Friday, April 14, 2006

I don't know if anybody else has been following the Wright is Wrong debate, but D/FW recently released a proposal to create a "truly" regional airport board that would govern all the aviation assets of North Texas. I'm not exactly sure what they mean by that, but I assume they're talking about some type of aviation board to govern all the airports, municipal, regional, national, and international, in Tarrant and Dallas counties. Sounds interesting.

But here's something more interesting: I know off the top of my head that Dallas has about 1.2 million people, Fort Worth about 600,000, Arlington about 350,000, and Irving about 250,000. Add in the dozens of smaller suburbs, and you've got a total population of almost 3 million people. When you start counting the big cities, New York (a cheater, to be explained below) has about 8 million, Los Angeles has about 5 million, Houston has about 4 million, and Phoenix and Chicago are in there somewhere. The "Metroplex" (as some people refer to the D/FW region) would rank up there with Houston, Phoenix and Chicago as dadgum big cities. Here's what they ought to do: copy New York.

So how is New York a cheater? It's actually five cities in one. In about 1898, the cities of Manhattan ("New York"), Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island got together and decided to invent a totally new form of municipal government: the borough. Now, Alaska has boroughs, but we're talking about something different here. New York City, what used to be called "Greater New York City," now consisted of five little cities and their respective counties, clustered together under one name and one municipal/county government. Each borough followed the boundaries of the county, and each borough had its own board or council or however they wanted to name it. Collectively, however, these boroughs would elect one mayor, one comptroller, etc. And one general police force would serve the whole city, meaning all five boroughs. You can see the advantage. Back in 1898, New York's population was probably much smaller than it is now, but I don't know how many people they had. Anyway, this arrangement ended the dumb (though eerily poignant) rivalry between Manhattan and Brooklyn about who was the "real" New York City. Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington could benefit from the same idea.

Why not merge and form a "North Texas City" or something? There's already a Texas City, so Manhattan/Brooklyn/Bronx/Queens/Staten Island's idea is out, but that's fixable. Consider Budapest (Buda's on one side of the river; Pest on the other): you could have Fort Dallas or Dalworth or (hehe) Worthlas. (You'll get it if you say it out loud enough times.) Or, hey, to take a page from science fiction, Metro City. Or maybe they could use their collective clout (we are talking about 3 million people here) to force Houston's Texas City to change its name to "Wannabe City" or something.

But I like this idea of a borough government for good ol' D/FW. I like D/FW, not as much as I like San Antonio, but I think that the area could really benefit from one big municipal government to handle all their collective issues. Then you wouldn't have to worry about airport rivalries, team rivalries (Why aren't there any well-known Fort Worth professional sports teams, even though they're all in stinkin' Arlington?), newspaper rivalry, all this other crap that's costly and interferes with good ol' l-i-v-i-n?

But alas there is a problem, the same one that keeps the unions out of Texas: Texans are rugged individualists. They view themselves as cowboys. Ain't no way, no how we gonna be hitched up withim Fort Worthians or Dallasanians or Arlingtinians or Irvingians. Plus, we like "small" government (even though the state government is about as big as a lot of countries' governments).

Maybe San Antonio and Austin will take up the idea and make "Austonio."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I want to write a book. I'm currently reading Richard W. Moll's The Lure of the Law. In the book, he basically interviews dozens of people on what they think about the legal profession. The majority of the book is a collection of interviews of current lawyers. The book has a decidedly liberal/pro-public-interest-law/anti-corporate-law outlook, but it's still informative. I've read dozens of other books about law school and the legal profession, and it seems to me that there is a gaping hole.

The solo practitioner.

Most of the books and magazines I read tell about how something like 75 percent of law firms consist of one person and 55 pecent of lawyers are solo practitioners, or some such crazy high number. In my small town, the largest law firm has, I think, 5 lawyers between two locations. One of those lawyers is the county attorney for the next county over. The next largest firm has two lawyers (three are tied). If the vast majority of lawyers practice in a small practice (i.e., less than ten lawyers in the firm), then why are so many books written about joining the big firm? I think somebody ought to interview the local attorneys who make real differences in real lives. I can immediately name three attorneys who ought to be interviewed before anyone else in this area. I can easily think of the next three or four. When I think of my hometown, I'm not very familiar with the legal industry there, but I could probably name a dozen or so attorneys who ought to be interviewed by looking at the phone book.

Somebody needs to write a book about the small town lawyer. And by "small town," I mean every town in a state (except the capital) that has fewer than 500,000 people. In some states, that would be every stinking town. But, you don't have to interview everybody.

If nobody else does it, I'm doing it. Period.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What better dream could a person have than coming to America? If you haven't heard about it already, the Senate is debating a bill about immigration reform right now. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) is being heard, much moreso than his fellow Texan Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson. (Personally, I think she just wants the position so that she can feel special. Like those small-town Texas constables.) But the man of the hour today, folks, is Cuban-born Senator Mel Martinez (R-Fla.). Check out what the Miami Herald says about him at this webpage. Go Mel! iEscĂșchanos!

Todos norteamericanos son inmigrantes. Eso es la verdad.

<--- This will be mine.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

You never know what you're future options are, eh? Check out this cool place. Apparently, a high-rise apartment complex for the homeless and low-income. Rock on.