Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Happy Trails

This is the time when the Old Gringo needs to move on along.   You all will have to do without acerbic commentary for a little while, which will probably be a relief for most.    As soon as the settling in process is completed, perhaps by Friday you all might have a note or two concerning my observations  and thoughts about the Mexico situation and about our little adobe abode....or is that abobe adode....or maybe it should be adobebode.

      We are watching with interest the simultaneous posturing and maneuvering among the various candidates for the office of President of Mexico and the same office for the United States of America.   We shall follow the National Action Party (PAN) a little more closely, because they are philosphical twins of the GOP in the United States and the Conservative in Canada and the Tories in the UK.   It seems like yesterday when Diana and I were up until 5:00 am watching the nearly ballot by ballot count in the contest between the socialist Lopez Obrador and the conservative Calderon Hinojosa.  
          As usual the old governing party the PRI starts off as the favourite, but the poll tracking will certainly change, as it has during recent elections.    There was one point last time when Lopez Obrador led both of the other opposition parties by 30% and the producing classes were girding their loins for the elevation of another leftist demagog to join the pantheon composed of the Castro Brothers, Morales, Chavez, and Ortega, et. al.

           Mexico was a lot easier to predict, in terms of elections, back in the old PRI days....sometimes the winners were announced on the day before the elections.  Oh well, perhaps it is all a conspiracy by the Las Vegas odds-makers to give the people something else to bet on.

              My favourite Drudge story....beating out the IMF socialist elitist slug who beat up the black chambermaid and sexually assaulted her....was the story about the guy who won a 2,000,000 jackpot is some lottery, but was still using his last allotments of food stamps.    Finally, Michelle Obama can be proud of her country for the first time again.

More later....remember the Old Gringo will be out of reach for a bit, but he will be checking in at the earliest moment possible.
El Gringo Viejo

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

More Questions of Important Inconsequentiality (try that one, O'Reilly)

     Other questions that have come in.    There are answers and/or observations  included. But first.....

      Some nice person has become a "follower" which is something like an assistant OROG.    A follower can, if he or she wishes, log on to our site on a permanent basis.    The "follower" also annotates that he or she is a follower so that  "followers" can tag on to the "follower"  of the first and second part.
    Our latest follower is an individual who is concerned about matters related to immigration rights and border issues.   While we apparently differ on a score of pivotal issues, it may be that the Old Gringo's slightly reasonable stance in terms of treatment of Mexico-based issues has attracted our "follower" and that individual should know that his or her presence here is an honor for the Gringo Viejo.

Does Mexico have such a thing as a voter registration....and a voter's ID?

Yes, Mexico has voter registration:
      It should be pointed out to "followers" and "leaders" alike that Mexico has a far better voter registration card....known as a "credencial federal electoral" .....than what we have in Texas.    It is a nationally issued document, not State by State.   Theirs is on very hard, high quality plastic.   It has a very recent picture of the full-face, taken on the day of registration, and the person must present a "registro civil' record of birth and evidence concerning place of residence so as to assign the correct voting precinct.  Signature and thumbprint appear on the front of the credential as well.    The person returns after the registration when a short time has elapsed and takes possession of the card, after being verified visually and then signing in the same manner as when registering on the first visit.
      Our Texas voter's registration is a piece of flimsy cardboard with a false swearing warning on the back.
       So, when our Democrat friends tell us we are racists....which is every time we breathe....because we want a picture ID for voters.....please advise them that the Mexicans have a picture and vitae proprius data on a much more permanent "platform".   I like their system even weeds out double registrations.   The entry below describes the process and the cards the Old Gringo is familiar with....

a) an invisible watermark on the back of the card;
b) two watermarks on the photographic paper, one visible and the other invisible;
c) a hologram of the logo of the Federal Electoral Institute partially covering the lower left part of the photograph;
d) a digital laser-printed photograph of the card bearer's face;
e) ... components that self-destruct if the card is altered in any way;
f) the signature of the card holder;
g) a bar code covered by a black band that appears under infrared light;
h) a series of numbers specific to each card;
i) a digital fingerprint of the index finger of the card holder;
j) under black light, several national shields and the card holder's name appear;
k) under black light, the letters "IFE" appear on the card bearer's photograph;
l) micro-text printing;
m) four numbers on the "section" that correspond to the four first numbers on the back of the card, which, with the nine other numbers, correspond to the OCR [optical character recognition];
n) a card thickness of 0.76 millimeters, which adheres to the international standard (Mexico n.d.b.).

