The injury was bad enough. Millions of us shivered in the cold. Countless of us suffered property damage that is incomprehensible in its scope statewide. Entire cities are without water, and a city of 100,000 ... my hometown of Tyler ... had its water treatment plant go down because electricity to it was shut off as part of a rolling blackout.

How does a major city’s water supply get shut off? Is someone checking to see what is being affected, or are they blindfolded and throwing darts at a board?

My place of work, an enormous facility that employs 1,500 people, was flooded by ruptured pipes. The pipes froze because the power and water were shut off ... rolling blackout again ... and there was no way to keep them flowing.

Some people died trying to stay warm. Women and children perished in vehicles because their homes didn’t have power.

The injury was bad enough, but now?

The insult.

ERCOT’s statement Friday trying to cast the organization as saviors is an outrage. No one I know, at least no one with any sense, is falling for it.

The REAL reason for this human and economic catastrophe is that a state of 30 million people has less reliable electricity than it had 10 million residents ago. In 2018 alone coal fired plants that could have supplied millions were allowed to close. Not only that, but more plants are scheduled to shut down. Martin Creek and Welsh will be offline by 2028.

How can this be allowed to happen? I’m no expert or scientist, but I have known for years that what is happening is foolishness. A couple of years ago, after the Monticello plant closed, an August heat wave caused blackouts in East Texas that caused many of us to lose all the food in our refrigerators and freezers in addition to sweltering in our homes.

This is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and Texans with a lick of sense are not going to be fooled by this ERCOT charade.

People need to be held accountable and real action, not flowery speeches, are not only necessary but demanded.

The people of Texas are watching.

Tom Ward



In one word, the Texas electric grid failure is …unacceptable. This week’s winter storm events followed by rolling blackouts across the state due to different types of power supplies going offline is a repeat performance of a major winter storm event in 2011. In 2011, when Greg Abbott was the attorney general of Texas, a special legislative session was conducted after the 2011 winter event, and conclusions were recommended, including that all our power suppliers need to do a comprehensive overhaul by weatherizing all pipes, generators, plants and grids from future, extremely cold weather events.

Judging by this week’s events, those recommendations were never fulfilled, and without state oversight, much less state “leaders” acquiescing (kneeling with heads bowed) to the energy supplier companies, 4.7 million Texans were without electricity for days at a time along with 13 confirmed deaths. Greg Abbott can say and act that this week’s 2021 winter event electric grid failure was a first-time occurrence; but, put simply, this is NOT true and Abbott is lying. Both Abbott and Rick Perry, who was governor in 2011, failed to ensure that Texans would be safe from similar future cold-weather events, simply due to one fact: their desire to be reelected or ascend the state power hierarchy, and more importantly, the 2011 legislative session recommendations were never taken seriously, much less completed, as apparently, profits appear to matter more than our lives. This week’s events occur in third-world countries, NOT Texas. Get it right.

Roshin Rowjee



The losers who manage the Texas grid should be fired and replaced with Texans who love our free state enough to stop the foolish, UNDEPENDABLE energy production methods of wind and solar. Stop the subsidies and you will see that those methods are unsustainable without propping up with our tax dollars.

The ERCOT board is smart people, so I cannot conclude but that they don’t have our best interests at heart. Consider that they may have done this purposefully to bring Texas to her knees by putting the state in a position to lose its entire grid if an emergency hit. Do not doubt that there are people who want to see Texas go down and deny the state its leadership position in the nation.

Our focus as citizens should be to get elected leaders in office who will wisely make decisions because they are grounded in truth and honesty. Coal, oil, gas, and nuclear are DEPENDABLE methods of electrical production. We will not keep our businesses or attract new business if we continue the foolish pipedream of using UNDEPENDABLE sources of electrical generation. Let our deep concern be known about this basic of all public utility policy. Call, write, text and visit our elected and unelected officials as well as the utility company leaders and let them know how serious we are about this foolishness that has killed and hurt many people and caused untold millions of damage. This could have been prevented.

Tim Melvin



With many of the windmills frozen and with no sum to power solar panels, I think that it is God’s way of telling us that this Global Warming and the Green New Deal is all big bunk. He is probably thinking, “Look people, I made you smarter than this (save Joe and Al and Nancy and AOC, and a whole bunch of others).” He might say, “I turned once tropical forest into desert. I turned once thick forest at the south pole into a frozen uninhabitable chunk of ice. I covered most of the earth with water. I covered most of the earth with ice. I put together millions of years ago the making of great seas and put in billions of micro organisms and great areas of peat moss and then covered them with earth and water to create enough fossil fuels to last for hundreds of years. Yes. I commanded you to be good stewards of the earth, but to shut down the manufacturing in a country that has made great strides to be good stewards and turn that manufacturing of goods over to countries that have made no effort to be good stewards, is ludicrous. I created earth so it would heal itself, yet there are those (some mentioned earlier) who must think they are smarter than I and think they are the ones who can heal the earth. Again, ludicrous. Remember me, trust in me and I will continue to nourish and bless you.

