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FUMARE

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

Friday, November 27, 2009

AMU Responds to Cardinal Newman Society Regarding Golisano

The Ave Herald is reporting that Ave Maria University has issued a statement responding to the Cardinal Newman Society on the Tom Golisano controversy. In the statement, AMU says that the Cardinal Newman Society is "mistaken" and that the evidence, including Golisano's own statement, indicates that Golisano has never been pro-choice. Some excerpts from the AMU statement:
The foundation of the CNS concern over the Golisano gift is that Mr. Golisano is a "publicly pro-choice individual." What is the evidence for this? The principal evidence cited is an article in the N.Y. Times from 1994 that purports to quote Mr. Golisano as saying, "I am pro-choice." As we have told the CNS, Mr. Golisano disputes this and says he was misquoted. We accept him at his word.

It is interesting that subsequent N.Y. Times articles note that Mr. Golisano is not pro-choice after all . . . . . Significantly, when Mr. Golisano ran for governor of New York on his own Independence Party the platform did not contain a pro-choice plank. So Mr. Golisano has never run as a pro-choice politician.

As we told the CNS, Mr. Golisano has personally assured both Chancellor Monaghan and President Healy that he is pro-life, and authorized us to publicize this. Just last week the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael Timmis, had lunch with Mr. Golisano. In the course of their discussion Mr. Golisano stated:

"I am pro-life. I have never been pro-choice, although the NY media has misrepresented me as pro-choice."

He has authorized us to publish these comments verbatim.

In view of the foregoing we believe that Mr. Golisano cannot fairly be said to be "publicly pro-choice." He is publicly pro-life, and maintains that he has always been pro-life.

Mr. Golisano has also shared with us that he has a mentally impaired son. He is a passionate advocate and philanthropist for those with mental disabilities, who are among the main victims of abortion. For this alone he deserves our honor and respect.
Unfortunately, AMU's statement doesn't address Golisano's donations to NARAL-approved NY politicians, the millions to the Bill Clinton Foundation, or the $1 million to last year's Obama coronation at the Democratic Party Convention. I suppose AMU is following Roberts Falls's advice: simply ignore any element of Golisano's past that is contrary to AMU's mission.

Fumed by Thales at 2:47 PM. |

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from the Gang at FUMARE!


(back left-right: Casimir Pulaski, Annie, and Thales; front: Advocatus Militaris)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:00 AM. |

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catholicism and Beards

“How womanly it is for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, and to arrange his hair at the mirror, shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them! … For God wished women to be smooth and to rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane. But he adorned man like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him as an attribute of manhood, with a hairy chest – a sign of strength and rule.” – Clement of Alexandria.

Which of these men are most "womanly" in appearence?




“You, young men, honour those with beards. And if there is a man of 30 with a beard and one of 50, or 60, or 100 who shaves, place the one with the beard above the one who shaves, in Church as well as at the table. On the other hand, I don’t say that a beard will get you to heaven, but good works will. And your dress should be modest, as well as your food and your drink. Your whole conduct should be Christian so that you will be a good example for others … I beg you, my fellow Christians, say three times for all those who let their beards grow: ‘May God forgive and have mercy upon them.’ Let your nobility also ask for forgiveness. And may God enlighten you to let go of your sins as you let your beard grow – Saint Cosmas of Aetolia.





Happy Thanksgiving!

Fumed by Columcille at 3:58 PM. |

Bishop Tobin Interviewed on News Talk Shows

Bishop Tobin was interviewed by news talk show hosts Bill O'Reilly and Chris Matthews about the Patrick Kennedy story. O'Reilly let Bishop Tobin speak, while Matthews wouldn't let Bishop Tobin speak and instead got onto a soapbox about how bishops shouldn't oppose abortion because bishops aren't legislators and it's really tough to make laws about abortion and if you aren't in the business of writing abortion laws, you shouldn't comment..... or something. Oh, and Matthews doesn't know the word "Magisterium."

Fumed by Thales at 2:48 PM. |

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Cardinal Newman Society Weighs in on Golisano and AMU

The Golisano story just got a lot bigger. The Cardinal Newman Society, an organization committed to strengthening the Catholic identity at Catholic colleges and universities, has issued a statement on the controversy of Ave Maria University naming an athletic building after Tom Golisano, a businessman who has supported pro-abortion initiatives and politicians in the past. I'm glad to see that the Society has accurately identified the concerns with the honor. Some excerpts from their statement:
Nevertheless, Ave Maria University's decision to honor Mr. Golisano does at least give the appearance of violating the bishops' 2004 policy -- which for a committed Catholic university should be a concern -- and perhaps also in fact.
......

As long as there remains the perception and possibly the fact that Ave Maria University's athletic center is named for a publicly "pro-choice" individual, we fear a negative impact on a university that largely serves and employs faithful Catholics.

The Cardinal Newman Society and Ave Maria University have a shared, demonstrated commitment to faithful Catholic higher education. We continue to have a strong relationship. The Cardinal Newman Society trusts that the University will address this concern with a sincere reflection on its mission and will develop policies to appropriately address such situations in the future.
HT: AveWatch

UPDATE: Here is the Ave Herald's take on this new development.

