G20 is Taking a Hint. Good.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

That right there is a promise, and you can take it to the bank.  Nevermind all the actual science out there supporting the idea that mankind isn’t destroying the world be setting its thermostat a couple of degrees higher.  A Christian can take comfort in knowing that God built this planet for us with loads of automatic temperature regulation.  So it’s nice to see the new POTUS saying he doesn’t want to continue to transfer taxpayer dollars into croney deals with “green” companies.  But it’s extra nice to see that the new tone in Washington, D.C. is echoing loud enough around the world that (for now?) the G20 is toning down its rhetoric on the subject.

As long as I’m thinking about Europe today

Here’s hoping LePen can win big. France is screwed and getting worse, but LePen (somewhat like Trump) seems like the most likely candidate to turn it around.

“To assure the freedom of the French, there is no price too high too pay,” Le Pen said. “The foreign policy of France will be decided in Paris, and no alliance, no ally, can speak in her place.”

Preach it!

A better explanation of one of the ways Europe is screwing itself up: TARGET2

Once again, from Michael Shedlock: https://mishtalk.com/2017/02/24/fuse-is-lit/#more-44337

He was amusingly anti-Obama and now he is irritatingly anti-Trump . . . but he still calls the economics like he sees it. And right now he sees the Euro zone as a bomb with a lit fuse (but nobody knows how long is the fuse).

The Game Has Changed Somewhat

Long-time readers will recall that I have said this year or next year would see a global recession/depression. The systemic problems that caused the crash of 2008+ were never fixed and more bubbles were blown, and it looked to me like this would be the year of the popping bubble.

Hold on there.

I was expecting a typical politician to be our next President. Things would be done the same-old same-old way, and structural problems would be left untouched again. But here’s this guy now in office, blowing up the paradigm of how a President acts. So allow me to revise my previous prediction: 2017 or 2018 will see a global crash* but the USA might actually escape. Possibly, even with +3%GDP growth or more the whole time. Because Trump. His leadership and example of fearlessness in discourse may be what it takes to right our ship whilst the others all sink.

We’ll see.


Be sure to remember you read it here first, when the global depression is blamed (by the global leftist elites and their buddies in the press) on bad ol’ USA and Don Trump in particular, and the systemic problems are still not fixed after this upcoming recession. I hope I’m wrong and that lessons will be properly learned, but that wouldn’t rhyme with history.


*Australia’s housing market, and Canada’s in particular, are not looking great even right now

An Abstention Worse Than An Aye

Today, the USA threw Israel under the bus. Yesterday, President-Elect Trump succeeded in stopping Egypt from putting forth the resolution but today a bunch of other enemies of Israel went ahead with it, and the USA *abstained* instead of voting to veto the UN’s condemnation of Israeli “settlements in Palestinian territory”. Then our representative who doesn’t even deserve to be named said it was in keeping with longstanding USA policy going back 50 years . . . never mind that as recently as 2011 a similar resolution was vetoed by us.

I hope President Trump lives up to his hype in regards to Israel. We have been playing footsie with the enemies of God, on the subject of his favorite bit of real estate, for far too long.

But VFD, how was this worse?

Because the result was a foregone conclusion. If the USA didn’t veto the resolution, it was guaranteed to pass. Abstaining from the vote was the same as voting in favor, except that it shows a lack of courage. Even courage to do the wrong thing is more admirable than cowardice.

November 8, 2016 Travis County and City of Pflugerville, Texas Voter’s Guide

I’ve compiled this guide, like the others I’ve posted here before, for my benefit.  These are the notes I made for myself, for the races where I live

November 8, 2016, Joint General and Special Elections

Straight Party  – Only vote straight ticket if you are a fool.This should not be a thing that voters can do.

