National Review Does Buc-ee’s

June 22nd, 2016

I can hardly resist throwing up a link to this Kevin D. Williamson National Review piece on Buc-ee’s, can I?

Over the weekend, I stopped to buy gas at a Buc-ee’s in Bastrop, Texas, and was greeted by (in addition to a man dressed as a giant aquatic rodent) an A-frame sign advertising Buc-ee’s version of the minimum wage: cashiers, $12 to $14 an hour; food-service and car-wash help, $13 to $15 an hour; team leaders, $14 to $17 an hour; assistant, $17 an hour and up. Each job came with three weeks paid time off each year, which employees are welcome to use, roll over, or exchange for cash. If you want 40 hours a week, there’s 40 hours a week to be had; if you want more than 40 hours a week, that can happen, too.

Everyone’s needs vary, of course, and I am not among those who believe that a two-income household is ideal for every situation. But I also believe that you can raise a family decently on $70,000 a year in Bastrop, where you can buy a perfectly serviceable house for less than $100,000 and where a nice, new one keeps you under the usual 2.5-times-your-income rule. Assuming a couple of raises and a bit of overtime, a married couple both working at a gas station could bring home something close to a six-figure income between them.

He mentions the kolaches but not the fudge. He also omits something the non-Texan audience wouldn’t be aware of, namely of just how large Buc-ee’s is; the Bastrop location is bigger than most supermarkets…

Shotgun Brexit Megapost

June 22nd, 2016

Imagine that there’s a thoughtful, in-depth introduction here that explains the pros and cons of the Leave and Stay positions.

You’ll have to imagine it, because I have no time to write it and the vote’s tomorrow. Instead, have a quick-and-dirty shotgun scatter of Brexit links.

  • The economic case for Brexit. “The European project is controlled by statists and the one good thing it provides (free trade between members) is easily overwhelmed by the negative things it imposes (protectionism against outsiders, tax harmonization, horrible agriculture subsidies, bad fisheries policy, etc).” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Britain Doesn’t Need the EU to Thrive. (Hat tip: Zero Hedge.)
  • “The fight over Brexit is symptomatic of a much larger crisis facing out-of-touch elites on both sides of the Atlantic.” More:

    The European Union’s bureaucracy and paper-parliament were set up to be as insulated as possible from the concerns of actual voters. Representatives to the European Parliament are selected by party elites as a kind of highbrow patronage. They invariably defer to the permanent bureaucracy, which acts like a transnational cartel, one that happens to be composed of governments. As Daniel Hannan, the rare Euroskeptic skunk to infiltrate the garden party that is the EU parliament, put it, “faced with a choice between democracy and supra-nationalism, the EU will always choose supra-nationalism.”

  • Elites ignore the populist revolt against them at their peril.
  • “A substantial portion of the Leave campaign views the referendum as a rigged process and the EU as conspiring behind the backs of the British people to launch a new round of integration.”
  • Everyone knows the Brexit vote is a sham.
  • A generally good piece about the myths of both sides of the Brexit debate, but when he tags Geert Wilders as a “genuine fascist,” he’s talking out his ass.
  • Brits buying gold.
  • Here’s a debate between UK Tory PM David Cameron and UKIP head Nigel Farage on the subject:

  • Finally, here’s Brexit: The Movie, a 71 minute film that lays out the case for the UK leaving the EU. Haven’t watched any but a tiny bit of either of these videos, but offer them up here as a public service.

  • This Week in Jihad for June 21, 2016

    June 21st, 2016

    This is more like “this last two months in Jihad,” it’s been so long since I did an update. But there’s a whole host of Orlando updates, and a lot of other jihad-related news, so let’s dig in.

