Thursday, December 12, 2013


Having lived a long life, there are certain things which remain an inscrutable mystery to me.  Why, for example, no matter how careful I am in picking up and hanging up the receiver on my phone, the cord always twists up.

It is really difficult for me to understand why I have such bad luck at the supermarket.  No matter which line I take, it seems the person ahead of me has trouble writing a check for the $2.00 purchase, or has picked up an item not marked with the price, and we must wait for someone to go ascertain what to charge the customer.

There are myriad other mysteries, many of which involve the thinking of people from the past.  Just as an example, I wonder what our forefathers were thinking when designing the criminal law.  In Texas, it is perfectly legal to walk around the streets with an AK47 or other high-powered weapon which will hold up to 30 rounds of ammunition.  On the other hand, it is considered a jailable offense to carry a club, brass knuckles, or a knife with a blade exceeding 5.5 inches.  It seems we would all be better off if we allowed people to carry clubs instead of assault rifles because at least it would take longer to injure people with a club than it would with the semi-automatic weapon. 

Another mystery to me is why so many legislators who abhor raising taxes refuse to allow the people of Texas to vote on whether or not we should allow casino gambling.  It would obviously be about a 2 billion dollar a year stream of income for the state.  Another thing to consider is the fact that our present laws against gambling do not prevent Texans from gambling.  It simply requires them to take their money to Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Mexico, or  Las Vegas.

Overlooking another great source of revenue is also a mystery. Even though several states have recognized the reality of marijuana use and legalized it thereby gleaning tremendous amounts of revenue, it seems no member of the Texas Legislature has even thought to discuss it.  Apparently, marijuana does not make people any crazier than alcohol, and its legalization could not only fill the Texas coffers but could also be a cost saving from incarcerating people who have been found guilty of possessing pot.  Laws against marijuana smoking have been a dismal failure, and we are wasting space in our prisons on possessors of pot and having policemen catch and incarcerate the folks for dealing with it.  Legalization would regulate it, raise a magnificent amount of income and save Texans money in the long run.

Finally, I must admit in my partisan spirit, why in the world would poor folks or working folks vote Republican? Too many believe the “trickle-down theory” works.  It does not!  The theory is that if we take care of the very rich, they will invest and become job creators allowing much of the money they amass to trickle down to working folks.  One only needs to look at the economic history of the past 10 years in America.  Or, even better, look at the period of time which has passed since Ronald Reagan first advanced the idea of trickle-down economics.  Trickle-down economics has become “drip-down” economics.  Generally, the folks favoring such an economic policy claim to revere and respect hard work--except all of their policies tend to reward the people who work less than the people who work the longest and the hardest.  Look at enterprises like Walmart or your local hospital.  Administrators, managers, owners, or executives are being paid virtually millions of dollars while too many workers are stuck into $10-$12 jobs.  It makes no sense for the people at the top of the economic pyramid to make $4,000,000 a year while the average worker makes considerably less than $20 an hour.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I will be unable to divine the answer to all these quandaries during what time I have left on earth. 

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