Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Mexican Sketches


Despair in the Empire of Graveyards: Or Gilbert and...

Fred on Everything

When I got here eighteen years ago, to make a telephone call to the States you had to go down the late to Chapala where there was a storefront with maybe a half dozen booths. A clerk dialed the number for you from a central desk and you paid by the minute.  Getting a landline phone in your house could take years. Now of course cell phones are everywhere and no one seems to want landlines. A 4G contract with unlimited calling to Canada, the US, and Mexico and enough data that we use it for music in the car goes for under eighteen dollars a month.  Various companies offer fiber to the house for WIFI. And if you want 200 channels of awful TV with twenty minutes of commercials per hour, you can get them.

Much has not changed. There is the same corruption, the police are crooks, and the narcos kill each other in droves. The guns still pour in from America. There is still real poverty in places. Yet the middle class is now about half of the country. Over the long haul things have gotten better, but not at anything like the Chinese rate. A measure of the improvement is the decline in interest in emigrating to the US.

We live on the north shore of Lake Chapala, roughly an hour south of Guadalajara. It is a fairly prosperous region. Schools are decent. My stepdaughter Natalia attended two public schools in Guad, one here at Lakeside, and went to high school in Jocotepec, a berry-growing agricultural town on the west end of the lake. The latter two I have seen. They reminded me of American schools before the country went woke. Many schools in Mexico have uniforms, but here they dress neatly in jeans, shirts, dresses on the casual side.

The internet has brought massive changes since I arrived. Pre-internet, a farming town like Joco had almost no connection with anywhere else. There would be a few a.m. radio stations and maybe a minimal public library. That would be it. Guad was too far away for frequent visits. It was, you know, like the sticks. Really, really the sticks.

Then came the net, first dial-up accessible only to a few. Then cell towers appeared, smartphones, and WiFi. Almost suddenly, kids were listening to Korean rock bands and radio stations across Latin America and Europe and of course the US. This was enormous. Flat screens proliferated and people were watching YouTube, Netflix, opera, the New York Phil, movies both good and awful. Many learned passable English from movies. Teenagers being teenagers, they soon learned to espofear los servidores,” to spoof the servers and pirate streaming content. Larceny has its uses.  Schools increasingly had easy access to educational materials completely impossible before.

I remember when Natalia, then maybe thirteen, ran up and announced that she had just discovered a wonderful new kind of music. “Se llama Cone Tree.” Soon she knew more about Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton than I did.

Sex roles (that sound like something you would get at a doughnut shop) have changed greatly since I visited Saltillo in the Sixties while hippying around. Friends, engineers in their early twenties, told me that a woman’s place was still supposed to be in the kitchen, the church, and the bedroom. This version of male dominance was nothing like the venomous Moslem variety, and anyone who even thought about female genital mutilation would likely have ended up in a ditch, but it was restrictive.

By the time I got here, this was falling apart. Universities today are littered with girls, certainly the Universidad Marista where Natalia did her undergrad. It is not true that all Mexican doctors and dentists are women, but it sometimes seems so. At a recent quinceaños, a sort of growing up party for girls of fifteen, I met a bigger sister who had popped high on her math (Mexican) SATs) and been accepted in robotic engineering at (I think) the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico’s premier engineering school. It is of note that university education has improved immensely, though as best I can tell it is, with exceptions, only fair compared with American schooling before the country went woke. Today, if I had new children, I would rather send them to Mexican schools than American. Yet schools proliferate. The Tecnológico has campuses in thirty-eight cities, for example.

Mexico outside the big cities remains as it has always been since my arrival, and long before, which has its good and bad side. Violeta and I make a pastime of driving to towns within maybe a hundred miles of Lakeside, passing through scraggly green and dun growth that I much like. The pueblos, many of which I didn’t know existed, are variations on a standard theme, central plaza with gazebo in the middle as bandstand during fiestas, and church facing the plaza. They remain stubbornly Mexican devoid of such horrors as McDonald’s, not designed at corporate. Though the plan is the same, the execution is always different and often lovely. I don’t know how many of the residents are still believers, many I think, but the Church provides a commonality, a social bond, and everyone enjoys the celebrations of saints’ days. The Church, a common race, and common language provide the cultural stability that keeps the country from fragmenting under political problems.

