Death and cigarettes

A SISTER-IN-LAW lives nearby. Most of the family reside elsewhere. Distance assists good relations.

This sister-in-law, whom I see almost every day, smokes nonstop. It’s not pretty, and it smells awful.

I smoked cigarettes, cigars and pipes for years. I was not a heavy smoker, however, and I stopped in the early 1990s using a tapering-off routine that was pretty easy.

In a supermarket checkout line today I got a good look at a cigarette rack and was amused by the packaging. It was a popular brand in Mexico called Montana.

At least a quarter of a package face displayed a dead rat. Another was a photo of an open human mouth full of cigarette butts, the implication being that you’ll stink like an ashtray, which is quite true.

Cigarette packages, last time I paid attention, simply informed buyers that they’re dangerous. Times have changed.

Candy-Skull-01b-1Of course, tobacco companies do not put photos of dead rats and mouthfuls of butts on their packages voluntarily. They are legally obligated.

My sister-in-law will tell you in all seriousness that she won’t stop smoking because doing so increases the risk of lung cancer. She says  she knows too many people who stopped smoking and immediately died of cancer.

Her twisted logic always leans her way. She smokes to maintain her good health, her stinky well-being.

Are dead rats on cigarette packs in the United States?

* * * *

Speaking of death, our Day of the Dead celebration is about a week away, and the town is putting on its best face.

Streets are being cleaned. Tree trunks are whitewashed. Curbs are splashed yellow, and road stripes are repainted. We look almost new — as new as a six-century town can look.

The Hacienda is getting cleaned up too, unrelated to the Day of the Dead. Workmen are here painting, scraping, cementing, attaching, repairing, all manner of improvements.

It’s a yearly event.

The downside is that I’m trapped here today because much of the work is inside, and going off and leaving them here alone isn’t a bright idea. I don’t know them.

An upside is that I’m killing time by typing away.

And thinking of you.

100-day plan

TRUMP DELIVERED an excellent speech at Gettysburg today. It should be required listening for all voters, especially those who plan to vote for fringe candidates.

The Donald spells out specific actions he will take immediately on becoming president. They are good actions.

Like a dead day

THIS MORNING dawned cool and gray.

At 8 a.m. the thermometer on the upstairs terraza measured 58 degrees. It felt cooler. Fall is in the air.

More notable is that the Day of the Dead is near. As my child bride noted while walking the neighborhood plaza yesterday, practicing her English: It feels like a dead day.

Oh, well. She tries.

Noticing that it looked like a dead day this morning, I toted the Canon out on the terraza to make this sweep. There toward the end, you can see a lamp lit in the left window.

That’s where I sit to write this stuff.

On both dead days and lively ones.

Unemployed 17 years

Pastoral scene not too far from the Hacienda.

JUST EIGHT weeks shy of reaching 17 years of no paid employment. Me, that is.

If someone had told me at, say, the age of 40 that I would retire at 55 and, 17 years later, would be living in a lovely Hacienda on a Mexican mountaintop in good health with a child bride, speaking Spanish all day, I would have said:

Yeah, sure. In my wildest dreams.

Yet stuff happens. I would not have believed it, that such good fortune would fall atop my head, but it did.

One reads of people who retire, usually men, and then drop dead a year later, often out of sheer boredom, having lost their reason to live, their job. But I’m not that person.

I’ve never been bored in my adult life. Not a moment.

How does one survive that long with no paying job? I do it with a combination of capitalism and socialism. I profited from the roaring stock market of the 1990s, plus I have a corporate pension, although it’s a puny one.

And then there is Social Security, the socialist element.

None of the above would have been enough were it not for the final element: moving to Mexico. One reads that living in Mexico is not as cheap as it was “in the old days.” Maybe, but it’s sure way cheaper than living in the United States.

Seems like it’s every week that I read about the ever-soaring medical insurance premiums the Gringos have to pay for the ObamaCare scam, the “you can keep your doctor” and “you can keep your current plan” bamboozle.

And the taxes! Lordy, what taxes, especially property taxes in some areas, and paying taxes for those unionized schools that turn out young, brainwashed airheads.

