Paul L. Caron
Dean




Thursday, March 20, 2008

Application and Rules for Dating My 15-Year Old Daughter

Friday, March 7, 2008

Letting Go

Three_kidsI have written before of moments of special joy as a father to a 15-year old daughter -- our times together at two Fall Out Boy Concerts, a coming-of-age camp in Northern California, and various business trips and sports activities through the years.  Today, my daughter embarked on a 17,000 mile, 10-day adventure to Mamelodi, South Africa without either parent.  Two years ago, she went on a mission trip to Mamelodi with her mother and a large group from our church.  When the opportunity came to go back with a small band of volunteers with the Beaded Hope ministry, she jumped at it (and even agreed to pay half the cost from her summer job earnings).

Beaded Hope partners with South African women in selling their locally-produced beaded jewelry in stores in Cincinnati and on their website, with the proceeds going to fight the ravages of AIDS in Mamelodi. If you have enjoyed this blog through the years and would like to help this wonderful group, please consider purchasing one or more items here.

March 7, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Worst Year Of My Life?

As regular readers of the blog know, I turned 50 this year (and endured this rite of passage for folks my age).  The Weekend Wall Street Journal says this should be the worst year of my life:

This week a massive American-British study of some two million souls throughout 80 countries confirms, empirically, that middle age immiserates us all without regard to income, culture, gender, marital status or previous experience. The study offers a new visual to illustrate the overarching mood swing of life: the U-Curve, in which mental stability and happiness bottoms out in our 40s and into our 50s.

We then get more cheerful as we round the curve and head into the final stretch. In the U.S., women hit bottom at 40 and men at 50, according to the study. ...

One suspects that, with women and men both, midlife is a time when the mirage of life's perfectibility and symmetry, as envisioned in one's youth, comes back to trouble you like a conscience. In plain language, one might call it a last chance at happiness, or of "getting it right."

Midlife is perhaps the last opportunity to shape your fate before you have to accept it; a phase when you are suddenly taunted by the lives unlived because you can still, though only just, try to live them; a time when you can still become what you might have been. ...

Midlife is a last chance to keep your word with the 10-year-old you once were, who looked forward at life and made a pact with the future. You wake up in middle age to feel you have drifted. Amid a solid family, wife and job, you might feel a kind of awakening, though possibly a delusional one fueled by chemistry. The feeling might haunt you into one last eruptive attempt at realignment.

What then would be the "right" road: To keep to one's groove, or to opt for the road not taken? Luckily, the study tells us, once past 50 you won't care either way. Hang in there. It will all blow over.

The Midlife Blues, by Melik Kaylan.

Update:  I am not alone -- Greg Mankiw also has turned 50.

February 3, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Legal Version

Check out the original and legal versions of the classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas [click on chart to enlarge]:

Twas_the_night_before_christmas_pag

Continue reading

December 24, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

From the Treasury Department Historical Association:

Ornament_2_2Eleven Christmas Tree Tax Ornaments, including my favorite: the 1993 ornament issued on the 80th Anniversary of 16th Amendment:

THA's fifth annual ornament depicts the first Form 1040 as a commemorative of the 80th Anniversary of the authorization to collect tax on income. The ornament measures approximately 3-1/4 by 3-1/2 inches....On January 5, 1914, the Department of the Treasury unveiled the new Form 1040 for tax year 1913. 

Irs_notecards2_4IRS Notecards:

THA's Internal Revenue Service Building notecards depict six works of art displayed in the IRS National Office Building, each showing various architectural features of the New Deal-era IRS headquarters. The top-fold cards measure about 4-1/2 by 6 inches and arde packaged 12 to a box, 2 of each of the 6 prints, with envelopes.

Other items include:

(Hat Tip: Marie Byrne.)

December 24, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Irs_action_figure For sale on eBay:  an IRS action figure -- Irwin R. Schyster:

The action figure is modeled after WWF wrestler Mike Rotunda:

In the WWF, Rotunda became Irwin R. Shyster (I.R.S.) and he is perhaps best known for this role, more than any other role he has played during his career. Irwin R Shyster was a typical "tax-man" gimmick who harassed all of the faces and fans, urging them to pay their taxes, thus not enduring himself to the fans and other wrestlers (in the storylines).   

 

Irs_action_figure_2_1

His signature lines:

        • "I'm gonna write you off!"
        • "You can pay me now, or you will pay me later!"
        • "It's time to cut the crying, and start paying!"
        • "Even the dead have to pay taxes!"
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December 23, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Bite_1 1040_bar Nothing says "I love you" better than IRS chocolates:

(Hat Tip: Linda Galler.)

December 22, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Tax_bear_3 Check out the various I Love Tax products from Cafe Press:

If you work in the Tax Industry - whether as a Beanie or a Lawyer, you'll know what it is to REALLY love tax. We love thinking about tax, talking about tax, and especially ways of avoiding tax. Tax. Live it.

