4th of July

So I know there are a lot of cheesy fourth of july videos, but I like them. Go check out this one I got from my grandpa.


Atlas Shrugged

So I finished reading this book finally. It took me about three weeks, which is really long for me. I liked the book. I even agree with most of it, specifically that people need to take responsibility for their own lives, and not rely on the government to give them what they think they need. However, the book ignores an equally important characteristic that I think is essential to be a happy and successful (not the monetary sense) human, and that is the need to help other people. Like it or not, there are people out there who no matter how hard they try and how brilliant they are will not be able to rise above the hand that life dealt them without the help of people more fortunate. The Atlas Shrugged answer of leaving them to rot is not right. I happen to think that taxes are not the right answer either because so much of it is not directed to help the people that need it, and a great deal of the money that is directed to help the poor and unfortunate is sucked up in administrative costs and the huge bureaucracy. People need to help of their own volition in order to make any positive difference in other people's lives.


Yeah Warren Buffett

So Warren Buffett donated 30 Billion dollars to charity, and in so doing became the most effective response to the people who argue we need to raise taxes to help poor people because the rich won't donate of their own volition.

As a side note, if that money had been taxed away from Mr. Buffett, the great majority would not have gone to help poor people.


Something to think about

I got an email with this story in it. I wanted to hear what those of my friends who are more familiar with the 1st amendment had to say.

Brittany McComb was the valedictorian at Foothill High School recently. She graduated with a 4.7 GPA. She earned the right to address the other graduates at Foothill, located in Henderson, Nevada.
She gave a copy of her graduating speech to the school administrators. It contained some Biblical references and even mentioned (one time) the name “Christ.” The school administrators censored some of the Biblical references. They also censored the single reference to Christ.
Then the school officials handed the speech over to the ACLU for approval and/or more censoring. After getting the OK from the ACLU, Brittany’s speech (minus the censored references to the Bible and Christ) was approved. Brittany was warned that if she deviated from the ACLU approved language, her mike would be cut off.
Then came the moment for the big decision. She would not bow down, she decided. She would go with her original version. She stepped to the mike and began her speech. But just before she could utter the name “Christ,” her mike went dead. School officials silenced her. The crowd of 400 jeered for several minutes, angry at the action of the school officials.

Chess Boxing

So today on ESPN.com, there was an article about chessboxing. In this new sport, the competitors alternate rounds between chess and boxing. Round one starts with a game of chess. After the end of the round, the board is removed from the ring and the "athletes" don boxing gloves and try to knock each other out. There are four ways to win. First, your opponent gives up. Two, knockout. Three, checkmate. Four, the chess has a time limit, so if your opponent runs out of time you win.

The inventor of the sport claims that it is the ultimate sport because it combines both brains and brawn. He forsees a day in which international disputes are settled through a nice game or match of chessboxing.

Now I am not a big fan of boxing, and I really cant stand watching chess, but I am intrigued by this sport. It could lead to a great explosion of similar games. familyfeudbasketball, jeopardytennis, checkersraquetball, etc. I think it would be a nice change, and maybe then elite athletes would stay in school for an education instead of going pro immediately, since they will have to compete with their minds as well as their bodies.


Today Sucks

Last night I started getting a pretty bad headache, I thought it would be no big deal so I took a couple of pills and went to bed. This morning I wake up and it is a full blown migraine. I take a couple of more pills and lay back down. Next thing I know it is 1:00 in the afternoon and the day is mostly gone. Luckily the wife got a lot done for me so the day isnt a total waste.


Different thoughts

So I have been reading the book Atlas Shrugged lately. Part three of that book is called A is A. For some reason that really got me thinking about the true nature of things. I have for the last few months been obsessed with prime numbers. They have been described as the building blocks of other numbers, or the only true numbers. But last night it struck me that prime numbers are the only true numbers when it comes to multiplication and division, but if you add in addition and subtraction there is only one true number. That is the number one. Every other number is in essence, a grouping of the one true number. Twenty is not an individual entity, but twenty entities grouped together for the convenience of those who have to deal with the group. Fractions or decimals are merely a portion of the one. All of this is probably not terribly interesting unless you are fascinated by numbers like I am (and even then probably not) but it lead me down an interesting path.

