Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Texana, etc

I was on vacation, having temporarily left Debton Denton to visit my family in San Antonio, leaving the mysterious Rob Payne in charge. I told him he could give people Hugo treatsĀ® if they left clever and interesting comments, but I see no one did. I'm back, and want to welcome Rob Payne, who may visit again, even when I'm here. I don't know for sure if he plans to, hence the mysterious label.

Hey Rob, Apropo of our conversation the other day:

The Texas Constitution was written (c.1845 or so) by varmints who sort of meant to do good and (quite reasonably)feared everybody else was also a bunch of varmints, which is why it's so full of specificity and contractual unwieldiness, and consequently needs to be frequently updated. Actually, Texas once had one of the strictest anti-usury laws in the country and was the last state in the nation to prohibit 2nd mortgages, because they were afraid of unscrupulous Yankee bankers(!) coming in and lending us money and taking away our land and houses. (incidentally, you-know-who was governor when (in '96) 2nd mortgages were finally legalized in Texas.)

I was one of , I don't know... 3? 4? people who voted against rescinding it. (Yes, I realize it was a paternalistic law, but it was nice to have a statute that actually discouraged people from borrowing more money than they should.)

Fast-forward to the present, when we have a governor who wants to introduce casino gambling to Dallas and maybe Houston, two cities that already have enough problems and definitely do not need that sort of thing. I miss the days when the Baptists defended us against stuff like that, instead of worrying about gay marriage and evolution.

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