December 21, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Tax_stories_3Tax Stories (Foundation Press, 2003) (ISBN # 1-58778-403-3), by Paul L. Caron (Cincinnati):

Business_tax_stories Business Tax Stories (Foundation Press, 2005) (ISBN # 1-58778-729-6), by Steven A. Bank (UCLA) & Kirk J. Stark (UCLA):

December 20, 2007 in Book Club, Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chistmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Nothing says "I love you" better than paraphernalia from a Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service!  Check out this autographed picture and signed original letter from Donald C. Alexander, Commissioner of the IRS from 5/25/73 - 2/26/77 [click on items to enlarge]:

Alexander_2   

Letter 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 19, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Irs_bumper_sticker Check out this postcard on eBay:

If 10% Is Enough For God, It's Enough For The IRS

4x6 inches in size, full color.

18 are available

Cost:  $1.00

Shipping:  $1.00.

December 18, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

1913_tax_form_1Continuing a TaxProf Blog holiday tradition, I will offer this week some gift ideas for that special tax person in your life.  Today's suggestion:  For Counsel (Products and Gifts for Lawyers) sells an exact reproduction of the original 1913 Form 1040:

Four pages long, including one page of instructions. Impressively framed in classic mahogany with beaded edge and segmented mat of ivory. Brass plate mounted on the mat states: "1913 Inaugural Form 1040." Framed dimensions are 30" by 24". Comes with Plexiglas and all accessories for hanging.

Please email me other tax gift suggestions. 

   

December 17, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Truly Bad Movie Meme: Fight Club

Jim Chen started on Jurisdynamics a Truly Bad Movie Meme -- the "worst film I've ever paid money to see."  (For more on the concept of a meme, see here).  His choice:  Caligula. He then tagged Nancy Rapoport of Nancy Rapoport's Blog, who responded with A Stranger Among Us and tagged Ann Bartow of Feminist Law Professors, who responded with Fatal Attraction and tagged a number of folks, including Caitlin Borgmann of Reproductive Rights Prof Blog, who responded with Dogville and tagged me.

As readers know, two of my main interests are tax and law school rankings.  But I am going to resist the temptation to pick one of the many tax movies (The Firm, Ghostbusters II, Ordinary People, A Taxing Woman) I noted in my discussion of how tax lawyers are treated in the popular culture in  Tax Myopia, or Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Tax Lawyers, 13 Va. Tax Rev. 517, 528-31 (1994).  (For my summary, see id. at 528:  "The tax lawyer is typically depicted as a balding, white, bespectacled male in varying stages of emotional discord.").

I also am not going to pick my movie based on rankings -- although I note that of the four movies picked in the meme thus far, none is ranked as "truly bad" by IMBd -- Caligula is the lowest at 4.7 (on a 10-point scale), and Dogville is the highest at 7.9.

Fight_club_5My choice -- based in part on the fact that I saw it recently with great expectations on the enthusiastic recommendation of my 17-year old son -- is Fight Club.  Although IMBd gives it an 8.7 rating and the critics generally liked it, I agree with Roger Ebert:

"Fight Club" is the most frankly and cheerfully fascist big-star movie since "Death Wish," a celebration of violence in which the heroes write themselves a license to drink, smoke, screw and beat one another up.

Sometimes, for variety, they beat up themselves. It's macho porn -- the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights. Women, who have had a lifetime of practice at dealing with little-boy posturing, will instinctively see through it; men may get off on the testosterone rush. The fact that it is very well made and has a great first act certainly clouds the issue.

Edward Norton stars as a depressed urban loner filled up to here with angst. He describes his world in dialogue of sardonic social satire. His life and job are driving him crazy. As a means of dealing with his pain, he seeks out 12-step meetings, where he can hug those less fortunate than himself and find catharsis in their suffering. It is not without irony that the first meeting he attends is for post-surgical victims of testicular cancer, since the whole movie is about guys afraid of losing their cojones. These early scenes have a nice sly tone. ...

On an airplane, he has another key encounter, with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a man whose manner cuts through the fog. He seems able to see right into the Narrator's soul, and shortly after, when the Narrator's high-rise apartment turns into a fireball, he turns to Tyler for shelter. He gets more than that. He gets in on the ground floor of Fight Club, a secret society of men who meet in order to find freedom and self-realization through beating one another into pulp. It's at about this point that the movie stops being smart and savage and witty, and turns to some of the most brutal, unremitting, nonstop violence ever filmed. ...

What is all this about? According to Durden, it is about freeing yourself from the shackles of modern life, which imprisons and emasculates men. By being willing to give and receive pain and risk death, Fight Club members find freedom. ...

The movie is visceral and hard-edged, with levels of irony and commentary above and below the action. If it had all continued in the vein explored in the first act, it might have become a great film. But the second act is pandering and the third is trickery, and whatever Fincher thinks the message is, that's not what most audience members will get. "Fight Club" is a thrill ride masquerading as philosophy -- the kind of ride where some people puke and others can't wait to get on again.

I tag Ellen Podgor at White Collar Crime Prof Blog.

