Thursday, 19 September 2013




"America lies here, having died of Compromise"

     Then comes a reliable source saying: Thomas Dale DeLay was finally absolved of the ridiculous conviction for "money laundering"....due to a trial held with the centre-piece of the charge being a manoeuvre that was used by Democrats and everyone under the Heavens, and approved by the Federal Election Commission and attorneys who specialise in Electoral Law.   Six such attorneys testified at the trial of DeLay in the Peoples' Republic of Travis County.   They all agreed that DeLay's procedure was legally and morally correct.  A paper trail was made very obvious, specifically for the purpose of showing the pathway taken by the money.   That is how normal and non-illegal DeLay's process was.
     The Travis County District Attorney has special powers under the Constitution of the Republic of Texas.   He (or it, as the case might be) has the authority to bring charges, especially against any elected official serving the electorate of the Republic of Texas.   This can be done so long as the Statute of Limitations is respected and so long as a duly empanelled Grand Jury indicts the individual who is supposed to have offended the sensibilities of the People or the Travis County District Attorney.
      If "double jeopardy" were to apply to Grand Juries, Delay could not have been indicted.   Delay's indictment was on the fourth trip to the Laundromat....and now we learn that the stain really, really was not removable.   Ronnie Earle, the District Attorney's stain that is.  Thomas Dale DeLay's conviction was overturned by the Texas Third Court of Criminal Appeals, apparently by a decision registered yesterday by the several judges sitting on the Texas Third Circuit.

We submit this cheerful anthem to the faithful, and we shall join the celebration upon our quick return!

More later, as we prepare to leave for the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre in to-morrow's early grey.
El Gringo Viejo

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

How Things Were Made Better by Obama's Outreach to Muslims (Alice Dreams Fitfully, looking furtively for that Cheshire Cat that keeps disappearing)


     This will be brief.

     Liberal Democrats demand that we get rid of dictators.  But they love Fidel Castro.   Professors are brave to sport their Che T-shirts.   They still think that Allende killed himself, when in fact he was gunned down like a dog by members of the Maoist Communist faction of his own policy advisors.
     The New York Times loved Vlad Lenin...and after Vlad went to the big mausoleum in the sky, the Times loved Uncle Joe Stalin.   Think of all the good that he has medical care for all Russians.   Amazing.
      They loved Ho Chi agrarian reformer...a peasant seeking Jeffersonian democracy with lots of rice...Uncle Ho, they called him.  The generally pinko Wikipedia, whom we shall cite because of their generally "reasonable and moderate" posturing but, at times, they agree among themselves to tell the truth.

     This is the truth that is not taught:

     In North Vietnam during the 1950s, political opposition groups were suppressed; those publicly opposing the government were imprisoned in hard labor camps. Many middle-class, intellectual Northerners had been lured into speaking out against Ho's communist regime, and most of those who did were later imprisoned in gulags or executed; this became known as the Nhan Van-Giai Pham Affair. Some prisoners died of exhaustion, starvation, illness (often having received no medical attention), or assault by prison guards. Political scientist R.J. Rummel suggests a figure of 24,000 camp deaths during Ho's rule of North Vietnam between 1945 and 1956.
     The government launched "rent reduction" and "land reform" programs, which, according to Steven Rosefielde, were "aimed at exterminating class enemies."[55] Declassified Politburo documents confirm that 1 in 1,000 North Vietnamese (i.e., about 14,000 people) were the minimum quota targeted for execution during the earlier "rent reduction" campaign; the number killed during the multiple stages of the considerably more radical "land reform" was probably many times greater.[56] Lam Thanh Liem, a major authority on land issues in Vietnam, conducted multiple interviews in which communist cadres gave estimates for land reform executions ranging from 120,000 to 200,000. Such figures match the "nearly 150,000 houses and huts which were allocated to new occupants".[57]   A number of sources have suggested that about 30% of the "landlords" executed were actually communist party members.[57][58][59][60][61] Landlords were arbitrarily classified as 5.68% of the population, but the majority were subject to less severe punishment than execution. Official records from the time suggest that 172,008 "landlords" were executed during the "land reform", of whom 123,266 (71.66%) were later found to be wrongly classified.[62] Victims were reportedly shot, beheaded, and beaten to death; "some were tied up, thrown into open graves and covered with stones until they were crushed to death".[63] The full death toll was even greater because victims' families starved to death under the "policy of isolation."[64] As communist defector Le Xuan Giao explained: "There was nothing worse than the starvation of the children in a family whose parents were under the control of a land reform team. They isolated the house, and the people who lived there would starve. The children were all innocent. There was nothing worse than that. They wanted to see the whole family dead."[65] Hoang Van Chi wrote that as many as 500,000 North Vietnamese may have died as a result of the policies of Ho's government.[66] 6,000 peasants were allegedly massacred in response to a revolt against unbearable taxes.

    We use the above to exemplify the results of radical socialist revolutions and "cultural re-organisation" subsequent to obtaining the keys to the Main Palace and the Throne Room.  Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Fidel and Raul, Hugo Chavez, the Ortega brothers (limited by their stupidity).
     The Mexican extreme left tried it, somewhat effectively, when they began to slaughter hacendados and church people in 1920, and implemented "Agrarian Reform", essentially collapsing, then hamstringing Mexican agriculture for 60 years of demagoguery of the worst and least productive sort.
    The landlords issue is eerily similar to Stalin's "Agrarian Reform" in his native Georgia and in the Ukraine.  Echoes are heard in the form of the Ghosts of the Emperor's Gongs after Mao destroyed Chinese agriculture in three years.   In Stalin's case, as many a 7,000,000 Georgian, Ukrainian, and other traditional, private farmers and their extended families and related business people died,  while others went broke, and/or were essentially destroyed physically, emotionally, and financially.   Mexico and Russia traded their simultaneous notes on the "great successes'' of their mirrored image of "reform".  It was an "ape in the mirror show", and by the time it was well established, the purpose had been fulfilled.   Both nations were one-party states.   Russia a bit more totalitarian and Mexico a bit more authoritarian....but both decidedly one-party states.   Production was off by 90%, but...heck...progress has a price.

