Columns/Opinions

Thu
08
May
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Letters to the Editor 05/08/2014

To editor of Robertson county Robco News, Dennis Phillips

Last week, I received a phone call from Rep. Bill Flores asking me to join a town hall meeting. He said to press #3 on my phone if I wanted to ask a question. I tried, but the only questions he took were set ups for talking points. It was the same situation when I attended a town hall meeting at the Bush Library with farmers from Mumford. We wrote down our questions, and someone chose the ones that Rep. Flores wanted to answer. They were mostly targeted for the tea party. 

Thu
08
May
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Nothing personal, it’s just policy

Elections in Robertson County have proven, at least for myself, to be a stressful time. From the day I arrived at this newspaper, we were launched head first into a county election that was as heated as I have ever seen, and I have covered some very heated elections. 

If there is one thing every candidate or support group wants from the newspaper is free publicity. This request generally arrives in the form of a “Letter to the Editor” from a person that is supporting a candidate.

Over the many years, I learned these types of “Letters To The Editor” were in fact, advertising. Let’s think on that for just a second. If you support a candidate and send a “Letter” of support to the newspaper, should we really run that letter as an opinion-based open letter to the public? That practice would be misleading to our readers and will not happen at this newspaper.

Thu
10
Apr
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Shamu is no dolphin caught in a tuna net

With the release of the independent film “Blackfish” more attention has been given to the treatment of Killer Whales held in captivity by amusement parks such as SeaWorld. Blackfish’s director Gabriela Cowperthwaite was looking to make a difference with her riveting tale of the death of SeaWorld killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau. The release of the film was intended to spotlight the treatment of Killer Whales in captivity, but SeaWorld took it personal.

Perhaps they should have. The movie features a SeaWorld Killer Whale named Tilikum, a whale that is blamed for three deaths and is still a main breeder whale for Sea world.

Tue
01
Apr
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You want to jump off what?

In recent news, four men BASE-jumped off the new One World Trade Center building. If you are unfamiliar with BASE-jumping it is a daredevil type act in which you leap from a tall standing structure, deploy a parachute, and float to the ground.
In the world of BASE-jumping, the higher or more famous the structure, the cooler you appear to other BASE jumpers and thrill seekers. Now while the word “BASE” describes the type of jump, it is also an acronym — B.A.S.E. that stands for the four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump. Building, Antenna, Span (bridges) and Earth (cliffs).
Once a jumper has conquered all four categories, with proof of the jumps, they can then apply for a base number. As if that was not enough a new category was created as the thrill seekers joined in on the fun, night BASE-jumping. As it sounds, to jump from the four categories during the night will gain you another spot in the BASE jumpers log.

Thu
27
Feb

US second overall in Sochi

I have gotten a sense that the 2014 Winter Olympics was not as well attended by US viewers as the previous Olympic games. Was it due to the fact that there was no real celebrity present? Shaun White competed, but fell short of a medal. In fact, Shaun looked more like a business man then a snowboarder.
The host country of Russia came out on top in both gold medals as overall medal wins. Russia fell short in the one event they hung their hopes in, hockey. That honor of gold, in the most traditional sport, went to Canada. Russian President Vladimir Putan went so far as to stress his disappointment with the Russian men’s hockey team.
As for the US men’s hockey, so close, but so far away.
The Women’s Hockey team did a great job, just losing to Canada in the medal round, but still securing silver.

Thu
20
Feb

Flushing Technology

It seems that technology has in fact penetrated every aspect of human exsistence. We carry our cell phones everywhere we go, our ipads and eReaders are hand in hand with everyday functionality. Until recently, I was blissful in my thinking that the restroom, both public and at home was still a sanctuary from technology. Let’s face it, not much to do in a bathroom except for, of course, what a bathroom is intended. Like I said, ignorance was bliss.

Thu
06
Feb

America the Beautiful

While the Super Bowl may have been a blowout and as entertaining as watching moss grow on a rock, the over-priced prime-time commercials can be entertaining. You have your favorites and then you have your favorite flops, so I think I will start with the flops.
Top of my FAILed commercial list for the Super Bowl ads, Coke with their multi-language version of American The Beautiful. The commercial opens in English, but quickly changes to Spanish, then on to another language and so on throughout the entire song.
America is a melting pot; this is unquestioned. I get what they are trying to accomplish, I just think they failed to get the message across. Instead Coke offered a confused commercial that left viewers asking, “what was that.”

Thu
30
Jan

Everywhere you look is another sign

Politically speaking, signs seem to pop up everywhere. Candidates flock to area sign businesses and work very hard at getting those signs in the right locations.
Over the years, I have been asked to display these signs at the newspaper office and I have always stayed out of the sign game, but I think I will change my tune.
I’m offering all you political candidates the opportunity to display your sign in our windows. That’s right, you can take advantage of our huge windows located at 3rd and Magnolia Street in downtown Hearne, right across the street from Ace Hardware.
Why? I want to help out and more importantly; I want the newspaper to help. It has occurred to me that these folks running for office are more than just political hopefuls; they are our neighbors and friends. I believe that everyone running for office has the best interest of this county at heart.

Thu
16
Jan

Public records not always intack

In last week’s article I wrote of Danny Tarver who is running for public office. Tarver was arrested for Theft of Services, a Class B Misdemeanor that later was plead to a Class C Misdemeanor. What was missing from his public records is the fact that the Class C was eventually dismissed.
Tarver came to my office this week with claims of the dismissal, and in truth, I like most reporters go on court records as fact, and the fact is, the court records showed the conviction for a Class C Theft.
The missing court record, the dismissal record, was lost in the system and never posted to a website, or updated to Tarver’s file. Tarver spent most of the day on Wednesday, before press time at the Brazos County Courthouse searching for his dismissal. Clerks in that office could not find it and in fact sent him to other places, but to no avail. Tarver himself was just about convinced that the record did not exist, but then chance would step in and a wrong could be undone.

Fri
10
Jan

Public office means public trust

Call me hopeful, but I believe that if a person is going to run for public office, no matter the office they should be considered pillars of a community. A person with ethics, of moral value and the foresight to understand that if you have a criminal record you should not throw your hat into the public office ring.
Before I get to the meat of this article, I ask you, as a resident of Robertson County and a citizen of the United States, are you willing to vote for a person if they have a criminal record?
I can only answer no. I believe that if a person has a criminal record they cannot serve the public trust. A convicted person, I do not believe, has the moral fiber that I require to be in office. I do not believe a criminal of any status has the ability to serve my family, my friends, and the residents of the county, state and country where I live.

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