Why Not Now? If Not Now, When?

Extreme weather events have a way of clarifying the issues and focusing our minds. As we struggle through the worst summer on record and suffer a drought that already rivals 2011 with no relief in sight for either condition, we should be demanding and getting accountability and action from politicians and regulators, but all they […]

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Profiting From Your Pain

Much blame has been heaped upon President Biden and Democrats for inflation, particularly high gasoline prices, by Republicans hoping to take control of Congress in the next election.  Oil and gas companies have been running television ads blaming President Biden and Democrats for the exorbitant fuel prices by stating that their energy policies make it […]

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What Will It Take?

As the world tries to endure the hottest summer on record, one has to wonder what it will take to get legislative action to combat global warming. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA is impotent to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants and now Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who […]

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The Radical Supreme Court

Christmas came early this year for the Republicans, Libertarians and Trumpists.  They got most everything they wanted from Santa Claus with U. S. Supreme Court decisions on abortion, guns, prayer, school vouchers and government regulation.  This term of the U.S. Supreme Court cannot be described as anything but radical.  Whereas the Court has traditionally tried […]

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What’s the Answer?

As this election season goes along, Republican candidates have become more and more extreme about immigration.  No candidate ever says anything at all about what a properly functioning immigration policy would look like.  It makes sense from a purely political standpoint to say what you are against, but wouldn’t you like to know what a […]

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What’s Next?

It has been so long ago that I can’t remember exactly when my law school professors acquainted me with the Latin phrase “stare decisis”, but it was probably in the first week of class and certainly no later than the second.  The phrase means “to stand by things decided”.  It is the legal doctrine of […]

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Mickey Mouse

I’m back from my trip to Disney World with my grandchildren.  My grandchildren had a ball. The crowds were very large and exceptionally well behaved. You will recall that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and our Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently called for a boycott of Disney in retaliation for Disney having the audacity to publicly […]

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Mickey Mouse is an Imposter

My grandchildren, ages 4 and 6, are crazy about Mickey Mouse and many, many other Disney characters and movies.  I can’t begin to count the number of Disney characters and movies my grandchildren own.  They also want me to go to Disneyland, which I admit I was not really excited about until Lt. Gov. Dan […]

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The Gotcha Game

The U.S. Senate has now completed the staging of its mock trial of U. S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Detanji Brown Jackson.  I paid as little attention as possible to this farce, but I must confess that as a lawyer who was taught to have respect for the law, for judges, for the judicial system, […]

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It’s a Funny Old World

My father had a saying that he would often use when I had a question about some situation that made no sense.  Rather than try to explain the unexplainable, he would often say:  “Son, it’s a funny old world.”  That didn’t necessarily mean it was humorous.  Most of the time it meant that the situation […]

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Abbott’s Huge Gamble

According to Governor Abbott, Texans have “mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of Covid-19” and no longer require government restrictions.  Abbott has banned mask mandates by issuing an order that forbids local officials from imposing them.  Abbott’s spokeswoman, Renae Eze, has said:  “Governor Abbott has been clear that the […]

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What’s Wrong With Us?

I don’t know about you, but I’m beyond arguing, beyond reasoning, beyond begging and pleading, beyond mystified, beyond perplexed, beyond aggravated and even beyond angry.  Well, maybe not quite beyond angry.  What do you call it when exasperation finally gives way to utter defeat?  Whatever you call it, I’m there.  I am at that point […]

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BLACK LIVES (DO) MATTER / My Story – Part Six – Conclusion

Whites sometimes seem exasperated by the Black Lives Matter movement.  As they see it, the Civil War has been over since 1865, the Jim Crow era (which lasted 100 years) has been over in a strict legal sense since the mid-1960s, (although it is returning through voter suppression), and affirmative action programs of many kinds […]

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BLACK LIVES (DO) MATTER / My Story – Part Four – Today’s Landscape

Back in the early to mid-1970s in Dallas County, there were very few Black lawyers practicing criminal law, probably no more than 6 and maybe less.  That has changed.  There are now many Black law students in Texas and there are many capable Black lawyers practicing criminal and civil law in Texas.  Ironically, Dallas County […]

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BLACK LIVES (DO) MATTER / My Story – Part One

More than a year ago I got into a discussion with a very good friend about slavery, the Civil War, Southern Civil War heroes, Civil War monuments, how slave owners should be judged, and the existence and effects of racism today.  The conversation became tense when he said, “We have to protect our culture.”  I […]

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“I Just Heard…”

