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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fumare Pic o' the Day

Back: TheLawDog, Thursday, Columcille, Phlogizo, Ryder, Bendrix, Petronius
Front: Valjean, Boko Fittleworth, Sine Metu, Devil's Advocate, Casimir Pulaski, Advocatus Militaris

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 1:45 PM. |

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Romney Loses Florida, Blames Monaghan

St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP)--In unscripted and unusually candid remarks, former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney expressed exasperation in losing yesterday's Florida primary to Arizona Senator John McCain. Late last night leaving St. Petersburg to campaign for the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries, Romney in an unguarded moment complained about the "damn albatross around [his] neck." Sources close to Romney indicate that the "albatross" referred to is the support of Pizza Billionaire Tom Monaghan. Recently, Monaghan has created controversy with his "Catholic town" Ave Maria Town and the establishment of Ave Maria University. A noticebly irritated Romney staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "Mr. Romney once said that '[Monaghan's] philanthropic work has touched the lives of millions.' That may be true, but I think that it is safe to say that all those he has touched have developed a yeast infection."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:36 PM. |

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Even Ave Maria Can't Get It Right

Sigh. It is pathetic that this has to be repeated: Ave Maria University does not have a law school. Ave Maria School of Law and Ave Maria University are separate and distinct entities operated separately with separate and distinct Board of Governors.

Some people don't understand this simple concept and think that Ave Maria School of Law and Ave Maria University are related. But these people happen to be wrong. We've pointed out this mistake before.

You would think that Ave Maria Town could get it right, but no, they get it wrong too. From avemaria.com:
The school will have a full curriculum of traditional liberal arts, sciences and engineering programs and a comprehensive graduate program offering masters and doctoral degrees. The Ave Maria University School of Law is scheduled to move to the Collier County campus in 2009.
There is no "Ave Maria University School of Law." Robert Falls, someone in your own PR firm got it wrong for your very own client! Whose head should roll for this mistake?

UPDATE:In the comments, "Devil's Advocate" has a good question: why help Dobranski/Monaghan in supporting the charade that AMU and AMSL are distinct entities?

The entire pro-Monaghan, pro-AMSL-moving-to-Florida position rests on the argument that AMU and AMSL are distinct entities operated separately, with separate and distinct interests, and that decisions about AMSL's future are being made based solely on what is in the best interests of AMSL.

To most of the AMSL community and to any rational human being looking impartially at the entire situation, it is clear that this position is unjustified. There are so many conflicts of interests in all Ave Maria entities with common board members and common sources of funding and lack of transparency and on and on. No one can deny that the impetus behind moving AMSL to Florida was Monaghan and that Monaghan and AMU stands to benefit from AMSL's presence in Florida. It is naive to think that the best thing for AMSL is to uproot a thriving law school across the country on a real estate gamble, with a significant loss of support from faculty/alumni/students, while threatening its accreditation. The position that AMU and AMSL are distinct entities, operated distinctly with distinct interests -- this is a charade.

Most of us recognize this charade, but some people refuse to see it. Since the entire pro-Monaghan position rests on this charade, I think that it is important to jump at every instance where the charade breaks down, to expose and publicize every instance where Monaghan slips up and fails to keep up the charade. Hopefully, by pointing out these times over and over, people can come to understand that AMU and AMSL are not truly separate and distinct entities.

UPDATE 2 (01/31/2008): I checked the website and I see that it has been changed:
Ave Maria School of Law is scheduled to move to the Collier County campus in 2009. The School of Law is dedicated to providing students with an outstanding legal education enhanced by the teachings of the Catholic Church. Its mission is to produce graduates who are extremely well prepared for the practice of law and who approach their work as an extension of their personal values and faith beliefs. Ave Maria School of Law enrolled its first class in August 2000 and was granted full accreditation by the American Bar Association in August 2005. Graduates currently are practicing in more than 40 states and several other countries in positions ranging from associates in the nation’s largest law firms to positions with an array of state and federal agencies
Nice to see that Robert Falls reads Fumare! Actually, the website is still wrong: this blurb about AMSL happens to be on the webpage for "Ave Maria University." Repeat it again with me.... AMSL is not a part of AMU. Robert Falls, instead of putting the AMSL blurb on the AMU page, create another tab on the left under "Discover Ave Maria" next to AMU devoted to AMSL, okay? Gosh, maybe I should be hired by Robert Falls to correct all their mistakes!

UPDATE 3: The archived page with the original mistake is here.

Fumed by Thales at 9:17 PM. |

A Dream of Division I Sports or Not? Is Monaghan Rewriting History?

Yesterday, the the News Press in Southwest Florida reported on Ave Maria University's athletic program and its goal to enter the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). One portion of the article caught my attention:
During the early formation of the school, word circulated that the goal was to make Ave Maria the Notre Dame of the South.

"There was never any idea of Division I, if ever," Monaghan said. "There were comments in the early days of doing that and it was very short-lived and pie in the sky. The highest level I would ever want to see Ave Maria at is Division I-AA."
Wait a second. Monaghan is saying that though other people had "early" and "short-lived" comments about Division I sports at AMU, he never had any idea of Division I. That is NOT how I remember it. Thankfully, it's hard to hide the past when you have the Internet.

March 2004, Naples News:
Monaghan talked about sports Tuesday. One of his dreams for the university is to have a football team that will someday play and beat Notre Dame.

"Many schools don't have a sports program, but I think they're missing something," Monaghan said. "Sports are such good character builders."
Known for his desire to have a Division 1-A football team, Monaghan told the Founders Club it would have to go on hold for a while.

"We're probably not going to be able to have football until four to five years down the road, at the earliest," he said. "We can't start in Division 1-A so we can play Notre Dame. We have to start at the bottom."

Monaghan said he hoped Ave Maria will be able join the Sunshine Conference, the same one that Florida Gulf Coast, Barry and Nova Southeastern universities belong to.