Fumed by Thales at 8:58 PM. |

Remember, Vote For The Alumni Board!

Just a reminder: Mail your votes for the Ave Maria Law Alumni Board this week. They must be received in Florida by Tuesday, December 1, 2009. If you're wondering who to vote for, consider these candidates.

Fumed by Thales at 1:45 PM. |

Almost 20% Increase In LSAT Takers

Whoa. This year, there were 19.8% more people taking the LSAT than last year, the highest in the exam's history.

Sept. 2009: 60,746
Sept. 2008: 50,721
Sept. 2007: 49,785
Sept. 2006: 48,171

Where are all these potential law students going to go? Does Ave Maria have any more room?

Fumed by Thales at 1:41 PM. |

Monday, November 23, 2009

More from Kennedy and Bishop Tobin

There are more developments in the showdown between U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Providence, RI Bishop Thomas Tobin. There was a recent article about the controversy which quoted Kennedy as saying that Bishop Tobin had personally barred him from Communion. Bishop Tobin has responded to correct the record and to express disappointment that Kennedy chose to air their private communications. Bishop Tobin:
I am disappointed that the Congressman would make public my pastoral and confidential request of nearly three years ago that sought to provide solely for his spiritual well-being.

I have no desire to continue the discussion of Congressman Kennedy's spiritual life in public. At the same time, I will absolutely respond publicly and strongly whenever he attacks the Catholic Church, misrepresents the teachings of the Church, or issues inaccurate statements about my pastoral ministry.

Fumed by Thales at 4:16 PM. |

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Something that Should Be Investigated

I must confess, in my humble opinion, that all of this talk about Ave Herald, Golisano, etc. is small potatoes in comparison to what should be investigated. I have long thought this, but I was recently reminded of it by a comment by Milos Forman.

In addition to Tom Monaghan, who is the one person who has his finger in every Ave Maria pot? The person who has been with Tom since the mid-'80s; the person who serves as his CFO; the one person who--over the years--seems to have known of all of the personal contracts, over and above the legitimately structured boards of the various entities (isn't he on the "executive committee" of the various Boards or some such thing?); the person who sits on the political entity that runs the town; and the person who sits on the board of the bank (whatever its name is now). In a word, the person who knows where all the proverbial bodies are buried: Mr. Paul Roney.

AveWatch has written a number of things on Mr. Roney. I also began to inquire about him back in 2007. Why is this important? Why does Fumare care? Why, according to our critics, don't we be less critical and more charitable (as if the two are mutually exclusive)? The reason is for what Monaghan and Ave Maria are holding themselves out to be: self-styled leaders in the re-building Catholic culture in the United States. Given the evidence of the various Ave Maria sagas, the shabby treatment of its employees, the obfuscation in releasing pertinent information--even to the entities' Boards--on issues of import (e.g., Dobranski's celebrated contract with the Foundation; the firing of Fessio without some AMU board members' knowledge), one must ask who is at the wheel. We have certainly picked on Tom as we should, but what about his willing accomplice?

Most importantly, why do prominent Catholics lend their names and reputations to this cause without the slightest interest in the morality, legality, and prudence of its inner-workings? Perhaps all is "on the up and up," but given the proclivity of all things Ave Maria to ape the worst aspects of secular business-political-elite culture, I'm not sure that it is.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 11:27 AM. |

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FUMARE BREAKING: From the Ave Herald Advice Column

Dear Ave Herald,

I am responding to your solicitation for comments on the FOX 4 news reporting and the station's viewers "Bill of Rights." Further, I cannot believe the hurtful comments on Fumare.. Why doesn't Fumare have a reader's "Bill of Rights" like Ave Herald?


Signed,

Sleepless in Ave Maria Town

Dear Sleepless,

A Reader's Bill of Rights for Ave Herald? sounds like a good idea. Leading by example.

Ann and Abby



Fumed by Petronius at 5:17 PM. |

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sadly, Deacon Fournier Misses the Point

Very good post, Advocatus. I'm disappointed in Deacon Fournier's article. He appears to miss the point of the objection entirely. The problem is not AMU receiving a donation from someone who is pro-abortion. The problem is AMU honoring someone who is pro-abortion by naming a permanent building after him.

Fumed by Thales at 2:20 PM. |

Predictable Syrup from Deacon Fournier

In a piece that once again blames the evil blogosphere for all the bad things that happen to the embattled AMU/T, Deacon Keith Fournier readies his Jeff Cavins Bible Tabs and treats us up to an entree of scriptural quotations instructing critics on how to be charitable. (I commend Deacon Fournier when he does write well. Specifically, I commend him for his defense of the faith in light of the Doug Kmiec debacle.) Nevertheless, here he seems to put his buddies ahead of legitimate and pointed criticism of AMU/T and the Golisano donation.

