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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 19, 2005

too much law school / too little haiku

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:13 pm

I spent some time at Prawsfblawg this afternoon, where the discussion

is “should we scrap the third year of law school?” — in response to the current

Legal Affairs Debate Club topic, featuring Laura Appleman and Daniel Solove.

I’m bemused by Laura’s assertion that law schools have a financial interest in

keeping the three-year system, while law professors are interested in the

teaching and mentoring benefits of the longer matriculation period. I weighed

in on the (in)appropriateness of reducing the number of law students in response

to a supposed oversupply. (My contention: there’s plenty of unmet demand for

lawyers, but the profession prices itself out of the reach of most Americans.)


the book  the movie


It’s disappointing that there seems to be no law professors who are haiku poets.

Lucky for us, though, professors in many other fields have turned their talents

to haiku. A prime example, psychologist George Swede:

Two willows —
each its own way
with the wind

mourners and bare trees


storm lull
freshly crumpled paper
creaks twice


umbrella vert

In one year
work life ends—drizzle
with the rainbow


George Swede from The Heron’s Nest

storm lull” (June 2003); “burial” (June 2005)

two willows” (March 2005); “in one year” (Sept. 2005)

scraping and scraping

his shoe —

curses for a nameless cur



the rose garden past its peak —

bending to sniff,

his bald spot shows



[Sept. 19, 2005]


bballGuys The NCAA News ran an article last Monday, explaining

how this year’s NIT would work, and noting that the purchase

of NIT by NCAA “ironically” meant that the core antitrust issue

would not be addressed — whether the NCAA could forbid teams

invited to the NCAA Tournament from going to any other tournament.

See our post antitrusters question NCAA purchase of NIT

tiny check At Blawg Review #24, Jay Williams tells you where to go

and seems to suggest our 2005 Harvest Moon post as an alternative

to falling asleep in class. (Hint to Jaybeas: the plural form of “haiku”

is “haiku”.)

tiny check Martin Grace of RiskProf has collected links related to the Good

Samaritan Paradox and public policy. Dare I ask: “What would Jesus do?”

Something tells me Jesus would not be an Austrian Economist.

full moon

holy cow: of bull and manure

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:41 am

Prof. Yabut’s back from vacation. Enough said:

mislead us not into temptation: Sadly, I can’t go back to those days

of innocence, when I believed priests were always right. Back in April,

we discovered the website of Priests for Life (whose leader is Fr. Frank

Pavone) and focused on the current online poll question, which appeared

to misread the roles of the Legislature and the Courts. This weekend,

we finally saw the results posted:

Question: Should the United States Congress exercise courthouse1

veto power over Supreme Court decisions?

Results: Yes: 1329 No: 580

Comment: Given the fact that the Supreme Court has exceeded

its own Constitutional authority numerous times by legislating

from the bench against the will of the people (Roe vs. Wade being

the key example), and given the fact that these excesses have

had such a high price (such as over 42 million abortions), it seems

both reasonable and imperative to us that something be done by

Congress to limit the power of the Court.

Despite Prof. Grace’s concise explanation of when Congress may

and may not “veto” the actions of the Supreme Court, Fr. Pavone

continues to espouse a flawed understanding of our Governmental

system. In an attempt to influence the Roberts Confirmation process,

Fr. Frank issued the proclamation “Why We Voted” [for George W.

Bush] — making it clear that the vote of like-minded persons was

based on Bush’s promise to nominate judges who would interpret

the constitution in a manner consistent with their pro-life goals.

The Statement then concludes:

“This [Supreme] Court, which holds such an important place

in our system, is “supreme” only in reference to the other

courts in the judicial branch of government, and not in

reference to the other branches! The President and the

Congress are just as capable of interpreting the Constitution

as is the Court. In fact, they are sworn to do so.


“Moreover, the Supreme Court is not supreme over the moral

law. God alone has our ultimate allegiance, and what we pray

for above all this week is that every judge understand the limits

of his or her authority, and the profound obligation to respect

the rights – starting with life itself – that are bestowed not by

any Court, but by the Creator.”

Because I know several “serious” Catholics who believe every word

from Fr. Frank is “gospel,” I’m sorry to see him spread misinformation.

Because the word of an apostate might not mean much to Fr. Frank,

I’m hoping current “credible” Catholics out there with legal expertise

will write to him and explain the Court’s truly “supreme” role when

it comes to constitutional interpretation (i.e., Marbury v. Madison, 1803),

along with the requirement that justices put the Constitution ahead of

personal religious or moral beliefs. Email him at .

tiny check You might point Fr. Pavone to the website of the

pro-life group Fidelis, which explains on its Federal

Courts page that “Today, virtually every significant

moral issue is litigated in these courts. Following

the appeals process, there are no options available

for Americans other than the very difficult and extremely

rare process of an amendment to the Constitution.”

tiny check However, the f/k/a gang wonders why Fidelis was so

enraged this week at Sen. Feinstein. Fidelis President

Joseph Cella commented, that her remarks at the Roberts

Confirmation hearing were “the most disturbing because

she referred to the Catholic faith as ‘dictates.’ It shows

her callous insensitivity and ignorance of the teachings

of the Catholic faith.” We suggest Mr. Cella read our

post on serious catholics, and also check out the

statement of Catholic weblogger Jay Anderson, who

declared on September 13:

“Let me go on record. Should John Roberts ever vote to

uphold Roe and Casey on the basis of stare freakin’

decisis, there is a much stronger argument for denying

him Communion than there is for denying Communion

to a pro-abort politician like John Kerry. In fact, he should

be denied Communion should he ever vote to uphold such

an abomination.


