What Makes Texas Texas?

Texas is indeed a unique state, and also one that didn’t exactly get the subtlety memo. There are countless things that make this state unique, one of them being that it is bigger than England and France combined, big, huh? We take a look at some of the main reasons why Texas is…well, Texas.

It was an independent nation

Well, so was Vermont and California and Hawaii but these don’t really talk about it, but this is Texas and it has to be talked about. Texas was among the few states that had been recognized as independent nations before joining the union. It was known as the republic of Texas.

It is legally permitted to secede

That should have read that it is legally permitted to secede from the union. When President Lincoln made it illegal for states to secede, Texas was controlled by union forces and not confederate forces and is therefore legally permitted to leave.

Six flags have flown over Texas

This is because it was controlled by six countries namely Spain, France, Texas, Mexico, US and the confederate States. The Texas flag as a country was before the state joined the union, when it was still an independent republic.

It is a true battleground state

Since the state is very large (remember larger than Britain and France combined), it is allocated a large number of electors under the Electoral College rule than other battleground states.

It is home to the most presidential libraries

Well, in all fairness it is also the home to four former presidents so maybe that is to be expected. These are the Lyndon Baines Library, George Bush Library and the George W Bush presidential center.

Transport infrastructure

Texas has the longest railroad and highway transport system in the USA. This is in addition to having the most airports. But again, it is very large so it needs the roads.

Largest medical center

The Texas medical center is the largest one in the world and has constantly been among the leaders in research. The center carries out the most heart-related surgeries in the world. The center is located in Houston.

It has its own embassies

Texas has its own embassies in other countries. These had been built under the independent republic of Texas but still stand today. There is one in London, England.

NASA space center

This is primarily the reason for the phrase ‘Houston, we’ve got a problem’. Famous phrase right there. Well, the Lyndon Johnson space center is used by NASA to conduct human spaceflight training.

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Top 10 Badass Women in Texas You Should Know

We have pulled a list of the top bad ass women of Texas that you should know. These women rocked the city with the attitude and tenacity and rebelled against the limits of traditional social norms and did great things that had a lifelong impact.

1.     Billie Jean Davy

Billie is from The Legend of Billie Jean (1985). As her theme song states, she is invincible. Furthermore, having a theme song by Pat Benatar suggests that you are a badass Woman. She is a character who would not retreat from her demand that a chauvinist shop owner pays for what she and her brother owe for a stolen scooter. She then becomes a hero to young people, especially women, all over Texas. One of her most badass moment is getting the money the shop owner claimed she owed throws it to the man’s face while ‘accidentally setting fire’ to her own image and her following.

2.     Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin born in 1943 was raised, Port Arthur. She starts her music career in Austin but later moved to San Francisco to evade the cultural restrictions of the 1960s Texas.  Before she died in 1970 she had booked a place for women in rock-n-roll alongside Jimmie Hendrix and Bob Dylan. In In 1995, Janis was inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.

3.     Babe Didrikson Zaharis

Didrikson was the greatest Female Athlete in the whole first half of 20th century. Sometimes when the female athletes were being dismissed, she mastered almost every sport from boxing to basketball. In 1932, Zaharis qualified for a total of five events in the Olympics. Besides, she won in the US Women’s Open in golf while she was still battling cancer.

4.     Barbara Jordan

Born in 1936, Barbara Jordan a Civil rights activist was the first woman to be elected to Texas Senate. She later became the first African-American congress woman from Texas. At the 1976 Democratic Convention, she was the one who delivered the keynote address.

5.     Bessie Coleman

Bessie was born in 1892 and she became the first black woman to have a pilot’s license. She was a dedicated pioneer in aviation. Coleman died in an accident in 1926.

6.     Emma Tenayuca

Tenayuca was born in 1916 and raised in San Antonio. She was a worker on picket line striking against Fink Cigar Company where she was first apprehended in 1932 at the age of 16. Emma Tenayuca was a fierce labor rights activist; she led approximately 12000 workers, mostly the Hispanic women, in Pecan Shellers Strike to fight wage cuts in 1938.

