Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What an adventure!

Wow.. Feels like the Republicans have been hit by a Mack Truck!

I'm doing some number crunching now, and we'll see what that tells us.

I'll post more when I know more, but for a teaser, would you believe there were actually more votes for John McCain in our precinct than there were four years ago for George W. Bush?

Election open comments thread

I don't have much time to think right now, but that'll change.

Use the comments here to post your own thoughts.

Friday, October 31, 2008

How will your 401(k) fare?

H/T InstaPundit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On a Wednesday Night

So why is Mr. HopeChange broadcasting his inforercial on a Wednesday night? If he wanted to aim his message at evangelical Christians, I'm not sure there could be a worse night than Wednesday. Many churches have services tonight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs!

OK, so it's been a while.

I can get you signs for local candidates. I can't get you McCain/Palin signs. They aren't spending any money here (understandably), but you can buy them on your own here.

Send me an email with your address, and I will get you some signs as soon as I can.

National candidates:
President / Vice President: John McCain / Sarah Palin - Unfortunately, I can't get these.

Statewide candidates:
U. S. Senator: John Cornyn
Railroad Commissioner: Michael Williams
Chief Justice, Supreme Court: Wallace B. Jefferson
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7: Dale Wainwright
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8: Phil Johnson
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3: Tom Price
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4: Paul Womack
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9: Cathy Cochran

Regional Candidates (All of Dallas County, but includes other counties as well):
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 3: Mary Murphy
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 6: David L. Bridges
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 8: Kerry Fitzgerald

County-wide Candidates:
District Judge, 14th Judicial District: John McKinnon Fowler
District Judge, 95th Judicial District: James M. Stanton
District Judge, 162nd Judicial District: Mike Lee
Criminal District Judge, Court No. 2: David Lewis
Criminal District Judge, Court No. 3: Bill Fay
Criminal District Judge, Court No. 4: Steven Autry
Sheriff: Lowell Cannaday
County Tax Assessor-Collector: David Childs

Partial County Candidates:
U. S. Representative, District 3: Sam Johnson
State Senator, District 16: John Carona
State Representative, District 112: Angie Chen Button

On the back of the ballot is the Parkland Hospital bond proposal. The "For" side has a website here. I recommend against leaving the website up. It's got a "lub-dub" heartbeat sound that keeps repeating and will make you want to jump off a building--and NEED Parkland. I can't find a website for opposition to the bond.

Monday, September 29, 2008

North Texas Congressmen Against the Bailout

I just spoke with our Congressman, Sam Johnson's office. He was on his way to the floor to vote AGAINST the bailout.

Good decision, sir!

And according to WBAP news, Mike Burgess (26th, Denton) will vote against it as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah Palin's "Unreadiness"

Several commentators have said that Sarah Palin is not ready to be the Vice President based on her interview on ABCNews with Charles Gibson.

Personally, I'm wondering how much of that is because she's bringing her own, natural positions in-line with Senator McCain's so that they can present a united front, rather than have one part of the ticket say one thing, and another part say another.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Name That Party

OK, so I can't post a link in my shared items. Oops.

Name that party is a game where you try and guess the party affiliation of someone in a news story. Here's the story. And here's the answer.

Who's NOT supporting the Sheriff?

Nobody TOO important--just fourteen law enforcement groups.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin for VP!

And out of nowhere comes a 44 year old half-term governor who's the mother of a soldier, a pregnant 17 year old, and a Downs Syndrome child--plus two other daughters. She also likes mooseburgers.

From what I've seen so far, I'm cautiously optimistic. She was certainly throwing the red meat out there tonight. I'm reduced to reading a transcript because I went to church. But I like what I've heard, and what I've read. Time will tell, but I don't think we're in for another Eagleton moment.

New Feed Posted

OK, it's been a while.

Sometimes life gets in the way. My wife's grandmother came || this close to passing away, and school started, and.. and.. and.... You know how it goes. Real life gets in the way of things.

A quick way to keep up with what I'm reading and finding interesting is the "Shared Items" feed. I use Google Reader to try and keep up with the news. It allows me to share items I find interesting. You can use any feed reader to keep up with this feed. I'll still post, but there will be far more activity on the shared items side of things.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Garland Property Values Up

According to the Dallas County Appraisal District, property values in Garland increased by 3.1%, while for GISD they're up 3.4%.

Can the City Council and School Board hold their budget increase to this? Or can they actually drop it so that they can lower our tax rates?

$25 billion for Fannie and Freddie?

Twenty-five billion dollars. $25,000,000,000. $82 for every American.

Privatizing profits and socializing risks is an excellent plan--if you're on the profit side. It's a dirty deal otherwise. This looks like a no-strings bailout for stupid behavior.

I haven't fully thought through this, but what would happen if we nationalize them, split them up into about ten companies, and then sell them off taking them completely private? No more bailouts. No more preferential treatment. Just good banking practice.

New Parkland Hospital

I don't have any exact numbers, but I do wonder--if the current hospital didn't have to support illegal immigrants, how many more years would it be adequate?

As it is, taxpayers are being asked to support $747 million in new debt. Ouch.

Police Blotter, July 8 and July 14

1. Ripplewood Drive, 2700 block

4:29 a.m. June 22: Criminal mischief

2. Catalpa Street, 3100 block

1 a.m. June 30: Criminal mischief

3. Galaxie Road, 5000 block

10:20 a.m. June 29: Theft

Marriage in Texas

Starting September 1, you can get a discount on your marriage license by taking an eight hour class. While I don't think it's a bad idea, I think I'd recommend at least one change--allow counseling by clergy to count for the instruction requirement.

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less!

Let's go over this again.

Raise demand, keep the supply the same, and the price goes up.

Keep demand the same, lower the supply, and the price goes up.

This is where we're at. To lower the supply, either demand has to go down or supply has to go up. You can see some of the results of decreasing demand at the pump, but to really get the price down, increase the supply. The way to do that? Drill. Produce more energy here. Nuclear, petroleum, coal, wind, solar. Do it in an economical way and the price will come down.

The Democrats want to block everything except wind and solar (and they'll even block those when they interrupt their views). Wind and solar aren't bad, but the economics don't work out--both are diffuse, and getting the energy from where it can be generated to where it can be used is expensive (as in, several billion to get it from west Texas to here). What happens when demand goes up but supply stays the same? See above.

The Republicans want to produce our domestic energy. Oil wells aren't bad. My dad has a couple on his property, and the cows graze right up next to them, and you can plow within fifty feet (there's enough underground works that you don't want to go RIGHT up against them).

Let's see what happens in Congress. Will they allow drilling on the outer continental shelf, or no?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where did the month go?

OK, I know I don't have much of a peanut gallery, but I've had a good July. We spent some time in Palestine, riding the Texas State Railroad. Highly recommended.

It's time to hit the ground running. Ready for it?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Who needs fireworks when we have the Dallas County Government?

Sheriff: Let them film!

Commissioners: Let them not!


When is a government program unnecessary?

When it spends $3 million and finds 2 violations.

The only way for them to win... not to let us play.

Police Blotter, June 29, 2008

1. Apollo Road, 1700 block

10 p.m. June 18: Burglary of a vehicle

2. Bent Bow Drive, 2300 block

4:30 p.m. June 21: Burglary of a vehicle

3. Ripplewood Drive, 3000 block

11:30 p.m. June 15: Burglary of a vehicle

4. Village Green Drive, 2100 block

12:01 a.m. June 20: Burglary of a vehicle

Republicans hold lead in gubernatorial poll

At least 57% of Texans favor Republicans as their first choice for Governor in 2010.

Movies at the pool

From the DMN:

Garland water park hosting films

09:53 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Garland's Surf and Swim water park is offering "Dive-in Movies" this summer – Ratatouille on Friday, The Incredibles on July 11 and Finding Nemo on July 25. Patrons may bring blankets or lawn chairs. Those arriving after 5 p.m. will get $2 off the usual admission price of $6 for those 5 feet or taller and $5 for those shorter than 5 feet. Children 2 and younger get in free when accompanied by a paying customer. Movies start at dusk. The park is at 440 W. Oates Road. For more information, call 972-205-3993.

So where did Phil Gramm go?


