Features

I don’t hate oil companies. Gulf Oil gave my dad a job near the end of the Great Depression. Gulf and 40 years of hard work by my family allowed me to have a wonderful education.

What I am having a hard time understanding is why Republicans are so reluctant to make big oil pay its fair share. Tax breaks from Texas amount to more than $20 million a year. Some of the refiners in Texas are suing to get even bigger tax breaks. Our U.S. tax system gives British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Shell and others millions more.

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Q. I recently moved into a new apartment. The apartment pays a referral fee. I told them my friend referred me. My friend actually did not refer me, but I knew he lived in the complex. When I told my friend he was going to get the money, he agreed to split it with me. Now he refuses to share. Can I take him to small claims court?

A. In my opinion, you do not have any basis for a lawsuit. Your friend promised to give you a gift. He simply agreed to share his money with you. Such promises are not enforceable.

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Two most prevalent medical myths are that America has the best health care system in the world and that tort reform provisions capping damages for medical malpractice has made medical treatment cheaper for the consumers of Texas.

P.T. Barnum of circus fame once said there was a sucker born every minute. Unfortunately, enough money can make suckers out of otherwise thoughtful voters. In fact, Texans have been sucker-punched more than once by the big money behind “tort reform,” as they call it.

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Just recently, I was kayaking on B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir near Jasper and couldn’t help but notice the number of tent and RV campers in the adjacent Martin Dies Jr. State Park. It was a cool Saturday morning and aside from folks cooking breakfast around their campsites, I saw hikers, bikers and lots of people on the water paddling rental canoes.

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The central zone dove season is already closed until Dec. 23 and the south zone is closing Oct. 30 until Dec. 23, but with duck, goose, and deer seasons opening Nov. 5, hunters are all smiles. And saltwater fishing on the inland lakes and bays could hardly be better. The speckled trout, redfish, croaker, sand trout and flounder are showing up in many coolers.

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