserves to be emphasized—my surgery was scheduled long before the Board of Governors met and voted on relocation, and its scheduling so close in time to the relocation decision was entirely unintended. Unfortunately, I am not able to postpone the surgery without causing a delay of several months due to medical availability issues beyond my control.
While I am away, I will be fully apprised of activities at the Law School. I look forward to rejoining you all at the Law School in the near future.
President and Dean
UPDATE II: Amidst the great discomfort of shifting in his chair, the Dean continues to harass (my words) students as to whether they are posting comments on this the last best hope for mankind. Good luck Deano. We will anxiously be watching the purge. Stop picking on law students and get a damn life.
News articles are now calling it "after five years of research into options, the Board decided to move"
What bullcrap. As we know, and as FUMARE and other blogs have documented for years now, the only options they researched were perks from TM and the exact move date.
What about Rice's proposal, Falvey's proposal, two school option? Monaghan dismissed them out of hand as did his little dogs, too.
Tell your local news editor -- email, call, whatever, but complain about that language as an unsupported fact that requires further journalism. Just let the editor know that the assertion of "five years studying options" is controverted, not fact.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Alumni Association Board President Alex Vernon said the released statement doesn’t reflect the opinion of everyone on the board.
Vernon said the decision to relocate is in the best long-term interest of the school.
Very interesting that he makes the conclusion that relocation is in the best long-term interests of the law school. Perhaps he had a change of heart and read the Falvey Report after all. I can only assume that he did, given that a full and informed opinion on the matter would consider all evidence at one's disposal. I assume that his scruples were put to rest, in order to be very candid about his judgment on the matter. I will ignore the fact that he obviously knew of this decision prior to today and did not bother to communicate this to the rest of the Alumni Board--his colleagues. I will also ignore the fact that he knew--or should have known--that the powers that be would utilize him in his capacity as Alumni Board President to make the statements that he did today in front of the media. Finally, I will ignore the fact of his implicit concession that support of the law school = doing the Dean's and the Board's bidding. His actions speak loud and clear and in contradiction to--as it is reported to me--at least 9 members of Alumni Board. What explains this? Perhaps, he is beholden to the administration for some reason.
Now consider the wisdom of Bernard Dobranski in response to the Alumni Board's statement today:
Dobranski said the school of law isn’t under investigation. The school received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in August 2005 after five years of lobbying.
Tell it to the ABA, Bernie! Not an investigation? Excuse moi..."inquiry." Semantics my good fellow. The fact of the matter is that some faculty filed a complaint. You responded--and under ABA rules, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that school's governance is in compliance with the ABA standards. In the event that it is not, the ABA sends an investigator. This is where AMSL is at. Yet, the Board decided this anyway in the midst of this situation--possibly violating yet another standard (see below). Sorry, Sir, we don't buy crazy here.
I suppose that we'll let the Carol(e)s defend their husbands.
The Alumni Association Board of Directors responded, condemning the Decision, Below Too .
The Press has started to pick up the story, like Right Here
How do you feel about all this? As a first step, let the powers that be know (addresses taken from an earlier post by me From December):
firstname.lastname@example.org (BJ Harrington)
email@example.com (Bowie Kuhn)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Cardinal Egan)
Gerard.V.Bradley.email@example.com (Gerard Bradley)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Helen Alvare)
email@example.com (Thomas Monaghan)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Father Joseph Fessio)
Kate@nationalreview.com (Kate O'Beirne)
Michael.email@example.com (Michael Uhlmann)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Carfagna)
rgeorge@Princeton.edu (Robert George)
email@example.com (Bernard Dobranski)
Apparently, the directive to Mr. Ermin Gornik, Alumni Coordinator, not to disseminate the statement to alumni was not given to the Naples News. Monaghan was heard to remark, "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those pesky kids!"
Before the fanfare in the newly-minted Ave Maria Town in 15 minutes, how about these little niceties that Dobranski, Monaghan and the Board failed to mention. Perhaps due diligence was not performed after all. This might make for great question from the press. Consider this in light of the currently unresolved ABA investigation:
ABA standard 105 requires acquiescence before the implementation of a major change. Cooley tried to jerk the ABA around on this one, and they got spanked for it (as affirmed by the Sixth Circuit--see bottom link). The Board is now doing the same thing. They obviously have no regard for the ABA or the students and alumni who are counting on acceditation.
