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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 29 years."


SS,DD.......The vote last week on the Texas Speaker’s race is a microcosm on everything that’s wrong with the Texas legislature. Tom Craddick of Midland was elected as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives when the Republicans took over in the 2002 election, and he was elected again last week, now the longest serving Speaker.

When Craddick was first sworn in, Tom DeLay stood behind him and together they both were involved in ARMPAC which sought to have Texas redistricted. They were successful and Craddick has gone from there to become the same type of “hammer” that DeLay was notorious for: “my way or the highway.”

A move to unseat him this year was brought because many representatives complained of Craddick’s autocratic leadership style and his strong-arming members to vote against their districts for fear of retaliation.

FYI: this is a different Tom Craddick than the one who was a member of the “Dirty 30” during the 70’s. That group pushed for ethics reform. Tom Craddick as we know him now never met an ethics he liked. He spent over $1 million of lobbyists’ and special interest group’s money redoing the 2,000 square foot speaker’s quarters in the capitol.

The vote this past week boiled down to whether the Lege would have a secret vote for the speaker or a roll call (open) vote. The general belief was that a secret vote meant that Craddick was toast, but an open vote, which would supposedly ultimately subject the could-be losers to the wrath of the Speaker, would insure Craddick’s victory.

The open vote carried the day with most Republicans voting for an open vote and most Democrats voting for a secret vote. Our legislative representatives in Fort Bend followed the party line.

One can make a case for and against an open vote. We elect our representatives. We have a right to know how they voted. They should have the courage to stand up and be counted. If the speaker is bad for the state, they should vote him out, no matter whether a secret vote or an open vote. And if he’s bad enough, as many of the representatives say privately, then a majority will vote him down.

On the other hand, we get to go to the ballot box and secretly vote for whom we want. Why can’t our legislators be afforded the same privilege?

Can’t use my teeth anymore.....Either I am getting feeble or packages are becoming much harder to open. I have to have a pair of scissors or a knife readily at hand when I want to open anything from a package of crackers to a child’s Christmas toy.

I noticed this past Christmas as I helped my grandsons open their Christmas presents that some toys took me several minutes to open, and I remember one particular package that required a screwdriver, of all things.

What do the manufacturers think a three year old is going to shoplift a toy if it doesn’t have 10 twist ties holding it in the box?

By the time I got one present opened, my grandsons had lost interest and moved on to another package that required just as much effort.

I should have listened when I was advised by Katie Couric to have all the presents open and assembled before Christmas morning.

But it’s not just children toys. I can understand medicines requiring muscles, scissors and a math degree to open them, but what about such mundane items as rubber spatulas, cake mixes, and a package of cookies. About the only thing still easy to open is milk and bread. Thank goodness I won’t ever starve.

Is it just my imagination or has make-up become very expensive? I believe it has steadily increased in price over the years. Oh, yeah, just my luck. Just about the time I get old and NEED more make up, it gets expensive.

Everybody talks about the weather....I maintain that all weather forecasters exaggerate the weather because they are jealous of their peers who get to talk about blood, murder, corruption, wrecks, and various other exciting things, including sports which really excites some people. Weather people have to try to make their reports more interesting to compete so they have a tendency to get excited about any weather that is the least out of the ordinary.

My parents used to call me from West Texas to see if we were washing away. “No, Mom, that was 50 miles from here and it always floods there,” I would say after she heard a compelling flood story on the television news, sports, and weather.

Case in point is that we’ve been warned about oncoming bad weather for days. Admittedly, it has been cold enough to drag out the full length coat that hasn’t seen the light of day in three years.

But an ice storm? Not yet. It stopped in San Antonio for a margarita and hasn’t got back on I-10 yet.

Additionally, most ice and snow catches us by surprise.

But the absolute excitement of television weather persons when bad weather MIGHT be in the offing is fun. Now that’s entertainment!

No, wait......Stafford has been exposed (?) to some entertainment on its municipal channel that one usually has to pay to see. It seems some sub-contractor of the television at Houston Community College, which operates Stafford’s Municipal Channel, decided to use the equipment to surreptitiously copy a pornographic tape to a DVD. This person evidently didn’t know as much about the equipment as he/she thought, because the porn ended up being shown on Stafford’s municipal channel. According to my source, at least one person called to complain. Well, at least that means the municipal channel is being watched.


Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 08, 2007