The first thing that needs to be done is analyze what went wrong. Already emerging are some disturbing facts: (1) the door left open at the school or not, (2) the delay in police confronting the gunman, (3) the lack of real time intelligence (i.e. cameras in the classrooms), and (4) the apparent failure to follow the rules of engagement, among other facts.
The gun plan as set out by President Biden includes banning AR-15's, but not other rifles that could be used for no good. No mentioning of hardening schools and more well trained police in the schools, or increased regulations when the ones on the books now are frequently not enforced.
Common sense solutions like the recently re-proposed School Safety bill was blocked by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) so the Democrats could continue to use guns as a wedge issue in the next election.
State ideas like Red Flag Laws, raising the age to purchase guns to 21, are worthy of states' consideration.
Finally, it is important to understand that criminals who intend to commit crimes are going to break any laws that are passed. That is why they are criminals. If we banned guns tomorrow, and as Nazi Germany did, pick up all of the guns owned by law abiding citizens, only the bad guys would have guns, conveniently brought into the U.S. through our open Southern border.
And we must pay attention to our major problem of mental illness in America and the virtual disappearance of behavior guardrails generally in the U.S.
Don't Just Stand There Do Something,
A Bad Way To Make Decisions
The calls for an immediate Special Session in Texas to deal with the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting is reactive and too hasty. Governor Greg Abbott and State Senator Paul Bettencourt both have suggested that we get the facts, study the issues and come up with a common sense plan to protect our children and their schools. Once it is completed we will be ready to legislate.
Texas Primary Runoff 2022
The Texas 2022 primaries are finally over. The non-competitiveness in the Attorney General's race was surprising as Ken Paxton rolled over George P. Bush. His leftist Democratic opponent will be Rochelle Garza. She is an immigration and former ACLU attorney and she is obviously out of sync with the majority of voters in Texas.
The other key races for TCR came in Harris County; where Alexandra Del Moral Mealer impressively defeated Vidal Martinez and will face "accidental" County Judge Lina Hidalgo. This sets up the best opportunity to replace Hidalgo whose record of pro-crime, pro-wasteful spending and of lining the pockets of her cronies is bad for Harris County residents and their future.
Mealer, on the other hand, is an Army veteran and West Point graduate and is currently a mother, wife and investment banker. What a contrast with Hidalgo. Did I say Alexandra is both book smart from her Ivy League education and street smart from her leadership role and career with the U.S. Army? It's a fact.
In the other Harris County key races, Jack Morman seeking to return as County Commissioner Precinct 2 against Adrian Garcia, who is part of what many call the Three Stooges (the Democrats on Commissioner's Court) whose record is embarrassingly unacceptable unless you like runaway spending, encouraging crime, and a deteriorating infrastructure.
In the key State Representative races, Mano DeAyala who trailed in round one, won the hard fought runoff over Shelley Barineau. He will be a workhorse in Austin. For the Democrats in District 147, Attorney Jolanda Jones defeated Danielle Bess who was supported by Sheila Jackson Lee and her allies.
Misapplication Of Toll Road Revenue
Helps Explain Declining Mobility
In the endless efforts of County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Commissioners Adrian Garcia and Rodney Ellis to find money to waste on non-priorities, we got a new one - over $600 million of toll revenue transferred to build hike and bike trails near the toll roads.
Hike and bike trails are nice, but if you want to see the impact it has on mobility and transportation infrastructure take the time when you drive around the Houston area where miles and miles of bike lanes have been created, observe how few people are using it. Did any of those Democratic Commissioners consider our very long, hot and humid summers?
It says here that the Toll Road Authority has helped fund street rebuilds in the county in the past, which is badly needed. It is so bad in some areas of Houston (Harris County), that the infrastructure is like a third world country with the needed repairs delayed or non-existent.
If the county and Toll Road Authority has fully funded the core responsibilities, which is: police and courts, infrastructure and flood prevention, parks, and medical care and the ports, there is no money left for luxuries like bike trails near toll roads.
Of course we know the core responsibilities are not being handled correctly. That's why we need a change in the Commissioners Court.