Donald J. Trump/Mike Pence, Republican – Please hold your nose and vote for Donald Trump for President. I know he’s a jerk and not a great person, but the next POTUS will be appointing *at least* half of the supreme Court. The list of people Trump is thinking of appointing is a list of good judges. Based on her track record, Mrs. Clinton is as likely as not to *sell* her nominations. Besides which, Trump is less likely to throw us into WAR with Russia and/or China. He ran a mostly-successful business to become personally wealthy, which used to be something we looked up to in the USA. Question why you don’t, if you think Trump = rich = bad.
Hillary clinton/Tim Kaine, Democratic – This is arguably the most-wicked person who has ever come this close to the Presidency. If you are thinking about voting for Hillary Clinton, you are either an ignoramus or a fool. Do the rest of us a favor and look into the merits of the accusations against her. You will find she has been deeply wicked since before William became the governor of Arkansas, and accomplished nothing of any public benefit along the way. She did become personally wealthy though, so she’s got that going for her, which is nice. What’s not nice is she got rich by selling influence as a public official.
Gary Johnson/William Weld, Libertarian – a very Libertarian. If you’re a Libertarian who doesn’t mind Hillary Clinton being the President, or a Republican who doesn’t mind Hillary Clinton being the President, or a Republican who just can’t stand the thought of someone coming from outside the party to be the head Republican, vote for Gary Johnson. Otherwise vote for Trump.
Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka, Green – the Green party ticket is, as always, a radical left-wing ticket. If you are that sort of person and you don’t mind seeing Hillary Clinton become the next President, then vote for Jill Stein. Otherwise, vote for Trump.
Write-in – this is going to be extra popular this year, I think. I encourage people who are considering writing in someone who is 100% guaranteed to not be elected, to instead consider that a candidate who gets over 5% of the vote this time, will get public funding for their party for the next election. If you want to see more parties with a shot at winning elections, then this should probably be the year you vote Losertarian. The Green party is polling very poorly indeed (as it should) but the Libertarian party maybe just maybe might maybe break 5% and get some funding for a legitimate 3rd party for *next time*

Just be aware that every vote that isn’t cast for Donald Trump is half a vote cast for Hillary Clinton.

District 17, U.S. Representativethis is a tough call for me. Flores has continued to be a dependable (R) voter and attempted to nibble at the edges of the problems our country is facing. Patterson, as a Libertarian, *sounds* like he’s ready to come in with a scythe and chop out waste left and right. He has no legislative background. How many times have you said you wanted to see all the Congressmen replaced? If it’s more than zero, maybe vote for Patterson. If it’s zero, vote for Flores. In the end, this is probably going to be an easy win for Flores, which is okay with me.
Bill Flores (R) – An easy choice for Conservatives and Republicans alike. He isn’t shaking the world up with his bold new policy initiatives, but he’s on the right side of enough issues to catch a vote.
William Matta (D) – Is for universal health care and increased minimum wage. Those are enough to disqualify him as a person who doesn’t understand that *free stuff* doesn’t come from nowhere.
Clark Patterson (L) – Check out this: http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/139603/clark-patterson/ – he might agree with you on more than you think. I disagree with him on several points that are important-enough for me to not vote for him, but it wouldn’t really hurt my feelings if he were to win.

Railroad Commissioner
Wayne Christian (R) – will win, by a lot, which is unfortunate. Christian is an okay second choice for me in this race. It’s unsettling that he doesn’t seem too keen on implementing the Sunset recommendations, especially since Miller seems all about getting *all* the recommendations put into practice. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess he hasn’t improved very much as a person since he was put on the Texas worst Legislators list (twice) for being a jerk.
Grady Yarbrough (D) – gives the impression of not knowing what is the purpose of the Commmission. That’s bad, especially compared with the two other men running who seem to have a decent grasp on the concept.
Mark Miller (L) – Please vote for Mark Miller for Railroad Commissioner. He seems like a reasonable person, intelligent to be sure and thoughtful. A degree from a hard college in a related field is nice, but his campaign showing a man who understands the industry, the Commission, and what ought to be done, is even nicer. Last time he was running for a seat on this Commission, the Republican candidate was a better choice. That’s not the case this time.
Martina Salinas (G) fracking/injection = earthquakes and (I quote) “we need to stop it.” I don’t think you get to be on the oil and gas regulatory commission in Texas on a platform of “stop producing the lifeblood of our economy” Also, and possibly even more of a concern, she sometimes stumbles *very* badly behind a microphone. Like her brain freezes up or something (?) not as bad as H. Clinton but it’s not a great thing in somebody so young seeking high public office!

