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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Why Are We Worried Again?

Besides the unfortunate equating of a 30 minute or less pizza delivery guarantee to a guarantee of Mass attendance for college kids ("I am not a Pizza" buttons, anyone?), the article cited by Advocatus is telling in other ways.

The article makes clear that Phase I of Ave Town construction will end mid-July (with the exception of the oratory to be completed by Christmas).

That's less than 6 months away, right? Well what are we to make of these quotes, then?:

"There's no way someone could accuse me of being a billionaire anymore . . ."

But even more telling:

"By the time we're done, the land is not so cheap anymore," Monaghan said. "By the end of Phase I, I'm going to be pretty much tapped out for a while."

Remind me again why we are talking more about Mr. Monaghan pulling future funding, than his ability to actually meet his future promises if AMSL were to move to Florida? Are we really banking the future of AMSL on a real estate speculation? I hope not. I, for one, would like to see some solid figures regarding what percentage of future funding for AMSL is dependant upon Ave Maria Town succeeding. At the very least, I hope some portion of the amount promised for AMSL (like all of it) is already in an account gaining interest somewhere.

Fumed by TheLawDog at 3:17 PM. |

"Good Catholics in 30 Min. or Less!"

"We have the kind of institution that people have been waiting for," Monaghan said. "I didn’t want Ave Maria to become a degree factory, I wanted Ave Maria to become a saint factory."

And Monaghan is even willing to put a guarantee on his school.

"When I was at Dominos we had a 30 minute guarantee," he said. "I've heard that 75 percent of Catholic kids stop going to Mass on Sunday when they leave home,
(so) I thought about putting a guarantee on an Ave Maria education. Parents, grandparents, if you send you're children to Ave Maria, I'll guarantee they go to Mass on Sunday."

And some people think FUMARE is gauche and insulting! Good Grief!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 2:57 PM. |

Dom Bosco, Pray for us

A fitting day for the feast of St. John Bosco. Among the things learned during his canonization process was that he was very adept at raising cash for his schools. Some political cartoons showed him shaking money out of the pockets of old ladies, or making trips to America for cash.

He knew how to run a school. Pray for us!

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 11:52 AM. |

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Apocolocyntosis of Thomas Monaghan

It never ceases to amaze me that we are told--at least, implicitly--that those who are the purported leaders of the conservative (or orthodox) movement are never to be criticized. I have written elsewhere of the elitism of this crowd and how, in reality, they are indistinguishable from the liberal set in terms of holding on to their status as "leaders" for right thinking. Lest I be accused of disagreeing with much of their work, I acknowledge that much of it is to be praised. One need only think of the contributions to scholarship and the public square that these individuals have brought to bear in shaping culture and public policy. Nevertheless, these folks are not without their warts. In fact, I know that some of them can't bear to be criticized or to be poked fun at--especially by fellow conservatives. Apparently, what is happening in the blogosphere is now blowing the lid off of the conservative establishment and their icons, thus exposing them to their own faults and lapses in judgment or deviations from principle. (Surely there would be no lambasting of the sort found by critics of Fumare if we kept our criticism to Ted Kennedy and Cardinal Mahony! Yet some apply a different standard to the so-called "good guys.")

Let's be clear. No one is perfect. All of us make mistakes. But all of us are held to a high standard--in our families, our Church, our professions and, yes, even on the Boards which we sit. When a standard is not met, one should be prepared for criticism. The flip side to this is that the person in such a position should be prepared to do the work necessary to execute his responsibilities. Falling back on one's exalted status as a Cardinal-Archbishop, multi-millionaire, public intellectual or Washington power broker does not = doing one's job.

What accounts for the Board of Governors real or perceived inaction? What has come out in small group discussions or through other venues is that they are rightly concerned with the financial well-being of the institution. But this as the ultima ratio of the decisions concerning the law school is an inversion of a true hierarchy of values that one would expect of an authentically Catholic institution. It smacks of a pragmatism and lack of faith and--even more--a decision to ignore a basic tenet of the law: pacta sunt servanda. In the instant case, part of this pragmatism is probably a desire to "keep Tom happy." The divinization of Thomas Monaghan because he is dedicating his fortune to solid Catholic causes is completely misplaced and will not serve as a cover to the injustices that have been committed to get to the end. As classic Catholic moral theology teaches, "the end doesn't justify the means." A catalogue of this principle being jettisoned by the powers that be in this controversy--and others like it--is not appropriate here. Suffice it to say, its evidence is indisputable and attested to by individuals with impeccable credentials as well as the "regular joes" whose credibility also is beyond reproach.

I have always been curious why the Board must be treated with "kid gloves." The bottom line is that this controversy has been raging in earnest for almost two years. At various points the Board could have done some due diligence (e.g., meeting with the faculty after the no confidence vote). Instead, there has been a desire to circle the wagons and protect their powerful clique. Critics of their actions are called "insulting and counterproductive." I have no reason to believe that the Board will make friends with Fumare (specifically me and Cas), nor do I much care at this point. What I do know is that TM and the individual members of the Board are human persons, as such I see no need for apotheosis.

I pray that the Catholic Church is not a hobby to be enjoyed, but rather a Faith to be lived.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 1:45 PM. |

Falvey Report Discussion: Financial Independence or Continued Reliance on Mr. Monaghan?

For all joining us, please read the Falvey Report here.

I've decided to start a new post on discussion about the Falvey Report, because an earlier one was getting too unruly. I will be editing the comments of both sides in order to ensure a reasonable discussion (so be warned, bluto, and thelawdog). I will not censor opposing viewpoints; in fact, I welcome them (so please join me, Mr. Pelham, and LoneWolf, and others).

To start off the discussion, here are two points.

1. The Falvey Report indicates that Ave Maria School of Law's financial plan prepared for ABA accreditation in Fall 2004, as approved by the administration and the Board of Governors, was that the school would be financially independent from Ave Maria Foundation/Mr. Monaghan money by 2009. Prof. Falvey recommends that the school return to this plan for financial independence. I agree with him. Financial independence, which would also entail independence from undue influence by Mr. Monaghan, is the most desirable goal for AMSOL.

