Tag: mexico

Mar 21

The Wall

During the Cold War of the last century when the news media talked about ” the wall” everyone’s mind turned to East Berlin and the wall that the Soviets built to keep the citizens of that part of the divided city from defecting to the west. Now talk about “the wall” is back. This time, …

Continue reading

Nov 03

ACM: Capitalist “Skin and Beat ‘Em” Tactics Against Students and Teachers in Mexico by Galtisalie

Mexico has a lot more to be fearful of than its rural educators and those rural young people who try to make the best of things and both learn and fight to make a just society where students do not have to fight over bones with other students. However, to capitalists, naturally when a poor Latin American country is being destroyed by the capitalist drug war, after being weakened to the point of desperation by capitalist neoliberalism, after being exploited for nearly two centuries by the big neighbor to the north for purposes of capital accumulation, it is time to start changing the subject. Because, after all, Mexico’s problems, as we all know, emanate from the failure of its public school system. That darn Mexican public school system is slow to emulate the wise and knowing educational plans cooked up in conservative Washington think tanks to distract U.S. residents from their own systemic problems, which, among other things, create massive amounts of insecurity and stress which drive demand for legal and illegal hard drugs among U.S. residents, which provides the irrational rationale for the never ending, never succeeding drug war.

Capitalists are so darn smart, handsome, cuddly, and good (except when they get to murderin’ and such) that the Washington Consensus keeps rearing its dapper head–even if it means Mexican teenagers must now lose theirs, and faces too, after standing in solidarity with poor teachers who stand in solidarity with Mexico’s poor. But first, the U.S. Presidential Campaign of 1848 in a nutshell:

◾ Henry Clay, frustrated by Taylor’s popularity as Old “Rough and Ready,” the war hero of Buena Visita, sighed: “I wish I could slay a Mexican.” Don’t sell yourself short dear Henry dear Henry. The U.S. is the gift that keeps on giving–Freeeeeeeedom!

Ah yes, who can forget the son of Freeeeeeeedom, Zachary Taylor, Rumadum Dum? “He’s the boy can skin and beat ’em. … Everybody!” Sounds vaguely familiar, if you are the parent of a missing Mexican college student.

And who can forget the need for the accumulation of U.S. capital (why did Rosa Luxemburg have to go and talk about that?) in our neighbor to the south (which led to all that debt, which led to the Washington Consensus to get debtor nations out of debt so they can incur more debt), which led to resentment by Mexican landed gentry and capitalists, so that, to this day, the Mexican people totter between exploitation by foreign and domestic capitalists–when they are not dodging bullets, heh heh.

I digress (or do I?):

◾”Crisis in Mexico: Could Forty-Three Missing Students Spark a Revolution?” Well, yes, they could. But let’s consider the dry kindling to which the spark has been applied, shall we?

We in the U.S. “know” all about the drug violence. Hell, we know a lot about Mexico. We “know” about the dirty water, heh heh.

Little known in the U.S. is that some Mexican teachers want SYSTEM CHANGE and are paying for it with their careers and even their lives.

“Those thousands of teachers you see blocking the streets of the City have the courage millions of workers in other industries have not had in recent years.”

Alvaro Cueva.

Mexico City August 30, 2013.

http://www.seccion22.org.mx/20…

L, the logo of the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), the leftist teachers’ group working in Mexico’s poor southern states which is the radical offshoot of the sell-out Mexican teachers’ union, SNTE:


Radical teachers’ syndicate returns to Mexico City streets

School strike in Oaxaca, Chiapas enters sixth week, as far left union continues disrupting the capital …

               

SNTE demands firing of CNTE teachers

In a related development today the president of another educators’ union, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), called for all CNTE strikers to be fired immediately in accord with the just enacted reforms. The new laws provide that any school teacher who fails to show up in the classroom for three consecutive days will be automatically terminated. In Oaxaca state alone 74,000 CNTE teachers have not worked a single day since the new school year opened on Aug. 19, but none have been dismissed. SNTE staged its own work stoppage in Yucatán in early September, but members very responsibly returned to the classroom a week later after reaching an agreement with the PRI state government. “There are thousands of teachers looking for work who would love to fill those spots so children can return to classrooms,” SNTE’s president noted in a public appeal.

