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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Letter from a Former Prositute


"You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry"
Exodus 22:22-23

From Donny Pauling:
I became involved in the sex industry 7 years ago, working as a prostitute in a brothel known as the “Wildkat Ranch” in Mina Nevada. Nothing could have prepared me for the devastation it would reap upon me in the 1 1/2 years of working there… I met a girl picked up from a mental facility after her release, I worked with girls cleared to work because they hadn’t disclosed that they had been exposed to someone with genital herpes, I worked with women who had done nothing with their lives but bounce from brothel to brothel for 10 years… But this pales in comparison to the changes I saw in myself.

I lived in [removed] and would fly out to the brothel every month and a half to work for 3-4 weeks straight. During this time my schedule was from 12 noon-4am EVERYDAY (when clients were no longer supposed to be accepted, but let me tell you if they were the only one of the day, they would wake us up for the line up) Sometimes we would come out of the shower at 10 in the morning to find a man waiting for us to line up, and we had to pretend we wanted to be having sex again… These men that would come through, some were 400+ pound truck drivers, with penises that had smegma rimming them, we’d have to wash the penis during the “Dick Check” you know the part where we make sure they don’t have a current outbreak of something.. their bodies would smell from being on the road.. On one occasion I had my clitoris bit, I received a rectal tear, and my episiotomy from my last child was retorn.. Often the men would want to watch porn with us, or they would bring in porn magazines.. one man brought in pornography that could be classified as rape.. during this incident he slapped me and told me that I needed to act like I didn’t want it.. Another man tried to violently fist me.

They tell you at the Brothel that they are there to protect you, but on more than one occasion I screamed, and no one came- even though they have a speaker to the room where they make sure we aren’t asking for more money and not giving them half.. Out of it all, having to watch porn with the men was the worst though, because they would want to know what I liked, they would rub at my body or have me rub them off while they told me how they wished I was as pretty as her, or how they wished I was skinnier. They would make fun of my stretch marks and tell me that I should give them a refund.. The would tell me after I was done that they were going to try my friend and maybe she would be more like the girl in the video..

I would come home from this, and try to pretend that I was a better person because I didn’t need a loan for school now, or that I had a car I could use to drive my kids around.. But I am less of a person. I would have to continue the lies with my family, telling them the story that the brothel had me tell, that I was training for a new career in Real Estate and I was working for Jerry Dickerson the man that owned the brothel at the time.. They offered to write me a letter of reference if I ever needed one, and my tax statement looked normal to those who weren’t familiar with the location or industry.. but there were physical costs too. My vagina needs repair from the way it was stretched, it is nearly impossible for me to have a vaginal orgasm now, my anal tear took months to heal, but the worst is my brain. I gained weight from severe depression, had to be put on medication, and I saw any beauty that I had as a young women disappear before my eyes.

God is the only one that could fix that.. but it took A LONG TIME before I ever felt that God could want me back.
 Remember, it's legal in Nevada; read the whole thing here.

Tan Parker talks sense on Marijuana policy


"He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8

Zowie:
This election season our newspaper added two questions on drug policy to questionnaires we sent candidates for state offices. Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, surprised me with his answer on whether he’d support putting a medical marijuana amendment on the ballot for voters to decide.

Parker said he’d be open to a tightly written medical marijuana amendment.

Further, in an interview with the editorial board yesterday (along with his Democratic opponent, Daniel Moran, a UNT student), Parker said he would support legislation eliminating jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana. His position reminded me of Gov. Rick Perry’s statement this year that, “You don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint.”
Read the whole surprisingly sensible thing here.

Alternatives needed to restore Affordability


"But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?"
James 2:6

Erin McCann, the only non-incumbent running in Austin City Council district 9, nails it:
Austin, TX (September 15th). Austin residents have been vocal about the two most troubling issues facing Austinites: affordability and traffic. Regrettably, the major concerns of Austin residents have not been heard at City Hall. Fortunately, there is hope in November. Austinites will have the opportunity to elect a concerned and qualified citizen in every one of the newly created City Council Districts. In District 9, Erin McGann’s victory in November would ensure a completely new City Council, while giving District 9 residents a representative who listens to their concerns.

The back of the purple & white shirts McGann’s supporters wear walking the streets of District 9 read, "We cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein’s famous words are especially relevant as the current City Council pushes through measures that will negatively impact every Austin resident. On Monday, September 8th, the Austin City Council voted to increase spending in the City budget for 2014-15, resulting in an increase in property taxes, Austin Energy rates, and Austin Water Utility rates.