For those supporting Mr. Monaghan and the Florida move, do you think that financial independence from Ave Maria Foundation, one that has a sufficient donor base and endowment to support scholarships, is a desirable goal?

2. Everyone seems to acknowledge that during the upcoming years before full financial independence is reached, there will be much less available money for scholarships. Consequently, some of the commenters argue that continued financial subsidies from Mr. Monaghan are necessary in order to guarantee the quality of the incoming classes over the next few years. Here is Anonymous's question to me:
Do you acknowledge that the school would have a low-quality Class of 2009 if not for a huge new subsidy necessitated by the feud made very public by the alumni association, the faculty, and FUMARE? Do you acknowledge that without this new subsidy the school would be even more of a laughing stock than it now - so much so that the class of 2009 and 2010 would be of such low quality that the harm to the school would be almost lethal?
My answer is no, I don't think incoming classes to a Michigan-based school with low scholarships would be lower-quality than incoming classes to a Michigan-transition-to-Florida school with higher scholarships.

First, most law students across the country don't get scholarships. Scholarships are nice, but if AMSOL didn't have a large amount of scholarship money for the couple of years before financial independence, it wouldn't be much different than from most law schools.

Second, if the Florida option is chosen, the law school over the next couple of years will not be a very desirable place to go to school regardless of how much money is offered in scholarships: the internal strife would rise to higher levels; a substantial majority of the faculty/staff would change during a student's time at school; the student would most likely begin classes in Michigan and end them in Florida; the school's accreditation future might be in question; and the student would graduate from a brand-new Florida school, not a 9 or 10 year old established Michigan school, with a resulting loss of job opportunities.

Personally, I would not go to such a school with such a tumultuous existence regardless of how much money was offered. I would consider going to a school like Ave Maria as it was in my day (with the best Catholic legal environment in the world) even if I had no scholarship assistance.

Any thoughts or comments?

Fumed by Thales at 1:22 PM. |

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cardinal Marotta calls us "filii Dei!" BoG Calls us "insulting and counterproductive."

BoG members are not happy with Fumare: they find it insulting and counterproductive.

I'll leave aside what I consider to be "insulting and counterproductive." (By the way, read the Falvey Report.)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 5:00 PM. |

Friday, January 26, 2007


As promised, here it is.

It is also helpful to look at the most recently available 990 to gain some understanding of Ave Maria School of Law's financial situation. (Incidentally, you can find other foundations and other 990s here.)

UPDATE: AveWatch.org has a link.

UPDATE II: If the aforementioned 990 link doesn't work copy and paste this into your browser:


Fumed by Tommy More at 5:01 PM. |

Dean Dobranski Unhinged

This in from a credible source:

Today there was a 1L seminar on grades and study abroad. The Dean spoke and basically hijacked seminar, even went over five minutes into Adolphe's class so he could have the entire class listening to his rant. Said that Fumare/bloggers enemeies of school, said the move is a good thing and that people who are againts the move are against the school. School's fluctuate and change all the time and those opposing the move oppose the school.

This was sent to Fumare. You be the judge.

UPDATE: From another emailer:

Nobody I know seems to have that impression. Frankly, none of the first years have the slighest idea whats going on on that front, or are really involved, so if he did say anything, which I haven't heard this rumor substantiated yet, why he would say it to the lot of them is beyond me. Its also out of character...Its probably true, but probably not terribly accurate in its interpretation.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 1:50 PM. |

Seismic Activity Detects Spin Machine(s)

ANN ARBOR (al Managhanimed) Michigan seismic centers have reported that late yesterday irregular seismic activity was triangulated to be sourced in north Ann Arbor township. Several theories exist as to the nature of the cause.

Local coney island owner, Sharif Yasoud, reports "I could detect something was wrong because of ripples in the chili and waves on top of the sodas we were serving." He continued to say, "I think there is some big machine running somewhere nearby because it feels like a big vacuum machine running."

Yasoud's instincts may be correct as speculation from NATO command confirms the fingerprint of the seismic activity to coincide with operation of an early model Russian-made spin cipher machine. Scientists for the central command explained.

Dr. Ari Farsberg, explained the nature of the machine and what its purpose was. "This appears to be the signature of the operation of a model R-014 Russian Datschik mobile communication device." Farsberg said this machine was an early model spin machine that can accept facts, communications, and desired output bias and craft responses intended to discredit or misdirect the statements of others.

File Photo of Datschik "brains" (courtesy NASA)

Military historian and professor, Dr. Lauri Lawollier, explained that the machine has several components that require human interaction at a primitive keyboard, radio communications, and a central "thinking sphere" within which ideas are bounced around for processing. Lawollier explained the idea was that certain key facts get lost in the sphere during processing which creates obfuscating replies. When a third party sees the input and response, they may be lead by the response to think that the input was insufficient or misguided because the machine ignores the dropped facts.

File Photo of R-014 "Thinking Sphere" (courtesy DOD)

"Very clever device for its time!" says Dr. Chung Leopang, intelligence analyst and technology consultant. "However, this model has long been outdated and outmoded. For any situation, our analysts can predict its output far in advance of operation."

File Photo of R-014 Operator at Keypad (courtesy NASA)

For instance, Leopang said that if it is told to process an input representing evidence of malfeasance, it will spit out at least one comment that the knowledge itself was precious and intended for a different purpose. Then, it will discredit the persons who know the information by insinuating conspiracies against good causes. It does this not by direct language, but by inference and dropped facts. Lastly, it will present irrelevant facts that attempt to stretch the assertion into issues where it calculates public sympathy to rest.

Leopang added, "it's a long process, however. Usually the machine needs over 24 hours to process simple inputs into spun outputs." NATO estimates that, given that the first seismic reports show start-up after 5:17 pm yesterday, the machine will be unable to render responses until later today. Some expect two machines operating on contingencies.

Leopang, thinks the machines may try a typical trick of blaming some other machine for delayed responses when an input is expected earlier.