    We don't want any bad dictators.  We want reformers.   Out with the Shah, and in with the Ayatollahs.   No Samoza, but yes to the Ortegas.   No Batista, but yes to the Castros.   All great American foreign policy victories.   How do we know they were victories?  Because the obsolete press was happy with the changes, Democrats in Congress are pleased, and America is stained.

     Enter Barack Hussein Obama.  He picks up a Nobel Prize for Peace, tells the German Wasted Youth that he is the Messiah sent to put the trains back on their tracks, and then he tells the Arabian, Muslim world that he has come to Cairo to atone for the Arrogance of the Americans.    He returned to the United States, played some golf, had a concert or two at the White House, took a bit of a vacation, and then....we fast forward to the days that would end his first term and then start the second term.   He had spent the first term alienating the Hebrews in general, and Bibi Netanyahu in particular.  So he ended with a tacit backing of "democracy and democratic reforms" in Egypt.  Obama boots out Mubarak...found guilty of being nice to the Gringos and keeping the Muslim Brotherhood  at bay.   Egypt has elections, the Muslim Brotherhood wins and the progress that Egypt has made, in its own way, to establish a sane, faithful but secular and plural society...with considerable tolerance and millions of stunned and pleased tourists....collapses overnight.   The land of refuge of Jacob and Joseph,  the land that made the Jew Moses a Viceroy suddenly became the land of Ramses the Tyrant and torturer of the errant, the Jew, the foreigner, and those who follows creeds that are not approved.
    Egypt is reduced to further and deeper demonstrations, riots, and disorders.    Then in Tunisia....Arab Spring becomes Arab Bubonic Plague.  Next comes the dethroning of another tyrant, Kaddafi in Libya.  Even Turkey is having a confluence of protests...then Syria.   Before long all the bad tyrants are gone or are in the process of being removed, "within weeks",  and everything will be grand for the people who invented chess and algebra.

     But, like everything Obama, it doesn't work out quite that way.  In each case,  is now certain, the intent was to allow ultra-hard line Islamists to gain power.   Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various other radical factions of the Caliphate Crowd, some even affiliated with Al Qaeda, are swirling and milling, raping American female reporters, brutalising ancient Orthodox, Coptic Christians, closing touristic/academic archaeological sites, burning, looting, and generally turning everything into something not quite as filthy and littered as the aftermath of a Democrat or Occupy Wall Street Rally on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C.

     A YouTube video causes irate Arabs to kill four American State Department people.  Obama is shipping weapons to Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood from the stores being kept in Benghazi, compromising the Turks in the process, and then lying about the failure to move to defend the American personnel in Benghazi.   Hillary is hung over the toilet, puking and wondering, "Who in the #%^^&@ could be calling at 03:00?"  when she's working on a stomach flu and a concussion and a broken jaw.   Obama is tossing fitfully wondering if Reggie Love misses him and how much money he is going to raise in Las Vegas among the poor, oppressed Democrat masses....from Hollywood.  Panetta is trying to remember if he spells his name with two "n's" and two "t's" or one of each or one of one and two of the other.....ah, phooey!  Whoever heard of anyone named Panetta anyway?

     Panetta means something like a small bread loaf.   Like a French roll or a Mexican bolillo.  Leon Panetta means a stonewalling lackey.   Leon is the guy, now, who can look into a camera and say, "These paper towels are so absorbent that you can use four times less than any other brand."

     "Uh...Mr. Secretary, how can something be used 'four times less' than anything?"

      "Well, it depends upon just what anything is,"

      "Would it not be better to say, for instance...'we can use one-fourth as much'?"

       "Around here, it doesn't really matter what we say because we just modify it the next day and deny that we said it and also that even though we never said it, it was also taken out of context."

     "Mr. Secretary, do you have any idea where the President was, or if he was aware of the situation in Benghazi, or were you with him?"

     "We spoke to the president when he called us from Tripoli.  He was frantic, as you might imagine.  We told him that we were going to arrest the Christian who made the YouTube Video and everything would be okay.  Plus, we made some progress on recovering five or six of those shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, so that only leaves about 650 or so...more or less...don't quote me on the number.   And, of course we made a lot of progress with the program to re-mark some of the highways in Libya with American roadsigns and distances stated in miles instead of kilometres"  Panetta  then stated that he had another appointment and stopped the in depth interview with the media.
   Obama's friend Morsi,  the political leader of Egypt, has found out how to say "buyers' remorse" in the Egyptian form of Arabic.  He and all the people outside his window have learnt new names for the President of the United States as well.  The fickle mobs demand that the Egyptian Army remove Morsi the Pretender, and it is done.   Rather skilfully, the Generals manoeuvre a somewhat functional government into place, primarily by telling the American Embassy to tell Obama that he can take his suggestions and stuff them in Hillary Rodham's aeroplane.    Meanwhile, Bashir Assad of Syria, the most horrible dictator in the history of the world is still in power and the body count is so high now that they've run out of both Arabic and Roman numerals.   So they are asking Ben Bernanke for any quantitative amount he might be able to ease their way.
     The world has heard Obama say that, since he has been so suave in the handling of the YouTube mystery, and the sales of General Motors solar powered de-salinization plants for the Sahara, he is going to draw a red-line all the way through Arabia should Bashir Assad decide to take out the mustard gas "on his own people".     Assad has heard, and the Good Guys are Good Syrian Rebel Army has heard Obama say, "Red Lines are drawn when gas canisters are moved around!"   Later, of course, Obama reminds everybody that he did not say that.   It was that famous Frenchman "Tout le Monde" who said it.  And 152 countries signed a document saying that Tout le Monde had said it.   But the rebels and Bashir Assad had heard it...and one, or the other, or both began to move it around, until finally it was used, purposely, or through incompetence, or both.
    The one with the least reason to have used it, is blamed by Obama.   He says it is Assad.   The side with the best reason to have used the chemical, the rebels, also say that Assad did it.   A 26 year old Grand Master Authority tells both Sen. Col. John McCain and Obama that she is certain that Assad is at fault.   She also is caught, the next day, in a lie about her credentials and diplomas and there is no way she could ever be used as any kind of authority.   She and Margaret Mead join through the veil between life and death and celebrate the loneliness of Lance Armstrong and all those who have lied under oath.   After all, "What difference, at this point, could it possibly make?".
     And that, Virginia, is how Obama led the Arabs to the promised land full of suicide vests and beheadings and shooting prisoners in the back on as to demonstrate to the world what fine people freedom fighters are, and how Islam is a religion whose very name means "peace".
    It always helps to have a really good community organiser and a really crack teleprompter and an audience with an average IQ of 46 when people really, really want to solve problems.  Next time maybe we'll try Uncle Omar and/or Auntie Zietuni.
El Gringo Viejo

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Constitution Day - 17 September 1788

     The most powerful realisation that can be made by a person who is fortunate enough to be born into a country that founds its political and judicial systems on the base of common law is that the enemy of all liberties is the willingness of government to intercede in that which should be left to the most local authority and/or to the individual citizen.

