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More fun with class notes

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OMG stocks are boring. Markets are important. Please more chaos and running around. Retirement accounts depend on this system working well and causing kaos.

This is from my corporations notes, that I found last night while trying to locate what we talked about re: efficient market hypothesis. No, I have absolutely no idea what was going on in class that called for running around or why retirement accounts depend on the system causing “kaos.”

However, the efficient market hypothesis is probably the most interesting thing that we talked about in corporations.

Edith House Lecture

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This past Wednesday was the 25th annual Edith House Lecture, which as WLSA VP I had the privilege of organizing. Our speaker was Harriet McBryde Johnson, who is a disability rights advocate and attorney from Charleston, and she spoke on the topic “Disability Rights: A liberation movement for all people.”

It was a great lecture, or talk, as Ms. Johnson prefers! We filled the Walker room pretty completely, so my fear that only 10 people would come was defeated. My little speech about Edith House and introducing the introducer went fabulously (in my humble opinion), which I’m sure surprised almost anyone I’ve ever had a class with at the law school. Bwhaha. The weather was great for the reception outside. There was a minor crisis, but D, my absolutely amazing co-chair, dealt with that. D is really fantastic, and she is going to do an amazing job next year. The committee who helped (and who are usually a preview of the next year’s leadership) was great fun, too.

Anyway, the talk was perfect in all the ways that I think talks should be. Why? Well, mostly because Ms. Johnson mentioned some things that a lot of people probably disagree with for various reasons. And I would prefer to have a speaker who makes people wonder why she thinks that way, and how that is connected with her other more agreeable ideas, than someone who you don’t have to think about because you either agree or you disagree with everything the speaker stands for. Plus, it was a talk and not a lecture about the Civil War Amendments or whatever that random stuff Stanley Fish came to lecture about or feminist legal theory (the subject of several early 90’s Edith House lectures)–in other words, it was interesting. Although I am sure that feminist legal theory can be fascinating! ha. Wouldn’t want to be deleted off the Women’s Studies listserv for making remarks like that.

One of the things that people usually disagree with is her condemnation of what she called “eugenic abortion” or the selective abortion of fetuses with disabilities–any disabilities. Most people, while admitting it is a hard decision, would be understanding of parents who decided to end a pregnancy when they learned that the child was disabled. On one hand, I can see that if the disease is something like Tay Sachs which seems particularly nasty way to die after a short life. On the other hand, plenty of people live happy, productive, and even long lives with disabilities. Or they live plain old regular lives that aren’t really worth mentioning. Or they are complete screw ups and miserable. Pretty much like anyone else, in other words. Ms. Johnson argues that if people are prepared to have a child, they should be prepared to take their chances. (And if society were more just then children with disabilities would not be seen as burdens for their families, because resources would be available to allow that child to have what he/she needs.)

Another is the idea that people with disabilities, and children especially, not be used to fundraise in telethons or other charity drives–and Ms. Johnson has protested the Jerry Lewis telethon for the past 16 years or so. Why not? Partly because the motivating cause behind donating to those poster children is pity, and people with disabilities aren’t necessarily to be pitied any more than people without.

A final point that made people think from what I’ve heard, was the idea that people should be moved out of institutions and provided resources to live independently. Something new to me (bleeding heart liberal that I am) from later conversations was the concern of: who will pay for that? Granted, this was from people who admitted that they thought privatized social services would be better than big government or were against big government on principle. I have a hard time arguing this point, even though it is more cost-effective for people to live outside institutions and our society becomes more just when more people have opportunities available to lead productive lives despite their income levels. Mostly my difficulty is in understanding why anyone would be opposed to spending money (mostly other people’s) when it would help someone else have a better life. Yeah, I know that people have good reasons for opposing big government and I agree with some/most? of those reasons, but we’ve got big government so we might as well make it do something worthwhile while it’s here.

Anyway, these are just three relatively minor points that kicked up some chit-chat. I was keeping time, and on pins and needles (where is the interpreter, what if the roof caves in, what if the microphone speaker falls over and sets the fake ficus on fire, etc.), so I wasn’t able to take my word-for-word notes that usually accompany my attendence at lectures. Well, interesting lectures anyway. Notes from the Stanley Fish lecture probably included my name written forty times. Yes, I know, 007, you thought it was fascinating and did not spend the last half hour of it wondering why you chose to sit in the middle of the row across the room from the easy exit and squeaking in the squeaky gold courtroom seats. I am a horrible law student in that respect, and will never be a professor. Luckily, I am in no danger of becoming a professor.

