Wednesday, May 31, 2006

El Padre Gálvez, sin perder su color rezaba en su breviario, echando conjuros sobre los enemigos.

Degollado Guízar, Jesús. Memorias de Jesús Degollado Guízar, último general en jefe del ejército cristero. México: Editorial Jus., 1957.

Página 63. "El enemigo, que se dio cuenta de lo que yo dije, se vino sobre nosotros y puso de nuevo cerco a la finca. Una lucha a muerte se entabló entre nosotros, que éramos obligados a retroceder haciéndonos fuertes en los robustos encinos y altos pinares. Todos luchaban con valor desesperado; el Padre Gálvez, sin perder su color rezaba en su breviario, echando conjuros sobre los enemigos. A pesar de nuestros esfuerzos, el enemigo avanzaba; la superioridad numérica y sus ametralladoras se imponían; nosotros nos retirábamos por una pendiente muy alta para ascender al cerro La Corona. La cima estaba a unos doscientos metros de nosotros, y no obstante que ahí estaba nuestra salvación, no la podíamos alcanzar luego, porque la fatiga casi no me permitía moverme. Yo me consideraba perdido, y ordené a todos que se fueran y se salvaran.

"El soldado Miguel Méndez dijo:

-- Yo no obedezco a usted, mi General; no es honor para un soldado abandonar a su Jefe --.

-- Háganlo ustedes -- les dije a los demás.

--No señor -- contestaron -- la repuesta del Gordito (así llamábamos por cariño al valiente soldado don Miguel Méndez) es la de todos.

Fin Parte Uno

Meltdown 1992: the Spanish fruits of "egosocialism?"

Highlights of Seville's Universal Exposition!
[All material from same source, cited below, end notes omitted]

Page 141. "Cronyism, factionalism, graft, backstabbing, unchecked personal ambitions, greed, envy, secret deals, and unspoken agreements were pretty much assumed to be the order of the day."

"As one Sevillano said when I asked him how the preparations for the Expo were going,

Hombre, es nada más que un choque ... una pelea ... una cosa política...Man, it's nothing but a collision .. a fight .. a political thing...

Then came the protests, as opening day 1992 drew a resulting crackdown on any and all dissent, period.

Page 148. "Respect for the letter of the law, including perhaps basic civil rights, was not, however at the top of the list of official priorities at the moment. In short order, the courts freed about twenty Spanish youths, sentenced a handful of others to lengthy jail terms, and directed that about fifty foreign detainees be interrogated by the authorities and then expelled from Spain.

"Moreover, the protesters' complaints about official distortion of the facts and violations of civil rights had little effect on what the authorities were saying, on what the press chose to to emphasize, or on what the public seemed to accept as true.

"On the contrary, legitimate forms of protest were effectively tainted by being associated with random 'Punk' violence, which was in turn linked to terrorist plots and conspiracies. Editorialists in the local press chimed in by characterizing those under arrest as outsiders, barbarians, savages, and huns and by depicting local peaceful resisters as if they were the dupes of foreign agitators and terrorists.

"Just so no one would harbor doubts about who the true defenders of civilization and natural decency were, one editorialist observed that:

[T]he Indian may cultivate his myths, may protest, [and] may do what he wishes, but he must let others have their fiesta in peace...

"So much for the Expo that promised something for everyone. So much for the free movement of people and ideas in a Europe without borders. So much for cosmopolitan pluralism and openess. Invocations of an intimate communiy of local citizens and ordinary Expo visitors who shared common values and desires were used to circle the wagons around the Expo and to exclude undesirable outsiders, even though quite a large number of these outsiders happened, in fact to be Andulusians and other Spanish citizens. And so much as well for open resistance to the Expo. The calm of the Expo was never seriously disturbed again. As local activists readily admitted, they were intimidated because the authorities had made it clear that there was quite literally no place for radical dissent at the Expo or in Seville in 1992."

Source: Maddox, Richard. "Intimacy and Hegemony in the New Europe: The Politics of Culture at Seville's Universal Exposition." Shryock, editor. Off Stage On Display: Intimacy and Ethnography in the Age of Public Culture. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2004.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Miracle Performing Pope who really Rocked?


In the early 1900s, when Black Americans were in danger of being lynched, it almost seems that they knew better than to waste their time in seeking more than a sort of symbolic help from that somewhat equivocal, so-called Anglo-American Catholic Church, but were too polite to come right out and say so in their letter to the Vatican.

Instead, they got a United States Senator to take their case directly to that miracle-performing, wonder-working Italian saint in Rome, Pope Saint Pius X (1903-1914).

Because they knew, as one Italian author tells us, that he followed in the foot steps of Pope Leo XIII, (1877-1903) who had likewise taken "action against lynching."

Igino Giordani tells us in his book, Pius X: A Country Priest, Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954, page 136:

"Among the congratulatory messages that came to the Pope at the close of the year 1903 were those from Negro editors of America who, recalling the action of Leo XIII [1877-1903] against lynching, asked his successor, himself of lowly orgin, to help encourage amicable relations between Negroes and whites in the United States, especially since the Protestant churches for the most part remained deaf to pleas of racial justice."

In a footnote, the author then quotes "From La Civilta Cattolica, January 17, 1904 (Vol. I, fasc., 1286,p. 249): "

"Some time ago the Federation of Catholic Societies made a solemn protest against the lynching of Negroes. The Western Association of Negro Editors, in their convention this August at Denver, sent the following petition to Pope Pius X:

We have resolved to express our profound sorrow at the death of Pope Leo XIII, a friend of humanity, who spoke out vigorously against the lynching of Negroes in America ... Since there are many Catholics among the Negroes in the United States, who along with others of their race are subject to unspeakable outrages upon the slightest pretext, so that often innocent and guilty suffer alike, we beg His Holiness to use his authority...

Since the Protestant churches in America, excepting a few individual cases, are deaf to our appeals and seem disposed to remain silent, though not approving the terrible outrages to which we have been subject, we have requested senator Burton of Kansas to present this our letter to the representative of the Pope in Washington for the purpose of having it transmitted to His Holiness in the Vatican."

Pope St. Pius X [1903-1914]:

"His firsthand story of a leftwing radical priest!"


As the Italian author Igino Giordani tells in his book Pius X: A Country Priest, translated into English by the Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954, pages 182-183, "The Cistercian Abbot, Dom J. B. Chautard, relates that an eminent layman, during an audience with Pius X, called a certain enemy of the Church a harsh name.

"My son, remonstrated the Pope. I do not approve of your language. As a punishment, listen to this story. A priest whom I knew well, having taken over his first parish, thought it his duty to visit all the families there, including Jews, Protestants and Freemasons, and announced from his pulpit that he would make such visits every year. There was consternation among his fellow priests, some of whom reported the matter to the Bishop.

The Bishop sent for the accused priest and admonished him sharply. Monsignor, humbly replied the priest, Jesus, the Good Shepherd said, 'I have other sheep, too, which do not belong to this fold; I must bring them in, too. (Jn. 10:16).' But how can this be done without going in search of these other sheep? Besides, I never compromise on principles and I limit myself to indicating my interest in all souls that God has entrusted to me and my love for all of them. I have already announced these visits from my pulpit but if it is your formal wish that I do not make them, please give me such prohibition in writing so that my people will know that I am simply obeying your orders.

Impressed by the correctness of the priest's position, the Bishop dropped the matter.

For that matter, the outocme showed the priest to have been right, for he had the joy to convert some of those outsiders and he elicited from all of them a great respect for our holy religion.

That lowly parish priest, by the will of God, is now the Pope who gives you my son, this lesson in charity. Be immovable in you principles, but extend your charity to all men, even the worst enemies of the Church."

