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Kneeling, Standing And The Law
2023-09-15 21:46
 I've commented before in this blog regarding the Supreme Court's decision in the Great Pray for Football case,  Kennedy v. Bremerton School District.  That was the… Read More
The Day Of The Demagogue
2023-09-11 20:27
 If you look up the definition of the word "demagogue" or check the Wikipedia entry for it, you'll see it all there, in black and white.  The characteristics of most of our politic… Read More
2023-08-31 20:57
I'm reading a book by the prolific Colin Wilson called The Occult.  He wrote a number of books on a number of matters, and what is called the "paranormal" was one of them.  He was… Read More
Mere Stoicism
2023-08-28 16:28
Yes, the title to this post borrows from the title of C.S. Lewis' collection of broadcasts made by him in his capacity as chief Christian apologist after the death of G.K. Chesterton (or so… Read More
Merely Mooching
2023-08-10 16:40
Assuming what we hear from ProPublica is true, the frequent acceptance by Justice Thomas of extremely expensive and largely unreported gifts in various forms has been a regular feature of hi… Read More
2023-08-03 16:21
Sometimes, when feeling despair at the fact that such a large percentage of my countrymen are seemingly incapable of making reasonable judgments based on available evidence, and subject to d… Read More
A Fierce Ignorance
2023-07-27 20:13
I've always thought of the three wise monkeys above as the "Goody Goody Monkeys."  That's because my first memory of them is from a cartoon I saw many years ago.  The cartoon was m… Read More
Life Imitating Art
2023-07-11 21:35
 He even looks and acts like him, when you think of it.  The overblown expressions and mugging for the camera.  The bad hair.  The pointless, repetitive gestures.  T… Read More
The Culture Of Resentment
2023-07-06 18:11
The Greek goddess Nemesis was the personification of resentment.  She was thought to punish those who were thought to be the unworthy subjects of good fortune.  She's pictured abov… Read More
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Code Of Ethics
2023-06-27 02:00
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States, and the 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Though known primarily for his size (these days) he was also remarkabl… Read More
2023-06-19 20:11
I'm a great fan of Keyrock, the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, played by the late, great Phil Hartman in several sketches on Saturday Night Live.  As I grow older in this profession, I come m… Read More
Inside The Box(es)
2023-06-13 20:13
Later today, a former president of our Glorious Union will, once more, appear in court in response to an indictment.  It may not be the last time he does.This particular indictment appe… Read More
2023-06-08 15:59
The Roman Censors (always one of two officials, until Augustus established the Principate) were men of consular rank elected to their posts every four or five years.  "Elected" in this… Read More
Action And Reaction(ary)
2023-05-22 21:01
"Reactionary" is an interesting word.  Generally, it's defined as a person or view opposing political or social change.  That's no doubt true, but I wonder whether it's clear from… Read More
The Price Of Pageantry
2023-05-10 20:21
From what I've been able to glean from browsing the Internet, the coronation of a British monarch has no legal significance.  The King or Queen becomes the King or Queen automatically o… Read More
2023-05-01 17:08
 It seems that Disney has decided that a new movie about J. M. Barrie's creation, Peter Pan, must be made.  I find myself wondering why; not merely why another movie (or TV special… Read More
2023-04-20 23:36
I make no secret of the fact that I loathe Martin Heidegger.  I've mentioned it in this blog from time to time.  I've also mentioned it in a philosophy forum I frequent. My lo… Read More
A Controversy Over Cleopatra
2023-04-17 21:48
There are more than a few disputes related to Cleopatra VII, the Cleopatra who was, for a time, Queen of Egypt, was involved with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony after him, and killed herself… Read More
The God Of Stoicism And Us
2023-03-29 16:40
 Chrysippus was the third leader of the school of Stoicism, after Zeno and Cleanthes.  It's said that he died while laughing at his own joke.  It seems he made the joke after… Read More
What Is Las Vegas?
