Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vote For David Glossary

Every once in a while I get a question from a reader about who is represented by the initials or code phrases I use on this blog. I just wrote a post that had THREE specialized terms, and realized you actually might be well served with a glossary. So here 't'is. I'm sure I've missed something and I'll update this list as I remember to do so.

My Darling Wife: (kidding, I'm pretty sure you can figure this out on your own)
#1: Our first child, a girl
#2, #3, #4: our second through fourth children, all boys
The Zoo: Our children
VFDKitty: #1's cat
VFDDawg #1 & #2 a bitch and a dog, littermates, both pure chihuahuas
LB: Listing Buddy.
CB: Carpool Buddy, more often referred to as LB - since promoted, but the original cubicle-sharer with me at work
WM: Warehouse Manager, since promoted also but the name also stuck
NLB: New Listing Buddy; this can refer to any of several new employees where I work
CO#1 and #2: the people that own my company
775: that's the first part of his phone number, and the second part is his name.
BBM: Big Black Man, the only such who works where I work, unmistakable in a company photo
GJ: Grumpy Joe
CB: Cleaning Buddy
PI: Private Insano, the resident crazy person where I work
FOG: Front Office Girl, can refer to any of several of them
RB: Ron's Brother
NP: Newbie Pat
PB: Pit Boss, currently my floor manager
Bad Robot: My Darling Wife's Buick Terraza with a nagging attitude built right in to the computer. Initially named "Stupid Bitch" but revised to be more child-friendly.
The Hot Rod: My Hyundai Elantra
Big Brother: A Glock model 22 acquired from government surplus
Little Brother: A Kel-Tek P-3AT, made of the same stuff as Big Brother, but smaller
Mr. Gauge: A 12-gauge shotgun, can refer to any of them
Good Communist (/Socialist/Marxist/etc): a Dead Communist
JF, TS, GB, SCetc: initials of peoples' names
Davesville: the City (my the City) where I live and/or work. Not the actual name of my the City.
RCG: Regulation Girl, takes care of satisfying OSHA, the Fire Marshall, the EEOC, Hazmat requirements, etc. She wishes you would consult her before doing . . . well, anything, really.

Halloween Is Dumb

Today was Sunday. We went to church. Then we came home, had supper, and went to bed just like every other Sunday.

You're not a pagan. You don't even believe in wicked spirits. You otherwise don't teach your children to beg (I hope) from the neighbors . . . so what good is there in Halloween, aside from the benefit to the candy and costume makers? Halloween is dumb in America in 2010.

Besides which some people get dumb on Halloween. I'd be interested in going on a ride-out with an Austin policeman on Halloween, but I prefer to be home to provide physical security on the off chance somebody decides to be dumb towards my house. If I were in a different part of town, Mr. Gauge would be loaded and handy right now. As it is I feel safe enough with God looking out for us and Big Brother and Little Brother within easy reach.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

WTF Is Wrong With You People?

Junk bonds are on a rally lately. Okay, maybe you can give people a pass on that. Junk bonds crashing wasn't the last bubble burst. But mortgage bonds? Really? You're blowing another bubble in mortgage bonds?

Double Facepalm

people, people people.

In a way it's good I suppose. The economy would completely tank, and hard, if people would invest based on the value of things vs. their emotions and optimism. Then I might lose my job in the ensuing crash. While we have a slow slide into the economic abyss, people can keep up hope that the next year holds promise. Then they continue to buy junk on eBay, thereby supporting my employment.

. . . and when we, as Japan, have two lost decades under our belt, I still have a job. Great success.

President Obama Endorses Republican Party!

Most of the country hates what President Obama has managed to do. He thinks he's not gone far enough. Obama says that some of his "progress" might be undone if the Republicans can win this Tuesday. This is tantamount to begging most of the country to vote anti-Democrat this Tuesday.

For once, I agree with President Obama.

Friday, October 29, 2010

China Resumes Rare Earth Metal Shipments?

A full month and more after China stopped shipping rare earth metals to their trading 'partners' and mere hours before Secretary Clinton was to wave her finger at them and threaten to write them a nasty letter, China started letting rare earths out of their ports again.

This can be seen as a won or failed attempt, depending on what they were trying to accomplish. I am inclined to think it was a failure, as their main customers started recycling and their secondary customers started making moves to open up their own rare earth mines again. We'll see how this is spun in the news in the coming days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Did You Ever Wonder?

What happened to the bad kids in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory? Did the blueberry turn violet? Did gloop squeeze through? Did Mike ever resume his normal programming? I like to think the furnace was lit for the Bad Egg chute, but the rest of them . . .

. . . one of the parts of a good movie: they leave you hanging a little.

How Not To Vote

If it's not enough for you to realize that the horrific oil spill response/cleanup fiasco in the Gulf was on the Democrats' watch, maybe you will scroll down to the bottom of this post. In bankrupted-by-unions California, the unions are crying that taxed-to-the-hilt citizens are not paying enough taxes to support the unions. Mish points out that they have done the people of California a great service in providing a handy guide of who to vote AGAINST next Tuesday.

Oil, Dispersant Still Being Deposited In Gulf of Mexico

Naked Capitalism brings a guest post from Washington's Blog. Click through to find a few DOZEN headlines about:

The well is still pouring out fresh crude oil
Somebody is spraying dispersants from blacked-out planes at night
People are being sprayed and getting sick
Kids play with tar balls on the beach and hemmorage from their ears.
Women working on the ocean hemmorage from BOTH southern exposures
The government is intimidating people into silence
Shrimpers fishing IN oil, seafood not being tested for presence of chemicals

Reasonable observers saw this coming. Even I saw this coming. Click the "Oil" tag at the bottom of this post and look at my predictions as far back as July. Be surprised if you see more than one of the stories in the Naked Capitalism post discussed in the next seven days on the MSM news. In an anti-incumbent election year, remember: this happened on the Democrats' watch.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

President Obama is My Enemy?

. . . according to him, maybe.

He should probably fire whoever wrote this for his TelePrompTer.
"We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us."

No, he did not call you and me his enemy. He said he thinks latino voters should consider non left-wingers the enemy. See? It's not the same as calling you the enemy at all. This, from the guy who ran as a racial and political uniter. He said we were no longer to be red States and blue States. No more black or white or latino Americans . . . well, I suppose that may have meant, we won't be divided after all our enemies have been "punished."

President George H.W. Bush eulogized President Reagan in part by saying: "He led from conviction, but never made an adversary into an enemy. He was never mean-spirited." President Bush, of course, is too classy to walk up to President Obama and say "You, sir, are no Ronald Reagan."


Well, at least Obama is gracious enough to repeatedly say he isn't the King of America. That he has apparently thought of being King enough to mention it publicly is both disturbing and not surprising.

Madness @ Work

LB pays his car note when the people at Monster Mega Bank call him to tell him he's delinquent. They called him while he was talking to Company Owner #2.

LB: Hey, put your president on the phone, let me talk to him.
MMB: I don't think you're going to be able to talk to the President of Monster Mega.
LB: Well, you could if you worked where I work. You can talk to the president where I work. Here.
LB: (shoves phone in CO2's face) CO2 you talk to em.
CO2: Oh, okay . . .
LB: (back on the phone) See? That was the president of my company!
MMB: (incredulous) Where do you work?

At a small company, Monster Mega Collections girl. A small, small company. It's great.


The other day I got a machine in to the shop that looked pretty nice. Turns out, not so much. It eventually ended up on eBay for parts/repair. I was pretty happy about that, because this machine and I got off on the wrong foot.

This is a wrapping system. You put in a tray of raw meat and it wraps, seals, weighs, prices and tags the package. Very spiffing.


The side panel was off when I got it, so I had a peek inside. Okay, some excess stretch film, not unexpected . . .


Squat down and look in the window on the lower part of the machine, more stretch film . . .


Hey, what's that over there on the left? Let's grab a flashlight and have a little looky-poo . . .








That right there is just wrong. It looks like what used to be 1/2 pound of animal flesh, mummified by the cool air of the meat packing area. Icky. In order to protect the reputation of Walmart, I won't say where this machine used to be in service.

Oh, and it stank when the sealer warmed up. Like warm fat.

Tip For Chief Acevedo:

Dear Chief Acevedo,

If you are going to give a press conference, take off your reading glasses. Looking over them at the cameras when you are not reading anything does not make you look smart, it makes you look un-tough.

Allow me to illustrate:

Police Chief push you down. U WILL respek mah authoritie!

Police Chief lecture you on calorie counts. Please pretty please stop breaking the law please.


