Category Archives: Parker County Issues

Science, Politics, and COVID: Will Truth Prevail?

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on February 18, 2021, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona.

• Volume 50, Number 2

Scott W. Atlas

The COVID pandemic has been a tragedy, no doubt. But it has exposed profound issues in America that threaten the principles of freedom and order that we Americans often take for granted. 

First, I have been shocked at the unprecedented exertion of power by the government since last March—issuing unilateral decrees, ordering the closure of businesses, churches, and schools, restricting personal movement, mandating behavior, and suspending indefinitely basic freedoms. Second, I was and remain stunned—almost frightened—at the acquiescence of the American people to such destructive, arbitrary, and wholly unscientific rules, restrictions, and mandates.

The pandemic also brought to the forefront things we have known existed and have tolerated for years: media bias, the decline of academic freedom on campuses, the heavy hand of Big Tech, and—now more obviously than ever—the politicization of science. Ultimately, the freedom of Americans to seek and state what they believe to be the truth is at risk.

Let me say at the outset that I, like all of us, acknowledge that the consequences of the COVID pandemic and its management have been enormous. Over 500,000 American deaths have been attributed to the virus; more will follow. Even after almost a year, the pandemic still paralyzes our country. And despite all efforts, there has been an undeniable failure to stop cases from escalating and to prevent hospitalizations and deaths. 

But there is also an unacknowledged reality: almost every state and major city in the U.S., with a handful of exceptions, have implemented severe restrictions for many months, including closures of businesses and in-person schools, mobility restrictions and curfews, quarantines, limits on group gatherings, and mask mandates dating back to at least last summer. And despite any myths to the contrary, social mobility tracking of Americans and data from Gallup, YouGov, the COVID-19 Consortium, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have all shown significant reductions of movement as well as a consistently high percentage of mask-wearing since the late summer, similar to the extent seen in Western Europe and approaching the extent seen in Asia. 

With what results?

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The Truth Behind The Great Ammo Crisis

NRA, by Caleb Giddings – Friday, February 5, 2021

The Truth Behind The Great Ammo Crisis

Everyone is aware of the ammunition crisis. Major media outlets have covered it, it’s all over what little of your social media feed hasn’t been censored, and I’ve been covering in detail since July. The ammo crisis has been constantly evolving, starting as a mere shortage in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, and progressing to a full-blown crisis as I write this 321 days after March 13th.

What caused it?

The simple explanation is that demand exceeded the supply, then continued to exceed the supply. But to understand how that happened you have to go a little deeper. According to Jason Vanderbrink, President of Federal, CCI, Speer and Remington, before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was considerable excess capacity in the ammunition market.

Manufacturers could make more than they could sell, so supply was abundant and prices were low. You could order a case of 9 mm off the Internet for $200. Manufacturers were prepared for an uptick in sales that normally accompanies a presidential election, but the excess capacity would have been enough to cover that.

2020 had other ideas. The first was the COVID-19 pandemic. Then a summer of civil unrest that sometimes turned violent. A hotly contested presidential election, and then the party of gun control having control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

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Texas Government Salaries Explorer

Texas Tribune Government Salaries Explorer logo

This database of compensation for Texas state employees is published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit and nonpartisan news organization. We publish this information because we believe that disclosing how tax dollars are spent is in the public interest.

(The Texas Tribune ~Updated: Oct. 1, 2020 • Download all data)

There are 111agencies in the state government.

These agencies employ everyone from the governor to customer service representatives. Salary ranges are set every two years by the legislature. Explore each agency to see more detail about its positions and employees.

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Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke spar in what could be a preview of the 2022 governor’s race

The Republican governor, who is up for reelection in 2022, and the state’s best-known Democrat exchanged words Thursday after O’Rourke said he will consider challenging Abbott.

by Patrick Svitek Jan. 28, 2021 Updated: 3 hours ago

Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso.
Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso. The two traded criticisms Thursday as speculation mounts over whether O’Rourke will challenge Abbott in 2022. Credit: The Texas Tribune

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Gov. Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke butted heads Thursday after the Democraticformer El Paso congressman said he would consider challenging the Republican incumbent for Texas’ top elected post in 2022.

O’Rourke said during an El Paso radio interview earlier this week that a gubernatorial bid is “something I’m going to think about.” The comment began receiving wide attention after the Houston Chronicle wrote it up Thursday morning, and during an unrelated news conference hours later in Odessa, Abbott fielded a reporter’s question about a potential O’Rourke challenge.

