Nothing To See Here!

  • The H1-B Visa lasts 6 years, with an optional 3-year renewal.
  • A year’s worth of data storage of ALL the H1-B visas is a gibabyte or less.
  • The H1-B data in government computers is very valuable for research purposes


:blink:  :blink:

The “most open, most transparent administration EVAR” is going to delete valuable records on current visa holders before the visas expire*.  Because reasons.  Hand waving and shaking of heads, and there you go.  There’s nothing untoward here, and CERTAINLY no shenanigans about which you should be concerned.

Top. Men.


*One would hope that the not-entirely-clear article is talking about deleting data 5 years after the visas expire.  One ought not to get one’s hopes up too high.  As I was telling the Zoo just this morning, the Dunning-Kruger effect is why it’s hard to tell if the people running the country are just bad at running the country, or just bad.

Austin Drivers Have SuperBrakes On Their Cars . . . ?

Every drivetime, the radio news calls out wreck after wreck on the traffic report.  Would you like an illustration of one of the main reasons there are so many crashes around here?


This is 70MPH traffic, full highway speed.  A safe following distance for most drivers is somewhere around 350 to 400 feet.  Here in the #1 lane we have ELEVEN cars in that same distance.  At this kind of spacing, the drivers not only do not have time to stop, nor even time to react, they have no time to register that something is happening in front of them before they have already crashed.  The cars about halfway through the stack will see that some crashing is going on, but they will still crash.  MAYBE the last car or three will be able to swerve, which will cause auxiliary crashes.

They can’t keep a safe distance, and they can’t be bothered to look before changing lanes, and they text while driving, and occasionally they will eat from a plate with a fork.  Spaghetti.  Cereal with milk.  So.

Plus, many of them also suck at “reading” traffic AND are impatient, bound-and-determined that they will go zooming past everybody, risking multiple deadly-dangerous close-quarters lane changes cutting people off to try to gain one place on the road race.  Out of frame to the left is a red BMW Z4 roadster, with the top up.  It passed me and joined the deadly procession in the “passing” lane shortly after I took this picture.  The maroon Nissan pickup with the twisted bed WAS behind the silver Honda, in front of said BMW.  The driver of the truck sucks at getting ahead in traffic.  Anyone should have been able to see, on this day, that the #3 lane was slower than #1 and #2, and everyone *should* realize that big trucks slow dramatically on big hills like this.  The driver of the pickup truck changed lanes at least a half-dozen times, typically of Austin without using a turn signal – and by the time I got off the highway, the red Z4 was still in line in the #1 lane and well ahead of the pickup.  I was also ahead of the pickup, and saw them (in my mirrors) cut across two lanes of traffic to make their exit.

Borders Matter. Proper Identity Documents Matter. Motor Voter Sucks.

Why do we have President Obama, and his new Socialist healthcare system?  Possibly, because people from other countries vote in our elections.  So.  Nevermind the recent study that shows when elections are within 1% the democrats almost always win.  Never mind that voter ID documents are free from the State.  Nevermind that we have actually found evidence of ALIENS voting in our elections.   No no no, voter ID laws are racist.

Motor voter: get a drivers license and register to vote.  So the “Progressives” want aliens to be able to get a license.
Balloting by mail: no ID required.
Early voting and voting at ANY polling place near you: breeds confusion and leads to difficulty verifying who voted (and how many times).  Fraud here especially is evident

But the “progressives” love all these things.  Ask yourself, “Why?”

h/t: Instapundit

Stem Cell Therapy Success. Both Kinds.

Veeeeery inneressing news.

Last week or so, NPR was playing a bit about how patients were not only having good safety results, they were having macular degeneration reversed and recovering from profound blindness caused by the disease.  The method: stem cell implantation.  Stem cells from murdered children, cultured in the lab for the benefit of people fortunate enough to have been born.  This was heralded as the first time we’ve had a successful medical therapy using babymurder exploitation stem cells.

I thought at the time, it would surely suck – but I would rather be blind than to have my sight restored by cells made from babies killed for the purpose.

Now comes word from the other side of the world.  A patient in Japan has had macular degeneration reversed and sight restored.  The method: stem cell implantation.  Stem cells grown from the patient’s own tissue!  This is but one more in a growing list of therapies that have been successful using “adult” stem cells.  Contrast “many already” to “finally, one” and tell me which of the two types of stem cells it makes more sense to study in attempts to find new therapies.