Images from the Austin-American Statesman

Monday, October 25, 2010

November 2nd, 2010 Travis County Election Voters Guide

For those lucky people living with me in District 222, here is a complete voting guide for next week's election. The rest of you will have most of your candidates represented here as well, but you'll have to do your own research on some of them. A good starting point is the candidates' own websites, happily provided for us by the Travis County Clerk, here. You might also want to consider using any of the available unbiased voters' guides/questionnaires out there (like this one). . . Vote For David is not to be considered an unbiased source!

And remember: Democrat party voters cast their ballots on Wednesday, November 3rd!

District 10, United States Representative
  • Michael McCaul - REP - Please vote for Representative McCaul again. I would like to see him go, but he won the primary and we need the Republican caucus to stand against President Obama in the next two years, and you don't get there by electing Democrats or Libertarians.
  • Ted Ankrum - DEM - Socialist, even if he doesn't know it. Totally unaware of the actual causes of current events, much less solutions for current problems. Plus he's a Democrat, and if they retain the house we can kiss the nation goodbye.
  • Jeremiah “JP” Perkins - LIB - Seriously, running for Congress in 2010 and you can't come up with a website? Fail.

  • Rick Perry - REP - Please vote for Governor Perry again. He may be the least-worst choice, but he's head-and-shoulders above the competition.
  • Bill White - DEM - My commentary on White is here. We need him to lose.
  • Kathie Glass - LIB - She has no chance of winning this year. Let her campaign for a year or two so someone outside the libertarian party knows her name. Her platform (what little of it there is) is mostly okay for a conservative, but she's an unknown. I might as well be in this slot on your ballot.
  • Deb Shafto - GRN - If you like President Obama, you'd love Deb Shafto. Bonus points for the name (we'll get the shaft - OH!)

    Lieutenant Governor
  • David Dewhurst - REP - Please vote for LT Gov. Dewhurst again. He might be a bit heavy-handed in the capitol at times, but he's getting the job done. Let's keep him.
  • Linda Chavez-Thompson - DEM - A high-school dropout for Governess? Why not? We have a President that never ran a popsicle stand! If you like what Nancy Pelosi has to say, you'd like Linda Chavez-Thompson. P.S. What does it tell you when a woman has a hyphenated name?
  • Scott Jameson - LIB - This time the Libertarian manages a website, but only got ONE position statement on it. Not enough to get elected, spoiler!
  • Herb Gonzales, Jr. - GRN - You can find information about him but if he has his own website I didn't see it. Fail. The main reason he's running seems to be to maintain the Green Party's place on the ballot for the next election.

    Attorney General
  • Greg Abbott - REP - Please vote for Attorney General Abbott again. He knows hand has been doing the job. Let's keep him.
  • Barbara Ann Radnofsky - DEM - A community organizer whose campaign consists of poking at the incumbent's perceived weakness . . . where have we seen this before?
  • Jon Roland - LIB - Wants to have a new State Constitution SRSLY? WHY not run for State Congress where he could make it happen?

    Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Susan Combs - REP - Of the three on the ballot, Combs is the one who knows what the position is about. Say what you will about the tax system, but she's not the one who writes the tax laws. What she does, she seems earnest about doing, and has saved us quite a bit by cutting out waste and, you know, otherwise doing this job
  • Mary J. Ruwart - LIB - Her campaign website says in a nutshell: She's a doctor and wrote a book, plus she's a Libertarian. This is insufficient.
  • Edward Lindsay - GRN - Yet another candidate with no easily-found website! I smell an aspiring politician looking to get a foot in the door during an election season that has us wanting to 'throw the bums out' But I don't see how he's better than Combs. That's not an endorsement of Combs, BTW.

    Commissioner of the General Land Office
  • Jerry Patterson - REP - Please vote for Commissioner Patterson again. He knows and has been doing the job (and doing some of it quite well).
  • Hector Uribe - DEM - Grand promises he has no way to keep, and lies about the incumbent. Plus he looks slimy.
  • James L. Holdar - LIB - Another Libertarian without a campaign website I could find in a quick search! From his answers to voters guides, we might as well keep Patterson.

    Commissioner of Agriculture
  • Todd Staples - REP - Please vote for Commissioner Staples again. He has earned another term by doing a good job.
  • Hank Gilbert - DEM - Has fallen for the false science of Glowbull Wormening. Basing your decisions on anything as Agriculture Commissioner on false science is bad, mmmkay?
  • Rick Donaldson - LIB - When the guy running for Commissioner of Agriculture starts talking about how he wants to abolish major federal agencies, it's time to vote for another candidate.

    Railroad Commissioner
  • David Porter - REP - Please vote for David Porter. This guy has a clear vision of what needs done, let's let him do it. Believes we can grow in environmentally responsible way. Apparently NOT comfortable on camera.
  • Jeff Weems - DEM - Shines on camera, which is not a qualification for the office. Wants MOAR!!! Lets spend more money! More bureaucracy! More noses poked into private affairs! Plus, for those who care, this guy has "crazy eyes."
  • Roger Gary - LIB - Another Libertarian only nominally running for office, no website, not even responding to questionnaires. Fail.
  • Art Browning - Green - Wants to be the chief oil man in the State, but believes in Peak Oil myth!! Would like to have us cut back on our (currently sustainable) lifestyles (constant growth is impossible according to him) and stop drilling in populated areas making energy more expensive

    Place 3, Justice, Supreme Court
  • Debra Lehrmann - REP - Please vote for Judge Lehrmann. She was my second pick in the primary, but my first pick now that we've come to the General Election.
  • Jim Sharp - DEM - one week from the election and his campaign website is one big bold print "under construction" message. If you can't be bothered to tell me why I should, I can't vote for you. Want to cut him some slack on the website? It's been the same "under construction" sentence since MARCH.
  • William Bryan Strange, III - LIB - Another Libertarian with no website and who does not respond to questionnaires.

    Place 5, Justice, Supreme Court
  • Paul Green - REP - Please re-elect Justice Green! If you know what an Eagle Scout is, you know it's good to have a supreme Court Justice who is one. Also he's been doing the job and appears to be very knowledgeable at it. Looks like a square dealer.
  • Bill Moody - DEM - Continues to try to gain one judgeship while holding another. Let him keep his current job.
  • Tom Oxford - LIB - His heart may be in the right place, but he definitely is . . . another who can keep his current position.

    Place 9, Justice, Supreme Court,
  • Eva Guzman - REP - Please re-elect Justice Guzman. She was my pick in the primary also.
  • Blake Bailey - DEM - Let him keep his current job. Reminds me of V.P. Biden for some reason.
  • Jack Armstrong - LIB - His main argument seems to be that he is a Libertarian. While that may be good enough for the fellow Libertarians out there, it takes more than party loyalty for me to elect a realtor to the supreme Court of Texas!

    Place 2, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Lawrence “Larry” Meyers - REP - Please re-elect Judge Meyers.
  • J. Randell Stevens - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for him.

    Place 5, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Cheryl Johnson - REP - Please re-elect Judge Johnson.
  • Dave Howard - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for him.

    Place 6, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Michael E. Keasler - REP Re-elect Judge Keasler. He knows and is doing the job. Why interrupt his cases in progress?
  • Keith Hampton - DEM - His responses to questionnaires are wordy versions of the same responses given by Judge Keasler. Why change to get the same thing?
  • Robert Ravee Virasin - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for him.

    District 10, Member State Board of Education
  • Marsha Farney - REP - Not my pick in the primary, but considering the alternative, far and away the better choice!
  • Judy Jennings - DEM - Calling normal-thinking average people "Ultra conservatives" is hardly a way to endear yourself with the voters eh. Texans influence other states . . . and?
  • Jessica Dreesen - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for him.

    District 14, State Senator
  • Mary Lou Serafine - REP - Please elect Mary Lou Serafine. Reading her campaign website is a breath of fresh air. She talks the talk, let's see if she will walk the walk for Texas.
  • Kirk Watson - DEM - Part of the problem. It's time to send Senator Watson packing.
  • Kent Phillips - LIB - Another candidate with a website "under construction" one week out from the election. Fail.

    District 50, State Representative
  • Pat McGuinness - REP - A classic Republican, I'd vote for him if Cowan were not on the ticket.
  • Mark Strama - DEM - A classic Democrat
  • Emily Cowan - LIB - I'll be voting for Emily Cowan, because we need more Libertarian thought in the capitol. She may not get there, but not for want of my support . . . what about yours?

    Place 4, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
  • Melissa Goodwin - REP - Please vote for Melissa Goodwin for Justice. She was my pick in the primary election, and she's the only one running for the seat with any experience as a judge. One of the most important courts in the State (if not the most important) is not the place to learn to be a judge.
  • Kurt Kuhn - DEM - Not a judge? Not qualified!

