Objectively Houston

In November, I launched a new website–ObjectivelyHouston.com. This is a collaborative effort with several friends to bring rational ideas to Houstonians. Below are links to a few of our posts.

Character and Preservation We are all familiar with individuals who are physically attractive but possess the character of Bernie Madoff. Rational people realize that we […]

Bigots, Homophobes, and HERO

Last week, Houston City Council passed the controversial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). The ordinance makes it “unlawful for any place of public accommodation or any employee or agent thereof to discriminate against any person on the basis of any protected characteristic,” such as sexual orientation or gender identification.

As is usually the case, debate […]

Alcohol and “Food Deserts”

A City of Houston ordinance bans the sale of alcohol within 300 feet of churches and most private schools, or within 1,000 feet of public schools. Apparently, city leaders believe that the sale of alcohol is a threat to the well-being of children and church goers. However, it would seem that that threat does not […]

Free the Energy Producers

In its never ending quest to expand government power, the Chronicle calls for Texas legislators to re-regulate the state’s electricity providers. Electrical deregulation, the paper tells us, has not been economically beneficial to consumers:

Light bills in areas such as Austin and San Antonio, where service continues to be regulated, are lower. In deregulated areas […]

The More Things Change…

In 1993, during the final months of the last attempt to bring zoning to Houston, I gave a talk to the Houston Property Rights Association titled “Winning the Battle but Losing the War.” In the talk, I warned that without a moral defense of property rights, we might defeat the upcoming referendum, but zoning advocates […]

Metro Unveils New Transit Plan

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on September 27, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

In the face of increased public scrutiny and declining tax revenues, over the weekend Metro unveiled a new transit plan that it claims will slash expenses by 83.4% and simultaneously create nearly 175,000 jobs. The new plan will scrap […]

“Selling” the Public on Light Rail

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on September 7, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

The Chronicle tells us that new Metro chairman George Greanias faces the challenge of selling a “sometimes skeptical public” on the alleged merits of light rail. The article makes it appear that Greanias is more concerned with the troubled […]

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on August 17, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

Ramona Davis, executive director of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, tells us that opponents of the proposed preservation ordinance are using a “a barrage of misinformation, disinformation and scare tactics” in Sunday’s Chronicle:

It is not clear whether the […]

A Tale of Two Walmarts

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on August 4, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

Two Houston neighborhoods are unhappy with Walmart because of the retailer’s plans to build stores nearby. One is in The Heights, and it has some residents fearing that small businesses won’t be able to compete. As one told the […]

Killing Two Birds with One Bio-Degradable Bag

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on August 3, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

For several months I have been complaining about the city’s mandate that citizens use bio-degradable bags for lawn debris. The bags are too small, don’t work with my lawn caddy, and are simply a pain to use. This past […]