Having been a lifetime subscriber to Texas Monthly, we always are eager to review this "Best of" article. Note: we enjoy the BBQ editions more.
The Best Legislators list of course depends on your political persuasion. Texas Monthly is pro-liberal/progressive Democrats. They do not hesitate to criticize Democrats, but reserve particular hostility to conservative Republicans
A good example is the seemingly bi-annual attacks on Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. To be fair, he is effective in advancing his conservative principles, but that does not make him a bad legislator. It is just that they don't agree with him.
They also ignored the conservative leadership and accomplishments of Senator Paul Bettencourt (R) on issue after issue.
And they also hit Rep. Harold Dutton (D) who has been battling the teacher unions to save the children in the underperforming Houston Independent School District and was not successful. He gets it, a good education is critical, especially to his constituents. The "attack" on transgender athletes was not that, but him defending the rights of athletic opportunity for biologically born females. Something that the left in America was pushing decades ago and now has lost interest.
We believe that Texas Monthly should make clear their political persuasion and tell us that what we are getting is a report filtered by a leftist viewpoint.
Quote Of The Week From
Tom Woods, Senior Fellow, Mises Institute
In your gut, you know something is wrong in the USA:
"Whether it's economic trends, or the debt, or Big Tech suppression of dissident voices, or a school system that is somehow managing to get even more propagandistic, we have to figure out what we're going to do."
Or we are, in other words, in trouble as the declining leading nation in the world?
The Texas Wall
The border wall President Trump started and President Biden stopped, is an example of our dysfunctional immigration policy. The abrupt cancellation left gaps in the wall and continuing with Biden's open-border policy, we are left with record numbers of illegals entering the country.
Give Governor Abbott credit for taking a stand and ordering $1 billion to finish the wall on the Texas border. One can wish it was an issue during the legislative session, but it is a positive development. It is part of a movement of common sense State leaders stepping up.
Other Examples Of States
Stepping Up To The Radical Left
- Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation banning critical race theory in the state's public schools.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending law enforcement officials to the southern border to help Arizona and Texas deal with the massive influx of illegal immigration.
- Federal judges issued injunctions blocking Biden's reparations for black farmers (discriminatory) and Biden's ban on new oil and natural gas leases.
- House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy vows to remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Relations Committee if Republicans retake the House (how did she ever get on?).
- The woke New Jersey school board that dropped all holiday names from the school calendar to avoid offending someone has scheduled a meeting to reconsider its decision after heavy pushback from outraged parents and taxpayers.
While the off the wall decisions from the woke left are stunning, in the Biden federal budget proposal the word "mothers" has been replaced by "birthing people."
Got that? You can't make this insanity up. If this is a moderate Democrat administration, my goodness, what would a leftist-progressive Democrat administration look like?
Failing Cities Update
Is it a coincidence that every major Democratic city has a crime crisis, the public education crisis, the homeless crisis, the infrastructure neglect?
Two insults to civilization this week, the anarchy destroying Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village (which we have visited numerous times in the past), and the former middle-class bedroom community of Buckhead (part of Atlanta).
In both instances, defunding the police has resulted in anarchy and out-of-control crime. Residents have to cower in their houses and avoid the streets. The lawless have made law-abiding citizens prisoners in their own homes! This disaster impacts citizens of all races and religions.
To the woke left, congratulations, you are doing a great job of destroying our civilized society!
America With Its Critical Race Theory
Is Leading The Country To The Dog Pound
By Brian Ettinger, Contributing Editor
Every day brings us new surprises by our elected federal officials.
1) A President that says global warming is the number one threat to the United States. We are the only superpower country addressing this threat as China and India are still building coal fired power plants, Russia and Europe's dependence on fossil fuels, Russia building pipelines and sending oil to Germany and Europe. The EU gives a lot of lip service on climate change but accepts and depends on fossil fuels. The famous Paris Accord talks about the issues of climate change but does nothing except to point out how the U.S. needs to change its ways and reduce carbon emissions. Yes, climate change is REAL and reducing carbon emissions is a good thing, but it needs to be a global response, not just our country and destroying our economy while the rest of the superpowers and developing countries do not contribute to address the issue. Wind, solar, and electric vehicles are a good start and don't forget getting rid of cows because of them farting and producing methane gas. But with all these efforts it still will not address the U.S. and world's consumption of energy and how to supply it. We need natural gas and LNG fuels and build more pipelines and not cancel them. The U.S. does not need to be dependent on other countries to address our energy needs. Mr. President, what about nuclear proliferation? If China, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan, India or Israel launch nuclear weapons, then they do not need to worry about global warming? So, we need all our technologies, including Space Force, to stop China and Russia from exercising control over the seas and oceans. We build an advanced Navy with laser technology and other types of weapons to protect us and our friends. The U.S. has the most advanced technologies, so use them. When you are the big dog, act like it.
