Monday, June 30, 2014
"The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the Lord."
Dan Patrick gave a fantastic speech at the GOP convention; his campaign finally made it public:
- "If you love America, the constitution, Texas, Free Markets, the Second Amendment, and the liberty that comes from God, welcome to the grassroots of the Republican Party of Texas."
- "The Democrats have this outfit called Battleground Texas, well they've picked the wrong ground to do Battle on."
- We have the high ground on every issue:
- School Choice
- Second Amendment.
- The harvest of Democrat voters who are members of minority populations is plenty; we just have to go out, tell them who we are, what we stand for, and we will bring them into our party.
- "The Democrats will not stand for safe communities for our Hispanic citizens, but we will."
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Do you, as a believer in Christ, want Jesus to return?!? If so, it's in your interest to see the gospel preached to all the tribes of the earth. The Insanity of Obedience uses modern examples to highlight Biblical truths in a way that will benefit believers both in persecution and relative freedom.
In his first book, The Insanity of God, Ripken recounted the stories of persecuted believers he met over two decades of ministry. In the follow-up, Ripken reports his lessons learned for how Western believers can assist the body of Christ in difficult settings. In both books, Ripken illustrates how Biblical patterns repeat themselves in modern settings. As Ripken says: "[E]ven as we try to understand how it is that God brings new believers into His family, it is overwhelming to discover that God continues to do exactly what He has always done" (135). His actions today are perfectly consistent with patterns seen originally in the Bible (especially the Book of Acts).
A lot of the problems faced in overseas mission work concerns money; this isn't surprising considering that Judas was the guy who complained about money.
One important lesson is for "[T]he goal is always to help local believers to be financially independent from outsiders" (147) (Italics in original). Financial dependence on the west 'taints' local believers in the eyes of the majority. Financial independence makes a local believer a much more credible witness for Christ. The best strategy is to encourage entrepreneurship among the local community (248). It's worth explicitly pointing out that, at no point in the New Testament, does anyone get a job from being saved.
Another important consideration is that: "[T]he more the faith community is defined by paid clergy, buildings, property, and denominational connections, the easier it is for persecutors to control the Church" (189). This difference helps explain why the persecuted Church collapsed in the Soviet Union while it thrived in China. Ripken points out "Western styled Churches with paid clergy and buildings are expensive. No so with house Churches and bi-vocational leadership" (248). This is a pattern we have noticed in the American Church. The statistics about Church debt speak for themselves.
The hardest lesson Ripken teaches is that sometimes outsiders need to allow local believers to suffer for Christ. Jesus addressed this topic in the quote from the Sermon on the Mount listed above. Joseph and Paul both went to prison; miracles happened as a result. Unfortunately, too often Western believers focus on extraction, when "evangelism is impossible when evangelists are extracted" (181). With all due respect to Ted Cruz, maybe Pastor Saeed needs to stay in that prison.
One way to lessen persecution in a local environment is to focus on evangelizing older men. When older men start coming to Jesus, it gives the other locals "permission" to do likewise. This helps mission teams use local cultural mores to their advantage.
On page 113, Ripen writes: "Here's the amazing biblical insight. One reaps as they sow. If we sow a one-by-one witness we shall reap a one-by-one harvest. If we invest our witness to families, families then have the opportunity to come to Jesus together" (italics in original). We have nothing to add.
The Insanity of Obedience (like the Insanity of God before it) is an incredibly challenging book. It WILL point out blind spots in your own faith. The book is worthwhile for spiritual growth alone. This nine paragraph review doesn't do it justice. But if you're serious about wanting Jesus to return, you owe it to yourself to read this book.
Friday, June 27, 2014
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
Dallas, TX -- Earlier today, this website visited the Texas Democrat convention in Dallas. We heard Wendy Davis speak several times. The experience reminded us that this was the crowd that chanted "hail satan" last summer at the Capitol.
First things first, the crowd was about one-third the size of the crowd at the Republican convention earlier this month; we find this ironic considering how many angels fell from heaven.
Planned Parenthood was there. They were giving away free condoms! One of the Planned Parenthood volunteers encouraged this author to "take 3 [condoms], you might have a good convention."
Because, obviously, #HailSatan!!!
But if you're going to encourage promiscuity, then you clearly need to have a Eugenics booth; fortunately, the #HailSatan Texas Democrats have that covered:
Because, obviously, #HAILSATAN!!!
Next we had the Storm Troopers of Fascist Gynocracy, Mom's Demand Franzia; your humble correspondent had fun with them:
Because there's no more worthwhile cause than bullying law-abiding firearms owners and, of course #HAILSATAN!!!
A few more observations:
- We overheard the Democrat candidate for Railroad Commission refer to his "Tea Party opponent." He said that in reference to Ryan Friggin' Sitton. Now THAT'S funny!!!
- That this vile crowd is Joe Straus' base tells you everything you need to know about Joe Straus.
- Finally, one small kudos: Congressman Al Green gave a rousing defense of Israel that, for a second, made us think we had been teleported to John Hagee's church. We couldn't have agreed more. Credit where it's due.
