Monday, June 30, 2014

When I opened up my Times...

...this morning and saw the headline on the right column, "Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater," I just assumed it went with this picture in the middle of the page. "Oh yeah," I thought, "that looks like Iraq." (I hadn't had my coffee yet.)

But then I read the caption, "La Salle County, Tex., is the site of an oil and gas boom, but studies have shown that 39 percent of children there live in poverty."


From the article (my emphasis):

This rural patch of thick mesquite in the brush country south of San Antonio had been known for something else. Five miles from here in Cotulla, Lyndon B. Johnson at the age of 20 saw hardship so searing that it would help inspire his war on poverty.

Now, it is the scene of one of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen. But poverty endures in makeshift, barely governed communities called colonias, such as the one where Ms. Vargas shares her trailer with an ever-shifting assemblage of relatives.

Decades after Johnson took a teaching job here in 1928, the area, like the country, is a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship. And though the boom has helped produce fortunes for some and comfortable lives for many, for others it exists within a rural landscape of unpaved streets without garbage pickup, where few dare to drink the tap water because it tastes and smells like chlorine.

Meanwhile, from Texas Gov. Rick Perry's website:

Texas is a land of ongoing success and endless opportunity; Texans aren't too shy about telling people about it, either. It's not bragging if it's true, however, and the Lone Star State’s winning mix of low taxes, reasonable regulatory structure, fair court system and world-class workforce has been paying dividends in terms of press recognition, economic rankings and, most importantly, good jobs for hard-working Texans.

And this guy wants to be president?

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