The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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A Dispassionate Sociology
For seventeen years Violeta and I lived in town or in Guadalajara and had nothing to do with gated communities. We regarded these as custodial institutions for people who didn’t want to be in Mexico but liked the weather and cheap gardeners. For strange reasons irrelevant here, a year or so ago we moved to... Read More
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If President Trump doesn’t waver, his border deal with Mexico will be a victory. The Mexicans have agreed to quit serving as conduits to hundreds of thousands of central Americans headed for the U.S.A. Despite protests from Democrats, stateside—Mexico has agreed to significantly increase enforcement on its borders. At first, Mexico was as defiant as... Read More
Border crossing at Juarez, 2012
Last month, I received an email from a young Mexican, “I am a DREAMER (I find the term infantilizing) someone who was brought to the U.S as a child illegally and raised here. I received a work permit through DACA, I can only work legally, I can't step out of the country and step back... Read More
On a sunny day Violeta and I will inhabit our faithful CRV and wander about, without being excessively directed toward anywhere in particular, along the south shore of Lake Chapala, maybe striking off randomly in search of interesting pueblos. Warm wind. Ranchera music. There are roads good and bad fraught with minor adventures and curiosities.... Read More
As mentioned in Radio Derb, the Mrs. and I took a break in Cancún, Mexico the first week of December. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time; nothing much out of the ordinary, just five days in a very nice hotel (this one) lounging on the beach and poolside, with side trips to Mayan ruins and... Read More
Violeta on the Face The Nation set at CBS DC. Is nothing sacred?
Not Up There with Marco Polo, But the Best We Can Do
Today, nothing shocking. You won’t need your fibrillator. Some not-too-coherent thoughts from south of the border: In Guadalajara near the US Consulate there is the Estación de Lulio, an open walled restaurant, cafe and wine bar sort of place with unencrypted Wifi. Early on I could never remember the name and so began calling it... Read More
venezuelarefugees
The victory of Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) in the recent Mexican presidential election likely means an increase in immigration to the United States. AMLO has called immigration a “human right that we will defend” and will probably continue the Mexican government’s meddling in American affairs. AMLO has also reportedly promised to demand “respect” from... Read More
Being as I am a self-appointed explicator of things Latin to Americans curious about what lies to the south, and has come north, I occasionally and in a scattershot and prejudiced manner try to offer a picture of life below the border. There is more to the place than narcos and MS-13. If I lived... Read More
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Some Stuff Worth Knowing
For Americans concerned about Mexico and Mexicans, and what sort of wights they be, a little history may help. We seem to know almost nothing about a bordering nation of 130 million. It is not what most of us think it is. It is certainly not what the Loon Right would have us believe. For... Read More
A Study of Northern Inattention
In America two narratives about Mexico dominate. The first, chiefly emanating from anti-immigrant ideologues who usually have never been here, holds that Mexicans have low IQs and cannot function at other than a primitive level. Breitbart News and something called Vdare are chief among these. They don’t quite expect to find all Mexicans either robbing... Read More
A Preliminary to Going into Hiding
To understand many Mexican attitudes toward the United States and immigration, you have to go back to the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, of which most Americans have never heard. The United States attacked Mexico in a war of territorial acquisition, occupied Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona, and drove south to conquer Mexico City. It... Read More
Tepotzotlán, 2017
One Friday, Jonathan Revusky and I went to see lucha libre. On a night featuring Valiente, Mistico, Misterioso, Rey Cometa, Euforia, Rush, Virus, Fuego, Stigma, The Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Tiger and Puma, etc., Arena Mexico only truly erupted at the appearance of Samuel Polinsky, a 6-foot-4, bleached blonde 28-year-old from Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Before arriving... Read More
Mexico City, 2017
Jonathan Revusky and I were in Mexico City for eight days. Though Jon had been there twice, this was my first taste of this extremely complex, exhilarating and sophisticated metropolis. For $85 a night, we had a spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Cuauhtémoc. It was cheaper than, say, Spokane, yet here we were in a... Read More
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With Trump it is difficult to tell bluster and carney-barker showmanship from serious consideration or actual intention. While clearly a threat, the remark may have been intended only to intimidate, and the ascription of cowardice to the Mexican army only ill-bred. Trump’s military record leaves no doubt as to his own courage. Given his administration’s... Read More
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I bow (in case you were wondering) to no one in my loathing for the Clintons, the Establishment, the Beltway Insulates, political correctness, BLM, radical feminists, the controlled media, Obama, Wall Street, neocons, Social-Justice Look-at-Mes, and the New York Oligarchs. After the election, I figured, having no choice anyway, to see what Trump actually did.... Read More
In accepting the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto to fly to Mexico City, the Donald was taking a major risk. Yet it was a bold and decisive move, and it paid off in what was the best day of Donald Trump's campaign. Standing beside Nieto, graciously complimenting him and speaking warmly of Mexico and... Read More