    The Democrats have candidates running unopposed in all the following races:
    District Judge, 147th Judicial District
    District Judge, 201st Judicial District
    District Judge, 250th Judicial District
    District Judge, 261st Judicial District
    District Judge, 299th Judicial District
    District Judge, 331st Judicial District
    District Judge, 403rd Judicial District
    District Judge, 419th Judicial District
    County Court at Law 1, Judge
    County Court at Law 2, Judge
    County Court at Law 3, Judge
    County Court at Law 4, Judge
    County Court at Law 5, Judge
    County Court at Law 6, Judge
    County Court at Law 7, Judge
    County Probate Court, Judge

    District Judge, 353rd Judicial District, Unexpired Term
  • Jeff Rose - REP - Please re-elect Judge Rose.
  • Tim Sulak - DEM - Supported by the racist groups, the union groups, the Statesman . . . and not by me.

    County Judge
  • Mike McNamara - REP - Here is someone who wants the office and thinks he could better serve the people of the county than Judge Biscoe. Biscoe has been there plenty long enough (almost a record length of service!), time for fresh blood on the court.
  • Sam Biscoe - DEM - Was going to retire, but decided to run again. Let's allow him to retire.
  • Mark Tippetts - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for him.

    District Clerk
  • Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza - DEM - Please re-elect Clerk Rodriguez-Mendoza. VFD endorses a Democrat?!! Sure, why not? She's been there since before I joined the Navy and I haven't heard any complaints. Let her stay.
  • Arlo J. Pignotti - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for him.

    County Clerk
  • Dana DeBeauvoir - DEM In light of the alternative, re-elect Clerk DeBeauvoir. I don't understand why we have to wait until AFTER 2012 to have a paper trail on our voting machines, but this is a woman who is passionate about doing a good job - let her do it.
  • Gillian Dreesen - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for her.

    County Treasurer
  • Dolores Ortega Carter - DEM - if she weren't on the ballot, you would never know she's running. If you don't want to campaign, don't expect to be voted for by me.
  • Mike Burris - LIB - Vote for Burris for Treasurer. For once, a Libertarian with a campaign website.

    Precinct 2, County Commissioner
  • David A. Buttross II - REP -Vote for Buttross for Commissioner. Here's a person who knows how to run a business. Let's have him run the county.
  • Sarah Eckhardt - DEM - Social Justice: low on my priority list, high on hers.
  • Matthew Finkel - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for him.

    Precinct 2, Justice of the Peace
  • Glenn Bass - REP - Vote for Bass for Justice.
  • Karin Crump - DEM - endorsed by public unions, lawyers, and Democrat lawmakers . . . and not by VFD.
  • Jaclyn Finkel - LIB - Another Libertarian who can't be bothered with a website to tell us why we should vote for her.

    Races I can't vote in, but here's how I would if I could:

    Vote AGAINST City of Austin Bond Election Prop. 1! They want you to shell out $90M to REMOVE lanes of car traffic to put in bikeways, add a bridge where it makes them feel politically correct to have a bridge, and generally piss away the rest.


    Against. The people in Elgin don't need to pay Austin Community College taxes any more than the people of Pflugerville or Georgetown do. Moreover, I'd bet most of them would be just as happy to keep that money in their family coffers putting food in the bellies of their children, rather than feeding the independent small school-crushing ACC any more tax dollars.

    AGAINST! Hays: yet another county that could do without ACC tax bills on everybody's houses.

    Vote AGAINST Prop. 1

    Vote AGAINST Prop. 2

    Vote AGAINST Prop. 3

    Eanes ISD has fewer than 7,400 students. For those few thousands of children, they want to issue $149,500,000 worth of bonds. Sorry, it doesn't fly. They need to replace functioning school buses and replace currently-used facilities? They NEED (at the point of a gun to your taxpaying head) a new 8-lane heated swimming pool? For a couple thousand kids? SRSLY? NO!!!

    PROP. 1, TCESD NO. 4
    Vote AGAINST TCESD No. 4 Prop. 1!

    PROP. 1, TCESD NO. 5
    Vote AGAINST TCESD No. 5 Prop. 1!

    Stop spending.
    Stop spending.
    The State is a few BILLION dollars in the hole, so we want to increase your taxes a full percent at the cash register? No, how about: you make do with what you currently take in just like my family has to do. It's OUR money, not the government's money . . . let's vote to keep it.

    The bond and annexation measures -having made it onto the ballots- are almost sure to pass, unfortunately. The Libertarians will continue to lose huge in this election cycle, but they have done an admirable job of getting somebody on the ballot for most of the positions this time, except for the judgeship races. The judges look more like a Democrat primary ballot. I guess next time (if there is one) we'll need to have more emphasis on the importance of judgin' and get some Good Conservatives on the ballot. Oh, and: somebody needs to tell the Losertarian party to get a clue and put up web pages for all their candidates. Even a cookie-cutter website is better than an address and a phone number to your mom's basement.

  • And remember: Democrat party voters cast their ballots on Wednesday, November 3rd!


    Looking up who to vote for and why in the upcoming election. Voter's guide will be the next substantial content here, hopefully tomorrow or the next day.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Celebrate Jeff Hart, Hero

    The trapped miners will tell his name to their grandchildren. The school children of Chile will be taught to love him. And until today, neither you nor I had heard the name Jeff Hart. Tomorrow, tell your children.

    He is, according to reports, possibly the best driller in the world to run the type of drill recently used to rescue the miners trapped underground in Chile. Michelle Malkin brings the coverage. Your nightly news, not so much.

    Oh, and another story you won't hear on the news: AMERICA saved those men. NASA designed the capsule, the drill and bits were made in Pennsylvania, and the world-class drilling team came from Colorado, led by Jeff Hart. Obama won't play it up because he doesn't believe that America is exceptional. I do. So is Jeff Hart.

    P.S. the miners are apparently devout Christians, and credit God for saving not only their souls but also their bodies. So America comes in 2nd to God. I'll take that! :D

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Clemastine (Tavist) During Breastfeeding

    My Darling Wife is both breastfeeding our fourth child and allergic to ragweed pollen. She would rather suffer than poison her milk, and she would rather breathe than not breathe . . . So she asked me to find out whether she could take Tavist, and if there is a generic (read: cheaper) version available.

    Cliff's Notes: She can, and there is.

    The H-E-B 'pharmacy' told her Tavist had been discontinued. I rolled my eyes when my Darling Wife said this, and reminded her they had also said Sudafed had been discontinued. We routinely buy pseudoephedrine at Walgreens and I anticipated finding clemastine tablets with no problem as well.

    First, the science. If you search Google, you will find warnings like: "This medication is not recommended if you are breast-feeding" "You should not take Tavist if you are breastfeeding." "AVOID - DO NOT USE while breast feeding" "should be avoided during pregnancy and while nursing" "CLEMASTINE FUMARATE IS EXCRETED IN BREAST MILK. DO NOT BREAST-FEED while taking"

    . . . and so on. Then you will also find the occasional reference like: "The American Academy of Pediatrics considers that clemastine should be given with caution to breast-feeding mothers" which sounds not only less hyperventilation-inducing, but possibly even benign.

    I kept digging. It turns out that all the bold, caps-lock warnings are apparently based on ONE case. A breastfeeding mother was taking phenytoin and carbamazepine, both anti-seizure medications, in addition to her Tavist. Her baby started having ugly systemic symptoms after the mother in question took the clemastine, and the symptoms cleared right up when the mother stopped taking the clemastine. Based on this one case, the American Academy of Pediatrics would rather you

    . . . consult with your physician before taking this or any over-the-counter or prescription drug, as rare side effects and drug interactions may occur . . .

    If you have a family history of crazy diseases, you likely already know you should NOT take clemastine fumarate. If you are otherwise generally healthy, and breastfeeding, and allergic, go ahead and take your Tavist (or, in our case, Wal-Hist) and keep an eye on your baby on the off chance it does have an adverse reaction. Stop taking clemastine if the baby has symptoms. Clemastine is excreted in urine, and you've got rid of most of it in 12 hours and all of it within a day, so any adverse reactions will likely be <1 day duration. Seek emergency care if you're freaking out about what happens to your baby . . . and bear in mind that the odds are (approximately) 1,003,387,209.37 to 1 that you and your baby will probably be just fine.

    There, how hard was that?


