Sunday, 31 March 2013

Comedy Hour - Repost, because the truth never becomes old


  1. World’s 10 Most Influential Women
  1. Probably one of the most recognized faces around the world, Hillary Clinton has to be the most popular First Lady of United States since its inception. Not only was she the First Lady from 1993 till 2001, she was also the first woman to be elected as the US Senator from the state of New York and went on to become the Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013! A lawyer by profession, she has led numerous battles on behalf of victims of child abuse and has been the voice of woman empowerment since her inception in the White House!
  2. ?
     It still begs that orginal question...after all the inceptions and concussions and victims of child abuses and women's empowerments....(what in the Sam Hill does 'women's empowerment' even mean?)....What possible difference does any of it make?  (Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton - February 2013)
     This is the longest serving fountain of mendacity that the United States of America has ever had to endure.  For those who think that (Sir Edmund)Hillary gives a granite grubhoe about any female other than herself...those folks should consider...Linda Tripp, whose FBI raw data files were ordered out of the personnel department of the Department of Defence,  during the Saga of Billy Jeff and Monica, back in 1997.   Simple unauthorised possession of an FBI raw data file on any citizen is a felong that can result in long prison terms.  Chuck Colson, in the Nixon White House, had ONE .....that had not been his desk....and he did three years hard time in the Federal Pen.
    (Sir Edmund) Hillary had 1,100 and up to 1,300....and apparently had copied all of the contents of most of as to be able to blackmail and bludgeon in typical Bolshevik fashion...old and possible new enemies of hers and of her wayward, violent, and drug-slug husband.    That is how she managed to order the leaks on Kathleen Willey....whom Billy Jeff assaulted in the White House at the same general period he was having his peculiar interlopements with Monica in the Oval Office and elsewhere.  Suddenly, when Kathleen Willey speaks about those incidents and the intimidations she suffered later, Hillary caused there to be released private mail correspondence from Kathleen Willey to the White House, requesting any intercession in order to obtain employment due to the fact that her husband had committed suicide and that, as a femme sole, she would appreciate being upgraded from her intern and volunteer status to career staff status.
     Other private communication from and to Willey were leaked...all the more sordid because the above letter was dated at or around the time of one of Billy Jeff's assaults upon the person of Mrs. Willey.
    Jennifer Flowers,  Susan McDougall, and Juanita Broderick were just a few of the bimbo and  not-so-bimbo women that Billy Jeff had assaulted, toyed with, and/or brutalised.   Poor dumbina Paula Jones was lucky that she got out of her mess with Billy Jeff without being fished out of some murky stretch of the the Mississippi River.   The Miss (Some Southern State) respresentative to the Miss America still living at some location in Canada, where she fled for her life....due to threats concerning her  involvement with Billy Jeff while he was Governor of Arkansas.

     It is the strangest thing that a woman...and her husband....who are the only common denominators  in the events of the murders and suicides of well over 100 people over the years of their "public service".... could possibly be held in positive esteem for anything.  Even by the measure of low information and low intelligence voters, it must be clear that when so many people are found dead who are at the 1st and 2nd level of interaction or personal relationship something has to be considered out of to speak.
     Following the logic of the Obsolete Press and the (Sir Edmund) Hillary apologists, it can always be said with certaintly that it might be true that (Sir Edmund) Hillary Corkscrew never really did anything for the poor left-handed Eskimo Children nor their mothers....or for anyone in particular, but at least she did it with other peoples' money.  And, above all else, "what difference does it make?"
El Gringo Viejo

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wet Spring Finally and a Note from a favoured OROG

A pictured sent up by friends. Compare
to other one taken a couple of years ago
on the homepage, upper right
We receive quite a few communications, mostly by email, but some folks post on our comment section.  One of our favourite OROGs also is involved on the screeds of "The Anglican Curmudgeon" .   There we share very similar to identical opinions about the state of Christ's Church as it is encountered in the demise of the tradition, orthodox, and catholic form of what used to be The Protestant Episcopal Church of America and the Church of England when there was an England and a Church of England with people in it.   The more the Anglican Communion changes to be popular, the emptier the pews become.
     This particular contribution was placed on our posting about Tampico, a couple of weeks ago, although the OROG's comment was submitted very recently.  We have been, quite frankly, surprised about the number of folks who dig back through our ramblings, and who seem to appreciated them.   Somewhat humbling to say the least.

     But,  our pleasant remembrances of Tampico twenty or more years ago brought forth memories of a similar but much different that was fairly popular back in the day, but still one that was cut out for only an especially adventurous type of person who was cut out for it.   Our friend sent in these following memories and observations.   TO WIT:

Gringo Viejo,

    This brought back 20+ yr old memories. On the day that Gulf War I started, we started a month long tour of Mexico with a caravan of campers and motor homes, to Chihuahua and Cuauhtemoc, and loaded on to rail flatcars in La Junta...then by rail through Copper Canyon to Los Mochis. We camped on the beaches of the Sea of Cortez, then to Mazatlan, Guadalajara, San Luis Potosí ,  Cd. Victoria, and Matamoros.

Back in the day:   This tour was from 2008 and was among the last.    Our OROG friend did it
when it was more "interesting" and perhaps even more interesting, as well.   Judging by her
comments it was in the 1980s and things have changed a bit since.   Our groups were via the
 passenger train...and we would usually spend four or five nights "off-track"  sometimes in
remote little places like Cerocahui and Batopilas.  

         We were enchanted with the scenery and the local populous.   The courtesy of the people was just like my youth of 1930/40s. My husband and I had 2 afternoons of guided tour by 2 school girls (ages 9 and 10 !) who took us shopping and also bargained for the best price. They spoke no English, and we no Spanish. I corresponded with the younger (Lupe) for a couple of years, until my supply of Mexican stamps ran out (I sent self addressed, stamped return envelopes) She had to wait for an uncle to come home to read mine to dentist tried to read hers to me, but couldn't make sense of them, so I'd wait till Saturday on the golf course, and my husband's co-worker from Mexico would read them. (Lupe spelled badly)

        Such interesting history of Mexico that wasn't taught in SW MO schools. The German-via- Canada Mennonite farm populations, The Tarahumara (Raramuri) Indians of the Copper Canyon, The Japanese population of Mazatlan.

        Two or three years later, the Copper Canyon passenger train was robbed by a gang. We felt very safe. On a rail siding our train was met by a group of a dozen little boys with armloads of wild flowers. When offered money, they put their hands behind them, smiled and shook their heads.

Such beautiful memories!

28 March 2013 00:08
     Judging by our fellow OROG's itinerary,  she was taking the "deluxe grand tour"because it revealed many faces of Mexico and took forever.   Mexico is best appreciated the slower you go.  El Gringo Viejo was always a snooty-snooty about the "caravaneers" because, of course, I thought that a person should just drive through, or take the bus...or take a ground tour.  It seemed cumbersome to me to drive a huge piece of metal with so many parts that could stop working.  We finally began to realise that there were people who were just meant to RV and caravan, and it was none of my bee's wax what they did with their money, time, and preferences.
     We remember the civility of children in Mexico when they would refuse coins  for favours given, because in the correct culture, only the godfather of a child has the right (and obligation) to give a coin denominated in 50 centavos to his god child.   This was to be done on the first sighting after any absence of  one month (lunar cycle) or facsimili.   In these days, more well to do might give 50 pesos instead. 