2023-03-20 20:07
 God help me, but I went there again.  As I make this confession I'm inspired to ask myself--and you by implication--why did I do so?  That would seem to be a question which m… Read More
Our Lilliputian World
2023-03-13 20:23
It's remarkable how small, mean and petty we seem, now, in comparison with those who came before.  Think of past leaders in politics, art, literature; past cultural critics, past s… Read More
Draggin' Rites
2023-03-06 02:38
The State of Tennessee, famous as the state in which the Scopes "Monkey Trial" took place, has apparently sought once more to display its peculiarity by, supposedly, banning drag shows.&nbsp&hell…Read More
Prayer And Breakfast
2023-02-02 21:39
In February of each year, just as folk gather to discover whether a groundhog "sees" his shadow, our national political representatives, their lackeys and those who wish to influence them ga… Read More
Matters Of Honor
2023-01-19 16:07
Is there such a thing as "Honor", or "Honour" as our British cousins would have it, in these disturbing times?  There are honors, of course, and people are honored in one way or another… Read More
Homage To Looney Tunes
2023-01-12 17:52
As the leaders of our Great Republic come more and more to resemble caricatures of greedy, stupid, ignorant, craven, self-righteous, venal and in some way pathetic figures, it seems appropri… Read More
Never There In The First Place
2022-12-23 20:30
 If you give it some thought, Christmas is a holiday which invites skepticism regarding Christianity.  It may in that sense almost be called "Anti-Christian."   This isn'… Read More
Living In Cloud Cuckoo Land
2022-11-10 21:37
The Cloud Cuckoo Land I refer to in this post is that of Aristophanes, as depicted in his play The Birds.It's not the one referred to in the recent novel bearing that title, nor is it the on… Read More
Of Fantasies And Fantasists
2022-10-31 17:15
I've commented briefly about our current, rather prevalent, indulgence in fantasy in past posts.  I comment on it more extensively in this post.Above is an image from the 1963 film Jaso… Read More
The Quality Of Mercilessness
2022-10-24 22:03
Who better represents the quality of mercilessness than Ming the Mercilessness?  The quality is even a part of his name.  Seen here is Ming as played by Charles Middleton, who was… Read More
2022-10-12 15:46
The insight, or at least the statement, that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it (with some variation in words used), has been attributed to several figures of note in our h… Read More
Homage To Horace
2022-09-26 19:55
 Quintus Horatius Flaccus, better known these days as "Horace," was a Roman poet of the time of Augustus.  He was the son of a freedman, and therefore nothing special in status as… Read More
Wokeness And Fantasy
2022-09-12 20:56
There's something curious about the popularity of stories involving fantasy worlds and the exploits of superheroes in these irritatingly interesting times.  They seem ubiquitous, on the… Read More
A Plea For A Science Of Asininity
2022-08-25 15:21
Mr. Ed has been called upon already, so it only makes sense--or at least pleases me--to call upon his cousin of sorts, Francis the Talking Mule.  I believe Francis came first.  Wha… Read More
Why Be Serious?
2022-08-18 21:13
I was glancing through the headlines of articles in the online versions of two ostensibly serious and thoughtful news/political/cultural related magazines, on different sides of the spectrum… Read More
Nothing To Say
2022-08-08 20:12
 Mr. Ed, pictured above playing chess with his companion Wilbur, is famous for never speaking unless he has something to say.  I emulate him, in this blog and otherwise, and so hav… Read More
The Church Of The 50 Yard Line
2022-06-28 20:33
As we all know, God is particularly interested in the outcome of American football games.  He watches them assiduously.  He anxiously awaits the prayers of players and coaches, tha… Read More
Let Us Pay For Them To Pray
2022-06-22 19:37
In an opinion mercifully lacking in self-serving references to antiquated opinions of jurists dead for centuries, the Supreme Court of our Great Quasi-Republic has decreed that a law of the… Read More
Which Dystopia?