Let me make one thing perfectly clear.

       This site is not one which endorses in any way the concept of "no one is illegal".....or that free movement over the border is a right.   No nation can be identified nor long will it exist if it does not identify its own boundaries, and identify who can cross those boundaries legally.

      As a resident alien in Mexico, I am required to show proof that I can support myself without being employed or doing unauthorized business.  I am given a one year permit which does allow me to buy and sell land, build and own a home,  have an imported auto, and certain other concessions.   The permit costs around 100 dollars and it is paid to a bank which issues a receipt to be delivered to the Secretariat of Government.   My auto permit is paid to the Military Bank, and they issue a similar receipt which I keep along with my other immigration papers.    I am required to promise not to invoke the American military in any land or business dispute with which I might be associated.     I am allowed to join any government or private medical program at my free will, or I can choose to pay as I go....which sounds a bit ominous.
         As a foreigner, I am prohibited from evangelizing or proselyting  for or against any religion or denomination, although attendance of any religious services regardless of denomination is a constitutionally protected right.    No political activity is, marching in parades, writing or declaring political opinion pieces to the media are all prohibited.
      The commission of any serious crime is grounds for immediate escort to the middle of the bridge, only after having paid fines, damages, and time in detention if required.     That is the short form agreement for a Norteamericano to endorse before he is considered a legal resident.   I abide by these rules.

More later.    As always your time and attention are appreciated.
El Gringo Viejo

Another Try...

     The Old Gringo is heading back down to the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre.   It has become an unpleasant  task at times trying to say something on this screed.   The issues that matter, and the thoughts that I think, cannot be expressed in the round because there is a possibility of offence to someone.   If one cares for liberty and the concept of self-sufficiency, such thoughts cannot be expressed.....because it can somehow be construed as offensive or racist or insensitive.
       If a person is of the Negro race or of one of the many forms of Latin heritage, he loses his genealogical extraction because he is conservative?     The oddity, as I quickly leave the topic, of Harry Reid (d-nevada) a great and famous socialist labour leader can say "I cannot envision how a Hispanic (sic) person could ever vote Republican" is compelling.   He does not see the perfection of his own arrogant form of racism and ethnic bigotry.    He is saying, "All you funny coloured people who are almost as good as real those of us who take care of you.... You must approve of us and the way we provide for you better than you can provide for yourselves.....because you funny looking coloured people really cannot provide for yourselves as well as we can"......Right-side brain thinking at its best.
       How strange that Harry Reid's son loses an election for the governorship of Nevada in 2010 to a Republican conservative who happened to have Mexican and other ancestry.....a candidate who received a huge majority of "Anglo" votes.   The conservatives, as usual, voted for a person on the basis of philosophy and not on the basis of ethnicity.....because Harry Reid's son was one of those milky-pasty white-skinned  people. (too much sun-screen)
       And steadily, the Latino voters are fooling the ethno-fools who assume that they can lead groups of people to the Dung Heaps for Chairman Mao and the Slavery of the Safety Net.

     The War for the Republic is of the  producers  against the consumers.    The War for the Republic of Mexico is between the producers and  builders against the consumers and destroyers.  Such is the case for each of our nations.  Such is the case for all nations.  Comprehensive welfare systems lead to sloth and cultural rot.  Nationally sponsored public assistance  programs are a siren song to lead a nation into slavery.  On our present route, all our grandchildren will be chambermaids and servants tending the tables of the Kennedy's and the Pelosi's grandchildren.    There can be no doubt.  On this route, our fate will be to grovel for crumbs under the tables of the Socialist Elitists.
        There are rumblings of restorative revolt, by people of all types, stripes, colours, and persuasions which might possibly come to effective force in time to save the Republic.  We shall see.