     As an aside, our company was the first one to begin taking groups via train on the Copper Canyon excursion, and actually staying overnight along the way, back in 1976.  The caravans had to make four or five overnight stops because they were so long that they had to schedule their advances into very narrow "time windows"....and that was when the passenger and freight trains were running on-time.  So, in a way, they were the pioneers in the whole Copper Canyon group action business.

     We remember the "Great Train Robbery".   It was not a pleasant thing.   One German tourist thought that the whole thing was a staged  "Wild West Show" thing.    He kept taking pictures while the bandits kept telling him in English to stop.  Finally a bandit went over and grabbed the camera and while wrestling over the camera, another bandit came over and shot the German fellow. 
     The seven bandits ran off, later being captured literally by Chihuahua ranch cowboys and some Raramuri  (Tarahumara) Indians.   The Indians ran to the nearest telephone and called the Chihuahua Rangers.  Two days later the police authority finally reached the unfortunate bandits, who had been hog-tied and then tied to trees and left in the overnight cold for two nights, no food, no rest rooms, no bath, no water.   When the State Police people arrived, they stayed another night...leaving the scumbags to suffer severely for a third below freezing 6,000 fasl elevation night.   They probably would have preferred waterboarding.   Me thinks it to have been around 1990.    Since there was one other robbery, but with no casualties.  There are two daily passenger trains, each way, during these times.
     We might recommend this linkage  (boring alert....we wrote the article below as well)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

NOTES, SOME HISTORY, and OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE COPPER CANYON TRIP (last proofed and amended on 26 May 2012)

    For such a simply named destination, and a one-way-in and one-way-out configuration, it ought to be fairly simple. But, The Chihuahua al Pacifico rail adventure is full of variations and choices, almost all are good. Our particular experience begins during the Summer of 1968, while El Gringo Viejo was still a Gringo Nuevo. Wild Bill Matern, a German fellow from the Fredericksburg area in Central Texas and the Gringo Viejo were working for the Institute of Texian Cultures. Since we wore "cowboy" clothes the bosses sent us out to the extreme most outlying area of the Republic, which was in the Trans-Pecos and beyond.
We were to gather data on the Kokernot and Faver ranches and any material from living persons who might have recollections of the Goodnight - Loving and Chisholm cattle-drive trails of the period 1870 - 1905. Also of interest were any tales, lore, or artifacts concerning Texans who supported one side or another of the various, ever changing sides of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.
      While milling around on the Rio Grande between Fort Leaton, Lajitas, and Presidio we were advised that from this Thursday through next Wednesday, our orders were in flux. There was a meeting to determine what our new mission would be. Stay close to a telephone, but no later than Tuesday we'll give you your new instructions. It was like Heaven and Hell at the same time. We were being overpaid and over-accommodated for doing a Summer job that was very close to being on vacation. Our research was being catalogued and processed for use in the massive Institute of Texian Cultures museum located on the HemisFair World Fair compound in downtown San Antonio...openning in April of 1968.
      But here we were in Presidio, full of Republic of Texas per diem money, our hotel (?) paid for the week, and nothing to do except comb through the old instructions, even if it all had to be flushed later. The owner of the "New Phillips Hotel", an interesting facility next to the downtown area of Presidio, suggested that we could use our time to take the Mexican train from Ojinaga, Chihuahua across the Rio Grande and go to Chihuahua, and then catch a fancy little train to a place called the Barranca del Cobre. "How long does it take?" we wondered aloud. And our host figured he had seen people do it, "....there and back, over a couple of nights...".
        The next morning found us taking a "taxi" of sorts over to Ojinaga, which was a respectable looking dump, actually quite a bit more substantial than Presidio, and to the Chihuahua al Pacifico train station. Our train was about 20 cars long, with two Pullman cars, two first class special cars, a diner, and six second class cars, a baggage/express car and a couple of boxcars full of some kind or another of freight behind the locomotives. Because we were at the end of the time zone, the morning was still darkish. We bought our tickets for the first class special car, and boarded. The train left about 15 minutes later, just as the sun was breaking over the eastern horizon.
      Our car was pleasant, about half-full of families travelling on vacation and a few business people and ranchers. It was clean and airy, with ventilation and air-conditioning that worked. So we were happy. The rest rooms were even clean. "When do we arrive in Chihuahua City?" ....we asked the Auditor (conductor). "Probably in a little while...." he responds. That was an interesting answer, but Wild Bill and I knew that clocks in Mexico were engineered to run sideways, so it did not really matter. During the entirety of the journey, our train rumbled, squeaked, clanged, hooted, and clunkity-clickity-clacked between fifteen and fifty miles per hour. It stopped with some frequency at isolated, unlikely places. People would board and de-board. The train was obviously an institution for these people who lived in the absolute middle of nowhere. The scenery changed from torturous mountains to desert-like plains, and then back to low mountains, and the rock-scapes. It was, oddly, pretty much the stereotypical image of Chihuahua, and because of the extent, most impressive.
      We reviewed the card the Auditor gave us with the times and stations...he knew the Gringos liked to have predictability and punctuality...."Sometimes this works", he smiled as he passed us the card. "The diner is open, first we feed the Gringos."
        "Oh, no,no! " we protested, "We don't want to go ahead of the families and their children."
        "No, no, Gringos, you have to go and eat first. If you survive, then the other people will go eat." He said with a very straight face. (this is all in Spanish)
         Wild Bill says, "Did he say what I think he said?"
         We laughed heartily, and then rambled up ahead, boots and hats, looking every bit the image of what the children thought Texas cowboys would look like. The people seemed glad that we caught the joke and could take some ribbing....and the ice was broken for the rest of the trip. Wild Bill was surprised that the menu of the hour was breakfast, but El Gringo Viejo told him that since Mexico was based on Manana Savings Time everyone seemed to eat a little later than "normal". "Does this mean I can't have beer?" seemed to be his concern. So, after flapjacks, bacon , coffee, scrambled eggs and a couple of Carta Blancas, Bill was happy.
       Our clicking and clacking continued, and we fell steadily behind schedule. We slept for a bit, woke up, and noticed that we were almost on schedule. "Can we brush our teeth with the water in the dispenser?" "No, because the relief engine is a steam locomotive and we have to maintain a reserve just in case our engine breaks down." "ha, ha , ha...." again another joke. We brushed our teeth after eating a far better than average club-sandwich each. Once again Wild Bill washed everything down with as couple of Carta Blancas. In those years, El Gringo Viejo scarcely if ever used anything with alcohol, save for communion, but he decided to join Bill in drinking one of the cold brews....and then promptly fell asleep again for and hour and a half. We were on a siding when I woke up, and another passenger train was going past us in the other direction. It seemed amazing that our passengers were waving at the other passengers as they went by....'' Look, there Aunt Minerva! Hello...hello!"....wave, wave, wave....repeated three or four hundred times, all passengers considered.
       The Auditor came by, calling out the name of the next stop....and then declaring, "...Chihuahua, one hour! Chihuahua, one hour!" We looked at the card and it appeared as though we would be about 10 minutes late...arriving at four in the afternoon, or thereabouts. Nine hours to go 220 miles. Such is life on a train in mountainous country with 40 intermediate stops. But we had just ridden through a time machine experience, with cowboys for real, with pistols stuck in their belts, horsemen and big sombreros, autos and pickups from the 1930s, adobe villages, all such things....already in rapid diminishment, but still quite common.
        Once in the train station, we asked about the train to the place called La Barranca del Cobre....but the ticket agent says only..."You buy your tickets at 05:30. It leaves at 06:05." and the ticket window closed. So, then we were left to our own devices in a strange city that was, oddly enough, fairly familiar. Cowboys, regular looking people, Indians in native attire, and then the Mennonites (we hadn't anticipated that). The city seemed prosperous enough, and there were smelter stacks in the near distance, with smoke indicating some thing to do with gold, silver, and iron. There were numerous...even the majority....of the people who were of total or near total white racial and green eyes were not comment worthy. "Hey! Cowboys, you wait for the train to-morrow?" It was Fulgencio the the taxi man. "I take you to the good place."
       We were dumber than a dead rock, so the Lord guided the issue and Fuli, (pronounced 'fool-ee, really) took us over to the Hotel Victoria, which was a nice enough place that had an entrance that came through what had been a stone-block, Victorian-era mansion. It was a remnant of what had been a considerable English investment and occupation of Chihuahua City during the later quarter 0f the 19th Century. We opted to hang around in the bar for a while, and then finally decided to take a room....It was the equivalent of about 6 USD for a double room. Our friend had changed a hundred dollars for us back in Presidio...I had felt pretty spiffy with 625 units of any currency in those days. As an aside, the 1,250.00 pesos that he changed to us lasted until our return to Presidio, and we had 400 left over, which we used to liquidate our hotel bill at the New Phillips Hotel. And we still had money left over. It was a different time.
       After a pleasant stay....boring, but pleasant....and a good night's sleep, we carried our little bags out and we pleased to note that Fuli was there in the darkness...."Hey! Cowboys, let's go!"
       "Yeah, we have to get our tickets," grumbled the Gringo Viejo.
       "You Gringos! You think you are the only ones who can organise an army!'' Fuli laughed. He flipped Wild Bill an envelope."There are your tickets. Ida y vuelta...come and go...same day. You owe me 33 pesos."
         We were impressed, "How did you get the tickets? The guy said 05:30," protested Wild Bill.
        "I work that cabbie station. I know all those guys. You just board the train and show these tickets."
        "Where did you learn to speak English, Fuli?" I enquired.
        "I was born in Waxahatchie (Texas). Went to primary six grades there. My family moved here when my grandfather died and my dad came and took over his store. My mom is media-gringa." We pulled into the parking lot and witness the line...perhaps 100 people long, buying tickets. "They sell for the 2nd class trenecito, and the 1st class trenecito at the same time...too many people....wait and everyone gets nervous when the departure comes," Fuli informs.
         True to form, we go directly to the boarding area, and there is a strange assembly of two self-propelled, shiny lacquered blue Fiat Autovias. Very glitzy. In front, about 100 yards ahead, are three Fiat Autovias coloured in cream with orange-red trim, also boarding passengers, albeit in a less organised manner. The blue ones are the 1st class and the cream/tangerine ones are 2nd class/all stops. Both intend to make it over the Sierra Madre Occidental to-day, and arrive in Los Mochis, Sinaloa nearly adjacent to the Sea of Cortez sometime before midnight. The 2nd class will depart earlier, but then by the time the first major station ahead is reached, it will be overtaken and then passed by the 1st class Autovia that has many fewer stops.
        We expressed our appreciation and admiration for Fuli...El Gringo Viejo never saw him again even in all my other comings and goings with groups or alone in Chihuahua. He had charged us the equivalent of 4 USD for everything. In those days.

