Thursday, April 19, 2018

CD 5 runoff: NRA Stabs Texas Conservatives in the Back (All Over Again)....

"A false witness shall not be unpunished: and he that speaketh lies, shall perish."
Proverbs 19:9


This is sad; it was also predictable.

Lance Gooden is an awful state representative, but it wasn't until we saw this announcement that we realized the degree to which his underwhelming record extends to the Second Amendment. 

Did Gooden support constitutional carry last session?!?  Two bills were filed.  Nope and nope.

The funniest part, however, is that the stupid "fee reduction" bill to which they refer was so meaningless that the Bloomberg Fembots didn't even object to it at the time.

Bottom Line: Nobody thought the post-Parkland Kumbaya session would last, but this is a spectacular failure even by the standards of the National Rino Association....

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

#atxcouncil: Government Agency (with Well Documented Vindictive Streak) Seeks Vague, Open-Ended, Powers (to enforce arbitrarily)....

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

By now, there's been plenty of ink spilled on the City of Austin's proposed new "window screen" regulations; a representative sample:
The City of Austin’s Code Department is asking for residents opinion on a new regulation to add to its already lengthy list of them.

The regulation would require homeowners to install insect screens to all windows on their homes, at all times of the year.


Of course, while mosquitoes and bugs do pose an issue during the summer months and those surrounding them, they are all but a non-factor throughout the rest of the year. Nevertheless, that is when the City of Austin decided they would attempt to regulate Austinites year round. No word yet on how the city would enforce or punish if the regulation was to be put into place.
There's a lot that can be said about this proposal, starting with the fact that this is a textbook example of the type of mandated costs that slowly but surely drives up cost of living.

But it goes deeper.

Anyone who know the Austin Code Department's record knows their long history letting their friends do whatever they want while those they don't like are hounded incessantly.

In just the past few years, the Austin Code Department has:
  • [Note: While the three examples listed above are the most flagrant abuses of which we're aware, this YouTube channel details numerous other acts of petty tyranny by the code department.]
And that's before we get into the unconstitutional enforcement powers the code department has been granted under the Short-Term Rental ordinance.

In other words, as it relates to any potential screen ordinance, 'selective enforcement' will be the order of the day.

Bottom Line: On what planet do we want to give the Austin Code Department, as it currently exists, this sort of power?!?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TCEQ (once again) Talking Out of Both Sides of it's Mouth in South Texas

"I brought you into a bountiful country,
To eat its fruit and its goodness.
But when you entered, you defiled My land
And made My heritage an abomination."
Jeremiah 2:7

A couple of years ago, we discussed how a landfill project in South Texas didn't sit right.  It seemed like TCEQ was telling local residents one thing and telling something different to the developers.  We furthermore remarked that one of those afore mentioned project developers seemed to be playing an environmental smoke and mirrors game.

In late March, TCEQ announced another hearing on the topic. We have a source who's been following the issue with whom we've been corresponding by e-mail since the hearing was announced. We're reprinting the relevant sections with permission.

"Red Panda" to us, 4/5/2018:
That Laredo landfill issue is still brewing… The TCEQ has set a public meeting for May 1 in Laredo.  The TCEQ has also extended the public comment period for 30 days beyond the date of the public meeting date.
It appears that TCEQ staff violated agency rules and their own legislative testimony by approving the landfill to be built in a 100-year floodplain just days after promising lawmakers that, “the standard is you still can’t develop [landfills] in a 100-year floodplain.” 
The 953-acre Laredo floodplain landfill complex has never received the required county floodplain development authorization, never addressed underground oil and gas pipelines, and never resolved property ownership conflicts or otherwise complied with TCEQ’s own requirements specifically imposed in Notice of Deficiency issued by the agency on October 11, 2016.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on this on May 1 at 7PM at Texas A & M International University, Student Center 2nd Floor Ballroom, Room 203 5201 University Boulevard 
Laredo, Texas 78041-1900 
TCEQ's testimony related to 100-year flood plains occurred at an interim hearing of the house Environmental Regulation committee in January; Webb County's letter outlining the violations in this specific instance can be viewed here.