Friday, May 26, 2006

A mí me gustaría agradecer a las Doñas Margarita, Gaby, Dolores, Robin la enfermera, más su suegra, también una joven persona de muy buena onda, la Sra. R., más unos cuantos hijos y nietos suyos, por el apoyo muy bueno que nos brindaban hace todavía no más que un rato, y sobre todo la dirección que me brindió la profe Doña Margarita aquí:

Con que ya yo puedo solucionar algunas dudas que yo he mantenido desde hace tiempo respeto la imagen de San Benito.

Gracias! A todas, y que pasen todas ustedes un bien fin de la semana!

Dionicio Pablo..

Frankenstein Meets Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758)?!
["De-bugged" version! 6/01/2006]

It might even sound like an axiom when we say that authors in general and novelists in particular get their inspiration from who knows where, and that in her rambles around the European countryside in around 1819 or so, Mary Shelley more than likely developed a good ear for all kinds of local stories and legends. And, being undoubtedly both talented and imaginative, she would have more than likely woven bits and pieces of colorful local folklore into Frankenstein.

Now comes a whimsical suggestion: supposing at least one of the local legends had as its foundation a concrete historical fact, or rather two or more?

The first fact might be that Pope Benedict XIV's changes in Canon Law, especially changes in what would become over two centuries later Canons 976 and 977 would, sooner or later, be put to the conclusive test, even within fifty years of his own era.

The second fact might be that two people, presumably of the opposite sex, according to Shelley's version, finding themselves in extremis, and instinctively drawing what comfort they can from the prudent foresight of a pope who lived perhaps a half century earlier, just might try to make the most of a really desperate life-threatening situation.

A really desperate life-threatening situation, further, purportedly involving a Roman Catholic priest and his mistress? Could there be, if nothing else, a chance for her to receive the consolation of the last rites?

Pope Benedict XIV, born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, was himself a lover of fine literature, while being at the same time an indefatigable defender of the integrity of the priesthood. He might even be considered a pope in so many ways of the same broad humanistic stripe of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He surely knew the generally dismal state of this same priesthood in many parts of mid-18th Cenury Europe, yet he wasn't about to leave anyone without at least a sporting chance of eternal salvation, no matter what.

Now, just what do these Canons deal with, that might apply to a folkloric story in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein? Moreover, about a Catholic priest and his live-in female lover?

From the bottom of page 688 of The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, we can see what it is that these following two Canons state under the heading of Absolution in Danger of Death :

Canon 976 -- "Even though he lacks the faculty to hear confessions, any priest validly and licitly absolves from any kind of censures and sins any penitent who is in danger of death, even if an approved priest is present.

"Finally, [this] revised canon has suppressed the norm that the absolution of an accomplice in these circumstances would be valid but illicit (CIC 884)* [The "Old Code of Canon Law" of 1917] or that the penitent upon recovery would in certain circumstances be obliged to have furher recourse (CIC 2252)."

* Benedict XIV, apconst Sacramentum Poenitentiae, June 1, 1741: Document II among the documents appended to the 1917 Code.

Absolution of an Accomplice

Canon 977 -- "The absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is invalid, except in danger of death."

"As noted under the preceeding canon, the norm of canon 977, while derived from canon 884 of the 1917 Code, no longer declares illicit the absolution of an accomplice who is in danger of death. In all other cases, it is both illicit and invalid for a priest to absolve an accomplice, female or male, from a sin against the sixth commandment in which he and the penitient have been accomplices. There is no further restriction under pain of invalidity of absolution, whatever may be the impropriety of the confessor's absolving an accomplice from other sins. The matter is treated in detail by moral and pastoral theologians."

As anybody who has noodled her or his way through Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as part of an upper-level undergraduate course in Literary Criticism for English Majors in any US college of university knows, a reader can't help but be struck by the trip made by Victor Frankenstein and Henry, cruising down the River Rhine, and Henry's idle remark that he thought he'd seen the best extremes of mountain and water in Switzerland.

And this includes Henry's reference to "the base of the mountain, where the priest and his mistress were overwhelmed by an avalanche, and where their dying voices are still said to be heard amid the pauses of the night wind..."

Now, comes the question for the first semester creative writing student:

What might have the dying priest and his dying mistress been talking about?

More on Benedict XIV:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Restall, Matthew. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. Oxford: University Press, 2003.

Page 52: "Festivals of conquest and reconquest not only offer insights into the roles played by native warriors on both sides of the Conquest wars, but also depict other oft-ignored participants -- such as Africans. For example, the performance of of the Conquest of Rhodes was staged in Mexico City in 1539, in response to news of an anti-Ottoman truce the year before by the Spanish and French monarchs. The play was an elaborate affair whose vast sets were constructed by more than fifty thousand workmen (Africans and local natives) according to Bernal Díaz."

Basically, many thousands of actors were involved.

The complicated scenario is finally brought to a head and "then resolved by the arrival of of a cavalry of more than fifty black men and women (Díaz again), led by a black king and queen."

"For Africans, their entrance into the play on horseback must have been a proud celebration of their military prowess, of a conquistador status so seldom permitted public recognition. All those present must have been reminded that barely 18 months earlier, in the autumn of 1537, an unknown number of the 10,000 Africans already resident in Mexico City had allegedly plotted a slave revolt and crowned a rebel black king. This slave monarch, along with other black leaders, had then been publicly executed -- and was surely resurrected, in the minds of the city's blacks, in the form of the festival's African king.

"Whatever their identity or perspective, none of the inhabitants of Mexico City in 1539 would have viewed a black presence in that year's festival of conquest as incongruous. All took for granted the fact that Africans too had participated in the real Conquest."

Pages 120-121 "In 1539, Jerusalem was attacked by three Christian armies at once. One was an imperial force led by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and king of Spain, accompanied by his brother, the king of Hungary, and French King Francis I. This army had come as reinforcements for a separate Spanish army led by the Count of Benavente. The third attacking force was the army of New Spain, led by Viceroy Mendoza. The battle raged for hours, until the Muslim defenders of Jerusalem finally capitulated. Their leader, the Great Sultan of Babylon and Tetrarch of Jerusalem, was none other than the Marqués del Valle, Hernando Cortés.

"This battle did not actually take place in the mIddle East, but in the vast central plaza of Tlaxcala, the Nahua city-state whose alliance with Cortés had proved crucial to his defeat of the Mexica empire almost two decades earlier. The mock battle, part of a day-long series of plays and battles, was staged on Corpus Christie day by the Tlaxcalans, with the possible assistance of Franciscan friars. One of the friars witnessed the spectacle and wrote an account of it, published soon after in Motolinías History of the Indians of New Spain.

"While a mock battle in which the victorious armies are led by the Spanish king, the colonial Mexican viceroy, and a Spanish count prominent in colonial Mexican affairs might seem to be celebration of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, Tlaxcala's theatrical Conquest of Jerusalem was hardly that. Cortés (played by a native Tlaxcalan actor) was not the victor in the drama, but the Sultan, doomed to defeat -- and the captain general of the Moors was Pedro de Alvarado, the second most prominent Spaniard in the fall of Tenochtitlán and the subsequent conqueror of highland Guatemala. As the losers, Cortés and Alvarado requested mercy and baptism, and admitted that they were the natural vassals of the Tlaxcalan-played Charles V -- an interesting inversion of the conquistadors' claim that natives were naturally subject to Spanards."

Yessiree! You just gotta read the rest of the story!

"So how do I do that?"

First: you need to get in line at the book check out counter at the UTEP library, and slap a hold on this book just as fast as you can, as it should be turned back in by tomorrow, Friday, May 26, 2006, if not tonight.

