Christian Lawn Care

The campaign sabbatical continues.  Here, with a hat tip to my brother Steve, is a dialogue on lawn care from a Christian perspective.  It makes a lot of sense to me. Read the rest of this entry »

The 136th Kentucky Derby: Karma, Race Breakdowns, and Girl Power

Calvin Borel comes flying home in the 2009 Derby with 50 to 1 shot Mine That Bird for his 2nd victory in 3 years (with a 3rd place in between).

Hear Tom Durkin understandably bungle the stretch call:

Those of you who have graciously followed my rantings for the past several years may be familar with the “Peach Derby Curse”, which kicked into high gear the past two years.  My top pick in 2008 was Eight Belles, the filly who ran a gutsy second to Big Brown but then broke both front legs galloping out after the wire, and was euthanized on the track.  It was horrible, and a friend of mine punctuated the dread by pleading with me “…never to pick him to win anything, ever.”  Last year, my top selection, pre-race-favorite I Want Revenge, was scratched the morning of the Derby, and hasn’t been in the starting gate since.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fear the Boom and Bust

À propos of the upcoming vote on whether to confirm Ben Bernanke for another term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, I pass along the following video.  Proving once again the capacious bounds of human imagination, it presents some of the basic differences between Keynesian and Austrian economic perspectives by casting Keynes and Hayek as . . . well, you’d better just watch it yourself.  (Bernanke and Geithner make an appearance (in character at least) at 4:28.)

One of the creators, Russ Roberts of George Mason University, has a weekly podcast called Econtalk that’s terrific.

Justice, with Humility, Gentleness, and Civility

[Editor’s Note:  Washington’s Red Mass, which journalists usually report from a political perspective because that’s easier, took place earlier today.  I haven’t seen any reports on it yet, but I’m willing to bet that for the vast majority of people trying to do human justice, Fr. Greg Kalscheur’s homily at Detroit’s Red Mass last weekend will provide more food for thought.  I post it here with Greg’s permission. — MAG]

Red Mass Homily
Gregory A. Kalscheur, S.J.

Each fall I begin my Civil Procedure course by encouraging my first-year students to keep a couple of questions alive in their hearts as they engage in their study of Civil Procedure.  I encourage them to imagine what sort of people they might become as they use the different procedural tools that we are studying, and I urge them to imagine how their use of those legal tools might shape the world in which we are living.  My hope really is to get all of us to remember one fundamental question; a question that I think is more important than any of the cases we read, or any of the doctrine we learn, or any of the particular legal issues any of us study in law school: who am I becoming as a person as I enter more deeply into the study of the law?[1]

We are all here today to ask the Holy Spirit to set our hearts on fire with a passion for the justice of God’s reign.  The readings we’ve just heard proclaimed[2] remind us to keep our hearts open to one crucial question: Who are we becoming as people as we live out our vocations as lawyers and judges and public servants?  As we live our lives in the law, are we being faithful to our more fundamental vocation to live out our identity as God’s beloved children, called to give flesh to God’s love in our world? Read the rest of this entry »

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“You are always near me.”

If the comments on YouTube can be trusted, the artist’s name is Ksenia Simonova, and she’s performing on a lighted sandbox in a Czech version of America’s Got Talent.  If anyone here wants to translate the Russian, have at it, but I doubt you’ll translate it better than her hands do.

One Day More

No matter whom you support in the presidential election, you have to hand it to these folks.

Of course, the kids got slaughtered at the barricades . . .

Split Persianality

National Geographic has a feature this month on the continuing pull exerted on Iranian culture by the Persian Empire of 2500 years ago. Because it’s National Geographic, the pictures are wonderful. And although (or perhaps because) I know almost nothing about the ancient Persian Empire or modern Iranian culture, I found the article fascinating as well.

I had never heard, for example, of Read the rest of this entry »


It has been more than four years since Wicked began to wow audiences and win awards. I saw it for the second time two weeks ago in Rochester, New York, taking the kids this time. On the way out, I told them the bad news: They may have to wait forty years to see another show this good.

People who live in the New York City area have already had plenty of opportunity to see the show, which is nice: there should be some compensating benefits for people who live in the New York City area. But after four years, I know many non-New Yorkers who would love this show but have barely heard of it. It is for those people that I offer the following thoughts on what makes this musical so great. Read the rest of this entry »

My New Crib

Sometimes this blog seems so impersonal to me — sure, ideas are the lifeblood of the reasonable mind, but we are people, too, and the foibles and triumphs of our stupid, little lives are just as important.

I work on Wall Street, and my life has been a stress-filled bloodbath these past 6-odd months. I’ve faced enormous hits to my net worth combined with the constant threat of firing, making me tired and agitated and extremely unpopular wherever I go.

To address the leverage element of my equation for misery, I’ve moved into more practical living arrangements. I haven’t sacrificed anything in terms of total square footage, and the joint has a certain casual elegance to it that better fits my lifestyle and natural bearing. See what you think: Read the rest of this entry »

“Finding God in everyday life” — even as a lawyer

Father Greg Kalscheur — priest, lawyer, teacher, and all-around great guy — has recently published a reflection on Ignatian spirituality and how it might help lawyers find meaning in the everyday practice of law. This is, as Greg realizes, an ambitious project:

We all know that life as a lawyer can often become stressful, hectic, compartmentalized, and dis-integrated. And we all know lawyers who seem lifeless, joyless, directionless, and unfree, following paths they haven’t consciously chosen, that lead them to places they would never have chosen to go, seemingly locked in lives they haven’t freely chosen to live.
The spirituality that comes to us from Ignatius illuminates a path that can help us to avoid that trap.

I know this will be of interest not only to the Catholic lawyers who read this blog (and there are more than a few), but to many who are neither Catholics nor lawyers. Read the rest of this entry »

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