Jon Cassidy

Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org.

Let’s Get Soft on Crime

 

Let’s get soft on crime. Who’s with me? Hello? Anyone? If someone were to ask you if you favor tougher penalties for criminals or more lenient ones, giving you no context, you would almost certainly favor the former. Now take your context. What’s the average sentence for a wife beater in your neck of the […]

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Trump Fired Science This Week

 

Somewhere in the wilds of Utah, there’s a scientist making thermal infrared images of rivers, and turning them into exhibits for a museum. Your tax dollars are involved, of course, but trust that somebody’s awareness is being raised. Some of her colleagues at a science thing called iUTAH have more empirical pursuits. They recently did […]

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Scientism’s Skeptics

 

“Science as a Delphic oracle exists only in the popular imagination and the silent assumptions of certain scientists. At any given time there are only searchers who agree or disagree.” – Jacques Barzun Scientism is the quasi-religious devotion to the idea, but not the content, of science. Like all things ersatz, it is meant for […]

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Follow the Lies

 

“Follow the money” is lousy advice for a journalist. The catchphrase, which is spoken by Hal Holbrook’s Deep Throat in the movie version of All the President’s Men, but nowhere in the book, is supposed to represent the distilled wisdom that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein learned while reporting Watergate. That was indeed the essence […]

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Finding Sanctuary… Cities

 

It’s 2020. President Kamala Harris decides that it’s time to expand on the success of the Title IX sexual discrimination investigations on university campuses. A letter goes out to city councils, county boards and state labor commissions across the country, informing them of an expansive new interpretation of Titles VI and VII of the Civil […]

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Endangering the Life of a Child

 

A little girl should not be standing in the path of a bull. Now, I understand representational art fell out of fashion in the middle of the last century, but the idea is pretty simple: the artwork is supposed to look like something in the world. Kristen Visbal — the sculptor responsible for “Fearless Girl,” […]

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Frontier Justice, Texas Republican Style

 

Houston Frontier justice was a staple of the Westerns. In High Noon, the judge tells the marshal, Gary Cooper, he’d best get out of town before the villain returns, then flees himself. Director Howard Hawks hated that film so much that he made two pictures as a response, with Rio Bravo and El Dorado both […]

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The State Level Pension Crisis: Houston, Texas Police Edition

 

Editor’s Note: This piece is an ongoing investigative series in partnership with Watchdog.org’s state-level journalists. Pension budget woes beset nearly every state in the union and cities and municipalities are also being hit with unprecedented pension debt. Baby boomers are retiring. Some state and local budgets allocate more funds for pensions for retirees than they use […]

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Houston, and Dallas, We Have a Problem

 

The mayor of Dallas uses the word “bankruptcy,” and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal swoop in to report on the city’s imminent doom. The mayor of Houston holds a press conference to declare the pension problem solved, and folks just go along with it. The truth is that the two cities are in equally dreadful trouble, […]

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Ignoring the Real Scandal at the University of Texas

 

The Supreme Court upheld affirmative action at the University of Texas in a 4-3 decision Thursday by openly ignoring the facts of the case. In his opinion for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy dismissed a bombshell report on admissions corruption at UT as mere “extrarecord materials” which “the Court properly declines to consider.” The excuse […]

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