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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Austin Building Codes Strangle "Tiny House" Community


"[T]hat you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you"
1 Thessalonians 4:11

People coming up with creative ways to dramatically lower their housing costs and simply life?!?

Can't have that in Lee Leffingwell's Austin....



Highlights:

  • 10 x 16 house.
  • Forced by red tape to locate outside Austin.
  • Starts at $38,000
Who cares about housing costs when your real estate cronies have competitors they need eliminated?!?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How Decentralization will undermine Cartels


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

Patrick Byrne follows up on his visit last week with Glenn Beck:



Highlights:

  • "Government shouldn't be involved in marriage anymore than it should be involved in first communion."
  • I get my value in marriage from God, not some stupid piece of paper from the government.
  • The point is to take decision making from the centralized institutions to households.

Replacing Guillotines with Planned Parenthood


"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb."
Psalm 139:13

Chilling observations about the culture and history of abortion in America:
Did you know that John F. Kennedy had more than four children? That writers Christopher and Peter Hitchens had two other siblings? That Marilyn Monroe actually had a large number of children?

I’m not particularly fond of the argument that I’ve heard many pro-lifers use: “Abortion is wrong because of all the amazing people we’ve aborted. One of them could have had the cure to cancer!” Abortion is fundamentally wrong because it ends the life of a developing human being, whether that human being would turn out to be a drug addict or the president of the United States. However, it is an interesting thought experiment—not least of all because so many people considered heroes by the Left have aborted their children or had their children aborted. [Emphasis added]

....

[S]tories abound of JFK’s affairs ending in abortions. Mimi Alford, a White House intern that JFK had a relationship with for over a year, reported that when she told the president she believed she was pregnant, he “took the news in his stride.” Shortly afterward, she was contacted by a White House staffer named Dave Powers, often assigned to protect the president’s reputation.

“An hour later,” Alford recalls, “Dave called the dorm and told me to call a woman who could put me in touch with a doctor in New Jersey. The intermediary was a necessary precaution, because abortion was illegal. That was pure Dave Powers: he handled the problem immediately, and with brute practicality. There was no talk about what I wanted, or how I felt, or what the medical risks might be.”

Another of JFK’s famous mistresses, Judith Campbell Exner, reported having an abortion in 1963 after becoming pregnant by the president. Not all Kennedys, it seems, end up in Washington, D.C. Some of them end up in trash cans behind seedy clinics, victims of their parents’ sexual ideology.

....

Christopher [Hitchens] noted further that at least two children of his own had their lives ended by abortion, recalling sombrely that, “at least once I found myself in a clinic while ‘products of conception’ were efficiently vacuumed away. I can distinctly remember thinking, on the last such occasion, that under no persuasion of any kind would I ever allow myself to be present at such a moment again.”

Perhaps this was because Christopher Hitchens allowed himself no illusion, writing that, “Anyone who has ever seen a sonogram or spent even an hour with a textbook on embryology knows that emotions are not the deciding factor. In order to terminate a pregnancy, you have to still a heartbeat, switch off a developing brain, and, whatever the method, break some bones and rupture some organs.” [Author's note: But he went ahead with it anyway.]

....

The list of politicians, writers, and cultural figures who have discarded their own children are myriad. Comedian Chelsea Handler has talked openly about having an abortion. Sharon Osbourne calls having an abortion at seventeen the mistake of her life. According to author Norman Mailer, the tragic Marilyn Monroe had twelve abortions by her late-twenties. Whoopi Goldberg of The View, Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy, Judy Garland of The Wizard of Oz all aborted children. Ava Gardner reportedly aborted two of Frank Sinatra’s children, while the smut-peddling rapper ‘Lil Kim aborted the Notorious B.I.G’s child, which they conceived during an affair. Famed singer Sinead O’Connor had an abortion while on tour in Minneapolis.

It’s especially bizarre, I think, when those on the Left turn out to enthusiastically celebrate any new revelation of a cultural figure having an abortion. The more they admire the person, it seems the happier they are at the “courage” of said person having had an abortion. A bit unintentionally insulting, don’t you think? I admire you so much! I’m so glad you terminated a child that might have had your talent or been a lot like you!

Revolutions, however, famously do not discriminate in their grim reaping of human life. The Sexual Revolution is no different, even though we’ve replaced guillotines with Planned Parenthood clinics. The crowds cheered both, and the similarity between a howling mob and a pro-choice rally is striking to say the least. Perhaps it is Peter Hitchens who has the best explanation: “I think that abortion is much beloved by revolutionaries,” he noted gravely, “because they always like the mob to get their hands in blood and commit some sort of crime of their own.”
 Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Texas Model Begets Prosperity


"As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God."
Ecclesiastes 5:19

Great catch from TPPF on some national economic data released last week:
AUSTIN – Today the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary for June 2014. The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy Economist Dr. Vance Ginn released this statement on another month of job growth in Texas.

