As of October 22nd, the people of Austin, Texas, are under a water crisis. Local government officials recently gave citizens a notice to boil all water from public utilities. Recent flooding has contaminated the water with mud and debris. Thus, the water will require more filtration, according to Austin Water.
The boiling of the water will kill the harmful bacteria. Austin Water has given specific instructionsregarding the boiling process: citizens should boil all of the water they use for drinking or cooking for at least three minutes in order to kill any bacteria that could cause illness. They have also given other tips to be safe during this time:
Limit water consumption as much as possible. This will reduce the amount of water going through the plants and allow the plant to work on the problem.
People should use bottled water as much as they possibly can.
Restaurants should NOT use drinking fountains that rely on tap water.
Officials have said that the water should be safe for washing dishes, but encourage people to soak dishes in boiling water after cleaning. The water also safe for bathing and laundry, but any consumed water requires boiling.
Amidst the Austin water crisis, many schools and business are remaining open. However, most have shut off water fountains until further notice. Instead, those at work and in school must bring bottled water to drink instead. With this, bottled water sales have greatly increased in the past day.
City officials will notify residents when water is safe for consumption without the boiling process.
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The first amendment to the Constitution is not a poem. It was not scribbled, in jubilant prose, between recesses on the playground schoolyard. It’s an adult tragedy and morbid testament to the way of things as they really are. Free speech was meant for the lunatics as well as the poets. A document with no trace of the ideological molasses of postmodern bourgeois liberal mores, the first amendment is a passage saturated in the true and dark nature of how humans are and how they speak. And it belongs to all of the citizens of the United States whether conservative, liberal, socialist or fascist.
We have always been brutes. No wild invention, or scientific marvel, or intersectional ideology, or organic elixir has ever cured the same disease that inflicts all societies. Alex Jones is a particular king of brutes patently made for the 21st century. Behind his blistering blue Infowars set, Jones’ voice booms out to an audience of millions. As much as he’s a blowhard for the right wing, he’s certainly not a Nazi in the traditional sense (you know, like Hitler and such). Jones has always sounded like a 4th way John Birch, paleo-American, pro-gun, conservative of the anti-empire stripe. More than anything though, he’s a bully showman. Jones all but agreed to that assessment when his lawyer admitted that his on-screen rantings were Jones “playing a character.”
What kind of character is Jones? He is loud, obnoxious and unceremoniously conspiratorial. His cartoon riot eruptions have brought him fame, fortune and a dedicated, rabid fan base that defends him (like Trump) with a deity-like fervor. He is also the great ire of the neoliberal left who suggest that his words are hurtful and thus grounds for removal from the society run by polite technocrats. Jones styles himself as a relentless renegade against a perceived tyranny that sits atop American and global politics. Puffing out from under his too small sports coat, he has become the quintessential king of the soulless, shrieking lizard brain of western media.
It wasn’t always that way. Earlier in his career, Jones was known as a wild card with a principled libertarian streak who stood at the forefront of a new form of in your face guerilla video journalism. Always sitting on the fringe of the critical conservative lens, Jones built his career and platform through public access t.v. in Austin, Texas and in 1995 was removed from a rally for then-governor of Texas George W. Bush after demanding The Federal Reserve and The Council For Foreign Relations be abolished.
Jones ban on four of the largest media hubs is suggestive of a creeping, aggressive dogma that seeks to quiet the major, key tenet of our first amendment – the right to say whatever you want. The forced removal of his social media accounts by Apple, Facebook, Youtube & Twitter within a 12-hour censor spree on Monday, August 6th should have us all worried. It is just another in a long string of troubling signs for American civil rights as we navigate the nascent age of big technology monopolies. If nothing else, Jones’ ban is representative of the streamlined capacity for today’s tech giants to redefine the terms of free speech in the United States with one swift, coordinated swoop.
Facebook and Twitter have seen drastic falls in their stock prices recently due to falling membership numbers as many commentators on both platforms have loudly and consistently declared their distaste for the censorship rules. The multi-platform ban on Jones looks like a coordinated attack on free speech from the unelected technocrats of Silicon Valley. Behind computers thousands of miles away from Congress, four technology monopolies have decided to silence one of the most watched personalities in the country.
Jones is not a good guy in all of this. If his accounts were all plugged back into the psycho grid tomorrow, I wouldn’t hit the follow button. But this isn’t about me. This is about that scintillating idea of wild freedom that made the United States a nation of booty twerkers, root farmers, low riding mafiosos, cigar smoking pioneers and unabashed ranchers pissing in the wind. We were made to respect the rights of a person to think and speak as they wish if no threat or harm of violence is done to another human. No matter how ugly the words.
Where does this end? Who is next? And when will they come for you?
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38 percent. That is the percentage of the Missouri electorate Hillary Clinton garnered in her failed bid for president in 2016. You would think the Missouri GOP would be smart enough not to use a page from Ms. Clinton’s shoddy playbook, especially since Mr. Donald Trump defeated Ms. Clinton by 19 points in the Show Me State. However, this is not the case.
The Missouri GOP voted on July 3, 2018, to suspend a rule that prohibits the National Republican Party (the establishment) to spend money on a particular candidate in a contested primary. Instead of leaving the race between the candidates and the voters, the Missouri GOP thought it would be a fantastic idea to act like there is not a primary by concerting with the national party to elect Josh Hawley. Sound familiar?
