May 6th Election Endorsements

Endorsements

Wylie City Council Place 5 - Dr. Timothy "Toby" Wallis
Collin College Trustee Place 1 - Fred Moses
Collin College Trustee Place 2 - Jeri Landfair Chambers
Collin College Trustee Place 5 - Larry Wainwright
Proposition No. 1 - For

Early voting at Rita Smith Library

Fri & Sat 8-5
Mon & Tuesday 7-7
Election Day May 6th 7-7

Don't California My Texas


California expats are getting a really bad rap in Texas. Granted, there are some poor misguided soul-sisters to Dianne Feinstein, that have dared tiptoe through the yellow roses of Texas. But not all of them are bad.

Actually, if you talk to a lot of Californians that have moved here, they are happy to remove themselves from the oppressive, black hole of taxes and slime that is California politics.

They will always love California, but not for the reason you might think. I know, I once called Southern California home and I still miss the weather and beaches that are second to none.

That said, I welcome them to the land of the free. For if they are teetering on the liberal side, they will soon find out how awesome the big-ass, successful experiment in conservative values that Texas is.

Welcome to your new home!

Taxes Increase Four Years Running Under Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue

There has been exceedingly robust activity on the Nextdoor social media platform about Collin College, Wylie ISD, the City of Wylie and taxes. To think it all started with a simple question from someone about where the new college campus is going.

As you can imagine, I've taken every opportunity to educate the public on how our tax rates work, and why our taxes continue to increase. One would swear that reducing taxes is a novel new idea. For Wylie, it actually would be.

I've heard it said before from Mayor Eric Hogue and City Manager Mindy Manson, that cutting the tax rate means the city would have to cut services thanks to all the new growth. Whether intentional or unintentional, that statement is a lie.

Growth pays for growth as every new taxable entity begins paying their portion, which should cover services. The cost of city services is a result of how much the city is spending on police, fire, water, trash, sewer, roads, parks and a host of other things.

About four years ago the break even point for Wylie homes was about $220K taxable property value. Hypothetically, even if that number has increased to $260K, most of the new homes are more than covering their portion when they close, and many existing homes reside near that mark. But that number is really just a stab in the dark, and could even be artificially higher based upon all the additional spending the city has taken up through the years. Certainly, our property should be running in the black by now, at this stage of build-out. If it isn't, then the city is seriously mismanaging our budget.

Sure, Wylie has "reduced" the rate a half cent here, a penny there and last year by two full cents, but our taxes still went up. In case you want to do some additional reading, and if my highlighted post on the home page wasn't enough of a draw for you, I've thoroughly explained this phenomena in Wylie Tax Rate Kept Artificially High.

Many people have expressed concern over our tax rate, and want to know what can be done about it. I let them know that our city leaders will wrongfully assume everyone is happy with our taxes, as long as nobody shows up at the city council meetings.

Pinkie-promise, there will be much hand wringing and tap dancing at the dais, if anyone dares suggest a full rollback this year. However, when looking at the anticipated property value increase we are sure to be given again this year, there is no excuse great enough for the city to refuse to give us a rollback to the effective tax rate. None.

I'm not work averse, and I will continue to educate the masses about our tax rate until the city stops mismanaging our money. Because that's what it is when a city refuses to do a rollback to the effective tax rate year, after year, four years and counting.

Image: LinkedIn

Collin College Earns a Pass, While Wylie Earns a Fail


Until now, I have remained quiet over the Collin College bond vote. Truth is, I did not want to appear biased due to relationships I have with Collin and with the architect firm they worked with to come up with the bond figures. I have a son who interns for the architect firm and every person in my family has attended Collin dating back many years.

It's true, Wylie is the highest taxed city in all of North Texas, and adding any additional taxes to that from the Collin College district is not very appealing.

That said, we need an educated population and Collin has remained debt free, until this expansion, proving they have been very good stewards of the tax money we pay them.

The school is at capacity and I would never wish for students to be turned away because there is no available space.

Both my sons attended Collin and it was an awesome way to make their transfers to UTD and UTA a lot more affordable. In fact, both my husband, myself and my oldest son all have AA degrees from Collin. and my husband and I both have gone on to graduate school after earning BAs, and I suspect both of my sons will do the same thing. We can attest to the quality of education we received from the school.

Now flip all that I have admitted to upside-down while you consider the fact that I am a fiscal conservative, and the idea of increasing taxes leaves me with a bad case of cognitive dissonance over this vote.

