Silencing journalists and scholars, chasing dissent from the public square, distorting history to serve an ideological narrative — it’s the stuff of autocrats and, now, the reprehensible behavior of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Texans of all stripes should be deeply troubled by Patrick’s announcement last week that he used his authority, as the state’s No. 2 elected official, to cancel a virtual panel discussion he didn’t like at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, a public institution supported in part by taxpayer dollars.

The topic was a new book about the Alamo, but that is beside the point. It’s not the lieutenant governor’s job to decide which ideas can be shared and debated at a public forum. It’s not his job to tell Texans what to think.

The book at the heart of this controversy, “Forget the Alamo,” casts a critical eye on Texas’ founding fathers, suggesting their desire to keep slaves helped fuel their push for independence from Mexico, which opposed slavery. That account — supported by decades of scholarship, largely by Latino historians whose work deserves greater public recognition — runs counter to the simplistic tale that generations of Texas students have learned in school, the story celebrating the white heroes of the Alamo while largely ignoring the contributions of Tejano allies and the thorny role of slavery.

The well-documented book is not, as Patrick alleged on Twitter, a “fact-free rewriting of TX history.” And it’s not solely about history. The book by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford also probes the present-day politics around the storytelling of the Alamo, suggesting Patrick used “manufactured outrage” over the Alamo restoration plan to undercut Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whom he viewed as a political rival.

Patrick’s push to cancel the book discussion went beyond preserving an idealized narrative of Texas’ founding fathers. It silenced an examination of Patrick’s own efforts to capitalize on that narrative — efforts that could cost Texas taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars if Patrick follows through on his pledge for sizable state funding for an Alamo museum, housing what the book’s authors argue is a collection of Alamo memorabilia of dubious authenticity.

For months now we’ve heard Republican gripes about “cancel culture,” a catchall condemnation for everything from the repackaging of Mr. Potato Head to the efforts by social media companies to reduce the spread of conspiracy theories on their private platforms. Simmering with faux outrage, Republicans have appeared on TV, penned guest columns and fired off fundraising emails — absurdly complaining to the masses that they were being muzzled.

But what Patrick gave us last week was a textbook case of real censorship, a clear case of the government stifling free speech. Patrick abused his authority as a member of the State Preservation Board to cancel an event at a public institution because he disagreed with the message. The only silver lining is that Patrick’s effort backfired spectacularly, drawing national attention to the topic and driving book sales through the roof. The publisher, according to one of the authors, has ordered two more printings.

Forget, for a moment, the Alamo. Remember, instead, the First Amendment. Remember that it was the first enumeration of Americans’ protected rights for a reason: The free exchange of ideas, even difficult or unpopular ones, is the oxygen that keeps democracy alive. We cannot govern ourselves if our government leaders dictate what’s fact and what’s not, what can be discussed and what’s forbidden.

And yet our state leaders keep trying. Last month Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill creating the “1836 Project,” a thinly disguised propaganda campaign about “why Texas became so exceptional in the first place.” He also signed a bill limiting the ways that race and current events can be discussed in public schools, tapping into the ginned-up debate over critical race theory — a topic he’s urged lawmakers to revisit in the special session, alongside the supposed censorship of conservatives on social media.

Abbott and GOP lawmakers have repeatedly tried to curtail an honest, nuanced examination of our state’s history, opting for indoctrination over discourse. This, on top of a barrage of bills last session in which the Legislature tried to dictate a range of decisions, from personal medical care to police funding levels, that Texans and local communities should be free to make for themselves.

Enough already. Patrick is free to disagree with the authors of any book. Better yet, he’s free to challenge the authors to explain and defend their findings. Either way, Texans deserve to have the discussion. The lieutenant governor had no right to shut it down.

• The Austin American-Statesman editorial board

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(69) comments

Gary Scoggin

Dan Patrick is the most dangerous politician in the history of Texas.

Carlos Ponce

Unsubstantiated hyperbole.

Gary Scoggin

Ok, I'll remove the hyperbole. Dan Patrick is one of the top five most dangerous politicians in the history of Texas. I just can't name the other four off the top of my head.