    For some non-hysterical further reading, see:
  • "Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: a reference guide to fetal and neonatal risk" By Gerald G. Briggs, Roger K. Freeman, Sumner J. Yaffe
  • and the aforementioned clemastine fumarate web page (which also has dosing information for children, toddlers, and infants).
  • Here Comes Your Double-Dip.

    Search this blog for "double dip" and you'll see I've been predicting one since before the "end of the Great Recession" was declared - because the structural problems in the USA's economy (and the world's) have not been fixed.

    Here it comes. This looks an awful lot like the corner being turned. Housing prices are (ahem) "unexpectedly" falling off a cliff, and we're set to close more banks this year than last year (with two months left to go!)

    I could be wrong. It could just be the collapse of demand after government artificially inflated prices with a tax credit (a.k.a. Cash For Clunkers round II) but -20% is a low number that will "unexpectedly" a lot of people right back into being scared to spend money . . . then the winter hits and nobody is buying houses, driving prices even lower, causing greater trepidation about the economy. The socialists in the White House can try to blow the bubble again, but this is known in sober economic circles as "kicking the can down the road." It ends up accomplishing nothing good while increasing our debt.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    I Agree With Stephen Broden

    ( . . . on this issue, at least)

    The people who started our country overthrew a tyranny to do it. They recognized that it might be necessary to do the same thing again, and framed the new country so it would remain an option on the table. Stephen Broden mentioned this and has been condemned by his own political party. General (in the war against his own King) George Washington approved of violent overthrow of tyrants and disapproved of the spirit of Party in politics.

    Hmm, what an amusing coincidence.

    I don't know who this Broden cat is, but I do know that he has a more-realistic understanding of the use of violence than the jerks running the local Republican machine. A plain reading of the founders' writings shows an honest reader that violent, bloody overthrow of a government gone too-far awry is always an option. Those who would have us not-know this are dummies.

    For the record, unless it gets quite a bit worse: VoteForDavid does not advocate the violent overthrow of the government of the United States or any of the States thereof. And I'd remind the government lackeys wondering what they can get away with doing to the people vs. what they ought to do for the people, not everyone is as reserved as I am in this.

    The rattlesnake has a rattle for good reason . . .

    California Pension Promises "May" Need To Be Reduced.

    You may have heard recently that (depending on how you add it up) the United States owes more money than there is in the world. Well, that's nothing, we can always print more right? Consider now the state of the State of California, where a few public union pension plans have a little problem. The vote-buying by the idiot politicians in California got a bit out of hand, and by 2012 their pension promises add up to 550% of the total tax revenues for the entire State.

    No roads
    No schools
    No police/fire/EMT services
    No libraries

    ALL of the money that is anticipated to be brought in, is not enough to make a dent in public union benefit promises. Perhaps the promises will have to be revised a little? Certainly the unions will see the wisdom in this, and not protest/riot/strike like they currently are doing in Greece and France, right?


    Unemployment To Drop "Unexpectedly" Next Month

    Not good.

    When you use up all your unemployment benefits, you are no longer counted as unemployed, whether or not you have a job. Make that +1.2 MILLION people next month, if Congress doesn't renew their benefits. Sometimes when the official unemployment number decreases - it's actually a bad thing.


    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    What, AGAIN? Free Homes In UK!

    ~or~ More News From the Place where England Used to Be:

    This is the second time in as many years this story line has made its way across the Atlantic. This time it's a million-dollar property. A guy leaves for a vacation and finds out his house has been taken over by "students" . . . and the Police won't kick them out. This cat has to wait and see if a civil court judge will issue an eviction notice.

    I like one of the commenters' ideas: have a true friend* lob a wasp's nest through the window and the bums will self-evict. Then you fumigate and move back in.

    Note: in a land where the people are not forbidden to own guns this is a simple fix.
    Homeowner: You are trespassing, and depriving me of $1,000,000 and everything I own
    Trespasser: So?
    Homeowner: So if you don't get out I'll cap you. You have three seconds. Two . . .

    The rest of the scenario is up to the bum to decide how it turns out. Fun fact: a knife can be planted on a corpse after a murder is done, and BAM you've got self-defense!

    (note: VoteForDavid strictly condemns murder, and house stealing. Don't do either.)


    *"Friends help you move. True friends help you move bodies."
    Hat tip: Moonbattery

    Surely It's A Coincidence!

    The same week that George Soros says he's planning to pay the salaries of 100 reporters at National Public Radio, Juan Williams is fired for expressing a personal opinion that doesn't fit the lefty narrative of the peacefulness of the Religion of Peace.

    But then, the old media lost any semblance of credibility in 2008, so why bother about a little thing like timing?

    Empire: This Ain't It.

    In a part of the world unaccustomed to Western-style democratic rule, we intervened to *ahem* liberate the people from a tyrant. Tyrant gone, we stuck around to smoosh a few thousand mujahideen. Then some elections were held. Go figure, it looks like the election results may not be what Washington, Jefferson, and Adams would have liked.

    Then we left. Mostly. The people in Iraq understand force, and we removed our ability to project force. Iran, home to the short man who swings a big stick, is right next door, shares the religion of the majority of Iraqis, and has a government with which they are more comfortable.

    So Iraq is starting to look more-snuggly with Iran than we would like. Michael Savage wrote four years ago that removing Hussein would lead to the possibility of a greater Persia (Iran + Iraq) united under a common religion. He advocated dividing the country into ethnic regions. This was at the same time the useful idiots in America were bellowing that the war was about President Bush's American Empire.

    If it were about Empire, we would have set up a puppet government we liked and stories like this would never need to be written. Well, here comes the greater Persia. Who's for partitioning Iraq now? Show of hands? Anyone?

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Madness @ Work (Future Disappointment Edition)

    I know a guy who is seriously considering a change of careers. He wants to be a medical professional. I overheard him telling someone else about it, and I had to clarify because I could scarcely believe my ears:

    VFD: Did he just say he wants to be in medicine so he doesn't have to deal with office politics?
    NP: Yeah, I think he did.
    VFD: LOL (pause) LOL . . . well, good luck with that
    NP: Yep.

    This is obviously someone who has not done his research. Just WOW. Talk about your nasty surprises. Hint: if you are considering a career change, look up the blogs of people in that field. For example, this post from a Respiratory Therapist who had to take a mental health vacation because his workplace is toxic to the soul. If you think you've got it bad, ask the other guy who's been doing what you want to do for a few years, just how bad you've got it.

    You might end up wanting to keep your current position.

    Or you might be the type who thinks "it" only happens to other people. In that case, good luck. Sorry about that whole "everyone else is screwy" problem/life you're having.


    This is another reason it's good to have a wife. You say "I wanna do X instead of Y" and if she's a keeper, she'll remind you that Y is paying the bills and the grass only looks greener in X. Then she'll . . . distract you. ;)

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Mythbusters, Really?

    The POTUS apparently doesn't have enough on his plate, so the Dear President asked to be on Mythbusters. SERIOUSLY? The frikken most powerful man in the world on a comedy/infotainment show? If it's a show about global warming . . .

    Austin: Dumb With The Money

    Austin usually ranks pretty high on the annual list of "worst traffic in the country" and driving downtown really stinks. Austin is $18M in the hole, depending on how you add up next year's budget.

    Combine these to vortices of suck with a city council openly hostile to private automobiles: You get an upcoming ballot measure where the taxpayers of Austin put themselves in debt for 30 years for road work that will be worn out before it is paid for. A $90M bond package including REMOVING AUTOMOBILE LANES from downtown streets to add bike lanes and widen sidewalks.

    Unfortunately for those who think this is a horrible idea, the 99.9% sure-fire way to get a bond measure passed in Austin is to get it on the ballot. It's there, and it's almost certain to pass. I shake my head in the general direction of Austin from my lower-taxed home in the suburbs.

    Do That At Home, People!

    Once, on the way to work, I saw a morbidly obese woman in an old minivan shaving her armpits with an electric razor while stopped at a traffic light. Fortunately I had a light breakfast because . . . actually, come to think of it, in retrospect it still turns my stomach a little.

    There is one family *click* at my church *click* that has the *click* annoying habit of *click* cutting fingernails while *click* the preacher is *click* trying to sermonize us.

    And today, at work, I had to voice my opinion that 10:00 was too early for autoerotic asphyxiation at work.

    Some things are for doing behind your front door. Preferably with the shutters drawn and the lights out. Who reared these people?!

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    The Great Recession Explained . . . In Widgets

    The United States (and the world) is in an economic depression. It is relatively less-bad than it was a couple of years ago, so "they" have declared the Great Recession is over. "They" will likely call the coming double-dip a separate phenomenon, but it is part of the same depression.

