Mexican life

Teacher uprising, again

MY MOTHER was a schoolteacher and later a school librarian. She never caused problems, but she always got paid on time.

Teachers in Mexico are unionized, which should never, ever be permitted for public servants, and that leads to many fusses.

In some Mexican states, teacher unions cause more problems than in other states. Unfortunately, I landed in one of the troublesome states in more ways than one. Oaxaca is another with perpetually angry teachers.

Teachers have been raising the Devil around here for the past few weeks because, they say, the government owes them various payments. That’s probably true. I wish they’d get paid so they would return to the classroom to do what they do best, preach socialism along with the occasional math and Spanish lesson.

1200px-red_star.svgLast week, we drove downtown early to pay our property taxes and the annual water bill for our Downtown Casita. The entrance to City Hall was blockaded by teachers. We came home.

Yesterday, we went to the state capital for shopping. No problem at Costco and Superama, but we wanted to visit a huge shopping mall. We couldn’t because the entrances were blockaded by teachers.

For two weeks, rail traffic has been halted hereabouts because teachers are camped out on the tracks. This is causing massive economic losses, but it has resulted in silence throughout the night on the nearby railroad track.

We do sleep a bit more soundly.

Meanwhile, the government, both federal and state, dithers. The teachers say they’ll up the protests soon if they don’t get all the dough they claim they’re due. And students are getting a long vacation.

My mother never did anything like this.

But she did get paid on time.

Libertarian view

And then they came for me

IF YOU’RE PAYING attention to the nefarious stuff going on around you, you know that Silicon Valley leftists, which is to say 95 percent of Silicon Valley, a.k.a. Masters of the Universe, are doing everything possible to eliminate conservative voices.

They would use railway boxcars to the ovens were it possible. Since it is not possible just yet, they employ other dark tactics.

One method, and it’s very effective so far, is to make it impossible for conservatives to make a living online. Payment processors like PayPal and Patreon simply delete accounts of people they disagree with politically.

YouTube is fond of deleting channels, some of which are cash conduits, of conservatives. If you’re not particularly worked up about this because it does not affect you personally, I direct your attention to the famous poem by German pastor Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out —
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out —
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

Niemöller was referring to the Nazis, who also silenced people with differing opinions.

Patreon recently deleted the account of popular YouTuber Sargon of Akkad, which is the nom de internet of a mild-mannered British conservative whose real name is Carl Benjamin, a move that has created quite a stir. Patreon may have gone one step too far with Benjamin.

Hippie singer and Patreon co-founder Jack Conte reacts to the extensive blowback from the Sargon censorship in the above video. Enjoy.

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(I addressed this attack on free speech by leftist Trump-loathers just recently with the post titled Gabbing for free speech.)

Mexican life

Nincompoop democracy

OUR PRESIDENT-ELECT, a fellow best known by his initials, AMLO, and who takes office in about a week, won in a landslide* on July 1. I did not vote for him.

copy6-1307210385-free-stuff2He is a “man of the people,” which is why so many people voted for him. He crushed the opposition on his third run for the presidency. He came close the other times.

Like Bernie Sanders above the Rio Bravo, AMLO is fond of promising “free stuff.” He’s promised free healthcare like “they have in Canada,” even though the Mexican healthcare system is already excellent and offers various low-cost or free options to anyone who wants to sign up for them.

He wants to give all students scholarships and all graduates employment. This sounds swell, of course, if you disregard the matter of who’s paying for the largess.

How do you promise jobs? You can’t unless you make everyone a bureaucrat.

One of his worst ideas is putting major economic plans to a plebiscite. This has already happened at least twice around the country even though AMLO still is not president.

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Don’t underestimate ignoramuses

“The people know best,” he opines, though they rarely do, of course. “The people” usually are ignoramuses.

The first plebiscite took place quickly after his election win.

The topic was the new Mexico City airport, which is sorely needed due to the current one’s having long since outgrown its britches. The new airport is already partially done, and was scheduled to open in 2020.

“The people,” in all their brilliance, voted against it. Wiser minds in the business community called the plebiscite “Mickey Mouse” and illegal. How this will play out remains to be seen.

Just this week, a senator in the president-elect’s Morena Party presented a bill that would require mining companies to get permission of indigenous people before opening mining operations. Common sense says indigenous people will always say no to such a thing unless a huge payoff is included.

Stocks in Mexico’s two major mining firms plummeted, a loss of $1.6 billion U.S.

Earlier this month, the Morena Party proposed another law to curb bank fees. That sent bank stocks into a nosedive, and it took much of the Mexican stock market with it.

Mexico’s economic growth prospects are looking questionable, thanks to AMLO. But not to worry! We’re gonna give all students scholarships and guaranteed jobs on graduation. And free healthcare all around, just like Canada!

And AMLO has not even been inaugurated yet. By the way,  he’s invited Venezuelan despot Nicolás Maduro to the festivities.

ALMO is telling those invasion caravans from Central America who are passing through Mexico to stay here. He’ll give them jobs too! Latino solidarity, one supposes.

The mind reels.

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Felipe voices his opinion

I voted in a plebiscite on Saturday, which I happened upon by chance on our main plaza. There was a table with two ladies, ballots and a box to drop them into.

I flashed my voter identification card, in color, with photo, something Mexico requires to vote, as should all nations.

I opined on various topics. A Yucatan tourist train, yes. Doubling pensions for people over 68, yes.  (I’m way over 68!) Scholarships to everyone, no. Free healthcare to everyone, no. Some other stuff, mostly yes to my surprise.

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Hold onto your sombreros!

AMLO takes office Dec. 1, and the term lasts for six years. No re-election is allowed, but since the Morena Party is the majority, they could change that. I’m sure AMLO would love it just as much as he loves himself, which he surely does.

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* Universal suffrage is a dreadful idea. Only certain segments of the population should have the right to vote. There should be educational limits. No one without a high school degree should be able to vote. Voters should be property owners too.