CNTE is a splinter group that broke off from SNTE in 1979. Since then union leaders have taken the membership down an increasingly radical political course, often far removed from educational issues.

So reported the conservative Mexico GulfReporter.com over a year ago (http://www.mexicogulfreporter.com/2013/10/radical-teacher-syndicate-returns-to.html)

CNTE provided not only a courageous voice on the streets but also a detailed and thoughtful analysis (Note: the analysis is 218 pages long, so don’t open it if you are in a hurry and don’t read Spanish or wish to use a Translator) of neoliberal educational reforms implemented as part of Mexico’s implementation of the Washington Consensus. And it was a lesson the students of Ayotzinapa learned. The “background” for the students’ own protests and resulting kidnapping was the earlier, and continuing, protesting by the CNTE, joined in solidarity by the sympathetic students.

In an especially chilling twist, the violence seems to have been partly set in motion by the students’ plans to travel to the capital for the commemoration of modern Mexico’s most notorious incident of political violence: the Tlatelolco massacre of Oct 2, 1968.

The Tlatelolco slayings took place 10 days before the opening of the Olympic games in Mexico City. After days of anti-government demonstrations, police and soldiers opened fire on a group of protesters, killing dozens or possibly hundreds. The massacre has been a rallying cry for rights activists and student radicals ever since.

In Iguala, a group of 80 to 120 students from the local teaching college gathered Sept 26 to demonstrate against education reforms and to raise money for their trip to Mexico City.

At the end of the day, they allegedly forced their way onto three buses. It’s unclear if they intended to commandeer them for a trip back their college or all the way to Mexico City.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

Could capitalist divide and rule be backfiring in Mexico? Is this marching, so solemn and sad, part of the march to real “freedom,” not U.S.-mandated freedom to be hungry and hopeless at home or invisible and hated on the streets of the U.S.? Where oh where are our leftist divisions in a potentially-revolutionary time like this? Can “WE” finally start sharing our hard-won quasi-jurisdictions and terms of art? E.g., dirt poor Trotskyite teachers, “of all people,” sending of what little they have to provide anarchist-like “mutual aid” to the suffering families of Ayotzinapa, as Zapatistas also now overtly struggle with their non-agrarian comrades.

The mass crime of the 43 missing students and related murders of students may, in its enormity, reinforce efforts to unite the serious Mexican left, something which has not been achieved for much of Mexico’s post-Spanish-independence history. Tragically, over a hundred years ago, agrarian anarcho-communist ancestors of the present-day Zapatistas were rebuffed partly because they did not fully understand factory worker demands but also because many urban anarcho-syndicalists would not accept the Catholic religious traditions of their rural comrades. (For an excellent review of Mexican revolutionary history, focused on 1870-1920, see http://www.selfed.org.uk/node/…

Meanwhile, “I” search for the clicker, and I like think, in between doses of my favorite mind-numbing substance:

What? Mexico is too far away from Nowheresville for me to give a damn (except when it is invading our sacred border, now at the Rio Grande, with Ebola-carrying brown people). Who is Trotsky anyway? Zapatistas? And “anarchy” sounds bad, almost, uh, “Mexicany.” What the hell is “mutual aid”? I got your mutual aid right here. Get me my AR-quince!

“I” may be about to learn a lot more about Mexico and revolution south of the border.

Please go below for a brief caveat from this writer sitting comfortably numb north of the border, far even from Mom’s Opa-Locka, finally trying not to be another brick in the wall.

Nov 03

ACM: Capitalist “Skin and Beat ‘Em” Tactics Against Students and Teachers in Mexico by Galtisalie

Mexico has a lot more to be fearful of than its rural educators and those rural young people who try to make the best of things and both learn and fight to make a just society where students do not have to fight over bones with other students. However, to capitalists, naturally when a poor Latin American country is being destroyed by the capitalist drug war, after being weakened to the point of desperation by capitalist neoliberalism, after being exploited for nearly two centuries by the big neighbor to the north for purposes of capital accumulation, it is time to start changing the subject. Because, after all, Mexico’s problems, as we all know, emanate from the failure of its public school system. That darn Mexican public school system is slow to emulate the wise and knowing educational plans cooked up in conservative Washington think tanks to distract U.S. residents from their own systemic problems, which, among other things, create massive amounts of insecurity and stress which drive demand for legal and illegal hard drugs among U.S. residents, which provides the irrational rationale for the never ending, never succeeding drug war.