"There's no Divison 3 in the state of Florida, so we have to start in Division 2 — but no football," Monaghan said. "We have to lobby to get into the conference, but they seem to be receptive."
April 2003, Naples News in a very flattering exclusive feature on Monaghan:
Monaghan came to Naples a year ago to look for a place to build a university somewhere near Naples, a place he had visited before and had come to enjoy. He had sold Domino's Pizza for $1 billion and put more than $200 million of it into Ave Maria University, which he said would be "unabashedly Catholic" and someday rival Notre Dame with Division I-level sports.
February 2003, New York Times:
The founder of Ave Maria, Tom Monaghan, is better known as the founder of Domino's Pizza. He has grand plans for the university: majors as varied as theology and hotel management; a Division I football team; three golf courses, including one for donors only; and a new town, Ave Maria, with a commercial center joining the campus.
December 2002, St. Petersburg Times:
Their plan is for the school, Ave Maria University, to offer a solid grounding in philosophy and theology, and to some day field a good Division I football team like Notre Dame's.
Bishop John J. Nevins, head of the Catholic Diocese of Venice, has referred to the school as a possible "Notre Dame of the South."
Still, he has seen what a strong athletic program has done for large Catholic schools such as Notre Dame and Boston College.

"I think if it weren't for Knute Rockne, Notre Dame (enrollment 11,000-plus) would have a thousand students today and nobody outside of northern Indiana would have heard of them," Monaghan said of the legendary Fighting Irish coach. "I think sports is a way to jump-start that awareness problem a little bit."
Finally, from AMU's very own press release issued on November 20, 2002 by the Robert Falls public relations firm, announcing the official opening of AMU, a copy of which can be found here:
NAPLES, FLA. (November 20, 2002) - Officials today announced a new Catholic university will be built east of Naples, Fla., with a new town to support it. The new school, Ave Maria University, will be an academic center of international scope founded on Catholic religious beliefs and committed to developing a Division I-caliber athletics program.
His Excellency John J. Nevins, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Venice, which includes the Naples area, said the new university presents an opportunity for a fruitful lay-clergy partnership that can enhance the spiritual and cultural life while more fully meeting the educational needs of the entire state. "It is exciting to think that our diocese will include what may some day become the Notre Dame of the South," said Bishop Nevins, who is on the university's Board of Ecclesial Advisors along with Cardinals Christoph Schonborn and J. Francis Stafford.
Monaghan said the new university is committed to developing a great sports program. "This means football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, equestrian sports, swimming and other team and individual sports," he said. "We are committed to being competitive on a national level within the first 20 years of opening our doors."

"And who knows? In a few years we could have another nationally ranked football team here in Florida," added [Florida Governor Jeb] Bush.
A couple of quick Google searches will show dozens of similar news articles from Fall 2002 to at least Spring of 2004 talking about Monaghan's plans for a Division I sports program. This August 2007 article from the Naples News is the earliest reference by Monaghan about AMU not aiming for Division I that I found.

So has Monaghan been misquoted? Assuming the quote is accurate, is Monaghan purposefully lying when he says, "There was never any idea of Division I"? Is he taking a page out of Dobranski's book of tactics and trying to rewrite history? Or maybe Monaghan has honestly forgotten what his position was a few years ago?

Fumed by Thales at 6:03 PM. |

Response To :Why the hell does this graphic bug me so much?

I don't know, AM, maybe it's also because the concept isn't exactly original, and bears a striking resemblance to another cartoon? This shot from the cult television hit, Futurama. Had to put these side-by-side.

As you mentioned, tip to Casimir's August 2007 Post:


Fumed by TheLawDog at 12:24 PM. |

Monday, January 28, 2008

Why the hell does this graphic bug me so much?

Every time that I want an extremely independent viewpoint on the goings on in Hail Mary Town and Hail Mary U, I visit Incense. Recently, this graphic has been haunting me. What is it about the image that is so disturbing? The marching in the foreground, reminiscent of a May Day Parade (or at least, a post by Casimir)? The Battlestar Galactica motif of the oratory? The crowd circling around the...wait a minute...damn...holy crap! That's it!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 7:40 PM. |

Some Sage Advice From Monaghan

Tom Monaghan is wise beyond his years. His over-the-top plea to support Ave Maria University has some very important advice:
In the late 80's and early 90's, I was approached by many Catholic causes asking me to support their efforts - some I did and some I didn't. I wanted to be prudent with the resources at my disposal and I wanted them to have the greatest impact for the good of the Church. I learned that not everything that called itself "Catholic" was really Catholic, so I had to be discerning, as you do, in what I supported.
Yes, please be discerning in what you support with donations. Remember, not everything that calls itself "Catholic" is really Catholic; some things are only "in the Catholic tradition."

Fumed by Thales at 1:09 PM. |

Falvey Email: Now With US Attorney's Office

From: Falvey, Joseph
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 10:49
To: All Law System Distribution
Subject: Contact Information

Dear faculty, staff, and students:

As you know, I resigned my position at AMSL at the end of last semester. Dean Dobranski was kind enough to continue my email access until the end of this month. As the month draws to a close, I am providing my contact information below for anyone that needs to contact me.

It was both an honor and a privilege to have so many wonderful colleagues, associates, and students. I will always cherish the friendships forged at AMSL. Although I take my leave of you with a great deal of regret, please know of my best wishes for the institution, and for each of you individually, and of my continuing prayers.

Joseph L. Falvey, Jr.

Assistant United States Attorney

Eastern District of Michigan
211 W. Fort Street, Suite 2001
Detroit, MI 48226-3220
[phone number and email redacted]

Fumed by Tommy More at 11:13 AM. |

The Church Needs Your Support So Give To AMU Today!

I need your help! I'm only a "Fellow Supporter with You" of Ave Maria University, and I'm asking you to support the Church today!

I, Uncle Tom Monaghan, need YOU - to support the Church! Donate to AMU! (Because a donation to AMU is a donation to the Church!) This is my personal letter from "I" to you!*

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

I pray the Rosary! I go to Mass! I'm like Don Shula! I went to Florida because Mary guided me there!

You need to fast! Because Christ fasted! And that way you save money on food and restaurants! And then you can give that saved money to the Church (which is AMU)!

Think of AMU as your local parish. Just because I'm in the pew in front of you and I dropped $100 million into the collection basket, do you stuff your dollar bill donation back into your pocket? No! You give your donation too! Because donating to AMU is just like giving money to the Church!