These towns might be described as sleepy and quiet, but the latter only if you do not regard bird calls, the playing of children, and Julio Iglesias from maybe a car radio as noise. There is a localness, a placeness if that is a word, that makes them pleasant to live in.

The downside is a lack of dynamism. Mexicans in general do not have the drive of, say, the Chinese, being content with family and a placid life. You could do worse.

Our drives through the outback produce memorable moments. Recently on a narrow winding road through not much of anywhere, a buitre—buzzard—waddled in the middle. These birds are not made for walking, and do not do it well. It refused to get out of our way. We blew the horn. No. I yelled out the window. No. For what seemed a long time we paraded together at maybe two miles an hour, Honda CRV and ungainly bird. Finally it lumbered aloft.

Them is today’s thoughts. Now I’m going to get a beer and watch our hummingbirds. They don’t really need watching, but I do it anyway.



Hey Brock,

TPTB unpublished my shops Facebook page Gregs My Mechanic. I have been thrown in FB jail several times this year for things I had shared in Messenger and not things I had posted.

No mercy no quarter. 

~~Greg Swiston

OK, so this is Bullshit. they removed the page in its entirety because I butt hurt the little Fairies in fact-check land. You can silence the messenger but not the message. The post in question was of one of my grand nieces with the title I'm a great uncle again and the picture was of Emma about 20 minutes old in her birthday suit and they called it child porn and unpublished the page. They have removed all traces of it, the only left overs are my personal page and they have even restricted me from posting on the Woodart page but not here, FUCK THE ZUCK!

My (Side hustle) Uncle Greg’s Woodart is still up but I am not allowed to interact with it.You hit me when you re-posted my sad panda story, I had done fairly well with putting that behind me and you made me realize that time flies.

Your Northern Copperhead Friend



Via Tuan Hoang


Please help discharged military personnel

Via Niki Tran

The Kabul NEO was a Total Failure

 Via David

The end of our Afghanistan adventure is upon us and it is worse than the most pessimistic predictions on how the war would end. I have been writing since 2008 that there was only one way the Afghanistan conflict would end and that would be with an accommodation of the Taliban. I never imagined that the Taliban would sweep the board and help us extricate ourselves from the country in the most amateurish Non-Combatant Operation (NEO) every executed by the United States military.

I first got wind of the impending disaster on the 28th of July when a freelancer friend of mine asked if he could provide my contact information to a man in Zaranj, the capitol of Nimroz province, who wanted me to apply for a visa on his behalf. I checked with my former interpreter from Nimroz, now a resident of California, about the man in question and it turned out he was a resident of Zaranj, but had worked for the contractor GRS, not me. But I did learn about the new P1/P2 visa program which would open a route to the United States for all the Afghans who worked with me but were not interpreters.

More @ Free Range International

TRAITOR: General Milley Admits to Leaking Information Against Former President Trump


On Tuesday, General Mark Milley admitted that he leaked information about President Donald Trump’s presidency in an effort to undermine the former president and make him look bad.

The leak was made to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward for his book Peril.

Check out what Breitbart reported:

More @ Trending Politics

Top Defense Expert Warns China ‘Likely to Go For an Invasion’ of Taiwan, Reveals What U.S. Must Do

Top Defense Expert Warns China ‘Likely to Go For an Invasion’ of Taiwan, Reveals What U.S. Must Do

Elbridge Colby, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, warned during an interview on Sunday night that China is likely to try to invade Taiwan and that the U.S. must be prepared to use military force to counter an attack.

More @ RTM

Terrorists with Planes and Cranes


A lot has happened in the last 20 years.  Reflecting on the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, aka the “Twin Towers” 20 years this week puts recent  history into new perspective.

