Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 42, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 27, 2011 Page: 3 of 20
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Mary Henkel Judson
& Murray Judson
Port Aransas South Jetty
Texas Press Association
South Texas Press Association
Texas Gulf Coast Press Association
_National Newspaper Association
Thursday, October 27, 2011 3 A
may not score
is calling for
a flat tax. In
the fine print,
look for the
not steeped in football, a “Hail Mary” pass is
a desperation play; the quarterback throws
the ball into heavy traffic in the end zone,
and prays someone on his team will catch it.
This is the Texas governors latest effort to
recover from a lackluster showing so far in
the Republican presidential contest, except
for raising money.
So, he’s dusted off magazine publisher
Steve Forbes’ idea from the 1996 GOP pri-
mary of a flat tax .
It follows his energy plan, basically an oil
industry proposal for more drilling and less
environmental oversight: “Drill First; Ask
Perry is part of a tightly bunched group of
Republican candidates scrambling to dem-
onstrate that electing them will reduce taxes
the most, while still putting more Americans
back to work.
Whether the flat tax works for Perry re-
mains to be seen. But when Forbes proposed
it in the 1996 campaign, while its simplicity
commanded attention, it also raised ques-
tions about who would benefit most.
Like Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan to throw
out the current tax code, set corporate and
personal income taxes at 9 percent and levy
a 9 percent federal sales tax, it may raise
lots of questions. You may recall that Forbes
didn’t win the GOP nomination in 1996.
It will be interesting to see how Perry
seeks to answer those questions - if indeed
he does, and if indeed he can.
Meanwhile, in Texas, teachers and parents
of kids in school may question how Perry
can plan for the nation’s economy when
he oversaw cutting $4 billion from public
schools while leaving untouched a $7 bil-
lion Rainy Day Fund designed for just such
Despite his failure to win the presiden-
tial nomination, Forbes’ flat tax proposal
seemed to make doing something about
taxes a front-burner item for a presidential
Just eight days after the 1996 general
election, when Democrat Bill Clinton won
re-election to a second and final term, then-
Gov. George W. Bush announced by press
release that he would seek a $2 billion tax
cut in Texas.
That came as a total surprise to Texas Lt.
Gov. Bob Bullock and House Speaker Pete
Laney, which in itself was a surprise. Bush
had had a close working relationship with
the Democratic legislative leaders, and for
him to surprise them with something that
would involve them so much came as a
After a while, as it became more obvious
that Bush was ramping up for a run for the
presidency, it also became obvious his team
considered a state tax cut necessary to run
for the GOP presidential nomination. The
press release had been a long-range cruise
missile aimed at the 2000 New Hampshire
But as for the flat tax itself for 2012, Perry
may get about as much leverage out of it as
The current Republican mantra that
voting for any tax increase is a sin comes at
least in part from Grover Norquist, presi-
dent of Americans for Tax Reform.
He is the guy responsible over the last
couple of decades for getting state and
national legislators and candidates for those
bodies to sign a pledge against any net tax
This pledge may be one of those things
like being against any abortion under any
circumstances, that can safely be said when
it doesn’t mean anything, but later can have
a pretty large political impact.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
Roe v. Wade that women basically had the
right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy
So politicians could say, “Of course I’m
against abortion under any circumstances”
- because it had no effect.
But that changed 16 years later. In 1989, a
Supreme Court with some new members, in
Missouri v. Webster, returned to states some
capability to clamp down on abortions.
Suddenly, it wasn’t a free statement any
more. Being against abortions could actually
have an impact. It was enough that year to
get two candidates seeking the 1990 GOP
nomination for governor of Texas to switch
their stance to pro-choice.
Norquist’s anti-tax increase pledge began
under somewhat the same circumstances.
Legislators and candidates could pledge to
vote against tax increases, because at the
time, they knew the Democrats would come
up with the money necessary to sustain
highways, schools, health care, and other
But now that Republicans are in control
in many legislative bodies, including the
U.S. House of Representatives, they find
themselves pledged to vote against finding
the money to perform necessary functions.