"Red Panda" on 4/11/2018:
The residents still appear to be worried. And speaking of TCEQ, they’ve set a public meeting for about two weeks from now, on May 1 in Laredo. The public comment period will also be extended by TCEQ for 30 days beyond that May 1 public meeting.

The meeting is probably going to be pretty heated. Opponents of the landfill are pointing to TCEQ staff apparently having violated agency rules and gone counter to their own legislative testimony by approving the landfill being built in a 100-year floodplain. In testimony to lawmakers, Earl Lott, of TCEQ’s Permit Waste Division, appears to have stated that TCEQ currently bars construction within the 100 year floodplain, and that TCEQ is “required to coordinate with FEMA to assure the facilities was (sic) not located within the 100 year flood plain.”

Opponents also point to Webb County’s Planning Department having denied the landowner a floodplain development permit, which is needed to move forward. So there are more than a few things here that do not look quite right on spec.

Anyway, if you’re in Laredo and you’re looking to watch a big public fight go down—or you want in on it—the TCEQ meeting will be on May 1 at 7PM at Texas A & M International University, Student Center, 2nd Floor Ballroom, Room 203, 5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, Texas 78041-1900.
Bottom Line: At a minimum, TCEQ should be saying the same thing to local residents and the developers.  They should also follow their own rules.  For whatever reason, that's not currently happening....

Monday, April 16, 2018

Texas State Appeases Mob; ABBOTT REMAINS SILENT (Likewise Texas Senate)

"Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:20

On Friday we discussed the farce at Texas State University.  Well, it's over.  The crazies won.

And they got everything they wanted.

If you can stand to stomach it, you can read the University President's letter of surrender here.

Texans have every right to be livid.  Following the lawless actions of a university bureaucrat making over $169k, a group of students took over a building.  Then the university gave them everything they wanted.  All this in an allegedly "conservative" state.

We've said it before, but it bears repeating: The Board of Regents can stop this nonsense.  And if the Board of Regents fails to act, the Governor who appoints them can step up.  But Texas' allegedly "conservative" Governor hasn't said a peep.

Also: Wouldn't it be nice if the Texas Senate would stop rubber stamping Regent nominees?!?

Bottom Line: Texas' public universities are a state agency.  If he were to choose to use it, the Governor has jurisdiction.  But why actually do the job to which you were elected when you can sell paranoid fantasies about George Soros on Fox News?!?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

#TXLEGE: Popular Democrat Talking Point turns out to be based on BOGUS Statistics

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

If you pay attention to the Texas Legislature long enough, you'll eventually hear some Democrat yammering about Texas' allegedly high "maternal mortality rate"; but it's not so, according to a new study out this week:
My home state of Texas has long been scrutinized for its insanely high maternal mortality rates. Concerned partisans have claimed that Texas legislators have cut family planning and other healthcare provisions and implemented tougher abortion restrictions, which has resulted in an increase in maternal deaths and generally inadequate healthcare for new mothers.

But new research has found that the oft-cited maternal mortality statistics rest on inaccurate numbers and bad reporting.

Per a study published Monday in Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers found that the previously-reported statistics for maternal mortality in Texas were far from the truth. They confirmed 56 maternal deaths –– significantly fewer than the original number that made national headlines.

Apparently, there were several issues with reporting and various actors using bad information to make their claims. In their words, “approximately half of obstetric-coded deaths showed no evidence of pregnancy within 42 days, and a large majority of these incorrectly indicated pregnancy at the time of death.”
It's also worth pointing out that, while every single preventable death is a tragedy, even if you take the original 147 figure at face value it's still a miniscule percentage of the 380,000+ births in Texas per yer.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Abbott's Higher Ed Mendacity, Senate's Passivity, Produce Predictably Poisonous Fruits....

"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
Matthew 7:20

Did you know that, two days ago, a group of leftist students took over a building at a public university in Texas?!?  Neither did we.  But apparently it started on Wednesday at Texas State.

According to Texas State sources, the alleged transgression stems from the refusal of several incumbent members of the student government  refusing to participate in a Nicholai Yezhov style inquisition designed to grease the skids for their impeachment.

