Monday, April 27, 2015

Protecting Texas from EMP attack


"Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8

[Author's Note: North Korea already has the relevant technology and they're on the record threatening Austin.]

Last week, both chambers of the Texas Legislature considered legislation that would safeguard Texas' electrical grid against Electro-Magnetic pulse (EMP) attack.  While the consequences of an EMP attack could be devastating, protecting against it is relatively inexpensive (and would be an appropriate use of the rainy day fund).  Senator Bob Hall lays out his version of the bill below:



Highlights:

  • Congress and the military has known about this for four decades.
  • When the military takes positive action to do something, it shows they're scared.
  • EMP's are an inexpensive way for various Global bad guys to do the most damage.
  • Even absent an EMP, a hardened electrical grid would be good economically because it protects against weather related power outages.
  • Fiscal note on the bill is only $3 million.
  • Sadly, the Feds are "schizophrenic" on this issue; the utilities are not preparing themselves.
  • Even if a foreign enemy does nothing, a natural EMP blast is inevitable.
Kevin Freeman has a lot more here.

-----

Senate Natural Resources Committee Chairman Troy Fraser: (512) 463-0124

"Texas Competes": A Potemkin Village


"Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits."
Isaiah 30:10

Potemkin Village - An impressive facade or show designed to hide an undesirable fact or condition.

A new organization, "Texas Competes", recently emerged.  Led by the Texas Association of Businesses, it is mostly comprised of the usual suspects behind big business/big government crony socialism.  Their goal is to use the power of government to create new classes of thought crimes in Texas:
We believe that in order for Texas businesses to compete for top talent, we must have workplaces and communities that are diverse and welcoming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

We believe that treating all Texans and visitors fairly is essential to maintaining Texas' strong brand as the premier home for talented workers, growing businesses, entrepreneurial innovation, and a thriving travel and tourism industry.

It's time to ensure fairness for all Texas employees, residents, and consumers. A united Texas is a competitive Texas. And when Texas competes, Texas wins.
First, it's important to point out that 'discrimination' against homosexuals is essentially non-existent in Texas.  Since 2013, only two semi-credible accusations have emerged.  One involved a Lubbock man, who worked for an explicitly CHRISTIAN youth ministry, who was unnecessarily flagrant about it in front of children.  The other involved a former women's track coach at the University of Texas who took advantage of a student.  If this were a widespread problem, one would expect examples of this alleged 'discrimination' to be too numerous to list.

Clearly, one semi-credible accusation per year in a state with 27 million people requires big business and big government to create thought crimes.

More revealing, however, is the degree to which "Texas Competes" is comprised of aging legacy companies, law firms, and regional chambers.  The screenshot below is a representative sample of their membership.  How many of these 'companies' have you heard of?!?


Perusing their full roster, one sees (perhaps) 7-10 growing companies that are relevant to Texas' future.  Most pledge signers either don't produce anything or they peaked a generation ago.  Furthermore, for 200 'companies' to take a position in a state with MILLIONS of businesses isn't impressive.

Bottom Line: The only people backing this alleged 'groundswell' are the usual suspects promoting big business/big government collusion; does anyone care what American Airlines thinks?!?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Keffer unintentionally makes case for new representation


"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage."
2 Peter 2:19

Priceless quote from Jim Keffer pretending not to care about the next election:
"With the session in full swing and with our rural representation decreasing with every census, protecting the values and economies of rural Texas demands my undivided attention," Keffer said in a statement Tuesday.

[Author's Note: Emphasis added.]
Keep in mind, Jim Keffer was first elected to the Texas House in 1996.

If a region's economy and population is "decreasing with every census," perhaps it's time to replace elected officials who have been in office for two decades.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sid Miller rebukes Food Nazis


"For each one shall bear his own load."
Galatians 6:5

One small step to rollback central planning:
Within the next couple of months, the Texas Department of Agriculture could be poised to repeal a state policy that bans deep fat fryers and soda machines on school campuses and places limits on the time and place that junk food can be sold there. In addition, Miller is proposing an increase in the number of allowed fundraiser days – when cupcakes and other sugary, fatty foods can be sold during the school day – from one to six per school year.

His critics are calling foul, saying that Miller's actions are counterproductive in a state struggling to contain child obesity rates. But the commissioner believes that repealing these parts of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy will simplify things, pulling the state into line with less-strict national standards. Currently, there are no federal restrictions on deep fat frying as a preparation method.

“It’s simple. If a school district doesn’t agree with any of these changes, then they don’t have to implement them," Miller wrote in a statement, referring to the policy changes. "That’s the beauty here.”

Miller hinted in January that deep fryers would be one of his priorities, and he officially proposed the change in March. A public comment period closed earlier this month, and Miller's nutrition team is now reviewing more than 200 comments. He is expected to announce this summer whether the commission will move forward with the changes.

....

“I don't think there is any way he could have studied the issue or he never would have done this,” said Combs, who said it was “unimaginable” that Miller would go ahead with these repeals. “I am actually baffled and sorry that Commissioner Miller did what was not good for kids. If you give children bad choices, they will make them.”

