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Don't Mess with Travis

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 @09:18 AM

As we are deep in the middle of this political season, like many of you, I try to stay informed about what it going on and understand the race and all its nuances. Unfortunately, as much coverage as it is given, it is often difficult to determine what the truth is, and if how it is being reported is fair and accurate.

Our world certainly changed on 9/11 when America was attacked. Watching the coverage about the events on the anniversary of 9/11 certainly brought out feelings of pride in being an American.

Since 9/11, many people share concerns that individual rights will never be the same. State rights and separation of state have also arguably been dramatically affected by the events on that fateful day.

Some have argued that while it might have been necessary due to "isolated incidents brought on by extraordinary circumstances", we need to be careful what we allow to happen using that argument. And in my opinion, we need to be very careful any time we give our federal government the ability to impact our constitutional rights and liberties. And this is not limited to 9/11.

One of the great things about America is that we have the right to debate, look at both sides of the arguments, and make up our own minds. Let's hope that never changes.

If you want to read a very good book that will put a lighter side to some of this, while still being very educational and valuable, pick up the book, Don't Mess With Travis by Bob Smiley (published by St. Martin’s Press). I purchased my copy from In full disclosure, I know a few of the people who helped fund this project – but it is well worth your time.

As Steve Forbes said: “If there were a Nobel Prize for political wit, Bob Smiley’s novel Don’t Mess With Travis would win in a landslide. Much needed in this angry political season.”

The book is about a no name Texas senator who becomes governor after a late-night accident takes the lives of the men ahead of him in command. Very quickly he finds himself trying to protect Texas resources and decides there’s only one solution: secession.

The book points out some of the strengths of government and acknowledges some of the weaknesses. According to the book, I also learned several things about Texas the state which:

Has created more than 1 million jobs in the last decade, more than every other state combined.
Has 25 % of the nation’s Oil reserves
Has 1/3rd of the nation’s natural gas reserves
Has 3 of the nation’s 10 biggest cities
Has its own electric grid
Has more fortune 500 companies than any other state
Would immediately become the 10th wealthiest nation in the world based on GDP (Canada would be 11th) if they were on their own.

As a resident of Illinois, with our increased state income tax but ever increasing debt, our credit rating being lowered again this week, unemployment, and seeminlgy losing companies consistently - I have to admit this all sounded pretty good..

The book also points out that the US Postal service has lost 20 billion in the last 4 years,
and Amtrak has lost 13 billion in the last decade (I have not verified these numbers).

It could certainly be argued that Medicare, Social Security and the management of student loans have not been very successful for the long term. Why do we believe that we will be any better at running a federal health care program?

It is important to point out that the book does not really advocate secession, it is really a power play to hold onto state rights, I wonder what the founders of our country would say about this book? After all, they were willing to give their lives to separate from England because they would be better off…

As Jim Valvano said in his now famous speech, “Every day you should Laugh, Think and Have your Emotions Moved to Tears.” Regardless of your political affiliation, this book certainly can help you do all of those. You may have trouble putting it down..

Have a great week.

Rob Bahna