Category Archives: Uncategorized

Today in Texas History – January 22

From the Annals of the Speculators –  In 1883, the “Fifty Cent Act” was removed from Texas law.  The FCA had been in effect for just over four years and provided for selling off Texas public land at the bargain basement price of fifty cents an acre.  Half of the sales proceeds were to be used to pay down the public debt and the other half to establish a permanent school fund. The FCA applied to lands in over fifty Texas counties resulting in the sale of 3,201,283 acres for $1,600,641.55. The FCA Act was repealed due to abuse and fraudulent land speculation.

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The Real Humanitarian and National Security Crisis – Children Killed by Guns

As Individual 1 promotes his “Wall” as the solution to a “growing humanitarian crisis” on the southern border, a real crisis is completely ignored by the Trumpian Party (f/k/a the GOP).  The Houston Chronicle reports that since the beginning of 2018, 23 children in the Houston area have been killed by guns.  Of those 23, at least 7 were accidental shootings resulting primarily from unsecured guns in households.  Others were the result of intentional shootings either directed at the kids or who were killed when someone else was targeted.  Red personally knows of several children who have been accidentally killed by guns left unsecured by adults who should have known better.  Is the price of freedom, the death of children?  Must the tree of liberty be watered with the blood of innocents?  The Second Amendment absolutists apparently find this to be so.

Today in Texas History – January 18

From the Annals of the Revolution –  In 1836, Jim Bowie arrived at the Alamo in San Antonio.  Bowie was notorious as an Indian fighter, duelist and land speculator.  He was actually involved in one of the largest attempted land swindles in U.S. history in Louisiana, but was never able to complete the scheme.  He was not only a slave owner and trader, but a slave smuggler as well with a scheme that made him rich off of smuggling, buying and selling slaves.  After coming to Texas, he renounced his U.S. citizenship, became a Mexican citizen and married into the influential Veramendi family of San Antonio.

He arrived at the Alamo with about 30 volunteers and initially was of the mind that the crumbling mission was indefensible against the Mexican Army on the march.  He later became convinced that San Antonio must be held at all costs – most likely by the commander James Neill.  One of his cadre, James Bonham circulated a resolution decreeing that The Alamo must be held and Bowie signed it.  It would be his death warrant along with the other defenders of The Alamo.

Red’s NFL Picks 2018(sort of) – Division Championships

After going 0-4 on Wildcard Weekend, Uncle Red decided to skip the poorly named Divisional Round but would probably have gone 3-1 (picking the Chargers foolishly) if he had bothered.  But he didn’t – so no countee!  But today is a bit slow and Red is a bit down in the mouth and what better time could there be to make some more foolish choices and almost cap off a season of sub-mediocrity in the prognostication game.

AFC Championship –  Chiefs over Patriots.  How can the Pats have possibly played in 8 consecutive AFC Championship games?  The odds of that happening in the modern NFL are pretty low – given “parity”, injuries, the odd bounce of the ball and bad calls.  But they have done it – so a tip of the ancient sombrero to Bellicheat and gang who call it up year after year after year after year . . . shampoo, rinse, repeat.  But notably, the Pats have only won 2 NFL Championships during that run and both of those were very close calls in which the opposition essentially self-destructed (Pete the Cheat’s absurd call on the goal line that kept the Seahawks from winning in the 2014 playoffs and the Falcons total meltdown to lose in OT after 2017 season.   Is there any real reason to pick against the Pats here?  Probably not.  The offense was absurdly efficient in destroying the Chargers last week.  Here is the one glitch in Perfect Pats Playoff Performance.  They haven’t won a road playoff game since 2007 and the only time they have won the AFC title game on the road in the B&B era is when they played at Pittsburgh in 2001 and 2004 playoffs.  First, no wonder Stealer fans have a special place in Hell reserved for the Pats.  And second that is, of course, ancient history in the NFL scheme of things.  However, more recent history does not look that great for the Pats.  They were 3-5 on the road this season and all 5 road losses were to non-playoff teams.   Bad weather will probably mean nothing to the Pats and will more likely impact the Chiefs wild offensive scheme.  The latest forecast seems to have the precipitation moved out by Sunday – but with brutally cold (below 10F) temperatures.

