Donald Trump’s Election Requires All of Us to Listen, and Have Faith in the U.S. System of Government

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series United States Presidential Election of 2016

Donald J. Trump is president-elect.

Much like me, you are probably stunned with this statement and are still unable to comprehend how this is so.

One thing is for certain, though. What you witnessed last night was fury in ways previously unseen.

Consider: only 37% of the voters believed that Donald Trump was qualified for the presidency and only 34 % believed that he had the temperament for the office. This is a stunning statistic. In effect, many voters said they knew Donald Trump wasn’t fit for the office of the most powerful man in the world–and they didn’t care.

This can only be called a “scorched earth” philosophy of voting: just throw a grenade into Washington, D.C. and see what happens, results be damned. People were that angry with the status quo.


A New Beginning

This Friday will be my last day at Shearman & Sterling. After seven and a half years, the time is right for me to move on.

When I reflect on my time at Shearman & Sterling, I realize how tremendously fortunate I have been.

I once heard that the average length of a career at a major law firm like Shearman is two and a half years. That may be a little too short, but if the actual length of service is anywhere near that, I’ve managed to beat the average by a couple years.

That’s all you need to know how happy I’ve been with the firm.


The Pride of New Jersey

I grew up in the wonderful state of New Jersey. It is a source of great pride for me, but for reasons I’ll never truly understand, my source of pride seems to be an international embarrassment for most people.

Mocked as the “Armpit of America” by many Americans, the views of foreigners about the State of New Jersey aren’t too much more flattering. An Argentine colleague-friend thought New Jersey was a dump that smells, having only been to Newark Liberty International Airport, which is actually in Elizabeth. For a Japanese friend, the image of New Jersey is encapsulated by Hoboken because he rode a train to there once. The suggestion that Newark, Elizabeth and Hoboken epitomize New Jersey is borderline offensive. The state’s nickname is “The Garden State,” which people will realize is not a misnomer if they bothered to drive south down the New Jersey Turnpike beyond exit 8A.

People have a nasty impression not just of the place but the people, particularly women. Upon learning that I was moving to New Jersey, my uncle shared the following joke:

“What’s the difference between garbage and girls from Jersey?”

“Garbage gets picked up.”


Democracy in Action II: Gregory Watson’s One-Man Campaign to Amend the Constitution

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Democracy in Action

All college students at one point or another get a grade they disagree with. What made Watson truly remarkable was that he dropped out of college to prove the professor wrong.

He knew that the key to passing a constitutional amendment is in the state legislatures. What he didn’t know, though, was which states still needed to pass the amendment, much less specific state legislators who would support him in the cause.


Passionately Opinionated

René Descartes once said, “I think, therefore I am,” apparently to make the point that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking.

I suppose my equivalent would be “I opine, therefore I am,” to make the point that having an opinion and being judgmental is my raison d’être. There need not be thoughts involved.


Distinguishing “Should” from “Could”

(Original in English) I think one of the most troubling flaws of American society is its inability to distinguish “should” from “could.” To put another way, we seem to have fatal flaw in saying just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should, and just because you shouldn’t

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