Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category

Antonio Buehler Found Not Guilty

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

From the Austin legal beat, Antonio Buehler was found not guilty of refusing to obey a police officer’s instructions while filming an arrest on January 1st, 2012.

Chalk up another small but real win for the right to monitor government employees doing their work in public.

LinkSwarm for October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20th, 2014

I was at a writer’s workshop this weekend, so it’s slow going getting back into the swing of things:

  • Early voting in Texas starts today. Find your polling place here.
  • ObamaCare is failing to control costs.
  • Sure, it’s screwed over the many people who have lost their policies or seen their rates skyrocket, but besides Democratic Party functionaries, is there anyone who is happy with ObamaCare? Why yes, there is: Insurance companies
  • Department of Defense hid discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq. In other words: Bush was right, and his critics were wrong…
  • Looks like U.S. air power is finally making a difference in Kobane.
  • On the other hand: “U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS: Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls.” Let’s not do that…
  • A sign of how deadly Ebola is: “That Science article written by 58 medical professionals tracing the emergence of Ebola—5 of them died from Ebola before it was published.” (Hat tip: Jerry Pournelle via Instapundit.)
  • The Democratic talking points that “Republican budget cuts” helped create the Ebola outbreak are such obvious lies that the Washington Post gave it four Pinocchios.
  • Speaking of Ebola…

  • “Having Jimmy Carter out-hawk you is like having Joe Biden attack you for being verbally undisciplined…Doing nothing about the Islamic State was Obama’s foreign policy until the domestic political situation made his foreign policy untenable.”
  • Another Democratic Senate candidates refuses to say she voted for Obama. Hey, remember when all those Republican senate candidates refused to say whether they voted for Reagan? Me neither.
  • So just how much did Kay Hagan’s family get from a USDA energy program? USDA: We’re not going to tell you.
  • Democrats bringing in Marc Ellis is pretty much a sign they know they’re already breaking the law.
  • Tom Harkin is not pissing his campaign contributions down Bruce Braley’s rathole of a campaign.
  • Why should blacks turn out for the Democratic Party?
  • Real rape vs. “rape culture”:

  • Why Ezra Klein supports “An Enabling Act for the Salem Rape Culture Trials.”
  • Then Klein doubled down on stupid, proving how deeply over his head he’s in. Again.
  • FIRE‘s VP also takes a wack at Klein’s stupidity.
  • Is there any doubt that, under these new kangaroo court procedures, the innocent Duke lacrosse players would have been expelled labeled sex offenders? I suspect that for Social justice Warriors, this outcome isn’t a bug, but a feature
  • MoveOn.org has a “Get the money out of politics” ad contest. Unexpected conservative landslide ensues.
  • World’s least shocking news: New York Times reporters follow liberal Twitter feeds almost exclusively. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • The #GamerGate Hate Hoax. But it’s not like Robert Stacy McCain knows anything about online death threats…
  • Has PETA reminded us what insane lunatics they are recently? Well, they’re complaining about Google View using a camel.
  • ISIS kills ISIS.

  • Is your religion approved by the City of Houston, comrade?
  • All about the man recreating the 1918 flu strain that killed 40 million people
  • Remembering Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, whose sacrifice saved hundred from a suicide bomber in Pakistan.
  • This looks like it could be an interesting book.
  • Holly Hansen has the rundown on Round Rock ISD board candidates.
  • SXSW would like to to keep the peasants from exercising their annoying freedoms during their festival. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • What every President drank.
  • Alternative to What? Evidently Profitability

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

    Via Dwight comes word that alternative weekly the San Francisco Bay Guardian has ceased publication. Alternative weeklies used to have a market niche as carrier mediums of left-wing opinion, music gig listings and porn ads. The Internet has taken over the music and porn listings, and the left-wing opinion market is glutted not only online, but with MSNBC, New York Times, CNN, NBC, CBS, Washington Post, NPR, etc.

    But if you can’t make money with an alternative weekly in San Francisco, where can you? (And keep in mind that this was after they received a settlement from rival SF Weekly.)

    Well, probably Austin. At least as long as you have an enormous, money-making music festival attached to it…

    (Flashback: “I missed the Bay Guardian’s coverage of their investor’s indictment on child prostitution charges.”)

