(Here's Why That's a Problem)

Austin Dispatches No. 237 July 16, 2022

"An occasional reader" wrote:

If your political cultural outlook and intent can be essentially reduced to “the meaning of life is the pursuit of property and profit” why are you still living in a rented apartment and sending money to someone else? Why is your life a caricature of the World Economic Forum blueprint for 2030? Specifically: “Own nothing and be happy about it.” The entire foundational premise of your adult life and the philosophical conceit with which you have approached it appears a battered shambles from the outside. What am I missing?

Arguendo, note my interlocutor neglected offering to help me escape this plight. That's what he's missing. His missive also supports what I've written before, about how I could've accomplished all my goals by half my current age if it weren't for the static resistance of the other people, organizations, and socioeconomic-political trends whose cooperation I need to accomplish them.1 That impudent jerkoff would know that if he were an astute, instead of occasional, reader.

Meanwhile, the other day, a panhandler at Wells Branch Parkway and Farm-to-Market Road 1825 flashed a wad of bills. I lowered my car window, beckoned, rubbed my thumb over my index and middle fingers, then outstretched my palm.

Still, the panhandler had the temerity to ask why he should give me money.

"It's for a worthy cause," I said.

"What's that?"

"ELM." Eisler's (shopping) lists matter.2

Given the number of street corner bums around this metro, I should soon raise enough cash to finally buy a house in the suburbs without need of a loan.3 When that happens, the interlocutor will complain I didn't invite him to the housewarming.

Political Follies

Speaking of static, real libertarians wrested control of the national Libertarian Party from the fakes and flakes for the first time since the benighted 2006 Portland convention. This makes the LP almost unique in American life, as an institution that corrects its past mistakes.4

Unfortunately, that took 16 years, an eternity in politics, and a third of the party's existence, during which it squandered electoral opportunities. For example, it's been about that long since doyennes of the Travis County affiliate even shook their tiny fists at the statist quo, after the party abandoned its animating ideals.5 Indeed, the fakes and flakes have bequeathed the now-dominant Mises Caucus that much more work just to restore the LP's viability to c. 2004.

Moreover, even real libertarians must struggle against a weakness they share with the fakes and flakes: paradoxically, an aversion to politics, particularly toward the technical or applied aspects. Many of these aspects are as fun as flossing, but anyone participating in politics must master them as a prerequisite toward victory.

Austin Death Watch

Speaking of bums, the June 24 Chronicle finally acknowledges allegations that Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, an avowed socialist, has withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense team of a man on trial for murder in self-defense.6 So long as Garza remains in power, no small business, no private property owner, no gun owner, no religious establishment, and no taxpayer can expect justice in Travis County.

Regardless, the City Council, spending more money it doesn't have, intends to increase the minimum wage for municipal bureaucrats from $15 to $22. What's more, the Council decided this after this choice quote from some labor goon in the Public Works department: " 'We repair the roads you drive on and the sidewalks you walk on every day."7 Could've fooled me. Whatever they're doing, it isn't good enough. We could get the same results for less by hiring cheap foreign labor.

The City plans to use eminent domain, a medieval concept for the powerful to seize others' property, to terminate a private company's lease at the airport so the airport can expand.8 A new study finds Austin real estate development fees are higher than elsewhere in Texas.9

Media Indigest

If nothing else, the U.S. Supreme Court's repeal of abortion rights by judicial fiat has been worthwhile for the anguish it causes the Chroniclistas. Their July 1 edition is chockablock with cauterwauling at a level unheard since the 2016 Trump victory.10 As before, they set themselves up for easy zingers at their expense. For example, the editor declaims "[t]his newspaper has always operated from the assumption that all humans deserve the right to bodily autonomy" -- that is, unless it involves declining injections of experimental or dangerous drugs administered by people with certain credentials and occupational licenses approved by government bureaucrats, or using weapons for self-defense.11 In those cases, you have no rights the Chronicle recognizes or respects.

Meanwhile, the Chronicle's food editor jabbered on KLBJ-FM during the July 1 morning commute about the balloting for the best of Austin restaurants contest.12 She conveniently omitted to mention, and the DJs didn't push her on, her newspaper's cheerleading for the lockdowns and other anti-pandemic measures that wiped out many small, locally owned businesses, including the restaurants that advertised in the Chronicle. The paper will fold before its staffers admit they were wrong.