         It was reasonably brought to my attention that we failed to include various excellent alternatives for people who are deranged enough to think about retiring or semi-retiring in Mexico.     There are many, many more places that have AAA minor league to major league medical facilities within a 3 day drive of your place, and where potable water can be obtained once every month.    All OROGs who are  new can simply scroll down, half-way to Red China to find reference to such alternatives.
       Because these matters are reasonably of concern....the Old Gringo includes herein places that have equivalent or better security situations to equivalent places in the United States or Texas.
         If a person wants or can stand cold, cool, dry, and high (8,800 fasl) he should check out the doll house city of Zacatecas.   Lore, history, stunning architecture....(stunning).....religious museums that are fall-down flabbergasting, and once again good eats and libations. It is the highest  State Capital in Mexico, as well as all of Latin America.    Look it up.

         Another excellent place was called to my attention by my daughter's father-in-law quite recently.    The City of Puebla, State of Puebla is a peculiar place.    It is the site of the battleground of the the Battle of the Fortress of Loreto that was won by an outnumbered and outgunned Mexican Army fighting against a mighty French Army led by Legionnaire Zappers...thought to be the bravest, best trained, and most capable combat engineers in the world at the time (5 May 1862).    The French never really regained their  poise internationale  after that loss, even though they did recover sufficiently to impose Maximiliano von Hapsburg on the "Cactus Throne" as Emperor of Mexico for a few short years. 
       Puebla is the home of Volkswagen of Mexico.   It is a PROFOUNDLY COMELY city.   It is entirely lower-middle class, upper-middle class, and extreme upper class (titled people, not nouveaux riche).    The "despair and abject poverty" level is less than 1%.     It is"almost totally red" with a huge Otomi' Indian group and "almost totally white" with a huge Caucasian group composed of various white tribes, such as Spanish, Italian, German, French, British-Anglo, American-Anglo communities.   It is culturally and politically a conservative bastion.
Puebla Mexico Skyline
 Residential and university areas of western Puebla city, looking west
towards Mexico City.   Popocatepetl with its glacial snow cap in the
background.   The snow cap is greater during the summer
because that is the "rainy season".
         It is a place where the people quickly point out that, "we have all the best of Mexico City and none of the bad".    Also, one of their quick advisories to newcomers is "If you want to see Mexico City's famous signature permanently snow-capped mountains Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, they are best seen from Puebla.".     It lies on the east side of those mountains while Mexico City is on the west side....shrouded in smog.   (It should be pointed out, however, that air quality in Mexico City has improved considerably over that last few years.)    Puebla is separated from the National Capital by those 18.000 fasl mountains and by 140 kilometers of advanced toll roads.    It is also a fairly short run to nice Gulf Coast beaches and Vera Cruz City as well as to Oaxaca, Oaxaca,  both by toll road.

     I hope this opens up more understanding of the peculiar Mexican condition and circumstance.   Also, it should serve to advise all OROGs that the Old Gringo is myopic and each should do his own research over and above what appears on these feeble pages.
El Gringo Viejo

Monday, 16 May 2011

Back from Central Texas

We returned late yesterday afternoon after putting up with a bit of a problem with the brake lights / turn indicators on the drive down.    Amazingly, the Old Gringo managed to effect a repair with his own grubby little fingers.    The problem resulted from some efforts of an over-zealous repair-type person  who tried to jam the bulb receptor into its proper place during some distant-in-time incident.   In any regard, that was done, and to this point has not been undone.
     More importantly, of course, was the attendence of our son's graduation from Southwest Texas State's School of Philosophy with a BA degree.   We learned that he was offerred a place in their graduate school for the coming session, so it will be a seamless transfer of objective.    He will follow the route of his PH.d. grandfather and uncle and become an over-educated curmudgeon as a younger man.....thereby displacing his under-educated, over-aged father in the curmudgeon ranks.    The Old Gringo will now be free to join in Al Gore's Eco-decomposition landfill, where all old curmudgeons go when they are too mean to put into the Soylent Green vat.  I feel as though a great weight has been lifted from me.
       Much time was spent with other family.   My daughter and her husband and their two look-alike, act-alike daughters.....who are the treasures of my better son.....and my comperes (the parents of my son-in-law) all ate well and rubbed elbows.    They are all summarily pleasant people, generous to a fault, and interesting intellectually.
          There was a terrific rain, lightning, and tornado-bearing storm complex that impeded our arrival to Central Texas.    Some places received as much as eight inches of precipitation.    Many places clocked winds in excess of 80 miles per hour.   This was from near Del Rio and Eagle Pass west-southwest of San Antonio through to Corpus Christi, and to 50 miles either side of that line.   So, even with all the wind, it was a needed break in the mini-drought.
     There was a bit of rain and stormyness coming back down yesterday as well but nowhere near as extreme.    All moisture falling from the sky was appreciated.

