Category Archives: South of the Border

Mexico City Quake

Today’s temblor comes on the anniversary of the 1985 quake of 8.0:

“The 1985 Mexico City earthquake struck in the early morning of 19 September at 07:17:50 (CST) with a moment magnitude of 8.0 and a Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The event caused serious damage to the Greater Mexico City area and the deaths of at least 5,000 people.”

In a city of 8.8 million, to keep it in perspective. Today’s was only a 7.1, so maybe not so bad.

I spent that day in 1985 with a ham radio operator in Rollingwood, a suburb of Austin, listening to emergency calls and later writing a piece on what was learned. Communications were generally down then. Hard to say what it will be like now, with greater computer capacity and cell towers and wifi and generally a greater Internet. Ham radio should not be so necessary or useful.

Eating garbage in Venezuela

“‘Then true hunger crept into where I lived. People started digging through the trash at all hours, pulling out vegetable peelings and soggy pizza crusts and eating them on the spot. That seemed like rock bottom. Until my local bakery started organizing lines each morning, not to buy bread but to eat trash.

“‘People waited for their turn to hunt through black bags of bakery garbage. A young woman found a box of muffin crumbs. A teenage boy focused on finding juice containers and drinking whatever remained.’

“Socialists are not more moral than the rest of us. On the contrary, they are greedier and more cynical. Socialism is evil, and must be ostracized as such. Venezuela’s collapse is just the latest in a long series of stories that remind us that the only path to freedom and prosperity is free enterprise.”

E tu, Beach House Bernie?

Via “The Associated Press Departs Venezuela” at Power Line

Venezuela rewards soldiers with toilet paper

“Soldiers were pictured shaking hands with a superior, who handed them a package that included toilet paper, toothpaste, and sanitary wipes.

“The soldiers were likely grateful to receive the packages given Venezuela’s total economic collapse that has led to chronic shortages of sanitary products such as toilet paper and toothpaste, as well as other basic resources such as food, medicine, and electricity.”

Socialism/Communism is notorious for a lack of toilet paper.

Via Breitbart

No toilet seats in Cuba

Plastic, it seems, is rationed in Cuba. So there’s no toilet seats in even the high-cost restaurants. And, of course, there’s no toilet paper, just like there wasn’t in the former Soviet Union. What is it with Communism and toilet paper?

This revelation comes from “A Tale of Two Cubas,” by Ron Radosh, in the latest issue of The Weekly Standard, which I get in magazine form.

“We saw giant piles of garbage that had been rotting for days. Sadly we saw more than one elderly man or woman picking through the piles in the hope of finding something of value, perhaps some leftover food…You have to be ingenious to make do on $26 a month.”

The vaunted “free” medical care is only for the Communist elite and the tourists…the regular doctors and hospitals…are so short of medical supplies that even aspirin is rationed…[and they] are crowded and unsanitary…”

The pricey hotels and restaurants are owned by the Cuban military which President Trump is in the process of putting off limits to Americans, who may not do any business with the Cuban military, which Bronco Bama’s opening to Cuba had allowed.

Bureaucracy is bureaucracy. If you notice that your restaurant is a little small, Radosh reports, it’s because “The government dictates the number of seats allowed…it began at 12 and has been allowed to rise only to 50.”

Via The Weekly Standard & The Miami Herald.

Austin company bids on border wall

Black Security Products LLC has already built about 30 percent of the current fencing along the border. Now they want to do a concrete wall topped with a fence and an elevated platform to serve as a road.

“’It’s like a bridge,’ said Neusch, who shared the conceptual drawings for his bid with the American-Statesman. ‘It’s part of our design for the border wall.’ While he wouldn’t give cost estimates, he said the structure, with the additional steel lane for Border Patrol vehicles to drive on while they patrol, wouldn’t come cheap.”

Via Austin American-Statesman

Pancho Villa’s Trigger Finger

El Paso is a long way from Austin, and never one of my favorite destinations. “El Paso,” I used to say, “thy name is ugliness.” But Pancho Villa’s trigger finger?

“Luis immediately spots the finger in the window—gnarled and gray in a hammered bronze box next to shelves crammed with jewelry, its longish fingernail still intact. A typed message in a wood frame next to it explains that this is indeed the forefinger of a ‘notorious bandit’ and ‘ruthless killer’ who was also considered a local hero. That’s a lot of human paradox wrapped up into one little crooked finger in an El Paso pawnshop.”

Via Texas Highways Magazine

Revolt Against The Elites

P.J. O’Roark in the new issue of the Weekly Standard:

“The elites fail and don’t suffer any consequences from their failures. As it is with elite carelessness about refugees, so it is with elite carelessness about immigration. To elites immigration means nannies, household staff, and fun new ethnic restaurants. Elites don’t see any similarity between Trump’s border wall and the gated communities where they live.”

They will, eventually, when the wall is up and the steady flow of cheap, unskilled labor is choked at last.