Carlos Ponce

More hyperbole.

Jim Forsythe

Patrick was born Dannie Scott Goeb.

Carlos Ponce

That's okay. Jim doesn't use his birth name either.

Bailey Jones

And Texas Republicans rise and shout "amen"! Patrick is perfectly at home - and perfectly welcome - in the Party of Trump. Looking forward to Allen West joining this circus.

Ted Gillis

Dan Patrick is from Pennsylvania. He has little to do with Texas history, and should step aside from any such discussions.

Michael Jozwiak

Carlos challenges the very reputable Austin American Statesman? Really? The very nerve. The very mark of a tRumpster promoting The Big Lie. What does he do all day but pick on people. Dan Patrick was a bad sportscaster too.

Bill Broussard

As this debate continues, I can hardly wait for Carlos to jump in noting one of the three authors are known ( only to Carlos usually) Antifa and the other two were videotaped at the LaMarque BLM protest

The Antifa author was also seen egging the protestors on at the Capitol yelling “Remember the Alamo!”

Bill Broussard

The Texas Monthly of two months ago has a very well done article documenting Patrick’s full scale assault on Bush and the Alamo restoration when Patrick suspected Bush would run for Lt Governor. It was not until Bush figured it out and walked down the hall to tell Patrick he had every intent to run for attorney general did the multi-pronged attack to defund the restoration and publicly embarrass Bush did the assaults stop. Read it if you can to see just how bad things are in Austin. And of course, as of this week thanks to University of Texas researchers, we now know that ERCOT paid pipeline companies and gas producers to shut down operations to power generation units during the freeze as the body count continues to rise the week-now over 210

Carlos Ponce

Austin American Statesman used to be reputable.

Charles Douglas

Ahhhhh these Radical African-American using Liberals! Where is my 40 Acres and Old broken down mule? Huh? [ promise not kept ] Forget about the Slaves!!! Where is my REPARATIONS [ promise not kept ] the DEMS promised Big Al Sharpton if he, Jim Clyburn, & others would help decieve Blacks to vote Democrat? Ahhhhhh! Another question is where is that BLACK LOVE NOW that the big lie worked? Lolololo, Ahhhhhhhhh!

Forget about weather Bowie, Travis, or Crockett had Slaves! Where is my paper! Answer that! Let those Slaves rest!!!!! Work on getting my paper to me! I am tired of hearing about SLAVES every minute of the day! What good is that doing African-Americans on the streets? Let's talk about better schools, school vouchers, school choice, & NOT how racist GOD made WHITE KIDS! or how inferior GOD made MINORITY kids. Want to? Lolo.

Those SLAVE don't give a "RIP" about what is going on back here, they are dancing around the throne of GOD, praising Him! Think about that while yall are getting my paper... yall's leaders swore on TV they would come up with when they bowed down and kissed the hand of Big Al Sharpton ......ON national TV!!!!!!!!!!!! Lololo. What's racist next? What are we going destroy next behind slavery? Mount Rushmore becuase at least two of the men up there own Slaves? If yall are not going to do that then leave Davy Crockett'nem alone and concentrate on my money!!!!!!!!! Lolo. [beam]

Charles Douglas

Joe China, has asked they United Nations to send a team to investigate the violation of human rights in this nation like we are a third world nation who are destitute and in bad shape! This country now makes me think about a plane in the sky soaring with a mechanical problem ...now nose diving to the earth to be destroyed on impact, because of Socialism, Race Division, Power Grabbing! It is Sic-Ny-Fying!

Ron Binkley

Dan Patrick is the most dangerous politician in the history of Texas........Don't forget about that criminal Ken Paxton!!

Dan Freeman

Texas has had several dangerous politicians: Governor Edward Clark presided over the disastrous secession. Other Texas political crooks include Tom DeLay, Waggoner Car, John Osoria, Gus Mutscher, and Governor Preston Smith. Who can forget Ma and Pa Ferugson?

Carlos Ponce

You left off the Duke of Duval County, George Parr, the Democrats of Fort Bend County who stated their party primaries were for "whites only". I would add Robert NO'Rourke for threatening to take legal firearms from individuals.

