Monday, August 29, 2016

UT Politburo threatens small business owner helping promote their product


“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.' "
Zechariah 7:9

Oh good grief, they didn't:
Last fall, Angel Seng, owner of Donut Taco Palace 1 off Highway 290 in southwest Austin, gained thousands of new fans after a popular sports website told the world about her signature Longhorn Donut.

One look at the yeast-and-glaze concoction that resembles the Hook ‘Em Horns hand gesture and you can understand why fans gobble it up.

But if you were thinking of celebrating the start of football season with a dozen, think again. The University of Texas has found some holes in Seng’s design.

Last month, Seng received a letter sent on behalf of the university citing a violation of trademark rights in relation to the Longhorn Donut and requesting that, when it comes to selling them, Seng yeast and desist.

“It’s not fair. It’s not right,” Seng said. “This I created by myself, I’m not copying from them. I’m supporting them.”

“It wasn’t very nice,” added her boyfriend, Fred Hart. “We felt kind of bullied.”

The letter, dated July 19 and sent from law firm Pirkey Barber, which represents the University of Texas in trademark and unfair competition matters, included a photo of Seng’s Longhorn Donut and an explanation that it violates UT’s trademarked “LONGHORN Marks,” which include the words “longhorn” and “longhorns” and the Hook ‘Em hand symbol.

“While the University appreciates Donut Taco Palace’s enthusiasm, UT is understandably concerned about your use of the LONGHORN Marks in this manner,” the letter said. “We suspect that you were not aware of the University’s trademark rights when you started selling ‘Longhorn Donuts.’ We trust that, now that these rights have been brought to your attention, you will take the appropriate steps to discontinue sales of the ‘Longhorn Donuts’ and refrain from any other uses of the University’s marks.”

....

Seng first attempted a hand-gesture doughnut years ago by customer request. She spent two years perfecting the technique and now sells a variety of hand-gesture doughnuts, including a peace sign, an “I love you” sign and a thumbs up (so far she’s received no complaints from the Aggies). She sells a limited number of various hand-gesture doughnuts in the shop Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

....

Seng, 36, was born in Cambodia and moved to the United States in 1997. She was running a salon in Boston in 2006 when a family member told her that doughnuts do well in Texas, so she hopped a flight to Austin and called every doughnut shop in town, hoping to strike a sweet deal. On her final call, to the former Donut Palace at 5446 W. Highway 290, she learned the owner was ready to sell. She purchased the shop, stuck the word “taco” into the name and the rest was history.

....
These days, she puts her brother and her dad to work behind the counter and oversees a tight, small staff, some of whom arrive at 1:30 a.m. so that everything is ready when the first customers arrive at 5 a.m. There are two other Donut Taco Palace locations in the Austin area, but they are no longer affiliated.
....

“You’d think the university would let it go.”
They did; read the whole thing here.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Revelation 11:15-19 -- Hallelujah, He Reigns!!!


"Seventh Trumpet: The Kingdom Proclaimed
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail."
Revelation 11:15-19

Pastor Danny Forshee.  Great Hills Baptist Church.  February 22, 2015:

Hallelujah, He Reigns - Dr. Danny Forshee - February 22, 2015 from Great Hills Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Outline:

  1. The Sound (v. 15)
    John 14:30
  2. The Song (vv. 16-18)
    Romans 2:5
  3. The Sight (v. 19)
    A. Joy in Heaven
         Hebrews 9:23
    B. Judgement on Earth
Highlights:
  • God temporarily allows Satan to reign on Earth.
  • Falling on your face is the pre-eminent form of Worship in the Bible.
  • Satan always 'rules' with murderous intention.
  • The preeminent God reigns on their puny 'gods' and it makes them mad.
  • First word out of the mouths of the 24 elders is thanks.
  • Specifically mentions the arc of the covenant.
  • Our sin has to be judged; the only question is whether we allow Jesus to bear it or if we choose to bear it ourselves.
  • There are people reading this right now who will allow themselves to go to hell because they refuse to swallow their pride and humble themselves before God.
    • Author's Note: If you think this statement *might* apply to you, this statement applies to YOU.
  • There's only one way to get to Heaven and that's through Jesus!!!
    • Jesus is the culmination of all those Jewish prophesies in the Old Testament.
  • "I'm vocal, but I'm friendly."

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Gauldin strongly positioned in #ATXCouncil District 7


"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

[Author's Note: District 7 covers North Central Austin, from Burnet Rd. up to Parmer Lane.]

Looks like Natalie Gauldin has Leslie Pool one on one; from her latest campaign newsletter:
I’m excited to announce that I am officially the ONLY candidate challenging the incumbent District 7 City Councilmember. This is great news for our campaign! We will not need to head into a runoff and we will not need to compare ourselves to other candidates. Voters will have two choices and I am confident that our message will resonate with the majority of District 7 residents. Maintaining the status quo is not enough to truly address the transportation and affordability concerns of the average Austinite. It’s time for a change down at City Hall and we can get there with YOUR help!

Thank you to everyone who has been spreading the word about this campaign. I have been going door to door speaking with voters daily since July. In that time, I’ve had countless people mention seeing the yard signs out in the area or having spoken with their supportive friends. I really appreciate you helping to give me a head start on earning their votes.

....

Whether you choose to participate in the campaign by block-walking in the area or by making a contribution to the campaign, we thank you for your support. By joining together in this effort, we are confident we can continue to move towards a more affordable Austin with transportation options that work for everyone. Make sure to stay tuned for exciting updates on social media and our website over the next few weeks.
We can't find a link to the full newsletter, but you can sign up to receive e-mails for yourself here.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The city of Austin's "Chief Equity Officer"


"Professing to be wise, they became fools,"
Romans 1:22

Cutting to the chase for busy readers:


From this morning's statesman:
Austin residents got their first look at the person who will be the city’s first-ever Chief Equity Officer during a town hall event Thursday night at the Palmer Events Center.

