My Grandmother said “The Good Old Days Were No Damn Good”

by Dwayne R. Deslatte

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My grandmother Rose Deslatte had this great line – I use it a lot.  “The good old days…they weren’t no damn good.” She kept her old washboard hanging over her prized possession – her electric washing machine. That one phrase has kept more sentimentality out of my brain that about anything else I have heard.  But, since I recently made 43 years of age, I thought instead of going on about the economy, politics, or education this week I would just mention a few things from “the good old days” I have really enjoyed, learned or were just plain good memories.

I still like that moment where it gets brisk in Texas, say around late October. We had this screen door in the front of the house and sometimes it was not locked.  Working on my homework I could hear the door gently bang against the frame and smell that clean, slightly crisp air.

In 1977 my parents took my sister and I to the Smoky Mountains.  My mother had a great-aunt that lived in the hills there in Missouri. The house was 100 years old then and it sat on a true subsistence farm. It was a look at the world that existed for MOST of human history before we cranked up this big megaindustrial monstrosity called modern life.  Glad I got to see it.  Even made use of the outhouse. There was a strange little detail to that story that made it a bit spooky. At some point, my great great aunt had a close relative whose husband died. He was a blacksmith. My mom told me the day he died, the relation left the house as is. We drove right by the empty house, abandoned and overgrown in the hills for years, dishes still visible in the window. It has always made me wonder what exactly the details of that story might have been. Probably a good southern gothic style novel in that bit of business.

Magic as a first grader was coming home to find out  that I needed to get ready quick because my dad was taking me to the Astros baseball game.  I would strain through the car window to get the first peek of the Dome as we curved around I 610.  Walking in and hearing the crack of the bat – still love that sound when the roof is closed here in Phoenix. I remember my dad banging on the dugout roof to try to get me Pete Rose’s autograph.  All to no avail.  I saw some incredible ballplayers play the game in my youth: Johnny Bench, Nolan Ryan, Cesar Cedeno, Steve Carlton, and of course Charlie Hustle.  I will never forget having the good fortune on my one and only trip to Dodger Stadium as a 9 year old.  Had great seats at Chavez Ravine compliments of my dad’s good friend and saw Tom Seaver of the Reds square off against Don Sutton for the Dodgers.  Sunny day. Two Hall of Fame pitchers.  Good stuff.

The first moment of the Aggie Band striking up the Noble Men of Kyle still gives me goosebumps. Marching to Duncan Dining Hall with Senior Boots on in the Cadet Corps on a fall evening was no different. One day I remember looking around the Quad and really taking the whole scene in and I knew it was special.  Hats off to myself for having figured that out at 22.

I had this great little dog named Andrew, although I did not appreciate him as much growing up as I should have.  My dad was incredibly attached to that little guy and at 43, I now know exactly why.  Few things give me more pleasure at my age than my dogs.

Having a sibling you trust and always enjoy hearing from is one of the great things in life. Having a mother who could cook like no one else came in a close second.

I learned more from the Boy Scouts than in any class. We had great leaders in my Troop.   My Scoutmaster was a true man, Eugene Woytek: World War II Veteran and retired Master Chief Petty Officer. He wore a veneer of toughness, which was about a nanometer thick. His is one of the few funerals I made it a point to attend. Along with Mr. Woytek; my father, Mr. Beltz, Mr. Laird and Mr. Erwin were all incredible role models.  I would not be the same guy without having been in Troop 282.

Being on camp staff each summer through high school was a great laboratory to grow up in.  Not only did I spend the whole summer relatively independent, I learned a lot about how to work, how to act, and had some incredible 2 a.m. conversations about the meaning of life. Not to mention free camp grub and a lot of time on aquatics staff in the swimming pool.

I worked mowing yards for “Mac” McDonald from age 13 all the way until I was out of college and teaching school. Along with my friend Reagan McDonald and my current business partner John Beltz, and my off and on business partner George Jarkesy, I learned how to WORK.  We mowed 30 yards a week and were the richest guys in Middle School.  “Mac” was the first guy to explain trickle down economics to me, was one hell of a guy and treated us like men.  In around 1985 we went out to Llano County and we went dove hunting.  I had never hunted anything but the land was awesome, I shot a dove and we watched “Red Dawn” that night eating our game. The testosterone flowed.

Around seven summers later as I was about to graduate from college and still smarting from a few relationship wounds. Reagan and I sat in the knee deep crystal clear waters of the Llano with a 12 pack cooling in the river and solving the worlds problems. It was a hot sunny day and about as good as it gets.