Place 3, Justice, Supreme Court
Debra Lehrmann (R) – Please re-elect Justice Lehrmann. Aside from keeping an incumbent which means keeping the in-process cases in process instead of having to be re-learnt, she appears to be far-and-away the most qualified person for this position.
Mike Westergren (D) – every response to the Dallas Morning News questionnaire was less-impressive than the one given by Lehrmann, but the one that concerned me the most was that he *hasn’t written any opinions* and would rely heavily on his *clerks* to write for him! In addition, I don’t think someone who said he wanted to “out-Bernie Bernie Sanders is going to be a good fit for traditionally-conservative Texans.
Kathie Glass (L) – appears to be running against a corrupt system that I somehow didn’t know was a problem, with just a touch of cognitive dissonance. This is similar to her attempt to become Governor in 2014
Rodolfo Rivera Munoz (G) – surprisingly, the Green party candidate does NOT appear to be an environmentalism-first whacko. No, this guy is SUPER butthurt about the fraudulent annexation of Texas into the United States and his rambling rants about his perceived racist mistreatment are not exactly the sort of thing I want from my candidates trying to take positions on an *impartial* court!

Place 5, Justice, Supreme court
Paul Green (R) – In the absence of any compelling arguement *against* keeping him, please RE-elect Justice Paul Green!
Dori Contreras Garza (D) – She may be a good judge, but she can keep being a judge in her current position. Argues that the *elected* judges on the supreme court don’t reflect the opinion of the people – falling into the (not-unusual) Democrat position that a bunch of white men can’t do right by a racially-diverse populace.
Tom Oxford (L) – has ZERO previous experience as a judge! This is not the place I want my judges to be trained in judgin’! Fortunately the people of Texas have rejected his attempts to get on this court for the last FOUR elections in a row.
Charles E. Waterbury (G) – also not a Judge. Oddly, appears to be trying to campaign against the insurance industry instead of his opponents in this race.

Place 9, Justice, Supreme Court
Eva Guzman (R) – Please RE-elect Justice Guzman to the supreme court! She has been active in causes that need attention, in addition to being an uncontroversial Justice on the court.
Savannah Robinson (D) – has never run for anything before, and her campaign consists of “be a Democrat on the ballot”. Sorry sweety, you gotta want it enough to actually reach for the brass ring.
Don Fulton (L) – Another candidate for the most-important kind of judgeship who has never been a judge. And this one is indiscreet enough to take strong stands on positions that might conflict with interests which might appear before the court!
Jim Chisolm (G) – Here’s hoping he loses for a third time in his attempts to get onto this court. Yet another not-a-judge seeking to jump right into the most important kind of bench. No thanks.

Place 2, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Mary Lou Keel (R) – Please vote for Mary Lou Keel – she’s just what you want: A highly-regarded criminal judge with loads of experience.
Lawrence “Larry” Meyers (D) – currently on the court, and recommends Mary Lou Keel. What more could I say? http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2016/09/18/recommend-mary-lou-keel-texas-court-criminal-appeals-place-2
Mark Ash (L) – on the ballot again, without running any sort of a campaign, again – and still not a judge. Next.
Adam King Blackwell Reposa (G) – possibly an insane person, also not a judge – so, no, let’s NOT elect him to one of our highest courts kthanks. According to one questionnaire I saw, he’s running as a Green because they called and asked, and it affords him the opportunity to advertise for his private practice without running afoul of lawyer-advertising rules.

Place 5, Judge, court of Criminal Appeals
Scott Walker (R) – Vote for Scott Walker.  His campaign website of course paints him in a good light, but so does thishttp://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2016/09/18/recommend-scott-walker-fortexas-court-criminal-appeals-place-5 and that also speaks poorly of Betsy Johnson.
Betsy Johnson (D) – As far as I can tell, she has even less of a campaign going than William Strange, and that’s really saying something.
William Bryan strange, III (L) – to quote myself from a couple of years ago, after searching online for anything about him again this year: “I am not entirely sure this guy even exists and/or is still alive”. Dude, seriously, you have to do more than get on the ballot, to be elected!
Judith Sanders-Castro (G) – To say that I found out more about her than about Strange online is both true and not saying much. Both of these seem to be token candidates 😦

