Month: July 2021

The Future Of Texas

Mimi Swartz is the executive editor of Texas Monthly and is based in Houston. Richard Parker is an author writing about the Southwest. They both had opinion pieces in The New York Times on July 15 about the great state of Texas and how the political agenda of the Texas GOP has veered the state off course.

Flighty Texas Democrats

If you can’t win a political argument, I guess you can run away. That’s what the Democrats in the Texas State Legislature decided to do to avoid the passage of the voter suppression legislation pushed by Republican legislators and Governor Abbott. Abbott is furious that the Dems left and broke the needed quorum in the state legislature. My guess is that he will deploy the Department of Public Safety to arrest and jail the Democrats when they return home and then call another special session of the legislature until he gets what he wants.

Frozen

In The New York Times on Sunday, July 4, Alexander Burns writes about the immutability of the current split in the American electorate. No matter what President Biden accomplishes, about 53% of the voters will approve and 47% will not. Despite the awful loss by President Trump in 2020 (by 7 million votes), he still won 25 states. Between that, the deep divide between whites and everyone else being exploited by the GOP, the suppression of voting by Republican state legislatures, and even the financial misdeeds alleged of the Trump Organization, Mr. Trump is still popular and has a strangle hold on the Republican Party. It is frankly amazing.

DC Hot Air; Houston Weather

It had been a while since I had been in Washington, DC in the summer. I had almost forgotten. Almost, but not quite. As soon as I emerged from the huge, air-conditioned Ford Expedition I had to drive to cart around four suitcases, two golf bags and four people from Philadelphia to the Jersey shore to Baltimore and on to DC, my skin and nose immediately recalled that sensation from so long ago. It was Washington’s unique hot air—heavy, dirty and humid. Playing golf in it was way worse than playing in the same temperature in Houston.

The Little Voice Inside My Head

I bought a Robert Graham tee shirt with that saying on it. It’s pretty ambiguous. What does it mean?

For many years it would have meant nothing to me. It was not until much later in life that I learned about mindfulness and meditation and other aspects of self-discovery. I got deep into it at one point and though I am not in therapy now, nor do I have a meditation practice any longer, those things that I learned when I was in therapy and when I was meditating have been retained.

Vaccine Mandates

Dr. Aaron E. Carroll is the chief health officer for Indiana University. IU is one of 500 colleges and universities that have mandated covid vaccination. Houston Methodist Hospital has done the same and fired those who would not get vaccinated without a medical or religious reason to be exempt. As Dr. Carroll points out in his opinion piece in The New York Times on June 29, more mandates are coming and they ought to.

High School Friends

I’ve known my best friend for almost fifty years now. I married her 49 years ago this August. I have friends from medical school who have known me longer. One is on staff at MD Anderson and one is my cardiologist at St. Luke’s. I have a friend from college who lives in Colorado who has known me longer than my wife, but other than family, no one has known me longer than my high school friends. One friendship goes back over sixty years to the mid-1950s. I was the best man at both of their weddings and they were in my wedding party as well.

All Fall Down

Things need constant care. I learned that the hard way as an administrator. I was constantly touching base with my managers as to how projects were progressing, what problems they were encountering, and how the morale of our personnel was at any given moment. What were the managers’ needs in time and resources? That was my immediate concern every day, all day. Then it was fulfilling the needs of the faculty. Were we doing our job of service with a sense of urgency? That was my question to myself every day.