Blog

Christians Ministering to Syrian Refugees an Example for Us All

As the Chairman of the Texas-Israel Alliance, I recently led a Texas trade mission to Israel, to enhance business and trade between Israel and Texas.  Throughout the trip we had many first rate meetings with AT&T, Microsoft, cyber security firms, venture capital firms, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s national security advisor, the founder of Checkpoint Software, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Knesset, among many memorable meetings. Perhaps the most compelling meeting, however, took place over a traditional Israeli lunch in the Golan Heights.  The Golan Heights are the beautiful hills rising above the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River Valley. Israel seized and kept

Read More »

In the Midst of Bad News, the American Dream is Alive and Well

It’s been a tough week for news.  From New Zealand, arguably the most beautiful place on the planet, 49 murders at two mosques, in a shocking display of racial, religious and ethnic hatred and bigotry.  49 deaths in New Zealand is the same % of its population as 9/11’s murders were to the US population.  New Zealand will not recover rapidly from this horrific tragedy.  Our thoughts, prayers and sorrow all go out to that beautiful country and its people. In the US, arguably the worst news of the week was the college admissions scandal.  What we all feared and

Read More »

Clements Center gets bigger and better

It’s a real pleasure to welcome Nick Rasmussen and Michele Malvesti to our growing cadre of elite professionals at the Clements Center for National Security at UT Austin.  Dr. Will Inboden, the Executive Director who is a star in national security circles, has already built a world class institution, and it’s getting better and better all the time. When I tell conservatives that UT Austin has a world class conservative national security institute that we have built from the ground up, most don’t believe it, as UT Austin is famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) as the most liberal

Read More »

Be Wary of Private Equity

For those reading tea leaves, last weekend had some interesting news.  Warren Buffet’s annual letter came out.  Although it was shorter and less interesting than historical precedent, it did include a blurb about that, despite looking for years, Buffett couldn’t find anything large (by Berkshire Hathaway standards, 10s of billions of dollars) to buy, as prices were too high, and that he preferred public stocks. Wow.  Eye opening and illuminating.  If you needed a blinking yellow light for investing in private equity, that was it.  An article also came out in the Financial Times stating that several upstart private equity

Read More »

Part III: Observations from Israel

The Texas-Israel Alliance trade mission to Israel is certainly closing out with a bang.  On Wednesday, February 20 we had several meetings at OurCrowd, a $1 billion venture capital firm that has invested in hundreds of Israeli startups, predominantly in life sciences and technology firms, particularly cyber security.  We also visited the Friends of Zion Museum, which details Christian support around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries for establishment of a Jewish state in British Palestine, as well as a visit to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Second Temple Era Model of Jerusalem.  In the evening, we

Read More »

Part II: Observations from Israel

Tuesday, February 19 was no ordinary day in Israel. We began the day with a multi-hour briefing on the Gaza Strip by former Colonel Grisha Yukobovich of the Israeli Defense Forces (“IDF”). Colonel Yukobovich could not have laid out better what a mess the Gaza Strip has become — with Hamas desperate to maintain control at all costs, and the prospect of a 3 state, instead of 2 state, solution — the West Bank led by the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip by Hamas, and Israel by Israel. What a mess. The United Stars should stay out of this as

Read More »

Part I: Observations from Israel

So we’ve finished two breathtaking days in Israel on the Texas Trade Mission, to increase business between Texas and Israel. The first evening we spent with Avi Dichter, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, and former director of Shinbet, the Israeli internal security service.  We then had a behind the scenes tour of the Peres Center for Peace, former President Shimon Peres’ master stroke upon leaving office, which houses incredible technology and memorabilia, including his Nobel Prize for Peace. First full day began with a breakfast meeting with Chemi Peres, the Prime

Read More »

Remembering Governor Clements

In late January, the Clements alumni gathered at the Governor’s Mansion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Governor Clements’ first election as Governor of Texas.  Since Governor Clements ran 3 times and won 2 out of 3, there were a lot of staffers.  But even accounting for that, for 80+ people to show up says a lot about their relationships and their admiration of and loyalty to Governor Clements.  40 years is a long time ago, no doubt. Among the many attendees present were former Secretaries of State George Strake, George Bayoud and Geoff Conner, former ClementsChief of Staff Bayoud,

Read More »

It’s Time for Caution, But Not for Flight

One of the smartest, wisest investors you’ve never heard of is a man in Boston named Seth Klarman, who runs nearly $30 billion within a firm called Baupost. He’s generated enormous returns over many, many years, and has become a billionaire. He’s one of 2 or 3 “E.F. Huttons” out there in the modern day investment world that everyone listens to. This past week, Mr. Klarman sent out the annual letter for his firm and raised several concerns:  rising global debt at the country, corporate and individual levels; the appearance of instability in the executive branch of the US government;

Read More »

Covington Catholic Incident Exposes Need for 21st Century “Reformation of Manners”

The controversy over the Kentucky catholic school boys trip to the March for Life over the weekend, and their interplay with a group of activists and a separate Native American activist resulted in widespread condemnation of these minor children, and calls for societal ostracism and even outright violence as their deserved punishment. Leftist, anti-Trump forces were gleeful in their righteous indignation and judgment, seeing their worldview condemning what was in their view the inherent toxicity of American white males, even those underaged, as confirmed. As more information, video coverage, and facts emerged as to the confrontation, this narrative proved false.

Read More »