Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
In a letter from Mr. Thomson to Mr. Johnstone.
In mony a foreign pairt I've been,
An' mony an unco ferlie seen,
Since, Mr. Johnstone, you and I
Last walkit upon Cocklerye.
Wi' gleg, observant een, I pass't
By sea an' land, through East an' Wast,
And still in ilka age an' station
Saw naething but abomination.
In thir uncovenantit lands
The gangrel Scot uplifts his hands
At lack of a' sectarian fush'n,
An' cauld religious destitution.
He rins, puir man, frae place to place,
Tries a' their graceless means o' grace,
Preacher on preacher, kirk on kirk -
This yin a stot an' thon a stirk -
A bletherin' clan, no warth a preen,
As bad as Smith of Aiberdeen!
At last, across the weary faem,
Frae far, outlandish pairts I came.
On ilka side o' me I fand
Fresh tokens o' my native land.
Wi' whatna joy I hailed them a' -
The hilltaps standin' raw by raw,
The public house, the Hielan' birks,
And a' the bonny U.P. kirks!
But maistly thee, the bluid o' Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to John o' Grots,
The king o' drinks, as I conceive it,
Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!
For after years wi' a pockmantie
Frae Zanzibar to Alicante,
In mony a fash and sair affliction
I gie't as my sincere conviction -
Of a' their foreign tricks an' pliskies,
I maist abominate their whiskies.
Nae doot, themsel's, they ken it weel,
An' wi' a hash o' leemon peel,
And ice an' siccan filth, they ettle
The stawsome kind o' goo to settle;
Sic wersh apothecary's broos wi'
As Scotsmen scorn to fyle their moo's wi'.
An', man, I was a blithe hame-comer
Whan first I syndit out my rummer.
Ye should hae seen me then, wi' care
The less important pairts prepare;
Syne, weel contentit wi' it a',
Pour in the sperrits wi' a jaw!
I didnae drink, I didnae speak, -
I only snowkit up the reek.
I was sae pleased therein to paidle,
I sat an' plowtered wi' my ladle.
An' blithe was I, the morrow's morn,
To daunder through the stookit corn,
And after a' my strange mishanters,
Sit doun amang my ain dissenters.
An', man, it was a joy to me
The pu'pit an' the pews to see,
The pennies dirlin' in the plate,
The elders lookin' on in state;
An' 'mang the first, as it befell,
Wha should I see, sir, but yoursel'
I was, and I will no deny it,
At the first gliff a hantle tryit
To see yoursel' in sic a station -
It seemed a doubtfu' dispensation.
The feelin' was a mere digression;
For shune I understood the session,
An' mindin' Aiken an' M'Neil,
I wondered they had dune sae weel.
I saw I had mysel' to blame;
For had I but remained at hame,
Aiblins - though no ava' deservin' 't -
They micht hae named your humble servant.
The kirk was filled, the door was steeked;
Up to the pu'pit ance I keeked;
I was mair pleased than I can tell -
It was the minister himsel'!
Proud, proud was I to see his face,
After sae lang awa' frae grace.
Pleased as I was, I'm no denyin'
Some maitters were not edifyin';
For first I fand - an' here was news! -
Mere hymn-books cockin' in the pews -
A humanised abomination,
Unfit for ony congregation.
Syne, while I still was on the tenter,
I scunnered at the new prezentor;
I thocht him gesterin' an' cauld -
A sair declension frae the auld.
Syne, as though a' the faith was wreckit,
The prayer was not what I'd exspeckit.
Himsel', as it appeared to me,
Was no the man he used to be.
But just as I was growin' vext
He waled a maist judeecious text,
An', launchin' into his prelections,
Swoopt, wi' a skirl, on a' defections.
O what a gale was on my speerit
To hear the p'ints o' doctrine clearit,
And a' the horrors o' damnation
Set furth wi' faithfu' ministration!
Nae shauchlin' testimony here -
We were a' damned, an' that was clear,
I owned, wi' gratitude an' wonder,
He was a pleisure to sit under.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Oh, and the other link I got emailed was this.
Monday, July 28, 2008
St. Joseph Cupertino, pray for us.
