Opinion

Of late, I have been giving serious thought to simply giving up. It occurs to me that I could be wrong about my philosophy of life and economic policy of the United States. I’ve always thought that if you infused enough money into the lower end of the economic spectrum, rich folks would figure out a way to end up with most of it. Alas, perhaps there is some chance that the Koch brothers, right-wing nuts and other Republicans are right.

shadow

With the departure of Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Carrol Thomas looming ever closer with each passing week, most taxpayers will undoubtedly breathe a sigh of relief when Butch finally heads for his retirement villa – or wherever one of the most highly compensated public school officials in Texas will go to count his millions.

shadow

One of the worst decisions ever made by the Supreme Court of the United States was the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, decided by a 5-4 vote, mainly along partisan lines. Members of the Supreme Court appointed by Republicans, who have decried for years activists judges who choose to legislate from the bench, are responsible not only for this bad decision, but for the decision subverting the electoral process in the state of Florida and installing George W. Bush as president.

shadow

Understanding the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ kinds

 

My 15-year-old grandson and I had an interesting discussion one recent afternoon when he was visiting with me in my home. Papa Ted was in Amarillo taking care of some business, and Brendan asked me about the word “pride.” From our conversation and giving the subject some thought, I have decided that it is indeed a difficult word to completely understand and control, and an even more difficult one to explain to a teen who was genuinely interested in knowing the answers to his questions.

shadow

Perhaps second only to mass murderers, the most repugnant criminals in our society are offenders who have victimized children. All too often, we must read in the paper about a small child being kidnaped, abused and even murdered by a person with a long history of pedophilia. This type criminal is not only abhorred by people in polite society, but is even shunned and isolated by his fellow inmates — murderers, robbers, con-artists and just thieves. Sexual offenders should, and are generally, severely punished.

shadow

Nearly two years have passed since the July 2010 shooting death of 28-year-old Marine veteran James Whitehead by off-duty police Captain Robert Arnold, but the killing continues to reverberate far beyond the O’Reilly Auto Parts store parking lot where the fatal confrontation took place.

shadow

The establishment of Father’s Day in 1910 was seen as a complement to Mother’s Day a few years earlier. That holiday – a uniquely American tradition – was not created by the floral or greeting card industries, though both have profited handsomely over the past hundred years from the celebration.

shadow

One of the things I’ve learned over many years as a candidate for office and an observer of politics is that sometimes people choose how to vote for the weirdest reasons. I recall one of my colleagues in the House of Representative once telling me he was amazed at some of the reasons people gave him for their support. One, he said, voted for him because he had been her paperboy when he was 12 years old. Sounds a little weak, but I’ve found that it’s maybe a better reason than many people have given over the years.

shadow

God knows everything, and I know that truth, but when I say there is a word not in His vocabulary, I basically mean that He doesn’t choose to use it with His children. Do you have any idea what that word might be? I read three articles, all of which came to my desk in one afternoon with the same general thought in mind. I puzzled through the writing and wondered if God were speaking to me about the matter. Now, God doesn’t take some super duper bullhorn and call my name when He wants my attention. I am not suggesting that.

shadow

The words of the Texas Public Information Act don’t exactly roll off the tongue like fine poetry, but there is beauty in this law:

“Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees.

shadow