Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Ray Charles & Willie Nelson - Seven Spanish Angels - and More on Immigration, Ann Coulter's PMS Oddyssy, Texas Rising, and other things that make me grumpy



(1)   To begin, the Texas Rising matter has finally been cleared up.  Certain Spanish Angels came to me in a dream, last night.   They told me that my job concerning the Texas Rising stain on history was meeting with all kinds of outcry "up there", and various of the people who were "down there" at the time of the supposed time and place being depicted on "The History Channel" were threatening to come down and set the record straight.   I told the Spanish Angels that we would invest more effort in trying to mark twain the banks and course the bark upon the River Truth.

  Therefore, we begin:

        (a)    The geography is the least of it, but without it, there is no "it" .   So now we are a bit closer to knowing what the meaning of "it" is.  What is depicted as San Antonio and environs would require one to believe that it is in a craggy piedmont, close to mighty, dry-ish mountains.   Then we are told, by stage-set, that what is around the area as we approach Washington on the Brazos, or Velasco, or Harrisburg and San Jacinto and Galvez Town, we are supposed to understand that it is only slightly removed from being a Mojave Desert - Lite.
     San Antonio and Bexar County of The Republic of Texas to-day as then is a moderately wet, roughly forested place, to the west full of springs (it is said a minimum of 1,100) and to its east stretches of boring, verdant, rolling prairie....hilly at times....with hundreds of tiny sloughs and draw, scores and scores of year-round creeks, and a score of huge creeks and medium-sized Rios, whose banks and flood zones are heavily forested....all within the trot and walk of two days horse travel to the east.
     Arriving around places like Schulenberg, and the Czech / Polish country...common annual rainfalls can range from 20 (rare) to 100 inches (rarer).  It all depends on the fronts from the north and the easterly waves and tropical storms from the  Gulf of Mexico.  Common rainfall?   We are looking at a range of 30 inches near the "waist-band" of Texas - the Balcones Escarpment where the limestone, marble, and cedars extend to the west, and where Texas loses 600 feet in elevation as it move to the east.   Rainfall to the East increases as one moves towards Houston, Beaumont, and the Confederate Country of East Texas....changing gradually from 30 to 70 inches per annum.    To the West of San Antonio, very rumpled hilly areas with oak and cedar, beauty and cragginess at every curve and glance....and the East with its jumble of dogwoods, wisterias, pine and oak forests, bogs, sloughs of swampy, muddy backwashes and mystical Spanish-moss draped scenes.
    These are the scenes that ruin life for visitors when one learns that only we Southerners and Texans  know these places as part of our genetic imprimatur and licence of ownership.  The scenes used by the Texas Rising producers, directors, satraps, and dumboes could possibly be in somewhere in the Ruidoso foothills of New Mexico, or perhaps west of Fort Stockton and Pecos, Texas.   It is really hard to anything Texian.
Juan Nepomuceno Almonte.jpg
Juan Nepocuceno Almonte
circa - 1862
       (b)  Next, El Gringo Viejo was struck by the scene of General Santa Anna witnessing the cold-blooded execution of survivors of the Alamo encounter.   There were apparently several score of prisoners being sloppily shot down by hapless Mexican infantry,  too dumb to shoot straight.   One Negro man, a combatant (there were no Negro combatants, per se.  Heroes, yes.  But not from combat....but, oddly,  from a greater, and dangerous,  moral  kind of complicated risks and cleavings to responsibility).   General Lopez de Santa Anna noticed that the Negro had only been severely wounded, and was looking wildly around for "Emily Morgan" when finally Lopez de Santa Anna turned to "General" Almonte  (actually a Lt. Colonel, brevet colonel in the real world) and ordered him to finish off the hapless Darkey.    All of this is infuriating, because all of the Negroes performed in a range between and including heroically and craftily, in surviving and being of service...not as slaves....but as human, Christian, and normal people.   One assuaged Lopez de Santa Anna...that Black Man had been a bartender and valet to "important people" and places back in New Orleans, and though free, he feigned being a slave.