     Among the surest guarantors of liberty is to have a readily understood document that lays out the processes, terms, length of tenure in office, and purview of those charged with the governance of a specific entity.  The Constitution of the United States of America is a wondrous document that does precisely that.

     It came, wisely, with its own first set of amendments.  Those Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were not so much a statement of the citizens' right, however, as they were admonitions to the government being established.  The Bill of Rights limited or forbade not the Citizen who is the sovereign in a Republic, but rather the Government itself from exercising certain powers and prerogatives.  Several of the subsequent Amendments were restatements of what were thought to be rights drawn from natural law, having to do with matters such as equal protection under the law and the normalisation of individuals who had been suddenly thrust from bondage into the status of citizen.  Two of the later amendments were mirror dances, passed on this day, and then repealed some other day down the road.  Those amendments could best be described as the first feeble attempts of the Utopian Progressive movement to force people to be perfect humans according to the definition of.....The Government,  and then the repeal of said actions when it became apparent that no good could come of them.   Such was the uselessness of the Prohibition Amendment, which was perfectly stupid, and the Repeal of Prohibition Amendment (not including States that desired to otherwise limit, prohibit, or regulate alcohol's sale and/or consumption), also fairly stupid.
     El Gringo Viejo is very much opposed to Prohibition of the minor vices, and somewhat opposed to the practice and/or partaking of those same vices.  He is typically conflicted, and typically Episcopalian in his world-view.
     We would urge all OROGs to inform their children and grandchildren about the Constitution.  It can be done in a couple of hours some day when a 10 year old can be locked in to a brief project that doesn't hurt or stink.  We would urge that before speaking to your 10 year old torture victim, it would be very advisable to have read the entire document and to understand it.  One good way to start the session is by telling the victim that the American Constitution is the shortest of all such documents in the world.   It can be read by a moderately involved person in less than 20 minutes.
    When dealing with your learned child, it can be readily pointed out that all the mechanical breakdowns in our society at this time stem from the enactment of programmes designed to "help" the downtrodden.  And it can also be pointed out that all those programmes cost much more than previously anticipated, and almost all are subject to very considerable  financial and moral corruption.
We commend this document to your hands.  What is not used either rusts or is lost.
El Gringo Viejo

Weather in our Fantasyland - We urge OROGs to see a private note from our neighbour, in Spanish of the finest sort, referring to the effects of Ingrid on our adjacent properties.

     We finally made a connection with our mayordomo by telephone this morning.   Alvaro informed us that our place...pretty much at ground zero for Hurricane Ingrid's retirement home...had received 16 inches of rain since Sunday afternoon, last.   For the month of September that means the total has reached 30 inches total.  Alvaro indicated that it was still raining moderately but that it seemed as though it would become less or even quit later to-day.
     We are, however, keeping our eyes on another system in the northwest Caribbean that might join with a developing low pressure centre in the Bay of Campeche, pretty much as did Ingrid at birth.
     Here in the McAllen area we did have from 4 to 8 inches in the four county Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (the southernmost counties in the Republic of Texas).   That amount fell during the past 48 hours.
     The Sierra Madre Oriental from and including Monterrey to Cd. Victoria have received copious amounts from 10 to 30 inches.   The higher amounts seem to, as usual, begin around 3,000 fasl on up to 7,000 fasl.   Various villages and a few large towns (county seats, for instance) have been isolated temporarily, but they are somewhat accustomed to a two or three day "removal from civilisation"  after a direct hit by any kind of hurricane.
     The larger towns that are county seats are Aramberri, Doctor Arroyo,   Galeana, Hualahuises, Iturbide, Linares, Los Rayones, Mier y Noriega, Pablillo, and Zaragoza.   Seven villages above the famous Horsetail Falls, south of Monterrey are also isolated temporarily....those can be found by Google-Earthing the name Laguna de Sanchez, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.   Very pretty stretch of the Planet.
     We have fared well, and all OROGs will be pleased to note that our animals are quite well, still demanding, self-centred, and eating regularly.   Alvaro also reported that although he estimated the winds to be around 50 miles per hour yesterday late, and the rains were incessant, he was always with electricity.
That is our report.  If an update is needed we shall inform everyone how our Labrador BeBe is.   Right now he is napping on the "long, west-facing corridor".
El Gringo Viejo, and review the note, practice your Spanish.  In the first sentence of text the astute observation..."...finally there was a storm and there were no winds."  Alvaro's winds were of the beginning of the rains, but at the mountains, the winds do tend to die quickly.

avid Christian Newton
13:56 (4 hours ago)

to rafasalazarl
Me ocurrió finalmente de que estuve utilizando la vieja dirección de correo electrónico  mande' varios mensajes preguntando si iba a necesitar cualquier cosa de por acá.....y también que el titulo del vehículo "nuevo" había llegado.   De todos modos, me voy a estar a las 13:00 horas +/- , el Viernes, 20 de Septiembre, 2013.   Ordename lo que se necesita.....he hablado con Alvaro sobre todo de esto.
El Gringo Viejo

David Christian Newton
a pleasantly rustic bed and breakfast at the foot of the Sierra Madre
Oriental, in the countryside not far from Cd. Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Birds, butterflies, and other creatures framed by an absolutely perfect view into
the "real Mexico".    Pleasant accommodations, good food, and good libations.
near-perfect atmosphere for total relaxation.   E-mail us any time or call
Todo bien David! 
Muy contentos con la lluvia, finalmente fue una tormenta y no hubo vientos. Hoy el río santa engracia esta a su máximo nivel desde hace más de tres años con Alex, ciertamente Ingrid trajo mucha agua y seguirá un par de días más. 
Yo alcance a acercarle a Álvaro a tiempo el impermeabilizante y el lo aplico oportunamente en la reparación de la chimenea. La humedad no fue problema al menos hasta este pasado sábado que estuve por allá.
Yo estaré pendiente de tu llegada, no se necesita nada por ahora. Pasare un tiempo por allá para reparar algunas averías en la cerca del río, nada serio pero necesario rehabilitar.
Si necesitas algún dato antes del viernes, recuerda que esta es la vía de comunicación.
Saludos a todos por allá. Y pendientes.