Update:  Ellen responded with The Paper Chase, and tagged Paul Butler at BlackProf

December 2, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Tax Thanksgiving

From the Tax Foundation:

"A person doesn't know how much he has to be thankful for until he has to pay taxes on it."
  — Author Unknown

November 22, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mankiw: The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving

Greg Mankiw (Harvard, Department of Economics) says The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving is the importance of property rights:  The Tragedy of the Commons, by John Stossel

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. "Isn't sharing wonderful?" say the teachers. They miss the point. Because of sharing, the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn't happen. ...

When the Pilgrims first settled the Plymouth Colony, they organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share everything equally, work and produce. They nearly all starved. Why? When people can get the same return with a small amount of effort as with a large amount, most people will make little effort. ...

The people of Plymouth moved from socialism to private farming. The results were dramatic. "This had very good success," [Governor] Bradford wrote, "for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. ... Because of the change, the first Thanksgiving could be held in November 1623.

What Plymouth suffered under communalism was what economists today call the tragedy of the commons. But the problem has been known since ancient Greece. As Aristotle noted, "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it." When action is divorced from consequences, no one is happy with the ultimate outcome. If individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in it, each person has an incentive to be a free rider, to do as little as possible and take as much as possible because what one fails to take will be taken by someone else. Soon, the pot is empty and will not be refilled -- a bad situation even for the earlier takers.

What private property does -- as the Pilgrims discovered -- is connect effort to reward, creating an incentive for people to produce far more. Then, if there's a free market, people will trade their surpluses to others for the things they lack. Mutual exchange for mutual benefit makes the community richer.

Secure property rights are the key. When producers know that their future products are safe from confiscation, they will take risks and invest. But when they fear they will be deprived of the fruits of their labor, they will do as little as possible.

That's the lost lesson of Thanksgiving.

Update:  The Angry Bear dissents.

November 22, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Day -- 2007
Washington, D.C.
November 15, 2007

Americans are a grateful people, ever mindful of the many ways we have been blessed. On Thanksgiving Day, we lift our hearts in gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, the people we love, and the gifts of our prosperous land.

Our country was founded by men and women who realized their dependence on God and were humbled by His providence and grace. The early explorers and settlers who arrived in this land gave thanks for God's protection and for the extraordinary natural abundance they found. Since the first National Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington, Americans have come together to offer thanks for our many blessings. We recall the great privilege it is to live in a land where freedom is the right of every person and where all can pursue their dreams. We express our deep appreciation for the sacrifices of the honorable men and women in uniform who defend liberty. As they work to advance the cause of freedom, our Nation keeps these brave individuals and their families in our thoughts, and we pray for their safe return.

While Thanksgiving is a time to gather in a spirit of gratitude with family, friends, and neighbors, it is also an opportunity to serve others and to share our blessings with those in need. By answering the universal call to love a neighbor as we want to be loved ourselves, we make our Nation a more hopeful and caring place.

This Thanksgiving, may we reflect upon the past year with gratefulness and look toward the future with hope. Let us give thanks for all we have been given and ask God to continue to bless our families and our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2007, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

(signed) George W. Bush

Thanksgiving Day -- 1933
Washington, D.C.
November 21, 1933

I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November 1933, to be a Day of Thanksgiving for all our people.

May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.

May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness, the vision of those who founded the Nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.

May we ask guidance in more surely learning the ancient truth that greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors.

May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between employers and those who toil; for a clearer knowledge by all nations that we seek no conquests and ask only honorable engagements by all peoples to respect the lands and rights of their neighbors; for the brighter day to which we can win through by seeking the help of God in a more unselfish striving for the common bettering of mankind.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-three and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-eighth.

(signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

(signed) Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

General Thanksgiving
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1789

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation
Charlestown, MA
June 20. 1676

The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.

The First Thanksgiving
Plymouth, MA
November 21, 1621

Our corn [i.e. wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercising in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.

For all Presidential Thanksgiving proclamations, see here.

November 21, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (2)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Interview on Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Check out my interview on Real Lawyers Have Blogs, which deals with a variety of topics, including the impact of blogs on teaching, research, reputation, collaboration with lawyers, and law reviews.

November 20, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Avis Contests Law Blogger’s Fair Use of Logo

Great post on Info/Law:  Avis Contests Law Blogger’s Fair Use of Logo, by William McGeveran (Minnesota):

Last month, law blogger Eric Turkewitz of the New York Personal Injury Law Blog published this post about a judicial decision overturning a federal statute that’s relevant to liability of rental car companies. He illustrated the post with the logos of Avis and Hertz. The other day, as Turkewitz explains here, he received [a cease and desist order from Avis]. ...  Memo to Mr. Turkewitz: Don’t do it!

Update:  Eric followed the advice here.

