Piece of Mind

Piece of Mind: Our Climate Is Changing!

Jul 25, 2021
Sci Tech photo

We have reached critical mass, it appears to me, on the issue of climate change.

There should be no more debate on what to do "when the time comes." It has come. We're there. Earth's climate, I fear, has changed to the point that it might be too late to stop the effect we human beings are having on the planet we call home.

Piece of Mind: Pride Causes Stir in Princeton

Jul 22, 2021
John Kanelis

Pride has shown itself in Princeton in a manner – depending on your point of view – that presents a positive or a negative image for a rapidly growing Collin County community.

The term “pride” refers to gay pride and a movement among those to declare one’s pride in their sexual orientation. Princeton was the site of its first LGBTQ+Pride celebration on June 26 … and organizers intend for it to be the start of an annual event.

Piece of Mind: DACA Recipients Deserve Protection

Jul 18, 2021
AP Photo

The young men and women who reside in the United States need not be kicked around in a political skirmish that involves a decision made by their elders.

I refer to those who live here under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals provision that was enacted through executive order by President Obama, but has been ruled unlawful by a federal judge in Texas.

Piece of Mind: Paxton Faces Tough Campaign

Jul 16, 2021
Public domain

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has endured, shall we say, a rocky tenure as the state's chief legal eagle.

The former Collin County state legislator has been indicted for securities fraud and is awaiting state court trial; he has been accused of wrong doing by seven top assistants in the Texas AG's office of doing illegal business; he has sought to overturn free and fair results in the 2020 presidential election only to have the U.S. Supreme Court toss his lawsuits out with nary so much as a hearing.

Piece of Mind: Seen ... A Live Armadillo!

Jul 14, 2021
File photo

MARTIN DIES JR. STATE PARK, Texas -- You know the saying about there being "a first time for everything."

This particular "first time" took many decades to present itself.

My wife and I saw a live armadillo scampering along a park road in this lovely state park deep in the Pineywoods of East Texas.

Piece of Mind: This Is No 'Space Race'

Jul 11, 2021
AP photo

This is what passes for a "space race" these days?

Two insanely rich business moguls -- Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos -- vying to see who between them can be the first to fly into the lower reaches of outer space?

Piece of Mind: Pay Legislative Staff, Governor

Jul 9, 2021
Dallas Morning News

Surely I am not the only Texas observer who sees a certain irony in Gov. Greg Abbott summoning legislators back to Austin for a special session ... given his veto of money to pay for legislative staffers' salaries.

Think of this for just a moment.

Piece of Mind: Get Vaccinated, Texans!

Jul 7, 2021
WXOW photo

This isn’t good news, folks.

Texans like to boast about how our state is No. 1. Well, we are far from No. 1 in the rate of inoculation against that killer virus, the COVID-19 pandemic that’s still killing too many of us.

Piece of Mind: West Figures To Enliven GOP Contest

Jul 5, 2021
Dallas Morning News

This is just dandy.

A right-wing former one-term Florida congressman is now seeking to become Texas's next governor by suggesting that the current right-wing governor isn't right-wing enough.

Piece of Mind: Courthouse Work Progressing

Jul 2, 2021
Fannin County Historical Commission/Facebook

Fannin County Judge Randy Moore sounds like a happy man these days.

And why not? A project he inherited when he took office in 2019 is inching closer to completion … and it’s a big one: the restoration of the 1888-era county courthouse in downtown Bonham.

Piece of Mind: Hoping For The Best

Jun 29, 2021

OK. I still oppose the legislation that will become law effective Sept. 1.

However, I am going to enter a new phase of opposition. I want to give “permit-less carry of handguns” a chance to work until – or if – my worst fears become a reality.

Piece of Mind: Climate Change Is So Very Real

Jun 27, 2021
File art

Under most circumstances, I am not usually prone to hold up singular weather events as evidence of climate change.

I know the difference between weather and climate. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time. When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather.

Piece of Mind: Compromise Works!

Jun 24, 2021
The Hill

“We have a deal.”

So said President Biden as he announced a bipartisan agreement to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure.

Piece of Mind: Rep. Slaton Becomes A 'Cockroach'

Jun 23, 2021
Greenville Herald-Banner

It didn’t take Bryan Slaton long to make a name for himself in the Texas Legislature.

I don’t know the young man well, but I am going to presume that the Royse City Republican isn’t going to take all that seriously the title bestowed to him by Texas Monthly as it rated the performance of the best and worst among the state’s legislative assembly.

AP Photo

Gov. Greg Abbott is playing hardball, all right.

Except that he has aimed his “high hard fastball” at hundreds of legislative staffers who do not deserve to suffer from the governor’s anger.

Piece of Mind: Casinos Die A Needed Death

Jun 17, 2021
Texas Tribune

You can count me as one Texan who is glad that the Legislature fell short in a plan to put a measure on the ballot that would determine whether we should allow big-time gambling at casinos in the state.