I would point out to the good Deacon that the exercise of practical prudence is what motivates most of the critics of Monaghan et al. I would also point out that those who have been intimately associated with the workings of the Monaghan entities know that, oftentimes, authetic Catholic teaching takes a back seat to the particular cafeteria offering of Catholic teaching that Mr. Monaghan wishes to espouse. Thus, the shabby treatment of human persons is permitted, insofar as it accomplishes the greater good of realizing his "vision." Deacon Fournier has never had any such (that I recall) criticism of AMU. In an obvious demonstration of this "ends justifies the means" philosophy, Monaghan-directed AMU's sanctimonious condemnation and gauche raising of money off of ND's infidelity to the Magisterium reeks of the worst possible secular opportunism. Where was the moral outrage and indignation of Deacon Fournier then? Or when Monaghan called good Catholic intellectuals "academic terrorists?" [I could go on and on...](crickets chirping)

No critic has ever judged Golisano's, Healy's, or Monaghan's soul. We are not in a position to, nor is it our desire. But the exercise of the practical intellect to comment (sometimes in a way reminiscent of St. Jerome) on the evidence that some Catholics--such as the good Deacon--wish to ignore is perfectly acceptable.

Read Fournier's piece here. Get the pancakes ready.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:29 PM. |

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Right on Script: AveHerald sets out to Attack the Attacker

FOX 4 has more coverage of the attempts to go on campus. AMU stiff-armed Miss Lodhia, but she talked to them off campus. Go watch it -- it's great.

I love the Stepford kids sent out that didn't like Fox 4 asking questions. Ave Herald must resent open debate, too.

Nice touch, Fallsy baby!

Ave Herald is a fine specimen of post-Stalin journalism. On the news that Fox 4 was kicked off campus and seeing that they might be next, they've set out to try and gather complaints to use against Fox 4.

To their credit, they ask "tell us what you think" as the post title, which appears at first blush to be a mere way to solicit input. But think about that for a minute. Doesn't the excellent coverage Fox 4 gave speak for itself? And then look at what the blog put for the post. They put the editorial standards of Fox 4 up. No doubt they are looking for people to concoct ways in which Fox broke its own rules. Nothing like a little thuggery aimed at the station manager in order to back them off, eh? You can be sure the emails stating that FOX 4 is doing a good job will never see the light of day.

ACORN would be proud.

Nice. Way to go Ave Herald -- that won't keep you from being subject to the arbitrary whims of the yellow post it note write. You still might be next, no matter how hard you try and shine Mr. M's bum with that nose. Or, maybe you are collecting names to hand over to them when they come for you. Either way, you're still in the line of post it note fire.

Well, FOX 4 News has their own method of collecting feedback for their coverage. Write them at news@fox4now.com. I did already. I think Fox 4 is being reserved and very cautious in their reporting. They should be digging into this mess more.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 7:04 PM. |

FUMARE CAPTION CONTEST

Fumed by Petronius at 3:12 PM. |

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

U.S. Bishops Pastoral Letter on Marriage

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops just approved a pastoral letter on marriage entitled "Marriage: Life and Love in the Divine Plan." It's a surprisingly good letter clearly setting out the theological principles behind marriage.

Fumed by Thales at 10:26 PM. |

FUMARE BREAKING: AMU President Responds to Recent Media Coverage

Sources inside Hail Mary Town tell Fumare that the President has responded to recent media coverage. While yet unconfirmed, FUMARE has received this footage:



UPDATE: FUMARE HAS RECEIVED A DRAFT COPY OF THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT NICK HEALY We believe the portion in strikeout (looks like this kind of text) are his own original ideas prior to having the statement vetted by Monaghan, and cleared by Falls prior to release, but they might not be, or they are most likely our inline editorial comments by the pink elephant who edits for FUMARE. The pink elephant isn't relying on an accurate transcript, a scholarship, or other administrative services, so his speech is still free to offer his opinion. Besides, he's a pink elephant blogger, so he doesn't exist, right?

Dear Students,

As I am sure you know because you have unfettered internet access at home and we didn't block FOX 4 from the campus cable television yet, the situation involving a very disturbing and nasty mouthed town blogger resident reporting for The Wanderer denied by our well armed Collier County Sheriffs permission to be in my house and Tom's domain on our campus has generated publicity about our ability to ignore people we don't like and shun them forciblysupposed curbs on freedom of speech. But nobody was bothered by other town residents doing the same thing. We didn't curb their speech.

Let me make it clear. Speech is far more dangerous than failing to maintain one's lane late night while texting on a cell phone. We do not make any effort to restrict speech by students just by bloggers and town residents. Vigorous and open debate is an essential aspect of university life, but not at Ave Maria University if you are supporting a position we deem to be critical of me, Tom, or the Ave Maria brand. Students are free to say whatever they want in the privacy of their dorm room, out of my hearing, and not on the internet or to the media.

Having said that, let me note two caveats:

News media are expected to follow established protocols if they wish to enter the campus. We do need to avoid disruption of student activities and dorm life even if students invited them at their own discretion.

Interviews given to the media can wind up on You Tube or other outlets and surface again years later. Things said that might be hurtful or embarrassing to me or other administrators other students or to the faculty cannot be withdrawn once they are given to the media and we can't have an objective record hanging around out there if we want to say something different at that time.

My hope is that you will let charity reign because if you don't, you might have problems. Besides, in charity, you should forget that Marielena was invited to the press conference as a member of the press prior to being disinvited as a disruptive resident. See, if the media were to get the prior statement, I couldn't downplay it later as easily if there was a public record on U Tube.