Place 6, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Michael E. Keasler (R) – As I said in my Voter’s Guide in 2010: “Re-elect Judge Keasler. He knows and is doing the job. Why interrupt his cases in progress?” He is set to run into our age-based mandatory retirement during this term, and his replacement would be appointed by the (elected) Governor of Texas to serve out the rest of his term. Keasler’s stated preference for putting judges in place is appointment followed by election, so this campaign for re-election makes sense for him.
Robert Burns (D) – Appears to be a good second choice. If Keasler weren’t on the ballot I would be for Burns
Mark W. Bennett (L) – As I said in my Voter’s Guide in 2012: “Spouts off personal opinions on matters about which he might have to issue court opinions. Horrible judgement for a JUDGE candidate.”

District 10, Member, State Board of Education
Tom Maynard (R) Please RE-elect Member Maynard. In 2010 I said “Please vote for Tom Maynard for SBOE District 10. He puts time, time, and time into children to train them in more than just the core subjects. A country boy with good sense who made it big in the national FFA leadership, he has a breadth of experience that goes beyond the classroom. A teacher AND a leader and then some is the impression I get. Add on top of that his expiring term on this Board, and all the knowledge and experience he’s gained there.
Judy Jennings (D) – here’s hoping she fails to get on the Board of Education again (for the THIRD time) this year. These days, a doctorate in Education is a red flag for someone who shouldn’t be trusted with our children. Throw in a desire to NOT teach different theories about unproven theoretical science, and you’ve got a recipe for someone to vote *against* in my book. It doesn’t commend her to me, when I see her endorsed by an organization that hopes ‘the religious right’s corrosive influence over public education will weaken’.

District 46, State Rep.
I will be abstaining from this ballot. Nobody here is worth a vote and there’s no villain doing exceptionally well in the polls to vote against.
Gabriel Nilla (R) His position statements read like those of a modern Democrat. No thanks.
Dawnna Dukes (D) This woman is retiring “for health reasons” and to “spend more time with family” (ahem) in JANUARY. She’ll work long enough to be sworn in, and then the Republican governor *may* call a special election – or he might appoint somebody to the post. Seriously, Democratic party? THIS is how you serve your voters?
Kevin Ludlow (L) Doesn’t like the idea of a Child Protective Services program AND corporal punishment? Has supported “homosexual marriage” and is pro-abortion. That, and the traditional Libertarian desire for open borders and to legalize drugs, will hopefully sink his campaign.
Adam Michael Greeley (G) It’s nice when autistic persons are able to participate in society, but I’m not sure I’m ready to elect one to congress. Especially one who wants to abolish private schools and who has only been in Texas for a couple of years!

Place 2 and 4 on the 34d Court of Appeals, several Judicial Districts have no competition :/

District Attorney, 53rd Judicial District
This one is almost a toss-up for me. Here we have two women who both appear qualified and who have even both worked in associated government attorneys’ offices. But one has a vision and the other only has qualifications. Check out the videos here: http://www.mauraphelan.com/2016/10/25/video-candidate-platforms-2016/ and/or flip a coin, but I will be voting for Maura Phelan in this election.
Maura Phelan (R)
Margaret Moore (D)

A few judges and an attorney are also without opposition <:(

It really is too bad Sheriff Hamilton is retiring. What we’re left with is a few people who start up front claiming they won’t obey federal immigration law, and one who will. Note: the D, L, and G candidates ALL say they won’t hold a person **for a few hours** until ICE can come and pick them up. What. The. Fuck.
Joe G. Martinez (R) – by default, you have to go with Martinez. Everyone else is hoping to *start* their career at the head of Travis County law enforcement by announcing their intentions toward lawlessness!
Sally Hernandez (D)
Eric Guerra (L)
debbie Russell (G)

County Tax Assessor-collector
Bruce Elfant (D) Please re-elect Tax Assessor-collector Elfant. He is the incumbent and I haven’t really heard about the terrible job he’s been doing. Actually it could be argued he’s doing a decent job. And in this race, he is up against:
Steven Haskett (L) a programmer/petroleum engineer who thinks Taxation is Theft wants to be our tax collector. Ooookay no.

