Friday, March 31, 2006

Poached theology

Poaching shamelessly from another's blog, I submit to you this article regarding the way Keswick theology has crept into American Christianity. To give credit where it is due, the article is linked through the blog of its author, Camille Lewis. I found it thought-provoking. It touches a lot of things I'm uneasy about in American Christian culture. It's like we're afraid of grace because we feel like we need the "guilt bat" to keep people in line. Smells a little like a lack of faith in the effectiveness of grace to produce "the fruits of the Spirit" on its own.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Restatement of a common-law dog

I'm thinking about getting a dog. I know, I know, a bit premature--I don't even have an apartment where I can keep a dog right now, and I can't have a pet with me this summer. But maybe, one day... I've wanted a miniature pinscher since my horn teacher in high school got a pair. I've even thought about names. If I got a pair I'd call them Lexis and West, but I don't want a pair. If I got one, I could call it Restatement, because it's kind of like an abbreviated version of a common-law dog. I could call it Stacy for short. Or Abstract, and call it Abby. I thought about Brief, but that would sound to normal, non-law-nerd people like I named my dog after a pair of underpants. I found this group online that lets you adopt abandoned or rescued minipins, and feel in love with one in Indiana. Her name's Angel, and she's a couple years old, fully housebroken. The problem with adopting, though, is that the adoption contract does not convey a fee simple in the dog; you have to fulfill certain conditions in the care of the dog and they can repossess any time they feel like you're not up to snuff. I don't know if I want a pet with such encumberances.

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

Upcoming Musical Offerings

Opera Notre Dame presents Orpheus Goes to Hell at 7:30 PM on April 7th and 8th. Tickets are $5-10. The production will be in English and probably be almost as edifying as it sounds.

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.

International Economics

Probably everyone has read this at some point, but Tita sent it to me again, and I thought I'd post it for lighter reading, since I used the term "subject matter jurisdiction" in the last post...

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.

Govnernment Speech and License Plates

Last week the 6th Circuit overturned a District Court decision that enjoined Tennessee from issuing "Choose Life" license plates. You can read the news article or look up the decision at 2006 WL 664372 (American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee v. Bredesen--it's not in a reporter yet, obviously). The court classified the plates as "government speech" and allowed it. The way I understand it, the government is allowed to take certain positions (e.g. "Smoking is bad."). Here, though, the challengers claimed that the government was not taking a position but providing a forum for private citizens to take a position. Why this is somehow constitutionally worse eludes me. It seems to me that, if anything, private speech would be MORE protected than government speech (for example because it doesn't not have other restraints such as establishment of religion clause). Perhaps someone can explain that to me? At any rate, the court didn't buy the argument.

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

More news from Central Park

Looks like we weren't the only out-of-town visitors in Central Park recently. Heh. New York doesn't seem to know exactly how to handle wildlife. It treats people less "humanely."

Monday, March 20, 2006

New York City

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

Post-concert Celebration

Angelita, Adele, and me at the South Bend Chocolate Factory after the Chieftains concert. Thanks for being there, Mom and Dad!

A- in Spring Break

It's amazing how much you can learn when school is not in session. Lessons so far this Spring Break:

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.