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Netanyahu Warns Biden: Entering Iran Deal Would be Nuclear ‘Nightmare’, Spark Arms Race

Netanyahu warns that U.S. reentering the Iran nuclear deal would lead to ‘nightmare’ of other states seeking nuclear weapons.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the incoming Biden Administration last week that the U.S. blindly re-entering the Iran nuclear deal could end up sparking a Middle East arms race where many countries threatened by Iran would also try to obtain nuclear weapons.

Senior Democrats have indicated that the president-elect Joe Biden will seek to get the United States back into the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action JCPOA) that was initiated by the Obama Administration when Biden was vice-president.

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Texas sues battleground states, claims unconstitutional changes made to election laws

Fort Worth Star Telegram, By Eleanor Dearman December 08, 2020 09:08 AM, Updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming the battleground states made unconstitutional changes to election laws during the coronavirus pandemic.

The four states played a pivotal role in former Vice President Joe Biden securing the presidency in the November general election. Paxton in a statement argues the four states “destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election.”

The suit asks the Supreme Court to prohibit the states from voting in the electoral college.

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Do Qualifications Matter

By Lenny Leatherman

If the issue with Drew Springer is big money influence, where is the wisdom in thinking the solution is big money influence?

Drew Springer has been accused of wrong-doing because he worked for a wealthy lobbying firm. The Springer family business is a financial services business. His customers are successful individuals and businesses. Should we be surprised to learn that some of his customers may have employed lobbyists? I would be surprised if they did not!

I take no position for, nor against Drew Springer.

I have heard suspicion driven charges against him, that he may be one of many who have been influenced by Austin’s big money politics.

An issue that is even more difficult to see beyond is his judgment; judgment that may have fortified the perception of becoming entangled by the influence of lobbyist money while performing official duties.    

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Review: Hornady 6mm ARC

From The NRA’s American Rifleman, by Jeff Johnson, Field Editor, Nov, 2020

Review: Hornady 6mm ARC

Hornady’s new 6mm ARC was designed for a specific military requirement; the 108-gr. ELD (l.) makes for an excellent long-range target round, while the 103-gr. ELD-X hunting load (shown here) penetrated nearly 18″ into 10 percent ballistic gelatin.  The U.S. military is good at recognizing specific needs based on firsthand lessons gleaned from an evolving battlefield. But civilian small arms, optics and gear makers are the experts when it comes to engineering and delivering the goods. Take, for example, a few years ago when the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) challenged the gun industry to produce a lightweight rifle cartridge capable of delivering a 50 percent hit ratio on man-size engagements at 2,000 yds.

Only a few years prior, this seemingly impossible task was the exclusive territory of the world’s largest shoulder-fired cartridges such as the .50 BMG, .408 CheyTac and .338 Lapua Mag.—whose huge projectiles had adequate exterior ballistics to provide this type of downrange energy. Such behemoths are not conducive to individual soldiers, however, because the guns and ammunition are prohibitively heavy and costly, their recoil/muzzle blast is punishing, and accuracy, well, could be better.

hornady 6 mm ARC

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My Mind Is Made Up Don’t Confuse Me With Facts

Parker County Blog, Lenny Leatherman, 09/22/20

Isn’t it interesting how both sides in most arguments are equipped with their own set of “facts”?  And, when the argument involves political candidates, arguments are almost always comprised of mostly hearsay. The indisputable fact is – although both sides have their favorite candidate, to vote is nothing more than to express a subjective opinion.

Unless the candidate has a verifiable history of performance in office, neither side can validate their own set of “facts”. That which appeared to be true before the election may prove to be a disappointment to either, or both sides of the argument.

It may be a good idea to remember the reason for the debate, and to remember that neither side can be proven right or wrong until long after the election is over. Hopefully, the election will be over but not your friendship.

The Armed Citizen

American Rifleman, September, 2020

A robber was shot and wounded when he attempted to burglarize a home in Fort Worth, Tex., in the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2020.

The incident began just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning when the robber kicked in the front door to the home. As the robber entered the home, he encountered a woman and began assaulting her. The woman’s son then shot the robber in the leg.

The wounded robber then fled the residence and jumped into a getaway vehicle nearby in the street. The robber was taken to his sister’s home until he fled once again when he learned that she called the police.

Authorities believe the home was targeted by the robbers who intended to steal firearms from the residence. (, Fort Worth, Tex., 09/02/2020)

From the Armed Citizen® Archives June 1973   

Addie Whitesides, a church cleaning woman in Charlotte, N.C., was at work before dawn when she came face to face with a prowler. Screaming, Mrs. Whitesides ran for the door, followed by the man.

Once outside, she drew a pistol and held it on the intruder until police arrived. She has carried the gun since the church was broken into recently. (Greensboro Daily News, Greensboro, N.C.)

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