The Statesman increasingly just reprints news stories from other local publications. Then again, it's not like you're reading real reporting from the unionized Statesman staff.13 Now that a monkeypox case has been reported in Travis County, the July 10 coverage tiptoed around who actually catches it (homos) and how they catch it (sodomizing each other), and omits Austin Public Health's role in encouraging such behavior among who catches it during the ineffective, totalitarian lockdowns over coronavirus, for which the Statesman shares blame in supporting.14

Business Roundup

A chicken salad franchise plans to open in Austin.15 Jack Nicholson was unavailable for comment.16

Neighborhood News

Willie Nelson headlined a July 4 concert at that damned soccer stadium, even though foreigners and Americans on paper only use soccer to flaunt how un-American they are.17 It's probably Willie's worst career mistake since his album with Wynton Marsalis.18

KXAN-TV's traffic Web page reported collisions at Parmer Lane and MoPac Expressway on June 22, at Kramer Lane and Metric Boulevard on June 24, and at Highway 183 northbound and MoPac on July 4. Power outages struck the neighborhood on June 21 and June 23.19

The June 24 Austin Business Journal profiles the chief information officer at brokerage Charles Schwab. If nothing else, he should be commended for wearing a proper suit and tie in his photo. Conveys the right attitude.20

PayPal has signed a lease at Domain Tower 2.21 A shoe store opened at The Domain.22 A new medical surgical unit opened in late June at St. David's North Austin Medical Center.23 City workers resurfaced Stonehollow Drive between Metric and Gracy Farms Lane, and the MoPac frontage roads between Braker Lane and the Waters Park Drive-Park Bend Drive intersections.

On the Metro

June 22: Witnessed the aftermath of a smash-up along East Pecan Street.

July 9: Saw a green convertible with tail fins at Braker and Stonelake Boulevard.24 At Parmer Center in Pflugerville, I noticed a new restaurant, Palatable Nigerian Cuisine. Maybe I'm missing a nuance of Nigerian English, but here, "palatable" usually connotes "bad food that you can still swallow." We also call that "Denny's."

July 13: Witnessed two successive near-collisions at the new diverging diamond intersection of East Pecan and Dessau Road.

Home Archives


1 AD No. 213 (Jan. 21, 2019); AD No. 235 (Jan. 22, 2022).

2 Eisler, Dan. "Re: Why Contractors Won't Return Your Calls." E-mail to Rob Eisler et al., 29 Jun. 2022. D. Eisler. Re: Re: Re: Why Contractors Won't Return Your Calls." E-mail to R. Eisler et al., 30 Jun. 2022.

3 Sayers, Justin. "Austin's Economy Is Shifting North." ABJ 15 Jul. 2022: A15.

4 Greenhut, Steven. "Shifting Party Politics -- Libertarians Take Detour: Will It Pay Off? Should It?" Orange County Register 26 Jun. 2022: 3.

5 AD No. 82n14 (Aug. 18, 2005).

6 Bingamon, Brant. "What's a Grand Jury?" AC 24 Jun. 2022: 18-21.

7 Chmais, Sahar. "New Minimum Wage to Be Felt Beyond City Hall." ABJ 1 Jul. 2022: A14; Sanders, Austin. "Fight for $15 (+$7)." AC 24 June 2022: 10.

8 Asch, Sarah. "Austin Plan to Raze Terminal Resisted."AAS 26 Jun. 2022: 1B+.

9 Baird, Cody. "Austin Development Fees Drastically Higher Than Other Cities, Study Finds." ABJ 8 Jul. 2022: 4.

10 AD No. 194n9 (March 5, 2017).

11 Jones, Kimberley. "Struggling to Find the Words." AC 1 Jul. 2022: 2.

12 "Readers Poll!" AC 1 Jul. 2022: 44.

13 AD No. 232n28 (March 28, 2021).

14 AD No. 228n39 (Dec. 8, 2020).

15 "Chicken Salad Chain Bites Into Area." ABJ 1 Jul. 2022: A15.

16 Five Easy Pieces. BBS Productions/Columbia Pictures Corp./Raybert Productions, 1970.

17 Blackstock, Peter. "Willie's Got a New Green." AAS 3 Jul. 2022: 1E+.

18 AD No. 115n31 (Aug. 22, 2008).

19 Folio Apartments. E-mail to tenants, 21 June 2022.

20 Anderson, Will. "Schwab Exec Prioritizes Recruiting." ABJ

21 Christen, Mike. "PayPal Signs Lease for Two Floors at Stonelake's Domain Tower 2." ABJ 15 Jul. 2022: A4.

22 "Now Open." CIN Jun. 2022, Northwest Austin ed.: 6.

23 "Hospital Unit Opens." AAS 1 Jul. 2022: B3.

24 Knoedelseder, William. Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit. New York City: Harper Business, 2018: Ch. 13-18; Lamm, Michael, and David Holls. A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design. Stockton, Calif.: Lamm-Morada Publishing, 1997: Ch. 10.