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  #141  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2014, 8:23 PM
Tech House Tech House is offline
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Alex Jones is fun. I used to watch him on access tv about 14 years ago.
I watched a lot of his show back then as well. I used to think of him as rat poison, mostly consisting of nutritious food but all of it laced with just enough toxin to ruin it. It frustrated me endlessly to see him taking up so many worthwhile causes but then turning them all into a circus with his antics and wild theories. It doesn't require a cabal of reptilian Bilderbergs to explain the things that bother him. Maybe conspiracy theorists buy into exotic explanations as a way to grapple with their feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, I don't know. I think we all contain within us the very problems that we see manifest all around us, and this is disturbing enough that most will try to find some external source of problems to blame, such as a devil, the government, corporations, conservatives, liberals, commies, nazis, religious people, atheists ---- as long as we can affix blame to something that we see as being "other," we effectively dodge our shared responsibility for the way things are.

I think I agree with you about term limits, though I've never been 100% committed to the idea because that doesn't really solve the problem of how entrenched interest groups, who could just as easily pay for and control a succession of politicians as they currently manage with limitless terms. It goes back to what you said about the frustration you feel regarding voter ignorance. As long as we're not even interested enough to become informed, we'll be easily manipulated. Not you and me, of course, but "those other people." You know the ones I'm talking about... the Others. Everything is their fault.
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  #142  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2014, 8:48 PM
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Speaking of which, does anyone else here feel embarrassed that Austin is the home of Alex Jones?
Not at all. Alex Jones is Austin weird. Conspiracy theories are a form of modern fiction and storytelling to me. They take the form of cable access, talk radio, and internet sites now.. but they've always been around. I recall that old bookstore on the drag that sold "underground" books (can't remember the name), a lot of the stuff you could buy there was similarly whacked out. Both right and left wing conspiracy stuff. Entertaining, but with a small amount of truth and off-the-wall interpretation of real facts you wouldn't find in the mainstream.

The fact that a lot of people consider some of the internet and talk radio stuff "news" is really a commentary on the audience, not the source, IMO.

Back in his cable access days, I was in a band, and we did a lot of the music shows... so I had the opportunity to talk with him a few times. He really was out there, it wasn't an act, and there was absolutely no expectation of hitting it rich or anything. Not sure how he views it now.
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  #143  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2014, 9:55 PM
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"Hello? Alex Jones? Alex Jones, please..."
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  #144  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2014, 10:08 PM
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"Hello? Alex Jones? Alex Jones, please..."
I wonder what it's like to live in a world where everything is controlled by a handful of secret organizations? And to have all of the evidence for it in a stack of documents right there in front of you that you just printed off of the internet.
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  #145  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2014, 10:29 PM
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I wonder what it's like to live in a world where everything is controlled by a handful of secret organizations? And to have all of the evidence for it in a stack of documents right there in front of you that you just printed off of the internet.
It might drive you to run for city council:
http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/...ride-and-guns/
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  #146  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2014, 1:36 AM
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I thought this was an interesting map on the migration into Texas, both domestic and international.

61% of the population of Texas is people who were born here. 3% are from California, while 17% are from outside of the US. The rest of the states make up less than 1% each of Texas' population.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/up...abt=0002&abg=1
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  #147  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2014, 2:14 AM
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Great interactive map. That's a lower number of people born outside of the US than I expected. Still, it's higher than most states. Would be nice to see a breakdown of where they're from.

3% seems small from California but that's still 780,000 people. And you can be pretty sure that the vast majority are ending up in our 4 main cities, so it probably feels like more than 3% because of that.
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  #148  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2014, 3:03 AM
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Originally Posted by hookem View Post
Not at all. Alex Jones is Austin weird. Conspiracy theories are a form of modern fiction and storytelling to me. They take the form of cable access, talk radio, and internet sites now.. but they've always been around. I recall that old bookstore on the drag that sold "underground" books (can't remember the name), a lot of the stuff you could buy there was similarly whacked out. Both right and left wing conspiracy stuff. Entertaining, but with a small amount of truth and off-the-wall interpretation of real facts you wouldn't find in the mainstream.