Capitalists are so darn smart, handsome, cuddly, and good (except when they get to murderin’ and such) that the Washington Consensus keeps rearing its dapper head–even if it means Mexican teenagers must now lose theirs, and faces too, after standing in solidarity with poor teachers who stand in solidarity with Mexico’s poor. But first, the U.S. Presidential Campaign of 1848 in a nutshell:

◾ Henry Clay, frustrated by Taylor’s popularity as Old “Rough and Ready,” the war hero of Buena Visita, sighed: “I wish I could slay a Mexican.” Don’t sell yourself short dear Henry dear Henry. The U.S. is the gift that keeps on giving–Freeeeeeeedom!

Ah yes, who can forget the son of Freeeeeeeedom, Zachary Taylor, Rumadum Dum? “He’s the boy can skin and beat ’em. … Everybody!” Sounds vaguely familiar, if you are the parent of a missing Mexican college student.

And who can forget the need for the accumulation of U.S. capital (why did Rosa Luxemburg have to go and talk about that?) in our neighbor to the south (which led to all that debt, which led to the Washington Consensus to get debtor nations out of debt so they can incur more debt), which led to resentment by Mexican landed gentry and capitalists, so that, to this day, the Mexican people totter between exploitation by foreign and domestic capitalists–when they are not dodging bullets, heh heh.

I digress (or do I?):

◾”Crisis in Mexico: Could Forty-Three Missing Students Spark a Revolution?” Well, yes, they could. But let’s consider the dry kindling to which the spark has been applied, shall we?

We in the U.S. “know” all about the drug violence. Hell, we know a lot about Mexico. We “know” about the dirty water, heh heh.

Little known in the U.S. is that some Mexican teachers want SYSTEM CHANGE and are paying for it with their careers and even their lives.

“Those thousands of teachers you see blocking the streets of the City have the courage millions of workers in other industries have not had in recent years.”

Alvaro Cueva.

Mexico City August 30, 2013.

http://www.seccion22.org.mx/20…

L, the logo of the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), the leftist teachers’ group working in Mexico’s poor southern states which is the radical offshoot of the sell-out Mexican teachers’ union, SNTE:


Radical teachers’ syndicate returns to Mexico City streets

School strike in Oaxaca, Chiapas enters sixth week, as far left union continues disrupting the capital …

               

SNTE demands firing of CNTE teachers

In a related development today the president of another educators’ union, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), called for all CNTE strikers to be fired immediately in accord with the just enacted reforms. The new laws provide that any school teacher who fails to show up in the classroom for three consecutive days will be automatically terminated. In Oaxaca state alone 74,000 CNTE teachers have not worked a single day since the new school year opened on Aug. 19, but none have been dismissed. SNTE staged its own work stoppage in Yucatán in early September, but members very responsibly returned to the classroom a week later after reaching an agreement with the PRI state government. “There are thousands of teachers looking for work who would love to fill those spots so children can return to classrooms,” SNTE’s president noted in a public appeal.

CNTE is a splinter group that broke off from SNTE in 1979. Since then union leaders have taken the membership down an increasingly radical political course, often far removed from educational issues.

So reported the conservative Mexico GulfReporter.com over a year ago (http://www.mexicogulfreporter.com/2013/10/radical-teacher-syndicate-returns-to.html)

CNTE provided not only a courageous voice on the streets but also a detailed and thoughtful analysis (Note: the analysis is 218 pages long, so don’t open it if you are in a hurry and don’t read Spanish or wish to use a Translator) of neoliberal educational reforms implemented as part of Mexico’s implementation of the Washington Consensus. And it was a lesson the students of Ayotzinapa learned. The “background” for the students’ own protests and resulting kidnapping was the earlier, and continuing, protesting by the CNTE, joined in solidarity by the sympathetic students.

In an especially chilling twist, the violence seems to have been partly set in motion by the students’ plans to travel to the capital for the commemoration of modern Mexico’s most notorious incident of political violence: the Tlatelolco massacre of Oct 2, 1968.

