Columns/Opinions

Wed
07
Sep

Social media’s challenge to the democratic process

By Lee Hamilton

Does the ubiquity of information available through social media really help citizens understand complex issues, weigh competing arguments, and reach discriminating judgments about politics? I’ve been involved in politics for the better part of a lifetime, and have spoken at a lot of public meetings over the years. There’s one question, I think, that I’ve heard more than any other: “If I want to be an informed citizen, which sources of information should I consult?”

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Wed
31
Aug

Fed court rules in favor of UT’s carry policy

AUSTIN — An attempt by three University of Texas at Austin professors to prevent licensed permit holders from carrying their concealed handguns while attending classes was denied by U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel on Aug. 22. Named as defendants in the professors’ lawsuit were Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, UT President Gregory L. Fenves and each member of the UT Board of Regents. The campus carry policy that sparked the lawsuit was approved by the board of regents in accordance with Senate Bill 11, a law passed by the state Legislature in 2015 allowing concealed carry on public university campuses. The law took effect Aug. 1 and the irst day of classes was Aug. 24.

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Wed
31
Aug

GOP leaders need Hillary speech

By Steven Strauss

Back then, Trump was flooding the airwaves with “birther” madness and winning plaudits from the GOP establishment. When he endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2012, Romney called that backing “a delight” and added: “I’m so honored and pleased to have his endorsement. ... Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people. He’s done it here in Nevada. He’s done it across the country.”

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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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