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Read this and you will know how to vote in Nov.

September 28, 2016
Read this and you will know how to vote in Nov.

Not sure how to vote this year? Can’t decide between the massive egos of Clinton and Trump? Think everything is just too confusing?
Well, you’re in the right place. You can decide right now! Enjoy these opposing stances on the following topics employing the ridiculous hyperbole politicians always use.

The economy
Think the rich are only getting richer and should be forced to share their good fortune with the other 99 percent they are holding down? Vote Clinton.
Think big business is essential for creating jobs and it’s no big deal that a guy has four yachts stuffed with untaxed cash – this is America, you can go out and do it yourself?… Read the rest

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Having certainty in the midst of life’s uncertainties

September 28, 2016
Having certainty in the midst of life’s uncertainties

In over 28 years of full-time vocational ministry, I think I have only missed two Sundays because of illness. On one of those occasions, because I was afraid to leave the house, I had to find a pinch-hitting preacher on short notice. One of my preacher friends gave me a new term for the ailment that I was experiencing: “intestinal uncertainty.”
Now you know why I was afraid to leave the house.
If you have been reading my column for more than a week or two, you know that my mind sometimes goes in unexpected directions. That’s a nice way of saying that I may not be exactly normal in my thinking.… Read the rest

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Man strikes it rich with a gold mine – for a while

September 28, 2016
Man strikes it rich with a gold mine – for a while

This column first appeared June 8, 1978.

The familiar expression “easy come, easy go” must have been coined to describe how Western prospectors who happened to be lucky enough to find a big strike handled their easy money.
It certainly describes the reactions of a man named Felix Mayhew after his big find.
Mayhew turned up in the mining camp of Kofa, Arizona about 1899. He became a deputy to the law officer of the camp. He even was a delegate to a district Democratic convention in 1900.
In that year, he was elected a justice of the peace. He also operated some business that the local paper said he was “sure to do a good business” on payday but didn’t explain further.… Read the rest

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State may withdraw from fed resettlement program

September 28, 2016
State may withdraw from fed resettlement program

Texas officials said the state will withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program if the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement does not approve the Lone Star State’s refugee plan by Sept. 30.
In a Sept. 21 letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, State Refugee Coordinator Kara Crawford gave official notice of Texas’ intention to withdraw from the program. A news release from the governor’s office said the letter was in response to the federal government’s “unwillingness to approve Texas’ updated state refugee plan, which would require national security officials to ensure that refugees do not pose a security threat to Texas.”
If Texas withdraws, the state’s role in the program would end effective Jan.… Read the rest

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Scenes from a mad dash to the Texas coast

September 21, 2016
Scenes from a mad dash to the Texas coast

If the Bride and I are famous for anything, it’s taking off on a moment’s notice to travel somewhere distant, stay for just a little while, then return home.
We’ve driven to Austin and back just to eat at El Patio and have a frozen yogurt at Sandy’s afterward.
This time we hopped in one of two cars for a 48-hour vacation in Galveston – with six grandkids, two daughters, and a son-in-law.
In a feat that goes unrewarded but should be heralded from the rooftops, we made it 200 miles without stopping, to Buc-ee’s on Interstate 45 – with six kids under 10 years old.… Read the rest

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A Pikachu in the hand is worth two Angry Birds in the bush

September 21, 2016
A Pikachu in the hand is worth two Angry Birds in the bush

This Pokemon Go thing is nuts! I don’t mean that in terms of mentally unbalanced (though there are certainly those who would be with me on that assessment). I mean that in terms of how it has taken over the world.
This smartphone game app, released on July 6, 2016, hit 100 million downloads by August 1, is played over 30 minutes a day by the average iOS user, is used daily by over 23 million people in the US, and is generating more than $10 million in revenue per day.
This reminds me, albeit on an even larger scale, of the Angry Birds craze from a few years ago.… Read the rest

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In pursuit of Indian animal rustlers in the Texas brush

September 21, 2016
In pursuit of Indian animal rustlers in the Texas brush

This is an excerpt from Indian Fighting on the Texas Frontier by Captain John M. Elkins.

Buffalo, horses and Indians were so mixing and scrambling that from our view we could not determine one from the other. The Indians were about a mile from us and they had not seen us.
We quietly made our way to within three hundred years of the band, and just when we had stopped to plan an attack on them we noticed two of the Indians skinning a buffalo within a short distance of us. Two of the boys gave chase but the Indians fast horses soon carried them to safety.… Read the rest

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Defense Secretary Ash Carter promotes new hub to partner with tech startups

September 21, 2016
Defense Secretary Ash Carter promotes new hub to partner with tech startups

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Sept. 14 announced the opening of a “Defense Innovation Unit Experimental” hub at the Capital Factory in downtown Austin.
Carter and University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven said the hub would provide opportunities for innovators to partner with the Department of Defense to develop technologies to address the nation’s security challenges.
“Austin’s commitment to innovation, access to talent and academia, as well as the department’s longstanding ties to Texas, make this an ideal next location for DIUx,” Carter said.
Gov. Greg Abbott added, “Texas is the new frontier in innovation, and with the arrival of DIUx, the Department of Defense’s best technologists will be right here in Austin.”
According to the DIUx mission statement, “As our name implies, DIUx is just that: an ‘experiment.’ We continuously iterate on how best to identify, contract, and prototype novel innovations through sources traditionally not available to the Department of Defense, with the ultimate goal of accelerating technology into the hands of the men and women in uniform.”
The Capital Factory, an incubator for start-up technology companies founded in 2008 by Joshua Baer, occupies the fifth and 16th floors of the Omni Austin Hotel.… Read the rest

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Some important underwear discoveries

September 14, 2016
Some important underwear discoveries

Don’t worry, this isn’t another column about body emissions; the last one – despite my efforts to inform readers on the latest scientific discoveries in the arena – went over like a you-know-what in church.
This week’s important data concerns underwear.
We all wear undies – well, most of us. “Commando” today means nothing like it did in WWII.
Today, our underclothes might be adorned with Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles or Disney princesses or the Dallas Cowboys’ star.
Of course, you want to wear cool underwear; what if you had a wreck and only had on tightie-whities? You would be the butt of paramedics’ jokes.… Read the rest

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We will not forget

September 14, 2016
We will not forget

That phrase came up again over the past couple of weeks. Special gatherings, memorial services, and first-responder recognitions were held all over the country. The pastor at the church I attended on Sunday preached a powerful sermon on living in a 9/11 world. It is hard to believe that it has been 15 years since September 11, 2001.
“Nine Eleven” is part of our country’s vernacular. It truly has become a day that will live in infamy. I remember telling my church family about two weeks after the event that I believed that September 11, 2011 would be for this generation what December 7, 1941 was for the previous generation.… Read the rest

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