Low regulation comes with a cost

The influx of workers, the migration of people continues apace, as does the Governors low tax, low regulation mantra. Gov. Perry to Newsmax: Low Taxes, Less Regulation Key to ‘Texas Miracle’ The lax oversight though has direct impact on everything from fertilizer plants, to your children. Systems in place better work, there is often no fallback. New director finds sex offender office in shambles http://t.co/Gr1DSC2yHI #txlege @HoustonChron — ChronicleMike (@ChronicleMike) May 7, 2014 Continue reading Low regulation comes with a cost

Transportation leadership failure

On Tuesday I wrote about “Austin and Alcohol tourism” and speculated on the lack of an alternative transport policy as a leadership failure. I said: Rather than rally behind what most transport conscious users and urbanization advocates believes would be hard, but right choice to put a rail line of some sort, straight down Lamar from North West Austin, [Mayor] Leffingwell used his last state of the city to rally behind the current rail proposal. And today Leffingwell lived up to that speculation. The outgoing Mayor is reported by the Austin Statesman as saying in relation to making space on … Continue reading Transportation leadership failure

Austin and Alcohol tourism

I’m not trying to conflate two separate subjects with this post, but finally people are starting to get part of the real need for alternate transport options in Austin. Urban Rail and Drink Driving. NPR posted a link to this KUT segment/web page to it’s facebook page today. I listened to the story as I drove to work this morning on Morning Edition. Providing additional transport isn’t enough, it will need a generational change. However, generational change needs real leadership to solve this problem and that’s been distinctly lacking from the “Rail or Fail” Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, and departing Governor of … Continue reading Austin and Alcohol tourism

Dead Reckoning: The TDI rules don’t quite blind the navigators

Michael King sums up how I feel about what’s been going on in Texas in relation to Womens Health, the Affordable Care act. I don’t always agree with King, but when I do it’s always the same problem. For entirely political reasons, Gov. Rick Perry has not only opposed and obstructed the federal health care law at every available opportunity, he has done nothing to offer a usable alternative or even to maintain the entirely inadequate existing state health care programs. It has been more important for Perry and his GOP allies to fight a holy war against Planned Parenthood … Continue reading Dead Reckoning: The TDI rules don’t quite blind the navigators

TEXAS Two Face

Between the Maher, Stewart and Colbert TV shows you can get some of the most biting commentary on the real America. Bill Mahers latest blog takes on Texas as a “free market paradise” and a “We’ll stay out of your hair.” kinda place, makes some very interesting points. The contradiction between the business claims and attorney Abbotts current fight with the EPA which is at odds with the record of safety history and environmental impact; and alongside that, the rugged individualism and freedom, with what has been enacted this year over Womens health. Continue reading TEXAS Two Face

Double dipping, a Texas Gov. staple

Texan politicians, and many on the right often complain about the Federal government and “career politicians” in Washington, there is still much to be done here in Texas to let the sunshine in. The Tribune has a great piece on the current practice of “double dipping” as it’s known. The British Government over the past few years has forced the funding of politicians and their outside interests into the sunlight. Often with excruciating detail on what are in many ways, trivial amounts of money. While money in politics in both countries is still sky rocketing, the direct pay of politicians … Continue reading Double dipping, a Texas Gov. staple

For Groundwater, Political Boundaries Trump Natural Ones

For Groundwater, Political Boundaries Trump Natural Ones The Tribune just published an interesting insight into the politics behind groundwater in Texas and how it is managed. It includes this helpful summary of how things got the way they are “When most GCDs [Groundwater Conservation Districts] were created, they focused on making sure current and historic water pumpers wouldn’t need to change their habits, he said. Instead, they should have encouraged them to limit their pumping as much as they could, knowing that new users would be entering the picture and competing for dwindling resources. “ Continue reading For Groundwater, Political Boundaries Trump Natural Ones

Abbott, leads by example

And says FU to Texas water users. Attorney general Abbott knows the law,  if nothing else. Texas is a property rights state,  along with which come a number of other rights,  not normally recognized as either good for the Commons,  or not allowed by law in a modern democracy. Those rights include everything under the property,  which would obviously include oil  gas shale,  but in this instance include water. Abbott must like a green lawn, we all do, but for the most part it has become impractical and should be unaffordable to waste water on a lawn. In what are … Continue reading Abbott, leads by example

Texas Water Wars

Despite the recent rain we’ve been having in Austin, and many flash floods, it hasn’t really made much of a difference to the lake levels, it will take time for the water to work it’s way through the ground and collection systems to the lakes. This report by the Texas Tribune highlights the current tension between Texas and Mexico over a 1944 water agreement. Things were very different back then. However, many of these issues have been well understood and behind many tensions around the world. I discussed this back in 2003 in my technology trends and direction presentation. I’d … Continue reading Texas Water Wars

The long traveled road…

to 1010 Colorado St, Austin, TX I’ve seen it many times over the years in business. A new guy shows up, he was unexpected. He seems fine at first and then he starts cleaning house, reorganising, people get fired, departments get cut and before you know it, he is gone. Paid off handsomely, publicly, because they wanted his silence, privately because he’d done his job, he was Leon, The Professional. What happens next is the old guard regroup, they step out of the shadows and everything goes just the way they wanted it. The hired guy was the fall guy, the … Continue reading The long traveled road…