It was two days before Christmas, 1776. If you'd asked any clear-eyed person, you'd have been assured that the British were well on their way to crushing this rebellion among the colonies. That greatest of pamphleteers, Thomas Paine, understood. But he called not for surrender but for struggle.
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
A friend reminded me earlier today that he was lead counsel for Reginald Brooks, murdered by the state of Ohio last week. He feels the loss, he said, as a spur to make him work harder.
The Governor of Oregon yesterday declared a moratorium on executions to last as long as he remains in office.
Obama, the most reticent of Presidents when it comes to showing mercy to those convicted of crimes in our federal courts, offered a bit. From the Pardon Power Blog:
The president has granted 5 pardons and - for the first time - a commutation of sentence. The typical Obama clemency recipient has committed some minor offense decades ago. But, the offenses of this little group are a little more recent (relevant). The typical Obama pardon recipient has also served no time in prison. And the ones that have served time have averaged only 24 months. In this little batch of grants, however, are three prison sentences: 36, 108 and 262 months in length. Why, someone, somewhere, may have actually had to have put some serious thought into these decisions.
Amidst death there is life. Amidst loss, comes a glimmer of hope.
We mourn what we must and rejoice when we may.
And these times, the best and worst of times as Dickens said of the days of the French Revolution but really it could have been of any time because they're all the best and worst.
These times, we rely on each other. For strength, for courage, for wisdom, for patience.
Sometimes the need is professional. Sometimes personal.
Thanks doesn't really cover it, but thanks is what we have to give.
To friends I've met and those I haven't. To clients. To the deserving and the un. To my collegues in the blawgosphere. To friends and family. To those faithful few who actually read what I write.