2) Next, Congress keeps spending money and looking at programs designed to cause division and cause a separation of class and race. This is a page from Marxism's playbook. For example, the government compensates black farmers, not white, Hispanic or Asian; educates our students about white privilege and encourages racism to keep dividing our country and it will be the end of it and ready for the dog pound. Creating a federal holiday for June 19th to celebrate freedom of the black slaves is a good example of how our society has grown. But let us not forget the Hispanic holiday Cinco de Mayo, the Muslim holiday celebration of EID, and other groups' holidays by singling out one over another causing division among these diverse groups. The media and social media have done its part in causing this division.
3) We need a total revision of our education system. Teach basic courses like English, (it is the unofficial language of the country as all the laws and currency is in English) math, science and the legitimate history of our country's formation, government institutions, showing periods of violence, slavery, bigotry, and bias and show how our society has grown and became a more diverse society with laws and freedom extending to all races, religions and genders. Our country has gone through good and bad situations, but a society based on law, respect and due process has overcome these historical times. Now it has become overwhelmed by extremists that restrict thought, words, and teachings that cause hatred and racism. If you express an opinion different from theirs, they shoot you down, call you a racist, use physical violence and destroy property (public and private).
4) Term limits for elected officials are a must as they are elected to serve the people and not there to increase their power base and make money. I would also extend term limits for all judges and federal employees to be able to force them out of their jobs after a certain length of time (10 years) as they get stale and build up bureaucratic power.
5) Our current governmental institutions with all their regulations are a detriment to both large and small businesses and place so many restrictions that it encourages business failure.
6) The tax structures being considered will destroy our country and are not designed to pay down our national deficit but for the government to spend more money on special interest and wasted programs. This is a major problem that will be put on future generations to deal with for our nonsense. Government needs to lower taxes and look at consumption tax programs, legalize certain vice activities (nonviolent) to bring in tax funds and not spend more than brought in. If this means cutting out foreign aid or reducing U.S. funding to the UN and other programs for one group over another, do it. The individual states can decide what to spend funds on for their residents and citizens. We need to take care of our country's needs first and if that means closing our borders and extend no benefits to illegal aliens and punish the criminals, do it.
7) We need for our government leaders to grow a backbone and take on China by bringing legal action against them for the 600,000 deaths in the U.S. and 3 million worldwide and destroying our economy and other countries for hundreds of trillions of dollars as they launched, whether by accident or deliberate, the Covid virus. There are Chinese government assets in the U.S. that can be attached and sold to compensate government and individuals for the economic and personal deaths caused by this China virus. Also, U.S. companies doing business in China like Apple and Nike, tax them and others. It has taken over a year for our biased group of scientists to consider this virus was caused by a lab in China on research being performed to alter this virus. These scientists, including the infamous Dr. Fauci, should be charged, put on trial for crimes against humanity and head right to the dog pound. They dismissed all other theories and treatment because President Trump supported it. The morons in the media and social media should also be held accountable for their biased censorship.
8) Stabilization of the U.S. dollar and not having government policies that increase inflation and devalue the dollar by other currencies and cryptocurrency, which needs to be regulated.
9) Social media and mainstream media need restrictions for their biased coverage and have stiff penalties for self-censorship. These companies should lose their legal liability protections if they continue restricting free speech they disagree with.
10) Limitations placed on political campaign funding and social media and media companies cannot contribute in funds or time, supporting one candidate over another. They need to be neutral or have a disclaimer that states their views politically.
11) Support for our law enforcement officials and if they are attacked or damage to government property occurs, those criminals should face very stiff penalties of at least 10 years in prison and no early release from sentences. Riots and violence cannot be tolerated and glorified by the media, social media and these organized groups.
These are a few of the points I've identified we need to address, or we are already in the dog pound right now, ready to be euthanized. You may agree or disagree with these points or have others, but if I made you think and act, then maybe there is hope for our country.
Brian Ettinger is a practicing attorney and contributing editor to TCR. He is a strong conservative who is concerned about America's future.
Why Every American Should Own a Gun
...And Know How to Use It
By Neland Nobel, Contributing Editor
The issue seems to perfectly match the discordance of our times. As the media and political elites lecture us about "gun violence" and attempt to take our rights away, average Americans are buying guns and ammunition at a record pace.
Some 40% of first-time buyers are women.
What do average Americans know that the elites do not?
Most Americans know that even before the recent Biden crime wave, police response time for a 911 call in major metropolitan areas averaged around 11 minutes. Now like all averages, some responses were quicker and some were longer. In rural areas, it can be much longer. But since the average armed encounter lasts about three to four seconds, it is a distinction without much of a difference.
