Texas owes the United States for just about everything. Ever since American emigres helped to foment a rebellion against the Mexican government of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, other American citizens have regularly come to the aid of Texas without so much as a demand for a quid pro quo. During this 1836 rebellion, Americanvolunteers, many from Tennessee (including former US Congressman Davy Crockett) went to Texas to aid the Texian rebels with little more than the expectation that they would get to fight a little bit. Their efforts helped to create the Republic of Texas, not that they get much of the credit compared to 'real' Texans. Then, after Texans decided that being their own nation wasn't up to their liking, the United States Congress voted to allow Texas to join the Union in 1845 - just in time for the nation to get caught up in a border dispute with Mexico (that was instigated by Texan encroachment of Mexican territory) to ensure that US forces would be in place to block any attempt by Santa Ana to reclaim Texas during the transition from a sovereign nation to a state. And just how did Texas thank the US government for this rescue? By joining the Confederacy in The Rebellion of 1861! There has to be something wrong with the state's residents who feel compelled to brag about its "bigness" every chance they get, especially when their dominance of any specific area of income generation allows them to exploit their own people. Maybe Texans should look up some of the other definitions of bigness and note that not all of them refer to physical dimentions. There is also generosity, and there is integrity. Such petty insecurity leaves them open to a reassessment of their status, for as Alaskans love to remind Texans, if Alaska were to split in two, Texas would beomce only the Third Largest State! You have to wonder how insecure these people are...and why. Perhaps jealous of California's Gold Rush wealth, Texas ensured that control of the fledgling petroleum business granted to them by US citizens would lie within their grasp once other sources of oil around the country tapped out. This wealth flooding into an admittedly low-income region (at the turn of the last century) created a nouveau-riche Wild Westerner with morals to match, who had the ability to interfere with rivals in a way that the famous Colt Peacemaker could never provide. Always remember: Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin are both from Virginia! Why Texas kept the names of US citizens for major Texas cities is interesting enough. The political sponsors of many Texans took advantage of this wealth to carve out little empires for themselves, most notably during the days of WWII when such then-small-scale construction contractors as the Brown Brothers (an ancestor of Halliburton) reminded such pet congressmen as Lyndon Johnson that past campaign favors had a repayment due date and were payable in Federal construction contracts. Such contractors continued to invoke these past favors during the Cold War, 'earning' construction bids for foreign installations all over the world. They would have had billions of $1 incentives to oppose anyone who interfered with this business, and real Texans know better than the rest of us what such opposition can mean in terms of action on the part of the aggrieved. Certainly, people like Lyndon Johnson and John Connolly would have known, as would Connecticutian-turned-Texas-good-'ol-boy George H. W. Bush, whose Cuban connections owed him favors for the three ships Bush companies supplied to the invasion fiasco later known as the Bay of Pigs. President John Kennedy had interfered with Texas business, and we all know what happened to him. When Bush was tall in the saddle, the real rustling of the United States' assets now began in earnest. Texas firms pressured their representatives for many lucrative things, including the construction of the NASA control center in Houston instead of in Florida back in the '50's, and for many defense contracts to supply the Vietnam War. But with Nixon's fall and the exhaustion of civilian support for Vietnam, the Texas money men were in need of a new means of generating vast profits. Enter foreign oil. By the way, statistics from the labor department show that Texas is the leading in-sourcer in terms of percentage of % Texas labor force. This shows potential economic weakness and dependence on foriegn firms - meaning more Texans by percentage of labor force pad the pockets of foriegn firms. American companies in Texas, while not exclusively involved, tended to dominate foreign oil operations, and attempted to make the same kind of deals with foreign politicians that they did with the ones back home. But somehow, Texas seems to isolate themselves from what the rest of the world understands, and many misunderstandings occured, some of which had to be settled through the agency of the US government coming to the rescue of 'beleagured' Texans. A good case in point was Kuwait, whose oil operations were the reason for the Gulf War. It helped a great deal that a captive politician named George H. W. Bush was already in the White House, ready to do the bidding of those Texan money masters who put him into so many positions of authority and influence where he could serve faithfully as directed: the UN, the CIA, etc. He was good for business in Texas. After the masssive mess created by Saddam's retreating forces was cleaned up, once again the great Texas appetite for Federal contracts was being unsatisfied. But Bush 41 lost both the support of the American people and the White House to Bill Clinton, and the Texas residents had to ensure that they didn't lose control again. Their wealth had grown so much (amidst the large portion of the Texas population in abject poverty) that they were wealthier than most of the world's nations, and yet they had less control and influence than the poorest of these. This would never do! These Texans joined the efforts of many non-Texans like Richard Mellon Scaife in subverting the will and the vote of the American people, and influencing activities of the Congress until such time as total control could be established. In the meantime, corporate strategists plotted the neutralization of any possible opposition to these moves, in particular the purchase for subversion of the media so that it could never again harm the conservative cause of controlling events for the benefit of Texas business, as it once did to Richard Nixon's ambitions. As we learned with Enron, and not to exclude there are other American businesses in other states that are equally corrupt, an honorable Texan would surely agree that "If you can't beat 'em, you aren't cheatin' good enough!" could be a state motto.