Give money to AMU! Church teaching says so!

And if you act before February 11, you will receive a small token of my esteem, confirming and sealing your bond with me!

*This is such a personal letter that I use the word "I" to refer to myself a total of 75 times!

Fumed by Petronius at 12:35 AM. |

Friday, January 25, 2008


Sent to Fumare by faithful reader and "puffer," Anonymous:

Ave Maria will host a free Family Fun Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The festival will include a bounce house, laser tag, train rides, face painting and guided trolley tours of the town's parks and neighborhoods. Refreshments will be provided and the town's oratory will be open for viewing.

For more information call (239) 403-6857.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 5:45 PM. |

Who are these People?

Beneficiaries of a revolutionary new technology (or AMT Residents, can't decide which.).

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 3:30 PM. |

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Safranek v. Monaghan: New Filings

AveWatch.com has a lot of news on the Safranek v. Monaghan lawsuit here and here:
-Plaintiffs have filed a motion for an amended complaint. The proposed amended complaint is here.
-Plaintiffs have filed a response to Defendants Dobranski's and AMSL's motion for partial summary disposition.
-Plaintiffs have filed a motion for sanctions against Defendants Monaghan and Ave Maria Foundation.
-Defendants Monaghan and Ave Maria Foundation have filed a motion for summary disposition.

If you remember, there are 2 sets of Defendants being represented by different sets of attorneys: Dobranski and AMSL is one set represented by Butzel Long, and Monaghan and Ave Maria Foundation is the other set represented by Pear Sperling.

AveWatch.com also has an interesting editorial on Monaghan and his business tactics. Lots to read.

Fumed by Thales at 9:07 PM. |


Just thought folks who are just dropping in should know. As a blog, we don't collectively endorse Ron Paul (or any candidate), nor is FUMARE an apologist blog for libertarian ideas. It might be hard to tell that from the recent postings.



Understanding America's Economic Empire and the Real Threats that Face Us

Some people dispute that America is a modern day Roman or British Empire.

Have a look at this very interesting article. It was penned over a year ago, and it is chilling for its implications and predictions regarding the economy. If the analysis is true, we WILL be attacking Iran as the only means of defending America's currency. Our currency is the method that America uses to tax other nations. And there are a lot of countries who are motivated to throw off this global bondage.

Of course the implications are that the War on Terror is a rhetorical ruse to cover our enforcement of a global monetary policy of Empire. But there is no real evidence of that, is there? We invaded Iraq, not because he had WMD's, but because in 2000 Saddam began demading payment for his oil in Euros and not Dollars. We were teaching him and the rest of the world a lesson about oil, dollars and global monetary policy.

Is "Islamofacism" really our greatest threat to national defense? Is Iran really our greatest treat?


China and Russia are the American people's greatest threat (and not to forget the Western Globalists who are actively seeking to destroy our sovereignty and our Constitution).

Iran is a significant danger to us but because of Islamofacism, not militarily, but rather monetarily. With the Iranian Oil Bourse, supported by China and Russia, global oil will no longer be traded in dollars. Dollars will be and already are being dumped as the global reserve currency. When that happens, America's economy will collapse as the house of cards that it is.

This is why our Government wants to drop nuclear bombs on Iran. If it does, get ready for retaliation from Russia and China who are sick of the Anglo-American global stranglehold.

The Western Globalists want a president who will play ball and bomb Iran when the time comes. All the current candidates are on board with this. Rudy, McCain, Huckabroke, Romney, Hilliary and Obama all support this policy.

Only Ron Paul is proposing an alternative to this crisis.

He is a God send to our country. Think about it. In the middle of the worst economic crisis facing America in our life time, we have a candidate running for President who understands economics from a Christian anthropology and understands the necessary conditions to ensure economic liberty which is the foundation for protecting human liberty.

He is attacked and vilified because his message is a threat to the Western Globalists who run our country. But his message is spreading. Regardless of whether you agree with him or not, the truth will reign.

Fumed by Columcille at 8:42 AM. |

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ron Paul Endorsed by Norma McCorvey "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade

Fred is out.

Huckabroke and Gouliani are running on fumes.

McCain has money problems.

Only Romney has money, because he is funded by his biggest fan, himself.

Oh, then there is Ron Paul who is flush with cash. He raised close to 2 million on Martin Luther King Day (not bad for a purported racist).

Ron Paul has consistently beaten Gouliani in the caucus and primary elections.
He came in 2nd in Nevada a little fact that is being ignored by the MSM. The same MSM that told us that Fred should be in the debates but not Ron Paul because Fred can win where as Ron Paul can not.
Our economy is going into a meltdown and people are calling for a investigation into the operations of the Federal Reserve System for being the single cause of the boom/bust cycles our country has ridden since the creation of the thing.

Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate talking about the serious economic problems facing everyone of us.

So this is the end game.

Rudy will drop out so too will Huckabroke.

It will come down to McCain and Romney. "100 years in Iraq" McCain has the anointing of the warfare state establishment and he likes to kill embryos and to censor pro-life speech. When it comes down to 100 years of war in Iraq (a la McCain) that will be funded by the same deeply flawed, immoral, corrupt and structurally sinful means of printing the money and then defrauding the American middle class of their savings, it is a losing proposition.

Paul is in this for the long haul. Remember the little engine that could, or perhaps the tortoise and the hare?

If the War is your issue, remember: He is the ONLY candidate talking about Just War Doctrine.

If you think that the War on Terror is the most important issue, remember: The Soviet Union collapsed due to economic problems. How vulnerable will America be to terror if our economy is decimated? The first principle of National Defense is a healthy homeland. We have a very sick homeland and only Dr. Paul knows why and how to fix it.

As this election goes on, the economy will get deeper and deeper into doo doo. Only Ron Paul understands why and how to cure it. He has given his entire career to sending this message.

Oh, and also to fighting abortion.

