Ugly linkage, Austin edition

May 31, 2016

Ugly linkage disclaimer here.

For the last two years, one or more bags of douche have been throwing rocks down on cars from bridges or elevated positions over Interstate 35 in Austin. More than eighty vehicles have been hit, and five people have been injured only in the last month. The police have not caught anybody, notwithstanding lots of high tech surveillance and political pressure. Regardless, if they do catch a rock-thrower it would seem that stoning would be the right punishment. Yeah, we hate to borrow from Islamic law as much as the next person, but if we don’t deter these bastards quickly it will become a thing, like graffiti and cutting, and that will suck large.

Austin’s government has imposed a moratorium on new street events in downtown Austin because congestion, or something like that. The moratorium is now set to expire, and the city is surveying its peeps to see if they support an extension. We love street events so our opposition to the street-event moratorium is self-interested, but there is a bigger issue at stake. The moratorium freezes the status quo, privileging — we used that word just to troll the lefties — incumbent events and denying access to newcomers. This strikes us as very much of a piece with killing Uber and Lyft by regulation or clamping down on short-term rentals. Austin’s current city government just loves the status quo. Don’t they realize that will kill the goose the lays the golden eggs?

The Austin cops arrested an activist who was filming them on dirty 6th. Allegedly, the dude was too close. We struggle with cases such as these, because we are a First Amendment absolutist, or as close as one can reasonably get without being a complete lunatic, and we are not big fans of either police or activists. Both have a strong busybody streak, and we do not like busybodies.

Surprising exactly nobody who is not an economic retard, black market ridesharing has popped up to replace Uber and Lyft, which famously quit Austin after voters sustained onerous regulations imposed by the city council. So reasonable regulation and corporate oversight is now eclipsed by no oversight. But we got international humiliation out of it so that’s something.

While the “Texas beer economy is booming,” the Lone Star State ranks only 42nd for breweries per capita. Thankfully, “we’re far from saturated,” or so the article says.

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