Given the age of the technology and the machines, NATO expects that the output will be unruly and full of yarn. Some experts, including Leopang, think that the machine will attempt to mimic the input and claim technology prevented timely output.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 1:40 PM. |

AP Breaking: Suspicious Activity at Catholic Law School

Ann Arbor (AP)--In an unusual twist of events, sources tell AP that there was a flurry of activity around the Ave Maria School of Law last evening and early this morning. Dean Bernard Dobranski, usually known for his cool under pressure, was seen huddling with attorneys from Butzel Long and other advisors. Though the reasons for this clandestine activity are unknown, speculation is that it has something to do with the Falvey Report and and its release. Dean Dobranski has been under enormous pressure as of late to release this document, most recently from the blog Fumare whose readers span several continents and whose influence, according to a high ranking official in Vatican City, is "incalculable." Apparently, Fumare claims to have the document and is set to release it unless the Dean does so by 5:00pm EST today. According to Fumare:

we will offer him the opportunity to release the Falvey Report via email by
5:00pm Friday, as is his custom and wont to do with other important communiques.
Our magnanimity requires us to hold on to our copy and allow the Dean to
mitigate the damage so grievously inflicted upon his credibility and those he

"It was weird," said Louise Tarantino, cashier at Busch's Grocery store in Ann Arbor, recounting an encounter last evening at about 9:32pm. "The Dean came to my check out line with a cart full of Pepto-Bismol and Rolaids. His eyes looked darkend, and he kept, like, muttering somthing, like: 'the fumes, the fumes, rotten bastards, the fumes.' I called my manager because I was, like, so scared--besides there's a dance at Gabriel Richard tonight and I wouldn't want to miss that by, like, being killed or something!" Other witnesses recount similar strange events in today's early morning hours. "It was shocking!! I still can't believe it!"stated a 3L who wishes to remain anonymous. "I noticed the Dean coming to the law school much earlier than usual as I was making my early morning run. As I was turning down Green Road and finishing the second Sorrowful Mystery, I noticed Dobranski and several men with briefcases. I shouted his name and a 'top o'the mornin' and he...I still can't believe this...turned and flipped me off! I can't believe it! I mean, I don't write for Fumare, gimme a break! This guys is at his breaking point!" Flipping off is a colloquialism for raising the middle finger towards someone indicating that person's desire that the one flipped off should copulate with himself.

We contacted officials from Fumare who were not surprised and predicted that the Dean and his lawyers will be preparing a quick response should the Falvey Report be released by Fumare; or alternatively, a nice cover letter with the Report should the Dean choose to release it himself. Until that time the hostage clock continues. Mr. Monaghan was unavilable for comment as he was directing the acquisition of OFF! for the newly planned Ave Maria Town.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 10:23 AM. |

Iran Pledges Space Program Aid to Hail Mary Admin

TEHRAN. (Al Pulaski) Upon hearing that spy probes had been released into Hail Mary Admin, Iran promised to launch a "space program", including "satellite recon" to detect potential probes.

Reactions to the news were mixed. Said Hugo Pompa, local deli owner, "I think this is great news -- the more these kind stick together, the easier it is to see who is who."

The announcement does not come with specifics as to the type of surveillance or longevity of the program, but some speculation has begun. Dr. Blake Whitebread, a Filbert scholar on international relations, believes this is an outreach to similar regimes in order to begin collusive relations.

This conclusion seems to agree with the public statement of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei:
We understand the need to stifle truth and force people to understand our ways. We write threatening letters as warnings and send headchoppers out to kill our perceived opposition, too. For us, these people are our people -- they act as we act and think as we think. We seek to protect them and their ways as we are brothers in the way.

Calls to the Hail Mary HQ were not returned at this time.

* * * * *

UPDATE (10:23 CST)
DUBAI (al Pulaski). Intel reports monitoring the escalation of Hail Mary, Inc.'s military activity show that troops are building at the border.

NATO Command reports that they are building an offensive stance, presumably to appear engaged in border protection. Several anonymous reports indicate North Korean encouragement to make a show of military strength in order to quash opposition to expansionist programmes advocated recently by the Investment regime.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 9:19 AM. |

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Letter from Butzel Long to Professor Rice...

...in response to Prof. Rice's January 8, 2007 missive.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 3:35 PM. |

DEFENSE ATTY SAYS: Canadian murder suspect was counting DAYS, not Victims

NEW WESTMINSTER. Several days into the murder trial of Canadian pig farmer, Robert William Pickton, startling explanations are being produced by the defense.

Earlier in the trial, police revealed evidence about some counting Pickton revealed to an undercover policeman in his jail cell:
It was said that an undercover police officer was also placed in Pickton's jail cell. Pickton made a hand signal to the undercover officer using five fingers on one hand and a "zero" with the other that was believed to indicate 50.

Police say that he was trying to indicate that he wanted to kill 50 victims. His Defense attorney, Peter Richie, says it was nothing like that, but rather Pickton was relaying a hostage day count to someone he believed was another inmate.

Said Ritchie, "Pickton was relaying that it was Day 50 of the Falvey Report Hostage Crisis. Pickton was very interested in international farming markets, and had become glued to the saga developing behind the Hail Mary Enterprises, Inc. take over of Immokallee. He, and many others in Vancouver have been counting days that the Hail Mary admin has held the so-called Falvey Report hostage, as they are very interested in its contents."

Police admit that they were unaware of the hostage situation, but have dropped the testimony and begun to relay the day count to each other in similar fashion to Pickton's hand gestures.

Ritchie continued by adding that "betting pools have developed as to when the report would be released. My client had three positions: one at Day 50, one at day 74, and one at Day 120. Thus, he was very excited that it was Day 50 at that point."

Upon leaving the interview, Mounty Robertson held up five fingers on one hand and five fingers on the other. Day 55, eh.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 1:28 PM. |

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Russians Counting Days to Falvey Release

MOSCOW (Krueters) - Minister of Public Anticipation and Services, Leonid Brevsky, announced today that he will be releasing pictures of the anxiety caused by the delay in releasing the Falvey report.

In response to suggestions that the stalled report was in need of scrutiny and discussion prior to release, he said, "Outrageous! They release report that misspells name of their own leader without scrutiny, so this tactic is nothing more than a stall tactic."

