Friday, October 26, 2012

Stott: "Saul's Early Promise"

From Stott, Through the Bible, Through the Year: Daily Reflections from Genesis to Revelation (Baker: 2006) at page 75:

1 Samuel 10:24
1 Samuel 9:1-2, 15-17

In 1 Samuel 9:15-17 God says of Saul to Samuel, “He will deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked upon my people, for their cry has reached me.”

However, Stott writes that

Saul was not so successful [as he was with the Ammonites] . . . in overthrowing the Philistines, who maintained military garrisons on Israelite soil, from which they sent out raiding parties. It was a constant humiliation to Israel.

Saul frustrates God’s purpose for him as Israel’s leader. Stott writes that Saul “was unable to control his emotions,” citing 1 Samuel 18:10: “An evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul.” As a result, Stott writes, “anger, bitterness, and jealousy engulfed him.”

This raises issues about how God’s will works and how man’s will interacts with it.

Here we have God’s intention for Saul clearly expressed. God intends for Saul to rid the land of Philistines and even says to Samuel that he will do so. Yet Saul fails. Did God know that Saul would fail? We would think that he would have known, because he is God. Then why would he tell Samuel that Saul would be successful?

Stott writes that Saul was unable to control his emotions and that God sent an evil spirit upon him. Was Saul unable to control his emotions because of the evil spirit? Was he otherwise unable to control his emotions, thus inviting the evil spirit? How was Saul “unable?” Did his will permit his emotions to control his behavior? In other words, did he choose that way of living in the first place, so that he remained morally responsible for everything that followed?

If we see Saul as a sort of everyman, then we must identify the natural, harmful tendency, peculiar to us, that threatens mastery. We are challenged to withstand it – to seek God’s aid and grace in doing so, so that we can accomplish whatever work he would have us do and for which he placed us at this time and place.

Heavenly Father, I do pray for that aid and grace in Jesus’ name.

Medical Studies Proving False?

If a medical study seems too good to be true, it probably is, according to a new analysis.

In a statistical analysis of nearly 230,000 trials compiled from a variety of disciplines, study results that claimed a "very large effect" rarely held up when other research teams tried to replicate them, researchers reported in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

-from the October 24, 2012 issue of the Las Angles Times.

Here is the abstract from the AMA article.

My shrinking brain reminds me, "Trust, but verify."

Benghazi Passivity "Disappointing?"

"The last two casualties occurred well over six hours after the initial attack," Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham noted. "It is disappointing to hear that our national command authorities failed to try to reinforce the consulate with timely air assets, and that a consulate located in one of the most dangerous regions in the world was so unsecured."

Read More At IBD:

Disappointing, Senators?  You are "disappointing."  What happened in Benghazi was outrageous, pathetic, and disgusting.  How about cranking up the Senate's once vaunted investigatory apparatus? 

Exercise May Stop Brain Shrinkage

Keep moving.

(Thanks, Glenn)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Columbia Seminary Married Student Housing to Permit Qualified Domestic Partners (UPDATED)(BUMPED)

According to The Layman Online:

A housing task force at Columbia Theological Seminary recently established the following new policy [joining Austin, McCormick, Louisville, San Francisco, and Princeton]:

“Students, their qualified domestic partners (e.g. those in civil marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships as established by the laws of any state, the United States or a foreign jurisdiction), and their children are eligible to live in campus housing. Appeals may be made to the CTS Housing Committee."

The Layman On-Line's headline refers not to "qualified domestic partners," but to "same-sex" couples.  Initially, I used that way of referring to the subjects of the CTS policy.  That way of referring to them is inaccurate, however, and I think unhelpful to the debate.  I therefore changed the title of this post to make it more accurate.

Not just any "same-sex" couple may reside in married-student housing.  To qualify, apparently a couple must have made a legally recognized commitment, that is a covenant- or contract-like agreement with each other.  We presume, then, that the State will enforce the terms of that agreement.  CTS is apparently attempting to protect the persons in the "qualified domestic partner" relationship as well as the other couples (and the dependent children of couples) who reside in this housing. 