The Tlatelolco slayings took place 10 days before the opening of the Olympic games in Mexico City. After days of anti-government demonstrations, police and soldiers opened fire on a group of protesters, killing dozens or possibly hundreds. The massacre has been a rallying cry for rights activists and student radicals ever since.

In Iguala, a group of 80 to 120 students from the local teaching college gathered Sept 26 to demonstrate against education reforms and to raise money for their trip to Mexico City.

At the end of the day, they allegedly forced their way onto three buses. It’s unclear if they intended to commandeer them for a trip back their college or all the way to Mexico City.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

Could capitalist divide and rule be backfiring in Mexico? Is this marching, so solemn and sad, part of the march to real “freedom,” not U.S.-mandated freedom to be hungry and hopeless at home or invisible and hated on the streets of the U.S.? Where oh where are our leftist divisions in a potentially-revolutionary time like this? Can “WE” finally start sharing our hard-won quasi-jurisdictions and terms of art? E.g., dirt poor Trotskyite teachers, “of all people,” sending of what little they have to provide anarchist-like “mutual aid” to the suffering families of Ayotzinapa, as Zapatistas also now overtly struggle with their non-agrarian comrades.

The mass crime of the 43 missing students and related murders of students may, in its enormity, reinforce efforts to unite the serious Mexican left, something which has not been achieved for much of Mexico’s post-Spanish-independence history. Tragically, over a hundred years ago, agrarian anarcho-communist ancestors of the present-day Zapatistas were rebuffed partly because they did not fully understand factory worker demands but also because many urban anarcho-syndicalists would not accept the Catholic religious traditions of their rural comrades. (For an excellent review of Mexican revolutionary history, focused on 1870-1920, see http://www.selfed.org.uk/node/…

Meanwhile, “I” search for the clicker, and I like think, in between doses of my favorite mind-numbing substance:

What? Mexico is too far away from Nowheresville for me to give a damn (except when it is invading our sacred border, now at the Rio Grande, with Ebola-carrying brown people). Who is Trotsky anyway? Zapatistas? And “anarchy” sounds bad, almost, uh, “Mexicany.” What the hell is “mutual aid”? I got your mutual aid right here. Get me my AR-quince!

“I” may be about to learn a lot more about Mexico and revolution south of the border.

Please go below for a brief caveat from this writer sitting comfortably numb north of the border, far even from Mom’s Opa-Locka, finally trying not to be another brick in the wall.

Oct 23

NSA Busted for Spying on Other Countries For Profit

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The revelation that the NSA was using its hoovering of data from other countries broke in August with the Der Spiegel report that the NSA had bugged the UN Headquarters in New York City, as well as,  European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In early September, a week before the UN General Assembly meeting in NYC, Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, cancelled her visit in Washington with President Barack Obama over the NSA’s spying on her, her inner circle of top aides and Brazil’s largest company, the oil giant Petrobras.

Now, this week its Mexico and France and its not about keeping us safe, its about industrial espionage:

In France, grabbed the data of over 70,000 phone calls:

Le Monde said the documents gave grounds to think the NSA targeted not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics. [..]

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault [said]  “I am deeply shocked…. It’s incredible that an allied country like the United States at this point goes as far as spying on private communications that have no strategic justification, no justification on the basis of national defence,” he told journalists in Copenhagen.

Mexico:

   The NSA has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for years. [..]

   In the space of a single year, according to the internal documents, this operation produced 260 classified reports that allowed US politicians to conduct successful talks on political issues and to plan international investments.

As has been revealed this summer, the NSA was recently revealed to have been spying on Brazil’s largest oil company. We now know they were also spying on the biggest financial payments systems such as VISA and Swift and on the on Chinese technology company Huawei.

One of the slides leaked by Edward Snowden from from a 2012 NSA presentation explained “economic” was one of the main justifications for spying.

The NSA would also like to keep better tabs on Wall Street under the guise of protecting it:

Drawing an analogy to how the military detects an incoming missile with radar and other sensors, (General Keith) Alexander imagined the NSA being able to spot “a cyberpacket that’s about to destroy Wall Street.” In an ideal world, he said, the agency would be getting real-time information from the banks themselves, as well as from the NSA’s traditional channels of intelligence, and have the power to take action before a cyberattack caused major damage.