"I will show you what Russians think of so called delay." He held up a previously unseen picture that inspired cheers from the onlooking locals.

Piotr Ivanovov, said that the locals did not feel that imaginary counters could possibly show with appropriate weight the lunacy of the suggestion that a report from a high military officer needed redaction. "It's insane to suggest that he is a bad actor needing parenting. It insults our country and our military training, not to mention it insults a good man's reputation."

"These people making insinuation are the liars and the ones who need redaction!" shouts an elderly widow in the onlooking crowd. Instead of making an internet counter, they have been killing a foreigner, presumably people attached to the delay, each day report is withheld.

Andrev Shamanovov, local villager and onlooker to the public announcement, only had this to say, "They lie to us, insult a good man by telling us report needs redaction, so we decided to redact them. Pretty soon, they will be tolerable and fit for public consumption, as they tell us report needs to be. It is basic logic – they lie, so we punish."

Ivanovov also told the reporter that they are not taking things lightly, but have also sent a spy probe in to recover the report. He did not comment as to whether the probe was able to recover the report, however.

Russian Spy Probe Sent in to Recover Report

Lastly, Brevsky promised full cooperation with ABA troops in the process of recovering the truth. "It is time that the reality make an impact and that truth be spoken. For this, Russia is pleased to give its might to these forces that are working towards unraveling the web of lies spun by this administration of obscurity and misdirection."

Russian Troops Assist ABA

UPDATE (10:20 CST)....


TBLISI - Tangerine shipments in route to Russia have been blockaded by Russian Troops in protest of the Falvey Report hostage crisis.

Russian Troops blockade Citrus Truck Access on Transcaucasian Highway.

Elderly Widow Approaches Blockade to Spit at Citrus Trucks

Troops at Ready to Enforce Citrus Shipment Ban

Comments were unanimous: "No Report, No Citrus Import... Keep your tangerines for discussion and redaction, we don't need them."

UPDATE... (12:05 CST)

Citrus Ministry to Consider Lifting Ban at Next Meeting

MOSCOW. Minister of Citrus and Other Florida Imports, Oleg Dimwitnenko, spoke in a press conference late this morning addressing the protestations of Hail Mary Directors over the Citrus ban.

"We invented the blame and stall game ... even I, whose name itself shows that I am not the brightest Russian cookie know that these tactics of investigating and deliberating the merits of a simple choice endlessly are nothing more than dilatory sophistry," stated Dimwitnenko. "These amatuers with russian-wanna-be names attempt to use these tactics against people more sophisticated than them. Ultimately, such attempts will fail."

Discussing when the blockade may be lifted, he responded, "unfortunately, the Ministry was very busy at its meeting this morning and was unable to discuss and investigate these tangerines. We pledge, however, to discuss this ban at our next regular meeting, if the agenda permits."

Critics say that the next regular meeting is in July and that the tangerines will rot in the trucks by then.

Sergei Politso, spokesman for the ministry, responded to these claims that "it was unclear at this time that the trucks even contain tangerines... we are looking into the matter intently and a resolution shall be made at our next meeting, if the agenda permits."

* * * * *

- ( 3 5 ) -

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 9:09 AM. |

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Kr 08/141, t, l, k. 588-591 e Kr 08/141, t, l, k. 592-594

Such a tremendous waste of money, energy, and human resources. Because, in the end, Wojtyla won, and communism lost.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:18 PM. |

Monday, January 22, 2007


We understand that Office of the Dean at Ave Maria School of Law has habitual communications problems--be they with faculty, students or alumni. Thus, we at FUMARE wish to facilitate the dissemination of necessary documents and important information vital to the success, stability and, yes, the existence of our law school. And we have!! Indeed on certain occasions embarrassing the administration itself. I wouldn't be surprised to learn if the faculty read FUMARE to learn what is going on at their own law school. (Admin: Objection, Your Honor, Calls for speculation! ABA: Overruled.)

Thus, affirming the grand tradition that is our learned Dean's, we will offer him the opportunity to release the Falvey Report via email by 5:00pm Friday, as is his custom and wont to do with other important communiques. Our magnanimity requires us to hold on to our copy and allow the Dean to mitigate the damage so grievously inflicted upon his credibility and those he represents--and so grievously made visible by the ticker above.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:49 PM. |

On this Bloody Anniversary...

...Uncle Di calls their Excellencies and Eminences to do their duty. As a point of comparison he brings up a regime famous for its defining human beings "nonpersons" and the clergymen of the day doing their best to teach said regime:

Eichmann's defense attorney Dr. Robert Servatius for once took the initiative and asked the witness a highly pertinent question: "Did you try to influence[Eichmann]? Did you, as a clergyman, try to appeal to his feelings, preach to him, and tell him that his conduct was contrary to morality?" Of course, the very courageous pastor had done nothing of the sort, and his answers now were highly embarrassing. He said that "deeds are more effective that words," and that "words would have been useless"; he spoke in clichés that had nothing to do with the reality of the situation, where "mere words" would have been deeds, and where it had perhaps been the duty of a clergyman to test the "uselessness of words." Even more pertinent than Dr. Servatius' question was what Eichmann said about this episode in his last statement: "Nobody," he repeated, "came to me and reproached me for anything in the performance of my duties. Not even Pastor Grüber claims to have done so." He then added, "he came to me and sought the alleviation of suffering, but he did not actually object to the very performance of my duties as such."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:29 PM. |

Friday, January 19, 2007



Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 6:31 PM. |

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's Not Socialism

There has been an on-going debate among Fumare posters and readers as to the relationship between Catholicism and Capitalism. It is my position (and I believe the Catholic Church's position) that Capitialism is irreconcilable with Catholicism.

In a knee-jerk fashion many will cry, "Socialist!"

Don't be so hasty.

What I advocate is the George Bailey kind of market economy - an economy based on the owner/operator enterprise that is human in scale and family focused. What is incompatible with Catholicism is the Mr. Potter kind of market economy - based on monopoly, corporate giantism and sterile individualism. To employ another movie image, the former is the Shire and the latter is Isengard under Saruman.

Distributivism is the term describing this kind of economy, but others have used "humane economy" or "ordo liberal economy" - I like calling it a "Family First Economy."