  • “My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.” I’m reminded of Gene Wolfe’s The Citadel of the Autarch, where there’s a character named Loyal to the Group of Seventeen.
  • And of course, this is after the Obama Administration’s FBI initially tried to release a censored transcript of Omar Mateen’s 911 call removing all mention of the Islamic State.
  • They even tried to change “Allah” to “God”. (Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt at Instaundit.)
  • “The Obama administration and the liberal media have decided that when a radical Islamic terrorist kills Americans, the one thing the narrative cannot be about is radical Islamic terrorism….In fact, the reason that the administration and the media are so intent on downplaying the role of Islam is because they are afraid that if they told the truth, people might vote Republican in November.”
  • An early entry in the timeline on just how badly the FBI farked up the Mateen investigation.
  • Evidently the FBI dropped the investigation immediately after Mateen played the Islamophobia card.
  • And that was even after Mateen threatened to have al-Qaida kill a sheriff’s deputy and his family. Mateen didn’t have warning signs, he had warning billboards…
  • If you hadn’t already heard, Mateen was at the very least bijihad curious.
  • He also checked Facebook to see if he was trending during the massacre.
  • London’s new mayor and Muslim child rape in the UK. Zero Hedge offers a month of UK jihad news.
  • “At some point we’ll have a president who cares about destroying ISIS.” Clearly we don’t have one now… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Bahrain strips Sheikh Isa Qassim, the country’s leading Shiite cleric, of his nationality for being too cozy with Iran. Is this something? Maybe. Bahrain’s royal family is Sunni, they’re not quite the scumbags the Saudi and Qatar royal families are, and there’s a significant American military presence there.
  • Muslims attack Radiohead listening party in Istanbul. Cause I’m a creep…
  • Facebook bans gay magazine critical of Islam.
  • Speech by Milo Yiannopoulos at University of Central Florida in Orlando cancelled because police couldn’t guarantee his safety. One wonders if police in Orlando are capable of protecting anyone at all…
  • From here on down it’s mostly old news, but maybe you didn’t read it the first time around.

  • Two month old Mark Steyn column on Germany’s cowardice in prosecuting that comedian who made fun of Turkey’s scumbag Islamist president? Yeah, because it’s still worth reading if you haven’t already.
  • Islamic State’s brutality makes Kurds abandon Islam for Zoroastrianism. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Taliban kill over 60 in Kabul. They were evidently targeting Kabul’s VIP security team. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Woman hitchhiking to prove Muslims are peaceful raped and murdered in Turkey. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Muslims riot in Greece.
  • The Islamic State is openly recruiting members at the employment office in Malmo, Sweden. (Hat tip: Blazing Cat Fur.)
  • Is Saudi Arabia reigning in their religious police?
  • “100% Cotton” Means “10% Polyester” in China

    June 20th, 2016

    Here’s a lesson in caution when buying Chinese-made goods in the global marketplace.

    When it comes to the clothes I wear I’m both particular and cheap. I only wear 100% cotton, because Polyester and other artificial materials irritate my skin. I keep hearing that the new “polyfine” materials feel better, but every time I try to put on a poly/cotton shirt, I instantly go “Nope!” and take it off.

    Since I live in Austin (and work in high tech, where I can get away with it), I tend to wear cargo shorts in the spring, summer and fall. I used to buy them at Academy, but they haven’t had any 100% cotton cargo shorts in black the last few times I dropped by.

    So I did what everyone does when they can’t buy something locally: I bought from Amazon.

    Here are the precise shorts I ordered: All black, the right look, under $20 and 100% cotton.

    Or so the Amazon listing said:

    Amazon Shorts

    So I ordered them, and a few weeks later I get them shipped straight from China. Upon arrival, I see these tags:

    Shorts Tags

    (Note that nowhere on the Amazon page did it list “Gaok and Congs” as the manufacturer.) And this is the only material label inside the shorts:

    Shorts Label2 1

    I can’t read Chinese, but I had a firm suspicion what 聚酯纤维 meant in English, and an Internet search confirmed my suspicions. What Amazon sold as “100% cotton” were actually 10% polyester fiber.

    There’s always been a bit of caveat emptor when buying goods manufactured abroad, but one of the roles of traditional middle men was verifying the quality and content of goods before accepting them for sale. Amazon’s business model effectively eliminates that quality control role, letting consumers buy directly from global suppliers. This saves money, but frequently Chinese suppliers are willing to forgo such niceties as telling the truth about their products

    LinkSwarm for June 17, 2016

    June 17th, 2016

    Today is a quadruple witching hour for markets, so try not to freak out if there’s more than the usual market volatility today.