...but, you know, #HAILSATAN....
...vote for Wendy!!!
Thursday, June 26, 2014
"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same."
Texas State Capital -- This afternoon, we attended TPPF's Texas Success Story: Understanding which U.S. Metro's are leading, lagging, and why. The event discussed tried and true methods for economic development, and how they impact individual cities. Texas wins again!!!
Tom Gray of the Manhattan Institute led off. He discussed his recent study that discerned four traits of economically vibrant cities: Energy development, Agglomeration - cities growing for a reason beyond natural advantage, Business Friendly focus, and Manufacturing Renaissance. Texas has 3 of those factors, which is why metropolitan areas in this state perform so much better.
Jerry Morales, who recently defeated a Battleground Texas stealth candidate in the Midland mayoral race, spoke next. Midland currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. While that's a good thing, it brings a different set of challenges. One major problem in Midland is that the housing stock has failed to keep up with population growth. This has created "boom town homelessness" where people come looking for jobs but don't have sufficient savings to find housing in a town where a 1 bedroom apartment starts at $1,000 per month. Midland is proactively addressing this problem, with the United Way and Salvation Army (ie. not city government) taking the lead.
Don Baylor of the Center for Public Policy Priorities spoke next; the less said about his presentation, the better.
Chuck DeVore of TPPF closed out the speakers. He discussed how "the larger government is as a share of the local economy, generally speaking, the worse it will do." Specifically, there is a tremendous impact of cost of living on the ability of the average family to make ends meet. As government grows, it means higher cost of living and fewer jobs. DeVore's presentation was familiar to veterans of the Texas Model.
[Personal Note: While DeVore didn't discuss this in his presentation, it's worth pointing out that government growth begetting higher cost of living is the core issue of this Urban Rail boondoggle.]
Kudos, finally, to TPPF for having Pok-e-jo's cater today's event; this website STRONGLY encourages TPPF to make this a regular feature of their events!!!
"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Opponents of the Austin Rail boondoggle held their first press conference this morning. To our knowledge, KEYE, KXAN, and Time Warner were present. Cahnman's Musings presents the entirety of the prepared remarks.
Jim Skaggs; COST AUSTIN:
- Rail will dramatically increase congestion.
- Forms a barrier wall in the middle of central Austin.
- Only 6,500 new transit trips per day out of 8 million total in Austin roadways.
- 99% of all trips in the region will continue to be by road.
- MoPac expansion, 290, and 183A move 500,000 people per day for same cost.
- Any rail/road combination will place roads 2nd.
- Vote against ANY proposal that includes rail.
Roger Falk; Travis County Taxpayers Union:
- Misleaders are out again.
- This $1.4 billion only covers a small section on a long term plan.
- "Our taxes are pricing people out of their homes now."
- "This silly little trolley" won't help "if you're sitting in traffic on 360."
- Take the lights off of 360 and 183.
- There's no Federal dollars committed.
- If the GOP takes over the U.S. Senate this fall, the Federal $ could dry up.
- Personal Note: Roger doesn't know this, but your humble author has already held preliminary discussions with staff members from Texas' Congressional delegation about cutting off Federal Funding for this project.
Bill Oakley; AustinAffordability.com:
- Rail for Sale -- Sold to various special interests and paid for by taxpayers.
- Sweetheart real estate deals on East Riverside.
- Gigantic Boondoggle for UT
- Massive Taxpayer expenditure to help Med School employees commute.
- Money laundering costs thru Austin Energy and Austin Water Utility.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream
Update: An earlier version of this post misspelled the word livestream in the title, subsequently corrected.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
"And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you."
It's not a secret that this website VEHEMENTLY opposes a lame-duck special session; that being said, we appreciate the work Jonathan Stickland is doing on this topic and want to share his account of what he saw last weekend in South Texas:
A bad situation all around....
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
At the end of their confence Friday, Women on the Wall held a press conference to discuss removing common core:
- Sandra Stotsky -- Writers of common core "have had very narrow views they've listened to" and that they should "expand their views."
- James Milgram -- "The language I'm hearing today is exactly the same language I was hearing in California 20 years ago."
- "Already we are starting to see from the test data that student outcomes are dropping even lower than they had been in recent years [which weren't good to begin with]."
- California math wars: "We succeeded in delaying common core for 10 years"..."it isn't enough, we have to get rid of common core."
- Jane Robbins -- New A.P. standards "will completely usurp" state level standards "including in Texas."
- "You can push back against this, this is not a fait accompli."
- "Texas may be the best place to start."
- "We need to have a state that stands up to the federal government and says 'keep your money'."
- Glyn Wright -- "Common Core has become a litmus test."
- "We welcome more governors."
- Cathy Adams -- "CSCOPE is the same as common core."
- Bill Zedler -- "Common core doesn't work" and "we can't afford it in this state"
- "You're going to have to choose between the federal dollars and the state."
- Alice Linahan -- Local school boards are "our last line of defense."
