Guy I knew moved to Texas because he hated NYC regulations

He also hated liberals.

The first time I was introduced to Rush Limbaugh was in Jim’s truck, where Rush was turned up so loud I think I developed a hearing deficit in the few seconds before I got him to turn the volume down.

There came a time when Jim sold his building to a small business owner and moved to a rural area in Texas.

He was so happy. No more liberals, no more NYC government insisting he keep his sidewalks in good shape, burdening him with building codes and regulations up the wazoo.

Boy, did he hate New York.

The place he bought in Texas was perfect for him. He set about renovating it, with the help of a local guy who knew how to do stuff. He bragged to me about how he had no irritating, costly codes to adhere to, how he and his helper just put the roof up and all was good.

Among the many things I didn’t then know about Texas was: it is prone to flooding. Flash floods, Gulf floods, floods.

And so it rained on Jim’s building, and so it kept on raining and the land around him was dry (he’d sent me a picture and from what I could see, it was basically dirt, with a couple of unattractive trees). I think there was a flash flood.

And a part of his roof fell down. Because there were no codes that could have guided him toward hiring a licensed contractor who knew how to construct specific protections against the local rains.

I think, I hope, I trust I didn’t sneer at him. Even though Rush and Jim considered me a “femiNazi” I did not name-call nyah nyah nyah back in his face. I smiled but he couldn’t see it; we were on the phone.

So I read Mimi Swartz’s piece about how Houston needs a hand, in today’s Times. Usually I like her a lot but. She talks about why she loves living in Texas: because the people are so nice and because in this disaster they’re all out there helping each other.

Mimi, let me tell you something: when we have disasters in New York–and we have had a few, if you keep up with things–what do you imagine we’re doing? Sitting around sipping cabernet?

Wrong. We’re all out there helping each other, and it isn’t just New York–or Houston–that has nice people who care about each other. I’d suggest it is the instinct of human beings to help each other in crises.

But as you state–far too gently–it’s not Texas that’ll be paying for your damaged state. It’ll be the rest of us, and a majority of “us” are New Yorkers, and Californians and Bostonians. Because it’s our urban centers and taxpayers that finance this country.

We’ll pay for your state’s greedy arrogance, and anti-government, anti-tax crazies who open-carry military weapons and ignorance but not Medicaid cards–because your government decided not to expand coverage for its needy citizens, primarily to spite President Obama. And I’ll bet your nice Houstonians cheered.

Texas is stupid. And those of us who are not will be paying for its stupidity.

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