Monday, January 16, 2017

Beth van Duyne gets the last laugh!!! :D

"Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."
1 Peter 5:9

This is just all sorts of awesome:
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne is being dismissed from a crumbling defamation lawsuit brought by the father of Ahmed Mohamed, the MacArthur High student who was detained by police in 2015 when a homemade clock he brought to school was mistaken for a bomb.

Attorneys for the teen's father, Mohamed Mohamed, agreed to dismiss Van Duyne from the suit, according to a news release issued Friday from the city of Irving.

The development comes days after District Judge Maricela Moore dismissed Glenn Beck and his network TheBlaze, as well as the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think tank, and executive vice president Jim Hanson.
That being said, anyone who reads this website on a regular basis knows the issues we really care about, and we think it's pretty cool that Irving was able to accomplish this in spite of all the stupid 'clock boy' related nonsense:
If your goal for 2017 is to find a high-paying job in an affordable city, you may want to start your search in Texas or North Carolina. Each state boasts two of the best U.S. cities for job seekers, according to a new study.

NerdWallet found the top 10 cities for job seekers by identifying the places where Americans will find work opportunities and also stretch their paychecks. The study of the 100 largest cities in America factored in federal data on unemployment rates and workforce growth, as well as median earnings and rent costs.


9. Irving, Texas.
 Read the whole thing here and here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Revelation 21:1-8 -- ALL Things New!!!

All Things Made New
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:1-8

Pastor Danny Forshee.  Great Hills Baptist Church.  November 8, 2015:

All Things New - Dr. Danny Forshee - November 8, 2015 from Great Hills Baptist Church on Vimeo.

  • No more sea -- The connotation of destruction.
  • One last call of the Word of God.
  • In Heaven there is no sin or temptation.
  • More than anything, we see Jesus; He is Heaven.
  • Sometimes we just have to wait until Heaven until we understand.
  • You will either go to Heaven or you won't; every soul ever created will either spend eternity with God in Heaven or you WILL spend eternity in hell.
  • Anything that usurps the rightful place of God is an idol.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tevin Mack and Vince Young's misconduct latest example of UT's failing Status Quo....

"Though the Lord is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar."
Psalm 138:6

UPDATE: While we're on the subject of embarrassing news that came out of the UT athletic department this past week, we can't believe we overlooked this one in writing the original post:
On Wednesday, former Baylor Bears staffer Casey Horny announced his return to the Texas Longhorns as a special teams quality control assistant, but while his reunion with head coach Tom Herman provided further evidence of Herman’s commitment to alignment, it also raised serious concerns.


Horny still publicly supported Briles even though Pepper Hamilton’s Findings of Fact concluded that Briles and his staff helped foster a culture failed to “identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player, to take action in response to reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, and to take action in response to a report of dating violence.”

Even though extensive reporting by ESPN and other outlets helped reveal the depths of the issues at Baylor, which included an alleged gang rape by football players that the school said Briles knew about, but did not report.

ORIGINAL POST: On the heels of Wallace Hall's SCOTX hearing, two stories worth considering; first from the 7-9 (1-3 in the Big-12) men's basketball program:
Texas sophomore guard Tevin Mack has been suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules according to a Texas release. “We have a set of standards that we expect people in our program to adhere to,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “Tevin has failed to reach them.”

Mack, along with sophomore Kerwin Roach Jr. was suspended for their exhibition game against Angelo State and opener against Incarnate Word, also for violation of team rules.

Mack leads Texas in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game to go with nearly five rebounds and a team high 31 minutes. Mack was held to nine points to go with nine rebounds in Wednesday’s loss to TCU. Texas dropped to 7-9 and 1-3 in Big 12 play.
It gets better; check out the latest from the guy who scored that touchdown...over a decade ago:
Former Texas football star Vince Young pleaded no contest in a Travis County court on Thursday and was sentenced to 18 months probation for his 2016 DWI arrest, court records show.

Young, 33, resolved the case three days after he missed a court appearance on Monday because his attorney said the national championship-winning quarterback was feeling sick. Thursday’s appearance was added to the court docket at the last minute.

[Author's Note: Emphasis added...and while we can't prove it, we are comfortable speculating that Young missed that court appearance because he was hungover.]