I was sitting at a sidewalk table on the plaza yesterday with a hot café Americano negro, reading a book, when I paused and looked at the cobblestone street and the red-clay roofs, and I thought to myself: Boy, you’re one lucky sumbitch.

Pray for Europe

ENCOURAGING multiculturalism is a very bad idea.

You see it in the growing strife across the United States. The Trump-Hillary conflict is at heart a conflict between multiculturalists and nationalists.

The antonym of multiculturalist is nationalist.

As Europe is bludgeoned into multiculturalism by screwball governments, you see growing strife there too.

And violence.

People of different religions, beliefs, languages and race do not sit comfortably in the living rooms of their opposites. In a perfect world, they would sit there comfortably, sharing tea, crumpets and conversation, but that world doesn’t exist.

Borders have always existed.

Tearing them down is a fool’s endeavor.

The Iliad Institute, formed after the suicide of a French nationalist named Dominique Venner, made the above video, which celebrates the distinctive history of Europe.

It’s a mindset that America should encourage.

Mexico does not celebrate multiculturalism. We celebrate Mexicanism. We are nationalist. That’s good.

Trump: The gin bottle

(Today’s guest post comes to us from The Wall Street Journal, and it’s written by David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale. The Unseen Moon dedicates this to libertarians and renegade conservatives planning to vote for a fringe candidate or not to vote at all.)

* * * *

hillarySOME CONSERVATIVES have watched their evaluations of Donald Trump’s character drop so low in recent days that on this vital question they no longer see a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Accordingly, they are forced back onto politics and policy; and naturally Mr. Trump wins in a walk.

If conservatives who argue that Mr. Trump is worse than Mrs. Clinton had a case, it would be a relief to vote for Mrs. Clinton or for no one. But they don’t, and one is therefore forced for the good of the nation to vote for Mr. Trump.

In his Mr. Nauseating video of last weekend, Mr. Trump showed us that he had all the class and cool of a misbegotten 12-year-old boy. Yet the video taught us nothing. No one had ever mistaken him for anything but an infantile vulgarian.

This week’s allegations of actual abuse are different. If these stories are true (and I don’t know why they shouldn’t be*), there is nothing to be said for Mr. Trump.

trumpUnfortunately, there is nothing to be said for Mrs. Clinton either. If we don’t take both facts into account, we are not morally serious.

Mrs. Clinton has nothing on Mr. Trump when it comes to character. She lies (“Wipe? Like with a cloth?” — cute and charming, Mrs. C.) the way basketball stars shoot baskets — constantly, nonstop, because it’s the one thing she is best at and (naturally) it gives her pleasure to hear herself lie — swish! — right onto the evening news.

And her specialist talent of all is the verbal kick in the groin of a Secret Service man or state trooper who has the nerve to talk to her as if she were merely human.

She is no mere rock star. She is Hillary the Queen. She is so big, and you are so small, she can barely even see you from up there. What are you? A macromolecule?

I’ll vote for Mr. Trump — grimly. But there is no alternative, no shadow of a responsible alternative.

Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a message from the voters. He is the empty gin bottle they have tossed through the window.

The message begins with the fact that voters hear what the leaders and pundits don’t: the profound contempt for America and Americans that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama share and their frightening lack of emotional connection to this nation and its people.

Mr. Obama is arch, patronizing, so magnificently weary of having to explain it all, again and again, to the dummies surrounding him.


ginDonald Trump is the empty gin bottle that voters have tossed through the window.


Mrs. Clinton has told us proudly how thoroughly she prepared for the first debate and has prepared to be president.

For her, it is all a matter of learning your lines. Her whole life has been memorized in advance. Mr. Obama is at least sincere. Mrs. Clinton is as phony as a three-dollar bill, as a Clinton Global Initiative.

Mr. Obama has governed like a third-rate tyrant. He’s been a stern babysitter to an American public that is increasingly getting on his nerves.