Joseph Pearce has just published a book dealing with this topic through the Catholic rooted thinking of economist E. F. Schumacher. What many hailed as "Buddhist economics" was really Catholic Social Teaching taken seriously by Schumacher.

There is a new blog which is conducting a debate on issues Catholic and Economic here and the new book.

Unlike Chesterton and Belloc, Schumacher was an economist as was Wilhelm Roepke whose ideas created the post-WWII German economic miracle. Roepke's economic vision is perhaps most in harmony with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Here is a very interesting article which makes that very case:

Centesimus Annus and the Political Economy of the Third Way


The following quote is meant to raise some questions in the vigorous debate in the comments. It is taken from the beginning of the article above:

"The real issue now is whether it may be possible to preserve (or to restore) a society of Free Men by developing, in the West, a working type of the market economy which is acceptable and politically possible because it gives a fairly satisfactory answer to the challenging problem of the fate of man in our proletarianized, urbanized, industrialized and highly centralized society. It is this vast programme which my friends and I mean when we speak of the 'Third Way.' It is a desperate task which summons all intelligence, human understanding, goodwill and energy which is available in the present world. If we fail in this, I see no escape from collectivism
and tyranny."
-- Wilhelm Roepke

I've posted this to raise the following observations:

1. We are all in agreement that a Market Economy is what is desirable. We disagree as to whether this is equal to "capitalism." I submit that a Market Economy does not necessarily result in a proletarian ("jobs") economy (where the vast majority have jobs, rather than owners of productive wealth), nor centralization, and urbanization. However the capitalist political economy does and has led to these results.

2. Roepke's insight (shared by Chesterton & Belloc) is that the centralization of wealth and power created by the spirit of capitalism (well underway today) would ultimately result in collectivism and tyranny. The solution (proposed) to this is the "Third Way" Market Economy (it's NOT socialism and it is not capitalism, it is a market economy). This was Roepke's life work and the essay above attempts to demonstrate how this "Third Way" is not only in harmony with Catholic Social Teaching, but was implemented in post WWII Germany with miraculous results.

I just got Roepke's Humane Economy the other day and am currently working through this introduction.

Fumed by Columcille at 12:34 PM. |

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It Looks Better and Better...

"You're building in the middle of a potential mosquito breeding area, and it's low-lying, so there will be water in there in the summer..."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 10:46 PM. |

Fumare Photo: The Advocatus Militaris Fan Club

pictured in background visible left to right (and between the legs): Boko (on drums), Ryder, Casimir, Thursday, Phlogizo and Advocatus Militaris (standing with baseball cap)

"The AM fan club is convinced of the humor and wisdom in all that. So be it."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 4:52 PM. |

Monday, January 15, 2007

Major Bloomfield honored during Sunday's episode of 24

Did anyone else notice the dedication at the end of Sunday's season opener of 24 on FOX? See the image at left if it went by too fast to read. I was amazed to see that the episode had been dedicated to the cousin of our classmate and friend Will Bloomfield. As regular Fumare readers will recall, Will's cousin, Major Gerald Bloomfield II, USMC, was killed in November 2005 when his helicopter was shot down near Ramadi, Iraq.

Please take this opportunity to pray for the repose of Major Bloomfield's soul, as well as the family he left behind when he died in service of our country.

And if anyone knows more about the dedication after Sunday's episode of 24, please leave a comment!

Fumed by Ryder at 3:38 AM. |

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Afternoon Email from Dean Dobranski to Students

Text of email sent today from Dean Dobranski to all students. Time on the message was 4:52pm.
January 16 Meeting
Dobranski, Bernard
To: All Students

Dear Students,

As you recall, a meeting was held on December 6 for students to give their input to the feasibility study and the relocation proposal. Because of the proximity of exams and the request of some students for more time, I also indicated I was prepared to schedule another meeting shortly after the start of this semester. To that end, I have scheduled it for Tuesday, January 16, at 12:15 p.m. in Room 269.

As previously indicated, the purpose of the meeting is for Board members who attend to listen to your views about these issues and report that input to the rest of the Board. At this time, it is not clear whether other members of the Board will be able to attend on Tuesday, but at minimum I will be present as a member of the Board.

Dean Bernard Dobranski

Fumed by Tommy More at 9:47 PM. |

Friday Afternoon Post: Men vs. Sissies

In never ceases to amaze me what "little girls" Catholic men can be. Gone are the days of the stern Catholic father who was a loving taskmaster and called his family and especially his children to high standards. Instead we are treated today to a entree of syrup and jello in men's dealings with one another and the larger world. My intent in this post is not to give an exhuastive explicatio of the genesis of this phenomenon--that would be far too long for a blog post. Suffice it to say that the problem affects not just Catholic men, but men in general. My observations here are designed merely to identify certain types and to possibly be of some help for those men who need to find and re-attach their testicles.

The Fogelbergians. This type of man is the emotional type. The music of Dan Fogelberg is the anthem of this crowd. He cries, emotes, likes to have long conversations with his women friends and rarely takes a stand. He is utterly subservient to women and their needs, wants and desires. He will rarely take on a woman in an argument. The Catholic Fogelbergian will often facilitate the fat women in stretch pants in their dominance of "ministries" at the parish level. The Catholic Fogelbergian is often pro-life, but even there he argues the issue as primarily harmful to women and not as murder of a human person. This type often has latent belief--though often not expressed--that the story of history is the story of animal-like men preying upon hapless women; a situation he sees himself as remedying in his small way.

The Testy Teetotaller. This type of man is the one who shuns the pleasures of the vine (or barley or cane). Strong drink is not for him. Oftentimes this type is a convert to the faith from some Protestant denomination. He is missing out on one of the essentials of Western Civilization and embodies a unhealthy fear of "demon rum." Blood of Christ, inebriate me is a prayer he will not say. These poor gents have a difficult time engaging in spirited conversation and comraderie. They also have a less than full understanding of the faith and the culture which she built. They share an affinity with the next type--the Moody Manichaean.

