Around the barrio …

New street light that looks to be solar. But maybe not.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which means yesterday was Mardi Gras or, as we call it hereabouts, Carnaval. Normally, it’s one of the worst periods in our hardscrabble barrio because the locals go loco with up to four nights of blaring concerts on the neighborhood plaza just a block and a half away.

In recent years, we’ve made it a habit to skedaddle to somewhere that’s not here. Last year we went to Guanajuato. This year we went nowhere because it was nice and quiet even though a Gringa who lives not far away in our hardscrabble barrio was complaining about freelance festivities on her street. I heard nothing.

No official Carnaval this year thanks to the Kung Flu.

Yes, I am not the only norteamericano who lives in the neighborhood, but I have been here the longest. Actually, I have been on the mountaintop longer than almost all Gringos and Canucks who now reside here, too many for my taste, actually.

Most belong in San Miguel de Allende.

Just here in the barrio, there is a Gringa in one home and a Gringo couple in another, all of whom arrived here long after we built the Hacienda. The Gringa lived downtown before moving nearby, and the couple, who are in their 90s, bought a big, fancy home from another Gringo couple who had bought it from another sole Gringo even earlier. I watched all these goings and comings from right here.

The initial owner of that property was a gay bookseller who returned to the United States and shortly died at a fairly young age. The second owners fled to Uruguay due to some police problems, according to gossip. The current owners seem to be really fine folks.


We had been warned yesterday that our state and quite a few others likely would suffer rolling blackouts as Mexico tried to cope with an energy crisis in the north of the nation, which was a result of the problems above the Rio Bravo, the Texans and their hippie fans. But nothing happened here. The lights stayed lit. More importantly, Netflix stayed lit.

Speaking of lights, over the past few days, a crew has traveled around our barrio changing street lights. Before, we had the large bulbous variety — the one outside the Hacienda had been burned out for over a year — and now we have the sleek version you see in the photo. I’m thinking that little circular, blue thing on the top means it’s solar-powered. I hope so. It’s a good use of solar power.

We have a solar water heater on our roof that does next to nothing. I have disconnected and given up on it. If you want it, it’s yours for the taking. No joke. It’s our second solar heater. The first did not work at all. The current one simply works badly, at times sending scalding water to the shower via the cold tap. Yes, the cold faucet.

This morning dawned cold, but it did not freeze last night as it did the previous three nights. How do I know? I check the birdbath at 8 a.m. Solid or not? Low-tech information.


Storefront update

Photo taken just this morning.
The middle of last year to provide perspective. That’s the lone builder and his wife.

Here’s a photo update on the storefront construction that lumbers on across the street. As previously mentioned, it’s being built by one man with the occasional assist of his wife who totes things. He works most days, but he wasn’t at work this morning. I suspect that’s because it’s Ash Wednesday.


It’s a lovely day, and we’ll be dining on beans, rice and sausage (from San Antonio) this afternoon. Later I’ll drive to a carwash, and after that I’ll head downtown for a nice café Americano negro on the plaza with a chocolate-chip cookie.

Crochet and craziness

We have many crucial topics to cover today, from crocheting to transgendering to the praise of diversity (again!) and on to beauty pageants, so let’s hop right into it.

People cope with the Kung Flu nuttiness in various ways. My child bride flipped from pastry sales on the downtown plaza to staying home and crocheting. Above is her latest creation, a unicorn. She taught herself to do this with the help of YouTube.

Never let a pandemic go to waste.


Now let’s address matters being pushed by leftists, those who think it’s great that Sleepy Joe and Hoor Harris occupy the White House and the man who scored five Nobel Peace Prize nominations, who didn’t start wars, who engineered various Mideast Peace Accords, who crushed ISIS, who accomplished U.S. energy independence, who lowered taxes and reduced economically crippling regulations, boosted border security and the military, etc., has been tossed out the White House door.

By fraudulent means.

First, there is the transgender nonsense, the notion that there are endless sexes, and you’re free to pick one. And then you have the right to compete in sports in the gender of your choice with others who were born to that gender, who had Mother Nature do the picking for them. It’s the Democrat Socialist Party that supports this nincompoopery and we conservatives who oppose it, who embrace the “actual science.”

The race clip shown at the start of this brief video says it all. Plus it demonstrates why even many feminists, in spite of their normally cockeyed stances, see the nuttiness of it.


Moving onto one of my favorite topics, one that I’ve embraced for many years. Yes, way back, over a decade ago, when few people were saying it, I was hollering it out loud. Encouraging multiculturalism is disastrous. And here we are today with almost everyone, all organizations, all businesses, all schools, having it written in their mission statements that they are all about diversity and the promotion of it. It’s a given.

Our buddy Simon Webb addresses the issue brilliantly, as usual.

“Diversity is our strength.” Is it really?


Here in Mexico, federal legislators — undoubtedly ugly female ones — have proposed the outlawing of beauty pageants because “it degrades women.” I pray this American nuttiness does not get a foothold here. Mexicans love beauty pageants and their weather girls. And if Mexico cancels beauty pageants, where will narco bosses get their girlfriends?


