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Texas Standard: September 10, 2019

Midland-Odessa, El Paso, Santa Fe, Sutherland Springs… We’ll take a look at laws that may have helped prevent these mass shootings. Also, three Texas border cities are part of the Trump Administration’s so-called “remain in Mexico” program. But there’s some confusion in the rollout, we’ll explore. And a think tank with a focus on renewables…

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Texas Standard: July 25, 2019

Despite concerns over bias, judges rule Texas can remake its political maps without Federal oversight. We’ll take a look at what that means moving forward. Also, how did Texas lawmakers on both sides of the aisle try to score points in Wednesdays Mueller hearings? We’ll take a closer look. And danger people at work: on…

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What’s In A Name – The Rio Grande Valley

When some people first arrive in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas they often ask, “Where are the mountains?” It’s natural. Generally a valley is between mountains or at least hills. But the Rio Grande Valley is most accurately a delta region, as level as Lubbock. The highest roadway point is the 80-foot summit…

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Texas Standard: March 28, 2019

A tipping point at the border and pessimistic projections about the possibility of tragedy amid record numbers of asylum seekers. We’ll have the latest from El Paso where migrant families are being fenced into a makeshift shelter under a highway bridge. Also, a Texas mother files a federal lawsuit seeking 125 million from the Weather…

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Texas Standard: February 28, 2019

A key provision of the Texas open meetings act struck down by the state’s highest criminal court. We’ll look at what it means for government transparency. Also, the state’s school librarians read the fine print of a bill to hike teacher salaries, and they’re pushing back. We’ll hear from the state’s top librarian. Plus the…

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Texans Have A Funny Relationship With The Letter ‘R’

Texas Monthly once described the joke I’m about to tell you as THE TEXAS JOKE because of its staying power over many decades: A married couple from out of state were driving across Texas and saw a sign that said “Mexia 22 miles.” They got into a bit of an argument over how to say…

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Things Shaped Like Texas

Texans tend to love the shape of Texas — and to buy items, including food, in that shape. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

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In 15 Minutes, Barbara Jordan Built A Legacy

Andy Warhol summed up our modern, technology-driven world: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” But Barbara Jordan turned this idea on its head. In 15 minutes, she delivered a speech that gave her lasting, worldwide fame. She was only 38 when she, on national television, argued for the indictment of Richard…

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Ten Songs About Lovin’ The Lone Star State

About six months ago, I took a look at songs about Texas towns – “Amarillo by Morning,” “Galveston,” “La Grange,” “Streets of Laredo,” “China Grove,” etc. Now I figure, why not just do Texas? Let’s talk about songs that show their love for Texas in a Texas-sized way – paying homage to the whole state…

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Samuel Walker: The Real Walker, Texas Ranger

One of the most fascinating Texas Rangers of all time was Samuel Hamilton Walker — no relation, we should say right off the bat, to Chuck Norris’ fictional character Cordell Walker. Many Ranger aficionados rate Sam Walker the second-most-important Texas Ranger of all time, behind Jack Coffee Hays, with whom Walker rangered. Now that’s a…

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Texas Ice Scrapers

The weather in Texas set record lows this week. School districts and city offices shut down because of — what’s that? Is that ice? Why is there ice sticking on my windshield? That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

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A Handy Guide To The Most Texas-Loving Pages On Facebook

Back when Facebook was new on the net, in order to spur participation on the platform, Facebook made a page for every state and issued a challenge: “Let’s see which state can get to a million likes first.” Texas won and won handily. It wasn’t even close. Given Texas’s galactic reputation for state pride, the…

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Texas Standard: July 31, 2017

Rewriting a constitution. That’s now a possibility in Venezuela. We’ll explore how the US may respond. Plus, there’s been a full reversal at The Texas Department of Public Safety: Local law enforcement won’t have to pay to send evidence to be tested at the crime lab. And we’re traveling back in Texas time to when…

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Lingo for Gringos: Ten Spanish Words All Anglos Should Know

I call this commentary “Lingo for Gringos” mostly because it rhymes, but it should really be called “Ten Spanish Words all Texans Should Know.” I’m not talking about the easy words like cerveza, vino, tortilla, taco and baño. And I’m not talking about the common words you say every day that are actually Spanish words – patio, plaza,…

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Three Texas Pride Stories

I’ve been sad lately noticing how the oral tradition seems to be dying. Twenty years ago friends would often come up to me on the street and say, “Hey, I got a story for you.” But now they just come up to me and hold out their phone and say, “Seen this?” And laugh. Not…

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Gerrymandering

A federal court ruled recently that Texas lawmakers were intentionally discriminatory when it came to drawing congressional maps. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

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Might Oughta Talk About Texas Grammar

In Texas we are mighty big on the word “mighty.” Mighty is used as a ubiquitous adjective. Mighty pretty, mighty ugly, mighty expensive, etc. The word “might” (mighty’s cousin) is popular, too. It is used in place of maybe. Instead of saying, “maybe I can help you Sunday,” we say, “I might be able to…

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What It Means to Be a Texas Gentleman

One of my favorite, but now largely unknown speakers in American history was Robert Green Ingersoll. Redwater, Texas was originally named Ingersoll – after him. He was a philosopher and a popular intellectual, the most sought after orator of his time. He left us many fine proverbs. One of my favorites is this: “The greatest…

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Willie Nelson

It’s a common misconception that all Texans love country music. Sure, a lot of us do but you’ll find plenty of Texans that just don’t care for it. Unless it’s Willie Nelson. We all love Willie.

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Trying to Talk Texan? Let Your Words Lean Into Each Other

A nice lady wrote to me not long ago and said that she was happy to have a son with a good, solid, two-syllable Texas name. “His name is ‘Ben,’”she wrote. I loved that. We do that, don’t we? Well, many of us do, anyway. There are 30 million Texans so there are many dialects…

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