The Moody Manichaean. Talk about a real hoot! Probably some of the most miserable of the types of men profiled here. This guy exalts temperance over all of the other virtues, to the point of shunning the pleasurable things of this world. To him, there is just a tinge of sin in things that are material and pleasurable. He will not laugh at the eminently laughable. "Fat lady in stretch pants" is not an accurate appellation and humorous truth to be acknowledged, but rather an un-Christian attack upon the individual person. The Moody Manichaean will often shun the pleasures of simple men--like beer and pretzels, football games, and movies like The Blues Brothers--and seek more exalted pastures. When discussing sex, he will not--like the normal man--say "hell yeah, it is a damn good time!" No, he will find some sort of spiritual reality to articulate the conjugal oneness of husband and wife and will wax philosophic on the Wojtylan theology of the body. (In other words, he chooses the most boring aspect of sex and gets an erection over it.)

The Canadian. I admit, this type might be offensive to the good Canadian men who are not of the sort that I am about to describe. Oh well. This type is the consummate pacifist (Neville Chamberlain is of this type.). Not unlike the prevailing Canadian attitude to all things, this is the man who sees himself as open to dialogue, all embracing and nonjudgemental. He will not take up arms to defend much other than people "getting along." Righteous anger is a good thing, but the Canadian selectively omits this from his worldview. In terms of siding with warring factions, he will inevitably want to appear "above the fray," but in so doing he will side with those who assault the important things. He will strive to be loving like the Saviour, but like the Fogelbergian, misunderstands what is caritas. Likewise, he tends to display a obsequiousness to power--an almost unquestioning subservience to credentialed individuals and the wealthy--even when the actions of these fly in the face of common sense.

A common feature of all of these types is a latent (and sometimes explicit) view of themselves as being "advanced," or "charitable," or above the gaucheness of common men. Likewise their tactics will include pointing to exalted figures and asking the straw man hypothetical of whether such people would "approve" of the activities or statements of the common man. Likewise, these types apply to both conservative and liberal men. Another common thread is the seeming inability to make a decision or take a stand. Bottom line: these guys resemble women more so than men. (Although good women can and do take a stand!)

This is but a small digest of what I perceive as certain types of sissies. There may be more types and further distinctions. I will leave this to my colleagues to flesh out. I purposely did not examine the phenomenon of the homosexual--specifically the self-described "gay." (That is a separate post in itself and would involve discussions of overbearing mothers, Judy Garland and a penchant for musicals.)

Suffice it to say, fishermen and soldiers tend to be good exemplars of what it means to be a man. I think our grandfathers in WWII understood this, as did Our Lord.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:24 PM. |

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Letter from Life Governor Charles E. Rice

January 8, 2007

Mr. Thomas S. Monaghan
Dean Bernard Dobranski
Ave Maria School of Law
3475 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Dear Tom and Bernie:

As discussed in my memo of October 20, 2005, to the Board of Governors, I then had, and now still have, a vested right to membership on the Board as a Life Governor upon my retirement from the active Board. I was so "retired" on December 7, 2005, when I was removed from the Board, contrary to settled custom and over my objection, by the adoption of the two-term limit which, not surprisingly, was not implemented in the following year of 2006. Nor was my previously vested right to be a Life Governor upon retirement affected by the abolition, also on December 7, 2005, of the category of Life Governor. The reasons supporting the foregoing conclusions need not be elaborated here.

Article XI of the Articles of Incorporation of Ave Maria School of Law provides in relevant part: "Amendments to these Articles of Incorporation shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of the Governors (including Life Governors), provided however, that any amendment altering, supplementing or otherwise modifying the purposes of the Corporation as set forth in Article II, or the disposition of assets upon liquidation or dissolution of the Corporation as set forth in Article VII (c), shall, in either case, require the unanimous approval and consent of all the Governors hereto." (Emphasis added)

Please take notice that I reaffirm the position I have stated on various occasions, that I consider myself to be a Life Governor with the right to act accordingly.

I would appreciate it if you would transmit this letter to the other members of the Board since I do not have their contact information.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Charles E. Rice
Professor Emeritus


AM's comments:

I look forward to the response which I'm sure will be forthcoming from Mr. Monaghan and Dean Dobranski.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:44 AM. |

Pull Out Your Rosary Beads . . .

I have just returned from a private screening of the new film "Bella" set to be released in April. Those of us who keep an eye on the culture have been wondering when the next Passion of the Christ will be made. Sure, Narnia and The Nativity Story made a go, but they were not in the same league in terms of cultural impact and sheer artistic beauty. Mel kept us waiting for Apocalypto which turned out to be interesting, but hardly what his audience was hoping to see. So who will take the mantle?

Enter "Bella."

This film is perhaps one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, on many levels. I don't want to give a spoiler, but leave it to say that I suspect that this film will be controversial and will be one of those rare films which make a powerful impact on the culture. So far it has won the Toronto Film Fest and I predict (and pray) that it will take the Oscars this time next year.

Please pray also that this film becomes a record setting film at the box office. The Executive Producer is the same that did the Passion of the Christ, and the creative team are a band of daily mass goers who founded Metanoia Films.

I spoke to the producer after the film to congratulate him and comment on a very quick shot in the film during a scene on the subway. The shot was of three CFR's with their long beards and smiley faces. I happened to recognize one of them as Fr. Luke. When I mentioned this to the Producer he told me that they (the makers of the film) stayed with the CFR's in New York during the 20 some odd days it took to shoot the film.

Please pray that this creative team becomes THE hottest thing in Hollywood - they don't just have good intentions, they have a profound vision and real creative talent.

Please get the buzz out about this film and see it opening weekend with 12 of your closest friends.

As a side note to my fellow Catholic lawyers seeking to change the culture, I give you Leo Severino, the young lawyer and producer of this film. Here is a guy who is Catholic and has integrated his faith profounding into his career.
Here is an article for more background on the making of this extraordinary film to inspire your own challenge to bring your Faith and legal training together. And here is a link to a number of catechetical talks Mr. Severino has given to Catholic youth interested in Hollywood.
Hat tip to Coragio.