I do not care for the .12/100 but to be honest, it is no different than the .9+/100 blank check we handed the City of Wylie over a decade ago. The city has never increased our taxes to that level, and I would not anticipate the college to do so either; not as long as we are vigilant taxpayers and we remind our mayor how bad he looks every time he threatens citizens with that rate.

A simplified explanation of how adding higher education to Wylie improves property values can be understood by what it brings the community. Creating a workforce that is better educated, increases property values. This in turn,entices companies and higher paying jobs to the area. As businesses move in or open as a result of the influx of students, faculty and administration, they reap sales tax which is a source of revenue for the city. The addition of supporting businesses also increases our property values.

With increasing property values and tax revenue, the idea is that the city will reduce our tax rate as their revenue increases. Though they have done this at low levels the past four or five years in a row, our taxes are still increasing because they refuse to roll-back the rate every time our property values increase.

I am not so concerned about our taxes increasing as a measure of this bond as I am over our city taxes increasing because of our property values, which represents the lion share of what we are paying every year. My beef with our tax rate remains with the City of Wylie, and not with Collin College or Wylie ISD, who do more to improve property values than the city has ever done.

In reality, our city tax rate is an abomination and, I will continue to place the onus for our high taxes on Wylie's city manager, administration and bobble-head council members who seem fine with the continued spending spree. as find acrobatic new ways to spend the tax revenue windfall they received the last several years, and will receive for the foreseeable future.

I will not take out our high taxes on Collin College. I will be voting in support of this measure.

Liberal Media Inking the Trump Waters


If you listen to the media, you would swear Trump's first 100 days have been absolutely catastrophic for the US. The liberals running our news outlets are like a slimy octopus, inking the water in an attempt to confuse you. Ignore them.

Here is my top 10 list of 100 days of Trump:

10. Secretary of Defense James Mattis; now there's a bad mama jama.
  9. Promising Chinese President Xi meeting soliciting help controlling North Korean nut job.
  8. Approved Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines will create jobs and increase oil supplies.
  7. Syrian sanctions imposed; a far cry from Obama's namby pamby red line in the sand stance
  6. Executive order cracking down on sanctuary cities.
  5. Banned federal funding of international abortions.
  4. Repealed unconstitutional Obama gun regulations.
  3. Many ISIS terrorists are dead in Afghanistan underground tunnels.
  2. Beefed up border security; illegal's entering reportedly half that of Obama administration.
  1. Neil Gorsuch. 'Nuf said.

Forget what the liberal media is reporting on their silly and biased networks, the truth is, a plan is clearly unfolding and though there have been a few missteps, our future still looks far brighter than it did this time last year.

Trump currently has a pass from those who voted for him, as polls continue to show he would still beat Clinton if the election took place today. That said, it is imperative he continue to meet his promises over the next couple of years, because if he doesn't, forget Hillary, we'll be looking at feminazi Elizabeth Warren.

Headline image credit: jmu.edu

Mobile Optimized


My apologies! I did not realize that when I changed my blog template, it would remove the mobile optimization. That has been fixed.

Carry on....

Image credit: visually.netdna-ssl.com

Exercising Civility



I know my writing can carry a bite sometimes. For those who have cringed at some of my blistering handiwork, it's probably difficult to imagine that I'm actually quite polite in person. My friends have all realized that it's just the way I write my blog. It's not personal.

When I write, it's easier for me to remove unnecessary emotion in order to get to the meat of things. It's like eating rabbit and not thinking about a cute, cuddly animal with whiskers and floppy ears. Do you focus on the face of whatever meat you are eating? Sometimes it's just better not to.

When I write, for example, that snowflakes lying in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs at UC Berkeley are are just plain stupid, I'm not really providing any new information here. Mature adults already know it is. I'm just verbally walloping the morons, who needed a good smack on the backside when they were squalid brats, playing with their Barbies or Legos. Spare the rod, spoil the child, and all that.

This is not to say I call people fat or ugly; I would honestly be more predisposed to self-deprecate in that department. The fact is, I find all people beautiful and interesting until an ugly soul oozes out of them. Like Miley Cyrus. Now there's someone that started oozing black puss a handful of years ago.

With the advent of new media, there's something truly liberating about being able to say what's really on your mind. When someone is a virtual and literal ass, it can feel good to give them the what-for. Except, does it really? Maybe we only revel in the instant gratification, but it hasn't removed the anger from us which continues to eat away at our soul.

Still, I actually miss the days of biting our tongue. In doing so, it meant that we actually had to exercise civility; plain ole' get over it; move along cupcake; grow up; stop being a damned crybaby.

I think we have learned, over time, that we can somehow change how unfair life is by letting things fester until they explode colors, instead of putting on our big-kid pants, forgiving and forgetting. As a society, we have moved way beyond civility.