Here's the text of the Statement:
Unexpectedly, and without any prior notice that an early decision was forthcoming, an apparent quorum of the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors, via Dean Bernard Dobranski, announced its decision today, February 20, 2007, to close the Ave Maria School of Law Michigan entity in Ann Arbor, and "relocate the Law School to Florida," near Immokalee.
Faced with this tragic decision to close our alma mater in Michigan with little more than the hope that a similarly successful law school can begin elsewhere under the same name, the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors maintains its position that such a decision at this time is not in the best interests of the Law School or its community. Due to repeated and willful dismissal of Alumni, Faculty, and Student concerns, along with a pending and serious investigation by the American Bar Association that touches on credible governance questions - questions that have likewise been dismissed without adequate explanation - the Alumni Association Board of Directors condemns this decision.
The Alumni Association Board of Directors believes our alma mater's early success counsels against a decision to close the school in Michigan. We have difficulty believing that Ave Maria School of Law's amazing success is sufficiently likely to recur after "relocation." We disagree with the Board of Governors' acquiescence of control of the school to persons whose insistence on moving caused the school and its community severe harm, while benefiting primarily other institutions to which the law school Board of Governors should owe no obligation in making this decision. We are skeptical that the financial commitment from Florida interests will be more reliable than the promises for funding through 2009 that are documented in the report by Professor Joseph Falvey. We further mourn the inevitable loss of our founding faculty, who are the heart of our school (and indeed of any truly Catholic academic institution).
We continue to pray for the major constituencies of the Law School, who must now face the consequences of this ill-considered decision.
The Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors
Commentors speculate it could be anything from reporting the decision to switch to recycled towels in the bathrooms to a resignation to a carefully crafted statement concerning the will of TM. Others yet speculate that it has to do with ABA.
Personally, I think it is an excuse to have carnival activities in the library. (happy Mardi Gras, y'all!)
Monday, February 19, 2007
The purpose of these comics was to explore interesting questions that seemed far-fetched, but got the old mental wheels a turnin' on important topics (like "What if Spiderman Had Never Become a Crimefighter?"). If you don't believe me, look Here .
I'd like to propose a "What If" topic for FUMARE.
What If the AMSL Board Of Governors Voted Tomorrow to Close the Law School in Michigan and Open One Under the Same Name in Florida?
I'd more properly state the question as follows:
What if the AMSL Board of Governors Voted Tomorrow to Close the Law School in Michgan and Open One under the Same Name in Florida, Despite the Following (listed in general order of importance):
- An on-going American Bar Association accreditation committee investigation that must intimately involve the way the move decision itself has been conducted (yep, that's the same part of the ABA that will determine accreditation of the new school in Florida under the same governance, but minus, oh, most of the Faculty);
- The objection and loss of a majority of the Faculty (see ABA investigation above and Faculty No Confidence Vote);
- The objection of a clear majority of the Alumni (see Read and White Report Alumni Survey);
- The objection of a significant portion of the student body (see Student No Confidence Petition; student attrition figures; any reasonable measure of student morale at AMSL);
- Irreparable damage to the Community, once energized, excited and unified;
- A stinging discussion about promises changed, obligations still in place, money gone lost, and a road map to viability in The Falvey Report that makes Board of Governor investigative efforts on the move to this point look like a serious dereliction of duty;
- Real financial commitments from AMSL's Chairman being highly speculative at best - tapped out you say, Here? money to come from uncertain profits on a risky real estate venture, you say, Here?;
- Every time the AMSL Chairman of the Board opens his mouth (see articles above) he reconfirms the belief that - with AMSL and Ave Maria College before it - he makes the decisions first and then gets his Boards to rubber stamp them (or the belief that he runs educational institutions as sole proprietorships);
- Relying on a clearly inadequate "Feasibility Study" update that barely references the first Feasibility Study from three years prior, is the result of a suspect amount of constituent input, and omits mention of readily-available data crucial to move decision;
- Serious unaddressed questions regarding the interaction of AMSL with AMU, which has been the subject of even more egregious governance concerns, and has generated much discussion about how other Ave entities conduct their business, like Here; Who will govern the schools? Is AMSL - an independent school - to be part of the University? How is association with scandals in AMSL's best interest?