Texas Taxes (Say that three times really fast)

Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector Cheryl Johnson has written a great op-ed at LoneStar Times. She wants disclosure of real estate prices, then limits on their increases, with the end-goal of abolishing the property tax and replacing it with a consumption tax. She'd have my vote!

Remaking the Republicans

From a column by Rich Lowry, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam in their book Grand New Party propose several changes to what the Republicans should do to attract more voters. The proposals outlined in the column are:

  1. $5,000 per child tax credit
  2. Subsidies for parents providing their own child care at home
  3. Expanded transportation infrastructure to ease the suburban commute
#1 and #2 I have only a problem with when they turn into such a tax credit that parents get a bigger "refund" than they pay in taxes. #3 makes me uneasy when it's coming from Washington.

What are your thoughts?

Paying for roads

Paying for roads is always problematic. So how can we do this? My first instinct is to make sure that gas taxes are dedicated to road use, not put in the general fund first. And why hasn't the gas tax revenue scaled with population and traffic growth?

UPDATE: I spoke with the reporter who wrote the article. While revenue has gone up based on the amount of gas consumed, with it being just a flat rate per gallon, it hasn't scaled with inflation.

Perry on Ethanol

Rick Perry wants to cut ethanol production and slash subsidies. It would lessen some pressure on food prices, and reduce transportation costs associated with moving the ethanol around the country (it cannot be moved around in pipelines the way petroleum products can, I think this is because it's water-soluble).

Go for it! In addition, he wants to lift tariffs on ethanol that comes from sugar, such as they can do in Brazil. Go for it again!

Random shootings

I was going to comment on the story, but it channel 8 is reporting that the GPD has a suspect in a car that matches the description! Drive with impunity (but watch the gas prices!)!

Who pays for 911?

Via the DMN, this article talks about how prepaid cell phone cards will soon have a fee on them to pay for 911 service. While I can understand how nobody likes to pay fees they didn't pay before, 911 can be dialed by anybody--even if you don't pay a thing for your phone. You can take a dead phone that doesn't even have a contract of any sort associated with it and dial 911.

Could the fee be done in a different way? Possibly. Instead of charging $0.50 a card, perhaps it could be a percentage of the cost, or even a deduction of so many prepaid minutes a month.

911 is a system where everyone benefits. The costs should be borne by everyone.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

All your credit card records are belong to us!

So how would you like to have the government get instant, no-warrant access to your credit and debit card transaction records?

Me neither.

Call Sam Johnson, Kay Hutchison, John Cornyn, and George Bush, and tell them to stop this thing!

Police Blotter, June 22, 2008

1. High Plateau Drive, 3100 block

6 p.m. June 12: Theft

2. Kingsbridge Drive, 500 block

1 a.m. June 12: Burglary of a vehicle

3. Lamont Drive, 2000 block

9:30 p.m. June 14: Burglary of a vehicle

4. Pine Knot Drive, 1700 block

11:20 a.m. June 9: Theft

Alternative Teacher Certification

My sister went through one of these, and I think she's an excellent teacher. Apparently, some of them have been letting substandard teachers through. Let's get that stopped, but at the same time, remember that the reason the alternative programs were put in place--there weren't enough teachers being certified under the traditional setup.

A friend of mine is applying for one of these programs. I learned that I can't be certified to teach high school math since I don't have enough college hours of mathematics courses. Please ignore the engineering degree, the applied math, the engineering courses that are bundles of mathematical joy, and taking enough math as an undergrad to take me past any high school curriculum that I know of. I am apparently not qualified to teach math. That seems wrong, if you ask me. Are there any teachers out there who can comment on this?

Feeling the pinch

If you can help, please do.

Which side of Obama's mouth do we believe?

"I believe in free trade."

"I don't think NAFTA has been good for America."

He opposed NAFTA and voted against CAFTA. He will oppose the Columbian Free Trade Agreement.

So where is the free trade that he does like?

Nationalizing Oil Refineries

Huh? Do some people think that this is a good idea? What the government has, it controls. We tried controlling markets in the 70s. I don't think we want to go through that again.

Disclosing Sale Prices

For it!

Let's be honest in our appraisals for property tax. One big way of knowing whether those appraisals are accurate is to have disclosure of sale prices on land and houses. Who could be in opposition? Lobbyists for business groups. Apparently, commercial property is easy to undervalue when appraised. If the property is undervalued, then the property tax payments are artificially low. This raises property tax proportions for residential properties. Yes, businesses may have to change their prices, but I think that the honesty in the appraisal would be worth it.

Where have I been?

OK, I know there's not much of a peanut gallery, but I have been on vacation and spending extra time with my family. So. Are we ready to hit the ground running?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rights Lost

Ten areas where those of us of the religious persuasion have lost rights due to the actions of the militant homosexuals.

Write Our Senators

Time for some action:

We have a chance to win support for abstinence education and possibly de-funding Planned Parenthood. Write Senators Hutchison and Cornyn to encourage them to support Title V funding and to remove all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Police Blotter, June 15, 2008

1. North Jupiter Road, 4600 block

1 p.m. June 2: Criminal mischief

Even More Canadian Craziness

Irenaus posted some good thoughts on what is happening to MacLean's magazine in Vancouver, BC.

Appreciation for President Bush

The Diplomad is a conservative "secret agent" working for truth, justice, and the American Way inside the State Department. He appreciates the things that President Bush has done. Here is the key paragraph:

Mark my words, he will be judged as a very good, perhaps even as a great President within a few years. He has brought freedom to millions of persons around the globe, removed two of the most vicious regimes on the planet (i.e., Saddam and the Taliban), boxed in the North Korean loons, promoted free trade and democracy throughout the Americas with remarkable success, and with his anti-malaria programs saved the lives of perhaps millions of Africans. Israel has had no better friend than George Bush; tens-of-thousands of Indonesians, Sri Lankans and Thai are alive thanks to his quick response to the tsunami. He stood up to the terrorists and has whacked them in ways they could never have imagined when they sat in their fetid caves plotting the September 11 atrocity. He has changed the world for the better. He is a great man and a great leader.

GISD Newsletter Available

From GISD's Pipeline:

Informational updates regarding Garland ISD are available through an electronic mailing list. Subscribers will receive current news and information through this free e-mail service. Register below to have GISD newsletters and notifications delivered straight to your inbox.

Your information is only for the use of Garland ISD and will not be re-distributed.

Sign up to receive GISD newsletters

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gas Prices

They're hitting me too.

Looking at the different plans the Democrats and Republicans are offering is instructive. This was put together by Roy Blunt, the Minority Whip in the US House:

Now, which would you rather see at the pumps?

H/T: PowerLine

The Moral Cost of the Lottery

This is unconscionable:

State governments have played a role. They aggressively hawk their lottery products, which some people call a tax on stupidity. Twenty percent of Americans are frequent players, spending about $60 billion a year. The spending is starkly regressive. A household with income under $13,000 spends, on average, $645 a year on lottery tickets, about 9 percent of all income. Aside from the financial toll, the moral toll is comprehensive. Here is the government, the guardian of order, telling people that they don’t have to work to build for the future. They can strike it rich for nothing.
David Brooks doesn't stop the blame there. He names payday lenders, credit card companies, Congress, the White House, and Wall Street. Our culture has exalted keeping up with the Joneses so much that we are all now Joneses. Unsecured debt is seen as normal. Wanting it NOW is one of the characteristics of our way of life. We need to get back to a frame of mind where debt is a trap to be avoided. The Bible says that the borrower is a slave to the lender, and living in debt is psychologically crushing.

He proposes some solutions as well: Make debt as acceptable as smoking, have churches issue no-interest payday loans, strengthen usury laws, and others. One of the main problems I see with strengthening the usury laws is that it has to be done nationwide. Ever wonder why so many credit card banks are chartered in Delaware?

So. How do we change the culture? What are we showing our kids? Do we reject debt in favor of savings? Do we have an emergency fund that we don't touch unless it really is an emergency? How are you teaching your children to handle money?

H/T: LoneStarTimes

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More politics of abortion

H/T Hugh Hewitt

A blood test that can reveal Downs Syndrome in the first trimester is apparently successful. I know my wife was told that one of our sons was probably Downs. I can't imagine turning down a blessing of a child for the reason it's not "perfect."

State Convention!