October 29, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Red Sox Win!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tax Prof Groupie

Fall_out_boy_2_2For the second time in five months, I took my fifteen year old daughter and her friend to a Fall Out Boy concert, this time at Ohio State.  It was a memorable (and late) night.  Having learned last time that Dads, daughters, and mosh pits do not mix, I came prepared this time with work and my Treo.  A friend had gotten us spectacular tickets and passes to meet the band, who were incredibly generous and friendly to the awestruck girls.  After escorting the girls to their seats, I left the arena and whiled away the hours at a nearby sports bar working, nursing a glass of wine, and silently rooting on my Red Sox in the midst of burly OSU Indians fans.  The best part of the evening was meeting my daughter in the concourse after the concert, seeing the kind of unbridled joy in her face that is common when kids are younger but that the world chips away as they get older.  There are few things in life sweeter than driving home late at night with your teenage daughter sprawled out beside you sleeping, reminiscent of those days not so long ago when she would sleep in the car strapped into her infant, child, and booster seats.

October 19, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tax Prof at 50

AarpI was hoping to fly under the radar with this, but I have been outed by some of my blogosphere friends (Adjunct Law Prof Blog, Administrative Law Prof Blog, Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog, Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, Food Law Prof Blog, Health Law Prof Blog, ImmigrationProf Blog, Jack Bog's Blog, Legal Profession Blog, M&A Law Prof Blog, MoneyLaw, Poverty Law Prof Blog, PrawfsBlawg, Reproductive Rights Prof Blog, Roth & Co., Securities Law Prof Blog, TortsProf Blog, White Collar Crime Prof Blog, Workplace Prof Blog):

Today I joined Dan Shaviro in the 50-year old club.  Like Dan, "I weigh the same and am in better aerobic shape than when I was a college or law student" -- indeed, I bragged to my wife last night that I am one of the few men who can still fit into his wedding suit, but she reminded me that I am one of the even fewer men that still wears a 22-year old suit!

Today culminates a year of transition for me, as I said farewell to my father and family dog, passed through bittersweet milestones (here and here) with my son (here and here) and daughter (here and here), survived a medical rite of passage for folks my age, and re-committed to Cincinnati with a great new job.  As I look out on the other side of 50, It is hard to believe that it was only three years ago that I was a finalist for the coveted "Law Prof Hunk" Award (here and here)!

July 27, 2007 in About This Blog, Miscellaneous, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (2)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Personal Note

To my friends (real and virtual):  blogging will be light over the next several days (apart from posts already in the queue) because my father died suddenly in Maine. 

July 4, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oh, To Be Single Again....

Interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal:  Dinner and a PowerPoint?, by Sue Shellenberger:

You've heard of working vacations. Now comes "the working date." Many single people are so busy with careers that they don't have time for a social life. So they're increasingly blending work and romance. For some, the practice has provided a path to lasting love. ...

A matching work ethic is becoming a kind of compatibility test for many career-minded singles. A typical working date for Scott Friedman, 47, of Denver, a motivational speaker and humorist, starts with, "'Look, I'm busy. You're busy. Why don't we order in and we'll work?'" With one recent partner who also has a demanding career, they would dine on Chinese food at his kitchen table, admiring the city lights from his windows. "Then we'd work for a few hours," he says. "At least," he reasons, he could glance at his date across the room. After that came dessert or a trip out for ice cream. "The actual social part of a four- to five-hour date would be 60 to 90 minutes," he says. The relationship ended for other reasons, but the dates "made me feel better, because I wasn't always the one saying, 'Geez, I have so much to do.'" A subsequent relationship tanked partly because the woman wasn't as busy as he was, Mr. Friedman says. Although she agreed to pass time reading a magazine while he worked after dinner, "it was uncomfortable for me because I knew she was just waiting for me to spend time with her," he says. Feeling guilty, he broke it off. "I decided I was better off by myself."

June 28, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Antitrust Survey

D. Daniel Sokol (Wisconsin) of our sister Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog is conducting this survey of countries around the world that are not OECD members and not members of the EU to determine whether and at which universities are antitrust/competition law and/or industrial organization taught.

June 13, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shrek and Fall Out Boy

Fall_out_boy_2_2Christine Hurt (Illinois) and Jeff Lipshaw (Suffolk) have reflected in recent days on the different stages of parenthood -- Christine reviews the most recent Shrek movie she saw with her kids, while Jeff takes a stroll down memory lane as his youngest child turns 18.  I am closer to Jeff's parenting stage than Christine's, and last night celebrated my daughter's 15th birthday by taking her and two friends to a Fall Out Boy concert at Cincinnati's Riverbend outdoor music theatre.  It was a memorable night.

I thought I had come prepared for anything (ear plugs, Advil), but not for the sight of my beautiful daugher sprouting wings near the mosh pit -- "one part woman, the other part girl" in the words of the Bob Carlisle song I continually threaten to play at her wedding.  Although a friend had gotten us spectacular seats, I of course was banished to the outer rim of the facility (with the other parents of like-age kids) where I passed the time (5 hours!) reflecting on what an incredible gift this parenting thing is.  I have made more than my share of parental gaffes through the years, but watching my daughter last night made me appreciate (in Carlisle's words) that "with all that I've done wrong I must have done something right."  (One of the things I got right was owing up to those mistakes with her at a week-long father-daughter coming of age program two summers ago at the JH Ranch in Northern California, and I am touched that she still wears the ring that I gave her at the conclusion of that week.)