When was the last time there was a spontaneous applause after a homily at your local parish?
This past week was the 40th Anniversary of the issuing of Humanae Vitae and I wonder if any of you heard a homily about contraception?
But we have to read opinion pieces in the paper that still says Humanae Vitae was wrong. Astonishing.
Here is a homily, given last Sunday. The priest speaks for about a half an hour about contraception. Afterwards the people spontaneously break out in applause!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
After a two-year ordeal orchestrated by a group of mutinous faculty members, the Ave Maria School of Law has been given a clean bill of health by the American Bar Association and can continue with its work. I spoke on the campus last autumn and departed burdened by gloom. I feared the mutineers might win. They were the typical professorial grumblers, and such unhappy philistines so often have the upper hand on campuses.........Mr. Tyrrell, here is some advice that I hope you take to heart for the future:
When [Tom Monaghan] and his board of governors decided to move the campus from Ann Arbor, Mich., to be closer to Monaghan's other project, Ave Maria University in Naples, Fla., a minority of faculty rebelled, sending a dozen or more charges to the American Bar Association.
Their hope was that the ABA would revoke the Ave Maria School of Law's ABA accreditation. The ABA boiled the mutineers' complaints down to one. Now, after a comprehensive investigation, the ABA has found that contrary to the surviving complaint, Ave Maria is fully capable of attracting and maintaining competent faculty. With this, it is considered highly likely that the ABA will acquiesce to the planned move to Naples in 2009, over the howls of the irritable profs who filed their nuisance complaints.
1. Don't speak when you don't have all the information. Oftentimes, you will end up saying something foolish. Let me correct your version of the story: A majority of AMSL faculty had legitimate concerns that AMSL was being destroyed by mismanagement and violations of ABA standards. So, the faculty asked the ABA to look into the alleged problems.
2. You have just labelled a significant portion of American Catholic legal academia as "mutineers" and "philistines" (including prominent Catholic academics such as UCLA's Bainbridge, Notre Dame's Garnett, Villanova's Dean Sargent, Univ. of Oklahoma's Scaperlanda, Notre Dame's Rice, Fr. Robert Araujo, and AMSL's Myers, Murphy, Frohnen, and Falvey.) I don't think these law professors and deans like being called names. It's kind of mean, so you shouldn't do it. (Though I was glad to see that you didn't use Mongahan's favorite name for these types of people: "academic terrorists.")
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Rarely do we hear about the structural injustice of our "monetary system," or "energy policy" or how that relates to national security and the decision to go to war, or the installation of a security state.
Perhaps it's just too much reality.
"Ladies dressing up as priests" is kind of quaint in comparison.
Here are two videos to help make some sense of all the non-sense that we are living in.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Wallace's liberal media bias is over the top here. But the interview is fascinating for a number of reasons.
Sanger's views are extreme, but she tries to distance herself from them during the interview which she knows is a major public relations opportunity.
He tries to be tough on a couple of questions but her a pass on abortion, even after asking her if she thinks murder is a sin.
The discussion of Natural Law is shocking - simply having it appear as a subject on TV is astonishing. We would never hear this today.
Interestingly, Sanger describes her beliefs and she basically describes what is today American mainstream religious belief: God is in me, all religions are the same, etc. The religious syncretism in this context is exposed as the demonic movement that it is.
The irony of the interview is that Wallace is selling Phillip Morris smokes through out the whole thing. The pitch is all about not having anything unnatural or artificial between you and the natural taste of the tobacco.
The language could easily be taken from an anti-contraception chastity talk today. j
At the end of the interview, Sanger says that she is going to take up smoking and use Phillip Morris smokes.
This video is a classic.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
There is nothing like the Europeans for affirming the complementarity of men and women and the natural order of marriage. You won't be seeing any women carrying their husbands for beer!
(See here for Anglicans today--even Hank would be mortified!)