    A Quick Look At Texas Migration Patterns

    Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

    Will Franklin of WILLisms put up an interesting link on his Twitter feed: A PDF of Texas relocation data from the Texas Association of Realtors.

    There’s lots of interesting information to be gleaned:

    The 2014 Texas Relocation Report shows that Texas continues to be a national leader in relocation activity and a sought- after location for households moving out of state.

    According to the report, Texas gained more out-of-state residents than any other state in 2013, with 584,034 people moving to Texas from out of state. A majority of these residents originated from California (66,318), followed by Florida (32,619), Oklahoma (29,169), Louisiana (29,042), and Illinois (28,900).

    Texas ranked third in the nation for number of residents moving out of state in 2013 (409,977), coming in behind California (581,689) and Florida (423,995) and topping New York (401,440), and Illinois (304,674). Like with incoming residents, a majority of the residents who moved out of state moved to California (32,290), followed by Oklahoma (27,391), Florida (24,226), Colorado (23,490), and Louisiana (21,747).

    Overall, Texas had a net gain of out-of-state residents in 2013, with 138,057 more people moving into Texas than Texas residents moving out of state in 2013.

    So roughly twice as many people moved from California to Texas as vice versa.

    Other nuggets from the report:

  • Both Harris and Dallas counties had net negative outflows, though their surrounding counties more than made up for it in population growth.
  • Williamson county had the third largest net population inflow, with Hays fourth, behind Denton and Brazos counties, but well ahead of Travis. Indeed, Williamson’s population growth was three times that of Travis.
  • Despite that, Travis got more out-of-state migration inflow than Williamson, which I take to mean that Travis got more Californians and Williamson got more Texans fleeing The People’s Republic of Austin.
  • If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the report, it actually says most of Williamson’s in-state inflow came from Travis, but numbers of people moving from Williamson to Travis are so low they’re not even in the the top five. Indeed, more people moved to Walker County (home to Huntsville) than to Travis.
  • What does this mean politically? As Ace of Spades noted in their ginormous .PNG, conservative areas of the state are gaining population, while liberal strongholds are losing ground. The two largest liberal counties (Bexar and Travis) to gain population were outpaced by population growth in conservative Denton County alone.

    Conclusion: Despite Democrats talking up demographic shifts, don’t expect Texas to turn blue anytime soon…

    Gun and Crime Roundup for September 23, 2014

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

    Been a while since I did a roundup on gun news and examples of criminal stupidity, so here it is:

  • Study shows that banning “assault weapons” has no effect on crime.
  • The Missouri House and Senate override the veto of Democratic governor Jay Nixon for expanded concealed carry.
  • California is evidently cooking up a whole new batch of unconstitutional gun laws. (A repeat from the latest Texas vs. California update, but it certainly fits here as well…)
  • The New Jersey Star-Ledger comes out for mandatory gun confiscation. Perhaps New Jersey gun owners should come up with a boycott of all Star-Ledger advertisers until the editorial board is replaced…. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.)
  • A look at the crappy, unverified statistics used by the gun grabbers in Nevada. “The source links given by Nevadans for Background Checks do not lead to any independent research on gun background checks, but lead solely back to statements by a gun-control advocacy group that are unsupported and ignore conflicting evidence.” (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • One police officer’s advice on how police can rewin the public’s trust: End the militarization, wear cameras, and end the drug war (or at least the war on marijuana). (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Dear Pennsylvania State Police: Please note that there is no void when searching for a cop killer clause in the Bill of Rights.
  • The Brady Bunch is suing an ammo manufacturer for the crazy Colorado movie shooter? Really? “It does sound like a civil action that is a sure loser, brought in hopes of gaining publicity. That of course runs a big risk of getting hit with sanctions.” (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned)
  • Homeowner’s rights against criminals: “It is called confinement. In the situation where someone has illegally come inside a person’s home or workplace, that person can hold the intruder by force until police get there.”
  • Broken Windows: How a tiny bit of criminality (things stolen from open garages) has escalated to home invasion in an Austin neighborhood. Close your garage doors and lock your doors and windows at night, people…
  • Break into a home, get shot. That’s the Houston way.
  • Speaking of Houston, gun sales there are off 18%.
  • Four Chicago gangbangers decide to execute a 9-year old boy. (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Speaking of murderers of 9-year olds, Texas executed Lisa Coleman on September 17.
  • Pro-tip: If you don’t want to be arrested, try not to smuggle “38 pounds of marijuana, two disassembled .40 caliber semi-automatic weapons and 350 pounds of ammunition” onto a plane at JFK airport.
  • Pro Tip: Don’t try to hold up a man with the gun you’re buying from him off Craigslist. Especially since it’s unloaded. (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)
  • If you’re going to get drunk and go joyriding, try not to crash in the home of the medieval weapons enthusiast, which will help minimize your chances of being stabbed with a spear. (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)
  • LinkSwarm for September 22, 2014

