Recent Posts From Martin Avila
As fall approaches, hundreds of thousands of high school students are being asked that nagging question: “What college are you going to?” These students would be wise to follow the advice of Peter Thiel, a billionaire Silicon Valley investor. For most of us, college is an expensive waste of time.
Not only is entrepreneurship a nearly impossible skill to truly teach at college since true entrepreneurship boils down to risk-taking (read: outside the box thinking) and self-motivation (read: not a classroom environment) — but enormous amounts of student debt severely limit the options of graduates in the marketplace by forcing them to take jobs that cover loan costs and provide for basic living costs.
This may be the ultimate folly of college education in my eyes. How many bright, young people are stuck in the rat race of professional jobs, or worse government, who are simply unable to follow their passions, be entrepreneurial, or develop something socially useful because they took on $100,000 in student loans when they were 18 and they just are not able to take the risk due to that looming $600/mo tuition payment.
This is why the Thiel Foundation is offering $100,000 scholarships to budding entrepreneurs to drop out of college for two years and develop their ideas. At least 20 students are awarded the scholarship each year, with some impressive results.
40% of full-time students fail to get a degree in six years, and with roughly one of three college graduates in a job the Labor Department says requires less than a bachelor’s degree, it is clear that our emphasis on the need to go to college is misguided.
People are spending a large amount of time getting degrees for jobs that may never be there.
Ted Cruz wins the Texas Senate Primary over David Dewhurst.
In a away, it’s the typical Tea Party story: An outsider who has never run for office before is about to beat the guy with tons of money and the backing of the state’s party establishment. If Ted Cruz wins today’s Texas Senate GOP primary runoff against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst — and polling suggests he will — it’ll be one of the biggest Tea Party upsets yet, considering that Dewhurst isn’t even a moderate. But it’s not as simple as the grass roots versus the establishment. If Cruz wins, he’ll have national conservative groups to thank, who made his race their No. 1 priority.
Tea party-backed Ted Cruz has defeated Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
The former state solicitor general won the runoff Tuesday. He'd lost the May 29 primary by a large margin but forced the runoff because Dewhurst fell short of a majority. Cruz advances to the November election to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Cruz painted Dewhurst as a timid career politician too willing to compromise with Democrats.
The race was seen as a national test of the tea party's influence.
DeMint, Lee, Paul, Cruz, Johnson, Mourdock, Flake, sometimes Coburn, Toomey, Rubio - that's ten, people.
I don’t have anything else to say.
As if California needed more laws to regulate our already hindered personal lives: Assembly Bill 889, Authored by Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, will now require household employers to provide breaks every two hours to their babysitters:
Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck. Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer including cumulative penalties, attorneys’ fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers – from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers. (On the bright side, language requiring an hour of paid vacation time for every 30 hours worked was amended out of the bill in the Senate.)
Mostly because it succinctly describes the Boehner plan.
The Boehner plan creates a “Super Committee” of 12 members of Congress, who will be empowered to come up with a plan next year to reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years.
Looks like Republicans are hoping that this “Super Committee” will consist of a majority of Republicans…
Four leaders will get to appoint 3 members, each, to the Super Committee: Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell.
But it’s safe to say each Democrat will likely support tax increases… So should we start guessing which one of the Republicans will sell us out?
We are absolutely confident that the Super Committee will have at least 7 members – a majority – who will agree to include tax hikes. Therefore, the Super Committee will raise our taxes, end of discussion. Some Republicans are hoping the Super Committee will lower tax rates as well, but this is a slender reed to cling to. It’s no accident that congressional Democrats are strongly supporting the Super Committee.
Bodyscanners, devices gaining widespread use in airports allowing TSA agents to see what amounts to a virtual strip search, have drawn some serious questions about our privacy over the past few years.
Proponents say they are an important tool to fight terrorism, allowing the detection of potential weapons not caught metal detectors. However, things just got complicated.
We all can agree that child porn is a truly despicable evil — so what happens when TSA agents are looking at naked scans of our children’s bodies? We found out recently as a 12-year old girl was selected for a body scan while she as on vacation with a friends family:
A Baltimore family is raising the issue after their 12-year-old daughter was pulled out of line in Tampa and subjected to what they say was an embarrassing and unhealthy scan. The girl was traveling with an adult friend of the family, not her parents.
The article does not specify who saw the scan, but:
Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said anyone can be selected from the line and given a body scan, even children, as long as they can hold their arms over their heads for five or more seconds.
Koshetz of the Transportation Security Administration said the faces and body parts on the images are blurry and never saved.
“There’s no way to associate that fuzzy black and white image to a particular person,” she said.
