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Sun's not so bright deep in the heart of 'New Texas'

Opinion column

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

We're tough and we're Texan with necks good and red.

— Elton John

SCENE: A gathering of self-appointed delegates for the government of the New By-God Republic of Texas. The delegation — made up entirely of 55-and-over white men and Herman Cain — has been arguing for hours, trying to out-shout each other when a distinguished-looking 70-something gentleman with an impressive head of white hair and a long handlebar mustache takes off his black 10-gallon hat, pulls a Colt .45 from his holster and fires three shots in the air.

The delegates either drop to the earthen floor of the Republic's town hall — a hastily thrown-together pole barn erected on a square in the heart of what used to be Dallas — or draw their own weapons and take aim at the shooter. A couple, obviously caught up in the moment, squeeze off a few shots of their own, mostly pleased — but still a little embarrassed — that their shots didn't take anyone out.

"Gentlemen, all this squabbling is getting us nowhere," says the distinguished-looking gentleman, Billy Joe Bob Hunter. "We have grave problems we didn't account for. Since we became an independent country, even with all our oil and cattle money — and let's all show our respect to Mr. James Driller and Mr. Sam Houston Hereford for their contributions to our noble cause (the delegates break into raucus applause that Hunter stops with another shot from his Colt .45) — we're getting low on funding.

"One of the things we didn't account for when we gained our independence is that most of our wetb ... er, hired help either went back to Mexico or left our borders. And that's left us with a shortage of laborers. Hell, I rode by Doyle Bramman's cattle ranch last week and saw him and his boys trying to fix a fence where their livestock was getting out. Them boys didn't know a hammer from a cow pie."

There's a smattering of laughter, but also murmurs of grave concern among the delegates.

"What's even worse," Hunter continues, "is our growing 'whiteback' issue. I know it's hard to believe, but a lot of those God-fearing folks who signed that secession petition and came happily into our free land don't like it so much that they no longer have Social Security or access to health care or groups like the Rangers and the Navy SEALs to protect their property or mail delivery or libraries or a courthouse or regulated utilities.

"According to the latest figures we have, as many as 80,000 of our citizens have defected and gone back into that other godless land. I've heard reports of three generations of families sneaking across our borders into Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana. If we don't get a few more free men from those other states where they talked about secession but, let's be honest, didn't have the guts to follow through, we're in trouble here."

A somber silence fills the pole barn as the delegates ponder the future of their new land.

"Can't we get a little help from the good folks in the Republican Party in that other country?" one asks.

"What about the secessionists from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina and Wisconsin?" another asks. "Hell, there's even secession groups in California, New York and Puerto Rico. Can't we count on them?"

Hunter shakes his head sadly.

"Unfortunately, we're the only ones who had the guts to take a stand," he says, and he's interrupted by random chants of "Don't mess with Texas." "While I'm giving out bad news, I might as well tell you boys that we've been turned down for financial support from the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch and even Mitt Romney and all those other so-called 1-percenters in our former country.

"They gave us all this mumbo-jumbo about our righteous cause, but their general reaction was, 'If you think we're getting off this gravy train for a bunch of misguided rednecks, you're as dumb as folks say you are.'"

The delegates grow silent, each pondering his own dim future.

"I wonder how those 11 Confederate states that fought the Union in the Civil War managed," one muses aloud. "Things went so well for them."

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

Comments

LoneCycler 1 year, 10 months ago

For those that don't know Mr. Fletcher is complaining that citizens in all 57 states (!) have filed petitions to secede from the US. The White House established the website https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ some time ago and asks everyone to petition them on anything they feel strongly about. No matter the subject. If you don't like your neighbor's dog barking at night you can file a petition asking the White House to do something about it, and if you can get 25,000 other people to sign your petition they have said they will respond. So far eleven states have passed the 25,000 mark; North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and even Ohio. No doubt that number will grow. Why Mr. Fletcher is singling out Texans for ridicule I don’t know. But I suspect that like the refusal of the left to confront radical Islam it is more comfortable to insult people from another state than it is to insult your neighbors. Somebody should file a petition over this article. The White House loves to listen to whiners.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

Fletcher doesn't mind insulting his neighbors. He does it week in and week out.

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Jacob 1 year, 10 months ago

He mostly insults journalists by impersonating one.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 10 months ago

Consider me insulted...former Texan...who moved to GA. to care for family. I love Texas and going back there. I cannot wait to get out of Georgia!! Everything is bigger and better in Texas!! God Bless Texas! Hook'em Horns!!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

I have had to spend much time in Texas over the past 30 years on business and one period was just over three months continuous. The small family business couldn't afford to shuttle me back and forth so I got a "taste" of Houston, Victoria, San Antonio and Corpus Christi. The best part was fishing at Port Aransas. San Antonio has charm and Houston has variety - there are over 130 languages in the school system. I don't mean any offense because I know wonderful Texans but I am so glad there are people who want to live there. I know how it is to want to go home.

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Trustbuster 1 year, 10 months ago

Secession is legal under the US Constitution. Originally the US was a republic. Now it is an empire controlled by elites who serve themselves.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

What do you suppose the Civil War settled?

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Trustbuster 1 year, 10 months ago

Nothing but death and destruction to one section of the nation. Lincoln wanted to resupply Fort Sumter so when the Confederates fired on it he had a war. LBJ did the same thing during the Tonkin Gulf incident and FDR by stationing the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Presidents are great at positioning the nation for war. They know people will rally around the flag.

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Effetecorpseofimpudentsnobs 1 year, 10 months ago

A bit of historical revision projected here in your interpretation. Historians and reality clearly lead to the conclusion the Civil War settled primarily 1) the certainty of the union, 2) definitiveness of the US Constitution, 3) and ultimately abolition of slavery.

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Cartman 1 year, 10 months ago

"We're tough and we're Texan with necks good and red.

— Elton John"

...and it's Ki Yi Yippie Yi Yi, you long hairs are sure gonna die...

Texas Love Song is one of my favorite Elton John pieces. I can't believe you're quoting it Carlton.

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RedEric 1 year, 10 months ago

Carlton, you look such a fool. Most republicans and all tea partners want to restore America. Restore original values and ideas. I know you claim you are not a liberal, but you spout a lot of liberal ideas. I am not going to give facts, liberals don't like them. The only rule that ALWAYS applies is that there are always exceptions to the rule. If a conservative speaks with facts, liberals find exceptions.....no matter how minute. So, Carlton, Who resisted elimination of slavery? Who segregated the military and government offices? Who fought civil rights? Who introduced family killing soul destroying government dependency? Your friends, the democrats, who are constantly calling everyone who disagrees with socialism, RACIST. One more question Carlton, what percentage of G. Washington's Valley Forge army was black? America wasn't racist when we allowed the disgraceful institution.

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YDoICare 1 year, 10 months ago

Who resisted elimination of slavery? In the 1860 presidential election practically everyone who had the right to vote. Lincoln and the Republican Party opposed the expansion into the new territories. Keeping the practice where it already existed assured that those regions would not develop manufacturing capabilities. Douglas argued for popular sovereignty, let the people in the state decide. Breckenridge supported slavery. Only Bell did not have a public stance on slavery.

Who segregated military and government? For the US under the Constitution, you have to begin with the Founding Fathers. Continue through Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, Whigs, Democrats, and Republicans. You can include the majority of 3rd Parties as well.

Who fought civil rights? The above applies, but depending on era different groups were more adamant. Post Reconstruction: Southern Democrats and Republicans in the North (Republicans did not exist in the South with the overthrow of carpetbagger and scalawag governments). 20th Century to WWII: Republicans in the North (still not in the South) and both Northern and Southern Democrats. Post WWII: Southern Democrats and Republicans. It was the Northern Democrats such as Kennedy who pushed the issue. The major legislation impacting us today was signed by LBJ (Democrat from TX) and Democratic majorities in Congress. It was not until after the 1980s that any Republicans existed in the South, and while academically incorrect today’s popular definition of conservatism was practiced by Southern Democrats. During to a degree and more prominently after Reagan and Bush, Sr., these Democrats began switching the political party.

Government dependency? Really depends upon definition as “family killing soul” is up for interpretation. With the abandonment of the Articles of Confederation, the Federal government assumed the debts incurred by individual states under the Constitution. The Federal government provided the protection for expansion to the West, and with the exception of James J. Hill’s RR, the government provided funding for the Transcontinental’s. Republicans such as T. Roosevelt, Taft, and a Democrat Wilson, championed the passage of consumer protections like the challenge of Northern Securities, Hepburn Act, Adamson Act, and so on. FDR did dramatically expand the government and LBJ pushed for Medicare and Medicaid, but neither IKE nor Nixon axed government programs. Government aid actually increased during Reagan and Bush, Sr., in various forms.

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YDoICare 1 year, 10 months ago

Valley Forge? I’ve never seen a percentage, but one of the better sources is Thomas Flemings’ work Washington’s Secret War which does contain information on the First Rhode Island Regiment. Free blacks fought at Lexington and Concord, and George Washington authorized enlistment of Free Men of Color late in 1775. By 1777, both races served side-by-side in many regiments. Now, Caucasians captured by the British were often exchanged for captured Brits. Captured blacks were sold into slavery in the West Indies. Many accounts cite in excess of 5000 Men of Color who received compensation for service during the Revolutionary War. Did racism exist? The obvious argument is the “Peculiar Institution,” to use the term of Kenneth Stamp, in the colonies and US is racist, but since that is an easy argument I’ll take the other. A few of the free men who hoped to better their standings in society as a result of military service did achieve that goal. Others did not. Many works cite numbers, but it is hard to make generalizations since the records which exist are all unique as many variables obviously contribute to success or lack thereof.

