Commentary

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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It may not be obvious from the news coverage, but a good bit of Congress’s 2015 agenda just landed on Capitol Hill with a thud. I mean this literally. The federal budget that President Obama recently submitted runs to 2,000 pages.

This is the most important government document produced each year, so its heft is more than physical. The budget is how we decide what share of this country’s economic resources we should devote to government — and how we should spend them.

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I just returned home from the annual convention of the Texas Community College Teachers’ Association (TCCTA), held this year in Dallas. The decrease in demand for traditional bound textbooks was clearly evident in the exhibit hall of the TCCTA convention.

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When a natural disaster strikes a community, it does not discriminate – wreaking havoc on the rich and poor, just and unjust, people of every race, religion and social status. Southeast Texas was ravaged by two killer hurricanes in the past decade – Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008.

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The Bible has much to say about hearts, and I was rather surprised today when reading in Scripture several of the more prominent verses having to do with the human heart. “Who can know the heart?” is one such reference. We are told to love with all our hearts, not to have a double heart, and that as a man (or woman) thinks in his heart, so is he.

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Q. Two years ago, my siblings and I inherited some land owned by our father. There are about 200 acres. Now, three of us want to sell, but one refuses. Can we force our brother to sell the property?

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Amazon Fire Phone

While there are still many users of the simple and basic cellular phone, sales of more capable smart phones have been explosive. At a recent concert, it seemed that most of the audience was taking concert photos with smart phones, and while a few used larger tablets, I did not see a traditional camera in the audience.

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Landscaping at The Grove Restaurant in Houston

When we have spring-like weather in February, I am reminded of my precious former mother-in-law, Mimi. Mimi was raised in a rambling country house near DeLeon, the real home of Dr Pepper. She was the oldest of 16 children. They knew their garden and they knew the weather. She warned every year to not be fooled by those balmy breezes in the midst of winter.

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Some bad ideas never seem to go away, especially in the Texas Legislature. That is certainly the case with the voucher movement to divert taxpayer dollars to private or religious schools. It is a tough sell to a majority of legislators – and the citizens they represent – at a time when public education funding in this state is on the chopping block in every session.

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