Enviado desde mi iPad

Monday, 16 September 2013

Tale of Two Days: Mexico's Independence Day, 16 September and America's Constitution and Citizenship Day 17 September

     So much has been written, studied, and said about the movement for independence from Spain on the part of the  various races, classes, types, and conditions of people in the Colonial area, that little, if anything, is left that would not be repetition.
     The Revolucion de la Independencia sparked up in a relatively unlikely place, a parish by the name of Nuestra Sen~ora de los Dolores, in a provincial, poor, and rustic Indian area named, un-romantically, Guajajuato, which in the Purepecha and upper Tarascan Indian language means Place of the Frogs or Mountainous Place of Frogs.  It is good that at least it was not named Mountains of Frogs or Place of Mountainous Frogs.
   The little community and its surroundings is famous for mediocre semblance of the famous Talavera work more commonly associated with the ceramic and porcelain pieces and sets made in the Puebla area.  But do not think that the present folks who live in Dolores Hidalgo would be offended that you might think that the Puebla stuff is "better"....because the Dolores people, 300 miles to the northwest of Puebla make utilitarian Talavera.  It is good, well made, sturdy, and ready for daily use or for deployment at a better quality highway stop, downtown dinette,  or a truckers' stop.   It is made to be used, not to decorate a knick-knack shelf.

     If a fellow hangs around on the plaza, right in front of where Father Miquel Hidalgo y Costilla pronounced the "Grito (cry, or call)" to Independence, at 23:00 hours, during the night of the 15th of September 1810, he will certainly see five-ton trucks fully loaded with '' juegos (sets)" of service for six, service for eight and selections of plates, coffee and saucer, etc.  passing by every five to seven minutes, delivering already purchased loads of their family-based production.   The trucks go to all the big cities in Mexico, and to the border towns, even now, where wholesalers and tourists alike.

    The people making the utilitarian talavera are a conservative sort.   The bulk of them are still very much Indian by blood and proud of that fact.  They are people who have been of one solid faith since the arrival of the missionary fathers, and they have, by-in-large lived that faith for the last 500 years.  They are why the Mexican Revolution for Independence almost could have, would have, and should have been more like the American Revolution against the Brits.   Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a priest, it is true.   But he was also quite a studied man...a form of Renaissance Man in many ways.   He was also a pompous sort, who during the beginning of the revolution Hidalgo would lead in 1810 - 1811, spent considerably time writing out a fitting title for himself;  it would have difficulty to-day, fitting onto a double-spaced eleven pages of letter-sized paper.

     Hidalgo was a large man, about 6' - 5" and approximately 260 pounds or so.   He was a well-studied man, with many published treatises on topics as varied as histories of the Holy Lands and the proper and scientific manner to establish a vineyard, complete with step-by-step instructions all the way to the vat, bottle, and cuerca (cork).  He had many diplomas, and apparently all were earned.  He was a member of the nearly Athenian discussion groups around his homeland of Penjamo in what is now the State of Michoacán. 

     The Penjamo discussion groups might be something akin to the beatnik coffee shops of the very late 1950s and early 1960s (little did we know what that would lead to) and the thinkers both Orthodox and Radical were numerous, rich, and at times disposed to action.   Much influence came from the Jeffersonian notions about the construct of society and the position of government in relation to the governed.   The ardour of the French Revolution pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of both the traditional authoritarian structure of aristocracies and Religious rigidity with the "pharisees'' running the show, and the rush of anarchic freedom that dispelled fairly quickly the notion that Robespierre, through imposition of Fraternite', Egalite', et  Liberte', had built anything of importance save for a defective mouse-trap.

     Those discussions have never ended in Mexico, or anywhere in Latin America,  and they certainly have not ended in the United States of America. What was actually happening in Mexico during the 1790s and early 1800s was the final formulation of an attitude among the entire populace that Spain had had its moment, and had begun to fail on every front in terms of its relationship with its colonies.

     Oddly enough, morality and pro-Spanishism, led to a collapse of Spain's control over Mexico...and then, one by two, all of the acreage that made up a place known as The  Spanish American Colonies from Argentina and Chile all the way, essentially to Alaska.  The Spanish Court had entered into a moral decay that found the King's Chancellor essentially taking the Queen to himself during the turbulent first decade of the 19th Century....while Napoleon was taking possession of all of Louisiana, that supposedly Bourbon Spain had held in trust...perhaps, one perpetuity....but such was not to be.  Napoleon I, after taking possession of the massive territory (everything drained by the Mississippi River), promptly sold the property to the United States.   While the Americans would have to fight and/or cajole to gain absolute control of the Ohio drainage area against Indian Nations, the French, and the British, the Louisiana Purchase was quite a bargain at 3,000,000 dollars.   Then, the imposition of Napoleon's brother Joseph onto the throne of Spain produced the final shrug of the colonials' shoulders.   The attitude of "If not now, when?"  became pervasive throughout the intellectual classes of Spanish America.
María Josefa Ortiz.png
Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez
1773  -  1829
(she married at 17 and
birthed 14 children, all of
whom apparently survived) 
     Father Hidalgo went ahead with the rest of it after learning that one of their "discussion groups" situated in the elegant and sophisticated city of Queretaro, about 80 miles east-southeast of  the Parish of Nuestra Sen~ora de los Dolores had been "discovered" by Spanish authorities.   Enough evidence existed to arrest all involved, and for them to be executed, in spite of their high position as property owning, white, Criollo (pure-blooded Spaniards, not born in Spain), and at least nominally good Roman Catholics.
     Hidalgo knew from his own experiences with the Roman Catholic authorities in charge of the Inquisition that both the Church authorities and the Spanish Viceroyalty were essentially thoroughly corrupt and brutal.  So immediately upon learning about the compromise of the "discussion group" Hidalgo decided his little place would be the answer to the other question, "If not here, then where?".  These events began to unfold suddenly, about four or five days before the 15th of September, 1810.