I wish I was in Houston this week, but I couldn't make it.

Here are some things going on:

Ron Paul is hosting an event tomorrow night.

Lawsuits are flying back and forth.

Romney is speaking for McCain.

Sounds like a Grand Old Time for the Grand Old Party!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More Canadian Craziness

From NRO's The Corner: A Canadian pastor has been told not to "disparage" homosexuals. So is saying that their behavior is sinful according to the Bible "disparaging?"

Saturday, June 7, 2008

OTM: Other Than Mexican

OTM refers to crossers of our southern border that are not Mexican in origin. Recently, 15 Chinese immigrants were caught in La Joya. How hard would it be to imagine a coyote sneaking a terrorist across the border?

Demonizing the right

Something we have to look out for: Is criticism of Barack Obama automatically illegitimate because of racism? It is most emphatically not, but look at these examples that John Henke found.

Taking on policies and positions only to be told you are arguing because you are backward is both asinine and evil.

H/T: InstaPundit

Crime is up, but by how much?

Nobody knows.

So do we not have enough manpower to at least go over the 2007 records with current methods and at least get the truth out to us, even if it can't be put back into the UCRs?

Friday, June 6, 2008

More Same-Sex Marriage

With the decision not to stay the granting of same-sex marriage licenses in California, a whole new can of worms can appear. Couples in California can get a license to wed without a residency requirement (unlike Massachusetts). So what happens when they get "married" in California and come back to where they live?

Gardasil and reactions

Gardasil has been linked by some recipients to some severe side effects, up to epilepsy. Whether or not that is truly the case hasn't been definitively established.

The story of Gardasil in Texas is interesting. Governor Perry mandated it, then the Legislature overrode it. I side with the Legislature in this fight. The purpose of mandated immunizations for schoolchildren is to stop the spread of disease in the classroom. If it can't be spread through normal classroom contact, then I don't think the vaccine should be required. Are they good ideas? Probably. But I'm reminded of a line from the original Robocop movie: Sure! We've had our shots!

Volunteers needed for the Star Spangled 4th

Details in the Morning News.

Electoral dyspepsia

Thomas Sowell has trouble stomaching either major party candidate for President.

And I thought the Presidential campaign was long

So will there be a Governor Hutchison?

Glad I'm not on the State Credentials Committee

I don't know what happened in Corpus Christi. But there's pressure on the State Party leadership (through a lawsuit) to hurry up some of the State Convention processes so that the Credentials Committee will be seated.

Price said WHAT?

Pardon me while I pick my jaw up from the floor:

"No new taxes," said Commissioner John Wiley Price. "We need to put that stake in the ground."

Thank you, Commissioner!

DDT and schools

I don't have any teenage children in GISD schools, but if they get curriculum like this, I could understand some consternation, if not pitchforks and torches (to keep away the mosquitoes). DDT is a cheap insecticide that can be used in moderation so that it doesn't get in the food chain like it did earlier.

Thank God for the First Amendment

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal is entertaining what seems to me more of a playground dispute. "He said I stink!" "So?"

Mark Steyn wrote a book called "America Alone" in which he points out that, while most Muslims don't wish America ill, there is a subset of them who do. Excerpts were reprinted in MacLean's magazine. Some Muslims filed a complaint stating it promotes hate. The "court" is hearing that case, and Andrew Coyne blogged about the "trial." You'll see why I put scare quotes when you read the posts.

Day 1 Part 1 Day 1 Part 2 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Congrats to the Seniors of 2008!

Congratulations to the graduating seniors of 2008 from our area!

GISD is selling DVDs of the ceremonies for $20, available here.


How would you feel if the local DA knocked on your door and asked for a donation?

What was that about abstinence?

Remember that study that purported to show that 25% of American teenagers had a sexually transmitted disease because of abstinence-based sex education?

Yeah. I smelled a rat too.

So did Mollie at GetReligion, who did an excellent job in fisking that study.

Update 20130731: GetReligion has moved to and the article is now at Links updated.

Pressure to build the border fence

My solution? Build it north of their property.

Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to burn up money

in the form of jet fuel.

MAD Magazine foreign policy

THOMAS SOWELL: Sen. Obama’s foreign policy seems to be somewhere between Rodney King’s “Can’t we just get along?” and Alfred E. Neuman’s “What, me worry?

Nader having Texas ballot troubles

Ralph Nader is complaining that it's too hard to get on the ballot in Texas.

It would take 44,000 signatures to get on the ballot as a Green party candidate. It would take 74,000 to do it as an independent candidate. In 2000, he got 137,994 votes here. He could get on as a write in for (I think) $3,125 or 5,000 signatures.

$8 gas and higher electric bills? Thanks, Congress!

Let's see. Restrict supply, do nothing for demand, and you expect prices to stay the same?

Now where'd I put my Econ 101 textbook?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Health Insurance Reform

There are still new ideas going through the Republican Party. In Florida, Governor Charlie Crist recently scored a victory when the state Legislature approved some health insurance reforms that go in the opposite direction from what lots of people are thinking. If you get health insurance today, in a lot of places, the minimum policy you could purchase would cover everything from regular doctor visits to chiropractic care to acupuncture to the ER. The reform in Florida would de-package all the different types of coverage. Don't believe in chiropractic? Then don't order it. Don't have any allergies for which you need shots? Then why pay for that coverage? According to the article, this could reduce prices for a policy to $150/month or less. That could definitely work to expand coverage to people who can't afford it now.

More ideas like this--where the government gets out of the way rather than throwing money at a problem--would be good for the economy, good for the country, and good for everyone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What's next for the GOP?

Alex Castellanos has some excellent thoughts on where the GOP should go next. Here's an excerpt:

Conservatives do not hate government. We never have. We love life when it is well-governed. We respect the flag, our country, and traditional authority. We like a world where rules are observed and regulations are respected. We revere the order of the church. We respect the lines on the playing field and we stop at traffic lights. We want things to work. We want trains to run on time. We want our lives to be ordered. We want our lives to be governed — just not by others. We want our lives governed by the face we see in the mirror. We want our lives governed by ourselves.

I am trying to teach my children the same thing. If you cannot govern yourself, you must be controlled by others. I admit there are some people who cannot or choose not to govern themselves, so there is a role for what we traditionally think of as government. But as John Quincy Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Morals and religion make it much easier to instill that self-government that keeping a country free requires.

if the GOP can capture this vision, not of "big government" and "small government," but of "self-government" versus "external control," it stands a chance to recapture the imagination of the American people and reorganize our ideas of what our society should look like.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Utility Advisory Board

From the Morning News:

Volunteers needed for advisory board

The Garland City Council is accepting applications for the new Utility Advisory Board, which focuses on the city's electric utility.

Applications – available at or from the city secretary at 972-205-2000 – are due by July 1.

My house is served by Oncor, so I don't think it would be appropriate for me to regulate others. I'm also not qualified. From this article:

Under the new structure, each of the seven Garland residents appointed to the Utility Advisory Board must have specific qualifications:

One member must be a residential GP&L customer; one must be a commercial GP&L customer or employee of a customer; three must have backgrounds in professional fields such as accounting, finance, marketing, law, engineering or commercial development; and two must have been or still be employed in the energy industry.

Police Blotter, May 25, 2008

1. Apollo Road, 2900 block

8:30 p.m. May 14: Burglary of a vehicle

2. Castle Rock Lane, 3100 block

11:53 p.m. May 11: Criminal mischief

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Great summary of our oil trouble

The writers at PowerLine have published an excellent account of what happened in the Senate committee hearings regarding oil prices. It makes me wonder if the politicians are even pretending to listen and learn, or if they're just trying to grandstand.


That family whose two year old passed away in an accident lived either in or right next to our precinct. Please offer them your prayers and help.

Entitlement Reform

Why is it that Republicans can come up with lots of good ideas, but they have a hard time implementing them? Paul Ryan (R., Wisconsin) has put out an entitlement reform plan that Peter Ferrara has commented on in National Review. The main points are personal accounts for Social Security, and then providing vouchers for private insurance for Medicaid and Medicare.

While all this is probably fruitless for the time being, I think it's a set of good ideas that will make things sustainable for those programs. You can submit your comments here.

