I woke up Saturday morning feeling the need to include something about the sequester in this column. Thereís a slight problem, however ó I loathe politics. And the higher up it gets, the more my disdain grows.
My view on state and national politicians is rather simple: they are people who devote their life to arguing, and thoroughly annoy roughly half the folks they meet. Personally, I canít think of anything Iíd rather do less, even for financial profit. Sure I realize politics is necessary to maintain a democracy, but there are plenty of other people around the country stepping up to state their opinions while pointing fingers, so Iíll pass.
Besides, the way things are going in Washington now, the mess reminds me of a child seeking attention for misbehaving or a celebrity receiving tons of press for bad behavior.
Since when is doing nothing at all newsworthy? Thatíd be the equivalent of writing about a football game, but neither team came out of the locker room because they didnít like the opposing teamís uniforms.
Maybe when something ó anything ó occurs that displays a sense of compromise or teamwork, and a lack of grand-standing or following the party line, Iíll spend some time on it. But donít hold your breath.
†Now that Iíve got that out of the way ó Iíll turn my attention to something Iíd rather talk about ó Texas.
Saturday was Texas Independence Day, the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836, when the ďTexicansĒ broke away from Mexico and formed the Republic of Texas. But Iím sure you didnít need that history lesson from me.
Anyway ... a few months back, the new Texas battle cry ó for some, at least ó revolved around seceded from the United States and returning to our former status as an independent nation. A petition on the White Houseís website was signed by more than 25,000 people requesting for a peaceful break.
First of all, Texas cannot legally secede as secession was a right that was waived after the Civil War when the Confederate States rejoined the United States.†
Second, since I donít see any native Texans distraught enough to put together a militia and attempt a non-peaceful break from the U.S., things canít be all that bad. Besides, Texas is big, but weíre not that big. A war against the U.S. might not be the smartest path to go down.
All of that aside, we Texans often like to think of our state as its own nation ó and we have every right to, since it once was. Thereís no other state that gets to fly its flag equally as high as the U.S. flag. Thatís what former nationhood will getcha!
Former Bulletin editor Gene Deason touched on the massive size of our state ó though not in Alaskaís ballpark or Californiaís population range ó among other Texas-related topics, in a recent column.†
Iíd like to share a few things I love about our state, and why I canít ever envision living elsewhere.
Letís start with the weather. Sure itís unpredictable, but thatís what makes it fun!†
During February of my freshman year in college, I was working as a sacker, among other duties, at a grocery store. The second week of February brought record heat with temperatures climbing into the 90s, and those of us who spent a lot of time outside were begging to wear shorts. The next week it iced and snowed. We couldnít wear enough clothes to stay warm, or remain upright in the parking lot for that matter. What other state can say that?
Speaking of the weather, in how many states could you have a blizzard, like the one the Panhandle recently experienced, while simultaneously having tons of people flock to the beach ó on the exact same day? With more than 900 miles to cover between Texline and Brownsville, thereís a plethora of weather-related phenomenas to experience.
Over that same distance ó and the 750-plus miles west-to-east from Anthony to Vidor ó almost every terrain imaginable is located in our fine state. The Gulf of Mexico, the Davis Mountains, the Permian Basin, the Piney Woods of East Texas ó about all weíre missing is a gigantic desert, and thatís not what Iíd consider ideal climate or scenery.
Thereís also tons of diversity in our residents ó from those who grew up in rural areas to those accustomed to the urban lifestyles. No where is that more evident than our state capital of Austin. Some love to visit, some hate it, but thereís no arguing youíll find people from all walks of life in terms of upbringings, ethnicities and social and political views. For those who simply enjoy people watching, there is no better destination.
But possibly the thing I love most about Texas, especially this time of year ó no state income tax! Iíd like to keep what little money I have, and filling out forms is such a pain.†
OK, maybe weíre not the only state to boast that claim, buy why risk moving to one that canít? Besides, thereís still plenty of room for a population boom ó just take a drive on any highway west of Brownwood.
Derrick Stuckly is the Editor of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.