Sunday, December 31, 2006
We went to the Totman's house after dropping off some team members at a mission guest house, talked for a little, and then slept for the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, David drove us around the town a bit and showed us the projects we would be working on. That night we ate at a Vietnamese place. I don't know if the food was really amazing or if we were just really hungry, but I can't remember the last time I enjoyed fried rice so much.
Friday was work day. Becca, Jared, Don Murdock, and I were assigned to building desks. There were 30 hand-welded frames and a stack of plywood varying in quality from bad to unusable. By lunchtime we had cut out all the pieces and had most of them sanded. The afternoon work went slower, since we discovered some of the pieces had to be as custom-made as the frames, and we had to glue some of the plywood back together.
The roofing and tree-trimming crew did well, too. The roofers got 22 of the 33 sheets of metal up, and the tree folks estimate they are also about 2/3 done.
We had dinner at the American Rec Center, connected to the American embassy here. They have a little hot-dog stand, a TV broadcasting college football, and a swimming pool with no water.
One the 6.5-hour flight (11pm Eastern to 6:30am Casablanca time) the Vegters met a young Moroccan named Omar who drove a taxi in New York. He kindly got us on a train from the airport to our stop, hailed five taxis, and told the drivers where to take us for our hotel. Moroccan is a creole of French, Spanish, and Arabic, so naturally communication was a little bit of a trick.
The hotel was... um... well, it wasn't exactly a Hilton. The paint was peeling, there were no shower curtains, no heat, and in Becca's and my room, no working toilet. There was a TV, but none of them had any knobs to turn them on. I doubt they had worked in decades. The beds were comfortable,though, and the water was hot.
Once we dropped off our bags, we went for an explore.
The third-largest mosque in the world is in Casablanca, and it was about an hour's walk from our hotel, so we headed there. It is one of the few mosques that allows non-believers inside. It was amazing. Really makes you wonder what Soloman's temple must have looked like. Inside there is room for 25,000 worshippers. The courtyard holds 80,000. Much of it is Italian white marble. It looks so out of place; it is in one of the poorer neighborhoods of a city where the donkey cart is still a common form of transportation.
That afternoon and the next day we wandered around the city. We visited Old Medina, where the street vendors' village is, and bought a few things (yes, Joanna, I have a few items to send you), and we saw the Supreme Court and Chad found a fire station where a very nice firefighter showed us all the equipment on his truck and give Chad an old uniform jacket. In the evening we took three taxis (don't ask us how we fit 12 people and 36 bags--it's not a pretty story) back to the airport to catch our 3.5-hour flight to Niamey. Thus ends the first two days of our adventure.
Monday, December 11, 2006
But now I'm intrigued. My first thought as I was reading the description of my supposed INFJ personality (preferences 44-75-12-1) was, "Whoa, this totally explains my life experience and related frustrations with existence." My second thought was, "Huh. I wonder what my friends are, and if this thing works."
So... What are you? The test only takes a minute or two. What did it say, and do you think the result accurately describes you?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I looked it up. The press secretary is Jared Young, who holds a B.S. in financial management from BJU. Hmm. I’m not sure if adding BJU to the mix would really allay the public’s fear of wacky fundamentalism already attributed to Romney’s campaign. Just sayin’…
I’m not sure what to think of the general perception of my alma mater. Sometimes I think the public is almost as ambivalent about it as I am. Other times I go back to thinking it's the kiss of death on any resume. Maybe it depends on the market (or constituency).
Monday, December 04, 2006
I just feel sorry for the poor person who had to stand out there and write in all the car description info in the freezing cold. The high today was 24 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Marriage may sometimes be an uncomfortable state, I can well believe that, and that is as it should be. Are we not also married to our conscience, and would we not often like to be rid of it because it is more uncomfortable than a husband or a wife could ever be.From Elective Affinities, Johann von Goethe, reprinted in the no-fault divorce section of An Invitation to Family Law, Schneider and Brinig
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?
"The uncovered meat is the problem."
The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."
He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men.
"It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa)."
Gaaa!! I'm offended on the behalf of women for being likened to "meat" for consumption, but I'm more outraged on the behalf of men who are regarded as having the moral discretion and behavioral control of feral cats. It would take a harsh religion indeed to control a race of such animals.
By the way, do any of you remember EVERY hall meeting in which there was an announcement resembling "We know you're in dress code, but the guys are complaining that you are still dressing too suggestively and it is causing them to stumble..."
Monday, October 23, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Pardon my Floridianness once again, but doesn't it seem a bit early to be brushing snow off my car to get to school? I mean, only a couple trees on campus have started to turn colors. The snow-dusted geraniums in full bloom look a little confused. I'm not too good with seasons, having little experience with them, but I think I remember that there was supposed to be one between summer and winter.
