Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Monday, March 31, 2008
So here is the challenge. Without going to Ave Watch website, can you read through this list of entities and identify which are real and which are fake?
AVE MARIA SATELLITE RADIO
AVE MARIA COMPANY
AVE MARIA CORPORATION
AVE MARIA, LLC
AVE MARIA ABSTRACT AND TITLE
AVE MARIA CONCRETE AND TILE
AVE MARIA ACCOUNTANTS
AVE MARIA ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES
AVE MARIA ASBESTOS REMOVAL
AVE MARIA AUTO AUCTION
AVE MARIA AUTO REPAIR
AVE MARIA AUTO SERVICE
AVE MARIA BANK OF
AVE MARIA BAR AND GRILL
AVE MARIA BEAUTY SALON
AVE MARIA BOOKS
AVE MARIA CABLE TV
AVE MARIA CHURCH
AVE MARIA CIGAR BAR
AVE MARIA COLON CLEANSING
AVE MARIA COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT
AVE MARIA COMMUNICATIONS
AVE MARIA COMMUNITY SERVICES
AVE MARIA COMPUTERS
AVE MARIA CONFERENCE CENTER
AVE MARIA CONSTRUCTION
AVE MARIA CONVENIENCE STORE
AVE MARIA COOL AIDE
AVE MARIA COUNTRY CLUB
AVE MARIA DANCE CENTER
AVE MARIA DAY CARE
AVE MARIA DEMOLITION
AVE MARIA DEVELOPMENT
AVE MARIA DISCOTHEQUE
AVE MARIA DIVERSITY CENTER
AVE MARIA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
AVE MARIA ENGINEERS
AVE MARIA ESTATES
AVE MARIA ELDER LAW CENTER
AVE MARIA ELITE ESCORTS
AVE MARIA EXECUTIVE CENTER
AVE MARIA EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTS
AVE MARIA EXTERIORS
AVE MARIA FLORISTS
AVE MARIA FURNITURE
AVE MARIA GOLF CLUB
AVE MARIA GOLF CARTS
AVE MARIA GROCERY STORE
AVE MARIA HAIR REMOVAL
AVE MARIA HARDWARE
AVE MARIA HIGH SCHOOL
AVE MARIA HOTEL
AVE MARIA HUT
AVE MARIA INN
AVE MARIA INSURANCE
AVE MARIA INTERIORS
AVE MARIA INTERNATIONAL GOLF CLUB
AVE MARIA LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE
AVE MARIA LAUNDRY
AVE MARIA FINE LEATHER
AVE MARIA LIBRARY
AVE MARIA LGBT
AVE MARIA LODGE
AVE MARIA MASSAGE
AVE MARIA MEDICAL CENTER
AVE MARIA MIDDLE SCHOOL
AVE MARIA MOSQUE
AVE MARIA MOTEL
AVE MARIA NATIONAL BANK
AVE MARIA NURSERY
AVE MARIA OFFICE SUPPLY
AVE MARIA ORATORY
AVE MARIA PANCAKE HOUSE
AVE MARIA PARTNERSHIP
AVE MARIA PIZZA
AVE MARIA PLANNING AND DESIGN
AVE MARIA PLAYHOUSE
AVE MARIA POOL SERVICE
AVE MARIA PRESCHOOL
AVE MARIA PRINTING
AVE MARIA PUB
AVE MARIA PUBLISHING
AVE MARIA REALTY
AVE MARIA RESORT
AVE MARIA ATTACK
AVE MARIA RETREAT
AVE MARIA SCHOOLS
AVE MARIA SKATE BOARDS
AVE MARIA SENIOR DAY CARE
AVE MARIA, SHOPS OF
AVE MARIA SOFTWARE
AVE MARIA SPA
AVE MARIA STORAGE
AVE MARIA SURVEYORS
AVE MARIA SWAMP ADVENTURE TOURS
AVE MARIA SYNAGOGUE
AVE MARIA TANNING SALON
AVE MARIA TEMPLE
AVE MARIA THEATER
AVE MARIA TOWN
AVE MARIA TOMATOES
AVE MARIA TRAVEL
AVE MARIA TRAILER PARK
AVE MARIA UTILITIES
AVE MARIA VILLAS
AVE MARIA VIDEO RENTAL
AVE MARIA WATER & SEWER
AVE MARIA WORSHIP CENTER
AVE MARIE ASSOCIATES
AVE MARIE CLEANERS
Have fun, be safe!