McGann’s opponents in District 9 both voted in favor of these increases. In a statement this week, McGann said that, “Although I am happy to see some much needed additional funding for our first responders, it is disturbing to me that the City Council professes to be actively working to make Austin more affordable, while increasing utilities and spending the budget surplus they discovered in less than two weeks. This surplus could be returned to the taxpayer in the form of even lower tax rates for homeowners.”

According to the City’s website, every month Austin residents will experience an “approximate $2.72 increase for the typical Austin energy customer.” Along with this increase, Austin Water Utility will “implement a system-wide rate increase of 8.1%.” As for property taxes, this budget will implement “an approximate increase of $3.49 per month for the owner of a median-priced home, estimated at $202,254.”

In addition to these tax increases, the City has proposed adding $28.5 million to existing City debt, which is currently more than $5 billion, not including interest.. All current City Council members voted to borrow the $28.5 million in order to purchase a tract of land at the intersection of Bull Creek Road & 45th Street, bypassing a vote by citizens and committing them to additional spending in order to develop that land. This action, according to Mayor Leffingwell, would negatively “impact property taxes, without voter approval.”

In November, Austin residents will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to spend $1.4 billion on the proposed Austin Rail Project. The City Council, including McGann’s two opponents in District 9, voted unanimously in favor of Prop. 1, Austin’s Rail Project. Without truly addressing Austin’s most pressing issue, traffic congestion, this project will commit Austin tax-payers to further tax increases in the future. According to the City of Austin, once the project is completed in 2030, the Rail will carry only ½ of 1% of all Austin commuters. The projected ridership numbers fall very short of even carrying a small portion of those who will move to Austin by 2030.

As for the cost, according to the project planners, the $1.4 billion price tag would cost $155,000 per rider. This figure does not include the estimated $22.1 million in annual operating costs. Keep in mind that the last rail project cost 5 times what the City planners had projected. According to AustinAffordability.com, in order to fulfill the full Project Connect plans “80% [of future project funding] must come from local funding sources.” This would put an enormous burden on Austin taxpayers.

To truly address traffic congestion in Austin, the newly elected City Council must focus its stretched resources on a more sensible and effective approach to the problem. More effective alternatives include building new roads, improving existing infrastructure, traffic-light synchronization, improving and extending bus routes and schedules, encouraging expansion of services like Uber and Lyft, and even consider staggered City employee work hours.

McGann is publicly encouraging residents to vote no on the Rail proposition in November.. But she does understand that “traffic desperately needs to be addressed, and there are many other options on the table. Congestion can be positively affected with a more thorough, less expensive approach. The options include, but are not limited to, improving existing roads, providing City and State employees with bus passes and responding to the need for later and more frequent bus lines. When addressing the traffic issue, we must balance the cost to the citizen of Austin and remember our goal to keep Austin affordable for its diverse citizens.”
 Amen, amen, amen!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

History Lesson: The Tuition Hikers selecting Bill Powers' replacement


"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Matthew 7:20

Yesterday, UT-Austin announced the search committee to select it's new president.  In 2004, UT-Austin passed a 57% tuition increase as part of a decade where its tuition increased 134%.  What does one have to do with the other?!?

Everything.


In 2003, during one of the U.T.'s biannual cries of poverty, the 78th legislature passed tuition "deregulation."  Tuition "deregulation" transferred the authority to set tuition rates from the legislature to the Board of Regents.  As Tony McDonald wrote in 2009:
When the policy was proposed in 2003, my organization, Young Conservatives of Texas, opposed it from the beginning. YCT understood that the proposed policy would not “deregulate” higher education. It wouldn’t expand competition or end government favoritism, to allow the best providers to win in the battle for their customers, Texas students.

Instead, the policy merely transferred the power to set tuition and fees from the elected Texas legislature, a body that was accountable to the people, to an unelected body; the appointed boards of regents.

This is the underlying problem with the tuition deregulation.

What many conservatives who supported the tuition “deregulation” policy forgot was that our public universities are government agencies; no different than our department of transportation or department of public safety. Allowing them unlimited control to set the fees they charge Texas families would be no different than allowing the department of transportation to charge anything they would like for license plates.