CTS concedes to the State the matter of regulating how people who "couple" are to deal with each other, people who have the happy intention of a long-term, even life long relationship with each other.  Where once the church defined such relationships, now CTS cedes to the State that authority, in order to include certain (but not all) "same-sex" couples.

This is a romantic view of coupleness.  It is so profoundly naive.  One does not have to be a domestic-relations lawyer to see how dangerous a couple can be for one another and the people in their household if it is only the State to whom they are accountable.  If their relationship is not guided by biblical traditions developed in all kinds of circumstances over thousands of years, what chance of success does that relationship have.  I suppose CTS believes that it knows just how to inject into the new, legislatively created, qualified domestic partner wineskin, whatever biblically informed, life-nourishing substance it deems to be necessary (and no more).  Good luck with that.

History and Historiography

While ignorance of the historical context of the Bible threatens a correct understanding of the Bible, a second major danger confronts the reader. This danger is the imposition of contemporary Western values on the historical writings of the Old Testament.

It is thus of great importance that we not only describe the value of a historical approach to the Old Testament but also explore the nature of Old Testament historiography.

[History] refers to the events that have taken place in the past . . . [Historiography] refers to writing about the events. . . .

The subjectivity involved in historic narration does not invalidate the historical intention, as some skeptics argue; rather, the interpreter of the biblical historian must take into account the latter’s perspective on the past.

-from Longman and Dillard, An Introduction to the Old Testament (2d Edition 2006), at pp. 18 and 19.

This is pretty elementary stuff to the secular historian.  Why is it so difficult for some believers and some skeptics alike to grasp, without being criticized by others in their respective peer groups?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

According to 2 Samuel 12:31, How Did David Treat the Ammonites after his Victory at Rabbah?

We addressed 2 Samuel 12 at our Friday morning Bible Study yesterday. At verse 31, a translation question emerged.

Verse 31 comes at the end of chapter where Nathan rebukes David for his sin with Bathsheba; Nathan describes what the calamitous consequences of that sin will be; David repents; the child of David and Bathsheba sickens and David pleads with God for him; the child dies, however, and David arises from his bed of fasting and intercession, returns to his home and comforts his wife Bathsheba; whereupon she bears their son Solomon, whom David holds to be loved by God, implicitly a sign of forgiveness. At the end of the chapter, in verses 26-31, God’s grace has national implications, when David finally joins his army, defeats the Ammonites, and they return in victory to Jerusalem.

Verse 31 describes what David did to the people of the Ammonite city of Rabbah, whom David and his army finally defeat. Rabbah is the city that the army of Israel had been besieging without success commencing at the point where David remains in Jerusalem during the spring “when kings go off to war.” It is during David’s truancy in Jerusalem that his affair with Bathsheba commences. It is at the walls of Rabbah where her husband Uriah the Hittite loses his life when he and his men attack those walls as part of the plot to kill him, a plot that David initiates and that involves David’s general Joab, a plot to cover up David’s adultery.

Most of us at the breakfast use the NIV version. Verse 31 of the version describes what happens to the people of Rabbah as follows:

[David] brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. He did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then David and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

Juan, however, uses the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition version. It gives the following for verse 31:

[B]ringing forth the people thereof he [David] sawed them, and drove over them chariots armed with iron: and divided them with knives, and made them pass through brickkilns: so did he to all the cities of the children of Ammon: and David returned, with all the army to Jerusalem.

The nouns of these two translations seem to agree, but the verbs put an entirely different meaning on what David did. In the NIV, David treats the inhabitants of Rabbah with a sort of grace, perhaps pointing back to the grace with which God treats David. In the Douay-Rheims version, David treats the people as brutally as any other king would the inhabitants of a city that refused to surrender and is taken only after a costly seige.

The NIV has a footnote to verse 31: “The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.”