Monday, June 23, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
Rosewood Park, East Austin -- This website despises the phrase outreach as it's used in politics. We believe it demeans both the 'outreacher' and the 'outreachee.' Nonetheless, we agree that conservatives need to bring our message to audiences that haven't traditionally heard it.
This afternoon, the Travis County Republican Party did just that. Approximately ten volunteers (when we left) showed up at today's East Austin Juneteenth parade; this compared to four volunteers (that we counted) for the Democrats. Juneteenth is a celebration of when slaves in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation following the Civil War.
While Gabriel Nila broadcasted his radio show from the TCRP booth, TCRP volunteers scattered the crowd to ask attendees a simple survey, discuss the party, and register voters where appropriate. Attendees were surprised to sees Republicans show up en masse and were pleased to see it.
Festival attendees expressed their concerns over education, the economy, and criminal justice. Several expressed their concerns over this year's Democrat ticket. One woman specifically told TCRP chairman James Dickey that "I'm voting for Greg Abbott this year because I'm pro-life."
This afternoon's event proved the value of taking our message to groups that we don't typically think of as Republican or conservative. Our ideas and policies benefit everyone. When your product is superior to the competition, it's insane to cede a substantial chunk of the playing field by not showing up.
"He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[a] the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."
This morning we heard Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project discuss the data collection under Common Core. Data collection/mining is a major aspect of Common Core that is frequently overlooked. Robbins made a compelling case for why this is a mistake.
According to Robbins, common core has never been about education, it's about workforce development. In other words, the purpose of common core isn't to equip children to lead productive lives as they see fit, it's designed to empower the central-planners running the system to make decisions for them. For those central-planners to be able to make 'accurate' decisions, they need to collect reams of data on your child.
Robbins detailed numerous data points that will be collected under common core. While none were good, the worst that stood out include: Family income, source of income, parent communication method, Baptism certificate (SERIOUSLY!!!), and parental voting habits. No potential for abuse there.
One thing we learned from Robbins' presentation is that it's illegal for the Feds to build a national student data base. To sidestep that obstacle, the Feds bribed the states to set up identical databases that can interact with each other seamlessly; the gift that was Race to the Top keeps giving. They also launder a lot of bad stuff through semi-private partners.
Another concern Robbins raised was "digital learning." "Digital learning," used in a common core setting, has nothing to do with how students access text. It's about leveraging technology to build a psychological profile of your child. Robbins told the crowd about the amount of data that can be collected simply by touching a computer screen. Fingerprints are just the beginning.
One final service Robbins provided was to identify several educational buzzwords that sensible people should avoid. They include anything with the phrase "21st century," "rigor" (which, in this context means ambiguous), "Critical thinking" (Overcoming "egocentrism), "deeper learning", "transform", and "seamless." According to Robbins, if you hear those phrases "hide the silverware."
Techno-progressives aren't interested in what students know, they're interested in how they think. To discover how students think, these central planners need to collect reams of data. Nothing is off limits.
Friday, June 20, 2014
'But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
Longtime readers know that stealth jihad has always been an interest of this website. Since Obama's reelection, we've focused on areas where we can make a difference. However, we remain interested in this topic.
This afternoon, we were privileged to hear from Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Frank was discussing how the Common Core method of education leaves us unprepared to honestly discuss Islamic cultural subversion. This allows various Muslim Brotherhood front groups to engage in "pre-violent" jihad, where they weaken us internally while preparing to confront us violently.
Gaffney's talk was mostly review for anyone familiar with the topic. He ran through the usual suspects of Muslim Brotherhood front groups and their ties with the Obama administration. He also discussed some of their favorite tactics.
The discussion got really interesting, however, when Gaffney discussed jihadist activities in Texas, including the following:
- The Holy Land Foundation -- A Hamas front group that was the subject of the largest terrorism finance trial in American History; based out of Dallas.
- Yaser Abdul Said -- Dallas man who committed an honor killing against two teenage daughters.
- Mohammed Elibiary -- A first class, Dallas-based, dirtbag who illegally hacked sensitive Texas DPS files to dig up dirt on Governor Perry.
- Mufid Adulqader -- The younger brother of a major Hamas leader, who was the front man of a pro-Jihad rock band in the 1990's, who just happened to work as a civil engineer for the City of Dallas overseeing critical infrastructure.
- Nidal Malik Hassan -- Obvioiusly, the (first) Ft. Hood shooting happened in Texas.
- Ghassan Hitto -- A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, just happens to be from Dallas.
- Gulen Charter schools -- A turkish based group of Islamic charter schools operating in North Texas (and other parts of the country).
Thursday, June 19, 2014
"Consider the work of God;
For who can make straight what He has made crooked?"
The BEA revised California’s real GDP growth downward from 2009 to 2011 in each of three years by a cumulative 2.6 percent, the third-largest negative revision in the nation.Read the whole thing here.
In other words, California’s economy shrank an additional 2.6 percent before it grew 3.5 percent.
So, in the past five years California’s real GDP contracted 0.3 percent, one of ten states where economic activity was less in 2012 than it was in 2008.