And will somebody tell me again, how it is worth killing innocent people to conduct for-profit research into therapies that benefit the already-born?

See What You’ve Done?

First, I worked with a better camera than I could afford.

Then, I took it home and saw the difference in the quality of family pictures I could get with a better camera.

Then, I sold some stuff and got a better camera.

Then, I sold some stuff and got another, better-er camera.

Then, my nephew had a baby girl and put pictures up on Facebook.  I looked over at DW who was looking and “aaaaawwwww”ing at all the pictures.  All I could think for a few seconds of looking at cell phone camera pictures on Facebook was,


“man, that camera sucks.”

Oh well.  The baby is less-ugly than most babies, anyway so that’s nice.

What is Inflation?

Inflation is when the government makes money out of thin air and pours it into the economy.  The “money supply” is what is inflated, not consumer prices for goods.  The larger number of dollars available to buy the same number of items in the same economy leads to nearly-immediate price corrections to account for the new, lower value of the money . . . this leads to higher prices, which most people mistakenly believe to be the inflation.

For your consideration:

Note the near-perfect-fit positive correlation between the price of gas you see every day and the amount of “money” which you basically never hear about . . . this is not a coincidence.  It is the natural result of cranking up the printing presses in a fiat money system with fractional “reserve” requirements such as our own Federal Reserve system. This happens EVERYWHERE fiat money is used, but only to the degree the politicians allow it to happen.  Because our Congress controls the money supply, Congress is responsible for making everything you buy cost more dollars.  This is a sneaky way of taking your money by robbing you of purchasing power – it is a hidden tax, actually.  So next time you think how expensive everything has become, remember to thank your elected heroes for standing up for fiscal responsibility and not printing FIVE TRILLION fake new dollars out of thin air.  Oh wait, they did that.  Nevermind, carry on nothing to see here.

That this is what happens when a fiat system of money is used and forced on the people is demonstrated in the that your prices didn’t start skyrocketing until President “I am not a crook” Nixon closed the Gold Window (1971) and the money became worth essentially less than the paper it was printed on.  It is somewhat ironical that he did this to combat fears of inflation.

(I made this picture to illustrate this point and figured I’d share it with you since i went to the trouble of putting the image together.  I just grabbed the first two appropriate pictures I found in a quick Google search and left the website names on the images to be sure they get their credit for having the images in the first place.)

Bush Lied, People Died!

. . . now let’s tell the truth so more people can die!

The press is on to soften you up for a ground war against the Islamic State.  Today’s news is:

You remember the Weapons of Mass Destruction that DID NOT BYGOD EVER EXIST in Iraq that George DUBYA Bush LIED about to get us into war?

The ones that IS fighters found in an abandoned depot in Iraq recently?
The chemical weapons that IS fighters are now using on their co-religionists for not waging jihad alongside them?
The ones that we didn’t have to deal with (because they didn’t exist, natch) so it was safe to 100% fulfil campaign promises and get all the way out of Iraq?

Yeah we lied about that.  Or at least didn’t tell you that we’ve been finding more and more chemical WMD all the time, even as late as 2011.  So now the enemy is the worst of the worstest, using chemical weapons* in war and we have to commit to a new righteous ground war against them in Syria!  Nevermind that whole business about invading Syria without their permission, that’s just a political nicety when you’re the world’s policeman.  No, we HAVE to go in with a ground war now.  And by “now” I specifically mean “after at least this election, but preferably after the next Presidential election so it will be the bad-ol’ Republican president’s fault.  And thanks for not pointing out at that future wartime that if the Democrat base had allowed the Democrat President to keep a US military force in Iraq to train the Iraqui army, ISIS would never have become a problem in the first place.

*because chemical weapons kill you deader than plain bombs, they are worse or something. :shrug:

The Dismal Science

Economics has been called The Dismal Science because the people who pay attention to real life and then think about economics will put up links to articles like the following, with headlines like the following:

I still think late 2014 or 2015 will see a global economic crash at least similar to what happened in 2008.  This is still, IMO, a dead-cat bounce recovery.  The underlying problems have been made worse by the people who created them and were not kicked out of office for doing so.  Let’s hope your emergency stores of food and water are not called upon.

