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Can We Just Have the UN Institute a One-World Government and Be Over With It?

[ 174 ] November 1, 2013 |

Dumb upon dumb:

The Alamo will not fall under United Nations control if it is named a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Texas Land commission assured Texans on Wednesday, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

In a statement Wednesday Jerry Patterson, the Texas land commissioner, called rumors that the U.N. might manage the Alamo and other Spanish missions in Texas “horse hockey.”

“The people of Texas own the Alamo now and in the future. Nothing is going to change that,” Patterson said at a gun rights rally at the Alamo on Oct. 19.

George Rodriguez, former president of the San Antonio Tea Party, stirred up rumors in a piece titled ‘The New Battle of the Alamo.’

Rodriguez said Wednesday that he never stated that the U.N. would take control, but that he merely provided a “cautionary tale.”

“I’m just constantly saying ‘may’ or ‘might,’” he explained. “I’m never once saying that this is going to happen. We need to be aware.”

The two times I visited the Alamo went as follows.

1. I was driving to Houston. Stopped in San Antonio to check it out. Was after closing so I didn’t do the tour. But didn’t much care about that. I go up to the Alamo doors itself and there are all these irritated white people milling around. Some Latino guys totally decked out in Spurs gear head to foot are getting their pictures taken in front of the Alamo and the white people are wondering what they are doing and why they are taking so long. Turns out that someone’s mom and girlfriend or something was taking pictures of them flashing their gang signs in front of the Alamo and they wanted lots of pictures of doing this. Reconquista indeed. Of course none of the white people could figure out what they were doing. Then I turn around and walk toward the shops across the street. A bus comes past from a visiting Texas high school. The name emblazoned on the bus: “Hereford Whitefaces.” The nickname of the high school was indeed the Whitefaces. I understand this is partially related to the look of that particular brand of cattle. But in Texas, it’s not just that. Oh no. I walked away thinking this is the weirdest place I’ve ever been.

2. A few years later I was living in Texas. Was taking a historian friend around to various sites of public memory in central Texas. Went to the LBJ ranch, the monument commemorating all the Germans the Texas slaughtered for trying to flee to Mexico during the Civil War because they opposed slavery. Then went to the Alamo. There was some bizarre ceremony going on with some fraternal organization inducting new members or something. They had stands and everything. They introduced the six flags that have flown over the Alamo. No one cheered for the French flag (I’m unclear what right the French ever had over the region but whatever). There were a few claps for the Spanish. None for the Mexican flag. And then a whole lot for the Confederate flag. Only time I’ve ever seen the Confederate flag cheered for. Then we turn around to walk away and there’s a whole group of African-American Revolutionary War reenactors walking toward us. Huh? What the heck?

In any case, I don’t mind if the UN comes and conquers Texas or internationalizes the Alamo or whatever, so long as it remains the weirdest place in the United States.

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  1. cleter says:

    If you go to pretty much any Civil War battle re-enactment in the erstwhile Confederacy, there will be people cheering for the Confederate flag, particularly if it’s one the Confederates won. Go to the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Olustee in Florida sometime. Lots of cheering for the Confederacy there. LOTS of unseemly cheering when the US flag falls and the Union forces flee. It’s a weirdness that’s not confined to Texas.

    • Woodrowfan says:

      and then they go and cheer equally loud when some local republican claims that President Obama is “not a REAL American.”

      • rm says:

        I think the thesis of the pro-Confederate historiography that dominated in the early 20th century, along with narratives like “Birth of a Nation,” was that the Confederates were the real Americans and that the U.S. didn’t become the real America until after Reconstruction was stopped. I think right-wing Americans operate on the assumptions in that mythology.

    • Mudge says:

      Olustee was an interesting, and tragic, battle and consistent with the north-south battle naming nomenclature it was Olustee (the nearest town) to the south, like Manassas and Sharpsburg. The north called it Ocean Pond after the nearest body of water, like Bull Run and Antietam. The 54th Massachusetts (see the movie “Glory”) was there. The U.S. general had been routing Florida militia units for a while and was feeling good about himself, even though he himself had rather raw troops, but the Confederates had sent Colquitt’s brigade (which had fought at Seven Days, Antietam and Chancellorsville) to the area and the U.S.army was defeated.