By contrast, the BEA revised Texas’ growth upward by 0.5 percent from 2009 to 2011.
Texas’ newly revised real GDP growth from 2009 to 2012 was 13 percent.
From 2009 to 2012, California’s share of the U.S. economy shrank from 13.1 percent to 12.9 percent while Texas’ portion of the American economy increased from 8.2 percent to 9 percent.
Some critics might contend that Texas’ economic boom is wholly due to the revitalization of the Lone Star State’s oil and gas fields through fracking. However, if the entire mining sector is removed from the calculations, Texas’ economy would have still grown at a faster pace than California’s from 2009 to 2012. Further, California has about two-thirds of the nation’s proven shale oil reserves in the vast Monterey Shale formation—that the Golden State makes the political choice not to allow the extraction of this underground wealth can’t be held against Texas.
Update (6/20): TPPF informs us that this is actually a year old piece that came out in June 2013; our bad.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
"I have heard the rebuke that reproaches me,
And the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer."
[Author's Note: As per the statesman, the article is behind the paywall; quote below transcribed by hand from a paper copy.]
The one way the current Urban Rail plan might make sense is if the line were extended to the airport. Apparently, council member Mike Martinez asked that very question. Project Connect's response is priceless:
[Project Connect CEO] Keahey said that Project Connect, a joint rail effort of the city and Capital Metro, had "not really examined going to the airport."Sigh, way to go government....
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Last Weekend's WSJ:
The dispute over Mr. Hall is part of a broader fight between the nine-member board and school officials over whether the university has done enough to lower costs and keep a lid on tuition increases, a debate with parallels in other states. The University of Virginia board ousted school President Teresa Sullivan in 2012 partly because of concerns she wasn't moving quickly enough to address budget challenges. The board later reinstated Ms. Sullivan after faculty and alumni protested.Read the whole thing here.
"As more questions are being asked about the costs of higher education, we need to have more engaged trustees, not less," said Anne Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which has defended Mr. Hall's board tenure.
Mr. Hall, a 52-year-old University of Texas alumnus, has rejected requests that he resign to stave off the impeachment proceedings, which could make him only the third Texas official to be impeached by the legislature in the past 100 years. He said in an interview that he is fulfilling his oath to monitor a major university system that employs 90,000 people and has a $14.5 billion annual operating budget. "I disagree with the idea that board members need to be seen but not heard," he said.
"When he raised that issue, thermonuclear destruction was visited on him," said Mr. Hall's lawyer, Stephen Ryan, adding that his client has behaved lawfully at all times.
After Mr. Hall publicly disclosed his allegations of admissions favoritism at the university last summer, state Rep. Jim Pitts, the Republican head of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, told several media outlets that he was one lawmaker who had written a letter of recommendation, in this case for his son, who was admitted to the University of Texas Law School.
"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Are you kidding?!?
If you owned a business that needed more space, what choice would you make on this deal. Would you build a brand new building for $67 million, or would you buy a bigger building with plenty of parking right next door for less than half the price?Read the whole thing, including Austin Energy's nauseatingly arrogant response, here.
Well, guess what…Austin Energy not only wants to spend $67 million for the new building, but on June 12th they will ask the City Council for an additional $9 million to develop the PLANS for it! The bureaucracy is alive and well, but this time we can’t let them get away with it.
Brian Rodgers, who is well-known for exposing the commercial tax appraisal inequities several years ago, sent out an alert this morning on the Austin Energy building boondoggle. A broker friend of his advised him that the huge 48 acre campus formerly owned by AMD is available for sale for $25 million. The address is 5900 East Ben White. It is located just a few feet away from the spot where Austin Energy wants to build their boondoggle. The price tag for AE’s dream building comes in at $375 per square foot, which is higher than the going rate for many downtown buildings. There is also another building nearby that should be evaluated for cost.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
The latest from (Austin Based!!!) Emergent Order:
- "The export-import bank has been a fixture in Washington for over 80 years, since FDR, do you REALLY want to turn your back on tradition?!?"
- "Wow, it's been here longer than Harry Reid!"
- Personal Note: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
- It's given a helping handout to great American companies like Enron, Solyndra, and Boeing.
- "Those loans are actually subsidies for big corporations....backed by taxpayers!!!"
- "All this stuff can be confusing, that why the Kronies to help legislators like you make the right choice!"
"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Sigh, of course they did:
In a split vote at its June 16 meeting, Austin ISD’s board of trustees adopted the federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage schedule as the schedule AISD uses to pay construction workers, and the board pledged to conduct an additional study to determine a living wage for workers.While we're on the topic, learn more about the racist origins of Davis-Bacon here; money quote:
Pipe fitters, laborers and representatives from Austin Interfaith and AISD employees union Education Austin urged the board to adopt Davis-Bacon and stop using what they called an outdated wage rate schedule, while others called Davis-Bacon “flawed” and asked the board to postpone the vote.