November 4, 2014 Travis County, Texas Election Voter Guide

 “Sometimes, the only responsible vote is an abstention”

~or: “No wonder voter turnout is low, these candidates suck!”~

If you don’t know your own politics click here.

******Text in (parenthesis) are where I copy/pasted my notes on the same candidates from a previous election.  The opinions on this page are mine alone, feel free to disagree with them.  As always, remember Democrats vote on November 7th!  ******

Straight Party it is irresponsible to vote a straight party ballot.  This shouldn’t even be a thing.

United States Senator
John Cornyn (R) – Will win, but it will be over my objection.  (no.  He’s a republican and a moderate conservative one at that, but he’s also a squishy wobbly.  If there are better alternatives (and there are) he needs to go.  Don’t let his high-dollar “I’m just like you, vote for me” ad campaign fool you.)
David M. Alameel (D) – Like the rest of the modern Democrat party, favors policies that will crush the economy and liberties of the USA if allowed to fester.  We need to root this type of person OUT of public life.  I am glad he is spending lots of his own money in this race, so he won’t have those dollars to spend in a race he has a chance of winning.
Rebecca Paddock (L) – Please vote for Paddock for Senate.  We need more liberty from washington and Cornyn is too much of a wobbly.
Emily “Spicybrown” Sanchez (G) – if you are on the Green ticket, you are not a serious person.  If you can’t even match your nickname to your party’s color, you doublefaild.  Come back when you are no longer spouting phrases like “I am the 99%” and have paid off your student loan debt.  And grown up enough not to use a nickname on the ballot.

District 17, US Representative
Bill Flores (R) Vote for Bill Flores.  He may not be the leader of every charge up Ideology Mountain, but he’s a solid conservative when we need as many of those as we can get.
Nick Haynes (D) – not the worst Democrat in the party, but still a solid Democrat – and their party is ruining our country faster than the other party.
Shawn Michael Hamilton (L)  – he actually has a website, which is rare for a Libertarian candidate.  It’s pretty barren and extremely slow, but it’s there.  I’d vote for him over Haynes, but Flores is in this race and Flores wins.

Governor – not that it matters.  The “dead girl or live boy” proverb applies.  The shock would be if Abbott didn’t win by at least a solid majority.
Greg Abbott (R) Please vote for Greg Abbott for Governor of Texas!  I have some differences of opinion with him, but not nearly as many as the other candidates and it is not close. (The people that don’t like him, don’t like him for the reasons I do like him.  There is lots of criticism of Abbott out there, but most of it is for doing things that I would like to see done.)
Wendy R. Davis (D) – a.k.a. “Abortion Barbie”.  A conniving, gold-digging bitch who blatantly lies about her personal history and will stomp on your face if it helps her climb the ladder.  No, I am not exaggerating.
Kathie Glass (L) – has crazyeyes.  This single metric has never yet steered me wrong.  Plus, she seems to be running against Washington, D.C. instead of the other people in this race.  If Abbott weren’t running I would look past her eyes and vote for Glass.
Brandon Parmer (G) – a Green party candidate with no website and two brief Facebook posts from February.  The most one can learn about him online is he was crushed in a recent Texas Congressional election (0.8%) but for a Green this counts as a pretty strong showing.  Next!

Lieutenant Governor
Dan Patrick (R) – Please help elect Dan Patrick as Lieutenant Governor. He gives every appearance of being a solid ‘Movement Conservative’ – of which we can hardly have too many.
Leticia Van de Putte (D) – if you like what Democrats stand for, vote for her.  Better yet, don’t vote at all.
Robert D. Butler (L) – I’m with him on school funding following the student and probably a few other L-party issues.  I can’t go with them on the ‘gay marriage’ issue though.  Plus: it says something very bad about a person who allows themselves to be a huge lardass.  Srsly look at the man.
Chandrakantha Courtney (G) – I have no problem with Indians.  I have no problem with people from India.  I have no problem with Indian music or Indian music teachers.  I have a problem with a dam’ furriner spending the first few decades of their lives being not-American and not-Texan, then trying to come here and tell us how to run our Texas.  no.  Ban.

