I grew up in a house two blocks from the Gulf of Mexico, in Galveston. Before I could drive, I would walk to the beach, what there was of it. Decades of wave action against the granite rocks at the base of the seawall had carried off much of the sand, leaving a narrow longshore strip that was washed continuously by the tides. I liked to walk out a few feet into the water, where the incoming waves exhausted themselves against the gradient of the shore, and wriggle my feet into the wet sand.
One afternoon last summer, I pulled into the parking lot of R.C. Loflin Middle School, in Joshua, a town south of Fort Worth, where thirty or so people had gathered.
A little over halfway through the new play Enron, the character based on Jeff Skilling declares, “I hate government because I know these guys . . . and let me tell you, the weakest, most ignorant, most drunken f—ing incompetents went to work for the U.S. government. Because they weren’t smart enough for the private sector.” The government hacks who make the rules for the energy market are not deserving of his respect.
Before the local district attorney dubbed him “the biggest con man in the history of Nueces County,” Mauricio Celis led the life of a high-powered plaintiff’s lawyer. At the time of his arrest, in November 2007, at the age of 36, he owned a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley, and a BMW; he traveled by private jet; and he owned a stake in the Havana Club, the go-to spot for Corpus Christi’s bank, oil, and gas executives.
What is America’s greatest contribution to civilization? I believe it to be the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is magnificent in its simplicity: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Espinosa, a lifetime Houstonian, has been serving legal papers—summonses, subpoenas, complaints, writs—to people facing court action for the past sixteen years. He is an owner and the director of civil process at Court Record Research.
When Cathy McBroom stepped into the judge’s chambers in the summer of 2002, she thought her heart was going to stop. She had been told the judge was a big man, but she’d had no idea just how big until he started rising from behind his desk. He was six feet four and at least 260 pounds—“literally larger than life,” she’d later tell her best friend, shaking her head in wonder.
Adler, who grew up in Dallas, has been a personal-injury lawyer for 36 years. He is the founder of the Houston law firm Jim S. Adler & Associates and appears in television ads in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Muñoz is a native of El Paso who has been with the sheriff’s department for eight years.
Before leaving office, President Bush commuted the prison sentences of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. My colleague Paul Burka wrote that Bush “did the right thing.” I must respectfully disagree.