Gary Scoggin

The difference is that George Parr was a crooked machine-politician who was mainly about gaining power and enriching his family. Patrick is more dangerous. He's a zealot determined to impose his own narrow view of the Bible on all of us who are less pious. Crooks can make a deal if the money is right. There is not compromising with zealots.

That's what Paxton is less dangerous than Patrick. Paxton is just a crook and all crooks have a price.

Carlos Ponce

More hyperbole. If Dan Patrick was a Democrat, Gary Scoggin would accept him.

Bill Broussard

Gary. As predictable Carlos below lays the blame on you for having your view and clearly can read your thoughts as well. Stupid and arrogant equals dangerous. I guess you can take that equation and apply it to Patrick or Carlos for that matter

When I grew up in the 50’s, a crook and sleaze was simply that absent any attribution to party or ideology. But as the arrests and sentencing roll out and the perps who stormed the Capitol are identified and confess stupid and arrogant does seem to be a common thread in addition to MAGA hats and shirts

That leaves Carlos with not much to hang on to except reading your mind and not paying his debts

Carlos Ponce

"Stupid and arrogant equals dangerous. " Looks like Bill Broussard just threw a lot of Democrats under the bus.

Jim Forsythe

The list is long as who is/was the most dangerous politician.

Patrick, Paxton, Tom DeLay, Waggoner Car, John Osoria, Gus Mutscher, Preston Smith, Ma and Pa Ferugson.

Even though he was not a politician, when talking about bad, people are compared to Louis "Moses" Rose to their badness.

In this case, Patrick, Paxton belong on the same list as Louis "Moses" Rose.

When all the ERCOT problems are understood, as to what happened, and who was at fault, Gov. Greg Abbott may have a place on the list.

Threatening to do something. does not even place a person on the top 100 list.

Carlos Ponce

Looks like Jim Forsythe is frightened by Patrick and Paxton......

Bill Broussard

Carlos. Everything looks different to folks with myopia. Get your eyes checked or—even better—go play in traffic then report back to us on what it looks like

Carlos Ponce

Bill Broussard - AFTER YOU......

Jim Forsythe

Robert O'Rourke for threatening to take legal firearms from individuals.

Threatening to do something. does not even place a person on the top 100 list.

Carlos Ponce

He's on my list. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!!!!!

Bailey Jones

Jim: Wow - Preston Smith is a name I haven't heard in a while. When I was a kid my dad was an ardent letter writer. He corresponded with Smith so often they got on a first name basis. I still remember those Dear Preston / Dear Bailey letters.

Jim Forsythe

Bailey, Texas has had many colorful characters. Aylett ‘Strap’ Buckner, W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel, Texas Guinan, Judge Roy Bean, Emily West, known as The Yellow Rose of Texas, Stanley Marsh 3, Lone Wolf Gonzaullas, Bet-a-Million Gates, Miss Jessie.

Texas has had many, that lives will forever be part of our history. Some of what they will be know for may be execrated, but makes for many good stories.

But the politicians' are the ones that make the best stories.

Gary Scoggin

Preston Smith lived two doors down from my grandfather in Lubbock. On the night he lost the primary to Dolph Briscoe, there was a big party at his house. It had pretty much broken up by 9:00. We saw him on our way to church the next morning, riding in the back seat of his car, head in hands. I was in junior high; it was my introduction to Texas Politics.

I don't think he played a role in the big scandals of his day - Sharpstown, Ben Barnes, come to mind - it was more of an issue of him allowing it to happen rather than acting as a participant But voters were ready to clean house, so they elected the guy who at the time was the largest private landownder in Texas - Dolph Briscoe. Briscoe, was the last governor, and one of the last potiticians, to win a major statewide race whose power base was outside the San Antonio-Dallas-Houston triangle.

Interestingly, he is the reason that Tech got both a law school and a medical school so he'll always be a hero in Lubbock.

.

Bailey Jones

I never knew he went to Tech until today.

Gary Scoggin

To be clear, Preston Smith went to Tech and was the reason for the law and medical schools, not Briscoe.

