Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

November 2021 Texas propositions

Jerry Stratton, October 27, 2021

Texas flag on a Pecos wall: “The flag of Texas, depicted on a downtown wall in Pecos, the seat of Reeves County, Texas.” Photo by Carol M. Highsmith.; Texas flag

Tuesday’s election has several propositions on it to amend the Texas constitution. Both the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Texas Scorecard have summaries available.

Most of them seem to be somewhat inside baseball. Proposition 1 would allow adding the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to the national sports leagues allowed to hold raffles at their events. Proposition 2 would allow counties to go as heavily into debt as cities and towns.

Proposition 4 would extend the already crazy prohibition on non-lawyers serving as Texas justices by requiring that they have been lawyers for even longer than they currently are, and also that they have been Texas lawyers. They must also have not pissed off any bureaucrats during that period. Proposition 5 would let the State Commission on Judicial Conduct interfere with elections. Both of those are incumbent protection propositions.

Proposition 7 would make spouses of disabled persons eligible for the same tax breaks as the disabled person; proposition 8 extends tax breaks for spouses of military killed in action to spouses of military killed in training.

Two of the propositions are an attempt to alleviate some of the authoritarian impulses of bureaucrats and elected officials. I just read a dystopian science fiction novel that featured a law against three or more people gathering to worship. A few years ago I would have thought it a nutty idea and totally unrealistic. Proposition 3 would ensure that government officials cannot make Texas into a dystopian science fiction novel again, at least in that respect.

Proposition 6 would allow nursing home and other long-term care residents to designate one person who cannot be prohibited from visiting them. Like proposition 3, it stems from some of the authoritarian craziness of the past two years, in which some bureaucrats isolated people from friends and family against their will. Frankly, I agree with the opponents of this bill: residents should be able to allow anyone to visit them, not just one person. But one is better than none, which is what they currently get.

In response to Texas and Round Rock: News from Texas, and especially Round Rock/Austin.

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