If the life issues are your most important issue, then remember: Stacking the Supreme Court or seeking a Constitutional Amendment are the most difficult means of addressing this issue and the reality is more babies die as we seek these most difficult means of ending abortion. Removing subject matter jurisdication is the most direct and immediate means. We could have done it 4 years ago when the Republicans were in the majority. If we do this, over night, 33 states would vote to ban or severely restrict abortion. I wonder why the "Pro-Life" Republicans don't talk about this means? It is because they want to milk the Pro-Life vote for years to come.

Wake up and support Ron Paul.

Fumed by Columcille at 9:17 AM. |

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Roe v. Wade: 35 Years Ago Today

On January 22, 1973, 35 years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the companion decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which found a constitutional right to end the life of an unborn child. In protest of this legal abomination, the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. is today. The U.S. Bishops have also designated today as a Day of Prayer and Penance for Life. From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373:
In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. The Mass "For Peace and Justice" (no. 22 of the "Masses for Various Needs") should be celebrated with violet vestments as an appropriate liturgical observance for this day.
Fast and pray for an end to abortion and all crimes against human life.

O sacrum Cor Iesu, misere nobis.

Fumed by Thales at 3:15 PM. |

Fred Thompson Out of the Race

Oh no, it looks like Fred Thompson is bowing out of the presidential candidate's race. Sorry, Boko, my heart goes out to you.

Fumed by Thales at 3:08 PM. |

News Article on "Complications" Between AMU and Local Bishop

A commenter links to an interesting Catholic News Agency article from today's EWTN news, "Local Bishop Skips Ave Maria University Dedication amid Complications." Here are some excerpts:
Ave Maria University's dedication of its new oratory has been delayed as Ave Maria organizers continue to seek Bishop of Venice Frank Dewane's presence to consecrate the building, the Naples Daily News reports.
Without Bishop Dewane's consecration, no one can celebrate Mass in the oratory, which Ave Maria officials hope will also serve the surrounding Ave Maria town.

The diocese and the university confirmed that conversations between the two were proceeding, but had not been resolved. Those involved in the proceedings did not address details, considering them confidential.

"We won't make any comment about the relationship with the diocese," [Ave Maria University President] Healy said last week. "We're very hopeful that things will get resolved and it will become clear. There are issues that are not easily understood and hard to explain and we don't want to comment on it."
"In one sense it's very complex; in another it's not complex at all," said the Rev. Phillip J. Brown, an associate professor at Catholic University's School of Canon Law. "Nothing can be done without the authority of the bishop."

Any pastor for the oratory at Ave Maria must be approved by the bishop. Pastors at other Catholic colleges are often recommended by the religious orders running the schools. However, since Ave Maria University is lay-run, it is doubtful they will be given the power to make such recommendations, called the "right of presentation."
Further, Ave Maria University's canonical status differs from many other Catholic universities. Ave Maria does not meet the official definition of a Catholic university, but is "a private university in the Catholic tradition." Officially Catholic universities must agree to follow a number of church norms on education and are usually under the administration of the bishop.

According to Healy, the university community is "a private association of the faithful." "It's not an association that represents the church publicly," Brown said. "It's purely private."

It is unclear whether this status is in fact affecting the requests for the oratory's consecration.

Fumed by Thales at 2:31 PM. |

Friday, January 18, 2008

Naples News Editorial on Ave Maria Oratory

The Naples News has an interesting editorial wondering why the Ave Maria Oratory has still not opened and why permission from the local bishop is not forthcoming. An excerpt:
The situation with the church-like oratory at the town of Ave Maria, across the street from Ave Maria University, begs for explanation. There is so much public interest in the $24 million, highly visible icon and how it is used, or not being used, that we are moved to ask for a public understanding as to why it remains closed for services.
We call on Bishop Dewane to educate us. Enlighten us. Please tell us in layman's terms what the problem is at Ave Maria and how it can be addressed.

We could stand to hear more from Ave Maria as well.

This is, as they say, an opportunity for a teaching moment.

We believe that could start with some public conversation. Secrecy, which has a way of making matters worse by inviting speculation to occupy the void of truth, has drawn public ire on other church matters in the past. Over time it leads to greater concern within the church and beyond.
I echo the call to Ave Maria to explain what is going on. And while they're at it, an explanation of why three beloved and well-qualified law professors were fired would be appreciated.

HT and commentary: AveWatch.com

Fumed by Thales at 10:13 AM. |

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wasting Away Again in AveMariaville

That's a funny header, huh? The purpose of this post is mostly to retire the bloody shirt post below the fold. But I need some text with which to do that. So:

Fessio's saying the TLM at AMU now. Which is weird, because he's not really a TLM kinda guy. Makes me think this is all about donor retention. Which is one of the reasons why Monaghan shouldn't be allowed to set up his crypto-parish "Oratory." Guys that make liturgical decisions based on how best to prop up their failing real estate deals shouldn't be allowed to make liturgical decisions. I know, lots of bishops make liturgical decisions for terrible reasons, but the Church allows this, because there is a special place in Hell for bad bishops, so we're covered there. Unless and until someone (Incense? or is this fumare's job?) can demonstrate that there is a special place in Hell for crazy lying egomaniacal former billionaires, no "Oratory" for you. (I'm not saying there isn't a special place in Hell for crazy lying egomaniacal former billionaires, I just wanna see some proof, you know, a little something to help us all rest a little easier at night.)

Speaking of Incense, are you, like me, finding it less and less funny and more and more creepy? The tone has switched from that of a paid pr flak cheerleader to something more like a CCD class teaching mom who's trying to convince her charges that the Church is cool. (You kids still say that, right? "Cool?") Who is the middle aged woman who writes those posts these days?

What else? Yeah, could someone please ask Dr. Peters to comment on whether T$M's attempt to set up his own de facto territorial parish is a "schismatic act"? And will the BoG be revisiting the move to Fla now that the numbers have changed, or was that just another case of "one man, one vote, one time"? Really, more like "one man, several votes (until they get it right), then that's the last time." Oh, and avewatch has been good recently, so check that out. Okay, I hope I've moved that week-old RuPaul thread down off-screen.

See you all at the March! Remember, Boko loves you! Go teh Fred!

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 1:11 PM. |

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blood on the Shirt - Ron Paul Bump?

There is a saying in politics, "You have got to get blood on the shirt."

