I don’t think many mexicans care much about the aid but rather care about were that aid will end up. Many mexicans in my generation have known for years about the crookedness in the upper echelons of our society so it is not surprising that we tend to resist any help from the US. This resistance tends to be misread by the media at large which still holds a sway on a narrative that belongs more to the better half of the latter 1800’s than the 2000’s.
We know, for example, that the leaders of our political elite will rather distribute the goods amongst themselves rather than see the needs of the nation. Those elites are like hungry beasts that require feeding to be appeased. The US happily provides the chow for them. In return, the US is content with exploiting a situation that benefits them although shortsightedly, ignore, at their own peril, the dangers it treads upon as if those dangers were more of a nuisance rather than a prevention plan in action. So the US pays a hefty sum of money for a return that consequently only creates more problems rather than offering a solution for the best buck.
Hence, pouring down money into mexico’s elite will only help the US gain incentives and create more resistance to US ideas in Mexico. While in the short run this would seem the ideal thing to do, history will repeat itself. Friedman’s Shock and Awe economics are coming to a halt and sooner or later the democratic system we all favor will have its day in Mexico. At this point in time, I suggest that the US await for more friendlier attitudes from the population in México for its help. As it is now, the US is going over the heads of the mexican population. Remember, Calderón is considered an illegitimate government, whether Americans like it or not and those are the rules of a democracy.
Hold tight to those purse strings Washington, the day when we really need you is yet to come. After all, it isn’t as if we don’t care for those territories we lost back in 1848.
Elections will be held today in the mexican state of Yucatán. I shall briefly discuss some issues of pertinence and what I believe are issues of significance to mexican politics as a whole.
Normally state elections in the highly centralized Tenochtitlán don’t get much attention but these elections are being used as a barometer for the credibility status of beleaguered president, Felipe Calderón. The current cynicism that prevails in the masses is already giving out the outcome to the duo of the PRI and PAN otherwise known as PRIAN since many don’t see any difference between the two latter political parties.
The Felipe Calderón camp is betting, of course, for a continuation of the PAN and current thinking is that the PAN has negotiated the favorable outcome in Yucatán in exchange for a less and minor victory in the next state elections of the aztec federation which are to be held in Baja California in August of the present year at hand.
The problems are not little because in Yucatán the forces there are controlled by the nefarious personality of Don Diego Fernández de Cevallos. This politician casts a very dark shadow steeped in the most conservative of mexican politics that it has to give. He is often portrayed in political cartoons as an old Conquistador because he likes a strange kind of power which dates back to master and servant relations in México. He seems to prefer a weak mexican state because his political trajectory has been one to favor big business and old rich mexican families which traditionally dislike all sorts of government interference in their daily affairs. Ever since the so called alternancia,, that is, the transition of powers in México, and before that in the Salinas government, he has been an important power broker in mexican politics and hence it would be most unlikely that he would let his native land fall to his bitter and staunchest enemies, the left. Having accumulated so much power over the years it almost seems impossible that he’d not use that power to influence the outcome of the elections and that to his favor. So the governorship of the most secessionist state of México, will most likely continue to be held in the hands of the PAN although it is going to be disputed to add a pinch of credibility to the elections.
Of course, the PAN is also not keen to be to seen as a continuation of the perfect dictatorship as the Peruvian writer Vargas Llosa once called the PRI so this year we also have the novelty that for the first time in México’s political history independent candidates are being allowed to partake in the kerfuffle of mexican politics. However, it is unlikely the PAN is ready to let go of Yucatán since they firmly believe most people still believe they are democratic and the huge oil interest that abound in the yucatan peninsula, which happen to be of interest to those who trickle down the Potomac, lie underneath the struggle for power in that state.
This puts the Calderón posse in a bind because it is also unlikely they will want to give up the cradle of their symbolic democracy movement which happens to be Baja California. But if anything is true of the PAN these days is that ideology means nothing to them. I say this not lightly because current criticism of the PAN is that they have forgotten their political roots in exchange for a status quo that endangers the very institutions of the mexican nation. They are in fact prolonging a politic ideology that prefers a weak state, one that easily subyugates to the whims of the West wing.
Yucatán then is a good barometer not just for democracy in México but also as a thermometer which can tell us how hot things are to get the next coming days. Remember, México is undergoing dramatic changes as we speak even though one wouldn’t hear it from the major media outlets of the world.
Ever since mexican President Felipe Calderón entered office in Los Pinos, the mexican equivalent of the White House, the mexican military has had more than its share of the limelight.
Before Calderón, the military was a topic of dubious temptation because many in mexican society decried the mexican military to be some kind of social panacea to the ills that ail the mexican nation. Mostly as a panacea to the ineptitudes of the judiciary system which has been, up to date, inefficient in combating all sorts of crime.