      I do wonder if the re-enactment also details the mistreatment of the captured black soldiers. Even captured black officers were sent to Andersonville, up the road a ways. The Confederacy never legitimized them as officers. I also wonder if any black re-enactors exist or if it is a lily-white re-enactment of a battle involving lots of “colored” troops.

      • FLRealist says:

        There are black re-enactors who portray the 54th Mass at Olustee, but no, the re-enactment does not portray how the captives were treated after the battle. We’re re-enactors, and most people want to pretend that part of the war didn’t exist, except of course, for how the north treated their white prisoners.

        All in all, I’ve found re-enacting in Florida to be racist beneath the surface, and I take great enjoyment in bringing up touchy subjects around certain people.

        • Mudge says:

          Thanks. I happen to have an ancestor who was in the 28th Georgia at Olustee (he was a minor hero, it seems)and another who (sadly) was a guard at Andersonville. That battle is their strange convergence (aside from the fact that their grandchildren married)and has always interested me. I have been there, but not at re-enactment time.

    • John (not McCain) says:

      Do they still do the laser light show at Stone Mountain in Georgia that’s basically a long paean to the Confederacy and not the long Pink Floyd stoner fest I was expecting because of the words laser light show?

  2. RMC says:

    That’s odd that the French flag would be there, because I don’t recall the French ever being a big deal in that region, other than their abortive adventures in Mexico during the Civil War, and by then, Texas was “Texas”.

      • ajay says:

        Does it still count if they only colonised Texas by mistake and spent the next few years trying to find a way out?

      • NonyNony says:

        That is awesome.

        * The French accidentally build a settlement in the wrong place. Spend years looking for the Mississippi River, can’t find it and accidentally explore the Rio Grande instead.
        * The Spanish find out about the settlement and spend 3 years looking for it unsuccessfully because they’re afraid that it represents a long-term goal by the French to undermine their control of New Spain.
        * By the time the Spanish find it the entire colony is wiped out by a combination of poor management, internal infighting, and native attacks.

        It’s a perfect example of things that could never happen now and make the past such a foreign thing.

        Also – set it in space and it would make a great backdrop plot for a science fiction novel.

          • InnerPartisan says:

            Speaking of Texas and Lagrange points: When I finally get to make my big-budget Science Fiction movie, its’ opening scene shall be a spaceship docking to a huge station at L1 – with ZZ Top’s “La Grange” playing in the background.

            CALL ME NOW, HOLLYWOOD!

        • Where is my pop alternative history novel where Texas is still French? Maybe Napoleon hangs on to Louisiana and a New French State is created including Texas, Louisiana, and Quebec? The Russians and Japanese expel the British from Western North America and compete over Alaska, Western Canada, and the Pacific/Mountain US, and the US seizes Canada east of Quebec. The Germans, seeing them fall behind the rest of Europe in colonization, conquer India before the British get there. The British decide to instead conquer Africa but end up at war with the Ottomans, who are also at war with Mexico over Central America because they want in, too. China chooses this time to invade Russia and marches all the way to St. Petersberg before they’re repelled by a new Orthodox superstate that includes Greece, the Balkans, and the rump of Russia, which also manages to repel the Ottomans out of Anatolia altogether and declare a new Roman Empire in Constantinople. America invades New France as New Rome invades from the East, German India and China both invade Australia…

          Guys, this is great stuff. I’m putting it out there for the taking.

        • Warren Terra says:

          THe idea of a small and tragically misplaced French force essentially needing rescue from the hole they’ve dug themselves into has echoes (admittedly imperfect ones) in the Fashoda Incident.

  3. MacGyver says:

    Has anyone found the basement yet?

  4. Poor, poor, Area 51.

    Area 51, you’ve been, “UN”‘d.
    UNESCO and UN Agenda 21, have stolen your thunder – and your lightening, and your wind!

    Area 51 – once the focus of so much nuttery, now a mere broken peanut piece in a Snickers bar.

  5. ajay says:

    there’s a whole group of African-American Revolutionary War reenactors

    Were they pretending to be on the side that freed the slaves, or the one that kept them enslaved?

    • Erik Loomis says:

      They were definitely on the side of the ones who kept them enslaved. If they were dressed as Redcoats, that would have been kind of awesome.

      • Barry Freed says:

        Too bad, I was picturing them in Redcoats in tight formation with fixed bayonets at the charge.

      • Warren Terra says:

        They probably saw the Mel Gibson movie.

