There’s an epidemic that’s growing in my home state of Texas and it looks like it has no cure.
Last week in Texas, Dallas Republican Jason Villalba proposed a bill “that would make it illegal for The People to record The Police, at least up close.” It appears that factual information about what transpires between public officials and Texas citizens is to be discouraged for mostly nebulous reasons.
Mr. Villaba’s bill wouldn’t restrict mainstream media sources from filming cops in action within 25 ft but you and I must keep our distance, because we the people are more likely to be an “interference with public duties” being discharged by police officers than are those who get a paycheck from official news outlets. Why? They’ve been trained in the fine art of unencumbering moves while filming cops in action? What is certain though is that corporate owned media sources do have the skills and routinely practice the editing of video documentation that puts people in power in a bad light.
But as you ruminate over the possibility that it can’t get any more nuts from the conservative mentality in the Lone Star state, you are reminded that stupid is easily spread without little support to actually prevent it.
In another example of some delusional notion that the public’s right to know has limits that should be imposed on them comes yet another example of confused politicians working in the interests of what appears to be the mentally deficient.
AUSTIN — Under the mantra that state government should serve its residents and not everyone else, the Texas Legislature is mulling a plan giving agencies and other official entities the option of ignoring out-of-state requests for information under its open records laws.
The proposal is sponsored by first-term Rep. Mike Schofield (R), once a longtime legal adviser to former Gov. Rick Perry — whose office was famously cool toward top provisions of the Texas Public Information Act. SOURCE
Now this doesn’t hurt me personally since I live in Texas and Schofield’s bill would not impede my right to know, but then self-interests don’t dictate every action of mine as it does those of the Ayn Rand laissez-faire herd. For the Party who fosters the notion that our freedoms are being threatened by forces outside the state, this bill seems to make a mockery of it all. The fact that several other states have imposed such restrictions and that the Roberts Supreme Court has sided with this stance doesn’t assuage the sense that Texas is determined to outdo every other state government in their efforts to scale Mt. Dumbass.
Rep. Mike Schofield’s ludicrous claim that “There are people who just get it in their heads that they can make Texas government dance to their tune,” is yet another example of Libertarian paranoia that sees snakes in the snow where none exists. It’s a hallmark with the don’t-tread-on-me crowd who for unfathomable reasons reduce common sense practices or non-threatening behavior to a delusional state.
If I owned a business outside of Texas and wanted to get information about the state to consider relocating, I would be prohibited from doing so under Schofield’s bill. If I were merely an ordinary citizen considering a relocation move to Texas and wanted information about schools and job opportunities, it appears I would also be barred from garnering this information from the state to aid me in making that decision.
Why would anyone who has nothing to hide consider such a thing, especially on such a large public scale? There’s no sufficient data to support Schofield’s perception about costs to the taxpayer that would override this attempt to inhibit public information. Who is it and for what reasons does he feel that there is a need for such a deprivation of facts? Texas, like any other state doesn’t exist in a vacuum and for anyone to seriously implement such a restrictive move has no right to say they have the public’s best interests at heart, especially concerning our freedom to know.
It seems a week doesn’t go by that radical politicians on the far right in Texas are trying to create laws that do little to promote the general welfare of the state and further restrict the rights of ordinary citizens either in favor of wealthier special interests or for ideologues whose connections with reality are tenuous at best.
Some may say this is being stupid like a fox and I wouldn’t discount that completely. However, even the fox knows enough not to create too much of stir lest he wake the watchdog guarding the hen house. The fact that most voters in Texas continue to vote against their own self-interests by electing and re-electing these public officials does little to remove the embarrassment from actions that put Texas as the butt-end of jokes on late night TV or worse, a Sponge Bob cartoon