Thank you for visiting my home page. This is my first foray into HTML, so please be kind with your comments.
A one sentence description of me: I am a lawyer with the Civil Frauds Section of the Justice Department and in my spare time enjoy singing, cooking, riding my bike, spending quiet time with my cats, reading philosophy, or tinkering with my computer.
I work for the taxpayers of the United States, investigating and prosecuting procurement fraud. What type of procurement fraud? Any kind.
I work for the Civil Frauds Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice. Our offices are currently in the Department of Justice's attractive Main Building, on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 9th and 10th Streets.
The United States buys a lot of goods and services. Government contractors, believe it or not, sometimes try to cheat the Government, and the taxpayers. This fraud is of immense variety.
Some of our targets are repeat customers. They have an especially hard time, because "Whoever has even once become notorious by base fraud, even if he speaks the truth, gains no belief." (To see who said this, check out Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.)
My colleagues and I in the Civil Frauds Section investigate and bring civil lawsuits to recover money obtained by these and other stratagems. Our primary tool is the False Claims Act, Title 31 United States Code, Sections 3729-3733. You can find out more about the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act (which reward whistleblowers) at the 'lectric Law Library. For a more general view of the False Claims Act, check out the The World Wide Web Virtual Library: Law. A law firm in Washington, DC that investigates False Claims Act cases is Taxpayers Against Fraud, and my web search has also disclosed the "Qui Tam Information Center", but I cannot vouch for either of these outfits.
I live near the Courthouse Metro station in Arlington, Virginia. To see a map of the Metro system, click here (for a GIF image of 561x496 pixels). Arlington is a suburb of our Nation's Capital, Washington, DC It's across the Potomac from Washington, and is host to the Pentagon, the National Cemetery, and the closest airport to Washington, named (appropriately enough) National Airport. To see pictures from space of these and other sites in and around Washington, check out the United States Geological Service's skycam.
If I still lived in DC, I might have more to complain about. The whiners seem to all be collected at the Dark Side of DC.
I won't post my street address for all to see but you can email me at [webmaster] if you like.
In my spare time, I enjoy singing, riding my bike, spending quality time with my friends and my two beautiful Siamese cats, and cooking. (I make a good Bailey's Irish Cream cheesecake!)
There's also a lot to explore in Washington! From the House Of Representatives to the Senate to The White House, the intricacies of the legislative process are never far away in Washington, if that's what turns you on. It clearly turns on the folks at Vote Smart. The Federal Web Locator and the list of Federal WWW Servers are useful sources for locating (what else?) other federal web sites.
Tourists may be more interested in the The Washington DC City Pages or visiting the Smithsonian Institution. To see a map of the Metro system, click here.
I love riding my bike around Washington. I am trying out some rollerblades, too, but prefer biking. If you are interested in Washington area biking, check out the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, or the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club, Inc. ((202) 363-8687)
I enjoy touch football in the fall. I am a decent bowler, and recently bowled a 202. (My personal best is 212.)
No sports compares with the Olympics, of course. I find them inspiring each year. The Atlanta games promise to be a big success. To find out more, visit the 1996 Olympic Games' organizers' website. The games will be televised by NBC this year.
The Sid Meier's Civilization II home page and its Macintosh-centric alternative are neat guides to the best computer game I have seen. I hope that Microprose, the publisher of the game, will reconsider its decision and make Civilization II available for the Macintosh.
The current word is that they have decided not to support the Macintosh platform, but they could perhaps be persuaded to license the game. However, I wrote Microprose to inquire about their licensing policy, and received no response.
Other cool web sites on
If you aren't happy with these, you'll have to settle for others' recommendations. Check out Spider's Pick of the Day, the Cool Site of the Day, or just pick one at random.If you have something in mind, but don't know how to find it, maybe the folks at Yahoo! or Lycos can be of service. And if you're looking for a long-lost acquaintance, you may find them by using the search engine atWhoWhere? PeopleSearch.
But watch this space, and I may update this section as I see more and more of what's out there.
Would you believe that karaoke is Japanese for "drunk enough?" It's actually Japanese for "empty orchestra," and refers to the lack of vocals on the tracks. There are a few web sites devoted to this pleasant pastime. Check out the Online Karaoke Entertainment Guide or the rather hysterically entitled Karaoke, Karaoke, Karaoke! page.
I first got hooked on karaoke when I was working for a United States District Court judge in Alaska for a year after graduating from Yale Law School. There are a fair amount of karaoke places in Anchorage. It's a fun way to pass the time when it's just too cold to go outside.
(My sixteen months in Anchorage were not much at all like those of Joel Fleischman in Cicely, but the Northern Exposure show is an entertaining look at some of Alaska's peculiar qualities. Incidentally, Last Frontier, a new show about a foursome sharing a house in Anchorage, is due to premiere on FOX this summer. I saw the first episode on June 3d and thought it was juvenile.)
I used to sing quite often at a sushi bar in Washington, called Cafe Japone. (It's at 21st and P Streets, just west of Dupont Circle.) The sushi at Cafe Japone is outstanding! But it is not convenient to return home to Arlington from Cafe Japone late at night, and there are other places which have a better selection of English-language karaoke songs. (Cafe Japone has a huge selection of songs in various Asian languages, including Japanese, Korean, and I think also Thai and Chinese.)