Ron Smith

Someone might want to actually read the sources that these revisionists used to write this trash. It is not a well documented book.

Carlos Ponce

It's written for a Critical race theory audience-a few facts twisted to reflect current Liberal dogma. Twist the truth, cite Liberal source material with more dogma in it than fact and you've got the basis of this book.

Bill Broussard

We don’t have to look any farther than Texas and the sell out of our power grid to see the below in all too close reality

A former Trump administration official is calling the Republican Party the “No. 1 national security threat."

Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official, made the comment during a Thursday interview.

“I’ve spent my whole career not as a political operative. I’ve never worked on a campaign in my life other than campaigning against Trump. I’m a national security guy. I’ve worked in national security against ISIS, al Qaeda and Russia,” Taylor said.

“And the No. 1 national security threat I’ve ever seen in my life to this country’s democracy is the party that I’m in — the Republican Party. It is the No. 1 security national security threat to the United States of America,” he said

Carlos Ponce

"I’m in — the Republican Party" Oh yes, he contributed to Barack Obama's campaign in 2008. He can call himself whatever he wants. Republican? I'm not buying it.

Jim Forsythe

Bill, it is starting to be clear to most people, that Trump has no hope of overturning the election. It is also becoming clear that a lot of GOP will not support him in 2024.

I'm sure that someone will post how Trump is almost back in office, all we have to do is wait.

Jack Sellers, a Republican who chairs the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, criticized the briefing by Cyber Ninjas to Arizona state senators on Thursday, saying the company conducting an audit of his county's 2020 election results shared numbers that are "simply not accurate."

Former Attorney General William Barr asserted last December that there is "no evidence" to substantiate the claims that Biden won through widespread voter fraud. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security described the 2020 election as the "most secure in American history." The agency, which was led by a Trump appointee at the time, asserted that there was "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Carlos Ponce

And Jim digs even deeper.

Charles Douglas

...And if he is a Republican and serving in the biggest threat to our security, that makes him the biggest, outrageously stupid fool of all time! If I don't believe in somebody or something, I won't have a thing to do with them, but that's just me! Now I hear that the NFL is going to play the BLACK National Anthem before football games.

What happened to OUR other Anthem? I have Hispanics in my family, are we going to play the Hispanic Anthem too? I'm not saying....but I'm just saying! Division is all I see happening in this nation since China Joe and Cackling Kamala took over! They are dividing everybody, our kids, our military, and now they want to change the Anthem and the flag!

My BLACK Cubans Brothers and Brothers from Haiti can't migrate here but my Black Bothers from South America are ushered in, fed, given tickets, added to the list of potential citizens and everything! I feels sorry for anybody who cannot see this country is going to the dogs! It is not that hard to do what is right in God's eyes, rather than to serve a HELL going DEVIL who wants to take us with him!

Jim Forsythe

Gary, great story about Texas and how politics work in the state.

I forgot about one of the all-time unforgivable social gaffes, made by Clayton Williams, "Victims of Rape Should "Relax and Enjoy It"

Bill Broussard

Carlos. The only digging on this blog is you trying to get from under the bus tires. Frankly you’re boorish. Jim have a good weekend

Carlos Ponce

Not under the bus tires. I'm the driver![beam]

Gary Scoggin

Carlos, you really need to grow up. Your comments are quite immature.

Carlos Ponce

Just writing at the level for a projected audience like you.

Jim Forsythe

You to Bill.

Ted Gillis

Another big time gaffe was when Bill Clements commented that the Xtoc oil spill in the Gulf from one of his company's rigs in 1979, was "much to do about nothing".

Carlos Ponce

The phrase "much to do about nothing" was referring to media reports which were discouraging tourists to visit Texas beaches.

"Clements said when he visited the Texas coast last month, damage to the beaches was not substantial and blamed the news media for driving away tourists. He said media reports amounted to 'much to do about nothing'."

The Galveston Daily News Page 6B Thursday Morning August 30, 1979

The Ixtoc rig was owned by Clement's SEDCO leased and operated to Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) which is owned by the country of Mexico. "Pemex spent $100 million to clean up the spill and avoided most compensation claims by asserting sovereign immunity as a state-run company." WIKI from Reuters report

Jim Forsythe

Ted, you are right. Clements was trying to protect his company with his commits. The huge blowout devastated local economies reliant on beach tourism.