Initial work is moving forward on a few Austin ISD bond projects approved by voters in 2013. The district’s board of trustees decided to discuss potentially revising the wage rate structure after a group of local citizens at its April 28 meeting asked the district to halt work on bond projects until construction workers are being paid fair wages.
Davis-Bacon wage rates are based on a federal law requiring payment of prevailing wage rates for laborers.
At the June 16 meeting, trustee Tamala Barksdale made a motion to adopt Davis-Bacon rates, while trustee Ann Teich added the living wage floor amendment. The vote was 5–4, with trustees Cheryl Bradley, Lori Moya, Robert Schneider and board President Vincent Torres opposed.
Schneider said he is concerned about whether or not the district will be able to afford a wage increase coupled with paying for voter-approved 2013 bond projects in a timely manner.
Torres said he sees problems with Davis-Bacon prevailing wage determinations, including survey response errors and reliance on "inappropriately small and unrepresentative data sets."
The Act was passed in order to prevent non-unionized black and immigrant laborers from competing with unionized white workers. The discriminatory effects continue, as even today minorities tend to be vastly under-represented in highly unionized skilled trades, and over- represented in the pool of unskilled workers.
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy."
1 Timothy 6:17
In case you weren't tapped out by $1.4 billion for an urban rail boondoggle, ACC is also lining up at the trough:
Austin Community College will ask area voters to approve a nearly $386 million bond package and 3 cent tax increase in November.Who cares if residents are being prices out of town when there's multimillion-dollar contracts to hand out?!?
ACC board members approved the bond package and tax increase request June 16. District residents will vote on separate propositions for bond projects benefiting new and existing campuses. Also, if approved, ACC's 9.49 cent tax rate will incrementally increase 1 cent in 2016, 2018 and 2020.
The decision to seek bond money came after more than a dozen meetings and hours of board discussion. Multiple trustees questioned whether voter fatigue could negatively impact the results of this year's election in which there is also anticipated to be a multimillion-dollar transportation bond package put forth by the city of Austin.
Update: Upon further reflection, it's worth pointing out that the ACC Highland campus, which will receive a good chunk of this bond, is also where the proposed urban rail line will end; seriously, who's getting paid on this one?!?
Monday, June 16, 2014
"A wise man fears and departs from evil,
But a fool rages and is self-confident."
This morning, we awoke to the following story on Breitbart Texas:
TEXANS PETITION PERRY FOR SPECIAL SESSION ON BORDER CRISIS
HOUSTON, Texas—Activist Texans are petitioning Texas Governor Rick Perry to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with the growing crisis on the Texas border with Mexico. The petition asks Gov. Perry to bring the Texas Legislature back into a forth special session to “develop and fund a border and port security plan utilizing state and local law enforcement.”
Over the Father’s Day weekend, many Texans gathered in a Facebook discussion thread to discuss the Texas Border Crisis and look for a solution. A conclusion of the discussion was that if the federal government was not going to secure the border then Texas can and should take the steps necessary to accomplish this task. The crisis came to a head earlier this month when Breitbart Texas released shocking photos depicting the deplorable living conditions of the recent surge in unaccompanied minors who are entering the country illegally in ever increasing numbers.
The idea grew out of a discussion involving a large number of people discussing the issue on Facebook. A spokesperson for the petition, Terri Hill, told Breitbart Texas that State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) joined in the conversation and said she has been working with the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Colonel Steve McCraw, to determine the cost of a sustained border security operation manned by Texas resources. Col. McCraw assured Riddle that Texas is capable of accomplishing the task of securing the border and executing the plan to achieve real results.
The cost is estimated to be approximately $1.3 million per week to secure the border ($67.8 million per year). The task now becomes, how to get the $67.8 million appropriated and put Col. McCraw and the Texas DPS to work. “I asked if a petition would help get the word out,” Hill said, “and help alert citizens to the severity of the matter and it was decided it would certainly be worth a shot.”
“Utilizing an online petition generator site,” Hill continued, “I created an account, entered our petition, made sure I included all the required information Representative Riddle said was necessary and we went live with it by 6:30 pm on Saturday evening.” The petition, Request for Immediate Texas Border Control, can be found online now. The petition states, "We, the undersigned, because the federal government has failed to act, call on the Texas Legislature to develop and fund a border and port of entry security plan utilizing state and local law enforcement."
A panic-stricken lame duck special session is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea.
In 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature went on a wild spending spree. It took them multiple special sessions to pass a pro-life law that should have sailed through during the general. And people want to bring these clowns back into town?!?
While it's true that Governor Perry controls the agenda for any special session, it's also true that the legislators will be the ones actually writing the laws. Does anyone think they won't abuse some vaguely defined charge like "border security" or "addressing the crisis on our border"?!? Anyone?!?
Earlier this spring, we attended an interim Senate hearing that included a discussion about state-level border security efforts, as we wrote at the time:
In other words, you have a bunch of state and federal agencies with different sources of funding and accountable to no one not talking to each other and accomplishing nothing.If we hastily pass poorly conceived legislation in a lame duck special session, it could make that problem MUCH worse.