2022-06-09 20:20
Let's cavil no longer, and admit what is clearly the case.  We live in a dystopia, a bad, harsh place according to the ancient Greek on which the word is based; a society in which its i… Read More
2022-05-25 22:12
Some of us may remember Bert the Turtle, pictured above.  He cheerfully urged students of our schools to "duck and cover" in case of nuclear attack during the early days of the Cold War… Read More
A Tough Roe To Hoe
2022-05-13 18:14
I almost feel obliged to comment on the remarkable leak of what seems to be a draft of a majority opinion of the Supremes reversing Roe v. Wade, and the remarkable nature of that opinion.&nb&hell…Read More
Free Speech And The Suspension Of Judgment
2022-04-29 18:20
Several times in this blog o' mine I've noted the confusion which often surrounds pronouncements and platitudes regarding what we enjoy calling free speech.  Here in our Glorious Union… Read More
The Timely Rage Of Howard Beale
2022-04-15 19:00
I wonder how many recall the movie Network and its seemingly demented anchorman, Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch.  Beale was maddened by the mess the world was in, thought his job a… Read More
2022-04-06 16:28
The Saint that is the subject of this post, and homage, is that Simeon who is described as a "holy fool."  I don't give homage to that Simeon who is known for the length of time he live… Read More
2022-03-17 21:10
You'd think our Glorious Union has had enough of laws seeking to dictate what is or is not taught in public schools.  The infamous Butler Act, adopted by the State of Tennessee nearly 1… Read More
Mere Thuggery Is Loosed Upon The World
2022-03-07 19:46
In the drawing above, Senator Charles Sumner is shown in the course of being assaulted with a cane by Preston Brooks, a member of the House of Representatives.  It's an interesting mome… Read More
O Fortuna
2022-02-28 23:46
You've all heard  O Fortuna, though you may not know that you have.  This medieval poem was set to music by Carl Off in the 1930s.  The poem itself is a rather grim, even angr… Read More
Read No Evil
2022-02-17 17:17
What could be more satisfying than prohibiting that certain thoughts be thought, words be said, and books be read?  Prohibiting that certain persons be born or live near to us might be… Read More
2022-01-26 22:15
 The Sphinx (not the one in Egypt) sat outside Thebes, perched like a cat on a short pillar if the illustration above is representative.  It would eat people if they were unable to… Read More
The Silence Of The Supremes
2022-01-20 16:50
 The Supreme Court's authority not to exercise its authority may be one of its greatest powers.  The power to decline, to evade, to ignore has a kind of grandeur or glory.  As… Read More
A Day That Will Live In Ignominy
2022-01-05 21:33
On January 8, 2021, I wrote a post about the events of January 6th of that year at the Capitol of our Great Republic, remarking that it represented the end of American Exceptionalism. … Read More
2021-12-23 17:36
Christmas is somewhat dreary again this year, courtesy of the pandemic and those astounding individuals who, unconsciously imitating those who feared vaccines for preposterous reasons long a… Read More
2021-11-29 22:07
Not a brain, but a brain in a vat.  That's what won't die, at least in that part of the world (if there is one!) inhabited by philosophers.  "An unspeakable horror from hell!"&nbsp&hell…Read More
2021-10-26 21:37
Stoicism is ubiquitous.  All want to be, or profess to be, a Stoic, or so it seems.  Stoicism is touted as the guide to a good life; but not merely a good one, a successful one.&nb&hell…Read More
Removing Jefferson
2021-10-21 22:27
In Gore Vidal's novel Burr, Thomas Jefferson is sometimes referred to as "Massa Tom" by some of his contemporaries who were not his admirers (most notably Alexander Hamilton).  I don't… Read More
2021-09-30 21:14
