Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Miscellany

Things are really heating up in Mexico, yet with the exception of a few patronizing articles in the New York Times, who wishes Lopez Obrador and the little brown people would stop being so uppity, I don't see much steady coverage in the U.S. media about what's going on. And I haven't seen anything among "Liberal" bloggers. While all eyes are on the Middle East or mid-term elections, our next-door neighbor is veering deeper and deeper into a violent crisis that sounds at times like the lead-up to a civil war. The fight over the presidential election continues. Lopez Obrador, the PRD candidate who lost by 240,000 votes out of 41 million, and who claims there was serious fraud in the ballot counting, is threatening to set up a parallel government and to disrupt the swearing-in ceremony for PAN candidate Felipe Calderon. He and thousands of his supporters have been living in tents in Mexico City's main plaza for 36 days now. At the same time, the ongoing teacher's strike in Oaxaca has turned quite violent and has now become a referendum on ousting the governor of the state. About the only news in the U.S. about Mexico has been the increasingly racist rhetoric about illegal immigrants ruining our country. Ironically, if our eyes are on the Middle East, the most consistent and thorough coverage of Mexico that I've seenin the English-language press has been on Al-Jazeera, who at least recognizes an important international story when it sees one, including a front-page article today. To its credit, the U.S State Department at least knows something is up, as they've just released a Travel Warning for Oaxaca, telling U.S. citizens to "remain in their hotels or homes." According to them, "teachers, students, and other groups have engaged in increasingly violent demonstrations in and around Oaxaca City for several months." As far as I know, it isn't the teachers who have been killing people but right-wing paramilitary who have killed at least two teachers.

Jeff at Aun Estamos Vivos has an interesting post today on FDR - FDR's First 100 Days and the Saving of Democracy. I also enjoyed his book meme, and see that he also listed Woody Allen's Without Feathers as a book that made him laugh.

Egyptian novelist
Naguib Mahfouz died this week at the age of 94. He is the only Arab to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He's one of the many writers I've always meant to read but haven't. I can even picture myself at some point, thumbing through one of his books. A shame to wait until he was dead for me to get interested. I'm going to see if I can pick up Midaq Alley this week, though, which was recommended as a good starting point. And just how good a marketing move is it for a major novelist to kick the bucket? On August 29, 2006, the Amazon.com Sales Rank for Midaq Alley was #24,761. Today it's #1,210.

An interesting headline (via Susie Madrak's site): ICE arrests 15 aliens in Roswell working for U.S. military contractor.

Something to ponder:

"The inner, subtle essences can be contemplated only by sucking, not by knowing."

Isaac the Blind, 12th-13th century Jewish mystic

2 comments:

Liam said...

Good points on the Mexico thing. It is amazing that something this big is invisible in the regular media and in the blogosphere.

As far as the quote from Isaac the Blind goes, it's true. And as far as sucking goes, I'm an expert.

Jeff said...

Guillame,

Thanks for the plug. :-)

Thanks as well for pointing out the situation in Mexico. I'd heard that there were plans to run a parallel government, but I hadn't heard about the violence. This is a hugely under-reported story, much like the story that was buried a few years ago about how that visionary, free trade NAFTA partner Carlos Salinas turned out to be up to his eyeballs in his involvement with Mexico's drug cartels.