My church has taught me the importance of "marking the moments" in one's life, and I know I will never forget the look of pure joy on my daughter's face as she found me after the concert, the sweet touch as she hugged me in gratitude for the evening, or the sounds of excited conversation from the back seat reliving the night as we drove home.  In Carlisle's words, "I know I gotta let her go, but I'll always remember."

P.S.  As I write this at 5:00 in the morning, catching up on the work I missed while at the concert, my daugher is studying beside me in the kitchen for the biology test she could not prepare for last night.  I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

May 22, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Tax Prof Circle of Life

Cincinnati_logo_0507_3The University of Cincinnati College of Law sent off the Class of 2007 into the world yesterday at our graduation ceremony.  It is always a reflective day for the faculty, as we watch with pride as each of the graduates march confidently across the stage to collect his or her diploma from the dean.  It is hard to believe that almost three years have passed since I welcomed 1/3 of them to law school in my week-long Introduction to Law course.

Unity_dowIt was an especially touching graduation ceremony.  Our speaker, Unity Dow (right), co-founder of the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Project, member of International Women's Rights Watch, and Botswana's first female High Court Justice, gave a stirring talk.  But far more than the eloquent words she spoke, I will remember the sight of a proud mother hooding and then embracing her daughter Cheshe on the stage on Mother's Day weekend.

This has been a nostalgic few days for me, as I have just returned from the ABA Tax Section's May Meeting in Washington, D.C.  One of the highlights was having lunch with a former student who is now a high-level tax staffer on the Hill and who had several speaking roles at the meeting.  It was cool to hear that I played a small role in launching him into his tax career, and cooler still to hear that he reconnected with me through this blog.

Picture_011_4As I spent two days at the Grand Hyatt, though, I couldn't stop thinking of something else.  Not the many interesting talks I have heard there or the many fun meals I have enjoyed with colleagues through the years, not even the opportunity to host a plenary session at the 2003 May Meeting on our Tax Stories book.  Instead, I was was flooded with memories from the separate trips I took with my two kids when they were pre-teens, as we did the Washington tourist stuff (White House, monuments, museums, etc.), as well as a Hillary Duff movie at Union Terminal with Jayne (left), and an Orioles-Red Sox game with Reed (right).  As I worked out in the health club this week, I remembered how not so many years ago my kids were happily splashing about the hotel pool.  As a wise lion once said:

Reed_at_cavs_game It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

May 13, 2007 in Law School, Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Who Should Provide Higher Education Metrics?

Interesting op-ed on Inside Higher Ed:  The Feds Are Coming, The Feds Are Coming!, by Richard Hersh:

Higher education has neither developed adequate metrics to assess learning nor demonstrated a willingness to publish such results when they are available, content to rely on and participate in, while at the same time damning, spurious college guides and reputation rankings. And it is not uncommon to hear faculty and administrators across the country protest that most of what we teach is too complex to be measured, that the diversity of college and university missions precludes one-size-fits-all assessment, or that the market place is the only required arbiter of quality. This implicit “trust us” attitude is now confronted by a market place that is questioning quality and is no longer accepting what amounts to higher education’s privilege of what is in essence a form of “faith-based” entitlement. ...

The Spellings Commission got it right — quality needs to improve, accountability must become far more transparent, and assessing learning, including value-added assessment, is crucial to both. This is not to say, however, that this requires that one single test be imposed on all institutions or that that we know how to measure all that is worth learning. But it is to say that transparent, systematic learning assessment can be a powerful force for improvement and is necessary for regaining public trust in the public good served by higher education. ...

What is needed before anything else, however, is for higher education to get its professional and collective act together immediately on the issues of learning assessment, accountability, and the role of accreditation lest the cry, “the feds are coming” result in a federal No College Left Behind.

In our article, What Law Schools Can Learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, 82 Tex. L. Rev. 1483, 1554 (2004), Rafael Gely and I make a similar point:

In our view, law schools are faced with a clear choice. We can continue resisting public demands for accountability and transparency through rankings. But such resistance is futile, as a market that demands rankings of brain surgeons and heart-transplant programs will not accept protestations from the legal academy that what we do is simply too special to be evaluated with objective measures. ...

As institutions and as individuals, we have nothing to fear from the accountability and transparency spotlight. Indeed, we do our best work in the light. We should welcome the opportunity to tell the world what we do and help them measure our performance as teachers and scholars. If we do not, the story will be told by others and it will no longer be our own.

April 25, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Father's Strange Bliss

This weekend was cold (low 40s), rainy, and windy in Cincinnati.  My wife and I try to rotate attending our kids' sporting events, so I spent Saturday at my high school freshman daughter's regatta and Sunday at my high school sophomore son's soccer tournament.

