Wishing all Legal Insurrection readers a very Happy New Year, hopefully filled with whatever it is that is important to you.

In past years I’ve tried to remember and give thanks for the people I’ve met through blogging, and some of the people I have yet to meet, like a Cornell student who sent me this message in 2012:

Dear Professor,

It was with great joy that I found your blog last night. You are a breath of fresh air on this campus. Thank you very much for sharing your opinions and please keep up the good fight! Perhaps I will run into you one day on the Hill.

I’m not sure if I ever met that person. Could have been that student who gave me the secret look we use on campus among not-liberals so we know who each other is, without giving anyone up. Let’s just say the secret look included a nod and a wink, but I can’t tell you more, because you know, I’d have to ….

Fortunately, I’m not starting this year’s last-of-the-year post the way I did in 2014, with tales of death and other woes:

This was a tough year.

We lost two of Legal Insurrection’s biggest fans, my in-laws, who after 68 years of marriage died a couple of months apart this summer. Our friend, reader, commenter and one-time photoshop “director” Patricia also lost her husband John.

We also lost two of our dogs in a tragic incident two months ago. We’re big dog lovers, and it’s hard to get over.

Mandy’s severe stroke in early September, just two days before she was to come on board at Legal Insurrection full time to run the place, has left a cloud over everything that has happened since.

This year I’m focused on the people who help make this website possible, the authors who feed the beast daily, around the clock, 7 days a week, always on the precipice of dreaded blogger burnout and blogger mood disorder.

I mentioned in a post yesterday that cartoonist Tony Branco will have a 5-year Legal Insurrection anniversary next summer.  It’s gratifying how many other authors have been with us for a long time.

Aleister debuted at College Insurrection in August 2012, Meet the Team – Aleister:

Hello College Insurrection readers!

You may know me as Aleister of American Glob.

You may also remember me as the guy who created this video.

I’m still writing at American Glob but now I’m writing here too. I’m very grateful to William Jacobson for the opportunity to join the Insurrection team and I look forward to the rest of College Insurrection’s freshman year.

When I think about what led me to this point, I have no choice but to quote a hippie.

What a long strange trip it’s been.

Leslie started at College Insurrection also in August 2012, Meet the Team – Leslie Eastman:

Hello College Insurrection readers!

First, I want to thank Professor William Jacobson for giving me this amazing opportunity to join his “rebel alliance”. Now, a little about myself:

I am a chemical/biological safety consultant, with degrees in chemistry, biochemistry and geology.  As a freelance writer, I contribute science and technology items to various news organizations.  I am also one of the co-founders of the San Diego area’s largest “tea party” group, the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition.

As a citizen activist, I opened: Temple of Mut – The Shrine of Flaming Capitalism.  While preparing posts focused on current events, science, economics, history and humor, I alighted upon Legal Insurrection.  Professor Jacobson has kindly featured my work, and being designated as “Tweet of the Day” remains my favorite blogosphere moment.  I am still questing for that perfect bumper sticker!

I knew both Aleister and Leslie through the blogosphere in the “early” years, a comraderie among Tea Party and conservative bloggers that unfortunately no longer exists, at least not the way it did back then.

Fuzzy joined us as an author in October 2012, when she pitched in to help with cataloging reader photos from National Empty Chair Day, Launching the Election Day Empty Chair Countdown. But Fuzzy already was a well known co-conspirator, having been a Legal Insurrection commenter since the Scott Brown Senate race against Martha Coakley. Fuzzy’s first comment, as best I can tell, was on January 1, 2010, in response to my post about how Scott Brown was winning the social media fight:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2009/12/scott-brown-winning-the-online-battle/comment-page-1/#comment-263719

So depending on how you measure time, Fuzzy may be our longest serving prisoner.

David Gerstman, the blogger formerly known as Soccer Dad, joined us in February 2013, I said, “Hi.” She said, “Yeah, I guess I am.”:

The “Hi” in the title should clue you in, this is my welcome post. I’m David, the newest blogger at Legal Insurrection.

For those who don’t know me, I used to blog as Soccer Dad.

After I retired from blogging at the end of 2010, Prof Jacobson offered me his blog as a new home if I ever wanted to get back into the game. I believe I’m ready to take the jump now.