What did the Twin Towers represent to the terrorists?  Perhaps their view of the essence of America – Capitalism.

The first terrorist salvo – Yankee soil.  New York.  The “Big Apple”.  THE epicenter of money and commerce, arguably of the world.

So what has happened since that time?  While the US military has been deployed in the Middle East in an effort to fight the “Global War on Terror” to prevent terrorists from bringing more terrorism to American soil, domestic terrorists have been continuing their activities at home.  Perhaps, not in an obvious way.

More @ The Abbeville Institute

Shaquille O’Neal Leaving Celebrity Status Behind: ‘These People Are Out of Their Freaking Mind’

 Shaquille O’Neal Leaving Celebrity Status Behind: ‘These People Are Out of Their Freaking Mind’

“I came from nothing,” he said. “But, just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you, smarter than you — just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you. I’ve never been that way and I never will be that way. So I don’t want to be in that category of people.

Shaquille O’Neal is done.

The four-time NBA champion and one of the greatest basketball players of all time renounced his celebrity status in an interview with the New York Post. The 7-foot-1 former Los Angeles Lakers superstar, who is also one of the most recognizable athletes, is done with the glitz and glamour.

“These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,” he told the New York Post on Friday.

More @ RTM

Covid 19


“But it’s only a small percentage” I have heard that phrase spoken so many times since Covid has started, it drives me nuts. I’ve heard it in regards to people dying of Covid, and I’ve heard it in regards to the Covid vaccine. I’m tired of the divide in this country being perpetuated by the media and government. 

Our health should be our individual choices, the reason is clear, every persons body reacts to medication/vaccines differently. For anybody to insist or mandate that each persons body is the same, is ridiculous. It’s appropriate that this memory came up today, maybe it will help some people understand that while Paul may have been a small statistic, a side effect of one of the prescribed FDA approved drugs that he was taking, that he was a real person to all those people he loved. So the next time you want to say “but the statistic is low” to try to justify your position either way, please try to have some empathy and understanding for other people‘s experiences. 

What happened to being able to ask questions and have informed consent? Isn’t that what medical freedom is about? Isn’t that what democracy is about? When did it become wrong as a society that we shun people for asking legitimate questions? Why are we being censored for asking questions? Not everybody has the time, or the know how to research information about Covid and/or the Covid vaccines, so please allow room for discussion, hear your family and friends out. It may not change your mind but what happened to a good debate? I remember in school we were taught to debate by being put on the side we did not necessarily believe in and trying to win our case by swaying the other side so that we could understand how to debate while being informative and NICE!

 Now it just seems more often than not, people are just name calling instead of having discussions or providing Information. Sadly, there is a lot of miss information out there but you can find a lot of information and make your own assessment and you should try too! I will continue to speak up regarding information I have researched and it’s up to the person whether they want to listen to that message now, later or never. What is CRUCIAL is if you think you can save a life by speaking up, do it! Be part of the solution!

~~Daughter Virginia

I Am Appalachian

 Via Kimberly via Appalachian Americans

 May be an image of standing and outdoors

I Am Appalachian- Many generations are buried in this soil that have passed on; they have Lived, Loved and Died Appalachian. Some stayed in the mountains they called home and others left to try and have a better life for their families. But, they all have that something about them no matter where they may be. It's called pride, honesty and helping those in need. It's called Appalachian. This is where and what I come from. I am Appalachian.

Lt. Col. Scheller, Denied Resignation, Incarcerated and Sent to the Brig for Speaking Out against Weak US Generals for Surrendering Afghanistan, Stranding Americans and Arming Taliban Terrorists

 Via Billy



In late August, Marine Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller took a blowtorch to the woke military leadership for their failures in Afghanistan that resulted in 13 US servicemen dying.

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, a 17-year veteran, risked his career and pension when he posted a scathing rebuke of the senior military leaders who failed US servicemen serving in Afghanistan.

More @ The Gateway Pundit