Fumed by Columcille at 12:55 AM. |

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED (tm) in the Making of this Post

You know how at the end of movies, in the credits, there is often a bit stating "No animals were harmed in the making of this movie."? (The phrase "No animals were harmed" is apparently copyrighted by the American Humane Society.) Well, what if the movie makers treated an animal really well, totally up to the AHS's standards, but the animal was inadvertently harmed? I mean, accidents happen. Sometimes human animals are harmed in the making of a movie. What if Lassie sprains her ankle, or one of Matt LeBlanc's chimp co-stars (like that Chandler guy whose name excapes me) chokes on a banana (or some percocet)? In these cases, an animal would have been harmed, but it seems to me unfair to lump those movies in with uncertified ones where they use electroshock to get the hamsters to dance. This website doesn't provide the answer (neither does this one, nor this one, nor this), but I've e-mailed the AHS to find out.

So I'm on that. What happened in DC last weekend?

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 4:40 PM. |

Monday, January 08, 2007

Conflict on the Michigan Supreme Court

Prof. Eugene Volokh is reporting that Justice Elizabeth Weaver of the Michigan Supreme Court has filed a vociferous dissent to the re-election of Justice Clifford Taylor as Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. In her dissent, Justice Weaver claims that Justices Taylor, Corrigan, Young, and Markman are all unfit to be Chief Justice.

Personally, I think Justice Weaver seems a little unhinged in her dissent. Check it out yourself. Justices Taylor, Corrigan, Young, and Markman are excellent legal scholars and are generally considered as advocates of conservative jurisprudence. I have great respect for those justices. Justices Corrigan and Markman are also supporters of Ave Maria School of Law. As for Justice Weaver... I don't hold her in as high esteem as the others.

Fumed by Thales at 9:00 PM. |

Fr. Whinder

Update: I shamefully neglected to tip my bowler to http://www.catholiclondoner.blogspot.com/, the source of this photo. (He's got more pics, and lots of other good stuff.) Mea culpa.

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 3:44 PM. |

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A small Epiphany

Today's gospel has always intrigued me ever since I was a little kid. Our family nativity had the three kings and they had features and distinctions of men I never saw in life -- all of them had exotic appeal to me through the years -- people that didn't look like me came a great distance to see this baby. And they gave him gifts.

They were kings nonetheless which multiplied there exotic appeal.

I never paid much attention to the other king, Herod. He's not in the nativity scene. Today I did. The worldly leader hoards his power and attempts to kill God. These other guys, they laid what they had before Him.

It's a recurring theme in the Bible -- worldly kings versus holy kings. Like David sparing the life of the noisy detractor. These guys came long distances.

That's a little new light to me... but then it caught me at the last line of the gospel (they had a dream warning them not to return to Herod so they took another route).

These were wise men... Couldn't they figure it out on their own? Was the dream necessary to permit them to breach protocol?

Well, I left my gift there at the babe's feet, too. Not much in worldly estimation, but it's really the only thing I have that is my own... I left my liberty.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 10:22 PM. |

Epiphany Declaration

Over at The New Liturgical Movement, they have organized an English Declaration (English language) to join voice with the Polish Declaration in support of the Classical Liturgy and a papal Motu Proprio. Below is the statement and a link to where you can sign the petition.



We, Catholic laity and clergy, predominantly of various English-speaking lands, express our hope and desire to see the form of liturgy used prior to and during the Second Vatican Council given, again, greater freedom of use in the life of the Catholic Church and we express our enthusiastic support for any papal initiative to the same end.

We join in spirit as well with those figures of yesteryear who, in 1971, successfully petitioned the Holy See for the continued use of the classical Roman liturgy, deemed by them and by us as a spiritual and cultural treasure of inestimable value. Today in a similar spirit of love for the Church and her rich liturgical tradition, we unite our own voices with those heard in the recent past: with those of Agatha Christie, Cyril Connolly, Kenneth Clark, Graham Greene, Cecil Day Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Iris Murdoch. Moreover, we join with the likes of such esteemed individuals as Evelyn Waugh in expressing our profound attachment to this liturgical treasure of Church.

As such, we wish to voice our support for the possible initiative of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, which is thought to allow for the wider usage of the classical Roman liturgy in the hope that:

1. Pastorally, the "rightful aspirations" (cf. Ecclesia Dei adflicta) of Catholics attached to the classical form of the Roman liturgy might be more freely and readily realized in the Latin rite;

2. The ancient liturgical usages of the West might be fostered as living forms of worship in the Church, enjoying full right of citizenship in the same - the classical Roman rite as well as the ancient liturgical rites and uses of the religious orders and primatial sees which formed a part of the living, organic and legitimate liturgical diversity of the Church until recent times.

Finally, we believe that the presence of the classical form of the Roman liturgy in broader ecclesial and parish life will positively contribute to the ongoing efforts to implement the liturgical reforms promulgated by the Second Vatican Council as delineated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, and as envisioned by the Fathers of the aforesaid Council.

Saturday, January 6th
Feast of the Epiphany

Sign the Declaration

Fumed by Columcille at 9:30 PM. |

Friday, January 05, 2007

German Population Shrinks For Fourth Straight Year

Food for thought...

BERLIN -- Germany's population fell for a fourth consecutive year in 2006 and recorded the biggest drop since the country's reunification in 1990, the government said Friday, days after launching financial incentives designed to stall falling birth rates.

The number of births, meanwhile, was the lowest since World War II.

At the end of 2006, the number of people living in Germany stood at an estimated 82.31 million, 130,000 below the total at the end of 2005, the Federal Statistics Office said.

Germany's population grew in 2001 and 2002. But since then, a birth rate among the lowest in Europe has contributed to widening annual declines of 5,000, 31,000 and 63,000. Last year, deaths outnumbered births by 150,000, compared to 144,000 in 2005, the statistics office said.

...A recent government study forecast that the population could fall as low as 69 million by 2050.

Fumed by Husband at 5:06 PM. |

Ne Potus Noceat

One must always read Latin whilst drinking beer...lest the drink harm you.

In this new year, it is time to brush up on your Latin. Fr. Foster can help. (Here are some other links that will assist as well. Bona Fortuna.)

