November 22, 2016 (Fault Lines) – With everything going on in the world today, especially in the criminal justice field, maybe it’s time to take a look at the holiday for this week and what we can be thankful for. Because even though there is a lot of wrong in the world, there is always a reason to be thankful.
I’m thankful that I have a loving wife who is way smarter and a way better lawyer than I am (shh, don’t tell her that though). I’ve got two great kids who have grown up to be great parents. Best of all, I’ve got a bunch of grandkids, from the oldest who is in his second year at Texas Tech, his sister who is about to go in the Army, to the youngest little red-headed ones who have not yet started school.
I live in a country where I can say what I want, associate with those I chose to, and where I can worship (or not) as I see fit. The government isn’t allowed to control those issues. I can own firearms (and do) without the permission of the government. I’m allowed to tell police officers to come back with a warrant if they want to search my home or office. I don’t have to answer their questions and I’m entitled to due process. If I’m accused of a crime, I get to confront my accuser and to have a lawyer to help me. The government can’t torture me or treat me cruelly.
I’m allowed to travel freely, to work at whatever trade or profession I choose, limited only by my skill, desire, and effort. That brings me to another point. If I don’t like my profession, I can change it, just as I can seek to change the political direction of both the federal and state government.
We have people who supported Hillary Clinton, and others who supported Donald Trump. We have a system that is based on two parties, but if you don’t like those choices you were allowed to vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, or any of the other candidates for president. At the end, even though some may be disappointed in the choice of the people, the transition will be peaceful.
The same thing happens in local and state races all across the country. We elect mayors and council members, legislators and judges, and members of the executive branch. In some states, the people have the right to enact law by referendum. We control our own government and destiny, so long as we exercise our right to vote.
I’m thankful for our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who protect our country every day; and I’m thankful that I had an opportunity to serve myself when I was younger (and a lot thinner). I’m glad that we have good people who serve our community every day, putting their lives on the line as police officers and fire fighters, as public safety and service workers in our communities.
So I’m thankful for all of that, and I’m thankful to be a part of Fault Lines. I’m still in awe of the people who write for F/L and amazed that I’m allowed to be a part of it. So I’m thankful for our federal judges, for our defense attorneys and public defenders, for our prosecutor, for our student writers, for our appellate lawyer, and so on. I’m even thankful for our mean-ass editor and our publisher. And last, but certainly not least, I’m thankful for you, our readers, without whom we would not even be here.
May each of you have a Happy Thanksgiving!