    Monday, September 22nd, 2014

    A Monday LinkSwarm of some recent(ish) news:

  • Surprise, surprise, surprise: ObamaCare covers abortions.
  • Alaska doctor shuts down practice due to ObamaCare.
  • Obama’s own Secretary of Defense says we left Iraq too soon.
  • Strangely enough, Gaza landlords are no longer wild about renting to Hamas.
  • Another day, another 36 people killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
  • “A Pakistani academic known for promoting liberal views on Islam has been shot dead by gunmen.” And people wonder why we don’t hear from more moderate Muslims…
  • The progressive media consensus on Islam is stultifying, and deliberately so. It’s a series of simplistic claims intended to drown out any adult discussion on the issue in favor of childish happy-talk which serves no purpose except to preserve the fragile progressive voting coalition.”
  • How well is the war against ISIS going? David Gergen compares it to the rollout of ObamaCare.
  • Meanwhile, ISIS continues to advance in Syria.
  • “The ‘social justice warriors are only happy when they’re destroying someone. That’s because they’re awful people with mental and emotional issues.”
  • Are you a whistle-blower who has spoken truth to power? Then expect to be investigated by the media, if the power you spoke truth to has a (D) after their name…
  • Global warming has been missing for 19 years.
  • Fareed Zakaria: Plagiarist. (Via Instapundit.)
  • Mary Burke: Plagiarist. (Also via Instapundit.)
  • C. David Heymann: Serial Liar. (Hat tip: Dwight.
  • Federal Reserve makes a $7 Trillion (with a T) cut-and-paste error. I would think that when you’re dealing with trillions of dollars, you’d want to have additional auditors checking your math. Silly me…
  • With antisemitism on the rise, Jews decide that Glocks go with lox.
  • The college rape “epidemic” is complete bunk.
  • Last year: Socialist Party Vice Presidential candidate. This year: Texas Democratic Party state House candidate.
  • Wallace Hall update: Remember how Rep. Dan Flynn was part of the “impeach Hall” committee? Guess what?

    Flynn, however, is one of the lawmakers who tried to pull strings for a family friend, and never disclosed that fact throughout his yearlong investigation, even as the question of legislative influence became the subject of two official investigations and independent media investigations, and ultimately led to the forced resignation of the university’s president, Bill Powers.

    Flynn wrote a letter to Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa on behalf of a family friend who was applying to UT; the name of the applicant and the letter’s date are redacted on a copy of the letter that was published Thursday by the Texas Tribune.

    The Texas Tribune published 112 pages of correspondence with Cigarroa’s office involving letters of recommendation; five of those letters were from state legislators: Reps. Flynn, Tryon Lewis and Brandon Creighton, and Sens. Carlos Uresti and Mario Gallegos.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction)

  • S. T. Joshi on why replacing H. P. Lovecraft’ visage on the World Fantasy Award statuette (an idea pushed by the usual radical feminist Social Justice Warriors) is a bad idea. Keep scrolling, there’s a lot of slagging of a very foolish idea at a very high level of diction…
  • Feminism is about women’s equality. Period. It’s not about capitalism or socialism or racism.” Well, first wave feminism, anyway…
  • Dripping Springs ISD administrators have decided that the children in their charges are the perfect laboratory for social justice engineering via “Meatless Mondays.”
  • We just passed the 40 year anniversary of Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump. Kids: Ask your parents what an “Evel Knievel” was. Or, urm, your grandparents. And get the hell off my lawn!
  • Austin wants to spend $1 billion to extend their toy trains. Citizens Against Rail Taxes explain why that’s a bad idea.
  • Texas vs. California Update for September 17, 2014

    Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • The Texas economy continues to hum along:

    During the second quarter, Texas employers added 148,200 net nonfarm jobs—an average of 49,400 per month. This amounts to an 18 percent share of all jobs created nationwide over this period in a state with only 8 percent of the country’s population and about 10 percent of total economic output. Over the last year, the addition of 382,200 net jobs in Texas was more new jobs than any other state. These employment gains increased the annual job growth rate to 3.4 percent, which is higher than those of the national average and other highly populated states.