Hotel Divisadero on the edge of the
Copper Canyon. Picture is cerca 2006
      We left the Chihuahua Chihuahua al Pacifico (Che - Pe, pronounced Chei - Pei) Terminal and headed west by southwest for the next five hours. We passed through several busy communities scores of villages. The Blue Fiat did not stop except for the bigger towns. We went through Cuauhtemoc, San Rafael, San Juanito, Creel, had a bit of a meal on board, sold by children carrying buckets full of somewhat identifiable stuffing wrapped by tortillas. It was a bit disconcerting however, when we noticed that nobody bought anything until after they had seen us eat on or two. I had given the little Indian girl a one peso silver coin, for which she returned five smallish, fat, rolled tacos...called "flautas" (flutes), and a little paper cup with some salsa verde. So that all will know how cheap money is now, she pulled my shirt a few seconds later, and gave me my change, which was 50 centavos...The tasty little meal had set me back 4 cents USD. I motioned that there was no need for change, but she insisted. Then she pointed shyly at my pocket. It dawned on me that she wanted my ball point pen...official State of Texas pen. Ask and ye shall receive.

       To make a long story a bit shorter, we arrived at a place called Divisadero. The Auditor told us we had 30 minutes to "look at the Canyon", that the FIAT would whistle three times and depart two minutes after that warning. Then he told us,"You gringos will wait here after we leave. The big train will come 15 minutes later. Where do you go, finally? "

       "We have to make it back to Ojinaga."

       "Then tell the auditor that you want a dormitorio," and with that he went about his duties.

       So then Wild Bill and the Gringo Viejo strode on down to where everyone else seemed to be going. There was a small, rustic, but pleasant looking lodge...apparently finished, but under the process of improvement or expansion. There was a small restaurant, and everywhere there were Tarahumara (Rura'muri) Indian women sitting in mounds of petticoats and palm leaves (?), making baskets. Their daughters, dressed identically, down to the bandanna head coverings, drawn tightly over the ears, were playing with rough Indian dolls which, like the baskets, were all for sale.

       I went to the rail at the edge, where a substantial group was taking pictures with the new instamatic cameras (remember?), and leaned on the wobbly, one-pole wide, "fence". Looking down, it was shall we say, disconcerting. It was 4,000 feet straight down. My first remembering is that I looked over to the right and down about 1,000 and about a half mile off, and saw a convoy of Tarahumara women and girls, perhaps 50 persons, carrying huge bundles of palm leaf up to the patio where others were labouring. Wild Bill suggested that we ought to have brought our State of Texas cameras, but they could not have captured the dimensions in any regard. We had heard a series of train honkings and was from a unit out of view. People began to go back. Various honkings and whistlings continued.
NDEM 316
FIAT Autovia, like the 1st class category.
This picture taken in Mexico City, 2009.
Colour motif is different from our ride in
1967, between Chihuahua and Divisadero
Before long the Blue FIAT Autovia pulled away with all its charges, and in short order another regular train with about 14 cars of various type replaced it, but heading back towards Chihuahua. We located the Auditor, and said we were heading back to Ojinaga. He said we could travel in 1st class on our ticket, or for 100 pesos more we could take a "bedroom". We decided to indulge ourselves. The trip would be at least 17 hours. We had a pleasantly uneventful trip back, sleeping from midnight until our arrival in Ojinaga, and completely unaware that we had avoided, miraculously, all the delays, avalanches, rail failures, and equipment problems that had plagued the line since it had finally made the complete passage from Chihuahua to Los Mochis...only 5 years before. After 100 years of effort.
       The difficulties had been mentioned about the Chihuahua to Los Mochis stretch, but only in passing. Our host at the New Phillips Hotel in Presidio, Texas confided to us on the night of our return that he had made the same trip with his brother and sister-in-law three months before, and had been stuck at the Divisadero for three nights. One has to consider in these days that for 25 years after the completion of the railway, it remained the only way in and out for traffic involved in making it from Chihuahua to the other side of the Sierra Madre Oriental. No cars, trucks, busses....only trains....almost all on a single track line.