The new "thing" appears to be micro-boycotting everything, and it started with social media.

What do we do when we dislike something one of our Facebook friends has said, supports or believes in? We unfriend them. In doing so, we secretly hope they will recognize our moral superiority in the virtual shunning.

It's not civil. The civil thing would be to actually do some adulting; that is to speak with them if they are hurting us. But is someone's opinion really hurting us, or are we just being sissies about everything?

If all else fails, we can simply stop following them. I've stopped following a bunch of people from my high school days. Their views, language and humor aren't exactly my cuppa, but if I needed something from them, they would be there for me in a heartbeat. They are my people. We grew up together. It is insulting to toss away others for their thoughts, unless they are hurting us in some way.

Nowadays, when public figures don't like something, they flex their egotistical muscle in protest, by withholding their presence. Such as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady who is skipping a visit to the White House along with a handful of other D-bags who don't like Trump. They are micro-boycotting President Donald Trump by withholding their person from him. How stupid is that.

Oh yes, his excuse is "family matters", but it isn't as if we can believe that crap anymore, particularly when too many Patriots are skipping to make it excusable. In my opinion, the selfish behavior of public figures has become more embarrassing than Trump's past juvenile behavior. They are supposed to be setting an example of acceptable behavior for their fans, not rolling in the mud.

To me, this speaks more about the lack of quality in their character, than it does about Trump's. It takes a mature person to be civil to someone they disagree with or don't like. In fact, civility is really just a muscle that we need to exercise more. The more civil you are, the more you walk in the grace of God.

I would never snub someone by walking by and pretending they aren't there, even if I don't care for that person or what they stand for. I can't stand our Representative Pete Sessions, but were I to be invited to his office to meet with him, I certainly wouldn't skip it to prove some point to myself. The point would certainly be lost on him because he isn't going to change what he's doing just for me. I'm pretty sure I cannot count him as a fan of mine, but he certainly doesn't ignore me. He takes my questions at Town Halls, and there has even been discourse. We exercise civility.

This is much unlike the throngs of sobbing college students who have been using the media to wheedle Trump, and doing so because civility is a lost art on them. Instead of acting like educated, mature adults, they fall to the ground and flail about like willful two-year-old children.

Unfortunately, this practice seems to be a liberal trait, where id is stroked to climax by enablers such as weak parents who are afraid to adult, weak media that have an agenda and evil forces working to fundamentally strip morals and values from our society.

New media has made it easy to be uncivil and technology has aided and abetted this by allowing people to hide behind a screen. Sadly, it's just easier than exercising our atrophied civility muscles.

Image credit: peoplethink.biz

Dropping the Bomb


This week President Donald Trump approved dropping the GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB), or better known to civilians as the Mother Of All Bombs, on ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan.

For those of us who watched terrorist attacks and Christian beheadings with horror, it's about damned time somebody grew a pair.  Ya think?


While ISIS was fortified by a girly Obama, who stood wringing his hands and playing pretends, they will not be so lucky with Trump. There is no place in this world for an Arab Caliphate, tossing gays off of buildings, burning women alive in cages or stonings and beheadings.

More important, there is no place for beading innocent children.

With this bomb, Trump appears to shout to the world that the days of ISIS running amok are done. They've been fired.

Despite the MOABs success in destroying an active installation, not everyone is pleased with the outcome. Not surprising, mainstream media is taking measures to solidify their anti-Trump rhetoric, slipping this MOAB into their playbook. The result is an undercurrent of WWIII hyperbole spreading through the web.

For rational and logical people, this is not a lead-in for WWIII. For us, this is a clear, calculated action to show terrorists and bullies that this ain't your Obama administration no more.

Hey mainstream media, here's the 411 on the MOAB, If mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy. Get over it.

Headline image credit: Getty - Noorullah Shirzada/Stringer/Getty Images

New Befuddled by the Clowns Look


Indeed, you are at the right place. This is still Befuddled by the Clowns.

I have updated the look and feel of the blog because I wanted something a little more hip, and frankly, because a change is as good as a rest.

Now let's carry on....




Photo credit: Clipartfest.com

Dr. Timothy "Toby" Wallis Endorsement


I met with Dr. Wallis today and after an insightful and enjoyable chat, I have decided to officially endorse him for Wylie City Council Place 5.

What I noticed first about Dr. Wallis is that he feels strongly about creating a better city for all of Wylie's citizens. More important, not once did our discussion ever suggest that he was running to feed a pet project. His goal is to represent all citizens. Period.