In 2001/2, following 9/11, the Federal Government responded to panic stricken public demands to "do something" about terrorism. The result was the TSA, the Patriot Act, and the Department of Homeland Security. Do we really want to repeat this mistake on the Texas Border?!?
Furthermore, which Lt. Governor do you want to address this issue: Dan Patrick or David Dewhurst?!?
Nobody denies that the situation on our border is both a catastrophe and an outrage. No one denies that the situation has deteriorated significantly in recent months. But a lame duck special session isn't the appropriate mechanism to address it. At best, a lame duck special session will add more bureaucracy to a system that already has too much of it. If you're serious about border security, focus on electing Dan Patrick this fall, then address the issue calmly and rationally in the spring.
Never forget: The Margins Tax came out of a lame-duck special session....
Saturday, June 14, 2014
"But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days;
But I will trust in You."
[Author's note: Unfortunately, the original article is behind a paywall. The text below is transcribed by hand from a paper copy. Any minor errors are accidental.]
Ken Herman of the Austin-American Statesman calls B.S. on last week's Dem hysteria:
Dem gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' team held a Tuesday conference call with journalists to chide that Repubs. On the call was state Rep. Mary Gonzales, D-El Paso, who identifies as "pansexual," who called the GOP platform "extreme" and "dangerous" and said it "really said that people like me need to have therapy in order to be fixed, that people like may family shouldn't have the same access to education or they shouldn't ever really be here anymore."Ouch.
Yes, Dems and Repubs differ on education, including how much to spend on it and whether public dollars should pay for private school tuition. Both sides claim their way would do the most good for the most kids. It's rhetoric, it's debatable and neither side's version is the panacea they'd like you to believe it is.
There's nothing, however, to debate about Gonzalez's effort to portray the GOP platform as evidence that Repubs believe "people like my family...shouldn't even really be here anymore." The comment was an out-of-bounds, knee-jerk effort born of Dems desire to portray Repubs as racists.
I can't see into Republicans' hearts (here is where Dems would insert a snarkism questioning whether there is such a thing), but I can see inside their platform. It is devoid of any call for the deportation of all Hispanics, a procedure which would cost Texas Repubs their junior U.S. Senator and the wife of the party's gubernatorial nominee.
The GOP platform supports legal immigration and opposes illegal immigration. "America is proudly a nation of immigrants," the platform says, going on to bemoan what everybody agrees is a broken immigration system.
There's a legitimate debate on the proper fix, but none calls for the deportation of legal resident, such as people in the Gonzalez family. I asked how she came to the conclusion that Repubs believe people like her family "shouldn't even really be here anymore."
"Some of their stances on immigration," she said. "I come from an immigrant family, so really their views and really taking out the Texas Solution. I was just referring to my immigrant family."
I asked if there are members of her family who are here illegally. She said there are not. I was mostly talking about the rhetoric that they were not wanted here," Gonzalez said, "I apologize for that."
Friday, June 13, 2014
"The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,
But the folly of fools is deceit."
One highlight of the Republican convention was General Abbott's speech. It outlined a detailed conservative agenda that General Abbott intends to purusue as Governor. We'll bring you the full speech as soon as it becomes available, but Team Abbott just released this web video:
- "The Bicentennial Blueprint will assure that Texans born today will live in a state with better schools."
- "It is time for government to listen to you, not the other way around."
- "It will allow Texas to live up to our promise of greater opportunity to absolutely everyone, regardless of your race, your religion, or which zip code you come from."
- Read Abbott's economic agenda here.
- Point of Personal Privilege: It's FREAKIN' Excellent!!!
- Read Abbott's "We the People" agenda here.
- Read Abbott's Health Care agenda here.
- Read Abbott's public safety agenda here.
Update: Read the transcript of Abbott's speech:
Republican Party of Texas State Convention Speech: *Greg Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks. The following has been condensed for purposes of brevity.
Thank you Fort Worth. Thanks to my daughter Audrey for her introduction. From the moment I held her on the day she was born, I’ve thanked God for the precious gift of her life.
I’m proud to be joined by my beautiful wife Cecilia. She has a heart as big as Texas. But it’s her soul where you see her real strength. We were married for just two years when a huge oak tree crashed down onto my back leaving me paralyzed and forever changing our lives. It is so easy for brides and grooms to recite the wedding vow– for better for worse, in sickness and in health. But it is awesome to see your spouse truly embrace those vows like Cecilia has. Two months from now, we will celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. That shows the character of the next First Lady of Texas.
We gather today under the promise that sets this state apart: That through hard work and big dreams each of us can succeed and each generation can surpass the previous one. Texas is the place where that promise still remains true. We're here today because we love this state too much to let the next four years in Texas look like the last six years under Barack Obama. I refuse to let our children be condemned to liberal policies that saddle them with debt, where the middle class is burdened with regulations that drive up costs and kill jobs, where government power overtakes individual freedom. I will not let them California our Texas.