      • ajay says:

        For all you BSG fans, the real Colonel Tye

      • njorl says:

        Growing up in Philly during the bicentennial, there was a lot of re-enacting going on. One thing I learned, for the battle of Trenton, you definitely want to be a Hessian. You sit around the barracks eating Christmas dinner while Washington’s boys row boats across the Delaware in freezing weather.

        • steverino says:

          I was there– my Dad lived in South Philly, and I visited each summer. I was 13 the summer of ’76, and wandered around Independence Hall on the 4th. I was interested only to the extent that I recognized a few of the local news-folk. I find it curious these days that no one had any issues with me walking around the city at that age.

          I was also there for “Invincible”, but was a sports zero and paid no attention.

  6. JL says:

    My recent visit to the Alamo was disappointingly mundane compared to yours.

  7. Crunchy Frog says:

    C’mon already. FORGET the Alamo.

  8. rea says:

    I saw Hereford, Texas, the other day on a list of the stinkiest places in the country–very large population of cows, not so many people, and lots and lots of cow manure. “Whiteface” does indeed refer to the local breed of cow. Wikipedia tells us the town is 61% Hispanic, and only 1.76% African American. I suspect that the name was not intended to be a racial reference. The alternative local product reference, the Hereford Cow Patties, probably wouldn’t cut it.

    • InnerPartisan says:

      I’m terribly sorry, but “Whiteface” immediately made me think of this:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1bLXk6UVts

    • Erik Loomis says:

      That the town is 61% Latino in 2013 certainly doesn’t mean it was when that high school was named.

      • rea says:

        I don’t think Hispanics in the Texas panhandle are a recent development, to the extent anyone ever lived there at all. On the other hand, there has never been a lot of blacks there.

    • Adam says:

      Yeah, not going to defend racist Texans but Erik was a bit lazy in his efforts to again attack Texas. Couldn’t be bothered to even Wikipedia this or the French colonization of Texas.

      By the way, I have no doubt that in this case the failure to cheer for the French flag was cheese-eating surrender monkey related, but Texas-France tensions go back to Texas independence. See the French Legation and the Pig War.

      • Warren Terra says:

        Um, The Pig War (1) was more than 2,000 miles away; (2) had as its total casualties one pig; and (3) involved the british and the Americans (and in a cameo role the Germans) but not the French. I don’t think there were even any particularly hard feelings at the time, let alone lingering ones – I mean, seriously, read up on the Pig War: after some brief initial tensions the “hostilities” consisted of athletic competitions and dinner parties at the British and American military camps!

        • Adam says:

          Wrong Pig War. Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for it, you would need to look under the French Legation entry. Basically the French ambassador was angry at a neighbor because the neighbor’s pigs kept tearing up the ambassador’s residence so one day he killed a bunch of them. The neighbor and other townsfolk were not happy and assaulted the ambassador. Interestingly (now that I think about it), this is remarkably parallel to the incident prompting passage of the Alien Tort Statute in the US. Would curious to know the French/Texas reaction to the assault on the French ambassador.

      • Erik Loomis says:

        Where “effort” means “telling a story over breakfast.”

    • DrS says:

      According to the wikipedia (YMMV), the school was founded in 1889.

      It was declared “Academically Unacceptable” by the Texas Education Agency in 2011.

  9. AnnPW says:

    We do love our weirdness in Texas. I live in San Antonio, and we actually have a lot of better stuff to see than the Alamo, not least of which are the other 4 historic missions, and the hike/bike trail that connects them. Maybe we could let the UN have Sea World instead!

  10. Robert Farley says:

    Matt Stoller wrote a very sincere article about how right wing One World conspiracy theories were well founded. It was in Salon, so it must be true.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/elites_strange_plot_to_take_over_the_world/

    • Erik Loomis says:

      If there’s one person who deserves a regular column at a major publication it’s Matt Stoller.

      But hey, I’m sure the fact that he comes from an extremely elite family and went to the nation’s most elite college has nothing to do with it.

    • Johnson says:

      Matt Stoller wrote a very sincere article about how right wing One World conspiracy theories were well founded. It was in Salon, so it must be true.

      The problem is not whether it’s true or not.

      The problem is that the left doesn’t find the prospect of a one world government frightening.

      • cpinva says:

        “The problem is that the left doesn’t find the prospect of a one world government frightening.”

        why should I waste valuable time and energy, being frightened over something that’s never going to happen, except in the “minds” of right-wing conspiracy theorists?