One of the issues that held me back from an initial endorsement, is the topic of whether Wallis would be accessible to citizens and council activities due to his busy work schedule. He assured me and provided examples of how he has flexibility in his on-call status as a veterinarian. It is clear that urgent meetings would not pose a significant issue for him, certainly not any more than any other working council member.

Wallis is engaging and smart, and most of all, he is concerned about making the right decision for all citizens of Wylie, not just a micro-group.

Conversely, I have not met with his opponent, Zwege "Ziggy" Kagnew, but the body of evidence as to why he is running is quickly becoming apparent. His social footprint paints a rather vivid picture.

In the video below, there is clearly a lot of rhetoric and outright exaggeration of Ethiopian Americans in the DFW area. The meeting was not inclusive of all voters, as much of it was not even in English. Additionally, he is campaigning with Jack Blackshear, a Democrat who Republican Angie Chen Button defeated for the Texas House last year in Garland. Why campaign in Garland? They don't vote in Wylie elections. This is cause for concern about who exactly comprise his campaign supporters.



It is disturbing that this video provides staggering "us vs. them" rhetoric, and imagine what it says to non-Ethiopian's in Wylie. Rather than take the stance that he is an American first and foremost, Kagnew and his associates appear to be partitioning and organizing themselves for battle.

What strikes me as most unusual is the tactic of setting up voter registration outside of the ENAT grocery store, which is an Ethiopian grocer. Is Kagnew's only focus in running for council, Ethiopians? It sure seems that way.

Facebook
What's worse, Kagnew's campaign appears to be focused on garnering financial support from the Ethiopian groups to which he belongs in the Dallas area. How is this helpful to all of Wylie's citizens, where political activists outside of Wylie are attempting to effect political change within Wylie? To me, this campaign stance is troubling and shows how he has isolated those he intends to serve. This is pure ethnic activism and it has no place on Wylie city council.

After meeting Dr. Wallis, the choice for City Council Place 5 is a natural one; I am interested in supporting a candidate who's actions and words show he supports all citizens of Wylie, not just those he identifies with most.

Ebony and Ivory Battle for Wylie Council


UPDATE: An endorsement in this campaign has been made. Read about it HERE!

It's election season again, and to be honest, I really hate it this time.

I hate it because there are two candidates running for a seat of which I didn't want the current councilman to give up. But he is giving up for one reason or another, and in May we'll be waving adios to Councilman William Whitney, a strong conservative.

So what do we have to replace him with? Ebony and ivory candidates, and I hate that I have to make assumptions about both of them which may end up sounding more like stereotypes than an unbiased selection process. Despite this, Google usually doesn't disappoint.

Timothy Wallis Facebook
I've tried to reach out to Timothy "Toby" Wallis a couple times to chat with him. He's a veterinarian at Parker Road Veterinary Hospital. I caught him once after a council meeting where he had little time to chat and we exchanged mobile numbers. I've also tried to text him but haven't heard anything back. I probably shouldn't be so hard on him, I mean, the guy has five kids,and most are young, so you know he's got to be busy. Still, I wouldn't have to bother him if he had a website I could locate.

What I do know is that there is relatively little published information about him or his platform, other than a fairly inactive Facebook page. So I have to make assumptions based upon his relatively nonexistent online footprint and the five minutes I spent with him. He is obviously hard to get to know and I cannot help but wonder how accessible he will be to citizens. That said, he has the backing of many of the strong conservatives that I know in Wylie. Well there's that.

Zewge Kagnew Facebook
Then there is Zewge "Ziggy" Kagnew who is running for the same seat. He's all over Facebook and even has his own website, where he outlines his platform and tells us a little about himself. His focus is civic engagement and government transparency, which are those typical feel-good talking points. Ziggy's virtual footprint paints him clearly as an Ethiopian activist first, and a realtor second. There's the KNON 89.3 FM Ethiopian social and political life talk show, a highlight of his campaign in the Ethiobook and the ESFNA Ethiopian community membership. Still, he seems like an active community member who has taken the Wylie Citizen's Police Academy course. He's here, he's there, he's everywhere on the web, and he gets his Ethiopian people to come out and support him.

What I hate about this election is that on one hand, we have a highly educated, white doctor who does not appear to be terribly engaged in the community, and I worry about his responsiveness, and on the other we have an Ethiopian activist and realtor,that makes me wonder if he was even born in the U.S., and who is seemingly very responsive.

Meh.This is why I hate having another ebony and ivory election, because no matter what anyone has to say about either candidate, it sounds ethnocentric or elitist.

To date, I have yet to make up my mind about an endorsement, and it's not looking very promising for tomorrow, either.

Image credit: Fotoristin