Tag Archives: texas

Many prayers needed

Please step aside this evening, perhaps light a candle, and pray for the people of SE Texas.  Many of my friends there, people I’ve cared for and worked with more than 30 years, are without their homes tonight.  The water damage at Fulton, Rockport, Aransas Pass and Port Aransas, is not that bad.  But the wind damage is extraordinary.

Unless I have reason to go elsewhere, I intend to fill up my car with food, water and blankets, and go to Port Aransas on Friday.

I just saw the Port of Corpus Christi remains closed.  That means there are, literally, hundreds of ships at sea lined up to go into the port.  As a nation, we need that port open and we need the adjacent gasoline refineries up and running.

Safety comes first, though, and I am duly impressed by the emphasis Texas has placed on rescue, recovery and safety.

Harvey brings it to Texas

It appears Gulf Hurricane Harvey may make landfall tomorrow, as a Cat 3 or Cat 4 hurricane, along the South Texas coast between Port Mansfield and Port Lavaca.

http://myfoxhurricane.com

I grew up spending “hurricane seasons” on the Texas coast.  I have clear memories of Hurricane Beulah, which brought a high storm surge and rainfall/flooding in San Antonio and South Texas.  I remember the fam gathered up in the back of our San Antonio home, watching the storm progress on our old GE black & white TV, as severe thunderstorms and lightning persisted through the night.

It was Hurricane Celia, though, when I was ten years old, that I best remember.  Our family had a wonderful old beach house at Rockport TX, and we barely got inland before Celia struck.  That hurricane, which made landfall across Port Aransas and St. Jo’s Island then crossed inland at Aransas Pass, dealt a severe blow to the communities on the North end of Padre Island.  More significantly, Celia spawned dozens of tornadoes across the Corpus Christi area.  Winds clocked at Corpus Christi exceeded 200 mph, arguably the highest wind speeds of any hurricane in history; though it’s since been argued those were tornadoes and not recordings of actual hurricane winds.

You say tomato and I say tomAto.  Celia shut down the city of Corpus Christi for over a week.  Overhead photos of the city were evidence enough the storm had virtually erased large swaths of Corpus Christi and surrounding communities.

Famous story I remember of a woman in a volkswagen on the CC causeway.  She claimed the car had been spun overhead and lengthwise for nearly 2 minutes before she was set down in the oil & gas terminal 3-4 miles away.  Plenty of those weird photos of sticks driven through large trees, glass shards that cut cement columns in half.  Celia was the last really bad hurricane we’ve had on the South Texas coast.

 

Past blogs and posts

I’ve been posting on my other blog, bahfish.com, since early in the Summer; but I’ve come back to post here as it’s the blog where most of my family & friends look for updates.  I’ve had this blog running for nearly ten years.  I know there are some broken links and problems with images over the last two years so I will work to get those corrected.

“Love & Tolerance” is our code.

 

Texas Rising Doesn’t Rise

The only thing epic about Texas Rising, the new miniseries running on History Channel, is the degree to which it does NOT depict the Texas war for independence.

The Battle of Gonzalez on October 2, 1835 marked the start of the Texas revolt against Mexico. Texans had refused to relinquish a cannon to the Mexican army at Gonzalez. Instead, they raised a homemade flag bearing an image of the cannon and the words “Come And Take It”. It’s a critical part of the story of Texas independence, and critical to understanding the mindset of the Texans. 

They’d had enough, so they flagrantly challenged the Mexican army and Mexican authority.

But this is entirely missing from the Texas Rising story. Stephen F. Austin’s declaration of war against Mexico is also missing. In fact Stephen F. Austin himself is missing!

For a production of this magnitude with many hours available to tell the story, and with such a large cast of talented people, you’d think the Texas Rising story would depict more of the prominent events and true characters of the revolution. 

Most Americans are familiar with the story of the Alamo; so not focusing on that event is a good move. Regardless, the conflict at the Alamo deserved at least another 5 minutes of coverage in Texas Rising – merely to help establish the Texans’ growing hatred of Santa Anna.

Emily West and “Lorca” have prominent roles in Texas Rising but there is no historic documentation to support the legends and hearsay surrounding Emily West, and historic documents tend to refute the existence of the Lorca character.

Many events of the war are reasonably well told in Texas Rising, but there are significant omissions. The incredible tragedy of Goliad was poorly depicted and had errors of continuity. More than 400 Texans were killed on Palm Sunday, 1836 in a massacre staged along roads leading out of Goliad, but Texas Rising only shows a handful shot to death in a pit surrounded by Mexican soldiers.  In truth, Goliad was the worst massacre in US history. 

Texas Rising relies on dramatic fiction to convey Texans’ motivation to drive the Mexican army back across the Rio Bravo – when simply telling the truth would have worked better!

The biggest annoyance of Texas Rising, though, is the radical misportrayal of Texas geography and landscape. It’s really hard to endure images of mountains, pine trees and deserts in what’s supposed to be Southeast Texas (at least 300 miles from the nearest mountains and further from any deserts). I wouldn’t be surprised, either, if many Texans are downright offended to learn the production was shot in Mexico! Don’t get me wrong. That region in Mexico is spectacular and it stars in many many American westerns; but I suspect most Texans would agree that if you’re going to make a film about Texas, then shoot it in Texas.

Using make-believe characters, omitting or misrepresenting significant people and events of the war, and a painful misrepresentation of what the Texas landscape looked like, all establish that Texas Rising is a work of fiction. In fact, it’s so far from the truth you can hardly call it historic fiction. It’s nothing more than an expensive production that could easily have told the remarkable story of Texas independence, but chose not to. 

Texas Rising compromises truth to increase entertainment value – when both could easily have been attained.

Illegal Marijuana is Deadly

It seems Texas has a bill before its legislature to decriminalize marijuana. Interesting the bill has been introduced in one of the nation’s most conservative states by one of its more conservative legislators.

I seriously doubt, though, that Texas (or any of our border states) will decriminalize marijuana. Legal marijuana is significantly less harmful than legal alcohol, but illegal marijuana is deadly. That’s why it lies at the very heart of the US War on Drugs.

Illegal marijuana and undocumented firearms are the leading causes of the genocide occurring South of our border with Mexico. Illegal marijuana and undocumented firearms are problems we own. We are responsible.

We don’t know for sure how harmless legal marijuana is, but new reports from Colorado and Washington indicate it’s hundreds of times less harmful than legal alcohol. Probably less harmful than a whole bunch of legal substances. A Colorado study found that drivers who’d used marijuana had a 5% higher chance of being involved in an accident, whereas drivers who’d consumed one alcoholic beverage increased their chance of by hundreds of percent.  Hmm.

We do know, absolutely, that illegal marijuana (as opposed to its legal counterpart) is destroying countless lives and causing thousands of tragic deaths in Mexico. More than 20,000 unsolved murders and “enforced disappearances” per year in Mexico are attributed to drug cartels who derive half of their income (a conservative estimate) from selling illegal marijuana in the US (and who obtain nearly ALL of their firearms through undocumented transfers in the US).

But if we take away the money then we destroy the enemy – and without an enemy we have no need for our war machine.

The United States’ illegal marijuana and undocumented firearm transfers are causing genocide in Mexico. We are responsible.