Hillary got blood on her shirt in a contrived way in the 24 hrs before the New Hampshire primary. First she was video taped weeping for our country. Then she was "attacked" by a group of men shouting "Iron my shirts!" Create empathy with your audience, then fend off an attack for a virtuous cause. Hillary was able to remind NH that she is a woman and that she is ALSO fighting a battle against sexism (which is obviously still alive and kicking). The whole thing was too implausable to be real, especially the "Iron my shirt" chant (her first response was to have the audience lights be turned up so the cameras could see the signs). But it worked, Hillary got her bump despite the manipulation.

Now for Ron Paul.

Ron has been the small guy who has stood against the establishment and the-way-things-are-done-to-get-things-done culture that disregards the Constitution for many years. He is a statesman with the greatest integrity, an integrity that is reflected in his voting record and in his penetrating speeches and books.

He is the David against the Goliath of the establishment and the media.

But now that he has been excluded from the past Fox debate, and has been smeared once again, and has been piled on by the rest of the candidates who laugh and sneer at him, he has blood on the shirt. Ron Paul comes back strong with his principles and he is nationally getting the attention because he has gotten blood on his shirt for fighting the good fight. But unlike Hillary, it is for real. Real character, real blood. A blogger's comments from Lewrockwell.com:
I think [Ron Paul's best moment in the debate] was when the silly moderator tried to take Paul out of the substantive debate by harping on his de minimis following by 911 truthers. He forcefully but politely asked to be included in the actual debate, to which he was, where he performed masterfully. Also, I think the doctor deserves credit for keeping up the good fight for peace and freedom. Unlike the others on that
stage, who are there seeking power for their own personal glory, Paul is not there for himself, but the cause. I'm sure there are times, especially when the smear artists are in full effect, that he would like to go home and spend his time with his noble family. But Paul keeps on going. He keeps advancing the argument and instructing the ignorant in the face of laughter and ridicule; in spite of his own self-acknowledged faults. While he may not even realize it himself, he's teaching us libertarians, both cosmopolitan and provincial, how to act with courage, fortitude, and dignity. So in short, what we are currently witnessing by Ron Paul in his struggle to keep on in the face of adversity and seemingly insurmountable odds, is his finest moment.

Things aren't over just yet for the good doctor Paul.

Did you notice that Fox News lost huge market share to CNN during the New Hampshire primary after its Ron Paul exclusion stunt? CNN's Wolf Blitzer has been fairly covering Ron Paul. Coincidence, or is Fox News losing creditability for being "fair and balanced"?

So, should you support Ron Paul? Any thinking Catholic who takes his faith seriously should support Ron Paul above all the candidates. He is the most consistent candidate and just about perfect when viewed from a Catholic perspective. There is no reason why a Catholic should not support Ron Paul.

"But he can't win," you say?

The Holy Father's words come to mind:
"Through faith in the existence of this power [to 'take away the sin of the
world'], hope for the world's healing has emerged in history. It is, however,
hope - not yet fulfilment; hope that gives us the courage to place ourselves on
the side of good even in seemingly hopeless situations, aware that, as far as
the external course of history is concerned, the power of sin will continue to
be a terrible presence." - Spe Salvi #36

I have placed myself on the side of Ron Paul because it is the side of good even in a seemingly hopeless situation. But I have reason to know that it is not as seemingly hopeless as Fox News keeps telling us. . . but hope I have.

Do you?

By Nov 2008 the economy will be THE issue of the election.

This is Ron Paul's issue.

It is not over yet.

Go Ron Paul!

Fumed by Columcille at 1:11 AM. |

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Farewell, Professor Eisenberg

From: Dobranski, Bernard
Sent: Thu 1/10/2008 2:56 PM
To: All Law System Distribution; All Alumni
Subject: Personnel Update

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students of Ave Maria School of Law,

Professor Diane E. Eisenberg will be leaving the Law School because of personal circumstances. Professor Eisenberg has been a Visiting Assistant Professor since the Fall of 2006 and has taught Professional Responsibility, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property and Law & Literature. She has been an excellent teacher and a fine addition to the faculty, and she will be greatly missed.

Dean Bernard Dobranski

Fumed by Tommy More at 3:49 PM. |

How Are Things Going At Ave Maria Town?

Recent commenters have linked to 2 interesting Naples News articles. For those of us who think that less Monaghan involvement in anything is better than more, the first article has an ominous title -- "As Monaghan's money dwindles, his role expands at Ave Maria":
Tom Monaghan is going broke. The founder of Domino’s Pizza and mastermind behind the new town and university named Ave Maria has drained nearly all of his liquid assets, he said. .....
Monaghan's dwindling resources make the next two years critical in the development and success of both the university, where Monaghan has focused the majority of his energy, and the town that surrounds it.
Thankfully, according to the article, Monaghan still has a lot of non-liquid assets including real estate in Michigan. I wonder if he's thinking of the cash value of a certain building located on the corner of Plymouth and Green in Ann Arbor.
And Monaghan is now in charge of the university's marketing. The school's new marketing director, Forrest Wallace, a Catholic deacon who most recently was a senior marketing manager at a Cincinnati-based bank, will report directly to Monaghan. Monaghan's marketing prowess has long been admired within the cutthroat pizza industry.
Uh, oh. Monaghan is in charge of marketing. Somebody get a hold of Monaghan and tell him that calling people "terrorists" is generally not a good P.R. move. Another word of advice: This is not the pizza industry. Ix-nay on the utthroat-cay.
Initial projections expected 950 home sales in Ave Maria by 2008. Pulte Homes, the town’s residential builder, did not release its sales figures. But cobbling together numbers from a variety of sources shows results well short of 950. Monaghan acknowledged home sales were not meeting expectations and blamed the market.
Oh, boy. That housing market can be fickle.

The second article gives more bad news for Ave Maria University: This weekend's Grand Opening has been cancelled.
The university had planned an opening from Jan. 10-13 for its new permanent campus and oratory in eastern Collier County, but it was canceled. Another event following Ave Maria town's opening in July and the university's opening in August would be redundant, school spokesman Rob Falls said.

"What are we really going to celebrate the opening of?" Falls said.