Wall Street saw through Alexander’s “collect it all” ploy and quickly labeled it “wild:”

His proposed solution: Private companies should give the government access to their networks so it could screen out the harmful software. The NSA chief was offering to serve as an all-knowing virus-protection service, but at the cost, industry officials felt, of an unprecedented intrusion into the financial institutions’ databases.

The group of financial industry officials, sitting around a table at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, were stunned, immediately grasping the privacy implications of what Alexander was politely but urgently suggesting. As a group, they demurred.

“He’s an impressive person,” the participant said, recalling the group’s collective reaction to Alexander. “You feel very comfortable with him. He instills a high degree of trust.”

But he was proposing something they thought was high-risk.

“Folks in the room looked at each other like, ‘Wow. That’s kind of wild.’ ”

DSWRight at FDL News Desk duly notes that the US government has been doing what it has prosecuted others for doing under  the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the same law that was used to harass Aaron Swartz:

The hypocrisy is epic and disgusting. The NSA has disgraced and embarrassed the American people at home and abroad.

The rampant criminality and antisocial behavior of America’s intelligence community has not only diminished American rule of law at home, but is leading to increasing friction internationally with our allies. It is well past time for us to reexamine the power of the NSA and friends.

It is well past time the NSA was stopped before it shreds what remains of US credibility in the international and business community

Oct 06

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Workers, not Servants by Irene Ortiz Rosen

Today we are fortunate to have a diary describing the current condition of domestic workers in Mexico. This is an issue which has received increasing attention in the last three years. A long-time activist in the Domestic Worker Movement, Irene Ortiz Rosen,  is the Co-Founder  and Director of Collectivo Atabal,  an organization of activists and  feminists formed to defend the rights, dignity and demands of domestic workers in Mexico City. She is also the Co-Author of “Así es, Pues” a socio-economic study of domestic workers in Cuernavaca. A recent emigrant from Mexico, she approaches the subject from a global perspective which emphasizes the class and anti-imperialist aspects of the struggle as well as its patriarchal nature.

In the world of labor, a large group of women whose work is the maintenance of the homes of others is largely ignored-domestic workers. According to the ILO, there are more than 52 million domestic workers in the world.

In almost all countries, domestic workers share the following characteristics:  1) invisibility; 2) migration; 3) low levels of education; 4) gender, ethnic and racial discrimination; and 5) the informality of their labor. These are all products of poverty.

 photo f473a4db-e8ce-476c-bf85-ac82a0a43e77_zpsd35ff34d.jpg

Domestic workers make up an invisible workforce because their work is carried out in the private sphere, that is, the homes of their employers. Their contract is verbal, their work is isolated, and their mobility is common.

Generally they are migrants, usually, within their own countries. This is the case for indigenous women  and women who come from rural areas in Latin America.  And as the gap in inequality grows throughout the world, in the poorest countries the phenomenon of migration (usually without papers) is growing beyond borders.  That is how they arrive to United States and Canada, by informally working as House Cleaning Personnel, Nannies and Home Attendants. In New York alone, we are talking about more than 200 thousand people who are working under disadvantaged conditions due to their Undocumented status.



Their discrimination is shared with nearly all women, and its logic corresponds to the subordination of women in a patriarchal culture. Within the patriarchal view of the traditional role of women, their work is an extension of the reproductive role, which is considered natural for their gender.  

 photo e78e8cbb-76d4-4649-9006-b3021144a395_zpsaf7893d7.jpg

We should not forget that women in general, as housewives and mothers, perform domestic work without any pay whatever. Consequently, their work is not considered part of the national economy despite the fact that it makes up about 20% of the GDP. If a woman looks for waged work, she enters the labor market in a disadvantaged way; forty-five percent of women domestic workers receive salaries that are 10% lower than salaries received by men for the same work.

Global economic policies that have impoverished the majority of the world´s population have brought women in all countries into  the public sphere. The women working in the public sphere then need to hire a domestic worker to care for their children and home. However, because they, themselves, are not paid well, they are unable to pay a fair  wage, even if they value the services being performed by domestic help.

Sep 07

Deportees

Amy Lieberman has been covering the danger inherent in being a transgender woman for a few years now for women’s eNews.  Most recently she has been in Mexico, delving into the consequences when a transwoman is deported back to Mexico.

