In a World of Critics, Be a Creator

In a World of Critics, Be a Creator

by Kelly Hackmann

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Politics vs. Super Volcanoes

Do you ever worry about the Yellowstone super volcano erupting and covering a majority of North America in ash, blotting out the sun for a while, and lowering the global temperature?

Yeah, me neither, until I just typed it. Though I guarantee around taco time tonight, my thoughts will be far from apocalyptic. This Honduran guy set up his taco truck near my house and his creations are miracles bestowed upon the earth.

We don’t worry daily about a devastating catastrophe that is very likely to happen at some point. Why do we stress to the point of exhaustion about who’s sitting in an oval shaped office?

“Well you dummy, because we can affect change within politics, not super volcanoes!”

Perhaps. If you have certain attributes you may be able to affect politics effectively. Namely money and power. For us millennials, our sphere of influence rarely extends beyond our own skin and direct interactions. Read more ›

Posted in Politics Tagged with: , , ,

Voice & Exit 2016: The Festival of the Future

Rebecca Powers is a friend of TMI, check out her guest post below, with a special offer for our subscribers.

Voice & Exit 2016: The Festival of the Future

by Rebecca Powers

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Do you find yourself less than interested in the results of the upcoming election and more interested in creating alternative solutions to the real problems facing society? Have you ever wished you could connect with hundreds of high-power individuals all working to build and share ideas for a peaceful, conscious, prosperous and technologically empowered Humanity 2.0?

“If TED and Burning Man had a baby, it would be Voice & Exit

This 3-day conference and festival is right around the corner and will be taking place in Austin, Texas on November 11th – November 13th. Join the global community of “Exiters” – people who aren’t f*cking around when it comes to getting busy transforming our world toward human flourishing and enlightenment. Learn, collaborate, experiment and connect with like-minded people who are ready to criticize by creating. Read more ›

Posted in Guest Posts Tagged with: ,

Racism and Communication: How the Message Gets Obscured

Racism and Communication: How the Message Gets Obscured

by Paul Dutton

The Social Justice Warrior movement, at its most charitable reading and basic core, seeks to abolish racism, queerphobia, sexism/Patriarchy, and the like. Believing these forces are wrong and/or unfounded, its adherents seek to explore ways these forces display themselves in society, and look for remedies to their presence. In my interactions with the movements, I see massive failures of communication, usually centered around the incapability of recognizing the difference between individuals, and institutions.  If we allow the mistake of letting discussions about racism in America devolve into personal attacks, then we can expect more and more people to become disillusioned with the idea of social justice altogether. Read more ›

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

Join the TMI Blog!

Join the TMI Blog!

TMI Blog Banner

TMI is having an open call for contributors to our blog! If you’re a Texas-loving millennial who likes to write, we’d love to hear from you.

Our blog is a platform to help make your voice heard.  You’ve got good ideas and interesting thoughts, and we want to help you get them out there!  We will work with you to publish quality blogs and empower you as a writer.

Read more ›

Posted in TMI Announcements Tagged with: , , , , ,

Brexit, Texas, and the American Tradition: Why #Texit is More Than a Meme

Brexit, Texas, and the American Tradition: Why #Texit is More Than a Meme

by Carsten Hood

Texit

British voters’ June decision to withdraw from the European Union in a move popularly known as “Brexit” – a nifty fusion of British and exit – has apparently reinvigorated discussion of Texas secession, particularly in online circles. Prime evidence of this is that in the wake of the UK referendum, the Brexit-inspired (but indisputably better-sounding) hashtag #Texit promptly cruised to the top of Facebook’s trending feed – which it proceeded to dominate for several days.

Wow. Facebook newsfeed supremacy is no small feat, especially for a traditionally right-oriented topic like secession; the social network is known to manipulate its featured content quite, uh, liberally. Considering this bias – along with the Texas secession movement’s relative obscurity and the fierce competition of other trending topics, like Brexit itself – I was surprised by Texit’s apparently massive online treatment.

I have to think that much of it wasn’t very serious. Likely many web-users see Texit as merely goofy, edgy, and a source of dank memes. They still know that, realistically, Texit is implausible; or unwelcome; or illegal.

Or is it? May I suggest that a Texan exit is not only an interesting possibility, but also a legitimate one? Just like Brexit?

