Category: Viewpoints

TEA Party Tea Leaves

The Freestone County TEA Party on Monday evening was opened in prayer by Henry Horton and the pledges to the U. S. and Texas flags.  Freestone County Judge Linda Grant was our first speaker.  Judge Grant gave an overview of how and when the county budget is determined to cover all expenses.  By looking at past budgets you can generally get an idea of future needs.  All years are different, however.  Because of a sizable drop in mineral values this year, as well as a protest by Luminant on their appraisal by the appraisal district, there is a large gap in anticipated revenues and budget requirements.  The difference in income requires a tax increase of no less than 5.4 percent to meet the effective tax rate which is what the tax assessor needs collect  to have no change in the budget.  The budget needs to provide services to all our people. Logan Wilson spoke passionately about his experience with Texas Central Railroad and their threat to condemn their family farm at Personville.  The Texas Central Railroad owns no tracks, no cars, no locomotives, no engineers, no brakemen, nothing related to trains! One would think this is a Texas based company funding this project, however 80 percent of investment money is provided by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation.  A petition to STOP the high speed rail has been signed...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch

The other day The Colonel drove by the barn as the cows were coming up.  He looked and saw Lucinda, the calf we raised because her mother died right after she was born.  We turned her out along with Leroy, another calf we raised although his mother had lived a little while, probably a couple or three months after he was born.  They usually still stick together although they run with the herd.  Neither one of them acts like the other calves, however.  We have never seen them run and play with the other calves but at least they stay with the herd.  The Colonel stopped the truck, “Ole Blue” when he saw Lucinda and called to her.  As she was walking over to the truck, he got out.  When she got to him he started petting her the way he always did when she was in the corral.  Lucinda raised her head so he could rub her neck.  He said a group of the other calves came up and stood there just looking at Lucinda and The Colonel as if they were thinking what in the world is going on here!  When he tried to pet one of them they would back off but so did Leroy who came up too.  I think he probably recognized his name but he didn’t seem to be overly friendly.  He was...

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Goat Gossip: Parasites – You’re Durned If You Do and You’re Durned If You Don’t

The East Texas Goat Raisers Association invites all folks to participate in their Fall Open Sale on Saturday, September 24th. We will start checking in animals at 8 a.m. until Noon. We will be changing the format of the sale. The meat goats and any goats the seller determines as commercial only will be sold first, by commercial we mean the seller does not want to guarantee the breeding soundness of the animal sold, then we will sell the market show wethers (we suggest that you clip the wethers to better present them to potential buyers), and following those we will sell the breeding and registered animals. The seller of breeding and registered Bucks and Does will have to sign a breeders guarantee in order to sell them as such. The ETGRA acts as an agent only and will only assist the buyers as an intermediary should a problem arise with the animal in question. Soundness of the animal as well as accuracy of information contained on the registration paper, application to register and service memo are the responsibility of the seller. Animals will be sifted for obvious health problems prior to sale. Knots, other than those caused by recent injections, will exclude an animal from sale. Please see the sales rules at The sale will start at 1 p.m. This will be an open sale with folks...

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It Seems to Me: Ultimate Grief

Some would argue against the idea that I, a finite, impotent, created being could do anything that would have an impact on God, an infinite, omnipotent, eternal being.  I understand and respect the reasoning behind that position.  However, it seems to me that the Bible teaches that God does feel emotions.  God created me and desires to have a relationship with me.  I do not understand that but it is true nonetheless.  “The fear of the Lord” is a theme in both testaments.  Surely I ought to live in awe of God, fearing and revering Him.  Another theme in the Scripture involves my responsibility to behave in such a way that I do not bring grief to God. Just as surely as I should be afraid of what God has the power and right to do to me, I should be afraid of what I might do to bring pain to God. Ephesians 4:30-32 commands us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (NASU)  Clearly, I bring grief to God when I act with...

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Personal Finance Article: Six Ways to Save On Your Next Car

Looking for an eco-friendly subcompact or the thrills that come with a sports car? Perhaps the practicality of a sedan or a spacious SUV better fits your needs? No matter what type of vehicle is calling your name, planning your purchase can help you save as much money as possible. Consider these six savings tips while shopping for your next car. Whether you’re concerned about upfront, monthly or long-term costs, there’s something here that can help you. 1. Look for a fuel-efficient car. Buying a hybrid or all-electric vehicle rather than a gas guzzler could help you save money on long-run fuel costs. Plus, state and federal tax credits might give you some additional upfront savings. If you’re sticking to a fully gas-powered car, you can still save money by choosing a fuel-efficient model. Once you pick a class of car and determine your budget, use the Environmental Protection Agency’s miles-per-gallon rating for each vehicle to estimate and compare the monthly fuel costs. 2. Compare the long-term costs of different cars. In addition to fuel, consider the long-term costs of maintenance, repairs, insurance, taxes, depreciation, fees and financing. To help you with the calculations, Kelly Blue Book has a 5-Year Cost to Own tool that lets you compare long-term costs for 2015 and 2016 models. Edmunds’s True Cost to Own® tool does a similar thing for 2010 and newer...

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