How long that will last remains to be seen.
But the pledge is no longer a freebie.
Contact McNeely at
davemcneelyl 1 firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 458-
HOW DO YoU _
V \ 1
Get set for Fall Back tun!
When I first heard that the Fall Back Fes-
tival, one of the neatest events offered in Port
Aransas, was not going to be in the “la playa”
area of Pelican’s Landing, I was bummed.
Several attempts to find a venue in Old
Town were unsuccessful, unfortunately, be-
cause Fall Back has such a funky Old Town
charm to it.
We have friends who just built a home
in Old Town, and were looking forward to
walking to Fall Back after years of driving in
from North Padre Island - and back. Talk
about raining on their parade! Bummer!
Well, it’s not going to be in Old Town and
we’re going to have to get over it.
So, take a deep breath and clear your head.
Fall Back is going to be in a really cool
location, albeit on the outskirts of town, on
the grounds of the C Bar Cafe at Cinnamon
Shore. The only drawback is the drive, and
there are at least two solutions to that.
The first solution is to take a bus that the
festival is providing from Pelican’s Landing.
It will leave at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. The return
trips will be made at 9:30,10,10:30 and 11
p.m. It’s free except for a tip for the driver.
How cool is that? Play your cards right, and
that could be a fringe benefit of the festival.
Your other option is to take a cab, and in
Port Aransas, cabs are really reasonable.
Oh yeah, the third option, which is
always an option: Appoint a DD (designated
The setting is going to be gorgeous. The
C Bar Cafe is situated on the perimeter of
a grassy circle surrounded by a low fence,
with openings interspersed throughout the
circumference. In that circle is grass (no
and the band
will set up in
about so you
can sit and eat and drink and talk and listen
to the music (if you can keep from danc-
That’s another thing. The band. Last year
I had no idea how good they would be. I
thought they’d be playing tunes from the
30s, 40s and 50s (which is fine by me). Well,
there might have been some 50s tunes in
there, but they rocked the house with 60s
music and beyond. People were singin and
dancin’ and laughin’!
Fall Back is a wine tasting, but if you’re
not into wine, you’ll be able to buy beer and
cocktails, just as you did when it was held at
It’s doubtful the festival will be able to
return to Old Town unless Pelican’s Landing
decides to eliminate the playground they just
put in. The other venues discussed are not
available for this type of event, or would not
accommodate it properly. To my knowledge,
there are no other options.
So, let’s embrace the new location and go
have a good time for a good cause - the Port
Aransas Community Theatre.
See y’all there!
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and co-
publisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at
southietty@centurvtel. net. (361) 749-5131 or
P.O.Box 111 7, Port Aransas, TX 78373.
Letters to the Editor
I want to state that lam 100 percent
in support of recycling. We all know the
benefits of recycling to our planet and to
the bottom line of our city budget. But,
I am against additional individual large
With the council’s previous approval
of toters for garbage collection, the look
of our unique town totally changed.
Instead of a quaint and unique coastal
town, we are now a streetscape of blue
toters. Our streets are lined every day
by big blue trash receptacles. They stand
upright or blown over in front of almost
every home in town. And now city
fathers are again contemplating large
toters for recycling.
Instead of one large toter per house-
hold, there might be two. What happened
to the importance of esthetics for a com-
munity? When did we feel it was more
important for our town to save a few
bucks by the use of toters and change the
look of our streetscapes for the worse?
By placing recycling dumpsters on
city property and at the condominiums
that request them, we could still have
an increased recycling program in Port
Aransas with it not being detrimental
to the beauty of our town. Individual
homeowners could still use the smaller
curbside recycling bins currently in use.
I vote yes to recycling and no to more
Port Aransas and San Antonio
Keep up with Port Aransas
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P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373
dust; now what?