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Following Donald J. Trump's sublime immigration address, critics—essentially all Big, Crooked Media—charged that Trump's Arizona speech represented a sharp departure from the tone he took earlier that day, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. A reversal, if you will. Nonsense. With President Nieto, Donald Trump was at once patriotic, forceful and diplomatic. In close to... Read More
Capitalist expansion and the explosion of class struggles in Mexico follow a very distinct trajectory. Large scale, long-term foreign investment in minerals and land from the late 19th to early 20th century based on high intensity exploitation, set the stage for the Mexican Revolution. The correlation of forces shifted dramatically in favor of peasant armies,... Read More
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Did the DEA hijack Sean Penn’s expedition to El Chapo’s lair in order to implant a tracking device? Before readers roll their eyes at the prospect of such elaborate and reckless derring-do, consider the little-known scope and intensity of US military and law enforcement activities south of the border when it comes to nailing somebody... Read More
Somewhere in Michoacán. A beer, the ocean, and nobody else in sight. ViFoto
I get a fair amount of mail wanting to know about expatriation to Mexico, whether it is a good idea, what it is like, and how to do it. I have consequently flung together the following to satisfy this curiosity. I hope it serves. Mexico is a friendly, courteous, flavorful country. It appeals to the... Read More
I’m going to break something. Or maybe kick the dog. Sometimes it seems to me that I am the only gringo on this whole sorry planet who does not think Mexicans are scum–filthy, perverted, and witless. They are not, dammit. If you want to criticize Mexico, stick to facts, such as that it is corrupt... Read More
trip-mazatlan
Vi and I had been talking of taking a couple of weeks to cruise Mexico and in particular Baja California, but hadn’t, for all the reasons and tribulations that afflict humanity. Finally we just hopped into the CRV and went. Wing it, figure it out when we got there, wherever “there” was. Reason, planning, and... Read More
Enough. I shall go deep into the Okefenokee Swamp, dwell in a hut of clay and wattles made, and live on crocodile meat and watermelons. The modern world is too much for me. I have just read ¡Adios, America! by Ann Coulter, and discovered that Mexico, my current home, is a suppurating moral sore where... Read More
A Surfeit of Bile
Permit me a searing insight (the only kind this column has.) Hispanics, particularly Mexicans, are and will be a large part of America. The Fat Lady has sung. It might therefore be a good idea to know something about them, what they are and are not, and what they may do. Oddly, I encounter little... Read More
One of the mysteries of our era is why there seems to be no learning curve in Washington. Over thelast 13 years, American wars and conflicts have repeatedly helped create disaster zones, encouraging the fragmentation of whole countries and societies in the Greater Middle East and Northern Africa. In the process, such American wars, drone... Read More
The Failed War on Drugs in Mexico (and the United States)
They behead people by the hundreds. They heap headless, handless bodies along roadsides as warnings to those who would resist their power. They havepenetrated the local, state, and national governments and control entire sections of the country. They provide employment and services to an impoverished public, which distrusts their actual government with its bitter record... Read More
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Gray Matter in a Brown Package
Latinos are now seventeen percent of the population, and the president is doing everything he can to increase that proportion. Will they assimiliate successfully? There are many reasons for suspecting that they will not, and others for suspecting that they will. A crucial sub-question is whether they are as intelligent as whites. Many quietly think... Read More
Some people would tell you that a modest-sized group of mostly indigenous people in a poor Mexican state on the Guatemalan border doesn’t matter, but that would be the voice of those who don’t understand how a revolution can work and what victory can mean. The Zapatistas have been a great inspiration to movements globally... Read More
A Glimpse into the Zapatista Movement, Two Decades Later
Growing up in a well-heeled suburban community, I absorbed our society’s distaste for dissent long before I was old enough to grasp just what was being dismissed. My understanding of so many people and concepts was tainted by this environment and the education that went with it: Che Guevara and the Black Panthers and Oscar... Read More
Introduction: The privatization of Mexico’s state petroleum and electrical enterprises has profound negative political consequences, both internally and in terms of its foreign policy. Most critical scholars and journalists have focused on the negative economic consequences of privatization and denationalization, drawing attention to the loss of revenues, profits, employment and control over national resources (“dependency”).... Read More
Musings of a Southward Bent
For many, Mexico remains a land of Pedro sleeping away his days leaning against an adobe hut, sombrero pulled low over his face, with a burro drowsing nearby. Apparently this is actually belived. An American woman of immoderate idiocy once asked me by email whether Mexico had paved roads.Such folk seem to have in mind,... Read More
Interview with mexican ABC Radio - Audio in Spanish Primera parte: (La entrevista comienza en el minuto 2:20) Segunda parte: Tercera parte:
The Crowdedest Fifty People Known to Man
I belong to a list-serve of exceedingly bright people (I am not one of them) to include Ivy profs, who believe that IQ largely determines human destiny. This is in part I suspect because IQ is something they have, but it is possible that I am being snide in this. They regard as canonical the... Read More
Penetrating Commentary on American Social Policy