  • The city of Los Angeles is at an impasse over police raises: the police union (naturally) wants raises, while the city says they can’t afford them. So what happens next? The issue goes before the Employee Relations Board, which just happens to be packed with union-approved appointees. In one-party Democratic cities and states, it’s always government together with unions against taxpayers. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “The ugly reality is that so long as the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS are controlled by public employee union loyalists, pension reforms enacted by state lawmakers and signed by governors will never live up to their billing.”
  • Jerry Brown lies about pension spiking.
  • Why San Antonio’s public-private partnerships are better at dealing with drought than Los Angeles.
  • A FAQ on Costa Mesa’s pension situation. Including answers to such questions as “How could the $228 million in unfunded pension liabilities affect the city budget?”
  • Watsonville, California passes a sales tax hike solely to pay for additional union pension payments.
  • A judge rules that bankrupt San Bernardino can cut firefighter pension benefits in order to exit bankruptcy.
  • A union-sponsored bill tries to increase liabilities for companies that hire contractors.
  • California is evidently cooking up a whole new batch of unconstitutional gun laws.
  • A look at phony baloney jobs numbers for California’s high speed rail boondoggle.
  • Firefly Space Systems is relocating from California to Burnet County, Texas. “King said Firefly was attracted to Texas partly because of its business and regulatory climate.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out California offers a lousy climate for business. Or to put it another way: My days of underestimating California’s ability to improve its business climate are certainly coming to a middle…
  • Drone-maker Ashima is relocating to Reno, Nevada from California.
  • If you hadn’t heard, Tesla is building its battery factory in Nevada, not California.
  • An actual good law out of California: A law that prevents companies from suing customers for negative reviews.
  • North Carolina offered twice as much incentive money to Toyota but still lost out to Texas for relocating their HQ.
  • Your dedicated BART employee in action:

  • “No One Is Allowed To Take Pictures of The Great and Powerful Wendy Davis!”

    Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

    Wendy Davis is signing at Austin book store Bookpeople tomorrow (September 11, 2014) at 12:30 PM. (Bookpeople, if you haven’t been there, is a nice independent bookstore that has all kinds of authors in for signings, not just liberal politicians, and Rick Perry signed there in 2008.)

    The signing itself is not odd, it’s the conditions for the signing that are odd:

    EVENT GUIDELINES

  • This event is a SIGNING only. Senator Davis will not give a public talk.
  • Tickets are required to join the signing line.
  • Tickets are available to purchase in-store and via bookpeople.com
  • Tickets cost as much as the price of one copy of Forgetting to Be Afraid plus tax.
  • Each ticket grants access to the signing line for ONE person and will be exchanged for ONE signed copy of Forgetting to Be Afraid at the signing table the day of the event.
  • There is a limit of one ticket/book per person.
  • The line for the signing will form first come, first served the day of the event.
  • Books will not be personalized.
  • Photos will not be allowed at the signing table.
  • No memorabilia will be signed at this event.
  • No talk, no photos, no personalization. It’s like it’s a privilege to be in the same room as her. And if I know Bookpeople, plenty of autographed copies will be available the next day for purchase, sans ticket.

    I know for a fact that such rules were not in place for signings there by Neil Gaiman or Neal Stephenson (both of whom, I’d estimate, are considerably more famous that Wendy Davis). Indeed, the “no personalization/no photo” rules were not even in place for Hillary Clinton’s signing there.

    Why does a failing gubernatorial candidate merit more high-and-mighty treatment than a former Secretary of State, First Lady and losing Presidential candidate?

    If I had to guess, it would be that her handlers are scared to death she’ll make a gaffe…

    “Wallace Hall Was Right About UT All Along”

    Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

    That’s the headline on this Dallas Observer story by Jim Schutze (who you may remember from my piece on Tom Leppert’s term as Dallas Mayor).

