Posts Tagged ‘Austin’

LinkSwarm for January 30, 2014

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Already the end of January? How did that happen?

Some links:

  • Mitt Romney is not running for President in 2016. Good. Now the media can stop sucking all the oxygen out of the race running will-he-or-won’t-he stories.
  • In a way-too-early poll, Scott Walker is within three points of Hillary.
  • And speaking of Scott Walker: “In America, it is one of the few places left in the world where it doesn’t matter what class you were born in to. It doesn’t matter what your parents do for a living. In America the opportunity is equal for each and every one of us but in America the ultimate outcome is up to each and every one of us individually.” Liberal critic: “That’s racist!”
  • Swedish reporter assaulted while wearing a kippah to test attitudes toward Jews.
  • Mark Steyn: “Extending special privilege to Islam corrodes free speech.”
  • America has no strategy in the Middle East. Or much of anywhere else…
  • Actual New York Times headline: “Bomb Blast at Shiite Muslim Mosque in Pakistan Kills 56.” As opposed to all those Shiite Christian Mosques?
  • Union leader found guilty of “extortion, racketeering and conspiracy.”
  • “It’s not enough to punish men for things they haven’t done. Women must be kept away from men, for their own good, because of the crimes those men haven’t committed.”
  • Jonathan Chait is shocked, SHOCKED to discover liberals opposing free speech.
  • “I fought for women to be anything, but also for women to choose to be a stay-at-home mom.”
  • Russian bonds cut to junk grade.
  • Apple posts the largest quarterly profit in the history of the world.
  • Governor Abbott declares February 2 Chris Kyle Day.
  • Andrew Sullivan to stop blogging, an event almost as tragic as the cancellation of Cop Rock.
  • Related Iowahawk tweet:

  • Sports Illustrated lays off all its photographers. Maybe they should change the name to just Sports. Personally I stopped reading the online version when Peter King decided his column would be a fine place to pimp for gun control…
  • There was a rally in Austin for school choice:

  • I LOLed:

  • Hsoi/John Daub Shooting Follow-Up

    Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

    A bit more information on the Hsoi/John Daub self-defense shooting of autistic home invader Jared James has come to light that wasn’t in my original story.

    The original news reports said things like James “forced his way onto the threshold of one of the homes.” What they actual meant was he battered at the door so hard he broke the frame:

    Also, new information shows that the late Mr. James was not quite the “gentle giant” some reports tried to paint:

    This fall, for reasons that she [the mother] didn’t understand, [Catalina] Leverette [the mother] said her son had developed a tendency toward unpredictable outbursts, at times running through the house yelling. She knew the police had responded to calls about her son, and newly obtained police reports show two calls in 2014 for an “emotionally disturbed person” involving James.

    Also this:

    “On Dec. 11, [police] took James to a psychiatric hospital under court order.”

    The James shooting was a tragedy, all right, but it was a tragedy of the health system not being able to get a mentally ill man the type help he obviously needed.

    The UT Law Scandal: Bigger Than Previously Reported

    Monday, January 26th, 2015

    Back when the University of Texas Law School “forgivable loan” scandal broke, I said it was for all intents and purposes a slush fund and a serious ethical problem for UT.

    I didn’t know the half of it.

    This piece by Jon Cassidy at Watchdog.org (based in part on documents he obtained from UT) paints ex-UT Law Dean Larry Sager as wetting his beak even more than previously suspected.

    For years before a forgivable loan scandal forced him to resign as dean of the University of Texas Law School in 2011, Lawrence Sager was running up annual six-figure bills on a credit card paid for by the UT Law School Foundation.

    From 2007 to 2010, Sager racked up $401,498.29 on that card, all of it paid by the foundation, apart from tens of thousands in other expenses for conferences, computers, club dues, food, travel, storage units and other items.

    I can imagine numerous scenarios where a UT law school dean could rack up $400,000 in credit card expenses, but most of them involve words like “gambling,” “hookers” and “blow.”