I remember that was the year that you need disposable foot wear, if you went on the beach. If you went barefooted, clean up was required after leaving the beach.

Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well operated on behalf of Mexico's national petroleum company, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The well was being drilled by a SEDCO-owned rig, which suffered a catastrophic blowout on June 3, 1979, causing one of the largest oil spills in history. After touring Texas beaches near Port Aransas in August of that year, Governor Clements downplayed reports of the spill's potential impact on his state as "a big to-do about nothing." But when oil slicks washed up on the Texas coast two weeks later—devastating local economies reliant on beach tourism—the public quickly turned on Clements. The Governor was questioned constantly as to whether his relationship with SEDCO was guiding his seemingly passive response to the spill—a charged he vehemently denied. In a move seemingly calculated to further provoke Clements, Mark White (then serving as Texas Attorney General) criticized what he characterized as an anemic response by the state, and threatened to sue the country of Mexico for property damage. The Ixtoc I well was finally capped in March of 1980 after spilling an estimated 3 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Carlos Ponce

Jim, do you remember 1979? Seems like you've taken a few facts and ad libbed. The rig was owned by SEDCO but LEASED to PEMEX. PEMEX paid for the cleanup, not SEDCO. PEMEX was exploratory drilling, not SEDCO.

Texas beaches weren't as badly hit as Mexican beaches like at Rancho Nuevo, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. It took TWO MONTHS for the oil to reach Texas. In that time skimmers and booms were in place on the Brazos-Santiago Pass, Port Mansfield Channel, Aransas Pass, and Cedar Bayou.

Jim Forsythe

The Ixtoc rig was owned by Clement's SEDCO leased and operated

Carlos Ponce

PEMEX leased it, PEMEX operated it. PEMEX paid the price for the spill.

Jim Forsythe

The Decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in the matter of the complaint of SEDCO, Inc., dated March 30, 1982 appears at 21 I.L.M. 318 (1982).][On March 22, 1983, SEDCO, Inc. also agreed to pay $2.14 million to settle four lawsuits filed by fishermen, resorts and others affected by the oil spill

Carlos Ponce

2.14 million paid by PEMEX as opposed to 2.14 million by Sedco. Litigation costs would have cost more so they settled. A god day for the lawyers.[rolleyes]

Carlos Ponce

A good day for the lawyers.

Carlos Ponce

Correction: 100 million paid by PEMEX as opposed to 2.14 million by Sedco. Litigation costs would have cost more so they settled. A good day for the lawyers.

Gary Scoggin

I don't know what happened in Ixtoc 1, that was over 40 years ago and Bill Clements has been dead ten years. And today's R's and D's are much different than they were in late 70's so any specific parallels to today are pretty worthless..

But for the benefit of those following along and willing to accept facts, in incidents like Ixtoc 1, Deepwater Horizon and other drilling related disasters, liabilities can flow to both the operator (i.e., PEMEX, BP) and the Drilling Contractor (SEDCO, Transocean). It depends a lot on who screwed up. For example, in the Deepwater Horizon, BP oversaw the well construction and the logging processes - things which could have prevented the blowout. Transocean was responsible for the proper operation ot the blowout preventer (which failed) which would have also prevented the blowout and subequent release of oil.

The way things work, BP was more responsible than Transocean - after all, BP owned the oil that spilled. That's why, after a negotiated settlement, BP payed about 90% of the fines and clean up costs and Transocean about 10%. The point here is that the operator is not automatically responsible and that liability is often shared.

What happened during the Carter Administration with SEDCO and PEMEX I have no idea but each case is different and it's silly to categorically assume, much less declare, what the libilities were unless you actually know.

Jim Forsythe

Gary, you spoke up to soon. Carlos had not reached his record for responding to a small commit..

But, you and I know that anytime a person or company has deep pockets', they may be part of the payout.

The fire and collapse of the Ixtoc rig, is similar to what happened at Deepwater Horizon: in both cases, the blowout preventer failed to function.