The university is broadcasting the event live on a Web cast at: http://etv.avemaria.edu.
The following is needed to log in: Username: guest; Password: oratory
If you attended, let us know how it went in the comments. (And to you Incense-Ave-positivists out there, know that positively glowing reports of the event won't be edited!)
Sunday, March 30, 2008
From: Dobranski, Bernard
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 11:03
To: All Law System Distribution
Subject: US News & World Report
Dear Law School Community,
As some of you may be aware by now, U.S. News & World Report has issued its rankings for the current year and once again they have placed Ave Maria School of Law in the fourth tier. While I have said repeatedly that I do not put a lot of faith in the accuracy of such reports, I realize that some people do attach importance to this ranking. I am also aware that such a ranking can have an impact on our ability to attract students and place our graduates in quality jobs. And so we take this seriously and will continue to work hard to make improvements to the quality of education we offer, including in the areas U.S. News & World Report uses to compose its rankings. I am confident that we will continue to make progress in these areas.
Dean Bernard Dobranski
UPDATE: Excerpt from faculty resolution of no confidence made two years ago, April 10, 2006:
WHEREAS, Dean Dobranski's statements led the faculty, alumni, current students, and prospective students to believe that the Law School was committed to achieving a first-tier ranking among law schools fully approved by the ABA;
WHEREAS, Dean Dobranski, despite purporting to have intimate familiarity with the methodology employed by U.S. News and World Report in ranking, acknowledges that he was taken by surprise when the Law School was ranked for the first time in March 2006;
WHEREAS, Dean Dobranski acknowledges that he failed to undertake all the foreseeable and reasonable best efforts that could have been made in seeking to attain a higher ranking than the fourth tier;
WHEREAS, Dean Dobranski, despite the Law School's bottom-tier ranking, and although acknowledging that the looming question of a relocation to Florida threatens a significant detrimental impact upon the Law School's current educational program, supports the Board's decision to proceed with the pending feasibility study and refuses to encourage the Board of Governors to take immediate available measures to effectively eliminate this instability;
"The grave challenges confronting the world at the start of this new Millennium lead us to think that only an intervention from on high, capable of guiding the hearts of those living in situations of conflict and those governing the destinies of nations, can give reason to hope for a brighter future." - John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae
Jesus, I trust in you!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Normally, schools in the 3rd and 4th Tiers are not ranked but are listed alphabetically. For some reason, this year, the 3rd and 4th Tier schools are not ranked alphabetically online, but are in some other undisclosed order. Out of the 43 Tier 4 schools, AMSOL is 6th last. Can anyone explain the reason for this ordering in the online edition?
Here are some of the relevant numbers for AMSOL. If I'm mistaken in the numbers, let me know. Notice the worsening scores from last year for peer assessment and student quality. How does St. Thomas compare to AMSOL for both years? Any other observations about the numbers?
AMSOL this year:
Peer Assessment: 1.3
Lawyer/judge assessment: 2.1
Undergrad GPA (25th-75th percentile): 2.93-3.47
LSAT score (25th-75th percentile): 147-155
AMSOL last year:
Peer assessment: 1.4
Lawyer/judge assessment: 2.1
Undergrad GPA (25th-75th percentile): 3.02-3.60
LSAT score (25th-75th percentile): 150-158
UPDATE: I like to compare AMSOL with St. Thomas because St. Thomas also obtained full ABA accreditation in the fastest time possible (which is one of AMSOL's biggest boasts). St. Thomas is one year younger than AMSOL and is a Catholic law school "dedicated to integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice." St. Thomas debuted in the 3rd Tier, even though Dean Dobranski dismissed the possibility of starting in the 3rd Tier a year before, when AMSOL found itself in the 4th Tier.