       The problem with the Copper Canyon is that there are many different Copper Canyons on many different levels, figuratively and literally. The trip can be done in such a way that it would only require two days on the rails, and one night's stay at a terminus, either Los Mochis or Cd. Chihuahua. This would involve stopping for a couple of fifteen minute photo-ops at the edge of the Copper Canyon's easiest overview...and perhaps the least impressive. Make no mistake, it is a blow your socks off overview.
       But for all the trouble that it takes to make it to Chihuahua and/or Los Mochis, it seems a high physical and monetary price to pay for fifteen minutes of fame. For several years, many tour operators did the tour exactly this way, citing that it was far too cold to stay there during the Winters (temperatures can go well below 0 F in the area...San Juanito, Chihuahua registered -26 F back in the 1980s...and it is on the rail line further to the east). Others pointed out that it is far too hot to go in the Summer, although almost all Texans, for instance would find the heat anything but uncomfortable. Once one makes into the innards of the cordilleras of the Sierra Madre Occidental, any place in the shade is cool even during the heat of the day.
A picture of the period of our last year of
group operation, 1992 at the Divisadero.
Things had changed! The Chihuahua
al Pacifico, reassumed ownership
from Nacionales, and has since
been melded into a Mexican/
American Corporation
       The best time to go is probably in the Autumn. Both the going up and the coming down from the mountains are blessed with magnificent Fall Foliage presentations, especially in latest October and November. Nights can be nippy, but all the facilities along the way have adequate heating. Your train, especially the first class train, has heating and air conditioning that works dependably. The rivers and brooks are running from the Summer rains still, and so things are lush. It is apple harvest time in the Mennonite areas just to the west of Chihuahua, near Cuauhtemoc and thousands and thousands of acres of fields of wheat being machine harvested. All in all it is pleasant and temperate, and comfortable.
       Winter is problematic. Heavy snows can be enough....15 to 50 a couple of bring trains to a stop. The newer highways, although generally well-built and drained, can be cut off for three or four times....perhaps once every other year or so. Side touring away from the traveller's estancia can be more easily interrupted by more common snows of 3 to 10 inches, that occur several times every Winter.

         Three or four hundred years ago, we ran our tours in the Autumn, like October, and as late as possible in the Winter, like latest February and early March....a majority of our clients were winter tourists from the North who wintered in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

As seasons went by, we finally determined to do a set of four double-excursions that would meet over Mazatlan, where both groups, the one departing and the one arriving would arrive at the same time, at the same hotel. We used the Oceano Palace and its sister the Luna Palace on the beach at Mazatlan, and the stay was for three nights. It was summarily pleasant. Mazatlan is a place where Howard Stern and Lawrence Welk could both get along. However, returning to the issue, it is a pleasant waste of time, and affords access to the very nice toll expressway between Los Mochis and Mazatlan. The trip can take as little as four hours now, but in my day it was generally six to eight hours, depending on the traffic.
El Gringo Viejo (l) and brother,
the Professor, waiting on the
westbound in
Creel, Chihuahua.
     There are perhaps as many as three first-class or deluxe busses departing Mazatlan for Los Mochis and points north, on a direct or express basis per every 15 minutes. There are various....hundreds..... of places to rent an auto throughout Mazatlan. Of course, in those days we did the transfer on a deluxe charter touring coach from our adjunct company in Mexico City. Los Mochis is a town that was built pretty much in the very late 1800s, by American agricultural interests. All the area to the north of Culiacan (the capital of Sinaloa) up to and beyond Los Mochis is serious tomatoe and truck production. It is also famous for sugar cane, but the money is in tomatoes.
In the days of yore, we would stay either at the old Holiday Inn, way out on the edge of the city, or at the old stand-by, the Santa Anita, a nice enough place with a really fine dining facility. It is in the middle of town. It is really not important about placement in Los Mochis, because we are just going to get up and go...very early in the morning.

        NOW! Here is where is starts to become interesting. All that stuff about staying here in Los Mochis, or there in Los Mochis? ...perhaps not. Perhaps a person would prefer to stay in a more interesting place, picturesque, typical, clean, nice, and relaxing. To take such an alternative, after leaving Mazatlan, and passing through Los Mochis's outside, we would head by highway to the East, into the mountains and making it up to El Fuerte (The Fortress) abot 39 miles east of Los Mochis. This is quite a nice city, and we would recommend to go ahead a splurge by staying at the Hotel El Fuerte, in El Fuerte. It is summarily pleasant. We recommend two nights in El Fuerte, to catch ones breath and to see the little city up close. It would be good to have your tickets, so part of the day could be spent in buying the necessary number of 1st class tickets, for your departure tomorrow. The train will arrive about an hour after departure from Los Mochis...and that would mean around 07:00 hours at the station in El Fuerte.
        From El Fuerte, the rail ride begins to become really interesting. From there on, the engineering, maintenance, and operation of the engines are a marvel, approaching the level of disbelief at times, and then sometime crossing the frontier between real and imaginary.