Update: The early hours of sunlight this morning were stunningly beautiful and I was kicking myself for not taking my camera to school. Fortunately, 3L Brendan Loy blogger extraordinaire did take his, and he is a much better photographer than I. Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A little more substantively, I think there are some very valid points made both in the post and its comment, particularly regarding the school's insularity and lost opportunities to make statements from the Christian perspective. On one hand, I sort of cringe when the school speaks on a political issue as a school (Remember that infamous letter to Bush?), but on the other I think there's something really disturbing about not allowing your faculty or staff (as the site notes, some of the brightest Fundamentalist thinkers around) to publish even an op ed without approval.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
StLouisiana (links from a self-described high church Presbyterian)
Biblical Horizons No.s 33 and 34
Poems cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Other related posts:
Unclogging Protestantism with the Grace of the Eucharist--Not endorsing the content here, just tossing it out as food for thought because I found some of the comments provocative
Cyprian of Carthage on the Eucharist
Paradoxology--a little more Protestant perspective
Update: Does anyone know of any disciplined Protestant answer to the Catholic view of the Eucharist? I mean, something other than "Um, no it's not"?
Monday, October 02, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
This is my new dishwashing service. Trust me, we're usually very sanitary. Puck was duly scolded and evicted from the table soon after this picture was taken (not that scolding a kitten is ever very effective).
Note to self: Close lid on record player when not changing the record. I couldn't figure out why I kept hearing the record skip backward and forward randomly until I realized that turntable needles are fascinating to kittens. Heh. Proof that cats are smarter than dogs: The silly RCA Victor dog just sits and listens with a puzzled expression. The Detrola kitten is not content unless he's the DJ...
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Note to faithful readers: Barely Legal has been removed because it is no longer funny. Its owners have graduated from law school and now post only occational whinings about how they never do anything useful. We apologize if you miss it and suggest Homestarrunner as an alternative.
Friday, September 08, 2006
- Agent Orange
- The Snort
- Neko (Japanese for "cat")
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
1. One book that changed your life: Isaiah
2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Pride and Prejudice
3. One book you’d want on a desert island [at law school]: Norton's Anthology of Poetry
4. One book that made you laugh: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
5. One book that made you cry: Cry, the Beloved Country
6. One book that you wish had been written: How to Find Time to Write Fiction and Poetry in Law School and Get It Published
7. One book you wish had never been written: Ayn Rand's Fountainhead
8. One book you’re currently reading: Federal Income Taxation, by Klein et al.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: One Hundred Years of Solitude
10. Now tag five people:
Monday, September 04, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
People often say that marriage is an important thing, and should be much thought of in advance, and marrying people are cautioned that there are many who marry in haste and repent at leisure. I am not sure, however, that marriage may not be pondered over too much; nor do I feel certain that the leisurely repentance does not as often follow the leisurely marriage as it does the rapid ones. That some repent no one can doubt, but I am incline to believe that most men and women take their lots as they find them, marrying as the birds do by force of nature, and going on with their mates with a general, though not perhaps an undisturbed satisfaction, feeling inwardly assured that Providence, if it has not done the very best for them, has done for them as well as they could do for themselves with all the thought in the world. I do not know that a woman can assure to herself, by her own prudence and taste, a good husband any more than she can add two cubits to her stature; but husbands have been made to be decently good,--and wives too, for the most part, in our country,--so that the thing does not require quite so much thinking as some people say.[Quoted in Schneider and Brinig, An Invitation to Family Law]
What think you of this? Perspectives from married folk? Charlotte Lucas?
Saturday, August 26, 2006
People often use or understand the dogma that there is no such thing as "separate but equal" to stand for the proposition that integration necessarily implies equality. I vaguely remember from Logic that there is some Latin term for this sort of fallacy (B = ~A, therefore ~B = A), but I can't for the life of me remember the term. At any rate, it's not sound reasoning from a logic standpoint.
Aside from Latin and logic, anyway, can the conclusion be disproved by demonstration? Anecdotal evidence suggests that the consolidated school system often fosters a system of stratification among the students such that the students at the top and the bottom of the performance curve (or just the top) receive the benefit of a far greater proportion of school resources than students in the middle. Is this inequality, and if so, should we be troubled by it?
One of my schoolmates raises the compelling point that at least integration has produced some equality of opportunity, and since all the resources are available on a merit basis, any ceilings on educational opportunities are self-imposed.
