Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Pickings from sources here and there

We move into the cyberworld to harvest things of interest to El Gringo Viejo and that he thinks should be of interest to OROGs and others.  We begin with an article from Americas Quarterly about Enrique Pen~a Nieto, President of Mexico, who has surprised the sceptical rightwingers (like me) by complying with various campaign promises quickly and forcefully in the early part of his administration.        
      One is the continued deployment and successful efforts in the degrading of the cartel and gang menaces....and another is the following account of a declaration of another war on another cartel. This is a cartel equally devoid of virtue, although not quite evil. It is a cartel that has taken the Mexican public education system from something noble and effective when Mexico was a truly poor country and changing the state school system into a sow nursing several hundred thousand lazy, in-fighting, whining, dull, and generally useless union thugs piglets. The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores en la Educacion has steadily avoided guiding its flock for especially the last decades. Under the command of La Bruja (The Witch) Alba Esther Cordillo, who has been the head of the Sindicato (union) for nearly a quarter-century excellent became good, good became fair, fair became poor, and finally poor has become grotesque. The story unfolds below:





Peña Nieto's Reforms Take on Teachers’ Union

February 26, 2013

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed major education reforms into law on Monday, limiting the power of the powerful teachers’ union. By modifying two articles of the constitution, the overhaul allows the government to hire and fire teachers, and aims to gather reliable data on schools, teachers and students in Mexico’s education system, which serves an estimated 35.5 million children. Monday “begins an education transformation Mexican society longs for,” the president said during a ceremony at the National Palace in the capital.

Mexico’s 1.4 million-strong teachers’ union (SNTE)—the largest in Latin America
staged nationwide strikes to oppose some of the proposed reforms, fearing they could result in massive layoffs. The union "cannot support a measure that threatens our job security," said Elba Esther Gordillo, who has led the union for the past 23 years. Still, with Mexico ranking last on test scores among OECD countries, President Peña Nieto considered taking on the unions necessary to achieving meaningful reform.

Bipartisan support of the reform renews hope that the president commands the political capital to pursue his ambitious reform agenda, which includes overhauls of the tax and energy systems. "This reform is the first great step to transform the education of our young. We are going to get Mexico moving," Mr. Peña Nieto said in a Twitter post, shortly after the education bill passed the Congress 360-51 last December.t of his administration.
This is an actual real live picture of Miss Gordillo,
a veritable image of the face of atheist, socialist
union, corrupt thuggery
   EL GRINGO VIEJO adds a few quick observations.   We were always humoured when some jackass would state with great authority that  "Mexicans are poor because they have no labour unions."    The fact was that the government used the unions for years to organise people to vote and vote mindlessly or else.   Petroleum workers, electical workers, peasant farmers, and other divers social groups were forced into a particular, pertinent official nationwide union for the purpose of intimidating business people, conservatives, and other free thinking labouring people....and that went on to a lesser or greater degree for much of the 75 years of the hegemony of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).
     Someone could say, "Well, what they needed was free and independent unions."  And, of course, such is a contradiction of terms.   During the last 20 years there has been significant, perhaps even massive, movement towards  "Green"  and "White" labour unions that are significantly more production oriented and less politically motivated.    But not the SNTE;  it has become increasingly opaque, devious, even threatening.
      And please understand that forty years ago, when a Mexican child came into the McAllen public school system (usually by tuition back then), if he were in the seventh grade in Mexico (1st grade of secondary), he would usually wind up the school year in the McAllen 9th grade. And McAllen was a very, very advanced educational plant....perhaps the best in Texas at the time...and nationally recognised for its excellence.
       Now, in Mexico, there are few public schools that are functioning well.   About half of the teachers are there as a calling and to serve, while the remainder are union thugs, barnacles, parasites, and slugs.   Turmoil and disputes are the general rule in a majority of primaries and many secondaries.   Preparatories are better, but...much improvement is needed to get back to where they were.   Private schools at all levels in Mexico range from really good to excellent...and many of the public universities are also very good to excellent...especially the technology and medical schools.
Rule number one:   education and unions do not mix,  except to make a poison.
      We also urge a quick visit during your browse to the blog of the Anglican Curmudgeon to see his first posting to-day.  It is very brief, and carries a two sentence, witty profundity worth reading.
El Gringo Viejo