    So, in order to divert the Spanish military response to the 'discussion groups' in Queratato, and Valladolid (Morelia), Penjamo, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, and even Mexico City, Father Miquel Hidalgo y Costilla gave the cry that was heard throughout Spanish America...and after a few weeks, throughout Europe.
     Suddenly, the sullen, expressionless Tarascan/Purepechas who had received patient, if paternalistic, instruction about everything from how to live to how to grow tomatoes and raise grapes to wine began to coalesce around the Church.    Over the years, Hidalgo had demanded of them that all their children would have three grades of school, that they be at least slightly temperate.  Farming diversification, ceramic, and other artisan industry, now commonplace in large swaths of Michoacán and Guanajuato States of Mexico, personal hygiene, religiosity, self-sufficiency, and a score of other positive characteristics....all started with a strong-willed self-assured personality named Miguel Hidalgo because he, a white intellectual, believed in these inscrutable Indians and their native goodness and intelligence.   When his call went out from the belfry of his Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, on the edge of nowhere in the Mexican Altiplano,  this writer is certain that Hidalgo was not aware that to-night 1,000 would arrive with clubs, rocks, and pitchforks, and that by three days, competent military talent in the form of Ignacio Allende  from Valladolid (now Morelia), would lead a group of 20,000 towards the citadel of Spanish authority in the area...Guanajuato City, in the district of Guanajuato....still to this day...some joke, but seriously....the most Spanish city in the world.
   Spanish tourists are astounded by the quality of the archaic Spanish of the street performers who put scenes from the Man of La Mancha and other works of Cervantes, before the tourists while strolling in pantaloons and feathered caps.   It is a mystical experience for national and foreigner alike, when visiting during the "Fiestas Cervantinas".  The recitations and "rondalla" musical groups, they say, are much more in correct dress of the epoch of Cervantes than what they have in Spain, and that Guanajuato City is "more like Spain than Spain.''

     On the second day after the "Grito", there was a massive turnout finally totalling over 10,000 from just the area around Dolores.   This huge force, ill-trained and equipped, flooded towards Guanajuato, where Allende with his 20,000 would begin to put them into their best order of attack against a small but extremely well-fortified and trained defensive force of about 700 fusiliers and artillerists under the command of competent officers.

     The fusiliers and mosqueteros  made fairly easy work of picking off the indiscrete volunteer Indians and Mestizo ranks of Hidalgo.   Allende's people were trained enough to not uselessly sacrifice themselves.   But during the siege of the Alhondiga de Granaditas ...the great granary where up to seven years of stores were kept it was known that the Independence people would have to neutralise the Alhondiga, completely.   The stores, munitions, powder, medicines, and perhaps even papers and communications were too necessary to the effort to just pass up.   But time was of the essence.   Squadrons of Lancers could be in Guanajuato from two or three sources within  three or four days of  being notified of their plight by a stealthy messenger.  The Revolutionaries were already on borrowed time.
File:El Pípila.jpg
The monument to El Pipila;, or "Speckled
Turkey" in Tarascan,  This is a favoured
place for spooners and tourists and
vendors who frequently have really
nice seconds from the artisans of
the area...many different crafts
are represented.

  On the 28th of September, well beyond the reasonable time limit for action, an Indian by the Spanish name of Juan Jose de los Reyes Martinez Amayo decided to take matters into his own hands.   He  tied a large, elongated flat piece of stone...probably an iron and ore bearing 'laja de mina' (flat rock from a mining operation)....and stumbled as quickly and as upright as possible, as the Spanish poured lead down upon him.    But he made the door of the Alhondiga no real worse  for the wear.   His task was not so much to break down the door, as is frequently stated, but rather to oil and burn the door from the outside, hopefully opening the door, and also setting afire the beautiful tropical red oak plank floor that covered the entirety of the granary's  Planta Baja (ground floor).   It is said he knew of the floor because he had been among the woodworkers who had so carefully crafted it and installed it for the Command.

     After considerable effort, the plan worked and thousands of rough, ardent "soldiers" poured through the opening and slew every soul inside, Spanish and Criollo royalist sympathisers, soldiers, Indian employees and servants and Indians business people who might have been buying grain before the hostilities, women, children...everyone.

     Blooded and victorious, Father Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende moved their flock together, and at every opportunity the Indians lost their discipline and simply destroyed whole families and peons who would defend them.  Shopkeepers in the small towns, and their families were sent to the hereafter if there was the slightest thought that they might have Royalist sympathies. Shops and businesses were  erased from existence, it was the true Occupy Wall Street revenge trip from Hell.

     Hidalgo shepherded this rabble to the very edge of Mexico City.   Ignacio Allende exhorted Hidalgo to storm the city with the imperfect but apparently effective "Army", now equipped with a few arms and banners proclaiming the Virgin of Guadalupe (what Episcopalians of old would consider the Apparition of the BVM (Saint Mary) at the Hill of Tepayac as the patron of the Army, and the spiritual guide of their victories.

     Hidalgo fretted and stewed for a bit, not really wanting to allow his ragtags into the main urban area in the entirety of Spanish America.   He had been disappointed that his "children" seemed to "forget" at every skirmish that they had to "love their enemies" ...leading to the old joke that the Indian, hat in hands, after his group had been scolded for  killing and robbing at a very elegant and productive hacienda...the family was dead, along with many loyal peons and vaqueros....livestock slaughtered, roasted, somewhat eaten, the rest wasted....and when they had been sternly scolded, the one spokesman said, "Yes, Padre, but it is so much easier to love our enemies when they are dead."