- No adequate explanation of how "closing a school" can be in its best interests unless going out of existence is really the best option;
What would you do in the face of such an ill-considered decision concerning your beloved community if it were made, well NOW?
It is also the time of year where Ave Maria University--attempting to be the premier Catholic university in the United States--is ramping up its final preparations for the opening of the University in the new Ave Maria Town, conveniently located on the banks of the historic Corkscrew Swamp. The Provost overseeing this new University is none other than the venerable Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., Founder of Ignatius Press and Sometime Fellow of Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte, California.
I use these two simultaneous happenings as a metaphor and a definitive conclusion to a longstanding debate. What occasioned this post were the difficulties over the past year and a half of divining suitable names for the two camps in the debate over Ave Maria School of Law. Some have attempted the following variations (with limited success): Pro Faculty vs. Pro Board; Pro Rice vs. Pro Florida; Pro Rice vs. Pro Monaghan; No Confidence Crowd vs. Dean. The list goes on and on. As the debate will--I suspect--be nearing its inevitable end, I have come up with the solution: Charlie Rice's Boxers vs. Father Fessio's Briefs.
The following lines solidified these appellations:
In the context that is the debate over the law school, the names are accurate. "Charlie Rice's Boxers" tend to be loose, sharp, and fitting for real men; "Fr. Fessio's Briefs" tend to be tight, cramped, and a bit soiled. (Apologies for sounding like Senator Biden.) In the final analysis, you must choose.
"We've got high-powered people preparing briefs," Father Joseph Fessio, the provost of the university and member of the board of governors at the law school, said. "This is going to be bad, bad publicity."
Friday, February 16, 2007
"Religious thinkers throughout the world have said that the West has reached a crisis of faith. Some European nations bless single-sex marriages and introduce sexual guides in schools," Luzhkov said. "Such things are a deadly moral poison for children."
wow... who said that?
"Last year, Moscow came under unprecedented pressure to sanction the gay parade, which can be described in no other way than as Satanic," Luzhkov said at the 15th Christmas educational readings in the Kremlin Palace.
Surely, he is all alone on the issue, no?
Vladimir Putin told a Kremlin news conference he respects human freedoms, but joked that issue of sexual minorities is linked to the demographic problem in the country.
Last year, Putin highlighted the demographic crisis afflicting Russia in his May state of the nation address, proposing radical new measures to deal with the falling birthrate and a population decline of some 700,000 a year.
That's the address where he said Russian women need to be having babies (more baby making machines).
surely the courts would rise to protect human "freedoms"?
The Moscow City Court rejected Tuesday an appeal lodged by the organizers of a gay pride parade in May against a ban on the event, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the courtroom.
But the people would surely support it despite the law, no?
Gay activists went ahead with their May 27 march in Moscow in defiance of the authorities' ban, but riot police, supported by neo-Nazis and militant Christians, broke up the rally shortly before it began.
This Elderly Widow was Probably one of the "Militant Christians"
surely the American newspapers are reporting this with accurate quotes, no?
MOSCOW - A top Moscow official repeated Wednesday that the city will not allow a gay rights parade, echoing the mayor's vocal criticism and saying that homosexuality is bad for your health, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.
well, it is true that satanic possession can be harmful to your health. I guess that's what the AP translators had in mind when they rendered the word "satanic" to "harmful to health." From what Casimir can read of the Russian news on the subject, the mayor described it a lot more colorfully.
Makes me think Pope John Paul II consecrated them after all... And isn't it fitting that the same country that caused error to spread would now be the one best placed to correct everyone it misled?
UPDATE -- SVENIGOROD (Pulaski). In an effort to find public comment on the developing human "rights" crisis in Russia, Pulaski News Service contacted the Chairman of the Anomalous Phenomena Service, Andrei Gorodovoi, for comment.
Gorodovoi has been investigating strange phenomenon in the world for many years, including seeking evidence of mermaids in the Azov Sea.