While I would grant that integration was probably a positive step, though, I'm still not entirely sanguine about accepting the "equality of opportunity" as ideal. First, at least in my experience, the disparity of resources spent on "exceptional" students vs. "average" students ranges from unfair to shocking. Second, while autonomy and responsibility for one's own performance are to be highly valued, we are still talking about children, or at best, adolescents. They are still in their formative years, and as such, still ought to have access to formative forces without too much expectation that they will already have it all together. If we thought they were mature enough to bear the full consequences of their priority decisions, we probably wouldn't have truancy laws or legal concessions for minority. And as much as we might hate to admit it, there is a strong correlation between socio-economic status and academic success. I don't think the correlation is that poor kids are all lazy and unmotivated or stupid. Should we hold them responsible for whatever the correlation is? Do we have any choice?
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
First, welcome my new roommate Carissa to NDLaw. Her blog Meldisse is new on the sidebar.
Second, meet Cricket the pseudo-minipoodle. He's still getting adjusted to apartment life (and life outside the pound in general, I'm afraid). Today he met a rather bold squirrel that was investigating the (also new) birdfeeder I just hung outside.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Note also that you will find a similar plot line at Dancing Through Life (Joanna's blog). Best to you both, girls! Wish I could be there.
Monday, August 21, 2006
This year a small group from my church in Florida plans to spend about a week and a half in Niamey visiting our friends and helping a local French school (not the one they are employed at) by building desks and reroofing their building. We plan to leave the day after Christmas, have a two-day layover in Casablanca, Morocco, and then spend until January 5 in Niamey. I'll try to have pictures to share. No doubt stories will arise as well. Niger is 90% Muslim, has a population density of 28/sq. mi. (about 14 million total), and a per capita GDP (adjusted for PPP) of $872. Most of it is desert (Sahara), and they tell me the sand is so bad you have to learn to chew differently so as not to grind down your teeth.
I would appreciate your prayers as I work out the details (financial and logistical--do you know how many shots you have to have to go to West Africa!?).
Sorry for the sparse posting this summer; I've been happily crabby and unsociable for much of it, and my interactive skills need a little dusting. Hopefully new classes and discussion with my ever-brilliant colleagues will spark more regular posting in the coming months. Look for musings on Family Law, Education Law, and maybe even a little Tax Law (I'll try hard to keep those at least vaguely relevent to "normal" people).
Oh, did anyone notice that the Notre Dame football team is ranked No. 3 (tied with USC) this year?
Friday, August 04, 2006
by Attorney Barbara Weller
When Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed at 1:45 p.m. on March 18, 2005, I was one of the most surprised people on the planet. I had been visiting Terri throughout the morning with her family and her priest. As part of the legal team working throughout the previous days and nights to save Terri from a horrific fate, I was very hopeful. Although the state judicial system had obviously failed Terri by not protecting her life, I knew other forces were still at work. I fully expected the federal courts would step in to reverse this injustice, just as they might for a prisoner unjustly set for execution—although by much more humane means than Terri would be executed. Barring that, I was certain that sometime around noon, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services would come to the Woodside Hospice facility in Pinellas Park and take Terri into protective custody. Or that federal marshals would arrive from Washington D.C, where the Congress was working furiously to try to save Terri, and would stand guard at her door to prevent any medical personnel from entering her room to remove the tube that was providing her nutrition and hydration.
Finally, I was sure if nothing else was working, that at 12:59, just before the hour scheduled for Terri’s gruesome execution to begin, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would at least issue a 60-day reprieve for the legislative bodies to complete the work they were attempting to do to save Terri’s life and to make sure that no other vulnerable adults could be sentenced to starve to death in America. I had done the legal research weeks before and was fully convinced that Gov. Bush had the power, under our co-equal branches of government, to issue a reprieve in the face of a judicial death sentence intended to lead to the starvation and dehydration of an innocent woman when scores of doctors and neurologists were saying she could be helped.
All morning long, as I was in the room with Terri and her family, we were telling her that help was on the way. Terri was in good spirits that morning. The mood in her room was jovial, particularly around noontime, as we knew Congressional attorneys were on the scene and many were working hard to save Terri’s life. For most of that time, I was visiting and talking with Terri along with Terri’s sister Suzanne Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and Terri’s aunt, who was visiting from New York to help provide support for the family. A female Pinellas Park police office was stationed at the door outside Terri’s room.
Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair, dressed and looking alert and well. Her feeding tube had been plugged in around 11 a.m. and we all felt good that she was still being fed. Suzanne and I were talking, joking, and laughing with Terri, telling her she was going to go to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress, which meant that finally Terri’s husband Michael would be required to fix her wheelchair. After that Suzanne could take Terri to the mall shopping and could wheel her outdoors every day to feel the wind and sunshine on her face, something she has not been able to do for more than five years.