  • “Obama Is Bringing 100 Syrian Refugees Into U.S. Every Day.”
  • And Syrian refugees are blowing big holes in Sweden’s welfare budget. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The rich aren’t paying their “fair share,” they’re paying everyone’s share. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Swiss overwhelmingly turn down “guaranteed income,” the latest pie-in-the-sky socialist scheme to rob every Peter to pay every Paul.
  • David Horowitz believes that Donald Trump’s post-Orlando foreign policy speech is a game changer. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Not a game-changer: Continued vapid liberal cheer-leading for multiculturalism at all costs. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Orlando wasn’t about ‘gun violence’ or ‘homophobia.’ It was about Islam. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Yet another MSM journalist caught lying about guns.
  • “Why it’s called a ‘modern sporting rifle‘ and not an ‘assault weapon.'” (Hat tip: Instapundit, who notes “Remember, none of this is about saving lives. It’s about the cultural domination of the people in flyover country, by their coastal ‘betters’ who get a near-erotic thrill out of such domination, and who are reduced to blind rage whenever their efforts at domination fail.”)
  • Aside: Is the Washington Examiner paying Ashe Schow enough? She’s like some indefatigable writing machine…
  • The Corrosive Politics of the New York Times Editorial Board Led to the Orlando Shooting. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Right now the debate seems choked with people who don’t know, are proud of not knowing, and think you’re a redneck gun-nut asshole if you want them to know because they feel very strongly about this.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • No charges for officer Brad Miller. He’s the one who shot the “unarmed teen” who had driving his Jeep through a plate glass window and was in the process of vandalizing cars.
  • And here’s a police shooting where the use of lethal force was clearly justified.
  • JFK and LSD. Meh. It’s not that I think Kennedy wouldn’t have dropped acid given a chance, but Timothy Leary was basically a con man, and we already know that Nina Burleigh is irrational.
  • Wow, believe it or not, still another reason to never visit Oklahoma. “I’m going to need your driver’s license and all the money on your prepaid debit cards.”
  • “The prohibition of comments that are considered biased or hateful is an explicit denial of freedom of speech.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Australia’s women’s Olympic soccer team defeated by teenage boys.
  • Are shipping containers the future of farming?
  • Your auditor finds huge cost discrepancies in Houston ISD construction costs. Does HISD: A.) Call in an outside auditor, B.) Launch a criminal investigation or C.) Suspend the auditor who found the problems?
  • New UT President Greg Fenves is a vast improvement over Bill Powers merely by being mediocre.
  • Land’s End decides to commit suicide.
  • Father buys car for son to go to college. Son decides to smoke pot and hang with no-good friends instead. Father sells car.
  • You’re not authorized to know the dire secrets of the Amtrak snack car! (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Affluent buyers snapping up Hill Country land and building mansions.
  • Austin Police Blotter Roundup

    June 16th, 2016

    More Dwight’s bailiwick than mine (and I think he’s covered two of these), but several stories of interest have popped up:

  • Suspected I-35 rock thrower arrested. “The Austin Police Department has made an arrest in the rock assailant case. Patrick Eugene Johnson a former tow trucker of Austin was arrested on Thursday by APD. Johnson has been charged with Attempted Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Third Degree Felony. He is currently being held in the Travis County Jail. Bond is set at $250,000.”
  • Austin woman killed in dog attack. Seems like she entered their yard on a business matter. Address is 12316 Fay Street, which is only a couple of blocks off East Parmer, but it looks pretty rural on Google Maps. It’s considerably different than a woman in Dallas being killed by a pack of Wild dogs
  • Austin closes their DNA lab due to concerns about being able to meet new regulatory standards.
  • Pat Condell on the Brexit Vote

    June 16th, 2016

    In case you hadn’t noticed with all the jihad shooting and Hillary corruption and the GLAVEN, the UK is voting next week on whether or not to leave the EU. Here Pat Condell makes the case for Brexit.

    “[The EU’s] primary purpose is to eliminate the need for democratic consent, to empower politicians at people’s expense, and to make them our rulers, not our servants.”

    “If you can’t remove the people who govern you, you live in a dictatorship, however many fancy labels and buttons and bows they dress it all up in. We cannot remove the people who run the European Union, no matter what they do, so they do what they want.”

    “Do we want to live in a strong, free, independent country governed by laws to which the people have consented, or do we want to be a province of a federal dictatorship where we do what we’re told by unelected bureaucrats? When you sweep away all the speculation and verbiage, that is the choice.”

    Don’t agree with his view on Ukraine, but the rest seems pretty solid. Also includes a fine slam on Obama.

    The Brexit vote occurs June 23.

