And Grand It Is

As a number of astute observers have noticed, my blog postings have become a little less frequent as of late. You can place the blame for this squarely on one person’s shoulders, and that person is Theresa Miller, beloved wife and notorious time stealer. Not that there is anything wrong with her stealing my time; when I let her take my free time, she fills it with activities that are much more fun than those I used to do in my spare moments (goodbye internet scrabble). I will continue posting, though, but updates will probably be limited to once a week, most likely written in Civ. Pro.

As to this week’s post: on Wednesday I took a little trip up to DC to attend a luncheon with Judge Rader of the Federal Circuit, who was scheduled to give a talk on “Intellectual Property in the Third World.” But don’t be fooled by the title of the speech, as I was, because the words ‘Intellectual’ and ‘property’ were probably not spoken during the whole day, except, perhaps by curious listeners whispering to each other during the presentation, ‘is he ever going to talk about intellectual property?’ The Judge instead spent his time relating the kind of stories about his global travels that I am sure he has retold so many times that they might induce him to vomit a little in his hand, like that guy on “I heart Huckabees.” They were quite entertaining stories though, and Judge Radar put out a fine effort trying to excise a moral out of them. Here is a very short rundown of what I learned from the stories:

In North Korea, they don’t have freedom of religion. Moral: America is great.

In the Ukraine, they have a huge and inefficient government bureaucracy. Moral: America is great.

In Uzbekistan, there is a Taliban-backed rebel force. Moral: America is great.

In China, the government built a disco into their brand new Federal courthouse. Moral: America is ok, but China is awesome.

Oh, sure, Judge Rader tried to explain that his story was really about how China’s communist civil law system is much less fair than America’s common law tradition, but once I learned of the courthouse disco, the effect of any other moral was completely lost. An interesting observation I have made throughout my time here and exemplified at this lunch was that the United States toots it own horn more than Dizzy Gillespie, as if by constantly reminding itself that America is a land of freedom, the country can collectivly look past its flaws, such as corrupt corporate lobbying and the diminishing quality of education in its public schools. I mean, Canada enjoys the same freedoms as our southern neighbor, but you don't get the same sort of chest-thumping self-aggrandizement you see in the States. The real lesson of the day, however, was that when you are a federal judge, you don’t have to actually talk about what you are supposed to, and are able to take the entire day from a very busy first-year law student who thinks he is going to expand his education with an informed discussion of technological law in developing nations, which means I would make an excellent federal judge.

That was my DC trip. Unfortunately, except for the Washington Monument (America’s phallus--talk about self-aggrandzement) I was unable to check out any of the sights and had to head back to the slave-driving Law school just in time for some cake and pumpkin pie. Speaking of Pie, Happy Thanksgiving again to you all. One of the good things about being, like Che Guevara, a “Citizen of America” is that you get to celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgivings. I, personally, am about to set the world record for most Thanksgiving dinners in one year—I’ve already had four.