At the time, the blowout dominated the news for weeks. I also remember the news coverage of the tar balls on the beaches.

Ted Gillis

I remember 1979 very well, Carlos. I was living in Brownsville at the time. The hotel operators on South Padre Island took a big hit. The oil globs were all over the beach late that summer, and on into the fall. The tourist season was a wipe out. Yes the media made a big deal about, scaring off the tourists well before the big batches of oil arrived. It was deceiving on some days as, as the wind would blow the sand over the washed up globs, and obscure them, however once you started walking around, the oil would ooze up and get all on your shoes and then got tracked everywhere. The hotel operators had to replace their carpets more than once, during and after that season. And then we got hit by hurricane Allen the following year, which apparently washed all of the oil way.

Carlos Ponce

South Padre Island was affected. Galveston Island - not really. No settlement money for Galveston County.

Jim Forsythe

"Clements said when he visited the Texas coast last month, damage to the beaches was not substantial and blamed the news media for driving away tourists. He said media reports amounted to 'much to do about nothing'."

Carlos Ponce

Galveston Island - not really but tourism was off due to media.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos is up to 8.

The media did not drive away the beach goers, the tar did.

The reason a lot of people did not go to the beach in Galveston, in the last part of the Summer of 79, was because they were tired of dealing with the tar . At that time a lot of the people that went to the beach were from Galveston county and Harris county. Once they encountered the tar, they did some other actives, instead of the beach. After the tar showed up in Galveston, we quit going to the beach.

Also that year, we had a lot of seaweed, that had hidden tar in it, and a a very strong odor.

That was also the year that we could not use our beach seine, because of the tar.

Some may not remember what happened in 79, but I do.

Carlos Ponce

I remember the tar balls in the1950s, the 1960s and 1970s. Mom used baby oil to remove it from our skin. They came from oil exploration, tankers, and bubbled up out of submerged oil pools. Were the tar balls on Galveston beaches from IXTOC? No. I remembered KTRK reporting. They had the tar analyzed and it was not consistent with that from IXTOC. You're not the only person to assume it came from IXTOC. Plenty of Articles in the Galveston Daily News:

August 31, 1970 Page 10A Corpus Christi (UPI) - [Coast Guard Capt. Roger Madson] "The currents are blowing to the south, which is helping us," Madson said. "Things are looking better. I don't know of any oil slicks that are threatening any beach areas." Madson acknowledged small amounts of tar balls had been spotted but he said they were not necessarily from the Mexican well."

And he Karankawa Indians of Galveston used tar: "They made and used very simple pottery. There was little, if any, decoration on these pots. These pots were often so badly made they would not even hold water very well. So, the Karankawa would use tar like stuff called asphaltum and smear it all over the insides of the pots. Asphaltum washes up on Texas beaches naturally and come from all the offshore oil. Those of you who have been to the beach here in Texas and stepped on a sticky yucky 'tar ball' know what I am talking about. Being nomadic they did not make a lot of pottery. They also made and used baskets for many things."

http://www.texasindians.com/karankf.htm

"The Karankawa used torches, often fueled with slatherings of tar and oil from natural seeps, as lights and sharpened cane stalks as spear/gigs in their floundering."

https://www.chron.com/sports/outdoors/article/Tompkins-Bay-gigging-has-roots-in-ancient-5687677.php

Jim the Karankawa used tar from the beach CENTURIES before IXTOC.

Carlos Ponce

And remember, the Burmah Agate oil tanker collided with the Greek freighter Mimosa in November 1, 1979 5 miles off of Galveston. Tar balls resulted from that spill.

"Clean-up crews spent Friday disposing of tarballs and chunks of oil from a three-mile section of beach approximately five to eight miles south of San Luis Pass."

Galveston Daily News December 8, 1979 Page 2A

Jim Forsythe

Carlos checks in with 9 and 10.

November 1, 1979 was not the Summer of 79!

Karankawas did not used tar from a catastrophic blowout of a oil rig. What they used was asphaltum.

Burmah Agate oil tanker had nothing to do with the summer of 79.