7.     Bette Graham

Bette was born in San Antonio. Graham was the inventor of the Liquid Paper white-out. That said, she raised Michael Nesmith of the Monkey (her son).

8.     Fannie Porter

Fannie is a popular woman. This is because she ran a brothel at Sporting District in San Antonio. She entertained the notorious Wild Bunch, which was a gang led by the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.

9.     Jane Long

Jane Long is commonly known as the ‘mother of Texas’. She was amongst the first English-speaking pioneers to give birth in the state of Texas. At 24 years, her husband was murdered in Mexico City. She then worked as a single mother, developing a plantation and operating a boarding house with the help of 19 slaves.

10.  Caro Crawford Brown

Crawford Brown, born in 1908, was the first woman to win Pulitzer award in 1955. She wrote lots of articles exposing the corruption of George Parr, a political boss. This fearless reporting soon led to his downfall. In 1986, Caro Brown was included in the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

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The Most Famous Texas Politicians of All Times

Texas has been the home of four former US presidents. However, there have also been several other famous faces from the political arena. We take a look at five famous politicians who came from Texas.

Lloyd Bentsen

Born in February 1921, Bentsen was a US Senator who served under the Bill Clinton presidency. He was the country’s 69th secretary of the treasury in a short term between 1993 and 1994. He served as senator for four terms between 1971 and 1993. He was the Democrats nominee for vice-president in 1988 when Michael Dukakis ran for president. Apart from that period in office, Bentsen also served as chairman of the US Senate’s finance committee during President Clinton’s first two years in office. He graduated with an LL. B degree from the University of Texas in the year 1942, got admitted to the bar but went on to join the military in the World War II period.

Barbara Jordan

Barbara became the first woman elected to the Texan senate in 1966 and was also the first Africa-American elected after the events of the civil war. She represented the state in the USA house of representatives and went on to become the first black woman to be buried in the Texas state cemetery.

Barbara was born in 1936 and went on to become a lawyer, educator, civil rights activists and politician. She is also perhaps best remembered for a quite eloquent opening statement during court hearings to determine the impeachment of then president Nixon. She has received a presidential medal of freedom.

George W Bush

Bush will probably be best remembered for his term as the 43rd president of the USA and perhaps too as the 46th governor of Texas. He was born in 1946 to Barbara and H W Bush. Bush graduated from Yale and Harvard Universities. Bush was elected president in a rather controversial election and victory over the Democrats’ Al Gore who received more popular votes than him.

His tenure as president will be remembered for the 9/11 attacks that happened barely 8 months into his presidency. His response is now famously known as the Bush Doctrine and was an all-out launch on terror that began with war on Afghanistan and Iraq later in 2003. In his re-election, Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry in yet another hotly contested election.

Charlie Wilson

Born Charlie Nesbitt Wilson in 1933, he as a twelve-term US representative from Texas. Charlie is best known for influencing congress to support operation cyclone. This was the CIA’s largest covert operation that basically involved supply of military equipment to the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan during the period of the Soviet war. He even had a book and a film created to document his contribution to the covert op.

Wilson came from the Texan town of Trinity and attended Sam Houston University. He was later admitted to the naval academy in Maryland. He also served in the Pentagon as part of a unit designed to run evaluations on Russia’s nuclear plans.

Ann Richards

She was the 45th governor of Texas serving from 1991 through 1995. She started off as the State’s treasurer. She ran for re-election to the governor’s office but was defeated by George W Bush who went on to become the 43rd president of the USA. Ann was Texas’ second woman governor and was known to have an outspoken mind on issues touching on feminism.

Richards was born in McLennan, Texas to Robert Cecil and Mildred Iona. She graduated from Baylor University and later from the University of Texas. Ann’s political career has been as a Democrat.

