Columns/Opinions

Tue
01
May
Edgar's picture

In Texas elections, there’s power in small numbers

By ROSS RAMSEY

In the last presidential election — normally the high-water mark for turnout in any state — 9.0 million Texans voted, out of the 15.1 million who were registered to vote at that time. That’s just a touch under 60 percent.

You already know that voter turnout in Texas is, according to a recent report, worse than almost any place else. “Almost” means Hawaii. And if turnout is bad in big and noisy elections for president, imagine the numbers just ahead in the 34 party primary election runoffs on May 22 — or worse, in the just-called June 30 special election to replace Corpus Christi Republican Blake Farenthold in Congress.

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Tue
01
May
Edgar's picture

When Amazon Sells Bulls

By LEE PITTS

High tech has destroyed businesses, turned Main Street into a ghost town, and driven your Fed Ex and UPS delivery person to sheer exhaustion. Forget the mall, Americans are shopping on their cell phones. One of the few industries high tech has not tipped over yet is the bull business, but it’s only a matter of time. Here’s how, and who, you’ll be buying your bulls from in the future.

Amazon- You’ll buy your bulls on your cell phone and Amazon will deliver them free if you are a member of Amazon Prime Bulls. (But not Amazon Choice.) To join Amazon Prime Bulls you must pay $10,000 up front before buying a single bull. Your bulls will be delivered by your Postal Service mail carrier and I hope your bulls arrive in better shape than my mail does.

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Tue
24
Apr
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A better fight against cattle fever ticks

By FEDERICO NIETO

marIn the late 1800s and early 1900s a disease termed cattle fever caused enormous economic losses to the cattle industry. It is deadly to cattle that have not developed an immunity, and the mortality rate is estimated to be up to 90 percent in these “naive” cattle. The disease was found to be transferred from animal to animal by a tick found in much of the southern United States. The only viable way to prevent the disease is to control the tick that spreads it.

Today, the disease and its vector, referred to as the cattle fever tick, are not well known to most Americans who reside outside of South Texas, even those who raise cattle for a living. That is because the tick was largely eradicated from the United States by 1943, preventing the spread of the deadly disease. A cooperative effort between ranchers and state and federal authorities pushed the tick back to Mexico and established a buffer that became the permanent quarantine zone.

Tue
24
Apr
Edgar's picture

Looketh unto the hills

By DON NEWBURY

Waxing biblical comes easily when one visits beautiful Colorado. If we “looketh up”--as the psalmists did--we can do them one better on the topic of elevation. In Psalm 121, they “lifted their eyes unto the hills” from which “cameth” their strength. How about gazing even higher--yea, toward the mountains, for relaxation and refreshment? (Colorado leads the nation with 53 peaks towering more than 14,000 feet, well ahead of Alaska’s 29.)

On April’s second weekend, my wife and I flew to Denver, then drove upward to picturesque Mt. Crested Butte. It is one of the numerous Colorado meccas that induces skiers to salivate, dreaming of silken slopes by day and cozy fireplaces by night.

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Tue
17
Apr
Edgar's picture

Online purchase scams are the riskiest type of fraud, according to BBB Scam Tracker

By HEATHER MASSEY

Online purchase scams are now the riskiest form of consumer fraud, according to a new report from the Better Business Bureau. In 2017, consumers reported more than 47,000 scams to BBB Scam Tracker. BBB analyzed this information using its unique BBB Scam Risk Index to determine the riskiest scams based on exposure, susceptibility, and monetary loss. The findings, released for National Consumer Protection Week show some significant changes from 2016:

• Tax collection scams decreased 60 percent in volume of reports, likely due to the arrest in India in 2016 of the ringleader of a network of call centers primarily responsible for the IRS scam.

 

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Tue
17
Apr
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Energy Security is National Security

By WILL HURD

Folks in the 23rd District know well that West Texas energy fuels our economy. In fact, the Texas portion of the Permian Basin alone provides more than 444,000 jobs, contributes more than $60.2 billion to the Gross State Product of Texas and generates $113.6 billion in economic output for local communities.

What’s equally as important is that energy security is national security. Many folks don’t realize the hardworking Texans getting in their trucks each morning to work on nearby rigs or at refineries are doing much more than earning a paycheck – they are playing an important role protecting our nation from threats abroad. Here’s why:

Due to the discovery of significant reserves across the United States, including the Permian Basin, the nation has ramped up domestic oil production. In doing so, we have reduced our dependence on other oil producing nations while concurrently securing and improving our economy.

 

Tue
10
Apr
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Texas lawmakers asked for a study on open government. They’re still waiting

By ROSS RAMSEY

 

It makes little sense to scold someone without first reminding them that they are supposed to take care of something — and that they haven’t taken care of it yet. Hold the scolding, then, but here’s the prompt: Tie reminder ribbons around.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ index fingers. The Texas Legislature unanimously passed — and the governor signed — a Senate resolution last year to create a committee to work on patches to the state’s open information laws.

 

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Tue
10
Apr
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Building repeat business with effective selling

By BUSINESS TIPS

 

In all honesty some folks are natural born sales people who have the “gift of gab” or are naturally charismatic. Sales are one of the functions of marketing. Training the sales force is most often overlooked in terms of budget allocation yet it is heavily relied upon to increase and sustain cash flow. Here are the top three objections clients show when a sales person is attempting to close the sale:

 

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Tue
03
Apr
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Soymanella Poisoning

By LEE PITTS

I don't know about you but I became a little irritated when I read that two of the three largest meat processors have made sizable investments in upstarts that produce fake meat. So, in addition to all the other things we have to worry about, now we have to be concerned that somebody might be slipping us a seaweed burger or a tofu steak. As a public service I've made a list of ways to tell if you are about to eat, or have eaten, fake meat.

• Right after dinner there is a run on mouthwash, Pepto Bismol and Tic Tacs.

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Tue
03
Apr
Edgar's picture

Question to appear on upcoming census stirs opposing viewpoints

By Ed Sterling | Texas Press Association

AUSTIN — Ted Cruz of Texas was one of three United States senators who requested that respondents to the 2020 decennial census be asked if they are citizens of the United States.

When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross responded in the affirmative last week, Cruz said, “I applaud Secretary Ross for honoring this request by my colleagues and me. It is imperative that the data gathered in the census is reliable, given the wide-ranging impacts it will have on U.S. policy. A question on citizenship is a reasonable, commonsense addition to the census.”

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