As for the Chiefs, they were Red’s preseason pick to win it all and he certainly is not going back on that call.  Mahomes is almost certain to win the MVP in his second season.  He is playing with confidence.  Even after the wild 43-40 loss to the Patriots in the regular season, it seemed to Red that the Chiefs were walking off the field thinking “Yeah, we can play with these guys” while the Pats looked like “What the hell just happened and how did we win that one?”  The Chiefs simply have to score early and often before the Pats defense makes the inevitable in-game adjustments.   And maybe just maybe the Chiefs defense is playing with some confidence after ass-whomping the Colts last week.  All in all it adds up to Red picking Kansas City 31 New England 24.

NFC Championship Game – Saints over Rams.  No weather worries here.  Saints have huge homefield advantage in the Superdome with a rabid Saints crowd.  If you haven’t been to a Saints game, you just really cannot appreciate how crazy that scene is for a big game. Yes, the Saints have looked vulnerable at times this season – losing to the Cowboys doesn’t seem quite as bad as it did at the time and the opening game loss to the Buccaneers seems darn near inexplicable now (the season-ending loss to the Panthers was meaningless).  But other than a few such glitches the Saints have been about the most consistent team in the league.

Meanwhile, the Rams only lost to the Saints, Bears and Eagles (all playoff teams) and they won the wild shoot-out with the Chiefs in week 11.  They clearly can play with anyone.  This just might be the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.  And of course you ask – what was the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.  Well, actually it’s a tie between the Chargers 41-38 win over the Bengals in 1981 and the Bills 41-38 win over the Oilers in 1992 (the game  which made Red never really care about the outcome of another game after that).  Both were overtime games won by a field goal obviously.  Red is not predicting OT here, just massive amounts of yardage gained and goal lines crossed.  Brees and Goff both have so many weapons at their disposal.  On defense, the Rams gave up 30 or more points seven times and more than 40 points twice.  Meanwhile, the Saints gave up more than 30 only four times and those included  the inexplicable (Bucs) and the meaningless (Panthers) losses of the season.  Given all of this, Red is calling for a “Don’t miss a minute of this one because you might miss out on 3 scores” doozy of a game.  New Orleans 45 Los Angeles 38.   

Today in Texas History – January 15

From the Annals of the Highways –  In 1841, the Houston and Austin Turnpike Company was chartered. The plan was to lay out a road from Austin to Houston.   The charter allowed the HATC to charge tolls provided that toll gates be located at least forty miles apart. The work was to start within twelve months and be completed in five years. The road was planned to start at Houston, cross the Brazos River within five miles of San Felipe de Austin, and to continue from there to Austin on a route to be selected.  Nothing came of the HATC and it was followed by the chartering of another 50 failed attempts between 1841 and 1905.

Considering how long it took the state to make Hwy 71 a four-lane divided highway running from Columbus to Austin, Red is not surprised at the repeated failures.  Red reckons that it took almost 30 years for that project to be completed and he is still amazed that there is not a controlled access freeway accessing Austin from the east.

Today in Texas History – January 14

Fort Hood, TX, Postcard on eBay | eWillys

From the Annals of the U.S. Army – In 1942, Camp Hood near Killeen was activated as a temporary camp in preparation for active operations in World War II.  The temporary camp, was named for Confederate general John Bell Hood.  The Army initially acquired about 180,000 acres, and it was estimated that the camp would cost $22.8 million for the land, facilities, and development of utilities. The date of completion was set for 15 August 1942.   Almost 300 families were displaced by the acquisition. The communities of Clear Creek, Elijah and Antelope were demolished during construction.  The base was designed with large open spaces for the training of mobile anti-tank units to be deployed in Europe and elsewhere.

Fort Hood is now one of the largest military installations in the world in terms of size and the number of Army and civilian personnel stationed at the site. Fort Hood had a total population of 53,416 as of the 2010 U.S. Census making it the most populous U.S> military installation in the world. Fort Hood covers 214,000 acres making it one of the largest military bases in the world by area.

Quote for the Day

“The Bible says even Heaven itself is going to have a wall around it. Not everybody is going to be allowed in. So if walls are immoral, then God is immoral.”

Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas – chief Trump apologist, war monger, moral hypocrite and now expert on heavenly construction.

Red knows one thing – if Jeffress is going to be in heaven, he wants no part of it.