St. Thomas this year:
Peer Assessment: 1.9
Lawyer/judge assessment: 2.7
Undergrad GPA (25th-75th percentile): 3.16-3.63
LSAT score (25th-75th percentile): 154-161
St. Thomas Last year:
Peer assessment: 1.8
Lawyer/judge assessment: 2.2
Undergrad GPA (25th-75th percentile): 2.91-3.71
LSAT score (25th-75th percentile): 153-159
In every category, St. Thomas improved this year, with an especially impressive jump in lawyer/judge assessment. Contrast that with AMSOL which worsened or stagnated in every category.
US NEWS RANKINGS SAY FLORIDA IS BEST OPTION
The US News rankings came out this week and show that a Michigan-based law school is considered to be like evening schools because there is not support or reputation there to help the school be recognized for its greatness. Most law schools that exist in secular areas have trouble establishing high rankings because the people who give reputation rankings hate the idea of truth-teaching faculty and business-like administration. Ave Maria, in particular, because of its mission based in teaching Catholic truth and not yielding an inch to secularism, has this problem because it is located in such a liberal place. Mr. Monaghan's wisdom in selecting a location in Florida for an entire town and university show that he really had many of these troubles figured out and planned for.
Once in Florida, the Town will support the reputation of the school because the people understand Catholic teaching and respect a no-nonsense excellent approach to orthodoxy found in Ave Maria. The law school will have the support of the Oratory, the University, and the town's prayers as well as having the best possible location to promote excellence in catholic education. The ranking shows how much of a difference location can make because the law school is three tiers away from what it is. Location is worth three tiers!
Mr. Monaghan's wisdom in selecting a better location for the schools early on really shines and starting next year we will get the rankings we deserve!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
It is not my purpose here to flesh out all of these issues. They have been dealt with in previous posts and over on AveWatch. They also seem to be in some manner resolved with the designation of the quasi-parish. The point is that the Monaghan sycophants cannot distinguish between the analysis of these serious issues and Fumare's supposed shadenfreude. The Monaghan sycophant also displays a righteous indigation at any sort of poking fun of Tom Monaghan or anything related to things Hail Mary, while they themselves see no contradiction when they poke fun at us! I am confident in stating that the Fumare gents take the position that we have no beef with the people in AMT (except perhaps questioning their exercise of practical prudence) nor the students at AMU. Therefore, we are glad that they have access to the Sacraments and the Mass (which, incidentally, they had with or without the quasi-parish.) What we do question is the manner in which this was accomplished and the seeming incompetence of AMU officials in addressing significant questions of canon law and legitimate authority. It is a good thing that a pastoral decision has been made. But the questions remain and they are legitimate to ask. Especially in light of how Monaghan operates.
Comments such as "A tough blow to the boys at fumare." or "The trouble with schadenfreud is realizing you are powerless and joyless when good things happen to those you hate." show the lack of critical thinking and ability to distinguish that marks the Monaghan sycophant. For our part, we will not simply shut up. Given the fact that Tom Monaghan has played a significant part in the destruction of a college, a law school and has created havoc in countless people's lives, there is no reason for us not to question how things are done in the Hail Mary entities. In addition to the scintillating analysis, Fumare will continue to have fun and display a joie de vivre of which the Monaghan sycophant is incapable.
I SING A SONG OF MYSELF
I put it to you, Dean Wormer (and Mr. Dobranski), the Ave Maria celebrations of all things Annunciation are, in fact, celebrations of Tom the man $ Monaghan. Isn't a main road through Ave Town called "Annunciation Boulevard"? Wasn't the "oratory", or even the town itself, to be constructed so as the sun lined up with everything on the Feast of the Annunciation? (I think I read that somewheres.)
