Nice! What part of Houston? I used to live there. Got my engineering degrees at Rice in the late 90's and worked at an electronics company up 290 for a few years after. The heat and the West Loop finally drove me away... but it was a great place to be young and single
Sharpstown. Graduated HS and left for the Army in '88, moved back permanently in 2001. Lived mostly around west side and now I'm in a nice quiet neighborhood between Cypress and Katy. It is filling up out here, though. Every year there's less and less green on the map and more concrete out here. Don't know the last time you came through, but West Loop still adds 30 minutes to your drive, and 290 is STILL getting widened. It seems the freeway construction projects will never end.
Cool, I know those areas well... or at least I did once upon a time.
My wife is from deep south TX, so we drive through once or twice a year, and we usually stop to visit with friends from college and eat at our old haunts (La Mexicana, Texadelphia, and Goode Co bbq.... mmmmmmmmm). The traffic is always progressively worse. There was an obvious immediate increase after Katrina and it hasn't let up since. Back in the day, I lived just off 59/Kirby in Rice Village but worked up 290, so I fought the West Loop every afternoon. I don't miss that part.
Voluntary charity is good and commendable. However, there’s a thing called dependence that is the result of never ending, conditionless provision. Forced charity (tax money used for foreign aid) is way too often used by politicians to a.) make themselves look virtuous by giving everybody else’s money away and b.) use the aid to gain influence in developing countries who also happen to have resources that are desirable to their high dollar donors. You also have to ask the question of whether the people in the country are actually benefiting by continuously receiving the food for free when a local farming economy might well to better as a sustainable source of food as well as an economy driver.
I just got back from a place in Africa where there were 4 Antonov cargo jets were sitting at the airport, offloading tons of food aid from the WFO. Meanwhile, the country has begun to complain that they will not survive without additional food aid. Instead of this aid, I wonder if it would have been better to teach farming and irrigation and provide seeds appropriate for the climate. Just like the failure that is welfare, people are most often better off with a temporary hand up along with skills training, over a never ending, growing handout. Sure, you don’t get the continual virtue signal dopamine hit of giving other people’s money to endless “charity,” but you actually do get to help people become independent and prosperous.
I'm starting to assume nefarious intent almost at every turn. I mean, if we can see the disaster that will and is resulting from endless aid, then so too can the people using our taxes for such things.
I don't think that they ever had good intent. I think they've been feeding and breeding The West's replacements right under our noses with money they've taken from us in the form of taxes.
They had to've known that the more they feed them, the more they will breed, and the more we'll have to feed, and they'll breed, repeat, repeat, repeat. Suddenly the world has hundreds of millions or even billions (eventually) of starving "rabbits" and refugees. Hmmm, who has to care for them? Where do they go? Where have they gone? Correct, The West.
We should only be offering aid conditionally. You get a vasectomy/hysterectomy and you can have some aid. If you choose to instead create life that you can't afford to care for, that's on you. The rest of the world should not be responsible for endless procreation. I hate welfare in our own country, let alone funding it in others.
ThunderDan, what place in Africa? So many possibilities, but I am reminded of the story of Zimbabwe. They claimed that the purpose of capitalism imported by the Europeans was to keep the blacks disproportionately poor. Not true. They claimed the "white supremacist" Rhodesian government was as bad as Apartheid. Not true. There were some very high positions in government held by blacks, and military service was compulsory only for whites. And, indigenous blacks who chose to sign up had an easier road to becoming officers. They claimed that the military was committing atrocities against the black population. Also not true. It was the communist-backed Zanu and Zapu factions who were killing white farming families and missionaries. But hey, when you win the war, you get to write all the history books, and that makes you right... Right?
Well look at them now. The people languish in communist poverty while Mugabe's family and the rest of the ruling class live in luxury. Ten years ago Mugabe bragged that all the white farmers were finally gone and would never dare to come back. But nobody who was left there knew how to farm, or wanted to learn, knowing how hard they'd work for such little pay. Now, tons of donated food and billions of dollars in aid later, Mugabe is literally begging for whites to come back and take over the farms. I say let it all collapse. Maybe it's just a matter of time...
If it weren't for the rare elements that are needed for electronics, batteries, etc, I'd just as soon let them have africa. Preserve a few lions and rhinos, and just let the chinese do what they want with that god-forsaken continent.
I wonder what the Chinese will do with the population. Will they become refugees that the rest of the world will compassionately (moronically) take in or will the Chinese make use of that population? And I hadn't even considered the animals. The Chinese are notoriously ruthless when it comes to wildlife...ya know, aside from pandas. Sharks, whales, rhinos, get bent! We need penis pills!
But they know what they're doing. They see the value. It must be nice to have a culture that values intelligence and logic over the feelz. While they are communist, I do respect their rejection of PC culture.
Reminds me of when my sister was in middle school in the 80's. My dad went to Cali for some business trip, and my sister told him she wanted a Hard Rock Cafe - Hollywood t-shirt as a souvenir (this was back when HRC only had like 6-8 locations on the planet, and it was still cool).
Dad comes back and hands her a t-shirt that looks the same but says: Hard Luck Cafe - Bakersfield
I laughed my ass off. Of course, he had the real thing in his luggage, but damn, her face was priceless.