"There's going to be a lot of disappointment in the law."  So says Justice Sotomayor, or so she said recently in a presentation to law students sponsored by the American Bar Association… Read More
2021-09-07 20:43
Yes, it's a scarlet letter, but "A" may stand for any number of words beginning with that letter, including "abortion."  And to some of us, at least, abortion is far more of a sin than… Read More
Islands In The Stream Of Consciousness
2021-08-25 19:19
Let me first give credit to the person who coined the phrase used as the title to this post, Jim Reich.  He was a good friend, now dead. It combines the title of Hemingway's Islands in… Read More
Nation Building, Nation Leaving
2021-08-18 19:30
 Not for nothing has Afghanistan been called "the graveyard of empires."  It's seen several come and go, and it's unclear that any of them left it changed in any significant or end… Read More
Courage, Athletics And Mental Health
2021-08-10 20:49
Another Olympics has come and gone.  Controversy of some kind seems to have become part of the experience of the games, and in the case of this one that controversy, at least here in Go… Read More
Anti-Vax Americana
2021-07-19 21:15
I haven't posted for some time.  What shall I address which helps describe our peculiarities?  We continue to shoot one another; we seem to do so more and more, in fact.  But… Read More
The Fate Of Satire
2021-06-04 15:51
Reference to a dictionary will reveal that "satire" is, broadly speaking, a work using humor in such forms as irony and exaggeration to ridicule the vices and stupidity of individuals or ent… Read More
2021-05-05 21:22
 It's to be expected, it seems, that whenever a figure of the past is considered or noted for one reason or another, there is someone ready to point out something that figure did or sai… Read More
2021-04-28 20:19
Truth be told, I was unaware of Critical Race Theory ("CRT") until recently.It seems it developed not in the Academy, where we expect theories to be raised, but in the legal academy.  T… Read More
There's No Law But The Law
2021-04-12 20:34
The existence of the law is one thing; it's merit and demerit another.  Whether it be or be not is one enquiry; whether it be or be not conformable to an assumed standard is a different… Read More
The Gun Gavotte
2021-03-25 21:15
It's that time again.  It's become something of a routine, though it may be more accurate to describe it as a dance.  I refer, of course, to what takes place in our Great Republic… Read More
The Vatican Just Says No
2021-03-15 15:13
There once was a species called human,Who thought God cared what they were doin',But the truth is He said that "For me, they've been dead,Since the Garden of Eden stopped bloomin'."That's ju… Read More
Angst Misbehavin'
2021-02-15 22:40
How have philosophers, and others, come to dwell on such phenomena (if they may be called that) as angst, dread, nothingness, anxiety and other such foreboding--what, exactly?  Feelings… Read More
On Purges And Cancel Culture
2021-02-02 19:32
We live in a great Melodrama.  More and more we exaggerate ourselves and our lives.  We may have forgotten what drama and tragedy really are in our self-importance and self-pity.&n&hell…Read More
Not With A Bang, But A Whimper
2021-01-21 22:14
It's difficult to characterize the strange departure of that strange man, on January 20, 2021, from that position he's more or less occupied for the past four strange, chaotic, and shoddy-se… Read More
For What It's Worth, Redux
2021-01-20 01:38
I think most if not all of us remember this song, i.e. For What It's Worth, by Buffalo Springfield.  Perhaps most, but certainly not all of us remember the year it came out as well--196… Read More
R. I. P. American Exceptionalism
2021-01-08 21:13
Although it may still be possible to claim that the United States is, or may in the future be, the "shining city on a hill" the late Ronald Reagan would refer to now and then, that claim is… Read More
Is 2020 Really Over?
