Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Rick Perry’s States Rights Views Will Not Help You When You Cannot Get Health Care

Governor Rick Perry won’t be implementing ObamaCare in Texas.

From The Texas Tribune

“Texas will not expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance exchange, two major tenets of the federal health reform that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month, Gov. Rick Perry said in an early morning announcement. “I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab,” he said in a statement. “Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care.’ They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care. ….The governor will appear on Fox News at 10:30 a.m. to talk more about his decision.

Texas is first in the nation in the rate of uninsured persons and last in many measures of the provision of health care.

You would think that a so-called “pro-life” Governor would be glad for the chance to expand Medicaid to the working poor.

But Governor Perry and the extremist Texas Republican Party is more concerned with states rights/libertarian ideology than it is with helping people get health coverage from the health care reform that has been passed by Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Read here for yourself what ObamaCare will do for everyday Americans. 

Extreme states rights views will not help you when you or a family member cannot get care.

July 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Air Is So Bad In Texas That It Offends Oklahoma—States Rights Views Infringe On Our Neighbors

Pollution coming from Texas is so bad that it offends Oklahoma.

From the Houston Chronicle

“Coal-fired power plants in Texas are responsible for dozens of bad air days in neighboring states each year, according to a new analysis released by an environmental group Tuesday. The study, produced by the Sierra Club, attributes as many as 64 days with harmful levels of smog in Oklahoma to Texas’ coal plants. It also ties the plants to as many as 20 days of unhealthy air in Arkansas and up to 16 in Louisiana. “The coal plants are a real problem — not just for Texas, but the entire region,” said Jennifer Powis, a regional representative for the Sierra Club, which opposes the new push to build more coal-fired plants in Texas. The report supports earlier concerns raised by Oklahoma officials about the potential impacts on their state from the nearly 30 coal-fired plants either operating, permitted or proposed in Texas. The attorney general for Oklahoma asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency in May to require Texas to show that the new plants will not foul the state’s air before issuing permits for construction…..Oklahoma, for example, had 64 days that exceeded soon-to-be-finalized federal limits for ozone in one year because of emissions from existing coal plants in Texas. The proposed plants would cause another 11 days of dirty air north of the Red River, the study concluded.”

Oklahoma is no tree-hugger place. Yet the air coming from Texas is so bad that Oklahoma is angry.

Texas is fighting the Environmental Protection Agency over clean air standards and over greenhouse gas emission standards.

It’s all part of the so-called states rights kick that Governor Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and the state legislature are indulging in for temporary political gain.

We cannot not forget that no man is an island.

We can say we are going it alone, but all things are connected. Our bad air is harming people in other states. It is also, of course, harming people in Texas as well.

States rights is a philosophy that may sound good to some. But the reality has been that over our national history, this idea has been used to justify the worst civil rights abuses.

In this case, we see that states rights views are being used in a way to justify even more harmful activity.

I am in no way a reflexive opponent of industry.

Industry is needed to create the products we use in our lives. People need the jobs that industry provides. The technology that drives industry is an extension of our intellects.

A balance must be found between clean air and the needs of industry. The State of Texas has no interest in finding that balance. The State of Texas wants to press ahead with an extreme ideological point at the expense of others.

When even a very conservative state like Oklahoma objects, you have to wonder if we are going overboard with a my-way-or-the-highway view in Texas.

We are playing the music very loud all day long and our neighbors object. We are not the only people who live in the neighborhood.

Public Citizen Texas is doing a great job in fighting for clean air and an economically prosperous future for  Texas. Check out the Public Citizen homepage and see the great work they are doing.

( Below–Picture I took a few months ago on a cloudy day of industry in Pasadena, Texas.)

.

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taken As A Whole, The White South Remains Culpable For Past Injustices

When sins of history are discussed in the present, those who continue to reap the benefits of evil deeds often claim they are not responsible for the past.

Strictly speaking—and I’m wary of  strict construction because it’s a type of argument that often places narrow facts over logic —this may be true.

In the case of slavery, for example, the people who administered and supported this injustice are indeed now  dead. As for slavery’s successor, Jim Crow, most, though not all of its architects and supporters are gone as well.

These narrow facts do not, however, absolve the modern white Southerner from responsibility. This culpability will only recede when the white South—at least the voting majority of the white South— renounces and moves beyond the rotten deal behind American Apartheid.     

In Colonial America, white Southerners made a bargain amongst themselves. The deal was that in exchange for the legal and social superiority of all whites over all blacks, a racial solidarity would be observed that transcended class differences. 

They dressed this deal with the Devil up in the respectable sounding garb of “States Rights.”

This deal is well explained in Alan Taylor’s American Colonies—The Settling of North America  and in William Freehling’s The Road To Disunion–Secessionists At Bay 1776-1854. 

Many poor whites in the South liked these terms so much they were willing to die for them in the Civil War. The white South liked this deal so much they stuck to it after after the bloodshed of the Civil War. Jim Crow remained in effect until the 1960’s and even  then it had to be beaten down with protests, lawsuits and federal action.    

Formal Jim Crowism is gone. But based on how the white South has voted since since Jim Crow, these are people who, taken as a whole, retain an allegiance to the understanding reached 300 years ago. This despite the vision of a more humane and decent South offered by former Georgia Governor and U.S. President Jimmy Carter and by former President Bill Clinton of Arkansas.       

When the racial progressive Carter beat segregationist champion George Wallace in the 1976 Democratic Florida primary, it seemed that maybe the South would take a new direction.   

Those hopes were killed when Ronald Reagan, a racist in his deeds, gave a speech in his 1980 campaign defending so-called states rights in, of all places, Philadelphia, Mississippi.

This was near where the three Civil Rights workers, Schwerner, Cheney and Goodman, had been killed in 1964.

From that point on the Republican Party, driven by the model of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” of stoking white resentment against black people, captured the consistent majority of white Southerners.

Bill Clinton’s victories in some Southern states were accomplished with pluralities instead of outright majorities. The 1994 Republican victory was anchored in the South. George W. Bush has counted on strong Southern support to compensate for electoral weakness in other parts of the nation.

Behind all this is the same old deal—White solidarity and exclusion of blacks from power. And whatever some  want to say about states rights being a concept that goes beyond its ugly racial history, it’s always been about protecting local oligarchs and the local power structure from treating all people as equals and from having to bring living conditions in the South up to modern standards.  

Are we supposed to believe that the South is reformed today because many whites moved to the suburbs and now now have less to do with blacks instead of actively discriminating against them on a daily basis?     

The recent election of Indian-American Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana is an exception that proves the rule. Mr. Jindal is as narrow and to the right as any Louisiana conservative.

Good people are to be found everywhere. The North has never been any racial paradise. (Did any city fight school busing the way Boston did?) Individuals most be taken as they come. But when we consider elections and who holds office, it is a matter of what the majority of people are doing. 

In the South, the majority of white voters may have have adapted to new realities, but they have not moved ahead with the times. As such, the past and its injustices remain an active part of the political makeup of the White South.  

November 15, 2007 Posted by | Books, Colonial America, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , | 1 Comment