Nicholas Healy
President

Fumed by Petronius at 6:34 PM. |

Fumare: For the Whole Family


"I do enjoy Mr. Pulaski's offerings, papa."

"Thales is my favorite!"

"Yes, yes, my dears, but it is certainly the pictures that I enjoy."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 3:14 PM. |

Pooja Reads Fumare, AveWatch

Nice follow-up. (h/t AveWatch, FOX 4)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 2:37 PM. |

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ave Maria University Students: Check In

Hey, Gyrenes! Can you access FUMARE from school? We don't see any traffic from Ave entities anymore and we heard they can block sites from the network web filters.

So, let us know, can you get to FUMARE from campus?

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 6:32 PM. |

Ave Maria University Student: "It seems like this school has tried to put down and silence people who may be critical of it."

I guess there are other "disruptive" types in AMU/T. As our beloved colleague Casimir has written so eloquently, "You're next."

Video and story here. (h/t AveWatch)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 9:29 AM. |

Monday, November 16, 2009

You're next

In 2002, it was Kate Ernsting and many other Ave Maria College employees who were crushed because they spoke up about what was happening.

It was also Leo Clarke.

In 2003, they (Monaghan's minions in the Ave Maria School of Law) focused on Rice.

In 2006, they polished off Rice.

In 2007, they came for Safranek, Pucillo, and Lyons. (even called it by the Stalinist term, a "purge"). Remember Kate O'Beirne defending it as a just move? (By the way, Kate, I miss you for the laughable thug you are. You remind me that neocons can be Stalinists and tote the party line, and yet you accuse other women of it. deliciously a stalinist tactic of blaming others before they blame you).

Parents of University students had it figured out. ("We came to learn, and experienced first-hand, that AMU is an environment of constant "surveillance and judgment" of the real or imagined faults of others") But they didn't connect the dots to actual violence used to rid the utopia world of "them."

In 2009, they (Monaghan's minions at Ave Town and Ave Maria University) go after Marielena Montesino de Stuart, a strong proponent of the Town's idea and growth.

This isn't even mentioning the non public figures they whacked.

And yet, there are people who turn a blind eye. Even worse, there are other people who jump on the bandwagon and blast them.

It's wrong no matter which way you look at it. People like to say after seeing Monaghan at a fundraiser, "oh, he's so humble." Is it a characteristic of humility to destroy people who ask reasonable and legitimate questions? I must have missed that lesson in school. I don't remember Our Lord launching into a sermon on the values of picking an undesirable trait of another and magnifying it into an excuse for detraction. That must be in the special Ave Maria bible, commissioned by Monaghan for his personal tranquility of mind. Someday you'll upset this "humble" man and see what his angry words on yellow post it notes will do to you, too.

Likewise, for his minions who complain that any legitimate questions must be driven by "disgruntled" people. I laugh when I hear those things, because the people who mumble such things don't realize, they're next.

Solzhenitsyn wrote the same of the Soviets, who patented the character assassination tactics of attacking the attacker with words like "dissident", "terrorist" and others long, long, long before Monaghan copied them. Even Fox 4 is reaching the conclusion that "disruptive" is nothing more than name calling. Ave Watch confirms that "disruptive" is the nasty name selected as the nom du jour to attack de Stuart, but FUMARE readers already knew that by the updates we gave last week. What name will they paste on you when you're turn comes? Solzhenitsyn said the same thing -- you're next:
The suppression of those who think differently in the Soviet Union is not an ‘internal affair’ of the Soviet Union, and it is not simply a far-away manifestation of cruelty against which noble sensitive souls protest in the West. The unhindered suppression of those who think differently in Eastern Europe creates a deadly, real threat to peace everywhere, prepares the possibility of a new world war much more surely than trade pushes this possibility away… Today they are crunching our bones – this is a sure pledge that tomorrow they will be crunching yours.


In similar manner is the suppression of people who think differently in Ave Maria. What they do in their little town has ramifications to each of us. You're next.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 10:59 PM. |

Alumni Board Message

Message from the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors:
Dear Alumni,

On October 29, 2009, David Wagner, Director of Post-Graduate Affairs for the Ave Maria School of Law, sent you a message concerning the upcoming Alumni Association election. Unfortunately, Mr. Wagner's email omitted a number of facts, such that the communication gave a false impression concerning the Alumni Association Board of Directors' position on electronic voting, as well as the sequence of events leading up to the Board voting against the one electronic option proposed by Mr. Wagner. We write to explain this background.

In a typical year, Mr. Wagner's predecessor, Ermin Gornik, would initiate setting an annual meeting date and preceding election schedule based on the availability of school facilities, exam schedules and local events. Past annual meetings would often occur in November with election mailings beginning in August. This year, in light of the school's move and Mr. Wagner's new position, the Alumni Board raised the election scheduling need with Mr. Wagner at its meetings in the beginning of July and August and offered assistance, recognizing that Mr. Wagner's office still needed to spearhead the election since it possessed the financial and mailing resources used in the past to do so.

