Thursday, January 26, 2006

ND Symphony Orchestra

Shameless advertisement (hey, it's my blog):

The Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra is playing a concert Saturday, February 11 at 8pm in the Leighton Hall in DeBartelo. We're performing a Schumann piano concerto, a Beethoven violin concerto, and Brahms' Symphony No. 4. Tickets are $6 general admission, $3 students. It's a cheap date, guys.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Amusing link of the day

If you're looking for a laugh and have the time to get engrossed, Improv Everywhere is probably one of the funniest sites I've seen in a good while. Truly inspiring.

Hat tip: Kyle.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Property problem

Those of you in Garnett's Property class, bear with me--I'm going to quote from the book. The following is a case note that I found interesting and perplexing.

"F, a farmer, is bothered by wild migrating geese on her land and shoots them in violation of the fish and game laws. The government confiscates the carcasses, and F sues for their return. The government wins, the court explaining that the government owns wild animals, may regulate their taking, and may confiscate animals taken in violation of regulations. [Citations]

So when the geese return the next year, F sues the government for damage to her cornfield caused by the geese the government has been said to own. The government wins again, the court holding that the government does not own wild fowl and is not liable for damage caused by them. [Citations]"

What do you think? I think her lawyer should get an award for trying. See Douglas v. Seacoast Prods., Inc. (431 U.S. 265 for you law nerds), second full paragraph on page 284 (right before section III) for the court's attempt at reconciling the cases.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Ah! So it does happen! Trackback to previous post on this topic. There was thundersnow last night. It was like being home, only with snow. Check Wikipedia for explanation of thundersnow. Interesting.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Lion and the Lamb?

Story link stolen shamelessly from Brendansphere. What a heartwarming (and scrumptiously crunchible!) friendship!


Indeed the silent are not absent, just apathetic over the littany of personal tid bits and lack of controversy. I had this one on the back burner for a couple of days, and since you prompted I will answer.

Fish out of water!

As you are probably aware, the supreme court just announced its 6-3 vote to uphold the state of Oregon's physician assisted suicide law. This is of acute interest to myself and my colleagues because it has been suggested that other states may follow suit. I am sure you legal types can find a more authoritative source to post than MSNBC on the matter, the article does link to full and abridged versions of the majority opinion, however. Some firestarters:
1. The law in Oregon allows a Physician to write a prescription for a lethal oral dose of barbiturates for patients with a documented terminal illness for which life expectancy is less than six months. It is up to the patient to request, fill, and administer the prescription. Thus, theoretically, some degree of initiative and mental capacity is required to follow through. The nature of the law also prohibits chronically immobile patients and patients who cannot take medication by mouth from receiving the drugs. Self-administration is key.
2. About 30 people a year in Oregon have used the prescription to take their own lives since its enactment in 1997, representing 1 in every 1000 deaths in Oregon. Many more have requested the prescription though.
3. It has been suggested, although not proven, that the law has had dramatic effects on palliative care in Oregon. Namely that physicians, when faced with the spectre of a patient who could successfully take his/her own life, are more likely to take care to assess patient pain and overall comfort than otherwise. For many this represents the major victory of the legislation.

So, what do we think about PAS? What do we think about Justice Roberts in the dissenter's corner with Scalia and Thomas? Is taking ones own life inherently immoral? Why? Is the Department of Justice's argument that prescription of barbiturates for PAS is not "a legitimate medical purpose" valid? Is there a better argument for federal jurisdiction over this kind of legislation? Enjoy, but please, stay in the pool....and no diving.


I observe that since the other two members of this blog became so, neither of them have been heard from. Hm. I suppose things become less desirable once they have been attained...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Privileged moments

I just witnessed the moment rain turns to snow.

Monday, January 16, 2006

First day of class

Only two classes today. Legal research and writing is both exciting and frightening. This semester is trial advocacy, which looks a bit like debate, only important (forgive me, former debate folk--please understand that by "important" I mean "skills likely to directly result in a favorable result, even if only monetary gain"). Very fun, undoubtably frustrating, but I think (hope) at the end I'll have a product I can be proud of. Happy to have Peter as a partner. He is a good writer, a good thinker, and best of all, a good friend I don't have to treat gingerly while we're working (though I'll do my best to remember no friendship or working relationship makes obsolete the virtues of kindness -- I remember from debate this is harder than it sounds).

Property should be great. One class with (Mrs.) Professor Garnett and I am already happy with her lecture style and approach. She, like her husband, is very philosophical and plunges head-first into the value questions. Just for a taste, for the first class meeting today we were required to have read excerpts from Rerum Novarum ("On the Rights of Workers"), a papal encyclical addressing socialism. Made for interesting discussion. Other readings addressed identity--how we identify ourselves by our names and our stuff--and examined what happens in institutions whose goal is to strip one of one's identity. The author focused on insane asylums, but also mentioned monasteries (I might have added certain institutions of higher learning). There one is stripped of one's name and ones' possessions. To compensate, the inmates often hoard small items or claim territory in an effort to rebuild identity. Monks are often punished for hoarding. Why? Is possession inherently evil? Is identity inherently evil? Was there human ownership before the Fall? Will there be in the coming Kingdom? We are told that we will have new names then, and that our relationships (another identifier) will be fundamentally altered then. So is the point that we cast off our acquired identities early, or that we keep them in perspective as temporary and not become too attached to them? Hm. All this and more, and only one class in.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

One home left, another gained

Back in my apartment again. It feels like home, minus the family part. It's funny the pleasure sipping tea from one's own mug can bring. Relatively uneventful trip back, spent $320-ish on books, had dinner, saw Chronicles of Narnia again (yes, it's that good), and *sigh* had the assistant rector unlock my room for me. Sad stupid story of the day: I left my keys--car, apartment, PO box--sitting on my dresser in Florida, so until they arrive FedEx on Monday, I'm making do. Happy reunion time with Angelita--so good to see friends again. I missed my roomies, I must say. It'll be different without Ariadne around. I guess she's in Rome now. Hmm. I'll see if I can't get a picture share from her sometime. It's been a long day. Happy new semester!