The fact that a lot of people consider some of the internet and talk radio stuff "news" is really a commentary on the audience, not the source, IMO.

Back in his cable access days, I was in a band, and we did a lot of the music shows... so I had the opportunity to talk with him a few times. He really was out there, it wasn't an act, and there was absolutely no expectation of hitting it rich or anything. Not sure how he views it now.
He is no doubt getting quite rich, but he comes from a family that probably has a lot of dough. Daddy Jones own about 20 Austin area Castle Dental clinics. He may own more around the state and nation. Alex and his dad share office space in the Castle Care headquarters building, a two or three story office building in the shopping center on S. Lamar where the new Kerbey Lane is located. If Alex believes all the conspiracy theories he promotes, he is indeed quite crazy, but there is the possibility that he is crazy like a fox with what he is doing. I kind of suspect it is mostly the latter.
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  #149  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2014, 3:13 AM
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Also, am I missing something there. It sure doesn't seem to list many states of origin of people who live in Texas. Surely there are more people living in Texas from other states than those it listed.

Also, the Texas number of foreign born is high, but a few others surprised me that were even higher than Texas'.

California 28%, New York 25%, Florida 23%, Nevada 21%, Hawaii 21%, Massachusetts 18%, Connecticut 17%.

The number of California born Texans is kind of low really. It's higher than a few other states, but Idaho for instance has 4 times as many Californians there than here. We're even tied with Nebraska and Kansas, which would never strike me as destinations for California migrants. There's even more Californians in Oklahoma. lol
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  #150  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2014, 3:16 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Also, the Texas number of foreign born is high, but a few others surprised me that were even higher than Texas'.

California 28%, New York 25%, Florida 23%, Nevada 21%, Hawaii 21%, Massachusetts 18%, Connecticut 17%.
None of those are surprising. LA, SF, Boston, and Miami are immigrant magnets. Vegas has a high Hispanic population, Connecticut has large Brazilian and Central American populations, and Hawaii has always been a big Asian immigrant center. Texas's in-migration from foreign countries is large, yes, but has usually been lower than those other places.

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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
The number of California born Texans is kind of low really. It's higher than a few other states, but Idaho for instance has 4 times as many Californians there than here. We're even tied with Nebraska and Kansas, which would never strike me as destinations for California migrants. There's even more Californians in Oklahoma. lol
Uh. We might have a lower percent from California than those places, but we have larger absolute numbers.
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  #151  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2014, 4:47 AM
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That's all true of course, and I assumed the same for some of those. Still, it kind of goes against the immigration debate with the assumption of "thousands" of Mexican immigrants coming into Texas - the US' longest border with Mexico. It means that even with the supposed high number of Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise, plus all the other immigrants from other locales, we still wound up with a lower percentage than other states. Point taken on the raw numbers, though, but California still managed a very high percentage relative to its size compared to the other states.
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  #152  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2014, 2:13 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
That's all true of course, and I assumed the same for some of those. Still, it kind of goes against the immigration debate with the assumption of "thousands" of Mexican immigrants coming into Texas - the US' longest border with Mexico. It means that even with the supposed high number of Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise, plus all the other immigrants from other locales, we still wound up with a lower percentage than other states. Point taken on the raw numbers, though, but California still managed a very high percentage relative to its size compared to the other states.
The source of that data is the census, so it's certainly possible it under/doesn't count illegal immigrants.
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  #153  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2014, 5:28 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
The number of California born Texans is kind of low really. It's higher than a few other states, but Idaho for instance has 4 times as many Californians there than here. We're even tied with Nebraska and Kansas, which would never strike me as destinations for California migrants. There's even more Californians in Oklahoma. lol
I was in Idaho this summer and you can really feel the California presence, much moreso than in Texas. This is also true of parts of Oregon and the Puget Sound area.

