Opinion

During the last session of the Legislature, the phoniest piece of legislation passed was the Voter ID Bill. Passed off as an effort to stop voter fraud, this legislation is being recognized as simply a partisan effort on the part of Republican right-wingers to reduce the number of people voting. The legislation smelled so bad the U.S. Department of Justice, under the Voting Rights Act, is holding up its implementation.

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Do you ever join me in feeling like when you take one step forward, someone or some thing pushes you two steps backward? Not a good feeling, is it? Perhaps we need to look at our adversities or hard places from a different viewpoint. It is most often in these times in our lives that God is “growing us” to become people He can and will use to do His will here on earth.

A friend shared a great little story with me that advances this point of view. I decided I’d like to share it with our readers.

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Recently two phenomena have arisen in national politics, one the Tea Party and the other the Occupy Wall Street movement. In many ways, both represent shortcomings of too many American citizens. These shortcomings may be the reason that our national government does not seem to be working like it should. They also may be the reason too many Americans don’t like the politicians who currently represent us.

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A passage in the Bible states that when the leaders have no vision, the people perish. It is amazing to me that leaders of both parties are so caught up with partisanship that nobody has recognized the quickest and best long-term path to prosperity for America and its citizens lies in education. It is the one sure way to make us once again a leader in the world and to stop the serious decline of our middle class. Failure to have this vision will result in more and more phenomena such as “Occupy Wall Street.”

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As various Republicans vie for the right to face the president of the United States in the 2012 election, Texans watched with more than passing interest as the man who has been their governor longer than any chief executive in Lone Star state history lurched into the race earlier this year.

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As we approach Thanksgiving 2011, many of us are very thankful for many different things. Each individual heart is pricked differently. What touches yours might not excite mine, and the other way around. Our lives are not alike, and neither are our expressions of gratitude.

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The commonly asked question that we will look at today is, “What is man?” Since I believe that the Bible is the source of truth, I am pointing us to the Word of God for our answers to these common questions. Today we are reading from the 144th division of the Psalms.

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This is not the subject I anted to write about today for my column in The Examiner. The sun is shining brightly, the flounder are running briskly after the little cold front, and Ted says we can go out in the boat. However, I’ve been a Christian for a good many years now, and I’ve learned (often, the hard way) that God puts things on hearts for reasons only known to Him. I honestly and sincerely believe this column is needed by someone who will be reading it in just a few days.

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For years the battle cry for almost all politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, has been, “No New Taxes.” Actually, Gov. Briscoe from Uvalde, a Democratic, coined the phrase. At the time Gov.

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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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