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Stop signs are forever: Checkpointless

It’s Labor Day Weekend across this great nation, which means a three-day weekend of barbecues, trips to the lake, and, of course, the temporary suspension of the Fourth Amendment. It’s one of those rare occasions when we can reconnect with old friends, provide the kids with some life-long memories, and be subjected to search and seizure methods on par with a third-world country.

Railroad commissioners’ purview extends far beyond trains

This November, Texas voters will elect someone new to most of the state-wide offices: the Office of the Governor; Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Agriculture Commissioner, Land Commissioner, and Railroad Commissioner. Over the next several weeks, I will talk about the duties and powers of each office, and how the office effects the lives of Texans.

Buckets of misplaced charity

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks — and even then, I imagine the icy images would have found their way under your slab — you’ve likely heard of the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” If you haven’t — maybe you’re an Unfrozen Cave Man Lawyer , I’m not here to judge — it’s a bunch of people ostensibly trying to bring attention to Lou Gehrig’s disease by dumping freezing water over their heads. For all its faults, at least that step in logic makes sense.

Where have you gone Mrs. Helena Fair?

Besides learning diaphragmatic singing in the Kate Wakefield Elementary choir, writing a check and memorizing my social security number in Dillingham Middle School, learning the checks and balances of government in my senior civics class, my most important class lesson was in Mrs. Helena Fair’s Health Occupation Students of America-HOSA. During the 1977-1978 school year, Mrs. Fair, unannounced, brought in a guest speaker to talk to our class of 20 girls. She was a nurse employed by the Grayson County Health Department and the subject was birth control and contraceptives.

Reminiscant: My longest day

Aug. 22, 1944, during WWII, was surely the longest day of my life, despite the fact that I was only 19 at the time. On that day my plane was shot down over Yugoslavia on a bombing raid, and it was the prelude to almost nine months of harsh imprisonment as a POW in Germany.

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MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: I just wanted a hamburger

I just wanted a hamburger. I was hungry. I was driving by a fast-food restaurant, so I pulled into the drive through and placed my order. “I’ll have a hamburger,” I clearly say. But to get my hamburger I had to refuse a drink, french fries, an apple pie, and a pair of socks.

The need for speed … limits

So begins the Wikipedia article on inertia: “Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed.” Simply put, things don’t change on their own. It takes force. It takes friction.

Moneyball rules

These days the term “moneyball,” which originally described the rigorous application of data analysis to choosing and valuing baseball players, is broadly applied to making decisions about politics, education, and numerous other pursuits. For example, I read in a recent “Wall Street Journal” that a high school graduate planning to pursue a career as a computer programmer would be foolish to go to college because he or she could master the needed skills much quicker in a trade school and earn just as much as the college grad.

Even after his death Tom Brandon’s passions yield fruit

When a dear friend dies, we usually think of what we have lost. But when my friend and former pastor, Dr. Tom Brandon, died last week, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of what I and the Sherman community had gained through his life and ministry. One example comes from recalling a time that First Baptist Church had a Sunday in which we were honoring Dr. Brandon for 25 years of service and he of course was preaching. He surprised me and others by using the scripture from John 3:30 that says, “He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease.” Right in the middle of being honored, he taught us that honoring Christ must always be our priority.

Local prisoner of war camp remembered

Newcomers to this area and sometimes those who have been around a few years occasionally ask about and are surprised that a Prisoner of War Camp was located just west of the Denison Dam beyond the present spillway area at the end of World War II. The camp was built to house 150 prisoners.