Barack Obama and his operatives have set their sights on Texas. Liberal elites from the East Coast to the West Coast have fawned over and financed my opponent to try to remake Texas in their image. We’ve already seen that image. The President showed disdain for Texas values when – at a San Francisco cocktail party – he belittled Americans who “cling” to guns and God.
My opponent shares Barack Obama's mindset. She’s voted to restrict 2nd Amendment rights and even said she would “happily” sign gun restrictions into law. She took action against keeping God in our Pledge of Allegiance. And she stood for 13 hours to advocate abortion – even after five months. Of all things she then said she was pro-life because she wants every child to have a better chance in life. But for a child to have a chance in life – a child must first have a chance at life. I have news for the Obama Democrats: Texans value life. We trust in God. And Texans know the 2nd Amendment and the 10th Amendment are not suggestions - they are guaranteed rights.
My opponent even went to New York City and trashed Texas policies – calling our policies toxic. Toxic? Tell that to the leaders of Toyota who are moving their headquarters to Texas. Tell that to Catholic Latinas who praise Texas for protecting life. And tell that to the millions of middle class Texans who’ve landed a job in the state with the best business climate in America.
Talk about toxic – it’s my opponent’s record that's toxic to Texas. She didn’t just vote to raise taxes. She specifically targeted seniors and the disabled for higher taxes. She supports President Obama's EPA war on the Texas energy industry. And she's already said she would expand ObamaCare in Texas. Her prescription for Texas – is more government. My prescription? More freedom. You deserve a governor who will fight for freedom, for our future, for real Texas values. That’s why I’m proud to be your nominee for Governor of Texas.
This election is about two very different visions for Texas. What’s at stake is what kind of Texas children born today inherit when they graduate from college in 2036? 2036 is more than just 22 years from today. In 2036, we celebrate the bicentennial of Texas independence that put us on a pathway to become the greatest state in the nation. In 2036, we will look back at 200 years of accomplishments. At a victory at San Jacinto that gave birth to a Republic - and eventually the 28th State. At a frontier spirit that inspired generations of Texans to pioneer the way in the oil patch, on ranch lands and ultimately into outer space.
The bicentennial blueprint will ensure Texans born today will live in a state with better schools, better healthcare, safer communities, and – of course – the best job market in the country. My blueprint limits the size of government. It stimulates the private sector to create more jobs and lets you keep more of your money. My plan sets real spending limits in the Constitution. Your family has to live within a budget - government should too. My plan protects the Rainy Day Fund from being used like an ATM to pay for government operations. And my plan stops diverting transportation funding away from building roads. Money raised for roads should be spent on roads.
But Texans cannot prosper if they aren’t safe. My bicentennial blueprint offers new programs to crack down on horrendous crimes like human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. And it makes schools safer for our children. And my plan will do what the federal government has failed to do: It will secure our porous border from the drug cartels and gangs that import crime to our state. This is more than just a border issue. We’ve seen the deadly danger of cartel activity infiltrate our schools and contaminate communities across the state. Our priorities are wrong when we live in a state that stops a valedictorian from mentioning God at a graduation speech but doesn’t stop drug cartels from crossing our border. As Governor, I will provide the tools and manpower we need to secure our border and I will enforce the rule of law.
The border is not the only thing the federal government is failing at. Just look at federal run healthcare. ObamaCare and VA care make one thing clear: the federal government doesn’t have a clue how to run healthcare. We need to get government out of healthcare and allow doctors and patients – not bureaucrats – to decide what’s best for our health. I’ve heard too many stories of patients losing their trusted doctor, seniors being excluded from the best hospitals, families being stuck with hefty bills, and doctors not only leaving their profession but leaving America with a shrinking supply of doctors. As Attorney General, I sued to stop ObamaCare. As Governor, I will continue to fight for a healthcare system that puts patients first and bureaucrats last. We need to look no further than the VA to see the future under Obamacare. No veteran who has fought for this country should suffer the indignity of being denied care due to bureaucratic bungling. It is time to renew this nation’s commitment to our warriors. Having served on the frontlines, they should go to the front of the line.
The cornerstone of my bicentennial blueprint is education. My wife has been both a teacher and a principal. We’ve seen how education can transform young lives so children can achieve things their parents couldn’t even dream of.
The job of the Governor is to set the vision. Here’s mine: Texas proudly ranks number one in the nation for job creation. We’re number one for energy. We’re number one for exports, for farms, for so many things. The time has come for Texas to set its sights on another number one ranking. Texas should be number one in the nation for educating our children.
My bicentennial blueprint focuses on helping every child learn to read and do math – at grade level – by third grade. My plan returns genuine local control to schools by allowing schools to opt out of mandates from Austin. Teachers and parents know far better how to educate our children. than do a bunch of bureaucrats in Austin or Washington. And my plan will stop forcing teachers to teach to so many high-stakes tests. When Texas reaches its bicentennial – it won’t matter how any child did on a four hour test. What will matter is if our children are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. My bicentennial blueprint ensures Texas children will be ready for those challenges.