     The silly television show has "General Almonte" nodding to Lopez de Santa Anna, then drawing his sabre, then riding over to the Negro in question, and then whacking him to death.
    "No, no, no.  It your word was a boat, it just wouldn't float...No,no, no."  would say my Granma Mamie.  It is not the way it was.   Granma Mamie could tell without looking when the "whoppers" were afoot....just by the tone of voice of the prevaricators.

  There were only four to eight "prisoners'' taken at the end of combat at the Alamo.   One Mexican was finally determined to have been a prisoner of the Centralist Army taken by the Texians during the earliest encounters of the siege in February, and he was released.  The others were fallen upon by 'effete' (that is the word used for 'poofies' during those days) officers of Lopez de Santa Anna's ''inner circle''.
   Almonte was not a person of confidence for Lopez de Santa Anna.   He was rumoured to be the son of the priest  Fr. Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon - rather much the fusion of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson for the Mexican Revolution of Independence - and the beautiful Tarascan Indian woman with the name of Brigida Almonte (aristocrat or royalty, there is disagreement, but Brigida was a real. live high born Indian, just like Pocahontas Warren, Duchess of Massachusetts).   His accomplishments, both military, in public service, and in diplomatic service in Europe as well as in New Orleans and Texas made his presence very useful   He is one of the four general  officers and three colonel-level officers that El Gringo Viejo faults for not having arrested Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna for crimes against the honour of Mexico, and for crimes against humanity.
     Several favoured it....but no one pulled the trigger.

    Colonel Juan Nepmuceno Almonte never did what was pictured in the scene showing Almonte putting the Negro to the edge of the sword.   It never happened.   Further, had it happened, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna would not have been there.    It should also be pointed out that because of Almonte's fluency in various languages, the original overture to the Mexican Centralist Army by James Bowie's seconds, which was rejected out of hand, was received by Almonte, and rejected by Almonte.  Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna did not have the nerve, oddly enough, to receive the delegation.   Almonte guaranteed the delegation's safe conduct to and from the tents of the Commandancia.
      Relative importance of a common Mestizo officer in Mexico in 1867?  Well...Almonte was the President of the Regency that officially proclaimed Maximiliano von Hapsburg as the Congressionally Approved Second Emperor of Mexico in 1862.  It was the high-water mark of the Metternich resurgence that stretched all the way across the pond...Max lasted for four years before he was executed by firing squad, under orders by Benito Juarez Garcia, Republican President of Mexico, an act that relegated Mexico to third world status for a long, long time.  The two Imperial General Officers Commanding, Miramon and Mexia, both Mestizo, were also executed alongside Maximilian at those same moments.

     (c)    As a small, but very major matter, Captain Juan Seguin Zaragoza did not learn about the disaster that befell Col. Fannin from an aside conversation while talking about overall War Strategy with General Houston (as shown in Texas Rising).   If anything, it was Houston who was informed by Seguin, Deaf Smith, and various stragglers coming out of the Victoria  area about the disaster of Goliad.   Also, it being a scene shot during the mid-afternoon, Houston would have been in bed and General Somervell would have been the one listening, not talking.   Houston would have Lopez de Santa Anna....pretty much four sheets to the wind.  Houston liked his whiskey and his lithibrium or lithium.....Lopez de Santa Anna liked his ancient brandy, his 100 year old tequila and his cocaine.  To wit:
      In the mid-1800s, lithium was proposed as a treatment of uric acid calculi and gout, as uric acid crystals are highly soluble in solutions containing lithium carbonate. This therapy proved ineffective, but lithium was noted to be a highly effective treatment of psychiatric disorders in the late nineteenth century. (Historical Pharmacology Reference Guide)

(2)     My of my favourite Wicked Witches of the Good, if at times uselessly abrasive....Ann Coulter has left me in a lurch.   Ann, you are totally right in a two-dimensional way.....but almost totally wrong in a three dimensional way.   The problem is not that we are being run-over by a mass of Dirty Meskins.  We are being run over by a complicated garbage heap of un-enforceable, un-intelligible, convoluted laws that say that if an extra-terrestrial being is pregnant by a Kalobornon from an alternative Universe, the whelped spawn of such a creature would be a Texan if born in a MaryKnoll Sisters - Catholic Charity sponsored midwifery in La Grulla, Texas home or storefront facility.

