Columns/Opinions

Tue
31
Jan

Abbott tells sheriff to reverse santuary policy or lose funds

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — 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.”

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Tue
31
Jan

Infamous Texas fugitive flees country to Brazil

By Bartee Haile

The news out of Brazil on Jan. 30, 1977 was that a 19- year fugitive from Lone Star justice, had been arrested for financial misdeeds in his extradition- proof sanctuary.

Long before the savings and loans scandal of the 1980’s, there was BenJack Cage, scam artist supreme. The six-foot four-inch former football player could size up a sucker across a crowded room, or as one of his many victims observed, “He can take your pulse at 20 paces.”

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Tue
24
Jan

‘Divine Sarah’ played to packed houses in Texas

By Bartee Haile

Sarah Bernhardt’s special train rolled into Dallas on Jan. 24, 1892 for the first of four Texas stops on her “Grand World Tour.” Texans flocked to see the famous French actress, but those that missed the golden opportunity would get a second chance.

After her initial trek across the United States in 1880, the internationally acclaimed “Divine Sarah” regularly returned for profitable encores over the next 37 years. Even more than the sensation her dazzling presence always created, Bernhardt relished the impressive box office receipts. Whenever the “Pride of Paris” ran short of cash, she could count on adoring Americans to help her get back on her dainty feet.

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Tue
24
Jan

Marches come one day after inauguration of new president

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Thousands of Texans were on hand to witness the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20 in Washington.

President Trump closed his 16-minute inaugural address by saying: “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.”

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Tue
17
Jan

System offers no guarantees

By Lee Hamilton

There are a lot of dire predictions about our representative democracy out there. We’re just past a presidential election campaign in which candidates complained about a rigged political system.

Now, commentators worry about the imminent failure of the American experiment.

I don’t agree with these predictions of calamity. Our representative democracy is not on the verge of collapse. But I do see stresses and tensions that should concern anyone who cares about our system of self-government.

Our representative democracy has been remarkably stable and successful for over two hundred years, but that is no guarantee it will survive and prosper.

Tue
17
Jan

Texas legislature convenes in 85th regular session

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol in their respective houses on Jan. 10, opening day for the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature. The 140-day session will conclude on May 29.

After taking the oath of office and being sworn in, the Texas House of Representatives, on a vote of 150-0, unanimously re-elected Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to a fifth term as speaker of the House, tying a record for the most terms as speaker.

Meanwhile, after being sworn in, the Texas Senate voted unanimously in favor of Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, as speaker pro tempore.

Seliger will wield the Senate gavel in the absence or temporary disability of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the 31-member body. Should the governor and lieutenant governor be temporarily unavailable, he will serve as governor in their absence.

Tue
10
Jan

Legendary Doc Holiday’s first stop was Dallas

By Bartee Haile

Doc Holliday rang in the New Year in Dallas on Jan. 1, 1875 by shooting a fellow gambler.

With a powerful planter and war hero for a father, John Henry Holliday had a lot to live up to. Not only was Major Holliday top dog in the county, he had also commanded Fannin’s Avengers, a company of Georgia volunteers, in the Mexican War.

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Tue
10
Jan

Legislation aims to regulate access to bathrooms, lockers

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas now has a “bathroom bill.”

The Lone Star State has joined Alabama, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington as states where legislation has been filed in an effort to restrict access to restrooms, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities on the basis of sex or gender.

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Tue
03
Jan

Patrick applauds preserving N.C.’s ‘bathroom bill’

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has applauded the North Carolina legislature’s refusal to repeal a law banning individuals from using public bathrooms designated for the opposite sex. Patrick, who has made the passage of similar legislation in Texas one of his priorities, said in a Dec. 22 statement: “Legislation like this is essential to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls, and is simple common sense and common decency.

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Tue
03
Jan

Another new year

By Dr. Genie Ellis

New Year’s resolution - more exercise. Summer heat and insects interrupted my walking routine. Weather grew cooler, but I was busy. There’s nothing boring about retirement. Old houses and ranches mean endless work. With my son traveling, he isn’t here pestering me to clean out this and throw away that. The major upheaval that accompanied his arrival last June has taken a break during his absence. Instead I now clean up after his dog - whom I’ve nicknamed Velcro. A mutt resembling a mini wolfhound, his curly fur brings the outside in - and his whiskers drip water whenever he drinks. We love him, but he’s a mess.

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