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I came to see that our culture's widespread use and acceptance of contraception meant that the "contraceptive mentality" toward sex was now the default attitude. As a society, we had come to take it for granted that we are entitled to the pleasurable and bonding aspects of sex even when we are opposed to the new life it might produce. The option of abstaining from the act that creates babies if we see children as a burden had been removed from our cultural lexicon. Even if it would be a huge crisis to become pregnant, we had a right to have sex anyway. If this were true - if it were morally acceptable for people to have sex even when they believed that a new baby could ruin their lives - then abortion, as I saw things, had to be O.K.The author is answering questions about her article today and tomorrow at America's blog, which should also be interesting.
Ideally I would have taken an objective look at when human life begins and based my views on that alone, but the lie was just too tempting. I did not want to hear too much about heartbeats or souls or brain activity. Terminating pregnancies simply had to be acceptable, because carrying a baby to term and becoming a parent is a huge deal, and society had made it very clear that sex was not a huge deal. As long as I accepted the premise that engaging in sex with a contraceptive mentality was morally acceptable, I could not bring myself to consider that abortion might not be acceptable. It seemed inhumane to make women deal with life-altering consequences for an act that was not supposed to have life-altering consequences.
Given my background, the Catholic idea that we are always to treat the sexual act with awe and respect, so much so that we should simply abstain if we are opposed to its life-giving potential, was a revolutionary message. Being able to consider honestly when life begins, to open my heart and mind to the wonder and dignity of even the tiniest of my fellow human beings, was not fully possible for me until I understood the nature of the act that creates these little lives in the first place.
Here is Arkes refuting Kmiec's argument that Obama is open to reducing the number of abortions:
On the matter of reducing the number of abortions, imagine that there is a wondrous scheme for diverting women from choosing abortions: Let's suppose that, in counseling centers, we find that playing "You'd be So Nice to Come Home To" had the wondrous effect of stirring 90 per cent of the women not to abort their babies--especially if the music is accompanied by the offer of a DVD player. Surely it would be a boon to save those lives, but we should tremble at what the move reveals about the terms of principle on which we live our lives together. For what is left intact is the understanding, deeply absorbed by our people, that there is nothing less than a "right" to order the killing of an innocent human being for reasons that need not rise beyond convenience or whims, and with no felt need even to offer a justification. To offer this state of affairs as a gain is to celebrate a law that has the most pronounced effect in misshaping the souls of our people.Arkes ends with this indictment of Kmiec:
And the candidate who offers us this "concession": Why should we even trust him to seek a reduction in abortions when he could not possibly share with us any ground of principle to explain why these human lives command our respect and our obligation to protect them?
Doug Kmiec and Cathy Kaveny share the vocation of teaching, but from either angle they would teach their fellow Catholics now that the central concern for the taking of innocent life is no longer, in the scale of things, that much more important than anything else. Even the most thoughtful among us may not always get things right, and at those times the office of friendship may be to call our friends to their better judgment.Thank you, Professor Arkes, for telling it like it is.
Friday, July 04, 2008
In an e-mail this week to the law school community, Ave Maria Acting Dean Eugene Milhizer wrote that the American Bar Association (ABA) has ended its investigation into the school's ability to attract and maintain competent faculty and found the school in compliance with the organization's standards.The article has reaction from alumni on both sides of the issue:
"The important thing to me is that it demonstrates we've been working closely and collaboratively with the ABA and it allows us to look to the future," Milhizer said in a telephone interview.
Milhizer said the investigation, which was initiated after members of the school's faculty filed a complaint against the school two years ago, did not affect Ave Maria's full accreditation with the ABA and did not place any requirements or restrictions on the school. He declined further comment on the ABA decision, citing the confidentiality of the organization's proceedings.
An ABA official declined comment on Milhizer's e-mail.
"I am not able to either confirm or deny the statement issued by Acting Dean Milhizer, due to confidentiality rules applicable to ABA approval of law schools," ABA Spokeswoman Nancy Slonim said in an e-mail.
Laura Hoffman, a 2007 graduate, said she wanted more information from Ave Maria administration, given what she said was an inadequate response from the school to other matters involving the ABA.The article ends with this old chestnut:
"I am not sure there is a full understanding of what this means for Ave Maria unless and until greater clarification is provided," Hoffman said in an e-mail.