At one point, I noticed Terri’s window blinds were pulled down. I went to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain. As sunlight came into the room, Terri’s eyes widened and she was obviously very pleased. At another point, Suzanne and I told Terri she needed to suck in all the food she could because she might not be getting anything for a few days. During that time, Mary Schindler, Terri’s mother, joined us for a bit, and we noticed there were bubbles in Terri’s feeding tube. We joked that we didn’t want her to begin burping, and called the nurses to fix the feeding tube, which they did. Terri’s mother did not come back into the room. This was a very difficult day for Bob and Mary Schindler. I suspect they were less hopeful all along than I was, having lived through Terri’s last two feeding tube removals.
Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an hour or more. At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I noticed the dimples in her cheeks.
The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was sitting on Terri’s bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, “Terri if you could only say ‘I want to live’ this whole thing could be over today.” I begged her to try very hard to say, “I want to live.” To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri’s eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, “Ahhhhhhh.” Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, “Waaaaaaaa.” She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri’s door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terri’s face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world that she had tried to say, ”I want to live.”
Suzanne and I continued to visit and talk with Terri, along with other family members who came and went in the room, until about 2:00 p.m. when we were all told to leave after Judge Greer denied yet another motion for stay and ordered the removal of the feeding tube to proceed. As we left the room, the female police officer outside the door was valiantly attempting to keep from crying.
Just as Terri’s husband Michael has told the world he must keep an alleged promise to kill Terri, a promise remembered a million dollars and nearly a decade after the fact; I must keep my promise to Terri immediately. Time is running out for her. I went out to the banks of cameras outside the hospice facility and told the story immediately. Now I must also tell the story in writing for the world to hear. It may be the last effective thing I can do to try to keep Terri alive so she can get the testing, therapy, and rehabilitative help she so desperately needs before it is too late.
About four in the afternoon, several hours after the feeding tube was removed, I returned to Terri’s room. By that time she was alone except for a male police officer now standing inside the door. When I entered the room and began to speak to her, Terri started to cry and tried to speak to me immediately. It was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever had. Terri was looking very melancholy at that point and I had the sense she was very upset that we had told her things were going to get better, but instead, they were obviously getting worse. I had previously had the same feeling when my own daughter was a baby who was hospitalized and was crying and looking to me to rescue her from her hospital crib, something I could not do. While I was in the room with Terri for the next half hour or so, several other friends came to visit and I did a few press interviews sitting right next to Terri. I again raised her window shade, which had again been pulled down, so Terri could at least see the garden and the sunshine from her lounge chair. I also turned the radio on in her room before I left so that when she was alone, she would at least have some music for comfort.
Just before I left the room, I leaned over Terri and spoke right into her ear. I told her I was very sorry I had not been able to stop the feeding tube from being taken out and I was very sorry I had to leave her alone. But I reminded her that Jesus would stay right by her side even when no one else was there with her. When I mentioned Jesus’ Name, Terri again laughed out loud. She became very agitated and began loudly trying to speak to me again. As Terri continued to laugh and try to speak, I quietly prayed in her ear, kissed her, placed her in Jesus’ care, and left the room.
Terri is alone now. As I write this last visit narrative, it is five in the morning of March 19. Terri has been without food and water for nearly 17 hours. I’m sure she is beginning at least to become thirsty, if not hungry. And I am left to wonder how many other people care.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
February 24, 2005
Attorney Barbara Weller
I have visited Terri Schindler Schiavo several times since I first met her on the day before Christmas in 2004. Today was an especially poignant visit so I decided to again share it with all those who have been so concerned for her.
Attorney David Gibbs III and I visited Terri to update her on the good things that were happening in the legal case. We believe that she comprehends at some level what is going on and that she may well have been aware of the fear and anguish her parents and siblings were feeling on February 21 when the possibility existed that the process of starvation and dehydration might again be initiated leading to her death.
We made this visit with her mother and father, Bob and Mary Schindler. For the first time since I have been visiting her, security guards were posted by Terri’s door and visitors had to clear two check points before entering the room. The Schindlers are very grateful that Terri has been given this extra protection to keep her safe during this difficult time.
When Mr. Gibbs and I entered the room with Bob, Mary was already there. Terri was again sitting in her lounge chair, at nearly an upright angle. Mary was perched on the arm of the chair with her head right next to Terri’s head. Mary was talking to Terri and kissing her and Terri’s eyes were wide and locked onto her mother’s eyes. Mary was saying “I love you” and trying to get Terri to repeat the words after her. Mary would say “I-I-I-I” and Terri would answer back “Aa-a-u-u-ugh.” Mary would then say “l-o-o-o-v-v-v-v-e” and Terri would repeat “Aw-w-w-w-w-w.” Mary then said a staccato “you” to which Terri did not audibly respond.