Don Felipe Gonzalez entered this curious world in 1927 in Sagrada Familia, a poor section of Guadalajara. It was not a good year to be poor in Mexico, seventeen years after the demise of the Porfiriata and a year into the Cristero war. His father was brutal, below animalic, and beat the family. Food was... Read More
Understanding Priorities
It was getting late in Ajijic when Vi and I headed for the Camaleon. The narrow streets were empty and somber. Gringos do not go out as much as they once did now that the narco wars have reached the town. Light and music poured from the door. For some reason I thought of what... Read More
Maybe, Anyway
“A lot can happen in a decade,” said Fred with his characteristic and astonishing insight. When I arrived in Mexico going on ten years ago, it was a mildly sleepy upper-Third World country, whatever that means—corrupt but not dangerous, not rich but hardly poor, barely middle-class overall and climbing, the mañana thing seldom noticeable, and... Read More
One Man's Angle on Mexico
You need to know about Braco the Bar Dog. You may not think you need to know about him. Ha! This column shares the spirit of federal authoritarianism burgeoning up north. We will tell you what you need to know. (You may address me as “Mommy, sir.”) Anyway, Braco. On the north shore of Lake... Read More
"Business is Booming"
Imagine what your reaction would be if the Mexican government agreed to pay Barack Obama $1.4 billion to deploy US troops and armored vehicles to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to conduct military operations, set up check points, and engage in fire-fights that end up killing 35,000 US civilians on the streets of American... Read More
In May 2011, Mexican investigators uncovered another mass clandestine grave with dozens of mutilated corpses; bringing the total number of victims to 40,000 killed since 2006 when the Calderon regime announced its “war on drug traffickers”. Backed by advisers, agents and arms, the White House has been the principal promotor of a ‘war’ that has... Read More
Nah. No market for it.
I have been reflecting on the curious ideas of Mexico common in the US, the routine factual inaccuracy, and the clotted hatred existing among nativists represented by such as Fox News. Some of it is the natural intolerance of a naïve Anglo population that has historically hated blacks, Amerindians (the only good one being a... Read More
Cops Arrest 450 Suspects to Avenge Death of Colleague
When police use their power to carry out personal vendettas, innocent people suffer. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies conducted a massive nationwide roundup of drug trafficking suspects this week, arresting more than a 450 people on narcotics-related charges. The sweeps, which were dubbed Operation Fallen Hero, were a response to the killing of... Read More
15 Men Decapitated in Acapulco
Fifty one people were killed over the weekend in drug-related violence across Mexico. In the beach resort of Acapulco, a gruesome record was set when the bodies of 15 men were found in a local shopping center all of whom had been decapitated. Their severed heads were clumped together nearby. The flurry of homicides add... Read More
Quick and Dirty
Mexico, as seen from the north shore of Lake Chapala.. This ain't literature, but may be interesting. I get a fair amount of mail asking what Mexico is really like, some of it worried about the drug wars. The wars exist, though so far with little effect on the expats here. I don't downplay the... Read More
Why We Ought to Think, but Won't
Things change. They change. I arrived in Mexico some seven years ago amid dire warnings from all and sundry that I would instantly die of foul disease, tramplling by burros, and splashing sanguinary crime. All of this I regarded as nonsense, because it was. The State Department issued travel warnings and similar alarums, but State... Read More
Class, Struggle, Represion and the Rise of Narco-Power
The recovery and reconstruction of Mexico, begins with strengthening the social fabric of Mexican society – the promotion of the urban and social movements and in particular the mass democratic trade unions like the SME. There is a direct relation between the rise of criminal gangs, the deepening of neo-liberalism and the repression of social... Read More
Yet Again
Mexico, if left alone, would be a reasonably successful and stable country of the upper Third World. It isn’t Haiti, isn’t Bangla Desh, isn’t a dying patient with multiple tubes in every orifice. If not strong-armed into chaos, it would be all right. But the United States won’t leave it alone. Washington is pushing it... Read More
Why the Death Toll in Juarez Will Continue to Rise
Last Saturday, a US consulate employee and his pregnant wife were gunned down in their SUV in Ciudad Juarez while their seven month old baby watched from the backseat. Just minutes later, another consulate employee was killed at point-blank range in the northern part of the city. Both shootouts took place in broad daylight and... Read More
Who Could Have Thought It?
I have a confession to make to my readers. I have been lying about Mexico. Yes. I am a poor sinner and meant no harm, but the devil got into me, and I have done wrong. I have said that Mexico was a pleasant country of agreeable people, and harmless. I have said that children... Read More
Notes From an Unknown Planet
I read with horror that Hillary Clinton, posing as the Secretary of State, has been in Mexico talking with Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s president, about “the problem of drugs.” Horror is the reasonable response whenever an American official is allowed to pass beyond the beltway. Or stay within it. They never know what they are doing.... Read More
Brain Rot, Aphasia, and God Knows What. Maybe Brain Worm.
Damn. The longer I live in Mexico, the more I realize that I know less about it than people who don’t. Apparently it is a far simpler country than the one I live in, being summed up by pat assertions, neat statistics, and confident descriptions often bearing little resemblance to anything I see. Curious: Almost... Read More
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