Showing posts from July, 2013

Detroit’s Bankruptcy and the Law

Detroit   The City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy this month, making it the largest municipal entity in the country to ever do so.   This has created a number of interesting and new legal problems for bankruptcy lawyers.   Since I’ve taught the course in Debtor-Creditor Law for 40 years, and have written a textbook (with Professor Jeffrey Morris of the University of Dayton) on the subject, I thought I’d take a stab at explaining the difficulties for those of you who are not lawyers. Bankruptcy is a federal matter, and the United States Bankruptcy Code is divided into various “Chapters.”   Most individuals and businesses file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a liquidation proceeding in which the debtor surrenders all non-exempt assets and then is forgiven (“discharged”) from liability on most (but not all) debts.   Businesses in Chapter 7 do not get a discharge; they are liquidated and simply cease to exist.   Individuals can file a Chapter 13, which allows them to pay off m

Teaching Cats the Rules of the House

I ordered 20 copies of my novel “Imaginary Friend” last week because I have a number of upcoming speaking engagements at which I planned to sign and sell books.   This past Saturday I opened the new copies that arrived on the dining room table, took out the packaging that came with it (the usual brown paper wrapping, all crumbled up) and then downloaded the books into a suitcase that I trundled to the Ohio Union for my first speaking engagement of the summer. Coming home in the late afternoon, I was working at the computer when I heard suspicious paper-rattling on the dining room table just around the corner, meaning that some cat was violating a stern rule of this establishment, rigorously enforced by “The Big Mammal”: cats are not allowed up on the dining room table.   Barney, my cat who is small of brain but large of heart, sometimes violates this rule, but not because he’s a rule-breaker, it’s simply that he forgets.   This rarely happens, but the last time was the day a

Speaking at Atheist Conventions, Directing a Play, and That Move to Florida

This summer is going to be far too busy for a supposedly retired man.   A quick update on the coming events, some of which my readers may want to attend (or studiously avoid, depending).   A.   Speaking at Atheist Conventions On Saturday, July 13, from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. in US Bank Theater in the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University, I will be speaking at the 2013 Secular Students Alliance Annual Conference (East).   My topic will be “Coming Out as an Atheist.”   It is based on a blog post I wrote entitled “What Atheists Can Learn from the Gay Movement” (see below).   I was very pleased to be asked to speak at the convention, which will itself last all that weekend, and many of the speakers are famous names in the atheist/secular humanist movement.   For more information see .   After my talk I will be signing (and selling for $8.00 each) copies of my atheist thriller, “Imaginary Friend” (which sells for $9.84 on Amazon and $2.