My good friend Henry Patlan and I took off to Guadalupe Mountains National Park in the spring of 1991.  On the way there we suffered an immediate flat tire, saw the LBJ Ranch, and took a scary road from Van Horn to the park listening to “The End” by The ImageDoors.  Henry thought we might die on that road.  Later that week, we took off to Carlsbad Caverns and on the way back saw a huge thunderstorm approaching the mountains where we were camped.  Upon arrival, a hippy guy approached us who was camped nearby…He says, “Hey man, we did what we could but…” A dust devil had come through and ripped our tent to shreds, and splintered my camp cot.  It was a LONG 24 hours of being in the car till we got back to College Station.

And lastly, thinking again of Grandma, nothing beat her shrimp e’toufee with some Boudin from Nicks Grocery store in Port Authur.

A few other notes:

– I am still in a mild state of shock that Texas A&M has a new Heisman Trophy winner.  What a season and I am sad to say that it will be the first time in 27 years I have not been able to attend at least one A&M game.  What a season.  Gig ‘Em Johnny Football!

– This week I intend to go see “Lincoln“.  Daniel Day Lewis is by far the finest actor of our generation and I know it will be a real treat. Review to follow.

– I read this article by a U.S Marine Corps Reserve Officer and current Naval Academy professor. It has had me thinking quite a bit and you should read it too.  Balanced and serious look at the military and our society. It hits on some themes from last week’s missive.

Lastly a little true life humor.  Back when I was working on the Ortho Ward at Texas Children’s I had a patient I had really taken a shine to.  He was around eleven years old.  Whenever anyone has surgery we always want to know if they are passing gas and little dudes his age always think talking about “cutting the cheese” is the most hilarious thing in the world (Humor is everything in medicine).  So I ask my young patient, “Have you started farting yet?”. His reply, “I havent…but my MOM sure has been!” True story. Have a great week.

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(Dwayne R. Deslatte is a guest contributor from stuckinthemiddlewithu.com, used with permission)

A Renewed Energy Policy

by The Waco Kid

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This article is an op-ed and the opinions therein may or may not be reflected by the staff, founders, or contributors of
I Am A Texan, LLC.

Summary

  For 40 years, American leaders have talked about the need for an energy policy and the need to stop importing foreign oil and, 40 years later, here we are. People point to the housing crisis as the source of our current economic problems. What people forget is that oil prices nearly doubled in the year before the downturn because the global economy was
doing well and demand for oil was strong. If good times return, won’t we go back to the same supply and demand problem? If we don’t get off oil, we are dooming ourselves toImage more economic busts. It is in our economic interests to invest in energy solutions now.

  America has a solution in wind energy, but the current wind strategy of building windmills connected to population centers by copper lines is not a comprehensive solution. I propose a radically different way of using wind energy that allows America to become energy self sufficient, environmentally cleaner, a greater producer of food, and an exporter of clean energy throughout the world. And this idea would create hundreds of thousands of jobs now and for the future, and increase America’s wealth.

  Current wind generators need constant wind speeds because our electric grid uses constant transmission rates. Gears inside wind generators keep them from spinning too Imagefast. A windmill produces as much electricity when the wind is blowing 60 miles per hour as it does when the wind is blowing 20 miles per hour.

  I would take off the gears. Electricity generated by my windmills could be put into        transmission lines at constant rates and it could be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen would be stored and used to generate electricity at power plants when needed.

  This requires a new transmission system with three components: a water pipeline, a hydrogen pipeline, and a superconductor electric line.

  • The water could come from sources like the Great Lakes or Mississippi or Missouri rivers and would be used to create the hydrogen. Since water would now be delivered to farms where the windmills are located, irrigation equipment could be attached Imagedirectly to the windmills allowing farmers to significantly increase food production. Only a small percentage of farms in the plains states are currently irrigated.
  • The hydrogen line would take the hydrogen to generating plants where it could be stored and used to create electricity when needed, and the hydrogen could end up at seaports where it can be loaded on ships and sold overseas as clean energy bringing money and jobs to America.
  • And the superconductor line could transport electricity without the transmission loss of copper wires. The inability to efficiently transport electricity from the Great Plains to places like Florida is why wind power hasn’t caught on already. It’s not practical to just build a superconductor line, but we’re combing it with the hydrogen line and the water line to achieve a comprehensive solution.

  It will take the federal government to create the distribution system and impose the tax to pay for it.

  With our ability to create all of the electricity and hydrogen that we need, America would have to convert to hydrogen powered cars. To make this happen, the government will have to require gas stations to offer hydrogen fuel. We’re currently in a chicken and the egg situation with car makers not making hydrogen powered cars because the fuel is not available and gas stations not offering hydrogen because there are no hydrogen powered cars. We have to break the stalemate by requiring hydrogen fueling stations.