Once I accepted one as the only true number I began to wonder about the true nature of human beings. I have heard it said that humans do not change. They remain the same and the only reason they respond differently in similar situations is the change in stimuli. Now I cannot speak for all humans but looking back on my life, I can identify a few times when I have changed. I realized that the only true change a human goes through has to be a fundamental change. I will call this time x. So the person pre-x and the person post-x are not the same person. There will obviously be similarities, but the change is so great as to have altered the person at a fundamental level. As an example I refer you to the diet craze. Lots of people want to lose weight. Lots of people do something different, perhaps even dropping significant weight. However, within months they have typically gained it back. There was no change. The people who lose weight and keep it off make a fundamental change. For example they become an excercise fanatic, or an anorexic. Both of these I would classify as a fundamental change resulting in a new person. Another example is religion. A person who adopts a new religion (or recommits to their old religion) goes down one of two paths in my experience. Path one, they change religion for some outside influence. In this case there is no fundamental change and as soon as the outside influence fades or changes they fall away from the religion. Path two, they make a fundamental change and regardless of the influences of the outside they are committed to the religion and will not deviate.

This path of thought and discovery about fundamental change has lead me to believe that I, as a human being, cannot modify myself to be a better or worse person. The only way to become a better or worse person than the person I am now is to become a new person. The tricky part will be trying to figure out how to do that.



So I guess that spending every weekday 18 stories up in an airconditioned building I forgot about the heat. I know that it isnt even that bad yet, but today being outside I found myself playing the shade game. If you dont know what that is, while walking someplace, you walk extremely fast while in the sun, and then as soon as you hit shade you slow down. Not much of a game but it helps beat the heat.


Job Search

So I have been looking for a job for after graduation. I am still in the researching law firms stage, but I have noticed that I am consistently more excited about going to work for a medium or a small firm. I always thought I was a big firm guy for sure, but I guess not.


Never saw this part two

So today I went to a change of plea. Basically that is where a person who pled not guilty is changing their plea to guilty. There is a federal statute that requires that when a person pleads guilty they should be immediately taken into custody unless there are exceptional circumstances that call for a deviation. In reality, none of the criminals get taken into custody until their sentencing.

Today, the man changed his plea to guilty, and then asked that the judge reduce the limitations placed on him while he waits for his sentencing. The judge granted his request...because he had only violated the conditions of his release one time. Ummm. ONLY one time. I guess we don't expect that people will obey the law anymore.


Never saw this before

So I am working in the Federal Courthouse. This week the 8th Circuit is holding oral arguments all week. Since I am an appellate junkie, I have been going up there to watch. Today one of the cases was a drug case. Both attorneys had to fly in from K.C. and stay in a hotel. Just for the record the national government has no money because it is all going to the war. So with that background...

Attorney #1 for scuzzy drug lord. Stands up. Gives 10 minute recitation of facts in a monotone voice, says "I think x case is controlling." He then sits down. Attorney #2 for the United States gets up and says in a depressed sounding voice, "I agree that x case is controlling. I could try to distinguish it, but it won't work." The judges stare at the attorney with a puzzled look, and then tell them thanks and end the argument. So here is the question, why would the U.S. pay to send someone out here to concede an appeal? Why not just conceed in the brief? How was it beneficial to the court, the U.S. government, the attorney's office, or the taxpayers? Stupid lawyer.

I'm back

So if you just randomly came to my blog you will not know or care what the rest of this is about. If you meant to come, welcome back. I had decided to take a break from the blog because I was reaching a point where I no longer cared what anyone else thought, and the more I wrote the more convinced I became in my own "rightness." Now don't get me wrong, I am still right, but I feel that I am again at a place where I want to hear what others think.

Now for the dramatic part. When I told Squishy that I was going to restart the blog she told me it was too bad I had deleted it. For those of you who are now feeling the same way, I just want you to know that it had to be done. If I hadn't deleted it I would have felt compelled to start again too soon. So now it begins again fresh.

About a month ago, I had two weeks where I went running with matt, and it was a good time to talk with one of my friends about school, life, etc. I also get to ride to work every day with ella. But other than that I haven't seen or talked to anyone basically since school got out.