The military has now been in action since the inception of the Calderón presidency and as always, the military has had clashes with how society works. A cultural shock is in place as we speak. A deadly one might I add.
Add to that that today five military service men died at the hands of narco men then one begins to suspect that the panacea was less than the expected maná which was to quell the hunger for justice in the old Aztec nation.
In a nation with a tendency to undermine its democratic institutions like a Hong Kong under British rule one can scratch its head at will.
The military is in disarray and in need of direction.
This ultimately affects the US in one way or another. For in the long run the policy towards the South has been quite at odds with public discourse.
And this doesn’t bode well with the flow in the Potomac because there seems to be a flow against the current, and if a lowly citizen can detect that then the Powers to be have to explain a lot just exactly is it that is going on South of the Border.
First and foremost I would like to point out that despite Sean Kelly’s bragging about his Spanish skills there’s still isn’t a México category in the topic section of the dairies. Though I guess one not ought to complain since the label Latin America ought to suffice for more than 22 countries that speak Spanish, including México in that lot.
Having let that grudge out of the chest we shall move forward with the business of extrapolating mexican politics in an very brief and concise manner. Though space is not an issue I must take into account for two factors in the exigency at hand, one, the short attention span of the blog reader who mostly out of happenstance clicks on the link and the other less likely these times, interest in the topic at hand.
Botched attempts at legitimatizing Calderón via the US media have resulted in awkward spells the sort that remind one of Macbeth. And at home the thing doesn’t get any better.
So beside the media blitzkrieg which has characterized the Calderón presidency thus far what is said beyond TV, and by it I mean the net, I am, after all, in Sweden, might I remind those not in the know, the Spanish written outlets paint a not so pretty picture for the current TV and Big Business sanctioned president of México.
First, allow us to remind ourselves that Calderón started his troubled presidency by trying to present an image of a tough man of the law. He brought out the army out of its barracks to fight lawlessness, created by none other than his predecessor, Vicente Fox. The idea was simple: since police enforcement was so corrupted that the federal government had to use its last credible institution to fight crime it had no choice but to enforce the law by means of military intervention.
By declaring war on crime many who entertained the idea that something was left of a powerful and centralized government received a shocking truth. They earnestly thought the government would quell bad boys and they praised the government for the initiative. Alas! the mexican army has not only exacerbated the situation in the 31 states that make a quasi highly centralized federation called México by staining the thin line between civil and military laws it has also exposed the men in green to the follies of a society which revolves around a corrupt spin in every event of its daily life. The military has put into question the very fabric of the federation and placed a thin rope on a Democles Sword above a fragile constituency. The Army is now stained with murder, corruption and above all, is acting as if they themselves are above the law.
Second, Calderón has made a series of blunders that inevitably will affect not only the nefarious NAFTA deal co-signed by the Salinas-Bush gang but the very fabric which has distinguished Canada, the USA and México in this lofty yet spurious accord. This no doubt in part with the USA’s aid. Now, I say the latter because the USA has a record of a Catholic priest on penance on Easter Sunday. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa can be heard every day in the US media, at home but abroad, the story is different. Abroad, these Utilitarian and old Methodist evangelical sons and daughters would give two rats about the very land they so dearly want to save for the Lord they purport to serve. Indeed, one can even give a stretch of the imagination and argue that if it weren’t for all those pesky mexicans which insist in being in México things might just be a tad smoother for all concerned.
Those blunders start with the very presidency he purports to represent, which Fort Knox springs to mind since Calderón can’t be seen around the people that elected him to the chair he so comfortably sits in because repudiation will sprout like a stubborn weed that just keeps coming back.
And oh yeah, then there are those pesky budgets which of lately are spilling the beans like wild grass in early spring. Yes, discrepancies about Vicente Fox’s use of taxpayer’s money are flourishing like flowers on a green meadow. He has lots to explain but don’t expect him to get caught by the amputated arm of the law in México. Nope. Now that would be akin to a wanker’s wet dream coming through.
The list goes on and the fight even more so. To the point that even the Catholic church has stepped to defend its favorite candidate this despite the fact that the mexican constitution prohibits the clergy from partaking in politics, but does the Catholic church care? Go read mexican papers to find out.
Well, I suppose that what I want to say is that México is on the verge of something, may it be 2010 or a real democracy unfolding south of the border I know not. But something is afoot, and that’s for sure.
Híjole, we must be the only race in the world that is consumed by itself.
By Frank Jack Daniel
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A moth with a big appetite that once chomped its way through huge swaths of cacti in Australia has landed in Mexico, where the spiky plant is a favorite food stuff and major agricultural product.
Officials said on Friday a moth trapped close to the beach resort of Cancun this week could be the same species that destroyed some 50 million acres of cacti in Australia, opening the possibility the moth will spread to Mexico’s cactus farming regions.