Precinct 1, County Commissioner
Pat McCord (R) – Please vote for Pat McCord. A veteran, small business owner, career employee at a magor manufacturer, and formerly a member of a local city council. Standing for: Sherriff department equipment and staffing, Fire and EMS resources to reduce response times, including badly needed fire stations in the eastern reaches of the county, and road and water infrastructure improvements.
Jeff Travillion (D) – Standing to remove tolls from Hwy 130, increase mass transit options, expand access to community clinics, to give families access to parks, clean water and open space building community policing relationships as an alternative to juvenile justice. Formerly president of the local chapter of the NAACP, which is as good as a racist organization in my book. Also he was vice-president of a government employee union, and former President of Black Austin Democrats.
Ashley “Flashe” gordon (G) a left-winger if ever there was one. Standing for (among other things): sustainable food options, control and modification of transportation options to reduce carbon footprint and automobile-related deaths, special competitive tax programs/tax breaks for local businesses, Multiple-language accessibility, closure of detention centers for undocumented persons, diverse [skin color] representation in local government, transient population support services, preservation of cultural monuments, dual and triple language education…and she rubs elbows with the Nation of Islam and other “it’s not racist when we hang out with our own color” groups. No. Thanks.

Precinct 2, Constable
Deke Pierce (R) – Please vote for Deke Pierce for Constable. He seems like a decent human being. This impression was reinforced for me when I learned that he was endorsed by the (Democrat) Travis County Sheriff (whom I know to be a Good People) AND by the (Republican) Bastrop County Sheriff.
Adan Ballesteros (D) in 2012 I said “Almost anyone would be a better candidate than this guy.” and the (D) voters re-elected him anyway. This year, I found this: http://www.precinct263.com/adan/Ballesteros_vs_DPS_Dismissed_with_Prejudice_Appeal%20Denied.pdf where we read that Ballesteros was fired from DPS because he allowed an informant to import 2,000kg of cocaine to the country, accepted cash gifts ($18,000 at least) from an informant, and (surprise) didn’t tell his supervisors what he was doing – then he filed a frivolous lawsuit trying to make other cops look bad in an attempt to get his job back. Tell me again why he deserved to be allowed back into law enforcement? http://www.precinct263.com/adan-ballesteros/

Mayor, City of Pflugerville
Phil Osars-Emia dude. You’ve been here how many decades and you can barely speak the language well enough to be mostly-understood. What the actual fuck how are you going to conduct business if people can’t even understand the words that are coming out of your mouth?
Victor Gonzales – campaigning for the blue-hair voters. He wants to increase transit options for the old people and wants to start a Veterans services office (as if there weren’t already great ones all over the region).  That said, he’s far-and-away a better choice than Emia and probably would also be a good Mayor.
Brad Marshall – Please vote for Brad Marshall for Mayor. He’s already been on the City Council helping to lower our property tax rates. He’s campaigning to stay ahead of growth through smart infrastructure planning while not neglecting the other issues. http://bradmarshall4mayor.com/issues

Place 1, Council Member, City of Pflugerville
Doug Weiss – I’ll be voting for Doug Weiss this time around. He has lots of experience in the City and his time on the Community Development Corp. Board will probably help him when it comes time to consider important city government-related stuff as a Council Member.
Victor To – I wish him all the best and maybe in a few years he’ll be ready – but this man is 20 years old. Two zero. He may have a bright future ahead of him, but I think 20 is just too young.

City of Pflugerville charter Amendment Election
Prop. 1, city of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to change the structure of the City Council from six to seven members, allow the Mayor to vote on all matters and remove the preparation of City council agendas from the Mayor’s rights and responsibilities?
YES I like all 3 of these changes

Prop. 2, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its charger to clarify that the Municipal Judge does not have to be a resident of the City?

Prop. 3, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to require the Municipal Judge to be a resident of the City?

