harsh times for disenfranchised women but good tortillas in Texas capital

herdez salsa

Those crazy-assed Texan republicans have nearly prevailed in delivering some of the the most restrictive reproductive policies in the U.S. And when they’re done, they will have closed all but a handful of Planned Parenthood clinics through out the state (one of the richest in the U.S., home to its fourth-largest city, and the fastest growing in the nation). The few remaining will nearly all be in major urban centers. As a result, financially challenged families living in rural areas will have virtually no access to affordable women’s health services. And services in the big cities will be more limited.

But it’s hard to find a bad tortilla in this town, capital of the Lone Star State.

steak tacos

As were munching down steak tacos last night (excellent handmade flour tortillas from Austin’s pseudo-gourmet food shop Central Market stuffed with cast-iron-pan-fired steak, guacamole, Herdez salsa, and finely chopped onions and cilantro), the irony wasn’t lost on us: we’re a single-income, middle-class, small-business-owning family with four university degrees between us and we’re about to pay $10,000 out-of-pocket for the birth of our daughter. That’s because there is no maternity insurance available to the self-employed in Texas.

Nope. Nada. Zippo. Why? Because the bottom-line-minded insurance companies (who enjoy the freedoms of republican-minded deregulation) don’t see the point in offering it. That should change after the Affordable Care Act goes into effect (but I’m not counting on it).

gobelsburger rose zweigelt

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining.

We’re not disenfranchised. We’re not emarginated. We’re bourgeois.

We’re solidly middle class (the very caste that the republicans purport to defend), our business is thriving, and I am thrilled about becoming the father of two. There are a lot of folks who face much greater challenges than we do and we’re doing just fine.

But the challenges of having a child for us, set against the political-social-moral drama that’s being played out ten minutes down the road from our house, sometimes make me wonder if I should throw in the towel and join the legions of those working for the military-industrial complex.

I’ve heard that they’re hiring at Haliburton and the benefits are supposed to be great. Haliburton’s based in Houston and the tortillas are very good there, too.

Thanks for reading. And happy (and safe) Fourth of July, yall!

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