“Today’s state employment report further demonstrates that the Texas model of limited government and individual opportunity works to create abundant jobs for people across the income spectrum. This is a model other states and Washington, D.C., would be wise to adopt.

“Over the last twelve months, Texas added 371,000 net nonfarm jobs across all eleven major industries. This total was the highest in the nation and the associated annualized job growth rate of 3.3 percent surpasses most states and is almost double the national average’s rate of 1.8 percent. Robust job growth in Texas has led to a decline in the state’s unemployment rate over the last year from 6.4 percent to the current rate of 5.1 percent. This rate is a full percentage point below the national average and more than two full percentage points below the rate in California.
Read the whole thing here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Governor Perry's National Guard Announcement Press Conference


"You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess."
Deuteronomy 19:14

Earlier this afternoon, Governor Perry held a press conference to announce the next step in addressing the border crisis:



Highlights:

  • Governor Perry -- The plight of these unaccompanied alien children has captured the national attention
    • Still only 20%.
    • "I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor; we are too good a country for that to occur."
  • Steve McCraw, Texas DPS -- Troops will be 'seamlessly integrated' into DPS plan
    • Designed to deter criminal entry between ports of entry.
  • Major Gen. John Nichlols -- Over the next 30 days will mobilize the national guard.
    • Force Multiplier for DPS.
    • Already helping border patrol.
  • Dewhurst -- Who cares what he said?!?
  • General Abbott -- This is BOTH a humanitarian and a public safety crisis.
    • More that a dozen AG staff already assisting.
    • Texans are willing to put the boots on the ground, but we expect Washington to pay the bill.
-----

Update: Breitbart Texas has more here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Glenn Beck, Patrick Byrne, and Radical Innovation


Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
saying,

“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?”—
skimping on the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
Amos 8:4-6

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne stopped by Glenn's studio last week to discuss what's coming in the next decade:



Highlights:

  • "Wall St. doesn't like you at all."
    • In recent decades, Wall St. has gotten Washington "under it's thumb."
    • "That's where republics go to die."
  • The S.E.C. has no teeth and should be moved into the Department of Justice.
  • Orange jumpsuits are the only thing that scares Wall St.
  • "BITCOIN presents a real opportunity because you get to check out of the whole Federal Reserve system."
  • The next disruptive technology is a BITCOIN version of the stock market.

Friday, July 18, 2014

$10,000 degrees move forward despite Bill Powers


"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"
2 Timothy 3:2

The corrupt UT establishment can't stop Higher Education reform:
In Rick Perry’s 2011 state of the state address, Perry challenged Texas’s public universities to craft four-year degrees costing no more than $10,000 in tuition, fees, and books, and to achieve the necessary cost reductions by teaching students online and awarding degrees based on competency.

....

If these reactions suggested Perry was out of step with the higher-education establishment, the public’s reaction suggested that defenders of the status quo had fallen out of step with students, their parents, and taxpayers. Baselice and Associates conducted a public-opinion survey commissioned by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, finding that 81 percent of Texas voters believed public universities could be run more efficiently. Nationally, a 2011 Pew study found that 57 percent of prospective students believed a college degree no longer carries a value worth the cost. Seventy-five percent of respondents declared college simply unaffordable.

But would Perry’s plan meet the public’s need? One year after the governor’s challenge, Texas A&M-San Antonio became the first school to answer the call, announcing a bachelor’s degree in information technology costing students just under $10,000 in tuition and fees. Today, eleven other Texas schools have announced $10,000 degree initiatives.

....

Three higher-education partners — Texas A&M University-Commerce, South Texas College, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) — just launched the “Affordable Baccalaureate Program,” the state’s first public university bachelor’s degree combining online learning and competency-based standards. Developed by community-college and university faculty, with an eye to meeting the needs identified by community and business leaders, a new degree in organizational leadership can cost as little as $750 per term and allows students to receive credit for as many competencies and courses as they can master each term. According to THECB’s website, students arriving “with no prior college credits should be able to complete the degree program in three years at a total cost of $13,000 to $15,000.” Students who enter having already satisfied their general-education requirements can complete the degree in two years, while those entering with “90 credit hours and no credential” can complete the degree “in one year for $4,500 to $6,000.”

....

Finally, the ground is beginning to shift. The impossible may be starting to look inevitable.
 Read the whole thing here.