"It is difficult for me to embrace the administration's response from these previous instances of providing us only a limited perspective of what was said by the ABA's communications."
But Robb Klucik, a 2003 graduate who's an attorney at Naples law firm Roetzel & Andress, said that the ABA's decision was "obviously great news" for the law school.
"It's an indication that the school has been doing what it should be doing and that most of the complaints or all of the complaints are not borne out by a neutral third party," Klucik said.
The law school has no institutional affiliation with Ave Maria University, currently in eastern Collier County, but Domino's Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan founded both schools and he sits on their boards.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
This week you should be getting your economic stimulus check in the mail, if you are like us, it will be something in the range of $1,500. (I will resist the temptation to expose the economic folly of this policy, but will simply ask the question, "If this idea is so good for the economy and the common good, then why doesn't the government simply send us a check every month so that the economy will really thrive?") Why not take that money and use it to help fight the War on Terror?
When America was in its last epic battle against the Axis of Evil, the government's stimulus package consisted of promoting the Victory Garden, aka the War Garden. The Victory Garden was a simple thing every family could do whether it was in a small garden box growing tomatoes outside your apartment window, or something larger in your backyard. The Victory Garden would make America self-reliant, self-sufficient, strong and productive.
Terrorists hate that.
So if you are looking for a way to spend your stimulus package this holiday weekend and also want to help fight against Global Terrorism while making America strong again, then get yourself a Victory Garden Starter Kit, or a composter.
The battle against global terrorism begins in your backyard.
We are more free when we, small families, own our own means of livelihood, and we are less free when big corporations own these means. The Chesterbelloc argued that Capitalism and Communism eventually converge because they both aim at the removal of productive property (and thus freedom) from the hands of families and into the hands of a class of elites who control it and the State.
Anyway, this story (loads after ad) came along and begs the question: Is this guy a Capitalist?
He and his family own a number of businesses: here, here and here; operate an educational Institute, and online journal called the Urbanhomestead; run an awareness campaigns like the 100footdiet challenge, and Grow for Ten Thousand, and they have a non-profit.
Ask yourself if you have time to give this kind of boost to the issues you care about with your 9 to 5er? Are you free?
So, who is this guy anyway?
Turns out he is Catholic, with a degree in Theology.
Here is a lecture that is worth a look (broken into 5 parts).
This makes me think, he has been reading the Distributivists and taking Catholic Social Teaching seriously. From the Compendium:
Serious ecological problems call for an effective change of mentality leading to the adoption of new lifestyles, "in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of the common good are the factors that determine consumer choices, savings and investments". These lifestyles should be inspired by sobriety, temperance, and self-discipline at both the individual and social levels. There is a need to break with the logic of mere consumption and promote forms of agricultural and industrial production that respect the order of creation and satisfy the basic human needs of all. These attitudes, sustained by a renewed awareness of the interdependence of all the inhabitants of the earth, will contribute to eliminating the numerous causes of ecological disasters as well as guaranteeing the ability to respond quickly when such disasters strike peoples and territories. The ecological question must not be faced solely because of the frightening prospects that environmental destruction represents; rather it must above all become a strong motivation for an authentic solidarity of worldwide dimensions.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I'm disappointed by Milhizer's email. For those of us who are familiar with the events at AMSL, it seems incredible that the ABA would approve what is happening at AMSL. To recap: a majority of AMSL faculty stated "no confidence" in the administration and alleged violations of academic freedom and an unbearable environment for a law professor; many prominent Catholic faculty at other law schools concurred in these allegations; three professors were fired on bogus charges and sued the administration for wrongful termination (the lawsuit is still in the middle of discovery); several other professors resigned due to the unbearable environment; several new hires were made, although some of these professors were previously rejected by the faculty hiring committee and are presumably of poorer quality than the earlier faculty who left; and the school continues to hire an abnormally large number of visitors and adjuncts in order to fill the teaching gaps. How can there be "conditions adequate to attract and retain a competent faculty"? I was hoping that the ABA would see this and would require changes in the way AMSL is run. In my opinion, that is the only way that AMSL has a chance of surviving.