Within a minute or two after we entered the room, Terri began to appear tired. She had been interacting with Mary for a half hour before we arrived and seemed to need a little rest. She closed her eyes while the four of us chatted. When Mary tried to get her attention, she would try to open her eyes, but they would flutter shut again. Mary was coaxing Terri to wake up, telling her that she had some “very important visitors” (Mr. Gibbs and myself). Finally, after a few minutes of coaxing, Terri’s eyes opened wide again and she again locked them on her mother’s face.
After a few minutes, Mr. Gibbs began to talk to her. When Terri heard Mr. Gibbs' voice she became startled. She threw her head backwards and made a loud snorting sound. While Mr. Gibbs continued to talk to her she was opening and closing her eyes, sometimes looking in his direction and sometimes appearing to be resting. Mr. Gibbs told her about the good things that were happening, about all the people around the world who love her and who are praying for her, and that the government had stepped in to protect her and to try to help her. He stressed, like you would to a small child, how blessed Terri was to have a mom and dad who loved her. Terri seemed quite content listening to Mr. Gibbs speak.
I next took a turn to talk with Terri. I went to the spot where her mother had been and began to talk quietly to her about the party we are all going to have when she goes home. I also prayed with her. The whole time I was speaking to her and praying for her, her eyes were wide open and fixated on my face. At one point, she tried to talk with me, making a very quiet “a-a-a-a-a” sound. I had the impression that my voice was perhaps somewhat familiar to her since I have now been to see her several times.
When her father went to stand by her side on Terri’s left, Mr. Gibbs had moved to her right, on the other side of Terri’s bed, which is next to her lounge chair. Earlier in Terri's room Bob had joked with Mr. Gibbs that everybody wanted to talk to Mr. Gibbs now and nobody cared what Bob had to say anymore making him jealous. Bob began to joke with Terri as he always does and Terri’s face took on the same coy, semi-annoyed look that I have seen before when she interacts with her father. At that point, Terri arched her back and turned her whole body to the right, away from Bob, to gaze intently at Mr. Gibbs with a little saucy smile on her face. It seemed obvious to me that she was playing along with the joke by giving her father the cold shoulder and focusing all her attention on Mr. Gibbs. Bob continued to tease with her about this for a few minutes and then gave her his customary hug and kiss, to which she responded with her usual lemon face that she reserves for his mustache kisses.
The four of us spent several more minutes joking and laughing together. Terri did not speak, but watched and listened to us. When it was time to go, Mary went up to Terri’s head to say goodbye. At that point Terri began to cry and to look very distressed. Mary said that Terri does not always cry when they leave, but she sometimes does. Mary promised that the whole family would return the next day, but Terri did not stop crying. When Mary left the room, I went up to Terri’s head and leaned close and told her that even though her mother and father could not always be with her that she was not alone. When I told her that, Terri widened her eyes again. She was no longer crying when I left the room.
This visit lasted about forty minutes. We encourage everyone to continue to pray for Terri and her family, especially that Terri will soon be receiving the help she needs to learn to speak and to swallow and that she will soon be home with her family again.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Incidentally, David Gibbs' book Fighting For Dear Life came out today, and we'll probably be seeing and hearing him talk about it on national media over the next few weeks. (early review of the book)
Tangentially related, I noticed an article on New York Times today about another Terry (Terry Wallis) who suddenly "woke up" from PVS (kinda takes the "P" out of PVS, huh?) three years ago after being "mute and virtually unresponsive in a state of minimal consciousness" for 19 years. Good thing there was no custody battle over him. Quotation from the article:
I don't know; it sounds a little familiar. It seems like the Willis family would have filed an amicus brief or something in the Schiavo case, or that I at least would have heard of Terry sometime during the whole media furor. Was he talked about and I just missed it?
"Mr. Wallis spent the second 19 years of his life at a nursing home in Mountain View, and family members who visited said they saw plenty of hints of awareness along the way. He seemed to brighten when they walked in his room. Something in his face would tighten when he was impatient or hungry."
Thursday, June 29, 2006
He was about four, I think... it was so long ago.
In a garden; he'd done some damage
behind a bright screen of sweet-peas
- snapped a stalk, a stake, I don't recall,
but the grandmother came and saw, and asked him:
"Did you do that?"
Now, if she'd said why did you do that,
he'd never have denied it. She showed him
he had a choice. I could see, in his face,
the new sense, the possible. That word and deed
need not match, that you could say the world
different, to suit you.
When he said "No", I swear it was as moving
as the first time a baby's fist clenches
on a finger, as momentous as the first
taste of fruit. I could feel his eyes looking
through a new window, at a world whose form
and colour weren't fixed
but fluid, that poured like a snake, trembled
around the edges like northern lights, shape-shifted
at the spell of a voice. I could sense him filling
like a glass, hear the unreal sea in his ears.