     The Quinta is happily receiving the rains that should be falling now.   The seasonal drought that always seems to surprize the populace has been replaced by seasonal rains that equally surprize the populace.   One can envision, without having to be there, old Prince standing in the downpour, trying to catch the big raindrops with his sloppy, floppy tougue.

There is a lot of good news on the social order front.   We have had a period of calm in the Victoria area.    I am accused of being a cheerleader for insanity, so I shan't belabour the point beyond to say that the day will be carried by the military and by those who are in solidarity with courage, nobility of purpose, and who attempt to comply with the task of building rather than tearing down.

More  later.   Thanks for your attention.
El Gringo Viejo

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Comments to an Inquiry

     Several up-State and out of the area people asked about the news out of the Falcon International Reservoir, Starr & Zapata Counties of Texas concerning a skirmish between the Mexican military and the members of the modern organized international delinquency.      These are some of my responses.....

The skirmish was between a large band of pseudo "Zeta" gang members....about 30 of them ....that had been surprized up against  small peninsula of an island jutting into Falcon Lake.   The Naval Infantry had been conducting very active measures in that area....gradually forcing straggler thugs with their drug and marijuana packages.....several tons.... onto smaller and smaller piece of ground.   The Naval Infantry had brought some of their light tactical rubber attack craft up to the only area where the thugs could attempt an escape with their cumbersome "panga" commercial fishing boats, powered by 25 horsepower Yamahas, maximum speed 12 knots.   The Navy's craft, though not sleek looking, are built for pursuit and  are powered by one 200 horsepower Yamaha, and can attain speeds over  35 knots.
      The thugs had been observed by high-level aerial surveillance during the night,     In the morning the Navy helicopters  came in with the heavy infantry unit....about 30 men.   They engaged the thugs...then called in Mexican Army reinforcements to cut of an angle of retreat....and to counteract the effects of a 50 millimeter  recoilless rifle....quite a devastating weapon...The reinforcements numbered three platoons of light infantry, or about 90 soldiers.
       Unfortunately one Naval Infantryman was killed.    Final count of the thugs was 18 dead, 4 wounded, and 10 captured.    These are the (pseudo) ZETAs who pride themselves with literally butchering people and leaving their dismembered bodies around in public.   Their actions are unspeakable, sub-human, and their only deserved path is to be obliterated.    These 18 received better than they deserved.
   They replaced the original ZETA deserters from the 1990's who are all now either dead or in some Mexican or American prison.   They bonded and intertwined with the Mara  Salvatrucha 13 from Central America, a group which required that a prospective member murder his mother as she watched him do it, preferably by knife, before that individual could be inducted into the group.     
      The Sheriff of Zapata County complained to the local press yesterday that the Naval Infantry should have told him that they were going to conduct military actions..."because I had a lot of people here on this side for Mother's Day....and they might have been scared if they had heard something."   The operations were 9 miles away, on the other side of  Falcon  Lake.  I really do not have any knowledge as to why the good Sheriff might not have been informed by  the Naval Infantry .  

     Anyway, there it is.    All American press reports take elements of the truth about this matter (these matters), and then publish things that leave substantial false understanding of the issues at hand.    Their handling of this story was close, and yet so far away.     (no banana)  
      My information is normally  gathered from four or five sources that have proven to be around 97% accurate during these past few months.   Some are readily accessible through somewhat disgusting drug-war related sites and some is drawn from personal informants.
      And .......That was my message, amended very slightly six or seven times so as to be forwarded to some inquiries on a more personalized basis to each respondent.  Remember that I will do my best to give travel information, or almost any other advice as requested.   Remember advice is worth every penny of it.
Hasta mas al rato,
El Gringo Viejo    

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Special News for OROGs

El Gringo Viejo informs his public of the lamentable and heart-wrenching news  that he has withdrawn his favoured presence from the Facebook service.    We are aware of the high number of young women who have taken poison and/or slashed their wrists under the faucets of their bathroom lavatory, as well as some of America's finest young men sprawled on the sidewalks below their 30th floor apartments on Park Avenue in Manhattan......not to mention all the little people who will be perhaps totally psychologically impaired for the duration of their miserable, insignificant, little lives.     But, such are the costs of a life such as mine.  