Attorney General
Ken Paxton (R) Please vote for Paxton for AG.
Sam Houston (D) – not terrible as Democrats go, but still a Democrat.  I think we need someone who leans to the R side to stick up for us, especially against the current President and his vendetta against the biggest Conservative State in the nation (that’s us)
Jamie Balagia (L) was a policeman and popped positive for drugs.  Now he’s a lawyer.  Here’s to his continued success as a private citizen.
Jamar Osborne (G) – Committed the grave crime of not living in Texas long enough.  Plus he’s not ready for this – maybe or even lawyering in general (?), AND would someone please tell the Green party to get their candidates to put up informative websites?

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar (R)  -is running for office.  Not this office so much as any office where you will be happy to elect the Conservative Republican™ candidate.  He seems proud of his record as a legislator, how about we let him try to keep that job.
Mike Collier (D) – It gives me the willies, but I think I have to vote for the Democrat in this race.  He is an accountant (CPA), not a career politician.  He supports collecting sales tax on all internet transactions but otherwise seems like a decent candidate.  Sales tax on internet transactions isn’t something he could affect from the Comptroller’s office.
Ben Sanders (L) – we should not be surprised to see a Libertarian support your right to be a Freemason.  But finding a Libertarian who IS a Freemason is a bit of a surprise to me.  Here is one.  Still I’d go for him over Shafto any day of the week, and even over Hegar if I had to choose between them.  Fortunately, Collier is running.
Deb Shafto (G) If you have a ten-foot pole, please join me in using it to keep people like this out of elected offices everywhere.

Commissioner of the General Land Office I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.  The two major candidates don’t seem to care to hold the office (one is running to build a resume, the other to get El Pasoans in the history books.  Neither is a good reason to seek office.  You ought to run for an office because you are passionate about being the best person for that job.
George P. Bush (R) No.  Not another Bush from Texas.  Bushes are banned from elected office in America.  I’ll abstain first.  We’ll “just see where it goes” when asked if he’d seek higher office later.  Right.  Let me guess.
John Cook (D) – doesn’t seem like a horrible candidate, for a Democrat especially.  Still seems a bit thin on details and hasn’t given me a suitable reason to vote FOR him.
Justin Knight (L)– Does not appear to have a campaign but forevermore can honestly say he was a candidate for the office.  For what it’s worth.
Valerie Alessi (G) – Does not appear to have a campaign but forevermore can honestly say she was a candidate for the office.  For what it’s worth.

Commissioner of Agriculture I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.
Sid Miller (R) Previous comment: (was so impressive I didn’t even comment on him for the primary race.  Who else?)
Jim Hogan (D) – He’s on the ballot but not running a campaign.  He’s not even walking a campaign.  This guy is one step removed from the proverbial “pick a name from the phone book” candidate.  It’s a sad state of affairs that he is on the ballot but here we are.
David (Rocky) Palmquist (L) – again with the nicknames.  It’s puerile. Use your given name on a ballot, people!  He does at least have a campaign website, which you will only find if you search using his nickname.  The “on the issues” page is blank, but it’s there.
Kenneth Kendrick (G) – at least he’s passionate about food safety.  He’s not a career anything, and the website with his name has a legit hand-to-a-future-employer resume and dead links.  I don’t think, from his previous employment history, that his whistle blowing was the reason he can’t find a steady job.  I think he just keeps bouncing from job to job his whole life because that’s who he is.

Railroad Commissioner
Ryan Sitton (R) Vote for Ryan Sitton– I was prepared to abstain from this ballot, until I saw he had eliminated his potential conflict of interest.  It is well and good if YOU know you can operate with potential conflicts of interest and maintain your integrity.  It quite another thing to try to get elected with a big fat glaring conflict of interest right in front of us all.  He said he’d put his energy industry-related company in a blind trust if elected, and that’s closenough.  Now I can vote for him.  He might be young and there is something wrong with his face but you can’t hold those against a guy who seems otherwise qualified.
Steve Brown (D) – a politician in charge of energy, and a politician in the party that is against energy production.  His self-published resume reads like he is a party hack, not an energy industry-knowledgeable engineer type like Sitton.  No thanks.
Mark A. Miller (L) – I like him, but Sitton is running.  If Sitton were not in this race, I’d be voting for Miller.
Martina Salinas (G) – as a GP candidate, she seems ready to live up to the stereotype.  Big-time leftist.  No website, a few local political events, signs, and speeches, and MAYBE if you are looking for a while you will find her responses to A political questionnaire.

Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Nathan Hecht (R) – Vote for Judge Hecht! I stand by my previous comment: (This guy.  What they said:
William Moody (D) – if you want the fundamental laws to change at the whim of a judge, go with this guy.  If you want your legislators to make law and the judges to decide on what is legislated, don’t go with this guy. (Continues to try to gain one judgeship while holding another. Let him keep his current job.)
Tom Oxford (L) – Note to the Libertarian Party: an e-mail and a phone number are not sufficiently informative to voters looking to inform themselves about your candidates.  I like this guy right where he is: a Lawyer sticking up for the Little Guy.  You don’t get to go from lawyer to Chief Justice though, sorry.  (His heart may be in the right place, but he definitely is . . . another who can keep his current position. )

Place 6, Justice, Supreme Court, Unexpired Term
Jeff Brown (R) Vote for Jeff Brown – not only is he currently on this job, with no notable complaints, he’s also the only candidate with any Supreme Court judgin’ experience at all.  (This guy.
Lawrence Edward Meyers (D) – That he wants the position is no reason to give it to him.  Flipped party affiliation right at the filing deadline – this may be a fatal  error in Texas.  Sorry you got swept out of office, but we don’t need to replace a decent incumbent judge with you, solely because you want us to.
Mark Ash (L) – has one of the more extensive Libertarian candidate websites out there.  And by “extensive” I mean “2 pages and a promise of updates in the coming weeks, from months ago, and no further updates”  At least the one-sentence blurb (and that’s all there is) on the front page sounds nice.

Place 7, Justice, Supreme Court – if you don’t vote in any of the down-ballot races, do at least vote in this one; I can see it might be relatively close and every vote actually DOES count.
Jeff Boyd (R)Please keep Jeff Boyd on the Court.  None of the other candidates even come close to being worth removing a solid incumbent judge.
Gina Benavides (D) – Wants to skip four years of her six year term in the post to which she was only re-elected in 2012.  This sucks for everybody involved except her – for her it would be a step up.  While she appears to be a qualified judge, she also is active in racist (read: hispanic) and blasphemous (read: Catholic) causes.
Don Fulton (L) – oh surprise! A Libertarian candidate with no discernible campaign online!  No thanks.  Plus, he looks like George Costanza, not that you can hold it against him 🙂
Charles E Waterbury (G)  -oh surprise!  A Green candidate with no discernible campaign online!  I was able to discern he’s a lawyer, but that’s all.

Place 8, Justice, Supreme Court
Phil Johnson (R) – PLEASE vote for Judge Johnson (This guy.  What they said
RS Roberto Koelsch (L) ( another Libertarian not taking campaign contributions is another libertarian who will lose.)
Jim Chisolm (G) –  “Spectacularly unqualified” – quote of the day, and said about none other than our man Jim here and his good buddy RS Roberto.

Place 3, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Bert Richardson (R) This is almost a toss-up, so I will defer to someone I trust (me).  My comments from previous Voter Guides provide guidance for me, which is actually the reason for typing all these words in the first place: ( him.  He wants judgin’ to keep pace with newfangled technology thingies.)
John Granberg (D) – just plain lacks the experience for this post.  Too soon, Junior!
Mark W. Bennett (L) Would be far-and-away my choice if Richardson were not running for Place 3.  Before, I said: (Spouts off personal opinions on matters about which he might have to issue court opinions.  Horrible judgement for a JUDGE candidate.) But having read some of his writing, his spoutings-off (the ones I read, at least) are pretty good stuff.  Plus he’s qualified for the position, unlike Granberg

Place 4, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Kevin Patrick Yeary (R) This time I’ll vote for Yeary.  If he weren’t a Catholic I wouldn’t have a reservation.  He is but seems otherwise like a solid candidate for the position.  Note to other candidates: THIS is what a campaign website for a judge looks like.
Quanah Parker (L) – A libertarian without a campaign website, how surprising.  Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t a fat black lady, it’s a fat white dude!  That, plus that he does some pro-bono work in addition to his regular lawyerin’ job, is all I could find out with a bit of googlin’.  If you WANT to be elected, at least hang out a shingle, people!
Judith Sanders-Castro (G) – She wants to be a judge, and LIED to a court to get her daughter special treatment.  That was easier to find than anything related to her campaign for Judge, which I didn’t.  This one I didn’t have to look into (but I did anyway).  If you encounter a woman with a hyphenated last name in America, she is a bitch.  Yes, Mexicans conjoin last names and yes we are close to Mexico.  Mexicans don’t name their daughters Judith or Sanders.  That, plus the Green party affiliation (read: environmentalist nutjob whacko by default) should tell you all you need to know.  Plus she worked a long time for (racist organization) MALDEF.

