Fort Worth Weekly was scheduled to be a small part of Historic Fort Worth Inc.’s annual awards last week – reporters Dan McGraw and Betty Brink were due to be honored. But as it turned out, our little rag led off the show.

Featured speaker Pratt Cassity, a renowned professor of design and preservation at the University of Georgia, began by saying he had a hard time deciding on a title for his speech. He listed his first two choices; one was “When Community Improvement and Urban Growth Collide with Preservation.” Now, there’s a barn-burner. While he dithered, during his day in town, he went for lunch at a Mexican restaurant on South Main Street, and inspiration dropped into his lap, in the form of the Weekly’s “Best of 2008” edition. He opened it up and saw editor Gayle’s Reaves’ introductory essay, called “Holding the Reins on Change.”

“This is the slogan you need to adopt,” Cassity told the crowd, “and everyone here should read this essay.”  You heard the man: Go read it, if you haven’t already. And take another minute to congratulate the reporters. McGraw was honored for writing about the city’s shutdown of Heritage Park and Brink for her exposure of the Tarrant County College downtown campus mess. We may not hold the reins, but we do our best to tell you where the buggy’s headed.

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Good News … Eventually
And as for the wildly careening buggy of the U.S. economy, the stock market may be falling, but Ravi Batra’s stock is rising. The international economist and futurist at Southern Methodist University called the global financial crisis years ago. As reported in the Weekly’s July 30 cover story (“A Radical Time to be Alive”) – and more recently discussed on Air America’s Thom Hartmann Program, where he is a frequent guest – Batra has predicted an economic collapse followed by a massive revolution against greed.

In that story, Batra said, “July is the start of a long period of global economic turmoil. Now that the turmoil is here for everyone to see, my worst fears are confirmed. An economic collapse is on the way.” Take heart, though. The collapse will eventually give way to “a golden age where extreme income and wealth disparities disappear to eliminate poverty on earth,” Batra told freelance reporter Kendall Anderson. “We will soon see a revolution and then, 20 to 40 years from now, economic democracy and the end of monopoly capitalism” (and billionaires).

A long-time critic of U.S. monetary policy, Batra correctly predicted the low inflation, falling oil prices, mergers, and soaring stock prices of the 1980s, the current housing downturn, and, back in the 1960s, the rise of Islam, He even predicts the rise of a leader who demonstrates integrity and hope for a people tired of greed and corruption. Can we have an O? What guidance will Batra share with us today? See his web site,

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