        • advocatethis says:

          And that somehow captures a good deal of the dichotomy between left and right. The right gets all hot and bothered over threats and problems that don’t exist, while ignoring those that do.

          Of course, the right probably thinks the same about the left.

          Of course, too, they’re wrong.

      • Malaclypse says:

        Indeed – the world would be a far better place if more people lived in fear of things that won’t ever happen. Why can’t more people piss their pants in fear of imaginary bogeymen?

      • Hogan says:

        We don’t wet our pants over it, so it’s actually less of a problem for us than it is for you.

      • sharculese says:

        If I spent half the energy you seem to being frighted of specious bullshit I can’t imagine I would ever get anything done.

  11. [...] banging my head against the wall The two times I visited the Alamo went as [...]

  12. Anthony says:

    I prefer to think of Texas as the 5th Military District. Let’s hope we can find the likes of Gen. Sheridan when the time comes.

  13. Emily says:

    My first visit to the Alamo was in ~1956 and I was 6 years old. Davey Crockett was the man of the hour. I thought the Alamo was pretty cool on that trip.

    I revisited the Alamo when I went to a conference in 2000 or so. I was impressed by the fresh flowers laid there in tribute to the guys who died there. I thought to myself how much this was a church and Alamoism was their religion.

  14. N__B says:

    I firmly believe that any Texan who truly wants to be slaughtered at the Alamo should have that right. Other Texans will simply have to accept being out-Texanned.

  15. TribalistMeathead says:

    Only time I’ve ever seen the Confederate flag cheered for.

    If you didn’t enjoy the experience, may I suggest you never attend the laser show at Stone Mountain.

  16. Lurker says:

    The fun thing here is that Alamo doesn’t really fit any of the selection criteria. It is definitely not a “natural” landmark and despite its significance to US history, it is not really a historical site either, in the meaning of the World Heritage treaty. It should fulfil one of these criteria:

    (i) “represents a masterpiece of human creative genius”
    (ii) “exhibits an important interchange of human values, over a span of time, or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning, or landscape design”
    (iii) “bears a unique or exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared”
    (iv) “is an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural, or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history”
    (v) “is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture, or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change”
    (vi) “is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance”

    Alamo is a site of a minor battle. As mentioned above, it might qualify as (v), but I do not think it qualifies under (vi). Section (vi) has been used for places which have either religious significance to a popular religion or are associated with internationally recognised secular ideals. Independence Hall, Statue of Liberty and University of Virginia are World Heritage Sites with this basis. And rightly so. The US revolution and the ideals of freedom that these places stand for are, indeed, universally important.

    I really can’t understand what is the “ideal of outstanding universal significance” that would be associated with Alamo. Having slaves and robbing other people of their possessions, perhaps?

    Personally, I live near a World Heritage Site. It hasn’t disturbed my sleep. I’ve seen no blue-helmeted UN troops and the designation brings in some tourism, too.

    • Warren Terra says:

      Surely the century-and-a-half of bullsh!t that has been piled upon the events of 1836 amounts to “a masterpiece of human creative genius”?

    • Hogan says:

      I really can’t understand what is the “ideal of outstanding universal significance” that would be associated with Alamo.

      Not being Mexican?

    • Erik Loomis says:

      The other missions are certainly worthy though. Take out the Texas weirdness and you are looking at artifacts representing the edge of a enormous empire.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. There should absolutely be a Spanish mission on the World Heritage list. Whether it should be Alamo is doubtful.

      • etv13 says:

        Wouldn’t the California missions be closer to the edge than ones in Texas?

        • Erik Loomis says:

          Given that they are all accessible by water (or very close), no.

          • etv13 says:

            By that standard, which I think underestimates the difficulties of sailing around Cape Horn (or through the Straits of Magellan), the edge would be somewhere like Santa Fe, NM.

            • Erik Loomis says:

              No, because the Camino Real was a well-trodden path with connections for 150 years. Texas was brand new territory with the path developed during a period of much greater Spanish weakness.

              Plus, the meaningful power center was not Madrid to these places. It was from Mexico City.

              • etv13 says:

                You’re changing the standard. Do you want to go with “accessible by water,” or accessible by “a well-trodden path” linking it to Mexico City? And why was Texas, with miles and miles of seacoast fronting on the Gulf of Mexico, such inaccessible brand new territory for people who’d been sailing around the Carribbean since the late fifteenth century?