Propositions 2 and 3 work against each other and it will be sad and amusing if they both pass. Right now we don’t say whether a municipal judge has to live here or not. I like the idea that judges should sleep in the beds they make, but I also like the idea that people should be allowed to live where they want (and where they can afford to buy a house). We live in a metro area. It’s all one big city from here to there. As long as a judge can do their deal I think it’s probably ok for them to not live inside city limits. In addition to that, this sort of requirement is being struck down by courts all over the country these days. If the proposal was a requirement that a judge has to live within (e.g.) 15 or 20 miles, I would be all over it. But just “in the city” may be too restrictive. Not that I would be a fan of a non-resident judge, but living on the wrong side of an imaginary line shouldn’t be a disqualification IMO.

Prop. 4, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to change the Parks and Recreation Commission to a project specific advisory board which reports to the City Manager and provide for a process to appoint seven regular board members?
YES. This makes city government a little more efficient, I think.

Prop. 5, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its charter to provide that an affirmative vote of a majority of the voting members of the city council shall be required to terminate a city manager?
YES. You shouldn’t be able to piss off a couple of dudes and be fired. You should have to actually suck, so the majority want to see you gone.

Prop. 6, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its charter to provide that a violation of the prohibition to interfere with the Administration by a City council member be grounds for removal from office?
YES. This means the city council members can’t go meddling (personally, directly) in city administration – the city employees work under the City Manager and the council members need to deal with the Manager instead of mucking about in daily city work.

Prop. 7, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to add as grounds from removal from office as a City Coucilmember violation of the nepotism provision of the Charter?
YES. Networking is good. Nepotism is bad. I don’t mind hiring family but only if the new hire is *also* qualified for the job!

Prop. 8, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to specify a hearing process and procedure for removal from office as a City Council member?
YES. There is currently -no- process for formally removing a council member. God forbid we should need one but we should have one if we need to get rid of a terrible member.

Prop. 9, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to change the prohibition on holding other compensated appointive city office or employment to prohibit all other compensated and/or contracted services and extend the prohibition time period from one year to two years after the expiration of a term of office?
YES. Not that it’s a huge problem, but in theory it’s a really bad thing for a city employee to leave work at the City and hey look I just landed a cush job at a firm I was just approving this fat contract for! I think 5 years would be better but 2 is better than none, which is the current (non-)limit.

Prop. 10, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to change the requirement of how often it meets with boards and commissions from “at least once a year” to an “as needed basis”
NO, get together and get on the same page.

Prop. 11, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to clarify its process whereby the City Council may approve an ordinance without the need to consider and vote to approve the ordinance at two separate meetings, as provided by the City Charter?
NO. This is gobbledygook. I’ve read it a bunch of times and it doesn’t make sense. Re-word it and ask me again next year.

Prop. 12, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to clarify that an emergency ordinance can be considered for adoption, amendment, and rejection at the same meeting?
NO I don’t think so. I’ve been in enough rushed meetings to know something is always being forgotten or accidentally left out. If it’s a bleeding/exploding kind of emergency, I’m pretty sure the city will be run by the doers and the Council’s “emergency” is going to be more of what I would consider an *exigency*.

Prop. 13, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to require the City Manager to become a resident of the city within 180 days after appointment?
NO. See my comments for propositions 2 & 3, above – this should be “within a few miles” if we want to be able to win a legal challenge. Sometimes City Managers come from other *States* but I don’t see how they could do their job and still live in another State.

Prop. 14, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to provide that Acting City Managers are appointed by the city manager rather than the City Council?
YES I think this seems okay. If it becomes a problem, we can change it back again.

Prop. 15, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to provide that the City Manager shall annually submit a five-year capital improvement plan to the city council at least one hundred and twenty days before the beginning of the budget year listing projects in order of preference and with a recommendation of the year of construction for each project?
YES, a deadline is fine.

Prop. 16, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to reduce the required number of petition signatures for initiatives, referendums and nonbinding referendums from 20% to 15% of qualified voters of the City?
YES. On the one hand, if you can’t get that extra 5% then your cause probably isn’t that important to the people or you aren’t trying hard enough. On the other hand, this is just to get something considered – you’re not getting an election *result* with a petition, you’re just getting an election.