     Ignacio Allende, a Spanish officer and trained in the realities of both combat and the making of war, knew that however imperfect the army they had was, it was the army at hand.   He also knew that this was the best and only time for a quick and total victory....setting up an inertia that the populace would embrace and help.   With such a citizenry, agents of the Spanish could be weeded out, the Viceroy found along with his coterie, and they could be arrested and banished after first divulging the stores of gold, silver, and copper coinage and  bullion.
     Allende however only seemed to have total control of the "troops" during a actual fighting.  Once the fighting was over....they seemed to revert to primordial instincts.   And Hidalgo was too arrogant to be directed by a person who was not of perfect motive ....or something.  It is known that Allende and Hidalgo did not "click"...and their personalities were among those famous "conflicted" types.   This delay allowed for the Spanish professional army and mediocre to excellent officers to come up and confront the "army of locusts" and a battle ensued on the western side of Mexico City.

Battle of Monte de las Cruces
Part of the Mexican War of Independence
Batalla del Monte de las Cruces-30 oct 1810-México.jpg
Monuments to the insurgents
DateOctober 30, 1810
LocationOcoyoacac, Mexico State, Mexico
ResultVictory for insurgents
Flag of the Mexican Insurgents (commerce variant).svg Mexican InsurgentsFlag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Royal Spanish Army
Commanders and leaders
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Ignacio Allende
Gen. Torcuato Trujillo
Casualties and losses
     This was the beginning of the end for the Mexican Insurgents.   Bravado, bravery, foolhardiness, not taking the enemy's abilities and assets seriously, and the failure to do the favour to their troops on the part of Hidalgo and Allende both, to disciplined them into a true phalanx for Independence.   One can see the results by the tolls.   There were 80,000 estimated troops under the command of Hidalgo and Allende.  They rendered a terrible blow against the Spanish.  Five of every seven Spanish effectives had been killed or wounded, but after winning the battle, two things blunted the advance into the centre of Mexico City.   One, Hidalgo was depressed and disappointed with the carnage and unjustifiable destruction of life and property.   The other was the recognition by the Independence fighters that even with overwhelming numbers the Spanish had destroyed whole companies of armed infantry and they had never backed down.  A cold hand ran over the souls of the troops a well as the will of Hidalgo.

Then with the next pivotal battle, after
a long retreat, fighting as they went, the forces of Hidalgo met with a force under the command of General with an aristocratic background, an excellent military and general education, and an officer who had been fighting Indians and small insurrections for a good while.   It would be a different story in Jalisco, not far from Guadalajara at a place called Zapotlanejo  (Land of the Kiwi fruit trees in Tarascan)  
Battle of Calderón Bridge
Part of the Mexican War of Independence
Batalla Calderón.jpg
Plan of the Battle of Calderón Bridge
Date17 January 1811
LocationCalderón Bridge, Zapotlanejo, Jalisco, Mexico
ResultSpanish victory
 MexicoSpain Monarchy of Spain
Commanders and leaders
Miguel HidalgoFélix María Calleja del Rey, 1st Count of Calderón
Casualties and losses
When all was said and done, the "locusts" had learned the value of discipline.   Their problem was that it was not at the hands of the good priest or his was at the hands of the Spanish defenders.  Outnumbered  by about 20 to 1, Calleja used his better understanding of the task at hand, and encircled the passage of the rebel army and then employed very effective artillery fusillades that served especially to confuse and demoralise the once ardent seekers of Mexican Independence.

     One can see on the map and in the chart provided the number of casualties that Hidalgo's "children" suffered.   From this point on, Hidalgo's fortunes went downhill.  He determined to try to make an escape to the United States, whereever that was, (actually into the Louisiana Territory) re-arm, make better plans, and return to the field.

Monument - Angel of the Independence
Mexico City at Sunset
Beneath the column are invested the remains
of the Great Insurgents of the Revolution for
    That seemed perfectly foolhardy, but for whatever reasoning that could be provided,  it did not really matter, because during his flight to the north he was captured by Spanish cavalry in Coahuila, far to the north, and taken to  Chihuahua City, where he was held until completion of his trials (civil and ecclesiastic) and sentenced to death.  He was executed without priestly vesture or sign that he was anything beyond a bandit or a brigand, then decapitated.
    His head was cured up and taken to be put at one corner of the high wall at the Alhondiga de Granaditas along with three other insurgents' heads.  All the mortal remains that could be collected are interred in the Monument of the Independence in a glorietta on the elegant Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City.   And there is a brief story about the beginning of the end for Spain as the landlord of Mexico.  It was a messy business, nothing like a 2 hour movie or even a detailed book.

     The best that can be said, and it is something of value on behalf of both Allende and Hidalgo, of course, is that they did a great deal with a force of little military or diplomatic value.   The Spanish officers in the field knew that if Spain did not act astutely and quickly with massive resources and will to win....that the social sectors, as racially and economically divergent as they were, would organise and grind Victory out of a master they had ceased wanting to serve for two hundred years.  Madrid never really did wake up, preferring to entrap itself in hopeless and expensive entanglements in Europe.

More later about the 16th of September, 1810....the day it all began....but did not end.   To-morrow, a brief word about  the Constitution of the United States of America.
El Gringo Viejo

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Gentle Wars within the Sanctuary - But we must stand our ground there as well

The Anglican Curmudgeon is quoted :                                                                  :
"...the unbelievable incompetence that is taking this country to the absolute nadir of its long history."
To which an individual, not in accord with the Anglican Curmudgeon's more lengthy and well-reasoned observations, makes this response:

This strikes me as something of an exaggeration. Even if you hate everything the president does, are we really in worse shape than during the Civil War? Than the great depression? Is this almost-attack on Syria really worse than the recent invasion of and war in Iraq whose alleged justification turned out to be false?

Again, I think it's useful for us to pull back from the media viewpoint, which sees everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in terms of the next presidential election. Is it really a bad thing that we pulled back from so-called "surgical strikes"? Or that the imminence of such strikes led to a diplomatic scheme for a multi-national solution? Would it indeed have been better for the president to have decided that realpolitik required a do-nothing approach to the increasing use of poison gas? Is it the most awful thing in the world that a crafty old KGB man is taking credit as the A-Number-one peacenik? Are we really worse off now than if we had attacked, or stood by?