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous places to be transgender.  But as lawmakers try to change that, transgender women who are deported confront a social backlash that makes their homeland more fearful than ever.

If you pass inside, you will likely find yourself decrying the way Mexican transgender women are treated.  But you should be aware that it is not all that much different than transwomen are treated in the US.

Oct 18

October Surprise: Bin Laden Upgraded to House From Cave For Wikileaks Release

From CNN, Your Most Trusted News Source:  

The October Surprise

Anonymous NATO Spokesperson Upgrades Osama Bin Laden From Cave To House in Pakistan, Getting a Jump on the Latest Wikileaks Which Will Show He’s Working at al- Zawahiri’s International House of Naancakes


Kabul, Afghanistan, CNN, Monday, October 18, 2010

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/…

Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said.

“Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave,” said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the intelligence matters involved.

___

The official would not discuss how the coalition has come to know any of this information, but he has access to some of the most sensitive information in the NATO alliance.

Wikileaks Donation Site Shut Down


CNN, Friday October 15, 2010

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-1…

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims the U.S. government was behind the decision by Moneybookers to shut down the account, an allegation denied by American officials.

According to e-mails provided to CNN by Assange, Moneybookers informed WikiLeaks of its decision in August, shortly after the Pentagon demanded WikiLeaks return all of the military documents and remove them from its website. WikiLeaks refused to do so and is expected to release hundreds of thousands of additional Pentagon papers later this month.

The first e-mail from Moneybookers that notified WikiLeaks of its decision indicated one of the potential grounds for termination was “to comply with money laundering or other investigations conducted by government authorities, agencies or commissions.”

When Assange asked for a further explanation, he received another e-mail from the company saying the account was initially suspended “due to being accessed from a blacklisted IP address. However following recent publicity and the subsequently addition of the WikiLeaks entity to blacklists in Australia and watch lists in the USA, we have terminated the business relationship.”

Sep 15

A (Possibly Premature) TS Karl Update

Bahia Soliman, QR, Mexico–Thanks for the comments and the kind words and the link repair.  The weather event seems to have been excessively over-horribl-ized.  Why am I not surprised?  And why, I wonder, does this hysterical kind of reporting always… (please fill in the ellipses).  If I contributed to the craziness, perdon.

I’m back at the barbecue Internet.  The cell phone is out, but the Internet’s on.  Amazingly, there is electricity.  Mexico’s infrastructure works.  And, the good news, the storm seems to have gone someplace else.  Or not to have materialized in the utterly devastating form predicted by some.  Yes, we have high winds (imagine the wind map here), and yes, we have marea alto (high tide) (imagine photo of rolling waves here), and yeah, we had some crazy horizontal rain (imagine…).  But all now seems to be in order: no real damage (2 plates and a tray), nobody hurt or injured, ocean churned up (of course), and winds blowing hard now still, but as things go, simply excellent.  Considering that the storm was supposed, according to some, to bring the end of Western Civilization with it.  And, lest I forget, the sun is out and has been in and out for the past couple of hours (imagine photo of such on turquoise water, cumulus clouds, palm trees slightly shaking).

Three pelicans decided to ride out the storm on the bow of Moonstar’s boat (imagine cute photo).  I decided to ride the storm out on the beach in a plastic chair (no beer logo this time)(imagine photo of Sol beer commercial chair). The pelicans and I were there all morning (except when occasionally wind and rain drove me inside) until somebody decided to move the boat next to it.  That got the pelicans to move.  I have no idea why they are moving the boat now, since the storm is apparently about played out, but maybe these guys know something I don’t.  My consultations today with locals yielded this appraisal: no big deal, what’s for lunch.

Somebody really should do a treatise (ok, a short blog) on the affect Katrina has had on weather reportage and how it has made WR intentionally even more hysterical that before.  Is it the goal of this kind of WR to desensitize us to climate changes?  Just asking.

Thanks for all the good wishes.


————————–

cross posted (maybe) at The Dream Antilles  

Sep 15

Tropical Storm Karl Coming Soon (To Me)

Please pardon the extremely low tech, wordy approach this extremely brief essay takes.  I’m writing it “borrowing” Internet from my neighbor (who is away), so my laptop is sitting on the barbecue (no, it’s not on) while I write this.  I will not regale you (sorry for the wind pun) with why I don’t have my own Internet this evening.

