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

May 23, 2005

luck or individual effort?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:51 pm


Matt Miller asks whether “luck” or “individual effort” matters most “in determining

where people end up in life.”  He notes that both Democrats and Independents

overwhelming said luck in a survey he commissioned, while Republicans said it’s

effort.  (NYT, Taking Luck Seriously, May 21, 2005).  Miller states:

“Try too hard to wipe out the inequities spawned by luck, and you

banish luck’s societal benefits and go down the road of communism.

But harness a healthy awe for luck, and you expand the bounds of

empathy in ways that make a living wage for poor workers and great

schools for poor children national imperatives. What we’re led to is the

public agenda missing today, built around passionate commitments –

by both liberals and conservatives – to (1) equal opportunity and (2) a

minimally decent life, achieved in ways that harness market forces for

public purposes.”

dice  If Republicans won’t act on these moral imperatives, Miller thinks Democrats

should take luck seriously — making America more just by forging a victory

based on “values that can win.”   

horseflies’ and bees’
big lucky day…
blossom-filled temple



donning my umbrella-hat–
cherry blossoms portend
a lucky day


translated by David G. Lanoue 


tiny check  Your editor apologizes for all the webserver problems that have made

accessing f/k/a so difficult the past few days.  I’m afraid that no amount of effort on

my part will solve the problem.  Pray to the great Webmaster in the sky.

tiny check supplemental (midnight, May 24):  Sarni at Infernality chewed over and posted her Stick.

She has some interesting choices and — being into fanstasy literature — alternative  

Stick universes.  Talk about generation gap: not one of our choices matched.  Not one

of our genres, either.  I’m again surprised that so many people re-read books.  Has there

been a study about personalities that re-read books or watch particular movies or tv

episodes repeatedly (as adults reading for themselves, and not for children) as compared

to those who are one-off-ers?  [Note my Britsy idiom.]   I spent years recording hundreds

of movies (for personal use, of course) and have not watched even one of them in the

past five years.  I’m glad to see that Sarni feels no need for lugging a How-to-Survive-in-

the-Wilderness book.  That’s probably part of the basic curriculum in Aussie elementary

school — Walkabout Ed.   Stop over to Infernality and see Sarni’s Stick and shtick.  Thanks

for shaking and sharing your Stick, Ms. S!! 


“tinyredcheck”  I feel lucky today: two of my favorite haiku poets agreed over the

weekend to be Honored Guests here at f/k/a:  Tom Clausen of Ithaca, NY, and

Yu Chang of Schenectady, NY.   I will be formally introducing each of them this

week, but you’ve worked hard (or are just lucky) and deserve a double sneak

preview — with haiku and senryu by Tom and Yu from the latest issue of frogpond,

the Journal of the Haiku Society of America.


from Tom Clausen:

just oatmeal

the waitress says






out of its reflecting pool

      the windblown






from Yu Chang:


pumpkin patch

this one is big enough

for my son





taking turns

to stretch their necks

a pair of herons


“THNLogoF” “THNLogoG”


from dagosan  



last week of May


the winter quilt


     [May 23, 2005]



let the buyer trust – credat emptor

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:47 pm

Wish I Said That:


“[FDR’s secretary of war and NYC lawyer] Henry Stimson would have been shocked

and saddened by the state of the bar today, and especially by the common, public,

even proud utterance in and out of bar associations that ‘law is a business like other

businesses.’ . . .


“As recently as 1963, Everett Hughes wrote that the central feature of professionalism

was a doctrine of credat emptor—”let the buyer trust”—rather than the commercial

maxim of caveat emptor—”let the buyer beware.” Society counts on the law, and on

lawyers as its servants, to spread such feelings of trust through the community. Instead,

too often, we help weaken them.”

– from Living the Law, Chapt 1. of Sol Linowitz’s The Betrayed Profession (at pp. 2 & 5;

1994), reprinted here (DCBA Brief, June 1999)




first snow falling
I trust in his hand…
bridge by the gate




entrusting the thicket
to the field crow…
the lark sings

ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

idlers at the galley

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:17 am

Our frequent Honored Guest Pamela Miller Ness was very successful

in contests sponsored by the Haiku Poets of Northern California for

2004 — she scored a first place in the tanka genre, and 2nd place with

honored guest Michael Dylan Welch for their rengay sequence. 

rengay (defined here):


Idlers in the Gallery

    (by Pamela Miller Ness & Michael Dylan Welch)




its cut-glass vase

La Farge’s magnolia     pmn



Homer’s croquet player

hides a ball with her skirt     mdw



strewn across

her studio table

Nell Braine’s turnips      pmn





the unused pencils

Jacob Lawrence grins

in his self-portrait          mdw



gathering hollyhocks

Frieseke’s woman in blue      pmn



to the porch born

the precise signature

on Blum’s two idlers      mdw



[each poem in the Idlers rengay is based on a painting

in the National Academy of Design, NYC.  Five of the

six can be seen here.]


owls small


tanka (defined here)



for a meal I’ll eat


I decide to let loose

my hair


bonus from Pamela Miller Ness:



storm watch

we talk

about getting old




  • by dagosan                                               

unseen bird

keeps repeating itself —

“you talkin’ to me?”






meeting the new

upstairs tenant

feet smaller than they sound



[May 22, 2005]



!key 2  Columnist Ellen Goodman made a linguistic point over the weekend

that I’ve been meaning to make for the past couple of months:

“I’m not keen on the politics of destruction, let alone the

language of destruction.  If I hear about the ‘nuclear option’

one more time, I think I will go ballistic. Nuclear warnings

should be reserved for the real thing, like say, North Korea.”

Your editor has previously complained that “The lazy linguistic practice

(often perpetrated and perpetuated by the popular media) of using familiar

analogous situations not merely to explain a new concept, but also to name

it, is making a mess of our language, with more and more phrases simply

making no sense on their face.”  (We used “black box” and “DNA finger-

prints” as examples. ) But, taking the term “nuclear option” out of the realm

of war strategy, and using it in the context of U.S. Senate filibuster rules is

several steps farther down the road toward language lunacy.    I don’t care

that a politican used the phrase.  The media are in the communications

business, they need to use words that express meaning.  Did anyone think

of calling it the Filibuster Buster Option?


tiny check Prof. Bainbridge is going to turn me into a regular cynic.  Imagine,  traffic cop sf

interstate wine sales were adopted to protect economic interests, not children.

The next thing you know, someone will be saying that bar associations are just



tiny check  Thank you, Eugene Volokh, for explaining how silly it is to ask questions

like Which Are Better — Blogs or the Traditional Media?.   That should stop all the



tiny check   Last week must have been a slow one in the blawgosphere — li’l old f/k/a 

got three mentions in Blawg Review #7, at the critically-acclaimed Jeremy Richey Blawg.

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