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Volume 71, Issue 77, Friday, January 27, 2006


Staff Editorial


                Chris Elliott                        Zach Lee                  Christian Palmer
                Geronimo Rodriguez       Blake Whitaker       Kristen Young

World gets off to a bad start in a new semester

The Astros management: F

Someone in the Astros organization is pushing for first baseman Jeff Bagwell to give up in his quest to return for the 2006 season, and there is no excuse for that. 

Bagwell told the Houston Chronicle that the relationship between himself and the ball club "probably will never be fixed." Fair-weather fans who jumped on the bandwagon in 2005 probably see that as a good thing -- after all, if Bagwell's arthritic shoulder hasn't healed enough for him to play, an insurance company will pay him the $17 million he is owed. 

If that happens, owner Drayton McLane Jr. won't go out and get some expensive talent. He'll just keep the money and say he has faith in the young players.

As for himself, Bagwell wants to play, and true fans -- those fans who were still fans when the Astros started out 15-30 in 2005 -- know that Bagwell deserves, at the very least, a fair chance in spring training.

Economic parity in Texas: INC

The gap between the richest and middle class in Texas is wider than in any other state, and the gap between the state's richest and poorest is second only to New York, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday. At first glance, it seems like a sign of strong class lines, but as all Texans know, Texas is a unique state.

Cities in Texas are growing very quickly; San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston have all been among the nation's fastest growing cities in recent times. With those rapidly growing urban centers come more jobs and economic prosperity. 

On the other hand, Texas is large and vast expanses of sparsely populated countryside account for a large portion of the state. Economic opportunities there are more limited.

Texas economists have also cited the state's tax structure and reluctance to invest in higher education as reasons for the disparity.

Spending on higher education is -- cough, cough -- always a good thing, but this one needs a little more examination before it earns any kind of grade.


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