Read more ›

Posted in Texas Matters Tagged with: , , , , ,

Austin, Uber, and Democracy: What Happened and Why it Matters

Austin, Uber, and Democracy: What Happened and Why it Matters

by Carsten Hood

Texas Capitol

Alright, Austin—let’s talk about Uber, Lyft, and democracy.

In short, Austin voters recently considered some new regulations on so-called ride-sharing services, particularly a requirement that their drivers get fingerprinted. Uber and Lyft, the biggest names in this space, promised to skip town if these rules were upheld. Well, they were; and in turn the two companies made good on their word and left.

As a result, thousands of Austinites have lost their flexible jobs as drivers, and tens of thousands more a favorite mode of transportation, apparently needlessly. On top of that, there’s a widespread assumption that the original regulatory burden was motivated not by public safety concerns so much as by special interests—namely the Austin taxicab cartel, which has struggled with the nimble competition introduced by ride-sharing.

Read more ›

Posted in Texas Matters Tagged with: , , , , ,

Know Thy Enemy: a Classier Take on Class Warfare

Know Thy Enemy: a Classier Take on Class Warfare

by Sable Levy

In case you didn’t know it, the ultra-rich are widely vilified—particularly within movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the political campaign of Bernie Sanders, which has captured the hearts of many a burgeoning millennial. Who are the ultra-rich? And why are they widely vilified? Many are executives, or work in industries such as finance, law, medicine, and technology—with the top 1% having an average household income of $1.2 million in 2008, according to federal tax data.⁠1 While some inherited substantial wealth, many are self-made.

As for their vilification, it has a lot to do with what is called greed. Did ever a word sound more vicious? Greed is ugly, sinful avarice; the root of all evil; or so, at least, many of us are taught. While some look at the ultra-rich and see success, others see only greed. A growing belief that the profit motive equals greed has given rise to a present-day phenomenon: anyone who runs a profitable business is a target for people to hate. Given the beliefs that the profit motive is equivalent to greed, and that greed is evil, it’s easy to understand why the ultra-rich are widely vilified. Read more ›

Posted in Politics Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Property Rights Aren’t Up for Grabs

Property Rights Aren’t Up for Grabs

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 1.12.02 AMThe last thing a business owner should have to worry about is having her property seized by her own government. Protecting private property, not immorally seizing it, is what governments are entrusted to do. Well, the city of Dallas thinks otherwise. A car repair shop is under threat of being unconstitutionally seized because it happens to sit on a parcel of land that developers would like to recreate into a hipster’s paradise, much like the Bishop Arts District on the other side of downtown. While this might sound like an attractive place for millennials, the government has no right to violate a business owner’s right to her own property.

Yet this is exactly what’s happening to Hinga Mbogo, owner of Hinga’s Automotive. He has operated an automotive shop just north of Downtown Dallas for over 30 years. Despite the amount of time he has operated and the respect his shop has garnered from the community, Hinga may be forced to close shop so that other developers can have their way. The City of Dallas is attempting to use unconstitutional legal tricks to seize Hinga’s property without just compensation. With the support of IJ, Hinga will petition City Council to reverse their decision and allow him to stay in business for two more years.

Read more ›

Posted in Texas Matters Tagged with: , , , ,

TMI to Expand Operations to Nation’s Capital

TMI to Expand Operations to Nation’s Capital

Texas Not Texas

The Texas Millennial Institute is excited to announce today that operations of the organization will move to Washington, DC. This move comes at a time when there has been a widespread recognition that the spirit of Texas millennials is sorely needed in the nation’s capital. TMI CEO Noelle Mandell said she was “excited at the prospect of pushing the frontiers of Texas all the way to Washington, D.C.” Along with Mandell, TMI COO Dustin Lané said in his statement that he is “hopeful that the Texas empire won’t stop at American borders. Europe is also ready for Texas.”

Texas Overtaking Europe

The success of TMI during its first year of existence is a clear signal that Texas should not only secede from the US but annex the rest of the nation in the process. Chairman of the Board of Directors Clint Townsend was proud of the move. In an email, he wrote that he was pleased “that TMI will vindicate Oscar Wilde’s famous words about Texas, specifically that it is a land of ‘infinite pleasure.’”

TMI leaders have long grown weary of waiting for state officials to start the process of expanding the Texas empire. As such, this private effort offers hope that Texans can do it themselves without waiting for formal political institutions to take the first step.