This is how to make songs, create men, paint pictures,
tell a story.
I think I made up the screen of sweet peas.
Maybe they were beans; maybe there was no screen,
it just felt as if there should be, somehow.
And he was my - no, I don't need to tell that.
I know I made up the screen. And I recall very well
what he had done.
-- Sheenagh Pugh
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
In case you can't see exactly what this is, I'll explain: This is the front entrance to University of Massachusetts--Dartmouth campus. The flagpole in the center flies the Massachusetts state flag. On the right (yes, the right, not the center) is the United States flag. On the left is the rainbow flag, commonly known as the gay pride flag, and yes, it is being flown at the same height as the United States flag. Anyone want to play that game we learned from children's TV shows called "How Many Things Can You Find Wrong With This Picture"?
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
The last few days I've been sitting in some very interesting lectures on some very interesting topics given by some very credentialed people, and I figured I should post something about a point they raised or a controversy they inspired, but in retrospect the strongest impression that stands out to me has nothing to do with those lectures.
It happened this morning. A small group of us decided to go for a dawn hike up a nearby mountain since sessions started a little later. The timing worked out pretty well, and we reached the peak right about as the sun broke away from the horizon, and as all of us sat on the peak resting and basking in the beauty of Creation we started singing and reading aloud Psalms. It seemed like such a natural response none of us really thought twice about it. On the way back down, another hiker passed us. As he walked beside me for several paces he asked if we were a church group. I replied that no, we were law students, but we were Christians gathered from all over. He seemed absolutely baffled. "But you were singing up there," he said in puzzlement. "You're not a church?" But it's so logical: Christians gather, the Spirit is present; in the presence of so much natural beauty what could be more natural than that we be compelled to praise the Creator? I can't say for sure, but I don't think lost people really get that. Boy, do they miss out.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
If I had my way with violent men
I'd simmer them in oil,
I'd fill a pot with bitumen
And bring them to the boil.
I execrate the terrorist
And those who harbour him,
And if I weren't a moralist
I'd tear them limb from limb.
Fanatics are an evil breed
Whom decent men should shun;
I'd like to flog them till they bleed,
Yes, every mother's son,
I'd like to tie them to a board
And let them taste the cat,
While giving praise, oh thank the Lord,
That I am not like that.
For we should love the human kind,
As Jesus taught us to,
And those who don't should be struck blind
And beaten black and blue;
I'd like to roast them in a grill
And listen to them shriek,
Then break them on the wheel until
They turned the other cheek.
-- Roger Woddis
Monday, May 29, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
When I picked this book up I thought it would be more about arbitration and mediation with a Christian twist (based entirely on the prohibition against taking other Christians to court in I Cor. 6:1-8). While that passage is referenced a few times in the book, its scope is much more broad than that. Sande has a lot of good points about the inability of courts to address underlying problems in disputes and the damage this can cause in relationships among believers, but I really like the book's positive focus on what the church can, and should, do about it. He encourages churches to take an active role in maintaining healthy relationships within the church by overseeing conflict resolution and reconciliation. Most notable about this book is that it is not really about "legal" disputes. It is about relationships and ALL the conflicts that go with them, whether it's the breakdown of a contract, of a marriage, or kids fighting over the front seat of the car. It was challenging to me on a personal level because it pointed out the positive effects of conflict--greater understanding of and interaction with fellow-believers, and growth from the ability to reach God-honoring solutions. I don't like conflict and tend to deny it, run from it, or ignore it, and that is just as unhealthy to a relationship as belligerence. This book gets lots of stars on a scale of lots of stars.
Humility: True Greatness, by C.J. Mahaney
This book reminded me of one of those little coffee-table-type inspirational books you sometimes see at the checkout. I don't mean that in a disparaging way. It has good substance, even if it is a little repetitive and sometimes reads like an annotated bibliography. If you need a quick reminder and refocus on your exact position with reference to God (and who are we kidding, don't we all?), this book is a good choice. Watch out for some overt Calvinism, if that sort of thing bothers you. A respectable number of stars out of lots of stars.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
- Confessions, by A. Augustine
- Always Ready, by Greg L. Bahnsen
- Coercing Virtue, by Robert Bork
- Natural Law for Lawyers, by J. Budziszewski
- Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton
- America's Christian History, by Gary DeMar
- Architects of the Culture of Death, by Donald DeMarco & Benjamin Wiker
- The Cruelty of Heresy, by C. Fitzsimons Allison
- No Other God, by John Frame
- The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis
- Humility: True Greatness, by C.J. Mahaney
- The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, by Edwin Meese III
- Christ and Culture, by H. Richard Neibuhr
- When I Don't Desire God, by John Piper
- The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande
- Idols for Destruction, by Herbert Scholssberg,
- The Homosexual Agenda, by Alan Sears and Craig Osten
- ACLU vs. America, by Alan Sears and Craig Osten
- Sir William Blackstone & the Common Law, by Robert Stacey
- The Cube and the Cathedral, by George Weigel
- Vindicating the Founders, by Tom West
Books in the second category:
- One Hundred Years of Solitude (which my roommate just gave me--can't wait!)
