Archive - 104, 0

The Law and Media Project

As is often the case, some of the most interesting discussions at conferences and symposia take place away from the main panels, and for me, the same happened at
the Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace. During lunch I found about the Knight Foundation grant to Yale Law School to ‘Train the
Next Generation's Leading Legal Journalists’
. While the grant was announced last May, this was the first I heard of it, and was pleased to get more details.

Some of the goals of the program are to study law and media, to promote interactions between lawyers and journalists, to provide opportunities for journalists to teach at Yale Law and to prepare law students for careers in media.

The Connecticut Youth Forum

Last week, I wrote a blog post about the Teen Task Force that Gov. Rell is appointing to address issues of teen driving. I commented about the task force being made up of the same old political figures and commented,

Perhaps if we adults spent a little more time listening to teenagers, they wouldn’t need to spend as much time doing stupid things like drinking and driving or driving to fast. I guess it seemed that way to me thirty years ago, and it still seems that way to me today.

I’m not the only person to make these sort of observations. In an email to one list, Patrick Rossiter observed,

I see the State of Connecticut has once again taken the bull by the horns. Of course the problem is they never seem to grab the right bull. Now maybe it’s just me and I’m not afraid of teen-agers, but if I wanted to develop more effective ways to convince teens to drive safer, I think I might talk to some teens

Patrick is much more qualified to make this observation than I am. Patrick is the Program Manager of The Connecticut Youth Forum. This is a gathering of youth that meets every month to discuss issues that matter to them. Their next meeting in Tuesday at 3:30 at Simsbury High School. At Patrick’s invitation, I plan on attending their forum tomorrow. Mostly, I’ll be there to listen, something too few of us do, and when we do, we do it too rarely.

Will I have a post about this tomorrow evening? Will I convince others to attend? Can we get CT Youth Forum to expand, do stuff around New Haven and other parts of the state? We’ll see.

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Ned on Capitol Hill

Well, I finally got a chance to take a picture that I long wanted to. Ned Lamont at the podium in Congress. It isn’t quite the way I had hoped it would be. It was in Second Life. Yet, I believe that Second Life is an extremely important platform and I was very glad to see Ned in Second Life

Ned on Capitol Hill, originally uploaded by Aldon.

(more below the fold)

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Advent, Hanukkah, cancer and Dreams

And so it is Advent and Hanukkah, times of waiting expectantly. Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus. Jews pray that their oil will last. I was brought up in the Christian tradition and am woefully underinformed of the traditions that the Christian tradition grew out of, yet this year, Hanukkah is particularly resonating for me.

In the movie Norma Rae, when Norma meets a Jewish union organizer from the north, having been brought up on distrust of the Jews at best, she looks at him and observes that he doesn’t have horns, that he doesn’t really seem any different from herself. When she asks what the difference is, he responds, “History”.

It is a thing that I love about the Jewish tradition; knowing one’s history, the story of one’s people, retelling the stories, and relating them to today. We would be better off if more people did this. One friend of mine summarized Jewish holidays as “We faced a horrible situation. We overcame it. Let’s eat.” I like that a lot to. Facing and overcoming horrible situations is part and parcel of the human condition. It is, perhaps, the core of the monomyth. And the food? Food is good. We need to spend more time in fellowship sharing food amongst family, friends, neighbors and unexpected guests.

One good friend emailed me an article from the Jerusalem Post about Hanukkah in Second Life. It is a great article. Second Life is an environment where we can really retell our stories and relate them to today in creative new ways. I would love to experience the stories of our Judeo-Christian heritage in an immersive way that Second Life can provide. However, the article does note one person asking where the latkes are. Food is important.

So, during this season of waiting expectantly for the promised miracles, I think of all the sadness I have come across in the past few days. There are the global issues from shootings at malls and churches to a continuing war, economic woes, etc. Yet there are the personal concerns. Yesterday, I heard about Marc Orchant’s passing. I did not know Marc personally, but many of my friends did, and I join with them in mourning his death. I realize that the oil of Hanukkah was lamp oil and not a healing oil, but I will take a little poetic license here and wonder if there is enough oil soothe the mourning of everyone who will miss Marc.

I received an email yesterday from a friend I had not spoken with in a while. Her life had been overtaken by caring for her father who is fighting liver cancer. Will there be enough oil to soothe my friend, her father and their family? I received a phone call about another friend whose mother has breast cancer. The details were sketchy, but the prognosis did not sound good. I was told she has two tumors in her lungs and one in her brain. Will there be enough oil to soothe my friend, his mother and their family? In yet another phone call, I heard of a friend whose father had tests coming back indicating prostrate cancer. It sounds like it may have been detected very early and the prospects are much better for him, yet he is old and any sort of surgery at his age is complicated. Will there be enough oil to soothe my friend, her father, and their family? Finally, there is the family that had their first meeting this week with a bankruptcy lawyer. Will their be enough oil to get them through their ordeal?

I had a strange dream last night. It started off as I was removing dust from some computers at a trading firm. The task expanded and I was removing massive amounts of dust and crud from the whole firm. Next door, a Starbucks closed down. They were not getting enough business from traders needing coffee and they were moving elsewhere. As the project expanded, the roof of a giant wine cellar, presumably belonging to the head trader, was removed, and a bottle of very fine, very expensive wine was destroyed. Beyond this was the sea. There were children playing in the sea. In the distance, giant horses emerged from the sea and were loaded into a horse van.

What does this have to do with Advent, Hanukkah, deaths, and cancer? I really don’t know. I need to find a Joseph to interpret that dream for me. Yet the underlying feeling of the dream was one of hope. It was a feeling that God’s oil will be sufficient, that my Jewish brothers and sisters will make it through the holidays without running out of oil and my Christian brothers and sisters will make it through Advent to greet the arrival of their Savior.

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The Latest Doninger Brief

Well, it is finally online. For those of you who enjoy reading legal briefs filed in The U.S. Court of Appeals won’t want to miss this one:
The Reply Brief of the Plaintiff-Appellant in the Avery Doninger case.

Now, normally, I would not recommend reading legal briefs as a form of relaxing entertainment on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks before Christmas, but this brief is fun to read; either that, or I need to get out more.

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