ObamaCare and the Iran treaty are his big achievements. That the public has always disliked them, and hates them worse as it knows them better, strikes him as so unspeakably irrelevant. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Do you ask 6-year-olds if they like going to school?

Mrs. Clinton couldn’t agree more. Policy is for smart people, who are people of the left by definition — leftists having scored all those big successes over the years in foreign policy, race relations, policing, restarting wounded economies, making unsecured loans, running school systems and so on.

On topics from Keystone to Guantanamo, Mr. Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t give a damn what people think — he no longer even tries to explain to the citizenry.

Do your homework! Understand?

Yes, leadership sometimes requires that you take an unpopular position and make it popular. We are told that Mr. Obama is working on his “legacy” instead, as if that makes him farsighted instead of irresponsible and insanely vain.

Presidents are supposed to run the country, not worry about their reputation in coming centuries.


Trump voters have noticed that, not just over Mr. Obama’s term but in recent decades, their own opinions have grown increasingly irrelevant.

It’s something you feel, like encroaching numbness.

Since when has the American public endorsed affirmative action? Yet it’s a major factor in the lives of every student and many workers.

Since when did we decide that men and women are interchangeable in hand-to-hand combat on the front lines? Why do we insist on women in combat but not in the NFL? Because we take football seriously.

That’s no joke. It’s the sad truth.

Did we invite the federal bureaucracy to take charge of school bathrooms? I guess I missed that meeting. The schools are corrupt and the universities rotten to the core, and everyone has known it since the 1980s.

But the Democrats are owned by the teachers unions, and Republicans have made only small-scale corrections to a system that needs to be ripped out and carefully disposed of, like poison ivy.

The Emasculated Voter to whom no one pays any attention is the story of modern democracy.

Instead of putting voters in charge, we tell them they’re in charge, and it’s just as good. That’s the Establishment’s great discovery in the Lois Lerner Age.

Enter Mr. Trump. People say he became a star because he just happened to mention an issue that just happened to catch on. But immigration is the central issue of our time.

Trump voters zeroed in because they saw what most intellectuals didn’t. What is our nation and what will it be?

Will America go on being America or turn into something else? That depends on who lives here — especially given our schools, which no longer condescend to teach Americanism.

The liberal theory is that, other things being equal, all human beings have an equal right to settle in America. For liberals this is too obvious to spell out. But it is also too ludicrous to defend.


Does all mankind have a right to camp in your backyard, eat in your kitchen, work at your office and borrow your best jogging outfit? We fail in our duty if we don’t think carefully whom we want in this country, who would be best for America.

Furthermore, we know that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

But that’s got nothing to do with immigration. Freedom of religion means freedom for American citizens — what else could it possibly mean?

We must not tamper with Americans’ religious life. We must not admit, as possible future citizens, anyone we don’t choose to, anyone we don’t think will be good for America.

Not to admit Muslims is bad policy, but it does not violate freedom of religion, and the American people have a perfect right to discuss and debate it.

Hold on, some of my fellow conservatives say.

Never mind Hillary. Trump would be dangerous. He would further endanger our national security and world position.

He might start unnecessary wars. He might even push the nuclear button.

These are important objections, but after thinking them through I’m unable to take them seriously, either in political terms or psychological ones.


Mrs. Clinton is right at home in the Oval Office and thinks she owns it. She holds herself entitled to supreme power, as her friends are entitled to fancy positions with enormous salaries and her followers to secure government jobs or ample government funds, as the case may be.

But forget psychology. Ordinary politics says that Mr. Trump will not do crazy things or go off half-cocked, because Republicans in Congress will be eager to impeach him and put Mike Pence in charge.

That was the subtext of the vice-presidential debate, though Mr. Pence himself (probably) didn’t intend it. When it’s my turn, you can all relax. Democrats, obviously, will be eager to help when the task is removing a Republican.

Impeachment is Trump-voters’ ace in the hole.

It’s an abnormal measure, but this is an abnormal year. Impeachment has temporarily dropped out of sight because of special circumstances. Republicans impeached Bill Clinton but got burned in the process.