Police Blotter, May 18, 2008

1. Flagstone Drive, 2900

8 a.m. May 8: Burglary of a residence

2. Village Green Drive, 2100 block

1 p.m. May 5: Theft

3. Wyrick Lane, 5700 block

12:30 a.m. May 4: Criminal mischief

Starting well in Dallas County

I like this headline:

Dallas County looking for cuts to avoid tax hike this fall

They're looking at the right place first. Rather than immediately hike taxes, they're looking to cut the budget to the bone before anything else.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gay Marriage in California

I can't say I am really surprised, but this is no good news for the country.

Rod Dreher has some good thoughts. Professor Elizabeth Fox-Genovese did some excellent thinking in her last book before she passed away. These two writers sum up my thoughts very well. What are your thoughts on this?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More RINO Hunting

Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth has written an excellent article on why the CFG PAC (Political Action Committee) targets Republicans who are soft on fiscal policy. Many of the same things could be said about those who are soft on social policy as well. If you have a choice between Democrat and Democrat-Lite, why not go for the real McCoy? Again, this is why we fight for people who are conservative on all fronts--taxes, spending, and social issues.


So what's with the alphabet soup? The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Child Protective Services have brought you what I'm leaning towards believing is one of the all time biggest screw-ups of government. From believing a fake phone call to not even attempting to undo the damage done (yet) after the raids were done on the basis of the fake phone call, to coming close to forcing moms to abandon either their religion or their children, things seem to be going from bad to worse here. Admittedly, the information I get is filtered through the media, but the state has to meet a larger burden of proof than usual for me to trust them on this. What are your opinions on this case?

Friday, May 16, 2008

RINO hunting

So California how has gay marriage.

And the Governator won't support an amendment to the state Constitution to undo the court decision.

This is why it's important to elect true Republicans, and not those who just take up the mantle, to office. Elect conservatives, and you're a lot more likely to get conservative government. Elect unknowns, and you get unknown results.

The solution? More taxes, of course!

In this video, Dr. Curtis Culwell, the superintendent of GISD, talks about some of the upcoming issues for the school district. One thing he touches on is revenue per student and the cost of various things. Specifically, he talks about the price of gas and how the district needs to increase its revenue to cover that cost.

Did your family increase its revenue to cover the increased cost for commuting? Or did you make adjustments to decrease spending?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's in a name?

The City of Dallas has put out six names to replace Industrial Boulevard on the west side of downtown. Among them are two named for people:

  1. César Chávez Boulevard
  2. Eddie Bernice Johnson Parkway

So does it strike only me that they couldn't mention anyone like Ronald Reagan or Bill Clements?

Police Blotter May 11, 2008

Ambrose Court, 800 block
9 p.m. April 27: Criminal mischief

Apollo Road, 1700 block
8 a.m. April 30: Burglary of a residence

Churchill Way, 2700 block
4 a.m. May 3: Burglary of a vehicle

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

$2 billion in a surplus, so what should be done?

Does the phrase "Give it back!" exist in the Legislature's vocabulary?

The Appraisal Racket

Hmm. My house appraisal went down 5% this year. But that's not the case with land in downtown Dallas. The sites that Dallas wants to buy for the Convention Center hotel went up by 432%.

It's interesting what happens when you need a very specific piece of land. The case I'm most familiar with is when a cellular company needs to buy a place to erect a tower. I'm thinking the same principle applies.

Another thing to be disgusted at

This story tears my heart out. This is a legitimate function of state government that should be done with compassion, and there are people in there who abuse those who are not in a position to help themselves. It should be adequately funded--and more than adequately policed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

School Board Results

  1. Cindy Castañeda - 47.53% (2033)

  2. Stephen W. Stanley - 13.54% (579)

  3. Jeff Johnson - 38.54% (1665)

And in Precinct 2104:

  1. Cindy Castañeda - 74.07% (20)

  2. Stephen W. Stanley - 18.52% (5)

  3. Jeff Johnson - 7.41% (2)

I'm trying to determine if there will be a runoff. School boards can be decided by plurality (in which case Dr. Castañeda has already won) or by absolute majority (in which case there would be a runoff between her and Jeff Johnson).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

School Board Election May 10

UPDATED 2 May 10:18 pm with an endorsement for Mr. Stanley.

UPDATED 29 April 10:14 pm with Dr. Castañeda's and Mr. Stanley's answers.

I endorse Mr. Stephen Stanley. See the post below for more information.

Early voting is now open for the School Board election where election day will be May 10. The closest polling location is the GISD Student Service Center at 720 Stadium Drive. See here for early voting dates and times, along with other locations.

Election Day Voting will be held at Hickman Elementary School at 3114 Pinewood on May 10, 7 am to 7 pm.

Here's an article in the Dallas Morning News with mini-profiles. Here's one from the Sachse News.

We are only voting in one contested race, for Place 4 on the GISD board. The three candidates are:

  1. Dr. Cindy Castañeda, an academic dean at Richland College,
  2. Jeff Johnson, President of J & A Manufacturing,
  3. Stephen Stanley, owner of RE/MAX Infinity in Sachse,,
I have sent the following questions to each candidate:
  1. What is GISD doing right that needs to be enhanced and made even better?
  2. How is GISD on track where they need to be?
  3. What about GISD needs improvement?
  4. With the housing crisis nationwide, it is expected that property values will drop. How do you see the district's tax rates and policies changing due to the changes in appraisal values? Do you see this affecting the district's budget priorities, and if so, how?
  5. Is there anything that GISD is doing now that should be reduced and shut down?
I'll keep this post at the top of the page until the election is over, and I'll update it with my endorsement when I decide on one.

Here are the answers from Dr. Castañeda:

What is GISD doing right that needs to be enhanced and made even better?
Ruth Roach Elementary School does a fabulous job and has received national recognition. In 2006, this school was selected as a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education in part for achieving tremendous gains and success in TAKS while having a population in which 61% of students are from low income families, 57% are Hispanic, 18% are African American and 25% are White. Forty-five percent of Roach students are classified as Limited English Proficient. Using a highly structured curriculum all student receive outstanding, learner centered instruction that results in high student achievement. Academic achievement for low-income students identical to the overall population is outstanding and defies any expectation of an "achievement gap." Roach is doing great, it would be terrific if we could replicate the success of Roach students on other campuses as well.

Is GISD on track where they need to be?
Our country's economic future and our local economy depend on having a capable, educated work force that can communicate and calculate effectively, and learn new skills throughout their lives. Yet, only 35% of GISD graduates in 2006 were college ready in both mathematics and English/language arts. The graduation rate for the GISD is at 74.7%, using the graduation rate calculation proposed by Secretary of Education Spellings. We must do better. The future of our children, our cities and our country depend upon it.

What about GISD needs improvement?
I do not believe a 74.7% graduation rate is good enough for our residents of Garland, Rowlett and Sachse. We need to improve student success and preparation for life after high school whether students choose to enter work, military, technical school, community college or university. To do so we must first have a good understanding of any trends that may occur among that population of students that are leaving. We must first ask and answer questions such as "Do students that drop out belong to a particular demographic? Are students leaving school from all high schools or are they concentrated in one or more schools? What have we done to either retain or readmit these students? Are there already programs that have been proven to work with this at-risk population? Once we have asked and answered the questions we can then more to create programs to improve student outcomes.

With the housing crisis nationwide, it is expected that property values will drop. How do you see the district's tax rates and policies changing due to the changes in appraisal values? Do you see this affecting the district's budget priorities, and if so, how?
One certainty is that our future, economic and otherwise, hangs on a careful balance. Too much taxation limits individuals and families' expendable incomes. Too few resources and our common resources (schools, roads, services for seniors, utilities,etc.) will be negatively impacted. One thing I would work diligently to address in conjunction with other school boards, local and state representatives is to address public school finance again. HB-1 did not solve the public school finance problem - it provided a temporary, stop-gap solution that must now be fixed to a more permanent and acceptable solution.

Practically speaking the impact on the GISD is that we receive approximately $1,000 less per student in state funding than some of our neighboring school districts. This means that Garland ISD has to rise to the challenge of having more efficient physical and administrative operations, be more effective in teaching our students, and have even more beneficial staff development than some of our neighboring school districts. This drastic inequity in funding is something that Garland ISD and some other ISDs across Texas must address when the legislature convenes again later this year.

