Troubling Comments at GOP Debates

There have been some troubling comments by the audiences at the recent GOP debates.  No matter one's vision of the greater good, these kind of attitudes detract from the humanity in all of us.

On Texas Executions 
On September 7, when asked about the number of Texas executions, there was wide-spread applause, and excited shrieks. (video)

On the Uninsured
On September 12, in response to a question about an uninsured 30 year-old patient on life support and who should pay, Ron Paul danced around the question, when the moderator followed up with "are you saying we should just let him die" several in the crowed yelled "yes!" (video)

On Gay Soldiers
On September 22, following a gay soldier's question on the repeal of "don't ask don't tell", the soldier was roundly booed. (video)


Justice like a River: Why development needs justice

Moving stuff in this article, Justice like a River: Why development needs justice by Jamie McIntosh and Hiroko Sawai

For those of you interested in international law or development, this is both interesting and saddening.  The article lays out several different areas where a lack of justice leads to increased poverty and suffering.  Fortunately it goes on to describe some of the solutions as well.  The authors have found that the case model, working with people at the ground level, is having a significantly better effect than broad efforts at judicial training and reform.  It seems these efforts are often a mile wide and an inch deep, whereas getting into the details of specific cases helps to establish precedent and makes an example for others to follow... or rightfully be afraid of.

Selected excerpts.

Without legal protection from violence, the lives and the livelihoods of the global poor are at perpetual risk. Four billion people on our planet live in that risk.


"Torts", "Civ Pro", Say What?

Law school naturally has its own lingo, and short hand.  This semester I'm taking four classes.  Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Lawyering Skills.  So what exactly am I studying?  Here is a brief overview.


Why Law School - The Honest Version

The following appeared on this blog in a post titled On Church and Public Policy, What is the Church's Role, and is probably a more accurate reflection of why I am going to law school.

"So in all honesty, part of my decision to attend law school is born out of my dissatisfaction with the ability of the church to effect real change.  I'm probably a little jaded in this area, but I think statistics concerning behavior of church attenders and non-church attenders would back me up."
"That said, in-spite of everything, I believe in the church.   I love the church, and despite my reservations, I know that it can be a change agent in the culture and in public policy."


Why Law School - The Polished Version

So how is law school going?  Good.  I have been here for a couple of weeks, and thus far it has been a positive experience.  I enjoy the rigors of thinking critically about tough issues, and the fact that at St. Thomas, issues of justice and equity are usually not far off.  There is a healthy sense of community here.  While law schools are not always the most friendly environments, as one of the proffs put it, "You have both scissors and a needle in hand.  You can knit a stronger community, or cut it apart.  It is up to you." Here at St. Thomas, there seems to be more of the latter.  Each new class has to decide for itself what kind of community it will be, and how it will integrate itself into what has come before.  While things are not perfect, I have seen more positive indicators than not, suggesting this will be an enjoyable, and supportive community of learners, thinking critically about law and life.