None of us uses the King James Version. It is arguably less certain, one way or the other, and translates verse 31 as follows:

[David] brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.
The question seems to be what being “put under” saws, iron harrows and iron axes means.

Austin uses the New King James Version. It clearly chooses the NIV approach:

[David] brought out the people who were in it, and put them to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes, and made them cross over to the brick works. So he did to all the cities of the people of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

(Note that in the NKJV, when the translators add a word to makes sense of a passage, they use a convention under which the added word is shown in italics.)

The Hebrew Scriptures as published by The Jewish Publication Society as Tanakh: A New Translation of the Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text, translates verse 31 this way:

[David] led out the people who lived there and set them to work with saws, iron threshing boards, and iron axes, or assigned them to brickmaking; David did this to all the towns of Ammon. Then David and all the troops returned to Jerusalem.

A collection of passages on this verse from various dated, Christian commentaries is here.

I thought that perhaps the source of the difficulty is the use of the Masoretic Text as the basis for the English translations in the later publications versus an English translation of the Septuagint, upon which I understand Douay-Rheims is largely based. I am not at all sure about that, however, and it may simply be a matter of how one chooses to interpret a difficult passage.

Playing Hurt, Playing Sick at XFit

Growing up in our household, getting hurt was a signal to stop, getting sick an absolute time-out.  So hitting those contingencies as a Xfitter has been occasions for second looks at that practice, because it is costly to stop.

My first injury occurred with a fall during a box-jump.  My left hand took most of my weight as my head headed for the floor.  Better the wrist, of course, but what was I to do with something bad having happened to that hand and it hurting a lot.  I kept on going for about four weeks - one of the coaches had a similar injury - but finally went to a mano-ortho specialist, although I still didn't quit.  He turned about to be an XFitter himself.  There were no breaks and he told me to wear a brace for six weeks and come back if it did not get better.

The brace lasted about two days before I quit wearing it.  Within about three more weeks the wrist was a lot better.  Now, the only residual disability is box-jump phobia, but I am going to therapy for that.

Now something's gone wrong with my right hand, around the base of the thumb.  I don't remember hurting it, but it does hurt.  It's been five weeks and it's a little better.  Do I go see the mano-ortho, killing at least 3/4 day or shall I wait this one out?  Will wait-it out.

Then on Monday I used really poor form on my 140 lb dead lift and "ouch!," there went the lower back, just like they said it would.  Was that  my career?  Well, no.  Kept moving, rolled out the lower back, iced it, started back slowly, watched the form like a hawk.  Kept playing.   Last night I did front squats (1 RM @ 135 and 3 X 5 @90) and an AMRAP with 10 push presses in the cycle, where I was at 50 and completed 3 rounds.  So I did 30 reps of the push press.  Meanwhile, the low back had been getting better during the week, and I continue to pay strict attention to form.

Meanwhile I've had a cold.  During week one, I just did one WOD.  This past week was the second week, where I start to get better but am still coughing and hacking.  Did three WODs.  The first two were quite exhausting.  Would I go into pneumonia?  Last night was nearly back to my old self, although the right hand still hurts.

Meanwhile a new client (female, mid 50s) this week said "Wow, you look good!" when, for some reason during small talk, her age and then mine (66) came up.  Then, last night, a young guy said, "I hope I do as well as you do when I'm your age."  (I told him, "You'll do a lot better, if you stick with this.")    I live for such moments!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sergio Jaramillo, the Colombian Government's Brilliant Guerilla Negotiator

Mr. Jaramillo is an unlikely FARC foe. He speaks German, Russian, French and English with an Oxbridge accent, a product of a decade studying philology and classical languages at Oxford, Cambridge and Heidelberg universities. During the Havana talks, he wore a white linen jacket; the guerrillas wore T-shirts. He once reprimanded Mr. Santos [the brother of the Colombian President and an advisor] for not wearing socks, saying it was unbecoming for a Colombian-state delegate. "That's so fifth rate," Mr. Santos said Mr. Jaramillo told him.