Prop. 17, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to allow a signatory to a petition to provide their date of birth or their voter registration number?
NO. Right now you have to go ALL THE WAY to your filing cabinet and find your voter rigeistration card, *OR* you can go to votetravis.com (which is also linked from the county clerk’s website) and fill in your name and birthdate, and it will tell you your voter ID number right on your phone. There should be some minimal effort required to participate in government. Knowing a random person’s name and date of birth is NOT enough. You should demand that your scamming petition-riggers come up with matching names and voter registration numbers, at a bare minimum! But sadly I think this probably passes.

Prop. 18, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to extend the response time of the City Secretary to issue petition certificate copies from immediately to the next business day?
YES, this sounds reasonable and “immediately” can be anything from impracticable to just vague. Get the vague out.

Prop. 19, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to change the powers of the planning commission to include zoning proposals in its recommendations to City Council; to revise meeting requirements; and to include parks, transportation and utilities in its five year capital improvement plan?
I’m ambivalent on this one but i’ll go with the recommendation of the Committee and vote YES.

Prop. 20, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to reduce the number of alternates for the zoning board of adjustment from four to two?
I’m voting YES on this one.The Charter Review Commission thinks this is enough alternates, and it was suggested by city staff. I’m okay with this but if it becomes a problem we might increase the number again later.

Prop. 21, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to reduce the required number of meetings of the zoning board of adjustment from each quarter to one annually?
I’ll vote NO on this one just because I like the idea of not having to wait A YEAR to have an issue heard.

Prop. 22, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to require the City Manager to meet quarterly with the representatives of the police association regarding working conditions and compensation?
I’m going with NO on this one. Yes the Police should be meeting with the City Manager. NO, they don’t have to meet *every quarter* to talk about how much the cops get paid. The wording is unclear to me, but this smacks of unions muscling their way in. In case you missed it, public employee union-negotiated benefits packages are the reason why many big cities in our country are going BANKRUPT. If there is a need, surely the relevant people will meet often enough to get the work of the people done with no need to amend the city charter.

Prop. 23, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to change the Charter Review Commission to hold a minimum of six (6) and a maximum of eight (8) meetings, two (2) of which shall be held jointly with the City Council?
YES, this seems fine. This time, the Committee met 6 times on a monthly basis. Involving the City Council directly in the meetings would probably make the process longer, so 2 more meetings is okay. I’m not sure why they want a maximum number of meetings, but it will probably be enough if that’s what the people who do this recommend.

Prop. 24, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville strike portions of the Charter due to repetitiveness with Texas law regarding general powers of the city; eminent domain; zoning; actions which require an ordiance, and city elections?

Prop. 25, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to allow for annexation and disannexation consistent with Texas law?

Prop. 26, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to provide a process for filling a vacancy on the City Council consistent with the Texas Constitution?
YES on all three of these, it seems like good sense to have our charter match up with State law.

Prop. 27, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to provide that the City Council determines by resolution the uniform election date for city elections instead of the date closest to the second Saturday in My as allowed by Texas Law?
YES finally. This is something that I’ve wanted for a while. City elections aligned with State election dates.

Prop. 28, City of Pflugerville
Shall the City of Pflugerville amend its Charter to be consistent with Texas law as to who may request alternates to attend a zoning board of adjustment meeting?
YES on this as well, it seems like good sense to have our charter match up with State law.

Cuba from A Cuban Perspective

I’m working on my voter guide. It’s taking a long time because this ballot is much longer than usual.  While researching candidates, I found that one of them translates articles from Cuban authors.  These are very interesting to me, and perhaps they will be to you as well.

Have a look: http://translatingcuba.com/category/translators/translator-mlk/

[SOLVED] DIY Proper Plumbing for TMC Micro-G Table Height Regulation Valves

This post is my notes to myself, because whenever I get an air table in with the valves plumbed wrong I have to figure it out each time. I decided to share with the world because this is a needless source of frustration…and so I could access this page from somewhere besides my normal workshop.