- Huckleberry Finn (which I am ashamed to say I have never read)
- Understanding the Times
A FEW books in the third category:
- To Kill a Mockingbird (just saw the movie at DPAC and really need to reread it)
- Wuthering Heights (it's just been a while)
- The Grapes of Wrath
- Cry, the Beloved Country
- something by Jane Austin
So what are you guys reading?
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Edit: Oh wait, I'm in some of the rehearsal pics from Carnegie Hall. See, told you I was there.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
As the link shows, the columnist does little more than remind that that no matter how much the people scream and the politicans promise, the laws of supply and demand cannot be repealed. Are oil companies charging as much as then market will bear? Sure, but so does every single business and so does every single employee who looks for a raise. Countless investigations have found no collusion among the oil companies, and if they had, that would be an issue for Antitrust law, not the griping we hear today.
What irritates me most is that the same people responsible for the supply and demand problems are those scream the loudest over the prices. We might want to drive SUVs, regulate the blends of gasoline, or not drill in certain places because we like the look of tundra more than lower oil prices. But those decisions come at a cost, and politicans who created those costs by impacting supply and demand are now blaming everyone but the responsible parties: themselves. The least they could do is be honest.
Indeed, all the political sound and fury is counter-productive, because it only increases people's fear that prices will go higher. I have heard that the "future uncertainty" premium is at least$10, and maybe $20 per barrel of oil. Fear drives prices even higher by unreasonably increasing demand now, and adding to the fear does not help.
Link to article
The judge in Zacarias Moussaoui's death penalty trial admonished jurors Friday to avoid looking up words in the dictionary after learning that one went on the Internet to see what "aggravating" means.My word. This calls into question all kinds of things (jury instructions, clarity of the lawyer's arguments, value of a 'jury of our peers'...).
Monday, April 24, 2006
Saturday, April 22, 2006
The ever-useful Wikipedia has some information on death penalty for crimes other than murder.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
-- Elizabeth Bishop
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Update and correction: It would appear you can't actually buy tickets over the phone but must walk, with your ENTIRE body, over to the LaFortune box office to exchange money for admission. Also, as was pointed out to me, the performances are Friday and Saturday, not Thursday. Good to notice that now; they wouldn't have had a horn player Saturday!
Monday, April 03, 2006
Friday, March 31, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I dunno, a dog is a big responsibility and I might be traveling some in the next few years and have no idea what living conditions my summers may bring. Also, I'm not sure how much the care would cost, especially of a pedigreed animal. Minipins usually cost $400-500 from a breeder, and then there are shots, sterilization, check-ups, food, extra housing deposit... But they're so cute! I'd love to be greeted at the door by a yapping little prince or have him snuggle on my lap while I study.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Also, the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra will be playing its Spring Concert Friday April 28. The info is not yet up on the DPAC page, but I'll provide a link when it is. Usually these concert are at 8 PM and cost $3 for students. The program includes a Greig piano concerto, Chausson violin concerto, and a couple Mozart orchestra pieces.
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies and the economy grows. You retire on the income.
You have two cows. You worship them.
You don't have any cows. You claim that the Indian cows belong to you.
You have two cows. You sell one and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You profess surprise when the cow drops dead. You put the blame on some nation with cows & naturally that nation will be a danger to mankind. You wage a war to save the world and grab the cows.
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
You have two cows. You reengineer them so that they live for 100 years, eat once a month and milk themselves.
You have two cows. They are both mad cows.
You have two cows. You don't know where they are. You break for lunch.
You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.
You have two cows. You redesign them so that they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create cute cartoon cow images called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.
You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 17 cows. You give up counting and open another bottle of vodka.
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity and arrest anyone reporting the actual numbers.
You have two cows. You choose one of them as the leader of your country and the other one as the president.
If you're taking Civil Procedure like me, there is a mildy interesting subject matter jurisdiction question in section II of the decision. Appellants tried to say that the state had reserved exclusive jurisdiction over claims arising from state tax laws, and this was such a claim. Court said forget it; the extra $10 the plate costs is voluntary, so it's more like a purchase from the state government than a tax.