     It was, after all, troubling that I could arrive upon my own personal "homepage" and find tout le monde esconced there....advertizers, lonely hearts...not talking to me....but talking between themselves.   Persistent attempts to join in the merry-making, and commiserating always resulted in the same outcome.     Nobody ever responded.
       It said up the corner...."El Gringo Viejo" was where my page went when I entered my email and password....It said, in various places.... the home page of El Gringo Viejo.    But alas....I was a stranger in my own land.   Two responses from my from a friend of hers.....and couple of cranky "Why do you want to know why my boyfriend is rebuilding that old pick-up".....I mean, how does one start a conversation with a niece with whom one has not had any contact for 30 years?    "Hi! Sweetie!".....???    And besides that, just exactly why was I trolling around on my own Facebook page?
      My Old Best Friend...Robinson Crusoe....from high school days and thereafter wrote me yesterday about some spam emanating from my Facebook page....we made a pact....and yesterday early in the evening, we both jumped off the Chattahoochee Bridge....just a couple of old Viet Nam  era veterans (Robinson Crusoe much more than The Old Gringo), leaving life without Facebook to escort us into the journey to Eternity. (my ankles are still painful....we forgot to see if there was any water in the River)

I Jumped Off Settles Bridge into the Chattahoochee River  You can see what could have been our last view of our times on this Earth to the left.    Thanks for the memories.  I appreciate your time and attention to this matter as we attempt to adjust to  LIFE AFTER FACEBOOK.

The Old Gringo

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Continuing Tug of War

This public announcement is appearing, well-printed on large canvas sheets with brass rivets, hanging off of bridges and other structures in areas of high pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic in the two States of the Republic mentioned below.   First in Spanish and  then below, I have rendered an humble attempt to translate the matter into the English language.

"Los ciudadanos sabemos quiénes son Los Zetas. No se molesten en colocar mantas justificando sus acciones cobardes, en las que quieren hacer creer que sus emociones son diferentes. Los ciudadanos sabemos quiénes son los del CDG y quiénes son Los Zetas. Nos queda claro que si Los Zetas matan a sus propios amigos, que esperamos nosotros como ciudadanos de Nuevo León y Tamaulipas. No se molesten Lazcano y Z 40 en justificar sus acciones. Atte. Ciudadanos Unidos"

"The citizens, we know whoso are the Zetas.    Do not bother yourselves by hanging (placing) announcement banners justifiying your cowardly actions, in which you wish to make us believe that your emotions (reasonings) are different from what they are.   The citizens, we know whoso are the Cartel del Golfo and whoso are The Zetas.     It remains clear to us that if The Zetas kill their own friends, then what do we hope for as plain citizens of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas States?    Do not bother yourselves Lazcano (leader in the Cartel del Golfo) y Z 40  (fortieth leader of the Zeta Cartel)  to justify your actions.
United Citizens

