Columns

Behind the Lines |
January 20, 2013

Emergency!

Why are the UT regents letting Galveston’s only hospital die?…

Back Page |
January 20, 2013

No Direction Home

After four years in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’m finally a civilian again. I thought that was what I wanted.

The Texanist |
January 1, 2013

The Texanist

Is the secret to good healthy actually “Crazy Water”? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: I am a Texan of advanced age who is hearing all the clamor surrounding health care. I grew up in Mineral Wells, drinking the famed water they merchandise, and I enjoy great…

Politics & Policy |
January 1, 2013

On the Money

As the Eighty-third Legislature gears up at the Capitol this month, will lawmakers be penny-wise and pound-foolish? Or just plain foolish?…

The Texanist |
December 1, 2012

The Texanist

My husband wants to taxidermy our dog when he goes to that big yard in the sky. I don’t. Can I convince him this is wrong? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: Our family dog is getting on in age, and my husband and I have begun…

The Culture |
October 31, 2012

The Texanist

What’s the etiquette of political yard signs? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: My housemate and I have very different political leanings, but we’ve never let this get in the way of our friendship. We have an agree-to-disagree policy. Then, without any discussion, she put a…

Books |
July 31, 2012

Hecho en Brownsville

The grand opening of a new H-E-B in McAllen drew crowds—including several who showed up to hear a native son read from his collection of locally set short stories.

Letter from Aransas Pass |
July 31, 2012

Crane Man

Former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Tom Stehn didn’t want to get involved in a lawsuit against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. But when a U.S. marshal showed up in his driveway, he realized he had one more chance to help out his beloved, endangered whooping cranes.

Behind the Lines |
July 31, 2012

The Big Test

Before Robert Scott stepped down as the state’s education commissioner in July, he told anyone who would listen that high-stakes standardized exams were ruining the public schools. But is it too late to learn from his lesson?…

Politics & Policy |
June 30, 2012

Right to Strife

In Republican-dominated Texas, the May 29 primary might as well have been the general election. And what it revealed is a party perfectly capable of doing battle with itself, no Democrats required.

The Culture |
June 30, 2012

Meat, My Maker

When Dallas’s very own Marvin Lee Aday—that’s Meat Loaf to you—optioned one of my screenplays, he didn’t just offer me a glimpse of paradise by the dashboard lights. He also helped me write a novel.

Letter from Palm Beach |
June 30, 2012

Goodman Gone Bad

Flamboyant Houston millionaire John Goodman’s trial for vehicular manslaughter was a circus. Somewhere in the middle of it, the guy I used to know was thinking . . . what exactly?…

Prudence Mackintosh |
April 30, 2012

Dear Jane

My mother-in-law knew how to sew, keep an immaculate house, and dress stylishly. In short, she was nothing like the unpolished young woman who married her son. Perhaps that’s why we loved each other so much.

Sports |
April 30, 2012

Buyer Beware

Dear Jim Crane, new owner of the Houston Astros: Please don’t screw things up as badly as the last guy did.

Letter from Matagorda County |
March 31, 2012

A Grain of Doubt

For more than 75 years, rice farmers in Matagorda County and elsewhere along the Gulf have shared the waters of the Colorado River with urban residents in the Hill Country. But with city centers booming and an almost-certain drought ahead, the state is being forced to choose between a water-intensive…

Behind the Lines |
March 31, 2012

General Admission

Will Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin help the U.S. Supreme Court decide affirmative action once and for all? Not likely, which is why it's time to let public universities make their own decision about which students to accept.

News & Politics |
March 1, 2012

Power Trio

In this excerpt from Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency, letters, interviews, and historic documents offer a revealing glimpse into the stormy relationship between Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedys.

Behind the Lines |
March 1, 2012

Class Warfare

Since 1984, the State of Texas has battled one school finance lawsuit after another. In nearly every case, the system has been ruled unequal, unfair, and unconstitutional—yet it remains largely unchanged. Will this time be any different?…

Politics & Policy |
February 1, 2012

The Swan Song of Ron

This year’s Republican primary will most likely be Ron Paul’s final run for office. And to the surprise of a political establishment that long ago wrote him off, he’s going out on a high note.

Letter From Ingleside on the Bay |
February 1, 2012

His Town

In 2004, after Marty Rathbun left the Church of Scientology and settled on the Texas Gulf Coast, he thought he had put his difficult past behind him. Then the Squirrel Busters showed up.

Hunting |
January 1, 2012

The Bucks Stop Here

East Texas deer breeder Billy Powell flouted the laws against importing live whitetails, emailing photos of his illegally obtained animals to prospective customers. Then Texas Parks and Wildlife came calling.

Denton Cooley |
January 1, 2012

Two Hearts

Conducting the country’s first successful heart transplant and the world’s first artificial heart transplant made Denton Cooley a household name—and turned one of his closest colleagues against him.

Music |
December 1, 2011

The Keys to My Heart

For decades, I had an on-again, off-again love affair with the piano. Today, my ardor is once more in bloom—to the envy of even my husband.

Business |
December 1, 2011

Enron Ever After

Ten years ago this month, the company that once dominated Houston collapsed in a cloud of debt. But its ghost still haunts the city—and America.

Hunting |
October 31, 2011

Eat, Prey, Love

For decades, a treasured plot of Hill Country land meant one thing to the men in my family: a chance to kill lots of deer. Today, it means something different.

Letter from San Antonio |
October 31, 2011

Dogs of War

Why did the world’s most high-tech military bring along a dog when it raided Osama bin Laden’s compound? A visit to Lackland Air Force Base’s canine training school, in San Antonio, provides a few answers.

Politics & Policy |
October 31, 2011

Left Behind

Rick Perry’s stumbles on the national stage have inadvertently highlighted the weakness of his opposition back home—Texas Democrats.

The Texanist |
September 30, 2011

Offering Fine Advice Since 2007

How do I explain topless sunbathing in Austin to my children? Illustration by Jack Unruh Q: I was in Austin visiting my brother recently, and he took me and my kids, a nine-year-old girl and a ten-year-old boy, to Barton Springs Pool to go…