The Wall vs. Principles

The Department of Homeland Security has started condemnation lawsuits against some Texas property owners. The government is using eminent domain to seize land needed to build the border wall. While repeatedly feeding us stories of the crimes committed by illegal immigrants, the federal government is now embarking on its own crime.

The alleged purpose of […]

Unchallenged Premises

For decades, statists have confronted Houstonians with a seemingly endless series of policy proposals allegedly intended to make our city better. From outlawing billboards to zoning, from historic preservation to anti-discrimination, activists and politicians have claimed that without more government controls and regulations Houston will descend into depravity and economic ruin.

Underlying all of these […]

The Solution to Houston’s Deficit

The Chronicle reports that the City of Houston will end the year with a deficit for the first time in its history. Mayor Turner attributes the $95 million deficit to the city’s ongoing pension problems. In a statement issues on Friday, he said

We must have meaningful pension reform and we must have a strategic […]

“Progressives” Are Regressive

For decades Houston has been besieged with “Progressive” activists claiming that they want to make our lives better. Invariably, the way they will make our lives better is by forcing to live as they think best, rather than by our own judgment.

Progressive means to move forward. But the policies advocated by these activists aren’t […]

When “Rights” are Wrong

Chronicle business reporter Chris Tomlinson calls Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and his allies bigots for their support of a “bathroom bill.” Tomlinson goes on to write:

Today, transgender people are fighting hard for their liberty, which is why bigots are proposing unnecessary laws to deny them the ability to live as they wish.

Through the […]

Principles and Plastic Bags

Galveston is the latest Texas city to consider a ban on disposable plastic bags. (Eleven cities currently have such a ban.) Conservatives, as well as bag manufacturers and some businesses, are fighting the ordinance. But not all Galveston businesses are opposed.

“As business operators we typically don’t like this type of business regulation,” said Steve […]

Concretes, Cheese, and Cronyism

A Chronicle editorial last week illustrates the dangers of focusing on concrete issues and ignoring the principles involved. The editorial, which defends earmarks, states that

earmarks have “helped glue Congress together by giving members a kind of currency to trade: You support my pork, and I’ll support yours.”

“Earmarks,” Chris Cilliza of The Washington Post […]

Prohibition in The Heights

Since 1912, it has been illegal to sell alcohol for off-site consumption in The Heights. On November 8, residents of The Heights voted to end Prohibition. (Texas law allows voters great discretion in the sale of alcohol.)

Interestingly, those on both sides of the issue cited quality of life issues as the reason for their […]

Quality of Life

We hear lots of talk from politicians and various organizations about improving the quality of life in Houston. But the quality of life advocates never define what they mean by the term. They assume that we all know, and agree to, its meaning.

More than 2.2 million people live in Houston. Some prefer the ballet […]

The Voluntary and the Coercive

If your neighbor broke into your house to steal money for his transportation needs, you would recognize his action as immoral and criminal. He took your property without your consent. The principle does not change if a government agent acts as your neighbor’s proxy.

If your neighbor needs assistance, he has two methods by which […]