    More from Cassidy:

    In all, the foundation has spent more than $1 million in compensating and reimbursing Sager. That’s just a fraction, however, of the $68 million the foundation has spread around UT during the past decade, most of it compensating the school’s faculty and administrators.

    The question the attorney general’s report does not answer, or even ask, is whether the members of the Law School Foundation have received anything in return for their largesse. Reporting by Watchdog.org has established that many children of generous foundation members have been admitted into UT Law, although there is little evidence that would cast doubt on their qualifications.

    More on that “forgiveable loan”:

    The report says that “under Dean Sager’s leadership the Law School provided incorrect or incomplete responses to requests for salary information by both University management and the public pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act. To settle a lawsuit, both Foundation and public funds were expended in order to paper over a climate of non-disclosure.”

    Scott also faulted Sager for concealing the $500,000 forgivable loan he procured for himself, reporting that “the Law School maintained two forgivable loan lists — one that contained Dean Sager’s $500,000 forgivable loan and one that excluded that particular loan.”

    Keeping two sets of books is a classic indicator of financial fraud.

    Thus far I have only skimmed the official Attorney General report on the loan issue (much less dug through all of the appendices), but there are several other questionable practices highlighted, like an unrecorded, $25,000 payment to one faculty member.

    As Dallas Observer writer Jim Schutze notes, the state media continues to ignore the scandal regent Wallace Hall uncovered:

    Cassidy’s and Williamson’s reporting was uniformly ignored by reporters and editorial pages of the state’s mainstream media. Most of the state’s major editorial pages joined the exposed members of the Legislature in denouncing Hall. An ad hoc committee of the Texas House of Representatives labored for months to find a way to remove Hall from the board of regents. When their own lawyers told them Hall hadn’t done anything for which he could be impeached and was in fact carrying out the duties of a regent, the committee slapped Hall instead with a gratuitous and toothless “censure,” an act with the legal meaning and gravitas of “fuck you anyway.”

    And while he may no longer be Dean, Sager is still listed among UT law faculty.

    The report goes to show, once again, that Wallace Hall was right about the need for tighter and deeper board oversight at UT. And that UT’s stables still haven’t been fully swept out…

    If You’re Wondering Why Stuff From Hsoi is Down…

    Monday, January 5th, 2015

    this news story should answer the question.

    Short summary: John Daub, AKA Hsoi, had to fatally shoot a home invader who turned out to be autistic. It sounds like a justified shooting, but I’m sure one of the first things a defense attorney would say is “Take your gun blog down now.” Especially since he lives in Travis County.

    (I don’t know Daub personally, but he’s on the blogroll, we follow each other on Twitter, and we both know the folks at KR Training.)

    (Hat tip: Dwight via email.)

    LinkSwarm for December 19, 2014

    Friday, December 19th, 2014

    I trust everyone reading this has already heard about Sony Picture’s spinelessness in cancelling their release of The Interview, and Paramount’s even more-spineless refusal to allow theaters to show Team America: World Police in its place. This would be good reason to avoid paying for any Sony or Paramount products any time in the near future. And Cuba is a topic for another time. So here’s a quick look at the rest of what’s been happening the week before Christmas:

  • Obama’s taunting political opponents over how impossible it will be to overturn his illegal alien amnesty actually increases the chances it will be overturned.
  • Vermont can’t afford to pay for its socialist health care system.
  • Voters “prefer dysfunction to the alternative scenario of Democrats running both the White House and Congress.”
  • Democrats accept bribes to oppose Voter ID laws. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • It may be too late for investor’s to move money out of Russia in the wake of the ruble’s collapse, mainly because they already have.
  • Here are eight campus rape hoaxes that bear remarkable similarities to the Rolling Stone UVA rape hoax.
  • Was the entire hoax fabricated because one of “Jackie”‘s friends rebuffed her romantic overtures?
  • And the entire sad affair seems to have moved into farce now that it appears “Jackie” actually copied a Dawson’s Creek script for some of her catfishing.
  • The “campus rape epidemic” is “a male demonizing Gothic fantasy nurtured by several decades of hardline feminist theory”:

