Columns/Opinions

Thu
03
Aug

Texan dropped the bomb that ended the war

By Bartee Haile

Capt. Kermit K. Beahan of Houston tossed and turned the night of Aug. 8, 1945 knowing that the next day, which also happened to be his twenty-seventh birthday, he might be called upon to drop the second atom bomb on Japan.

The bloody 11-week battle for Okinawa, that ended in June 1945 with 49,000 Allied casualties, showed defeat had not diminished the fanatical determination of the Japanese to fight to the death. For “Operation Olympic,” the invasion of the home islands scheduled for November, the Pentagon estimate of a million Americans killed and wounded was realistic if not conservative.

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Thu
27
Jul

Cholera the unstoppable scourge in early Texas

By Bartee Haile

Cholera again reared its deadly head in San Antonio on Jul. 30, 1834 causing the panic-stricken populace to flee for their lives as the second outbreak in as many years turned Texas’ largest settlement into a ghost town.

Early Texans knew from tragic experience that cholera was a killer, an unstoppable scourge which struck suddenly and spared nobody. The highly contagious intestinal ailment produced severe vomiting and diarrhea that quickly depleted body fluids. In five days or less, the dehydrated victim went into shock and more often than not wound up in the graveyard.

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Thu
27
Jul

Senate races through agenda to get to other-than-Sunset bills

By Ed Starling

AUSTIN — The 85th Texas Legislature convened at the Capitol on July 18 for its first called session, the main purpose being for lawmakers to extend the life of certain state agencies scheduled for termination, and then to proceed to other matters.

At the urging of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Senate moved quickly to pass legislation continuing the function of the Texas Medical Board and several other health-care related state oversight boards through 2019. The House, led by Speaker Joe Straus, RSan Antonio, tentatively passed similar legislation (House Bill 1) through its State Affairs committee, but 10 amendments to the bill have been pre-filed, and those, plus the main bill, will be subject to a full-House floor debate scheduled for July 24.

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Thu
20
Jul

Abbott gives lawmakers initial marching orders

By Ed Starling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers.

Abbott said he plans to issue a supplemental proclamation further directing lawmakers to pass another list of items he previously announced. The areas of legislation would:

— Reform laws governing ad valorem property taxes;

— Increase average salary and benefits of Texas teachers;

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Thu
20
Jul

The AP Stylebook is getting crazy

Back in those ancient days when teletypes gave us the sound effects for news, the Associated Press was esteemed as the gold standard of objective news coverage. Inside a liberal media bubble, that pretense continues. But for decades now, AP has tacked hard to port along with the rest of the media establishment. They'll deny it, of course, because that's what they do.

But the evidence is there, emblazoned in the AP Stylebook, which sets the rules for the language of news reporting. It also sets the tone of the media elite's daily composition in every format — print, online or broadcast. They say it "defines clear news writing" and call it "the journalist's bible," which is a fairly damning phrase, since it rejects the Bible.

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Thu
13
Jul

Mystery of “Lady Bountiful” – saint, sinner or both?

By Bartee Haile 

 

Lillian Knox, once the prime suspect in the staged suicide of her timber tycoon husband, was back in the news on Jul. 15, 1939 following her arrest in Los Angeles on warrants out of Dallas and Shreveport. The Big D district attorney announced that the notorious “Lady Bountiful,” the nickname bestowed upon Knox by East

 

Texas admirers, would be extradited back to Texas to face seven counts of check forgery. The postal inspector in Shreveport was quick to add that the unlikely fugitive had a date in federal court on charges of mail fraud.

 

 

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Thu
13
Jul

Let’s help students achieve their dreams, and keep them paying

College students or graduates, or their parents, might find a poll released last week interesting. We certainly did. LendEDU, a group that tracks the student loan industry,

 

found Millennials — generally, adults 35 and under — believe by a 70- 30 margin that student loan debt is a bigger threat to the U.S. than North Korea.

 

 

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Thu
06
Jul

Houston bounces back from lone electoral loss

By Bartee Haile

 

Two years after fellow Texans spurned him in the only ballot-box loss of his career, Sam Houston gave his first and last speech in a comeback campaign for governor on Jul. 9, 1859. As one of just two southern senators that opposed repeal of the Missouri Compromise and extension of slavery to the western territories,

 

Houston paid dearly for his 1854 vote against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. That lonely stand ultimately cost Old Sam his seat in the United States Senate as well as the 1857 gubernatorial election.

 

 

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Thu
06
Jul

Trump must understand that Twitter is not a nuclear deterrent

North Korea has now demonstrated its ability to reach parts of the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile, and the most powerful response President Donald Trump could muster was a tweet. North Korea's mercurial 33-year-old leader, Kim Jong-un, has escalated the nuclear threat to alarming proportions.

The stakes are too high for Trump to trivialize it with a Twitter takedown. An already nervous world has even more reason to be worried when America's president responds with: "North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea ... and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!"

 

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Thu
29
Jun

Happy 10th Birthday, iPhone

By Scott Rasmussen

Societal changes take place so slowly that we rarely see them unfold on a day-to-day basis. Our culture and lifestyles adapt so quickly to new technology that we soon can't remember life without the latest innovation. But when we look back over any significant period of time, the scale of change is truly breathtaking.

Today, smartphones are such a part of the culture that it's hard to believe they've only been around for a decade. But the smartphone era began just 10 years ago with the June 29, 2007 release of the iPhone. Time magazine hailed it as the 2007 Invention of the Year and more than a billion iPhones have been sold since that time.

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