As story of the Alamo heads to its bloody and legendary climax on March 6, 1836, commenter Michael West filed another update on what transpired on yesterday’s date, March 1, but corresponding to today, because 1936 was a Leap Year. Michael’s running account is indispensable, and I am so grateful for it. He writes,
March 1, 1836: The Alamo defenders are down to their last 5 full days.
The “Mina Volunteers” — a militia unit from Bastrop, Texas—departs for the rendezvous in Gonzales. Captain Joseph Lynch begins recruiting up and down the Brazos River to form a company and march to Gonzales. Captain Phil Coe does the same up and down the Colorado River. Captain Robert McNutt and his 2nd in Command Gibson Kuykendall activate a company in San Felipe (west of what would eventually be Houston).
These are just a handful of the many companies gathering across Texas as rapidly as they could to make their way in answer to Colonel Travis’s plea for aid, all while the civil drama plays out in Washington-on-the-Brazos. Texas’s Declaration of Independence, to be officially declared the next day, was finalized by George Childress.
Behind enemy lines, south of Urrea’s “Coastal Column” a somewhat interesting character, Dr. Grant, and the fledgling remains of his wild mission to raise a rebellion in Matamoros continues to wander north, soon to meet its fate in a far less spectacular end that Grant probably had envisioned for himself. Meanwhile, at the Alamo, the truce apparently has come to an end as Santa Ana noted the Texans fired a cannon, ending the truce and apparently cancelling any offer of amnesty he had made. In further Alamo lore involving a fact that seemed too perfect to be true, the shot from one the cannons fired that day actually struck the house that the dictator was occupying.
Santa Ana’s army was still not at full strength, and was not expected until the 3rd of March.
The most distant Texan reinforcements were about 150 miles from the Alamo, the rest closer. At a rate of about 30 miles per day on horseback, the farthest reinforcements could reach the Alamo in five days. As the men rushed westward with all their zeal, they would have been quietly reminded that they were each groups of 15 to 45 men charging headlong out of wooded terrain and into open prairies, towards a Mexican army of several thousand.
Now in more mundane and present day ethics matters;
1. Now THIS is hubris! Talk about not knowing your lane…Dr. Bruce Glavovic, 61, a professor at Massey University in New Zealand, has joined two colleagues in the field of environmental research to declare, in an academic journal, that climate scientists should stage a mass walkout and stop their research until nations take action on global warming. I have a better idea. Why don’t climate scientists come up with consistent projections that actually pan out, be honest about what they don’t know, and stop telling the public and policy-makers what to do when their job is to provide scientific information, not speculation, not guesses, not hysteria, and definitely not amateur opinions on law and governance? Beyond that my message to them if they go on strike is “Don’t let the door hist you on the ass on the way out, you arrogant jerks.”
The juvenile tantrum of an article raises the questions climate scientists have asked themselves lately, we are told: “Is what we’re doing with our lives really making a difference? How can we get elected officials to act on the threats that we’ve so clearly identified?”
Welcome to the world of an ethicist, guys!
2. Small Consolation Dept: At least we still have more respect for freedom of thought than…Germany. Russian conductor Valery Gergiev was fired from the Munich Philharmonic orchestra this week. His offense? He is a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and refused to publicly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter explained in a news release that the decision came after he issued an ultimatum to the 68-year-old Russian conductor. “I had expected him to rethink and revise his very positive assessment of the Russian leader,” Reiter said. “After this didn’t occur, the only option is the immediate severance of ties.”
In this country, we call such ultimatums “compelled speech,” and it is a violation of the First Amendment, like loyalty oaths and some of the other rights breaches inflicted on Americans during the Red Scare. Both political parties flirt with the unethical practice when they demand that elected official X condemn controversial figure Y for legal conduct and speech.
3. Gee, is it wrong of me to keep pointing out what a biased, left-wing propaganda machine the New York Times is in part to annoy the commenters who keep denying it? (If so, I don’t care.) Completing the same page that Charles Blow devoted to his Trayvon Martin and Black Lives Matter lies, the Times gave a platform to a completely false screed by a far-left shill, Emily Tamkin. Her topic: “How the American Right Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Russia.” It is the equivalent of libel. The American Right doesn’t “love Russia,” and it was Barack Obama who mocked Mitt Romney in their 2012 debate when the Republican pronounced Russia as the preeminent foreign threat to the U.S. Obama also snoozed when Putin took the Crimea. What evidence does Tamkin cite to justify her accusation? Let’s see:
- One pundit, Fox News’ slippery, “say whatever will up ratings” pundit Tucker Carlson, whose opinion on the Ukraine invasion is at odds with all of his conservative colleagues at Fox.
- J.D. Vance, the infinitely flexible anti-Trump/pro-Trump opportunist who is about as popular among conservatives as crotch rot
- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Oban, who, need I point out, isn’t an American
- Conservative pundit Rod Dreher, who stated that he did not want to go to war with Russia over Ukraine, hardly an expression of love, and, dumbest of all,
- Trump, who “praised” Putin last week by saying the Russian dictator is “smart.” Putin is smart, or was, or usually is when he isn’t invading sovereign nations. Based on the astounding degree of criticism Trump’s simple statement of fact has received, one can only assume that American leaders are obligated to call Putin “Poopy-pants,” or the equivalent. I don’t necessarily “love” those who I know are smart; I don’t even necessarily like them. Stalin was smart. Nikita Khrushchev was smart. Fidel Castro was smart. Ho Chi Minh was smart. Bill Clinton is smart. Newt Gingrich is smart.
- This one’s funny: Tamkin thinks the fact that a poll shows 62% of Republicans think Putin is a stronger leader than Joe Biden is evidence that the Right “loves” the Russian leaders. It’s only evidence that 38% of Republicans aren’t paying attention. Who isn’t a stronger leader than Joe? That’s a mighty low bar. If I loved everyone I thought could top Joe, I’d spend all day hugging strangers.
The column is incompetent, and would only be deemed worthy of publication to editors who have as much contempt for conservatives as the writer does.