Young was fined $300 and ordered by Judge Elisabeth Earle to complete 60 hours of community service. He is to attend a drunk driving class and install a device in his vehicle that won’t start if it detects alcohol on his breath. He’s ordered to keep the device for nine months.

Police say Young admitted to drinking three or four beers on the evening of Jan. 24, 2016 when they pulled him over on the North Interstate 35 service road for driving erratically. According to the affidavit, Young had a strong odor of alcohol and slurred speech.

He struggled to complete a field sobriety test and lost balance during instructions. He refused a breathalyzer; his blood-alcohol concentration came back 0.246 — three times the legal limit — according to the county attorney’s office.
As a point of comparison, former District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's BAC during her arrest was .239.

Late last month, we pointed out that "corrupt institutional mismanagement that has plagued the past decade has finally bled into the athletic department" and this week's announcements continue that trend.

Guys, the status quo just isn't working.

You might not want to discuss the "forgivable loan" slush fund.  You might not want to discuss the $215 million accounting scandal.  You might not want to discuss the tax hike for the Med school.  You might not want to discuss the secret admissions program.  You might not want to discuss the land grab in Houston.  You might not want to discuss the tuition hike.  You might not want to discuss the $17 million toxic waste dump purchase in El Paso (And while we're on the topic of "dump....").

But the athletic department is now in total meltdown.  This week's disciplinary incidents continue that trend.  Yet you fail to acknowledge the completely obvious reality staring you in the face....

Bottom Line: We're nowhere near rock bottom.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Charlie Geren CAVES on a Major Issue!!!

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass."
Psalm 37:7

Whoa, whoa, whoa...wait a second...WHAT?!?
Ethics reform went down the tubes in Texas a couple of years ago when Republican leaders deadlocked over a proposal to end the “dark money” loophole, which has been used by GOP and Democratic activists alike to cloak the source of their political donations.

Rep. Charlie Geren, the powerful Fort Worth Republican pushing ethics reform in the Texas House this year, is determined not to let that happen again.

Though he supports closing the dark money loophole himself, Geren said he fears the proposal could be used as a poison pill to kill off a broader package of bills — everything from taking lucrative pensions away from legislator-felons to disclosing all the lobbyist wining and dining that remains unreported.

“We got tangled up in a fight over dark money, and that killed the bill,” Geren told The Texas Tribune Thursday. “We’re going to have some single-shot bills that address individual issues, and you’re not going to be able to decorate them like a Christmas tree with other subjects.”
It's impossible to overstate the significance of Charlie Geren backing down on this issue; for years, attacking so-called "dark money" (ie. anonymous political speech) has been the tip of the spear in Team Straus' jihad against Michael Quinn Sullivan.

In 2013, Geren sponsored SB 346, which would have encouraged the same type of actions as those taken by the Obama administration's IRS at the state level.  Thankfully, in one the single best actions of his final term, then Governor Rick Perry vetoed it.  In 2015, it led to the confrontation on the ethics bill described above.

In 2017, it appears Geren won't even push the issue anywhere with leverage.

This issue used to be his baby...and now he's not even going to push it?!?

Bottom Line: We will certainly take it....


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7

We suppose we need to start this post with a confession/disclosure: Both of the events to which we will shortly refer are over 24 hours old.  To be honest, when we first heard General Paxton mention this, we missed it's full significance.  That being said, we can't find any other news reports discussing we suppose it's a de facto exclusive.

We attended two events this week where Attorney General Ken Paxton spoke.  On Monday, Wayne Christian was sworn in to his new seat on the Texas Railroad (ie. Oil and Gas) Commission.  Yesterday, TPPF hosted a panel related to various acts of intimidation by global warming activists.

At both events, Paxton recounted various legal actions his office has taken against the federal government related to maintaining abundant and affordable energy.  We didn't take detailed notes in either event, but we recall him saying that his office has sued the EPA 10 times in the past two years.  Several of those lawsuits have been successful and others are working their way through the process.

But here's the most interesting line he used both times: "As Attorney General, my office has sued the Obama administration 21 times...and there's still a few days left."

Like we said, we didn't record his remarks or take detailed notes in either event, but there were at least 200 people in the room the first time and 25 the second time.