The Cactoblastis cactorum moth landed on Mexico’s Caribbean island Isla Mujeres last year, sparking a major government pest control operation.
Pest control agents have set up hundreds of traps along the coastline and are searching hotels and private homes for further signs of the moth.
“This is war,” said Enrique Sanchez, head of plant and animal health in Mexico. “If lots of them arrive we will try to destroy the largest number possible with pesticides.”
The edible cactus, or nopal, industry in Mexico is worth about $150 million each year. About 10,000 farmers cultivate the plant.
Well, how does it feel to be latinamerican, Spanish speaking and mexican these days? That is the most common question in form of jest jeer I get since that fateful day in early december, I dare not recollect, to paraphrase Cervantes.
I honestly feel awful. We mexicans are at a crux in epic proportions.
Upon us are several mythological spells that have us spellbound.
The nearest one coming is 2010.
According to this myth México is to have a revolution every 100 years. 1810, 1910, and now 2010.
The next one has to do with the renovation Aztec mythology stamped its soul with: 2012, december of all dates are to conclude a period in México. Total nihilism is to be present on that date.
Besides that we have only ourselves to blame.
From the North even mild mannered anglos turn to the left and to the South all countries are regaining a sense of overcoming a history that has been unjust to them.
We don’t even recognize ourselves in the shattered mirror Octavio Paz left behind to reflect ourselves upon. More and more it looks like a mirror from the ancient past: obsidian and ready material for sacrifice. Oaxaca anyone?
The opposition decries foul play accusing the PAN of being a party of the rich and obscure interests. They are accused of serving themselves the very best whilst the crumbs of the nation fall upon a mass that can’t even get a glimpse of it since the dissolution can’t reach all.
A wild capitalism that only serve to finance riches untold for every day that nation exists in its present condition.
Those in power accuse, in turn, the oppostion of sedition and of being a danger for the nation. The government even dares pin fault to the opposition for the very crimes they themselves committed during the swearing in of the said constitutional president of México. A president that rabidly accused the oppostion of tainting democratic institutions while they crookedly interpret laws to their hearts delight.
George W. Bush, México’s friend and the now Democrat held congress winking OK at the situation they have before themselves.
The bad omen list goes on forever: there is no happy future and only a narrative that serves the purposes of the current capitalistic ideology see a future for their interests: reminds one of the first chapter of the Matrix.
The biggest irony lies in the Emperor’s new clothes: The PRI won big: the chameleon managed to infiltrate itself in the fabric of all parties. The PRI is de facto represented in all mexican parties.
Estados Unidos: El sorpresivo voto asiático
Los Ángeles, Cal., 20 de noviembre (apro).- En silencio, la comunidad asiática de California fue la gran sorpresa electoral del pasado 7 de noviembre. Logró, entre otras cosas, que 19 de los 20 candidatos que lanzaron para puestos de elección popular, triunfaran de manera arrolladora en el estado de California.
Con estos triunfos en posiciones estatales, la comunidad asiática logró aumentar a 20 los funcionarios electos de ese origen, obteniendo la mayor representación política en su historia.
La victoria de John Chiang como contralor estatal atrajo la atención de los medios de comunicación, ya que se convirtió en el primer asiático en ocupar ese puesto. Sin embargo, en otras áreas del gobierno estatal la presencia de esa comunidad es mayoritaria.
La oficina encargada de expedir el número de identificación para que los negocios declaren sus impuestos, llamada State Board of Equalization, está formada por cinco miembros. Después de las elecciones, cuatro de los cinco representantes, son asiáticos. El único puesto en poder de una persona no asiática, no estaba en disputa.
I am miserable. Some bug decided to house itself in my body and alter the course of the daily affairs. I thought some whisky would kill it but it didn’t work. When it comes to colds I should just stick to my old ancestor’s household remedies, either tequila or mezcal. Some people would have a hard time swallowing the latter, specially in these Dr. Phil days but it’s true. Mezcal does the job.
I got a book from the Agonist team. Empire Workshop. I have just finished reading chapter one the preface, last night. And I already got some reservations about it. The front cover has a little Old Glory on it, albeit upside down. For those in the know the sight of such a flag implies and SOS. Then there is the Mary Shelley quote from her book Frankenstein. Frankenstein did not have a life of its own. This is contrarian to Manifest Destiny ideology.
This just might be a book about the Ugly American in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly American.
My ideas are starting to fly around, I want so earnestly to see if the author delves in the complex mechanism of language differences of Spanish and English and the power hierarquies between the more personal, one to one, we are all equal attitudes of gringos and more formal relations that characterize Latin American societies where, in essence, the Thou address is alive and thriving.
Like I said, I already have reservations. I have loads of history from México both at the book level and what my relatives have told me about gringos.