Is there anything that GISD is doing now that should be reduced and shut down?
Due to a flattening enrollment trend, the GISD has already shelved plans for building another high school and has implemented a hiring freeze. Current positions such as replacements for teachers that retire or leave will be replaced, but no new positions will be added. The Board has shown good leadership in their stewardship of public funds. While I have examined the proposed GISD budget for 2008-2009, the materials I have had access do not detail to the program level, so I am not prepared to make a statement about any programs that need to be reduced or shut down.

Closing statement
A school board sets the policy direction for the district. These policies affect the teachers, students, parents and taxpayers in our district. Improvement in the educational outcomes of our students is needed. For this reason, having the perspective of an experienced and proven leader in education is essential. There are no educators on the board. The skill set, experience and educational background I would bring to the board would be an asset for our board and our community.

Here are Mr. Stanley's responses:

What is GISD doing right that needs to be enhanced and made even better?
One thing the District is doing right is reaching out to all the patrons of the District. With recent advancements in technology and their incorporation into the District at numerous levels, communication between the teachers and the parents is becoming a lot easier and more convenient for today’s busy households. As far as making it even better the answer will only come with time. Not everyone has a computer at home and/or they are restricted from personal use of a computer at their jobs. Another is to better educate the parents that this is available to them at there public libraries in the event they don’t have a personal computer at home.

How is GISD on track where they need to be?
With the great diversity of the District the district has made great strides in their future projections as to what the district will need into the short and long term future. By building the two “Early Childhood Centers” the District has earnestly tried to get ahead of the curve with its ESL program. By trying to get to get to these students early in their education where they are proficient in the English language from the beginning, the district can better assure that all students are receiving the best education possible. While I do concede that it would be great if every graduate in the GISD had the ability and the desire to go to college after graduation but in reality as reflected in Steve Blow’s article on Sunday only about 30% of students will actually go to college. I want the District to make sure that every student graduates where they have at least the basics to join in the work force right out of High School as well as a firm foundation if they want to attend a technical or vocational school where they can learn a valuable skill or trade.

What about GISD needs improvement?
The retention policies of the district to better attract and maintain our high quality and experienced teaching staff. With an approximate 20% turnover every year, it is obvious that it is not just about pay. The largest complaint or concern I have heard from all employees has been about the high cost of there health insurance. We need to make the insurance package more affordable to new and existing staff and not have the price break begin after 20 years of service.

With the housing crisis nationwide, it is expected that property values will drop. How do you see the district's tax rates and policies changing due to the changes in appraisal values? Do you see this affecting the district's budget priorities, and if so, how?
Our district is fortunate as well as North Texas as a whole not to have been hit as hard as the rest of the State or the Country. The way HB1 is structured the only impact in declining property values should be to the State’s portion of funding for O & M. At current ratios there is an approximately 40% coming into the General fund and 72% of debt service from local property taxes and the remainder coming from both the State and Federal level. I believe where it will have an impact is for future O & M as well as future debt service. With millions of Bonds still to be issued for new construction and remodeling for existing facilities the district will have to watch property value trends and issue voter approved bonds only if they have little or no impact on the current tax rates.

Is there anything that GISD is doing now that should be reduced and shut down?
I would like to see the continual addition of portable buildings at a large percentage of our campuses through out the district to stop. I would like to see what if any cost savings there are in setting up these facilities versus constructing the new and needed campuses today.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Voter ID

I'm impressed. The Supreme Court did something right! and led, of all the Justices, by John Paul Stevens! If you haven't heard, the Court approved, 6-3, Indiana's voter ID statute. While this won't combat all the possible voter fraud out there, it is certainly a good start! I'm looking forward to asking for a photo ID for everyone who votes. That way, fraudulent registrations are harder to obtain, and on election day, it should be harder to pass yourself off as someone you're not.

Business taxes

This is ugly. New tax plans make for businesses to pay higher taxes, while the lower property taxes are supposed to offset that tax increase. But if I was a business owner, in facing this tax, I'd increase my prices just a bit to cover my bills. This would spread through all businesses, and eventually to customers. It would hopefully hit more people than just property owners, and so spread the tax burden, but it's hidden. I can't point to a tax bill and say "This much is from tax, and this much is from the cost of doing business.

What would happen if we implemented something like the FairTax on a statewide basis? Everyone pays, everyone gets a refund. Of course, people would fight over distribution, especially the formulas to figure out how much goes to school districts, counties, and cities. What do you think would happen if this actually did make it through the Legislature and People?

Paradise Shaved Ice

Paradise Shaved Ice is a new small business in our precinct. I've sampled their goods, and boy, are they good! They have 42 flavors with a surprise at the bottom of the cup!

They are at the northeast corner of Galaxie and Beltline, in the same building as the Shop-N-Go, but at the opposite end.

If you're a small business owner in the precinct, let me know and you'll get a free ad on the blog!

Better Water at Twice the Price?

North Texas Municipal Water District is going to build a new plant that will eliminate the scent from any algal blooms that we regularly get. But is that worth twice the price? Is it to you?

School Board Endorsement

I have decided to endorse Mr. Stephen Stanley for GISD School Board place 4. He owns a real estate office, so he is familiar with the district. In his answers, he took care to point out that GISD does need to take care of its budget so as not to put additional burdens on taxpayers. Dr. Castañeda is looking towards the state to solve GISD's funding crisis. He is an active Republican and will serve us well on GISD's board.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Update to School Board Post

For those of you reading via a feed reader, I've updated the school board election post.

Free Money Redux

It seems the government will be sending out money sooner than we thought.

Like I asked earlier, is there any such thing as "free money?" It seems like it may have bad effects. If you increase the amount of money chasing after a fixed amount of goods, doesn't that tend to result in inflation? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the stimulus package?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Police Blotter - April 28

Innsbrook Drive, 3400 block
9 a.m. April 15: Burglary of a residence

Naaman Forest Boulevard, 5600 block
8:15 p.m. April 13: Burglary of a vehicle

Russwood Lane, 3300 block
8 a.m. April 14: Burglary of a residence

Trowbridge Street, 1800 block
8 a.m. April 15: Burglary of a residence

White Gum Lane, 2800 block
10 p.m. April 17: Burglary of a vehicle

Neighbors, let us know if there's anything we can do to help.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Elect Republican Presidents and You Won't Get This

He never met a dictator he didn't like.

Rick Who?

Rick Roosevelt Perry is running for governor again. While there are some things that he's done that I like, and things he's done that I don't like, I don't think he needs to be in office for another four years. But he's running again. And I thought the Presidential race was long!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I can't even bring myself to read it

Headline: Yale senior 'induced abortions on herself' for art project

I can't even bring myself to click on it. Murder as art? What have we come to?

Three potential nominees in Idaho

OK, this is just funny.

A guy pays $1,000, lists a few numbers that aren't his as his campaign's numbers, and gets on the ballot with no verification? And of course, Idahoans are complaining about his being allowed to file. Shouldn't it be more along the lines of some outrage at the public servants who didn't bother to call his "listed" phone numbers to see if he was legit?

Yay Free Money!

Is there such a thing? I'm not going to stimulate the economy much with mine, I'll confess.

Sometimes I wonder if trying to hold the government and banking industry to a gold standard on money would be a good thing.

What are your plans for the "stimulus" payments?

Waive the laws?

Let me see if I have this straight:

  1. Congress passes laws that restrict land development
  2. Congress passes laws calling for the building of a fence along the border
  3. Congress passes laws saying that their restrictive land development laws can be waived so that the fence can be built more quickly
  4. The Department of Homeland Security exercises the option referenced in #3 to waive the laws and go ahead with building the fence
  5. Congressmen protest
It seems like Congress said that DHS could go thus far, but when they do go thus far, they don't like it.

I think I'll ascribe it to foolishness and leave it at that.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's a singalong!

To the tune of "Oscar Mayer Weiner":

How I wish it was Election Day tomorrow!
That would be so good for the country-ee-ee!
How I wish it was Election Day tomorrow!
'Cause then officials would say goodbye-ee!

It would certainly be interesting if withholding were outlawed, and payroll taxes had to be paid directly by everyone instead of being taken out before you even see them.