*   *   * 

In 2006, he was named deputy defense minister under President Santos. He worked to improve the human rights record of the army, long accused of helping paramilitary groups massacre suspected guerrilla sympathizers. Mr. Jaramillo's advocacy led the military to adopt new and clear operational rules. MarĂ­a Victoria Llorente, who now runs Mr. Jaramillo's old think-tank, said Mr. Jaramillo was obsessed with professionalizing the country's armed forces and saw an emphasis on human rights as key to doing so.

"He has a very Anglo-Saxon view of this," she said. "Rules of engagement and codes of conduct are very important to him."

-from today's WSJ.

Very "Anglo-Saxon?"  Mr. Jaramillo would probably say "very Classical."

"Ten Classics to Read"

From HKH?, "Appendix: When All We Can Do is Read" at page 259:

[The] private acquisition of Greek wisdom relies more than ever on the individual's self-taught education – the reading of the Greeks themselves and general books on Classical Greece.  .   .   .  [T]he following 10 primary works serve as well as any as an introduction to Greek thought and includes a fascinating literature mostly unknown to the reading public.

Here are the "10 primary works" (pp. 259 - 266), but without Hanson and Heath's annotations:

Homer, Iliad, translated by Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961).  This is the Iliad I read in translation at Duke in a sort of "great books" course taught by the president of the university.  The link, however, is to a 2011 edition on Amazon that has the same translation but a lot of supplementary material by another writer.  Abe's Books is where to find a used 1961 edition.  The Lattimore translation is also part of Great Books of the Western World and we have a set.  However, I want to read the Iliad again.  When I read something like this, I like to pencil small checkmarks and brackets and now and then a note.  I don't want to do that in The Great Books hardback, so I'm getting a used paperback from Abe's to take around with me.

Hesiod, Works and Days, translated by M.L. West in Theogony: Works and Days (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).  The link is to that very translation on Amazon, an inexpensive paperback that, with a Prime membership, gets you a brand new copy for about the same as a used copy on or Abe's.  I always check Amazon first, and then go to the used booksellers.

Archilochus, Poems, translated by Richmond Lattimore, in Greek Lyrics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960)

Sophocles, Ajax, translated by John Moore in Sophocles II, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957)

Euripides, Bacchae, translated by W. Aerosmith, in Euripides V, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959).

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, translated by Richard Crawley as The Landmark Thucydides, edited by Robert Strassler (New York: The Free Press, 1996)

Old Oligarch (Pseudo-Xenophon), The Constitution of the Athenians, in John Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975)

Aristophanes, Lysistrata, edited by W. Aerosmith in Four Comedies by Aristophanes (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1969)

Plato, Apology, translated by G.M.A. Grube, in The Trial and Death of Socrates (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1975)

Demosthenes, First Philippic, in Greek Political Oratory, edited and translated by A. N. Sanders (New York: Penguin, 1980)

(Note: One might ask, did I laboriously keyboard each and every one of those citations?  No.  With book in hand, and the Dragon software engaged, I dictated the list.  I'm getting pretty good at it.)

GoPro: What a Story! What a Camera!

What a company!

I'm sitting here thinking about what I could do with such a camera.  The story to which I link and its embedded video open up that sort of thinking - and nothing that I would do has anything to do with the particular applications employed by those using the camera in the video (as captivating as those uses are.  For example, the young women with the whales!).  It is simply that the idea of this camera and the ways others have used it opens one's mind to applications peculiar to one's own experience.

For example, a video showing Aidan in fast and/or in slow motion opening a new Lego box set, figuring out the pattern, putting the model together, making his own changes, playing with it: that would be fascinating; Honor at the easel; Nautica playing with that crazy dog; Felicity doing crafts; MJ wearing a camera while assisting a birth;the bros at XFit;  C in la concina sua; and K and M applying their manifold gifts in so many ways.