"Look, as Russians, we have many more pressing things to worry about than whether these people can parade about large cities. For instance, recently two fisherman devoured a squeaking space alien. We are worried that the space aliens may come destroy Moscow in retaliation." Gorodovoi shared an image of the devoured alien, and explained that diplomatic solutions are being formulated.
Gorodovoi continued, "likewise, we have many other classes of people that we wish to help that do not like to parade about, such as two-headed girl. She deserves special place in heart of Russians, not these others."
Stella Bombonovov, elderly widow and militant Christian had only one thing to say, "Pfoouey! [she spits on the ground] These people do not make little babies for Mother Russia nor to make joy in my old heart, but like to play in the sewer drain instead." Bombonovov, who makes frequent appearances at events requiring elderly opinion, said she was on her way to Ukraine where the peasants needed help with the attackers. She added to her comment that, "They want to call us intolerant, but they are ones attacking us with their ideas and notions. I know what such ideas make, I saw such ideas in German tanks."
Rev. Viktor Cherynejivov only said one thing in response, "it is like we say in Russia, they are trying to wipe the butt by reaching over the shoulder."
UPDATE 2 -- wow, from a post within the comments comes this statement by Ukrainian parliament, Head of the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations of the Supreme Council (Parliament) of Ukraine, communist Mr. Leonid Grach in an interview stated that "homosexuality is an anomaly, which is caused by the amorality and the depravity of man". Grach's following comment shows that Ukraine is now using natural law as a justification for its legislation (or lack of legislation):
"Me and my colleagues in the Parliament have to defend society from infringements upon morality, and not admit into the consciousness and souls of people of any age the thought that the state is on the side of the people who are sowing debauchery, propagandising for dissoluteness, for sexual permissiveness, and for bringing the abomination of seduction into society". In the opinion of Leonid Grach, the "state must protect society from an evil, from violence, including such evil as homosexuality, lesbianism and suchlike others". The MP considers that Ukrainians must observe the norms of moral cleanness, "bequeathed to us from ancient times by orthodox ancestors".
Wow. I added the emphasis at the end. For some reason, I can't believe that guy is a communist to be speaking of upholding norms of morality bequeathed by the orthodox church. Nonetheless, Casimir wonders if they aren't going to be putting the signum crucis on state emblems in the near future.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
“Do lawyers really have problems building and sustaining relationships?” asks the promotional materials. “Yes, because the same traits that contribute to a lawyer’s success can interfere with their achieving meaningful, intimate relationships at home.” The book purportedly teaches its readers, among other things:
* How lawyers differ from the rest of us.
* How to argue with your lawyer . . . and survive.
* How to keep billable hours from destroying your marriage.
Here’s a book blurb from a lawyer’s wife: “When Jacob and I got married, I had every intention of being a supportive spouse. And I was . . . in the beginning. But I wasn’t prepared for how much my husband’s law practice demanded of our lives. As time went on, he became so focused on his goals, it was as if our marriage was only about the law.”
O Fumare readers, is it really true that lawyers are losers when it comes to love? Is being married to a lawyer more difficult that being married to, say, an accountant?
N.B. This post liberally plagarized from the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, which is available by subscription only and therefore not linkable. Mea minima culpa.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
All these passages seem designed to make you think that this nun is a young women who recently finished college and entered a traditional order. As a result, she would seem an excellent spokesman to criticize "unfeeling, hidebound conservative Catholics." The problem, however, is that this description hardly seems accurate.
First, while the nun is repeatedly referred to as "young," she happens to mention that she has been a professed nun for almost twenty years. Since it seems unlikely she started her postulancy before she was eighteen, with that and her novitiate before she was professed, that puts her pretty close to forty years old. While I wouldn't call that old, she is probably older than her "un-churched, thirty-something, feminist college professor." Backing up this point, her byline also mentions that "[s]he has served in various forms of ministry in several cities in the United States and has carried out extensive research in the area [of women's studies]." Such wide experience hardly seems likely in someone who is young and was taking undergraduate classes only a few years earlier. Moreover, her wide travel seems unusual for a nun in a "traditional" order that lives "in community." Even the mendicant orders traditionally established convents for nuns rather than having them travel like the friars.