    Here's why, explained in terms of a theoretical widget manufacturer:

    Widgets Galore, Inc. makes widgets. In 2007 they had 100 employees who were proudly able to make 100 widgets a day and sell every one. Thirty of the widgets they sold every day was bought on credit. Then the buyers figured out they had better stop charging widgets to the credit card because they couldn't make their house payments and buy widgets both. So the crash of 2008/2009. Widgets Galore managed to stay in business by cutting out 23 widget makers. There are 23 widget making machines now standing idle. Prices on the 77 widgets they still sell every day are down by 25%.

    Widgets Galore is not planning on buying any more widget machines. They got a stimulus grant to buy widget making supplies, and they stocked up last year. Now they are not planning to buy widget making supplies, either. They have no need to buy machine parts either, because they have so many machines out of production to rob parts from as needed. The owner is considering whether he can afford the new taxes when the Bush tax cuts expire, and he's probably going to have to either drop three more employees or drop health care payment insurance for all the employees, thanks to obamacare. He'd like to hire an employee or two back, but it looks like that would kill his profit margin altogether.

    Widgets Galore, times 30 million, is the U.S. economy right now. Manufacturing is down, and a temporary inventory-rebuilding cycle has just ended. Nobody is hiring, nobody needs to buy anything for their business, and their customers aren't buying anyhow. The economy we had was based on credit which is now unavailable, and demand which has collapsed because people realized they don't need any more stuff. There is several YEARS worth of over-capacity in every industry except possibly energy production. We are in a LONG down cycle right now.

    But don't feel bad: we've only lost one decade of productivity so far. Japan is working on THREE Decades of lost productivity. They did and are doing what we are doing, to get out of their depression. But I'm sure it will work when we do it because it's different when we do it!

    Wow, That's A Lot of Weed.

    Yahoo/AP are reporting Police in Mexico have seized at least 105 tons of marijuana. Marijuana is typically consumed in amounts measured in grams. One ounce is dozens of grams. One pound is 16 ounces.

    The officer in the photo below is holding one pound of marijuana.

    Multiply this by at least 210,000.

    Image source: Detection K-9 of America

    This amount of weed boggles the mind, and not just the minds of those "guarding" the burning of the seized drugs.

    Savage: Not Optimistic On Election 2010

    There are big numbers floating around. Heady reports of up to 100+ Democrat seats in Congress being in play this November. More realistic reports of 55 seats going Republican.

    Savage reminds us that the Democrats are champion election-stealers, and predicted today that the number would be closer to fifTEEN than fifTY, due to elections stolen by left-wing political machines. We all know to joke about dead people voting in Chicago, but how funny is it when it's at the cost of America As We Knew It?

    This is THE most important election in our lifetimes so far. Next one will be on a par with it. If the Democrats come out with a majority in the House, watch out (and remember to cash in your 401(k) plans while you can).

    Also remember the Ingraham Law: Laura Ingraham stated that any election lost by fewer than 2000 votes to a Democrat, is automatically won by the Democrat in the recounting process.

    A WEEK?!! Aww Hail Noh! Oh, Wait.

    My Darling Wife reported static on the line and trouble making phone calls all day today. She put in a trouble call and The Phone Co. ran a test on the line. They told her it could be as long as ALL WEEK to get it fixed if there were a problem with their end of the lines.

    VFD was not amused. I was ready to call them up and give them a piece of my mind. Then I checked the phone. Characteristic noise was heard. Turns out the filter to keep the DSL noise off the POTS* line was too close to a power supply. I moved the filter.

    So uh, er, it's a good thing I didn't go ballistic on The Phone Co. then, eh?


    *That's right, a land line in 2010 in a major city in the USA. The last time the lights went out, who called The Power Co. to report the outage when the wireless networks were all down and your fancy cell and VOIP lines were all kaput? That would be me. You're welcome.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Poor, Poor Most Powerful Man In The World!

    President Obama is reportedly depressed and on anti-depressant drugs. It's funny how being an empty suit turns out to be disappointing, even to the empty one. You know who doesn't get depressed? Strong men who know what to do and how to do it.

    This is a huge deal for the President personally, as well as for the country. You do remember you are supposed to be praying for him, right? Far be it from me to tell you not to pray that he'll resign the office . . .

    If he does resign, or even (hope not!) if he ends up off'ing himself, we're both better and worse off . . . we'd have Biden for President instead of Obama, but then . . . we'd have Biden for President!

    Look for this story to not be widely reported, and expect at least a quiet denial from Gibbs when/if it does get some more coverage. Hat Tip: Sipsey Street Irregulars

    Another Satisfied Customer!

    A friend of mine took my advice and contacted Dayton A/C & Heating when his air conditioner acted up recently. He gave them a good report. I was not surprised.

    Dayton is good people. If you're in Central Texas and need your home's climate controls worked on, call them.

    Pray for Kayla

    A little girl not too much older than #1 (name: Kayla) is going in for an 8-hour spinal surgery tomorrow morning. If y'all would pray for her, it would be appreciated.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Progress On A Project? At MY Home?

    I put in a good, solid 1/2 hour working on a project in my garage workshop today. #2 helped strip some wires, even. It was honest progress! It fit in a stolen block of time between the beginning of nap time and the insisted-upon visit to the grocery store.


    One day, I will have plenty of free time and get all caught-up on my mile-long list of projects. That day is not today.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Michelle Obama: Unindicted Electioneering Criminal!

    Michael Savage mentioned it the other day and I wasn't going to spend too much thought on it. The wife of the President of the United States told sumdood IN a polling place that he should vote for her husband. This is a crime in Illinois, but hey the 1st lady isn't exactly required to be a rocket surgeon right? Big deal she broke the law accidentally big whoop it's not like she'll ever be charged for it. Especially in Holder's "justice" department . . . I mean, she's black, she can't commit a crime right?

    Well Boortz pointed out today that she is a Harvard-educated lawyer. If anyone should know not to go saying who to vote for in the polling place, it's a frikken lawyer right? What he didn't mention is that a) she's obviously special, because her name is Obama and b) her law license was suspended for reasons that remain unpublished. . . but you know what? They won't suspend your law license for being a paragon of ethical behavior.

    She's an America-hating leftist, and she thinks she's above the law because of her husband's station. Observing what will (not) happen to her after she clearly broke the law in public, tell me she's not above the law. Go on, explain it to me.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    The National Debt: Pay As Agreed

    The question arose in my mind as I drove home today: Why go to extra effort to pay off the national debt?

    There is a lot of misunderstanding going on out there. Most of it is either confusing obligations (medicare/medicaid/social security) with debt, or thinking the debt must be reduced quickly. Some people even confuse deficits with debt. The national debt is a known quantity, and it has a payment plan. I propose for your consideration: maybe we should just pay it as the bills come due.

    Let's compare the nation to a family for the sake of illustration:
    The family earns $50,000/yr. and has $20,000 in credit card debt. They also spend $90,000/yr, every year, and have done so for the past several years. What should they do? The answer is obvious: spend less money and pay their credit card bill down. This means no new cars, less eating out, and probably a cut-back on the $300/month cable bill. They might even have to drop their mobile phone data plans. Then for several years, life would stink compared to how it used to be, and then the debt would be paid off. IF paying off your debt is a goal, first you stop spending more than you take in, then you (follow me, this is complicated) pay off your debt.

    So: as a nation we have some hard choices to make, and then for the next 30 years we will have bonds to pay off. The government will be spending LESS money. This will likely lead to deflation, which a Keynesian will likely say is a Bad Thing. They are wrong, to a point. Then we eventually pay off the last bond and BAM no more debt, surprising nobody. How hard was that? Sure we would have to more-directly fund some stuff the .gov pays for now. Do you really think you couldn't do it better/faster/cheaper without Uncle taking a little off the top to give you your own money back?

    The main problem with this realistic proposal is: to think we could limit our elected heroes to a balanced budget is laughable these days, but then again, when is the last time YOU ran for Congress?

    Foreclosures to Begin Falling "Unexpectedly"

    It will be hailed as god news: in the coming months home mortgage foreclosure rates will plummet. Look for transient rises in stock market averages on this news, but remember: It's happening because the foreclosure system is very badly broken.

    About a month or two after the banksters start getting the legal mess sorted, look for foreclosures to unexpectedly start taking off like a rocket again. Somewhere in the mix, the Too Big To Fail banks may lose a few gozillion dollars. Some of them might actually fail because of this. Unexpectedly.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Socialized Housing Market In America: Here, Now.

    "We now have socialized housing. If you disagree, just imagine the consequences if government intervention were withdrawn. Real estate markets would collapse immediately. The government is the market. There is no exit strategy.