(A huge part of the genius of a brilliant application is the editing, of course.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is Halloween for Christians?

We are looking at that question again with our new ministry to Middle Schoolers.  Our church's policy has been no ghosts, witches, or other spooks - keep away from the occult - but OK with "Harvest Festivals" and that sort of thing.  We have a new generation of young leaders and kids who are addressing those issues.

CT about 12 years ago published "Is Halloween a Witches' Brew?" by Harold L. Myra, which is a good, middle of the road, look at the issue.

I'm not at all comfortable with Halloween.  I think it works only if you don't take the occult seriously, that is, only if you don't believe evil, intentional, direct evil, exists in an accessible, proximate spiritual world, or, for that matter, only if you believe a spiritual world does not exist.  We ride on roller coasters and are thrilled by instincts that seek to protect us from falling but that we can provoke because our intellects tell us we are safe.  We trust the human engineering of the mechanical device to protect us.  But who or what has designed the recreational contrivances that provoke our natural fear of the occult ?  Are those safe structures or portals?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tobacco Hornworms on Dove Avenue!

I had two nice tomato plants growing in big pots in the front yard.  All of a sudden, the leaves started disappearing off the stems of one of them.  Within just a day or two.

Checking carefully, there before me a giant worm appeared.  He was there all the time, but I did not see him because he was so well camouflaged.  Yet he was about the size and length of my ring finger.

I checked the other plant, and there was his little brother.  I extricated both of them, and sent them to worm heaven.

Here's a link at the University of Florida webpage about this critter, a tobacco hornworm.  I can attest to the truth of this observation from the link:

Tobacco and tomato hornworms are the common large caterpillars that defoliate tomato plants. Their large size allows them to strip a plant of foliage in a short period of time, so they frequently catch gardeners by surprise.

 I don't know if the first plant will survive.

Affirmative Action Disaffirmative

There is now increasing evidence that students who receive large preferences of any kind—whether based on race, athletic ability, alumni connections or other considerations—experience some clear negative effects: Students end up with poor grades (usually in the bottom fifth of their class), lower graduation rates, extremely high attrition rates from science and engineering majors, substantial self-segregation on campus, lower self-esteem and far greater difficulty passing licensing tests (such as bar exams for lawyers). 

The most encouraging part of this research is the parallel finding that these same students have dramatically better outcomes if they go to schools where their level of academic preparation is much closer to that of the median student. That is, black and Hispanic students—as well as the smaller numbers of preferentially admitted athletes and children of donors—excel when they avoid the problem of what has come to be called "mismatch."

-from today's WSJ and its Saturday Essay by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., entitled "The Unraveling of Affirmative Action". 

Those authors have just published Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

People My Age Should Not Be Allowed to Buy Certain Electronic Things

Even from Crutchfield, which is a really fine vendor.

I had been rockin' along with my '98 4 Runner and its OED radio for a number of years, and then a really fine classical radio station WPBI "Classical South Florida" appeared at 89.7.  That place on the dial is where WMCU "Spirit FM" had lived since Genesis and whose sale by Trinity International University still is a bitter memory among the faithful.  So I've been consoling myself with really beautiful music from that spot on the dial since then.

While the OED radio may have been fine for CCM, it was lacking for Bach, Mozart, Elgar, Vivaldi, and so on.  Crutchfield, after a few bumps along the way, helped me with a Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X496 CD-Receiver with USB Interface together and a pair of Polk Audio 6.5 inch Slim Mount Coaxial DB651s speakers ("Marine Certified" I guess because I might leave the windows open on a rainy day).  It makes beautiful Classical South Florida music.

I haven't the slightest idea how to do anything else with it.  I did learn how to turn it on.  Then, through the miracle of trial and error, I found 89.7 FM.  Beyond that, the way you tune the thing is a complete mystery.