The percentage of Austin residents who are from CA is significantly higher than for Texas as a whole. I don't have access to the stats, but in terms of who is moving where on a year-to-year basis, Austin gets a disproportionate amount of the CA migrants.

In addition, the perception of Austin being overrun by Californians is further driven by the fact that migrants tend to be more visible and active in their adopted homes. For example, if you pick a random Meetup group and attend, you may find that half of the participants are CA transplants. The bulk of the general population in every state and town is mostly "invisible" in that they don't get out and participate in much of anything, and can only be found by visiting a WalMart, state office (DMV, for example), or hospital ER. And these are people who generally don't change things about their lives, they tend to stay put and follow routines. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just observing that it makes immigrants from other states disproportionately visible.

By the way, everything in that last paragraph is made up and not based on anything other than my observations and guesswork, so if I'm wrong then I welcome corrections.
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  #154  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2014, 10:58 PM
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I'm reading an article on the history of South Congress. It's quite fascinating. Many things I knew, but many more small details I'm learning. This quote struck me as being appropriate for today's Austin:

"Austin Being Watched. . . Austin used to be spoken of as "a pretty city, but slow," Within the last few years, however, the old place has taken on a new life and is making a noise like a city. The paving of Congress Avenue – a long-talked of project – is not only an evidence of prosperity, but about the best and most enduring advertisement that Austin people have put their money into."

The Austin Statesman, December 16, 1906
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  #155  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2014, 10:59 PM
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Thought this might be the right place to solicit opinions about the risk that the crash in oil prices might have some kind of negative impact on development projects in Texas. It seems obvious that the building boom in Houston (and possibly DFW) will be impacted. What about Austin? Most financial analysts are predicting a very hard time for Texas energy producers, especially those involved in expensive fracking and shale oil extraction. This will also effect the institutions that loan money to this sector of the economy as well as a lot of wage earners in Texas. Is development in Austin insulated from this situation. It appears that OPEC is waging a price war against the new suppliers of expensive US fracked petroleum products. This could go on for quite a while. I think it is kind of scary since so much of the growth in the US economy has been in the energy producing states like Texas.
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  #156  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2014, 11:32 PM
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I think the biggest risk is on a statewide level with regards to the amounts collected taxes on the petrochemical industry. Austin shouldn't feel too much of a crunch except there, and let's face it we don't exactly get the lion's share of state money anyway.
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  #157  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 6:17 AM
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True, but I wonder about the lending climate for new projects if there is a slump in the Texas economy.
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  #158  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 6:26 AM
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This is global politics at its best/worst.

We did something similar to Russia in the 80s to break them. We're now doing it again to Russia and Iran via Saudi Arabia. They are getting pissed...and desperate.
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  #159  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 9:00 AM
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Originally Posted by lzppjb View Post
This is global politics at its best/worst.

We did something similar to Russia in the 80s to break them. We're now doing it again to Russia and Iran via Saudi Arabia. They are getting pissed...and desperate.
Interesting, but is it in the best interests of the US to destabilize Russia? It does seem kind of strange that the Saudis are so determined to maintain market share even if it means discounting the price by 40 or 50 percent. They were doing very well with the price near $100 a barrel even before they ramped up production a few years back. Russia has the most to lose here, but I am less clear how it impacts Iran. It sure as hell is not going to be good news for Texas or places like North Dakota or Colorado in the short term. On the other hand the US consumer will have more disposable income.
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  #160  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 12:23 PM
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That was the idea back then. The U.S., and in this case the Saudis, can withstand this. Russia cannot. Iran relies on oil similar to Russia, but obviously on a smaller scale. And doesn't Iran get support from Russia? Break them and their support means nothing.

I could be wrong. Sometimes the full scope isn't clear until years later.
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