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10 Texan Women Who Changed the Course of History

Texas has been home to some of the country’s most incredible women since its admission to the union. These have included politicians, medical practitioners, ranchers and scientists. We take a look at the top 10 Texan women who have influenced the course of history.

1.     Bessie Coleman

Bessie was born 1892 in Atlanta. Her career however spanned a relatively short period. She was the daughter of an African-American mother and a Cherokee father. She went ahead to become the first black female aviator and also the first Native American woman to achieve the feat. She learned to pilot in France since there was no one to teach women how to fly in America. At 34 years, Bessie Coleman crashed when a plane she was in malfunctioned.

2.     Angelina Eberly

Eberly was not a native Texan but she did fire cannon into the land office building to alert the city of an ongoing theft. The then Texas governor Sam Houston had a plan to secretly move some documents from Austin to Houston to influence the choice of Houston as the capital city of Texas. There is currently a statue depicting Eberly on Congress Avenue.

3.     Sarah Horton

Sarah Horton and her husband started an operational ferry service in Dallas across the Trinity River. As great businesspeople, the Hortons owned various construction and real estate businesses which were run by Sarah after her husband’s death in 1858. However, what makes her famous is that she was among Texas’ first millionaires and owned close to a quarter of the now present Dallas.

4.     Miriam Ferguson

Popularly known as Ma Ferguson, she became the first woman governor of Texas. She served for two terms (non-consecutive) in 1932 and 1924. She is also one among the only two women to ever serve as the governor of the state of Texas. The other woman was Anne Richards.

5.     Clara Driscoll

She was among the women who protected the historical sites of Texas. Together with De Zavala, they created the Texas historical sites and artifacts and prevented the Alamo from being destroyed. Without her and several other women, most of the state’s historical sites might have been destroyed.

6.     Caro Brown

Caro won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for her journalism work that helped expose and dismantle the circles of the infamous politician George Brown. Another reporter working on investigating the Brown family had been killed during her work. Despite wanting to take town George, she once protected him from being shot by a Texas Ranger. She was among the most fearless Texan women journalists.

7.     Susana Dickinson

She was among the twelve survivors of the battle of the Alamo. She is the main person behind the Texan viewpoint of the battle. She was also instrumental in the battle of San Jacinto that led to the capture of Santa Anna.

8.     Emma Tenayuca

Emma was among the first women to feature in the labor rights movement. She first gained popularity when she was arrested in the year 1933 for picketing certain cigar factory due to its highly unfair and discriminatory labor practices. She then went on to organize various unions and at some point peaceful demonstrations against the Texan police for the beatings they carried out on Mexicans.

9.     Barbara Jordan

Barbara became the first woman elected to the Texan senate in 1966 and was also the first Africa-American elected after the events of the civil war. She represented the state in the USA house of representatives and went on to become the first black woman to be buried in the Texas state cemetery.

10.  Lizzie Johnson

Lizzie became known as one of the first Texan Cattle Queens and became the first woman to ride the famous Chisholm Trail.

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10 Psychological Methods for Politicians

Politicians use various tactics to achieve what they desire most from their electorate. Most of these are usually psychological methods cleverly devised to disguise some information as something else. We take a look at 10 of these methods and how they apply in the modern political arena.

1.     Spinning

A spin is a form of propaganda that politicians achieve through providing the electorate with a biased interpretation of something often in order to gain favor for or against another person. It is seen as making use of deception and manipulation to achieve the desired outcome.

2.     Factoid

A factoid is an entirely false statement but that has been nonetheless presented to people as a true fact and has been believed to be one. In politics, factoids basically evolve from minor unreliable pieces of information that are repeated so often that with time they become accepted as facts.

3.     Demonization

In politics, demonization is a tactic used by politicians to characterize an individual or group of people as evil. In its earliest usage, the Knight Templar ruin came after they were accused of worshipping Baphomet often though in Christianity to be Beelzebub due to the horned image.

