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Something smells in Odor’s ‘heroic’ diamond slugfest

May 18, 2016
Something smells in Odor’s ‘heroic’ diamond slugfest

It didn’t take long.
Almost before the melee broke up, Rangers fans were changing their Facebook profiles to a screen capture of Texas infielder Rougned Odor’s right hand cold-cocking evil Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista’s chin.
Hated for flipping his bat after beating the Rangers with a home run in the playoffs last October, what better karma was there than the jerk getting clobbered big time in front of millions and millions (and still counting as the memes proliferate)?
But hold on.
Before you start heralding Odor as the next great Lone Star baseball brawler behind Nolan Ryan who multi-clubbed Chicago White Sox Robin Ventura, you might want to do a little investigating.… Read the rest

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Choose your life by choosing your circle

May 18, 2016
Choose your life by choosing your circle

Mrs. Sweetie and I recently enjoyed a Caribbean ministry cruise with 45 folks from 12 churches. As a part of this adventure, I led a seminar: “Write your memoir in advance: 6 powerful choices to help you write the next chapter.”
This seminar was not about “writing,” but “choosing” the kind of life you want to live so that you are not waiting for life to happen to you. That way your “memoir” (whether written or told) will be a report of your life based on your intentional choices. This column is the first of six.
In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talked about two circles: the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence.… Read the rest

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Examining what went wrong during Custer’s Last Stand

May 18, 2016
Examining what went wrong during Custer’s Last Stand

This column first appeared June 28, 1990.

E.J. Godfrey, who was a captain in Custer’s Seventh Cavalry, was a participant in the well-known Battle at the Little Big Horn which occurred on June 25, 1876 exactly 114 years ago this week. Godfrey served on one of the companies that approached the battle after Custer had already engaged the enemy with a portion of the Seventh. Thus Godfrey survived to tell the tale and described the scene of the battle, except for the area where Custer and his men were completely wiped out.
For a couple of days the larger command under General Alfred H.… Read the rest

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Politics down the toilet

May 18, 2016
Politics down the toilet

Undoubtedly, Dan Patrick knows more about bathrooms than the rest of us. As Lieutenant Governor of Texas, he likely has the key to a really cool private toilet just off the Senate floor.
But Patrick’s recent Chicken-Little foray into the bathrooms of Fort Worth ISD – especially his call for the superintendent to be fired – has drawn scathing criticism, richly deserved.
The school board last month unanimously approved a policy that affirms the district’s plan to accommodate transgender students. It doesn’t mandate that they use a particular restroom. It gives campus personnel the discretion to allow them to use a single-stall bathroom, like those in the nurse’s office or teachers’ lounge, or a group restroom when no one else is using it.… Read the rest

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Court rules school finance method is constitutional

May 18, 2016
Court rules school finance method is constitutional

The current method devised by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to fund public education does not violate the state constitution, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 13.
The lawsuit challenging the state’s education-funding method originally was brought in 2011 by more than 600 school districts identifying themselves collectively as the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition. Lawyers for the coalition argued that the state falls short of the constitution’s imperative of equitable funding by failing to provide enough money for school districts’ classroom instruction, maintenance and operation and other critical budget areas.
Article 7 of the constitution says: “A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
In a 100-page ruling, the court said the current system ensures that “all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of our state and nation.” The court agreed that the current funding system, while imperfect, is “good enough” to satisfy the constitutional mandate, and going forward, it is up to the Legislature, not the courts, to amend the funding formula.… Read the rest

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Two fishing tales, both true, really, I swear

May 11, 2016
Two fishing tales, both true, really, I swear

Here are two fishing stories, both kinda, mostly true since they are fishing stories and anglers are about as believable as politicians.
Story one:
The Internet is abuzz – well, when isn’t it abuzz, I suppose – about a couple of guys catching a very nice tuna using a drone. Yes, those flying drones, the kind that are used to record beautiful vistas from on high or to spy on sunbathing neighbors.
Two dudes in Australia “while enjoying some cold beers” (a fishing essential for many) dreamed up the idea of using drones to seek out fish – a sort of aerial fish finder.… Read the rest

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When Who plus Why equals What

May 11, 2016
When Who plus Why equals What

Note: This week’s column is part two of last week’s. If you have not already seen that one, you can find it at http://drgerrylewis.com/do-you-know-who-you-are/.

When Pastor Terry gave me a tour of Friendship Baptist Church, he did it with both pride and humility. He’s proud of his church and his God and humbled at the amazing ways God has provided.
When space began to become an issue for this growing church, they started thinking about how they could remodel and renovate their facilities. They had set a little bit of money aside for that purpose, but once they began seriously looking at all that it would take, it became apparent that it was going to cost more than they had.… Read the rest

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The first recorded violence in a Kansas cowtown

May 11, 2016
The first recorded violence in a Kansas cowtown

This column first appeared May, 15, 1977.

I found an account of the very first instance of violence in the Kansas cowtown of Wichita after its establishment during the heyday of the cattle trade.
It appeared in a newspaper called the Walnut Valley Times on March 3, 1871.

HORRIBLE AFFAIR IN WICHITA
“We have just learned the particulars of an unfortunate affair that occurred at Wichita on Tuesday afternoon the 26th (28th) of February at about four o’clock. It seems that Deputy U.S. Marshall Jack Bridges and Lee Stewart, a scout with a party of 25 soldiers under command of Captain Randall of the 5th U.S.… Read the rest

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Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump

May 11, 2016
Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suspended his presidential campaign May 3 after losing Indiana’s GOP presidential primary to frontrunner Donald Trump of New York.
The Indiana loss mathematically eliminated Cruz from achieving the necessary delegate count to gain the nomination at the Republican Party National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21.
On May 6, Rick Perry, Texas’ former and longest-serving governor (December 2000 to January 2015) endorsed Trump for president. Perry, who dropped out of the GOP presidential primaries in 2012 and 2015, also signaled his availability as a vice presidential running mate for Trump.
Cruz, who served as solicitor general under then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, was elected to the U.S.… Read the rest

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The well-watered times

May 11, 2016
The well-watered times

Some people thought it was the end of the world. I thought it was the center.
There was a lot to love about my West Texas hometown. Beautiful sunsets, fields of cotton as far as the eye could see, clouds sailing overhead like great fleets of ships – as well as a beautiful old theater, a big swimming pool, a bustling square. I grew up believing we had the best schools, the best basketball teams, the prettiest girls, the nicest people, the happiest dogs, the best Mexican food.
About the only thing we didn’t have was a lot of rain.
I don’t think I ever saw an issue of the newspaper that didn’t have a weather- or farm-related story.… Read the rest

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