    "In fact, I doubt that policy makers even understand the problem."

    If Uncle were not backing new mortgages, there would be none. To say this is an unhealthy market is very euphemistic. The abandonment of MERS tells us taht the mess in housing is much worse than most analysts thought. There will shortly be a drastic need for people who can go through paperwork and see if it is all straight, or not. If you're out of work and actually trying to find a job, you might bone up on mortgage laws in your state. If your house was in foreclosure, you just may have another +1 year of living there with no mortgage payments.

    This is a huge mess. It happened mostly on Obama's watch, but he's guaranteed to be an innocent party. Feel free to blame him, but he couldn't have orchestrated this cluster[deleted] if he had tried.

    Read the whole thing. It's long. What, you have something better to do?

    The Devil's Dictionary

    ACCOUNTABILITY, n. The mother of caution.

    "My accountability, bear in mind,"
    Said the Grand Vizier: "Yes, yes,"
    Said the Shah: "I do — 'tis the only kind
    Of ability you possess."
    —Joram Tate

    At Borepatch i just found a link to The Devil's Dictionary. Provided for your benefit/amusement without commentary.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Bill White For Governor: Explaining His Platform

    Here is my take on Bill White's campaign platform in the 2010 election for Texas Governor. Sorry it's long, but it covers ALL of the "Issues" section of his campaign website. Sorry about the formatting . . . his site is terrible when it comes to consistency from one page to the next! Original text is in black, copied verbatim from My commentary is in red.


    Reviving Texas' Job Growth Texas has lead the nation in job growth during the depression. Not a problem.

    Getting our economy back on track requires economic recovery for ordinary Texas families, not just Wall Street. Blame the bogeyman. As Texas' Governor I will work on long-term solutions to make our state more competitive in a global economy.

    *Attracting jobs with a future.
    As a former businessman, I know what it takes to meet a payroll and make hard choices. Presumably running Houston's budget $110M in the red is a sign of well-made choices then? In this economy, it's vital that the Governor attract new businesses to the state, allow small businesses to grow, and ensure a skilled workforce through education and job training. In my time as Houston's mayor, I helped the region add more new jobs than thirty-seven states combined, and as Governor I will work to build on that success. Texas leads the country in job growth under Rick Perry. Still.

    * Educating and training our workforce.
    A distinguished Texas Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness, appointed by Gov. Perry among others, reported (PDF) that: "Texas is not globally competitive. The state faces a downward spiral in both quality of life and economic competitiveness if it fails to educate more of its growing population (both youth and adults) to higher levels of attainment, knowledge and skills." My plan to improve education is critical for the future of our economy. This should be under the Education sector but we'll get to that part of his "plan" later. The entire NATION is failing its students due in very large part to government top-down planning in schools staffed by UNION teachers.

    * Stopping the squeeze on savings created by insurance rates.
    Texans have the highest rates of homeowners' insurance in the nation. In Texas, the Governor appoints an Insurance Commissioner responsible for guarding homeowner's, auto, and health insurance rates. I will choose appointees who will serve the people of Texas, who will attract a competitive group of firms offering more competitive rates. How about "I'll get the State out of the way of genuine competition?"

    * Investing in critical transportation and other infrastructure.
    Transportation and other infrastructure, such as wastewater treatment facilities, are critical to helping businesses grow and attracting new businesses. I will work to facilitate regional transportation solutions that promote economic development and respect private property. Regional like the Trans Texas Corridor? Oh, wait . . .
    o The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) should end plans for the ill-conceived Trans-Texas Corridor, which would have been run for private interests and would not have helped Texans go from where they live to where they work. Okay, here's one point of agreement.

    o TxDOT should be decentralized, with less funding for overhead and more allocated directly to individual districts, who could work with counties, cities, and regional planning organizations to set local priorities. Local governments should be allowed to use funds for traffic management, mass transit, and other programs to speed traffic along within existing rights-of-ways. Because you should ride the bus and carpool.

    o The state of Texas should develop plans with counties to provide funding sources for water and sewer infrastructure in unincorporated areas. Right let's strap on more debt, just what we need.

    *Using tax dollars for incentives more wisely.
    Texas' next Governor should use our tax dollars for economic incentives more wisely. In the past, the Governor has given tens of millions in tax dollars to firms like Countrywide Financial, the failed subprime lender, based on promises to expand jobs in the future, and has not received the dollars back when the firms fail to perform. Corporate welfare ALWAYS fails to perform, not just when Gov. Perry does it.


    Public education is the most important business of state government because investments we make in students now will determine the economic future of our state. Public schools underperform private and homeschools. Texas ranks next to last of all states in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas and 45th in SAT scores. A report by Texas Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness stated that Texas is not globally competitive and faces a downward spiral in both quality of life and economic competitiveness if we fail to educate more of our growing population. That is unacceptable. We need to hold our teachers, schools, and students accountable, but accountability must start at the top. Education must become a higher priority in the state budget. We need a new governor. The governor will not be telling your truant child to do his homework. The education of children is a family matter. The highest level of government involvement should be the City . . . and look how much left-over money Houston has for schooling under Bill White!

    With new leadership, Texas can improve student achievement, increase high school graduation rates, and reduce the barriers to higher education. Yes, we need to remove the teacher's unions' influence and let teachers and families lead. As Governor, I will:

    1. Expand pre-K programs that work. Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition has outlined one pathway to do so. Oklahoma expanded pre-K to increase student performance, and early childhood programs have been shown particularly effective in improving the performance of Hispanic students, who make up the majority of Texas' preschool population. Last year, Texas legislators tried to expand access to pre-K program by passing HB 130 with bipartisan support, but Rick Perry vetoed the bill. Let's warehouse children for more years? Pre-k children need to be at home with their mothers. Expansion of pre-K programs funded by the State is a gimme for women who can't be bothered to rear their own children.
    2. Improve career and technical education by working with school districts, community colleges, and employers. High school students who must work should be matched with jobs close to school. So let them bust their tails and FIND a job close to school like I did. As governor, I will help local school officials work with local employers to create effective job banks for those students who have to work, with a requirement that the student stay in school. Great! Another bureaucracy to run over budget and never quite meet goals. Just what we need. There also should be flexible hours for classes, including online opportunities, for students who must work. Flexible hours . . . sounds like we'll need more union teachers . . . We must bridge the digital divide with technology in the classroom. Chalkboards still work Bill. Dual credit programs should be encouraged so that high school students can earn college credit and increase the likelihood that they will earn a two- or four-year degree. Most freshmen need remedial courses in college . . . why give them credit for what they are not learning?
    3. Cut dropout rates, by treating it as an emergency when students do not return to school. In Houston we launched Expectation Graduation to cut the dropout rate 26,900 dropouts last year alone in Houston. Each fall, my wife Andrea and I led thousands of volunteers OVER 15,600 of them last year to go to the homes of high school students who had not returned to school. Approximately 8,800 (total, all years combined) students returned to school as a result, almost two volunteers per student. How efficient. and this initiative has been replicated in communities across Texas. There must be pathways to bring students who have dropped out but wish to return to school back up to grade level. Following the influx of students during Hurricane Katrina, in Houston we found that a combination of tutoring and summer school was effective. And we can reduce dropout rates by helping students keep up over the summer through voluntary summer enrichment programs, like the Summer Opportunity Sessions we organized in Houston that provided four weeks of hands-on science and math for elementary school students. The program dramatically improved performance at a low cost per student. A Brookings Institution report (PDF) (The .pdf shows that students with bad parents can benefit from additional summer schooling) provides further support for the approach.Volunteers, eh? Pull this off with fewer than ten government employees and I'm on board. More than ten per city is ANOTHER bloated government agency we don't need and can't afford. How's Houston's budget looking, again?.
    4. Let educators teach writing, reasoning, and problem-solving skills, rather than teaching how to make a minimum score on an annual high-stakes multiple choice test. How, besides testing, do you measure student achievement while they are still in school? Improving the performance of public education requires us to attract and retain great educators who can prepare our students for a complex world. No, it requires direct involvement from interested parents. Can't say that, though because it makes disinterested parents look and feeeeeel bad. This requires competitive compensation Let's pay you more for a job a dozen others are willing to do for less money and recruitment and accountability measured by more than one test score. Three more expensive mandates to take resources away from the classroom? We must also ensure that teachers have the skills, including motivational and interpersonal skills, before they are retained with job security. "I'm your coach, but I also wanna be your pal!"Master teachers and principals ought to be incentivized to work in schools with the biggest challenges. They leave because it is futile, not because pay is low. We should identify and replicate the best practices from high-performing schools, including charter schools. Charter schools don't have to teach all the flim-flam government schools do, and do it with less money per student for better education. Good luck with that. Accountability should be based in part on measures of educational outcomes including success in finding jobs or pursuing higher education.You want to reward a 1st grade teacher on how well her kids do at finding a job after high school? Good luck with that.
    5. Make college education more affordable for more Texans. An educated workforce is critical in today's economy, but too many families cannot afford to send their children to college because of prohibitive costs and skyrocketing tuition. College tuition in Texas public colleges has risen more than 93% since 2003, far faster than financial aid and family incomes. Funny how that happens when EVERYONE qualifies for some sort of grant, loan, or scholarship, eh? You mean if everyone can pay more a school charges more? SHOCKING! How much do those professors make, by the way? I will work to make both two year and four year programs more affordable. We can start by making sure that our school bookstores obtain textbooks and other course materials at the lowest prices From China? available and by using open source "almost as credible as Wikipedia!" and online materials when possible. And Texas students should have an opportunity to pay little or no tuition with a public service commitment after school. "Comrade, look at the benefits of national service!"
    Moving forward in education and job training will produce a better economy and more jobs long-term. After all, people with more skills earn more, spend more, invest more, and that helps the whole economy. People with more skills cared to learn . . . and had parents that cared. Good luck with that.

