Real Texas Freedom

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sam Houston

Circulating around the Texas History crowd at UT back in the 50's, was a story about Sam Houston that may or may not have been true. I heard it first from a Texas History professor in the classroom. He didn't tell the story in a flattering way but the rift between Stephen F. Austin and Houston was alive and well then and the teacher was for Austin.
It seems that Houston was sitting with a bottle of whiskey, drunk at the curb in front of the Governor's Mansion, when somebody scolded him for his behavior. Houston replied, "Since when is it against the law to be drunk on the streets of Austin?"
There were other stories about his use of opium and how the battle of San Jacinto and the capture of Santa Anna, resulting in the establishment of the country and eventual statehood of Texas, was due to his use of opium. Of course, all great minds have always needed something under stress, even wine. I think of Sam Houston every morning here in the mountains of New Mexico when the ravens, his Indian name was Raven, start fussing and screeching at each other.
New Mexico's Governor, Bill Richardson, who has been running for President of the U.S. for years, has managed to tax cigarettes and liquor to pay for everything and proudly brags that he didn't have to raise state income taxes and was able to do away with the sales tax on food, New Mexico being one of the few states to tax food. The State Health Department puts out TV commercials with Richardson dressed as a cowboy ordering milk in a saloon. The slogan, "You drink, you drive, you lose," ridiculed by the national media, continues daily on TV in a variety of constitutional defying situations while wasting tax dollars. Health Department lies about the dangers of second hand tobacco smoke, the only way the government can constitutionally control tobacco, flood the media.
I don't know what Richardson thinks would happen to the government and the economy if everybody quit smoking and drinking but I'm sure of one thing, his intellect is not of presidential caliber. I just wish there were some Sam Houstons around.


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