How did a state like Texas, which views all taxes with disdain, wind up with a tax like the one it levies on business? As I explain in my latest Texas Monthly column, few levies have drawn more scorn than the Texas business tax. People complain that it's too complicated to calculate and that it punishes businesses that are losing money. Tax experts say it impedes economic growth. And many lawmakers criticize it for generating less revenue than it was supposed to. Even lawmakers who supported it a decade ago now say they regret voting for it. In fact, the tax is the target of more than two dozen bills in the current legislative session, which call for revising it or eliminating it altogether. What were lawmakers thinking, and what are they going to do to fix it?
Who are BP's Likely Suitors Now? If you had told me a year ago that Shell was going to make one of the biggest acquisitions in energy industry history, I would have guessed the target was BP. Instead, Shell plunked down $70 billion for BG. What a difference one letter makes. But what about BP? After all, Shell and BP were long mentioned as potential dance partners. Back in the 1990s, BP's then-chief executive, John Browne, had plans to buy Shell. More recently, it seemed like the deal would go the other way. BP remains vulnerable to a takeover, but who are the most likely buyers with Shell out of the picture?
In January 1943, my father, J. Richard Steffy, was assigned as an electrician’s mate to the USS Wyffels, DE6, a new Evarts-class destroyer escort that the Navy was adding to the Atlantic fleet. After a brief shakedown cruise off Bermuda, the Wyffels and her crew of 198 were assigned to the Sixth Fleet in the North Atlantic. In all, the Wyffels made 11 crossings of the Atlantic during World War II.
My father rarely talked about his time in the Navy, and he didn’t keep in touch with his shipmates. After his death in 2007, I found hundreds of photos he’d taken during his deployment. I’ve scanned the photos in and labeled them as he did, and I share them here in hopes that others may enjoy seeing a glimpse of day to day life at sea during World War II.
My latest book,The Man Who Thought Like a Ship, was released in April, 2012. This is a very personal story for me, but also one I think you'll find interesting. In some ways, it's a book I wrote a little more each time someone asked me the seemingly simple question: "What does your father do?"
View the video below the see the reconstruction of the Kyrenia Ship
Interested in knowing more about the latest developments in energy and nautical archaeology? I've compiled two magazines on Flipboard, Energy Insights and Nautical Discoveries. They collect news from around the web, as well as my own posts on these subjects. If you're already a Flipboard user, you can simply search on the magazines' names at the login page. If you have any news links to add to either magazine, or you have any ideas for how to improve them, please let me know.
Copyright by Loren Steffy 2015. All rights reserved