I just returned from a short trip to West Texas to visit my mother and two elderly aunts. That’s right this old man’s mother and aunts are still spitting grit in Midland and Odessa, “Longlivers”.
I really can’t’ tell where West Texas begins, but I can usually know I’m there, when I must hold one side of the steering wheel way down to offset the force of a thirty mile per hour West Texas breeze. Midland hasn’t changed too much except apparently every resident has decided they must own a six thousand pound SUV or pickup to ferry their darlings to and from soccer or dance practice. And I also noticed that almost all these monster drivers never drive at or below the posted speed limit. Speed limit and stop signs must be considered suggestions in Midland and compliance is voluntary.
After a short stay in Midland, my mother and I took off to visit my aunt in Odessa. Odessa hasn’t changed much since I graduated from Odessa High, except apparently Odessa has decided to see just how many 7-11’s, liquor stores and Mexican restraints they can squeeze onto one city block. Years ago it was rumored that Odessa’s mascot and city flag was a tattered Wal-Mart bag hung in a mesquite bush. The only thing that has changed is there are now more bags and fewer mesquite bushes.
Upon our return to Midland I happened upon a copy of the local Midland paper. I couldn’t help but notice that although there were revolutions in the Middle East, floods, earthquakes, and the start of a national election in this country, there was not one national or international news story on the front page. I was beginning to wonder if West Texas knew we won the Korean War, lost the one in Viet Nam, and finally got Bin Laden. I would have expected that at least they would have reported that their favorite son’s endless war to liberate Iraq is finally coming to an end. They could have mentioned that it only cost $800 billion, four thousand-five hundred American lives, and only thirty thousand men and women seriously wounded. And if they did run that story they should also report that his replacement had just helped liberate three other Middle East countries in less than a year, at a combined cost of two billion dollars, with no American deaths or wounded. They might even run a small note that since their guy had run the DOW industrial average down to seven thousand, that the failed economic policies of President Obama had only raised it back to twelve thousand. I know that’s not good enough but he still has five years to go.
I guess they could report one local rumor that President Obama’s youngest daughter will be coming to Midland soon to conduct a class in fundamental finance and foreign affairs at Midland College. Attendance by Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld will be mandatory. But what the heck, all’s well in West Texas; crude oil is back up to nearly a hundred dollars a barrel.
On my way back home I knew exactly when I had left West Texas behind me and was close to home when I picked up Abilene NPR on my car radio. You know National Public Radio; it’s a station people listen to when they want to learn something while driving.
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For most of human history, theism was treated as a given. To be sure, there were differences of opinion on the issue. Are there many gods or one? Does he communicate through law, the Bible or prophets? If so, which ones? Might he have become incarnate at some time in human history in the person of Jesus? These questions and countless others have been answered in many different ways by the world’s great religious traditions. But the underlying presumption in favor of some form of theism remained a constant.
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With New Year’s resolutions just around the corner, consider the popular trend toward a healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate meat-free diet.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Pardoning traditions
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Dear Editor, Mr. Tilly, rather than wasting nine paragraphs recycling the lies and excuses coming from the administration, would better have employed a quote that has the virtue of being both succinct and closely reflective of his views: “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”
Letters to the Editor: What really scares me
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