Who thinks it would make a difference in who we vote for?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

GISD Board Member Rick Howard Passed Away

News release on the GISD website.

Schwarzenegger - Schwarzenegge + ino = RINO

I'm sure the Republicans in California are glad they elected the Governator now.

They had to be told?

Pardon while my mind boggles at the headline:

Company told to stop selling fake driver's licenses to immigrants

Former Dallas Judge Moves (Maybe) to New Orleans

Congratulations to Catharina Haynes, who was just confirmed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. From all accounts, she was a good judge here, and will be a good one there too. The only reason as far as I know that she lost her last election in 2006 was because of the Democratic sweep of Dallas County.

Oh Noes! The Fence Isn't Working!

That's what the DMN says in their headline. Of course, reading deeper into the story, they're having to bring hacksaws, wirecutters, blowtorches, and other implements of destruction. Oh, and they're having to redo that destruction every day since the Border Patrol is fixing it, and the fence is slowing them down.

I'd still like to see numbers on how many were getting through before and how many are getting through now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hang on to Your Wallets, part II


$400,000,000 a year for a suburban rail network.

Wouldn't it make more sense to spend that on a highly customizable system, where people can have smaller vehicles that could take them directly from point A to point B?

Wait. We have that. It's called


And if they want to fund it, they always can raise property taxes. If they want to be in DART or the T, they can always give up some of their sales tax revenue for the privilege. But of course not. Governments tend to expand. They don't contract, so why should they ever give up revenue to another government agency?

Cannaday Wins! But watch for the media bias!

Suddenly, the jail is a good place now! Amazing how that works. Elect a Democrat and things are bad--until her Republican opponent is decided.

Mayor's Meet and Greet

April 24 at North Garland library

Garland Mayor Ronald Jones will visit with residents at his first Mayor's Evening Out from 5 to 7 p.m. April 24 at the North Garland Branch Library, 3845 N. Garland Road. No reservations are required for the come-and-go event. Call 972-205-2471.

John Cornyn on Iraq

From National Review.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Can we use this in political debates?

I can see it now: Crawler on the bottom of the screen blinking either green or red depending on whether the truth is being told!

Who's with me?

Button 53.18%, Dunning 46.82%

What a brutal race. One candidate stuck to the truth, one fired up the rumor mill to denigrate the first.

The denigration unfortunately worked. With "polls" that my friends told me about inaccurately describing Randy's storm shelter and radio ads (and TV ads too, I understand, but I don't take cable) that implied a lot of incorrect information about Randy's history, as of March 31, he was outspent $311,874.53 to $29,172.55, or 10.69 to 1. How'd that go? Her vote ratio was 3,103 to 2,732, or only 1.14 to 1. For each vote she got, she spent $100.51. He spent only $10.68 for each vote. He was outspent, plain and simple.

I don't know how well-known she was beforehand. I had never heard of her before this race. I have had the privilege of working with Randy before he was on the Garland City Council. Of course, I never heard of Jeb Hensarling before he ran for Congress in CD 5, but he turned out OK. She was serving Garland on the DART board (still is) when the City Charter says that to run, she needs to resign. But she didn't. As I understand it, she said she represented the region, not the city (though they happen to be coterminous), and as such, her position wasn't covered under the charter.

She was endorsed by Florence Shapiro and John Carona. They come from the "Country Club" wing of the Party. Randy was from the grassroots, and was endorsed by the grassroots. What happened is that he was doing his best fighting a ground war, but she could fight an air war against him.

She even had poll watchers there. I haven't ever worked with a poll watcher before. I have no idea why she felt she needed a poll watcher present all day.

At any rate, what else is there to say? The voters in the Texas Republican Party of House District 112 didn't vote for Randy. We get the representation we deserve.

May God use this for His glory.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Election results for Runoff!

Catch it here before the County has it!

Richardson already reported, so this fills out everything:

State Rep district 112:

Angie Chen Button: 3103 (53.18%)
Randy Dunning: 2732 (46.82%)

For precinct 2104:

Angie Chen Button: 43 (40.19%)
Randy Dunning: 64 (59.81%)

Sheriff in Pct. 2104:

Jim Bowles: 23 (22.12%)
Lowell Cannaday: 81 (77.88%)


Election on Tuesday!

Vote for Randy Dunning and Lowell Cannaday on Tuesday, 7 am to 7 pm, at Wallace Ethridge Elementary School, 2301 Sam Houston. The easiest way to get there is to take Belt Line east from the precinct, then south on Sam Houston. The school will be on your right (west side) just south of Richoak.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Now it's OUR turn!

Republicans have blown away the Democrats in terms of early voting numbers here in Dallas County. Let's get to the polls on Tuesday and elect Randy and Lowell!

No more ghosts in the Capitol

My former State Representative, Tony Goolsby, has made a proposal to end "ghost voting" where a State House member can give a friend a key to their voting machine. Check out his letter to House members asking for their comments. I fully support it. It would be interesting to see how attendance really is, with, of course, exceptions for those committees meeting off the floor.

That and where'd I put my latex-casting kit to fake fingerprints?

Something right happened?

It seems that President Bush will use the authority granted to him by Congress to speed the building of the border fence along lines defined in 1836, 1848, and 1853. It's about time.

Of course, it will be played as Bush trampling on the environment. But wouldn't you expect that?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Good reading

Richardson City News has a very good wrap-up of the District 112 race:

In recent years many politicians have shown they will say anything to get elected, only to betray the public and ignore common interests of those who elected them once they are seated. Recent history is rife with examples.
Read the whole thing.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Can I pick my jaw up now?

DISD (of which we're NOT a part, thank goodness) has just put forward a bond package they want the voters to approve.

It's worth $1.35 billion.


With a B.


I can't imagine it. With a 50 year repayment schedule, that's still $27,000,000 a year not counting interest. They have 158,126 students enrolled according to their fact sheet. While I realize they have to basically dynamite the old infrastructure of the former Wilmer-Hutchins ISD, this bond package is in excess of their annual operating budget. They want to almost double their current bonded indebtedness.

This strikes me as monumentally stupid.

At least Garland isn't alone in doing it with debt. It seems that the City of Garland and DISD need to wean themselves away from debt. It may take decades. Maybe even a century, but something has got to be done because someone is going to have to pay for this, and I don't want it to be my kids or grandkids.


Once again, I endorse Randy Dunning for State Rep and Lowell Cannaday for Sheriff.

Early voting is Monday-Friday only, from 7 am to 7 pm each day.

Early Voting Locations

Election day voting for our precinct will be at Wallace Ethridge Elementary School, 2301 Sam Houston Dr. in Garland. The easiest way to get there is to take Beltline east from Shiloh, then go south on Sam Houston to get there.

Please let me know if you need a ride or anything like that to get to the polls.

More for the community calendar

The Naaman Forest High School Sterling Stars spring show will be 7 p.m. Saturdayat the school, 4843 Naaman Forest Blvd. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door for adults, $5 in advance and $10 at the door for students. For more information, call Colette Boyd at 972-530-5815.

I'm not the only one who likes Lowell Cannaday

Turns out the people who would work for him would like him too!

An Attaboy to the GPD

Garland city worker, two others arrested in insurance fraud case

Platform Changes and Resolution passed by the SD16 Convention

Thanks for coming to the SD16 Convention on Saturday!

Here is a list of all the platform changes and the resolution passed by the Convention.

Bolded text indicates the section of the platform and title of the plank. Underlined text indicates text added to the plank. Text that is stricken through indicates deletion from the platform. Plain text indicates no change to the platform. Italicized text indicates either explanatory notes or words in a foreign language.

Preserving American Freedom

Limiting the Expanse of Government Power

Preserving National Security - We believe terrorism is the greatest threat to international peace and to the safety of our own citizens. The Republican Party of Texas asserts its opposition to terrorism, but opposes any means of fighting it which necessarily comes at the expense of the liberty and privacy of the People of Texas. We affirm our support for the doctrine stated by our founding fathers that there is no inherent conflict between Security and Liberty, and to trade one for the other is to lose both. We affirm our support for the core conservative Republican principles of a free society that makes America great, including but not limited to freedom of speech, religion, expression, and petition; freedom against self-incrimination and prohibition of torture under any name; Habeas Corpus and due process; and the necessity of valid, specific, public warrants for all searches and seizures executed against the People by the Government. We therefore urge:

1. our national leadership, within the limits of protecting the Constitutional rights of American citizens, to wage war on terrorists who threaten the United States and its citizens swiftly, deliberately, and decisively wherever such terrorists are found.

