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French terrorist attacks raise serious concerns

January 14, 2015
French terrorist attacks raise serious concerns

Why poke the bear?
That’s the question many are asking when it comes to addressing the Paris murders of the staff of the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo by Muslim terrorists.
When the topic came up of publishing the latest offending cartoon en masse in papers across the world, folks were divided on whether or not that was a good idea.
Why poke the bear, some ask. You can clearly see that these militants will kill you and your co-workers if you incite them. Leave them be and they’ll crawl back to their caves.… Read the rest

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Treatment of Indians changed because of circumstances

January 14, 2015
Treatment of Indians changed because of circumstances

Attitudes and treatment of Indians or Native Americans, changed dramatically over the centuries after Europeans first set foot on the East coast and began moving westward.
Early arrivals at Jamestown with Captain John Smith in 1607 described their friendly native neighbors as “a colour browne when they are of any age, but they are borne white.” Even a darker skin color was explained by their time in the sun. One historian wrote that it was not until the 1750s, when colonists saw the natives painted red for battle, did they call them “redskins.”… Read the rest

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The Big Red Pen

January 14, 2015
The Big Red Pen

I heard a highly successful pastor tell about high school test. As the grades were returned, the students began discussing and comparing. When he got his, instead of a grade, there was printed in large red letters simply the word, “NO.”
Imagine the conversation between two teenagers: “Man, I got a 72 on that test! What did you get?” “Um, I got a NO.” That will bless your heart!… Read the rest

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Proposal would put contracts under increased scrutiny

January 14, 2015
Proposal would put contracts under increased scrutiny

Signaling his intent to promote transparency and accountability in the 84th Texas Legislature, House Speaker Joe Straus on Jan. 9 announced that in the coming weeks the House would release a budget proposal designed to strengthen oversight of state agency contracts. The Legislature convenes Jan. 13.
Agencies or institutions of higher education, under the proposal, would have to meet new reporting requirements prior to awarding a contract or making a purchase worth more than $10 million, Straus said. Requirements also would apply to contracts and purchases worth more than $1 million and which do not go through a competitive bidding process, he added.… Read the rest

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When it comes to using words these days…SMH

January 7, 2015
When it comes to using words these days…SMH

I had no idea what SMH meant.
Or ICYMI.
These cryptic messages required decoding from today’s Enigma machine, AKA Goggle.
I like words. I write a whole bunch of them every week.
I’m the guy who refuses to type “waiting 4 U 2 get thru” when sending a text message to the Bride. Instead, it is “I’m waiting for you to get through.” With the proper capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.… Read the rest

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What did you do on your Christmas ‘vacation’?

January 7, 2015
What did you do on your Christmas ‘vacation’?

Do you recognize the name Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character in the 1980’s Vacation films? Old Clark always had the best intentions to give his family the perfect vacation experiences, but something usually went wrong. OK, maybe everything went really, really wrong…always. As we laughed at his bumbling, pratfalling, slapstick attempts, maybe we even felt a little sympathy for him because we know what it is like when plans go awry.… Read the rest

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Little-known mountain man was more successful than most

January 7, 2015
Little-known mountain man was more successful than most

I learned years ago that sometimes famous people are not as successful as quiet, little-known ones. My story this week deals with a mountain man that I only just discovered, and I’ve read a lot about mountain men.
Andrew Drips, born in Ireland in 1790, grew up in Pennsylvania. After serving in the War of 1812, he went to the West and by 1820 joined a Missouri Fur Company. In a couple of years he was a partner and lived on the Missouri River north of Council Bluffs, Iowa. From 1825 to 1829 he led expeditions to trade with the Pawnee Indians.… Read the rest

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New mix of lawmakers, officials heading for Austin

January 7, 2015
New mix of lawmakers, officials heading for Austin

When the 84th Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 13 and oaths of office are administered, the political party split will be 21 Republicans to 10 Democrats in the 31-member Senate, and 98 Republicans to 52 Democrats in the 150-member House.
The composition and leadership of committees, the flow of legislation through those committees and control of floor debate will be according to the wishes of new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Houston and House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio. Straus is subject to reelection by his peers. He is expected to retain the rostrum and gavel for a fourth consecutive term, even if challenged by a subgroup within the Republican party.… Read the rest

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Go Cowboys! (It seems to mean so much to so many)

December 30, 2014
Go Cowboys! (It seems to mean so much to so many)

I am living proof that you can overcome an addiction.
I’m Mark and I was once a die-hard Cowboys fan. Hi, Mark!
I spent 33 years cheering and hair-pulling as the antics of a group of similarly dressed men all adorned with stars on their helmets dictated my Sundays (and sometimes Mondays).
I constantly bought Dallas Cowboys stuff: toboggans (ski caps to you Yankees); team posters at McDonald’s: cheap Hutch helmets; socks; t-shirts; jerseys (I loved Calvin Hill); bumper stickers; drinking glasses – you name it, I bought it.… Read the rest

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Reflect, respond, and reload

December 30, 2014
Reflect, respond, and reload

So, here we are at the end of another year! Wow!  I just got used to writing “2014” and it’s time to start another one. So, what are you doing this “tween” week? You know, the week between Christmas and the New Year?
Whether you have a few more days off this week or you are back at work, there is still something about this week that brings unique opportunities. May I suggest three? I’m going to share them with or without your permission, but I would love to have your blessing.… Read the rest

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