The school had invited Diocese of Venice Bishop Frank Dewane to celebrate a dedicatory Mass at the school's new 100-foot tall, $24 million oratory, or Catholic place of prayer, on Jan. 13. But Dewane hasn't agreed to consecrate the oratory and Mass cannot be celebrated inside until he does. Falls said the oratory's status had "nothing to do" with the opening's cancellation.
Come now, Mr. Falls. "Nothing to do"? Then why cancel the party? I was looking forward to the hors-d'oeuvres! (Especially those little cocktails weiners. Mmm, mmm.)
Ave Maria still will hold its fifth annual golf tournament this weekend with festivities beginning the evening of Jan. 10 with a pairings dinner and auction at 6 p.m. at the Club at Mediterra in Naples. The tournament will be held at the town’s new Del Webb course.
Boko, that's great news for you. There will still be golf! When is your tee off time?

Fumed by Thales at 2:03 PM. |

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tom $ Monaghan Endorses Romney

Romney is my second choice. (I support teh Fred!) Apparently he is Monaghan's, also.

In an early rendition of his stump speech, Romney included a story about handing T$M a check for $1 billion-plus from Bain Capital for the purchase of Domino's. Maybe that nugget will make a comeback now. I also remember the Brownback people being particularly hard on Romney. For some reason, a guy dressed up as a dolphin followed him around. And that was supposed to promote the message that Romney is a flip-flopper. So Monaghan used Romney's money to harrass him. Say what else you will, no guys in dolphin suits at fumare. We have held the moral high ground.

Here's a quote from the article:

"As someone who values the importance of faith in one's life, I recognize in Mitt his deep religious convictions which will serve him well in facing the critical moral issues facing our society," Monaghan said in a statement. " I believe he will stand firm on the pro-life issues and for the traditional family values that our country was founded on and which are so critical to the future of our nation."

Romney and Monaghan met each other in 1998, when Monaghan sold Domino's to Romney's Bain Capital for $1 billion.

(Boko again:) Speaking of pro-life, did you know that, as recently as September 2007, Huckaboob didn't know what the Mexico City policy was? I wish more Values Voters knew this and voted accordingly.

Go Fred!

Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 6:25 PM. |

Farewell, Professor Bromberg

From: Dobranski, Bernard
Sent: Wed 1/9/2008 12:31 PM
To: All Law System Distribution; All Alumni
Subject: Personnel Update

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students of Ave Maria School of Law,

Professor Howard Bromberg has accepted a full-time position as a law professor at the University of Michigan Law School. Professor Bromberg will remain associated with Ave Maria School of Law as an adjunct professor, and he will teach Property II and the Externship Course this semester. I would like to thank Professor Bromberg for his outstanding service to our School from its inception. Among his many outstanding contributions were the creation and direction of both our legal writing program and our clinics. We wish him well in his new position.

Dean Bernard Dobranski

Fumed by Tommy More at 1:46 PM. |

Dobranski Against AMSL Students, Grads Getting Jobs?

The Alumni Board overwhelmingly supported this non-controversial private initiative and wants everyone to promote it. Dean Dobranski and his Administration refuse to disseminate this information or promote the website as a way to help AMSL grads and students network with alumni to get jobs.

This is a new low.

Here is Mrs. Siegle's email to all:

Subject: New Job Search Website for AMSL Students and Alumni

Dear AMSL Community:

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a relaxing and joyous Christmas. I am excited to introduce an evolving project that I have undertaken to serve the AMSL Community by helping you with job placement and networking. Visit www.maaac.org and email me at smh3047@aol.com to participate.

Being an alumnus of the Class of 2003, and having had the privilege of working with many of the current AMSL students during my time as Externship Coordinator at AMSL (2005-2007), I appreciate and recognize the importance of networking students and alumni for assistance with career placement, mentoring, and professional relationship building. Career placement is of paramount importance to our success as Christian lawyers going forth in this world to engage and to elevate the culture. There are no efforts too demanding and no resources too great to commit to assisting our students and our alumni in all aspects of job placement and success.

So, I invite you to please visit www.maaac.org (Map of Active Ave Alumni Community). I have designed this site and I am honored to administer it for the benefit of AMSL students and alumni.

The focus and purpose of MAAAC is to provide initial contact information for alumni living and working throughout the world. All contact information has been voluntarily submitted with the express consent of those who are participating. At the click of a mouse, students and alumni can select a geographic area or resource category of interest and see contact information for Alumni who are interested in taking an active networking/mentoring role. Then, whether via email or phone, students and alumni can begin a dialog and can share information, advice, resumes, etc. This can be especially beneficial to current third year students who are interested in moving to a certain state after law school and would like to begin networking and making contacts in that state. Also, it can be of assistance if an alum is moving across country and wants to establish connections and networks in that area. If a student/alum seeks assistance with resume review, cover letter advice, or has a question about entering a litigation practice, he/she can contact alums who have volunteered themselves as resource contacts for those areas.

In the spirit of servant leadership, I encourage all alumni to embrace this opportunity to serve the community and to consider joining this endeavor. Please sign up for any and all categories in which you feel comfortable and confident being a resource, by emailing me at smh3047@aol.com.

I invite all students to use this website as a resource to assist with future career plans. Please understand that this serves as an initial contact point for students and alumni, and is meant to be a springboard for people to begin a dialog. I also suggest including "MAAAC" or "MAAAC Contact" in the subject line of the email to me, to help best identify you, especially if it is your first contact. Please also be patient as this site grows and develops. As with many projects, there may be some quirks and challenges, as individuals with very busy schedules begin communicating and exchanging emails/calls, and as website improvements can sometimes take a bit of time.

As we begin this new year, I hope and pray for AMSL's success, its fidelity to its mission, and most of all, its appreciation and its dedication to the very reason for the law school's existence--the students and the alumni, both of whose best interests should be placed first, above any and all others, as we move forward.

Thank you in advance for your time and your consideration of this email. I welcome any feedback on how to continue to improve the effectiveness and success of www.maaac.org. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, concerns, etc., at smh3047@aol.com.