4.     Cult of personality

This is widely used by politicians and occurs when a politician uses mass media and at times other methods to create an ideal image through excessive praise and flattery. This works perfectly in totalitarian regimes and the state achieves a cult of personality in a chosen individual by controlling the media.

5.     Doublespeak

It is perhaps the most used psychological method by politicians all over the world. Doublespeak is basically the deliberate distortion of words or their meaning. Perhaps the best example is the corporate term ‘downsizing’ which means there is going to be layoffs. Doublespeak is designed to make actions seem more acceptable to the public.

6.     Bandwagon

The bandwagon idea is basically an appeal aimed at persuading a certain audience to join or take part in a certain course of action since everyone else is doing so. There is the inevitable victory and join the crown facets of this technique.

7.     Beautiful people

The beautiful people tactic is aimed at changing the perceptions of people by associating a certain political ideology to famous people. This makes people see the ‘happy person’ as a representative of the ideology and therefore see the ideology as right or good.

 

8.     Common man

The common man tactic is used by politicians to convince a particular audience that his/her positions reflects or represents that of the common person or the plain folk. This works by making the audience feel that the politicians speak their language and is therefore best suited to represent their needs.

9.     Dictat

This is used by politicians especially during campaigns to apparently make decision making easier for the audience they are targeting. For example, by creating an image or poster that says kick out the current government, the audience does not have to process much information since all they have to do is kick the said government out.

10.  Slogans

Slogans have been incorrectly used to appeal to the emotions of the target audience rather than to reason. Politicians cleverly phrase slogans to justify certain causes of action even though without the phrases, the actions would be deemed unreasonable.

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5 Ways the World Has Changed Under President Trump

Donald Trump holds the highest office in the world and that has come with a myriad changes in terms of how the USA relates to the rest of the world. Changes were indeed expected, and drastic ones for that matter since this is Trump. We take a look at the top five ways that the world has changed under Trump’s presidency.

Nuclear Tension in Asia

Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson has on several times spoken of possible measures to block China from accessing her artificial islands on the South China Sea. Trump also thinks that Japan and South Korea rely too much on the United States and thinks it would be to their benefit were they to develop their own nuclear war arsenals. The US president also thinks that the deal made between the Obama administration and North Korea was the worst deal ever. He says that dismantling North Korea’s nuclear ambitions is a priority. Mr. Trumps’ administration says that ‘all options are on the table’.

The NATO Issue

Trump was of the opinion that NATO was obsolete and that its members were ungrateful allies who benefit from American largesse. Trump had his defense secretary warn NATO member countries that the USA would reduce its commitment unless they raised their spending to at least 2% of their country’s GDPs. However, Trump later said that the threat of terrorism has outlined the importance of the alliance and even urged NATO member countries to do more to help Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump also now thinks that NATO is no longer obsolete.

Use of Military Force

The previous administration was highly reluctant of getting involved in additional conflicts in the East. Obama had stated that even when the Syrian situation escalated, military intervention by the United States would prove to be a very expensive failure. This led to the US only providing humanitarian aid and funding Syrian rebels. Trump however was of a different opinion and ordered airstrikes on the Syrian government base. He also attacked Afghanistan with the mother of all bombs (MOAB). There seems to be a more forceful sided to the USA in relating with hostile countries under the current administration.

Uncertainty on the Future of Trade

Trump has threatened to do away with several existing FTAs such as the NAFTA. He blames the USA’s trade with Mexico and Canada for the loss of jobs in America. Recently, the president even threatened to withdraw from the WTO. This comes in addition to a suggestion to increase the tariff charged on automobile manufacturers operating in Mexico. Well, then there is the Mexican-border wall. Besides the threats, Trump has pulled out of the TPP deal that involved 12 nations and represented about 40% of the world’s total economic output. The Trump administration almost started a full-blown trade war when the president promised to label the Chinese as currency manipulators. The future of free trade has never really been more uncertain.