Place 9, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
David Newell (R)This guy, by a mile, and not just because he’s the only one with something resembling a campaign.  His campaign website says what I want a man seeking the position to say.  From last time he ran: (this guy.  We could use someone on the CCA who said that when he worked on appeals in the past he *started* from a place where he assumed the defendant had been done wrong in previous trials.  It is also a plus for me that he has been paying close attention to what the CCA has been doing recently so he will have a shorter transition period when getting to know his case load.)
William Bryan Strange III (L) – I don’t think I should have to try this hard.  After a few minutes of trying to find any trace of him or his positions online, I am not entirely sure this guy even exists and/or is still alive.  WTH Bill – fine, keep your day job then!
George Joseph Altgelt (G) – A Green party candidate without a website.  How surprising.

District 14, State Senator I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.
Kirk Watson (D) As I said last time: “not the worst Democrat out there, but still somewhat typical.  I’m not a Democrat”  He is a moderate-left with typical Democrat policy positions with which I disagree.
James Arthur Strohm (L) – Hey, a Libertarian with a website!  A cursory website, from his 2010 campaign for Congress, but it’s a website.  Fail, Strohm.  Fail, and lose.
srsly R, nobody?  What happened to being a major party?

District 46, State Representative I will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for whom to vote.
Dawnna Dukes (D) (not the worst Democrat out there but still a Democrat.  As long as Democrat = “social justice” and leftist policies in general, we need fewer of these.)
Kevin Ludlow (L) – Supports abortion.  I am not a single-issue voter, but there are some issues that are deal killers for me.  Endorsing homosexual “marriage” and LGBTQEIEIO rights in general are one.  That he is against the TSA and War On Drugs is nice, but these don’t overcome the queer-friendliness of someone trying to get in place to make new laws for my Texas. Plus he’s anti-life and (biologists, try to not laugh) thinks abortion is NOT the taking of a human life!

Chief Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Jeff Rose (R) Please RE-elect Judge Rose.  A good judge on any court should be kept in place, if for no other reason than to avoid the huge delay it causes when a new judge has to look at a case already in progress.  He’s a good judge.  The Statesman, Police AND ranchers all endorse him.  Keep Jeff Rose on the 3rd Court!
Diane Henson (D) She left a bench on this court in 2012 to work in private law practice.  Let’s keep her there.  (listening to her makes me a little sick to my stomach.  Looking at her doesn’t make it any better. ) Looking at her, it is NO surprise she is proud to be endorsed by the leftist environmentalist whacko group Sierra Club.

Unfortunately, the Rs can’t seem to run anyone for District Judge either, but then this is the San Francisco of the Central Time Zone so . . .

County Judge
Mike McNamara (R) PLEASE elect McNamara to run the Commissioner’s Court! Proud to be a Texan and Austinite, a person with private business experience as well as military experience.  Active in politics and local community organizations.   Wants to build roads but with no mention of a choo-choo to nowhere, and wants to lower taxes.  Read, heed, then vote!
Sarah Eckhardt (D) Last time she was running, my comment was: “Social Justice: low on my priority list, high on hers”.  This time I note from her claimed experience that she is what’s wrong with Austin and Travis county.  If it’s not swinging too hard left for you and you wish your tax dollars were being less wisely spent, vote for her.  Otherwise, vote otherwhom.
Richard Perkins (L) Oh boy what a dog cat this guy is.  Claiming to be a Libertarian and for smaller government, his main deal is he wants to spend gozillions of tax dollars on mass transit run by the government.  His next biggest issue is personal freedom – one supposes aside from the freedom to choose where to stop the bus and get off.  Speaking of getting off, his campaign has a Libertarian slogan that is a mild sex joke related to a former L-party candidate.  You stay classy, Dick.

