The Odd Pot

The paint job

MEXICO IS the perfect land for libertarians. The government pretty much leaves you alone. The photo illustrates this beautifully.

There are no safety nets, no safety harnesses, no safety helmets, no safety nada. These guys are free to plunge to their deaths, and I imagine sometimes they do.

Walking down a cobblestone street yesterday, sugar donut in hand, inhaling the cool air of late May, I happened upon this painting project, and I sighed with pleasure, knowing I would never see this above the Rio Bravo. It would be unthinkable. There are laws, you know.

And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012 — the most recent numbers available — 110 million Americans, about a third of the population, live in a home that receives government handouts, and that does not include Social Security and Medicare.

Won’t be long before the most noticeable difference between the United States and bankrupt Greece is that Greeks speak Greek and Americans speak Spanish English.

These things flashed through my mind as I walked by the sky-high house painters on the cobblestone street. I smiled and took another munch of my sugar donut.

Mexico: Land of the free. Home of the brave.

The Odd Pot

The big cat

THIS BIG CAT will live on our driveway, starting next year.

The feline is a stone mosaic that we bought yesterday from a new business just up the highway. They have lots of great designs. We chose this cat which cost the peso equivalent of about 100 American dollars. It easily would have cost $1,000 above the Rio Bravo, I think.

Living in Mexico is financially prudent.

The artwork — the mosaic — is just the big circle. The other stuff is supporting material until it is laid to rest in the driveway incline you see in the photo below. I made a circle there so you’ll know just where and have an idea of the size, though I think the cat’s actually larger.

The Hacienda serves a dual purpose. One, it’s a roof over our heads. Two, it’s an art gallery, and this will be a grand addition to the ever-growing exhibition.

Why next year? Springtime is our usual season for major work because it’s not raining. From June through October it rains here every day, which is dicey for outdoor construction. We’ve already done this year’s work, plus it looks like the summer rains are getting a very early start.

This particular area, the driveway up from the street, has long been a problem. It has grass and weeds growing through cracks in cement and stone. It’s how it was when we bought the property in 2002. We will have the entire area removed, the cat installed, and the rest will be smooth concrete.

There is one problem to be dealt with. During the construction we won’t be able to enter or leave by car, so we will park the Honda in the downtown Casita’s garage at night and leave it on the street here during the day. The construction should take two-three days, and then another two days minimum for drying. During the drying phase, after the workmen have left, we’ll likely visit San Miguel de Allende, about 140 miles away, to see how the high-falootin’, artsy, rich Gringos live.

But this will happen next year. Until then, the mosaic cat will sit upright in my child bride’s pastry workshop, leaning against a far wall as an objet d’art. That’s her in the top photo, barefoot in her pajamas and a red jacket due to the morning nip.

The Odd Pot

Kitchens, Commies, etc.

kitchen

WHEN THE pastry workshop was completed in February, we thought all was done, but it decidedly was not. There was the matter of the stove.

We had purchased what seemed to be a serviceable stove made by Whirlpool, but it was anything but serviceable. The oven would not hold a constant temperature. Finally, after numerous visits by Whirlpool “technicians,” a woeful misnomer in this case, the store where we bought it — Coppel — took it back and refunded most of the money.

Bizarrely, we learned the oven has no thermostat. How can an oven have no thermostat? Apparently, this is becoming more common, which explains the new models that have no temps on the dial, just temperature ranges, or they simply say 1, 2, 3, 4.

An oven with no thermostat is like a car with no steering wheel.

So off we went to Liverpool in the state capital, spent almost three times the cash, and two weeks later we had a lovely appliance called i/o Mabe, which is the high-end line of the popular Mabe brand. It has many bells and whistles, and my wife is happy.

The i/o Mabe has a thermostat.

* * * *

New website

I have combined and edited the three-part series from some days back called Newspaper Days, made it one website, and added it to the Bookmark list in the right-side column. FYI.

* * * *

Election approaches

On June 7, we Mexicans go to the polls, the midterms. One of the many sweet aspects to being a Mexican citizen is that I can vote, canceling out the time and trouble at least one Mexican leftist takes to mark his ballot. This is swell. I wish I could cancel out even more than one.

There are 10 official political parties in Mexico, which is both good and bad. The bad is that we risk becoming like Italy. The good is that it’s fun to have options.

I read the official websites of most of them, skipping only the Workers Party because you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know where a party stands when its emblem is a yellow star in a Red circle and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) because I am already familiar with it. The oligarchic PRI ran Mexico for about 70 years, stifling opposition.

pan-logoI am a PAN man, the National Action Party. This is the long-time conservative party, and I only deviate from it (to the PRI) in special cases. I voted for PRI’s presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, three years ago because the PAN candidate stood no chance, and I did not want the leftist PRD candidate to win.

Our political parties contain some odd birds. The Encuentro Social are evangelicals. The Humanistas are, of course, Humanists. Perhaps the strangest of all is the Green Party, which is actually an arm of the PRI. The international Green movement excommunicated our Greens some years back because our Greens supported the death penalty for kidnappers.

Our Greens have backtracked on that, now advocating life prison terms for kidnappers instead of execution. I prefer execution. Color me old Mexican Green in this detail.

The Greens will promise absolutely anything. Free schooling. Free medicine. If it sounds good, they promise it. It’s outrageous. They have chutzpah.

A relatively new party is the Morena, the brown people’s party. Morena means brown-skinned in Mexico. It is the invention of the perpetual loser, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commonly known as AMLO. He is a demagogue who has bounced about in different parties, and now has formed a new one, a blatant racial call since 90 percent of Mexicans are brown

May he continue his losing streak.

* * * *

Drawing Mohammed

Let us now turn to the Mohammed cartoon contest, which I supported. It was appalling to see so many talking heads, even on the right, including my man Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, going wishy-washy on Pamela Gellar’s courageous contest in Garland, Texas.

David Frum, writing in The Atlantic magazine said this:

mohammed“When vigilantes try to enforce the tenets of a faith by violence, then it becomes a civic obligation to stand up to them.” 

And Charles C.W. Cooke, writing in the National Review:

“There can be only two possible outcomes to this fight: Either Americans will eventually learn that they should not provoke radical Muslims, and thus that self-censorship is the order of the day, or radical Muslims will learn not to be provoked. Whether they have intended to or not, those who have proposed that Pamela Geller and her ilk should voluntarily refrain from provoking Islam’s discontents have run the risk of tacitly endorsing the former outcome.”

Let us continue to provoke them. And shooting them dead when appropriate.