Weekly Reading – December 12, 2014

The usually unusual rundown:

  • And the World Gets Crazier,” Unam Sanctam Catholicam – I am not a regular reader of Catholic blogger Simcha Fisher; this post critiquing her latest article does a very good explaining why. Neo-ultramontanism is a frightening thing made less by the sheer silliness of its orientation and the hyperbole of its rhetoric.
  • Judge Richard A. Posner, “What Books on Law Should Be,” Michigan Law Review (MLR) – This brief foreword to the MLR’s annual book review issue has some gems in it, including Posner’s blatant acknowledgment that “[m]odern judges are the product of modern American culture, which is philistine,” and “in this philistine age, new, high-quality fiction dealing with the law is bound to be rare.” Indeed.
  • Me, “Is It Time To Leave Filling Judicial Openings to the Experts?,” Bridge – Though the article is focused on Michigan’s judicial politics, my argument is applicable to a lot of other jurisdictions as well, or so I would hope.
  • John Rao, “He Who Lives By Modernity Dies By Modernity,” The Remnant – Everything John Rao writes is so good that I want to read it twice. This time Rao delivers a wonderful reflection on the anniversary of the Syllabus Errorum and the birth of the Church’s modern social doctrine.
  • Eric Jobe, “Exodus: Gods and Kings Review,” Departing Horeb – Eric Jobe has done a great service by saving me from wasting $9 at the box office. Thank you, friend.

9 comments

  1. I don’t often blow my own trumpet but might I suggest my recent post on “Friendship?” This is (largely) about my relationships with certain ecclesiastical persons over the years and the crisis of friendship in modern times.

    1. I will take a gander. To be honest, I just kind of throw these posts together based off stuff in my inbox. Rest assured, not putting something on here isn’t my version of diss.

      1. Because I _want_ to see the Exodus story through the eyes of one who would highlight the monstrous elements. It’s not my native lens, but I can’t afford to not see what’s ugly, when it’s ugly. I don’t usually see a fin when I look at my hand, but anyone who _can’t_ see the ancestry, or who _won’t_, is deluded, and bereft of any honest vision. A fin is not a hand, but the hand comes from the fin, and the hand includes the fin just as it transcends it. The Church’s vision of Moses is not a tribal warlord who is the avatar of a tribal god; but we can’t fail to see that such a creature anticipates our vision even as our vision of him transcends his historical coordinates, etc.

        Also, if anyone knows of any texts that look at the pre-Exilic Moses tradition(s), post them here.

      1. Because I _want_ to see the Exodus story through the eyes of one who would highlight the monstrous elements. It’s not my native lens, but I can’t afford to not see what’s ugly, when it’s ugly. I don’t usually see a fin when I look at my hand, but anyone who _can’t_ see the ancestry, or who _won’t_, is deluded, and bereft of any honest vision. A fin is not a hand, but the hand comes from the fin, and the hand includes the fin just as it transcends it. The Church’s vision of Moses is not a tribal warlord who is the avatar of a tribal god; but we can’t fail to see that such a creature anticipates our vision even as our vision of him transcends his historical coordinates, etc.

        Also, if anyone knows of any texts that look at the pre-Exilic Moses tradition(s), post them here.

  2. Since moving to the USA in 2007, I have thought that there are very few instances in which Her Britannic Majesty’s Canadian Dominion is superior; but the latter’s legal system is clearly one singular exception. Electing judges and, perforce, prosecutors, seems to me an extremely egregious notion ripe for all kinds of abuses. To free such appointments from the pressures of popular politics seems to be urgent. The Canadian experience is for lawyers to recommend names to the relevant local bar association (whether provincial or federal), which are then forwarded to either the provincial or federal body charged with recommending names (via the premier’s or prime minister’s office) to Her Majesty for final appointment through an Order-in-Council. I have yet to be convinced that this is not a superior procedure.

    1. Adam,

      The U.S. is the major exception to the rule of an appointed judiciary. In fact, I don’t know of any other democratic country that elects its judges. There is no infallible selection system, and politics will always color law, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t better alternatives in place. There’s too many incentives for elected judges to show bias, particularly in cases where they have, say, an out-of-state plaintiff taking on an in-state client — one may, either directly or indirectly, support that judge’s bid for reelection. There is also a lot of politicking when it comes to judges advertising that they are “tough on crime” to win votes, which usually means that they over-sentence non-violent offenders. It’s very troubling.

      1. Quite right. Every system can be abused, but the abuses of popular election seem both more numerous and more harmful, which is why I think that a system that is not based on such must be at least minimally superior.

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