  Americans know that we have to get off oil. Americans know that if we don’t get off oil, there will be more price spikes that will hurt our economy in the future.  Americans knowImage that we will have to pay for the infrastructure investment to get off oil. Americans know that if we make that investment now, we will create much needed jobs now. Americans know that if we are energy self sufficient we will be a wealthier nation and, if we become a supplier of clean energy to the world, we’ll be an even wealthier nation. My idea achieves this.

  My idea is non partisan and can be liked by people of all political affiliations. It produces jobs. It increases America’s wealth. It increases our national security. It is environmentally friendly. If people can use social media to rise up and overthrow dictators in the Arab world, can’t Americans rise up and demand better from our elected leaders? If you like this idea, let your voice be heard. Like me on Facebook and spread the world. Send your elected leaders a link to my website. After 40 years, it’s time to quit talking and start doing when it comes to energy.

Details

Richard Nixon appointed the nation’s first “energy czar” in 1971. Forty years later, here we still are without a vision, strategy, or policy to deal with our energy needs. I propose a vision of an America that is not only rid of our dependence on foreign oil but one that makes the United States into an exporter of clean energy to the world.

The plan involves

  • A radically different way of using wind energy that also increases our agricultural production
  • Building a new energy and water distribution system throughout the country
  • Converting automobiles to run on hydrogen fuel

The new windmill

  Today’s electric producing windmills like constant wind speeds because the electric grid is based on constant transmission rates. If the wind is blowing too fast, gears inside the windmill keep the generator from spinning too fast and producing too much electricity. A windmill produces as much electricity when the wind is blowing 60 miles per hour as it does when the wind is blowing 20 miles per hour. This means that the prime locations for windmills today are limited to where the wind speed is more constant, and it means that windmills don’t take advantage of higher than normal winds or gusty conditions.Presentation1

  Today’s windmills also only produce electricity. The electricity cannot be stored, and it cannot be increased based on need because the energy produced is solely dependent on current wind speeds.

  My new windmill works differently. Imagine a wheat field on the Great Plains, and think of the field as being like a checkerboard. Inside each square is a windmill. Each windmill is connected to each other by underground pipes, and the underground pipes all go to a command center at the corner of the field. The new windmill spins as fast as it can. The electricity goes to the command center where it can go directly into the grid, or it can be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, or it can be used for both purposes. The hydrogen is piped to a storage facility for use later.

  Is it inefficient to split water into hydrogen and use it later? Yes. The current system loses energy because of the limits placed on how fast the windmills can turn. My system loses energy in the creation of hydrogen. However, this inefficiency results in an energy source that can be transported and used when needed. The current system’s inefficiency results in the need to limit windmills to certain areas with constant wind and to build more windmills to meet demand when wind speeds are low.

  My windmills can also serve a dual purpose. Under the checkerboard field, the pipes connected to the windmills have an electric line for taking the electricity to the command Imagecenter and a water pipe for taking water to the windmills. Well under the blades on the windmill pole, there would be an irrigation pipe. It is stored in an upright or vertical position, and it could be lowered to a horizontal position and circle around pole to irrigate our wheat field. Irrigation can significantly increase crop yields. Our windmill is serving two purposes: producing electricity and producing more food. This dual purpose makes the windmill more cost effective. And when thinking of our crop irrigation model, don’t assume that windmills have to be the same size that you see today. They could be smaller and placed closer together to accommodate irrigation equipment.

The new distribution system

  For this to work, I need to get electricity and hydrogen from the windmills and water to the windmills. That means that a new nationwide distribution system needs to be created. Currently, we use copper wires to transport electricity. It’s easy and cost effective to build, but it’s not completely efficient. Electricity is lost during transmission. The longer the distance, the greater the loss. Transporting electricity from a wind farm in South Dakota to Florida by copper wires would be a problem. There are more efficient ways to transport electricity, but they’re not as cheap to build. The economics change however because the new distribution system transports electricity, hydrogen, and water.

  So imagine creating a pipeline system with three pipes buried together, or an over ground pipeline system, or a partitioned concrete sub-ground system with three pipes. One enormous pipe brings fresh raw water Imagefrom water sources such as the Mississippi or Missouri rivers or the Great Lakes to the windmill farms. A smaller pipe is a superconductor for transporting electricity from the windmill farm to electric users throughout the country with little to no loss during transmission. And the third pipe transports hydrogen gas or liquid hydrogen from the windmill farms to generating facilities throughout the United States and to seaports so that it can be exported throughout the world.

Hydrogen Cars

  We have to get America off of oil. We don’t produce enough oil to be self sufficient. Our dependence on foreign oil affects our nation’s foreign policy, economy and environment. Our plan can make us completely energy independent, but it requires converting our cars to run on something besides oil.

