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Be the funniest person at your family’s gathering

November 21, 2016
Be the funniest person at your family’s gathering

Here’s the annual joke-fest – gathered from the deepest reaches of cyberspace – that will, once again, make you the hit of the Thanksgiving table.

Why did the cranberries turn red?
They saw the turkey dressing!

What is a turkey’s favorite dessert?
Peach gobbler!

Why did the farmer run over his potato field with a steamroller?
He wanted mashed potatoes!

A woman was choosing a frozen Thanksgiving turkey at a store, but they were too small for her family. She asked a stock boy, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?”
He said, “No, ma’am. They’re dead.”

Why do pilgrims’ pants keep falling down?Read the rest

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We can’t afford to get this Thanksgiving wrong!

November 21, 2016
We can’t afford to get this Thanksgiving wrong!

I have long believed that Thanksgiving is treated as a second-class holiday because it is so difficult to commercialize. Only stores that sell food are going to make money from Thanksgiving. Parents don’t take their children door-to-door dressed as pilgrims to deliver turkey and dressing to their neighbors.
Neighborhoods don’t organize tours of homes for people to be amazed by who has the most beautiful Thanksgiving lights outside and decorated trees inside. No one goes to the mall to sit on Squanto’s knee and tell him what they want for Thanksgiving.
Commercialization is not, however, the issue. It is not the fault of the retailers that they are making a killing on Halloween and Christmas.… Read the rest

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Walking in the footsteps of some famous, great American legends

November 21, 2016
Walking in the footsteps of some famous, great American legends

This column first appeared November 23, 2006.

For some reason, I really get excited if I am ever in the same location where a famous person has been.
My first such experience came on a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia 30 years ago when I visited a tavern where George Washington actually ate. On the same trip, I traveled to Philadelphia to Betsy Ross’ house, climbing the twisting, narrow stairs she actually climbed.
Probably the most excited I ever got was in Segovia, Spain in 1987 when I stood in the throne room where in 1492 King Ferdinand and Isabella met with Christopher Columbus and gave him the charge to set sail west to reach the Riches of the East.… Read the rest

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Addressing the dreaded ‘F’ word: Feminism

November 21, 2016
Addressing the dreaded ‘F’ word: Feminism

There are some who see Hillary Clinton’s loss in the most recent presidential election as a blow to feminism.
Let me be the first to tell you it is not. People can argue whether or not her defeat was a blow to our country – and they most certainly are – but it absolutely was not a blow to the advancement of women.
What is a huge blow to the cause is the notion – which is ever-increasing in popularity – that to succeed women need to be treated differently.
We don’t.
The idea that women and girls need a female president in order to believe they themselves could one day be president is asinine.… Read the rest

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Bill filers jump to early start as legislative session nears

November 21, 2016
Bill filers jump to early start as legislative session nears

Just a few of Texas’ 31 Senate members and 150 House members filed a total of 523 pieces of legislation on Nov. 14, the first day lawmakers could submit legislation for the coming session.
The 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature is scheduled to convene on the second Tuesday in January, that is, Jan. 10, at noon. Final adjournment — 140 days later — is set for the last Monday in May, that is, May 29.
Now, back to those bills filed on Nov. 14. Not that it’s a competition, but Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, filed 20 bills, the highest total of any House member.… Read the rest

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Get ready for Thanksgiving: Load the cookie gun

November 16, 2016
Get ready for Thanksgiving: Load the cookie gun

Thanksgiving is fun – especially when I was a boy.
Then, I spent more time playing football in the backyard with cousins then actually eating.
As I matured, I began to understand how important the food was. However, I have been accused of being a bit picky. I only eat five things at Thanksgiving: turkey, mashed potatoes, hot rolls, cherry pie, and Cool Whip.
I know it’s a feast and all that, but I don’t care for exotic foods like dressing – my late mother apparently made the best on the planet – and I’m passing on cranberries, fresh or the kind that slides in its entirety out of a can.… Read the rest

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Chicago Cubs break the curse

November 16, 2016
Chicago Cubs break the curse

(Steve Bartman still not welcome)

If you’re ever having a bad day, just remember Steve Bartman.
I imagine that upon arising on the morning of October 14, 2003 he thought it was going to be a great day. A lifetime Chicago Cubs fan, he had a boxseat ticket in the left field corner behind the bullpen at Wrigley Field, where his beloved Cubbies were hosting the Florida Marlins in Game 6 of the NLCS.
The Cubs were up 3 games to 2. A win that night would send them to their first World Series since 1945, with the possibility of winning it all for the first time since 1908.… Read the rest

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The Swiss and Texas history

November 16, 2016
The Swiss and Texas history

Author’s Note:  Last week’s column was written in the 1970s and was very timely because of the election.  However, if I had written it today I would have added that the conservative Southern Democrat party of the previous century began shifting in the 1970s to agree with the more liberal national Democrats. The Republican party in Texas and the South became the conservative values, states rights, less federal control party of today. Texas and the South vote more consistently Republican (red) in elections today. Those Bible Belt Southerners haven’t changed – the political parties have. This column first appeared December 4, 1986.Read the rest

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Trump win turns eyes to possible cabinet nominees

November 16, 2016
Trump win turns eyes to possible cabinet nominees

Republican Donald J. Trump, on his way to winning the presidential election on Nov. 8, won the vote in Texas with 4,651,955 votes, or 52.39 percent of the 8,878,152 votes cast.
Some 2,842,553 votes, or 43 percent, were cast by Texans for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, in the race for the White House.
From now until his inauguration, president-elect Trump must choose people to flesh out his administration. A few names floated as possible nominees for cabinet-level appointments turned up in various journals last week. Texans among those were:
• U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security;
• U.S.… Read the rest

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Russia, an orphanage, Christmas, and Irish Spring

November 9, 2016
Russia, an orphanage, Christmas, and Irish Spring

I’m not one for lingering on a sad story.
Facebook is full of tales of suffering throughout the world, from children stricken with cancer to unjust punishment to all sorts of sordid crimes against man and beast. When those stories pop up on Facebook I just scroll on by.
So, recently when another one of those how-can-this-be? tales came around, I wasn’t all that interested. The problem was that there was no scrolling this time – I was in church.
Like many in the area, our church is involved in Operation Christmas Child where kind-hearted folks fill shoe boxes which are then shipped to less fortunate children all over the planet.… Read the rest

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