More importantly, however, "Sister Mary Eve's" language belies her claim to adherence to the traditional teachings of the Church. Leaving aside her long complaint about what constitutes a virgin birth, she describes The Vagina Monologues as being about, among other things, "topics that the institutional Church has a problem with such as masturbation, and lesbian sex." Now, perhaps I am wrong, but I thought the "institutional Church" had a problem with such things because they are immoral. That she feels it is necessary to distinguish on such topics between what the "institutional Church has a problem with" and what she believes or what she believes to be true is particularly telling. It helps to bring out what is so troubling about this article and about Busted Halo's promotion of it: This nun is not traditional and this nun is not young. She is, at best, middle-aged and her comments clearly indicate that she steers left of center. I hope the rest of the articles at Busted Halo do not indicate the same level of duplicity, nor the implicit attempts to undermine the faith.
Any opinion or position expressed in a comment is in no way representative of the collective views of Fumare contributors and is in no way representative of the collective views of students and alumni concerned about Ave Maria School of Law's future.
Monday, February 12, 2007
We think The New Yorker should have placed it online so we could drive some traffic to their site, but alas, as of now, it's print only.
We've heard that copies were circulated to students and it was commented to be a good article.
"Good" can be taken a number of ways, but the excerpts I've read suggest it to be something else.
Excerpts and analysis to appear here as available, but you might want to give the article a peek for yourself if you see this week's copy somewhere.
Here's some fair use snippets from the version circulated within the community, having not seen the newsstand print version, it's unclear whether the version circulated is totally identical.
I'm sorry, but even in context, it's not very clear about what those "high powered" people would be writing briefs.
Either way, it appears to be a frivolous waste of cash to be paying million-dollar lawyers to write briefs instead of merely fulfilling promises.
That is, if these quotes are accurate, Monaghan is basically paying lawyers to undo his promises to fund the Ann Arbor school. It's sad because it would be cheaper to fulfill his own words -- a little duty Catholics in the big time often overlook -- words mean something. So much do words mean something that a whole Commandment is dedicated to their proper use when pledging to others.
I guess for us normal people, we are supposed to be scared that "briefs" are being written in unnamed causes of action... I suppose if we weren't the best lawyers, we would be.
It's hard to be scared when the facts, the law, and the morals are on your side, though.
(N.B. that is a fair use snippet above -- please visit the link to New Yorker to see all of the article as it covers a lot more than the law school and is a lot longer).
We reiterate these oft-cited points for the benefit of our readers, especially those coming here for the first time. Likewise, we have decided to raid our vault and release footage of our meeting that took place shortly after Charlie Rice was fried...I mean...fired from the Board of Governors. This meeting footage--never before released--provides a rare glimpse at a turning point and momentum shift, that will be sure once again to agitate Dean "No Confidence" Dobranski, Chairman "Notre Dame in 30 Minutes or Less" Monaghan and Alumni President "Head in Sand" (testainsabbiare) Vernon and their small cadre of supporters (i.e., the Board of Governors).
Special thanks to Casimir Pulaski who co-wrote this post. If it flops, it is because of his insertion of Italian into the post.
Dean, we especially hope that you enjoy this footage. To make sure that we do not expose ourselves to any unnecessary liability, we have substituted "Wormer" for "Dobranski."
(We'll never get out of Double Secret Probation now!)
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Lastly, I sum it up like this. If you support the current administration, and they succeed, the full accredited Ann Arbor campus will be closed down and a new school opened in Florida most likely under the same name and without accreditation, and in connection with a land speculation that could either succeed wildly or fail miserably. If you support the Pro-Accreditation crowd, and they succeed, the school remains in Ann Arbor on the plan for financial self sufficiency that Mr. Monaghan and the Dean originally agreed to, and the school keeps its accreditation.
Comments on whether this is an accurate statement of the two positions?
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Back in the day, women were nothing more than chattle, at best they were temple prostitutes yoked to worshiping the god of Eros in public rituals which not only made these women into objects, it made them the enticing tool of a false worldview.
Oh, how far we have come thanks to the liberating message of Judeo-Christianity, or maybe not. . .
Fumare has been following the developing story of two young women, Amanda Marcotte (in red) and Melissa McEwan (in black) as they have been hired to entice webusers into the campaign to elect John Edwards. I'm sure that the Edwards campaign would be replused by the idea of using women's bodies to entice followers into his cult, but why not use these women and their "spirit" - to draw the masses into the movement?