The simple fact that is understood by most sensible people, is that when it comes to self-protection, you are the first responder. Police will most likely arrive in time to put you in a plastic bag and issue a report. That is if they have not been defunded or distracted by mass riots that paralyze their ability to respond.
I think people likely know, that competency with a firearm can be obtained through training and that physical size and strength don't play a large role in the process. Martial arts are great but it takes years, upwards of a decade to be truly competent. And, no matter how good you are, you can't cheat father time. Your speed, power, and dexterity will decline. Besides, in about 40% of attacks today, you must deal with more than one assailant. To rely on your physical skills is a low probability bet.
Many of my shooting acquaintances are very competent, well into their 70s and 80s. That includes women as well.
In as little as a week, a decent civilian shooter can emerge from training schools like the famed Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. Good local training can also be found, including shooting clubs at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility just off the I-17 and Carefree Highway. With some 1600 acres of shooting facilities, it is the largest complex like this in the nation.
It is one of the "hidden gems" of Arizona, not likely to make it as a feature by the Arizona Republic, even though it is named for one of their famed journalists.
There is the Scottsdale Gun Club and C2 Tactical, Rio Salado, Shooter's World, plus a variety of private trainers.
But the need for training and the facilities for training were known before things took a real turn for the worse, with the emergence of Progressive radicalism. Now, there is even greater urgency.
In many cities today, the local district attorneys are choosing not to enforce the law. Bail has been all but eliminated in some places, and the idea of incarceration itself is now challenged. No one it seems has moral agency and is responsible for their bad behavior. Crime is caused by poverty, white privilege, and white supremacy. Social peace can only be had by taking your guns, your means of protection, away from you.
The Progressive idea, now largely adopted by the Democrat Party, of protecting you is to release criminals from prison, allow completely open borders, forcibly move drug-addled strangers into your neighborhood, defund the police, reduce or eliminate prison terms, and not prosecute criminals. And of course, allow people to taunt and humiliate the police, hogtie discipline in the school system, and argue that fathers are not necessary to raise a family.
In some jurisdictions, such as Portland, Minneapolis, and San Francisco, a constant state of rioting is permitted if not outwardly encouraged.
Progressives have also done a good job of breaking down the social control functions of religion and family, and have been responsible for a terrible coarsening of the culture.
While great at tearing down institutions, the Progressive seem unable to come up with better ones. The result is social vacuum chaos and a high degree of instability. One wonders what the US would look like if we had to re-live a social trauma like the Great Depression.
A stable society is largely one that can control itself, by raising good people who can control themselves and take responsibility for their own actions. Building character is what church, school, and family were supposed to do, and were largely united in the effort. While not always successful, it is not a myth that some years ago, one could really leave the front door unlocked at night.
Now character is considered a "white trait", and a means to hold people down.
Ever notice that Conservatives largely want individuals to reform themselves, while Progressive Democrats want to reform the world? Conservatives believe the human condition is improved by working moral character from the inside out, while Progressives feel it is improved by working on the outside environment inward.
Today, the media and the schools now seem more a purveyor of social nihilism that demands no personal responsibility. It is all the fault of capitalism, or patriarchy, or white supremacy. Not surprisingly, people who truly believe they are victims, held down by "the system”, tend to be unhappy and casual about violence.
In short, most people know they are being subjected to a cruel, and at times a truly silly social experiment by people who think three-quarters of a degree change in temperature in the next hundred years is the greatest threat to the social order.
Police? We don't need no stinking police! Let's just "reimagine” a world without authority. They love that word. They want us to be part of their Jacobin experiment.
People spend a lot of time on social media. They see the video camera footage of elderly Asian women having their heads stomped into the pavement, people being sucker-punched on the street, Amazon delivery people attacking clients, and frequent brawls in airports.
One gets the feeling that the wheels are starting to come off of our civilization. That is only partially true. It appears more likely the wheels are being purposefully removed.
It is not clear how we will come out of this. A counter-reaction seems to be brewing as parents begin to understand their local school has been taken over by space aliens from Berkeley and that some district attorneys want to impose their Jacobin experiments on your community.
So, it is only logical it would seem, to assume personal responsibility for your own protection. Or as Charles Barkley put it concerning defunding the police, "who you gonna call, Ghost Busters?"
The government is doing too many other things to be concerned with its basic responsibilities. It is too busy attempting to change human nature and control the environment.
Get a gun. Learn the law. Get good training. You are on your own, kiddo.
Neland Nobel is an Arizona based free market economist and a contributing editor for TCR.
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.
Gary has recently undertaken the hosting duties on a new interview show, Tell It Like It Is. The show is available at American Star TV and at its YouTube Channel. Currently on hiatus.
Red, White, and Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland on Fridays at 7:30 pm on Houston Public Media TV 8, replaying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Monday at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
Red, White & Blue returns in September, better than ever.
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 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.