  Electricity is available everywhere, but electric cars currently do not meet the needs of America. The limits on distances that can be travelled and recharging time mean that they cannot replace gasoline powered vehicles today.

  Hydrogen powered cars could replace gasoline powered cars without a loss of functionality. Existing engines can be converted to run on hydrogen, or automakers could start making hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. But hydrogen fuel is not widely available. It’s a chicken and egg situation. Car makers won’t make hydrogen vehicles if hydrogen isn’t Imageavailable. Gas stations won’t add hydrogen because there aren’t any cars that use it. The only way to break this stalemate is for the government to require gas stations to sell hydrogen.

The politics and economics

  I realize that this is a gigantic plan, and that, by this point, you’ve probably cheered parts of the plan and been angered by other parts. I am focused on the overall goal of America achieving energy independence, and I do not believe that it can be achieved without both free market and government action, without compromise of political ideologies, and without patience and sacrifice. We’ve been giving lip service to our energy problem for 40 years. If there were an easy answer, we would have found it by now.

  My vision is for an America that uses clean, renewable, domestically produced energy. I have windmills that produce electricity for immediate use and that produce hydrogen for use when needed. And those windmills can also be used to irrigate crops to dramatically increase America’s food production.

  Electricity is transported through superconducting lines that eliminate transmission line loss, and the hydrogen is transported to generating facilities in the United States and to seaports where it can be shipped overseas changing America from an energy importing country to an energy exporting country.

  Our national security is threatened by our dependence on foreign oil. Energy is a vital component to our national security and, until we become energy independent, our national security is at risk. People who care about our national security should support a plan to make America energy independent.

  Our economy would be greatly improved by energy independence. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that the U.S. imported 11.36 million barrels of oil a day in 2011. That’s more than 4 billion barrels a year, and with oil at about $97 a barrel, we spend about $402 billion on foreign oil a year. Imagine what happens if that money went to windmill operators here. How much stronger would our national economy be with $402 billion dollars staying and circulating here?

  Oil prices spike and, when oil prices spike, America ends up in a recession. My new energy system should create stable energy prices. Families will no longer have to sacrifice when oil prices jump, and businesses will benefit from stable pricing.

  America needs jobs now. Maintaining the windmills and the distribution system will create steady long-term jobs. And this is an enormous infrastructure project that would create a lot of construction jobs immediately.

  How much better off would America be if we become an energy exporting nation, and foreigner energy consumers are creating jobs here by buying energy from us?

  People who care about our economic security should support a plan to make American energy independent.

  Whether you believe in man-made global warming or not, my plan creates a cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy source. Air quality will improve. If you believe in man-made global warming, you should support a plan that reduces greenhouse gasses. If you don’t believe, you shouldn’t oppose a plan that reduces greenhouses gasses simply because there are people who do believe in global warming and who support the plan.

  I understand that this plan will be expensive, but it will create much needed jobs now and is an investment in our future. I also understand that we’ve kicked the can of energy solutions down the road for the last 40 years. At some point, we’re going to have to fix the problem. Why not now?

  I call on Congress to create a commission to study this plan and alternatives to achieve energy independence. The commission would estimate how much this plan would cost and report back to Congress. If Congress then believes that this plan is in our national interest, it would authorize the commission to create a tax to pay for the distribution system and begin construction. The tax would be a per kilowatt hour charge so that families and businesses that use more electricity would pay more and those that use less would pay less. The commission would issue bonds to pay for the construction, and the tax would be used to pay off the bonds. When the transmission system is built, the users who transport electricity, hydrogen and water would pay for its operation. When the bonds are paid off, the tax would go away.

  To encourage the transition, the commission would loan money to individuals and energy companies at the same low interest rate that the government pays. An electric utility that wants to convert its current generation facilities to run on hydrogen could borrow money from the commission at the same interest rate that the government is charged. The utility may instead want to build hydrogen fuel cell generating facilities. Again it could borrow the money from the government.

  A farmer may wish to build windmills and borrow money. Or the farmer may lease his land to be used for windmills and the person or company building the windmills could borrow money. Even foreign utility companies that want to build windmills and export hydrogen could borrow money for investments made in the United States. In all of these cases, the equipment being purchased is collateral and, in all of these cases, American jobs are being created.

  It is my hope that this carrot to the energy industry would prevent the government from having to use a stick and require a conversion to the wind/hydrogen economy.

  We believe that both the carrot and stick will be required to convert automobiles to hydrogen. We believe that a revenue neutral tax credit and penalty system over a three to five year period could be created. Gas stations that put in a hydrogen fueling station early would get a tax credit. Those who don’t would get a tax penalty. Larger gas and diesel stations would be required to put in a hydrogen fueling station sooner than smaller mom and pop stores.

