In Texas, the Sons of Confederate Veterans want to have a license plate commemorating their part in the Civil War; a request that has raised all kinds of responses, most of them negative, and some downright strident. I will admit that I was agreeing with most of the negative, and even some of the strident reasons why there should not be something with the symbol of the confederate flag. That symbol evokes so many painful reminders for so many people.
However, after reading a column by Texas Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson, I am rethinking my opinion. Not sure I am going to change my mind, but at least I am open to reconsidering based on the fact that the purpose of the plate is not to glorify the bad things about the Confederacy, but to honor the men who fought, believing in their cause.
Patterson also mentioned that throughout history soldiers have fought and died for causes that were not completely honorable. He used the example of the Buffalo Soldiers who served with great distinction in Texas after the Civil War. Part of their mission was to control the Indian population, eventually moving many to reservations. That is not a part of our history that we are proud of, but we can still honor the men who did their duty.
Patterson states that “In the end, offensive behavior can be found throughout history if you are looking to be offended. There is no statutory protection against being offended. Actually, it’s the privilege of every American to be offended.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry’s wife, Anita, said recently that she can empathize with the unemployed because her son had to resign from his banking job to work on the campaign.
The only difference between loan sharks and short-term-lenders is that most people who borrow from the latter, don’t have to worry about getting their legs broken if they don’t pay the debt. However, they do have to worry about getting sucked into a vicious circle of unending debt. According to a report in The Dallas Morning News, the fees on a loan of $4,000 can be as high as $1,000 a month.
I had to read that twice to make sure it wasn’t a misprint. Talk about usury. And the greatest travesty is that the companies that provide these short-term and auto-title lenders have seen record profits in the past few years, while their “victims” lose everything trying to pay off the loans.