      These are the new "hangings" being placed in public view throughout the two adjacent States above named.   It would seem that the increased effectiveness of the military and the stiffening of resolve by the common man is beginning to solder a steel force.   These are a bit larger than small steps that are helping to move us on to a brighter day.   Very encouraging.
          The Old Gringo has been surprized during  the past few days to actually see "the other side of the story" about the actual situation in Mexico.   Even in some cases a couple of transmissions have been a bit too "Pollyanna", quite frankly.   The thing is that some dumboe reporter (I know, it's redundant all over again) will go to some place in the Yucatan or in Guanajuato or in the Baja or in various of  many places in the vast majority of the square mileage of what is the Republic of Mexico and say something like "So there you have it, Marguarita Onnice and her live-in Boyfriend SpungeBill Beerblotter have lived here in San Miquel de Allende for fifteen years and aren't leaving.   There is no crime here and every day is mid-Spring and the Corona half/liters cost the equivalent of 19 American cents." 
       Once again all of that is pretty much true, but the beer costs 31 cents, especially with the weaker dollar, there is a bit of crime here and there....but nothing serious in terms of amount or severity, especially against Gringos....every day might or might not have a monster thunderstorm with hail and lightning knocking out the electrical service for 12 hours (increasingly rare) short, no place is a perfect facsimile of Heaven.   Many places are truly almost idyllic....if one prepares himself, has a little money, expects little, appreciates the incredible Mexican civilities, and likes lots of different kinds of good food & libation, different people coming and going,  good food & libations, and has a decent place to hide when he really does not wish to be bothered.   I forgot to mention the good food and libations.
       It helps to have SKY-TV.....even the basic-plus is excellent for the price.   A list of things to make it so you really do not want to leave would be something like the following:

A good auto mechanic  (best if his neighbours, compadres, brothers-in-law, and close friends are auto repair specialists in air-conditioning, suspension, tune-up, window replacement, etc. etc. etc.)(relatively abundant)
A good tire repairman (abundant)
           A good small appliance repairman(abundant)
           A good large appliance repairman(abundant)
           An exceptionally good mayordomo (somewhat rare)
           An exceptionally good ama de llaves (chambermaid/cook)(common)
            Excellent to tolerable neighbours (common)
           A really decent bar with no drunks, with a good sports/news tele (common)
      A good old-fashioned assortment of chaotic Mexican bazaar-type markets for kitchen and meal preparation notions (abundant)
A really nice Gringo-style grocery store, like Soriana, HEB, Gran-D (common)
A confidable shrimp, oyster, & seafood purveyor (common)
Two each of an excellent 2nd class diner, a 1st class restaurant, and a couple of high-end  hootsy-tootsy deluxe places, for every now and then (abundant)
For the veterans, two or three of the sidewalk taco stands once they are recommended by friends or reliable locals.   Stunning quality food, cheap.   Many are very clean and everything is done in front of the client.
     All of these thoughts come from various recent and and even long-past  meetings and encounters with Gringos/as who live in Mexico on a full-time or significant part-time basis.     I have been searching for quite a while for  the common denominator that would explain our nuttiness.   All of the above are mentioned, almost always.   Each Gringo/a has to provide the theatre's stage.....beach area, mountains, archaeological site abundance, historical imperatives, art centers, sixteen bars adjacent to one another requirement.... or whatever else.    It might surprize even Fox News people, that the most common Mexophile tends to vote Republican.....about 60 - 40.

This will finish it for to-day, probably.   More will effuse should there be an earthquake or if a flying saucer crashes nearby, otherwise, you all are safe from me for a while.  
Thank you for your attention, as always.
El Gringo Viejo,
Director de Operaciones

Friday, 6 May 2011

A Little More Celebration - editted and improved/ editted and improved again

     New news from the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre is going to encourage everyone who follows this screed....especially those who have spent time as guests  with us.       The big, repeatedly stressed and tortured avocado tree that sits off of the south end of the "long west-facing corridor" has really done yeoman's service in producing a considerable harvest.    Barring some kind of a windstorm or an attack by Superpossum....we should have a middling crop of avocados that appear to be of high quality.   None of this will be cup-to-lip until late June at the earliest (more probably mid-July), but it is some small but significant thing for the Old Gringo....(aka: Gringo Viejo).

      Two other about public schooling (please remember that the Gringo Viejo and all his family are public school products, have many degrees, and have taught in public schools, both at secondary and University level), and the other about chisme (gossip).

