Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Taking A Page From the Clintons...

The news of the Sandy Berger escapades and the comments being made around it bring to surface the new way of doing things: change history, apologize for whatever has been discovered, and divert interest by talking about other things.

You gotta love Clinton's response to the mess: "I know him. He's a good man. He worked his heart out for this country," Clinton said. A good man for what? So what if he worked hard -- he worked hard to get those documents out of the Archives, too... that has to be a trick worthy of David Blaine's repertoire. the only difference is that everybody knows that David Blaine is pulling a fast one or trying to mesmerize you.

Everybody is entitled to a defense, however. Sometimes, we really want to believe the excuse or explanation because we don't want to believe that somebody would really do what is being covered up.

Other times it's kind of scary to think that people might really believe what they are saying -- you almost hope for their sake that they aren't being sincere. The consequences of sincerity would be too overwhelmingly blunted by the wonderment of how the person attempting to explain the mess away was ever trusted to do the job to begin with.

Nonetheless, everyone deserves their shot at explanations, and lately, those taking the heat about the Ave Maria COLLEGE fiasco have taken out a guest commentary. The article appeared in the Naples Daily News: Guest commentary: Trustees acted properly to move Ave Maria to Fla. The only quote I like from it goes: "To move a college from one state to another is a complicated and daunting undertaking."

That's an understatement.

The article was signed by Nick Healy and Fr. Fessio. Fr. Fessio is taking the typical and honorable Jesuit path of going down with the ship in order to remain an advocate within, at best. At worst, he actually believes what he is saying without ever thinking about the effect these things have on ordinary folks who don't have million dollar bank accounts to finance a family move. I'm sure the usual salary of an AM college employee barely covers Michigan living expenses... not to mention the family and location-selecting done as part of ordering one's life by accepting a job at a typically permanent type of institution located in Ypsilanti.

After all, reading the explanations given by Healy, he'd make you think that the average person expects colleges and universities to move state to state every now and then. Therefore, the people who sent their children to the COLLEGE or signed up to work there must have really been mistaken to think they were settling down in Ypsilanti. Monaghan's own vision was for a world-class school in Ann Arbor. We shouldn't have taken that vision for content.

It's just like Berger's explanation that he was able to slip secret documents out of the National Archives. Given his explanation, you'd think it happened all the time.

Are we supposed to be forgetting or are we supposed to be stupid? It's hard to fathom what the image of us bystanders is estimated to be in either story.

Why is it that the move is now seen as a large martyr-worthy task, when the idea of working with Ann Arbor zoning was impossible? Perhaps Tom Monaghan realized that the 250-foot tall crucifix he envisioned placing on US 23 was a ludicrous idea after all. Nobody really blamed the zoning board for raising an eyebrow, even Harpar's noticed it (look at the third paragraph"Controversy was raging in Michigan over plans by the founder of Domino's Pizza to nail a 40-foot Jesus to a 250-foot crucifix in a suburb of Ann Arbor." March 5, 2002).

The Michigan folks don't like pink flamingos and they don't like tall things (even signs)... they wondered in the Press. 25 stories is tall.

I say I think Monaghan must be saving face from the monolithic bout of godzilla v. Jesus because his Floridian Crystal Cathedral will only have a 60-foot crucifix. See article here at Naples Daily. So it seems that the land of pink flamingos can have some aesthetic balance after all.

Too bad Monaghan never learned to negotiate with the difficult -- instead the Ave Maria college has acted like the worst of American corporations -- no local ties, but flightily leaving for the easiest road.

Let's hope that sugar cane farmers don't take zoning and urban planning classes before the church in Florida gets built.

The moral of the 25 stories covering the move is this: the school is moving because Monaghan abandoned his original vision for Ave Maria: a world-class school in Ann Arbor. But when the task of obtaining zoning approval in Ann Arbor became "complicated and daunting", he pulled his toys off the floor and left. Now the stooges are trying to explain it in a more palatable way.
Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved. May be quoted in part so long as accompanied with hyperlink.


At 10:13 PM, July 21, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:28 PM, July 21, 2004, Blogger Torgo said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I edited the grammatical errors as noted. (thanks!) I also deleted the original comment.

At 11:58 AM, July 22, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:42 PM, July 22, 2004, Blogger Torgo said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for the comments. I am, and probably by the time you read this, deleting the post for the following reasons: 1) those comments have to do with the human drama of a few individuals, not the character and fitness of the law school as an institution; and, 2) I do not want this blog to become a sounding board for personal issues but rather public information.

I believe that no one is naive enough to believe that individuals, no matter where they may be situated can have troubles. Such troubles are typical of this life and the way in which the individual handles them are views into personal character. If any of those individuals created a public institution and managed to build into the institution the same flaws, then I'd make a new blog about them.

I believe, having watched the formation and the first three years of the school's beginnings as a student, that Ave Maria LAW SCHOOL, as an entity has been made a clean and moral institution. The graduates certainly know the painful extents taken by the faculty and administration to adhere to rules, regulations, and the moral law as best as possible. In other words, the LAW SCHOOL does not have a management system already embedded with "bending the rules". That's my purpose here -- point out the character of the LAW SCHOOL.

Individuals, and their flaws, are matters for personal interaction, character and fitness committees, and references. However, every student at the LAW SCHOOL saw an example of an administration that did its best to comply with the law and provide an example of a uprigfht institution.

Regarding your comment on my anonyminity. Thank you for saying ti was brave, but I am only relaying public information and gathering it in a synthesized manner with editorial comment. If at some point it becomes better that I identify myself, then I shall, but not before hand.


An AMSOL Graduate and Lawyer


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