We lived on the seawall in Galveston from 1976 thru 1980. We started to notice it in largest amounts, about August of 79.

We went to the beach most days up to this time(summer of 79), and after the blowout, the beaches were not a place most wanted to be, because of the oil on the beaches.

Carlos Ponce

Jim, IXTOC was in the Bay of Campeche, 500 miles from Texas southernmost point. It takes months to reach. If you saw oil on Galveston Bay it was not from IXTOC.

August 7, 1979 The Galveston Daily News Page 1:

"The last report I had is that it's still below Brownsville. There have been reports of tar balls along Texas Coastal areas but we've always had tarballs. They might have been from a tanker or another minor spill somewhere else." -John Latchford, Texas Department of Water Resources.

Thursday August 23, 1979 The Galveston Daily News Page 1

"A patch of sheen containing some thicker oil was expected to wash ashore along 35 miles of coast between Brownsville and Corpus Christi Wednesday. Otherwise, [Coast Guard Captain Roger Madson said washings of oil along Padre Island were expected to be light and scattered, and he said winds and currents remained weak enough that no significant beachings of spilled oil were expected for several days."

Wednesday...... that pushes it up to Wednesday August 29, 1979 and it was still nearing Padre Island.

August 31, 1979 The Galveston Daily News Page 10A:

"Coast still free of oil washups; officials hope storm keeps it that way"

[That was Tropical Storm Elena... and it kept the oil away]

Jim, the oil you saw was not from IXTOC.

Oh, by the way..... The following advertisement appeared in the August 26, 1979 Galveston News: "Mexican Oil Spill TARBALLS, Send $2 to Tarballs, PO box 9910, Corpus Christi, TX 78408 A Collectible from the runaway Oil Spill IXTOC One.

Now...... why would they sell IXTOC oil to Galvestonians if Galvestonians had their own?????

Carlos Ponce

As for asphaltium:

"The Karankawa used torches, often fueled with slatherings of tar and oil from natural seeps, as lights and sharpened cane stalks as spear/gigs in their floundering."

https://www.chron.com/sports/outdoors/article/Tompkins-Bay-gigging-has-roots-in-ancient-5687677.php

If you have a problem, take it up with the Houston Chronicle.

And from Texasindians.com:

"So, the Karankawa would use tar like stuff called asphaltum and smear it all over the insides of the pots. Asphaltum washes up on Texas beaches naturally and come from all the offshore oil."

http://www.texasindians.com/karankf.htm

If you have a problem, take it up with that website.

Jim Forsythe

Some parts of the Gulf coast had more oil covering the beaches than Galveston. Some beaches were covered with a few inches to up to a foot.

Between 3 and 5 million barrels of oil poured into the water. Wes Tunnell, the associate director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, says the oil covered about 170 miles of the South Texas coast. Tunnell says the Ixtoc I spill coated the beaches of South Texas . "It was about 20 to 30 feet in width and a half-inch to 1 foot in thickness along the entire stretch of the South Texas coast," he says.

Tony Amos is 72(July 26, 2011 ) , but he remembers Ixtoc sharply. The year before, he had begun making detailed surveys of a 7-mile stretch of Mustang Island beach. Every other day, he recorded each bird, each patch of seaweed. On the day Ixtoc oil coated that beach, his notebook shows, he cried.

But Port Aransas wasn't getting rich. Most of the little town's businesses were scraping by; Ixtoc threatened their existence. Denial was the town's favorite coping mechanism. Even as oil coated the beaches, people complained that reporters were making a big deal out of nothing.

'Looking for a bright side': At a time when the barrier islands carried a continuous ribbon of oil, 10 to 15 feet wide - a one-lane road of tar at the tideline - the weekly Port Aransas South Jetty newspaper reported that "local interests, still looking for a bright side, are noting that offshore fishing is still producing pretty good catches, the beaches above the high tide line are still attractive, with some cleaner spots attracting swimmers, and Texas shrimp are still being landed outside the area of the drifting patches of oil."

As I said, Karankawa used asphaltium. Carlos checks in with 11 and 12.

Carlos Ponce

Looks like Jim has a problem.

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