2021-01-04 17:58
Most of us think of 2020 was a horrible year, and rightly so.  But for me," horrible" isn't a specific enough description of what's taken place.  "Sordid" may mean dirty or filthy… Read More
The Missionary Media
2020-12-23 17:19
Self-righteousness is one of our more annoying characteristics.  It's also one of the most common of them.  Through it we assure ourselves of our own goodness, and are inclined to… Read More
Souls For Hire
2020-12-14 22:13
Elvis Costello composed, and sang, a rather caustic song about the profession I've devoted the majority (I won't say the "best part") of my life to--that of the law.  It bears the same… Read More
Homo Degeneratus
2020-12-07 17:03
Most of us will recognize this picture from Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.  In this scene, one of our distant ancestors or another, encouraged or enlightened courtesy of the seemingly… Read More
2020-11-19 21:27
The success and popularity of the Netflix "limited series" The Queen's Gambit reminds me of the surge in interest in the game which took place when Bobby Fischer won the world championship i… Read More
Yes, We Have A Banana (Republic)
2020-11-12 16:11
The great Louis Prima, best remembered I think for Jump, Jive and Wail, also did a song called Yes, We Have no Bananas.  The latter song may be better known, but is more offensive… Read More
Our Feast Of Fools
2020-11-06 15:10
Welcome, all! Or better, perhaps--Come one, Come all, to America's Feast of Fools!Based somewhat loosely on the Medieval Feast (or Festival) of Fools--pardon me, Festum Fatuorum--this festiv… Read More
A Most Unhappy Halloween
2020-10-29 16:05
Halloween is particularly well placed in the calendar this year, shorn of its festive cloak due to what the Pontifex Maximus, for reasons unclear to me, referred to as "the lady" Covid.&nbsp&hell…Read More
2020-10-19 18:53
An organization previously unknown to me called the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)  issued a report in 2016 regarding the views of Americans regarding, roughly speaking, whet… Read More
Goin' Courtin
2020-10-15 16:58
There are nine Justices of the Supreme Court of our Glorious Union, not seven as there are brides and brothers in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a genial if odd musical which includes a so… Read More
2020-09-30 19:57
According to the Book of Daniel, Belshazzar, King of Babylon, was enjoying a feast with his friends and courtiers using implements taken from the Temple of Solomon when he was surprised to s… Read More
Welcome To The Fifth Circle
2020-09-24 19:38
The Fifth Circle of Hell as described in Dante's cheery Divine Comedy is populated by the wrathful, those condemned by their indulgence in the sin of Anger, broadly speaking.  Anger exp… Read More
Comfort In Frustration
2020-09-17 16:57
I think of this quote of Schiller's from time to time.  Now is such a time, as the great, tawdry and tiresome spectacle of a presidential election is interminably played out before us i… Read More
Fear, Lies And The Liar
2020-08-31 16:02
"Fear is an idiot" according to Ambrose Bierce.  As I recall, his point was that fear is unintelligent, indeed stupid in the extreme.  Fear cannot think, according to Bierce; it ha… Read More
The Sad End Of Napoleon Bonaparte
2020-08-17 17:40
It's arguable that Napoleon Bonaparte was the most able person who ever lived.  All know he was a military genius.  But I refer to his ability generally; of what it was about… Read More
Occult And A Cult
2020-08-04 16:35
"Occult" when used as an adjective means closed, concealed, shut off from view.  As such it may refer to something mysterious, and so we see alchemy, for example, referred to as an occu… Read More
The Philosophical Fallacy
2020-07-22 19:23
Let's retire, for a moment, from the turbulence of these wretched times, and consider philosophy.John Dewey thought that the most pervasive problem of philosophical thinking is neglect of co… Read More
Of Tyranny And Idiocy
2020-07-13 18:49
Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death is the name of an album made by the Dead Kennedys, a rock group which may or may not be properly described as a punk rock group, with a penchant for offe… Read More
2020-07-06 17:43
Normally, we hope not to be duped.  These aren't normal times, it seems.We've grown to expect hoaxes.  That expectation, when intelligent, allows us to avoid being fooled.  Th… Read More
2020-06-26 17:02
It isn't easy to understand this statute.  For me, at least.Just what is Teddy Roosevelt supposed to be doing (besides riding a horse)?  Is he going somewhere?  If so, where?… Read More
Supremely Surprising?
2020-06-18 15:24
   There are moments when I feel I can take a certain pride in our legal system.  These moments become less and less frequent, it's true.  Whether this is the case becaus… Read More
Spiritus Mundi
2020-06-09 16:52
The words "Spiritus Mundi," Latin for the Spirit of the World or World Spirit, are probably familiar to most of us through W.B. Yeats' poem The Second Coming.  In that poem he refers to… Read More
My American Dream
2020-06-02 20:38
"You can dream the American Dream, but you sleep with the lights on and wake up with a scream."  Warren Zevon, Fistful of Rain It's likely that even cynical lawyers like myself hav… Read More
The Grotesque And The Age Of The Ugly
2020-05-21 20:45
"Grotesque" is one of the words the meaning of which will vary, even significantly, with context.  In the world of art, it may be fanciful and absurd and not necessarily ugly and repuls… Read More

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