Michael Ramirez' Cartoon Of The Fortnight
A Repeat Of The Violence Of
Late 1960's And Early 1970's
By Brian Ettinger, Contributing Editor
A look at the past U.S violent history in the post civil rights and Vietnam anti-war movement has created a violent and unstable social moral situation in our country. The U.S. went through a stable period after World War II and then the Civil Rights movement and anti-War movement took hold and understanding the need for social justice and change which led to a more equitable society. But, with this movement led to changes in the family structure, education curriculum changes and the use of violence and criminal activity rose in the name of the causes. The belittling of law enforcement by calling them PIGS and lenient criminal sentencing becoming a revolving door of letting criminals out and not detaining mentally ill individuals caused the destruction of property, a higher murder rate and other violent crimes during this time frame. Most of our major metropolitan cities fell into this overwhelming crime wave of riots and looting, except for one major city, being Philadelphia, PA. From 1968 to 1979 this city was the safest top ten cities in the U.S. based on the FBI reports. Why? Because the former Police Commissioner and then elected Mayor Frank Rizzo put in place a system of respect for his police force. He installed a police presence with police dogs in subways and elevated trains. He formed the mounted police on horseback for crowd control and to be seen in downtown intersections. A police presence was to be seen by the residents in the city. These police had the backing of the Police Commissioner and the Mayor to use force when necessary to stop a violent incident including use of deadly force. Also the D.A. enforced the law and sought maximum sentencing. Yes, there were some federal government cases brought against the Philadelphia police force for police brutality cases. In a force of 8,000 police officers, if 5% were bad officers, then they put in place a review board to investigate and see if they needed to get rid of those police officers. Now, 40 to 50 years later we need to take another look at bringing back tough police action. We do not need to defund the police but fund them and give them the tools, training needed to address these criminal gangs that have become organized criminal organizations and address the social issues of the demise of the family unit. The family unit is worse off now than it was 40 to 50 years ago. With no strong male presence, no two-parent families leads to this lawlessness, mental illness not being addressed and a lack of respect for society including law enforcement. The total failure of our education system has placed us heading down a system where we have created doing just enough to get by as the norm. No more striving to do your best. We are not training our students to succeed with the skills needed to compete with the rest of the world. We need a total revamping of our education system as throwing money at it with no direction will continue the failure. Every week there are hundreds of killings continuing and only the ones that the media find interesting do they report on to promote a narrative. For the tragic school shootings here are a few things that need to be done.
- We have a Security Officer trained with a firearm at each school. The cost of saving lives and protecting the children, teachers and school employees cannot be judged in cost. If the federal government needs to fund this cost then this should be okay and we send less billions to Ukraine.
- Limit access doors with buzzers and have video cameras to view outside and inside of the school, including classrooms, that way parents can see when their child acts up or is learning and safe.
- Limit access to the school which means parents cannot come in without an appointment and students cannot leave without permission. Limit access during school hours.
- Put a number on each school door and window so law enforcement can see where there is an incident.
- Law enforcement go in immediately when an incident is reported and use force needed to stop the incident before it gets out of control.
- Get rid of all portable buildings outside of the main school building which lead to open door access to the main school building and an open area.
- Construct new schools with bulletproof doors and windows and also the ability to automatically lock all classroom doors when an intruder is on campus so their access is only limited to hallways.
These few suggestions will make the schools safer and give parents the peace of mind that their children are safe at school. We will hear a lot of speeches by political leaders and very little will get done. My suggestions need to be adopted rather than speeches.
Brian Ettinger is a practicing attorney and contributing editor to TCR. He is a strong conservative who is concerned about America's future.
Government's Stupid Plan While
Big Business Greases the Wheels
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
All too often there is a proposal for a government plan that just makes one stare in disbelief at the proposing legislator's gross ignorance. When you then see that the business community is complicit with said ridiculously stupid plan, it becomes obvious why many people no longer trust big organizations. Following is such a situation.
We have a housing crisis in California. It is not unlike what is going on across America. It is estimated there is a shortage of approximately 1.5 million units. Development has slowed down since the housing crisis that occurred of 2007-08. In California, the housing crisis has driven up prices and caused an exodus of many businesses along with the middle-class. The only reason the population has not gone into free fall is the growth of two groups - illegal immigrants and homeless. The government is taking tax dollars and developing homeless units for $500,000 and up - per unit.
Instead of resolving the underlying problems costs burdened by the government and restricting development of new units created by the government, as usual there is a new proposal. It does not address those problems but manages to create a solution so amazingly brainless that you just must stand there with your mouth agape.
Senator Toni Atkins is a powerful member of the California State Legislature. She was formerly the Speaker of the Assembly and is now head of the Senate. People listen when she makes a proposal.
