May 2015

May 2015

Summer is icumen in 

Not bad for an octogenarian. Entering his ninth decade, our friend Frank (he can claim many friends) had a trick up his sleeve. A longtime Blackjack enthusiast, he gathered his children together for some birthday cards. At the casino table, they held out their hands towards him as was custom. Into each grown-up palm, he pressed two crisp one-hundred-dollar bills. “See,” he said, “you’re already a winner.” The story is charming on its own. When it’s in your son’s column in the Sunday New York Times, it’s a monument.

The exception may be David Brooks. Remember those cartoons with the guru and the truth-seeker on the mountaintop, usually discussing the meaning of life, or something about catching fish, or maybe how to mix a martini? David Brooks has information that suggests they may be an endangered species. Fifty years ago sages – public intellectuals, they were called – spoke to the populace at large through best-selling books, magazine columns, and then (gasp!) television. In return, the public listened. Now the sages talk mostly to each other.

Law of the land. A law professor at Emory University now authors a website entitled “Future of Sharia,” the system of Islamic law. Other religious codes co-exist in our system of constitutional law. That includes canon law, for Catholics, Anglicans, and Orthodox and Halakha or Jewish law. None is nearly so pervasive or determined as Sharia, which governs everything from dining etiquette to literary standards.

Job satisfaction. About 39 percent of college graduates report not feeling engaged in their work. But what’s the problem? Underemployment? Poor career choice? Plain old office politics? No, say the experts. The unhappy and disengaged apparently lacked one of the following college experiences that lead to fulfillment on the job: 1) Having a professor who made you excited about learning, 2) feeling as though teachers cared about you, and 3) working with a mentor. Some of us had all three – and then some.

The real first wives club. The women of the Michelle Young Foundation are drawing attention to a pervasive issue in the UK – the apparent bias in favor of men in the family courts. “Women have been left with almost nothing, their children have suffered, and all because their husbands played the system,” said Michelle Young, whose husband ran off with millions, leaving her destitute. These women aren’t just bitter starter wives going after the yacht, however. They say they represent all women who’ve been wronged by the system (no matter the size of the boat).
Or maybe it’s just a family thing. The weather in the subtropical Southeast has been unusually wet this spring, which may explain this from a sibling in Savannah.


Quote to note. “We failed, but in the good providence of God, failure often proves a blessing” –Robert E. Lee


Thanks for reading, 

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