El Gringo Viejo, making sure that the clients will
have a nice supper. This picture was taken by the
'Hotel owner, because he said he had never had a tour
operator be so helpful to his clients and the Hotel at the
same time. Mom would have been proud.
Creel, Chihuahua, 30 October 1986
     It is hard enough to make any kind of train move, but this one will have to increase its elevation by 8,000 feet in about four hours, and within 120 miles. It will do the first 40 miles in less than an hour and a half....that is the part about going from Los Mochis to El Fuerte. The next 80 miles or so will take every bit of three hours. All the tales about 80 some odd tunnels and 37 bridges are true, but they almost become incidental. It is rather much like saying, "It's a lot easier to use a toothbrush if you want to brush your teeth". It is compelling, however, to see that it was done, and that the railway people manage to maintain it as well as they do. Obviously, 90% of the bridges and tunnels are found in the middle 33.3% of the trajectory. There is even a place where your train will manage, in spite of its short length, to cross over itself. There is another place place where the train will enter a tunnel and come out going in the opposite direction. There is a place near that where a passenger will see three tiers of track, all of which pertains to his trip, to-day. With all that is going on, one must remember that there is a bar, and that the staff is also preparing meals in a very adequate, almost elegant diner. And then, one has to be prepared to jump off the train should he wish to comply with his planned itinerary and/or take advantage of his pre-paid reservations. One choice would be to travel as far as from El Fuerte to Bahuichivo, deplane and take the bus or whatever to the little community of Cerocahui, about 15 miles to the south of the railway. This community is a ranching and mining community.
Raramui (Tarahumara)
in 1892
       The rustics, mainly hillbilly whites and/or mestizo type cowboys, come up to the little hotel where you will stay "in town" and present little balls of a very heavy metal. One of the little balls might be 1/2 inch in diameter and he might want 500 pesos for it. My mother fell for this ruse on her first trip. She asked me 312 times if she should buy one or more of the little balls. Finally, El Gringo Viejo told her to go ahead and risk it, because he would beat the guy up on the next trip in if they turned out to be compressed marshmallows. She was a true trader/scavenger and a court qualified authority in matters of value of collectibles, antiques, and such things. She had a great deal of experience in pricing Estate Sales for people, and for many years she ran the "exclusive" charity and foundation store for a significant and historical Episcopal Church in the center of Texas. When her jeweller and "metals man" did the test on the little metal balls, he called her and said," Mrs. Viejo, those little balls of metal, you paid 24 dollars for them, no?" She answered in the positive. "Well they have some sand, but the metal is come out to 22 karat gold even with the silicate, copper, and silver in it. It's about 288 dollars in scrap. Do you want to jeweller them, leave them like they are, or melt them into something fancy?"
        Of course that was back in the mid-1980s. The gold, silver, and copper never run out. But whether those fellows are always there, who knows. Usually when we were there for the two night stay, they would, almost shyly, come slouching around like timid children. By now they might have publicity agents and a smelter. They made the little balls of heavy metal by rolling the flecks of gold around like a child rolling a clay ball. It would take hours of hand heat and rolling to make a little ball of 1/8th inch. The biggest one I ever saw was about 5/8's of an inch in diameter. Much effort, but it solves the problem about the Devil's workshop.
El Gringo Viejo, his better half, and his 5 year old daughter went into the Copper Canyon during one of the early days, to make arrangements for the groups. There was one little Rura'ruri girl about my daughter's age, her name was Dominga, and she and my daughter interacted like long-lost buddies, at least by the Indian standards. My daughter bought a little Indian girl doll from's around here somewhere.

On the way to Batopilas on the last days before
the 90 mile mountain highway was
finished and paved
      Leaving Cerocahui and Bahuachivo a person can travel on to Cuiteco where there are places to stay and other places of interest to visit. As in all places, some of the attraction is human...the Indians themselves, and some is the overwhelming imperatives forced by the geography and geology of this area, which is larger than New England. Cuiteco is interesting because it is right on the railway, but oddly remains almost untouched by tourism. There are places to stay that are pleasant, but the guest will have the impression that he is staying as a family member...or at least that he is staying as something like an exchange student with a nice family. Cuiteco has apples and other cold weather fruit production. There are also access points to the Canyon's edge within a reasonable hike from "downtown" Cuiteco (pop. 315).
It is almost obligatory that one stay at the Hotel Divisadero, which is the place that grew out of the little place described during the trip we made with Wild Bill Matern in 1967. Many people of note have stayed there. Helen Hayes...ambassadors, governors, presidents, John Wayne, and of course El Gringo Viejo. It really does cling to the edge of the Barranca. It is a bit pricey, but of course it is all meals included, and the stuff they serve is good. There are two ways to attack the stay there. One is to head over to the bar at about 8:35 am and stay there all day. Others trade in tranquillity for hikes...some quite lengthy....some including overnight camping...or overnighting in very humble Indian villages with basic services only.

      With the picture, above right, one can appreciate El Gringo Viejo's impatience with a client's insistence upon having a good time. This particular picture shows the construction of the road to Batopilas, a remote village that at one time served as an R & R site for Pancho Villa. The road leads from Creel, which should be an inclusion on a person's trek through the route of the Chihuahua al Pacifico. Since the 1992 period, it has been paved, possible for the entire distance. Creel is a good place to spend two or three nights...there are folks who come there for the summer. In town there are several, eight or ten now, decent places that are probably worth the charges. The people own and operate the facilities, in my opinion, really seem dedicated to complying with the idea of fair value, plus a little more.
The last time we were there, there were only five places to stay, including the one about 9 kilometres south of town. Now, one need only click onto a general search, Creel, Chihuahua Hoteles. The first entry, or thereabouts, will have a listing of about fifteen accommodations ranging from about 20 USD per night up to a ritzy place with a tag of about 170 USD per night. One must make do with ones willingness to tolerate and the level of friction his soul has with the idea of parting with money.

       When the stay is up a fellow can get back on the train, usually arriving in mid-afternoon, and head for Chihuahua City. Arrival will be after dark. There are usually numerous talkative taxi know, gabbie cabbies...and ask to go to the very central San Francisco (half-block from the main Plaza) or the Posada del Sol, downtown. It's a short drive. The San Francisco is a bit gloomy but has really good moments, food, bar, etc. The Posada is glitzier...or tries to be...but the restaurant is excellent and most of the rooms are deluxe.

        If there ever were a reason to do something effectively rather than efficiently, this is one trip where such is indicated. Think about what has been listed above. At each stop there are things to do...or not. There are other places that represent investments of less or more time and money quite nearby. One notices in the write-up that there are immediate things to include or exclude. "I don't really care about beaches and Mazatlan." or "I've alway wanted to see that place. What magic does it have that keeps it in business when there are so many glitzier, up-scale sea-side destinations?"
       This is a trip better suited for a single person, a couple, or for a group of really, really close friends....a group of six or eight persons....who have travelled together successfully. There should be at least three or four planning sessions....all the while allowing for the inevitable happenstantial contretemps that might occur when dealing with trains and boats and planes and other worthwhile things. (seems to play better in full screen). There must be complete satisfaction and willing agreement on the various choices of 2nd class, 1st class, and deluxe accommodation. For instance it should be considered to use the 1st class train to go through the entire train route on one day from Chihuahua to Los Mochis...fourteen hours....and rest up a couple of days at the Santa Anita and then take the 2nd class train back in stages....El Fuerte, Cuiteco, Cerocahui, Divisadero, Creel.
     Although the security situation around Batopilas and areas to the west has improved substantially since the disorders of 2010, a recent flare up, a little further to the west yet, has been intense and quite successful for the "our side". There are several write-ups by back-packers, elderly right-wing hippies, curmudgeons, and dumboes who have been down to that beautiful place and reported that normalcy has returned. These are people who sneer that no one should visit a post office or a Virginia university campus, or a Luby's in Temple if they think they are too important to be exempted from reality....I see their point, actuarially they are correct...pero, para ser prudente requiere algo de prudencia....which, of course, means "To be prudent requires something of prudence."
       El Gringo Viejo would go down to Batopilas without a second thought. For someone going to the Copper Canyon for the first time, however, it would be a long waste of time, due to the length of time required for the drive there and back. That time can be better invested in getting to know, getting to feel, getting to enjoy the millions of brain impressions that the nearer destinations provide in abundance.
      The food on this trip ranges from okay to excellent, with excellent selections in Los Mochis, El Fuerte, and Chihuahua, and a bit more limited within the train route. However, El Gringo Viejo never had a really bad meal along this route, nor did he ever receive the merest hint of a complaint about the fare. If folks want to throw in Mazatlan, that particular destination is nothing short of astounding in terms of great grub...from the push-carts to the linen and crystal places.
       One of the best write-ups we have found contains about 40 glaring inaccuracies, and it is terribly dated, since it comes from 2001. But, it does point out that anyone can do this trip and be substantially "un-babysitted"....because it was taken, and remains being taken by of the participants on this trip, for instance, being 88 years of age. In spite of the inaccuracies and dumboe information the poor people were given, it was a fair trip for the price, and they had a good time. It seemed that there might have been some anticipation on the part of some of the participants that they were going to downtown Vienna, or to some really primitive place, like Round Rock, Texas.