I need to stipulate that when the Texas Lottery came into being in 1991, I argued on behalf of the newspaper where I worked at the time against the creation of the lottery; it was approved by something around 70 percent of the vote.

Public Domain

It’s not every day that Northeast Texas gets a new lake, providing potable water and assorted recreational opportunities to thousands of residents and visitors to the region.

That’s what the region is getting, though, with the creation of Bois d’Arc Lake, which is filling up rapidly in Fannin County just north of Bonham.

Piece of Mind: Gohmert Goes Goofy

Jun 10, 2021
The Hill

This question deserves to be asked: Is Louie Gohmert really as stupid as he sounds?

The Republican congressman from Tyler actually wondered aloud during a House committee hearing whether the U.S. Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service could — get ready for it — change the moon’s orbit around Earth or Earth’s orbit around the sun. 

Piece of Mind: Texas AG Gets Primary Challenge

Jun 7, 2021
Texarkana Gazette

Texas needs an attorney general who:

  • Isn't under indictment and is awaiting trial in state court for securities fraud.
  • Isn't being investigated by the FBI on complaints leveled by former highly placed legal staffers that he is breaking federal law.
  • Doesn't file lawsuits alleging that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from a crooked president who promotes the Big Lie about election fraud.

Piece of Mind: 'Assault On Democracy' Explained

Jun 2, 2021
File photo

A critic of my personal blog – High Plains Blogger -- wants to know how Texas’s efforts to restrict voting is an “assault on democracy,” as President Biden has described it.

I’ll take the bait and offer what I believe is an explanation for all to read.

Piece of Mind: What's The Rush, Lt. Gov. Patrick?

May 28, 2021

Dan Patrick continues to exhibit traits that just pi** me off royally.

The Texas lieutenant governor is trying to pressure another fairly loathsome politician — Gov. Greg Abbott — into calling a special legislative session in June. Why? Because the lieutenant governor wants the Legislature to enact some conservative bills that aren’t going to make it to Abbott’s desk when the regular session ends in a few days.

Piece of Mind: Stop 'Cooking' Inmates

May 17, 2021

Not long after I reported for work at the Amarillo Globe-News, I got an invitation to tour the William P. Clements Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

It was, um, an edifying experience. I learned a lot about how TDCJ treats the 3,000-plus men who are serving some seriously hard time for felony crimes.

Piece of Mind: Redistricting Hassle Awaits

May 11, 2021
Texas Tribune

Show me a legislator from any state in the Union who enjoys a particular task that awaits them and I will show you a certifiable masochist.

That task has to do with redrawing the boundaries of the congressional districts that lie within that state as well as the state senate and house seats.

Piece of Mind: 'No' On Abortion Ban

May 10, 2021
File photo

If I were to declare my opposition to a strict anti-abortion bill headed for approval in the Texas Legislature, would you consider me to be “pro-abortion”?

If you say “yes,” you would be wrong.

Piece of Mind: A Charter For Princeton?

May 7, 2021
File art

Will the fifth time be the charm for Princeton, Texas, to establish a home rule charter?

The City Council has decided to call an election for this coming November that will be the first of a two-step process that officials hope will produce a home rule charter for the rapidly growing Collin County community.

Piece of Mind: A Photo Changed The Nation

May 4, 2021
John Filo

Does the name Mary Ann Vecchio ring a bell with you? Does it strike a familiar note? Hmmm … ?

It didn’t hit me, either, until I opened up a story online from the Washington Post Magazine. I read about Mary Ann Vecchio, who as the author of the Post piece described her, was the most well-known mystery person on Earth.

Piece of Mind: Masks Look 'Normal'

Apr 30, 2021
Masks have become so very normal these days.
File art

This isn't an original thought from me, but I want to share it anyway.

It's that I am feeling kinda/sorta "normal" wearing my mask when I venture out there, mingling with total strangers.

Piece of Mind: From Suck-Up To Critic?

Apr 29, 2021
File photo

In the highly unlikely event that Donald J. Trump decides to try once again to be elected president of the United States in 2024, I am left to wonder about how a potential foe might react to the idea of running — once more — against The Donald.

Sen. Ted Cruz wants to become president. The Texas Republican made an effort toward that end in 2016. Along the way he and the eventual GOP nominee Trump clashed repeatedly and harshly.

Piece of Mind: Teacher Makes Serious Error

Apr 24, 2021
Provided photo

Allow me this bit of unsolicited advice to educators everywhere: Do not engage in “jokes” that seem to mirror hideous news events.

So it is, then, that a Greenville Independent School District teacher has resigned after being suspended over a picture of her placing her foot on the back of a Lamar Elementary School student’s neck. Sound familiar?

Piece of Mind: Happy Earth Day!

Apr 22, 2021
File art

We celebrate this day every year. We say the right things. We actually try to do the right things.

And yet …

Our precious, precarious planet continues to be threatened by policies and behavior that places it in dire peril. What’s going on?