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THE TV – “What the American people feel….” “The nation today wants…” One more: “There is a growing anger across the land about…” These are talking heads on our TV networks telling us about ourselves, as if they knew. They are all inside-the-beltway pundits who lunch together, read one anothe…

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THIS NEWSPAPER – The fact that you are now reading a newspaper puts you in an exclusive and shrinking category. We all know that the number of newspapers has been dwindling, along with the number of journalists, fish wrappers, birdcage bottoms and educated voters. (Just look who we put in of…

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MY DESK – Going through my many old credit cards, I find this card: “Selective Service System – Texas Local Board 30.” It is my draft card which is in bad shape because I always had to carry it with me. Remember the military draft? It was abolished in 1973, so if you are a male born after 19…

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MY EMAIL – “Winter Storm Uri Resident Survey. We Want to Hear from YOU! Take this Resident Survey on how Winter Storm Uri impacted you or your neighborhood.” This message is from the City of Houston - Housing and Community Development Department. Actually, I had never heard of such a city de…

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THE TV – “It’s hot out there, folks,” says the meteorologist. I glance at the screen and see a map of Texas with 101, 103 and 110 scattered around the state. Lordy, despite what Ted Cruz and Donald Trump claim, there really may be something to global warming. Wait. I see in the top left-hand…

Both Finland and Sweden have suddenly shed their neutrality and now want to join NATO. Something about their neighbor to the east wanting to expand, but Turkey objects.

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THE GUN STORE --- “Hi,” I say. “Do you sell guns?” The clerk gives me a strange look. “No, we’re a French pastry shop. Watcha need? We got pistols and rifles and sniper guns. We got ammo, body armor and we used to carry heavier stuff for your home’s protection -- mortars, anti-tank missiles …

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Congress is allocating $40 billion for a Ukraine aid package. That comes on the heels of several previous aid packages sent to the Ukrainians. Not every lawmaker supports the idea. “(P)umping more aid into that country when we’re not taking care of our own country — the best thing that Biden…

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THE AUDITORIUM – Good morning, Class of 2022. This is your commencement! (hold for applause) It’s the time you write funny slogans on your cap, get your photo taken with your parents and have to sit here while some dull speaker tells you to go onward and upward.

MY DISASTER LIST – Batteries? Check. All sorts of batteries? A, AA and AAA. (No two TV remotes, flashlights or smoke detectors take the same size.) Charge my iPhone, iPad and iHearingAid battery chargers. Water? Bottles of it left over from Winter Storm Uri back in February 2021. Can I just …

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Notice what happened? Or more accurately, notice what didn’t happen? These past March 2 and April 21 were pretty ordinary, not like earlier times. Has Texas lost its mojo? Pilgrim, if you just stepped off a United flight from Chicago, let me give you a very quick lesson on why these two date…

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Associated Press — President Biden authorized another $7 billion in aid to Ukraine, plus deploying the 1st Marine Division to defend Kyiv, and the 82nd Airborne Division may parachute into St. Petersburg, but Biden said he will not use nuclear weapons against Moscow. 

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THE COCKTAIL PARTY – “How’s it going?” I say to a friend who, among others, is sipping drinks in my den. When he just nods, I try again. “What’s new on the job?” He sighs. “Let’s not talk about banking. It’s so boring.”

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THE BOAT SHOW – Do I want a SuperSpiffy MegaBoat or an Ocean Mangler? That depends on how many helipads I need. Maybe a ballroom or a sauna. I am here picking out some baubles to go with my solid gold glider and a 6-acre spread in River Oaks. Those are a few signs of my new role as an oligar…

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THE MAIL BOX – Here is the usual junk mail, some Realtor wants to buy my house, a bunch of charities seeking donations -- I swear if you give to one they put the word out to all the others – and this, from the Office of Isabel Longoria Elections Administrator to my wife. Longoria is probably…

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“New York is well-known for top influencers, bloggers, and celebrities who call the city their home.”