              • etv13 says:

                Also, the California missions are newer than the Texas ones (i.e., “developed during a period of much greater Spanish weakness”), so if that’s your standard, then the California missions are the ones on the edge. Or maybe the edge is in the Phillipines, but it certainly isn’t in Texas.

    • Baby Needs-A-Nym says:

      If you look at the UNESCO site, the US is actually massively underrepresented when it comes to World Heritage sites. I wouldn’t say that the Alamo is the best place to add to the list next, but there are an awful lot of sites commemorating locations of mostly local significance in other countries.

      • Erik Loomis says:

        Yeah, there was a big push to include US sites early in the process, but it’s been years and I don’t really know why.

        • Warren Terra says:

          Two obvious things come to mind as candidates:
          1) Hostility to the UN. Witness for example the froofraw that resulted when the Alamo got UNESCO World Heritage Status, you may have heard of it.
          2) Lack of perceived need – we’re big, we’re rich, we aren’t that interested in world opinion, and we have a decent National Historic Monument program that does the same job to Americans UNESCO does to the world. Other countries, especially smaller or poorer ones, are more interested in advertising to the world, and may have less robust intranational monument preservation movements.

          • Aimai says:

            Ive been to at least three wirld heritage sites: bath (england) , the amber fort in india, and cappadocia in turkey. The alamo has nothing on them.

            • Lee Rudolph says:

              The petroglyphs at Val Camonica, particularly the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic ones, are amazing. Contemporaneous records—scratched in stones—of the domestication of the dog, the invention of the local form of wooden house, and (near the end) the introduction of metallic weaponry.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. Even some relatively new buildings should be added as World Heritage Sites. For example, Empire State Building is one of the most important buildings of the 20th century.

        However, about the “regional” significance. The whole idea is equality between cultures. Thus, the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge and similarly neolithic, almost unknown Sammallahdenmäki are alk on the list. They are each the representatives of the originating cultures that are equally important expressions of the human spirit.

  17. Calming Influence says:

    “Only time I’ve ever seen the Confederate flag cheered for. Then we turn around to walk away and there’s a whole group of African-American Revolutionary War reenactors walking toward us. Huh? What the heck?”

    That scene makes more sense if you picture the reenactors carrying live ammunition.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m opposed to making the Alamo a UNESCO site just because I’d be happy to see it torn down; all historical importance it might have had has now been lost as it has become a monument to Texan treason in defense of slavery. Viva Mexico, viva Hidalgo, viva la reconquista.

  19. Karen says:

    There are some interestingwomen associated with Alamo history.

  20. Karen says:

    And there was a space between links up there. Cruc. The two women are Clara Driscoll and Adina Emilia de Zavala.

  21. timb says:

    I will say that one gets weird looks in the Alamo when one mentions that the Texans seceded (in large part) over slavery. Freedom my ass

    • rea says:

      In contrast to the Confederacy, it was a bit more complicated than that. Santa Anna was a murderous, dictatorial would-be Napoleon–his subsequent role in the invention of chewing gum does not redeeem him. Secession movements sprung up all across Mexico–I don’t think the Republic of the Yucatan or the Republic of the Rio Grande (on the other side of the river)or the secession of Zacatecas were motivated by slavery.

  22. etv13 says:

    On my first, and only, visit to the Alamo in 1976, I found it very frustrating because there were all these plaques that said things like “Davy Crockett did X here,” and nothing at all to explain what he or anyone else was doing at the Alamo in the first place. It was like the whole setup was designed exclusively for die-hard Alamo fans who knew all about what happened there, and just wanted to see the place where those things happened for real.

  23. jkay says:

    I’ve made it through Fehrenbach’s too massive Texas history. It was too annoying alot, but worth it. Maybe most interesting to me was that Plains horse tribes owned the Plains, including TX, centuries after the horse’ introduction until Colt’s revolver because they shot slower than Plains horsemen because of massive archery practice.

    But wasn’t rea right and the radically mean and oppressive CAUDILLO Santa Anna the biggest reason for the Rebellion, though yeah, slavery was sadly too part of it? He IMHO, was their Shrub – he had an amazingly oppressive and stupid career for one able last so long in power – he might’ve well have been on the Texan or US sides, for he did more damage to his own side than 1000 enemy.

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