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Donald Trump: Already the greatest president ever?

February 15, 2017
Donald Trump: Already the greatest president ever?

The fun of being an independent politically – aka someone too spineless/uneducated to take a stand – is that you get to see the other sides freak out.
Remember when Republicans demanded on having a moral person in the White House, how they railed against Bill Clinton, the No. 1 horndog president of all-time – and that includes Kennedy! – because of his wandering eye (and other body parts)?
Well, apparently that doesn’t matter too much anymore.
Let’s face it: The moral high road’s bridge has collapsed when it comes to our current beloved leader, Donald Trump. He’s not exactly a role model.… Read the rest

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Money problems?

February 15, 2017
Money problems?

Money, jobs, the economy, economic impact, the working class, the one percent, the national debt – have any of these been discussed recently?
No, I haven’t missed the discussions; that was a poor attempt at sarcasm. As a matter of fact, it seems that money often drives all other decisions. Even the current discussion over a proposed bathroom bill in the Texas Legislature (whoever thought we’d be having this discussion) is often couched in economic impact terms. How much money will our state lose over businesses and events that will not come to Texas if we demand that people use the restroom that coincides with the gender on their birth certificate?… Read the rest

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Ode to the small town life by a former big city girl

February 15, 2017
Ode to the small town life by a former big city girl

This column first appeared September 14, 1989.

Small West Texas towns are the focal point of nostalgia for many people.
Recently I drove home to Azle – my own small town – from Abilene. Just because my history department chairman is from Ranger and I had never been there. I left I-20 and took 10 minutes to drive up and down the two main streets. One was north-south; the other was east-west. Many old vacant buildings in town made me feel sad.
As I returned to I-20 and drove eastward, I thought of population shifts which affect small towns. Whether the town is very close to a big city (like Azle) and becomes a suburb, growing and bursting at the seams, or the town is too far from the metropolis for commuting to jobs, so the citizens move away.… Read the rest

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A powerful image that stopped me in my tracks

February 15, 2017
A powerful image that stopped me in my tracks

Stumbling out of my office into an otherwise dark building, toothbrush and paste in hand, I headed toward the restroom.
That darkness was shattered by a glowing, orange and black image on the north wall of the building. What I saw there literally stopped me in my tracks.
It was 7:26 a.m. Tuesday.
If you know me, you know I’m usually just getting up about then. Between my husband’s midnight-shift schedule and my own – which often includes covering events, meetings, and sometimes wrecks and fires in the evenings – my preferred work day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.… Read the rest

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Hunt on for jersey

February 15, 2017
Hunt on for jersey

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Feb. 6 asked the Texas Rangers, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, to assist the Houston Police Department in the hunt for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey.
“Whoever took this jersey should turn it in. The Texas Rangers are on the trail,” Patrick said.
The jersey was reported missing from the Patriots’ locker room at NRG Stadium in Houston. Brady wore the jersey in leading the Patriots to a come-from-behind victory in the Super Bowl Feb. 5.

Veteran state reporter and legislative analyst Ed Sterling is member services director for the Texas Press Association, whose 518 member newspapers have combined circulation of 3.7 million.Read the rest

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Your many options to celebrate if you got left out this Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2017
Your many options to celebrate if you got left out this Valentine’s Day

Last Tuesday, millions of women spent the day disappointed because their significant others didn’t live up to expectations.
Never mind that in many cases their husbands or boyfriends asked them – likely several times – what it was exactly that they wanted to celebrate the holiday only to be told “I don’t care” or “Nothing.”
In other cases, women had expectations that their current “boyfriend” of six weeks would romance them like a wife of 20 years.
Sorry, sister, it is not ever going to happen.
He was likely hoping that New Year’s Eve tryst was nothing more than a one-night stand, and you’ve roped a month and a half of dating out of him – be thankful for what you’ve got.… Read the rest

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Buddy, can you spare a dime? Or a bitcoin?

February 8, 2017
Buddy, can you spare a dime? Or a bitcoin?

Uh-oh.
I was getting this Opinion page ready when there was one more “opinion” email to open.
I clicked on it and it contained a zip file – almost always an immediate delete. But recently we had a Letter to the Editor in the ancient Word Perfect format and we also occasionally get a zip file from a reputable source.
I double clicked. It didn’t open but I didn’t delete in case it just needed some other way to open it.
So, I just kept working, moving over to see the photos on my camera card that I took at the chilly Azle’s First Pitch Saturday.… Read the rest

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What do you call the day after the Super Bowl?

February 8, 2017
What do you call the day after the Super Bowl?

Another Super Bowl has come and gone. The last time my team played in it:
1. They were quarterbacked by Troy Aikman. He retired in 2001 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
2. I watched the game in a dark fellowship hall at Eagle Mountain Baptist Church, where I had been pastor for almost four years. I was pastor there for 17 years and have been gone for almost nine.
3. My 4-year-old son acted out the entire game in the corner of the fellowship hall and provided almost as much entertainment as the game itself.… Read the rest

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Bass Reeves was inspiration for Lone Ranger

February 8, 2017
Bass Reeves was inspiration for Lone Ranger

Here’s a new column from J’Nell Pate.
I found a person readers might like to meet in the pages of Western history. His name was Bass Reeves, and some historians believe that he was the inspiration for the radio/TV character of the Lone Ranger. (One has to be of “a certain age” to be old enough to remember the Lone Ranger.)

Bass Reeves was born a slave in 1838 in Arkansas. His owner was a state legislator in Arkansas named William Reeves.
The latter moved with his slaves to Texas when Bass was about eight years old. He served as a water boy until he was old enough to work alongside his parents in the field.… Read the rest

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My “scary”hobby

February 8, 2017
My “scary”hobby

Everyone has weird hobbies, not just me. So when people give shocked looks or confused responses to the latest tale of my graveyard adventures, I am always more than a little surprised.
These people – many of whom I know have weird hobbies themselves (like chasing virtual monsters around trying to capture them with their phones) – staring at me like I should be institutionalized or medicated because I drove a few hundred miles round trip on a scarce free Saturday to visit the grave of someone I’ve never met.
I can’t believe that it is considered all that weird.
Or at least I couldn’t.… Read the rest

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