Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Mama Warned Me

My mother was displeased when my daughter, Annie, moved to Houston. “I don’t like Texans,” she said. “They’re so conceited. They just talk about how much better Texas is than the rest of America.”

She loved making spectacular generalizations out of very few data points – her opinion was based on two fliers in my father’s World War II Marine squadron, one of whom became my godfather. And in truth, Annie spent two good years in Texas, and one of my closest college friends is from San Antonio.

Still, my mother’s words echo. Texas has always been unruly. After breaking away from Mexico in 1836 and forming a republic, one powerful faction wanted to expel the Native Americans and expand to the Pacific. Texas joined the union in 1845, but was soon gone again, deposing Governor Sam Houston and seceding in 1861. That sentiment never died: over 100,000 Texans signed a secession petition this year.

And emboldened by the country’s most in-your-face Congressional gerrymandering ten years ago, Texas Republicans are leading the fight against Obamacare and manning the barricades against compromise. It’s not just Ted Cruz. Congressman John Culbertson compared the GOP antics to “let’s roll” of 9/11. Steve Stockman and Blake Farenthold talk of impeaching the president. The legislature is considering a nullification bill, and Governor Rick (Oops) Perry opted out of the Medicaid expansion to insure his state’s poor. This week he declared the implementation of Obamacare “a criminal act”.

So guess which state has the worst health coverage in the country?

Yep. Texas.

Beacon of Hope

One Good Gig