Cattle

Remembering political trailblazer Eddie Bernice Johnson

The death of a giant in Texas politics: reaction to the passing of longtime political trailblazer Eddie Bernice Johnson.

A new year brings a new mayor in Houston. What John Whitmire plans to do to address the most pressing issues facing the city.

What 2024 heralds for one of the busiest thruways in Texas: the north-south corridor of Interstate 35.

An economist with the Dallas Fed shares red flags for Texas employment.

The San Antonio-Havana connection: A new cross-cultural art exchange between the two cities.

Also: Longhorn Nation recovers from a semifinal loss to Washington in the College Football Playoff.

Does drone medical help offer hope for rural Texans?

A court rules that Texas power generators do not have a responsibility to provide power in emergencies, like the winter storm of 2021. Mose Buchele of KUT Austin has more on what this means.

Understanding Pope Francis’ decision to permit Catholic church officials to bless same-sex marriages.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, more used to white-collar crime enforcement, wades into Texas cattle country to bust up what it calls a Ponzi scheme.

And: For West Texans far from medical facilities, some help zooms in by way of drones.

Farmer Logic

If you’ve spent any time around farmers — you may have noticed a similar, pragmatic approach to life many share. Texas Standard Commentator WF Strong says it’s something he’s long observed.

Texas Standard: August 12, 2022

It’s exceptionally dry across Texas, but the little rain parts of the state have been experiencing in recent days could be a game changer. Farmers are reporting widespread crop losses, and both the supply and quality of the water is on the decline. We’ll speak with the Texas State climatologist on how climate change factors into the drought outlook. Plus perspective from D.C. on the migrants the Texas and Arizona governors are bussing to the East Coast. And a new MAGA has emerged as a political player in the race for Texas governor. We speak with the woman behind Mothers Against Greg Abbott. All that and the week that was in Texas politics today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 20, 2022

Beto O’Rourke setting fundraising records and narrowing the gap in the polls. Does this portend a political turnaround in Texas? A pulse check on the Texas Governor’s race, as the democratic challenger appears to build momentum in his race against republican incumbent Governor Greg Abbott. Also as monkeypox spreads in Texas, how a shortage of vaccine and confusion over who’s at risk are complicating efforts to control the spread. And the heat, the drought and lots and lots of cattle going to market. We’ll hear how Texas ranchers are trying to get through was could be an historic moment for the industry. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 18, 2022

With hospital ERs on the front lines in the latest COVID-19 spike, a doctor issues a plea for the public’s help. Other stories we’re tracking: a service of healing in the aftermath of the hostage situation at a Colleyville synagogue on Saturday. And understanding seditious conspiracy charges against a Texas-based militia founder in connection with the January 6th Capitol attacks. Join us for those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 14, 2020

Governor Abbott puts millions of dollars into play to help small companies amid growing pressure from some to declare Texas reopened for business. Glimmers of hope with lots of red flags. That’s how the governor’s characterizing the fight against the Coronavirus. but is there a plan for getting back to normal? We’ll explore. Plus an international artery connecting Texas to the world, but in a time of COVID-19, dividing Texans themselves. And the push for vote by mail in this year’s presidential election. Could Texas pull it off? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 24, 2020

The state’s top financial officer tells lawmakers to brace for impact. Our conversation with Comptroller Glenn Hager. With more shelter in place orders kicking in, the state’s Comptroller says he’s seeing a major hit to Texas coffers as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. But how big a hit and what can be done? We’ll explore. Plus museums statewide try to deal with a drop off in foot traffic, virtually. And is it possible a sticker could help stop the spread of pathogens? West Texas researchers see quite a market. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 21, 2019

House speaker Dennis Bonnen could be leaving sooner than anyone expected, so says Texas tribune co-founder Ross Ramsey. We’ll have details. Other stories we’re following: a backlog at a major DPS crime lab. The problem: worker turnover. Also, money going up in smoke? What to do about a surplus of natural gas. And is Texas more southern or western? Scholar H.W. Brands invites readers to rethink what they know of the latter, in his epic history of the American west. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 29, 2019

Defense Department Money reallocated to build a border wall gets the green light from the U.S. Supreme Court. What the decision means for Texas. Plus, one of the longest serving members of the Trump administration steps down, and a Texas congressman being talked about as his replacement as the new director of national intelligence, we’ll have details. And give me a home where the cattle won’t roam? The Texas attorney general gets tapped to weigh in on a fight over keeping cattle at home on the range:

Texas Standard: June 21, 2019

A mass migration from California to Texas. Is it all about the Benjamins? Or could it say something about the future of the U.S.? Two visions for the future of America, and according to the Economist Magazine, one is better suited for the future, we’ll hear why. Also, is Texas big enough for a second vet school? The Governor says yes, approving 17 million to green light a challenger to Texas A&M. We’ll hear from the new dean. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 1, 2018

Along a major bridge in south Texas, welders putting barriers in place. We’ll get a first hand look at steps being taken in an apparent effort to shut down the border. We’ll be talking with a reporter from the McAllen monitor about unprecedented work on a bridge spanning the Rio Grande and what it could mean in practical terms. Also, the FDA green lights what could be a life saving new flu drug even though the researcher behind it says it could have happened long ago. Why the wait? Think: money. And a deal by IBM turns the nation’s attention to Texas farms, and not the kind that grow crops either. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 9, 2018

Two very different rulings on two very similar cases. What it means when the 5th and the 9th circuit court’s disagree? We’ll explore. Plus Mexico’s president elect receives his certificate of ratification: The electoral commission says yes, you are the winner. We’ll explore the implications. And fever ticks can kill cattle but regulations on treating fever ticks? Those cause headaches and other complications. We’ll tell you more. And are you dreaming about space and looking for ways to get there? We’ll take a look at a summer camp helping kids get closer to their dreams. And another one of those too good to be true stories, are we talking about Movie Pass? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard.