Once upon a time a Carnegie-Mellon study determined that Soccer Dad was the 22nd most influential blog in the universe. Given the other blogs on the list, I was very surprised at my appearance on the list. Soccer Dad’s traffic wasn’t in the same class as most of the other blogs. It must have been that I was big linker to others….

Anyway that’s a brief introduction to me. I am honored and look forward to contributing to Legal Insurrection.

Oh, there’s reason for the odd title.

I recall that the boss is a fan of Dean Friedman. Dean Friedman once attended the same school I did, so I figured I’d reference his biggest hit.

That trajectory of moving from commenter to author would be repeated in 2013 by Andrew Branca, who initially came on board to cover the George Zimmerman trial Getting to Murder 2: Finding George Zimmerman’s “Depraved Mind”:

Hey folks,

As the Professor announced this past Sunday, I will be covering the Zimmerman trial (starting Monday, June 10) nearly-live right here on Legal Insurrection.  My commitment is to provide reality-based analysis, without the speculation, spin, and snark we’ve seen too much of already.

Andrew brought that reality-based analysis not only to the Zimmerman trial, but numerous other high profile self-defense trials since then. Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but Andrew’s first contact with me was an offer to take me shooting and teach me how to do it properly, for free. I never took him up on the offer, but wish I had.

Neo-Neocon also joined us in July 2013 as an occasional writer on some of the topics she also covers at her own website. Her first post was Obama’s identification with Trayvon Martin

Kemberlee joined in late July 2014, initially focusing on the rather mundane topics of John Boehner and immigration reform, Now, of course, Kemberlee is better known for cultural posts, including the world famous Feminists Fall For #PissForEquality Hoax, as well as that sweet, adorable, non-sleeping baby Klara.

[Mom says: “If you’re wondering why she’s so happy, it’s because she’s recently decided to become a swing-rejecting, no-napping, night owl”]

Vijeta Uniyal joined us in July 2015, and has brought a great perspective and coverage of Indian-Israeli-European developments. He also is a  Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, and writes op-eds for several Israeli newspapers.

Prof. Miriam Elman joined us in April 2016, after I met her a dinner prior to a speech I made in Syracuse, NY, on the BDS movement. She has covered, in detail seen nowhere else, all the malcontents and malevolent activities of the Israel haters, including her first post, Anti-Israel activists hijack Passover, turn it into Palestinian liberation event

Mary joined us not much after that, in May 2016, focusing in her first post on Russia, and since then, covering a wide range of topics and providing a much-needed “breaking news” focus on the website:

Mary, our Contributing Editor, joined us at the beginning of May. Mary wrote for Andrew Breitbart’s website since 2011 and stayed on after his death. She covered mostly international issues, with a focus on Eastern Europe, but also covered domestic issues. And sports. She’s a batshit-crazy Cubs fan (is there any other type?). She lives in Oklahoma, the place people in flyover country refer to as flyover country.

We love her, even though she is a Cubs fan-atic.

And then a month after that, in June 2016, Mark Finkelstein joined us, bringing the media-bias coverage he did for a decade at Newsbusters:

Mark is an “old” friend from Ithaca who flew the coop on his single engine plane to Texas in 2011, Texas Gains Mark Finkelstein:

Not long after starting this blog I received an e-mail from Mark Finkelstein, who writes for Newsbusters, and for a while, at his own blog, Finkelblog.

Mark invited me on his long-running conservative talk show, The Right Angle, which had been on local Ithaca cable TV for over a decade.

Two things surprised me.  First, that there was another on-the-record conservative in Ithaca.  Second, that someone would want to have me on his show….

Mark always had an encouraging word about this blog, and has an indefatigable energy that is contagious….

And now after 25 years in Ithaca, Mark is fulfilling the dream of approximately one-half of Northeasterners.  He’s moving to Texas.

I’m thankful for all these authors, and also, believe it or not, for the readership. I really do enjoy meeting readers at events or when they visit campus.

And of course, much thanks to and for the wife. It’s been a tough year and a half healthwise. We just visited a specialist at Duke Medical Center, and are hopeful.

I’m not making predictions for 2017. So I can’t be wrong.

So with that, Happy New Year.

[Featured Image: With the wife on the beach in Haifa, Israel, May 2015]