Guns in Mexico by Foxfier


Guns in Mexico by Foxfier

If anybody here doesn’t know– the border towns are getting rather ugly. Mostly it’s a matter of gangs moving in and throwing their weight, which I’m sure is a great comfort to the hundreds dead just across the border from one of the lowest crime cities in the USA….

Obama rather famously tried to blame the violence on guns. As an excuse to remove guns from folks up here, of course. Even though we have more guns, and less violence. It’s almost like it matters who has the guns….

I just ran into an article that makes it clear this is a golden example of why they always say “guns,” rather than looking at if it’s possible to have legally owned guns and how common that is.

(Warning, Borderland Beat is basically just translating with a little commentary, and some of the folks there see nothing especially wrong with cartels, homicide and all. And don’t get me started on the comments.)

The current number of registered arms in the hands of private individuals is only 3, 153 in the entire country of Mexico. The Ministry of National Defense has only granted 68 such licenses of that type to 2016, but, in exchange programs during the sexennium, it has collected more than 93,000 weapons of war, mainly delivered by heads of households; another 28,000 weapons were secured during arrests.

That is the total number of weapons; further down it mentions there were only 47 authorizations for individuals to have a firearm at home. So three thousand, one hundred, fifty eight legal weapons.

I’m pretty sure that the little gun shop my folks use sells more guns than that each year, and it’s one of at least three in that town, less than five miles from a town with a few more stores. The entire state of Washington hasn’t broken 300 murders since they started keeping stats; the closest it ever came was back in ’94, with 294. In contrast, Chihuahua Mexico hit 90 in the first 17 days of this year. They are a smaller population, in a larger area. Now it’s true, El Paso had record-challenging murders in 2017 as well–thirty eight. Did not break the 2013 record of forty three. Oh, and that’s the county– the city had 19.

All of Chihuahua has fewer legal firearms than some perfectly normal hunters do. Heck, do a quick cast-around of the relatively young, relatively low income geeks in my husband’s D&D group will probably net more than 30 weapons.

Go figure, crime flourishes when a gun is overwhelming, unanswerable force…..

218 thoughts on “Guns in Mexico by Foxfier

    1. Aaand let’s try again (WordPress delenda est!):

      Insty had a link to a story on the Small Arms Survey the other day as a comparison:

      Pretty much 400 million privately owned firearms in the US.

      As a comparison, the entire Mexican military is only 280,000 strong. Assuming all of them are issued firearms, that yields a Mexican legal-civilian-to-military-firearm ratio of ~ 1:89, while the US ratio is more like 35:1.

      I like the US odds much better.

      1. What do we call 400 million firearms in private hands in the United States?
        A good start.

          1. Don’t forget the “basic caution” aspect– would YOU tell anybody how many guns you have, no matter who they claimed to be?

                1. There’s a lower limit and an upper limit.

                  Can I substitute 5 or 6 rifles for the one shotgun?

                2. In the Glorious Bear Peoples Republic, the limit is one handgun a month.

                  I keep trying to sell the thought that this is, therefore, a mandate (“One gun a month – it’s not just a good idea, it’s the Law!”) with minimal success so far.

                3. A limit determined by the disposable income available to spend on guns and ammo.

            1. You don’t tell them about *all* the guns you have…

              Heck, *I* don’t know how many guns I have. I found a brand-new-in-the-box AK47 in the laundry room the other day, and two crates of ammunition. I guess the Kalashnikov fairy left them there since I don’t actually remember buying them.

              1. I had a cousin get broken into not long after a survey about a related item.

                They got your phone number, if you use a landline they got your address.

                1. On general principals, We. Don’t. Answer. Surveys.

                  After we got Caller ID, it got a lot easier to figure the surveys and the scammers. (The latter like to use our phone prefix, but use a -XXXX number that we know isn’t in use.) There’s an outfit out of Portland that asks lame survey questions, then once they have somebody used to answering such, beg for money. Nope.

        1. Well, you do have to remember that a few of us have 7 or 8 or 9 firearms; although the replica .50 cal cap and ball pistol my Dad built, and fired, isn’t what I’d call an exactly safe and modern firearm. And the flintlock rifle in .45 cal does okay hunting deer, but I can only shoot one gang member with it before I have to use it as a quarterstaff. (Believe me, I hit you with it, you’re going down.) So realistically, I have 3 or 4 pistols, couple of shotguns, couple of .22s, and a couple of big game rifles in the house.

        1. Totally random tangent to this but… how many times in movies (or Space Ghost cartoons) have enormous fortunes been buried under mountains or dropped into lakes and “gone forever”? So you know, the gold is now under a mountain… where do people think it came from in the first place?

