Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Straight Talk From Wisconsin To Texas: Adios — Don't Let The Screendoor Hit You In The A$$ On The Way Out

This blogger has a nut-allergy; he hates all of the human nuts in the Lone star State. Gun-nuts, wing-nuts, Dittoheads, and all of the other assortments. Hate.Them.All. A friend of this blog (and the blogger) sent an e-mail with a link to an opinion piece that ran in a left-of-center fishwrap in Madison, WI. It ought to run on the front page of every fishwrap in the Lone Star State.Many of the denizens of Bastrop County, Texas are bat-guano-crazy. If this is (fair & balanced) Wisconsin Truth to Texas Crazy, so be it.

[x The Capital Times]
Plain Talk: Maybe Texas Should Secede From The Union After All
By David (Dave) Zweifel

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While Texas produces a lot of good people, I have to admit that I have an aversion to the state that goes back more than 50 years.

Yes, it was the state where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, but it was actually a year before that when I started wondering why Texas has so many nutcakes living there.

I was on active duty in Oklahoma in the early '60s and consequently close to the news that regularly flowed from Dallas and other Texas cities. Months before JFK's murder, "enraged" Texans were convinced that the Catholic president was selling America down the river to the dreaded commies. They publicly proclaimed that Kennedy had secret plans to let the United Nations take over our government.

And when Adlai Stevenson, who had run for president twice and was now the United States ambassador to the U.N., came to visit Dallas, he was physically assaulted by a mob of Texans who were offended that he would so much as visit the state.

Many of those conspiracy nuts faded into the background after the president was murdered, but in recent years they've come back with even nuttier conspiracy theories and even more hatred for an American president. Worse, the governor of the state, Greg Abbott, is giving them legitimacy. If I were President Obama, I'd avoid this place like the plague.

Literally thousands in the state now believe that Obama is about to use the U.S. Army's Special Forces to put Texas under martial law so that he can disarm the citizenry. They base all this on a military training exercise to be held in U.S. southwest in July, including on some private land in Texas, to simulate what conditions soldiers may encounter in future combat missions.

The exercise is only a ruse, the far-righters insist, to get the military in place to take over the state. Plus, the closing of some Wal-Mart stores is further proof, they claim, that the military is going to use those empty stores to incarcerate dissenters.

Those paranoid conspiracy theorists not only have a relatively large following (more than 100,000 people, after all, recently signed petitions to secede from the union), but a number of elected officials are on their side.

Governor [Greg] Abbott, who recently replaced Rick Perry at Texas' helm, called out the Texas State Guard last week to "keep an eye" on the U.S. military just in case it was up to no good, much to the delight of the conspiracists.

Former Republican Lieutenant. Governor David Dewhurst told CNN last week that he doesn't think the military, which he says Texans strongly support, would do such a thing, but he can understand why many in the state are afraid.

"I think you've got some paranoia, which is based upon legitimate concerns by my fellow Texans, by myself and a lot of Americans about the trustworthiness and the competence of President Obama," he declared.

Of course, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a presidential candidate, piped in that he understood the concerns given a federal government that for six years has been "disrespecting the liberty of its citizens."

Ironically, anti-federal government Texas, is never bashful about collecting more than its share of federal dollars. The feds, for instance, provide 40 percent of the state's revenues. That compares to 32 percent in Wisconsin, for instance. Its big federally supported military bases not only help prime the state's economy, but contribute to Texas collecting more federal dollars than it contributes in income taxes.

As far as seceding? Let them, a host of national commentators respond. Not only would it solve a host of problems for the rest of us, we wouldn't even miss their oil these days. Ω

[David (Dave) Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. He has been with The Capital Times since he graduated from UW-Madison (BA - journalism) in 1962, serving as the paper's editor in chief from 1983 to 2008. He was president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council for 15 years, served as a Pulitzer Prize judge in 2000 and 2001, and named to the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2011.]

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