RSSOpinions

The woman who passed on Hillary

February 10, 2016
The woman who passed on Hillary

She’s a hippie and proud of it. A friend for decades, she will loudly and proudly proclaim how the freaks had it right back in the 60s, but The Man just didn’t let it happen.
But that hasn’t stopped her from trumpeting that government is the answer to our problems and that rich people should not be rich but should give their money to others who don’t have as much so everybody could be happy.
Naturally, she’s a Bernie Sanders supporter – except for one thing: She’s a 100 percent, to the bone feminist.
Yet she, like so many others, are not lining up behind Hillary Clinton in the presidential race this year.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Now that the Super Bowl is done – what’s next?

February 10, 2016
Now that the Super Bowl is done – what’s next?

One of my favorite Christian influencers is Dr. Jim Denison. I use the term “influencer” because that seems to best describe him. Holding a PhD in philosophy of religion, he has spent over 30 years teaching and lecturing at seminaries around the world and pastoring churches in Texas and Georgia.
In 2009, he left his last pastorate, the 10,000 member Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, to launch the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture to “equip people to change the culture for the Kingdom. As a catalyst for moral and spiritual renewal, DFTC is joining God in building a global movement of culture-changing Christians.”
His daily (M-F) free column is distributed to more than 114,000 subscribers in 203 countries.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Always a story exists behind every phrase or name

February 10, 2016
Always a story exists behind every phrase or name

History is not just names and dates as so many of my students used to complain (until they took my course and, hopefully, learned differently!) As mentioned numerous times in this column, there always is a story.
Usually it is about people. I have an Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, and I flipped through its pages to find Western terms.
The first that caught my attention was Annie Oakley. Of course, that was the professional name of a young woman named Phoebe Annie Oakley Mozee who married a fellow shooter named Frank Butler. Both became performers in Buffalo Bill’s traveling Wild West Show.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Gov., congressman seek border security cuts details

February 10, 2016
Gov., congressman seek border security cuts details

Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-McAllen, are asking U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson for detailed information regarding border security cuts.
Of particular interest to Abbott and Cuellar is the federal agency’s decision to cut resources for aerial-based border security support in a program known as Operation Phalanx. Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security’s request for aerial detection, situational awareness and monitoring capability support for Operation Phalanx from the Department of Defense for calendar year 2016 was 50 percent lower than that of recent years.
The decrease came despite the governor’s Sept. 30, 2015, request for additional aerial observation resources along the border, and despite the fact that Congress fully funded Department of Defense support for Operation Phalanx in the recently passed omnibus appropriations bill, according to the governor’s office.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Dream weaver: Wait, let me get this down

February 3, 2016
Dream weaver: Wait, let me get this down

This man’s got to have some milk!”
The Bride and I turned on our heels and bolted out the door. We leapt into a older car, and I drove down a muddy hill, sliding everywhere.
We made it! But immediately on the paved road, the traffic was backed up endlessly.
We jumped out, leaving our car behind and ran past the long line of immobile vehicles until we found one vacant, a ratty Jeep, off to the side.
It didn’t want to start, but it finally turned over. We drove on the shoulder, past the stuck cars. That’s when the fuel light binged.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

This is my country, don’t mess it up!

February 3, 2016
This is my country, don’t mess it up!

I learned a song back in elementary school. The words I remember:
“This is my country!  Land of my birth! This is my country!  Grandest on earth! I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the bold. For this is my country, to have and to hold.”
This song, written by Al Jacobs and Don Raye in 1940, contains a verse and another chorus.  The verse: “What difference if I hail from North or South or from the East or West? My heart is filled with love for all of these. I only know I swell with pride and deep within my breast, I thrill to see Old Glory paint the breeze.”
The second chorus:  “This is my country!  Land of my choice!… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Australian outlaw Ned Kelly offers comparison to Billy the Kid

February 3, 2016
Australian outlaw Ned Kelly offers comparison to Billy the Kid

Professor and historian Leland Turner has been comparing and contrasting Australia and the U.S. for several years. I first heard him deliver a paper on Australia’s Queensland v. the Texas cattle raising industry. Later he spoke, and played music of two Western singers, Bob Wills of Texas, and Slim Dusty, an Australian. Recently I read another comparison and contrast, the new book by Robert M. Utley, Wanted  The Outlaw Lives of Billy the Kid and Ned Kelly. Most folks have heard of Billy the Kid and his outlawry during the New Mexico range wars in the 1870s. I was more interested in Edward “Ned” Kelly of Australia.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Texas Dept. of Transportation awaiting go-ahead for gridlock-reducing projects

February 3, 2016
Texas Dept. of Transportation awaiting go-ahead for gridlock-reducing projects

The Texas Department of Transportation on Jan. 27 reported that on average, Texas drivers in five of the state’s largest metropolitan areas lose about 52 hours and $1,200 annually due to traffic congestion.
Upon approval by its oversight body, the Texas Transportation Commission, TxDOT plans to improve drive times and reduce costs through what it calls an accelerated $1.3 billion effort addressing gridlock in some of the state’s most congested areas.
“The major metro areas of Texas – Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio – represent more than two-thirds of the state’s population and 97 percent of the state’s most congested roads,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner J.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

PB conspiracies and strawberry alarm clocks

January 27, 2016
PB conspiracies and strawberry alarm clocks

Some years back – before everything was loaded onto the Internet – things called catalogues used to come in the mail.
While digging around in an old desk at work, I came across a page ripped out from one such catalogue, Collectors Choice Music.
Why this page was torn out and by whom remains a mystery.
After all, I know no one who is determined to collect some of the bizarre albums being offered.
I’m willing to bet that you don’t have a copy of The Best of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy: It’s a Happening Thing.
I like to think I know a bit about 1960s rock ‘n’ roll, but I can’t recall ever hearing one song by The Peanut Butter Conspiracy – yet here’s a “best of” collection, full of the jangly “West Coast Sound” of the ‘60s.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Love, laughter, loss, and legacy

January 27, 2016
Love, laughter, loss, and legacy

The morning I was about to start composing this week’s post, I noticed that I had just missed a call from my dad.
Dad typically doesn’t call me. And when he does call, it is rarely in the morning. So, I called him back. He told me that my favorite aunt had passed away during the night. It was not unexpected, but still sooner than we thought.
I probably shouldn’t say she was my “favorite.” I have a lot of aunts and every one is special. But Aunt Nell is a different kind of special. I have more childhood memories of her than any of the others and I spent more time with her (sometimes just the two of us) than with any of the others.… Read the rest

Continue Reading