     As you know, Ann, once that occurs, the baby is a Texian and the mother is shelved into a limbo-land  that wherein it is accepted  says that although she is a femme sole from a foreign nation, continent, Planet, or whatever, with a birthed baby, the baby is a Texan and the mother must be allowed to stay by his/her side, because the mother is the only source of support.
     That bodes well for the stores that treat the Lone Star Card as a form of currency.   It also bodes well for the owners of those stores, the "single mommies" (teehehheeeteeehhee) who "just happened" to whelp while on Texas soil,  because monies are taken from the producers to give to the "Safey Net".   How much?  Up to and including 40,000 to 50,000 USD for a family of one mommy and two to six whelps.   These whelps are approaching a plurality of birthings.  This is women who have no husbands, as opposed to women who have been recently abandoned by death or abandonment by their husbands.
     Women who have illegal alien husbands know that their "husbands" have to be very careful how they access the taxpayer paid or subsidised housing facility where the "babymother" is holding court against the Texian Taxpayer.  Every now and then a case-worker might be checking up on the recipient of the disgorge of the Cornucopia, just to make certain that she is a pobrecita, abandoned babymother.
     All of that is true and we have spoken to it a million times in this blog.   The problem is that we did not have this comprehensive abuse of comprehensive social services and safety-net opulence until the 1967 -1969 comprehensive welfare state Trojan Horse vehicle of The Great Society.   The TGS was the grandest, greatest, and biggest, most complicated, most anti-constitutional vote-buying scheme in the history of the United States, and perhaps the world.   To-day, almost 6,000,000,000,000 dollars down the drain, by the same standards used back then, we have the same or a higher percentage of  people in what is referred to in the United States as poverty....and what is seen in the rest of the world as an upper-middle class standard of living.
     One little outfall?   Latin "illegitimacy" rates were around 6% of all live births in 1950 - 1960.   Now....with the Amnesty of the late 1980s and the amplification of everything from WIC to AFDC to Section 8 and a score of other "safety nets" the figure for the Latins is up to nearly 50 per cent.   For ladies of the Black African ancestry we are looking  at nearly 80% in most urban areas and a little less where there are slighter concentrations of Black People.
     The Anglo/Teutonic group and the Latin group is hovering around 30 to 45 per cent during these times. 
   We in Texas are caught in a reality.  Ann is looking at California and her experiences in New Canaan, New York as a young girl....a long, long, long time ago....almost as long as El Zorro and me.   She has seen the invasion Puertorequen~a, and the fall of Brooklyn, Bedford - Stuyvesant, Queens, and The City in general.   The horde of people flooding in to have an anchor baby and life la vida rica did not exist in Texas to our generation.
     El Zorro, El Gringo Viejo, the boss of El Gringo Viej0.....we knew pretty much only these categories of Mexican - Latin.  Remember we were born in 1950 and before.
     (1)   Two levels of hootsy-snootsy Spanish colonials.   Rigid, un-imaginative, suspicious, and more Roman Catholic than the Pope.  Generous, attractive, intelligent, and industrious and fiercely independent....each Hacendado an emperor of a small but potent empire known as "haciendas".  They were holders of massive grants of land from the King of Spain, while smaller but significant grants of land by that same Throne, composed the upper sociological tier.
     Then there was the professional class of people who were involved in merchandising, transport, accounting, medicine, tutelage, smithing, and middle management of extensive ranching operations.  They were almost ethnic and attitudinal clones of the highest tiered people.
    They numbered around 15,000 - 17,000 people on both sides (20 miles +/-) of the Rio Bravo (Grande) by the time that the war started between Mexico and the United States.  The majority of the above numbers would have lived in Santa Maria del Refugio (Matamoros), Reynosa, Camargo, Mier, and Revilla (Guerrero Viejo), Palafox, San Ildefonso, and Laredo, all on the south side of said River, save for Laredo.
    Moving away from the Rio Grande...and including populated to semi-populated places in what would become Texas without dispute, there were another 10,000 people of usually Caucasian race of variations of Iberian, Gallic, Latin, Irish, and English ethnicity.
     These groups were outnumbered fairly rapidly and massively  during the opening of colonisation of the Texian wastelands by Americans of various stripes and types looking for a place to plough and fewer complications and regulations.
     During the pre-Republican times and up to and including the Republican period there was considerable interaction and intermarriage between the new arrivals  and the original white grouping.
