Carl Parker

Carl Parker

Following recent mass murders, conservative politicians have rushed to the scene to show sympathy. And there has also been a great deal of criticism of politicians who arrive and offer only thoughts and prayers for the survivors of the killings. As a person of faith, I certainly believe that there is a great deal to be said for offering prayers of comfort. The problem arises, though, when prayers and good thoughts are the only thing offered by politicians.

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Carl Parker

History is filled with the accounts of attempts to meld religion and government, and the subsequent wars. Lessons are to be learned from the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. We should remember why the pilgrims left England and came to America. Kings tried to mandate the choice of religions for hundreds of years. And there are those today who would have the U.S. government do the same thing.

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If news reports concerning the past regular session and the special session are accurate, it could be that our state senate is losing not only its independence, but also its credibility. It seems from outside appearance it is becoming more of a rubber stamp for the desires of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott.

From many years of observation as well as my years in the Senate, I know the Senate was once fiercely independent and jealous of any erosion of senatorial power or political stroke. In recent sessions, it seems this tradition of the Senate has faded away.

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Recently the AARP, probably the largest advocacy group for senior citizens, declared Texas as having the worst nursing homes in the United States. There are several reasons, most of which are strictly political. The stubborn refusal of our leadership to accept the billions of dollars offered by the federal government to provide adequate healthcare for our citizens is probably the biggest reason.

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Used to be when Carl Parker took someone to the woodshed, they’d better get ready to write a very large check or at least prepare to rewrite their policy manuals.

But the longtime lawmaker and well-known Port Arthur attorney goes to his wood shop these days to relax.

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Sometimes it seems the national media thrive on promoting conflict. I am getting a little tired of redundant comments on transparency, loss of faith in local government and the right to protest.

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Parker

I have seldom gone to an athletic contest where the home team was losing when I did not hear comments all around me from those who believe they could have done better than the coach—They should have called a pass instead of a run; they should have punted instead of trying on fourth down, etc. etc. Criticism such as this always carries the implication the critic could have done better had he or she been in the shoes of the person being criticized. Being a Monday-morning quarterback is not only large in athletic endeavors, it is also extremely large in politics and government.

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Carl Parker

On a recent visit to watch my granddaughter graduate from high school, I had occasion to spend a few days in Michigan. In some ways, I discovered Michigan resembles Texas as far as state governance is concerned. Both houses of the legislature are Republican, as is each state’s governor.

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A recent edition of the New York Times revealed the results of an investigation. It showed that lobbyists in Washington are spending more than $3 billion per year lobbying Congress. A recent analysis conducted by former Agriculture Ctommissioner Jim Hightower identified amounts of money spent on lobbying in campaign contributions by category. His report was broken down by financial institutions, pro sports, radio, television and publishing companies.

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In looking over recently introduced measures in the current session of the State Legislature, I discovered H.B. 1819. The bill was offered by Bryan’s state representative, Kyle Kacal. The bill provides a cause of action if a homeowner harms or kills a goat. Although that seems appropriate for the representative from the area of Texas A&M, I am given to wonder why the Legislature appears to have more concern for animals than it does many of the people of Texas.

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