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Texas Standard: July 9, 2020

Calling it a clear and present danger to Texas’ biggest city, the mayor of Houston cancels the upcoming Texas Republican Convention, we’ll have details. Also, as metro areas sound alarms over the rise of Coronavirus cases, few counties have been as hard hit as one in a remote part of northeast Texas: the view from Titus county. Also in a state that likes to toot its horn as number one, new numbers from the census are nothing to brag about. Why Texas ranks near the bottom in an important census year metric, and what that could add up to. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 31, 2019

Does the state have a duty to provide mobile voting centers? Texas democrats claim a new law unconstitutionally disenfranchises young voters, we’ll have details. Also, did Exxon Mobil have one set of numbers about climate change for investors, and a secret set for itself? Texan Rex Tillerson takes the stand in a closely watch trial involving one of the Lone Star State’s biggest companies. Plus, Twitter banning political ads? Tech expert Omar Gallaga on why and what it adds up to. And why you might see tarantulas crossing Texas roadways, and not just tonight, mind you. All of that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 9, 2019

How do you get the attention of state leaders? A federal judge proposes locking up Texas prison officials in their own overheated prisons. We’ll have more on the latest twist in a 5-year battle over Texas prisons where a judge says the heat constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Also, the Texas Attorney General is leading a multi-state charge against Google to investigate, are they violating antitrust laws? Plus, they say everything’s bigger in Texas. Now, so are the supercomputers. And a prescription for cutting the cost of a hospital visit in the Lone Star State. All that and then some on today’s Texas Standard.

Texas Standard: August 15, 2019

After the mass shooting in El Paso, the governor announces a Domestic Terrorism Task Force. But what will they be doing and who will they target? We’ll explore. Plus how facebook may be snooping on our conversations. And get out of prison early? The story of the con man called the King of Dreams. Also, a major new dig at the Alamo, the shifting political geography of Texas and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 20, 2019

The reddest of red states? No more! Texas’ senior Senator John Cornyn ponders his reelection prospects and issues a warning to the GOP. Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune on her conversation with the Senate’s 2nd highest ranking Republican and what it means for Texas politics. Also, summers here, but so is a teacher shortage in West Texas. So what happens come September? And Facebook bets on a Bitcoin competitor, should you? Tech expert Omar Gallaga weighs in. That and whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 25, 2019

A 3 year old found alone at the border, his name and a phone number written on his shoes. An anomaly? Hardly. This instance turning a spotlight on a tragedy more common than many might imagine. So reports Manny Fernandez of the New York Times, and we’ll talk with him. Also, the Texas based Boy Scouts of America facing growing allegations of sexual abuse, we’ll have the latest. Plus, Texas leads the nation in traffic deaths, so what do lawmakers plan to do about it? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 17, 2019

A proposal to put off the state of the union: a break with tradition, or perhaps a return to one? We’ll take a look at the history with historian Jeremi Suri. Also, what’s being done to keep guns out of the hands of those convicted of domestic violence? We’ll take a look. And the green new deal: some see it as radical, why the Houston Chronicle claims it’s a natural for Texas. Plus, how much do you like eggs? If you’re Instagram, more than 40 million times, at last count. What a viral sensation tells us about the state of social media. All of that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Quitting Facebook

Many of us threaten to do it, but most don’t go through with quitting Facebook. Leaving the social media site that connects us virtually with so many people can sometimes leave us feeling even more isolated, but it just might be what we need to feel more connected in real life. That was the inspiration of this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: July 23, 2018

The endangered species act, now on the endangered list? Activists and environmentalist sound alarms, we’ll learn more. And as we fast approach the anniversary of Harvey and plunge further into hurricane season, rescue efforts underway for the National Flood Insurance program. We’ll hear what’s happening, and why they’re underwater. Also, ranchers balk at a plan to brand lab-grown protein “clean meat”…what’s in a name? Some say a multi-billion dollar industry. And journalists abandoning social media does it matter? All this and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 29, 2018

Should immigration and customs enforcement be dissolved? It’s not just democratic socialists asking, it’s some of the agents themselves, we’ll explore. Also grumblings south of the border as Mexico prepares to go to the polls and pick a new president. And polls point to a victory for a man described as a Trump of the Mexican left. We’ll have an update of these final hours before balloting begins. And Texas Senator Ted cruz accused Facebook’s CEO of liberal bias. Now reports say social media honchos have been huddling in secret with GOP leaders. We’ll hear what’s on their agenda. Plus the week in Texas politics and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 24, 2018