The Partnership for a Healthy Texas, a statewide coalition of more than 50 organizations working to prevent obesity, filed an open letter in opposition to the proposed changes. In the letter, the group challenged the merits of local control in questions of childhood nutrition.

"Schools are one of the key environments where our state can work to defeat child obesity," the organization wrote. "Fit, nourished children perform better, miss less school, have fewer behavioral challenges, and are more likely to grow up to be healthy, working adults."

[Author's Note: Emphasis added.]
Read the whole thing here.

This website's only additional recommendation to Commissioner Miller would be to go further.  The Texas Department of Agriculture should fully repeal the "fundraiser" regulation.  Why should central planners have any role in this process to begin with?!?

Finally, while she did a fantastic job as Comptroller, that line from Susan Combs is ASTONISHING!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"About Rinaldi's Amendment": An Open Letter to Craig Estes


"and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
Revelation 22:19

The Honorable Craig Estes
Texas Senate
1100 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

Dear Senator Estes,

During third reading for HB 910, Representatives Harold Dutton and Matt Rinaldi added an amendment that would protect the fourth amendment rights of citizens lawfully open carrying a handgun that passed the Texas House with over 130 votes.

I am writing you today to ask you to ensure this amendment makes it through the conference process.

Absent the Rinaldi/Dutton amendment, police would have the authority to harass citizens lawfully carrying openly.  The Rinaldi/Dutton amendment requires police to use the same "reasonable suspicion" standard they use when they suspect other criminal behavior.  It's not difficult to see how, with the wrong cop having a bad day, the possibility for abuse exists.

Contrary to hysterical media reports, the Rinaldi/Dutton amendment is not a backdoor attempt to pass Constitutional Carry (we wish that it were).

Thank you for your consideration.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Entrepreneurship and the Texas Future


"Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding."
Proverbs 4:7

The Texas Public Policy Foundation opened its new building with a fantastic primer on entrepreneurship; this author especially appreciated the discussion of Biblical financial principles and the role they played in building the businesses.

Jim Lininger:



Highlights:
  • Insurance companies were pulling out of the medical industry in Texas.
    • "I was just offended."
  • "Then I became really passionate about school choice."
  • "Two years later we went public and I owned 98% of the stock."
  • "The schools today are as bad as they were 26 years ago."
Red McCombs:



Highlights:
  • "I was very much aware of the Depression."
  • "I always hustled for the use of time."
  • "I never was money hungry, but I never was opposed to carrying around a little either."
  • "I know how to win, I expect to win, and most of the time I do win."
  • Most great things in the world are driven by entrepreneurs.
  • Do what you're currently doing really well and you'll be noticed.



Highlights:

  • "When you say you're a Christian company, you've got to act like one."
  • "It took us seven years to earn our first million dollars, but the Bible says that which is grown slowly is grown successfully."
  • Never borrowed money until later.
  • Fracking is more like mining for oil and gas than drilling.
  • When you start something, have a plan.
  • Turn hard times into good times.
  • "The harder you work, the luckier you get."
  • "Only those who are doing things are making mistakes."
Q&A:





Highlights:

  • McCombs: "If you're going to be in the field, Texas is the best place to be."
  • The easy way out is never the best way.
  • Christians tend to be harder working and more reliable than most people.
  • If you follow tithing carefully, you'll be blessed.
  • Tithing is foundational.
  • Opportunity knocks by the week, the key is to pick the right one.
  • "The hardest time in the world to get a job is when you're out of a job."

Pastor Protection Bill up today


"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Ephesians 6:12

From Texas Values:
Tomorrow, Wed. April 22, the House State Affairs Committee will have a public hearing on our priority legislation, HB 3567, that protects Texas pastors, churches and religious organizations on the issue of marriage. We need a strong showing in support of religious freedom, especially from our pastors, at the hearing!

We will be gathering tomorrow with Pastors and supporters of the bill at 1:00 PM on the North Steps of the Capitol to give updated information and then will move over to the Reagan Building before the hearing begins (the hearing will be in Room 140 of the John H. Reagan Building). You can also feel free to stop by our office at 900 Congress Ave, Suite 220 (2 blocks south of the Capitol) if you are in Austin earlier.

Please note that the hearing itself will begin AFTER the House session adjourns, which could be between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.  You will need to plan on being there all day.  It is a sacrifice and inconvenient – but if we aren’t willing to take a stand for our religious freedom, no one else will.

The Pastor Protection Bill, authored by State Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney and a pastor himself), makes it clear in state law that the First Amendment rights of clergy, pastors and churches in Texas apply to the issue of marriage. The bill ensures that the government may not force a pastor, a clergy member or church to perform a marriage or related ceremony that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Pastors and churches should not have to live in fear that the government will force them to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs. With the Supreme Court set to take up marriage later this year, many faith leaders are now concerned about the threat of continuing government intrusion and infringement on these issues. HB 3567 makes it clear that Texas should remain a place where government respects the rights of pastors and churches to hold the Biblical view of marriage.
Read the whole thing here.

-----

Chairman Byron Cook: (512) 463-0730