Second: Get together with some of your friends and colleagues, and in a body, go to the UTEP Book Store and demand -- and don't even waste your breath by politely asking -- x number of copies at, say, $5.00 a copy -- then just wait and see what happens!

"After all, you never know: UTEP is a parallel universe to the Real World, and thus perception is reality!"



SCORE: in the Reality Bites Competition!

Reality Bites = 2 points -- Blogger's pseudo-academic credibility = 0!

Thanks for the input!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Quando la apartó el alcalde dixo dexeme Vmd Sr compe con esta perra yndia que mi marido le quitó el anaco negrera!

Fuente citado: ANHQ Fondo Especial, caja 1, vol. 3, #142 (4-x-1643), f. 8iv.

Lane, Kris. "Africans and Natives in the Mines of Spanish America." Restall, Matthew, editor, Beyond Black and Red: African-Native Relations in Colonial Latin America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2005.

By now the Professor Matthew Restall Revolutionary Gang has smashed through their PC enemies' defenses, acquired even more allies from all across the American university political-philosophical spectrum and are even now joyously running amok in their PC enemies' rear!

Don't believe it? Then get a load of the steamy passage cited above, as though it came right out of some high octane Venezuelan novela from years back, like, say, Esa muchacha con los ojos café .

As Lane opens her article, which is chapter 6 of the book, we read:

"In 1643 word reached Quito, modern capital of Ecuador, of a knife fight between two women in the main church of Santa María del Puerto, a small gold-mining camp now called Barbacoas, Colombia. Apparently Juana de la Cruz, a gold mine owner's wife, had attacked an indigenous or mestiza woman named Bárbara Pérez, slashing her across the face with a knife and calling her a variety of names, all beginning with puta ("whore").

"The scuffle, which took place in full view of many witnesses, including a horrified priest and several slaves, was apparently over charges of bona fide prostitution. Doña Juana exclaimed to an alcalde, or town official, who tried to break up the fight: Allow me, Your Mercy, Señor, to settle up with this Indian bitch who let my husband take her skirt off, the little slave trader!

"Various witnesses claimed that they had heard doña Juana's denunciations of Bárbara Pérez at other times."

Boy! And howdy! Paragraph after paragraph. All very fascinating and utterly believable.

Nor is that all, as we read even in Professor Matthew's own Introduction to this same book, which he heads Black Slaves, Red Paint.

"In 1796 a militia unit of 115 free black soldiers arrived in their new home in Yucatan. All had been recruited by and fought for the losing Spanish army in the war over Haiti and Santo Domingo. They had initially been sent to Cuba, but the governor there was unconvinced of their loyalties and ordered them to nearby Yucatan. There the colonial authorites were equally suspicious of the veterans, who were not only black, but most spoke no Spanish. They were therefore settled near the northeast coast of the peninsula, far from the Spanish centers of Mérida and Campeche but close to the colony's vulnerable Caribbean shores where they could be called upon to aid in the defense of the colony.

"Their settlement was named San Fernando de los Negros and was situated in the very center of the ruined ancient Maya city of Ake, dubbed San Fernando Ake after the Spanish Conquest. The original soldier-settlers of 1796 brought their military ranks with them, but over the decades this order fragmented as upstarts and new arrivals claimed military ranks too. The original settlers had been born in New York, Jamaica, and Santo Domingo, as well as African locations such as Congo, Guinea and Senegal [emphasis added]."

In Chapter One, Black Soldiers, Native Soldiers, the joint authors Ben Vinson II and Matthew Restall likewise start out with a bang:

"In 1650, a strong-willed man with vast military experience in the wars of Europe was appointed to the post of governor of Costa Rica. Don Juan Fenández de Salinas y de la Cerda faced a challenging situation. For decades, this sparsely populated colonial holding, which was one of the last regions of Central America to be settled by the Spanish, was plagued with menacing internal disturbances by rebellious indigenous groups. Operating out of the eastern regions along the province's Atlantic coastline were two native groups of particular concern, the Talamanca and the Votos. The new governor's solution was a simple and effective one, original to Costa Rica but tried and true elsewhere in the Spanish colonies. The rebellious natives would be subdued not by the Spaniards, but by soldiers of African descent."

Yes indeedy! Good writing, plus accurate historical reconstruction. Or at least as accurate as is possible under the circumstances.

Believe it. The so-called Professor Matthew Restall Revolutionary Gang's way of doing academic business really rocks! Big time!

Check it out...

Memorial Day 2006. Combat Survivor's War Memories From Hill 185: Nui Loc Son

This Marine Airwing Gunnery Sergeant's photo shows what it was like.

Yours truly was in Fox 1:

Combat zone photos, by yours truly:

To those lucky survivors of the Battle of Bin Son I that kicked off Operation Union on April 21, 1967:

Semper Fi, Brothers!

Special thanks to the ladies of St. Patrick's Altar Society, especially Rosa Thorpe, whose military-related protocol skills enabled her to fit all this in, so that it appeared on their big list included in the cathedral parish bulletin for the 2006 Easter Flower Memorial:

"Vietnam War -- 546 Marines of 2nd. BN, 1st Marine Regt. Commanded by LTC Archie Van Winkle.

World War II --454 Soldiers of 1st BN, 115th Infantry Regt. Commanded by Major Glover S. Johns."

Major [as he was then] Glover S. Johns' famous Ist. Battalion, 115 Infantry, 29th Division, aka The Indestructible Clay Pigeons [of St. Lo]

"From Omaha Beach to the Elbe, this battalion sustained a loss in killed and wounded of 2,384 officers and men -- almost three times its strength. Of these 454 were killed in action. And its commander was commended for taking objectives with minimum losses." This is from the forward to Colonel Glover S. Johns' fascinating book, Clay Pigeons of St. Lo, [UTEP Library, where it is presently "lost!"], by Maj. Gen. William H. Sands, US Army.

Now, using the online data provided by the 2nd. Bn, 1st Marines, aka The Professionals, "Vietnam Wall of Honor," we can deduce, more or less, that:

During their long years of deployment in Vietnam, 2/1 sustained at least 546 Killed in Action (KIA), including some 19 officers ranging from 2nd. Lieutenants to one Lt. Colonel and one Naval Lt. Commander.

If we assume the same ratio of 5.25 wounded Marines to every Marine killed that the Army's famous combat unit, the Ist. Bn, 115th Infantry Regt., suffered among its soldiers from June, 1944 to May, 1945, in World War II, that would give 2/1 a statistical probability of suffering the loss -- whether temporary or permanent -- of 2,867 Marines Wounded in Action, (WIA)

Then, by adding our figure of the total estimated 2/1 wounded Marines, 2,867, to the more or less known 2/1 Marines killed in action, 546, we can be pretty safe in assigning 2/1 an estimated total combat casualty loss of 3,413 casualties during its years of employment in Vietnam.

Sure enough, when we do this, we get a combat loss for the 2nd. Bn Ist Marine Regt. during its Vietnam deployment from 1965 to 1972 (or whenever) of roughly just a bit more than "almost three times its strength," as Maj. Gen. Sands comments about Glover S. Johns' WW II Army Battalion.

Just another little point or two to ponder, before we all head out to the nearest mall for our obligatory Memorial Day Weekend Patriotic Shopping Binge!

Porque para las aguilas no se hicieron las jaulas

Como se ve, no es cierto que madre sólo hay una.
Guadalupe Loaeza, "Las Niñas Bien."