However, through mid-September, Mr. Wagner had not presented a proposed schedule to the Alumni Board, and the Board's Elections committee had been unsuccessful in getting clear feedback from him regarding the process. As a result, election organization was at least 30 days behind schedule. On September 25, 2009, a majority of the Board called for an emergency meeting concerning elections, which was held on September 28, 2009.

During the emergency meeting, a tentative election schedule, somewhat truncated from normal years, and based on the latest possible annual meeting date, was created. It was at this emergency meeting on September 28 that Mr. Wagner first raised the idea of an electronic voting system. Board members were supportive of the idea of electronic voting but the process, electronic or not, needed to start right away, and any electronic voting system needed to demonstrate that it definitely could count votes according to our rules. The Board therefore agreed that, during the regularly scheduled Board meeting set for the next week on October 6, the Board needed to: 1. confirm the date for the Alumni Annual Meeting; 2. finalize the tentative timeline; and 3. decide, in detail, any information about electronic voting option suggested by Mr. Wagner.

During the October 6 Board meeting, Mr. Wagner presented some additional, non-specific information about his proposal of selecting an electronic voting system. He did not offer evidence that an electronic vendor could count votes according to our rules. Nevertheless, the Board and Mr. Wagner voted to empower the Election committee to approve on its own an electronic voting system if the committee unanimously agreed that a detailed proposal would follow our election rules and meet our tight schedule in time for the annual meeting. But the Board and Mr. Wagner also approved a timeline for an election conducted by paper balloting as in past years which was set to begin promptly, so that debate over electronic balloting would not delay the election or annual meeting.

On October 27, 2009, a majority of the Elections committee, comprised of Justin Berger ('03), John Drake ('07), Maggie Smith ('07), and Mr. Wagner, recommended 3-1 against electronic voting for this election cycle. Among the reasons expressed by the members of the committee were:
* Inadequate certainty that the suggested electronic voting vendor could actually conduct the vote using our preferential method (beyond mere assurances by sales representatives and Mr. Wagner);
* Insufficient time from first proposal of an electronic method to the election date to properly test and get comfortable with vendor and new software;
* Mr. Wagner's continued unresponsiveness and unwillingness to dialogue and share information about the election process in general and the voting method and vendor in particular;
* Lack of resolution on how the electronic method would allow "in person" voting as required by the Alumni Association by-laws;
* Inadequate assurances that members of the Board, besides Mr. Wagner, would have access to election information, including ballots.

Because the default position was to continue the election using paper balloting unless the Elections committee felt confident the electronic method was adequate, the issue was put to rest. Mr. Wagner did not comment in the subsequent email discussion concerning the Elections committee's findings. But without consultation with the other members of the Elections committee, or the Board in general, he then sent the email to all alumni that you received. The
Board believes that his omission of the above facts mischaracterized the well-considered recommendation of the Alumni Association Board, as well as the sense that the Board was in general support of electronic balloting, but against electronic voting for this election cycle because the plan was proposed too late with too little substantiated detail.

In the interest of accuracy, we deemed it appropriate to send this clarification of Mr. Wagner's October 29 email. Electronic balloting is something that the Alumni Board continues to support for future elections if it can be done according to the Board's election regulations, and in a manner that will ensure the integrity of the process.

Thank you,

The Ave Maria Alumni Association Board of Directors

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Have a Date With Your Family Tonight!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 11:56 AM. |

Friday, November 13, 2009

Marsh v. Alabama Anyone?

Fumed by Petronius at 3:42 PM. |

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FUMARE-Endorsed Endorsement for Candidates for Alumni Board

Here.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 9:16 PM. |

AMSL Alumni Association Board Elections 2009

This year's Alumni Association Board Elections are near! Let's talk candidates! Where do they stand? Any questions for the candidates and any responses from the candidates? Discuss away, it's an open thread!

Fumed by Thales at 8:51 PM. |

A Nagging Question

Personally, I'm not sure the Golisano money to AMU is dirty. To discover this one would have to do a formal/material cooperation analysis ala' Alphonsus Ligouri with all relevant facts. From my standpoint, this looks like a millionaires' club type thing.

Tom G. and Tom M., because of their vast wealth, probably have access to each other in a way that only millionaires can; there is only a slight history of Tom G. donating to Catholic causes (and certainly not in the way that he has here); and given his sketchy political affiliations and apparent "looking the other way" on the great moral issues of the day, it is curious why he would donate his money to AMU.

Thus the question: What is the quid pro quo?

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 8:54 AM. |

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Milhizer Email Re: July 2009 Bar Exam Results

From: Office of Graduate and Alumni Affairs
Sent: Tue 11/10/2009 6:00 PM
To: All Alumni
Subject: State of Michigan Bar Examination Results

Here is an email message that Dean Milhizer sent to the law school community today and we wanted you to see it as well.

Dear Law School Community,

The State of Michigan July 2009 bar examination results have been released and published. Nineteen graduates of Ave Maria School of Law sat for the July 2009 bar exam for the first time. Fourteen of these graduates passed, resulting in a 74% bar passage rate. Included among the graduates who did not pass are those appealing the test results. The average pass rate for all first-time test takers in Michigan was 88%. Two of three additional graduates, who were not first-time test takers, also passed. The average pass rate for all re-applicants in Michigan was 43%.