      One should also be aware of the main sport of the Rura'muri men is the making and taking internally of tesquino. This sport is much more popular than their sport of running one hundred miles without stopping all the while kicking a wooden ball. The running and kicking sport has no winner, apparently, no score keeping, so perhaps it fits into the new American Public School concept of "Goals and Objectives". The tesquino drinking involves a lot of stumbling and mumbling, but there is no distance requirement. This more important sport is described in this link. importance of tesgüino to the Tarahumara.

       As is noted, this is not a traditional travel guide. This is the voice of experience that also is the voice of recognition of reality. Each person should stand at the bat with his own stance. This expedition, in particular, should be done only after setting aside about 3,000 USD per person, including roundtrip airfares, and investing an absolute minimum of 10 days, leaving by air in various settings: San Antonio, or Dallas/Ft. Worth, or Houston Bush to Monterrey to Chihuahua. Also LAX to Mazatlan. Phoenix to Mazatlan. AeroCalifornia from Tucson to Los Mochis or Mazatlan. Upon returning home, one should have up to half of the money remaining, depending upon bar bills, bail bonds, and shopping alternatives.
For veteran travellers to Mexico, El Gringo Viejo sees no problem in taking a taxi to the main bus Terminal in Cd. Juarez and taking any of several different departures via Express deluxe or first class bus to Chihuahua. It will be about 3.5 hours, and there are literally three or four or more different departures every hour, twenty four hours per day. Transportes del Norte, Transportes Chihuahuenses, Tres Estrellas de Oro, are all recommendable.

Saloon Car on Ist Class Train - Really Good and Family Friendly, too

For further information, advice, and/or commentary, please email us at the linkage provided on our home page or within our website. Thanks everyone for the time and interest expressed by having read these observations.
El Gringo Viejo
Typical Consist of a Chihuahua al Pacifico Ist Class Train To-day
Thanks for your time and patience. One posting....something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.