District ClerkI will abstain from this ballot for lack of a good candidate for which to vote.
Velva L. Price (D) a democrat with the backing of socialists labor unions, just what we need MORE of in this country!  Her website reminds you to vote in the March 4th Primary election. Her facebook page, updated as recently as last year that she was “proud” to be running unopposed in this election.
Kevin Pick (L) – Shockingly, here is a Libertarian candidate without a campaign website.  He is on Facebook, however, and goes to L-party meetings (and supports NORML).  He appears to be running so that he can make sure jurors know about the concept of Jury Nullification, with a secondary goal of increasing jury pay.  I could get the conspiracy theorists wound up about how the first will guarantee his defeat at the hands of international banking interests, but I’ll leave off trolling and mention that low jury pay is a GOOD thing because it ensures only people who can afford it can serve on juries – either welfare slobs who would avoid it anyway, or people with enough sense to have a worthwhile job.  Low juror pay is a PITA but not necessarily a Bad Thing.

County Clerk
Dana Debeauvoir (D) as I said last time, “In light of the alternative, re-elect Clerk DeBeauvoir.” I don’t understand why we have to wait until AFTER 2016 to have a paper trail on our voting machines, but this still appears to be a woman who is passionate about doing a good job – let her do it.
Michael M. Holt (L) -surprisingly, here we have a Libertarian candidate for office who has no website for his campaign.  Not even a free do-it-yourself website!  Fail, L-party.
William E. Stout, Jr. (G) – is it a purity thing, to be in the idealistic minor party and not have a website?

County Treasurer
Dolores Ortega Carter (D) – I will be voting Democrat this year.  Ms. Carter is currently doing the job and I haven’t heard anything about her for bad (or good) but she knows what she’s doing at least, unlike the guy currently NOT doing the job.  Plus (call me “sexist”) I like having frumpy old women tending the checkbook.
Mike Burris (L) New for this election cycle: a website!  This is a website but it is an upgrade from last election, when he was still using the same web pages from his previous unsuccessful attempt to be elected Treasurer.

Precinct 2, Justice of the Peace
Glenn Bass (R)Please re-elect Justice Bass.  He is doing a good job, and (after requesting a lower budget) more efficiently than his predecessor.  I asked you to help me elect him the last time, and I ask you to do it again. Vote for Bass for Justice.)
Randall Slagle (D) – the front page of his campaign website assumes that you have no faith in the justice system.  This is typical of self-hating white people who assume racism is going on, and rhymes with the current trend of leftists telling people who didn’t know any better that they don’t trust their own government.  Stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, Randy.  He’s a lawyer voted “best qualified” by: other lawyers wheeee! derp.  He’s also had more jobs than he’s had years of experience since he got a law degree.  He’s had more jobs than your dad and grampy had put together.  Plus there’s something wrong in his eyes when you look at him.
Daniel Martin Ruble (L) – How surprising, a Losertarian candidate with no visible campaign or website.  Also: really Danny, you had to put Martin in there?  Were you afraid you’d be confused with all the other Dan Rubles on the ticket?

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
“The constitutional amendment providing for the use and dedication of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation, construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads”
Please vote FOR this Amendment.  I think this should be a state Law, not part of the supreme Law of the State – but for whatever reason the TX constitution covers a lot of similarly small-time stuff.  As long as we have the option, let’s take some of the taxes we are already collecting and spend them where we need them.

Place 2, Council Member, City of Pflugerville
Brad MarshallPlease re-elect Councilman Marshall!
Rudy Metayer -Three strikes, you’re out!  (1) he’s too young. To run a city, you need the perspective age and experience bring.  (2) he’s member of TWO racist organizations (3) he’s not the incumbent who has been doing a good job for pflugerville since winning the last election.  Also, not that you can really hold it against him (or her) he has the same dead eyes and forehead as Michelle Obama.

Prop. 1, city of Pflugerville
“The issuance of $28,000,000 tax bonds for City street improvements, including for E. Pecan Street, Pflugerville Parkway, Heatherwilde Boulevard, Weiss lane, Rowe Lane, Pfennig Lane, Cactus Blossom Drive, Columbine Street, Ardisia Drive, Blackhorn drive, Thackeray Lane, Gravesbend Road, Isle of Man Road, Isle of man Court, Gower Street and Langland Road”
I will vote FOR this bond proposition.  These streets are seriously [deleted] up.  Lots of heavy equipment rolling through for the construction of the surrounding neighborhoods really did a number on streets that were already built on shifty clay soil.  If you have a bad back, driving through this section of town is literally painful because it’s SO bumpy everywhere!