    Border Security
    Bill White will get results on border security, rather than just make speeches about it. As Houston's mayor, more law enforcement officers reported to him than anyone else in Texas. Duh? It's the biggest city in Texas. Crime rates in Houston dropped to the lowest levels in decades. Because he did _______?

    Bill White will fight hard and effectively for the federal resources we need to secure our border against gangs and drug and human traffickers without disrupting lawful daily commerce and travel. "Bill White: Stealing from taxpayers in other states, for YOU!"

    And Bill White will not wait for Washington--he will immediately fund 1250 more positions for local and state law enforcement officers to be deployed along the border. How's Houston's budget, again?

    Because of Bill White's strong, proven track record with law enforcement, he has earned the support of sheriffs responsible for protecting 98% of Texans living in counties along the border.A Democrat with a union endorsement? How surprising.

    In contrast, Rick Perry has failed during almost 10 years in office to obtain the resources that Texas needs to secure our border. Bash the opposition!

    As governor, Bill White will do the following:

    • Fund an additional 1000 local law enforcement positions and 250 state troopers using federal grants, state appropriations and additional drug forfeiture dollars. STEAL the money. Border security is a permanent issue, not a temporary one. Perry has used federal and state funds to pay for overtime programs, but sheriffs' deputies funded by these programs are stretched thin. Bill White will work to add funding for 1000 new local police and deputy sheriffs along the border. Local police and sheriffs will be in the best position to identify those engaged in suspicious activities and collect local intelligence.

      The Department of Public Safety is short-staffed, and 250 additional troopers and forensics technicians will help provide resources, such as investigative capacity, across border communities.
    • Obtain all available federal funding to support border security and direct sufficient discretionary funding to border security efforts. As governor, Bill White will make border security a top priority. While complaining that the federal government has not secured the border, Rick Perry has directed less than 10% of U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant funding to the border region each year.1 Bill White will change that. Funding streams like C.O.P.S. grants (Community Oriented Policing Services) could be used to support local law enforcement, and the governor should coordinate and advocate for this kind of funding for border communities.
    • Use state appropriations more effectively. Rick Perry received over $250 million to pay for border security. Were there strings attached? 2 But he did not deploy the resources promptly or effectively. According to a report by the State Auditor,3 in 2009, after most of the funding period had expired for the first $142 million, Perry had only deployed about half of the funds. Some How much? $5? of the money was used for unauthorized purposes. And Perry put millions of dollars of new equipment purchased with these funds into other parts of the state and sent old equipment to the border region. We cannot protect Texans in border communities if the resources intended for them are diverted elsewhere. Because old equipment is useless?
    • Establish a formal partnership with local and federal law enforcement agencies and other leaders along the border to determine how the state can best assist in promoting safety. OOoooh a study, how bold. The people who live and work along the border are on the front lines of border security. The state should work closely with those who are knowledgeable about the problems to develop effective programs. A meaningful partnership means more than photo opportunities or expensive, ineffective programs like $4 million for border cameras that netted about two dozen arrests.4 As governor, Bill White will personally seriously? attend semi-annual meetings of federal, state and local law enforcement and local political leadership all along the border to make sure all activities are coordinated and accountable. Bill White will also work to create a regional lab to assist local law enforcement with state-of-the-art forensics technology. Because city labs aren't good enough! SPEND MOAR!!!
    • Revamp the Department of Public Safety to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In the past few years, DPS leadership has been in turmoil. Experienced staff has left the agency. Perry's fault? Chronic staffing shortages have not been addressed, and Rick Perry has lowered hiring standards. Lowering standards to allow more people to be hired doesn't address staffing shortages?
      • The agency needs greater investigative capacity to thwart cartel activities. Not if you close the borders and KEEP gangsters locked up
      • DPS must work cooperatively with local law enforcement and other crime-fighting agencies. Local yokels too dumb to do the job? Cooperation maximizes available resources and allows for specialization among agencies.
      • DPS should have a prison intelligence unit to combat cartel-style gang activities. Gangs inside Texas prisons direct activities across the state. Taking their phones away then? No? DPS is uniquely positioned for this work because it has access to all Texas prisons.
    • Assist local law enforcement agencies in adopting Secure Communities, a program that ensures that criminals in the U.S. illegally are identified and turned over to federal authorities. The feds refuse to do anything with them. This means "catch-and-release." State and local law enforcement officials can link efforts across jurisdictions to fingerprint and screen every person booked into jail against all available federal databases. Arrested on false charges? You're in the system now. Good luck getting your fingerprint file deleted, Innocent Man! Then, deportable felons identified can be held by federal authorities. Again the Feds refuse to hold them. They LET THEM GO on a promise to appear in court . . . "catch and release" gee I wonder why we have such a problem with cartels?? Under the leadership of Bill White, the City of Houston was an early participant in Secure Communities. Biometric data privacy: crushing it before anyone else!

    We need a unified vision for transportation and mobility policy in the state. For years, Governor Perry has been focused on the ill-conceived Trans Texas Corridor, which would have turned over our highways to a foreign company and taken hundreds of thousands of acres of private land by eminent domain. After years of the Trans Texas Corridor, borrowing more than $11 billion since 2004, and a top-down approach to managing TxDOT and highway projects, TxDOT is broke with no plan on how to fund projects for the future. The legislature routinely raids the gasoline tax piggy bank . . . mere coincidence. Click on the sections below to learn about Bill's approach to bringing people together for a transportation plan for Texas' future.

    • Focus on the most important goals

      • Our transportation system should help Texans get from where they live to where they work in our major employment centers, as opposed to projects such as the failed Trans Texas Corridor toll roads. Bash the opponent!

      • Goods and people need to move around Texas in a safe and efficient manner. Sure. How?

      • We must use our transportation infrastructure efficiently by encouraging innovative programs such as flexible working hours by employees. Bill launched and implemented a program in Houston with the cooperation of over 140 organizations and had measurable results in improving mobility in the city.This link is broken.
    • + Respect local priorities and decision making

      • We must increase the importance of local decision-making in setting and implementing transportation priorities.

        • We should have more direct grants Pennies from heaven! Nobody pays it! to regional transit organizations, cities, and counties.

        • We should have mechanisms in place that foster regional agreements among geographic areas, the government, and contractors, where decisions would be made entirely at a local level. Local agreements for regional plans? This is gibberish.

      • We must give voters in various regions more options for financing transportation improvements, How about "cash?" include the public and civic leaders in all of these discussions, and respect the will of the voters.
    • Run TxDOT like a business profitably? , so that it's transparent, responsive, and accountable to Texans

      • We must immediately end all authorization for the failed Trans Texas Corridor, Yes. and must make the Texas Department of Transportation more responsive to Texans by respecting private property rights and using eminent domain as the last alternative. Who thinks it's not a last alternative already?

      • We must ensure accountability at TxDOT so that when mistakes are made, those responsible are held accountable.

        • It is unacceptable that no one at TxDOT was fired or even held responsible, by name, after "ineffective internal communication, a complex reporting structure, and misunderstanding of reported data led the Department of Transportation to over-schedule $1.1 billion in planned contracts for fiscal year 2008." If it was nobody's fault, who should be fired?

        • According to the State Auditor's Office, TxDOT "failed to immediately communicate the error and the main causes" to its local partners and the public.