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THE TROUGH – Just stick your snout in here and get big bux from Uncle Sam. Congress has   approved $4.3 billion to help Texas and local governments finance infrastructure to stave off future disasters with dams, canals, drains and a little Dutch boy with a strong finger. We need the projects…

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THE VOID – Here they are, all the old and now-useless parts of our lives. Ice trays and inner tubes, just behind the League of Nations. Sitting beside them is a straight razor. My grandfather used a straight razor, with brush and soap and shaving stand with mirror, all his adult life. And a …

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THE FRONT PORCH – My next-door neighbor is standing here, holding her iPhone and trying to tell me something. Apparently the instrument doesn’t work, but I can’t understand her. She says, I think, that she is trying to call her daughter, who is a doctor and works in a local hospital along wi…

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THE PATIO – It is 75 degrees, although tomorrow it’s supposed to drop into the 60s. That’s bad news for Beto O’Rourke. He won the race for the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas, and his main selling point to the voters is how badly our present governor who’s running for re-election…

Headline: “Mayor of Vancouver, Canada, says Texans should make hockey their national pastime.” “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sends government funds to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s campaign.” That would certainly rile up the masses. Yet Texas’ elected leaders are fanning the …

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THE DINING ROOM TABLE – Do I include the ransom payment with the bank haul, and can I deduct my G43 GLOCK Single stack, 9 mm Luger caliber pistol as “working equipment?” Like millions of other Americans I am struggling with my 2021 federal income taxes. Actually, my wife, the daughter of a C…

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THE MAIL BOX – It hasn’t come yet and may never. Oh, it was promised. “A better way to protect our most sacred right,” they told me. “This will prevent fraud and corruption.” I’m referring to my ballot application.

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Confused about public health guidelines from state and federal officials? You're not alone. Lynn Ashby sifts through the confusion about masks and COVID-19. 

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Have you been pestered with solicitations for donations from your alma mater? Lynn Ashby has, too, and you won't believe what some of them say. 

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Lynn Ashby is here to help you survive 2022 in Texas and whatever pitfalls the year may bring. 

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Last week we looked back at the year 2021 and shuddered, but there’s more to lament, Lynn Ashby writes. 

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THE FRONT YARD – Faucet wrapped? Check. Mailbox and windows sealed? Check. Need to cover the plants and bring in supplies like bottles of water, vodka and batteries for my radio. You should be doing this, too. And leave the garage door open. These precautions are because predictions are that…

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THE TV – “Saturday Night Live” is on. They usually have a good thrashing of current affairs. Ah, here comes the opening skit. It’s “Sesame Street” with the same-looking set, but wait, that guy seems awfully familiar, standing there -- sneaky eyes, short beard. Good grief. It’s Texas’ own U.S…

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On a chilly (low 60s) wet day in Dallas this past November 4th, hundreds of people stood on a downtown sidewalk holding signs and flags, some even brought folding chairs. They were waiting, not for a bus or a passing parade, not waiting for Godot or for some computer store to open so they co…

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THE BANK – “Sign here, and here. Do you have an ID like your birth certificate, passport from the last week or three witnesses to testify that it’s really you?” The bank clerk readies his truth serum and lie detector. It’s not that the South Bank of the Bayou doesn’t trust us, it’s that the …

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THE LIBRARY – “’At the Edge of the Universe.’ Sounds like something from the Flat Earth Society. ‘Gravity.’ Very suspicious. Here’s another one. ‘Life in Outer Space.’’

THE KITCHEN – I hold in my hand the most dangerous weapon there is: a cup of coffee. Oh, the deaths and destruction, the horror, not to mention the lawyers’ fees.

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THE PHONE – “One moment, please.... Your call is very important to us.... A representative will be with you shortly.” No she won’t. I’ve been on hold for 30 minutes and no one will talk to me. During that time I’ve given some recorded person my name, address, credit card number and DNA twice…

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THE KITCHEN – I hold in my hand the most dangerous weapon there is: a cup of coffee. Oh, the deaths and destruction, the horror, not to mention the lawyers’ fees. Yes, once again McDonald’s is being sued for its hot coffee, only this time it’s double trouble. Two separate suits have been fil…

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Want to get rich? Of course you do, and, as usual, I am here to help with some new stats to compare to the old.

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DINING ROOM TABLE – “The nation, and particularly Texas, is going through some chaotic and depressing times. Where to look for advice? That’s why I invited y’all to dinner tonight to discuss and perhaps offer solutions to our problems.”

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“Come and Take It” the flag dared. And they did. They came and took it. So yet another bit of our history is gone. Soon there will be nothing left of our past but empty pedestals and stored plaques.

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THE HOSPITAL – “Emergency!” I cry to the admissions clerk. “I’ve been shot!”

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Dear Afghan Refugees, welcome to Houston. One hundred of you have already arrived and we expect 3,000 more between now and the end of next March.

As Gen. Robert E. Lee rode about the Gettysburg battlefield after the Southern debacle, ordering his troops to retreat, he said again and again: “It’s all my fault.” “The blame is mine.” “All this has been my fault. It is I who have lost this fight, and you must help me out of it the best wa…

Weekly columnist Lynn Ashby writes about Gov. Greg Abbott, while asking whether he's the worst governor Texas has seen.