Perry and the pigs Update: Moody response.

Chris Moody, who’s been getting a lot of play in the blogosphere lately, comes to us today with yet another story about that mean old, animal hating, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shooting wolves from her helicopter. No… wait a moment. There may be an error or three there. Actually, it turns out that the state is Texas, the governor is Rick Perry, and the animals are pigs. Well, at least it still involves helicopters and guns.

When the new Texas state fiscal year begins on Thursday, more than 700 laws passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Perry this year will take effect. From hogs and helicopters to handguns and highways, here’s a look at five Texas-size laws about to go into effect in the Lone Star State:

1. It will be legal in Texas to shoot feral hogs from helicopters.

Starting Thursday, adventure hunters can legally pay for a helicopter ride and fire away at some of the 2 million feral hogs that roam the state.

State Rep. Sid Miller, who sponsored the legislation, says the animals cause up to $500 million in damage each year and that the new law can help reduce the damage.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Vertex Helicopters, a Houston-based company, has already reserved slots for 30 hog hunters, at a price of $475 an hour (with a 3-hour minimum), and that 60 hunters have taken the company’s required $350 safety course.

Before the law passed, it was only legal for residents to shoot feral hogs from helicopters on their own land.

Actually, Moody features five different laws signed by Perry, apparently trying to portray them as “bad things” for some reason, but we should take a look at them.

The first is just as described. So it will be legal to shoot feral hogs from the air. And? The feral hog problem has been out of control for a long time. They cause untold damage to crops and property, can carry contagious diseases and, yes, they can be aggressive and dangerous. A variety of types of pigs have been cross-breeding in the wild for along time, including both domestic swine, imported Russian boar and indigenous breeds. This has resulted in some fairly amazing beasts in the Hogzilla class. Plus, if you shoot them, you can sell them or eat them!

Mmmm… tasty, tasty pigs. Oh… sorry. Drifted off there for a moment. So what other new laws are being showcased?

2. The government will no longer fine you for catching fish with your hands.

It’s called noodling. And again… so what? It’s not my cup of tea, but if you’re inclined to climb into a muddy underwater hole in the hopes of having a fifty pound channel cat latch on to your foot, I don’t see where it’s the government’s business to stop you. Plus… tasty, tasty catfish.

3. It’s OK to bring your gun to work.

Don’t even get me started. I wonder how many employees around the nation wished they’d had the chance to be carrying when a deranged co-worker showed up to shoot the place to pieces?

4. I can drive 85.

Yes. The speed limit on the interstates will be going back up to 85 in some areas. Just try not to hit me if I stagger into the road after leaving the pub. Thanks.

5. Want to have a beer and see a naked lady? Pay the government five bucks.

So Texas is charging patrons of strip clubs a $5 fee, or “pole tax.” (See what he did there?) Perhaps annoying if you spend a lot of time in such places, but the money is going to support programs that aid victims of sexual abuse. If you can afford to stuff fifty bucks per night into some dancer’s undies, you can kick in five dollars to help the unfortunate. Deal with it.

So there you have it. Five new “controversial” laws signed by Rick Perry. Honestly, folks.. if this is the best you can come up with, just elect the guy now and be done with it.

Update: Chris Moody drops us a short note with his response. He comes from a long line of Texans and wasn’t really trying to criticize the laws in question, it seems.

“The article wasn’t written to cast judgment on those laws. I noticed they were going into effect on the same day and figured it would be interesting to round up the ones I thought people would enjoy reading about.”