In one of the closest, and most contested, primary elections in recent memory. Mike Lee edged out Tim Bridgewater for the Republican Senate nomination in Utah.
The two men were in a primary runoff after unseating Bob Bennett in the Utah Republican Primary Caucus.
Mike Lee was the Constitutional Lawyer who pulled his support from the strictly conservative, Barry Goldwater faction of the Republican Party. This victory, along with Rand Paul, Sharron Angle and Marco Rubio, quite clearly represents a snapshot of the state of the Republican Party - there is a new game in town.
Right now though, Mike Lee seems to be the best positioned to win in November and become the TEA Party champion that Dick Armey, Jim DeMint, Ron Paul and Tom McClintock want to put in Washington. Other TEA Party candidates may have a tougher road to November: Rand Paul needs to shake the perception of extreme views from his record, Rubio may have to contend with a Democratic Charlie Crist, and Sharron Angle has to beat Harry Reid.
Either way, the TEA Party Movement just showed their teeth and took a chunk out of the establishment.
Support Mike’s campaign by visiting his website.
Sometimes, the free market does not adequately provide for a need. Today, while reading popular mechanics, I worried that I had stumbled upon such a situation.
The cure for North American coral snake bite is about to disappear. Why an unprofitable anti-venom may end up costing lives.
The North American Coral Snake is deadly, but bites requiring antivenom were so few and far between that the companies who produce it are shutting down because they aren’t making enough money.
As venomous snakes go, the coral snake is a clumsy biter. Unlike pit vipers such as rattlesnakes and cottonmouths, which have gruesomely efficient fangs …the brightly colored coral snake has small, rear-facing fangs that guide venom into a wound. This process doesn’t always work well—experts estimate that 25 percent of coral snake envenomations are dry bites—which is perhaps why the coral is so unaggressive. The snake is found throughout Florida, as well as in parts of Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona, but there are generally only about 100 or so bites each year.
There is now a worry that antivenom will not be produced in high enough quantities to be available when it is needed. Shockingly, according to this article, antivenom shortages aren’t uncommon!
Yesterday, Ron Paul purist and anti-war Republican Adam Kokesh lost 29% to 71% to an “establishment” Republican despite outspending his opponent at least 2 to 1.
There is a big lesson here for all Tea Party and “Ron Paul” Republicans: No Republican campaign can win by trying to woo Democrats!
Banking on Democrats voting for you is suicide.
White writing, I’ve received an email from Adams campaign:
The relative numbers do not fully reflect the energy and commitment of those who cast a vote for us. We were an unconventional campaign running against a conventional candidate. The automatic reaction of old-fashioned party-line voters was to vote for our opponent. Every single vote for us was an informed decision and an act of courage by the voter.
I’d like to congratulate the Kokesh campaign on getting out the courageous and well-informed. (He’s to be respected and commended for donating a year of his life to further his ideas - this is something not many people have the gumption for. )
Quite simply, you can’t win by trying to educate voters, you have to find common ground and connect with a base.
Years of tradition and repetition will not be undone by your crusade or principle. In a PRIMARY, working Democrats will have no effect on your campaign (duh?). Voters simply will not cross party lines to vote for your message; the best you can hope to do is drive down voter turnout by appealing to Democrats on issues.
If you are running for the Republican nomination, do not run from Republicans - embrace them, embrace the party, and find common ground. This may not be a popular sentiment on UnitedLiberty.org, but it is the truth - and it is effective.
I know many United Liberty viewers are considering kicking off campaigns this cycle, so I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve gathered since our big success with various moneybombs over the last few years.
What is a Moneybomb?
“Moneybomb” is a term for an online donation drive managed through a campaign website and attached to a predetermined financial goal; a time limit is placed on the event to add a sense of criticality, often 24 hours but potentially as much as a week.
The first such event completed by Terra Eclipse was during Constitution Week of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. This set the stage for later single-day drives which were timed to meet quarterly financial targets and immensely successful in doing so.
Setting a Plausible Goal
The first thing I tell anyone about a moneybomb is that 95% of them are doomed to failure at the hands of overzealousness. Politics is largely a game of expectations — setting an unattainable goal and missing the mark can destroy supporters’ confidence in your campaign. Conversely, vastly exceeding expectations makes your campaign appear much stronger and more capable. Think of it this way: when considering your public image, a house party spilling over into the streets will play much better than a football stadium only one quarter full.
Setting an attainable goal — even if it seems less significant — is far better than attempting to shoot for the moon and raise an impossible sum. Even for established political figures, setting a modest initial goal of $50K allows for supporters to easily throw their hat into the ring and fuel measurable success. If something sounds easy, people will gladly participate; if it sounds completely implausible, they will instinctively shy away from it.