The radio has this single relatively large volume control button that also can do other things.  It is surrounded by some tiny little buttons which have symbols that I cannot see when I am driving because I have my distance glasses on.  Even if I could see them, I don't know what they mean.  Sometimes I hit one of them inadvertantly and I lose 89.7.  So I will spend the next several minutes trying to turn the radio off,  and then the next several days trying to figure out how to get back to 89.7.

With the unit came a remote.  Yes, a remote.  It is similar to the one you get with a TV, except it is much smaller.  It has a keypad plus at least 9 or 10 other buttons on it.  I have no idea.

(Yes, there is a little "Quick Start Guide" that came with it, and a manual on the internet.  But who has time to read those things?  And then, who, after reading them, will remember what he read?  Thus, the title of this post.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A New Appreciation for My Classics Progeny

I'm reading Hanson and Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek WisdomThe authors write a devastating critique of the Classics industry in colleges and universities in the US during the late 1990s.  In the process, they mount a persuasive defense of Classical values and present the case for learning Greek and Latin so that students can read "the Canon" in the original tongues, texts that reflect the development of those values.  The chapter "Teaching Greek is Not Easy" describes the difficulties students must grapple in order to learn those languages and that their teachers must confront as they seek to keep their students interested.

I understand better the challenge that the classics student in our family confronted at Davidson College.  Perhaps his rock solid character can be attributed at least in part to that major.  I'm sure Hanson and Heath would think so, if they knew him and what he did, as he learned both languages absolutely from scratch and then took the Davidson Classics trip in the company of mainly other students and an occasional appearance by the professor (which appearances were completely adequate, as I understand it, and appropriate).  I attribute W's willingness to go just about anywhere in this world and his fearlessness to do, should he need to go, at least in part both to the reading and the touring he got at DC.

(Thanks, Dean Rusk, for the Kourion photo.)

"The Author Who Saved Britain"

Winston Churchill, of course.  A review on Abe's of a new book on Churchill by Peter Clarke, entitled "Mr. Churchill's Profession," and a selection of well-priced books by the great man himself.  I had no idea that there are so many more books that Churchill wrote than I had read!  What treats lie ahead! 

Monday, October 08, 2012

"A tethered mind free from lies . . . "

"I Will Wait"

Well I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun

But I'll kneel down wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground

And I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you

So break my step
And relent
Well you forgave and I won't forget
Know what we've seen
And him with less
Now in some way shake the excess

'Cause I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you

And I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you

Now I'll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart

So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
A tethered mind freed from the lies

And I'll kneel down
Wait for now
I'll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

'Cause I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you
And I will wait I will wait for you

Mumford & Sons.  Their Red Rocks video here.

(h/t mjs)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

More on Age-Related Muscle Loss

Beginning at age 30, most of us lose about 1 percent - or a third of a pound - of muscle every year, as the body starts tearing down old muscle at a faster rate than it builds new tissue. (It’s why world weight-lifting records for the 60-year-old age bracket are 30 percent lower in men and 50 percent lower in women compared with records in the 30-year-old bracket.) The loss of muscle, which burns more calories than fat, slows the body’s resting metabolic rate, causing us to pack on fat pounds through the years. While we can’t completely halt this aging process, researchers believe we can do a lot to slow it down, mostly through resistance training, or weight training, that targets specific muscle groups.

-from "Stopping Age-Related Muscle Loss," Boston Globe, March 5, 2012.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Gynecide by Sex Selection

Little girls at risk in yet another venue.  Maybe we should hope that there is no God.  Or, for that matter, no Darwin.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

"Hidden [Medically Fragile] Children" in Florida Nursing Homes

“The hidden children” is how Clinical Professor Paolo Annino [of FSU Law School's Public Interest Law Center] refers to these “medically fragile” children, tucked into pediatric wings of Florida nursing homes designed for geriatric patients, like the grandmother Van Erem used to visit when she was a girl.

How these children wound up on ventilators and feeding tubes and tracheotomies varies: near drowning in swimming pools, being shaken as infants, infantile cerebral palsy, car crashes, genetic disorders.