Friday, January 13, 2006

One more day of sun

I can't believe it's my last day home before I get on a jet plane (and a prop plane) and head back to my home-away-from-home in South Bend. Appropriately, it is an amazingly beautiful day, high in the mid-70's (supposed to rain this afternoon, though). As usual, I could think of a dozen things I'd like to do before I leave, but I can also think of a dozen things I'm eager to do when I get to SB (stock my kitchen, buy books and read Monday's assignments, see church folks there, practice for my rehearsal on Tuesday...). Next semester promises to go quickly. Studying, bowling leagues, studying, Carnegie Hall, studying... Good times to be had.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Devotions for the Poor

Note the new link (first) under "blogs" on the right. Explanation:

I can't help but notice how often treatment of the poor comes up in the Bible, so I decided to start this project to try to collect verses on the topic. The project has a couple of purposes. First, it is meant to help give an overview of how God feels about the poor and what we should do about that. Second, it is meant to be an accountability tool for me. My goal this year is to read the entire Bible. I placed markers at the beginning of Genesis, I Samuel, Ezra, Isaiah, and Matthew. Five days a week I'll choose three chapters to read, and twice a week I'll read four. The markers are in different places to provide some flexibility, so I don't get discouraged reading nothing but Deuteronomy for a month. As I come across verses that apply to this project, the idea is that I post them here. If I haven't posted in a while, that means either (a) all my markers are in geneology sections, or (b) my priorities have slipped out of place and I'm not keeping up with reading. Feel free to gently remind me by email or comment should this happen.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Two special people... On the right is my fabulous sister-in-law Lorraine, and on the left is her wonderful sister Maureen. Both fun, can't you tell?

Me 'n' my brother Stephen making noise. Notice the cool shirt Stephen's wearing. No, he's not an ND grad, but he's supportive.
A Picture Share!

This is my brother's very cute niece, Jenny. I think she was sitting on my dad's lap and something he did amused her greatly. Don't you just love that smile?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

For amusement, see today's entry on Where Do the Mermaids Stand.
Summer option observations: (1) I am starting on this way too late. (2) I am moving way too slow. (3) There are way too many essays about my future involved. Good grief, I don't even know what shirt I want to wear tomorrow; how am I supposed to know where my career is going to be in 15 years? So do I:

A) Go back to Department of Children and Families and save babies for another summer? I would get next to no pay, but I could live at home and have next to no expenses. I'm fairly confident I can get the job, and it might be a good summer to do public interest.

B) Participate in the Blackstone Fellowship? I've heard fabulous things about it, and it might be a good career step if I want to have a shot at a judicial appoinment (hey, why not; black is so easy to accessorize). Better pay, but I am almost guaranteed to not be at home next summer. I could end up farmed out anywhere. I might be working on important things I believe in, like actual Free Exercise cases or human rights, but I might also end up working on things I think are a distraction and fuel the already negative stereotype of the "religious right," like exempting parochial schools from academic standards. Not sure what my odds are for getting the fellowship, but I know the application is a fair amount of work. Or...

C) Take a shot at a firm job? I've identified some in Tampa I wouldn't mind haunting for a while. The pay is considerably better than either previous option, but the odds are proportionately lower. I would probably not live at home, but if I worked in Tampa or Orlando I could come home on the weekends. A Florida firm might be easier for an ND student to get into than a Chigaco firm, since Chicago has Northwestern, U of Chicago, and a host of other law schools nearby to fuel the job market, but no guarantees. Most larger firms specialize in such stimulating fields as corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and reorganizations, but maybe those are more interesting than they sound. The bigger danger might be that the pay could become addictive and saving babies might actually be more important. Hmmm.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Long overdue introduction: Meet my roommates! (Left to right) Angelita, me, Ariadne, and He Yan. Angelita is Colombian/Belgian, working on an L.L.M. in Human Rights. She has a law degree from Colombia and knows more languages than anyone one else in the house. Ariadne, from California, is working on an Architecture degree, and her Mexican decent gives her lots of fun personality. She will be studying in Rome next semester. We're excited for her, but we'll miss her, too. He Yan is from China, working on a Ph.D. in physics. If that isn't impressive enough, consider that she's only 19! I guess the Chinese really might be ahead of us in the hard sciences. Anyway, all these girls work hard and are way fun to live with.
Condolences to the Notre Dame football team for their 34-20 loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl yesterday. They pretty much just got outplayed by the other team. Hey, I'm proud of you just for being there, guys. Not bad for a one-year turnaround, and you put up a respectable fight against a very good team. Nice touchdown from Zbikowski in the third quarter; pity it didn't count...