It does seem a situation that the president and secretary of state muddled into. But somehow I expect that more of history is like that than we know. "I meant to do that."

And, on the side, what's the deal with "American Exceptionalism"? Of course we have some distinctive characteristics. Everyone does. But we are humans, erring, subject to original sin just like Russians and Syrians and Australians. I don't know how a Christian can seriously entertain the idea that some particular contemporary nation is fundamentally different, better, more favored, than the others. Putin, whatever his sins, is absolutely right on that, and it seems to be making our politicians sick, Democrats and Republicans alike, to even entertain such a possiblity. I don't get it.

To which El Gringo Viejo barges in and declares in response, thusly:

Is this almost-attack on Syria really worse than the recent invasion of and war in Iraq whose alleged justification turned out to be false?

It is indisputable that Saddam Hussein had both chemical and biological weaponry. He and his cousin killed as few as 5,000 Kurds, probably five or ten times more than that over the years with artillery delivered gas attacks, frequently just to test their toxicity.
Many thousands more Shi'ite from the Basra area and on into place almost reaching Tikrit were gassed. Untold thousands of Iranian civilians and military personnel were killed or permanently debilitated by gas attacks during the Iraq - Iran 8 year war, in which over 1,000,000 people are thought to have died.
Saddam Hussein also committed a particularly disgusting form of genocide that your side never mentions, and that is the draining and drying of the marshes that had been farmed for many millennia, by the Swamp Arabs. These people farmed and floated in the swamps of the Eastern extremes of Iraq raising the finest date, figs, season fruits, and the most amazingly beautiful and tasty vegetables known. Every morsel was hand cared for by people who had done this work on their floating seedling gardens and their massive floating "farms" was an incredible statement about the success of doing something all wrong for three or four thousand years, and doing it in such a way so as to become legendary. Hussein hated them because they were totally self-suff8icient and did not need some megalomaniac to complete their life's orbit.
I am unaware if in fact those swamps were restored during the American post-liberation administration. But I am aware, somewhat personally, that Saddam Hussein did present a clear danger to everyone within reach, had worked to build a nuclear arsenal, please remember the Israeli strike on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in the 1980s. And Hussein always sent the family of a homicide bomber who would strike western, and Israeli, and civilised Arabs and Muslims and kill indiscriminately all nature of civilians, especially school children in busses.
The invasion of Iraq has been turned into something that it was not by the Obsolete Media and by effete, impudent America-hating intellectual Americans. Bush and his people sought and obtained approval from the UN twice,and from the Congress twice. And the American forces with considerable allied assistance won the war, won the peace, and then watched it all flushed down the anti-American toilet that Barack Hussein Obama keeps handy when he ordered the removal of the last American Combat units from Iraq, long before it was militarily appropriate. He is doing the same in Afghanistan. He is doing it so that, in his mind, Americans will not be able to sayt that they "won" anything. It is the quest of all anti-American Americans who hate their country first.
And, to be sure, I was not in favour of the invasion of Iraq when it was planned and when it began. I also know that the WMDs were in Iraq, and that several huge convoys moved very dangerous material to Damascus in the days before the outbreak of the War. It was then generally assumed to have been gasses and biological being sent to Syria for "safe-keeping". Now we know they are there.

Forgive my ire.
El Gringo Viejo
We urge all OROGs to frequent the Anglican Curmudgeon's blogsite.  Much of it involves complicated canonical law in the murky zones of Orthodoxy versus the "progressives".   It is of great interest to El Gringo Viejo, and the Curmudgeon himself is an indisputed authority about such law and its juxtaposition with the Law of Caesar in this epoch and those before.  This issue is "up" on the Anglican Curmudgeon's blog at this time.
     The linkage is readily available on the right column of permanent matters on this blog.
El Gringo Viejo

Friday, 13 September 2013

Please visit our Chapel on the SuperHighway of Information, The Anglican Curmudgeon

     As you all might imagine, we do a lot of FOX - watch here, and still wind up throwing a lot of bricks at the television, but somehow we missed something.  So we urge, vigorously, that all OROGs stop at the chapel and light a candle for some favourite purpose.  It is found at this linkage.
Unbelievable Incompetence in Washington - Fox News has put together a video timeline of the administration's ever-shifting stances on Syria -- the video says far more than any words could about the...
1 day ago
Four or five minutes, and worthy of the time and more.   Thanks for heeding this suggestion.  I am better off for having taken advantage of it.
El Gringo Viejo

Ingrid Eyes the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre


    We have been watching the cauldron bubble and gurgle for the last few days in the Bay of Campeche, and finally the watched cauldron did begin to boil  During the mid-morning, at the time that El Gringo Viejo told his better three-quarters that it would happen,it happened. 
     Suddenly, we are back where we were about three years ago when the  rains came to the Sierra El Cautivo and when it was over, there have been a cumulative 55 inches of rain in about a week, all falling in the in the catchments of various rivers,  the Rios San Pedro, Guayalejo, Puricficacion, Blanco, San Marcos, and, of course, the Corona (aka Santa Engracia).  The latter is the river that runs 200 yards away from the front door of your home in Mexico.   We are rather much stuck here, because of the lack of a title in hand for my new old pickup.  We are in that never-never land of having only the State issued form that says that we have done all necessary to obtain the title, and we are waiting in this penumbra until the document actually arrives.
     There is no complaint, because the young lady told us it would be two to three weeks for the document to make it to one of our secret mailboxes in an undisclosed location.  If anything could be done, we would have already called  Obama a long time ago. So here we are.  It's a little like trying to schedule a weekend on the Boardwalk at Atlantic City.
     So that all will be aware, the peculiar chart above-left shows the percentage probability of a locale receiving more than 16 inches of rain within the next 120 contiguous hours.  That is, of course, five days beginning 01:00 AM CDT 13 September 2013 .  The purple area at the lower area of the chart pertains almost entirely to the State of Oaxaca and a swath in the open Pacific Ocean. Our area, as many OROGs know is in the dark purple in the middle of the upper-left quadrant of the chart.  We are towards the lower end of the dark purple part of that long thin, parallel-to-the-Sierra Madres portion of Mexico's geography.
     We should disabuse AlGore from taking credit for the "incredible" forecast.   And, while we are at it, beseech any and every newsey-type person, weathermanperson, and anchor or anchoretteperson...FOX people especially please stop saying the word "incredible" while showing a bolt of lightning hitting a (tree)(building)(house)(Saint Bernard dog)(mother-in-law).   These things are not incredible.   They are not "beyond the ability to comprehend, understand, or even know".   And while I am at it, all FOXNews people must from this day forward, when asked, "How are you?" respond "Well" and not "Good".   I find it incredibly frightening to think that my people cannot speak well Englishperson.
     Anyway, AlGore must recognise that the above rainfall values are relatively uncommentworthy in terms of records of any kind.  There are various places throughout Texas and Northeastern Mexico that have recorded 12 inches in a 24-hour period.   A small community west of San Antonio, Texas named D'hanis had a 28 inch recording during the drought-breakers in April, 1935. This began a episode of flooding in the Country of 1,100 Springs of Central Texas that lasted through until July of that year.  Nearly 21 years later that area would have another episode with similar rainfall values.  Rains of 3 to 10 inches in that part of Texas might make the news for one day, unless there is a wreck out on State 16.  If that happens, folks will have to read about the rains in next week's Uvalde Avalanche. 