Jh_ranch_2005_007_2Saturday:  We left at the crack of dawn for the drive to East Fork Lake.  It was bitterly cold and wet, but my daughter bravely left the warmth of the school's tent for her 4-person boat's first heat.  The other parents and I trudged to the edge of the lake to cheer the girls on, but their boat did not appear at the scheduled time.  Over an hour passed as other heats raced in front of us and we sunk up to our ankles in the mud.  We were getting very concerned about the girls having to wait at the dock in those conditions, when the race officials announced that the regatta was cancelled because several girls were transported via ambulance to the local hospital for treatment for hypothermia.  Where were our daughters?  We hurried back to the tent to learn that the girls had been sitting the whole time in one of the coach's cars in the parking lot with the heat on!

I took my daughter and her friend back to our house, where after showering the girls sat on the living room rug curled up in sleeping bags doing math homework for 3 hours while I worked at the kitchen table.  It was a neat afternoon, listening to them talk about their school work and the upcoming party that night.  After beginning preparations for the party (which I learned to my horror was going to include boys!), they asked me to drive them to the other girl's house to finish getting ready.  I did so with a heavy heart, wishing I could keep my stunningly beautiful daughter tucked in her sleeping bag at home.

ReedSunday:  My son and I left at 6:45 a.m. for the 45-minute drive to the Mid-American Soccer Classic.  His team had won both games on Saturday, and we half-joked on the drive that we hoped they would lose the game so we could come home right after the game -- he to do homework, me to work.  If his team won, we would have to stay at the bitterly cold, wet, and windy fields until late afternoon for the championship game.  I tried to suppress a smile on the sidelines as his team fell behind 1-0 in the first half, but they stormed back and won 2-1.  I had mixed emotions as I walked to the sidelines to meet him after the game when I saw a tournament official walk up to my son and hand him something.  I later found out that he had been named player of the game.  My usually taciturn son was ebullient over breakfast at the Bob Evans we retreated to as we awaited the championship game.

The afternoon game was delayed for 90 minutes, and there was no Hollywood ending as my son's team was up 2-1 in the second half before giving up three late goals to lose the game.  After getting home 10 hours after we had left that morning, my son took a long hot bath to warm up and then fell asleep.  As I went to wake him up to do his homework, a lump formed in my throat as I looked at my 6-foot, 160-pound chiseled 16-year old man-child lying in the same bed in which I wouold tell him stories not so very long ago.

I know that years from now, after my kids have moved away, whenever I am cold and wet I will think about this weekend.  And remember that "[t]here is a time for everything, and a season for every activity."  Ecclesiastes 3:1.

April 15, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Opening Day and the Passage of Time

Cincinnati_reds_2Continuing a stretch of bittersweet moments as my wife and I brace for our kids leaving the nest in a few years (here, here, and here):  I am going to the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day game today without my son, a high school sophomore who is too busy with academics and sports practice to continue our tradition of attending opening day together.  I am sure I will have a great time with my friend in the glorious 75-degree sunshine, but I may shed a tear in my beer at not having my no longer little boy beside me!

April 2, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ohio State Band's Halftime Show

Osu_1We at Cincinnati have long had a friendly rivalry with our Ohio State colleagues up I-71.  So I admit to taking a bit of secret pleasure in Florida's trouncing of the Buckeyes on Monday night.  I also got a chuckle over the photoshopped picture of Ohio State's band's famous OSU formation at halftime of the game.  [Click on chart to enlarge.]

January 11, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Once a Bostonian...

I am still surprised, 16 years after moving away from Boston, when I am told that I have a Boston accent.  But this test confirms it:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Boston

You definitely have a Boston accent, even if you think you don't. Of course, that doesn't mean you are from the Boston area, you may also be from New Hampshire or Maine.

The West
The Midland
North Central
The Northeast
Philadelphia
The Inland North
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

(Hat Tip:  Jim Maule, who apparently talks with a Philadelphia accent.)

January 10, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person: A Recap

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Last-minute gift ideas for that special tax person in your life:

From the Treasury Department Historical Association:

Ornament_2_2Eleven Christmas Tree Tax Ornaments, including my favorite: the 1993 ornament issued on the 80th Anniversary of 16th Amendment:

THA's fifth annual ornament depicts the first Form 1040 as a commemorative of the 80th Anniversary of the authorization to collect tax on income. The ornament measures approximately 3-1/4 by 3-1/2 inches....On January 5, 1914, the Department of the Treasury unveiled the new Form 1040 for tax year 1913. 

Irs_notecards2_4IRS Notecards:

THA's Internal Revenue Service Building notecards depict six works of art displayed in the IRS National Office Building, each showing various architectural features of the New Deal-era IRS headquarters. The top-fold cards measure about 4-1/2 by 6 inches and arde packaged 12 to a box, 2 of each of the 6 prints, with envelopes.

Other items include:

(Hat Tip: Marie Byrne.)

Ipod_2_2 A gift your teenager is sure to enjoy:  an Apple iPod nano (4GB/Silver), preloaded with ABA Estate Planning CLE programs:

Take the experience of leading legal experts when you're on the move with an iPod preloaded with CLE in your practice area. With the next generation of CLE in your pocket, you can learn when and where it is best for you.