She now has a proposal for a 10-year, $10 billion revolving fund where an individual or family may receive a down payment to purchase a home. The program allocates state funds to provide first-time homebuyers with an interest-free loan of 17% of the purchase price. The money must be repaid when the home is refinanced or sold and only then. As always, it sounds nice on its face, but let us look at the facts.
I understand how difficult it is to gather the down payment for your first home. The Beautiful Wife and I experienced that ourselves in 1987 when acquiring our first home. It has become even more challenging as the price of housing in California has soared. Times have changed and this is where this plan becomes dangerous.
The further you get away from an event the more people forget the pain that was inflicted. We had a housing collapse in 2007-08 that nearly brought our economy to its knees. The government, as always, blamed business for bad policies, but concurrent with the events of the time I documented that the root cause was federal government housing and loan policies.
People were simply walking away from their homes or rental properties because they had put little or none of their own funds into the property, per the government's policy. That caused the collapse. With the decline of housing values, they were "underwater" and just gave the property to the lender with its government insured loan.
I wrote at the time that some in our federal government had wanted to further expand the acquisition of homes by people with no "skin in the game." Maxine Waters, one of our most "esteemed" members of Congress is now chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Ms. Waters stated just prior to the collapse that "If you can afford rent, you can afford a mortgage," a statement so amazingly ignorant it still fascinates and especially now since she is in such a prominent position regarding the nation's financial affairs.
Ms. Atkins wants to further Congresswoman Waters' dream of having people with no skin in the game acquire a home. It is not hard to see these same people walk away once things again go bad. They have invested nothing so why should they care? In a repeat housing collapse these loans would just exacerbate the collapse.
Ms. Atkins' ignorance is understandable. She has zero experience in the real estate market. However, she does excel at taking our money and redirecting it somewhere whether it makes no economic sense.
The ignorance of real estate people is inexcusable. That did not stop the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) from endorsing this dangerous plan. Their board supports this plan. Otto Catrina, C.A.R.'s president, stated "Many Californians can afford a monthly payment but need assistance with the down payment and closing costs, we are pleased to support a plan that provides an opportunity for financial security and housing stability so all Californians can realize the economic and societal benefits homeownership provides."
After being a licensed real estate broker for 35 years and having a CPA practice with a substantial focus on real estate, it is obvious why I have not joined this organization.
When I contacted the organization, I asked their spokesperson whether the board had forgotten about the last housing crisis. She refused to answer the question. I then asked the second reason that makes this plan so amazingly egregious. I stated I would expect Senator Atkins not to know that the problem with the housing market is an issue of supply; not demand. Did the board not know this when they endorsed the proposal?
Every home sale in California becomes an auction. There are multiple bidders on each home driving the price up as they try to be the winning bidder. There is a severe lack of supply with demand far exceeding the supply. Why anyone would create a program to further increase demand staggers the imagination. Why C.A.R. would not counsel Senator Atkins on this defines how big business goes along with government programs only to feather their own nests.
When I asked the spokesperson why the C.A.R. endorsed this plan in the face of the severe supply shortage, she asked "Don't you support people owning their own homes, the American dream?" I answered I believe every American should be able to own a 4,000 sq. ft. home (true). She scoffed at that.
It is understandable why Senator Atkins would make this proposal. Her understanding of the housing market is a millimeter thick. It is the obligation of a big trade organization to educate the legislators on the facts. The history of no money down home acquisitions and the upside-down supply and demand issues in the market make this plan outrageously ill-advised, yet the C.A.R. has gone along with it.
It is no wonder Californians and people across America no longer trust government and big business, and believe they are simply lining each other's pockets.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee. You can follow Bruce on Twitter @brucebialosky.
Tune In To What's Your Point?
On Fox 26 Sunday, June 12th at 7:00 AM
TCR Editor Gary Polland returns to Fox 26 Houston this Sunday, June 12th, on What's Your Point? hosted by Greg Groogan. The show will be a wide ranging discussion of current political issues. As always, Gary will bring a reasoned conservative viewpoint to the show. Just tune in at 7:00 am live, YouTube it, set your DVR or go to:
TCR on the Air
Gary Polland is now a regular on "What's Your Point?" hosted by Greg Groogan on Fox 26 Houston, appearing every other week. Tune in or set your recorder for 7:00 am Sundays.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his twenty-sixth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last twenty-one years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 18 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 21st year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on Houston Public Media TV 8 PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary serves on the Board of Directors of American Values, a national pro-family, pro-faith, conservative organization supporting the unity of the American people around the vision of our founding fathers and dedicated to reminding the public of the conservative principles fundamental to the survival of our nation. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.