The powers that be at the Arkansas Times have graciously allowed me the opportunity to try my hand at contributing to the local blogosphere. The Howlawyer is my attempt to create a site with the purpose of discussing local and national politics, legal issues, legal cases, legislation, public policy, and political philosophy. As the name of this blog suggests, I am a Arkansas lawyer. One of my goals in creating this blog is to encourage educated debates which incorporate the actual text of the issues involved, whether it be proposed legislation, court cases, or links to news articles. Once thing I’ve learned from working with the courts and the legislature is that words count – words matter – and the text in any proposed bill should be carefully considered for both their intended meaning as well as consideration of unforeseen consequences. When possible, I want to quote bills, statutes, and court cases because many times arguments center on what people think a particular bills states and not the bill or court case itself. To that end, I would always appreciate access to the actual proposal of any issue we might be discussing, especially from those of you who have unlimited access to Westlaw and similar services.
While I am going to write this blog under my pen name – this will not be an anonymous blog and I’m not trying to hide who I am. I love the Internet and I love the free-for-all discussions that have been fostered and encouraged by the staff here at the Arkansas Times. To me, the Arkansas Blog is pure, undiluted Democracy with a capital D – freedom of speech in the truest sense. Anonymous blogs are healthy for our state and our country for countless number of reasons. Anonymous blogs represent freedom – because freedom also means freedom to say incendiary comments – to write passionately about issues with no fear of retribution – and to test our thoughts and opinions in the marketplace of ideas. We know that not everything written here is true – nor should it have to be. That being said – I hope to give my voice as much value as possible in this virtual marketplace. I want the facts that I present to be verifiable and when I’m wrong – I want to know why I’m wrong. There will always be room for off-the-cuff comments, cut-downs, and quips, but I want my readers to also feel educated and use this blog to educate me on the issues of the day. I hope you will find this to be an entertaining and educational blog.