    

December 24, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

What_the_irs_missed Check out this eBay auction item:  What the IRS Mi$$ed Pottery Jar:

Brand new Tumbleweed Pottery.  Dimensions: Approximately 5" x 5" x 5" Inches. 

 

 

 

December 23, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Check out these funny tax greeting cards available from The Billable Hour Card Store (click on cards to enlarge):

Card_1_2

Card_2

December 22, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Irs_action_figure For sale on eBay:  an IRS action figure -- Irwin R. Schyster:

The action figure is modeled after WWF wrestler Mike Rotunda:

In the WWF, Rotunda became Irwin R. Shyster (I.R.S.) and he is perhaps best known for this role, more than any other role he has played during his career. Irwin R Shyster was a typical "tax-man" gimmick who harassed all of the faces and fans, urging them to pay their taxes, thus not enduring himself to the fans and other wrestlers (in the storylines).   

 

Irs_action_figure_2_1

His signature lines:

        • "I'm gonna write you off!"
        • "You can pay me now, or you will pay me later!"
        • "It's time to cut the crying, and start paying!"
        • "Even the dead have to pay taxes!"
      •  
      •  
      •  
  •        
  •       

December 22, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Tie_2 1040_tieCheck out these two tax ties:

This 100% silk tie is perfect for any tax preparer or auditor. It displays images of a 1040 US Individual Income Tax Form as well as related terms and phrases.

This tie has a tag on the back that says its titled IRS - I Ran Short. Shows little men in barrels walking around, the letters IRS on the barrel, too funny. Made by Allyn. Feels like silk.

  (Hat Tip:  Linda Galler.) 

   

December 21, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Screw_the_irs Check out this Screw the IRS Card Game available on ebay. 

 

 

 

 

December 21, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tax Prof Exam Poll

For Tax Profs giving exams this semester: Is your exam
Entirely essay
Part essay/part objective (e.g., mulitple choice)
Entirely objective
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

December 20, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Taxstoriesc_2Tax Stories (Foundation Press, 2003) (ISBN # 1-58778-403-3), by Paul L. Caron (Cincinnati):

Business_tax_stories_2

December 19, 2006 in Book Club, Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Bite_1 1040_bar Nothing says I love you more than IRS chocolates:

(Hat Tip: Linda Galler.)

December 19, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person

1913_tax_form_1Continuing a TaxProf Blog holiday tradition, we will offer this week some gift ideas for that special tax person in your life.  Today's suggestion:  For Counsel (Products and Gifts for Lawyers) sells an exact reproduction of the original 1913 Form 1040:

Four pages long, including one page of instructions. Impressively framed in classic mahogany with beaded edge and segmented mat of ivory. Brass plate mounted on the mat states: "1913 Inaugural Form 1040." Framed dimensions are 30" by 24". Comes with Plexiglas and all accessories for hanging.

Please email me other tax gift suggestions. 

   

December 18, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Tax Prof Colon

Caron_colon_1Following InstaPundit Glenn Reynolds' lead, I thought I would share the cause of my blog hiatus last Friday:  yielding to the demands of middle age, I submitted to a colonoscopy.  The procedure itself was not that bad, but the preparation was horrific:  I was forced to drink 96 ounces of TriLyte, the most disgusting concoction known to man.  (Cheney and Rumsfeld really missed the boat on this -- the Gitmo detainees might have been able to resist waterboarding, but they would have given up all they knew by the 72nd ounce of TriLyte.)  Thankfully, I passed the colonoscopy with flying colors (see photo on left) and won't have to endure another one for ten years.

December 7, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (2)

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Test Your Internet Connection Speed

Check out this cool test of your Internet speed -- my home network clocked in pretty well:

Here are the results from the law school's network:

Like Michael Froomkin, the Internet connection in my office operates much more slowly than in my home -- I'm not sure why that is, or why that is not reflected in these numbers.

December 3, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A 14-Year Old Girl in Today's World

Please indulge a proud father as I share the wonderful poem my 14-year old daughter read last night at our church's art show:

Dance of Love?

We dance under black blankets of sky

Hands on big hips full of potential

That bruise soft flesh

Far too close for comfort

And I know this is not my dream

We are a living in a fantasy

A lie all the same

Too caught up to notice just how far under I'm slipping

It's not like you care anyone

Don't we both know it's all a publicity stunt

Advertising the latest and greatest attraction

Though the script is flimsy,

The plot all-together see through

It deserves an Oscar just for the acting

Pretending is not something I or you will ever be new to

In cafeteria girls giggle over forget-me-nots, summer days and lazy boy dreams

Trying to forget the fact that boys with hungry eyes is not what they desire

They stare at us with hormone induced lust

Across miles of food-scattered floors

They still find a way to make me feel violated

Shorts that could have easily been found

In Chris Browns newest and nudist music video pique their interest

We like to pretend they stare at our eyes

Not our bodies with longing

But it is the hour glass figure

Not the contour of our smile

That gets them every time

Our passionate lip-lock is not really true love

But we make it all too easy for them

Our school has caught the love bug

Or so they say

The infectious disease of perfumed notes

And staying out far past curfew

I'm beginning to lose hope in the cure

I can't help but miss the days of wide-eyed smile and toothless grins

When I would chase boys across the playground with puckered up lips

It was a game then but now it's a battleground

Tactics and warfare to win over an unwilling heart

I am not some prize

I refuse to be won

I remember when holding hands seemed like enough of a scandal

And going way too far was not even a plausible option

So is this love?