Fides et Ratio,

Suzy (Housey) Siegle
Class of 2003

Fumed by Tommy More at 12:21 PM. |

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Seven Deadly Sins of Deans

I just came across a fascinating article on the "Seven Deadly Sins" of Deans. It was written by Dean Steven Smith of the independent California Western School of Law and was first published in the University of Toledo Law Review in 2004. There are so many great excerpts:
...There are, however, the more serious decanal transgressions that are not so easily forgiven or forgotten. The worst of these are deaning's Seven Deadly Sins, the wrongs that will rot a deanship. They may destroy the trust that allows a dean to function, dissipate the opportunity for the law school to make progress under a dean or interfere with the collegial environment that supports learning and discovery.
And the Seven Deadly Sins of Deaning are .....

1. Deception.
Without trust a dean cannot effectively work for long with law school constituencies.
Very true.
Touting is the practice of proclaiming that rankings are misleading, arbitrary and unreliable, and then trumpeting or calling attention to a good ranking. At best this is intellectually dishonest. Touting the ranking to alums, students or applicants, of course, implies some legitimate meaning to the rankings that deserves attention. Another example is the deans who for a few years have been explaining that one or two point differences in LSAT scores are nearly meaningless who have now suddenly started loudly touting an increase of a point or two as evidence of a significant improvement in the school.
Can Bar passage rates be touted?

2. Revenge
[R]evenge is motivated not by promoting legitimate institutional interests, but by getting even or retaliating for slights or wrongs the dean has suffered.

Revenge is a temptation for a dean because although our real power is limited, if we put our minds to it we can make life miserable for some people. Revenge inevitably looks like petty bullying and is a misuse of the limited power we do have. It is, therefore, an abuse of the trust our institutions and colleagues have placed in us.
3. Narcissism
Narcissism may be the mother of deadly sins. Many other sins arise when deans merge the school with their own identity. They begin to see the law school as "all about them" or egocentrically confuse the success others achieve as their personal success. Perhaps monarchs could get by with viewing personal disloyalty as treason against the state, but deans cannot. A dean should be committed to the law school, but no matter how long a dean serves, how influential or how good the dean is, the law school is never "the dean's." It has a separate identity that the dean must expect to share continuously with many others.....

Narcissistic deans more commonly fall into less obvious traps. They cannot delegate properly ("nobody ever does things right," that is, the way the dean would do them); cannot genuinely participate in collegial governance ("the faculty wants to tinker with my curriculum again"); and allow their personal considerations or pet projects rather than real priorities to drive the law school budget, course offerings or research grants ("what the hell, I don't want a lot of trouble from X; give him the money").

Narcissism may also cause deans to misperceive their roles. They fail to delegate to talented staff and are distrustful of legitimate governance mechanisms. These deans also become suspicious of, and therefore unable to support fully the work of effective faculty whose productivity is threatening to them. This narcissistic "misperception of role" will likely lead to perpetual and pointless skirmishes with faculty.
4. Pessimism
A dean is a leader, and successful leaders are not pessimistic. .... At the opposite extreme of pessimism is unreasonable, baseless optimism.

5. Taciturnity
A good dean must communicate effectively. ... Decanal uncommunicativeness is not always sloppiness or accidental. Sometimes, consciously or unconsciously, it is a technique. The dean is in a position to have a lot of information and, to the extent that information is power, silence is one way to preserve power (see Narcissism).....
Taciturnity is a remediable sin. A good place to start is to develop a communications plan for each constituency. The plan profitably would begin with an honest statement of the goals or reasons for communicating with the group ("keeping them informed about the law school" does not count).
I know some alumni who would appreciate a little more communication!

6. Disloyalty
Deans owe loyalty to so many groups. The dean works for the president, is employed by the university, is appointed by the provost, is paid by the students, is bound to the faculty, is at the mercy of the staff, is beholden to donors, is at the beck and call of the bench and bar and is subject to accrediting agencies. There is individual loyalty to each of these groups, of course, but they frequently have conflicting interests. How is a dean to be loyal simultaneously to so many? Serving two masters is said to be impossible. What about serving dozens of masters? The answer is that the dean’s true loyalty should be to the interest all of the groups share, the long-term goal of improving the law school. The dean’s first loyalty is to the law school as an institution, and through the school to the profession and the public.

The moments when the immediate interest of a group is not consistent with the long-term interests of the law school are times deans deserve the "big bucks" they are said to earn. True loyalty sometimes means having to say "no" to influential constituencies. Occasionally that puts a deanship at risk. The trustee/donor who wants to drop a clinic because it offends his political views, the faculty committee that wants to tenure a really nice guy who is a very bad teacher, and the university administrator who wants to invade the law school endowment–all have to be told "no" one way or another. Each will be very disappointed and may decide to get even with the dean.
7. Aimlessness
Aimlessness manifests itself in several ways, most dangerously in the absence of vision and planning. Budgeting not clearly tied to priorities is another sign. Aimlessness results in a dean’s and a school’s wandering around from one thing to another without any clear direction, and as a result, the financial, faculty, staff and other resources of the school are used inefficiently and wasted.
Commenting on this article, Professor Russell Weaver at Brandeis School of Law has some interesting observations on Deacanal Narcissism:
In an ideal world, there will be mutual respect between a dean and his/her faculty. Indeed, the best deans find ways to encourage and promote their faculty, and help them excel..... Unfortunately, when a dean suffers from narcissism ... there is a significant (and likely) risk that the dean will place his own narcissistic interests above those of the institution. If that happens, the result can be deadly and the psychology of an institution can be absolutely destroyed. The self-serving narcissist dean can affect both a faculty's morale and productivity. And, if a narcissistic dean continues in office over a long period of time, the deanship can severely damage the institution..... In my 26 years of teaching law, I have seen a range of deans. However, almost without exception, one knows that a deanship is in trouble when the dean is no longer the leader of the institution.
Hear, hear.

Fumed by Thales at 8:37 PM. |

Monday, January 07, 2008

Our Man Matt Bowman Fighting the Good Fight!

"Those who lay their life on the line to defend our shores are entitled to the same religious freedoms as anyone else," said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. "Members of the U.S. military should never be forced to make an unconstitutional choice between honoring their country and honoring their faith."