Climate Change

During his campaign, Trump promised to cancel the Paris Agreement. However, his circle is divided on whether cancelling the deal is a good idea after all. In addition to this, the president has reversed several steps made by the previous administration related to climate change. The resident has several times denied that there are human-related aspects of climate change but seemed to have a different opinion later. However, should the president go ahead and pull out of the Paris climate deal, the USA is still bound by the agreement for four more years. This could also have chain effects where other countries also reconsider their efforts towards curbing climate change.

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All about Tom Delay

Tom Dale Delay, commonly known as Tom Delay, was one of the most powerful political figures in the US in early 2000s. Tom Delay (born 1947, Laredo Texas) served as a Texas representative in the US House of Representatives from 1985-2006.

Besides, he also served as the majority whip from 1995-2003 and majority leader from 2003-2006. He was a strong candidate to serve as a Speaker of the House till he was indicted on charges of violating Texas campaign finance law in 2005. He then resigned from the House in 2006 in the face of corruption scandals.

Tom Delay joined politics by a strong hatred of the government regulations which he developed as a small business owner in Texas. He was also a strong conservative who aligned which political activities that were supported by popular evangelical Christian figures.

Delay is also known for his mastery of political activities, especially fundraising. He assembled a big money-raising initiative that he used to help Republicans as the party took control of the Congress during George W. Bush presidency.

His Childhood

Tom Delay was a native of Laredo, on the US – Mexican border. His religious parents were members of the Baptist Church. However, his father, Charlie Ray Delay who was an oil worker was a violent alcoholic who was said to consume a quart of Scotch whiskey in a single evening. In a certain interview, he was quoted in Atlanta Journal Constitution referring to his father as a boisterous, domineering alcoholic.

His father was fluent in Spanish and also an oil field supervisor. This him move his family to Venezuela when Tom Delay was nine. The Venezuelan Cowboys showed him how to crack a bullwhip. Delay retained this skill years later when he served as the US House Republican whip and had an actual bullwhip in the office.

Growing up in Latin America had serious effects on Delay. For instance, a few times the family was involved in a crossfire as the leftist rebels fought the Venezuelan government troops. Delay even saw some of his villagers gunned down when he was of a young age.

On his official website, Delay says that the exposure to political violence during his young age was the key motivator to his ‘Passion for freedom’. He then grew to become an enemy of the left-wing regimes around the world.

In the US, the family finally settled in Corpus Christi, Texas. He schooled in Calallen High School in Corpus Christi. There, played as a lineman for the football team and later graduated in 1965. There he his wife, an athlete and cheerleader Christine Furrh. The pair tied the knot in the 1960 and had a daughter in 1972, Danielle.

He enrolled at Baylor University to pursue a career as a doctor. Tom Delay was involved in various alcohol related incidents and vandalism at the Baylor’s sports rival Texas A&M. As a result, the University did not admit him again after completing his sophomore year, and he later transferred to the University of Houston.

Tom graduated in 1970 and worked as a chemist for a pesticide manufacturer for three years. He spent most of his time mixing ingredients for rat poison. By 1973 he had saved enough money to buy a small exterminator in Houston. The business flourished but it also brought him face to face with government regulation in form of federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). He rebelled against taxes and paperwork required to gain approval for using pest control compounds.

Tom’s rage grew when the state of Texas decided to license exterminators. This made him join local politics where he ran and own a Texas State House seat running on a platform in favor of business deregulation.  He was then angered by an EPA regulation which outlawed Mirex, a pesticide which was very effective against the Texas invasion of fire ants.

Blogs and books

On 2006, Tom Delay started a personal blog. Besides, after joining Dancing Stars in 2008, a reality TV dance competition in which celebrities are paired with paired with professional dancers, he removed most of the political content in his personal blog and rebranded it to ‘Dancing with’ Delay.

In 2007, he published No Retreat, No Surrender: One American’s Fight. This book hand controversial claims, including Tom’s assertion that the Clinton Administration sought to have the military uniforms banned from the White House. This allegation was later proved false.

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