blog 7| July 7, 2010
You know it's hot when even the freaking breeze is hot. At least we're only getting two days of this. Tennessee and Alabama routinely see a week of weather like this.
Last Thursday I went to the Canada Day celebration at the Canadian Embassy. The Canadian Embassy is a beautiful building, and they had a good little party going for their celebration. They had a band and burgers, and they had a cultural exhibit about Native American life. I thought it was really funny that they had a hockey goal set up for kids to try hitting four targets set at the corners of the goal. First day of July, and the Canadians are still training the kids for hockey. I was going to say thinking about hockey, but I'm thinking about hockey, too. The Nashville Predators have actually made some waves this offseason. Unfortunately, they traded away a good defenseman in Dan Hamhuis. They're hoping that Ryan Parent can develop into his replacement eventually. The Preds have also decided that goalie Pekka Rinne is the real deal because they traded back-up goalie Dan Ellis. They have gotten some offensive firepower, which was desperately needed. They lost Jason Arnott, but they got Sergei Kostitsyn, Jonas Andersson, and Matthew Lombardi. Patric Hornqvist will be back from injury. We'll have to see what else they do. It'd be great if they landed a ginormous free agent, like an Ilya Kovalchuk, but the Preds never do things like that.
Anyways, on Friday the office let the interns go early because it was the day before a long weekend. That was a productive day for me, at least. I finished doing the research I wanted to do for a memo for L (State Department lawyers). I also got to go to lunch with a college classmate of mine I hadn't seen in a while.
This memo thing I'm doing for L is slightly confusing for two reasons. One, it involves legislative research, which is not my best research skill. Legislative research is not covered much in the first year of law school. Second, I'm still a little unsure as to the question that I'm answering. I e-mailed a draft of the first few pages of my memo to L, so I'm waiting for a response. Hopefully, I'm on the right track. The memo topic is unclassified and freely available online, so I suppose I can talk some about it. I'm looking into the differences between excess defense articles (EDA) transfers and sales from stock transfers. Both involve transfers of military equipment, but they are a little different. EDA is essentially a grant of US equipment to another nation (typically a developing nation that wouldn't be able to afford it, otherwise). Sales are what they sound like: the US selling defense items to a country that can pay for it. Hopefully this memo will turn into something I can make into a writing sample, though I might still prefer my Client B memo from legal skills. My Client B memo is good and deals more with tackling a legal issue. We'll see.
I made up my own FAQs for the website project and sent those out for comment. My questions were not that good because I've only been in this office for a little over a month. The folks in the office said they would send comments and other questions to me, and I'm still waiting for those.
I've taken on a lot of the normal cases that this office deals with. It's amazing how much US military equipment is out there. The US was the "arsenal of democracy" in World War II, and we're still the arsenal of the world in a lot of respects. We're also talking about more than tanks, planes, and that sort of military equipment. Other militaries even use our electronic equipment and stuff. It's nice to know that the government keeps up with this stuff.
Over the holiday weekend I watched a lot of movies on TV and watched the fireworks in DC with some friends of mine. I also went to the Manassas Battlefield to walk around and see the Second Manassas side of the field. I hiked 7.5 miles, and I was a little disappointed that there weren't more interpretive markers and such on the field. Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania did a better job of that on their long trails. It was still nice. Sometimes I read about these battles and can understand why such and such general acted a certain way, even if it was a dumb decision. But, this was one of those moments where I saw the terrain and could not fathom how General John Pope (US) thought his plan would work. Confederate General Jackson was using an unfinished railroad cut as a defensive line; so, his troops were essentially in a fort. A frontal assault had very little chance of success. Pope also disregarded intelligence reports that said the rest of the Confederate army had arrived on his left flank. So, the next day when the Confederates launched a flank attack and routed Pope from the field, he really had no one else to blame but himself. The DC fireworks were cool, but so was the bar my friends and I went to beforehand. We went to a place in Rosslyn called the Continental, and the food was pretty good, but the decor was off the wall. It looked like they had bought chairs and stuff from an old theme park, and they had shuffleboard, pool, darts, and a Wii. So that was cool. Some moron thought it was a good idea to fire off a large bottle rocket after the main fireworks ended. If someone had gotten hurt, that would've been an easy lawsuit. "So, you thought it was a good idea to fire off a large bottle rocket in a darkened and crowded area? Wow, you're an idiot."
Anyways, work continues. I have less than a month left in this position, and then I'll be going back to Williamsburg.