We are disappointed that bar passage results in Michigan were not better and believe that they are not reflective of our students' abilities. We understand that this time of transition from Michigan to Florida may have been unsettling to some graduates, especially those who remained in Michigan and took the bar examination there, and that this could have been reflected in the results. This also helps explain why such a relatively small number of our graduates took the Michigan bar examination.

We are undertaking and considering a wide array of specifically-targeted approaches to improve the passage rate of our students. This includes re-examining our bar preparation program under the leadership of a new academic support coordinator, and perhaps offering a for-credit bar preparation course and even more forcefully encouraging students to take commercial bar preparation courses to supplement their law school education. We are also looking for innovative ways to encourage alumni participation in development and admission's efforts to assist in attracting outstanding students to our law school.

I conclude by congratulating the students of the Michigan State Law School for achieving the highest passage rate in the state of Michigan. I cannot help but observe that the MSU law school, having gone through a relocation in the not too distant past that was contentious to some, ultimately became institutionally stronger than ever before. For all the reasons mentioned above, I am confident that as we emerge from our period of transition and become better settled in Florida, the performance of our students on the bar exam will again reach the high levels to which we have grown accustomed. Our faculty and staff have re-affirmed their commitment to create the conditions necessary for every graduate to succeed on the bar examination, and we will devote the effort and resources that are necessary to make good on this commitment.

Sincerely,

Eugene R. Milhizer
Acting Dean

Fumed by Tommy More at 12:00 PM. |

The AMU-Golisano Controversy

I'm only catching up now on the recent Ave Maria University news. I'm particularly interested in the controversy over the $4 million donation to AMU in order to build an athletic complex from an apparently pro-choice billionaire, Tom Golisano. It also appears that the complex will be named after Golisano. (AveWatch has more analysis here, here, and here.)

When I first heard this story, my impression was that AveWatch was making a bigger deal about this than it really was. I don't think that there is anything problematic about a Catholic school accepting a donation from a pro-choice donor - after all, why should a school turn down help if someone offers it? Maybe the donor has had a personal change of heart, and even if he hasn't, why do the donor's private views matter to the school?

After additional thought, I realized that other factors might make this situation more problematic. First, I think the propriety of accepting a donation would depend greatly on the individual donor, whether the donor's pro-abortion views are prominent and well-known, and whether the donor has actively advanced his pro-abortion views. Accepting a donation from, say, Planned Parenthood might cause some scandal if the knowledge of the donation became public. In the particular case of Golisano, I'm not sure how well-known his views are or how active he has been in furthering abortion - not very much, I don't think, although I might be wrong.

But the more important factor, I think, is whether the school gives public honor to the pro-abortion person. This is the problem of Obama at Notre Dame: as the U.S. bishops have stated, a school should not honor those who act in defiance of moral principles if the honor would suggest support for their actions. In the Golisano case, it appears that the building will be named after him, which is an honor (and, I think, a greater honor than an honorary degree, such as in the Obama case).

If AMU is erring in honoring Golisano, there is much irony considering the fact that AMU has directly criticized Notre Dame about the Obama controversy and is using it to solicit donations. (See here and here. AMU's solicitation letter reads "To protest the honoring of the Pro Abortion Politicians at Catholic Universities and to help AMU lead the next U.S. generation to the teachings of the church, enclosed is my gift of $25 or $__")

What do you think? Is the Golisano donation no big deal? Or is it problematic and hypocritical? I'm interested in a reasonable discussion, so I'll be watching the comments. (And no, I'm not interested in the Marielena de Stuart story - I don't know all the facts and I think she gets too worked up about things sometimes).

Fumed by Thales at 10:15 AM. |

Bishop Tobin On Being Catholic

A little while ago, I highlighted the debate that Bishop Tobin of Providence, RI was having with U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Bishop Tobin now has an amazing open letter to Kennedy which may be one of the best statements of what it means to be a Catholic. Bishop Tobin denounces Kennedy's "I'm still a Catholic even though I disagree on abortion" position, and calls Kennedy to conversion and repentance. This is only an excerpt, but read the whole thing.
...... Your rejection of the Church's teaching on abortion falls into a different category - it's a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you've re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can't chalk it up to an "imperfect humanity." Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.

Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That's ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance......

Fumed by Thales at 8:20 AM. |

Monday, November 09, 2009

Orange Paper is for Pizza Travel - Yellow is for Whacking People

Read Moneyman's article in Legion Legatus rag for October. Ask yourself if this is really a guy who can't remember his own address. It's funny that he's worried about being cool, too. Check out the color scheme to the paper:

I travel a lot and in preparation for each trip, my staff prints out a detailed itinerary for me. It usually encompasses 2-3 days, and it is always printed on orange paper so that I can distinguish it from all of the other papers I carry in my pocket. I use the back of these orange itineraries as my note pad. I always have one in my pocket because I keep the last itinerary there until I get one for my next trip. When I get an idea that I want to remember (oftentimes it is while I am in church), out comes the orange sheet and my pen, and I make a note of it.

So where is he when he is inspired to write people's names on yellow Post It notes ordering the henchmen to fire people, make people family's suffer, or generally pay the sheriff to remove middle aged women from his property? Head of security, Minnick. Isn't there an orc with that name, or something like that in one of them fantasy novels?