"La generala se refiere luego a como hacía sus expediciones, llevando elementos de guerra. Aseguró que casi cada qince o veinte días, salía para distintos rumbos del Estado, unas veces a bordo de autos, otras en ferrocarril, y llevaba las bolsas de parque y demás elementos de guerra; pero que nunca fue descubierta ni por la policía, ni por las fuerzas federales que perseguían a los rebeldes.

"Habla de sus penalidades por las zonas que recorrió, pero sin que la arredraran.

Ya esperaba yo mi captura -- agrega, -- desde hace algunos días, porque con la muerte de un jefe rebelde cayó en manos de las tropas federales un documento con mi nombre Tesia, y como hubiera temores entre los jefes rebeldes de que pudiera ser capturada, se me obligaba a cambiar de nombre; pero mi amor propio no me permitió hacer ese cambio y continue con el nombre que se me conocía en la revolución.

Por fin, hace tres días, me dedicaba a hacer un bulto con ropa que le iba a enviar al jefe rebelde Bouquet, para el sur del Estado y estaba sentada en la máquina, cuando se presentaron algunas personas que al llamar a la puerta de mi casa, dijeron que iban a revisar la instalación eléctrica, pero yo supuse desde luego que se trataba de la policía.

Pedí a los allí presentes que me enseñaron la orden que llevaban para introducirse a la casa y ellos me mostraron sus credenciales, por lo que confirme que iban a captuarme.

Traté de ocutar (sic.) unas libretas en que llevaba la contabilidad [d]el parque comprado y remitido a los rebeldes, pero una hijita mía, sin saber que yo ya las tenía bien ocultas y que difícilmente las podrían encontrar los policías, las sacó para llevarselas y ocultarlas en otro lugar, siendo descubierta esta maniobra por los agentes.

Fui capturada y conducida a la Inspección de Policía donde fui tratada con toda clase de consideraciones y ahora se me consignó al señor general Aguirre Colorado, de quien he recibido impresión por su caballeroso y muy buena persona.

Lo único que me apena -- dijo -- son tres de mis hijitos que han quedado en su casa bajo el amparo de los criados, únicamente.

Comprendiendo que sería más doloroso que se los llevaran a la prisión para que los viera, y tuvieron que separársele después, no ha querido verlos.

El señor General Aguirre Colorado me decía, -- terminó expresando la generala -- que mandára también a mis hijos, pero yo no le he querido.

En cuanto a mi esposo se encuentra fuera trabajando por la empresa que representa y no sabe nada de mí.

"Hoy se hará la consignación de la señora de Uribe a las autoridades judiciales."


"Whether her [Menchú's] book is true or not, I don't care."

Professor Marjorie Agosin, Spanish department head at Wellesley College.

As John Leo points out in his editorial for U.S. News & World Report, January 25, 1999, "Nobel Prize for Fiction?" there are some disturbing components to the 1983 book Rigoberto Menchú.

Or as he puts it succintly, "the book presents us with two problems: 1) huge portions of it are apparently untrue and 2) a lot of professors who teach it on our campuses don't want to hear objections to the book, or they just say that the truth doesn't matter," aka the so-called UTEP SYNDROME, as appears to be the case with Wellesley College's Professor Agosin in her statement from the same article cited above.

As Leo shrewdly observes, Menchú's "book has strong appeal because it stresses indigenous rights, feminism, identity politics, Marxist class analysis -- virtually the entire bundle of concerns of the campus left."

Enter one David Stoll, "a Middlebury College anthropologist who interviewed over 120 people in Mechú's hometown. According to Stoll's book, Rigoberta Menchú and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans, Menchú was right about the savagery of the Guatemalan military. But people in the village were just as terrified of the guerillas, who introduced political assassination to the area."

As Leo quotes Stoll, who describes himself as a lefty, "When I began to talk about my findings, some of my colleagues regarded them as sacrilegious. I had put myself beyond the pale of decency."


Professor Michael Berube, University of Illinois. "... says he will continue teaching Menchú's autobiography just as he will continue teaching The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin."

Professor Joanne Rappaport, "president of the Society for Latin American Anthropology, told a reporter that Stoll's book is an attempt to discredit one of the only spokespersons of Guatemala's indigenous movement."

Professor John Peeler, "a professor of political science at Bucknell, says that the Latin American tradition of the testimonial has never been bound by the strict rules of veracity that we take for granted in autobiography."

Professor Magdalena Garcia Pinto, "director of women's studies at the University of Missouri, says what Menchú is offering is not mendacity. Rather, it is a narrative about how large communities in the region are/have been oppressed."

Then John Leo makes this provacative statement:

"Why is it not mendacity? Because our campus culture puts more emphasis on voice, narrative, and story than it does on the truth. A growing number of professors accept the postmodern notion that there is no such thing as truth, only rhetoric."

Perhaps a little something to ponder, as UTEP's academic reputation continues its slow, downward spiral.


"La Voz de Chihuahua," jueves 30 de mayo de 1929.

"MEXICO, D.F. MAYO 29. -- De muy buena fuente se sabe que es muy probable que sean regresadas tanto a esta capital como a Colima y Guadalajara, las damas que fueron deportadas a las Islas Marías, por haber comprobado que incurrieron en el delito de sedición, por sus actividades en favor de los rebeldes fanáticos.

"Aun cuando oficialmente nada se dice a este respecto, se sabe que dentro de muy breve plazo, el regreso de las damas deportadas será un hecho, y sus familiares se preparan para ir a recibir las en el Puerto de Manzanillo, con anuncia de las autoridades y con objeto de dar la gracias al Señor Presidente de la República, Licenciado Portes Gil.

"A las damas últimamente acusadas por el delito de rebelión y deportadas a las Islas Marías, se las comprobó que efectivamente desarollaban actividades sediciosas, pero no obstante el Gobierno está dispuesto a dar una muestra de benignidad por tratarse de mujeres."

[???!!! "Mediante la violación, o ¿cómo?"]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


La Rebelión


La Voz de Chihuahua. Martes, 4 de junio de 1929


"México, D.F. junio 3. -- Hoy se recibieron en la Presidencía de la Republica y en la Secretaría de Guerra, telegramas urgentes del General Cedillo, jefe de la campaña contra los criteros(sic.), dando cuenta de que había librado un sangrientisimo combate cerca de Atotonilco, donde fue aniquilado el más grande nucleo de fanáticos que pudo reinirse, habiendo muerto el general en jefe Enrique Gorostieta, aprehendiendosele a todo su estado mayor.

"El señor Presidente ordenó que el cadáver de Gorostieta sea embalsamado y que se remita a la Ciudad de México para entregar lo a sus familiares, para que sean estos quienes le den sepultura.

"Con este derrota a los fanáticos y el arribo a México del Obispo Uranga y que fue a dar parte al Gobierno que pronto estáran en la Capital el delegación apostólico Mons. Ruiz y el Obispo Guizar Valencia, para tratar sobre la forma de someterse el clero al respeto de las leyes vigenes se da por terminada la cuestión religiosa,... [ja, ja, JA!!!!]



Domingo 4 de agosto 1926

"Una gavilla caitneada por el cabecilla Lopez en el arroyo de Guasima, de la jurisdiccióm de Ameca, ... habiendo sido muerte el cabecilla y hechos prisoneros siete bandoleros que fueron muertos al tratar de fugarse." [???!!! No me digas!]



Sábado 18 de mayo de 1929

"Fue en vida uno de los más prominentes miembros del Partida Comunista y figuró como candidato presidencial en la convención.

"Durango, mayo 17 --

"Las autoridades militares de Estado después de haber juzgado sumariamente al líder comunista José Guadalupe Rodriguez, lo fusilaron."



Viernes 10 de mayo de 1929

"El cura rebelde murió a consequencía de las heridas que recibió durante la refriega."


