Fifi Press?


Thank you to all who commented on the blog post I wrote yesterday. I can see that most readers are in synch with the opinion I have about “the bully”. I hope today’s post will garner as much favour, but I won’t be surprised if it does not.

Last July, voters expressed their discontent with the past six federal administrations by electing Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the presidency with an overwhelming majority. Yes, yes, yes… AMLO did promise the moon before he fully figured out a way to deliver it. And this is coming back to haunt him, because there are provocateurs urging Mexicans to expect magic, on demand.

But let’s put things into perspective.  When I stack AMLO’s leadership up against any of the presidents of the past 30+ years, he comes up smelling like a rose – a bit wilted and missing a few petals – but a rose nonetheless. The six of them also promised the moon – along with the sun and the stars – they did not mention however, that we’d have to pay through the teeth for the lion’s share, they’d keep for themselves.

Almost every day we learn new details of the corruption that has crippled Mexico. Pemex and the power company are two of the worst.  No one seems upset when their directors are raked over the coals. However, shutting down public assistance programs seems cold-hearted. Post-doc scholarships and stipends, for example, have been all but axed. However, the programs are riddled with favouritism and abusive practices. I have experienced this.

Those who did not vote for AMLO were mostly from the privileged sector, and many of them reaped millions of pesos by serving each “overlord” in their turn.

Mexico is extremely polarized on every issue there is. It is impossible to please everyone. But the perpetually loudest gripers are the former mainstream press. There are not enough negative epitaphs to adequately express their loathing for AMLO. He cut off the flow of cash (lots of it) that came their way from the nation’s powerbrokers, especially politicians, who needed to win over public opinion. AMLO lost patience one day and called them the “Fifi Press”. He does not call all reporters by this pejorative, but I agree with him; many of them are “fifi”; they squawk like broken records and write the same old thing. Day in and day out.

Many in this culture place great importance on lineage and looks. López Obrador does not fit their aesthetic and his political agenda is not in keeping with their life style.  In a way, I can’t blame them for being upset at losing what they had; but why don’t they just GO (gracefully or stumbling, I don’t care how) and enjoy the “fruits of their labour”. I know they’d miss the prestige of being players – but hey – sometimes you’re “in” and sometimes you’re “out”.

At a time when we as a nation must work together, these decapitated talking heads are unrelenting in their constant attacks against the president.  With the very real menace that the bully presents, we must learn to get along; if we don’t pull together, we’ll all go down. Fifi press too. Think about it.

God help us all, Ma’am!

It is said that: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. But I think this pearl of wisdom should be amended to: Life is what happens when OTHERS are busy making THEIR plans.

Back in 2000, the new-agers predicted a future of peace and prosperity, but for the most part, the third millennium AD has been a time of ever-escalating conflict and strife.  During the last two decades, literal and metaphorical hurricane-strength winds have blown through our world. Life has not exactly gone according to plan. Not for us. Not for most people we know. And certainly not for our poor planet.

We live in a time of constant anxiety. Over the past while, in a vain attempt to keep my thoughts and words from joining the collective cry of pain, I have not written much or even blogged regularly, . But lately I’ve been thinking that taking the path of least resistance has morphed into cowardly inaction.

I am NOT confrontational. I want everyone to get along. But with a bully on the playground, there comes a point when individuals must jump into the fray.

The bully has declared June 10th, as the day a 5% tariff will be levied on all goods imported into the USA from Mexico; the tax will “gradually increase” until the flow of undocumented immigrants across the border ceases. The economic blackmail is scheduled to be in place “until such time as illegal migration coming through Mexico stops.” Good luck with that – as long as there is need – desperate people will do whatever it takes. The only way to halt illegal migration is to help the countries where the migrants live, and ensure that the resources reach them, not the bank accounts of their corrupt leadership.

And Mexico is not the only target the bully aims at when he doesn’t get his way. 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum were imposed against Canada, but then removed when the Canadians retaliated with their own measures. Now, the Chinese power brokers have been warned that 25% is what they’ll be charged on their incoming goods. They have sent a diplomatically-worded message that implies: “If this happens don’t say we didn’t warn you…” No doubt other countries are preparing communiqués for the day when it is decided that they too are behaving counterproductively to the uber-plan.

Rufus Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents the nation’s largest exporters, called the move “a colossal blunder.” But while the bully has made cracking down on illegal immigration a priority, his announcement on Thursday could derail another of his chief goals: Revising the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The blunt-force threat that the bully is wielding against a neighbour and an ally as critical to the American economy as Mexico, will backfire when businesses and consumers start to feel the costs of the bully’s latest move.

