This is the season for Texas history, the high holy days marking the Battle of the Alamo, the Runaway Scrape, the Battle of San Jacinto, preparing for hurricanes, the Astros’ spring training. So for all you newcomers – Texas has more than any other state – we shall briefly tell a story or a mystery. (One thing about Texas history is that it’s fun, with creeps and heroes and rarely a dull moment.) The mystery: Did Travis really draw a line in the sand? And who cares? The standard version of the believers goes like this: As hope for help dwindled, the commander of the Alamo, a 26-year-old lawyer named William Barret Travis, called all his men together and gave a short speech. As it comes down to us, it's one of the most poignant, courageous addresses ever given. In his speech, Lt. Col. … [Read more...] about Crossing the line
Ever heard of Sleep Deprivation Supremacy Syndrome? Of course you haven’t, because it doesn’t exist and I just made it up. Actually, it does exist. Only problem is no scientist has been smart enough to sample a diverse group of 537 couples to get a margin of error that deserves publication in the esteemed Journal of Parental Malpractice. That’s why you can’t find out anything about SDSS on Google. And yes, I just made up SDSS because I’m ahead of my time in the world of modern medicine. I also understand the tenants of the vaunted acronym. Because I believe every edition of our newspaper should help our readers learn something new, let me give you the basics of this Sleep Deprivation Supremacy Syndrome. It starts with a husband and wife right about the time they welcome their … [Read more...] about Sleep supremacy is a real problem for parents
You haven’t heard of the Nieman Journalism Lab because you’re not a nerd. The lab is based at Harvard University, which means I’ll never see the front door. A few weeks ago, Nieman published an article titled, “Want to reduce political polarization? Save your local newspaper.” The article, written by Joshua P. Darr, Johanna Dunaway and Matthew P. Hitt (smart people use middle initials), hypothesized that the loss of local news has played a major role in the way we vote in local elections. I know most of you will have a hard time reading past those two paragraphs: Saturday morning coffee sessions are not designed for deciphering Harvard-level research projects. But stay with me if you can, because this is, ultimately, about you and me and the neighbor across the street. Let me … [Read more...] about Don’t spread D.C. vitriol down our streets
THE DESK -- I am going through all my old credit cards to weed out those I don’t need anymore. It used to be we would need a different card for each store and fill-up. Now I just use one: DiscreditCredit. Let’s see what I can toss: Foley’s, Circuit City, Montgomery Ward. I am way behind. What’s this beat up, piece of cardboard? “Selective Service System – Texas Local Board 30.” The reason this particular card is in bad shape is that I had to carry it with me wherever I went. It is my draft card, Number 12, written by a goosequill pen on parchment. (I go way back.) Remember the military draft? It was abolished in 1973, so if you were born after 1955 you do not know the agony of Uncle Sam wanting you, whether you wanted Uncle Sam or not. The draft was part of our society, something that … [Read more...] about Is there a draft in here?
Why do Texans keep making ourselves the laughingstock of the nation? Because we keep electing people who are either (1) stupid, (2) incompetent, (3) mean-spirited or (4) a total of (1), (2) and (3). This is the state whose Legislature honored Albert DeSalvo “for his work in population control.” Later the lawmakers discovered DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. Gotcha! Former Speaker Gus Mutscher noted some disabled petitioners in wheelchairs in the House balcony. Mutscher said: “Now why don’t you folks stand and be recognized?” And there was Sen. Walter “Mad Dog” Mengden who stormed: “And that’s the problem, if there is a problem, which I deny!” Still, we must remember we elected (twice) a governor who called out the Texas State Guard to monitor the U.S. Army which was conducting a … [Read more...] about Be alert — we need more lerts