RSSOpinions

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Governor Abbott raises four issues to emergency status

February 8, 2017
Governor Abbott raises four issues to emergency status

Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his second biennial “State of the State” address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 31.
In exercising his prerogative as governor, Abbott presented a short list of emergency items for lawmakers to enact during the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature:
• Improvements to Child Protective Services;
• A ban on sanctuary cities;
• Ethics reforms; and
• Approve a resolution calling for a convention of states.
Abbott said a convention of the states is needed to propose constitutional amendments in order to “fix America” because of a federal government “grown out of control.” It would take a two-thirds majority, or 34 of the 50 state legislatures, to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Some words to live by (or make memes about)

February 1, 2017
Some words to live by (or make memes about)

Once again, I have collected a variety of sentences these past few months, notions that struck me as memorable or at least caught my ear.
So every motivational speaker and/or meme maker can just forward me a check when they take advantage of these pithy, sometimes groovy, yea even deep, sayings that I have so carefully cataloged by speaking them into my phone or typing them while driving down the road which you should never do.

Fleas come with the dog.
This came off a PBS special about the Trump-Clinton presidency race and illustrated how no candidate is pristine.

“No” is not a rejection but a redirection.Read the rest

Continue Reading

A teacher who dared to ‘gather her geese’ in Big Bend

February 1, 2017
A teacher who dared to ‘gather her geese’ in Big Bend

This column first appeared June 22, 1995.

Personal stories of real people who lived on the frontier have always appealed to me. I have life pretty easy with my modern appliances and cars, etc. I recently finished reading a book written by Hallie Crawford Stillwell. At age nine, she left home to teach school in Presidio; her parents did not want her to go because it was just across the Rio Grande from a town recently captured by Pancho Villa.
Her father told her that it was a “wild goose chase” to go that far from where her family lived in Alpine at that time.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Appreciating a life that made a difference

February 1, 2017
Appreciating a life that made a difference

Feb. 10 would be my grandpa’s 75th birthday. Feb. 10 will always be Grandpa’s birthday, but we lost him five years ago.
We lost him too soon – he was only 69 – but the reality is that he did not take care of his health after he retired from his 35-year career as a firefighter.
There are far too many great memories of him to recount. I cherish all of them, but the one that I am most thankful for is the fact that I was able to be with him on his final day, and was able to say goodbye one last time in person.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Abbott: tells sheriff to reverse sanctuary policy or lose funding

February 1, 2017
Abbott: tells sheriff to reverse sanctuary policy or lose funding

Gov. Greg Abbott has stepped up the pressure on Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez to participate in immigration enforcement, warning that she could lose state funding if she refuses.
In a Jan. 23 letter, Abbott urged the sheriff to reverse her policy directive “forbidding Travis County Sheriff’s Office employees from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.”
Failure to reverse her directive would put in jeopardy millions of dollars in funding from the governor’s office to Travis County, Abbott warned. Abbott mentioned that last year, he conditioned all Criminal Justice Grant funds from his office to counties on their enforcement of federal immigration law.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

#Tombstonetweet:What will they say about you?

February 1, 2017
#Tombstonetweet:What will they say about you?

I once heard someone say that we wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of us if we realized how little they actually think about us.
So, why do we do the things we do?
I was recently challenged to think of legacy in a couple of ways. The first was this question: “Who will be at your funeral and will not be looking at their watch?” Now, that’s a visual! To ask it a different way – “Whose life are you really impacting?”
A man died who was reported to have amassed a small fortune over the course of his life.… Read the rest

Continue Reading