Does Monaghan get those ideas (the ones to destroy people and insult them and generally assassinate their public reputation) in the bathroom? It's pretty clear that God doesn't tell him to do those things. It's certainly not the Blessed Mother.

Ave Maria University and Town has got to feel great knowing that Monaghan's whims determine whether you can walk around your own city.

Live it up harlequins, he'll be after you next. I'm still laughing the Marielena de Stuart was one of the Ave Maria Town's biggest fans, and made public statements of her excitement about the idea. And now, because Monaghan is annoyed with her, she's talked about like common trash.

Don't the people in that Town realize they're next? Rice, Safranek, Pucillo, Falvey, Lyons, Fessio, de Stuart, and countless others such as Ernsting... and a few others who I'd like to name but they'd be nervous because of those gag orders we all know Monaghan puts in his measly settlements...

They were all fans of the ideas just like anyone in Ave Town today. And yet, Monaghan calls them an enemy and enlists you to destroy them. Don't you people down there realize he'll do the same thing to you next?

UPDATE:. "Disruptive" is the insult the Ave Maria Monaghan minions are using according to a post as an open letter to the Ave Maria University Board of Trustees from Marielena Montesino de Stuart posted yesterday.

Disruptive to what? Monaghan's whimsical beliefs of silence and critical thinking by anyone in his self-imposed domain? Disruptive to town plans to keep public meetings out of public questions? Disruptive to Nick Healy's desire to push people around like Obama does? Just what does disruptive mean? It's a harsh sounding word, but consider that the people speaking it are notorious for disruptive behavior.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 11:31 PM. |

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Monahan Effect at Work

Does everybody remember the fanfare of the Oratory consecration? After months and months of "negotiations" with the diocese, Monaghan finally relented to the diocese and the so-called oratory was designated a "quasi-parish" and consecrated.

Despite having canonical significance, the place is still called an oratory even though it isn't one.

The Naples News article covering that event is worth reading again in light of time's developments. Especially because it shows how excited people were.

Sitting in a pew before the service, Marielena Stuart waved her camcorder excitedly. She sat next to her husband, Thomas, and in the row in front of two neighbors, Karen Apang and Kathy Delaney, who also had camcorders. They all live on Kentucky Way in town and can see the back of the church from their homes. They prayed for this moment every day.

“You can imagine that this church is supposed to be the center and the heart of the town,” Stuart said. “Without this church, it was like we didn’t have a heart. Now it’s like we’re alive.”

Now, Stuart said, her 7-year-old son, John Paul, could have his first Holy Communion inside.

How quickly they forget things like that once Monaghan starts scrawling notes on little yellow post-its and distributing marching orders to the henchmen.

Just to elaborate on my analysis made and linked to in this post, notice the following quotes by the paper regarding the process to consecrate and "disagreements":
The road to Monday’s dedication didn’t go as smoothly as its founders hoped. Monaghan said he wanted the ceremony to take place in December, then in January and then the university didn’t plan any more. Prolonged negotiations with the diocese over the building’s status were taking place. Neither side would address substantive issues involved, but church experts speculated matters of spiritual and financial authority were at play.

After Monday’s service, both sides made oblique references to disagreements — university President Nick Healy called them “the complexities of the whole situation here” — but declined to elaborate.

Despite the reality, notice what Monagahan selected to say in response to the whole mess:
“We respect the bishop, we’re always obedient to the bishop and we’ve always intended to be,” Monaghan said. “If we don’t do that, we’re hypocrites as far as being a Catholic university. That’s the way the church is structured and that’s the way I believe it should be.”

Obedience is a strange word to use when compared to the actions that were taken during the months prior. If the actions speak anything, then, in my opinion, Monaghan believes that obedience requires acrid public relations maneuvers like scheduling a consecration without the Bishop's confirmed presence and then complaining when he doesn't arrive. (remember when they said he went to a "circus Mass"?). Monaghan's last phrase, taken in this context, sounds to me like he was soothing his anger over having been thwarted by the Church authority.

Even more peculiar, and supportive of my theory that the issue at hand over the so-called Oratory was intended to be selectively exclusive on Monaghan's whims is the Bishops statement about the disagreements:
Dewane said his concern above all else was and remains appropriate care for the town’s Catholic population.

“Always when there are people gathered in an area, I look and the other bishops of the country do look at how do we set up a church there, how do we realize the spiritual life of the people,” Dewane said. “That’s what this does today for the town. It renders very present the fostering of the spiritual life.”

So they weren't talking about money. They were talking about caring for the Catholics living in the town. It is clearly a fair and reasonable inference that Ave Maria was trying to do something that caused the Bishop concerns about the care for the Catholics living in the area.

In my opinion, as I've said for the past couple years, they were trying to make an exclusive private association whereby they could eventually dispose of people they deemed expendable and no longer useful. In my opinion, they were trying to make a parish that could ban people they didn't like.

Thank God for the Bishop and his selection of "quasi-parish" instead of "oratory."