What they have in common is the need for nursing care 24/7, and some of them have families who want them to live at home if they are afforded sufficient services.

“The saddest part of all is not that these children have nowhere to go. That’s what a lot of people would assume,” Van Erem said. “A lot of families are asking for support and want their children at home. Our goal is to get these children back with their families, with adequate support.”

-from "Law Students fight to bring the 'hidden children' home" in the October 1, 2012, issue of the Florida Bar News.

According to the article, there are 221 children in Florida nursing homes.  "With adequate support," some of them can go home.  Adequate support may, in fact be available.  Getting the families of those children that support is a complex issue in some cases, one apparently needing a lawyer (or a law student) to help with the red tape.

What about families who are just short of support?  Who in the private sector might cover the shortfall?  What about the children with no families?  Who will visit them?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Accomplished Lawyer Who Helped a Lot of People, a Good Family Man with a Strong Work Ethic

Steven M. Lippman is sentenced to three years in federal prison for his involvement in the Ponzi scheme master-minded by his law partner Scott Rothstein.

The Daily Business Review article on Lippman's sentencing (not available on the internet), quotes Lippman saying of Rothstein to the judge, "He had this way of making wrong sound right."

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
-1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV 1984)

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
-Psalms 1:1 (KJV)

When the wicked prosper in the polis, they corrupt the minds of the more virtuous, who then take the license of the wicked as their example.
-Euripides, Tragic Fragment

Those Conservatives Should Just Shut Up!

Conservatives on Tuesday used a speech President Barack Obama delivered as a candidate in 2007 to accuse him of using racially charged rhetoric.

-The introductory paragraph of an Associated Press report by Stephen Peoples in today's digital edition of the Miami Herald.

Other than that, Mr. Peoples implies, the video is simply not newsworthy.

There was absolutely nothing objectionable in Obama’s speech. (I watched the whole thing on the Daily Caller Web site, but I won’t link to it.) It made me proud to have a president who could speak with that complexity.

-from  "Right-Wing Racial Panic: Hannity and Carlson hype a 2007 Obama video and prove they're having an ethnic nervous breakdown" by Joan Walsh in Salon.

I'm so proud.
Read more here:

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Let's Hear It for the Roman Catholic Middle Class in America

Emerging UM football star Rashawn Scott, according to a front page article in today's Miami Herald, has this to say about his people:

What has your adoptive family done for your life? A visitor asked.

"Loved me," the soft-spoken sphomore receiver answered.  "All the time."

His dad won't be able to come to Saturday night's game against Notre Dame:

Instead, the family will be at Melbourne Central Catholic High School this weekend, where daughter Anna is on the school’s homecoming court.

“Her daddy has to walk her onto the football field,” Freddie Erdman [Rashawn's mother] said. “I have to let my other kids know that just because they don’t play Division I football, they’re just as important.’’

(And don't you love the irony?  The U playing Notre Dame, and Rashawn's a 'Cane.  Go 'Canes!)

"Yet the Mills of God Grind Slowly, yet . . ."

The federal mortgage task force that was formed in January by the Justice Department filed its first complaint against a big bank on Monday, citing a broad pattern of misconduct in the packaging and sale of mortgage securities during the housing boom. 

*   *   *

The complaint contends that Bear Stearns [now part of JP Morgan] and its lending unit, EMC Mortgage, defrauded investors who purchased mortgage securities packaged by the companies from 2005 through 2007. 

The firms made material misrepresentations about the quality of the loans in the securities, the lawsuit said, and ignored evidence of broad defects among the loans that they pooled and sold to investors.
Moreover, when Bear Stearns identified problematic loans that it had agreed to purchase from a lender, it was required to make the originator buy them back. But Bear Stearns demanded cash payments from the lenders and kept the money, rather than passing it on to investors, the suit contends.

-from an article in today's NYT entitled "JPMorgan Sued Over Mortgage Securities Pools."

(The quote in the title is from Longfellow's "Retribution')