Opinion

“Government ought to be all outside and no inside. … Everybody knows that corruption thrives in secret places,and avoids public places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety.”

– Woodrow Wilson, U.S. President

Last week was what is known as Sunshine Week in Texas – a time when governmental agencies are supposed espouse the importance of open dialogue and access to public documents and foster a more open relationship with the public.

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In the early 1960s in Texas, homeowner paid lower property taxes on their homes than homeowners in 45 other states. Currently, Texas property taxes are among the highest in the nation. There are several reasons for this change.

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Lack of participation at election time is counterproductive to the efficient operation of a democracy. Theoretically, the more people who vote and participate in the selection of our leaders, the better the result should be. There are even some fledgling democracies in the world who make it mandatory that their citizens vote. While I doubt if such a proposition would fly in the United States, our various levels of government should not engage in activity that would discourage or diminish the number of people voting.

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For the second time in as many weeks, The Examiner has uncovered an audit submitted to the Texas Education Agency that was changed after the board approved it.

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When I was growing up, I had a considerable amount of contact with my aunts, uncles and cousins. We lived not far apart, and my first cousins were more like my brothers and sisters than cousins. Growing into my teen years, I became more aware of my religion mainly due to the fact my mother, being a strict Baptist, had attempted to raise me as such. Because of differences in the denominations of many of my relatives, many of our visits would erupt into a great theological argument.

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Shocking! A representative of the law firm that has helped the Beaumont Independent School District secretly settle lawsuits for less than $50,000 so they wouldn’t have to be made public is now recommending the board not involve members of the community in its search for a new school superintendent.

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People in companies with all the money have been dubbed “job creators” by the conservative faction in America. In the past two years, corporations in America have reaped record profits in the billions. They are doing better financially now than they ever have in the history of this country. Yet they do not seem to be inclined to create new jobs.

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It’s been three months since the Beaumont Independent School District sent 82 employees to New Orleans for the National Alliance of Black School Educators conference and all of the records have still not been reconciled properly or made available for inspection.

A review of several hundred pages of documents made available to The Examiner has raised serious questions about what is permitted and paid for on a school-sanctioned trip. Some BISD board members are calling the trip an “all-expenses-paid vacation,” and that might be what it was.

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n for president largely on the claim he was a job creator, saying he had created more jobs in Texas than any other state. He seemed to think somehow that alone should have qualified him to lead the United States of America as a world power.

It is true Texas has in fact enjoyed a large expansion of jobs during the past decade, but as radio and TV commentator Paul Harvey used to say, “And now for the rest of the story.”

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For several years of my Christian life, I wrestled with what God would have me to do concerning reaching others. I had heard sermons and read material teaching that I should be a witness for Him, and that if I really loved Him as I should, I would be eager to talk to folks about their eternal souls. I wasn’t. I was chicken. I was downright petrified. I was fearful that I would offend and possibly lose a friendship that I valued. Because of my work, I knew many different kinds of people, and my family members were pretty much like me and not into church things.

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