Can schools identify violent students before they commit mass murder? After Santa Fe, the mental health of students in the spotlight. Governor Abbott’s roundtables on gun violence after the Santa Fe High School massacre getting national attention. Now the governor is calling on mental health screening programs to identify would-be mass murderers, we’ll have more. And a clean water shortage in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico: how Texas is coming to the rescue. And the end of an era at the University of Texas El Paso: our conversation with the outgoing president, once named one of the 50 world’s greatest leaders. And epic low turnout at the polls: what does this tell us about Texas politics? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 11, 2018

Bitter rivals have started launching rockets at each other, raising concerns among experts about the world’s next big war, we’ll explore. Also, as investigations continue into possible presidential collusion with Kremlin insiders, we’ll hear how the Russians tried to turn Houston’s Beyonce into a weapon of mass distraction. Plus the self taught scientist who gather more data from inside a tornado than anyone else before or since, but in the chase for data lost his life. Also, what could keep a new oil boom from taking hold in west Texas? Would you believe a sand lizard? Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 11, 2018

Texan Kevin Brady may not be a household name in the rest of the US, but after a surprise announcement on Capitol Hill that could quickly change.

What House Speaker Paul Ryan’s unexpected decision to retire from congress may mean for Texas. Kevin Diaz of the Houston Chronicle joins us.

Also, with the Facebook CEO set for more congressional questions, why the interrogation from a Texas senator yesterday is being called one of the more interesting moments.

You Tube Kids-just how safe for youngsters?

And what a massive new study tells us about the implications of holding schoolkids back a grade, come counterintuitive conclusions.

Texas Standard: March 22, 2018

A video considered a confession, but police say it doesn’t reveal a motive, we’ll have the latest on the Austin serial bomber. Also, after years of record-setting growth, what are the new census numbers telling us about the state of Texas? We’ll find out. And are you concerned over how your private data is being used by Facebook or companies doing business with them? So are you sticking with Facebook? Why? And Beto O’Rourke’s challenge to Ted Cruz for Senate: the El Paso Democrat makes a big claim about school shooters…does it wash? We’ll take it to the truth o meter. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

A Handy Guide To The Most Texas-Loving Pages On Facebook

Back when Facebook was new on the net, in order to spur participation on the platform, Facebook made a page for every state and issued a challenge: “Let’s see which state can get to a million likes first.”

Texas won and won handily. It wasn’t even close.

Given Texas’s galactic reputation for state pride, the only surprise would have been had Texas not come in first. California and New York were much more tech savvy and digitally connected at the time and should have at least come in second and third, but they didn’t.

Colorado took second place, probably because the state was proud that it was once part of Texas. I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Since that time, Texas pride pages have proliferated on Facebook. Most have sister sites on Twitter, but I’m choosing to focus exclusively on Facebook for today.

So here are ten pages, of the hundreds in existence, that you might enjoy “liking” and seeing their posts in your news feed – I certainly do. I’m leaning away from the strictly business, news, political or government pages in favor of those that are mostly about celebrating Texas as a beautiful land and culture. The order is random and the choices are mine.

Traces of Texas shares fascinating photos from Texas history, recent and distant. Most are high quality black and white photos. Traces of Texas followers send in never-before-seen-by-the-public photos from old family albums and library collections. Traces of Texas is an online museum of Texas history – created by Texans, for Texans.

Texas Humor has a huge following because – I figure – most people like a good laugh as often as they can get one. They don’t publish jokes in the traditional sense. Their humor is largely visual, comprised of Texcentric memes that are all the more funny if you’re Texan. For instance, you will see a picture of wind turbines with the caption: Texas is so hot we’ve installed fans outside.

I Love Texas is perfectly named. It focuses on celebrating Texans’ love for their state, in breathtaking photos of Texas landscapes, cityscapes, and historical stories in short form. They have a sister page called I Love Texas Photographs which is certainly worth following. I Love Texas greets you every morning with a stunning photo that says, “Good Morning from the Great State of Texas” and signs off every night with a prayer for those in the military serving overseas.

Texas Hill Country is likely the granddaddy of this genre, with nearly a million followers. It has been around since before Facebook, as a site devoted mostly to exquisitely beautiful photos of the Texas Hill Country. Now it still has the photos, but has added nostalgia, music, historical stories, humor, etc. THC also has a companion page named simply Texas.

