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FUMARE

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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CNN's Anderson Cooper on the Ave Law Grad Story

On no. The Andrew Shirvell story is on CNN. See Anderson Cooper's blog posts here and here. Anderson Cooper then had a video interview with Andrew Shirvell.

Andrew, regardless of whether they are your "First Amendment rights," your tactics (i.e., the swastika, the name-calling, the insults, etc.) are entirely inappropriate and beyond the pale. Further, they are completely detrimental to your goal. Finally, they give reason for people to think that you and all the rest of us who are concerned about moral issues are irrational and bigoted. You should close your blog and delete your extreme criticisms, apologize for your offense, and withdraw from this particular fight.

UPDATE: Yahoo News has the story now.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here is Above The Law's take.

Fumed by Thales at 10:38 AM. |

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ave Law Bar Passage Rate For July 2010

In the comments to this post, Ave Maria School of Law's bar passage rate for July 2010 is being discussed, but it deserves its own post.

Here are the July 2010 Florida bar passage results:

------ Number Taking ----- Number Passing ----- Percent Passing

U. of Miami: 314 , 270 , 86.0
U. of Florida: 310 , 269 , 86.8
Stetson: 217 , 171 , 78.8
Florida State U.: 189 , 163 , 86.2
Nova Southeastern U.: 229 , 185 , 80.8
St. Thomas: 122 , 96 , 78.7
Florida Coastal: 226 , 178 , 78.8
Barry U.: 166 , 124 , 74.7
Florida A&M U.: 88 , 55 , 62.5
Florida International U.: 101 , 85 , 84.2
Ava Maria Law School: 25 , 16 , 64.0
non-Florida law schools: 745 , 551 , 74.0
Total first timers: 2732 , 2163 , 79.2

This is the first time AMSL was competing with Florida schools (11 law schools in Florida!). Not an impressive start.

Last year, AMSL had a very disappointing 74% passage rate for the Michigan Bar, compared with a state average of 88%, and worse than every other Michigan law school. Dean Milhizer explained what the school was going to do to improve the scores:
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.
So what is Dean Milhizer saying this year? It sounds vaguely familiar:
The Law School will undertake and consider a wide array of specifically-targeted approaches to improve the passage rate of our students. This includes a full re-examination of our bar preparation program, further enhancing our academic success program, and re-evaluating our for-credit bar preparation course offered for the first time this past academic year.
UPDATE: Here is the Ave Herald's take.

Fumed by Thales at 10:24 AM. |

Monday, September 20, 2010

W.A. Mozart: "Contessa perdono"

The most beautiful aria ever composed.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 8:22 PM. |

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad!

Still just can't help marvelling at the progression of Jonestown Coastal.  Recently, I tore through Animal Farm over a cup of tea in order to help a friend's child who is reading it for class.

Some of the more interesting developments in the story.
1.  the disappearance of Mollie (for letting the outsider pet her nose) (no communion with outsiders!):
"Mollie! Look me in the face. Do you give me your word of honour that that man was not stroking your nose?"

"It isn't true!" repeated Mollie, but she could not look Clover in the face, and the next moment she took to her heels and galloped away into the field.

A thought struck Clover. Without saying anything to the others, she went to Mollie's stall and turned over the straw with her hoof. Hidden under the straw was a little pile of lump sugar and several bunches of ribbon of different colours.

Three days later Mollie disappeared.
Seems a familiar tale.

2.  Self aggrandizement through mouthpieces, and the castigation of others who do not conform to the master agenda, no matter how good:
Afterwards Squealer was sent round the farm to explain the new arrangement to the others.

"Comrades," he said, "I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be? Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball, with his moonshine of windmills--Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal?"
I especially like that part where Napoleon's contribution is made grander than everyone else's thereby exalting him into a place beyond reproach.  It's almost as if, through this trick of juxtaposition, Napoleon was giving everything he had to the farm and thus, all of the other animals owed him something they could not, through the terms of the rhetoric, repay Napoleon but should blondly follow him, which is actually Squealer's next directive to the Farm:
"Bravery is not enough," said Squealer. "Loyalty and obedience are more important.["]
3.  The development of animals accepting the false doctrines and aggrandizement through fooling themselves.  By playing the party line, they can avoid what happened to Mollie and Snowball.  Note that there is no truth in the following line, but rather, it is believed by force, or rather by reaction to perceived force:
"If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right." And from then on he adopted the maxim, "Napoleon is always right," in addition to his private motto of "I will work harder."

The only thing Orwell left out of the story was the part where the dogs had commissioned the pigs to do a feasibility study of the windmill project.  That would have been priceless.  But the pigs did labor over the project for some time, at least in the minds of the other animals, because Napoleon said they did.

This point in the story could be marked as the departure from reality into the mutual storyland controlled by Napoleon.  Control took many measures, but mostly fear and the threats made by enforcers (the dogs), as the chapter ends with this image:
The animals were not certain what the word meant, but Squealer spoke so persuasively, and the three dogs who happened to be with him growled so threateningly, that they accepted his explanation without further questions.
We have to wonder how much, besides an extra biscuit, Napoleon paid the dogs to be mindless enforcers.  Throughout all of this, you really see how fear shapes certain groups to react (irrationally at that), and Napoleon uses those groups in concert against anything he perceives to be a threat to his agenda.