    This Week in Hillary Clinton Corruption

    June 15th, 2016

    Looks like I’m going to have enough news to make this a regular weekly posting…

  • Saudi Arabia Has Funded 20% Of Hillary’s Presidential Campaign, Saudi Crown Prince Claims.” That, of course, is an addition to the already generous funds the Saudis sent to the Clinton Foundation. And naturally the report was taken down and Hillary’s mouthpieces at the Poedesta groups were frantically trying to convince people that “there’s nothing to see here.”
  • “I happen to believe when it comes to American industries or foreign oligarchs sending large checks to politicians they’re not going it out of the kindness of their hearts. They want favors and in the case of the Clintons, we’re talking about massive amounts of money and we’re talking about favorable action in return.”
  • Julian Assange says Wikileaks will publish enough dirt on Hillary Clinton to indict her.
  • Did Clinton’s state department block an investigation into the Orlando gay nightclub shooter’s mosque?
  • Democrats have “chosen the corrupt, opaque, power hungry, self-serving, aloof, greedy, politically soulless, congenital liar they so richly deserve.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • EmailGate: “This appears to be a clear violation of federal law and the sort of thing that is a career-ender, or worse, for normals.”
  • What qualifications did Rajiv K. Fernando have to sit on the International Security Advisory Board? Simple: He gave the Clinton Foundation money.
  • How that unflattering picture of Secretary of State Gambino checking her Blackberry was the beginning of the end for Hillary.
  • State Department admits it’s missing all emails from Clinton toady Bryan Pagliano.
  • A quick primer on Clinton scandals. The miss several (where’s Sandy Berger stuffing classified information into his pants?) and soft-peddle others.
  • How Hillary’s tools shut out Bernie Sanders supporters in California: by explicitly denying them Democratic Party ballots.
  • Hillary enters incubation period. “As soon as we informed Hillary that she had reached the number of delegates necessary to secure the Democratic nomination, she thanked the staff and then promptly began secreting a thick, resinous substance from her oral gland and fashioning it into a protective casing around herself.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Never mind weekly. There’s probably enough dirt coming out on Hillary that I could make this a daily roundup, if I only had the time…

    Lawsuit Filed to Remove Jana Duty

    June 14th, 2016

    Via Dwight comes news that things are moving swiftly on removing Williamson County DA Jana Duty from office:

    Two Williamson County residents sued District Attorney Jana Duty on Monday, seeking to force her out of office.

    The Texas Constitution, according to the lawsuit, provides that county officials may be removed for incompetency and official misconduct.

    “Duty’s serial violations of court orders and the laws of the State of Texas, her history and pattern of dishonesty and untrustworthiness, and her dereliction and abandonment of her responsibilities of the office of the District Attorney have compromised the integrity and the effectiveness of the office of the District Attorney and the Williamson County criminal justice system,” the lawsuit said.

    The two Williamson County residents in question are Elizabeth Latham Schleder and Thomas Joseph Madden.

    The lawsuit itself offers an extensive list of Duty’s legal transgressions. Rather than listing all six pages from the PDF, here’s the Statesman summary:

    The lawsuit filed Monday says Duty broke the law when she made untrue statements to defense lawyers that time stamps were not available showing the sequence of events on a video in the Crispin Harmel capital murder case.

    “The District Court found the Duty’s representations regarding the video were untrue and that Duty knew they were untrue when she made the representations,” the lawsuit said.

    It accuses Duty of official oppression, aggravated perjury and tampering with physical evidence by not telling the truth about the time stamps.

    The lawsuit says Duty’s other acts of incompetence and official misconduct include being found guilty of contempt of court on Aug. 10, 2015, and being sentenced to 10 days in jail.

    Duty also broke a gag order in the Harmel case by speaking to a television station and a Georgetown newspaper, and then lied on May 29, 2015, saying she had not spoken to them, the lawsuit said.

    It said Duty has also abandoned her responsibilities as district attorney since she lost her re- election in November 2015 but continues to collect her $152,000 per year salary, the lawsuit said.

    “On information and belief, since November 2015, Duty has been unavailable and inaccessible to law enforcement, judges, court staff, county officials, and District Attorney office staff,” the lawsuit said.

    The only thing I don’t understand is the November 2015 date, since Duty lost to Shawn Dick in the Republican primary in March of this year.

    As for Duty neglecting her duties, her sister admitted there are days when she doesn’t go into the office. Certainly there are jobs where you can do most or all of your work remotely, but I don’t think that District Attorney is one of them.

    Regarding the other charges against Duty, I suspect that this particular case may be the straw that broke the camel’s back for some of those calling for her removal:

    On or about May 23, 2016, the State Bar of Texas suspended Mark Brunner – First Assistant to District Attorney Duty – from the practice of law (suspension probated for one year subject to compliance with the terms of probation) for professional misconduct, to-wit: untruthful communications to the District Court in his capacity as First Assistant District Attorney for Williamson County, Texas in conjunction with the prosecution of State of Texas v. Jessee Celedon Gamboa for aggravated robbery of the Schwertner State Bank in October 2013. Specifically, the State Bar found that Brunner lied to Williamson County District Judge Donna King in February 2015 about having contacted the victims in the State of Texas v. Gamboa aggravated robbery prosecution and having secured the victims’ approval of the plea bargain agreement between the District Attorney’s office and Gamboa’s criminal defense attorney when the victims in this case had not, in fact, approved the plea bargain and Brunner had not, in fact, contacted the victims or obtained their approval of the plea bargain.