I’m in Bahia Soliman, which is just north of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico.  This afternoon I (and probably everyone else in the world who cares about this) learned that what we following as Invest 92 had indeed attained Tropical Storm Status (TST) and was now named TS Karl.  TS Karl, the computer models and other models (imagine I had posted a map of that right here) is planning to come through the front door of my house tomorrow morning or afternoon.  What’s that mean?  Who knows: it probably means up to 50 knot winds and up to 8″ of rain.  Knots, I am reliably told, are bigger than miles.

On one level, I consider this retribution.  I have been working on my novel, working title “Tulum,” here for more than a week.  I am working in what IB Singer called the “literary factory,” i.e. I write and I take breaks, I write and I take breaks, repeat and repeat again ad infinitum.  So it is I who wrote the Hurricane scenes in the book, and now I have “called” in a real storm with my maniacal focus on storms.  It’s “the law of attraction” gone crazy, if you will.  Or it’s the Damapada.  I am what I think, and I’ve been thinking a lot about TS’s and Hurricanes, if you will.  If you won’t, fine, but it’s thundering as I type this.

On another level, I consider this a study in how most people in the US don’t give a rat’s ass about what happens in Mexico.  They and their media are obsessing about what will happen when the storm leaves the Yucatan Peninsula and heads towards South Texas.  If TS Karl decides instead to come ashore (again) in Mexico the story won’t merit a 1″ column on page 23 of your local newspaper.  But if it should head for Texas, there will be guys with slickers standing in the surf and reporting every 3 minutes on what it feels like.

Hell, I can tell you “what it feels like.”  And I’m not wearing one of those jackets.  It feels like tomorrow the weather is really gonna suck here.  High wind, lots of rain, high tides, flooding.  You’ve seen it before on TV, right?  It makes a mess of things.

I have taken my book, all almost 80,000 words of it, and saved the entire thing on two key drives, and put them in a safe, where they will be dry, no matter what.  I will also put this 10 year old lap top, whose aging memory also contains my book, in a safe place.  Everything of value is in a place where it cannot get ruined.  By wind.  By water.  By anything.  Everything that’s not tied down is likely to end up in the next state, which is Campeche, and in Mayan means, the place of snakes and scorpions.  In other words, you will not likely retrieve any of it.

Meanwhile, many of us stand on the beach looking at the lightning, listening to the wind, watching the tide.

—————————–

cross-posted (maybe) at The Dream Antilles

Aug 30

DREAM Now Letters to Barack Obama: Lizbeth Mateo

Originally posted on Citizen Orange.

The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Lizbeth Mateo and I am undocumented. On May 17th, on the 56th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, I, along with Mohammad Abdollahi, Yahaira Carrillo and two others, became the first undocumented students to risk deportation by staging a sit-in inside Senator McCain’s office in Tucson, Arizona, to demand the immediate passage of the DREAM Act. As a result of that sit-in we were arrested, turned over to ICE, and we now face deportation

Aug 16

Population Dynamics of Places in the News

Population 1960-2008

Population2

I’ve been watching the great HBO series Six Feet Under on DVD for about a week, and yesterday I saw the episode which ends with Ruth Fisher singing along with a tape of Joni Mitchell. I didn’t even recognize the song, but a google search for the lyrics revealed it was Woodstock.

Then last night I had a dream about walking up a long hill with the same song playing in my head, but when I came to the crest and looked down, instead of mobs at a concert I saw a flood like an ocean, and millions of people washed away in it.

“And maybe it’s the time of year

or maybe it’s the time of man

and I don’t know who I am

but you know life is for learning.”

“We are stardust,

billion year-old carbon,

we are golden,

caught in the devil’s bargain

and we got to get ourselves

back to the garden.”

Aug 11

Mexico Supreme Court Recognizes Same Sex Marriage

Or, more exactly, they have ordered the states to recognize same sex marriages performed in Mexico City.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law, enacted in March, extends to wedded gay couples the right to adopt children, to jointly apply for bank loans, to inherit wealth and to be covered by their spouses’ insurance policies. Some of those may end up applying only in the capital.

It’s simply a more tolerant place, than todays US.  

Load more