f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 22, 2005

implied disclaimers made explicit

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:43 pm

The following was posted this evening by your Editor in a Guest role at Crime & Federalism. I hope it will avoid future misunderstanding and hard feelings:

Notice of Implied Disclaimers trust me

A lot of lawyers have gone to great lengths crafting their weblog disclaimers — usually to make sure the great masses won’t mistake info and opinion for legal advice or empathy for a client relationship; some want you to know they don’t endorse the products that appear in those annoying ads that grow like mushrooms in the shade of their sidebars. Over at f/k/a. I’ve even tried to clarify that my cranky punditry should not be attributed to the many excellent and innocent haiku poets who have agreed to grace the site.

It has come to my attention, however, that those of us who offer commentary and criticism on our weblogs are often misunderstood by readers who needlessly take offense — personal, ideological, professional, etc.. This problem is especially true for some of us older webloggers who have steadfastly refused to utilize emoticons.

Therefore, I’m using the webbully pulpit provided me as a guest at C&F, to set forth my Notice of Implied Disclaimers. Henceforth, please consider the following disclaimers — unless specifically disclaimed — to be applicable to anything I write on the Web or in any other sectors of cyberspace:

trust me flip Notice of Implied Disclaimers

YIKES – “Yes, I Know there are Exceptions and (unfair) Stereotypes“. This disclaimer comes in handy when a poor, well-meaning soul — like, say, Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers — is addressing a topic with politically-correct connotations. A little YIKES! in advance might spare you unseemly public groveling (or a night or two sleeping on the proverbial academic sofa). However, even a good YIKES! (combined with the TIMID and PMS disclaimers explained below) won’t save you from folks with no sense of perspective or humor*.

TIMID – “This Is [merely] My Interpretation, Dear” . If you’ve ever been accused of sounding like a condescending know-it-all, a prophylactic TIMID disclaimer may save you yet again from a lonely night on the cyber-sofa. I’ve always thought everyone knew that everything they said was only their own view of the facts or the truth, but that appears not to be the case, thus causing much difficulty. Please don’t confuse TIMID with the phony humility of IMHO (or “with all due respect“).

PMS – “Pardon My Satire,” “Post May include Satire,” or “Pretty Much Satire” — a recent run-in, while discussing Anonymous Lawyer, with young lawyers and law students who appeared to be unfamiliar with the genre of satire, has convinced me that prudence requires the PMS Warning. Even Prof. Bainbridge could recently have used this Implied Disclaimer, and avoided a postscript describing the location of his tongue.

s/david a. giacalone,
a/k/a haikuEsq and Prof. Yabut,
f/k/a ethicalEsq

Feel free to adopt the nomenclature of Implied Disclaimers yourself, since I don’t expect you to waste a perfectly good Saturday night, like I just did drafting your own. Having made this announcement, I’m fairly certain that I’ll no longer have to worry about insulting, miffing, irking or otherwise raising the ire of (thoughtful, secure, mature) readers who may encounter my words here in cyberspace [PMS].

*Linked image from Best of Callahan.

with apologies
a cloudburst passes


the sumo wrestler
apologizing, releases
the sparrow

. . . by Kobayashi Issa, translated by D. Lanoue

activism requires action (curing the blues)

Filed under: pre-06-2006,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 5:57 pm

       This post was almost titled “Not One Damn Mind Changed” — almost a snide, sarcastic piece about the ineffectiveness of Not One Damn Dime Day, the delusional egotism of its proponents, etc.   But, a more positive approach is called for.  To convert slacktivism back to effective activism, it seems important for the politically disappointed (I’m one of them!) to remember:

  1. activism takes action
  2. likely results are highly correlated with amount and duration of effort
  3. preaching to the choir is not an effective way to change minds
  4. and neither is self-congratulation over your moral or intellectual superiority
NODD As the folks at Snopes note in their coverage of Not One Damn Dime Day:
“[R]esults are generally proportional to effort: If the most effort one is willing to put into a cause is to do nothing, then one should expect to accomplish nothing in return.”
A Boston Globe editorial today, “Blue horizons (Jan. 22, 2005) has some good advice to those who are blue over the presidential election:
     More important than making a statement about last November is the need to talk about the future and how people of differing political views might find common ground. That ground might include working to change tax policies favoring wealthy Americans so the country can provide essential services and not burden the next generation with debt.

       That ground might include better stewardship of precious natural resources that can never be replaced and the promotion of global policies that would make America more than a feared superpower and expand its role as a leading world citizen.