Viernes 2 de agosto de 1929

"El Gral. Figueroa, Jefe de las Operaciones en Jalisco .. En Quila dió alcance al grupo encabezado por el cabecilla 'EL TIZON' a quien con siete de los suyos capturó fusilándolos después de juzgarlos sumariamente."

"En Aguascalientes se rindió al Jefe de las Operaciones el cabecilla Enrique Nieto con veinte hombres entregando además de sus petrechos al subdito Inglés Harvey Haviasele [sic.], a quien trajó plagiado por algún tiempo."

"El Gral. Lázaro Cárdenas, Jefe de las Operaciones en Michoacan, con autorización del Sr. Presidente de la República prorrogó por ocho días el plazo concedido a los rebeldes fanáticos para su rendición."

"Porque para las aguilas no se hicieron las jaulas."

Como se ve, no es cierto que madre sólo hay una -- "Las Niñas Bien"


La Generala de División de los Fanáticos Cuenta Sus Impresiones

Una entrevista sumamente interesante

"La Voz de Chihuahua," domingo, el 16 de junio, 1929


"GUADALAJARA, Jal. Junio 13 -- Ayer por la tarde, el señor general de Brigada don Ernesto Aguirre Colorado, Jefe de la Guarnición de la Plaza, recibió en sus oficinas a la llamada 'generala de división del Ejército Libertador,' Maria Luisa N. de Uribe, quien fue capturada hace dos días por la policía en esta ciudad, en su domicilio y consignada por el Inspector de Policía al propio Jefe de la Guarnición de la Plaza.

"El general Aguirre Colorado procedió a hacer un largo interrogatorio a la detenida, quien en el curso de su declaración, relató sin temores, todo lo que había hecho durante los últimos dos años, ministrando parque y elementos de guerra a los rebeldes en el Estado, y la misión que tenía en el terreno revolucionario.

"Al terminar su interreogatorio el general Aguirre Colorado dispusó a sus subalternos que la señora de Uribe fuera internada en uno de los departamentos de la Jefatura de la Guarnición y que se le guardáran atenciones.

"Algunas horas después de haber sido internada en dicho departamento la señora de Uribe envió al general Aguirre Colorado una carta en que le dice lo siguiente:

Mi General:

Para comenzar a ser buenos amigos, suplico a usted de orden que me permitan salir a los corredores, porque en la pieza en que me encuentro me estoy ahogando, porque para las aguilas no se hicieron las jaulas.

De Ud. Su efectisima Atta. Y S.S., Tesia

"Tesia es el nombre que, según declaró, usaba en campaña y es con el que se dió a conocer ante el Jefe de la Guarnición.

"El general Aguirre Colorado permitió a los periodistas tener una entrevista con la 'generala', acompanándolos hasta el lugar en que se le tiene detenida.

Los periodistas quieren charlas con usted y me han suplicado los conduzca hasta aquí para que les diga si acepta -- Le dice el jefe de la guarnición, y ella contesta con todo gusto, mi general.

"El General Aguirre Colorado trató de retirarse para que habláran con libertad, a lo cual se opusó la detenida, diciendo que lo que tuviera que decir a los chicos de la prensa, lo podía oír el jefe de la Guarnición y que tendría gusto en que el mismo oyera lo que decía en la entrevista.

"Nuestro corresponsal le interrogó sobre el porque llevaba el grado de general de división y cual había sido su actuación.

Soy generala de división -- dijo Tesita -- no precisamente porque he militado en las filas rebeldes, sino porque soy la jefe de las brigadas femeninas del Estado, y además, yo era quien tenía frecuentes entrevistas con los principales jefes rebeldes, para darme cuenta del estado en que estaba la rebelión -- y también para comunicar tales o cuales ordenes y ministrar fondos, parque, ropa y demás pertrechos para la campaña.

Desde hace dos años que vengo yo prestando mi humilde contingente a la revolución; pero de que se me dió el grado de generala solo hace cinco meses. Siempre con fe y con mis absolutos convencimientos, por lograr la libertad de los principios religiosos, he venido exponiendome a sufrir sinsabores y penalidades y más aún, me he desprendido de mi hogar en algunas épocas en que he tenido q'salir fuera a entrevistar a algún jefe rebelde o a llevar alguna cantidad de parque para la campaña.

Con esto, por supuesto, he tenido que verme privada otras tantas temporadas de prestar mis servicios a la revolución y que son precisamente las que pasa mi esposo a mi lado, cuando regresa de alguno de sus viajes, pues él nunca supo que yo dedicara mis energias a la causa que he venido siguiendo, y siendo el agente viajero de una casa comercial de esta ciudad, trataba de ocultarle a toda costa mis desaparaciones temporales al marcharme al campo de lucha.

"La señora de Uribe expresó que su captura se debió a una denuncia que hizo uno de los plagiarios que a últimas fechas fueron capturadas por el señor Arcadio Padilla, Inspector General de Policía.

Ese plagiario, -- dijo -- en épocas no muy lejanas fue amonestado por mí, ya que reprobaba sus procedimientos de estar desarrollando una labor inadecuada a la causa. Nunca he estado ligada con los plagiarios como se ha dicho. Ellos como rebeldes, y yo como colaboradora suya, les insinuaba a que fueran a los campos de lucha y que se quitaran de estar llevando a cabo su labor; pero ellos decían que estaban autorizados por sus jefes para poder sacar fondos para el sostenimiento de los demás muchachos compañeros de la lucha.

"La detenida expresó también en el curso de su conversación que la víspera de su muerte cerca de Atotonilco el jefe principal de la revolución, Enrique Gorztieta, había tenido una entrevista con ella, a media legua de distancia de Ocotlan, en un lugar inmediato a la vía del tren de Atotonilco. Que allí entregó algunos documentos a Goroztieta y al mismo tiempi (sic.) ella recibió alguna cartas de los compañeros que iban con él para traerlas a Guadalajara.

"Agregó que Goroztieta era el mismo tiempo que jefe principal de la revolución, el gobernador civil y que este puesto, según el mismo Goroztieta le decía, lo ocuporía temporalmente."



Por Jesus Pavlo Tenorio, Jueves de Excelsior, año 63 Núm. 3329 Mayo 8 de 1986

"Las expresiones son tan comunes que han alcanzado el honor de ser impublicables; pero cuando un mexicano del grueso de nuestro país decide exaltar la calidad de algo, acude a hacer una analogía entre la madre, en sentido genérico, y la cosa elogiada, diciendo:

Esto está a toda M...

Por el contrario, y de la manera más increíble y paradójica, cuando algo merece el más profundo de sus desprecios, no es raro oírlo exclamar:

A mí me importa M... eso y lo de más allá.

En otro orden de intenciones, en tratándose de insultar a un enemigo gratuito o bien ganado, el mexicano no vacila en echar mano de las mil y una maneras que existen en nuestro florido léxico de la leperada, para ofenderlo, haciendo una ruin alusión a la autora de sus días.

Casi siempre en estos casos, la figura materna queda tan maltratada por el lado sexual que, diríase que una enorme mayoría, por no decir la totalidad de los ofendidos, fueron de padre desconocido.

Surge pues una paradoja en la mentalidad social de nuestro pueblo: ¿cómo es que la madre puede representar para él lo más noble, puro y santo; y a la vez ser objeto para calificar algo deleznable y oprobioso?