We don't know what it means, but there will be three and a half business days next week before the presidential handover.

Bottom Line: Next week could be fun.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Does Freedom have a place in Education?!?

"Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life."
Proverbs 4:13

TPPF Policy Orientation: Education Savings Accounts: The Solution Texas Needs?!?

Stephanie Matthews, TPPF:
  • Too many families don't have educational options.
  • Education Savings Accounts can be used for virtual learning, which is fantastic for rural areas.
Thomas Ratliff, Texas Association of School Administrators (formerly of the State Board of Education):
  • Blah, blah, "local control."
  • If you want school choice, move.
    • Note: He recently moved into Grand Prarie ISD, which has a school choice program within its district; we don't begrudge Mr. Ratliff making the decision to educate his children in the best way he sees fit, but we will simply wish that every family in Texas had the same options while noting the hypocrisy.
  • Something, something, transportation to school for poor kids.
  • "With tax dollars comes transparency and accountability."
    • Author's Note: This is bureaucrat-speak for saddling a program with so many regulations as to render it ineffective.
  • Something, something "protections."
  • Something, something "your neighbors tax money."
  • Author's Note: For those who are new to Texas' state level politics, you can learn more about the older history of our good friend Thomas Ratliff here.
Marty Lueken, EdChoice:
  • School choice programs take up less than 2% of the education budget in every state where they exists; less than 1% of all education spending nationally.
    • Author's Note: That sounds like a bug, not a feature.
  • School choice saves school districts money.
  • Districts deal with enrollment fluctuations all the time.
Patrick Wolf, University of Arkansas:
  • Research evidence on school choice is clear about how it benefits students academically.
  • Competition also benefits children who stay in government schools by forcing them to get their act together.
  • States who have tried school choice have liked it and want more.
Senator Larry Taylor (Likely Education Committee Chairman):
  • There are always going to be kids whose needs aren't met by the current socialized education model.
  • At least 25 other states already have some sort of school choice program and most of the states who initially implemented a program have expanded it further.
  • You don't need that many kids to participate in a school choice program to benefit the rest of the system.
  • Rural Republicans like to argue parental choice will "destroy public education" in their community then say there just isn't the demand in their community for school choice to make a difference; they can't have it both ways.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How should Texas restrict higher education Tuition?!?

"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord."
Colossians 3:20

This afternoon at TPPF's policy orientation, we attended a panel on university tuition.  The full title was Tuition Set-Asides for Low Income Students: Who should Foot the Bill, but the discussion dealt with tuition in a much broader sense.  For more about tuition "set asides," see more from Lt. Governor Patrick's press conference on the topic last April.

Senator Kel Seliger, (likely chairman of the Higher Ed. Committee):
  • Set-asides just "part of the discussion" re: tuition.
  • Set asides "sort of an accounting device."
  • "Does little or nothing."
John Colyandro, Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute:
  • 85k students currently recieve assistance from set asides.
  • Government subsidies drive tuition increases.
  • It makes no sense to increase one student's tuition to benefit another.
Rich Vedder, Center for College Affordability and Productivity:
  • Price signals matter.
  • Government attempts to manipulate prices beget unintended consequences.
  • Regulation and subsidies distort prices.
  • This guy is AWESOME!!!
  • Set-asides "absolutely a bizarre policy."
  • Mandate that half of UT's endowment should go for tuition reduction.
  • UT and A&M have bigger endowments than public universities in other states but are middle of the pack, at best, in national academic ranking.
    • Author's Note: AND Football.
  • Federal tax preferences on endowments benefit wealthy schools.
Ron Trowbridge, Lone Star College System:
  • Government = coerced charity.
  • We need to do "some" redistribution.
  • Told two anecdotes.
  • Current subsidies tend to benefit affluent students.
  • We shouldn't use loans to fund scholarships.
    • Author's Note: We hadn't thought about it in those terms before, but that is a DAMN good point.
  • Senate WILL address set-asides.
  • UT "can play dirty at times."
    • Vedder teased, but didn't share, some sleaze from Bill Powers of which he was on the receiving end.
  • UT Austin has more bureaucrats than professors.
  • Seliger spoke surprisingly favorably about Vedder's tuition idea.