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

October 7, 2005

playing the faith card is more honest than the wink game

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:28 pm

This post is a space holder, while I’m working up a reply to Steve Bainbridge‘s The Faith Card.  

I wrote What if John Roberts is a “Serious Catholic”?, because I believed that many of those

who railed against asking John Roberts about the impact of his faith on serving as a Justice

did so because they concluded silence served their agenda better than having Roberts expose

his position. (Of course, they assumed they already knew and agreed with his position.)  Faith

was very relevant, but mentioning it in the Roberts situation was deemed by those supporting

him to be politically unwise.  Now, they are willing to play the faith card in order to shore up the

Miers’ nomination.  Unwilling to chance using winks, they are are publicizing her brand of religion. 

tiny check  No matter the denials by the flashers or the flashees,

the faith card has already been played — flashed for all to see.

Of course, the Roberts confirmation was a week ago, not a decade, which would cause a

wee bit of embarrassment for most thoughtful citizens.  Luckily for the zealots, of course,

their God works in mysterious ways — and so, apparently, do his servants.


commandments  If nothing else, laying the Faith Card face up on the table is the honest

approach — a bit more consistent with a Commandment or two.


– more to come –  see faith, agendas and the supreme court (Oct. 8, 2005)


If you’re interested in my discussion with

Prof. B., start here and go there.


the thump

of a thousand rumps

returning to their pews in unison







battery weakened

the low, slow laughter

of a demon




blawggers mug Old Gray Lady

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:34 pm

Given its space limitations, today’s throw-away piece in the New York

Times about the relatively large number of lawyers with popular weblogs

did a fairly good job. See, “Opening Arguments, Endlessly,” by Jonathan

D. Glater, Oct. 7, 2005; via Legal Underground]  Naturally, the blawgiverse’s

army of kibitzers (and some of my best friends and alter egos are kibitzers)

is out in force complaining about the article. (see annotated NYT; Volokh)


high noon

the boys refill

their water pistols


       Tom Paintingpiano practice.


purseSnatcherG  Thus, Mike Cernovich has pointed out that Evan Schaeffer practices

law in Illinois and Missouri, not Ohio, as stated in the article and its sidebar list

of sites.  Mike says the article shows “why blogs were born – because the

Times can’t get anything right.”  That assertion — along with Mike’s conclusion

that “There isn’t too much [thinking] at the Times” — shows why weblogs

frequently can’t be taken very seriously: They’re more about the writer’s pet

peeves and boogeymen than about objective analysis.  They go for the

jugular (but hit only capillaries) in order to attack an enemy or nemisis at

every opportunity with gross generalities.  


tiny check As far as I’m concerned, weblogs were not born to correct

minor factual errors that aren’t important to the main story

being told.  Little old ladies and nitpickers have done that

since the first newspaper was published. Let’s hope most

webloggers have more important things on their minds.

Similarly, Jeff at Hippa Blog demonstrates the customary need of many bloggers

to feel more savvy than the uninitiated.  He complains:



“An article about ‘blawgers’ that starts off with a mention 

of Daily Kos isn’t about blawgers. It’s about bloggers; they

might be lawyers, but that’s not a lawblog.”

A fairer statement might be: An article about lawyer-run weblogs that 1) starts

off mentioning Daily Kos (saying it deals with  politics), and 2) later says

law-related weblogs are ‘sometimes called blawgs’, correctly shows that there

are many kinds of weblogs written by lawyers, without trying to deal with the

impossible task of deciding which is “really a blawg” — a topic of interest only

to weblawggers.


the gossip

her yard fills

with leaves



“oilcanHNs”   I think the times article was meant to be and is a puff/fluff piece.

Yes, it would have been better if Glater did more research and fact-checking

(bringing in a wider variety of examples, and maybe noticing that Legal

Underground is not mostly Evan’s “thoughts on law cases”).   But, the

quotations used show that the reporter understood the main topic of the

piece — why lawyers seem to be disproportionately drawn to weblogs and

why so many of them are popular.   This piece tells us virtually nothing

about how the New York Times covers the truly important issues of the day.  

Trust me, lawyer-weblogs is not one of those issues.

tiny check  The article did leave out one very significant reason

why many lawyers (and especially law professors and law

students) have weblogs:  They have access to computers

in locations where they are mostly unsupervized and can

wax weblogriful while appearing to be working, studying,

billing, researching, or being otherwise productive.

p.s.  I consider Mike Cernovich’s post about the Times article

a “puff post” and a quickie.  So, I’ll be back to read his more

substantial pieces at Crime & Federalism — letting him know,

of course, when he appears to be demonstrating more bias

than insight.  update (Oct. 8, 2005): Mike, and the omnipresent

and eh-rascible Eh Man, respond to this post here, where I left

a very responsive Comment.


tiny check  okay, it’s the weekend and time for some haiku  pumpkin2   

and senryu from Schenectady’s own Yu Chang:


pumpkin patch —

this one is big enough

for my son






homecoming —

standing room only

in my office






quiet water

she joins me

in silence








corporate parking lot

another starling

settles on the power line



Upstate Dim Sum: Route 9 Haiku Group (2005/I)


one arm under the pillow

only my hand


                                                                        prof yabut small flip  prof. yabut



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