Saturday, 22 December 2012

Some Odds and Ends After Our Absence

     The cats helped a bit with the cold episodes.   They are adept at waiting for El Gringo Viejo to nod off on his slightly undersised recliner during the Houston Texans game, knowing that heat travels upward and is to be dedicated to the comfort of felines.   They, as I, have long ago determined that even if the temperature is comfortable, there should be no waste of warmth during the Winter.   As we are situated quite close to the Tropic of Cancer, the period near the Solstice on the Calendar tends to be very cool during the nighttime hours.  We were out about a month (we haven't counted up the days) and almost every night was in the 40s...ending up with Thursday's early morning reading being 35 degrees F.

     The last blast from the north came in just before and brought winds of 50 - 60 miles per hour sustained, and gusts up to 80 during the first moments of passage.   It is pleasant to report that throughout the area of our part of rural Mexico, there was not one power outage.  Excellent when it is considered that the sustained winds endured for a period of over 18 hours.
     We call attention to the fact that our little place is very rustic.   Some new readers might not want to dig through our 600 previous postings to read about the "mud hut", or to visit  our webpage (linked on this page), but even with the cold nights and slightly coolish days, the temperature inside stayed a constant 72 degress....a tribute to the really old fashioned adobe and plaster approach to forming the lobster shell of a house.
     It is also of note that the "situation" has improved to the point that people are actually speaking confidently that a reasonable semblance of the old imperfect order has seemed to return.   On our return yesterday, the highways were super over-saturated.   Extremely heavy traffic accompanied this traveller for the entirety of the 239 mile route that was followed this time.  Traffic coming, and going.  Busses heading south must have numbered 200 common carriers of the 1st class and deluxe variety.   Thousands of motorcars, 90 percent of which were families returning from buying expeditions in the Commerce Cathedrals (shopping malls) in McAllen and other places in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.   Another number were those Mexicans who live in the United States legally and make the Christmas trek in SUVs and station waggons, with and without trailers, loaded up like some kind of adjunct delivery service for Santa Claus.

     This whole phenomena is a result of the perceived improvement in the  security situation.   While the chance of being involved, in actuarial terms, in some kind of crossfire or other related event was always very low in real terms, it is now perceptually, truly, obviously, and undeniably very, very diminished.   There is the apparent perception and understanding as well that the new administration is not going to move in the direction of "adapting to a reasonable alternative"(benign neglect of the cartels).   We are hopeful that what is essentially an imperfect victory will not be squandered by yielding to the notion that  sociological rot will not finally overtake an entire huge nation if left unchecked.
     It disappoints, as always, when FOX News decides to join into and reinforce the popular perception created by the leftist press about the situation in Mexico.   The whole picture is not that much different than here in the United States.   In many ways, quite frankly, things are better South of the Border.   So when O'Reilly, or the voices on The Five, and others on FOX News were admonishing that Mexican prisons are Hell Holes where the cartels run the show, and that especially Americans are targeted by the criminal and general population of Mexico, and that everything is brings to mind motes and beams and eyes, kettles, pots, and black.   While O'Reilly, for instance, was warning that if "President Nieto" did not release Corporal Hammer, that Mr. O'Reilly would "take care of Mexico's tourism industry".   Mr. O'Reilly is such an expert on matters Mexican, that he is unaware that it is President Pen~a....not Nieto.   The paternal surname immediately follows the given name(s).

     The Hammer case was already essentially resolved.   The Mexican Secretary of the Navy had declared the issue to have been warrantless and that no crime had been committed because the person involved had voluntarily revealed the shotgun in question and requested permitting for said instrument.  The telephone calls received by the family were from prisoners and/or their family members who commonly attempt to extort money from family members of other prisoners, especially the newly arrived.   American prison gangs do the same thing.

     The fear held by this observer was that what ground had been covered might possibly have to be re-ploughed because Mexican arrogance is similar to American arrogance.   If they are pushed, they tend to push back, sometimes to their own detriment.  O'Reilly fell into this category in a way.

      Many things about this case that were commonly known in Mexico were not reported.   The most vigorous operator in this matter had been the the Tamaulipas State Chamber of Commerce.   The final attorney in Mexico City had served well.   The usually useless Human Rights Commission (totally pinko) served well.   Various State and local elected officials had also been pointing out behind the scenes that the Secretary of the Navy's position was totally accurate.  The federal customs and immigration official had overreacted to some personal affront, and "behaved stupidly" in the words of a great American leader.   It was all but unreported that  Corporal Hammer's friend was not detained during this same incident.   And, while even Laura Ingraham had to pile on, please be assured that of the 1,000 Americans behind bars presently in Mexico, somewhere between 950 to 1,000 are not the type of person with whom you would like your teenaged daughter to be spending time.  As well, of the 140 Americans killed in Mexico during the last year, O'Reilly and Laura and the rest of the choir seem to leave out that 130 or so were very, very probably involved in the drug trafficking business.   Here, there is something usually stated about fleas, dogs, and lieing down with, etc.
     It is my judgement that the full weight of the least 99% of the fault in this issue....lies with the Mexican customs officer.   All he would have had to have done, at worst, is to have ordered the individual back to the American side.    There is some blame to be spread onto the American border agents who apparently told the boy that there would be no problems, just to declare the gun and get the permits.   The permits have to be obtained before going in.
      And while all this is going on, there is a 340,000 tonne elephant sitting there on the FOX News set, minding its own business.   "Don't go to Mexico, it's dangerous and corrupt, and they are always doing things all the time to everybody...especially Americans", they say.  While we have Benghazi unresolved....Fast and Furious left unresolved....20 dead children in Newtown, Connecticut....overwhelming corruption at all levels in the United States Government....Solyndra ignored....expropriation of General Motors and Chrysler....and some jackass from Chicago talking about reasonable new firearms legislation, like, you know, Chicago....where "One a Day" would be a substantial improvement.   Thank the Lord that Chicago has stringent firearms control.  That solved all the problems.
     Please allow us to include that during El Gringo Viejo's professional and business life, he conducted, permitted, licensed, escorted, guided, scouted, and otherwise attended to the issues of hunting game birds in Mexico involving hundreds upon hundreds of hunters, and thousands of shotguns, scores of thousands of importations of rounds of ammunition.   Never had one man detained.
Thanks for the opportunity to unload, perhaps inform to a level of greater understanding, and swim upstream.   These might be the last days for contrarians and other sorts of folks who have knowledge and opinion that is true but not part of the common understanding.
El Gringo Viejo