The NY Times says about the bully:  “the frustration over the rising number of illegal border crossings has steadily risen since January, when Democrats refused to grant him billions of dollars to build his long-promised wall along the southwestern border. Since then, he has consistently framed immigration as a national security crisis and tried different tactics to punish the countries he blames for the flow of migrants… He has moved to cut off all foreign aid to countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and threatened to completely seal off the border with Mexico, a move that numerous officials told him would violate American law and international treaties…

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico does not want a fight. There is no justification for doing this, he added, and reiterated the need for dialogue. But our Mexican president warned that the bully should not mistake the paused and prudent response as fearful.

I publically support Mexico, the Mexican president and those who endeavour to stop the bully through policy-making and politics.

And I am saddened when I hear and read the opinions of people who agree with the bully’s mad methods. They claim that their “blood, sweat and tears” made the USA a great country. But really it was past generations who forged the American dream, and most of those forefathers were immigrants back in the day when no passport or visa was needed to move to “the land of the free”.  Some people in the USA think they have the right to scream, “America First!” But definitely it is time to wake up from “the dream”. Have they forgotten the four essential human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear? Or do they feel these are meant only for citizens of the USA? Sorry, but I do not believe freedom can be exclusive, and still be called by the same name.

The last freedom is the kicker. FEAR is what we all suffer from. Stating my beliefs will not change anyone’s deluded mindset even one iota. I doubt the hard-liners will reflect for even a second on what I have written because I do not support the agenda of the bully. My words are “fake news”, and I am a “flaming liberal”. Mea culpa.

God help us, ma’am! Do you see what we saw? We saw that we’d been given a law to live by, a moral law, they called it, which punished those who observed it – for observing it. The more you tried to live up to it, the more you suffered; the more you cheated it, the bigger reward you got. Your honesty was like a tool left at the mercy of the next man’s dishonesty. The honest ones paid, the dishonest collected. The honest lost, the dishonest won. How long could men stay good under this sort of a law of goodness?  

This quote is from the writings of Ayn Rand – novelist and philosopher (1905 – 1982) 

Yes indeed Ayn, God help us all, Ma’am!

A change is as good as a rest

Allison Lake, B.C.: This morning at 4:20 am

Waking up this morning, it took a few seconds for me to remember that I’m at my sister and brother-in-law’s home…  It was too early to be awake, but nonetheless, my mind began its usual morning meander down Memory Lane. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. So, I eased myself out of bed and crept into the living room.

And here I sit, wrapped up in a warm crocheted blanket, with my laptop humming… waiting for me to write. It is 4 am… not an uncommon hour for giving up my eternal quest for eight hours of uninterrupted slumber. In fact, it has been at least 15 years since I had the pleasure of even one truly great night’s sleep. I’ve tried everything…  a hot bath, warm milk, rigorous exercise, relaxing yoga, a roll-in-the-hay, hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, sleepy-time tea, and big-pharma’ remedies too.  But to no avail. My brain does not ever seem to turn off; it is determined to rouse my sleep-deprived body as early as possible. For my inner child… every morning is exciting and she wonders what the day holds in store…  she can’t be bothered with sleep.

However, all this said… if I must be awake… what a place to be so. The sofa beside the floor-to-ceiling window pane is plush and comfy, and the view of the lake is beyond beautiful. Dawn is not far off and mist shrouds the high hills soaring straight out of the water. I can hear loons calling, fish jumping, and soft snoring behind the closed bedroom doors. This room smells of lilac and last night’s pita bread.

Jorge and I have been in British Columbia for just five days. The apartment in Kamloops is all set up, provisions are in the larder, and we are visiting the lake for the weekend…

Most of the people who come here are residents of the Princeton – Kamloops vicinity. Like my brother-in-law’s family, many have owned their homes here for decades. They were built as simple summer cabins, but some have now morphed into summer palaces. Barb and Craig’s panabode (I wonder how many readers know this housing description?) is not big enough to be called palatial, but the renovations are on-going and elegant.  Two new bathrooms, fitted by a master builder-artist, are the latest additions.

Life is so good… if I could just get a bit more shut-eye every night… it might be called… perfect.

Today I will show Jorge the trail that encircles the lake. I doubt we’ll walk the whole circumference, but he is determined to make his time in BC, one of rejuvenation. The cooler climate and long days make this a doable goal. I doubt I’ll turn into an eight-hours-a-night sleeper, but I expect to slim down over the coming weeks. Ah yes… a change is as good as a rest.