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

May 3, 2006

something positive to say (really)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:42 pm

In case you’re new to f/k/a, we wanted to point out that we’re not always cranky and dissatisfied around here. Here are a few positive things we saw online today:

tiny check Prof. Mark Liberman at Language Log, while discussing

concocted debates and some nasty stereotyping of scholars

(explained by White Bear in “are academics bitchy?“), gives

us all a great reminder of what it takes to make good conver-

sation. Mark says he appreciates discussions — even if

virtual — that have “the characteristics that Russell Baker

identifies as ‘classic conversational etiquette’:”



“Both participants listen attentively to each other; neither

tries to promote himself by pleasing the other; both are

obviously enjoying an intellectual workout; neither spoils

the evening’s peaceable air by making a speech or letting

disagreement flare into anger; they do not make tedious

attempts to be witty.”

Mark concludes with a point that the the f/k/a Gang needs to

keep firmly in mind: “The blogging format tends to encourage

speechifying, I guess; but otherwise, the people that I respect

come out pretty well according to this standard of evaluation.”



tiny check Linda Greenhouse reports on a much less argumentative and less

stressful tone at the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts

(NYT, “In the Roberts Court, More Room for Argument,” May 3, 2006)

The justices are so much more patient with counsel and eachother

in court sessions, that: Practitioner Carter G. Phillips notes “You have

to be ready now to make some kind of affirmative presentation” in the

opening minutes of an argument, he said.



gas pump g While we’ve been lamenting the failure of leading politicians to call

for energy conservation, it is very good to see that consumers (at least

the ones who can afford to buy or lease a new car) are doing something

about it: See Washington Post, “Car Buyers Scaled Down Last Month:

With Gas Prices Soaring, Small Cars Trump SUVs,” (May 3, 2006):

“Consumers reacted sharply to rising gasoline prices last month

and turned away from large sport-utility vehicles and other trucks

in favor of small cars and gas-electric hybrid vehicles.”

tiny check The Vatican, in what is clearly a gracious act of charity and

other-check-turning, is doing everything it can to make the movie

version of the book The DaVinci Code a huge success. (Reuters/Yahoo!,

“Boycott DaVinci Code film”: top Vatican Official, April 28, 2006) [Ed. note:

Prof Yabut snuck this blurb into this post.]

DaVinciCodeLogo DaVinci Code Store

tiny check If you came here today hoping to improve your lawyering at depositions,

while thoroughly enjoying yourself, you win: learn about court reporter

Lucius Friedli in Jacob Stein’s latest “legal spectator” column for the

Washington Lawyer Magazine (May 2006). Weblogger heads-up: you’ll

find lots of quotable material in Stein’s column (as usual).



update (May 3, 10 PM): This is too good to wait until tomorrow: You can get a

sneak peak of “Antitrust in the USA, A Primer,” by Albert Foer, president of the

American Antitrust Institute, at the AAI website (AAI Working Paper No. 06-04,

May 3, 2006). The Working Paper is a draft chapter in a book to be published by the

Indian consumer organization CUTSCCIER (Consumer Unity & Trust Society

— Centre for Competition, Investment and Economic Regulation), to be titled

Competition Regimes of the World – A Civil Society Report (Pp 670, Rs.1500/

US$150, ISBN 81-8257-064-6). The book “is a compilation that maps out com-

petition regimes around the world from the civil society perspective.” It covers

more than 100 countries. (brochure)



Foer’s 12-page (pdf.) AAI Working Paper provides an introductory overview of

antitrust in the U.S.A. [You can find annotated links to many other antitrust

primers in the AAI’s Guide to Antitrust Resources on the Web, at its Primers






spring rain
a bruise on my arm
from donating blood








lengthening shadows
a stray dog
joins the picnic






cherry blossoms
today the courage
to speak to her






almost dusk
an open door
to the lighthouse




long shadows
many places
to cross the creek



paul m from The Heron’s Nest

sping rain” (April 2004)

lengthening shadows” – (May 2004)

“cherry blossoms” (April 2003)

long shadows” (Dec. 2003)

almost dusk” (Dec. 2003)

umbrella vert

pump pandering: no one mentions using less energy

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:07 pm

The “conservative” Republicans won’t do it. 

Neither will the “conservationist”-environ-

mentalist Democrats.  [see WashPost,

“GOP looks for Plan B on Gas,” May 3,

2006; NYT editiorial “Foolisness on fuel,

May 3, 2006] Not one politician currently

in office (and planning to run again) is telling

the American public:

“We all must use significantly less

energy to solve our Nation’s energy


“pbsPoliticsPumpG” PBS News Hour

politics and the pump


         Yesterday evening on The PBS News Hour, Jim

Lehrer didn’t even bother to ask about reducing demand

and energy consumption, in a lengthy interview with Sen.

Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

(“Politics and the Pump: Solving Gas Prices,” May 2, 2006). 

All that the Senators seemed to care about was winning

political points with voters — with their stated goal of ob-

taining and maintaining the supply to meet our national

demand for oil and gas.

55 limit n

Frankly, I expected much more from Sen. Cantwell, and

went to her website, to see if she might have more to say

on the topic there.  Sadly, there was nothing about reducing

energy consumption — as opposed to reducing our need for

foreign sources of energy.  In an April 6, 2006, Press Release,

I found her joining a call last month for a National Energy Sum-

mit.  That press release ends by proclaiming:

“Cantwell is the chair of the Senate Democrats’ Energy

Independence 2020 national campaign working to break

America’s overdependence on foreign oil, protect working

families from skyrocketing energy costs, stop unfair market

manipulation by energy companies, and invest in reliable

sources of affordable fuel.”

As I said above, not a word about the need to conserve.  No

courage to call for changes in our lifestyles that are the only

true hope for meeting the Nation’s “energy challenge.”  (see

our prior post, Open Letter to Gas-Whiners, April 26, 2006;

and see gas pain?, which points out the instant, significant

savings from merely driving more slowly on highways)






Key West heat–
the kitchen staff’s
chained bicycles






crossing the bridge —
the shadow of a gull
I never see




long before daybreak
the local rooster
starts warming up





Making change

the conductor

shifts his toothpick





slow conversation

a passing bus fills

the diner window





Distant tail lights
in the dark


crossing the bridge” – The Heron’s Nest (Sept. 2002)

 “long before” tinywords (2003/09/05)

“slow conversation” – A New Resonance 2 (2001)

“making change” – the loose thread: RMA 2001; Modern Haiku XXXII:1 

“Distant tail lights” – from Haiku Spirit 

“Key West heat” – Frogpond XXII:3 (1999)

      55 limit


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