Symptom: Your air-isolated vibration reduction table has a section that will only inflate, won’t deflate, and the height can’t be adjusted

Cause: The Height Control Valve is installed incorrectly

These valves have one fitting that is supposed to be the air supply inlet, and three fittings for height-regulating air pressure outlets (or isolator pressure gauges, if they are installed).  I just had a Micro-g vibration isolation table  come through with the pressure inlet plumbed to the isolator piston instead of the air inlet.  As you will see, this was the cause of my frustration.  First, let’s get the terminology straight:

Without the lever arm or table blocking your view, they look like this:

The insides of these are pretty straight-forward. They are a machined brass block with a valve to open or close the air supply to the isolator pistons.  With the top off, you can see the plumbing:

The air supply is fed to the inlet of the valve, then the outlet of the valve (the hole in the center of the part) feeds a cavity with holes drilled, which connect to threaded fittings to be plumbed into isolators.  The stem poking up out of the middle is the valve actuator.  Press down on that, and the air (or nitrogen) pressure from the supply fitting is released to the (holes for the) isolator pistons.  Most tables will have 3 “master” isolators and there will usually be at least one “slave” isolator that amounts to one corner of the table not having an adjustment valve. Three zones of control.  Slave isolators are plumbed to one of the three outlets of the valve, so:

It is critical to note that there is ONLY one air supply port on these valves.  It is marked with an arrow pointing away from it.   For whatever reason, someone decided to install this pressure port pointed to an isolator on my table.  That is wrong.

The top of the valve has a big rubber disc inside,. which has a brass part in the middle. The central brass part of the rubber disc bears has a hole in it.  The brass part is what pushes directly on the valve actuator.  The top “half” of the valve is the large (nameless in the first diagram) section with knurling. This holds the disc inside, and the Knurled Nut is the mounting hardware that holds the valve in place.  The brass spacer floats loose in a hole in the top of the regulator and sits on top of the brass central part of the rubber disc.  Hopefully your regulators are not too old and the discs are not too hard, so you don’t have to open them up for service.  These should basically never have to be opened in normal service.  If you do open a valve, make sure it gets reassembled with the disc in there or it will not work at all.  Check out the Lever Arm:

There are bumps on the end.  These push up to the Pivot Bracket.  When the Table Top is too low, the Lever Arm will be pressed down, and the Lever will pivot down.  The Arm Screw will then push on the Spacer. The Spacer pushes down on the diaphragm inside the valve. The diaphragm pushes down on the valve stem, opening the valve. Air will flow until the table rises enough to release pressure from the valve, and then the table will be at whatever height was set by the Isolator Height Adjust screw.  If the table is too high, the pressure on the Lever Arm Screw is reduced, and the air pressure in the isolators will flow through a the hole in the brass part of the rubber disc inside the valve, up and out around the Brass Spacer.  Air pressure is released until the table falls enough to press on the Spacer, cutting off the air supply.

This sounds maybe a little complicated but it works great, with an error band of about 0.050″ . . . the table height is controlled to a set level automatically.  To adjust the table height, adjust the Isolator Height Adjust screw.

IF you followed all that, you will perhaps already know that it has to be plumbed correctly.  If your air pressure supply is to one of the isolator piston outlets, when pressure is applied the valve will bleed pressure out the hole in the top (leaking by the Brass Spacer) as well as out the inlet of the valve.  This means your isolator piston will always be pressurized to the same level as your air supply, and always sit at maximum height with no adjustment.  Then it’s just an air spring, not an automatically-regulated adjustable height vibration isolator. I guess this is also an article to inform you how to convert your adjustable-height table into an air spring, but that would be silly for most cases.

A couple more pictures because i took them:

When the system is set up properly, the Arm is about horizontal, held in place and held at the proper angle by the Horizontal Arm Screw.  Basically no air should be leaking out at this point.  If the isolator lifts in this condition, your valve may have an old (hard) rubber disk inside.  A temporary fix *might* be to unscrew the larger knurled section from the bottom of the valve body juuuust a little bit.  This will mean a constant slow air leak, but it can be the difference between a table working and not working. It is also kinda fiddly to adjust, so make small adjustments, and be sure to wait a minute or two to allow the air to stop flowing between adjustments.

The slightest downward pressure on the end of the Horizontal Lever arm should cause the associated Isolator to immediately start filling with air and it should lift in a few seconds if there is no table holding it down.