Prop. 2, City of Pflugerville
“The issuance of $25,000,000 tax bonds for City park and recreational purposes, including development of parks and hike and bike trails, a City Sports Complex and parks and recreational improvements at Lake Pflugerville”
Please vote AGAINST this bond issue.  We don’t need a City Sports Complex.  Break out the trails and recreational improvements at the lake and I could maybe go for that.

Unfortunately the trend is almost unbroken that the way to get a tax bond measure passed is to have it on the ballot in Travis County.  I really would prefer a government that set money aside for building roads and parks, but that is not the world in which I live.  What I can do is to say “we don’t need a stadium in a city of 40,000 inhabitants, and you people are stupid if you vote for TWO of them” yes two, because they just approved a regional football stadium for the local religion favored sport.  [deleted] a stadium.

Austin Proposition – The issuance of $600,000,000 bonds and notes for …
This is an election to spend $1.2 BILLION (later to balloon to an “unexpectedly” $2 Billion or more) for NINE miles of low-capacity passenger rail from downtown to downtown and zero additional miles of road that would actually relieve congestion.  This is as stupid as it gets.
Please vote NO against this proposition!

In other news, this is the election when Austin finally shakes off the former city council system where the people in the heart of Northern Downtown Austin got their way and F the car, truck and anybody outside the city core.  There are scores of candidates for 11 positions.  With 5% or so turnout, actual representation isn’t happening, but I think at least the council meetings will be more colorful going forward.  Not smarter,mind you (it’s still Austin) but definitely probably different maybe.

Madam President

I was listening to a man who used to be on the President’s security detail with the Secret Service.  He was discussing how the relationship between POTUS and the SS men who guard him is strictly professional.  Never is it appropriate for the SS agent to initiate contact with the President, except to say “Good morning, Sir*” and maybe a few brief pleasantries and then he should STFU again.  You don’t pal around with the POTUS.

That got me thinking (don’t worry, this is fairly innocuous stuff unless words like cissexism have deep meaning for you, in which case you are a basket case and you will never BE president so don’t worry about it).

Q: If there is a female President, what should the Secret Service men** say to her first thing in the morning?
A: “Good morning, Sir.”

Hold on there.

Sir is an honorific.  Sir is, for an American, the ultimate honorific to use when addressing another American in English.  Sir is the appropriate address for military officers from subordinates, and the POTUS is the Chief Executive Officer.  He’s EVERYBODY’s boss’ boss in Federal armed service, and he gets the highest honorific of them all.  And if he is a she, she still gets the highest form: Sir.

The only real acceptable alternative would be “Good morning, Madam President” but that is more of a mouthful by almost double.

Why not say, “Good morning, ma’am”?

Because it is informal.  You say ma’am to your mom, or to some nice lady on the street.  You don’t say ma’am to the big-high muckety-mucks.  Ma’am is an abbreviation of Madam, and abbreviations are not what you use in formal conversation with The Man!  Madam is the anglicized version of Madame which is literally translated “My Lady” (with capital letters) and that is the feminine version of “My Lord”.  My Lord is one step shy of “Your Highness” and “Your Majesty” which are inappropriate forms of address for USAmericans in any circumstance.  We only go as high as “Sir” or “Madam” and then you have to be a Noble foreigner to get higher honorifics from us.


*Since we are already down this rabbit hole: Sir comes to us from Sire.  Sire is what you say to the King or other nobility, yes, but also to one whom you acknowledge to be (much) older or senior to yourself.  Or your dad, if you like to use old-timey words.

**Yes, MEN.  Bigass burly ones that can kick ass and take names if there are any survivors after they have kicked all the asses.  When that guy the other day jumped the fence and jogged across the White House lawn, he was confronted inside by a Secret Service guard.  A female guard.  The intruder went through that chickcop like a 14lbs bowling ball picking up a spare and kept on going.  He was finally stopped by a MAN Secret Service agent.  Tackled.  You need big burlyass dudes guarding the President.