  • Meanwhile, in the real rape culture, the Islamic State hands out brochures on how jihadists are allowed to rape prepubescent girls.
  • The ex-wife of the Sydney gunman sought refugee in the U.S. right before she was murdered. “He was abusing her, having her wear the hijab, did not want her to talk with anybody.”
  • Executive director out at Texas Democratic Party.” Really? After such a swell job? (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • Amongst the Wikipedia editors.

    I am not exaggerating when I say it is the closest thing to Kafka’s The Trial I have ever witnessed, with editors and administrators giving conflicting and confusing advice, complaints getting “boomeranged” onto complainants who then face disciplinary action for complaining, and very little consistency in the standards applied. In my short time there, I repeatedly observed editors lawyering an issue with acronyms, only to turn around and declare “Ignore all rules!” when faced with the same rules used against them.

  • Pro-gun control Austin City Council candidate defeated.
  • Wonder why so many UT insiders went after Wallace Hall when it was obvious Hall was right? Maybe it’s because they’re involved in the scandal up to their eyeballs. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • Science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle has suffered a strike. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  • Texas vs. California Update for December 17, 2014

    Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

    Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • California’s unfunded health care obligations for retired employees hits $72 billion. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Meanwhile, the state comptroller says that California’s unfunded pension liabilities has hit $198 billion. (Ditto.)
  • California may extend benefits to illegal aliens taking advantage of Obama’s amnesty.
  • Speaking of which, both California and Texas are on the hook for providing education for illegal alien children. “Today, those figures are $14.4 billion for California and $8.5 billion for the Lone Star state.”
  • California will go broke if it doesn’t adopt pension reform.
  • Lessons for California from Texas’ boom.
  • Costa Mesa police union tries to pin false DUI charge on City Councilman. Hilarity ensues. (Hat tip: Dwight.) And what caused the police union to go after him? Pension reform.
  • Pension spiking widespread in Cosa Contra County. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s high speed rail boondoggle won’t work with the current tracks.
  • Health industry software company vitaTrackr announces relocation of its headquarters from Baltimore to Austin.
  • Builders FirstSource announces expansion in San Antonio and Conroe.
  • Guns and Crime Round for November 11, 2014

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

    Veteran’s Day seems like a good time to have another gun and crime roundup. Includes some stuff held from before the election:

  • In case you missed it, Eric Holder’s Justice Department performed a 65,000 page Fast and Furious document drop on election eve.
  • The latest statistics on guns and crime shows that “the hypothesis of ‘more guns=more deaths’ cannot be true in the frame of reference of American society over the past 31 years.”
  • Anti-gun Democratic Missouri state Senator Jamilah Nasheed arrested for carrying 9mm while intoxicated. When Democrats say that average citizens can’t be trusted with guns, they seem to really be talking about themselves…
  • Six in ten Americans say that guns make a home safer. (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • Nine out of ten Americans support expanded gun purchase background checks–except for when they, you know, actually vote on them. (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • The exception: Washington State, where Bloomberg outspent the NRA 10-1 to pass a ballot initiative that institutes additional complex and cumbersome background checks. And Bloomberg is going to try to roll the same model out in other states with ballot initiatives. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.
  • Ways not to avoid police attention: Name yourself “Pazazu,” worship evil gods, and brag about buried skeletons in your yard.
  • What not to do after you’ve shot someone. (Hat tip: Tam.)
  • Three thugs try to rape man’s granddaughter. Result: one dead thug, two critically injured thugs.
  • Speaking of rapists who got what they deserved: Texas father who killed man raping his five year old will not face charges.
  • All other things being equal, you probably shouldn’t taunt police over your mugshot.
  • America’s oldest veteran is Richard Overton, a 108 year old Austinite who drinks whiskey and smokes cigars.