    The Hall piece details what members of the conservative Texas blogsphere (myself included) have been saying for over a year: Hall was right, his critics were wrong:

    When Hall began to criticize the way UT-Austin was run on strictly administrative grounds, he was roundly denounced as a sort of fifth-columnist for Perry’s assault on tenure. Later when he accused the university of corruption, he was hunted like a witch.

    A campaign launched against Hall included impeachment proceedings in the Legislature and a criminal complaint brought to the Travis County district attorney. Even the establishment press turned on Hall, whose greatest sin was doing what the press is supposed to do — ask questions that make powerful people uncomfortable. An unbroken chorus of editorial page shrieking from Texas’ biggest newspapers denounced Hall and called for his resignation.

    The dramatic denouement is threefold: Hall has been vindicated of charges he abused his role as a regent. The charges of mismanagement and corruption he brought against UT are all being re-investigated because now people are admitting he was on to something. And finally, Hall’s biggest accusers are starting to look like the biggest rats, the ones who had the most to hide.

    In fact it’s hard to recall a case in Texas history where a person so roundly denounced has been so completely vindicated.

    More:

    Williamson, the reporter at The National Review, said in an email: “The Texas dailies have fallen down on the job covering this story, mainly because reporters perceive this as a confrontation between Rick Perry and the University of Texas, and they are reflexively hostile to Rick Perry.

    “I’ve spent most of my life in the newspaper business, and I know bias when I see it: If there were a suggestion that Rick Perry were twisting arms to get family members into A&M, it would be on the front page of The Austin American-Statesman. But when the malefactors are UT administrators and the whistle-blowers are Perry appointees, reporters in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio become strangely incurious.”

    While there isn’t a whole lot new to Schutze’s piece if you’ve been following the story on this and other blogs, the fact that even lefty alternative weeklies now have the same take on the scandal as Michael Quinn Sullivan is a big step forward for justice and transparency, and I commend the entirety of the piece to your attention.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    John Bucy III Campaign Claims Lien Was Filed Against John Bucy II

    Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

    The John Bucy III campaign has issued another denial stating that the tax lien issued against 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, was not, in fact, against candidate John H. Bucy III, despite his name being on the lien. But the press release does not go any farther.

    However, I have finally received answers from Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign to questions I sent in yesterday, and he confirms that the lien was against John H. Bucy II, the candidate’s father.

    My questions are in italics, and Grady’s answers are in bold:

    1. Is it true that John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II, and works at the latter’s law firm?
    John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II and offices out of 6633 E. Hwy. 290, but John III owns his own company and is not employed by his father.

    2. Did John Bucy II live at 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, and was the actual tax lien filed against him?
    – Yes.

    3. Travis County records show that 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759 was sold to John Bucy II on May 30 of this year, and then the lease assigned the same day to “The Jarrett-Simmons Irrevocable Trust,” whose address is the same building that both John Bucy II and John Bucy III show as their respective business offices (6633 Hwy 290
    East, Austin, Texas, 78723). Is that correct?

    – Unknown. This house does not (and never did) belong to John Bucy III, nor did he ever live there.

    4. Does John Bucy II still live at 8609 Camelia Ln?
    – Yes.

    5. Did the IRS accidentally put the lien as applying to John Bucy III when they meant to apply it to John Bucy II?
    The lien was properly applied to John Bucy II. There was just a typo on the form, which put “III” on it, instead of “II,” and we notified the Dale campaign a week ago that it was a typo and not John Bucy III, the candidate.

    Thanks to Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign for helping clear things up. The answers have the virtues of fitting all the facts, and government agencies committing typos are hardly unknown.

    Absent any additional information from the Tony Dale campaign that the tax lien is indeed against John H. Bucy III rather than John H. Bucy II, I would consider the matter closed.

    Update: Response from the Tony Dale campaign:

    “Mr. Bucy’s ‘shocked and appalled’ response to the revelation that the IRS filed a $163,000 tax lien against him for unpaid taxes is misdirected. Mr. Bucy is running for public office and is subject to public scrutiny. The federal government believes he has not paid his taxes. If the IRS is in error, he needs to produce proof in the form of the removal of the lien in his name, not ask the citizens of Williamson County to simply take the word of the Democratic Party Chairman or his dad.” -Corbin Casteel

    Update 2: Attached find an IRS document sent by the Bucy campaign, but I hardly find it conclusive…

    10616347_1468973480029706_6268223197445174577_n-1