Monday, February 16, 2015


I-dineout has several consecutive months of comments fighting against one local school bond issue or another in Liberty County or the surrounding area. As school district leaders in some districts that face, aging buildings, tight budgets, rapid advancements in technology, and the latest demands for excellence, negative comments by a few can make working to win support from voters a much tougher job than it should be. I have been asked to weigh in on these issues in the past but have declined assuming that since the school I have worked at for over a decade has a relationship to almost every area school, I would be falsely accused of having some bias. (Even though privately my family could tell you at least two school bond elections in Liberty County I was shocked ever even got on the ballot in the form they were presented to the public).

But any good analysis will reveal all districts don’t face the same situations and they are not all asking taxpayers to do the same thing. For those who listen to what Liberty ISD’s bond election is considering, I believe they will find this election one every voter should consider voting “for”. It wilset the stage for 15 to 20 years of great opportunity for our children, our grandchildren, teachers and community by refreshing our two oldest campuses.

If you are a conservative, I am sure you are not for pulling the taxpayer wallet out every time some one wants something new, but you probably don’t look at every school bond issue in terms of “pass” or “fail” either. Some schools like Dayton ISD may have to work extra hard to get a normally supportive community because of the amount of money they are borrowing. Some voters simply vote against spending money on anything. But informed voters that are willing to consider issuing of school bonds may pay close attention to each and every item that is on the list of what the bond is covering and, just as some voters viewed the election in the Dayton ISD bond issue, they may decide the district has extended their “need list” into a very expensive and extensive “want list”. Some of the voters in that election objected to the nearly $100 million rather than the idea of borrowing money to give the school a shot in the arm.  I don’t think anyone could find that in Liberty’s proposal.

Why do I say that? I am banking on two things. Trust and personal knowledge.

First “trust” is important and leadership from top to bottom is working to invite the public to be part of the process. Not only are they saying to come and hear and look and see how you believe after you get first hand information, they are also going out of their way to leave the decision up to as many voters as possibly can be enticed to the polls.
The committee that has endorses issuing these bonds is doing more than selling the community that this is needed, I am certain they will hold town meetings, publish community newsletters, and maybe even develop robust websites in order to get feedback and ultimately to make sure this community legacy is one we are all proud of.
School districts are also up against jaded public opinion, an offshoot of increasingly divisive politics at all levels of government. Unfortunately, public confidence in any publicly-funded institution, including our public schools, erodes more and more with each passing year. I have certainly been an outspoken voice at times that has screamed “hold on to your wallets” and at 57 years old I guess some would expect that of me here,  but I believe the public’s support for the amount of money the committee has recommended and for the needs should be considered favorably as we enter the process.
This is not the federal government in D.C. or the state government is Austin wanting more money from us, this is the “local control” and local decision making some of us believe should be used on many more of the important decisions in our lives.

But pass trusting the leadership, personal knowledge should increase voters to lean toward a “yes’ vote. Personal knowledge, including if you attended school in what is now known as the administration building, should help you realize we need to pass a school bond. Liberty’s maintenance crew and different projects in past years may have it looking like a pretty good building, but with all due respect to the power washing and excellent paints and patches and re-purposing that can be done now days, this building must be closing in on 100 years old. And it was not the greatest design (with its flat roof) when it had its ribbon cutting before most of us were born. Besides, most of the years that this building has stood it endured active vibrant teenagers, now it is subject to overcrowding with co-op, maintenance and transportation, the tax office and admin all housed there now.

This building is just one example, albeit an obvious one, of the need to make some changes. I chose it because my more libertarian friends fight almost any public expenditure by making the simple assertion that money should have been set back all along as this was planned for.

I have two comments about a statement that sounds good but does not meet the reality test. First comment: “In reality, it is a rare person or organization that sets back money and pays cash for a building. While it seems ideal, it has not happened and we need to go forward from here. Low interest rates make this a good time to go forward.

Second comment: There is only one constant involved in the school business and in Liberty ISD. It is not the school board or the Superintendent, we have had many of those. Long term planning is being done by the current board and administrators, for example a bus rotation plan that uses grants and a time schedule to keep the fleet current. This is good solid business planning, but the only consistent “controlling authority” has always been the taxpayer. And we need to examine the current proposal and see if we can catch up with what needs to be done to give our children and our community a school that has the best chance of success while at the same time holds our yearly tax bills down.

Richard Pegues

Thursday, February 12, 2015


For the rest our lives there is no doubt in my mind we will hear how Al Gore beat George W. Bush in Florida and should have been the 43rd President of the United States and how “Bush lied us into a war with Iraq”. Both things are not true and those who think they can prove otherwise might try to sell some everglade property in their sales pitch.

Please find below a short article that has an abbreviated rebuttal of such nonsense:

The Dangerous Lie That ‘Bush Lied’
Reposted article by Laurence H. Silberman


Some journalists still peddle this canard as if it were fact. This is defamatory and could end up hurting the country.

In recent weeks, I have heard former Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier on Fox News twice asserting, quite offhandedly, that President George W. Bush “lied us into war in Iraq.”
I found this shocking. I took a leave of absence from the bench in 2004-05 to serve as co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction—a bipartisan body, sometimes referred to as the Robb-Silberman Commission. It was directed in 2004 to evaluate the intelligence community’s determination that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD—I am, therefore, keenly aware of both the intelligence provided to President Bush and his reliance on that intelligence as his primary casus belli. It is astonishing to see the “Bush lied” allegation evolve from antiwar slogan to journalistic fact.
The intelligence community’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) stated, in a formal presentation to President Bush and to Congress, its view that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction—a belief in which the NIE said it held a 90% level of confidence. That is about as certain as the intelligence community gets on any subject.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


The golf ball don’t lie, so just like bowling, our President has had six years with room for great improvement. He can no doubt climb the ladder in Presidential standings: No word on whether he is still the worst bowler (last known bowling score: 30) ever to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but he has definitely passed up Woodrow Wilson in the golf category:

1. John F. Kennedy Despite chronic back pain, averaged 80.
2 Dwight D. Eisenhower Had a green outside the Oval Office.
3 Gerald R. Ford Clumsy, but was a legitimate 80s-shooter.
4 Franklin D. Roosevelt At 39, polio robbed him of a powerful golf swing.
5 George H.W. Bush Once got his handicap down to 11.
6 George W. Bush prez is a capable 15-handicapper.
7 Bill Clinton Can break 90, especially using his "Billigans."
8 Barack Obama The lefty plays more hoops than golf.
9. Woodrow Wilson As bad at golf as he was at governing 100+

PLEASE NOTE: So far this President remains behind Wilson and all others as far as governing, but who knows, if he stays on the golf course night and day, he might pass Wilson, Jimmy Carter, James Buchanan, and Andrew Johnson.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared February 2nd to be “Chris Kyle Day” to honor the Texan who became known the most lethal sniper in American history. Kyle was also recently immortalized in the blockbuster film movie, American Sniper.

Kyle was credited with 150 sniper kills during his four tours of duty in Iraq as a Navy Seal. He was tragically shot and killed on February 2, 2013, while trying to help a fellow veteran who was allegedly suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.