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Phil Collins for Texan of the Year

December 10, 2014
(AUSTIN)—Phil Collins isn’t a Texan. The British rock star lives in Switzerland and even keeps an apartment in New York City. But this October, Collins more than earned the title Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year: He returned Jim Bowie’s knife, David Crockett’s rifle and th...more


What history can teach us about the border crisis

August 07, 2014
(AUSTIN)—Human trafficking, rape and murder, illicit smuggling of arms and intoxicants, and a flood of children sent across the Rio Grande seeking safety in Texas — today’s headlines about the border look a lot like the ones Texans were reading 100 years ago.  After the beginnin...more


The Obama administration’s cuckoo plan to strangle the Texas oil boom

January 13, 2014
(AUSTIN)—To quote Ronald Reagan, “Well, there you go again . . .”  When President Obama tried to strangle West Texas oil and gas production by trying to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered, I opposed the plan and took the fight all the way to the halls of Congress, tes...more


Filling in Rollover, constructing a fishing pier key to rebuilding

October 09, 2013
(AUSTIN)—Rebuilding Bolivar — and the peninsula’s beaches and dunes — requires closing Rollover Pass and constructing a world-class fishing pier in its place.  I know this isn’t popular with everyone in the Gilchrist community, but it’s the right th...more


The endangered species racket

September 10, 2013
(Austin)—Of all the outlandish claims I’ve read on the Viewpoints page of the Austin American-Statesman, this statement by the Center for Biological Diversity’s Collette Adkins Giese really strains all credulity.  “In most cases critical habitat designation has no impa...more


Galveston has only two choices — and renegotiation isn’t one of them

April 11, 2013
(Austin)—By Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner AUSTIN — The city of Galveston has a choice to make as we try to move forward with plans to complete the recovery from Hurricane Ike: Either quit dragging its feet and comply with the federal requirements as well as the City of Galveston&#82...more


WHITHER THE TRAVIS LETTER?

March 06, 2013
(AUSTIN)—On March 8, 2013, the William B. Travis "Victory or Death" Letter will return to Austin.    In its 13-day stay at the Alamo, this faded 177-year-old letter touched the lives of tens of thousands of Texans - and non-Texans - from around the world.  Old and young w...more


Nursing home rights advocate for Texan of the Year

November 19, 2012
(AUSTIN)—A brash New Yorker may not be everyone's idea of Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year, but I can't think of a better man to carry the title for 2012 than nursing home rights advocate Sam Perlin. The Brooklyn native is one of the best friends anyone living in a Texas nursing home never knew they ha...more


TIME TO GO, PROTESTERS

October 12, 2012
(AUSTIN)—As Texas Land Commissioner and the elected head of the General Land Office, my job is to generate income from state land and mineral resources that are constitutionally dedicated to funding public education, provide veterans' benefits through the Texas Veterans Land Board, and protect the environme...more


ALAMO UNDER SIEGE

March 06, 2012
()—Now, 176 years after the 13-day siege and bloody battle that forever earned its place in history, The Alamo remains under attack.  Today's enemies are slow decay due to the passage of time and a public consciousness that views The Alamo as an iconic attraction instead of a shrine to honore...more


Confederate license plates honor history

August 17, 2011
()—"I'll not willingly offend, Nor be easily offended; What's amiss I'll strive to mend, And endure what can't be mended" -- Isaac Watts A request by The Sons of Confederate Veterans to honor their forefather's service with a Texas license plate is a simple fund-raising effort by a historical associa...more


“One nation, under God” under fire in Houston

July 12, 2011
(AUSTIN)—I can only imagine what my dad or grandpa - both interred at the Houston National Cemetery - would have to say about the current federal bureaucrat in charge of censoring prayers at those hallowed grounds.  A lawsuit filed by a Houston minister contends the U.S. Department of Veterans Affa...more


Veterans Day 2009

Veterans Day 2009

November 06, 2009
(AUSTIN)— These are troubled times.  At home, adrift in endless stories of buyouts, bailouts and burgeoning government spending, some Americans have let slip from their consciousness the fact that men and women are risking their lives in service to this country everyday. After all, Afghanistan and ...more