“As a Supreme Court Justice, Roberts would have the power

to right the wrong that was perpetrated by the Court in Roe,

just as the Brown Court corrected the miscarriage of justice

wrought by Plessy v. Ferguson. To forego that opportunity

on the basis of a mere prudential rule of construction like

stare decisis would be unpardonable.”

Similarly, Priests for Life, quoting from various authoritative Church

documents, also declared:

“We urge those Catholic officials who choose to depart from

Church teaching on the inviolability of human life in their public

life to consider the consequences for their own spiritual well

being, as well as the scandal they risk by leading others into

serious sin. We call on them to reflect on the grave contradiction

of assuming public roles and presenting themselves as credible

Catholics when their actions on fundamental issues of human life

are not in agreement with Church teaching. No public official,

especially one claiming to be a faithful and serious Catholic, can

responsibly advocate for or actively support direct attacks on

innocent human life” (US Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, 1998,

n. 32).

“No appeal to policy, procedure, majority will or pluralism ever

excuses a public official from defending life to the greatest extent

possible. As is true of leaders in all walks of life, no political leader

can evade accountability for his or her exercise of power (Evangelium

Vitae, 73-4). Those who justify their inaction on the grounds that

abortion is the law of the land need to recognize that there is a higher

law, the law of God. No human law can validly contradict the

Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not kill'” (US Bishops, Living the Gospel

of Life, 1998, n. 32).

it’s not swearing

it’s the only language

those cows understand

DeVar DahlA Piece of Egg Shell

WHC WorldHaikuRev. I:3

Wake Up and Smell the Manure! That’s the caption under this great take-off

on Grant Wood’s famous, oft-parodied painting, American Gothic. Taken by

photographer John Whipple, the illustration goes with the cover story in this week’s

Metroland, titled “Agriculture Wars.” (Albany, NY, by Rick Marshall, Sept. 15, 2005).

It’s the sad tale of oblivious yuppies, who have moved to the countryside seeking the

joys of rural life, only to discover [who knew?!] that even small farms can be quite noisy

and smelly. The article has some humorous anecdotes, plus a fertile field of opportunities

for lawyers representing homeowners, farmers, local zoning boards, etc. Indeed, reading

it, I was surprised that Walter Olson doesn’t already have a separate Agriculture category

over at Among things law-related that I learned:

bullG In NYS, many rural legislators are considering local

“Right-to-farm” laws to supplement State laws covering

agricultural districts. Farmers with neighboring housing

development hope the new laws will give them some

protection against nuisance lawsuits and allow them to

continue normal day-to-day farming operations that often

seem to irk and surprise neighbors — e.g., the use of manure,

the sound of cows and other livestock, the noise from farm

machinery early or late in the day, and slow-moving vehicles

on rural roads.


harvest moon

somebody’s cow moos

and moos and moos

DeVar DahlA Piece of Egg Shell

tiny check NYS already requires that home buyers sign Buyer-Beware

Disclosures in rural districts (warning of sounds and smells),

and the local right-to-farm laws would extend the disclosure

requirement to mixed-use areas.

“tinyredcheck” The hot legal issue these days is whether “agri-tourism” and

“entertaiment farming” — like seasonal hayrides, cornfield mazes

and pumpkin-decorating parties — should count as protected

agricultural acitivity.

The article notes: “Ask local farmers about their experiences with neighbors new

to the agricultural lifestyle, and you’re likely to hear a long list of baptism-by-fertilizer

scenarios. . . . . While such experiences were once an occasional source of humor,

for many farmers the Green Acres jokes have grown old from overexposure.

bullGF Even with the passage of new right-to-farm laws, “the threat of a court battle

can become the straw that breaks the small farmer’s back.” Tim Kilcer, agricultural

program leader for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, notes:

“Sure, [the agricultural district law] gives a certain amount of protection,

but that doesn’t stop someone from getting a lawyer and hauling your butt

to court anyways—and when you’re just getting by and getting worn down

by it all, it can be enough to make you say, ‘To heck with this.’ “


Prairie D’oh! Companion: We’d like to add our voice to those who have

complained about Prairie Home Companion‘s silly legal action to force the weblog to cease and desisit from selling it’s Prairie Ho Companion t-shirts.

Geez, Garrison, ain’t you rich enough yet? [via Overlawyered.]

Bulls-n-Cows Together: As potty parity buffs, we can’t help but point to a

related topic of interest covered well by Walter O. last week: Unisex bathrooms.

my best moo

all the cows

stop and look

DeVar DahlA Piece of Egg Shell

JohnRobertsPix No Bull: Your editor agrees with Ann Althouse that the Washington

Post‘s reasons for supporting the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice

of the Supreme Court are more persuasive than the New York Times call to

reject the nomination. (and see LA Times, Rosa Brooks, “Liberals, pick

another battle,” via Howard B) WashPo aptly concluded:

“Judge Roberts represents the best nominee liberals can reasonably

expect from a conservative president who promised to appoint judges

who shared his philosophy.” and

“If presidents cannot predictably garner confirmation for nominees with

unblemished careers in private practice and government service, they will

gravitate instead to nominees of lower quality who might excite their bases.

Mr. Bush deserves credit for making a nomination that, on the merits,

warrants support from across the political spectrum. Having done their

duty by asking Judge Roberts tough questions, Democrats should not

respond by withholding that support.”

As we first mentioned above: enough said.


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