     The easy one is of the great Mexican national sports.   On the 2nd of May, there was another of the stupid public national holidays...the Day of the Child.     All these "holidays" are simply commercialization of things that should be practiced daily, hourly, and by the minute by all people who have even the most basic catechism.   In any regard, there were Children's Fiestas arranged by labour unions, State and local governments, fraternal orders, etc. all around the country.   In our locale there were two held, one in our own little "ejido" (rural community).   The word went out towards the end of the day....after the children and families had availed themselves of the little mechanical car rides, the food and drinks, and the general party atmospherics, that all the goodies had been provided by your friendly local drug cartel bosses.
      This news was received with a bit of a shudder by those of us who try to keep up with such things.    But then, a little checking, and guess what?   It turned out that some young punks who think of themselves as gang-members spread the word as a joke.....something akin to spiking the punch in American terms.    The girlfriend of one of the punks, escorted by her mother and father, turned him in by telling the six or seven official Gossipers Committee members, who promptly began to employ the telewoman communication system that functions so well in the Ejido Francisco I. Madero.  
       The Old Gringo knows that this is true because one of the senior members of the Sindicato  de Chismonas de la Republica Mexicana, Local No. 11545   
(National Gossipers' Union of the Mexican Republic, Local 11545), is Alvaro's sister.   He and she do not mix well at all, so if he is giving her some consideration as a source, it is very probable that everything being written here is true. 

      That was (1).   The next topic,  (2) is also about unions ...but this time real unions.   El Sindicato de Trabajadores en la Educacion Publica de la Republica Mexicana, Estado de Tamaulipas, STEPRM has been in one long drawn-out dispute with consituted authority since its incorporation as an active part of the "Institutional Revolution" of the old PRI sixty years ago.  
      Those of us who deal with matters Mexican used to have to smile wryly when "authorities", both left and right, in the United States would point to the fact that "Mexico has no labour unions or protections for the working people".     The fact was and is that one of the biggest contributors to the mis-treatment of the Mexican labouring class was and still is to an extent, the incredibly powerful and corrupt labour unions.     All labour unions in Mexico stem from their foundation in the Workers of the World movement....a marxist group from the late 1890's.   The infamous Flores Magon brothers  were vanguards of the Bolshevik-inspired labour movement.   They anchored much of what was  then radical social thought and their followers inserted their initiatives into the intellectual leadership of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 - 1917.
      Much of the intent of the communist element in the post-revolutionary was embodied in the Constitution of 1917, which required that all labour eventually be folded into the governing party....the Partido Revolucionario Institutional.    The central of three pillars of the PRI was the Confederacion de Trabajadores Mexicanos (CTM) which for years demagogued labour issues and also siphoned billions and billions of dollars worth of union dues and tax money into local labour union leaders'  personal private foreign accounts.
      Other related but semi-independent nation-wide unions, like the Petroleum Workers, Stevedores, and Teachers Unions were equally politicized and corrupt.    The arrogance and level of their corruption is legendary and demogoguic to almost supernatural levels.      
        Huge industrial bulwarks in Mexico trembled at the merest flick of a finger of local, corrupt union bosses everywhere in Mexico for three score years before the establishment,  finally in the 1980's,  of competing, non-Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI) integrant unions.  The new labour organizations, as well as company sponsored independent "white unions"   were allowed to exist, by means of a ruling of the Corte Supremo de la Nacion.     Since that time there has been significant improvement in labour - management relations. 
      In any regard, the locals of the  Tamaulipas State's teachers' union are always having "slowdowns"...."special teachers' conference days", marches, demonstrations, letter writing campaigns, etc.   The teachers have thousands of complaints....most of them detailed and very personal in nature.    Of course, the scores of the primaries and secondaries which for years had been much higher than Texas schools at a similar grade....steadily went into the septic tank, especially during the past four years.   All public schools, primary, secondary, preparatory, rural, urban....all of them went to the devil.      This, of course, after a doubling in the last three years of the budget (with a strong peso, to boot).     The number of Guercos (urchins) in the schools is diminishing slowly, due to the ever slowing production of new, replacement the increase in expenditures-per-urchin is even more intense....but to no avail.   Less than half of the urchins are performing at level.    In the 1950's it was 90 per cent performed at or above grade level.....when they were pouring over 90 dollars a year per student into the effort,   (In  Mexico City it was 113 dollars).  The previous sentence is a bit of combined sarcasm and sardonic commentary skillfully blended together as only a professional blowhard can.
        It is pretty clear that Tamaulipas is falling dreadfully behind everyone....other public systems, all private schools, in other words, a disaster.  The only exception in Tamaulipas is their   University system where there are numerous students who "almost qualified" for places in the prestige universities (Monterrey Tech, University of Nuevo Leon, etc.) and over-educated professors who arrived from various big cities around the world to escape urban life.
      One of the things  uninvolved observers point out is that the other States, save Oaxaca (totally communist university environment ....and I mean hammer and sickle communist), have less, little, or none in terms of Union stridency and anguish.