Mr. Obama, as the first black president, was impeachment-proof. Any other president would have encountered serious impeachment talk on several occasions, especially when he ignored Congress and the Constitution and made his own personal treaty-in-all-but-name with Iran.

But Mr. Trump will not have Mr. Obama’s advantages — to say the least. Mr. Trump will be impeachment bait. So will Mrs. Clinton. Even some Democrats have had enough.

Nothing can stop Mr. Trump from shooting off his mouth, but that’s all right. I want America’s enemies off-balance and guessing. For eight years it’s been Humiliate America season — buzz our ships, capture and embarrass our men, murder an American ambassador — a resoundingly successful attempt to spit in our faces and tell each one of us to drop dead.

Thanks, Mr. President. Enough is enough. You know that Hillary is Obama Part III. We can’t let that happen. Parts I and II have brought us close enough to catastrophe.

That is the problem for those whose integrity or nobility won’t allow them to vote for Mr. Trump despite their dislike of Mrs. Clinton.

There is only one way to take part in protecting this nation from Hillary Clinton, and that is to vote for Donald Trump.

A vote for anyone else or for no one might be an honest, admirable gesture in principle, but we don’t need conscientious objectors in this war for the country’s international standing and hence for the safety of the world and the American way of life. It’s too bad one has to vote for Mr. Trump.

It will be an unhappy moment at best. Some people will feel dirty, or pained, or outright disgraced.

But when all is said and done, it’s no big deal of a sacrifice for your country. I can think of bigger ones.

* * * *

* The sudden outbreak of groping allegations is a repeat of the Democrats’ successful gutter campaign against Herman Cain. Neither Cain nor Trump had ever faced sexual-harassment accusations in their long careers until they decided to oppose the Democrat Party. What does that tell you?

Pay a person enough, and she’ll say anything.

The sexual-harassment issue is a beloved, useful, politically correct cudgel for leftists.  Think Mattress Girl writ large and often. This asterisk is from Felipe, not the guest poster.

Just never know


SITTING FRIDAY at a sidewalk table downtown, nursing a nice café Americano negro* and reading Ernie Pyle’s excellent Brave Men, I heard a racket coming down the street.

It was a small parade. I have no idea what the occasion was, but I did whip out my new Fujifilm Finepix 850exr, a sweetheart of a camera, and snapped a few shots.

Living here is great because you never know what you’ll see next. A companion shot can be found here.

* * * *

* I love typing this accurate Spanish phrase. Were I to do so while a student at an American university, I would handcuffed, tried by a kangaroo court and expelled.

Laughable laureates


YOU’VE LIKELY heard about this already and laughed out loud, but I can’t let it pass without mention.

Whatever prestige a Nobel Prize once bestowed, and it was considerable, began to crumble when the committee handed Weepy Barry Obama the Peace Prize 15 minutes after his inauguration.

And now this: The prize for literature goes to — harmonica riff, please — Bob Dylan.

Both the Obama  prize and this one are yet more examples of the rot of Western Civilization that was born in the hippie era of the 1960s and continues today.

And I’m not the only one to see this. Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, said:

“I’m a Dylan fan, but this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies.”

That observation alone deserves a Nobel Prize.

Man who eats weeds

Felipe strikes a pose.

IT APPEARS our rainy season is winding down. Perhaps it’s even ended though that is unlikely.

But the grass continues to grow.

While Abel the Deadpan Neighbor mows the lawn, I keep weedeater duties in my own hands because whenever I turn over weedeating to a local, the tool is abused.

In a post last May titled Busy, busy boy, I mentioned my travails with weedeaters, which are generally cussed machines. I had gone through a couple of brands till I got a Stihl.

It’s a German make, and I call it a Nazi machine. So far, I’m pretty happy with it, the happiest I’ve ever been with a weedeater. It starts quite easily, and it keeps going.

A weedeater that does that is above average.

After weedeating Wednesday, I called my child bride out of her pastry kitchen nearby and had her snap this photo. That’s La Señora Bones and her dead kid behind me.

I’m the live one in the grass-green shirt.

Fact, Fiction and Opinion Stirred in an Odd Pot

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