  • World’s Briefest Honeymoon.
  • If you can be thwarted by a can of bug spray, perhaps the thug life isn’t for you:

  • LinkSwarm for November 7, 2014

    Friday, November 7th, 2014

    A Friday LinkSwarm after a very eventful week…

  • So exactly when was it that the UK became the child rape capital of the Western world? First Rotherham, now Manchester.

  • Government of Burkina Faso falls. Evidently people there thought that 27 years of rule for President Blaise Compaore was more than enough…
  • Russia sends more tanks into Ukraine. Looks like we’ll dealing with the fallout of Obama’s “flexibility” for decades… (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty).
  • The Pakistani version of Axe Cop sounds a whole lot less entertaining than the American version.
  • DSCC head blames Obama for Senate loss.
  • The DSCC decides that they’ll stop pouring money down the rathole that is Mary Landrieu.
  • “Salon Writer Condemns Arithmetic As Racist.” Or how Jonathan Chait ruthlessly used his Mansplaining Male Math Privilege to oppress Jenny Kutner.
  • Because their attacks on Koch were so successful, Democrats double-down on stupid.
  • U.S. hits targets in Syria. Not ISIS, but “the Khorasan group.” For such a reportedly “small” group, we seem to be bombing them a lot…
  • Fatah and Hamas thoughtfully take a break from trying to kill Jews in order to blow each other up.
  • I’m shocked, shocked that there’s abuse and fraud in the “Obamaphone” program.
  • In addition to national and statewide outbreaks of sanity, there was even an outbreak in Austin, where voters defeated a proposal to expand Capitol Metro’s toy trains.

  • Go Vote!

    Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

    Williamson County voting information.

    Travis County polling locations.

    I hope to live tweet/live blog election results tonight.

    Election News Roundup for November 3, 2014

    Monday, November 3rd, 2014

    Election day is tomorrow! Now would be a good time to locate your voter registration card…

  • Democrats come up with a brilliant new strategy to get their voters to the polls: threaten them. And yes, that letter did actually come from the New York Democratic Party. “Nice voter you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it…”
  • Wendy Davis’ campaign may doom Battleground Texas efforts by alienating Hispanics.
  • “On Tuesday, it is all but inevitable that Greg Abbott’s campaign and Texas voters are going to beat Wendy Davis like a circus monkey.” I think this line is deeply unfair to circuses who treat their monkeys humanely…
  • Yet another area the Wendy Davis campaign isn’t strong in: math. Namely, their bragging that Democratic early voting was up from 2010 was false: “Hours later, the organization had to remove that memo from its website, after it became clear that Battleground Texas was using inaccurately low tallies from 2010.”
  • “Joni Ernst has charged to achieve a 7-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in a new Iowa Poll, which buoys the GOP’s hope that an Iowa victory will be the tipping point to a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate.”
  • Speaking of Ernst, Tom Harkin has a unique pitch to vote against her: “Oh yeah, I’d totally bang that, but you shouldn’t vote for her because (R) and stuff.” Of course, I’m paraphrasing here…
  • Mary Landrieu says she’s unpopular because her Louisiana constituents are lousy, stinking sexist bigots. I’m sure they’ll enjoy hearing that…
  • The Charlotte Observer memory holes story on her family’s illegal graft. Reporting the news must rank considerably behind “Protecting Democrats” on The Charlotte Observer’s priority list…
  • Travis County GOP Guide to City Council candidates.
  • Travis County GOP on AISD, ACC, RRISD, etc. candidates.
  • More Travis County race information.
  • If you need additional reasons to vote against the latest rail boondoggle, here’s footage of the rally against it.
  • And here’s Holly Hansen’s rundown of RRISD races again.