Russell and Duenes

Hanging Out with My Sons

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Several weeks back, I took my oldest son out to “hang out,” just Daddy and him. Spending one-on-one time with my sons was something I did not get to do much when I was in law school. Now that I am enjoying more free time in the evenings and on weekends (a glorious thing), I have wanted to regularly take each of my sons out by themselves to do something they uniquely enjoy. So I had taken my oldest out to get an ice cream cone and to browse the cars at our local Ford dealership. It was great. Then last night at the dinner table, with the most adorable face and voice, my middle son says: “Daddy, I just want to hang out with you.” It was heart-melting stuff. I think another trip out for an ice-cream cone and scoping out Ford F-150s at the dealership is called for.

I’m not a full-fledged attorney yet. That won’t happen until I’m sworn in at the end of the month. For now I’m an attorney on a temporary license under the supervision another attorney in our office. It will truly be a joyous occasion to be sworn in, one that fills me with gratitude and satisfaction, an event I could not fully appreciate when I began law school three years ago. I imagine this is the experience of most soon-to-be attorneys, and it will likely take me a while to get used to the idea of being a lawyer. It seemed odd to see my name on a service of process list yesterday as “Michael Duenes, Litigation Counsel.” Yes, that’s what I am, but I guess having been a non-lawyer for so long, it just looked strange. It also looked good. I’m quite excited about it.

I’m continuing through the third volume of William Manchester’s masterpiece on Winston Churchill. World War II is drawing to a close, and “the Big Three” – Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin – are having discussions about the post-war situation. It strikes me that President Roosevelt and our current President shared similar notions about what they thought “talks” with tyrants could accomplish. Roosevelt imagined that if he could simply get “Uncle Joe” Stalin one-on-one, he could somehow “bring him ’round” to give up his expansionist plans for the Soviet Union. We know how well that went. President Obama seems to similarly believe that if he can talk with dictators like Vladimir Putin or the Mullahs of Iran, he can reason them to a more sensible position. There seems to be something about the liberal mind, a massive miscalculation about human nature, that tenaciously clings to the idea that people, no matter how base and wicked, can be charmed and wooed into changing course. Perhaps they believe that their own “force of personality” will triumph in the end. Who knows. Yet it seems a rather illusory presumption, one which may have devastating consequences. This miscalculation also allows liberal men like Roosevelt and Obama, to ignore the uglier realities – consciously or not – of such men and their bloody regimes.




Written by Michael Duenes

September 13, 2014 at 8:19 am

Posted in Duenes, Reflections, Work

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