A very serious point about marriage between homosexuals

AND SO THE LINES ARE DRAWN, AND THE LOSERS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DESIGNATED.   Anyone who has any other idea other than the one that is deigned  by the Obsolete Press is, quite frankly, pretty much a useless asterisk on an unread page of a book that will never be published.
     So, like Rhett Butler,  El Gringo Viejo joins the fight that has already been lost.   While the aggrieved have been busy worrying only about themselves, the fallout of their activity and demands is already gathering up for a new and even more damaging battle.   El Gringo Viejo is a bit resentful because he has never lifted his hand against any homosexual.  He has never burdened an homosexual with lectures....and his thoughts about the subject have been a closed book.
     We have had association on an amicable basis with perhaps nine such persons who were males.   Eight of them died before the age of 50.   The last one has not been heard from for several years.   Another, who was from an extremely high-born, aristocratic and wealthy colonial family in South Texas, took a pistol one day and blew his "friend's" brain out, all over a wall, and went to Mexico, where he has remained in a place that pertains to some extended family members....a very pleasant and scenic and interesting place.   We have heard nought from or about him for forty years now.
    As the Obama National Socialised Medicine initiative makes the consumers feel better because they know the millionaires and billionaires will finally be forced to pay their fair share and pay for everyone else's free medical services....things do not really turn out the way they sound before we vote for the bill and then begin to read what is inside of it.   Mad Hatter, anyone?
     Should equivilancy of homosexual unions be established with marriage as it was known, then Obamacare's Free Medical will require that insurance companies provide "free" coverage for pre-existing conditions.   Such a thing is not actually "insurance" but becomes, obviously, a procedure by with the bulk of other insurers pay the medical bills of another member of the pool who was not measured by the same yardstick in terms of risk.
     Once again...such a thing is not is socialised medicine.  Socialised medicine is a programme that is guaranteed to destroy the economy of every country that adopts the model, and it also diminishes the quality and quantity of service.   Also, being free, it happens to be the most costly form of medical service provision, period.   It is a system designed to put Nancy Pelosi in a private hospital for her face a building with no name, while the rest of us to to the Bill and Hillary Free Medical Community Health Centre and Veterinary Emergency Intake Facility.   (Closed until further notice - Republican sequestration at fault) 
     This is not a real problem or THE real problem, perhaps.   There are very few homosexuals.  Only about half of them are males, and so the HIV problem is somewhat contained in a small universe.  There is another cohort, of course, which is the "urban population" that uses  hypodermic injections of battery acid, Fabuloso, heroin, methamphetines, or whatrever, etc.   For better or worse, those folks do not seem to top out at the actuarial Max-point.   Eighty five candles are not something they are going to have to count....with luck they make it to 35 candles.   We pray for the addicted babies they bring forth.
      Everything stated here is the truth.  It will cause discomfort, and it will raise rancour.  But the words of El Gringo Viejo have not been chosen rashly.  Every effort has been made to be deferential to those of us who have friends, family members,  etc. with different opinions and different orientations.    The issue has essentially destroyed the Episcopal Church in America. And, indirectly, it may well have much greater cultural effect in days not far distant.
      The  rightwingers and traditionalists have a bit of weight to their arguments...but their milk is watery.     Were it whiskey, someone came in last night, poured out half of the contents of the bottles, replaced those contents with water, and made off with the takings.
       What follows is literary fiction....based on true experiences, stories told from the public record, actual observations, and information derived from absolutely unimpeachable sources.    The story is an assembly of true events,  told in such a way that none of the informants will need to be concerned about being "visited"  sometime down the road.
     This is not something for the is not a "what if"....It is something that is happening now, and it has nothing to do with homosexuals except in the most removed and indirect way.     During these moments while El Gringo Viejo clatters on his keyboard, there is a phenomena occurring, especially in the American West, of people who call themselves Mormons who are living "scripturally".
      To be very certain, these people are premeditated, conspiratorial charlatans....similar to and perhaps inter-related with the Irish Travellers....shakedown artists and thieves and extortionists deluxe.   Like the Irish Travellers.... (''Hey mister!  I notice you have a pretty beat up drive-way.  I'm coming from a job I just finished about 9 blocks over, and I was just driving by.  I have enough left over to get you started to-day.  for a thousand bucks I can make this new.   Yeah, give me 500 to-day and you can pay me the rest to-morrow.  I'll start now, and then get the rest of the stuff,   And, I'll leave the truck here overnight so you'll know I'm comin' back.  My brother and one of our men, they're stayin' over at the Oasis Motel  right over there, so I can walk to a hot shower.  Ha..ha ....right now/   Okay, let me get started...thanks for the pre-payment.)
     The Irish Travellers are cold-blooded thieves.   They have a matrix of law firms throughout the United States upon whom they can call for bail intervention....should something go awry.  Some OROGs might remember a white girl in a K-Mart parking lot, just a-whailing her 5 year old daughter with HARD blows to the neck, shoulders, and head.   A security guard witnessed the scene and knew the girl had gone on Candid Camera in the parking lot.   He detained her for the police...the police reviewed the film...and promptly arrested the girl for felony battery of a child.    Within three hours, in the town of concern...somewhere in the attorney from the most prestigious law firm in town came and made bail, AND obtained the right to unite for the mother.    Bail was posted....and the girl and her daughter were never seen again.  Her SUV was found, minus the plates...and it turned out that every possible vehicle identification number had been removed long before.    After some effort, the police did determine that the vehicle had been stolen in California and "scrubbed".  It turned out that the girl was a highly trained jewellery thief and that the little girl....possibly her own daughter....had been trained to be a distractor as well as a "harvester" of gold and diamond jewelry left to the busy hands of a "cutie-pie" little girl.
     Now, the people to whom I will refer are worse than the Irish Travellers, and as stated before the two groups might or might not be inter-related.   These people are watching very carefully the progress of  the efforts to forge a legal redefinition of legal marriage.  What is an institution derived from the concepts of Orthodox Sacraments, once it is secularised, becomes a Wonderland that only Alice can tell us about right now.
      These people, found principally in the American West, form patriarchal pods of "committed" people.   They establish what they call a family community.   It is centred around one man, who is usually the oldest person in the family community.    He has a "First Wife" (also known as"Queen" or "Lead Wife").   Moving away from the centre, as if by planetary assignment, are the other wives who have ranking based upon their seniority.   These more common wives serve at the direction of the "First Wife".   These groupings might have as few as four and as many as 20 "regular" wives to be regulated and assigned the various necessary tasks to keep the community operative (cooking, cleaning, laundry, schooling, intensive baby care, etc.).   Upon that matrix, there are concubines  who are brought on as these people move around...usually runaways....usually at the end of whatever rope they were coming to which the end was arriving. 
     If the OROG is having a pit stop at the Iron Skillet and he asks the guy to pass over the Tabasco Sauce on the counter, he might notice that in the two booths closest to the counter eating area there are three young women, about the same age, riding herd over 10 or 11 children, all toe-heads,  all between the ages of late diapers to earnestly colouring the colouring sheet the waitress brought.
    "It's good to see so many children who are well behaved."  the OROG comments to the man.
    " Yes, the girls do a good job," the man agrees.
     Food is served, eating ensues, and the time come for departure of the "community" members.  The OROG asks, "Are you all from around here or on the road like me?"
      "It's a little of both.   We're doing some outreach at one of the Reservations.  So we'll be camping and meeting and then back in this area in a couple of weeks."
       "Church work?  Social mission?"
       "Yes.   We're Mormons.  (one could sense that something was not quite true about that statement) We've had a long relationship with the Utes and Shoshone nations.   At this point they are giving us more than we give them, I'm afraid," the man smiles personably.  He points generally in the direction of those Reservations.
        The women are all dressed in blue denim calf-length straight skirts, yellow pull-overs with a happy face, front and back.   The children...the ones walking...all have khaki bermudas, white socks, and identical tennis shoes.   They are wearing white T-shirts, also with happy faces, front and back.    A convention scale last rest-room stop is executed and the people leave, smiling and waving, sad-eyed, but smiling and waving at the nice man at the counter....the OROG.   He prepares his own exit, leaving a 10 dollar bill with the charge ticket and motioning to the waitress to cover the 7,96 as to avoid the long line at pay-out.
        The waitress, however, motions for him to wait.   Perhaps the management does not permit her to leave her station.   She comes over walking fast and "shuffling" as if to imitate running, "Sorry"
        "No, I thought I would just avoid the wait and let you pay me out,"
        "No, it's not that.  Did that man ask you for any money?" and she nose pointed to the departing people. 
         "No, not at all.  Why do you ask?" the OROG is puzzled.
          "Hang on, just one second".    She went and payed out the bill, and brought the change.  The OROG refused it, "OH! Thanks...I wish there were more like you.   The thing is those people have been warned not to solicit out in the truck parking area."
          "Yes, yes, and yes.   They've been warned repeatedly and last night the manager finally told them the next time we find them back there we are going to call the police.   The solicit everything.   The "ladies" ..,"  she made the famous quote gesture,"...they essentially are hustling.   We might have as many as 300 trucks out there, so it's like a small city.   While the girl is doing her business, the story is that the man and other of the girls are stripping anything of value from the lug nuts, chrome bumpers, any exposed freight on flat-beds that they can carry.  They're really fast, and they figure the angles on the cameras and everything.  The thing is they are the only ones who are always around when the pilfering is going on.    It adds up.   The losses really add up.   We think they've even panhandled and pilfered the regular auto area...there are 300 spaces out there as well, and they use the children for a distraction.  The managers are putting in a bigger coverage system for the parking lot cameras.  These people are like locusts."
       "They told me...well, HE told me they were working with the Utes and Shoshone Reservations," the OROG responds with incredulity.
        "Oh, yeah?   Look out there." the waitress once again pointed with her nose.   "Out there" was the little caravan of three, one or two year old minivans loaded with young women and lots of children, and just one toe-headed man, who looked strangely like all the children.   They were turning onto the highway....but in a direction opposite to the location of the Reservations. 
        "But...they're going the wrong way," declared the OROG.
        "That's a big 10 - 4..."
        "Well, I really do thank you for the information". 
        About two months later, the OROG is flicking through the vast wasteland and finally settles on an article on AandE, or Discover, or National Geographic, or of those, and it is about a large extended family living in Phoenix.   Thinking that it was another banal reality show (Swapping Grandmas or whatever), he stopped dead in his remote.   He saw The Man.....the "Mormon"....with several women, some of whom he could recognise.   And other women.....four, five, six, seven, eight, nine....ten younger women around table.
       The narrative among the people in the scene, and then from the off-screen narrator, was about these people who say that they are the "True Mormons"....not  "frauds" like the LDS.  It is a patriarchy and involves a total of 24 people....including a hierarchy of wives, and children who are all fathered by the same man.
       All the women are on complete public assistance.   Some are receiving public assistance of the same kind from multiple sources.  They are working an ingenious "carousel" of being the home when everyone else is absent so that she can show that she has been abandoned and  has no way to feed or care for her three children.
     There are  three houses within two blocks, one from the other.   There is a late-model Winnebago at a nicer trailer park about a mile away  where the Patriarch stays.  The total take, including food stamps, housing assistance, medicaid eligibility, and other "benefits" the organised pilfering, shoplifting, and "finding" things of value...while at the same time stripping the rental houses...fancy rental houses....of anything that could be pawned or scrapped comes up to well over 450,000/yr USD, in pilfering cash, stamps, and welfare payments.
      There is a scene towards the end of the program in which "The Emergency" is announced.   That means that everyone must pack up, load up, and head for the hills.  That which might incriminate and/or identify routes of flight and destinations is taken first, then anything of pawnable value, and of course, cash money.    All vehicles that will be used are to leave in different directions and meet up in such and such place on such and such time and date.   Of the six vehicles they have, only four will be used, and the others will be vandalised and rendered valueless....they are stolen.   Within 30 minutes, all and everything are gone.
     Apparently neighbours have called Child Protective Services and/or the constabulary.   Children are not in school, you know.   They are under discipline....but there is no pedagogy. No home-schooling, no visiting teachers.   Some stupid neighbour women shouted at some of the second level wives that "You people are going to get yours to-morrow!!  We know what you're up to!!"
     And off they went into the darkness.   Within 30 minutes, all gone.   Gone...Poof. A well practised drill had been put into place and successfully executed one more time.
   But soon, there will be fewer problems.  The Patriarchal Family Community with one patriarch, with 20 wives and  50 unsupportable children will be found to be just another form of "marriage".....and the AFDC, food stamps, disabilities, handicapped children's SSI, Medicaid, rent subsidies from the housing authority, etc. etc. etc.   all become mandatory, because these people are all married.   Little difference will it make that they call  themselves "Mormons" falsely.  They practise no form of Christianity or any other denomination or Religion as such was understood, say in 1960.   It will soon cease being a weird-world cablevision special report with the children's faces and the under-aged "wives" faces blurred out.