Well done Matt!

Fumed by Columcille at 9:42 AM. |

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My New Tobacconist: Just For Him Tobacco

In a happier time, one could smoke in bars or even at public hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a more sane time, government, in general, enforced the big laws and beauracracy did not fashion overly burdensome small laws. In a healthier time, people were more concerned with theology and true religion as opposed to today where the dogmas of modernity count smoking as one of its mortal sins. In this weird age where "experts" and the state purport to tell us what is best for us, there are still pockets of common sense and sanity. One of those pockets of common sense is in a beautiful corner of the world called Springfield, MO.

Chesterton comments: "The sands of time are simply dotted with single stakes that have thus marked the turn of the tide. The first step towards ultimately winning is to make sure the enemy does not win, if it be only that he does not win everywhere. Then, when we have halted his rush, and perhaps fought it to a standstill, we may begin a general counter-attack." Let the counter-attack begin with Just for Him Tobacco!

As prohibitions on smoking and tobacco have become all the rage in the name of goddess health, there are those who still see this gift of the true God in its proper proportion and fight for the common man in pursuit of his common pleasure. Thus, JFH is a "single stake" that may hopefully turn the tide of the new Puritainism. A small family-run business, JFH is an example of the excellence and quality of people doing what they love and loving what they do! Bob and Judy Gravett are the proprietors of this operation and have striven to bring the best product at reasonable prices! Blender Waymond Gott describes himself as "a man with a deep appreciation for pipes, steaks, and petite brunettes... and redheads". (My kind of guy!)

As for tobaccos, JFH has a fabulous selection of both cigars as well as pipe tobacco. English and aromatics are in abundance as are JFH's own blends. A particular blend that may be of interest to literary types is the "Middle Earth Pipeweed Series." These blends are described as "a series of English-Aromatic blends inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece The Lord of The Rings. Each blend commemorates the heroic characters and moments found within this trilogy and are best enjoyed in your favorite churchwarden." If Tolkien is not to your liking or you are a less romantic individual and prefer an English big business, JFH supplies Dunhill--which is an excellent tobacco in its own right. In addition, JFH sells quality pipes and other smoking implements. They offer a fine catalogue and sound advice on enjoying this most humane of habits. Sign up for their free newsletter here and check their website often!

Support this small business which provides one of the greatest pleasures that can be had (next to a petite brunette of course!). Support this single stake so that we may begin that general counter-attack! For as Monsignor Ronald Knox observed: A pipe that refuses to draw just after breakfast is guilty of desertion in the face of the enemy.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 3:14 PM. |

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Flash Extinguished

George MacDonald Fraser, editor of the Flashman papers, has died.


Fumed by Boko Fittleworth at 12:07 PM. |

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Analysis of AMSL Complaint and Answer

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I was able to read over the Answer in the Safranek v. Monaghan case and before I get bogged down with work and billable hours, I wanted to give some of my observations:

1. Parag. 55: Defendants allege that Safranek, Lyons, and Pucillo acted to "prevent a relocation, including, if necessary, destruction of the Law School." Sounds a lot like Monaghan's delusions about Ave Maria College professors (who just wanted to retain a Michigan program) as being "academic terrorists."

2. Parag. 59: Interesting claim by Defendants that there wasn't a faculty vote because it didn't happen at a faculty meeting. Is a meeting between faculty only a "faculty meeting" if the Dean declares it to be a "faculty meeting"?

3. Parags. 63-65: Interesting allegation by Plaintiffs that I had not heard before: that Bork was hired by the school as an independent contractor through the Bork Law Firm, PC, and that Bork did not have a normal full-time tenured faculty status.

4. Parags. 67-68: Defendants admit that the Chaplain and a member of IT at AMSL spoke with a certain priest, though they deny that they had anything to do with any alleged altering of a hard drive. I wonder what the conversation was about.

5. Parags. 72-73: We finally get some kind of reason from the Administration for Safranek's firing. Defendants accuse Safranek of an "unrelenting effort" "to injure and harass AMSL and its leadership and staff." Starting on Aug. 31, 2006, Dobranski sent Safranek a "letter of censure and reprimand for misconduct." Subsequent "letters of discipline" described other "acts of misconduct". What could these acts injuring and harassing AMSL staff be? Surely not the infamous "good morning" charges!

6. Parag. 80: Defendants do not contest the fact that Lyons and Pucillo got unusually small salary increases (apparently smaller increases than other professors). Defendants allege, however, that these unusually small salary increases were "based on Dobranski's judgment and assessment as to the value of their performance during the previous year." Of course, I find the allegation that Lyons and Pucillo were sub-par professors to be completely absurd. And I think anyone who took a class with them would have to agree.

7. Parags. 81-83: Defendants admit that Lyons and Pucillo were denied tenure "based on their failure to meet their burden of establishing that they had met the requirements for tenure" and that Dobranski went against the recommendation of the faculty committee in favor of granting tenure to Lyons and Pucillo. Unfortunately, there is no description as to how Lyons and Pucillo failed to meet their burden (in contrast with Sonne and Adolphe.) Any Monaghan supporters care to speculate on the reasons?

8. Parag. 87: A weird timeline. Lyons and Pucillo get notice of the tenure decision on Aug. 8. The complaint alleges that Dobranski told Lyons and Pucillo that there were no procedures for appealing tenure denial, even though the Faculty Handbook provides for this. In the answer, Dobranski admits that "the Law School did not have procedures in place for denial of tenure situations". The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 17. In the answer, Dobranski claims that procedures to deal with Lyons and Pucillo were approved by Board of Governors on Oct. 15 before the lawsuit was filed, and that Lyons and Pucillo were notified about procedures on Oct. 22. To me, the Oct. 15 BOG meeting occuring before the lawsuit was filed on Oct. 17 seems to me to be a little too convenient. I mean, Lyons and Pucillo got their tenure decision on August 8, and Dobranski then tells them that there are no procedures for appealing tenure and more than 2 months pass before the BOG meeting on Oct. 15 that approved procedures. I guess depositions should reveal whether an official, fully-attended BOG meeting really happened on that date.

Fumed by Thales at 7:31 PM. |