      • To improve transparency, TxDOT should have clear, multi-year budgets which describe in detail capital improvements and operating expenses. The legislature should vote on the budget at each Session.

      • We must phase out diversions of motor fuels taxes for purposes that are unrelated to highway construction of TxDOT's operations. Phase out? How about chop off!

      • We must reduce TxDOT's dependency on debt says the Mayor with a $110M deficit!. Since 2004, TxDOT has issued more than $11 billion in debt and will likely issue another $2.9 billion in the next two years. Any issued debt must be balanced by an appropriate source of repayment. No clear plan has been articulated that ensures sustainable future revenues to pay off this debt, without cannibalizing necessary Operations & Maintenance budgets.
    • Improve federal advocacy by the Governor and TxDOT

      • We must aggressively and effectively pursue the return of federal funds paid by Texas taxpayers for all state and local transportation needs, including mass transit and high-speed rail. The solution is to not let the money go in the first place ...

      • We will work with TxDOT, a bipartisan Congressional delegation, and the federal government to pursue every opportunity that will improve mobility across Texas.

        • Recently, Rick Perry failed to provide a "unified vision" that would have improved Texas' chances at receiving a share of the $8 billion in federal money set aside for high-speed rail. Because this is not Japan. No high speed rail for Texas.

        • Instead, Texas received one-half of one-tenth of one-percent (0.05%) or $4 million. This ranked Texas second-to-last among states that received funding for high-speed rail (only beating Minnesota). Among large states with a population greater than 10 million, Texas ranked last in terms of both awards received and per-capita expenditure on high-speed rail.Good.
    • + Developing a long term plan, with input from "bottom up"

    • The Texas 2030 committee has identified $315 billion to finance Texas' transportation infrastructure and mobility needs until 2030. Even by most optimistic estimates available revenue will cover half this amount. So . . . spend less then?

    • By 2040 Texas' population is expected to reach 35.8 million people. That is a 71.5% increase from 1980. How many of those are illegal aliens?

    • We must have regional and state mobility solutions that urgently address Texas' transportation needs and allow the state to grow. Like ____?
    Texas is a national leader in traditional energy, and must why must? have a Governor who will help us be a national and international leader in energy efficiency and energy supplies for our future as well. With a Governor committed and experienced in the energy business, both traditional and renewable, we can attract new jobs, bring down electricity bills, and protect our natural resources so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy clean air, clean water and open land.Because really we're worst than Los Angeles. Oh, wait . . .

    Learn about Bill's track record here.

    • Diversifying our sources of energy.

      As Texas' Governor, I will promote more clean sources of energy. Texas has some of the best gas, wind, and solar resources in the nation. We should lead the nation in the use of these resources to promote Texas jobs, reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, and clean our air. We already do. I helped Houston become the #1 public purchaser of renewable energy in the country. Renewables cost more . . . how's Houston's budget looking, again?
    • Cutting electricity bills through efficiency.

      We can reduce prices for all consumers by improving energy efficiency. We should:

      • Promote adoption of strong but realistic minimum energy efficiency standards to cut electricity usage in homes and buildings, and enable local governments to adopt even stricter standards in their building codes. Read: unfunded mandates for private construction
      • Scale up a program to cut utility bills in older homes with modest home improvements. Houston's innovative Residential Energy Efficiency Program cut power use by more than 10% for over 7000 homes, and we should target more than a million homes across the state within five years. This program uses tax dollars to upgrade private homes.
      • Educate homeowners on energy improvements and provide needed summer jobs for young people with a statewide Youth Conservation Corps, which has been successful in Houston. Brainwash the kiddies and use tax dollars to give out fluorescent light bulbs. Great.
      • Creating regulatory incentives to protect consumers.
        Texas deregulated prices of electricity in 1999 with support from then Lt. Governor Perry. Since 2007, there has been no limit on consumer prices. Over the last decade, Texas went from having utility bills lower than the national average to bills now higher than the national average. The Public Utility Commission should be given the authority to avoid both blackouts and price spikes by providing incentives for reserve margins, energy efficiency, and cleaner fuels, including natural gas. I have been urging the state to take action on these issues for years.The problem is not DEregulation, its HALF-ASSED deregulation. Get the .gov the rest of the way out of the way of genuine competition!
    • Protecting our natural environment.

      Texas is blessed with extraordinary natural resources. Our future economic growth depends on attracting businesses and workers to our state, and that requires a clean environment. In Houston, we have made great progress in reducing toxic emissions by holding people accountable for their actions, and our efforts are benefitting [SIC]the country. Learn more here. This link goes to an article about Bill White encouraging business-crushing environmental regulations. As Governor, I will continue to protect Texans' health and the environment for future generations of Texans.

      I will appoint people to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who understand the importance of public health and fair and open, science-based decision-making. So, in light of climategate, no anti-CO2 stuff then? No solar due to inefficiency? Lots and lots of drilling for gas and oil, and LOTS of nuclear power because it's clean, safe, reliable, and efficient? Under Gov. Perry, our state now risks a takeover by the federal government of our air quality permitting program because of the TCEQ's failure to operate a program that meets long-standing rules that are constantly being tightened that protect public health. The TCEQ should allow the public a hearing before it authorizes big plants to put dozens of tons of cancer-causing pollutants into our air. More regulation! It protects you from the Bogeyman!
    Health Care

    Cutting Healthcare Costs for Families

    Too many families, including those with and without health insurance, risk financial disaster because of the costs of the healthcare they need. Parents cannot get preventive care for their children and resort to using emergency rooms, a costly form of care that Texans pay for in property taxes and rising insurance costs. Premiums for group health insurance are rising much too quickly for workers and their employers because of the need to cover the costs of those who do not have insurance. As Governor I will work to increase access to affordable healthcare for Texas families, and lower the cost for those currently insured.Illegal aliens are crushing the system, what about the costs THEY add?

    Increasing the number of covered Texans

    • We must expand enrollment in existing programs like the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid that draw down federal dollars paid in by Texas taxpayers. Texas has lost almost $1 billion in federal CHIP funds because the governor did not act. Don't bother to explain why As governor, I will work with the legislature to expand CHIP, rather than threaten to veto expansion bills that have broad bipartisan support. Bipartisan: all of us plus a couple of the other guys we can buy off!
      • We must develop new solutions like three-share Read: taxpayers are robbed for a third programs that allow employers, employees, and public/private partnership funding to each contribute to the cost of affordable premiums for basic care. We implemented two innovative programs in Houston which could scale up to the state level. To learn more about our three-share program, click here. To learn more about the Houston "pay or play" program that also helped expand access, click here.
      • As Houston's mayor, I worked alongside Texas doctors and small businesses to push reforms in the legislature to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses. As Governor, I will continue to push these reforms forward or Texas will continue to fall behind other states in enabling small businesses to thrive and grow.
      • To make health care affordable: allow true competition, remove mandated coverages, and allow for plans that cover ONLY catastrophic illness and part of preventative care. Throwing more tax money at it won't do the trick.
    • Promoting stable, community based medical practices and clinics as the bedrock of health care delivery -- More patients should have a relationship with a doctor or clinic that can provide preventive and primary care, make early diagnoses, and help manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. We must create a financial system giving primary care providers sufficient incentives to fulfill this important role. Read: take tax dollars from you to pay for bums and welfare moms to go to the clinic, more, still, again. Strengthening Texas' network of community health centers is an important step. In Houston we expanded access to primary and preventative care by locating community health centers in city clinics.We need more doc-in-a-box and less big-box clinics. Note he does NOT come out against socialized medicine, indeed rather soft-pitches small-time socialized medicine.

    Welcoming Veterans

    We have a sacred trust with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America. Ensuring that the 1.7 million veterans in Texas receive the services they need is vital. That is why I supported Proposition 8, an Amendment to our Texas Constitution that will bring a VA Hospital to the Valley and help boost existing facilities elsewhere in Texas. Build new, as opposed to make it less hard to use existing facilities: waste? As mayor, I created the Returning Veterans Initiative. This special initiative gives returning veterans the welcome they deserve with coordinated social services, reductions in red tape, and employment opportunities. As Texas' Governor I will work to scale up successful initiatives and ensure our veterans receive the respect they deserve.

    Insert gratuitous picture of Bill White with a Black, Female military-ish looking person.


    That's it. That's why he thinks he should be Governor instead of King Perry. At the end of the day, though, he still ran Houston $110M in deficit and sounds like a squishy leftist at worst, a people-pleaser at best.

    Bottom line: please hold your nose and vote Rick Perry back into office again. Medina would have been better but her campaign bombed. Take me to your lizard.