Tuesday’s death of high-tech pioneer and unorthodox but engaging two-time presidential candidate Ross Perot at age 89 constitutes passage of not only an authentic American patriot and philanthropist but an individual who represented the best of Texas in everything from innovation to independence to ready delivery of chicken-fried witticisms. And while he had maintained a low profile in the years since his grassroots presidential pursuits, his life story has much to emulate and many lessons to learn.

A certain amount of understandable whining commenced Monday with formal acceptance of Katie Allgood’s resignation as the city of Hewitt’s embattled managing director of administration in exchange for a $110,000 settlement. The settlement is part of a broader separation agreement between the city and Allgood, who in turn agrees to dismiss a lawsuit alleging bias and sexual harassment, primarily involving then-Mayor Ed Passalugo and former Councilman Kurt Krakowian.

Flashback

What were we talking about one year ago? Take a look back.

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh prepares for his confirmation hearings, no institution of American government is more shrouded in mythology than the Supreme Court. The uber-myth is that the court is an objective institution that makes decisions by applying the facts of a case to the relevant statute, constitutional text, intent of the framers and precedents. But in fact, scholars such as Eric Segallwrite,the role of politics is so substantial that "the Supreme Court is not a court and its justices are not judges." Here are five of the most persistent misconceptions.

How serious are President Donald Trump's latest trade threats against China? The scale of the new measures -- 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products -- will certainly get Beijing's attention. But the headline figure matters less than the industries being targeted and their relative importance to China's economy. By that metric, this latest attack is a serious escalation.

I was about to enjoy my morning cup of tea at my favorite coffee shop when I realized there were no plastic straws. For most people, this would be a minor annoyance or inconvenience. For me, a disabled person, no straw means no drink -- if I try drinking my tea without a straw, I risk choking or burning myself with the hot liquid. Unwilling to take the risk, I offered the tea to my friend.