Las raíces de este fenómeno son tan profundas que alcanzan al atavismo de la raza. Pues es un hecho que el pueblo mexicano es un pueblo apegado estrechamente, desde el más remoto ayer, a la figura de la madre, y en la misma proporción desligado de la figura paterna. Ya que no es gratuito afirmar que por generaciones enteras, la familia ha girado en torno a la madre, mientras que el padre ausente es la característica más común. Tal vez por ello el festejo del Diez de Mayo ha penetrado en el alma del pueblo, mientras que el Día del Padre (sin fecha precisa para mayor significación) permanece como una decisión arbitaria de las cámaras de comercio.

Ambas celebraciones, ni siquiera entran en competencia: pues en tanto una obedece a algo innato, la otra se parece a aquel juego infantil de lo que hace la mano hace la tras, y ya lo dijo Cervantes, nunca segundas partes fueron buenas. Además, en el amor del hijo por su madre operan realidades indiscutibles. En tanto que en la relación del hijo con su padre, aparecen troqueles que el mexicano común no ha sido capaz de superar."

Fin Parte Uno

Monday, May 22, 2006

Un barco cargado de ... La otra historia de México

por: Armando Fuentes Aguirre, 1992. La Vanguardia de Saltillo, Coahuila, la Republica Mexicana

"Con frecuencia vemos en el cine o en la televisión películas que tratan de la intervención de los Estados Unidos en la política de los países de América Latina. En muchas de esas películas el tema se repite: un gobierno latinoamericano es enemigo de los intereses de los Estados Unidos. Los yanquis entonces dan su apoyo a un movimiento contrario a ese gobierno. Merced a ese respaldo, el movimiento triunfa y se convierte en un gobierno adicto a los norteamericanos, en un instrumento de los Estados Unidos.

"Mutatis mutandi, cambiando lo que hay que cambiar, eso fue exactamente lo que sucedió en México en tiempos de las Guerras de Reforma. El gobierno conservador se opuso terminantemente a los intentos de los Estados Unidos por ganar más territorio y conseciones a costa de México.

"En cambio el partido liberal, con Juárez a la cabeza, se manifestó propicio a favorecer ese interés de los norteamericanos. Los Estados Unidos, entonces, dieron todo su apoyo a Juárez, lo hicieron triunfar sobre los conservadores y tuvieron desde entonces en la administación juarista a un ente adicto que estuvo dispuesto a llegar incluso a la abyección para merecer -- o para pagar -- la ayuda norteamericana.

"Esa, monda y lironda, es la verdad de los acontecimientos que determinaron la historia de nuestro país en aquellos años cruciales. Con mucha frecuencia Juárez tuvo en contra a la ley, la cual violaba sin padecer muchos escrúpulos. Siempre tuvo en su contra don Benito a la inmensa mayoría del pueblo mexicano, que consideraba las leyes de Reforma como violento ataque a lo más caro que tenía: su religión.

"A cambio de eso Juárez tuvo a su favor dos factores importantes. El primero (muy teórico), fue la corriente de la Historia. Los conservadores miraban a la tradición, a la conservación del statu quo, de viejos privilegios -- sobre todo los de la Iglesia Católica -- que en casi todos los países civilizados habían ya abolidos.

" Por el contrario los liberales, con Juárez a su frente, miraban hacia el Progreso y luchaban por establecer en México instituciones que, aunque [los] eran ajenas por completo, pertenecían a la modernidad.

"El segundo factor (este muy práctico) que Juárez tuvo a su favor fue el respaldo de los Estados Unidos. Sin el apoyo de los americanos Miramón habría hecho trizas a don Benito en Veracruz tal como había destrozado a los jefes liberales en todas partes donde los combatió. En la lucha entre Juárez y Miramón el fiel de la balanza se hubiese inclinado en favor de los conservadores si no es porque el peso de la intervención americana hizo que los acontecimientos favorecieran al fin de cuentas a Juárez y los suyos.

"Bella y sonora es la frase que González Bocanegra dirige a la Patria en nuestro precioso himno nacional:

"Que en el cielo tu eterno destino por el dedo de Dios se escribió. Hermosa y vibrante, sí, es la frase. Por desgracia en más de una ocasión el destino de México no ha sido escrito por el dedo de Dios, sino por el de los Estados Unidos. Tal es el caso de los sucesos acaecidos en aquel año de 1859: arrinconado en Veracruz veía Juárez cómo iban acabando los últimos restos del movimiento de resistencia liberal. En su auxilio vino el poder yanqui, que salvó a Juárez y lo sacó adelante....

Por desgracia en más de una ocasión el destino de México no ha sido escrito por el dedo de Dios, sino por el de los Estados Unidos.

-- Armando Fuentes Aguirre - - Saltillo, México, La Vanguardia, Primavera, 1992.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Armed Forces Day, May 20, 2006

For me personally, it means thinking a bit about my own first year -- plus a week or two extra -- of Marine infantry combat, from November, 1966 to December 1967, with the Ist Squad, Ist. Platoon, Fox Company, 2nd. Bn. First Marine Regiment, FMF Wes PAC, Vietnam I Corps Tactical Zone.

During that time my squad actually took less than its full share of the total Fox Company KIAs for that same period, KIAs that amounted to at least 45, equal to an entire platoon of US Marine infantry, less of course! Weapons attachments.

With a total of nine rifle squads, reinforced with weapons attachments in three platoons, 45 total KIAs is equal to a rough statistical average of 5 Marines Killed in Action per squad.

And good people, that means what it says, not just Wounded in Action or WIA, but Killed in Action, or KIA.

At any rate here's where we'd like to remember especially our own squad's wounded and fallen, who across nearly four decades of time still seem young, both in memories and in dreams:

1) L/Cpl. Pablo Rene Gonzalez July 18, 1967. KIA Gunshot wounds
2) Pfc. Harold Snyder, Jr. August 1, 1967 KIA Gunshot wounds
3) Cpl. Gary Frank Dissinger October 27, 1967 KIA Land Mine

Severely Wounded in Action, WIA, First Squad Personnel

1) L/Cpl James Moran July 18, 1967 WIA AK-47 round through right upper thigh.

2) Cpl. Ernie Stemsgar, July 18, 1967, WIA AK-47 round right smack through his left breast, just below the heart, from what I could see.

Died later on, on subsequent combat tour:

4) Cpl. Dennis Rae Maxwell: December 19, 1968 Freak accident

Best squad leader of First Squad, First Platoon, Fox Company

That legendary Tennessean buck sergeant E-5, Sergeant Otis Lovejoy, he who had been on joint training exercises with elements of the French Foreign Legion on the Mediterranean island of Corsica in 1963, scarcely a year from the time they were pulled out of the still-smoking hot battlefields of Algeria in old French North Africa in June of 1962.

Best Platoon Right Guide of First Platoon, Fox Company

The Canadian buck sergeant E-5, Sergeant Bernard Terhorst, he who "out Forrested Gump" at the Battle of Bin Son I, April 21, 1967, and got the Silver Star for doing so. Ironically, he wasn't wounded at Bin Son I, but was shortly after, taking what he believed was an SKS round right through one of his canteens, which deflected it into the flesh of his upper hip, instead of smashing a bone. Thus, he was out of the hospital in time to receive both his Silver Star and Purple Heart at the same Fox Company ceremony.

Best Platoon Sergeant of First Platoon, Fox Company

That tough, lean, tow-headed and taciturn hardcase combat veteran from the Korean War, Staff Sergeant E-6 Gutherie, cherished M-1 Carbine and banana clip forever at his side, a quiet and intense gaze likewise forever in his eyes. Kept to himself both physically and psychologically, and thereby gained the reputation of having one hell of a good Korean War combat record, odd though this may seem. His fellow NCOs and junior officers both left him strictly alone. I don't recall ever hearing him raise his voice, yet given the hypothetical for instance where he might have chosen to say a few words to one Pfc Dennis Paul Morony, you can just bet you life on it that 'ole Dennis listened.