      Adjacent grouping of the Latin cohort were those from the Monterrey, Nuevo Leon area who frequently had property, cousins, or other interests in the "Otro Lado".  Others came from Monclova and Saltillo and places dominated by those Urban centres in the adjacent State of Coahuila, once in union with Texas.
     These are the people that the Anglos and newcomers would say, "Well, we have to remember, they were here before we were." although frequently that was said in an incorrect manner, assuming that all of "them" were here before all of "us"  were here.
     Anglo and Angloid entry was pretty much confined to the period of the War with Mexico, 1846 - 1848 and then during the first agricultural period between the end of the War with Mexico and the War Between the States.   Another very large infusion of non-Latin Whites came in during the period from the 1896 through 1930 time frame.  These were people looking for the certain wealth produced by a 360 day growing season and dependable irrigation systems.   The non-Latin, White cohort far overshot the Texas-dwelling, local citizen-type Latin during these times, in spades.  By the 1920 census, the non-Latin White group made up 80% of the population between San Antonio, Del Rio, and Corpus Christi.  White Latins made up the rest, with "trace minerals" of Japanese, Chinese, and Black African making up less than one per cent combined.
     The Latin grouping increased with the refugees of the post Imperial period associated with the fall of the Mexican Empire of Maximilian in 1867.   Large bodies of middle and upper socially positioned people moved into and through the Lower Rio Grande Valley...some staying...and other seeking relatives in San Antonio or even Houston and Dallas.   Most of these people had considerable tutelage, some were doctors, others were mercantilists, profressors, musicians, and ranchers.   The next major grouping was the wave of refugees fleeing the direct and indirect effects of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 - 1917.
     Adding onto the 200,000 of these refugees who filtered and flooded over for a decade and a half, there was added another half that number who arrived due to the disorders of the Cristeros War in Mexico during the 1920s.  There were all manners refugees, mainly women...old ladies, widows, children with only a big sister or at times a brother in charge...all others being dead.   There was limited efforts given to just did not matter.   The Army was looking for saboteurs, anarchists, bootleggers, and criminal agents.   The Border Patrol, such as it was, served as a scouting adjunct to the United States Army's Mounted Cavalry...until well into the 1930s.
     During the Roosevelt Administration, a move began to deport all Mexicans who could not prove nativity or direct relation to a father or mother who was a native born or naturalised American citizen.   Several-score thousand "self-deported" while others went and enrolled in the bracero and later the Foreign War Workers programme that processed thousands of Mexicans into the labour force to make war supplies.   After the Second World War we maintained the Bracero Programme that allowed States to declare labour-shortages in certain specific and usually seasonal-demand fields and recruit Mexicans only to seek eligibility to work for specific periods in the United States.
     The bomb went off when it was decided to declare a war on poverty by the Democrats.   This meant a War on Normalcy which has not ended to this point.  Emergency Medical and Food, Fair, free, and subsidised housing, Section 8 etc. and a myriad of programmes and services attracted more and more people, usually relatives of those already here, until the late 1980s when the Amnesty was foisted upon us.   It was at that time all the people who traced their ancestry back before the 1920 point saw the total end of normalcy.  We have more people on public support in the four county Lower Rio Grande Valley than what the total population was in 1960.
    SO!  Ann's points are well taken, but the phraseology she uses runs not just the risk, but the certainty of ruining the little known fact that 40% to perhaps, as in the last gubernatorial elections in Texas, as many as 55% of the Latin electorate voted Republican in the Statewide races.   They were all either of the pre-1930 crowd, the true immigrant type, or intermarried.
   This is a very militarist area....quite frankly...and I mean militarist.  The Latin element here and throughout the Republic of Texas are very keen about their honourable military service and by in large it is impressive.
    These people are also the big land holding ranchers with royalties of gas and oil, professionals such as doctors and teachers, skilled blue-collar people, and small business people.
     And that is why I strongly concur with much of what Ann says, but, as a fellow New Yorker, I wish she would walk a few miles in my boots so that she could tighten up her rhetoric so that we lose no voters we have while we try to gain more.
More Later.
El Gringo Viejo