Have a nice Valentine’s Day. Hug someone you love or someone you just like.

Any port in a storm.

Kung flu days

My child bride was sitting on the bedroom love seat this afternoon when I snapped this shot. She was crocheting an elephant, which is one method of passing time during the interminable Kung Flu days. Maybe I should crochet.

We’re told the Kung Flu is worsening in our area, but at the same time a federal government website has my mountaintop in Code Yellow, which is one below Code Orange and two below Code Red. We were in Code Orange for a good spell.

The state government has ordered all nonessential businesses to close on Sundays and at 7 p.m. weekdays, and that’s been going on for two weeks now. I don’t think that serves any useful purpose aside from causing economic problems for people.

I favor the Swedish approach and that of South Dakota.

A more efficient method would be to convince Mexicans to not hug and kiss each other relentlessly, an inconvenient aspect of Latino culture they simply cannot stop doing, come hell or high water, as the saying goes.

Recent news also claims our local government hospital, the one that treats serious Kung Flu patients, is at 100 percent capacity, and the above-mentioned government website says we now have a total of 10 folks hospitalized. Is 10 folks all we can manage?

Our town’s population is about 98,000, so 10 in the hospital sounds like good odds. We also have eight “suspicious” cases, the website reports. We’ve also had 1,324 confirmed cases of which 1,219 have recuperated. Again, I like those odds, which is why I don’t wear a mask when I run around town unless I’m obligated to, normally to enter a business.

We took our daily walk around the neighborhood plaza this morning. She wore a mask, and I did not because were in the open air and nobody was anywhere near us.

It would be like wearing a mask while driving alone in your car. Only a nut does that.

Is truth irrelevant?

(The following is a guest post by Thomas Sowell, a national treasure.)


It is amazing how many people seem to have discovered last Wednesday that riots are wrong — when many of those same people apparently had not noticed that when riots went on, for weeks or even months, in various cities across the country last year.*

For too many people, especially in the media, what is right and wrong, true or false, depends on who it helps or hurts politically. Too many media people who are supposed to be reporters act as if they are combatants in political wars.

Someone once said that, in a war, truth is the first casualty. That has certainly been so in the media — and in much of academia as well.

One of the most grotesque distortions growing out of this carelessness with the facts has been a removal of Abraham Lincoln’s name and statues from various places, on grounds that he saw black people only as property.

Such criticisms betray an incredible ignorance of history — or else a complete disregard of truth.

As a lawyer, Abraham Lincoln knew that there was nothing in the Constitution which authorized him or any other president to free slaves. But he also knew that a military commander in wartime can legally seize the property of an enemy nation. Defining slaves as property gave President Lincoln the only legal authority he had to seize them during the Civil War. And once they were seized as property, he could then free them as human beings.

But, if the Emancipation Proclamation had based its action on defining the slaves as human beings, with a right to be free, the Supreme Court of that era would undoubtedly have declared it unconstitutional.

Millions of human beings would have remained slaves. Would ringing rhetoric be worth that price?

As for the claim that Lincoln did not regard black people as human, he invited Frederick Douglass to the White House.

Gross distortions of history, in order to get Abraham Lincoln’s name removed from schools tells us a lot about what is wrong with American education today.

Many schools are closed because of the coronavirus and the teachers unions. And many schools in minority neighborhoods failed to teach children enough math and English, back when they were still open. So it is incredible that school authorities have time to spend on ideological crusades like removing names and statues from schools.

Such criticisms betray an incredible ignorance of history — or else a complete disregard of truth.

Unfortunately, too many American educational institutions — from elementary schools to universities — have become indoctrination centers. The riots that swept across the country last year are fruits of that indoctrination and the utter disregard for other people’s rights that accompanied those riots.

At the heart of that indoctrination is a sense of grievance and victimhood when others have better outcomes — which are automatically called “privileges” and never called “achievements,” regardless of what the actual facts are.

Facts don’t matter in such issues, any more than facts mattered when smearing Lincoln.

Any “under-representation” of any group in any endeavor can be taken as evidence or proof of discriminatory bias. But those who argue this way cannot show us any society — anywhere in the world, or at any time during thousands of years of recorded history — that had all groups represented proportionally in all endeavors.

In America’s National Hockey League, for example, there are more players from Canada than there are players from the United States. There are also more players from Sweden than from California, even though California’s population is nearly four times the population of Sweden.

Californians are more “under-represented” in the NHL than women are in Silicon Valley. But no one can claim that this is due to discriminatory bias by the NHL. It is far more obviously due to people growing up in cold climates being more likely to have ice-skating experience.

This is one of many factors that produce skewed statistics in many endeavors. Discriminatory bias is among those factors. But it has no monopoly.

Yet who cares about facts any more, in this age of indoctrination?


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

* Felipe’s note: Last year’s widespread, leftist riots were scarcely reported in the mainstream media, so if you get “informed” by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., it’s why you are ignorant of them.