Texas Highways is a publication of the Texas Department of Transportation. It is one of the few older publications that has successfully migrated onto the net and gotten better. I enjoyed Texas Highways as a kid for their photographs and enjoy it even more today on Facebook for the same reason. But is more than photographs. It is, in their words, “the official travel magazine of Texas and the ultimate guide to the Lone Star State.”

Texas Back Roads is, like the title suggests, a backroads travel page. They say that, “From Abbott to Zunkerville and Antiques to Ziplines, we are letting you know what there is to see and do in Texas.” TBR also provides a good deal of historical stories.

Texas Storm Chasers is the premiere Texas weather page on Facebook. It further proves that the weather in Texas – and in general – is an everlasting subject for discussion. Started by two high schoolers in 2009, their aim is “to provide weather information in the evolving digital age and to share our professional storm chasing content.” Here you will find unsurpassed video and photographs of extreme weather.

Texas Country Reporter is the Facebook companion to the TV show where you’ll get links to the stories and additional Texas-centric posts that they think you’ll enjoy.

Texas Monthly is another of the classic Texas publications that has adapted to the digital age quite well, where they remain the “indisputable authority on the Texas scene,” from arts to food to travel.

Now, I said I wouldn’t mention any business pages in the list but I must include the largest following in that category by far. With 65 million “likes,” it is – drum roll please – Texas Hold’em Poker. Yep. 65 million people learning when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

The Honorable Mentions, which you can find by searching Facebook:

Best of the West (West Texas)

Texas Farm Bureau (Splendid Photos)

I AM A Texan

Texas Pride

Images from Texas

Texas Pride

Texas Mountain Trail Region (West Texas)

Vintage San Antonio

Flashback Dallas

The Texas Observer

100% Houston

El Paso Historical Society

Landscapes of the Texas Hill Country (Superb photos by master photographers)

The King Ranch

Schumacher Cattle (Texas Longhorns)

Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch

Stories from Texas

My Favorite Texas Landscape Photographers:

Wyman Meinzer (State Photographer)

Carol M. Highsmith

Tim McKenna

Jeff Lynch

Larry White

David Pine

Rob Greebon

Travis Yust

George McLemore

Matt Sklar

John Martell

Srini Sundarrajan

Texas Standard: January 10, 2018

A freewheeling white house meeting on immigration and a court order from California, so where exactly do we stand on DACA? We’ll explore. Also, during yesterday’s remarkable televised conference between the president and bipartisan congressional leaders, an especially odd moment as the president called for a return of earmarks. There were lots of nervous chuckles, but the president may be on to something, we’ll hear why. And the Dallas Fed with an economic forecast for 2018: mostly sunny, with a chance of showers, we’ll have details. And how many registered voters in Texas can’t get the proper id? Researchers may have an answer. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 19, 2017

Are republican politicians in Texas paying a price for the scandals surrounding their party leader? We’ll measure the Trump effect. Plus, almost one year away from midterms, a new poll on political attitudes in Texas and the impact of the oval office occupant. And a Mexican governor arrested south of the border, and why the US wants him in the states. Also medical professionals in the military say post traumatic stress is hard to treat. But that may be about to change, we’ll have the latest. And the election is one thing: but is Moscow messin with Texas secession? It appears the answer is da, ya’ll. All those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 29, 2017

Across sodden southeast Texas, as the rain keeps fall, rescues continue and shelters begin to overfill. We’ll have comprehensive coverage. Also, as evacuees flow into shelters in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, second-guessing grows over Houston’s decision not to issue evacuation orders. And in northwest Houston, a reverend providing shelter for others finds himself in deep water. As reservoir banks rise, now what? Also, gas shortages begin to take hold further inland, some, from the area where Harvey first made landfall, are returning home. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 6, 2017

Are Facebook and Twitter innocent channels for communication, or participants who profit from terrorist propaganda and planning? We’ll explore. Plus, after last weekend’s attacks in London, the UK turns up the heat on social media platforms. We’ll look at the implications with a leading Texas scholar. Plus, how much of the legislature can you miss and still call your self a Texas legislator? What appears to be a test of that question, and the Texas Democrat at the center of the storm. It seems to be a no-brainer: a museum of Texas Music History. Yet plans for such a place fell flat at the capitol. Why? We’ll find out. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard: