First, let me say, I am a native born Texan, so using such an euphemism is ingrained into my DNA and apropos. I was born and raised in Abilene out in West Texas (yeah, it’s actually a separate place–especially in state-of-mind), it’s a big, little town, home to oil and ranching, cotton farming and vineyards, and friendly-to-the-extreme, God-fearin’, hard workin’, honest, my word-is-my-bond and my handshake-is-my-signature folks. It’s a huge place out there where you can drive thirty miles on a US highwayand meet one car (only) in the middle of the day; where if you come up behind a farmer/rancher driving a little slower than the posted 70 mph speed limit and certainly slower than your interpretation of that same limit, which is probably closer to 80 mph, he’ll pull onto the shoulder so you can pass safely without having to change lanes into the on-coming traffic; where we spend most of Sunday in church no matter what denomination or faith you are and we take high school football as a second religion. It’s also a place where the term Yankee isn’t meant to refer to a NY baseball team, it’s a term for someone from “up North” and someone we have a hard time understanding (not just in language) but how they think and live; so sometimes it’s a derisive term, but mostly it’s just a description. The old joke in Texas is that a Yankee is someone that lives up North, a damn Yankee is a person that comes from up North to visit, and a G-damn Yankee is someone from up north that comes down to Texas and STAYS! BTW (in full disclosure), I’m married to one of those and she’s a real nice lady, and fortunately has lived in Texas for over 20 years so has been naturalized as a Texas citizen.
Now, all that said, I’m also an American. I served my country in the US Navy riding a submarine and have lived in many of states through my Navy days and since. Since, 9/11, I tear up and get a lump in my throat EVERY time I hear the National Anthem, and would have gladly served again in the military after if they’d had me (too old now). And what’s going on in this country right now tears my loyalties. I cannot speak to all Texans’, West or the remainder of the state (about half), politics; I can only speak to mine and y’all know what that is–just so you know, yesterday DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed (stood by the Departments assessment) that I am a frakkin’ right-wing extremist radical inclined to become a violent militia member because I am anti-abortion, anti-illegal immigration, anti-massive government and socialist spending and any number of other criteria that was listed in the assessment.
So, to the three extremist issues that are burning up the blogs (more…)