Greg Grandin doesn’t delve so much into it in the first chapter but the US prior to the Mexican Revolution owned huge swaths of land all over México. To mention just one guy we have the Hearst family which practically owned Chihuahua. Lore from my family used to tell that whenever the Hearst family wanted to over their domains they needed over two days in train to cover their land possesions.
Chapter One: it’s not for the layman. It is stricly an academic chapter which requieres heavy historical baggage and a lot of pity. It’s a me, me, me tale of US power. Lopsided if one wills.
The optics focus heavily on what the US foreign policy has caused in LA through its business proxies throughout the 19th century.
The enemy that has fought the US merits no more mention than the footnotes on top of diverse and selected words.
This chapter has a thin veil of approval of that sureriority that its is spoken of at the beginning of the chapter.
Several optics at looking at his: (1): you are an American and say: God, how can my government be capable of these atrocities (2) You are a Latino and say, Goddamnit! I knew these mutherfuckers had no heart and I hate them the more for so, (3) Grandind is building a case for himself, that is, trumping up credentials in the event the American government makes an about face in foreign policy (doubt it) and suddenly a Carter Like figure comes along (4) You admire Grandin’s narative and not think about the many religious references Grandin uses to make his case.
Chapter 2: Where in the hell is Belize in all of this? I have a hard time believing this narrative about American imperialism without America’s fave poodle in the court.
I haven’t seen much clamoring on the American blogsphere regards Lieutenant Ehren Watada. In fact technorati gives a graphic whereby we can see its reader cause and effect.
Some of the big honchos on the net and which tend to attract large crowds to their jangle are also somewhat mysteriosly quiescent on the issue. The Kos gang, for example, did a diary on the subject at hand yet for all the hurly-burly other posts create this one got a stingy 7 comments and I do not dare read what was said.
This has baffled me somewhat because as a frecuent reader of so-called progressive blogs I find the issue of conscientious objector oddly absent in the noise of the dem crowd.
This is perhaps due to the nature of the blogs a I frecuent, like The Agonist, Dalily Kos, Juan Cole and other of their ilk which tend to cover US foreign relations from a military perspective.
Their narrative often speaks well of the Military Industrial Complex of the US despite the fact that they question the leadership therein.
Which is near outré since that is precisely what Lieutenant Ehren Watada is doing, questioning the very war blogs in the US blogsphere aptly denounce as wrong.
This offers a rare glimpse into American behaviour as Lieutenant Ehren Watada position highlights a taboo in, what seems by now, a large segment of American society: infringement of civil society in military affairs is out of the question.
Am rather amused at the fact that I can post stuff at the Agonist. It just tickles my belly to no end.
Off course, the fear that I might not do as expected haunts me like the Llorona does to every kid with mexican blood world over.
Do I expect to be censured? Of course, we are taliking gringo here. Wait, are you saying that Agonistas are incapable of understanding a Southwest/Norteño kid the likes of you when it comes to world afairs?
No, what am saying is that perhaps the editing dep has different ideas about what is stated in letters. It’s not precisely China but am sure many a linguistic Wall will arise now and then.
Are you going to be a prolific diary writer? By far, I think, and am grateful, that today was a beginning that I hope will bring a new morrow dawn with new vigour to do what I did today. Rather, I like to opine.
Poor israeli citizens. They must have some kind of post traumatic disorder in full swing by now. They never rest. I don’t care how tough they are am telling you, keep it. I’d rather live in México or Sweden any day of the world than in Israel. That God ain’t worth it.
Poor souls. Can’t sleep, can’t walk and can’t stop hating each other not because the ordinary citizen doesn’t want to but because all kinds of politicians and world leaders insist in making life miserable for all parties involved.
You think that Israelis have it easier because they have electricity? Believe me, they suffer too because they know they can’t walk or be anywhere in the world without feeling hatred breath down their necks. Am sure their conscience is riddled as well with guilt by what their government does in their name.
Am sure they are in some kind of psychosis by this stage. The psychological barrier for Palestinians is also on the edge except that they have a goal in mind while the Israelis don’t. Israel just tries to keep a hold on what it has and pretty much its ambition of a greater Israel is reigned in by so-called world leaders.
No peace in the middle east, how can people live like that? Is their God that much worth? The curious thing about the bible is that it actually asks of its flock that they pray for world leaders. Praying for these war mongering, war hungry leaders is like asking the wolf to wolf down the flock in a sitting.
[…] the Israeli army, once the finest in the world, has been, as all armies are, coarsenened by the occupation. The Israeli state bemoans suicide bombers, then kills Palestinian opposition leaders with rockets – rockets they know will cause collateral damage (a phrase that means “will kill innocents”). They have complete access to the country and could easily assassinate people cleanly, without collateral casualties – they choose not to. They could arrest those same people, again easily. They chose not to.