This got me to thinking. We don't have a copy of the ABA's actual correspondence. All we have is Milihizer's interpretation of what the ABA said. So what did the ABA really say?
If you remember, back on August 23, 2007, Dobranski sent out an email stating that the ABA had reviewed all the faculty allegations, and that out of all of them (like school governance and academic freedom) the school only had to report on faculty hiring and retention. Dobranski didn't quote the text of the ABA correspondence and Dobranski's report sounded quite rosy.
Two weeks later, on September 7, 2007, Dobranski sent another email "in the interest of clarifying my August 24, 2007 statement." In that email, Dobranski actually quoted the ABA correspondence which had a much more ominous tone than what Dobranski had let on earlier, with the ABA stating that it had "reason to believe" that AMSL was not in compliance with ABA Standard 405(a) on faculty hiring and retention.
So, here was one time where the actual correspondence from the ABA was a little different than the administration's intepretation of the message. Could that be the case here? What did the ABA really say?
There are two radically different ways of interpreting the ABA message in Milhizer's email:
1. That the ABA has done a full investigation of the complaint; that the ABA found that the allegations of the faculty are completely without merit; and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with AMSL and it is in full compliance with ABA standards.
2. That the ABA has determined that the AMSL is currently in compliance with ABA standards regarding faculty; but that the faculty complaint is not without merit and does raise important areas of concern; and that the ABA is going to continue to monitor AMSL's compliance with ABA standards, with a close scrutiny of the school when the ABA comes for the fall site visit.
So what did the ABA really say? Let's see the ABA's language in their correspondence.
From: Milhizer, Eugene R
Sent: Wed 7/2/2008 12:01 PM
To: All Law System Distribution; All Alumni
Subject: Resolution of ABA Complaint
Dear Law School Community,
I am writing to pass on some very good news from the American Bar Association. As you may know, some time ago several members of the Ave Maria Law School faculty filed a complaint with the Accreditation Committee of the ABA. That complaint triggered a proceeding to determine the school's compliance with Standard 405(a), which provides that "[a] law school shall establish and maintain conditions adequate to attract and retain a competent faculty." On Monday I received notification that this proceeding has been terminated. The Committee concluded that the school is in compliance with Standard 405(a) and informed us that we remain on the list of law schools approved by the ABA.
Needless to say, I am pleased with this outcome, which reflects the efforts we have made to build a community of scholars and teachers that is second to none. We now look forward to working closely and collaboratively with the ABA to complete our regularly scheduled site visit in the fall, when the Committee will direct its attention to our continued compliance with Standard 405(a), as well as all other applicable ABA standards. We look forward with confidence to a successful site visit in the fall and to a favorable outcome on our request to the ABA for acquiescence, which we formally submitted last month, to our planned relocation to Florida for the 2009-2010 academic year.
I have informed President Dobranski of this significant development and he has asked me to convey his best wishes to the law school community and his support for our on-going efforts.
Eugene R. Milhizer
Acting Dean and Associate Professor of Law
The article also reports that a lawsuit against the DOJ was filed by a former liberal applicant to the Honors program:
Meanwhile, a former Justice Department law clerk who was rejected for a position in the department's elite honors program in 2006 filed a lawsuit on Monday in United States District Court seeking damages of up to $100,000. The former clerk, Sean M. Gerlich, asserts that the department violated his rights.UPDATE: More information on the Gerlich lawsuit is here at law.com.
The lawsuit seeks to establish a class action on behalf of other applicants who also believe they were rejected for political reasons. Daniel Metcalfe, a longtime lawyer at the Justice Department who is representing Mr. Gerlich, said the inspector general's report indicated that as many as 359 applicants for the department's honors and intern program might have been wrongfully rejected in 2006 alone.
In addition to violations of civil service law, which prevents the use of political affiliations in hiring for nonpolitical jobs, the lawsuit charges that Justice Department officials ... violated the privacy rights of applicants by searching the Internet for material about their political philosophies. The inspector general found, for instance, that one applicant was rejected in part because his MySpace page had an unflattering cartoon of President Bush.
Several other lawyers rejected for honors spots said they were also considering lawsuits.
© 2007 FUMARE