The chief equity officer, a position newly created by the City Council, will head an office focused on identifying gaps and disparities in services and programs in the city, as well as help create ways for city departments to address those needs. The position will also help community groups work with the city to ensure equal access to city programs and services.

At the event attended by about 100 people, including Council Members Delia Garza and Kathie Tovo, the three finalists for the position were given 10 minutes to make opening remarks to the audience and then answered questions for 15 minutes. The city initially announced four finalists for the position, but one candidate, Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, withdrew her application before the town hall, the city said.

The three finalists are: Veronica BriseƱo Lara, director of the small minority business resources department at the City of Austin; Brion Oaks, vice president of health equity at the Southwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association; and Kazique Prince, a senior policy advisor and education coordinator for Mayor Steve Adler.
It gets better:
The event was the first time the community at large heard from the candidates, though the consulting group that helped the city with recruiting for the position had sought out community input during earlier stages in the search.

[Author's Note: Emphasis added.]
We don't remember the source, but we vaguely recall hearing scuttlebutt that the fix is in and that Adler's guy is going to get the position.  That would render this entire 'search process' an expensive smokescreen.  Obviously, that would be consistent with Adler's m.o.

Equally obvious: Whatever disparities may or may not exist in Austin's municipal government won't be solved by adding another layer of bureaucracy at a six figure annual salary.

Bottom Line: Sheesh....

-----

Read the recruiting brochure below:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

More STONEWALLING in Byron Cook's #TXLEGE District....


"You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another."
Leviticus 19:11

FFS:
Despite a report from Hill County’s electronic voting machine vendor identifying errors in the county’s March 1st Republican Primary, the activist who originally identified the problem is saying there are still more questions than answers. Worse, county officials have become uncooperative.

Aaron Harris, an activist out of Tarrant County affiliated with Direct Action Texas, filed a complaint with the Secretary of State in July pointing out that Hill County reported in excess of 1700 more votes than voters in the March primary. The complaint was immediately referred to the Attorney General’s office for a criminal investigation that is ongoing.

Last week, Hill County’s electronic voting machine vendor, ES&S, released a memo identifying two major errors that contributed to the additional votes. The vendor reported that a hard drive was not cleared before votes were tallied and this caused absentee ballots and early voting paper ballots to be double or triple counted.

....

Voters should continue to focus on Hill County GOP Chairman Will Orr, who certified the election despite massive discrepancies. It was Orr’s responsibility to review the results and certify their accuracy.

It is shocking that he appears to have missed a nearly 2000 vote discrepancy. Orr must be held accountable for his actions. His resignation would be a step in the right direction.

The Attorney General’s investigation will continue, and any person who is found guilty of voter fraud should be punished to the maximum extent of the law.

But even if the Hill County result is merely due to incompetence and a failure of various election officials to do their duty, the cause of these problems must be identified and Texans must be supplied with accurate results. To not clear up these errors simply invites voter fraud in future elections.
Read the whole thing here; contact the Hill County GOP here or here.

-----

On a related note, we sent our own open records request related to this case about a week ago; you can read the Hill County attorney's response below:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

UT's Horizon Fund updates Board of Regents


"So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

Sigmund Freud is rumored to have once said "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."  We thought of that alleged quote during this morning's meeting of the UT Board of Regents' technology committee.  No matter how corrupt the other financial activities of the institution in question, sometimes an effort to commercialize research performed on university campuses is just an effort to commercialize research performed on a university campus.

The UT Horizon fund is a $50 million appropriation designed to provide seed funding to bring to market initiatives developed at UT System institutions.  We've documented their expenditures here.  As we explained last week, we also have a separate open records request related to the Horizon fund working it's way through the Attorney General process.

During this morning's update, Technology committee chairman Wallace Hall called the Horizon fund a "cost-effective" way to bring technological developments developed at system institutions to market.  It's actually not a crazy point to make.  If $100 to $200k of seed funding from the university can get a development away from the university bureaucrats and into the private sector, that's a small price to pay.

Here's the thing: This activity sounds an awful lot like having a governmental entity pick winners and losers.  In a way, it reminds us of Rick Perry's infamous Texas Enterprise Fund.  Obviously, that's not something one should support.

But here's the other thing: The difference with the Texas Enterprise Fund is that, technically, the money going in 'belongs' to the university, not the state.  If the university were to cease this activity, the university still gets to keep the money.  And we'd rather have them investing in something that could be useful than hiring a bunch of 'diversity' related bureaucrats.

Obviously, higher education funding is deeply messed up.  Equally obvious, the University of Texas system has too much money.  In the event that higher ed/UT funding undergoes deeper structural reforms, activities like the Horizon fund should be on the table.  Furthermore, the Horizon fund could be a piece of leverage to make the university negotiate in good faith over tuition next session.  But as long as the current system remains in place, there are far worse ways to spend the money.

Bottom Line: UT's endowment is somewhere around $25 billion.  The Horizon fund is a max of $50 million.  If the university wants to use one tenth of one percent of its resources in an attempt to accomplish something useful, we have bigger fish to fry.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Patrick, Kolkhorst, and the Texas Senate Transportation Committee chair....


"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

We received the following text message from NE Tarrant Tea Party yesterday:


We had no idea they were pushing for this, but sign us up!

Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) is the best transportation group in the state; according to their 2015 scorecard, Kolkhorst got an A+ on transportation issues last session while Nichols got an F.

We're not super familiar with Kolkhorst's record on all transportation issues, but we know she's really good on toll roads (and those are the biggest scam of the whole lot).

This could also only help any potential Uber/Lyft legislation that might emerge.

Yes, thank you!!!