“Wednesday, I took from your presence, one of my precious workers. Yes, Rush was truly On Loan.”

Johnny Smith



Why when all of the Republican senators know Donald Trump is guilty do they not vote that way? All the newscasts they showed prove he instigated the insurrection and was happy about it. Trump started using the conspiracy theory before the election since he knew he was going to lose. He lies about everything. He has done that from day one. He said the virus would not affect us even though he knew better. All he cared about was himself and helping out his campaign. This was the most secure election of all as stated by some Republicans and others. Over 60 court cases were thrown out for lack of evidence and absurdity. He is a spoiled brat and cannot take defeat. Why can’t people see the light that Biden won because of Trump’s antics.

What is really profound is when Republicans stand up against Trump their fellow Republicans censure them. Mitch McConnell came out and insinuated that Trump was guilty of the insurrection and can still receive consequences for his actions. Of course he and the others are being bad mouthed by Trump and his cronies, like Ted Cruz, for their criticism of Trump. I believe the Republicans want all of their party not to have any different opinions. They want them to be like robots and all think exactly alike. It is sort of like the Stepford wives. I pity the country if Trump gets back in office or runs the Republican party. He wants to be a dictator like his buddy Putin. He takes Putin’s word over his own people.

We need to stand up for our country and follow the constitution. It is obvious that Cruz and his allies were going against our constitution and a fair election. Trump and his die hard allies tried to steal the election. They helped instigate riots to further their cause, They did not follow our laws. They are really guilty as charged even though their fellow Republicans did not have the courage to convict. This is a great nation that we need to follow our laws to protect. Let us come together as one nation under god.

Harvey Collen



{div}As I was growing up, I often had my dad say, “Son, you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.” That was a common response to any argument or dispute which was being blown far out of proportion to its merit. Feb. 12, as I heard summations of the Democratic House Impeachment managers condemn and indict President Trump, I couldn’t help but remember my dad’s words, they were indeed making a mountain out of a mole hill. I agree with Senator Ted Cruz, their words were “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

The things that President Donald Trump said and did were minor in comparison to the comments, suggestions and threats of Democrats in both the House and Senate over the past four years. Their hate spared no words! They have said and done things that incited mobs and radicals by the thousands to the extent that they burned, looted and killed in several major cities. Democratic office holders incited riots that cost untold folks their lives and many more their livelihoods. It is puzzling and amazing that there was no Democratic outcry for quick, sure and extreme penalties for those within their ranks who had made incendiary comments, most of which were purely and blatantly traitorous, about our duly elected sitting president. Instead, they gave words of support, “We will never stop fighting.” Rather than being indicted and condemned by their peers, they were lauded! They and the Democratic group who encouraged and allowed such to go unchallenged were never called out and censured or ejected from their seats in our legislature. Each still draw paychecks from the government they spoke to undermine. And you and I must continue to underwrite their behavior with our taxes in order that they can draw their exorbitant (for what they actually do) pay and golden parachute benefits!{/div}

{div}{div}I suspect that had this questionable election gone to Donald Trump, the widespread destruction, burning, killing, looting and political anarchy provoked and incited by Trump haters would have far overshadowed the sad event that occurred in Washington on Jan. 6. The last four years of disgraceful activity in Washington seems to have created a new low benchmark in political maladjustment.{/div}{/div}

{div}{div}We MUST limit terms. We must elect RESPONSIBLE, REASONABLE men of proven character and integrity. They MUST support our U.S. Constitution, rule of law, border sovereignty and national unity and be held to account if they violate those principles. We must demand uniform, accurate and accountable elections in which each and every ballot is trackable and verifiable. Anything less will result in the anarchy and chaos we now see in this and other less developed countries which are struggling to survive.{/div}{/div}

{div}I believe we can and will survive, but only if we take seriously the challenges that loom before us and have the individual initiative to correct a broken legislative body and a failing national ethic.

Jim Bearden



{span}The past few years have contained some of the most negative circumstances of my lifetime. Among these, our president impeached twice shadowed by political polarization; global pandemic; continued problems with racial inequity, and increasing global environmental degradation are examples of an overall negative cloak on us. Computers and robots are taking over many of the jobs that folks need to be productive, independent citizens.{/span}

{span}However, the very nature of these events naturally can give rise to an equal and opposite reaction. It can create motivation for rethinking those habits and standards we have taken for granted.{/span}

{span}In current times we have, effectively, two political parties depending on an embedded system affording election results. Congressional districts are gerrymandered based on which party is in charge. Unlimited donations by a few ultra-rich and agencies for interest groups are made to collective funds for candidates that vote the right way. Followers speak in repetitive cliches. This may be the moment when citizens tire of such shallow politics and demand thoughtful politics. Members in the House and Senate could be motivated to form joint committees with the task of accumulating substance from both sides tempered by an overall desire to do the best for the people. Cliches could be replaced with logic and reason. Rambling replaced with the most powerful form of persuasion … listening.{/span}

{span}Blake Bailey{/span}


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