UPDATE: The priceless exchange in the comments with a victim of Robbert Fallsy syndrome is very entertaining. You little harlequins can really twist the facts as you see fit. Nonetheless, according to the Diocese of Venice website, the consecrated building in question is called "AVE MARIA ORATORY QUASI-PARISH PARISH." priceless. You can't even make this crap up.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 11:23 AM. |

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Time to Pay the Piper: Will AMU Use the Oratory designation as a sword to block de Stuart entrance?

In March of 2008, yes, 18 months ago, I posted a long analysis of the differences between Chapels, Churches, and Oratories. Most notably, I pointed out that Oratories can exclude membership. A parish or a chapel cannot.

At that time, I made the following observation:
An oratory is different from a Church because the faithful who do not belong to the religious community or Juridical person of the Oratory may be EXCLUDED from worshiping there.

I am tempted to believe that Monaghan intended to create a way to exclude people from his oratory by having read Canon law with a lay understanding of defined terms. He would see himself as the competent Superior of the town, thereby giving him the right to exclude if indeed the terms had lay person's definitions. Mere private associations of people cannot be a Juridical Person, however. Can 310. Thus, Monaghan is foiled again by the exclusive jurisdiction of bishops and the Pope.

It's kind of sad to realize under the Canonical definition that the Town, by choosing the name Oratory over Church intended to make a place that is not open to all faithful.


The little "anonymous" harlequin, who is probably, the fumare hater for all seasons, kept insisting that there was no significance to the title and that FUMARE had nothing better to do than spew hatred.

I still maintain that the selection of Oratory was intentional.

Now, we have the first opportunity to find out if excluding people was one of the reasons for selecting that type of place to be consecrated, as opposed to having a regular Church or Chapel. Today, Mrs. de Stuart was informed she's not allowed on University property. She reports on it here.

It's unclear why she was banned for attending the District town hall meeting, but the other town resident who attended and caused what town blog AveHerald called a "snippy discussion" was not. AveHerald's characterization is "The meeting began on a testy note as residents Marielena Stuart and Robb Klucik exchanged words after Stuart asked about a report on an anonymous blog about a Florida state audit of the AMSCD."

So the first question is whether Klucik, who appears to have done the same thing as de Stuart, was also banned. Can anonymous, or one of his many other names from which he posts comments, tell us?

The second question is whether de Stuart has been prevented from entering the Oratory.

There's more questions, but I thought everyone should be reminded that despite anonymous's continual harlequin song of "spewmare," we really do have our finger on the pulse of things around here.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 7:46 PM. |

Help the victims of Robert Fallsy Syndrome

Robert Fallsy Syndrome affects about 10% of Ave Maria School of Law grads and is believed to affect a larger number of individuals in the general population. Although doctors have been researching it, there is still a lot of unknowns that require more research.

People suffering from RFS have delusional episodes mostly triggered by glossy paper and environmental factors. The syndrome causing a near complete shut down of frontal lobe capacity and a disordered operation of the sorting and priority functions of the medulla oblongata. Most, even the highest functioning, victims suffer from dissipation and syncopal episodes wherein they rage at phantasmic enemies and associate non RFS individual as enemies. Clinically similar to paranoid delusion, elements of narcissism, personality disorder and psychosis are also indicated.

We need new facilities to further these studies and identify a cure that can bring these people to a sane existence with RFS. Please help FUMARE continue it's fight against RFS so that someday, these victims will be able to use their brains again.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 8:35 AM. |

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monaghan Piracy Continues: "Ave Maria Loses Catholic Moral Authority, Moves Focus to Pro-Life Crowd"


Wow. AveWatch has nailed it again.


Must read here.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 6:55 PM. |

Controversy: Who runs alumni board elections?

I merely asked where the election ballots for the alumni board was and I got an ear full.

Apparently, the email last week from the Alumni Affairs office wasn't the entire story. It sounds as if the alumni board is dealing with a dilatory and recalcitrant David Wagner who ignores requests from board and hasn't provided information to the board in a timely fashion. From what I gathered, the board has been requesting information and simple matters such as time frames and offering it's assistance for months but receives no responses or unresponsive answers on the eve of meetings thereby causing the board to be unable to act.

I get the sense that Mr Wagner thinks he's the only board member and uses access to the email list and mailings as a way to assert his unilateral discretion on the board.

We elected a board, but from what I hear Wagner thinks we elected him only. For instance, one board member insists that the electronic voting issue was approved by the board if the website used could assure that it counted the ballots in the manner required by the bylaws. Wagner refused to explore the option and instead of working with the committee, he gave them a "take it or leave it" option that failed to show his single option could work.

Instead of reporting these things, the email he sent to all alumni made it sound like the board was the bad guy.

Apparently, not everyone you nominated has been contacted by Wagner. It is unclear whether Wagner contacted all who were nominated to accept or decline nomination. Essentially, Wagner appears to be disenfranchising your elected board by not working with them and then blaming them for his failures.

So what do you think? Did you elect Wagner or does the alumni board deserve cooperation?

UPDATE: I made the struck sentence above clearer. I thought "apparently" showed enough uncertainty, but I think the edit above more clearly conveys what I was told. If you nominated someone for the alumni board, please post the name here.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 1:41 PM. |

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Capitalism, Health Care Reform and War

Fumed by Columcille at 12:29 PM. |