    Yeah, when your DA lies about having obtained your consent to a plea bargain with the thug who robbed your bank, I can see someone taking that personally.

    Here’s a piece on the arrest of the Schwertner State Bank robber. And still more here. Though several news stories mention Gamboa as possibly being the “ZZ Top Bandit,” prison records show that he’s only serving time for the Schwertner heist.

    Duty supporters have said that all this is a big waste of time and that Duty will be out of office before the case ever comes to trial. However, I’m guessing that Duty is so unpopular around the Williamson County courthouse that they’ll manage to get the case fast-tracked…

    More Orlando Gay Shooter Info

    June 13th, 2016

    More information about radical Muslim Omar Mateen’s gay nightclub murder spree continues to trickle out.

  • Mateen was quite religious and regularly attended Mosque.
  • “Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim.”
  • Zero Hedge has some background on Mateen and his employer:

    Omar Mateen – who as we reported earlier was licensed as a security guard and also holds a firearms license – was employed by the US subsidiary of G4S plc, a British multinational security services company, whose US-headquarters are located in Jupiter, Fla, and which also happens to be the world’s largest security company by revenue….

    But where it gets more disturbing is that as Judicial Watch reported several days ago, in a post titled, “DHS Quietly Moving, Releasing Vanloads Of Illegal Aliens Away From Border”, border patrol sources said that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was quietly transporting illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix and releasing them without proper processing or issuing court appearance documents. As a reminder, the government classifies them as Other Than Mexican (OTM) and this week around 35 were transferred 116 miles north from Tucson to a Phoenix bus station where they went their separate way. Judicial Watch was present when one of the white vans carrying a group of OTMs arrived at the Phoenix Greyhound station on Buckeye Road.

    And this is where the Mateen-G4S link emerges: as JW reported previously, a security company contracted by the U.S. government is driving the OTMs from the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector where they were in custody to Phoenix, sources said. The firm is the abovementioned G4S, the world’s leading security solutions group with operations in more than 100 countries and 610,000 employees. G4S has more than 50,000 employees in the U.S. and its domestic headquarters is in Jupiter, Florida.

  • Islamic State radio calls Mateen ‘a soldier of the caliphate.’
  • Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, hosted a “shoestring” talk show in which he regularly unleashed anti-U.S. tirades and once praised the Taliban.
  • The timeline of the shooting shows, at the very least, massive misjudgment on the part of the police. The shooting started at 2:02 AM, but police don’t call in the SWAT team until 3 AM? And it’s another two hours before they storm the club? And all this after the shooter had called 911 to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State?
  • Reddit’s main news group evidently decided to censor mentions of the shooting once it became known that the shooter was a radical Muslim. They even censored posts providing information on blood donations.
  • Schindler’s pissed:

    For years, too many Americans – including the lion’s share of our elite media and most of our politicians — have been content to deny the obvious, namely that quite a few Muslims espouse beliefs that are deeply at odds with what the vast majority of Americans believe. Some of those Muslims openly advocate violence and, if they are otherwise maladjusted, the odds they may murder in the name of Islam increase commensurately. We need to have a robust national debate on this important issue. Donald Trump has opened the door to that discussion, in his customary brusque, ham-handed way. More tact is required, but we cannot put off talking about radical Islam and jihadism any longer.

    After the Bataclan massacre last autumn, the French government in effect went to war with radical Islam, pledging a “merciless” response to terrorism. This wasn’t just talk. Mass arrests of suspected radicals followed, dealing a serious blow to ISIS networks in the country. Paris meant business, finally.

    In the aftermath of our own Bataclan, President Obama has offered his usual platitudes about “hate” and “guns.” This is escapism-as-counterterrorism-policy. Americans must demand better, including a reality-based assessment of our terrorism threat, from our next commander-in-chief. If we cannot name our enemy, we are already halfway to losing the war.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Milo Yiannopoulos weighs in: “The Christian Right may not be totally down with homos, and Trump may say things that hurt our delicate feelings, but they aren’t going to kill us or put us in camps. Only Islam would do that — the same Islam that, bizarrely, now stands at the top of the left’s hierarchy of victimhood.”
  • More quotes from the Koran and various hadiths condemning homosexuality and sodomy.