You know how we sometimes jokingly refer to the "oratory" as "St. Tom's", or the law school as "T$M School of Law"? The idea being that Monaghan is doing all this, not amdg, but amt$mg, that is, not to glorify God, but for his own self-glorification. Then it hit me, and this shows to go you how slow I can be: "Ave Maria" is the angel Gabriel's greeting to our Lady at, wait for it ... the Annunciation.
That son-of-a-bitch named the law school, the "university", the town, everything, after himself!
Tom $ Monaghan, you magnificent (magnificat?) bastard!*
Well-played, sir, well-played!
*Not meant to be an orphanage reference; I know you're still sensitive about that.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The President is the highest public office in our country. I can think of no more important characteristic for a President than a well-formed conscience and an accurate moral compass, because this element of a person's character affects every single action that a person takes. I realize that we are all fallen, sinful human beings, who have lapses in our consciences and moral compasses. But some moral compasses are straighter than others, and anyone with gravely serious lapses in his moral compass is unfit to be President.
Assume for purposes of argument that the war in Iraq is unjust, and therefore immoral. If that is the case, those people who support the war are most likely gravely mistaken in their application of "just war theory" to the specific circumstances of the Iraq War. However, even though these people are mistaken in their application of the abstract theory to the specifics, generally they are not mistaken when it comes to the abstract theory of "just war" itself. In other words, these Iraq War supporters do not think that "just war theory" is bunk and that it is moral to pursue any war indiscriminately. For example, these Iraq War supporters do not think that it is moral to kill Iraqi civilians outside the rules of engagement. These Iraq War supporters recognize that an unjust war is immoral, but they think that this particular war in Iraq satisfies the criteria for a "just war."
If a person believed that killing civilians without just cause or engaging in war indisciminately without "just war" considerations was fine because "might made right" or because of some other reason, that person would have a serious lapse in his moral compass. I submit that that person would be unfit to be President.
No current presidential candidate that I know of thinks that, in the abstract, indiscriminate war without "just war" considerations is moral. Again, assuming that the Iraq War is evil for purposes of argument, the war-supporting candidates may be making prudential mistakes in applying "just war" considerations to the specifics of Iraq, but they are not mistaken on the fundamental moral principle.
In the abstract, abortion (the deliberate killing of an unborn human being) is always and everywhere immoral. This is a fundamental moral principle, just like the fundamental moral principle that indiscriminate war without "just war" considerations is immoral. Therefore, a person who believes that a war without "just war" considerations is moral or a person who believes abortion is moral, is a person with serious lapses in his moral compass. This person would be unfit to be President.
Consequently, even assuming the war in Iraq was immoral, a candidate who supported abortion would have a much greater lapse in his moral compass than a candidate who supported the war in Iraq, and thus would be more unfit to be President.
This argument addresses the position of those people who say "the President can't do much to stop abortions, but he can do much to stop an immoral war." It is irrelevant whether the President can do anything to actually stop or lessen abortions. Regardless of what a President can do, a President should have a well-formed conscience and a sound moral compass, because this informs every action he takes as President. A President who denies that abortion is immoral does not have a well-formed conscience, and so has a character unfit to be President.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Don't take my word for it, rather listen to the words of Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical on devotion to St. Joseph, Quamquam Pluries:
"Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was."
Quite an instruction pertinent to today's day and time, especially in light of very many comments right here on FUMARE about the Ave Maria thing (and personally, a point about why some find so deplorable the blond obedience of the pro-move-at-any-cost-ignoring-the-sedition crowd, is this post from the same encyclical:
"5. Through these considerations, the poor and those who live by the labour of their hands should be of good heart and learn to be just. If they win the right of emerging from poverty and obtaining a better rank by lawful means, reason and justice uphold them in changing the order established, in the first instance, for them by the Providence of God. But recourse to force and struggles by seditious paths to obtain such ends are madnesses which only aggravate the evil which they aim to suppress. Let the poor, then, if they would be wise, trust not to the promises of seditious men, but rather to the example and patronage of the Blessed Joseph, and to the maternal charity of the Church, which each day takes an increasing compassion on their lot."