2. Congress to immediately cut all foreign aid to any nation threatening our citizens and providing aid or comfort to terrorist organizations or providing arms to other nations hostile to the United States.

3. the Administration to set known standards of consequences and reprisals for terrorist activities and to publicly support other nations in their efforts to fight terrorists.

4. Acceptance of HR 3216 (the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2007), as provided for in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States

4. 5. reasonable use of profiling as permitted by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution to protect American lives and property.

5. 6. full investigation and prosecution of any material breaches in national security.

6. 7. review and revision of those portions recission of the USA Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, and related executive and military orders and directives that erode constitutional rights and essential liberties of citizens.,

8. that the national ID card movement in any form, be rejected and all legislation, pending or passed relating to the national ID card, be rescinded.

Preserving American Freedom

Restoring Integrity to Our Elections

Voter Registration - We support needed legislation to restore integrity to the voter registration rolls and to reduce voter fraud. Furthermore, we support:

1. repeal of all Motor Voter laws;

2. re–registering voters every four years;

3. requiring first time registrants to produce photo identification;

4. the checking and removal from the voter rolls all jurors disqualified because of non-citizenship;

4. 5. proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application;

5. 6. retention of the 30-day registration deadline; and

6. 7. provide a federal or state government issued photo ID at the time of in person voting.

(new plank) Voter Fraud - We the Republican Party, call for a human-readable paper trail for each ballot cast to enable accurate recounts and ensure a check and balance system, restoring integrity to the voting process.

Preserving American Freedom

Honoring the Symbols of Our American Heritage

American English – We support the immediate adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States of America. While encouraging fluency in additional languages by all citizens, no governmental entity shall require any agency, contractor, business, or individual to publish public documents in a language other than English. If Puerto Rico or any other territory becomes a state, we demand that it make English its sole official language.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Protecting Our Children

Parental Rights and Responsibilities - We believe that parental rights and responsibilities are inherent and protected by the United States Constitution. Local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or policies shall not be enacted that limit such rights in the rearing of both biological and adopted children, including: parental authority to discipline, choice of public or private education of children, parental right to observe their children’s public school classes, access to all materials distributed and made available to children at school, ensure parents must provide written permission for their children's participation or receipt of Planned Parenthood activities, training material, and literature, access to their children’s medical records, and parental notification or consent for any medical or surgical treatment including, but not limited to, contraception and abortion. We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which would transfer jurisdiction over parental rights and responsibilities to international bureaucracies. The Party directs that legislation be introduced in the United States Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would elevate parental rights from a “reserved right” to an “express provision” that is unalterable by treaty.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Assisting families to Self Sufficiency

Social Security - We support an orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax. We insist that Social Security benefits be non–taxable. To protect the Social Security System, its funds should not be co–mingled or spent with general revenues or invested in private or public corporate stock. We support Americans being allowed to purchase directly, and hold directly as part of their tax-deferred retirement and educational savings plans, United States Treasury obligations, personally managed investment accounts, and tax-free equities. Individuals, who qualify for Social Security benefits, including school teachers, should receive all of the benefits for which they are eligible without penalty. To protect freedom and privacy, government and private institutions should not require Social Security numbers as ID. Application for Social Security numbers should not be required before the age of consent. We support prompt passage of the Social Security Fairness Act (HR 82 and SB 206) by the US House and Senate.

Government–Sponsored Gambling - We continue to oppose government–sponsored gambling as a means of financing state government. Government–sponsored gambling has had a devastating impact on many Texas families. Moreover, we oppose any further legalization, government facilitation, or financial guarantees relating to any additional or new type of gambling including casino, riverboat, video lottery terminals (VLTs), slot machine, video keno, eight-liners, multi-state lotteries, and other games of chance including on Indian reservations. We support the repeal of the state lottery, and enforcement of existing laws and regulations related to gambling. Lastly, until the state lottery is repealed, we call for all proceeds from the Texas Lottery be specifically dedicated towards education and gambling addiction recovery. No funds currently or previously set aside, collected, mandated, and/or allocated by the State of Texas to fund primary, secondary, and community college educational programs in this State shall be reduced by Texas Lottery proceeds.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Empowering Families to Direct Their Health Care

Immunizations - We believe all adult citizens should have the legally protected right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty or discrimination for refusing a vaccine. We further oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines. We oppose any medical record computer database or registry that would store personal identifiable records on citizens without their written consent.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Educating Our Children

Bilingual Education – We demand the abolition of bilingual education as it currently exists in Texas. We call on the Legislature to repeal the changes to the Education Code made by the 80th Legislature's HB 2814 which establishes a pilot program for bilingual education. We believe that the best method is an “English Immersion Program.” The official instructional language of public schools from Pre-K to 12th grade shall be English. All students must pass recognized standard tests that verify each student’s English ability for their grade level before advancing.

(new plank) Public Higher Education Accountability – We support a system of accountability in Texas public universities. We support binding audits by the State Comptroller of all public universities and a complete review of the tuition deregulation law for the purpose of validating whether it is accomplishing its stated goal. We support subjecting public universities to review under the Sunset Commission in the same fashion as other state agencies. We also support online disclosure of expenditures by public universities, such as online check registers and searchable databases.

Promoting Individual Freedom and Personal Safety

Individual Freedom

Electronic Privacy – We believe all law-abiding citizens should be free from government surveillance of their electronic communications except in cases directly involving national security. This includes any government mandate of trap door encryption standards. Except for non-citizens, we further oppose any government effort to implement a national ID program, including federalization of driver’s licenses. We call for the repeal of the REAL ID Act and, barring that, blocking its implementation at both the state and federal levels.

(new plank) Employment Non-Discrimination Act – We oppose an employment non-discrimination act that would force anyone or any organization to employ people who practice things abhorrent to their beliefs and mission. We support the right to free association.

(new plank) Employer Infringement on 2nd Amendment – The party calls on the Legislature to commit to law that Employers in the State of Texas shall not prohibit individuals from keeping their Firearms within their locked vehicles while parked in the employer's parking lot(s) that are provided for employee parking under penalty of fine and payment of restitution to those affected. We encourage legislation that would hold the Employer liable for any personal injury or property damages incurred by the employee where the employee has been discouraged by the Employer. (Note: This was amended on the fly during the Convention, and the intent of the last phrase could probably be better expressed as “where the employee has been discouraged from practicing his 2nd Amendment rights by the Employer.”)

(new plank) State University Infringement on 2nd Amendment and CHL - The Party calls upon the legislature to commit to law that all State supported Universities and colleges (those receiving money or other types of support from the state), and other institutions of higher learning cannot prohibit or discourage individuals with Concealed Handgun License issued by, or recognized by, the State of Texas from exercising their concealed carry rights while on campus or grounds owned by the related institutions. We encourage legislation that would hold the University and responsible individuals liable for any personal injury or property damages incurred by the individual where the individual has been discouraged or deprived of their CHL rights by the university.

(new plank) Internet - We applaud and encourage the development and growth of the Internet as a source of news, information, and diverse opinion available to the People. Government should not regulate the Internet in any way that undermines its role as an open, free, and accessible public forum.

(new plank) Free Press - Freedom of the press being a paramount right in our nation's and our state's respective Bills of Rights, we urge governments at all levels and in every branch to remove all legal barriers to the development and maintenance of free, independent, and diverse media outlets, whether print, radio, television, or other.

(new plank) Boy Scouts of America – We recognize the incalculable positive contribution that the Boy Scouts of America has made to the United States, honor them for their commitment to character building in young men, and condemn any attempt by any organization to undermine, fundamentally change, force secular ideals on , or prohibit equal access to public facilities for the Boy Scouts of America.

Strengthening the Economy of Texas and America

Government Spending

Government Lobbying – We support legislation that opposes the direct or indirect hiring of lobbyists paid for by any tax dollars.