Whenever Trump wants to tell a big lie and lay the groundwork to later deny he lied, he does it by beginning his lie with the preface that “he heard it” or that “some very smart people are saying” or some other similar garbage. Now that we have heard him use this transparent gambit over […]

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Last Clear Chance

My wife and I have been helping our daughter and son-in-law keep our grandchildren during the pandemic.  Since the children are 2 and 4 and the pandemic and our self-quarantine have been going on for many months, this arrangement of living together has been an adventure, at times a misadventure and, in general, a blessing.  […]

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Right Thing for the Wrong Reason

It was reported on June 9, 2020, that Congress may pass a federal lands bill which will fund the chronically shortchanged Land & Water Conservation Fund. The Fund, among other things, pays for maintenance of our national parks, which are in dire need of maintenance and improvements. According to the New York Times, the fund […]

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Who You Know – What You Know

Michael Flynn is a retired high-ranking military officer. His military service gained him fame which enabled him to create a public relations company that specialized in lobbying the United State government and politicians on behalf of foreign governments and monied individuals and advising those same clients about their relations with the United States. His fame […]

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Evil or Cynical (Does it Make a Difference?)

On June 5, 2020, Trump announced in Maine to a group of commercial fishing representatives that he was opening by executive order a marine conservation area off the New England coast (the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts) to commercial fishing.  This area lies east of Cape Cod. It is one of only five (5) marine monuments […]

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What If…

On Saturday, June 6, 2020, CBS News and other news sources reported that Trump had demanded that 10,000 active duty military troops be deployed in Washington, D.C. to “dominate the streets and overwhelm protestors.”  According to the report, there was enough push back from Defense Secretary Esper and military leaders to stop him.  Nevertheless, it […]

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Keeping Our Eyes on the Ball

Current events such as the Coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter protests rightfully demand our attention, but we should not lose sight of our over-arching problem:  global warming. I am in no way trying to minimize the horrible human and economic consequences of the pandemic or suggest that we can or should delay […]

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Do You Remember?

Do you remember when the America people were capable of being shocked, disappointed, disgusted, righteously indignant and downright angry at official misconduct?  It seems like a lifetime ago.   I was reminded recently of the Watergate scandal when my wife and I watched a rerun of the move “Frost Nixon” about the famous David Frost […]

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The Flynn Case

    Attorney General William Barr recently took the unprecedented step of trying to dismiss the criminal case against Michael Flynn who had been convicted of lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russians.  He had also been fired by Trump for lying to Vice President Pence about the same thing.  As we […]

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Are We a Third World Country Now?

It has always been a bedrock principle of our country that everyone is equal before the law and that we are a nation of laws and not of men.  True, there have been innumerable instances in our history of falling short of this lofty goal, but our national conscience, our national sense of right and […]

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Another Blow to the U.S. Economy

Trump is at it again.  Trump is like one of those long past his prime comedians retelling an old joke that always gets a laugh or a band from the 60s or 70s playing their most favorite song over and over.  Using the pandemic as an excuse (cover), he has issued an executive order suspending […]

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A Sower of Chaos

Trump says he “calls the shots” and that he will soon decide when he will reopen the country.  As some comedians used to say, “Not so fast…” or, as the old line in western movies went, “Just hold on there a minute pardner…”  When Trump was called out by reporters on whether he had the […]

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Why Let the Facts Stand in the Way?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay   Most careful, intelligent people make important decisions by first gathering the facts. Decisions, rules, regulations and laws must be based upon the facts. Not so in the Trump administration. Trump starts with his desired policy and then tries to do whatever is necessary to make the facts appear […]

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A 500 Year Flood?

    I am writing this the day after Easter.  As of today, the United States has 557,663 cases of COVID 19 and 22,116 deaths.  Globally, there are 1,864,829 reported cases and 115,286 deaths.  It is obvious that the U.S. has a disproportionately high number of cases and deaths.  Why? The Trump administration is floating […]

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Audition

My paternal grandfather’s first wife died in the 1918 flu pandemic, commonly referred to as the “Spanish flu epidemic”.  The death left my grandfather with a newborn, my aunt, to raise by himself.  This tragic event was rarely discussed in our family for reasons that were themselves never discussed.  It was no secret, but it […]

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Who Would Have Thought It?

