Despite repeated warnings, crowds of spring breakers still flooded into South Padre Island earlier this week as our State government did nothing to prevent such mass gatherings. Our youths were not about to let the fear of COVID-19 stop the partying because – well, their brains are still forming and those judgment regions are still a work in progress. That’s why sometimes you have to exercise some authority. Our Poor Idiot Governor took no action and crowds of several thousand SBers were seen at venues across SPI. Fortunately, some less idiotic heads prevailed and county officials in south Texas banned gatherings of more than 50 people. This cut down the crowds considerably in the last day or two, but who know if the COVID-19 cow has kicked down the barn door.
From the Annals of the Political Machines – In 1914, the Duval County Courthouse in San Diego burned down taking with it most of the evidence that might have revealed the criminal activity of legendary South Texas boss Archer Parr. Parr ran a powerful political machine that controlled Duval County and beyond. Parr was 22 when he settled in Duval County in 1882. By 1907 he had control of the local Democratic Party and was the undisputed political boss of Duval County. He maintained his control with the help of local Hispanics who kept voting Parr and his cronies into office in elections stained by corruption and fraud. He ran Duval County as his personal business enterprise parsing out County funds to himself, his machine and the local poor folks who did receive some modest benefits from their boss. The fire occurred during an audit of County finances that resulted in the indictment of Parr – by then a Texas State Senator. But the fire likely destroyed the evidence needed to secure a conviction and Parr escaped further prosecution. Parr’s control over the County was consolidated and he built a considerable personal fortune on the backs of his constituents. The Parr family continued to control the County with Parr’s son George taking over after his death in 1942. Parr family domination continued until at least 1975.