Lastly, the Papal exhortation to us (in other words, St. Joseph Day isn't my idea):
"We exhort the faithful to sanctify [St. Joseph Day in March] as far as possible by private pious practices, in honour of their heavenly patron, as though it were a day of Obligation."
Say a little prayer to St. Joseph today at least. And ask him to remember your Casimir favorably for reminding you to seek him.
If you are as moved as I am, put your red on to show some token of remembrance of this great Saint in the Church. Why Red? Well, despite what has been said in some circles of American life, because it's patriotic!
Even for Ukrainians!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The little research I've done and the rumors I've heard have supported this allegation, though I guess we'll have to wait for the Monaghan deposition transcripts or actual employment contract for final confirmation.
If this is true, it is shocking news. This is a blatant conflict of interest that I don't think anyone (including the Board of Governors) has been aware of. How can any one expect Dobranski to be acting solely for the best interests of the law school for all these years (including participating in Board of Governors votes about the school's future in Florida) when he is being paid by an interested third party? AMSOL is an independent law school and its interests are independent from the interests of Monaghan or the Ave Maria Foundation, and yet Dobranski has apparently been operating under their pay. Every action Dobranski has taken "for the good of the school" is now undermined, as there is absolutely no assurance that Dobranski has acted without influence from his employer.
Shocking. Does anyone have any more information on this topic? Has a dean at any other law school ever been employed by an outside third party? Do the current members of the Board of Governors (who are supposedly an independent board making decisions in the best interests of AMSOL) know about this conflict of interest? What would this mean for the ABA? Was the ABA ever told? Is this an additional ABA violation?
UPDATE: AveWatch has good commentary and asks even more questions: If Dobranski has an employment contract with Monaghan and/or the Ave Maria Foundation and not with the law school, are any tax laws being violated? Based on IRS forms, it looks like Dobranski is getting money from the law school and the Ave Maria Foundation doesn't list Dobranski as a "highly paid employee."
AveWatch also has a good illustration of the conflict of interest, if the allegation re: Dobranski's employment situation turns out to be true:
What other law school in the country has a Dean who is a private employee of the institution's primary benefactor or Board Chairman? Try this for perspective - Pretend that Notre Dame Law School replaced its current Dean with an employee of Walt Disney who then tried to argue, credibly, that it is objectively in the best interests of NDLS to move from South Bend to Disneyland to execute its "mission".
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Not to pre-empt the upcoming debate on The Outline of Sanity, but rather to present to my fellow scholars and activists a couple of tidbits from Carlson to get us thinking.
The first is the text of a lecture delivered to the North American College at the Vatican, "Third Ways, Middle Ways and the Family Way."
The Second is an audio lecture, "Russell Kirk, Northern Agrarian"
The Third is another audio lecture, "A Radical Economics?: Capitalism and State in Quest for Community"
So sit back, grab a micro brew ale, a plate of artisan cheese and home-made crackers and enjoy!
Dear members of the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association,
The Alumni Association Board of Directors has an important interest in keeping you, our constituents, informed of the events at Ave Maria School of Law, including the lawsuit filed by some law professors against the law school and administration. Alumni have both a personal and professional interest in being informed of the current status of this lawsuit. At the moment, the case is proceeding with discovery. Various publicly-available documents have been filed in the case. Some of these documents can be viewed at the following links:
Defendant AMSoL's Answer to the Complaint:
Plaintiffs' Response to AMSoL's Motion for Partial Summary Disposition:
Defendant AMF's Motion for Summary Disposition:
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint:
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about our work representing your interests as alumni of Ave Maria School of Law, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors
Monday, March 10, 2008
Roetzel & Andress has appointed James D. Fox to the Ave Maria School of Law Florida Leadership Council. The Leadership Council's current mission is to provide assistance and strategic guidance to the Ave Maria School of Law as it prepares for the school's relocation to Southwest Florida. Fox is a 2003 graduate of Ave Maria School of Law and an associate focusing his practice on civil litigation and government law.
