Columns/Opinions

Wed
24
Aug

Alamo movies often not worth the ticket price

By Bartee Haile

 

“Davy Crockett at the Fall of the Alamo,” the third motion picture in the series, opened at theaters across Texas on Aug. 22, 1926. The first Alamo movie was made during the early days of silent pictures back in 1911, just eight years after “The Great Train Robbery.” “The Immortal Alamo” was a 15-minute one-reeler and the initial American effort of a famous French filmmaker’s brother.  

 

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Wed
24
Aug

Texan diagnosed with Zika illness after return from trip

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — A Texas resident who recently traveled to Miami, Florida, has tested positive for Zika virus disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported on Aug. 15. The traveler, an El Paso County resident, sought testing after becoming ill. This is the first Texas case to be linked to travel within the continental United States. The case will be classified as “travel-associated” and is being investigated for more details, the DSHS said.  

 

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Wed
17
Aug

Democratic Convention: Dead wrong on energy

By Tom Borelli

The recent Democratic National Convention included a fullfledged assault on one of the central pillars of the American economy: fossil fuels. The official convention platform calls for completely replacing oil and natural gas with renewables by 2050. This is a delusional, disastrous position. Renewables can’t meet our country’s energy needs. And squeezing the oil and gas sector with onerous regulations could destroy millions of jobs.

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Wed
17
Aug

Court relaxes Texas voter ID law for fall election

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Voters will have more options when presenting personal identification at the polls for the November 8 general election, Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos announced last week. Pursuant to an Aug. 10 federal court order, Cascos said, if a voter is not able to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID, the voter may vote by: (1) signing a declaration at the polls explaining why the voter is unable to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID; and (2) providing one of various forms of supporting documentation.

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Wed
10
Aug

Texas boycotts Huey Long’s cotton “holiday”

By Bartee Haile

On Aug. 9, 1931 Huey P. Long invited the governors of Texas and other southern states to come to New Orleans to discuss his surefire cure for what was ailing King Cotton. From a high of 40 cents a pound at the start of the decade, cotton lost half its value on the world market during the 1920’s. But those were boom times compared to the Great Depression. By the summer of 1931, the South’s money crop had become practically worthless fetching a paltry 5.66 cents per pound.

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Wed
10
Aug

Campus-carry parties lawsuit to return to court

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Three University of Texas professors are seeking a temporary injunction “to at least retain the option of maintaining their academic classrooms as gunfree zones when classes start again.” In a motion filed in connection with a federal lawsuit filed July 6, the professors are asking the court to bar enforcement of the law when the UT fall semester begins Aug. 24. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a brief in opposition.

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Wed
03
Aug

Wartime censors spring hurricane surprise on Texas

By Bartee Haile

The most powerful hurricane to hit Galveston in more than a generation roared ashore on the morning of Jul. 27, 1943 catching island inhabitants and other Texans as far inland as Houston almost completely by surprise. With no radar, satellites or television to provide them with breaking weather news, Texans living within striking distance of Gulf storms depended upon advisories and warnings from the Weather Bureau. Government forecasters, in turn, relied upon eyewitness reports from ships at sea and observers along the coast. 

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Wed
03
Aug

State rolls out revised women’s health program

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — A women’s health program is in effect and ready to deliver more care to more women statewide who are 15 to 44 years old and whose income is up to 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Charles Smith, in a joint announcement on July 25, said they expect the “new and improved” Healthy Texas Women program to serve some 300,000 women, while earlier programs served 270,000 women. Participation for minors will require parental consent.  

 

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Wed
27
Jul

Cowardice cripples Yankee raid on Galveston

By Bartee Haile

On Jul. 25, 1861, three months after President Lincoln ordered a blockade of all southern ports, the United States Navy sent a ship to seal off Galveston Bay, and the frigate Santee relieved the original vessel of the lonely watch in mid-September. Bored by seven weeks of uneventful guard duty, Lt. James Jouett volunteered to lead a daring nighttime attack on Nov. 7 against the General Rusk, a steam-powered man-of-war anchored near the Rebel fort on Pelican Island. Relying upon the element of surprise, Jouett hoped to overwhelm the crew and scuttle the fighting ship before the Rebs knew what had hit them. If his main objective proved unattainable, he would seize the Royal Yacht, an armed schooner. 

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Wed
27
Jul

Appellate court strikes down Texas voter ID law

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas’ voter photo identification law is racially discriminatory, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled July 20. In striking down the law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011, the Fifth Circuit said it disproportionately and negatively affects African- American and Hispanic citizens’ right to vote. Gov. Greg Abbott decried the ruling in Veasey et al. v. Abbott et al., saying: “The Fifth Circuit ... wrongly concluded the law had a discriminatory effect. Voter fraud is real and it undermines the integrity of the election process.” 

 

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