      Dialogues on the polarizing social issues, the separation of church and state, privacy rights, and gun control might also help opposing sides to at least hear each other as individuals rather than as hated manifestos.Sporting a bracelet, boycotting the American economy on “Not One Damn Dime Day,” escaping on a cruise for the inauguration, or joining the “Turn Your Back on Bush” movement during the inaugural parade may have allowed the disenchanted to vent but not to change minds.

     America needs to move beyond red and blue and press for a nation united under a bolder, more inclusive vision.
dead end sign RabidNation of Daily Kos, one of the prime movers behind Not One Damn Dime Day and Black Thursday,  sign” tried to defend the call to spend no money on election, and to stay home from work, by noting that the boycotts would not harm small businesses: “Both BT and NODDD have advocated that people shop before and after the 20th, especially at locally-owned small businesses, to make up for any shortfall. Nobody’s going to lose their job or take a pay cut on account of events tomorrow.”  He brushes aside those who note that boycotts don’t work with this retort: “Funny that people would say this during the same week of Martin Luther King’s birthday. Uh, the Montgomery Bus Boycott? The Chavez/United Farm Workers grape boycott? Sure, some work and some don’t. But because some don’t, is that any reason not to try? ” 
  The f/k/a Gang believes that MLK, Gandhi and many others who have led effective protests would point Rabid to the numbered items above. 
Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich found out about NODD on Thursday, from an anti-Bush friend, and
had this to say about it (Jan. 21, 2005):
   “Are you doing it?” I asked my anti-Bush informant, who had just fumed over Bush’s wearing the presidential seal on his inaugural cowboy boots. 

    Her patriotic answer: “Are you kidding? I have no food in my house. I have to go shopping.”

   And that, in a nutshell, is the hard truth of political protest: Good causes often meet bad tactics, and practicality eventually trumps ideology.

Effective protest has to be practical, focused, and active.  Hidden, short-lived, symbolic gestures only make the participants feel better; they don’t make the world better. 

playing their games
on the sly…
pale blue butterflies

it’s become a world
of pale blue butterflies!
pale blue caps!
a blue hanging bell
red blossoms
by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue  deadEndSignN
p.s. If somebody wants you to shun Big Oil for a whole day, point them to Another Silly One-Day Gas Boycott.

suddenly winter

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:52 pm

rumble of thunder
a street juggler
lights his torches



one rock for my garden–
a thousand ants
rescuing eggs



snow pile


so suddenly winter
the colors
in her pill box


credits: “so suddenly winter”  The Heron’s Nest

“one rock for my garden–” The Heron’s Nest

 “rumble of thunder” The Heron’s Nest (Jan. 2005)




by dagosan:  

the blizzard

starts as scheduled  —

saturday is cancelled



waiting out

the snowstorm —

pantry’s full



through the frosted window –

all is dull gray

or bright white


[Jan. 22, 2005]




god'spolitics  Jim Wallis of Sojourners Magazine was on the Charlie Rose show last night (Jan. 21, 2005),

As usual, although Wallis is a religious believer and I am not, I found myself consistently agreeing

with his message.  I especially liked his statement “religion has no monopoly on morality.”  As the

book flap states:

It has become clear that someone must challenge the Republicans’ claim that

they speak for God, or that they hold a monopoly on moral values in the nation’s

public life. Wallis argues that America’s separation of church and state does not

require banishing moral and religious values from the public square. In fact, the

very survival of America’s social fabric depends on such values and vision to

shape our politics — a dependence the nation’s founders recognized.

We’ve voiced such sentiments here, there and elsewhere.  Democrats cannot wait until the next

presidential campaign to let the American people know that the vast majority of us hold moral and

ethical views that fit squarely within our national consensus on values — and that differences on

how those values should be applied in particular instances should not “excommunicate” anyone

from our social community or political discussion. 


Frankly, many Baby Boomers are “allergic to religion,” because of disillusionment with the religious

institutions of their birth, and many feel intellectually superior to believers.  We need to get over both

of these obstacles to recognizing and acknowledging the values we share with American believers,

just as certain segments of American’s religious community need to recognize that they do not have

a monopoly on morality nor on solutions to America’s social and political problems.

  • Although I believe that the majority of America’s believers come in “good faith” to  snow pile flip

    the positions they take on political issues, I admit to being skeptical — just as I am,

    for instance, with the interpretation of legal ethical requirements by lawyers — when

    a person’s positions consistently result in their own financial gain or the enhancement

    of their social position.

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