It doesn't matter if Napoleon is right or wrong.  What Napoleon wills is right.

The next chapter (5) deals with how the rules change over time to favor the extra-loyal.  Sort of a reward for the sycophant.  Then it gets interesting with the actual battles for power among enforcers.
This theme goes throughout:
"Ah, that is different!" said Boxer. "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right."

"That is the true spirit, comrade!" cried Squealer, but it was noticed he cast a very ugly look at Boxer with his little twinkling eyes. He turned to go, then paused and added impressively: "I warn every animal on this farm to keep his eyes very wide open. For we have reason to think that some of Snowball's secret agents are lurking among us at this moment!"
After this point, the rules start to change to favor the leaders and introduce some subjective standards that could used against the animals.  So the standards of conduct became relative, and the unwritten rule was whether you were in alliance to Napoleon.  Rather, whether Napoleon liked you.

And then, I love this part...  the farm has no actual productivity, but Napoleon says it is the best, etc...  What I get such a kick out of is the description of the place by Squealer:
There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and "memoranda." These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them,  and their appetites were always good. 
I guess they put those reports in the furnace so that they'd never be discovered.

You'd almost think Napoleon had given all his money in addition to all the extra work he did.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 10:14 AM. |

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ave Maria Law Grad And His Blog In The News....

.... and not in a positive way. ABC-WYXZ has the story.

Above The Law has the commentary.

Unfortunately, the blog in question looks highly imprudent to me.

Fumed by Thales at 5:55 PM. |

Ave Maria Law School Is First School to Join Law School Transparency

The ABA Journal reports:
Two Vanderbilt law students trying to collect more jobs information from law schools finally have a taker.

The Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Fla., has agreed to disclose more detailed job statistics, according to the blog Shilling Me Softly and the website of the students' nonprofit group, Law School Transparency.

The group was formed by law students Patrick Lynch and Kyle McEntee to collect more employment data that will show how much value graduates get from their law degrees.

Law School Transparency sent a letter to 199 law schools this July seeking data about each law school graduate in categories that include their employer type and name, whether their position is full- or part-time, whether the job requires a law license, and their salaries after nine months. The group asked law schools to indicate whether they would participate by Sept. 10.
The Law School Transparency site is here.

More commentary at the WSJ Law Blog and at the National Law Journal.

Finally, even more commentary at Above The Law.

Fumed by Thales at 5:50 PM. |

Naples News on AveWatch Shutting Down

I'm catching up on news. Here is the Naples News article on AveWatch shutting down.

Fumed by Thales at 5:48 PM. |

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just wondering...

...is "a right of passage" similar to the doctrine enunciated in Paul v. Virginia, 75 U.S. (8 Wall.) 168 (1868) or Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489 (1999)?

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 10:42 PM. |

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This Weekend's Musical Offering: J.S. Bach, Praeludium in C minor BWV 546

Always best in an XVII century Catholic Church.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 2:36 PM. |

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

AMU Terminates Relationship With Religious Group

Naples News has the story.

Fumed by Thales at 10:16 AM. |

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Blues

From the Master! Enjoy:

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 11:56 AM. |

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Wanderer's Exclusive Interview with Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle is threatening to take Sen. Harry Reid's Senate seat in a very heated political battle in Nevada. The Wanderer landed an exclusive interview with Mrs. Angle. A must read and a must listen for all those who care about the country.

Support Mrs. Angle and subscribe to The Wanderer!

Listen to the interview here.


Fumed by Tommy More at 6:49 PM. |

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Notre Dame Administrator Kirk Dismissed

Here is an interesting reflection on the troubling dismissal of Bill Kirk, Associate Vice President for Residence Life at Notre Dame and husband of former Ave Maria Law professor Elizabeth Kirk.

HT: the Corner

Fumed by Thales at 10:01 PM. |

Neal Conway Reviews Charlie Rice books

Neal Conway reviews What Happened to Notre Dame? and 50 Questions on the Natural Law: What It Is & Why We Need It, two books by Professor Charles E. Rice.

Fumed by Thales at 9:57 PM. |

FUMARE Fun Cut-Out

Courtesy of that patron of the internet Isidore, comes the first FUMARE fun cut out! In three easy steps you can have as much fun as a bunch of teenage boys hearing Air on the G String for the first time:

1. Click on the Picture and Print out to an attached printer.

2. Cut around the image of the face and shoulders, being careful not to nick the $5000 suit.

3. Have fun! Attach it to your favorite dartboard, line Polly's cage, or scare the little kids who come to your door at Halloween!

Photo courtesy of Ave Maria News.


Warning: Fumare Fun Cut-Out not intended for Legatus members, AMU drones, or triple majors with journalism backgrounds. Use by any of these individuals may cause irritation, offices being boxed up, and being declared a nonperson.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 6:27 PM. |