KVUE has details:

At issue were two allegedly "racist" posts the outgoing student body president made on Instagram.  The social media posts gave the usual left-wing suspects a pretext to pursue the president's impeachment.  The impeachment drive was political retaliation for outgoing president's support for basic sanity during an incident last fall.

Unfortunately for the "woke" crowd at Texas State, the president survived the impeachment attempt.  But who needs the rule of law when the bureaucrats are on your side?!?  That's where Dean of Students Margarita Arellano [Note: Making $169,576] enters the picture.

Despite the dismissal of the impeachment attempt, Arellano unilaterally overruled the proscribed authorities.  Out of thin air, Arellano invented a justification for the impeachment to continue.  The show trial was scheduled for this past Wednesday.

On Wednesday, several members of the Texas State student government refused to dignify the inquisition.  By refusing to show up, they denied the event a quorum.  The impeachment failed.

Following the failure of the impeachment, the building takeover began; you can follow events in real time on Twitter here.


There's a lot we can say, but it boils down to this: WHERE THE HELL IS THE BOARD OF REGENTS?!?

You have a Dean at a Public University (making $169k) lawlessly inventing standards for student governance.  You then have lawless trespassing on public property.  Yet the senior leadership of the afore mentioned PUBLIC university appeases the mob.

At this point, it's time for the Board of Regents to step in and restore sanity.

Also, wouldn't it be nice if the Governor who appoints the Board of Regents would weigh in?!?


Wouldn't it also be nice if the Texas Senate would stop passively rubber-stamping University Regent nominations?!?


Bottom Line: Imagine a world in which the allegedly "conservative" Governor of an allegedly "conservative" state actually held his appointees to public university Boards accountable for situations like the ongoing mess in San Marcos....

Thursday, April 12, 2018

#TXLEGE: Beebe BLASTS Opponent's (aka. Straus' Handpicked Successor) UNCONSTITUTIONAL Attempt to DISARM INNOCENT CIVILIANS

"Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me."
Nehemiah 4:18

From the Inbox:
Beebe Calls On Allison to Rescind His Unconstitutional Stance on Gun Rights
(San Antonio, TX) On Thursday Matt Beebe called upon his opponent, Steve Allison, to rescind his statement advocating for unconstitutional actions that infringe upon Texas citizen’s 4th Amendment and 2nd Amendment rights. 
Last week the San Antonio Express News published an article where Mr. Allison took the position that any citizen should be subject to being stopped and lawfully detained if they are open carrying a firearm (a lawful exercise of their 2nd Amendment rights), and be required to produce identification:
Allison, a longtime friend of Straus, believes police have a right to order anyone who is openly carrying a gun in public to produce a license for the firearm.
“I do think (police) have a right to see a license where there’s a weapon involved,” said Allison.
Beyond the plain reading of the Constitution, there are volumes of court decisions over the last 50 years since Terry v Ohio that have consistently maintained that to “allow stops in this setting would effectively eliminate Fourth Amendment protections for lawfully armed persons.”  This is unacceptable.
Perpetuating this basic misunderstanding of the Constitution directly endangers lawful citizens by misleading local law enforcement, which continues to lead to tragic outcomes across the country and locally.  Short of physical harm to citizens from untrained law enforcement, local taxpayers are at risk of huge monetary judgements against government entities which violate the Constitutional rights of citizens, as has been shown in Northrup v Ohio (a case extremely similar to the circumstances wherein Mr Allison seeks to abridge our Constitutional protections).
Matt Beebe commented on Allison’s statement saying, "fear and feelings should not drive our public policy decisions — especially when it comes to restricting individual rights specifically enumerated in the Constitution.  I'm not willing to trade our 4th Amendment rights just to make some people more comfortable with the lawful exercise of our 2nd Amendment rights.  There is a reason that the local cities have recently rescinded their unlawful ordinances and I would encourage all local law enforcement officials to know that just because Mr. Allison says you can violate someone’s 4th Amendment rights doesn't mean you can.  I hope Steve will rescind his unconstitutional position.”
Bottom Line: Nobody objects to keeping firearms out of the hands of genuinely dangerous people, but to unlawfully search a law-abiding citizens without probable cause is the textbook definition of "infringement"....