Someone must take the blame for this. Someone must take responsibility for our boiling conversation on schools and shootings and Alaina Petty, one of the 17 innocents who died in Parkland, Fla., on Valentine’s Day. This isn’t just a national conversation anymore. This is us. This is about my son, who starts school next year. This is about your daughter, who you pray walks out of school this afternoon. Someone must take the blame for this. Blame media. They send choppers and celebrity newscasters to every massacre in this country, devout in their influence over the masses. They’re the ones who turn awful events into fantasies, spurring depressed and depraved teenagers to cross one step over that sandy line between hurt and evil. They give credence to the worst, power to the afflicted, … [Read more...] about Blame is our nation’s worthless currency
My wife confiscated the television remote this week, which normally means I’m about to learn about another jilted monarch who rises to eat cake. You’ll have to excuse me as I spend this week’s column absolved from commentary on local issues. That’s because my wife has walked in the door, every day after work, and tuned our TV to the most absurd sporting event ever devised. No, I am not new to the Winter Olympics – I’ve followed speed skaters and Tonya Harding’s hatchet man for decades. But a unique thought crossed my mind the other evening as I sat with my 4-year-old son who watched as a man lay flat on his back, wearing what appeared to be colorful oil, and darted down a frozen water slide. My son’s reaction, quite naturally, was, “Cool.” As a father whose precious son may one … [Read more...] about Can we reduce these Olympics to 3 sports?
Let’s have some fun with numbers, because in less than four weeks, about 9.7 percent of you will vote while the other 90 percent of you sit around complaining about the men and women we elect to office. If the red, white and blue signs in your neighbors’ yards aren’t indication enough, primary elections are March 6, and if you’re the 1-in-10 who bother to show up at the polls, here’s some information you won’t find anywhere else – because nobody is dumb enough to do this sort of counting. If you vote in the Democratic primary (you can choose one or the other party in primaries), you’re going to puke when you see the ballot. No kidding. When you stand between those musty curtains and start scrolling the wheel of uncertainty, you will be asked to select candidates in 94 different … [Read more...] about Primary ballots aren’t as bad as they seem
There’s no point in telling you something that another writer has said better than I ever will. And it doesn’t matter that this writer works for what some call our “competitor.” Lisa Falkenberg, the Houston Chronicle’s metro columnist (who also happens to be the paper’s only Pulitzer Prize winner and, best of all, a Heights resident), wrote last week that parents, grandparents and business leaders need to wake up if they care anything about the future of Houston’s public schools. “As we speak, a plan is being devised to reinvent the largest school district in the state in a way that would have been Mission Impossible a year ago,” she wrote. If you haven’t read Falkenberg’s Jan. 27 column, you must. For that matter, you should read all of her columns – she’s the best in the city at … [Read more...] about HISD is making a bad situation worse
Over the past couple of months, the credibility of The Leader has been questioned by a group of emotional – albeit loyal – supporters of a local coffee shop and bistro. They are right in their support; absolutely wrong in their ambush of our reporters. If you haven’t followed the saga between Slowpokes, an ever-popular neighborhood spot for good bites and spirits on Alba, and its landlord, Sam Momin, you can see the latest on today’s front page. Here’s a summary (and you can read the full story HERE): Slowpokes leased space in a small shopping center that, as far as we can tell, didn’t have much going for it. The building was a bit unkempt, and the only tenant at the time was a corner store for those in need of a Coke, a pack of smokes or a lottery ticket. When JC Rubiralta opened … [Read more...] about Every story always has two sides