Happy Valley: Best and worst of 2012 | Student Review

3.

Best Debate About a Mall Any of Us will Likely Ever See

In Salt Lake City, the lavish City Creek Center opened on March 22 again causing an explosion of opinion in the Bloggernacle, due to the fact that it is owned in part by the LDS Church and cost roughly $5 bajillion worth of the widow’s mite to build. Detractors called it the Anti-Christ of Shopping Malls (Retractable Roof/Fake Creek Division) and supporters insisted it was the pure manifestation of God’s Will on Earth. The unaware proletariat streamed in happily to look at things they couldn’t afford, and all the cool stores ditched Gateway to hang out with the popular new kid.

“the Bloggernacle!?”

Reality-based community – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, The New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove[1]):

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality???judiciously, as you will???we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors???and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”[2]

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Oh, that reality-based community…

Deus vult!

Richard Mourdock’s moral theology leaves Jeremy Paretsky, O.P., Professor of Scripture at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, unimpressed. Fr. Paretsky writes:

There is a problem with people using theological language loosely, in that the principles tacitly invoked can come back to bite them in the ass. Specifically, to say that anything that happens is by God’s will says everything and nothing: it says no more than that creation as such exists by the will of God, who in a single act incorporates all contingencies. Will is confused with desire, which is a function of the human will. No distinction is made between God’s providential will (whereby he cares for creation) and permissive will (whereby contingencies are incorporated into that care). To say that life begun by rape is God’s will fails to make this distinction. It is equally true by the same loose use of language to say that abortion subsequent to rape is also God’s will. And for that matter any inanity uttered by a politician is also God’s will, a contingency which I hope the Almighty will take into account in his providential will for us all.

 

The Hobbit Contract

There are a couple of reasons why I???ve decided to break our rule and write about the contract.  First, it seems fairly clear (to me, anyway) that Tolkien wrote the Shire (where hobbits live) as a close analog to pastoral England, with its similar  legal and political structures.  For example, the Shire has a mayor and sheriffs, and there is a system of inheritance similar to the common law.  The common law fundamentals of contract law have not changed significantly since the time that the Shire is meant to evoke, so it makes sense that the contract would be broadly similar to a modern contract (and likewise that we could apply modern contract law to it).  Second, reading the contract it seems likely that a lawyer (or at least someone who had read a lot of contracts or did some research) had a hand in writing it.  We will not have to struggle to find legal issues to discuss here; they pretty well leap off the page.

‘Sticky Beak the kiwi’ song

Now Sticky Beak the kiwi, that bird from way down under
He’s caused a great commotion and it isn’t any wonder
He’s notified old Santa Claus to notify the deer
That he will pull the Christmas sleigh in the southern hemisphere.

Chorus:
Lots of toys for girls and boys load the Christmas sleigh
He will take the starlight trail along the Milky Way.
Hear the laughing children as they shout aloud with glee:
‘Sticky Beak, Sticky Beak, be sure to call on me.’

Now every little kiwi, and every kangaroo, too,
The wallaby, the weka, and the platypus and emu,
Have made themselves a Christmas tree with stars and shining bright,
So Sticky Beak will see the way to guide the sleigh tonight.

Now Sticky Beak the kiwi, that Maori-land dictator,
Will not allow Rudolph’s nose this side of the equator
So when you hear the sleigh bells ring you’ll know that he’s the boss,
And Sticky Beak will pull the sleigh beneath the Southern Cross.

Merry Christmas!