Columns/Opinions

Wed
08
Jun

Trails far from happy for B-western cowboy

By Bartee Haile

The matinee feature at Waco’s Fox Theater on Jun. 4, 1948 was “Chicago Kid” starring Don “Red” Barry, the well-known cowboy actor, in a crime drama for a change. The future rider of the B-western range was born Donald Barry de Acosta in Houston in January 1912. Despite his small stature – five feet four and a half inches – he was good enough at football, presumably as a running back, to win a college scholarship.

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Wed
08
Jun

Governor declares state of disaster in long list of counties

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 1 declared a state of disaster in 31 counties that have been hit repeatedly with severe weather and flooding in recent days. The counties named in the declaration include: Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Coleman, Colorado, Erath, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Kleberg, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lubbock, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton.

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Wed
01
Jun

Ten states join Texas AG in bathroom lawsuit

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 25 filed a lawsuit against the heads of the federal Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Equal Opportunity Commission and other entities for issuing directives that would require public schools to open up restrooms and locker rooms to both sexes. Joining Texas in the lawsuit are the states of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Plaintiffs also include a diverse coalition of top state officials and local school districts, including the Harrold Independent School District.

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Wed
01
Jun

Making the valid case for limited government

By Lee Hamilton

Our political leaders must pragmatically make the sometimes uneasy co-existence of the market and government work. We have to wring duplication out of the bureaucracy and rigorously pursue efficient, effective, and accountable government.

It has been 35 years since Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural speech as President — the one in which he said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Over that time, hostility toward government seems only to have grown, led by politicians and embraced by millions of Americans.

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Wed
25
May

Life of pioneer family on West Texas frontier

By Bartee Haile

Richard Franklin Tankersley enlisted in an all-volunteer company of “minutemen” on May 24, 1858 and spent the next 60 days combing the West Texas countryside for hostiles. While he was making the frontier safe for neighbors and perfect strangers, his wife and six children - alone and unprotected - faced the constant threat of attack from the same Indians. Either the head of the household minimized the danger or never gave his loved ones’ predicament a second thought. 

 

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Wed
25
May

Three states seek clarity on federal transgender issues

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas, Patrick Morrissey of West Virginia and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma are seeking clarification of the federal government’s guidelines regarding bathroom access and other issues involving transgender students. On May 13, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education sent a nine-page letter to schools nationwide establishing guidelines for bathroom accessibility and other issues related to the treatment of transgender students, including: - A safe and nondiscriminatory environment; - Identification documents, names and pronouns; - Sex-segregated activities and facilities; and - Privacy and education records.

 

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Wed
18
May

Flour salesman rises to pinnacle of Texas politics

By Bartee Haile

An entertaining and unquestionably eccentric era in Texas politics came to an end on May 11, 1969 with the death of former governor and U.S. Senator “Pappy” O’Daniel. A job offer from a Fort Worth milling company brought the 35 year old salesman to Texas in 1925. Three years later, a deal with a group of unemployed musicians put Wilbert Lee O’Daniel on the road to fame and fortune.

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Wed
18
May

High court rules school finance method constitutional

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The current method devised by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to fund public education does not violate the state constitution, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 13. The lawsuit challenging the state’s education-funding method originally was brought in 2011 by more than 600 school districts identifying themselves collectively as the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition.

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Wed
11
May

Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump for president

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suspended his presidential campaign May 3 after losing Indiana’s GOP presidential primary to frontrunner Donald Trump of New York. The Indiana loss mathematically eliminated Cruz from achieving the necessary delegate count to gain the nomination at the Republican Party National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21.

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Wed
11
May

My light show

By Dr. Genie Ellis

I was at Waco Eye Associates bright and early again this morning. Déjà vu - like two months ago when flashing lights and floaters earned me an emergency appointment. That culminated with laser eye surgery. I’d been told not to be surprised if it happened again in the same or other eye. I was instructed to call right away if that occurred. Well, it started rather subtly in the other eye yesterday. Didn’t see this coming. Pun intended. At first I thought I was being paranoid, but should have trusted my instincts. By bedtime I was certain something was up. Again.

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