David Larson, writing in Spectrum Magazine, a journal of religious, philosophical, and cultural matter, observed as follows in 2008 of the events surrounding  the Yearning for Zion pseudo-Mormon group in West Texas who finally refined the above scenario into an industrial grade legal welfare rip-off......IN 2007!!!!   TO WIT:

I might have finally figured out why I experienced such mixed feelings while watching on television the authorities take into protective custody 416 or so children of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who lived on the Yearning for Zion ranch in west Texas. Once again, we may have done more harm than good by treating a chronic problem as though it were an acute crisis.

Not everyone agrees that polygamy is a problem. University of Chicago economist and Nobel laureate Gary S. Benson
commented on this issue in 2006. In the United States and similar nations, he wrote:

Women choose their partners, and refuse to marry men who [sic] they do not want to marry, regardless of their parents' feelings or the ardour of suitors. In this world, a woman would not have to enter into a polygamist household if she would not want to. Would-be polygamist men would have to persuade second or third wives that it is worth it, because of their wealth, good looks, kindness, or in other ways. If she is willing to become an additional wife, why should laws prevent that?
Until sometime last week, I agreed with such thinking. But I began to change my mind as I watched what struck me as the languid forms, vacant stares and excessively measured words of some of the women from Yearning for Zion. The more I considered these scenes, the more I developed a different line of thought.

In brief, here it is: (1) polygamy tends toward extreme patriarchy; (2) extreme patriarchy tends toward tyranny against women; and (3) tyranny against women tends toward the physical and sexual abuse of children. The idea is that these tendencies are not perplexing happenstances; they are built into the very dynamics of polygamous unions.

The more wives a man has the less power they have. A home with, let’s say, six wives and twenty-four children, is likely to function more like a monarchy than a democracy in order to prevent unworkable chaos. Even an oligarchy is likely to need a very strong “Enforcer,” and almost always this will be the man. Polygamy is almost impossible without extreme patriarchy.

But this is only one part of the equation. Another is that husbands and wives in monogamous unions often foster more desirable behavior in their spouses by providing all kinds of positive and negative inducements. But a patriarch in a polygamous union rarely has to cope with such frustrating complexities. If one wife is upset about something, instead trying to understand and correct what is troubling her, he can easily turn to another. This robs all the wives of much power. They would do well to join forces and engage in collective bargaining; but apparently this rarely happens. Extreme patriarchy easily becomes tyranny against women.

Many say that polygamous households are especially dangerous places for children. Although their mothers appear to take excellent care of them when they are young, their vulnerability often spikes once the girls become sexual targets and the boys sexual threats. Outsiders often complain that the women do not provide their pubescent children adequate protection. But their feelings of helplessness are not entirely misplaced. They actually possess very little power, and this is why the abuse of their children is unsurprising. This is one of the inherent dynamics of polygamy.

We know that women do not always enter polygamous marriages as adults who exercise free, informed, and mentally competent consent. But my growing objection to polygamy goes deeper than this. It is that the inherent dynamics of polygamous unions make them tend toward tyranny against women and the abuse of children, even when this is not intended. We can count on such things happening whenever the power of people cannot be challenged and checked. Even the most admirable polygamous unions allow men too much uncontrolled power. This is the big danger.

In view of considerations such as these, I have come to disagree with positions like Gary S. Benson’s. Laws and other public policies that discourage the practice of polygamy without causing more harm than good are necessary. By laws I mean ones like those in Texas that do not legally recognize polygamous unions and deny marriage licenses to women who are less than eighteen years old, or sixteen with formal parental consent. Men and women who are convicted of violating these should receive the maximum penalties.

By other public policies I mean things such as zoning decisions, building permits, property tax codes, required school attendance, health and safety laws, welfare rules, and the omnipresence of state and federal officers of the law. It probably should not be the goal of such measures swiftly to eradicate polygamy but over time to make it too expensive in every way to practice.

For more than one hundred years, those of us who live in the United States have swung between marshalling excessive coercive power against those who form polygamous unions and a malign neglect that allows this chronic problem to worsen until it explodes in an acute crisis. We need stronger, steadier, and subtler approaches, ones that maintain constant and uncomfortable pressure on polygamists without requiring the women and children to suffer more than they already do.

It is difficult to imagine that the authorities in Texas had no idea that those at Yearning for Zion had long been breaking the law by practicing polygamy and allowing statutory rape, partly because there are only a few thousand people in the entire county. We also know that the construction projects at Yearning for Zion did not always conform to the pertinent requirements, especially sanitation and environmental protection mandates. But the authorities did very little to enforce the relevant laws and public policies. Instead, at long last, they allowed an unidentified “reporter” of physical and sexual abuse to trigger an acute crisis. The result is that we now observe hundreds of women and children tearfully moving back and forth between protective custody and the ranch.

But we rarely see the men. Why should we be surprised?

Finally, homosexuals who really want a solution to their desire for a union should consult a good attorney, form an interlocular contract assigning what is community property and what is property apart, and assigning familiar authority, for hospitalisation, for instance, and other such matters...joint banking, etc.  The Interlocular Contract of Agreement would be entered with the County Clerk (in Texas) and/or with the District Court Clerk.  It would have the same points of obligation and agreement that might be found in any well-constructed Will and Testament.
El Gringo Viejo