(new plank) Earmarks - We call upon all Senators and Representatives (a) to take appropriate action to block any bill containing earmarks, (b) to produce bills with wording that will not allow any earmarks to be added after a final vote is taken, and (c) to shepherd through the two houses of Congress changes in their procedures that will delete the practice of earmarking and any similar technique that allows spending without a consensus approval.

Strengthening the Economy of Texas and America

Tax Burden

Property Taxes - The Republican Party of Texas is in favor of abolishing property taxes. Until ad valorem taxes are abolished, we recommend that property valuations be fixed for a period of not less than three years following each revaluation. We believe that the Appraisal Boards should be elected by the people, and call for four board members to be elected by Commissioners Court precinct and one board member elected county-wide. We disapprove of retroactive property appraisal increases.

(new plank) Fuel Tax Usage - We support a state constitutional amendment that will mandate that all state vehicular fuel taxes be reserved and /or used for the building or repairing of public roads only.

Strengthening the Economy of Texas and America

(new section) Monetary Policy (All planks in this section are new)

Federal Reserve Notes - In accordance with Title 12 U.S.C. Section 411, we support that all federal reserve notes be redeemable for lawful money at the Treasury of the United States in Washington or at any Federal Reserve Bank.

Federal Reserve Act - We the Republican party of Texas call for the repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, the abolishment of the Federal Reserve System, and a return to a commodity-backed currency as soon as practical. We strongly discourage any further use of inflationary fiat currency.

Open Records – We the Republican Party of Texas call for the immediate publication to the People and the U.S. Congress of all records and data relating to the actions and decisions of the Federal Reserve Board, its related agencies, and the President's Working Group on Financial Markets.

Fractional Reserve – We the Republican Party of Texas call for the Federal Reserve and all member banks to immediately halt the inflationary practice of Fractional Reserve. All member banks must use only the lawful money or Federal Reserve Notes that are redeemable for lawful money as are allotted to them by the U.S. Treasury.

Eminent Domain – We the Republican Party of Texas call for the State of Texas and The United States to pay for all property they acquire through or by eminent domain in the Lawful Money of the United States.

Restoring American Sovereignty and Leadership


Legal Immigration - We believe that America has greatly benefited from immigrants who have legally come to this country to work and begin a new life reflecting American values and traditions.

We support:

1. systematic assimilation of legal immigrants into the American culture; baseline requirements for citizenship to include proficiency in the English language, study of American history and of the American form of government;

2. development of a practical, limited, and temporary worker program that does not serve as an automatic path to citizenship, to be implemented only after the national borders are secured;

3. firm and consistent enforcement of all existing immigration laws;

4. an immediate end to the practice of “chain migration”;

5. aggressive locating and deporting of aliens who have overstayed their visas or otherwise violated U. S. law;

6. establishing immigration quotas at levels that are sufficient to meet America’s needs;

7. an immediate end to the practice of allowing aliens “adjust status” by requiring them to “adjust” in the U.S. Embassy of their home country; and further, a waiver of the unlawful presence inadmissibility for those illegal aliens who register on their return trip to their home country while they legally wait for an immigrant visa.

8. the cessation of the issuance of visas to individuals from foreign countries that sponsor terrorism;

9. screening potential immigrants for communicable diseases;

10. withholding federal funds from universities that give lower in-state tuition rates to immigrants on student visas, or refuse to cooperate with the foreign student tracking system;

11. designating Non-Citizens as such on their driver’s license to prevent voter fraud and that their driver’s licenses expire on the same date of any visa;

12. requiring naturalized citizens to renounce their native citizenship and surrender their foreign passport; and

13. a tamper-proof identification and tracking system for all aliens, i.e. non-citizens and their dependents that would protect Hispanic, and other naturalized US citizens from job discrimination and unburden American businesses from the job of verification.; and

14. reform to the current immigration system to make it more efficient and fair, especially for foreign nationals serving in the U. S. military.

Illegal Immigration – No amnesty! No how. No way.

With growing impatience, the American people in overwhelming numbers have asked our government to secure our borders. They now demand it and we as a party agree with the American people. Illegal aliens have, by definition, committed a criminal act. We oppose illegal immigration, amnesty in any form, or legal status for illegal immigrants. The American people remember the broken promises of 1986 and will not be misled again.

We support:

1. an immediate end to the current “catch and release” policy of Homeland Security;

2. stiffer fines, criminal penalties, and an aggressive enforcement policy for those who knowingly employ, rent to, house, or provide financial services to illegal workers; and

3. expeditious hearings on deporting non-violent illegal immigrants held in prisons or jails;

4. suspending automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrant parents;

5. elimination of federal funding to cities that have “sanctuary” laws prohibiting local police from identifying and reporting illegal immigrants to federal authorities;

6. empowering requiring state and local law enforcement agencies with the authority, responsibility and resources needed to detain illegal immigrants within the course of their regular duties;

7. the rejection of non-verifiable foreign-issued cards, such as matricula consular as valid identification for official documentation purposes;

8. investigation and strict prosecution of agencies, businesses or persons involved in the production, distribution or acceptance of phony identification documents;

9. elimination of day labor work centers;

10. elimination of all laws requiring hospitals to give non-emergency medical care to illegal immigrants;

11. elimination of social security or other government benefits or government funding to illegal immigrants for education, housing and business loans.

12. legislation to prevent any foreign country and/or its citizens from using the judicial system of the United States to gain entrance to the U.S.;

13. strong document verification prior to the issuance of a Texas drivers license to anyone;

14. the withholding of federal highway funds from any state that issues drivers licenses to illegal aliens;

15. aggressive prosecution of persons involved in smuggling humans across our borders.;

16. the reimbursement by the federal government of state and local government expenses incurred in detaining and trying illegal aliens caught in their jurisdictions; and

17. requiring state and local governments and hospitals to publicize expenses incurred providing services to illegal aliens.

Restoring American Sovereignty and Leadership

International Relations

Cuba – We support strengthening the Cuban embargo. We urge Congress to continue to defend human rights for Cubans and to not prop up Dictator Fidel Castro.

Iraq - We commend President George W. Bush, his administration, and the U.S. Armed Forces in their strategy and execution of the War in Iraq. We support the establishment of a representative form of government for the people of Iraq to protect them from the tyranny of dictatorial regimes and as a stabilizing force in the Middle East in the greater war against terrorism. We support the continuation of economic and security assistance to Iraq as it rebuilds its country, establishes its government, secures its country from terrorism, and solidifies its new found economic and individual freedoms.

International Trade – We favor fair and reciprocal trade and competition in the international market place. We oppose excessive regulation of American industry which makes American products uncompetitive in world markets. We oppose the expansion of free trade at the expense of national security and national sovereignty of the United States, and calls for the immediate withdrawal of the United States from any agreements that compromise national sovereignty, independence, self-sufficiency, and national security. Likewise, we urge sanctions against nations that:

1. disrupt free trade by subsidizing agricultural exports or other goods to the United States;

2. bar or excessively tax American products or services;

3. enslave their own citizens, or violate human rights; and

4. engage in technological espionage.

We urge the repeal of any international trade agreements that do not promote free trade, withdrawal from membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), opposition to any sort of North American Union, and cessation of further negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) agreement.

We urge Congress to authorize fund expenditures and audit measures on research and development of alternative fuels to reduce the United States dependency on foreign oil producers and ensure no financial support of terrorist sponsoring nations.

We urge the use and purchase of finished goods and materials with parts made and assembled in the United States.

We require that all trucks entering and operating on American roads meet all current American standards for safety and operations.

We urge Congress to investigate the issue of outsourcing jobs overseas and U.S. corporations moving their corporate headquarters overseas to avoid taxation, and make corrections to address any identified issues. Additionally, we demand that all government entities be banned from overseas job outsourcing, and that all personal information pertaining to U.S. citizens only be handled by U.S. citizens.

No more changes to the platform were approved by the Convention.

One resolution not included in the platform was approved by the Convention to be forwarded to the State Resolutions Committee:

WHEREAS, U. S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean have been arrested, tried, and convicted of shooting a fleeing drug suspect; and

WHEREAS, the main witness against them, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, was indicted and convicted of drug smuggling only a few weeks after the incident in question; and

WHEREAS, several irregularities with their case have been brought before Courts of Appeals and the U. S. Congress; now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Texas calls upon President George W. Bush to pardon Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean.

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