Texas Standard: February 2, 2018

Have you seen maps of political districts that just look like they were drawn to achieve some certain result? We’ll explain how math could identify and prevent gerrymandering. Plus Mexican-American Studies are slowly gaining traction in school districts across Texas. We’ll look at why it’s been delayed at the state level and how some school districts are forging ahead on their own. And we’ll take you inside the business and passion of raising and breeding Texas Longhorns. Plus it’s Friday, that means the Typewriter rodeo and a wrap of the biggest political stories of the week. Today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 15, 2018

With just under two months til primary voters go to the polls in Texas, the US supreme court wants to weigh in on the state’s election maps. We’ll explore what that means. Also, after a bitter legislative session in 2017, an unlikely coalition of republicans and democrats are going after the Lt. Governor, and there are signs that his allies are worried. We’ll hear the backstory. And Gen Xers worried about retirement: how much does it take to retire in Texas? Also, Sex and the single cow? More like single sex cows at the center of new legal battles. And a Texas musician retools a rock classic, and it smells like Teen Sprite. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Rustler’s Rhapsody

You don’t want to break the law in West Texas. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: August 15, 2017

Did someone just blink? What a North Korean announcement may or may not tell us about how to deal with a dictator. Also, submarined in the fury over Charlottesville, two major protests in South Texas: the biggest yet against the border wall. But a reporter who was there says it wasn’t just about a wall, we’ll hear more. Plus the Texas Central rail teams up with two big companies to get on with building the bullet train. So is it full speed ahead? We’ll check the brakes. And in what some are calling a post-factual world, can we talk? How to have a meaningful political conversation when you’re not on the same page. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Show ‘Em Your Badge

As told by W. F. Strong

 

This story comes under the heading of a Texas classic.  It is folklore. I don’t know for sure that its origin is in Texas, but from the oldest versions I know of, going back 30 plus years, they have Texas linguistic markers.  So I believe there’s a good chance that the story originated here. In any case the story has migrated around the world.  I’ve heard Australian versions and Irish versions and I suppose if I ever go to China I’ll hear a version translated from Mandarin.  Story goes like this:

 

A West Texas rancher was stackin’ some hay in his barn when he heard a truck rumble across his cattle guard, half a mile away. He looked up to see what looked like a Government Suburban – dark windows – leaving a dust cloud of caliche boiling up behind it as it raced his way. He walked out to the clearing to meet it and it came to a quick halt right in front of him, sliding the last five feet.

 

A guy hopped out. Nice lookin’ young man. Slacks, pressed shirt. Glock on his hip. Badge on his belt.

 

“Can I help you?” Rancher asks.

 

“Sir, I’m with the Government,” he said, pointing to his badge. “Just making a courtesy stop. We have word of drug activity in this area. I’m going to be looking around your ranch for a couple of hours to either confirm or invalidate these reports.”

 

“Well,” said the rancher, lookin’ mystified. He pushed his salt stained hat back off his forehead. “Aint’ no drugs around here except the big ole horse pills my doctor gives me for my rheumatism.”

 

He laughed a little.  

 

“This is not a laughing matter, sir. I assure you this is serious government business.”

 

The rancher said, “I’m sure it is. Go ahead. Help yourself, son. Just don’t go in that twenty acres behind the barn.”  

 

The agent got visibly angry for a second.

 

“Sir,” he said, “You see this badge? This badge gives me unimpeded authority, granted by the U.S. Constitution, to go where I please, when I please – no questions asked. I will decide where I will and won’t go. Do you understand me, sir?”

 

The Rancher said, “Yes, I do. I’ll guess I’ll just back to stackin’ my hay.”   

 

The agent said, “Good choice. That would be best.”

 

The rancher was stackin’ hay for about five minutes when he heard a blood-curdling scream from the pasture behind the barn.

 

He said to himself, “What the hell?” as he rushed out that way.

 

Even he was shocked at what he saw. That agent was running for his life  – staying only five yards ahead of the rancher’s big ole long-horn bull that was seconds away from goring him good. He couldn’t tell who would arrive first, the agent at the fence or the bull at the agent.

 

Just then the agent yelled at the rancher: “Help me! Call him off!”

 

The rancher cupped his hands to his mouth and yelled, “Show him your badge! Show him your badge!”

Texas Standard: March 27, 2017

Who’s in charge here? With the president giving more latitude to the military, rising civilian casualty counts in Syria trigger growing concerns. Plus reading, writing and reboot. Texas public school students hunker down for assessment tests statewide, but the score that may wind up mattering most: the one for the test makers. We’ll hear why. Also, fancy a trip to the moon? As commercial space tourism becomes big business concerns about who’s in charge of safety and who’s writing the rules for the future of private space travel. And the would-be laws you haven’t heard about. We’ll check out the so called sleeper bills. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 10, 2017

Should a joint land you in jail? Thats the pot law on the books now in Texas: up to six months, in theory. But we’ll hear from a republican who’s fighting to reduce that penalty. Plus historic antiquities swiped from Mexico and intercepted by park rangers on a smuggling route through Big Bend. We’ll hear from the chief ranger about why it’s a big deal. And a self-driving shuttle bus making a slow tour through Texas cities – could this be the vehicle that convinces us to give up the steering wheel? Plus, fitbits on cows, the typewriter rodeo, a wrap of the week in Texas politics and so much more coming up today on the Texas Standard: