Friday, October 14, 2005

365...and counting!!!

Today marks the end of my first year of blogging. My first post was Oct. 15, 2004. I have really enjoyed this as a reposit of the things I am thinking, reading, and discussing. I haven't exactly established much of a readership of anybody out there???...but the point of this is really to record my thoughts.

So how do I mark the end of one good year of blogging? Just as any self-inflated person should: run a BEST OF...

So here are some of my favorite pieces from the past 12 months. Where do we start? Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...

October 2004:
First Post!

And I can remember such an odd feeling - because as I was becoming a father, I remembered sitting in that old station wagon as this little kid in the 70's singing along...

Shouldn't every Lord's Day be extraordinary?... - but somewhere along the way (at least for me) it becomes everyday.

November 2004:
I love election day. ... Today is a great day - today American can take a step, even if a baby step, forward to being a better country for our grandchildren than it is for us. What a wonderful system.

Today democracy and religion engage in a bizarre dance. ... The night of celebration ends in prayer and everyone returns home full, honored and satisfied . . . except for Lazarus who remains unseen outside the gate. -Larry James

But it’s a hollow, cold victory. It’s no victory at all, if you ask me.

He sat up, looked me dead in the eyes and said firmly, "BALL. ... GAME." I couldn't help but laugh. And I couldn't help but think - That's my boy!!!

December 2004:
When I got Noah out of the car and he and I were walking up to the park Noah was singing/shouting over and over: Bu-bu-bue Kismus He really couldn't say blue or Christmas...but it is one of my best memories of Christmas 2004!!!

February 2005:
It was such an amazing time - and truly showed that God indeed can do anything, far above what we could even ask or imagine. It brought much of our body to tears, and it showed us once again, that God is alive...working...and blessing us with extraordinary glimpses of Him.

April 2005:
Look, we don’t always understand it, and we may not always like it, but what our judges are supposed to do is look at a set of facts, look at the law that relates to those facts, and apply that law to those facts. ... It is not these jurists “fault” for following the law if that law proves unpopular. It is their job to apply the law. Coldly.

May 2005:
Now, fortunately (for the things I believe at least), the progressive movement is starting to “get itself together” a bit. ... But in order to be successful, one has to be able to identify where you want to go and then with discipline, with rigorous preparation, and with a determined plan go there. That is my opinion at least.

There are many of us out here that are politically progressive PRECISELY because of that now-commercialized question - what would Jesus do...

[I]n my very first subject in law school, ... I finally said, "our law has to be able to provide justice." He looked at me and smirked and said, "Do you think Law has anything to do with Justice?" I meekly replied, "yes, I would hope so." He smiled and said, "Law has nothing to do with justice - and if anyone else here has such thoughts, we will beat them out of you before you leave law school." He said that and laughed, and the class laughed, and I laughed. He was joking after all...sort of.

June 2005:
On a day like today, I long to be a Constitutional Law professor. If I taught ConLaw for a living today, it would actually be my job to spend time reading and analyzing today's Supreme Court decision in Gonzales (Ashcroft) v. Raich. Unfortunately, I'm not...

I believe in a Constitution that is alive. We do not live in 1787. ... We do not live in 1787, and our Constitution is not dead.

There are many variables affecting the slide of Hollywood, but the key is that they are making putrid movies. This is why when my wife and I do head out to the movies these days, as often as not we skip the megaplex and head to the indie theatre - non-stadium seating and all, it's still a higher quality experience.

The system is wrong because it is arbitrary, because it is not justice being carried out, it is 'lightening striking.' As he sums up at the end - the death penalty is not the rule of law, it is the rule of the mob.

Frankly, I couldn't care less about some showy aparatus extolling the 10 Commandments on government property - if we don't have a government with the moral compass to step up and take responsibility for protecting our kids when it is their responsibility to do so.

July 2005:
It is time for people who love the Constitution and believe in the Bill of Rights to stand up and make their voice heard - lest we find some of our basic American rights truly put into exile.

There is no question that I'm too old. Companies named Yahoo!, products named Konfabulator which include modules called Widgets. And this is all serious!!! I can't wait for my son to get to elementary school so he can show me how to use this stuff...

August 2005:
It has never made sense to me that judges who will be running for reelection later in the year, and are facing opposition who will be promising a vengeful electorate that they are willing to be "tougher on criminals", are making life-and-death decisions in court rooms.

Well, I for one stand with Brennan. ... The beauty . . . one of the many beauties of our Constitution is that it was written broadly - to encompass the passing of time and maturing of society.

September 2005:
The situation in the city, and for the people still in there, is deteriorating every hour. ... In this day and age I would never have dreamed this could be the result.

Regardless, this case shows very specifically that the death penalty process in the United States is broken...and it cannot be fixed. There is no "fair" way to take a life. (Especially when that life is poor and black and in Texas.)

J. Blackmun dissenting - From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

October 2005:
But it does appear that the New Federalism is a thing of the past, and traditional, Marshall-style federalism will re-emerge under the Roberts Court.

As Slate put it: You might have your own ideas, but that's the point—when you listen to a Democrat with ideas, you don't fall into a deep funk or get hungry again half an hour later.

Instead of slowly phasing out the idea of TIRZs completely, my proposal would allow for more neighborhoods, and neighborhoods in greater need to benefit from the program - which would bring more benefit to Houston long-term.

Hopefully, there will be much more to come during the next year.

Happy anniversary to Famous Last Words...

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