Ms. Clinton colluded with the DNC to rig her primary election against Bernie Sanders only two years ago. And to add insult to injury, the DNC decided to further isolate the Sanders wing of the party by barring his supporters from the party’s convention the same year. Common sense would suggest not to repeat the same mistake of snubbing the grassroots, especially in such a close race. Polls show Mr. Hawley either trailing Claire McCaskill or narrowly leading her within the margin of error.
However, the grassroots’ liberty candidate in the race, Austin Petersen, is determined to fire Clairein November. In a matchup between Mr. Petersen and Ms. McCaskill, Austin bests Claire 56% to 40%. In light of that recent poll, it should be common knowledge not to interfere in a heated race between a weak, establishment candidate and an electrifying grassroots firebrand.
But to make matters worse, in an out-of-touch move, President Trump and Vice-President Pence have weighed in for Mitch McConnell’s Josh Hawley. This shows disdain for the vast amount of Missouri voters reluctant to support Mr. Hawley. After all, it was Mr. Hawley who aired campaign ads not even two years ago that promised not to use the Attorney General’s office to climb the political ladder. Such promises have long since vanished.
However, attempts to shut out the grassroots have not weathered Austin’s spirits, and why should they? Mr. Hawley has modeled his entire campaign after Ms. Clinton up to this point. For example, Mr. Hawley decided meeting with voters and debating his primary opponents is beneath him. So, Josh skipped the vast majority of Lincoln Days hosted by local Republicans. He was also missing the night Congresswoman Ann Wagner flew from D.C. to St. Louis to host the Republican senatorial debate. To make up for his blunders, Josh thought he could score a few political points by throwing former-governor Eric Greitens under the bus. Publicly alluding to impeachment before even filling charges, he effectively denied Mr. Greitens due process.
Furthermore, Mr. Hawley has been spotted lifting weights at the gym and buying wine during business hours (you know, while he’s supposed to be performing the duties of Attorney General). This is all part of a pattern.
Back in March, while Mr. Petersen and other primary candidates were out shaking hands with voters, Mr. Hawley chose to stay home and talk about his NCAA bracket on Twitter. And just when you thought Mr. Hawley couldn’t be more distant to voters? His official senatorial website doesn’t even have an “issues” section to let Missourians know how the Attorney General feels about crucial topics. To this day, Mr. Hawley refuses to rule out voting for Mitch McConnell for Majority/Minority Leader.
Mr. Hawley has even admitted in one of his few interviews that he was not interested in running for senator at first. Comparatively, Austin Petersen, Mr. Hawley’s most formidable primary opponent, has been attending countless local events and speaking with a myriad of voters on the campaign trail. It appears that the West/East Coast educated Attorney General believes the GOP establishment’s blessing will be able to carry him across the finish line in August. Judging by the Missouri GOP’s recent, unconventional actions, however, it may be harder than Mr. Hawley and company imagined.
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This past Friday, the city of Austin passed an ordinance, 9-2, in favor of mandatory sick pay. The ordinance, that will take effect October 1st, is not only a slap in the free market’s face but will greatly harm the small business that makes up the expansive Austin economy. The hypocrisy of the ordinance is the fact that it is supposed to help the people of Austin, but in the end, it will only eliminate jobs and make it harder for businesses to emerge in Austin.
The ordinance, a mess in itself, failed to consider that the people who will be hurt the most are the people who fund their jobs in office. Greg Casar, the councilman who proposed the ordinance, stated that “so much of this is about widening inequality and our fight against it”, but how exactly is this going to be helping to end inequality? If anything, it will force companies to reconsider their workforce as each person is entitled to 48 hours for companies with less than 15 employees, and 64 for all other employers. A business has no choice in determining if an employee deserves the time off with this ordinance. This eliminates any type of competitiveness to work for privileges. But, this creates a dangerous environment of entitlement in a world already full of people who think that everything is a right.
One can simply look to other cities that have implemented this type of ordinance to see the failures. When Connecticut implemented a similar law requiring paid sick leave, businesses began to cut back other benefits, reduce wages, and hours. This was followed by the fact that businesses were hiring fewer people, giving out fewer raises, increasing product prices, and requiring their employees to pay more for health care. Many states that require mandatory sick leave will have major benefits with little cutbacks, but it is hard to avoid the fact that a business can’t constantly spend. When it came to paid sick leave before the laws were put in place, most businesses already had sick pay on top of the benefits that are often offered. In San Francisco, 65.1% of employers already had paid sick leave. The free market will take care of itself without the government forcing mandates down their throats.
Austin has always been a leader for small businesses in large metro areas. So many times has Austin been called the top place to start a business, but with a mandate where the government is asserting their power over the entrepreneurs is hurting this title. Austin is also up for consideration for Amazon’s HQ, but would Amazon really consider a city that mandates the paid time off? These types of mandates may seem that they are helping the greater good, but in the end, the free market will always come out on top.
It boils down to the Milton Friedman quote that “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” What is happening with the utopian laws being made is they only look at the benefits rather than weighing the costs. The government must stay out of the way of small businesses. Let the companies run themselves as they see fit, and allow for more innovation and entrepreneurship to happen by limiting government.