Anyway, I know these kinds of plates have been challenged in other states, and I'm not sure if all the outcomes have been similar. If not, is this an important (or ripe) enough question for the Supreme Court to grant cert?
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
Trust me, the St. Patrick's Day Parade is going on somewhere behind me. Poor guys. It was cold.
Chris and Monica in Central Park. Awsome to see old friends, even if they are married :-). I've very much missed being able to run down to Monica's room for a girl chat at 10:50 and sneak back past the RA's at 11:01.
Ground Zero. They're going to start building on it soon. It's a little eerie to see this gaping hole in the middle of all the buildings.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
1. Never trust online information, such as posted train schedules, if there is also printed information somewhere. Unless the company is run by people under the age of 30, more than likely they don't assume the internet is their customers' primary source of information.
2. Always check your flight plan (including airline and where it's leaving from) BEFORE you start figuring out how you're going to get there on time.
3. It is possible to drive from Chicago-O'Hare to Chicago-Midway in about an hour.
4. Never pack anything irreplaceable in a bag you're going to check. It could be days before you see it again (if ever).
5. Constitutional Law is far more fun when studied on the beach.
6. A cool bath with a little vinegar takes some of the sting out of a severe sunburn.
I should be getting course credit for this.
Monday, February 27, 2006
One of the session topics was "Discrimination in Education," and a lot of difficult issues were raised in that session. The first was ESL students. One of the panelists pointed out (I think fairly) that schools often misdiagnose learning or behavior problems and fail to deal appropriately with them. For example, we expect a transient 4th-grader to learn English, but to ask a teacher to learn Spanish is "unrealistic," so the ESL teacher (who often doesn't know Spanish either!) becomes the "expert" any time there is ANY problem with the kid.
Another problem frequently identified is the obvious disparity between "rich schools" and "poor schools" (often labeled "Title I schools"). In New York, one district spends approx. $11,000 per pupil, while another (right across town) spends $3,000 per pupil. Clearly, one of those groups is at a disadvantage. One of the panelists was a former AmeriCorps teacher at a Title I school in NYC who said for the first two weeks she was short about 8 desks and had to have some of her 5th-graders sit on the rug (that she purchased). Her school of over 1,000 elementary students had ONE special needs teacher and TEN (!) child schizophrenics. 100% of the students were on free lunch. Um. Anyone see something wrong with this picture? Not meeting testing standards is the LEAST of this school's problems.
Third issue touched, relating to the second: vouchers. Almost everyone there was OVERWHELMINGLY against them. Their point: if you give people $2,000 to go to any school they want, (1) there may not be a better school available, and (2) if there is, they can guarantee it will cost more than $2,000. Hence, only the parents with means (who care to apply their money there) will be able to get their kids out of the "failing" schools, they will take their tax money with them, and leave all "the rest of them" to sink further. Something about that really bothers me. Call me a silly idealist, but I don't like the thought of there being a "the rest of them" in America.
Issue not touched but probably should have been: We threw the words "success" and "failing" around a lot, but never really defined them. What is a "failing" school? When can a student be said to have "succeeded"? Does it have to do with test scores? College admission? Happy and well-adjusted graduates (I challenge you to put a number on THAT)? My high school in Florida was great--if you were one of the privileged. We were an 'A' school--high rate of test passage, lots of AP students, college admission. But what about the "other" students at my school. Did they just get written off as that other 10% that, no matter what you do, just isn't ever going to look good on paper? I was given everything I could want at that school because I made it money. I passed AP tests, standardized tests, went to college. What about the students who didn't?
Friday, February 17, 2006
This was referenced in class today. Here is a small excerpt from the article. You may want to pace yourself for the whole thing, the references are quite extensive.
Determining whether a word is inherently funny, some say, is subjective and based on context. Therefore, there can never be a consensus on the answer of "What is funny?", or many other questions explaining the nature of such an abstract concept.
It is part of the mythology of actors and writers that the consonant plosives (so called because they start suddenly or "explosively"); that is: p, b, t, d, k, and g are the funniest sounds in the English language - particularly when found in short words since these "create the greatest tension" (tension being a key to comedy). Example: Underpants is funny, underwear is not. Shorter words are held to "create tension" because separating words from the normal flow of speech is very difficult cognitively, and it's more difficult to discern whether a short word has ended or not. Now look again at that list of funniest words. Duck is not only admirably short but both starts and ends in a plosive, and the other plosives are legion.
Additionally, the meaning of the word certainly plays a factor. "Duck" is funny in nearly every language, presumably because ducks are seen as a silly animal. Additionally, when taboos are associated with certain words, that can make a word humorous. The ideal funny word, then, would have the proper linguistic characteristics, a humorous meaning, and be well fitting the context of the situation and the character of the speaker.