Our fight is not with another candidate or party. It's a fight for the future of every Texan. And I will never stop fighting for their future. To Texans looking for leadership that doesn’t take them for granted - that speaks to their highest hopes and deepest concerns - I am your candidate. To Texans wary of modern day politics who want candidates to say what they are for - not just what they are against - I am your candidate. And for Texans looking for a champion of Texas values - for a leader who won’t back down from the fight for liberty - I am your candidate.
Let me close by sharing a lesson I learned in a different kind of race. Running track. After practice was over and we had run all the required laps, we decided to run just one more. That extra work helped me go undefeated in the regular season. I’ve applied that lesson in everything I do. After the accident that left me in this wheelchair, I had to find a way to rebuild my strength. After work – long after the sun had set – I would come home, change clothes, and roll four blocks down the road to an 8-story parking garage. To work out – I would roll up that garage repeatedly. The first floor of the parking garage was easy. With each floor, it seemed like the garage got steeper and harder to climb - but I wasn’t about to quit. As I pushed harder and harder – ignoring the pain – I just kept saying to myself: just one more, just one more, just one more.
I apply the same lesson to this campaign. When I finish making all my calls for the day, I make just one more. When I go to events and shake hands before I leave, I shake just one more.
My friends, we have more than a track meet to win; more than a parking garage to climb – we're fighting for the very future of Texas. If we're going to make Texas freer, stronger and better, then I need you to join me in doing just one more. If every day you can knock on just one more door, make just one more call, send just one more email, take just one more person to the polls – then we will do more than win just one more election - we will win the next generation.
God Bless you all.
And may God Bless Texas.
So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”
TPPF has a fantastic profile on one of the most efficient school districts in Texas:
- One of the most cost efficient school districts in the state.
- Mumford ISD: $5,571 per student; State Average: $11,642
- Consistently rated exemplary.
- 3 keys: Less Administration, Less Bureaucracy, Lower Cost of Education.
- $14 million in cash reserves; NO DEBT WHATSOEVER!!!
- "You don't build unless you have the money to pay for it.
- "We get the most out of our money."
Thursday, June 12, 2014
"but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—"
Last night, our friend Bryan Hughes went into the Lion's Den on CNN and kicked Anderson Cooper's rear end up one side of the street and down the other:
- #BOOM: "The language in the platform is in the platform because we want to make sure that people have rights. We heard from people who wanted access to that kind of counseling, that kind of therapy, and so we believe in free speech and free choice."
- "The platform begins in Texas at the precinct level and so, in this case, the neighbor of one of our delegates had been through this therapy, it was helpful to him, and he was concerned it might be taken away."
- "This is about giving people choices, if they want this, it should be available to them."
"It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."
The great frustration of Texas Sex Ed wars is that government schools shouldn't exist in the first place. Government schools, by definition, erode parental jurisdiction. By attempting to 'fix' government schools, we're setting ourselves up for failure. As conservatives, our long-term strategic goals should be to incrementally restrict where government schools are allowed to operate. Sex education is a fantastic place to start.
Last week, theBlaze reported on a particularly horrific sex-ed program in California. While this website won't repeat the details, a cursory examination of the linked article illustrates the lie that sex education in government schools is "medically accurate and age appropriate." Unfortunately, the California case isn't isolated. Examples of government schools pushing bizarre and perverted sex "education" aren't hard to uncover. While the specifics of these 'cirricula' are awful, the deeper issue is government coercion. In terms of long-term strategy, conservatives will fare better if we attack the root cause.
This website's views on sexual morality aren't a secret. We understand that the sexual revolution has been a catastrophe that has unleashed a half-century (and counting) of pathologies and perversions. We believe any teachings about sexual morality should be biblically-based. But we also believe this is a topic on which reasonable people can disagree. Whatever your views, government schools aren't an appropriate forum for the discussion.
The politics of this approach are also fantastic. One of the hidden gems of common core is the National "Sexuality Education" standards, which are built upon the ideas of Alfred Kinsey. Federal bureaucrats pushing weird sex on innocent children should horrify both libertarians and social conservatives. You defeat this phenomenon by shutting down the machine. You shut down the machine by incrementally restricting the areas where it's allowed to operate.
In a 2013 interview, Abortion Barbie said: "The other part of that is getting back to a place we once were a long time ago with age-appropriate, scientifically based sex-education courses." In a couple weeks, the Texas Democrat party will probably embrace similar language in their party platform. At that time, this website encourages Team Abbott and the Texas GOP to tie Abortion Barbie to the California 'curriculum' discussed above. Considering her friends, she'll certainly attempt to push something like it. Over the long run, however, this is a scope of government issue.
One gigantic mistake social conservatives have made over the past 50 years is attempting to fix institutions that shouldn't exist in the first place. That has produced the status quo where these institutions are bigger and more entrenched than ever.
Government schools are inherently evil. They undermine parental authority and have no right to exist. Unfortunately, we can't get rid of them overnight. To dismantle government schools, you need to incrementally restrict where they're allowed to operate. Sex education is a darn good place to start