Wednesday, 10 June 2015

We are readying a round of departures


     We are starting to prepare for a departure to Central Texas....the San Antonio area for two or three days.   It will be something of a family get-together.   There will be considerable linear relations and collateral as well.  The numbers will swell finally to nearly 100 by the time all the babies are counted.
     In order to cut down on the crowding into a spacious home and standing around uselessly while the poor host and hostess run ragged, we intend to help out and then get out.   We shall stay fairly nearby in the City of Castroville, an important small town coming from deep into the historical period of Texas....even into its time as an independent Republic.

     It will be our intention to post a few pictures of the town upon return to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  Then, almost immediately we are heading down to the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre, our little bed-and-brunch / hideaway on the edge of the Sierra Madre in the Mexican interior.   We shall be taking down an important personage in terms of the extended families, a person who has considerable experience travelling and working in Mexico.

    With reference to such things, the Mexican by-elections have just passed, largely without the predicted disorders.  This writer did not think that there would be any significant disorder, save for the indisciplinate places we have covered before:   the Ayotzinapa - Chilpancingo mess in the State of Guerrero, and the Tale of the 43 "Students" for instance.   Beyond that, many were surprised at how sedate the processes were and how heavy the vote was.   This will not be what is reported, of course, but it is what happened.
     It should be pointed out that the State of Guerrero, when all was said and done, after all the stupid, violent, ruinous protests, voted Centrist...for the dumbo Partido Revolucionario Institucional - PRI....the party of the much maligned (and perhaps somewhat deservedly) President Pen~a Nieto.   The wise ones and even some polls were indicating that it would be a tough row to hoe for both the President and the PRI.   But, lo and behold, the stodgy, creaky "centrist" party (mainly liberals and big-business magnates such as Carlos Slim) held onto a slim majority of the Chamber of Deputies in the Congress, with the help of a bit of a globbing on of the small splinter "Green Party" into the "mix".
     The conservative, private sector party, the Partido de Accion Nacional - PAN maintained its second place position in both the upper and lower chambers, while the old Partido Democratico Revolucionario...essentially a hot-pink Marxist-populist demagoguing engine...shrank down into single digits.   It was led into the abyss by Andres Lopez Obrador, (the "Harold Stassen of Mexico"),  the much-revered- by-the-international-press piece of tree fungus who is probably as insane as Nancy Pelosi and Wasserman-Shultz.

     It was an 85 on the scale of 100, by this writer's feelings and sensibility.  The left will commence, as they frequently do after such a debacle, to eat their own children.   The Army and Naval Infantry will be more intent and intense, having received a de facto endorsement from the electorate, and perhaps the Rightwingers can get their heads out of the bucket and figure out how to put together the skilled blue-collar middle class, the old upper-middle class, the professionals, the small proprietors, and a swath....perhaps the majority....of the wealthy industrialists and agriculturalists into a posture that can re-install them into the Presidency again.

A First in 150 years in Mexico:
     One oddity is that after see-sawing back and forth for various terms, both the PRI and the PAN were turned on their heads by an Independent candidate for Governor of the State of Nuevo Leon.  The OROGs will remember that Monterrey and its surrounding, adjacent communities....totalling about five million people and its State, Nuevo Leon is the industrial and social powerhouse of Mexico.   It is decidedly rightwing, and progressive in the correct sense of the word.  Every week, it is said, the Metroplex takes,"...two steps back and three steps forward....someday we should arrive where we are going."   By international standards, the metroplex is solidly a majority mix of blue-collar and white collar forms of some kind of middle-class socio-economic position.
It has a huge wealthy group, perhaps 10% being in millionaire status by American measure. 
Governor elect of Nuevo Leon State of Mexico
receiving a congratulatory call from the President
late Sunday night past.
     In any regard, Jaime Heliodoro Rodriquez Calderon, a successful presidente municipal of Villa de Garcia, an adjacent-to-Monterrey city/county on the far north side of the metroplex, postulated for Governor and parlayed his image as a rough cowboy the way to the Governor's throne.   He is a very literate, almost eloquent if a bit profane at times, blustery fellow who seems to genuinely hate corruption and cartels and 'pandillas' (juvenile gang).
   His nickname is "El Bronco" or the un-broken horse, or wild horse.  In personality and charisma people state that he seems to be channelling the spirit of Pancho Villa.   If he is remotely adequate as governor, and most people think he will certainly be at least that, he might possibly be lost at mid-term in a run for the Presidency.
    We must remember that Nuevo Leon is essentially a different country, with a fairly large hinterland that extends well beyond the State's frontiers.   Truth be known, that if it were not for the oil and gas industry in Texas, the San Pedro - Monterrey cultural and industrial complex would essentially strategically own the four counties composing the southern tip of the Republic of Texas.
    The Monterrey metroplex, for example has about four per cent of the population of Mexico but generates about 50% of the tax receipts for the Secretaria de Hacienda of the Central Government in Mexico City.   Billion dollar factories going in and billion dollar re-builds and expansions of existing industries are third page news in the Monterrey metroplex.

     The turn-out for this election was more like a Presidential level trek to the polls by the body politic.  There were lines aplenty.  Every County in the State of Nuevo Leon reported record by-election participation.  El Bronco gained almost exactly 50% of the "votacion".  The PRI and PAN both took about a quarter of the pie.  And...there were no challenges to the outcome.

     We shall seek more information and have pictures to render the OROG community upon our return after this visit to our little place and various points of interest in our humble little area.   More Later
El Gringo Viejo.