More leftist lunacy

JUST WHEN YOU think they can’t get any nuttier, they do.

When our (relatively) new, leftist head of state, whom I refer to as el Presidente Moonbat, took office in December he initiated a number of numskull moves, one of which was to gut the previous administration’s reform of the educational system.

There’s lots of bad things you can say about the previous administration — and Moonbat does that on a daily basis, sowing discord — but it did good stuff too. Like the education reform. Here’s how it worked before the reform:

alfred_E_Neuman_400x400No need to prove you’re qualified to be a teacher. Indeed, your Aunt Guadalupe, on retiring from her teaching post, could have named you as her replacement in spite of your having no teacher training or talent whatsoever. Aunt Guadalupe likely became a teacher in exactly the same way when her Cousin Luis retired.

This is what unions do.

The previous administration’s education reform put a stop to this, and also initiated tests to prove teacher competence. Moonbat has ended that, and we’ve returned to the past.

There are teacher unions in Mexico. Sometimes they battle each other — literally, like throwing punches and chairs, etc. One of these unions, which goes by the initials CNTE, is little more than an arm of the Communist Party, and CNTE is particularly powerful in the State of Oaxaca, which brings us to today’s main topic. At last!

The union in Oaxaca has announced there will be no more teaching of English. Instead there will be classes of  indigenous languages. This is akin to, say, Arizona ending Spanish or French classes and teaching Apache or Navajo instead.

How do you say nincompoopery in Spanish?

And there’s more: All classes will have not one but two teachers. One will provide academic instruction and the other will teach extracurricular subjects, however that plays out. How do you say “staff padding” in Spanish?

And there’s even more: Teachers won’t be issuing grades. Students will grade themselves and that of their peers. The CNTE has also come up with “alternative textbooks,” books which badmouth capitalism and heap praise on famous communists.

More details on this indoctrination here. Pathetic.

Meanwhile, the rating agency Moody’s recently issued a pessimistic report about Mexico’s economic future, citing the federal government’s lack of “public policy coherence.”  Of course, leftist economic “thinking” is inherently incoherent.

And there’s even more: The overwhelming majority of Mexicans think el Presidente Moonbat is the cat’s pajamas. They just adore him. He supports “the poor,” you know.

Unbridled democracy. Just gotta love it!

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.

The hissy fits

fitWE MEXICANS love our hissy fits. They rarely resolve anything, but we throw them anyway. Here are three examples:

First: Eight or so years ago, Mexico City switched its electricity provider from some unionized outfit that ran an antiquated system to the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, the modern entity that provides light to most of the nation.

The unionized outfit promptly threw a hissy fit. For months, they blockaded the entrance to the CFE high-rise on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. The government ignored them.

These days the entrance is open, and electricity service is immeasurably improved.

Second: Mexico is in the early stages of an “education reform.” In part, this entails competency tests for teachers and they also lose the right to hand off their jobs to relatives on retirement. Unionized teachers promptly threw hissy fits.

The fits happened mostly in the usual suspect, backward states of Michoacán, Chiapas and Oaxaca. Unions blocked roads and highways, and squealed in the streets. The government is giving them lip service, but mostly it’s ignoring them.

Like the improved electricity provider in Mexico City, the education reform will happen.

Third, another reform is the energy sector, which is getting into high gear this year. For a variety of reasons, gas prices have gone up a lot. How did we react? We threw hissy fits, blocking highways, attacking gas stations, looting stores.

People want the old government-subsidized gasoline price. The government will ignore them and, in time, things will be better. Though gas prices likely will be higher.

Our hissy fits normally result in squat, but we throw them anyway. And it’s usually unions having the fits, fighting change, modernization and improvements.

Down the mountain

cafe
Are we in Paris?

WE DRIVE down the mountain every week to the state capital, mostly for shopping at Costco and Superama.

And to grab a lunch.

We rarely go directly into the center of town because traffic is snarly, and free parking is hard to find.

Yesterday, while my child bride was doing chores, I drove downtown for a look-see. That array of sidewalk tables sits across from a music conservatory called Las Rosas.

The Roses.

When I lived in the capital for seven months in 2000, I occasionally ate here. At the time there was only one establishment on this end, and another on the far end.

Those in the middle were not there.

cops
Cops, cops, cops.

Mexicans are fond of protesting in the streets and highways. More often than not, it’s teachers who want guaranteed jobs and the right to bequeath those jobs to unqualified relatives at retirement. Teachers also loath competence tests.

To counter these malcontents, police often take to the streets en masse. That’s what you see in the second photo. They were just standing there in body armor and shields.

I saw no impending strife nearby, so …

Being a cop must be very boring at times.

church
Scads of churches.

Sidewalk restaurants, cops and churches. The state capital is full of churches. That’s one just above. I snapped the photo while sitting on a bench in a plaza of yet another church directly behind me. Churches galore.

We sit at sidewalk eateries. We want guaranteed jobs. And we kneel and pray everywhere. All of those things happen in quantity down the mountain in the state capital.

It’s only 40 minutes away.

Thirty minutes if you really haul butt.