The only problem is that these women's "spirit" is so offensive and vile as to be anything but enticing:
One thing I vow here and now—you motherf**kers who want to ban birth control will never sleep. I will f**k without making children day in and out and you will know it and you won’t be able to stop it. Toss and turn, you mean, jealous motherf**kers. I’m not going to be “punished” with babies. Which makes all your efforts a failure. Some non-procreating women escaped. So give up now. You’ll never catch all of us. Give up now. ~ Ms. Marcotte
Are we witnessing a modern version of the temple prostitute in the cyber temple of civic debate? Has feminism clenched so tightly around a set of erroneous ideas that women like these are so easily manipulated into enlisting in their own debasement?
By Ms. Marcotte and Ms. McEwan's example:
- Using words like patriarchy, facist and supremacy means "I'm educated."
- Using obscenity means "I'm powerful."
- Using their sexuality like a pornagrapher means "I'm liberated."
So the message is that women are no better than a salty sailor (no offense to sailors). Is this really the apex of women's liberation?
Well John Edwards has come to Ms. Marcotte and Ms. McEwan's rescue, they are hiding behind "big daddy" (not that it is an affirmation of patriarchy) as he has come out to defend these frail, sweet, tender things:
The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in. ~ John Edwards
So, John, you were personally offended, but they never intended to malign anyone's faith, so lets build the America we believe in???
What IS that America? And who is the WE? And what is the BELIEF you are selling with the help of these two neo-temple prostitutes?
(To answer these questions, have a look at some of the campaign's comments from the above post as well as this "catholic" Edwards apologist.)
If these are the new temple prostitutes, who no longer use their bodies to worship Eros, but use their "spirit" - a repulsive feminist ideology; what does that make John Edward's?
Perhaps the god of impotent vanity:
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
It is no secret that the current President, Mr. Alex Vernon, was extremely critical of the Alumni Board's "No Confidence" vote in Dean Dobranski. Last year, he proffered the theory--with now fellow Board member Mr. Brian Hoeing--that the action was "ultra vires." Sources, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, tell AP that Mr. Vernon maintained what appears to be an unwavering allegiance to Dobranski and Monaghan by questioning the dissemination of the Falvey Report. The sources further indicated that Mr. Vernon refused to read the Report and, at this writing, has still not done so, because he believed that the contents of the Report were "confidential." This, contrary to the wishes of the Report's author, Professor Joseph Falvey, who wished broad dissemination of his report. When the question arose as to how to better inform alumni who have not obtained the Report by making it available to them, Mr. Vernon indicated that he did not want to facilitate such an action. This after the Report has been in the public domain for several weeks now.
"This is not good news for alumni and others who wish to make an informed opinion on the matter," said Shelly Dubinski, President of the Alumni Association of Emily Dickinson College. "For the President of the Alumni Board to take a position of essentially 'burying his head in the sand'--it does not inspire confidence or leadership." This view was echoed by Prof. Stanislaus Karlowicz, Professor of Communications at the Collegio San Ignazio. "Disseminating all information from both sides is so important for such a momentous decision. Good, bad, ugly, the information needs to get out so that the interested parties can decide for themselves--especially since it is already in the public domain. Besides, employing the shibboleth of "confidentiality" as a reason not to read or disseminate publicy available information amounts to cowardice--cowardice because the President might have to actually face the fact that his position is wrong." Sarah Leibowitz, a student at the University of Michigan majoring in media relations, commented: "I am working on a paper on this very controversy right now. This is like the Paris Hilton sex tape--so similar it is scary! I mean, what was supposed to be a private act between two people in a relationship, turned out to be a betrayal of that trust and confidentiality when it was broadcast to the world on the internet. I see the similarity here between Paris and the betrayal she must have felt, and the same with Board of Governors and Dean."
Whether Ms. Leibowitz's analogy holds true or not is arguable. What is not arguable is that this continuing story involves whores and people getting screwed.
Please drive something that gets less than 15 MPG in cold weather in older to heat things back up.