Utinam feliciter vobis et prospere haec annus procedat!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:31 PM. |

Today's Email to Alumni From Dean Dobranski

Check your accounts. Here is the text:

Dear Alumni,

I write to remind you that members of the Board of Governors will be in Washington, D.C. to meet with interested alumni this evening, Friday, January 5. The meeting is intended to give alumni in DC area an opportunity to comment on the feasibility study and provide their input directly to the Board about a potential relocation of the Law School.

The meeting will be held at the Army & Navy Club, Room, 901 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C. You are also invited to a reception beginning at 6 p.m. that will precede the meeting. If you are planning to attend, it would be helpful if you could let my office staff know either by telephone or e-mail. (Sarah - 734-827-8048 or skrice@avemarialaw.edu)

Your reaction and input will be helpful to the Board of Governors as they consider whether a relocation is in the best interests of the Law School.


Dean Bernard Dobranski


Fumed by Tommy More at 3:24 PM. |

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Advocatus Militaris to Speaker Pelosi: "Nice job, Toots!"

From Mrs. Pelosi's remarks:

"We will not just break through a glass ceiling, we will break through a marble ceiling," she said. "In more than 200 years of history, there was an established pecking order -- and I cut in line."

After calling herself "the most powerful woman in America," Mrs. Pelosi flexed her right muscle like a weight lifter to much applause at an event yesterday titled a "women's tea."

"All right, let's hear it for the power," she screamed as the jubilant applause continued.

Several thoughts:

(1) Something tells me that women in the late 18th century all the way up to the mid-20th century were not much concerned with power in Congress or whether they would or could serve as politicians. So much for the "we've been waiting" part of her remarks.

(2) Pelosi is a whore. The US Bishops, like Our Lord, have welcomed sinners and befriended prostitutes. But, the US Bishops, unlike Our Lord, have not told Mrs. Pelosi "to go and sin no more"; nor has she, like Mary Magdalene, begged forgiveness. (Your Excellencies: This is appropriate.)

(3) I would love to have the opportunity to slap her on the ass and say: "Nice job, toots!"

UPDATE: Uncle Di notes this historic occasion as well.

UPDATE II: Courtesy of our friend at the EIB Network, we present to you the Queen Bees. (Be careful, they sting!)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:35 PM. |

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

National Hurricane Director Warns about Florida

U.S. National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield ended his career at the Miami storm center with a warning that the worst was yet to come.

Mayfield warns that building densely populated areas in hurricane alley (like Immokalee) will result in tragic losses unless the buildings are built with appropriate structural standards and emergency planning:
"We're eventually going to get a strong enough storm in a densely populated area to have a major disaster," he said. "I know people don't want to hear this, and I'm generally a very positive person, but we're setting ourselves up for this major disaster."

In all of the hype about Uncle Tom's Florida cabin(s), nowhere have I seen such promises made about hurricane-safe design.

Mayfield does say Florida is ahead of the curve, but not perfect:
Mayfield praises the Florida state government for its well-oiled disaster-response program and steps toward improving building safety, in contrast with other states along the Gulf of Mexico that he says still have no statewide building standards.

It would make it even more expensive to be ready for the "big one" Mayfield sees coming. So it seems weather is a big concern about Florida.

see the full story at the LA Times

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 10:37 PM. |

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fear and Loathing at the March for Life, or, AMSCOL Agonistes

Okay, I thought this was interesting. I recently spoke with a friend who belongs to AveMariaSingleCatholicsOnline. We don't see each other much since law school, but I was looking forward to seeing him at the March for Life in a few weeks. He was less excited about the prospect, and not just because I'm not always at my best in large social settings.

My friend tells me that he's been corresponding with a few women on this Catholic singles site. He's enjoying getting to know these women (I think we're talking about three, maybe four, all told, with whom he corresponds regularly), but he's not ready to commit to just one just yet. Not because he's a rake or anything, but because he doesn't know any of these women well enough to say, "Okay, she's the one." He's talked to some, but not all, of the women on the phone, but he's never met any of them in person. He considers them all friends (with him, not with each other) and is quite seriously, gentlemanly, and prayerfully seeking a spouse.

Is anyone still reading this? Thanks, Maltycakes. I shall continue just for you. So my friend goes to the March for Life every year and has told these women that such is his custom. I think most of the women go, too, and if one didn't, she saw it as a great opportunity for prayer, pilgrimage, and meeting my friend (to whom I really should have assigned a fake name earlier, but...), and she promptly signed up for a space on the parish bus.

So now these women are calling and e-mailing my friend, all excited that they are finally going to meet. ("They" meaning, to each woman in question, that woman and l'ami de Boko. Said ami fears "they are finally going to meet" signifies a rendevous rather less romantic and rather more filled with yelling and crying.)

My friend fears he may have to take sick to avoid a nightmare. I think the best course of action is to pray for wintery weather. My suggestion was bundling up in non-descript winter wear and furnishing oneself with a number of unique, brightly colored accessories, the number of which would correspond to the number of women involved. Then, with Boko running interference, my friend can be, alternatively and in quick succession, the guy in the bright orange ski cap, the guy in the flourescent green scarf, and the guy with the bright red mittens. I saw Peter and Bobby Brady pull this off once (they used a moustache instead of the winter accoutrements, but they lived in the Valley). I had to leave the show halfway through, but it seemed to be working and I'm sure it came off all right.

I tell this story not to trumpet the invaluabilitiness of mine own friendship, but, first, to request prayers for my friend and, B, to ask if this is a common dilemma. My friend (Have I given him a fake name yet? No? That's been bogging down the whole post.) was blindsided by this, but, having thought about it, we both wonder if this isn't rather common. Maybe everyone out there who received a Catholic singles membership from a well-wishing friend or nagging parent should put off the online introductions until January 23rd.



Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 6:25 PM. |

Once Again, All is Right with the World

Most of you know of my feelings regarding the obnoxious fans from a town near and dear to my heart. We had some heated debate about a certain school's entitlement to a shot at the National Championship a little while back. I'll spare you a rehash, and merely provide you with a link that vindicates my position:


Yes, yes, I know . .they were demoralized at having been overlooked, right?

Fumed by TheLawDog at 12:00 PM. |