Same Border, Different America

For the last several years Texas farmers and ranchers whose lands butt up against the Rio Grande have complained about cross-border raids by thugs of Mexican drug cartels.  “It’s a war.  Make no mistake about it,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.  “And it’s happening on American soil.”  Staples thinks the bountiful productivity of the Rio Grande Valley could go into decline and affect our food supply.  “Farmers and ranchers,” he remarked, “are being run off their own property by armed terrorists showing up and telling them they have to leave their land.”  His official website,, is full of such harrowing stories.  In a formal declaration on the site he says something that should be dear to the hearts of true conservatives: “America’s war on terrorism has sent thousands of troops overseas, but the reality is, there is a growing threat here at home. . . .  Until Washington stands beside us, Texas is prepared to take matters into its own hands to the fullest extent possible.”

Plagued with similar cross-border raids during the 1870’s, Texas did take matters into its own hands—in the person of Lee McNelly.  An independently minded Texas Ranger, McNelly did what the federal government should have done and crossed the border...

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