     So, the governor of the State of Tamaulipas has made it his number two priority (Number one is the security issue) to reduce the influence of the  Teachers' Union and to re-instate the teaching and accomplishment method....with the old discipline....and to forget about union politics and "teaching to the tests".   There is a movement to return to the old idea that the only test that counts is the semester grade after averaging each six-weeks and the final exam.     Fred Flintstone and I agree with this approach.

      Anyway....that is what is going on around these precincts.    We shall await comments and questions, as usual and respond to everyone....although my schedule is a little less predictable during the next few days.    We are in our last days of our exposure to Jury Call and we have a university graduation to attend in Central Texas.....lots of driving around.    Send gasoline.     And thanks for your interest and involvement.    
El Gringo Viejo      

Monday, 2 May 2011

Some Cause to Celebrate

    The Usama bin Ladin thing is pretty much big news south of the border.   Among the things bringing it up to the top half of the front page is the fact that about 100 Mexican citizens were killed at the twin tower disaster.   Another several were killed in the other two airplanes that went down.   There was a bit of karma, therefore, when a boy born of parents from Guajajuato, Guanajuato, was one of those who stormed the compound in Pakistan and participated in removing one of the stalking disciples of Satan from this life.
His parents, who were legal immigrants into the United States, had quite a scare yesterday, however. This is their conversation with a Mexican news service from this morning.

       En esa acción participó, el soldado Rubén Mejía, nacido en Estados Unidos, sus padres son originarios de Guanajuato, México. El joven fue ascendido a sargento gracias al operativo realizado contra Bin Laden y solo presentó algunos golpes, además ya recibió felicitaciones por parte de Barack Obama, quien espera reunirse muy pronto con los 20 nuevos héroes.       "Hace unas horas mi familia fue estremecida cuando vieron llegar a una decena de oficiales del ejército a nuestra casa, y cuando tocaron la puerta nuestra familia se estremeció y empezaron a llorar porque ya se creía en malas noticias. Los soldados nos traían una bandera de Estados Unidos doblada y cuando vieron que empezábamos a llorar nos aclararon que era un reconocimiento y un honor el traernos la bandera porque nuestro hijo había cumplido una gran misión por la nación”, mencionó Martín Mejía, padre de Rubén.
      "In this action the soldier Ruben Mejia, born in the United States of parents who are from Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico* participated.     The young man was promoted to sergeant today due to his participation in the operation against bin Ladin, and furthermore he only suffered a few bruises, and as well he received personal felicitations from the President Barak Obama, who declared that he hoped to meet very soon with the 20 (?) new heroes.
     "Just a few hours ago,   my family really stressed out when they saw a ten-count  of uniformed military officers come to the door and were knocking ....the family really stressed-out, some started crying because at that point they thought they were receiving bad news.     The soldiers were bringing us an American Flag all folded,  and when they saw that we had all started crying, they clarified everything by stating that they had brought the flag as a recognition and an honor because our son had complied in a grand mission for the Nation." mentioned Martin Mejia, the father of Ruben.
*(further research finds that Ruben's parents are legal immigrants to the United States)

     The article was accompanied by the obligatory pictures of UbL with his head blown apart....and a peculiarly dark beard again.     Such images will be spared you all.

Tomorrow, some ideas about how to cure all the problems again.
The Old Gringo 

It couldn't have happened to a vicer guy.....


    There are all kinds of horrid, terrible things that could be said.   A philosophical question might be, "Can a man who has no soul be killed ?"    One of the characteristics of being human, according to almost all religions on Earth....and most of the life-guiding that humans have an inner force, a soul.

      Date of Death....1 May 1945 Adolph Hitler,    1May 2011....Usama bin Laden,  1 of the labourer in the marxist/socialist world.....this year with the lowest turnout in the past 20 years, worldwide.

More later.    Let us celebrate now, and remain vigilant.
The Old Gringo