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The few, the proud, the cuddly

21 April 2017

Maybe Marine training isn’t so bad in Mexico. The Mexican Navy has set up a breeding and training center for Belgian Malinois in the Valle de Bravo, to develop recruits in the war on smuggling. But, these Marines look more ready for snuggling:

Number two with only some bullets

21 April 2017

Mexico is the second largest military power … in Latin America. Which is rather misleading, given that by its population (122.7 million), it has one of the smaller militaries in the world — 270,000 on active duty, and 76,000 reservists. The 2016 defense budget was 7 thousand million (US 7 billion) dollars.

Although only number two, Mexico’s forces are dwarfed by those of Brazil. One and half million, out of its 200 million citizens, are on military duty. Brazil not only has more active duty forces than Mexico, but a huge number of reservists: 330,000 active duty personnel, and 1,200,000 reservists. And when it comes to the defense budget, Mexico’s is peanuts. 32 thousand million in 2016 for defense.

Of course, both Canada and the United States put the Latin American militaries to shame when it comes to manpower and spending. Canada, despite it’s relatively small population (35.1 million) manages to put almost as many people into uniform as does Brazil. But its military spending is relatively frugal, only double that of Mexico for defense in 2016.

The United States (321.4 million population), with its 2.5 million men and women at arms, outspends the rest of the hemisphere all by itself, it’s 2016 defense budget coming in at 581 thousand million dollars. That we know of.

Publimetro, “Ejército Mexicano, el segundo más poderoso de América Latina
Global Fire Power

20 April 2017

From Todd Gastelum…

Oprime uno para español… or, ” O wad some Power the giftie gie us”

20 April 2017

I feel kinda weird translating this into English, given the topic, but its one I have seldom seen openly discussed by Mexicans themselves.

Rodolfo Higareda, in today’s La Razón:

With the dollar going through the roof and Donald Trump infesting our social networks, Mexicans have opted to travel within the country. In fact, it has always been like this: 85% of the tourism we have is Mexican.
That is why it is extremely annoying to stroll through our resorts and see that 8 out of 10 commercials are in English: Restaurant menus and nightclub drink promotions, ads for water parks and coupons for discounts at the shoe stores, as well as the posted rates for auto rental and even the marquee on a Mexico City newstand — “Visit Mexico” — are in the other language.

It is shameful, humiliating, and discriminatory. It is also short-sighted, considering that most tourists only speak Spanish. This is nothing more than the reflection of a trauma, an inferiority complex deeply rooted in our society.
In my father, and grandfather’s time, when the whiff of Porfirismo still could be detected, anything French had status. Publicists and merchants of the time decided tto call clothing store “botiques”; panaderias became “pâtisseries”; and a cocinaro became a “chef”. And, if you were going on vacation, it showed elegance and glamour to call it a “tour”.

With the decline of French influence over our land, and the rise of North American influence, we reached ridiculous levels not seen in any any other corner of the planet, nor even Puerto Rico! To the degree that, if one walks today through Cancún or Los Cabos, it seems like you’re in a foreign protectorate; the prices, even in pharmacies, are in dollars.

The Secretariat of Tourism and Profeco MUST intervene now, without delay or excuses. I have heard absurd explanations from tourist service providers claiming that English-language advertising benefits them financially, that otherwise they would lose customers. That is more false than a 3 peso bill.
In other countries where foreign tourism is important, like Spain, one never sees an advertisment putting another language in place of their own. This is true in any country which receives foreign tourists… not in France, not in the United States.

Being friendly with English speakers is good, and taking care of foreign tourism is good, too. This is not up for discussion. But we are in Mexico and the Mexicans and their language should go first.
Time to shake off the old complexes! Let’s impose severe fines on those who see us as second-rate tourists. Well we can start with a call to the advertising iand tourism industries, explaining to them its in their own best interest to change their approach, the “hook” being that the sector they really want to reach are the clients to explain that they have to change their approach, and appeal to the by far largest sector of their clients. Us.

My town… love it or leave it, but it’s NOT Berlin

18 April 2017

To compare this reality to a city like Berlin, where most people have pensions, a good standard of living, quality state-run healthcare, and decent wages is the height of egregiousness. It makes you wonder exactly how tone-deaf the writers of pieces like this can be. Have they ever dared venture outside the Roma-Condesa bubble? How much do they even know about Mexico City? Why have so many of these articles been popping up in recent years? Is it just cluelessness that drives them, or is it part of some local government branding strategy …?

No, Mexico City is not “The New Berlin”: A response to Vice

Tamara Velasquez, “No, Mexico City is not “The New Berlin”: A response to Vice” (, 18 April 2017)

Mexico, siempre fiel? Sex and religion.

15 April 2017

John Paul II may have thought Mexico was the most Catholic of Catholc countries, though I’ve always said that Mexico is Catholic, the same way France is — we pay no attention to the Bishops, especially when it comes to sex.

So, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise to me that the Encuesta Nacional de Creencias y Prácticas Religiosas found that while our Bishops are opposing inclusion of sex education in the public school curriculum, the support among practicing Catholics is even higher than among those with no religion.  83.5 percent of Catholics approve of sex education compared to only 73.7 percent of those who claim no religion.  Among other Christians, the approval rating is still over 60%.

Despite constant preaching on the dangers of “gender ideology” (whatever that is… it still makes no sense to me that there’s something controvesial about that gender expectations are largely cultural rather than biological) you still find Catholics (by at least 10 percent) more approving of teaching such information over the unchurched (76 to 66 percent) and other Christian sects (about 53 percent)*

Only on the question of legal abortion do Catholics come close to following the hierarchy.  While only 44.3 percent of non-religious people support for complete legalization of abortion, only one-third (33.2 percent) of Catholics hold a similar position.  Other Christians show even less support.

Surprisingly, given that separation of Church and State here in 1859 (about fifty years earlier than France, by the way) is credited with having opened Mexico to Protestanism, about a quarter of non-Catholic Christians would like religious leaders to take an active role in politics.  Among Catholics the figure is 20.5 percent, while the non-religious are not that much below Catholics, at 19.5 percent.


* The poll was only meant to cover Christian beliefs, so those of minority faiths (Jews, Budhists, Muslims) would have been recorded as “non-religious”.  Non-Catholic Christians were divided between “Bible Groups” and “Evangelicals”… the former including traditional (“mainstream”) Protestants (like Methodists and Presbyterians), Orthodox Christians, and Mormons.


(Jornada, 13 April 2017)

Friday Night (ok, Saturday Morning) Video.

15 April 2017

You think music videos were invented by MTV?  Think again… Prado Perez was doing them back in 1950:  From Del Can-Can de Mambo (1951).