  For example, let’s say this takes effect in the 2013 tax year. If you’re a gas station and you have six or more pumps and you put in a hydrogen fueling station, you get a $2,500 tax credit in 2013, a $1,500 tax credit in 2014, and a $500 tax credit in 2015. If you don’t put in a hydrogen fueling station, you pay a $500 tax in 2013, a $1,500 tax in 2014, and a $2,500 tax in 2015.

What now?

  I have offered a vision and a plan to achieve that vision. What’s needed now is leadership. If you like my plan, let someone know. Tell your friends, neighbors, family, Congressman, Senator, President, or special interest group such as farm, environmental, or business or labor group. Share this article on Facebook. Print it out and mail it to your friends who don’t have computers. But do something.

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  And I don’t have a big ego. If there’s a better plan out there, I’ll eagerly support it. If my plan ends up being the plan or if it simply sparks a discussion and debate that leads to a better plan, I’m okay either way. I simply want America’s energy future to be secure with the best plan possible.

Here are some links about wind energy:

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-wind-energy-works.html

http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/en/

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The Ever Scary 10th Amendment: What it Really Means

by Holli Carter

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The 10th Amendment seems to be a point of contention. Many of our statist friends say that this amendment give the federal government free rein to do whatever it wants, citing the part “not prohibited to it” to mean that it is referring to the Federal Government. But, take a moment to apply basic English rules to it, and you’ll see this is in error.Image

 

Here is the text, in whole:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So, we see that we can take out the part offset by commas as it would read: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”Image

Easy Peasy! If the powers are not delegated to the US, they are to remain with the states or people. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

This is where it gets dicey. Statists want the offset portion to be highlighted!! “See?” they say, “If they are not outlined OR if they are not denied specifically to the feds, they can do it!!”

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Keep your pantyhose on! Let’s delve into that.

Here is the offset part: “nor prohibited by it to the States”. Oh, whoops. Looks like our statist friends didn’t take enough English classes to understand complex sentence structures.

This reads: “nor prohibited by it [“it” means the US Constitution] TO THE STATES. As Scooby-Doo says, “Ruh-roh!”

The following four statements identify that which is for the feds to do, and that which is for the states:

If a thing is not delegated to the United States Congress, it goes to the states and people. (These are few and defined, and found in Article I for a full list of items they are in charge of handling.)Image

Regarding the states, if it’s not denied to the states, it belongs with the states and people. (This list is almost endless, save the few things denied to them in Article I – such as making treaties with foreign countries.)

The only thing left for the feds to do is that which is specifically delegated to them by the Constitution, and nothing more.

Thus, the next time a statist says to you, “I don’t see the word healthcare in the Constitution!” You can say, “Exactly!” Maybe you will have time for a quick English lesson or two for them.

Any questions?

 

 

Holli Carter is a Christian, Wife, Mom, and Constitutional Scholar – in that order. She is the author of “The Declaration Made Easy” which is available for sale by clicking below. Please support her by purchasing her book!

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Scalp Mountain (an excerpt)

by Julia Robb

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Mission San Jose

Texas Ranger Capt. W.E. Henry’s prayer, at Mission San José, in San Antonio, 1876

 

Lord, I’m a Methodist and talking to you here in a Catholic church, but I guess you don’t mind, this place has been here one hundred years and folks has offered up a lot of prayers. I might not be in this old world much longer, I’m sixty-five and headed for my long home, but I got it in mind to explain myself. I don’t expect you to overlook nuthing, but I want you to know there was reasons for ever terrible thing I done.

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First thing is the fight on the San Jacinto River. A lot of the boys are proud of what we done when the Texian army whipped Sanny ana, in 1836, but I ain’t so proud. We was mad about what the mex did at the Alamo and at Goliad. That last was the worst, them mex murdered more than three hundred prisoners, just shot’em down like dogs, so when we had’em on the run at the San Jacinto, we didn’t let’em give up.

They threw up their hands yelling “Me no Alamo, me no Goliad,” but we shot’em, knifed ‘em, knocked their brains out with their own rifles and drowned ‘em. The boys wasn’t in no forgiving mood. I did my part in that slaughter and, like I say Lord, I ain’t proud, but Lord, my neighbor’s boy was at Goliad. They never found his body.

Then, there’s the Comanch. I’m a ranger and we don’t give no quarter. We slay our prisoners when we can git’em and some of the boys scalp’em for good measure. But Lord, ever thing that’s happened, what I done, none of it was for me, but for Isabelle and for my girls and for Texas.

