Before the Civil War they said freeing the slaves would ruin the economy. The US had to free them because it was a moral imperative. The war cost us 5% of the US population in casualties. The sum total of the monetary value of all slaves at the start of the civil war was roughly one trillion dollars in today's dollars. The slaves were freed and the US became the world's greatest economic power as a result.
Really? The US didn't become the number one economy until 1916 - about the time that most of the European powers (specifically, the UK - which was the biggest economy before the US stepped into that role) were deep into World War I. World War II pretty much cemented our position as the rest of the first world (and much of the 2nd) was bombed and broken. I don't think it was the slaves that made us the greatest economic power, but rather the fact we have two large bodies of water keeping us relatively safe from wars in Europe and Asia.
The difference is the shooting in Sydney was one, isolated incident. Compare that incident to the daily shootings in the U.S.
The vast majority of those shootings happen:
A. in cities/States where private ownership of firearms is highly restricted;
B. by people who are legally barred (for other reasons - age, criminal record, etc.) from possessing firearms
So how does adding further restrictions help this situation? We have people illegally possessing firearms, in jurisdictions which ban those same firearms, using them to commit crimes. Does another law eliminate this from happening?
Yeah that was the proposed 2013 rate (as reported in the Ventura County Star). My last water bill was $120.84 for 4488 gallons of water (not including service charges, waste water, or meter hookup cost). Or about $0.027 per gallon, which is about double the high-end costs for desalination.
As for Texas, that's your problem. You should also be furious that you're being charged quite a bit more than the costs associated with desalination of water. But then, you don't have an income tax, so you're probably going to pay more in direct costs for basic utilties/State/County services since you don't pay as much into a general slush fund like we do in California.