As to restoring original ideas and values, my question is the ideas and values of whom? For example, Catholics had few rights in the US at the time of the writing of the Constitution. Women had no rights. Unless you were a white male Protestant of “substantial property” (amount of wealth differed location to location) you were not recognized regardless of how hard or how little you worked. It does reference a later period in the US, but using Jim Cobb of UGA’s income levels for the right to vote and hold political office in Georgia would be the equivalent of earning an annual income in excess of $150,000 today with accumulated property valued above $750,000. That’s an original idea and value, and the Constitution provided safe guards to prevent such low life’s, like those with less than $750,000 today from being able to vote for the President or even a US Senator.

I would like to “restore” America, but my idea of restoration is a child respecting his or her elders. The elders should be setting examples and earning that respect through their actions. Ideas of education and hard work should be embraced in the home, the neighborhood, and the school. Having a high school diploma mean something and allow someone to start working in business at the bottom and with experience and hard work move to higher levels. I remember a time when, at least in theory, people would work to the best of their ability and even overtime without compensation because they felt that when you had difficulties your employer would return the favor. I would like to see a time where many did not take things for granted and that wants and luxuries such as smart phones and power tools are not necessities but a means to become more efficient and productive.

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YDoICare 1 year, 10 months ago

That type of restoration, however, is about society and not about government. George W. Bush did not destroy the American people and Barack Obama has not destroyed the American people. Those who argue that either of these men had or has that much power are essentially saying that those men are better than they are. If previous generations of Americans overcame greater obstacles and threats, why should I believe that Tea Party person saying that an anti-American such as President Obama can destroy the US? If I believe that Obama supporter, then I’m admitting that a man without any of the experience or qualities of his father put this country to ruin by himself. No, my idea to “restore” America is to look in the mirror for a person to blame, and then to work as hard and as long as I can and to help others as much as I can because that is simply what I feel is right. To quote John Wayne from his final movie: “I won’t be wronged, insulted, or laid a hand upon. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” In other words, accept denying rights to one, even if that person is a stupid idiot, and you have opened the door for someone to deny those same rights to you. Liberal and Conservative are just terms to create scapegoats. In my opinion, the important question for society is to consider if they want to be Americans first or if they feel it is more important to be a Democrat or a Republican.

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Trustbuster 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with some of your analysis.

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Trustbuster 1 year, 10 months ago

Agree with you on govt. dependency.

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Effetecorpseofimpudentsnobs 1 year, 10 months ago

Government assistance increased under Richard Nixon who also relinquished more control to recipients via food stamps as opposed to excess commodity distribution. Nixon also tried to persuade EM Kennedy to go along with government sponsored purchase of health insurance for the uninsured. Incredibly Kennedy would not agree. Before his death EMK said he never understood fully why he took that position.

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Trustbuster 1 year, 10 months ago

Nixon really governed the nation as a liberal president eventhough he ran a very conservative campaign in '68.

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Effetecorpseofimpudentsnobs 1 year, 10 months ago

Well said and said and said! " Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." That's my creed.

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RedEric 1 year, 10 months ago

Beautifully done folks! It is good to read well written discussion. Thank you all. By the way Woodrow Wilson segregated the military and all new government offices after his wife complained of seeing black men and white women working in the same offices.

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YDoICare 1 year, 10 months ago

Though rarely acknowledged, one can read Wilson’s own multi volume A History of the American People published in 1902 for what some would regard as racial even for the time-period and not just today. His son-in-law, William McAdoo (born in GA) and Cabinet member of Wilson (McAdoo did offer to resign his post after marrying Wilson’s daughter in the White House, received and welcomed the endorsement of the KKK in his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1924. Though lacking in some aspects, there is a Journal article by Michael Dennis in the Canadian View of American Studies entitled “Race and the Southern Imagination” from 1999 that chronicles the differences in interpretations on some of Wilson’s beliefs during that era in history to how the same sentiments would be interpreted today. I apologize for the longevity; it is an old professorial habit of giving more info with responses than is often desired (at least desired by the student generation who often prefer to memorize something than to think and articulate their own opinion which they can defend with a multitude of resources).

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Trustbuster 1 year, 10 months ago

Wilson was also hypocritical when he claimed that America's entry into WW I would make the world safe for democracy. After the armistice was signed he went to Versailles to convince the Allies to support his League of Nations. Caving in to the demands of the vindictive Allies Wilson supported Germany signing the war guilt clause and imposing reparations. Both actions undermined the postwar peace and assured another world war.

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southernbelle 1 year, 10 months ago

Re: Effetecorpseofimpudentsnobs

Is he/she a "corpse" or a "corps"?

It's one thing to be effete, impudent, and/or a snob, but dead is dead.

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