Four or five years ago, who would have thought (predicted) that a President of the United States would be considered the least credible and least helpful leader in the world during a worldwide health crisis?  The steady erosion of credibility began before election and has only increased over time.  The pettiness, mendacity, churlishness and vindictiveness […]

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Quaratine

Greetings from a self-imposed quarantine.  I say self-imposed only because legal services were considered essential, so it was technically possible to keep the office open without violating the City and County Orders, but that seemed like the wrong decision for the safety and peace of mind of our clients and staff.  We are at home […]

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More Bad Policy

    The COVID-19 pandemic is very serious, but it is temporary.  On the other hand, the rollback of environmental regulations has a lasting effect, particularly if Trump is re-elected. On Tuesday, March 31, the Trump administration announced its final rule rolling back the Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards. The fuel efficiency standard had been […]

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Our Test

We are being watched.  Our adversaries are observing how we respond to the COVID-19 crisis, which in a sense is a test of our ability and willingness to defend ourselves in biological and conventional warfare.  It would be naïve to believe our enemies are not paying attention.  What lessons have they learned? We were not […]

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Monkey See, Monkey Do

  An editorial opinion by Jennifer Latson, an editor at Rice Business, which appeared in the Houston Chronicle on March 5, 2020, caught my eye.  The title, “Rudeness, and Kindness, trickle down from above,” seemed like just plain ‘ol common sense, but there is science to back this up.  Researchers at UCLA conducted an experiment […]

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Such a Pity – and Stupid too.

An opinion piece by John Leshy in The New York Times of March 4, 2020 returned my attention to Trump’s mismanagement of national parks, national monuments and federal lands in general. Leshy is a member of the board of the Grand Canyon Trust. Trump dramatically reduced the size of the Grand Staircase – Escalante Monument […]

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Supreme Court Strikes Again

On 3/11/2020, the United States Supreme Court entered an order “staying” the earlier ruling of the Ninth Court of Appeals in San Francisco which had stopped the enforcement of Trump’s “wait in Mexico” policy.  This ruling does not mean the case is over.  The appeal will go on.  However, it does mean that while the […]

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The Anti-Science President

When I started to write this blog the first thought that came into my head was:  the only person that hates science more than me is Trump.  But, that isn’t really true.  The truth is that I was really poor in science and math, but I have great respect for science and scientists.  How could […]

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Climate Change Poll

I had a very interesting experience in a jury trial recently.  One of the lawyers in the case asked the jury panel during jury selection whether they believed climate change was real or a hoax.  This is a highly unusual question, but how a juror answers is revealing.  To my surprise, about 2/3 of the […]

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Teflon Don

For the last 3 plus years we have been treated to photo-ops of Trump seated at the head of a long conference table while those in attendance take turns flattering him.  Those who are blowing kisses and throwing flowers have got to be sick to their stomachs before, during and after these shameful experiences.  No […]

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Disinformation

On March 2, 2020, The New York Times reported that an official at the Interior Department is forcing the inclusion of intentionally misleading language about climate change into the agency’s scientific reports.  This includes debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial.  According to the Times, the misleading language appears in at […]

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Proud to be an American

National crises have always provided the opportunity for our best to be at their best.  Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Like you, I’ve been watching television and reading newspapers trying to find out about the coronavirus and trying to figure out how this pandemic will affect me, my family, my business, my community, my […]

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Is There a Difference?

You may have read or heard that Vladimir Putin is making arrangements for his future.  Russia has, at least in theory, a constitution and term limits.  To stay in power Putin will have to put his country through some constitutional, legislative and political machinations.  Needless to say, he will get this done and become the […]

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Assuming the Worst

A criminal trial is underway in Houston against Arkema Inc. and Arkema senior level employees arising out of an explosion at Arkema’s plant during Hurricane Harvey.  Arkema is in the plastics business.  Arkema uses organic peroxides in its manufacturing process.  Organic peroxides are highly volatile and will combust if not kept at or below freezing […]

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The Oath

Many Republican commentators, elected officials and Trump surrogates are denouncing Senator Mitt Romney’s vote to convict Trump.  He is reviled by the Republicans as a traitor and applauded by the Democrats.  I was touched by Romney’s emotional speech explaining his vote because he emphasized the importance of his sworn oath before God to exercise impartial […]

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More about Natural Gas Flaring

On 2/19/20, the Houston Chronicle reported that Ryan Sitton, one of the members of the Texas Railroad Commission, had issued a report concerning the burning of natural gas from oil wells.  Interestingly, Sitton, a Republican, issued the report separately from the agency and without the joinder of the other two commissioners.  According to Sitton, his […]

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Character is Destiny

I’m definitely not the only one that spends far more time than I should truly anguishing over Trump and this is exactly the point.  We might have a high-minded, constructive, intelligent disagreement about ideas, political philosophy and policy, but we shouldn’t be having a volatile disagreement over whether a person is morally, temperamentally, and psychologically […]

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