They way he sticks his tongue down her throat

After she finishes HIS algebra homework

She longs for his affections

And he knows that all too well

Wondering why church on Sundays won't sooth that guilty conscience

It's not a quick fix

But don't we all wish it was

Her high heels click on the floor

Along with a perpetually receding hemline

And shirts that seem to shrink in the wash

She can tear at my soul for hours

But my solutions never seem realistic

But still I will dance with the new him in my life

To a song that he claims will belong to us forever

Although forever seems to depend on where I'll let his hands touch

Because charming personalities

Lose interest all too fast

In a quick pace world of physical attraction

I'm finding that the me in myself had no place

Pretending that it fills the empty chasm

Where the part of me that made me whole used to lie

Because I am hungry for more than just food

Stomach rumbling in discontent

But I will choose to ignore it

Because this is how I've been told it should be

Because this dance is my new always

August 26, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hidden Microsoft Office Features

Farewell, San Diego!

Happy_birthday_1 Usd_8This is a bittersweet day for me:  my wife and kids left San Diego this morning to return home to Cincinnati, so I will be celebrating my birthday alone as I teach my last Tax I class tonight at the University of San Diego School of Law.  It was a wonderful 7 weeks out here, as we enjoyed the Southern California lifestyle (except for the record-breaking heat wave!) and renewed friendships from our three previous summers teaching at USD.  As our kids grow older and our lives become increasingly hectic, it has been a real blessing to have this time together living in a cramped 2 bedroom apartment without the many distractions of home.  My thanks to the kind folks at USD for having us back and for making us feel at home at their wonderful school, and to my 74 students who worked so hard (and laughed at most of my jokes).

July 27, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

What the Declaration of Independence Says About Taxes

Declaration_1

Here is the July 4th post by Neil Buchanan (Rutgers-Newark) during his guest blogging stint here last year:

I thought I would take another look at our oft-mentioned and seldom-read Declaration of Independence to see what it has to say about taxes and other issues of import. Herewith, a quick (and admittedly incomplete) summary of the contents:

Obviously, the most important issue addressed in the Declaration was the ongoing violence in the colonies. Among its more memorable descriptions of conditions at the time, the Declaration reminded the world that King George III "has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people." The founding fathers were understandably focused primarily on matters of life and death.

Beyond those immediate concerns, though, the bulk of the Declaration expresses, in essence, a thirst for politics. That is, the major non-war-related complaint is that there is no locally-elected legislature passing laws for the colonies. Our founders were willing to lay their lives on the line, in other words, to create legislatures.

For those of us who are law professors and lawyers, it is interesting that the Declaration also seems to express (or at least imply) a desire for lawsuits and defense lawyers. The king "has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing Judiciary powers" and "depriv[ed] us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury." (Current readers are likely to split into two camps in their reactions to those statements, with some saying "If they only knew what they were getting us into," and others saying, "Yes, lawyers are an essential ingredient of a stable nation.")

The Declaration also notes that the king had prevented colonists from trading with foreign nations, which was an especially sore point for our resource-rich and young nation. (There is also, I should say, a rarely-quoted--and inflammatory--comment about the American Indians, reminding us that even the Founding Fathers made controversial statements.)

Finally, though, what about taxes? Exactly one statement appears on the subject: The king had assented to Parliament's laws that "impos[e] Taxes on us without our Consent." That's it. For some reason, I always thought that taxes played a bigger part in the Declaration. All it says, though, is that taxes are unacceptable if we do not impose them on ourselves.

The Declaration of Independence, in addition to calling for peace in our country, called for four basic things: the right to pass our own laws, to operate our own courts of law, to trade with other nations, and to create our own tax system. Simple, elegant, complete. No wonder we still read it.

July 4, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Happy 16th Birthday, Reed

Dad_and_reed_at_jh_ranchReed, 16 years ago today you entered this world, enriching our lives beyond measure. The years have flown by, and my heart aches that we will never again play soccer in the basement, shoot baskets in the driveway, or hit baseballs in the park.  But the void is filled with a different kind of joy, as I watch you develop into a remarkable young man.  Although I am bursting with pride at your many academic and athletic accomplishments, I am prouder still of simply who you are and the person you are becoming.

I have made more than my share of mistakes through these 16 years and in many ways have not been as good a father as you deserved.  But I want you to know that I love you and will be cherishing every day of these next three years before you leave our home to make your way in the world. I am especially looking forward to your arrival in San Diego today and to spending the next three weeks with you enjoying life in Southern California, until your mother and sister join us for the final two weeks before we all return to Cincinnati.

You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.

June 24, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)