Whole Other Country

Texas is such a grand place to live sometimes. In the personal is political column, I just got a jury duty summons in the mail yesterday. While the opportunity to get to be the guy who decides who lives and who dies is usually something I can’t pass up, I was forced to decline the invitation of my friends and neighbors to pass judgment on their sordid little lives. The decision was made much easier when you consider I was summoned to a jury in Travis County. For those unfamiliar with Texas geography, I live on the east side of Houston roughly 190 miles from the courtroom where I was commanded to appear. To get to said courtroom, I would have crossed three, possibly four, counties. While deciding the fates of my peers is fun, it ain’t that fun. The whole thing was made odder by the fact that my correct name, address, and driver’s license number were on the summons. The Travis County Clerk indisputably meant to summon me. I haven’t lived in Austin since 1997. Why they waited until now to summon me is beyond my comprehension. However, they did have a spiffy little web-based app to reply to the summons. I was a good citizen and informed them I was ineligible as I did not live in the correct county. So one of you folks that lives in Travis County will have to buck it up and go in my place.

Moving right along, I see that the Supreme Court of Texas has thrown the school financing system here into complete disarray with one fell swoop. School finance is a perennial bugbear here in Texas. The only things most everyone agree on are the current system sucks and income taxes are bad. Beyond that, everyone has some happy plan to figure out how to sort out school finance. I have a simpler approach. Amend the state constitution to remove the "general diffusion of knowledge" requirement. Actually, my preferred approach is to point out that while a well-educated populace benefits all of us, fundamentally you are responsible for your kids. You want them to have an education? Pay for it or teach them yourself. In other words, get rid of the public schools. Screw the kids. You had the horrid little sprogs, you educate them. I realize this approach is unthinkable to a vast majority of the public and will never win approval, so I’ll shut up now. In the meantime, the Lege will dither around and wait until the last possible minute to pull some buggered compromise together that will once again satisfy nobody and land the state back in court in a few years. Yay! I’m so excited I could just twitch. Oh, wait, that’s the caffeine. Never mind.

My final bit of Texana for the day is the Sony lawsuit. Sony committed an egregious fraud upon the public by installing software with some rather spectacular security holes. I hope they get their ass handed to them over it. I find it funny that other states that pretend to care more about their citizens did nothing when a multi-billion dollar corporation tried to screw said citizens over. Yes, I’m looking at you, California. Of course, it’s never been about protecting the citizen in CA. It’s always been about circumscribing the choices residents can make so that they will arrive at the predetermined conclusion selected for them by their benevolent overlords. Can you tell I’m not a big fan of Cali? Anyhow, props to Greg Abbott for trying to hold Sony to account. We’ll see how well it works.


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