TMI’s DC headquarters are expected to be located at the corner of Texas & Pennsylvania Ave., which is hoped to make a strong suggestion to the state of Pennsylvania as well. Moreover, the mission of TMI will be slightly modified to reflect its new notions of empire. As a first step, TMI’s newest initiative will focus on bringing real barbeque to the east coast, not any of that stuff they call barbeque from North Carolina.

Posted in Texas Matters Tagged with: , , ,

Why Millennials Want to End the War on Drugs

Why Millennials Want to End the War on Drugs

by Carsten Hood
Indoor_cannabis_plants

More and more Americans are beginning to question their government’s war on drugs, and the younger generation is leading the discussion. TMI recently hosted a drug policy forum at Texas Christian University; my own campus political group at Texas A&M held a meeting on drug decriminalization; and this video criticizing the drug war recently went viral on social media. With public concern on the rise, it’s a perfect time to review some of the unintended consequences of modern drug prohibition. Let’s start with…

Gangs and cartels. Powerful criminal organizations aren’t inevitable components of human society. Banning things spawns them. When America criminalized alcohol in the 1920s, we got Al Capone and his gangsters; now we have liquor stores. Before cannabis was first regulated in the 1930s, we had peaceable farmers; now we have violent cartels. Gangs form to meet consumer demands that the legal market cannot. And since law enforcement institutions don’t protect suppliers of illegal goods from aggressors (and indeed become aggressors themselves), drug suppliers must protect their own property. Hence, they are necessarily violent. This certainly doesn’t help with…

Crime. Drug prohibition not only generates extensive crime and violence among supply-side institutions, but also pushes the average drug consumer towards lawlessness. Criminalization inflates the cost of users’ habits, reduces their legitimate opportunities for advancement, and introduces them to criminality by definition. And if they wind up in prison, they’ll receive master’s degrees in being bad—at your expense. Which takes us to…

Read more ›

Posted in War on Drugs Tagged with: , , , ,

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Austin! Have you been looking for an opportunity to get together with a group to critically examine philosophical texts? Well, here's your chance. We are hosting Socratic Happy Hours to discuss readings that relate to your life.

Join us over drinks and casual discussion over George Orwell's essay, "Politics and the English Language." This essay, dating back to 1946, will likely give some insight into problems we're still facing today.

Sable will be leading us through the essay, socratic seminar style. Participants will join for an hour long discussion where we address open-ended questions based on the text, listen to each others comments and respond thoughtfully, and walk away with a better understanding of the topic at hand as well as connecting more with those who attend.

Is political speech and writing the "defense of the indefensible"? Does it make lies sound truthful and murder respectable? How can we counter what's going on and help strive for sincerity in language? We'll find out together on Wednesday, November 15th at 7:30pm. (Brew and Brew is particularly busy this month, so we shifted our date from the normaly first Thursday meeting). Your first drink will be on us! Please help us spread the word.

*This event is open to anyone interested in having conducive dialogue about the essay at hand and those that agree to come prepared to engage on the text. Please read the text beforehand; there's a link to it in the "discussion" section, and we'll provide hard copies in person.
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Socratic Happy Hour: Politics & the English Language

November 15, 2017, 7:30pm - November 15, 2017, 9:30pm

Austin! Have you been looking for an opportunity to get together with a group to critically examine philosophical texts? Well, here's your chance. We are hosting Socratic Happy Hours to discuss readings that relate to your life. Join us over drinks and casual discussion over George Orwell's essay, "Politics and the English Language." This essay, dating back to 1946, will likely give some insight into problems we're still facing today. Sable will be leading us through the essay, socratic seminar style. Participants will join for an hour long discussion where we address open-ended questions based on the text, listen to each others comments and respond thoughtfully, and walk away with a better understanding of the topic at hand as well as connecting more with those who attend. Is political speech and writing the "defense of the indefensible"? Does it make lies sound truthful and murder respectable? How can we counter what's going on and help strive for sincerity in language? We'll find out together on Wednesday, November 15th at 7:30pm. (Brew and Brew is particularly busy this month, so we shifted our date from the normaly first Thursday meeting). Your first drink will be on us! Please help us spread the word. *This event is open to anyone interested in having conducive dialogue about the essay at hand and those that agree to come prepared to engage on the text. Please read the text beforehand; there's a link to it in the "discussion" section, and we'll provide hard copies in person.

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