Lord, have you forgot how I felt about Isabelle Ramseur? The first time I saw her at that Austin cotillion I didn’t just fall in love, I fell crazy in love. Belle was the most beautiful thing I ever saw, with all that black hair and her brown eyes kind of slanty. She was waltzing past me when I spotted her, her pink skirt aflying out like flushed quail. I couldn’t get no rest till she married me.

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We was happy. When I come home at dark, dragging from the ranch work, she had a good supper and talk and when she put her nightgown on and took her hair down, it come clear down to her knees and shined so pretty in the candlelight. Even after the girls started coming, the marriage bed was our special repose, oh, I waked up kissing her.

It was the hell hounds started the change. Come 1850, they raided bad. One full moon, they slaughtered three families in one night and them was our neighbors, those were the same folks come to dance with us at gatherings, and bring little-bitty baby clothes when the girls was born. When I seen our neighbors’ bodies, scattered out like deer with the innards dug out, I was scared for my family.

Belle wasn’t for it, but I hired more men to work the place and I joined the Rangers, to git me a few of our feathered friends. Even when Austin wouldn’t give us a red cent, we rangers rode the wide country.Image

Looking back, I can see things better and I know I done wrong; Belle was all alone out there with my girls with me gone most of the time. I expect she cried, wanting me.

Then, along came the War of Northern Aggression and me and the boys joined up–none of us had enough guts to show the white feather and stay out; besides, them Yankees was invading, what was we gonna do, we’re men, we can’t put up with that kind of business.

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Christmas Day, ‘63. I won’t never forget that day, it was so bitter the ground froze and the sky was winter blue, everthing kind of sharp like. Pete Waddell, a sergeant from my Frontier Regiment, came back from a furlough and he brung me a letter from my brother Spence. Waddell gave me a kind of funny look, but I never dreamed the truth.

I tore the letter open and after a minute everthing went round and round in front of my eyes and I like to fell out of the saddle.

Lord, the Comanch done killed my family.

The hell hounds violated my girls, like they do all our women, damn them to everlasting fire. They stuck a lance in Belle’s sweet heart and tore the hair from her head, Louise, my big girl, they cut her pretty white throat, she was eighteen. Mollie was only sixteen. And my baby, Annie Laurie, Lord, I still groan when I say her name: Annie Laurie was ten. My baby was dead, my baby.

I never should have left ‘em, but they was staying with Spence out his place, so I believed they was safe. Spence played the dog. He and his hands went for supplies and couldn’t get back the same day, and that was on a full moon.

What was Spence thinking? The Comanch killed his wife too, and his kids. When I got home, I didn’t go near Spence. He wrote me many a time, but I ain’t seen him.

Anyway, Lord, I took everthing out on the Yankees. When we went into a fight, I hollered to the boys, “howl, you dogs of war,” and we would commence to cleaning up ever blue belly we got our hands on.

Bullets whistled around me like a swarm of hornets, but I had the Yankees hopping. I give mercy only one time. A little dog curled up in a wounded Yankee’s arms, just ashivering. That blue belly looked straight up at me, all the while hugging and petting that dog. I considered putting a bullet in that yank’s head, but I didn’t. You can give me a gold halo for that one Lord, even if I did spare the blue belly for the dog’s sake.

You know what I done when I got back. We ain’t gonna talk about that now, but you know I followed the ways of iniquity.

Still, I’m not a bad man. I saved plenty of folks, just being out there chasing the Kotsoteka, Quahadis, Penateka, the Nokoni, Comanche, one and all.

Awhile back I found a Mescalero Apache baby and I give it to a lady in Fort Grierson. I could’ve bashed its brains against a tree like they do our babies, and probley should have.

I seen your face plenty of times, too, and it wadn’t in church. Sometimes I’ll be riding along looking for sign when I see the sky so blue and the wind is like your breath sweeping over the prairie. The dawns and sundowns are so pretty, the whole sky changing colors.

Well, I don’t expect you to forgive me for some of the things I done, I just wanted you to hear my side. Lord, will you tell Belle and the girls something for me?

I never quit loving ‘em.

Click here to buy this AMAZING book, Scalp Mountain, by Texas author, Julia Robb.

 
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Here’s Evidence of Obamacare’s Failure

This article is an op-ed and the opinions therein may or may not be reflected by the staff, founders, or contributors of I Am A Texan, LLC.

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By Sen. Ted Cruz
Three years after the Affordable Care Act passed, it’s proved to be neither affordable nor caring.

Insurance premiums are skyrocketing. Seniors are losing health care choices. Millions of Americans are being pushed into a struggling and ineffective Medicaid system. Americans are grappling with scores of new taxes. Employers are slashing jobs and hours to avoid complying with Obamacare requirements.