Without restraints, government bureaucracies will always find some way to rationalize their need for more tax dollars. As President Ronald Reagan once wittily proclaimed: “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
The presidential search committee has recycled several of the key players from the tuition "deregulation" saga.  Several other members have demonstrated antipathy to affordability in Higher Ed.  Consider the following:
  • Robert Rowling - Former vice-Chair of the UT Board of Regents during the era.
In addition to these five who have explicitly supported tuition increases in the past, the search committee also features four additional members (Hicks, Hilley, Hillis, and Hutchinson) who have supported other lame-brained schemes of the administration.

It doesn't take a genius to see the foundation this search committee is laying.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The true cost of Austin rail emerges


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

Wow:
Read much closer, however, and it becomes clear that the $1 billion will pay for only one small piece of that rail web — the part shown in lighter green, for $600 million of borrowed money — and those seven yellow circles for the other $400 million. And building the rail part will require at least another $600 million from the federal government.

All of this is no accident, of course. Getting to that map on that mailer — also posted on the advocacy’s group’s website at www.letsgoaustin.org — has been a three-year process.

The city of Austin and its junior partner Capital Metro had foundered trying to build popular support for a Central Austin light rail system when, in 2011, they called in experts from other cities with light rail on the ground. What Austin needed, they said, was a long-term transit vision. Get that done properly, they said, and maybe you can sell the initial piece of rail.

....

Turns out that transit vision has been refocused a couple of times, adding those extensions and altering an earlier Mueller extension to end it at that neighborhood rather than continuing north to U.S. 290. The latest version, largely reflected in the flier map, was approved by the Austin City Council and the Capital Metro board this summer, officials tell me.

Well, OK. So, that’s the current vision version, which has the distinct political advantage of showing rail going out in every direction, eventually.

But if Proposition 1 supporters are going to argue — as they increasingly are — that the 9.5 miles of light rail and its 18,000 rides a day in 2030 are just the beginning and that you have to start somewhere, then it is equally valid to note that the overall system will be costly. How costly? And who will pay?

....

We might eventually get another 100 miles or more of rail in greater Austin, as that map shows. And it could cost well above $6 billion to get it, though the feds surely will chip in some of that. That doesn’t include finding the money going forward to pay annually for train engineers, mechanics, managers, fuel, electricity, track and signal repairs, and, in time, replacement train cars.

So, yes, Proposition 1’s 9.5 miles of rail is only a start. So is the $600 million Austin taxpayers are being asked to pay.
Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

U.T. Admissions: Straus lieutenants attempting witness intimidation


"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
Proverbs 29:1

Ummmm, excuse me?!?
Legislators want to sit in on UT admissions investigation

Two state representatives from San Antonio who have been assigned to monitor the University of Texas System are taking their role seriously. Apparently more seriously than system officials would like.

Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat, and Lyle Larson, a Republican, told UT System Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster this week that they “plan on attending or otherwise monitoring all interviews” conducted by Kroll Associates Inc. in connection with its investigation into admissions at the University of Texas at Austin. The investigation was prompted in part by accusations that candidates who are recommended by state lawmakers and other influential people receive favoritism.

In a letter to Foster, the two legislators offered to have the interviews conducted at the Capitol, “which would have the added advantage of audio and video equipment to record and preserve the interviews.”

....

System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said in June that he was commissioning the outside investigation in light of a new complaint about the “integrity” of the admissions process. That was a reversal of his decision to forgo further review after an earlier inquiry by the system reached mixed conclusions.

The system found that applicants recommended by legislators were accepted to the School of Law and undergraduate programs at much higher rates than their counterparts who didn’t get such backing. But the system also found no “evidence of a quid pro quo for admissions decisions, or other wrongdoing.”
 Read the whole thing here.
Read Lyle Larson and Trey Martinez Fischer's letter in full:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Phil Robertson Describes Finding Jesus


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17

Phil Robertson spoke with Glenn Beck this morning about how Jesus turned his life around:



Highlights:
  • His wife: "is a wonderful, wonderful woman."
  • Literally ran off his wife and two of his sons.
  • Pastor came into the bar one night with a Bible in his hand.
    • "That was the first time in my 28 years that I'd actually even heard...the gospel of Jesus Christ."
    • "I wasn't even aware...."
  • "I didn't even realize what a trap that I had been in until I was released from the trap." 
  • We argue about politics ad infinitum but no one ever changes their mind because before you can change a mind you have to change a heart, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can change a heart.