Cas's Note: I'm doing my part: this cold has my truck getting 14-15MPG and I'm even starting it up 15 to 20 minutes before I intend to drive it.
Affected employers include: The State of Michigan (yep, civil servant Judy's dear partner Pat gets state benefits on your tax dollar); "The" University of Michigan; and others.
See the Freep article calling it a "cruel" decision.
Some expect the Supreme Court to overrule based on the fact that it means less money from the till for insurance companies. Others expect them to affirm because it means more money for insurance companies in disaffected premiums.
The reality is that the ruling, while upholding the amendment, does not foreclose similar benefits to be given but for other reasons. In other words, these companies can continue to give benefits to "another" person connected to the worker, but cannot do it for the purpose of supporting a so-called civil union.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
FT. MYERS (AdP) NASA image labs has released a digitally enhanced version of the Marcotte picture to answer the question as to whether she has a mustache. The results were striking.
When asked to comment, technician and engineer, Roger Daplymyer, said only one thing: "I thought it was a dude... talk about a mannish woman."
Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?
A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.
Stay away guys! Miss Marcotte's sexual libertinism may seem attractive to the adventurous lad at first, but mark my words, she is the type who would likely eat her young. John Edwards and the Democrat Party have every right to employ whomever they wish and that person also has every right to give voice to the principles that form the bedrock of that political party (i.e., abortion on demand and the exultation of the individual will.)
Looks like they found the whitewashed tomb they were looking for.
"I've always liked strong, macho men, and Rudy - I'm not saying this because he's my husband - is one of the smartest people on the planet," gushed the former Judith Nathan to Harper's Bazaar in editions due out Feb. 20.
Subservient to a woman's will? Check.
"I'm pro-choice. I'm pro-gay rights," Giuliani said. He was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions. "No, I have not supported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing," he responded.
(Source: CNN.com, “Inside Politics” Dec 2, 1999)
Protector of the most defenseless (i.e., homosexuals)? Check.
Rudy, Man's Man '08
Monday, February 05, 2007
What then, is a country like Russia or Japan to do when the statistics reveal that there won't be enough babies?
They ask for more. Russian president Putin has been putting money on the table. Lately, Japanese Minister of Health and Welfare, said this:
In a speech outlining the problems of Japan's declining birth rate, the Health and Welfare Minister said one of the challenges was that the number of baby producing devices is limited. The Government, he said, could only ask that the nation's women try their best.
Needless to say, he is being beaten up terribly.
It's sad to see that Americanizing Japan has caused them to act so irrationally as our country does.
2+2=4. But if you need 6, then you better find a way to make six. The only way to do that when it comes to people is to make babies. Women make babies. The problem is that women, in general society, don't want to make babies -- they want to be men.
Poor guy. He's caught in the middle of realities.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors Considering Moving the Law School to St. Francis University in Fort Wayne?
The University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana has been exploring the possiblity of establishing a law school. The school announced its plans to explore the possibility in December 2006 and discussions on the issue have proceeded in earnest throughout January. Dominic Aquila, a good Catholic gentleman and scholar and former official at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti is the Dean of the university's College of Liberal Arts and is heading up the exploratory committee.
Fumare's sources have reported that Dr. Aquila has been in talks with Dean Bernard Dobranski and AMSL Board Member Professor Gerard Bradley on the creation of the new law school. So what's going on? Are members of the Board exploring other options for the viability of AMSL? Perhaps they are seeking a viable alternative to the Florida venture? Most importantly, perhaps Dobranski and Bradley (and one may suspect, the Board) are seeking to distance themselves from Mr. Monaghan and the Ave Maria Foundation. This would be good news indeed! If the economic forecast for the school remaining in A2 is as bleak as some have projected, let's explore the possibility of this opportunity! Talk it up among your colleagues and especially let Professor Bradley know your thoughts.
Email your comments and encouragement to Professor Bradley at:
Do the same for Dean Dobranski at:
This is a constructive and intelligent alternative that would provide the law school more stability and tools for its mission than a yet untested and speculative Florida venture that is in the middle of nowhere. The school would still be in the "hub" of a great legal community (access to Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, D.C.) and would benefit academically from the resources and competition provided by, among others, The University of Notre Dame.
Fumare will keep watching this development...
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