My new favorite karaoke haunt is Barrister, on 17th Street just south of K Street. It's in between the Roy Rogers and the Oval Room (gastronomically and geographically). Barrister has karaoke on Friday nights and has a very large selection of songs.
I often sing Mack the Knife, Can't Help Falling In Love, and Desperado. I am trying out some new standards, like On the Street Where You Live, Fly Me to the Moon, and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.
I also enjoy singing Randy Travis songs, Garth Brooks' Friends In Low Places, and Christmas songs (when the time is right).
I'm in search of a partner with whom to sing Summer Loving (from Grease). And if she is brilliant and beautiful and we fall in love, well, that would be okay too.
My first exposure to Gilbert & Sullivan's operettas was many years ago, when I was about five or six. My older siblings went to an after-school enrichment program in Chicago called the District Five Gifted Center. At D5GC, they put on two shows each year: a Shakespeare play and a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. My older sister Paulette was in Iolanthe, and my older brother Larry was in The Mikado, and my older brother Charlie was in The Pirates of Penzance. I never attended D5GC, because I did not attend grade school in District Five. (If I had been exposed to doing theater at such an impressionable age, I might have done a lot more singing as a kid, in high school, and in college.)
About ten years later, I was in college at the University of Pennsylvania, where I was in the chorus of the Penn Singers' production of The Mikado. About one month before rehearsals, just as we were about to start to practice our choreography, I learned that my family was going to go on a vacation that would have me out of town for half of the performances, so I had to drop out of the show.
The next time I did any Gilbert & Sullivan was when I was at Yale Law School . I was a heavy dragoon in the chorus of Patience. That was a blast.
Two years ago, in the summer of 1994, I played the part of Lord Mountararat in the Victorian Lyric Opera Company's production of Iolanthe. This was a fun production. I look forward to doing some more Gilbert & Sullivan, and hopefully will be able to weave that into my schedule soon.
To learn more about Gilbert & Sullivan, visit the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive Home Page.
I also enjoy backgammon (but I haven't tried the FIBS online version for Macintosh), Risk, almost any kind of social game. And a good game of poker is out of this world!
I recently bought a PowerMac, and am still trying to tweak it to optimize its performance. I think I have too many extensions that slow it down. Also, Mac software has come a long way since the last time I regularly worked with a Mac (in college, at Penn, from 1987 to 1988), and so I am learning whole new programs. (Claris Works instead of MacWrite, for example.) And of course, there's always shareware and freewareto scope out! (Remember, if you use it, be sure to support it!) If I had time, I would join a users group, such as Washington Apple Pi, Ltd.
I want to learn Java because I am interested in the notion of a platform-independent language. The way I see it, if I am going to learn a computer language (I don't know any right now), I might has well pick one that will be useful at home (on my Mac) and at the office (on the PCs they have there).
My brothers, each of whom is a skilled professional programmer, are incredulous that I am supposing I can just pick up a language as one might learn how to rollerblade or do a card trick. But I have the naivete which such an ambition requires: if I knew how difficult it would be, I would probably not try. I want to start with an object oriented language, however, so that I don't have to unlearn anything when I attempt to learn Java or C++. Does this make sense? If you decide to email me your opinion, be nice.
Another compelling reason to learn Java is the Civilization II problem I alluded to earlier. If no one does it before I get around to it, I'd like to write a game kind of similar to Civilization II in Java. How similar? Well, that depends on my research into copyright law, for it is not my intention or desire to infringe.
But Civilization II is such a great game, that until it is ported to the Mac, programming or denial are the only options. (Well, that's not entirely true. Maybe I could install a DOS card in my Mac. They are sold by Apple, Orange Micro, Inc. and Reply Corporation. But they are pretty costly.)
Some good java web sites are the Natural Intelligence Cafe, and Gamelan, Earthweb's Java Directory. I have also recently visited Metrowerks' website. You can also go to the horses' mouth. Finally, there's a neat digest of a java mailing list, but most of what's discussed there is over my head.
Now besides life, knowledge, play, aesthetic experience, friendship, practical reasonableness, and religion, there are countless objectives and forms of good. But I suggest that these other objectives and forms of good will be found, on analysis, to be ways or combinations of ways of pursuing (not always sensibly) and realizing (not always successfully) one of the seven basic forms of good, or some combination of them.John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights, p. 90 (Clarendon Press: Oxford 1980).
Now I should add the disclaimer that I do not agree with all of Finnis' views. For instance, in my view, there is no reason why a committed homosexual marriage cannot instantiate aesthetic experience and friendship and practical reasonableness, to name just three of Finnis' seven basic goods, but he denies their value, focusing (as do many Catholics of a certain stripe, I presume to think) too narrowly on the lack of opportunity for procreation. As most people recognize, this argument proves too much, for the Catholic Church sanctions marriages between heterosexuals, even where there is no possibility of procreation, such as where one spouse is infertile.
I also question Finnis' inclusion of the seventh basic good of "religion." As a confirmed agnostic, I think that religion and religious experience is not a distinct category but instead is an instantiation of the other basic goods, most significantly (the hunger for) knowledge, aesthetic experience, friendship, and perhaps even some play.
Fortunately, as thinking, rational beings, we are able to accept what we find correct in a person's scholarship or philosophy and reject what we regard as erroneous. And that is precisely what I choose to do with Finnis' work. But his book repays careful reading.