Ist. Platoon Second Lieutenants commanding, during my tour of duty with Fox Co, 2/1:

1) 2nd. Lt George Mallon: Made First Lt. in time to narrowly miss the bloody pitched Battle of Bin Son I, April 21, 1967, where the other 8 Fox company rifle squads -- reinforced - sustained 33 KIAs and 56 WIAs in a frontal assault against an estimated battalion of tough, dedicated bo-doi "infantry," well dug-in, of the 3rd. NVA Regiment of the 2nd. PAVN/ NVA Division, 'way, 'way down in the Valley of the Song Ly Ly, sometimes called Que Son Valley, heading into the foothills of the Annamite Chu Mountains, leading in turn ever westward into Laos.

2) 2nd. Lt. Byron Morrow Speer: [tentative identity] June 13, 1967 KIA Gunshot wounds.

3) 2nd. Lt. James Joseph Mallon, Jr.: October 24, 1967 KIA Land Mine

4) 2nd. UNKNOWN (?): December 1967 or January 1968, WIA Mortar shrapnel, while leading a counter attack, presumably on north slope of Con Thien, after I'd left for home, never really had the chance to know him that well.

Best Fox Company First Sergeant during my tour

WW II veteran, First Sergeant E-8 Claud Thorpe, a genial grey eyed, pipe smoking first sergeant with a receding chin that belied what he called his 22 years of Marine Corps active duty. Since this was just before Thanksgiving, 1966, "Top" Thorpe would more than likely have come on duty most likely right after high school graduation in the spring of 1944. He was uncanny in his predictions as to the eventual destiny of all 8 of us replacements, speaking to us as a group. As I recall, this is roughly what he was telling us, in a slow, low matter-of-fact voice:

"Gentlemen, I see there are eight of you. The way things are running here these days at least 1 of you will be going home in a pine box, 2 more will be wounded, but recover, etc..." Wanna bet we weren't paying attention? You're damn well right we were. Why? Because First Sergeant Claud Thorpe knew what he was talking about.

Best Fox Company Gunnery Sergeant during my tour

[An E-7 slot. Corresponds roughly to what we've been told is a US Army Field First Sergeant]

Gunnery Sergeant E-7 Alex Romero. Badly shot up in burst of machinegun fire in the abdomen, whether in WW II, Korea, or who knows where -- nobody seemed to be sure, -- he was a tough no nonsense staff NCO. But the scars were still hideous none the less in 1966. "Gunny" Romero went on to seize the reins of the shattered remnants of Fox Company on April 21, 1967. Although badly wounded yet again himself, Romero refused medical evacuation until such wounded as could be were evacuated first. Supposedly he was recommended for Navy Cross, but so far I've not be able to verify whether or not he got it.

Best Fox Company Commander during my tour

1) Captain (later Maj. General) Gene Deegan: April 21, 1967 WIA Gunshot wounds, "They knicked my liver," as he was quoted later as telling a book writer. He personally led the frontal assault at Bin Son I.

Best 2/1 Battalion Commander during my tour

1) Lt. Colonel Archie Van Winkle, MOH: Fall of 1950,WIA from Red Chinese "potato masher" grenade* while leading a desperate counter attack against oncoming enemy hordes on some frozen piece of nowhere north of the 37th parallel during the Korean War (1950-1953). Likewise his ribbons seemed to indicate he had fought in WW II, too. He managed to be, all at the same time, tough, quiet, yet unbelievably flamboyant. I had a lot of personal, up front respect and affection for him, as did most all of us. Damn! But he barely pulled us out of harms way in time after that hairy multi-battalion raid we pulled deep into the canopy rain forest during Operation Medina, October, 1967. We were dropped in by Sikorsky 34's, but fought our way back out the old fashioned way.

* "Humm.. uh-huh! So maybe that's why he needed some help from yours truly -- in getting over an enormous log -- like maybe two(2) meters in diameter, laying across our trail during that super-fast withdrawal on the last day of Operation Medina.That, plus he insisted on carrying his enormous Alaskan-style yellowish and tan colored tubular back pack."

So, anyhow, Happy Armed Forces Day 2006, all you guys and gals serving in harms way in any fleet, land and air units, and especially for you gyrenes fighting who knows where these days, because as the old song says it best:

So, here's health to you and to our Corps,
Which we so proudly serve,
In many a fight we've fought for life,
But never lost our nerve,

If the Army and the Navy,
Ever look on heaven's scene,
They'll find the streets are guarded,
By United States Marines!


Mejor tarde que nunca! Feliz día de las madres!

Como nos dice Guadalupe Loaeza en su libro exitoso, Las Niñas Bien, "La publicidad solía pintarnos a las madres como dulces cabecitas blancas rodeadas del cariño de los hijos. Pero esa bellísima imagen no corresponde a todos los modelos de madre. Hay varios. Veamos aquí algunos ejemplos, describiendo su corportamiento en el día más bello del calendario."

Saludamos a todos, por supuesto, pero mientras tanto con respeto especial hacia las Doñas Rosa Thorpe, Millie Arroyo, Estela Murga, Blanca Abraham, Mary "Betsy" Robinett, Edna Rocha, Mary Margaret Uhrig, Corazón Bartolome, Maricarmen De la Vega Salcido, Dolores de la Vega, Barbara Fineron, Cynthia Monteros, Mary Ann Brittain, Emma Torres, Robin Rodriquez, más su suegra, también muy amena, Jackie Corpus, Crystal J. Bustillos, Claudia Gonzalez etc. de nuestra parroquia de San Patricio, más Rachel Cano, Rosie Villegas, Eva Coy, Linda Wallace, Rosa 'Cruz??', Beatríz y Oralia Tamez, Marta Caballero, Margarita Perez, Rebecca Balli etc. de las fabulosas clases preparatorias de la generación de mil novecientos sesenta y seis, de Donna, Texas y PSJA, más Frances de Starbucks, igual a Maritza, encargada de la Onda Nueva Estudiantil, Karla Garduño, de Copy Poco, más Teresa Salgado, Amanda Estrada, Gabriela Ballard, Maxie Starr, Sugue, Ines Estorga, Yessica Brito, Diana Savina, igual a Edna y todo su equipo del departamento de la orientación estudiantil, más las damas encargadas con el tal vez mejor departamento, y con el equipo de apenas 89 empleados que son simplemente los trabjadores -- damas y caballeros -- más desempeñosos y productivos de la Universidad de Texas, El Paso: platequemos pues de las damas licenciadas Margarita De Nova y Rosa L. Torres, más a todas sus empleadas, damas jovenes también -- y igualmente de muy buena onda -- porque cada quien de las cuales nunca hace falta en su otro papel tan importante, el papel exitoso de ser madre de familia.

"Como se ve, no es cierto que madre sólo hay una."

Madre cursi!

"La mamá cursi se despierta muy tempranito sintiéndose más que nunca la estrella del hogar. Se mete al baño, se da una peinadita y con un pincel se pone unas ligeras chapitas. Baja a desayunar con su "mañanita" color durazno y con cara de moño espera a los niños y a su marido. Cuando ya están todos juntos, le cantan Las Mañanitas. Ella las escucha de la mano de papá y de las más pequeña. De pronto, deja escapar una leve lágrima y dice: Ustedes son mi mejor regalo. Todos la abrazan y le dan los mejores obsequios, que realmente esperaba: un reloj Pelletier de París, una sanduichera Osterizer y una blusa de seda italiana de la boutique Frattina. La más chiquita le regala un marco en forma de corazón hecho en el colegio con pasta de sopa, y abrazándole muy fuerte le dice: Mami, te quiero mucho."

