All my fault

I LEFT THE United States in pretty good condition when I moved over the Rio Bravo in January 2000. Bill Clinton was president, and the stock market was going gangbusters.

Alas, my absence was noted, and the nation went straight to Hell. The stock market started a two-year plunge that year. Then other horrible things began to happen.

Mohammedans attacked New York City. U.S. military expeditions into the Middle East were mucked up.

The economy collapsed in 2008. Would this have happened had I stayed home in Houston? There’s no way to know.

And things grew even worse.

Voters put a left-wing, mulatto community organizer with little useful experience into the White House and then, astonishingly, re-elected him four years later. Kool-Aid moment.

The White House power vacuum emboldened murderous Mohammedans far and wide. Leftists overran American universities, kicking out contrary opinions.

And here we are today.

Manning

The White House’s community organizer freed the traitor Bradley Manning* from prison in January, and Brad will soon do an interview with ABC “News.” Expect sympathy and softballs.

Meanwhile, in New York City, the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade is honoring a Puerto Rican terrorist who took part in fatal, bombing campaigns in the 1970s.

The New York Times prefers to call him “a militant.”

That’s nicer than calling him a murderer.

Furthermore, the City University of New York — a public, tax-funded institution — has invited Mohammedan terrorist supporter, Sharia Law-loving Linda Sarsour to be keynote speaker at a graduation ceremony.

As I look back on the past 17 years and remember the good nation I left compared to what it became immediately on my departure, I cannot avoid thinking that I am the cause.

It troubles my nights. Truly, it does.

* * * *

* Manning loves to be called Chelsea these days, which makes me think of Chelsea Clinton who recently said that child marriage and climate change are interconnected. She said this at a CARE National Conference in Washington D.C. where she was introduced as a “thought leader and change agent.” No joke.

A thought leader.

A waning day

YOU MAY have noticed that there is a new banner photo at the top of The Moon. Here’s the entire shot.

Again.

For a few years there was part of a typewriter up there. I thought it appropriate, but I wearied of it.

Typewriters were my weapon during 30 years in the newspaper business. I started in 1969 with a black-iron Remington, or maybe it was a Royal. Then there were IBM Selectrics and, later, computer keyboards came along.

The new photo is mine. I shot it a few months ago in the late afternoon as sun was setting downtown.

I was standing on the main plaza. Our mountaintop town is a nice place to live, and it’s a far spell from Houston.

But Houston likely has more Mexicans.

Post-bagel labor

MOST WORK around here gets done in the morning, and that would be after the bagels and cream cheese.

The labor this Good Friday morning included the yearly cleaning of the underground cistern.

Child bride descends to mop after I had descended to sweep.

Our concrete cistern holds 9,000 liters of water.

The reason you don’t want to drink tap water in Mexico is less because the water didn’t come from a clean source at the get-go. It may have. For instance, our municipal water comes from an underground spring. It is quite clear.

What happens is that almost everyone stores water in an underground cistern. From that cistern, water is delivered, one way or another, to a roof tank, and from there it’s dropped into the house faucets via gravity.

There are variations, but basically that’s how it works.

I have no statistics, but I’d bet a pocket of pesos that few homeowners ever clean their cisterns. I’ve peered into cisterns that you could use for a horror-movie scene.

But we are better than that.

Here’s how we clean ours. First, we turn off the incoming water. After that, it takes almost two weeks to empty as we use the water in the house. Finally, the cistern is empty, and we switch to a small backup tank for a day or two.

We leave the lid open overnight, and the cistern’s dry in the morning. I go down and sweep. She goes down and mops. We turn the water back on, and toss in half a liter of bleach.

Here comes fresh water into the clean tank! Yipee!

It takes three or four days to refill. The municipal water runs six days a week for six to eight hours daily.

* * * *

Other labor

Having finished that work, it was time to reassign cacti.

You’d think that after what happened with the monster nopal that I would have learned my lesson regarding prickly plants.

But I’m stupid that way.

I love deserts and the things that live in them. I used to plant cacti in my yard in Houston, and they never did squat.

The tall ones.

Next to the verandah, there’s this stand of pole cacti that I started years ago with one small one. The tallest now is six and a half feet high.

Another shorter — but not by much — stand nearby provided a cutting about 15 inches tall. It has been planted out by the property wall, and I anticipate a nice stand of pole cacti there in a few years —  if I live so long.

The little bugger.

Being a newbie, it needs a little support from string and a stick.

Following these two chores, I only had to water the potted plants on the verandah, dust the shelves and sweep the floor.

The only other labor for the day will be cooking pasta and broiling salmon. After that, it’s a café Americano negro on the downtown plaza, watching the beautiful tourist babes.

It will be a Good Friday. Even if I’m not a Christian.

Newspaper days

I WAS A newspaperman for about 30 years before I retired at age 55 in late 1999. I never called myself a journalist, and I’ve never taken even one journalism course.

I’ve also been a taxi driver, a loan shark and a repo man.

But it was newspapering that I was best at.

There’s a link in the right-side column that takes you to Newspaper Days, a description of my decades in that world. It was a profession I fell into, just one more path in a life that’s been almost entirely haphazard.

Take a look if you have some spare moments. It’s a quick tour through exotic places like San Juan and New Orleans, and even haircuts in the Virgin Islands.

You’ll also encounter mangy dogs, suicides, alcoholism, unionism, motorcycles, political correctness, feminist zealotry, homosexuality, paste pots and old typewriters.