Anywho. Randomly related articles and thoughts, poorly worded. The other day I read an article about hospice for infants, which was really interesting. Of course, at NYTimes (reg. req’d.). And some of the comments that the Edwards’ family should back out of the race because of Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer recurrence. People talk like she is going to die tomorrow! They may both die tomorrow crossing the street, for all anyone knows, so they might as well do what they think is best with their lives. If we all sat at home because there was a high probability that we were going to die, then what kind of world would we live in? Yeah, I know, one pretty much like the one today for all the apathetic crabbycakes that exist.

AND! Before I forget, you can read some of Harriet McBryde Johnson’s writings online if you search for her name–or at the following links:

Unspeakable Conversations The Disability Gulag Why Congress was right to speak up for Terri Schiavo

Or, you can look for her memoir at your local bookstore: Too Late to Die Young: Almost True Tales from a Life.

I know! Look, a whole post about something that happened in my life! I sound like myself, and not like a zombie! Could it be April yet? Not quite, but I’m pretending that it is. Now off to do corporations. And laundry. And admin law.


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Sorry, I know that I’ve been away for FOREVER. I haven’t been on too many adventures recently, and school life has been horrendous! Last weekend, I did ride 47 miles with my mom in the Wheels o’ Fire ride back home. That is a beautiful ride along the top of the mountain–great views but very challenging. On my way to Raleigh, I bought a map of the Pine Mountain Trail–next time I am down there, we will have to go hiking! Woohoo! Maybe when the pictures we took are developed I will scan them in to the blog.

Anyway, in the interest of procrastination before I start reading for Admin Law, I have found a list of the BBC’s 50 places to see before you die. I love lists like this!

1. Grand Canyon. I have been there, both North and South rims, and it was beautiful. I would love to go back and hike part of the Bright Angel Trail.

2.Great Barrier Reef Nope, although it could help me achieve #46 on the adventure list.

3. Florida I have been to Florida–to the Orlando area, and the panhandle. Not really sure how Florida gets to be #3, but I like it. Need to visit: Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, and Everglades to reach #61 on the adventure list. Plus, 007 lives there!

4. South Island,New Zealand

5. Cape Town, South Africa

I am afraid of South Africa.

6. Golden Temple, India

7. Las Vegas, NV

8. Sydney, Australia

9. New York City

10. Taj Mahal, India #67 on the adventure list

11. Canadian Rockies I’ve been to the US Rockies, doesn’t that count?

12. Uluru, Australia

13. Chichen Itza, Mexico I have been here and climbed all the way to the top of the pyramid, even though I am afraid of heights and there are no railings! Mexico is not afraid of litigious Americans swarming its archaeological sites. The hotel right outside the park had great food on its lunch buffet.

14. Machu Picchu, Peru #87 on the adventure list

15. Niagara Falls We went to Niagara Falls when I was very little. I don’t remember riding the boat, but I do remember going in the tunnels under the falls and looking at them from the overlook.

16. Petra, Jordan #8 on the adventure list

17. The Great Pyramids, Egypt #47 on the adventure list

18. Venezia, Italy

19. Maldives

20. Great Wall of China #74 on the adventure list

21. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

22. Hong Kong

23. Yosemite National Park

24. Hawai’i

25. Auckland, New Zealand

26. Iguazú Falls, Brazil

27. Paris, France

28. Alaska I have been to Fairbanks, but that is not enough!

29. Angkor Wat, Cambodia #54 on the adventure list

30. Himalayas

31. Rio De Janeiro

32. Masai Mara, Kenya

33. Islas Galápagos I can’t believe this is not on the adventure list!

34. Luxor, Egypt

35. Roma, Italy

36. San Francisco, CA

37. Barcelona

38. Dubai

39. Singapore

40. La Digue, Seychelles

41. Sri Lanka

42. Bangkok, Thailand

43. Barbados

44. Iceland

45. Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, China

46. Zermatt, Switzerland

47. Angel Falls, Venezuela

48. Abu Simbel, Egypt

49. Bali, Indonesia

50. French Polynesia

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