Madre liberada!

"Estas mamás son de la buena onda; por lo general se burlan de este día y procuran no festerjarlo. Niños, ya me voy a una asamblea. Allí se cocinan lo que hay en el refrigerador. Si viene su papá, digánle que llego hasta la noche. Si salen, cierren bien la puerta y no se propasen con las novias. A ustedes, niñas, sí les doy permiso de propasarse, sugieron alegremente."

Madre insegura!

"'¿De veras me lo festejan a mí en lo personal, o nada más conservan la tradición?', les preguntan a sus hijos antes de abrir sus regalos. Cuando los ven preguntan: ¿Estaba de barata? Me regalan porque les doy lástima, ¿verdad? Porque ya me ven muy vieja y creen que me voy a morir muy pronto, ¿verdad?'"

Madre mala y amargada!

"A regañadientes acepta ir a comer al restaurante. Allí a las hijas casaderas les dice con toda su amargura: Tus amigas casadas ahorita están con sus hijos y sus ma-ri-dos. Tú y ano estás para escoger, estás para arrebatar lo que haya. Cuando yo tenía tu edad, ya habían nacido Rafaelito y Carmelita. Cuando por fin logra hacerlas llorar, agrega: ¿Para esto me invitaron a comer? ¿Para hacerme pasar corajes? Mira nada más que fea te ves llorando. Así ¿quién se va a querer casar contigo?, pregunta con una sonrisita."

Pero! Sobre todo! Contamos -- por lo menos a veces, ¿no? -- con aquella campeona conocida sencillamente como la madre mexicana, muy del estilo de La India Maria en sus papeles exitosos del cine como Duro, pero Seguro, La Ley de Herodes, y -- sobre todo! -- Mi Buena Comadre que Lleva la Plancha.

Madre realizada y feliz!

"Cuando se despiertan, gritan felices desde su recámara: Gorditos, ya pueden entrar. Mis chaparritos lindos, trépense a la cama para que nos apapachemos todos juntos con papi. Cuando ya están todos trepados, no cesan de darles a sus hijos muchos besitos; los pellizcan, les hacen cosquillas y entre carcajadas les dicen: Mis hijitos preciosos, cuando ustedes estaban en mi panza, yo era la mujer más feliz del mundo, y ahora soy la mamá más feliz del universo. Este día, a estas mamás tan felices les da por cocinar pasteles. Todo el día cantan. Y por la noche en su cama le dan gracias a Dios por haberles concedido el milagro de ser madres."

!!! Felicidades a todas ustedes y si Dios quiere allá nos vemos !!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Curse of those Two Green Doo Wah Diddy Ribbons VI

!! Grand Finale !!

Not only were we all excited about our pending trip by bus to the Edson Rifle Range, but more, we were given a sober message by none other than Staff Sergeant E-6 José Padilla himself, in person.

And the substance of that message was this: he had put his own reputation on the line along with that of the Bright Boys.

Because, as he matter of factly told us, he had bet his rivals in Platoons Ten Twenty Six, Ten Twenty Seven and Ten Twenty Eight, an entire fifty-five dollar case of quality bourbon that "his" Bright Boys of Ten Twenty Five would set a new rifle range record for Camp Pendleton's Edson Range.

As indeed they did! Well ... humm.. yeah, o.k.? Like sort of, if you follow my drift? Like you know? Cool?

Because, truth to tell, when the morning of Qualifying Day arrived two weeks -- or more -- from the start of Marksmanship Training we started out all pumped up and on a roll.



Platoon Ten Twenty Five's roll ended up in the proverbial whimper.


That's right!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!

"Oh, my! Oh, my goodness! Who could have foreseen such a disaster?"

Because, yes indeedy! MCRD Recruit Platoon 1025 woundup with the highest percentage of non-qualifying shooters out of any recruit training platoon in recorded Marine Corps rifle range history -- at least up to that specific date in time, July, 1966.

Better than fifteen out of seventy-five shooters failed to achieve even the minimum score of 190 points out of the 250 needed qualify for the Toilet Seat as the Marksmanship Medal was disparagingly called.

And to add insult to injury, the Bright Boys waxed any and all competition by claiming close to 12 of those unenviable slots for their exclusive selves.

What happened was this: all of us lesser lights shot on the first string. In doing so we laid down a respectable base of at least the minimum Toilet Seat - winning score of 190. Then, all pumped up and on a roll after the final 500 meter event, prone, where even clowns like me shot an average of, say, 47 out of 50, we jumped up on command, slung our heavy duty kick-ass M-14s, and dog trotted 500 meters down range through a dimly lighted tunnel to finally jump into the trenches holding the Dog and Able targets.

It was now our turn to be pulling butts, marking hits, and Red Flagging Maggie's Drawers.

If ancient tradition is to be credited, the original owner of Maggie's Drawers got started on her para-military career as nothing less than Amsterdam's legendary queen of the Aych-oh Dsitrict, DBA'ing her little heart out as Queen Hard Faced Hannah.

Coming to America towards the end of the second half of the Nineteenth Century, she quickly gained a respectable position as a personal secretary to some money hungry big wig in Washington, D.C., and I'm sure we all know how that goes!

Especially when his office turned out to be close by to that world famous Marine Barracks at Eight & Eye.

Anyhow, what was supposed to happen at Qualifying Day at Edson Range was that the Bright Boys would come ditty-bopping up to the 200 meter off-hand firing line doing the College Man's Strut. They would then pivot smartly around, on command, and then .... then, what ?


We say, because, apparently what actually happened is that the whole mob lost it. Big time! Starting with our own fearless UT Austin offensive lineman from the UT fall lineup of 1965, who seemed in such a trance state that he never noticed his rear sight screw was literally gone.

Then, seeing the Big Guy take a dive, the rest of the Bright Boys fell into a panic, and fell back on their pack instincts like so many Duke University Lacrosse players.

Thus, while they pointed their rifles more or less in the right direction, the Bright Boys seemed to have indeed closed both eyes and banged away. Right in the face of any number of astonished and outraged marksmanship coaches, not to mention our equally fearless Platoon Marksmanship Instructor -- or PMI for short -- Corporal Wade, plus assorted homicidally choleric DIs, etc.

And talk about finally getting themselves a so-called Liberal Education as a consequence!

When the sky caved in on them that same afternoon those who had yawned their way through their Modern History of France courses themselves got an opportunity to vividly recreate the era of of, say, five years earlier in July of 1961.

That would have been when the NCOs in charge of the French Foreign Legion's famous training center at Sidi Bel Abbes in Algeria in old French North Africa still taught their more sullen and truculent charges the fine art of "swimming in the sand!"

Only, thanks to both Staff Sergeant Hatton and Sergeant Velorio, both of whom were given this exacting -- if perhaps histrionic task -- our -- by now former Bright Boys -- got the enviable chance to go like 'way, 'way beyond the French Foreign Legion's down home "motivational exercises of sand swimming" of five years earlier by doing their very own "sand-eating crab's crawl self-motivational exercises" face down and actually eating it!

How all this had the desired effect of helping certain personality types come to terms with -- as well as assisted them individually in adequately addressing -- their burning personal issues can be easily imagined.

In fact, any number of those formerly -- if allegedly -- still Mother Fixated Bright Boys of the Summer of Nineteen Sixty Six as much as told the rest of us so.

That is to say, those lucky ones who could still talk coherently through a mouthful of all -American sand.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, little boys and girls, herein finally ends this whimsical little tale of how yet another generation of Peter Pans finally lost their wings.

The Old Fashioned Way!