Best Texas Songs: The Short List If you're new to Texas, you better know Texas music. If you grew up in Texas and you don't know at least these or Pat Green, Dixie Chicks or T Bone Burnett, may a horned toad snuggle in your boots and a Texas tarantula crawl across you when you sleep. Full Story » Alan Nelson
Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
The life, not the death of Bernard Rapoport, 94, changed many things about our world in Texas, our world in the United States, and well, our world. I rerun a column from 1988:
“Have you ever looked at Bernard Rapoport’s eyebrows?
They turn up at the temples, instead of down like most people’s. Star Trek’s Mr. Spock has such eyebrows.
I noticed Rapoport’s eyebrows when he was describing his Russian Marxist background last week. He was in his office at American Income Life Insurance and motioning toward a 1912 photograph of his father in Siberia. His father, David Rapoport, had been sentenced to a labor camp for distributing socialist propaganda.
That’s when I noticed the eyebrows—bushy and turned up like the stereotype of great Russian leaders.
When his father was able to immigrate to the United States as a political refugee, one of the first things he did was join the Socialist Party in 1914. Like many of today’s Russian leaders, Rapoport grew up an avid Marxist.
He began to question his father’s beliefs as a 19-year-old living in San Antonio.
“Marx never anticipated the Russian Revolution,” Rapoport said. “His theory is predicated on Adam Smith’s classical economic theory. They just came to different conclusions.”
“It’s a great theory on paper,” he said. “It just doesn’t work with people. By the time I was 190, I began to understand the fallacy of Marxism and generally, I have been a better protagonist for capitalism as a result of that.”
Actually, Rapoport is a classic capitalist. He is one of the best known entrepreneurs in insurance and throughout the years has become a major political force in his own right as a key fund raiser and activist for the national Democratic Party.
On the wall opposite the one that holds the picture of his father are dozens of photographs of famous Democrats inscribed with personal notes to Rapoport.
His fortune has been made on the union movement. American Income Life Insurance sells supplementary life insurance to labor union and credit union members. He founded the firm in 1954, took it public and sold it last week in a $221 million leveraged buyout to a Chicago investment banker. The firm presently employs about 250 people in Waco, and Rapoport claims it has never had a layoff.
When asked if his Marxist father lived long enough to see his son become a successful capitalist, Rapoport laughed. David Rapoport lived until 1966, he said. He saw it all.
“But he did say I was the only honest capitalist he ever knew.”
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: Texas regulators not aware of potential CFTC manipulation probe,Irving spends incentive dollars to lure two corporate headquarters and almost 2,000 jobs;Hotels, restaurant operators prep for record Final Four;Star-Telegram presses roll one last time; Robert Rodriguez breathes new life into an old vampire favorite; ClubCorp buys Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas and Plano; Office Depot overcharged Dallas by up to $3.6 million, city auditor finds; Texas power market monitor resigns amid unresolved reform debate; and more.