To wit:

(El Gringo Viejo urges all to click onto "A Narrow Escape" whose linkage is found in the heading immediately below.)


The Great Flood of 1935
by Edward Aquifer
Vintage photos courtesy TXDoT
A Narrow Escape
Excerpted from the diary of Maryleene Bolen Christensen
1935 Flood - Colorado River Bridge Columbus Texas

1935 Flood - Colorado River Bridge in Columbus, Texas
Photo courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library 00160
The April showers of 1935 may or may not have brought May flowers. If they had, they would almost certainly have been swept away into the Gulf of Mexico. Central and South Central Texas experienced heavy rains that Spring which greatly affected Austin, San Antonio and lesser cities like Junction, Uvalde and D'Hanis.

Although Texas was hit with record-breaking rainfall in 2007, vastly improved infrastructure prevented the devastation which Central Texas and the Hill Country suffered in the 30s. (See Rob Hafernik's Dam Fun: A July 4th Trip Up the Chain of Highland Lakes.)

The 2007 flooding around Burnet, Marble Falls and Cedar Park brought nearly 20 inches of rain in a 24-hour period which is far more than the 9.21 inches of rain Austin received for the month of May 1935 or the 9.71 inches that June. But when one factors in ground saturation and no run-off channels, the resulting damage of the 1935 rains was far worse.
Bystanders watching Austin Texas 1935 flood
1935 Flood - Austin, Texas
Photographer: H.M. Stene, a cartographer for TXDoT
1935 flood, Austin Texas
1935 Flood - Austin, Texas
Photographer: H.M. Stene

1935 Flood - Austin, Texas
Courtesy of Austin History Center, PICA 008484-A
In 1935, while Austin was receiving its deluge, San Antonio was hit even harder with 14.07 inches in May with 8.41 inches the next month. The stores around Alamo Plaza were flooded in late May and tiny D'Hanis, Texas reported a hard-to-believe 20-24 inches of rain in just 2 Hours and 45 Minutes.
D'Hanis Texas after 1935 flood
D'Hanis after the 1935 Flood
San Antonio River Cibolo Creek Bridge
View of Cibolo Creek Bridge on Highway 66 North of San Antonio
River near flood stage.
Early to mid-June rains approached 20 inches in many other smaller communities from Uvalde to Austin. The Llano, Colorado and Pedernales Rivers all reached flood stage, affecting the cities of Junction, Llano, and Fredericksburg. On June 14 and 15 the Colorado River was just 1 foot below the record reached in July of 1869.
LLano River Bridge washed away by 1935 flood, and 1936  bridge
Llano River Bridges in Llano, Texas

Junction Texas June 1935 flood
June 1935 flood in Junction, Texas

The 1935 flood in Junction, Texas
The Llano River crested at its record level ever (at that time). June also brought flooding on the Nueces River and West Nueces River. Flooding extended from north of Brackettville to the Rio Grande (just downstream from Del Rio). Uvalde reported 12.5 inches within a 12 hour period and the total for that day was 17.6 inches.
Frio River flood of 1935, north of Dilley, Texas
Flood scene of the Frio River north of Dilley, Texas

Nueces River flood scene, Cotulla Texas, 1935
Flood scene of the Nueces River, Highway No. 2 south of Cotulla

The flooding of 1935 was instrumental in the building of the chain of lakes and dams from San Saba County to Matagorda. The flow of the Colorado River is uninterrupted from Austin to the coast. The towns of Bastrop, Smithville, La Grange, Columbus and Wharton have all had their share of high water incidents and the loss of bridges. But none since the construction of the dams.
 These rains were pretty much duplicated when the drought-breaker episode of 1953 - 1954 hit the same area.  That prolonged flooding period was helped along by a couple of tropical storms, however.  We almost popped a gut-string laughing when Henry (Nose-hair) Waxman, a pinko congressman from California began railing, almost shouting during some hearing  at some poor dumboe being grilled for the benefit of the Obsolete Press barbeque at the news hour later that day, "Don't you see?!  It's quite obvious that the Super Storm Sandy is proof that we have Global Warming.  We've never had weather like this....EVER!!!!   What more proof do you want???"
    The sad humour, of course, is that any dumboe can, with three clicks, come up with 2,436 examples such as the above rustic but excellent, sincere, and legally admissible pieces of evidence that non-everyday rains, floods, and storms do actually happen, and then they are, like old soldiers, allowed to fade away as the days, weeks, months, and years march on.   This material above-presented does not have anything to do with our oft-mentioned Galveston Hurricane of 1900.   If that hurricane had hit New Orleans or New York City in 1900 or 2000-whenever, the death toll would easily have been in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

     So, with all of this to consider, I shall set about making a bit of supper for these cats, and the boss, and if there is any left over, El Gringo Viejo might eat that himself....after he sees that all the others are still whole.
    Thank you all for your attention...especially you all, AlGore and Henry.
El Gringo Viejo