(c) 2011 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES,
one bites the
And anoth- a
er one gone,
and another f. \
Forgive me if I don’t join the State
Department, American officials and world
leaders in their euphoric Hallelujah chorus
celebrating the demise of Libya’s Moammar
Gadhafi. Oh, I’m happy he’s dead, but I have
as much faith that things will change for the
better in Libya as I do in the Great Pumpkin
rising from the pumpkin patch on Hallow-
een night (sorry, Linus).
“Gadhafi’s Death Ushers in New Era,”
read the headline in last Friday’s usually
sober Wall Street Journal. “West Hails a
Turning Point...,” read the sub-headline. The
question is, or should be: a turning to what?
As Richard Boudreaux sensibly wrote in the
Journal, “(Gadhafi) leaves a nation torn by
war, devoid of civic institutions and difficult
to govern.” What can be built on that rubble
when Libyans have no history of practicing
any of the values the West holds dear? No
functional nation can rise when it rests on
such a weak foundation.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has
dropped an additional $11 million on Libya
($135 million since the uprising began),
no doubt borrowed from the Chinese since
we don’t have that kind of money. Why do
Democrats think money is the answer to
everything? Let’s see if the rebels submit
receipts and expense vouchers showing
what they spent. It’s a safe bet much of it
will go down the rat hole of corruption, as
our money has in Iraq, Afghanistan and
We have been assured by various sources
throughout the misnamed “Arab Spring”
that these revolutionaries are genuine
democrats, who want free elections and will
guarantee at least some rights (if not equal
ones) for women, religious minorities and
perhaps even political opponents. But the
attacks by Muslims on Coptic Christians
and their churches in Egypt ought to be a
warning sign that an Egyptian (and Libyan)
version of America is unlikely to bloom in
such putrid soil.
Turkey was supposed to be the shining
light of 21st-century Islam, a beacon to the
rest of the Muslim world. Instead, Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been
turning more and more to Islam’s con-
servative wing while rebuffing Israel and
behaving in ways not befitting a U.S. ally or
member of NATO.
In Tunisia, where the Arab uprisings
began, an election was recently held. Initial
returns indicate that a once-banned Islamist
party, Ennahda, may have won a majority.
And Afghanistan isn’t turning out as
many had hoped. The U.S. State Department
reports “there is not a single public Chris-
tian church left in Afghanistan,” the last one
having been razed in March 2010. In March
2011 a Congressional Research Service
report showed that Afghanistan has cost
American taxpayers more than $440 billion
(and counting), 1,700 lives (and counting)
and the country is as intolerant of any faith
other than Islam as when it was run by the
Taliban. This is progress?
If real progress is to be made in Libya
toward representative democracy, women’s
rights, religious pluralism, economic stabil-
ity and diplomatic cooperation with the
West, the first step must be to rewrite the
National Transition Council’s draft con-
stitution. As I wrote in August following
Gadhafi’s ouster, Article 1 tells us all where
the rebel leadership wants to take the coun-
try: “Islam is the religion of the State and
the principal source of legislation is Islamic
Should Libya’s new leaders approve a con-
stitution without that clause, if they keep the
Muslim Brotherhood at bay — which is now
active in other Arab nations experiencing
upheaval — and if they turn toward the West
for more than economic aid, embracing the
most fundamental of human rights, I will
move from pessimism to guarded optimism.
Confidence isn’t warranted when a head-
line in the London Daily Telegraph says,
“Interim (Libyan) ruler unveils more radical
than expected plans for Islamic law.” Than
expected? What are they drinking?
I remain a skeptic that Libya is capable
of heading in a direction that improves the
lives of its people, aligns itself with the U.S.
and our interests and lessens tensions in the
But I am open to evidence to the con-
trary, if it’s not based on wishful thinking.
Contact Cal Thomas at Tribune Me-
dia Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite
114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207, ore-mail him at
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Judson, Mary Henkel. Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 42, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 27, 2011, newspaper, October 27, 2011; Port Aransas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth505862/m1/3/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Ellis Memorial Library.