This isn’t what was promised. Americans were told if Obamacare was made law, they would be able to keep their health plans, taxes wouldn’t go up, premiums would go down, and more jobs would be created. But the law isn’t living up to its label. And it’s hurting working families, young people, poor minorities and seniors the most.

Before Obamacare was adopted, President Barack Obama pledged that American families would pay $2,500 less for their insurance premiums by the end of his first term. Today, they are paying $3,000 more — a $5,500 swing between what was promised and reality. Young people will be particularly impacted, with the Energy and Commerce Committee estimating that recent college graduates with entry-level jobs who are struggling to pay off student loan debt could see their premiums increase between 145 and 189 percent on average.

As health costs are going up, jobs are becoming harder to obtain — a double dose of economic pain for those worrying about making ends meet. The Federal Reserve recently reported in its annual “beige book,” which analyzed economic data from across the country, that “employers in several districts cite the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.” Presentation2

This is terrible news for Americans already suffering from disproportionately high unemployment rates. Currently, the unemployment rate for people who didn’t graduate from high school is more than 12 percent. Hispanics have an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent, and the African-American unemployment rate is over 14 percent.

Small businesses are discouraged from growing and hiring these folks. Indeed, Obamacare is designed to keep small business small. Once an employer has 50 employees on payroll, expensive compliance requirements are triggered. The approximately $1 trillion in new Obamacare taxes Americans will pay over the next 10 years, as scored by the Joint Committee on Taxation, will go to the government instead of private-sector paychecks.

For those who already can’t find jobs, all this will make it even more difficult — especially for those seeking low-skilled work. The Heritage Foundation found that “workers who cannot produce at least $20,000 a year” for a single plan, or “$27,500 per year” for a family plan “of value to their employers will have serious difficulty finding full-time jobs.”

When I read those statistics, I think of my father, who came to America as a Cuban immigrant in 1957. He was penniless, could not speak English and worked for 50 cents an hour washing dishes. At the time, he couldn’t come close to producing $20,000 worth of economic value, but he needed that job to climb up the economic ladder and help pay his way through college. It’s what enabled him to graduate, get a higher paying job and start a small business.

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If Obamacare had been in place when he was looking for work back then, he may have never been hired.

More and more employers are dropping health care coverage because of the burdens associated with Obamacare, too. The Congressional Budget Office estimates up to 7 million people will lose their employer-provided health insurance by 2020.

In Texas, one of the largest insurance markets in the country, every single carrier has dropped its child-only health insurance coverage.

According to the Office of Actuary at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Obamacare will reduce enrollment in the Medicare Advantage program from 14.8 million to 7.4 million by 2017.

So much for “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

Americans deserve access to affordable health care that suits their needs and an environment where jobs are plentiful. But Obamacare is standing between them and those opportunities.

Congress can help, and the first step is repealing Obamacare. That is why, fulfilling my promise to Texas voters, the first legislation I filed as a senator will do just that. And it is why I have twice pushed for votes to undo Obamacare, which Senate Republicans unanimously supported.

There’s not a moment to waste. Because the longer Obamacare remains the law of the land, the more damage it is certain to do.

*End*

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An Extraordinary Texas Teen – Showing the World What Texas Has to Offer

As we have built up I Am A Texan, we have gotten to know some pretty extraordinary Texans. One of whom is Hunter Wellen, an amazing teenager from Central Texas who has pledged to give us all a taste of Texas every day. I asked him to write a little bit about himself so that we could all get to know this amazing Texan a little bit better. And we should, because it wouldn’t surprise me if one day he is the official state historian of Texas! His response is below. Enjoy!

Jon Williams

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A Little Bit About Me
by Hunter Wellen

My name is Hunter Wellen, born and raised in Temple, Texas. (Temple is about 60 miles north of Austin and 30 miles south of Waco on I-35)

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Hunter wearing one of the Texas Tees available at I Am A Texan.

While you’ve probably never heard my name, you’ve probably seen my Facebook page “You Know You’re A Texan When”. Last year I joined a group called “You know you’re from Texas when” on FB and I enjoyed reading what everyone had posted on the group. There was so much about Texas that I didn’t know about, and I suddenly had a big interest about learning the history of Texas. But one day, when I went to check on the group, I scrolled down and saw a lot of nude and rude pictures. I was just shocked that someone would post those kind of things like that on the group. I quickly got off Facebook so I didn’t have to see them anymore. I was hoping that the admin of the group would see them and remove the photos, but I was wrong. The next day I went back on and noticed a lot more people were posting those kind of pictures. And the admin wasn’t doing anything about it. I noticed the amount of people on the group was declining. It had at least over 300,000 members and the group had decreased by at least to 297,000 members in just 2 days. I decide not to get back on it and wait a couple days just to see if anything had been done. A week later I finally went back on it. I checked to see how many people were on the group still… and found out it had decreased to 250,000. I was so shocked that at least 50,000 people had gotten off the group. I looked at the feed and all I saw was nude and rude pictures all over again. I realized that I need to get off this group so I don’t have to see these kind of pictures anymore. I was so sad because this was the only group on Facebook that I really enjoyed being on.

