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FOLLOW THE LEADER: It is time to cut spending

Imagine this scenario: You've been unemployed for a year or so, but hung on to both SUVs, the 5000-square-foot house, and, when you get home from a trip to the Bahama's next week, you are off to buy the newest 60-inch flat screen TV. You get to do all this because Uncle Harry, who has lived frugally and saved all his life, keeps giving you loans.

Now, imagine old Harry shows up for a visit. What might he think when he pulls into the drive in his 10-year-old Chevy Nova? He'll probably be wondering what in the heck he's doing loaning you money.

And Chinese President Hu Jintao probably knows just how Uncle Harry would feel.


SOCIAL MEDIA: Are we safe?

People are friendly by nature. We want to connect and meet others - it is in our genetic makeup. In today's tech-friendly world, social media has become the gathering place for the masses. Social media brings people together. It opens conversations. It gives you a voice.

Social media can also be a very dangerous platform. And it is getting worse every day.


BLAME GAME: Partisan war must end

The terrible shooting in Arizona last  weekend that critically wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and left six people dead and another 13 wounded has left a nation in mourning. It was a senseless act of violence from a deeply disturbed man, Jared Loughner.

However, the blame game that has engulfed our nation's two most prominent political parties and the national media reeks of political opportunism. The victims of this violence deserve much better.


2011 in SS: Challenges lie ahead

As 2010 winds down, we turn our collective attention to 2011, where there many challenges facing our local leaders. Two of the most important challenges we face concern our downtown area and our school system. While these challenges are certainly not in the "quick fix" category, we would like to see improvement in the following areas:


SPENDING CUTS: Rough year ahead

If there is one thing members of the Texas Legislature are asking Santa for this Christmas, it is probably extra money — or a frozen calendar. Because without one or the other, it is going to be a chilly winter in Austin.

The 82nd Texas Legislature is scheduled to convene Jan. 11, 2011, and is expected is face one of the toughest budget crunches in state history. You can bet this won't be a fun session.

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