Friday, March 07, 2008
From CBS news:
Alton Logan doesn't understand why two lawyers with proof he didn't commit murder were legally prevented from helping him. They had their reasons: To save Logan, they would have had to break the cardinal rule of attorney-client privilege to reveal their own client had committed the crime. But Logan had 26 years in prison to try to understand why he was convicted for a crime he didn't commit....
Lawyers Jamie Kunz and Dale Coventry were public defenders when their client, Andrew Wilson, admitted to them he had shot-gunned a security guard to death in a 1982 robbery. When a tip led to Logan's arrest and he went to trial for the crime, the two lawyers were in a bind. They wanted to help Logan but legally couldn't....
The lawyers did get permission from Wilson, to reveal upon his death his confession to the murder Logan was convicted for. Wilson died late last year and Coventry and Kunz came forward. Next Monday, a judge will hear evidence in a motion to grant Logan a new trial.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
From the comment thread in Columcille's last post:
I'll tell you what I am going to do. I am going to use the Outline of Sanity as a starting point for meaningful discussion and (unlike Columcille), I'll start a real series discussing the pros and cons of Chesterton's notion of distributism. I can envision a series of substantive posts going through three or 4 points each, and contasting them with what I'd like to see where I disagree with his approach. We then can hash out the details in the comments.
You want meaningful debate? That's the way to do it. I expect that the first post will come in 3 weeks or so. . . . Also it'd be nice if you didn't try to pre-empt me on that. I think having "an avowed capitalist" begin by going through Chesterton's work (who is beyond reproach, of course), is the best way to get this ball rolling, Columcille. We can then confine discussion to the limited points, and really get into good discussion.
So begins TheLawDog's Intellectual Series on Economic Considerations, and Forms of Government.
thelawdog 03.05.08 - 12:28 pm #
[My Update to this]: I think this will be fun, and perhaps provide a platform for this blog to take on a whole host of political science and philosophical issues. Are you game?
Monday, March 03, 2008
Writing from the perspective of Catholic Social Doctrine, the twelve Catholics who take their stand for an ideal Beyond Capitalism and Socialism are offering an escape to modern man from the horns of the dliemma upon which he is hanging - and upon which he was hung by the makers of the modern world from centuries ago. Rejecting both the collectivist and statist approach to worker security and welfare caretaking, and the even more oppressive laissez-faire conception of modern capitalism in which what's good for business is good for the world, the authors introduce Distributism, Solidarism, and Corporatism as three schools of effectively the same Social Catholic approach to socio-economic life and organization. Offering historical background, principled and theoretical arguments, and some initial ventures into practical suggestions for implementation of this "third way" beyond capitalism and socialism, the essays contained in this volume will engage, inspire, and perhaps even provoke and aggravate as they flesh out a picture of independent owners and yeoman farmers, small business associations, and economic life subortinated to the genuine good of man rather than vice versa. What they wil not do is fail to shatter the left vs. right paradigm into which all modern thinking about economics and society has been forced.
Finally, who can name the author of the following quote:
"From an economic point of view alone, the Church is just as much opposed to capitalism as it is to communism."
UPDATE: Advocatus Militaris (on the right) makes a subtle but powerful case for recognizing the merits of distributivism to the avowed capitalist, Law Dog (on the left).
Far from being strictly about one's livelihood, Distributism is about freedom. It rests on the fact of the family and seeks human flourishing as the common good has always been understood by the Church. To this end, it ultimately seeks freedom--both from overbearing big government and overbearing big business. As much as possible, people should be free to do and live as they wish without being beholden to someone else. In our modern world it has become extremely difficult, but there are basic principles that Chesterton and Belloc lay out that one may apply to current day situations. My wish is to shorten rather than prolong this comment, so suffice it to say, Distributist ideas first must be read and second must be examined and applied. In other words, a healthy debate on the issues should be had rather than it being dismissed as a "quaint relic" of the past.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
© 2007 FUMARE