When Hunter isn’t working on his Advanced Placement classes in high school or working on his Facebook page “You Know You’re a Texan When”, he enjoys drawing. Here he is drawing Texas Flag art.

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Then, all of a sudden I got a sudden urge to make a Facebook Page. I was trying to decide on whether to call it “You Know You’re A Texan When” or “You Know You’re From Texas When”. But I decided on “You Know You’re A Texan When” because it just made more since to me. Once I made the page, I invited some of my friends and family to like it. In the first two days I had about 50 likes. I was so happy! I really enjoyed posting about my love of Texas on it. Then about a week later I noticed I had well over 500 likes. I was shocked to see such a number on my page. I was trying to figure out how in the world I gained so many likes. But I never did. As I kept on posting pictures and writing posts I had gotten a lot of messages and posts about how I make their day. I was so surprised that what I post had made someones day a better one. Once I read the messages from some of the people, I thought to myself. I made this page just for the fun of it and to show my love for Texas, but I had touched so many peoples lives with the things I posts. I realized that I need to post on it everyday. After about a month later I had at least well over 1,000 likes. Something that I never thought would happened. As I kept on posting every single day I realized this is something I love and enjoy doing. I promised myself that I would post every single day. Making someones day is something I enjoy doing. Today, it has been a year and 1 month since I had made the page. It has over 115,000 likes. Never in my lifetime i would have thought that my page would have such an impact on someones lives. I have learned so much from doing this also. There has been so many things about Texas that I didn’t know about. And as for a 16 year old. I am trying my best to keep this page as one of the best Texas pages on Facebook. With school and everything in my life i still have kept my promise to post every single day. I try my hardest to keep all the people off my page who post nasty pictures and rude posts. And to keep it from repeating what had happened to the group before. Which is now gone. And also by making this page I have gained so many more friends. They have made my life better and I thank them for all that they have done for me. Y’all dont know how much this means to me. Thank you.

Hunter, a few more questions:

1. What are some of your hobbies other than running your Facebook page?
My hobbies are drawing, singing, traveling, and to hang out with my friends and family.

2. Is history your favorite subject in school?

History is absolutely my favorite subject in school! I have always liked it.

3. Looking forward to college, what school(s) are you leaning towards?

I am actually pretty excited and nervous at the same time. I am actually thinking about going to Temple College for the first 2 years. And the next 2 years go to UMHB.

4. What interests you as far as major and career?

I am leaning towards to become a Social Studies teacher. Maybe even teach Texas History. But you never know. I could change my mind in two years.

5. What’s your favorite food?

My favorite food is actually Macaroni and Cheese! It is so good! Also I love Brisket!

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I’m sure you’ve noticed lately that any time you click on www.youknowyoureatexanwhen.com, it leads to IAmATexan.com, but at the top it reads “You Know You’re A Texan When/I Am A Texan Partnership”. Any person who click on this link and then shops will be earning Hunter commissions which he is saving for his college fund!

Click here to go to www.youknowyoureatexanwhen.com

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Pecos Bill Rides a Tornado

a Texas Tall Tale
retold by S.E. Schlosser

Now everyone in the West knows that Pecos Bill could ride anything. No bronco could throw him, no sir! Fact is, I only heard of Bill getting’ throwed once in his whole career as a cowboy. Yep, it was that time he was up Kansas way and decided to ride him a tornado.

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Now Bill wasn’t gonna ride jest any tornado, no ma’am. He waited for the biggest gol-durned tornado you ever saw. It was turning the sky black and green, and roaring so loud it woke up the farmers away over in China. Well, Bill jest grabbed that there tornado, pushed it to the ground and jumped on its back. The tornado whipped and whirled and sidewinded and generally cussed its bad luck all the way down to Texas. Tied the rivers into knots, flattened all the forests so bad they had to rename one place the Staked Plains. But Bill jest rode along all calm-like, give it an occasional jab with his spurs.

Pecos Bill Rides A Tornado

Finally, that tornado decided it wasn’t getting this cowboy off its back no-how. So it headed west to California and jest rained itself out. Made so much water it washed out the Grand  Canyon. That tornado was down to practically nothing when Bill finally fell off. He hit the ground so hard it sank below sea level. Folks call the spot Death Valley.

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Anyway, that’s how rodeo got started. Though most cowboys stick to broncos these days.

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