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Recent Comments

Re: “Pimp Your Lunchbox with '400 Best Sandwich Recipes'

I don't mean to be unkind, and I'm certainly not going to judge a whole cookbook by one recipe. But despite the other ingredients, a flour tortilla filled with mayo and a substantial amount of white rice does not strike me as a good example of a nutritious meal to fuel a child's afternoon.

Posted by Zoe72 on 08/19/2011 at 1:46 PM

Re: “Please Don't Eat the Tomatoes at Weekly Open Thread

Yes, it's definitely a less pleasant experience without the shade, not to mention the food safety issues. I talked to some of the Good Food for Good People reps, and they said they weren't sure who had complained. But if you support keeping the market in its original location, you can send emails or fill out a survey by Monday.

Posted by Zoe72 on 06/11/2011 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Please Don't Eat the Tomatoes at Weekly Open Thread

I'll second the praise for Karla's empanadas. But speaking of the West Nashville Farmer's Market, could one of the Bitesters address the drama that's going on over there? All I've heard is that some neighborhood residents have forced a change of location. I love the WNFM, and I plan to be there tomorrow to show my support, but I'm not looking forward to limp, sun-baked produce.

Posted by Zoe72 on 06/10/2011 at 11:20 PM

Re: “A Chat Full of Nerdy Delights With Tennessee Poet Elizabeth McClellan

Great conversation, but I particularly enjoyed this part, which I have been quoting extensively to my out-of-state friends over the last few days (usually in response to their questions about the recent legislative session): "I’ve spent enough of my life trying to explain to people how it is that I love my state even with its mile-wide blind spots, its often pig-ignorant power structure, to the point that I make no more excuses ... your home is your home and I love my home, humidity and seed ticks and all."

Posted by Zoe72 on 06/06/2011 at 6:20 PM

Re: “Federal Bankruptcy Judge Candidate Plans To Resign From Embattled Belle Meade Country Club If Appointed

First: empathy is an excellent attribute in a judge, and is not inherently in contradiction with objectivity. I have seen you make this argument elsewhere, and I think you are again missing the point. If a judge has empathy for only one party, then yes, potentially it could inhibit objectivity. But in fact, it is possible for a judge to have empathy for both parties. Empathy does not necessarily mean, "I agree with your argument and you succeed on the merits of your case." Rather, sometimes it means, "The law is not on your side, but I am still going to treat you like a human being who deserves respect." For example, in a situation where one party belongs to some segment of society that is accustomed to being treated with contempt by authority figures, empathy might lead to something as simple as speaking courteously to that person, so that whether or not they receive the legal outcome that they desire, they may still feel that they have been heard and have been treated fairly.

Now, do I believe that this is always happens? No, of course not. What I have described is aspirational. But as a conservative, surely you believe in holding people to standards, even if those standards are not always met? The standard we have here is the judicial code of conduct, which is a fine, well-written, and thorough document.

You also address the freedom of association, and suggest that judges will lose their right to freedom of association if, e.g., they are not allowed to belong to the BMCC. The truth is, judges do experience some restriction of certain rights while they serve. Those who serve their country often do. By analogy, consider the military. I have several friends who are military officers, and they have often remarked that while serving, they temporarily experience restrictions on their rights, such as freedom of speech. Judges are also subject to many other restrictions, related to their abilities to hold office, fundraise, serve as estate executors, etc. Are you opposed to all of these restrictions, or are you just concerned about the freedom to belong to the BMCC?

I think this note from the commentary on Canon Two of the code of judicial conduct says it all: "A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety. A judge must expect to be the subject of constant public scrutiny. A judge must therefore accept restrictions on the judge's conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly."

Finally, yes, you are correct: I do believe that membership in a discriminatory organization constitutes either flawed judgment or a moral failing (and often both). Nonetheless, the ordinary private citizen is entitled to flawed judgment and moral failing, just as I am entitled to my moral judgments about those failings. However, judges are held to a higher standard, and in my opinion, rightly so.

Posted by Zoe72 on 06/01/2011 at 11:27 AM

Re: “Federal Bankruptcy Judge Candidate Plans To Resign From Embattled Belle Meade Country Club If Appointed

Mark Rogers, you have missed the point entirely, perhaps deliberately. The point is not that the BMCC's discrimination directly affects a relatively small and affluent group of people. The real issue is two-fold: (1) Why can't women and people of color be full members? It's disingenuous to suggest that there is any reason other than some sort of unspoken bias. (2) As a result, judges and judicial nominees who belong to the BMCC at best tacitly condone, and at worst share, these unspoken biases. This is conduct that is expressly forbidden by the code of judicial conduct; even if it weren't, it should be anathema to all people of good will and good sense. It's a fairly simple proposition: judges must be objective and unbiased. Participation in a biased organization calls that objectivity into question, and undermines our entire legal system.

Posted by clg on 05/31/2011 at 9:34 PM

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