          1. That’s quite impressive in Colorado. Having a tragic boating accident in one of the puddles we call lakes takes talent. : – )

              1. I don’t get that close. I turn green walking on the floating dock … & chumming is not legal fishing method …

            1. My toque slipped over my eyes as I was reaching for my Tim Horton’s cup, and over she went.

              So tragic. 😦

  1. Heck, do a toss of my own suburban neighborhood (chock full of military veterans and retirees, BTW) and you’d probably turn up enough to outfit a medium-small European country.
    The trouble with the murderous chaos in Mexico is that it has been spilling over the border – even the relatively empty stretches of ranchland for fifteen or twenty years now. I’m being given to understand that the ranchers and small-town people in the zone to about about 150 miles north of the border feel like they are living under constant siege, from the cartels, the migrants and migrant-smugglers, as well as ordinary criminals. This, of course, is a situation that the Ruling class in their gated communities find very easy to ignore.

    1. VDH has told stories about how a piece of equipment will go missing, he’ll file a police report– then go to the local swap meet and buy it back for $25 or so.

      1. well, that just lazy CA law enforcement. Sometime I’ll tell y’all about my roomate’s wife’s laptop.

        1. From his description, the LEOs figure they’ll go after the minor crimes where the perps aren’t likely to do serious damage to the police. (That and the violators of the minor issues can be hit with high dollar fines. Sigh.) I’ve been in that ares several years ago, and it was iffy. Sounds like it’s a lot worse now.

          1. Yep, I believe i have mentioned before the current attitude of my ‘friends’ still in the animation industry…

          2. The leading Governor candidate here in the Most Exemplary Peoples Bear Republic, silver spoon political family baby Gavin Newsom, was instrumental in passing Proposition 47 in 2014 that reduced the classification of most “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from a felony to a misdemeanor. It passed mostly for the drug thing, but the get-out-of-jail-free card limit on property crimes where the value is less than $950 in the main societal impact.

            The result is the PD doesn’t even bother sending a car out when you call in pretty much any property crime, pointing victims to an web form for filing their police report. It’s not worth their time since they can’t charge even egregious repeat offenders with enough to put them in the clink.

            There is more and more pressure building up on this issue among the non-stealing class here, as the daylight drive-by-steal-stuff pattern increases in better and better neighborhoods. The local NextDoor pages are filling up with home camera footage of more and more perps openly perping, with no effective police response. This level of crime is becoming a political issue in local elections, but nothing other than platitudes have resulted so far in response.

            If this is the course that is maintained, something will eventually give, and that will not be pretty.

            1. Hell, before that ever passed, the detective would not contact you about a stolen $700 laptop.

            2. “The result is the PD doesn’t even bother sending a car out when you call in pretty much any property crime”

              Heck. The I-5 corridor & Willamette Valley, Oregon cities & town’s have been like that at least starting in the ’80’s. We were hit (small quickly portable stuff) in 2006. I got the sheriff to show up by calling & mentioning we weren’t comfortable going into the room where the guns were kept, to see if anything was missing; funny someone showed up quickly. FYI, in a safe tucked away “hidden” (spare room, we had to dig through stuff to get to the closet to check it when sheriff got there … hey they came!!!) The known fact that no police will respond is considered a joke.

              The real joke. When we got hit a number of other homes got hit the same day. About half of those houses? Were homes to police officers. One of which had their small cabinet gun safe ripped out (had his service weapon on him, but still …)

              1. I note with interest this Montana case where the fellow successfully applied the three S ‘s rule, but was tripped up when he and his ex became exes, and the ex’s new boyfriend ratted him out to the Feds. He is off the hook now as the court looks to be properly applying “Holy crap that bear that was chasing my animals is now climbing the fence towards my house” jurisprudence.

                It seems to me that if the local PD finds it too onerous to show up, the three-S’s solution will soon be applied to other than Grizzleys, though if it works we will not hear about this. Though it would be interesting to monitor the miscreant rumor net: “Oh no, man – it used to be easy pickings out there in the boonies, but all my homies who’ve headed out there lately just don’t come back, and when family go out to ask, the Popo there just says nobody never saw any of them. Stick to the cities, man – the cops will look out for you there.”

    2. The cul de sac I live on probably has several times as many legal firearms as Chihuahua does, all sixteen houses of us.

    3. In our area, a toss of the neighborhood would likely be fatal, unless the tossee is feeling fairly generous. When law enforcement is the better part of an hour away, people tend to get grouchy at intruders, and downright irritated if they’re trying to do some real damage.

      Our small community has made it to the top of the evening news a few times, and we don’t have the wildest reputation in the county.

    4. I think border ranchers and other land owners should be allowed to protect their property with claymore mines. At least they’d get a good nights sleep until the first one went off.

  2. See, the Progressive Left, though they mock it, is scared to death of the effect an armed populace might have on a dictatorship….since a dictatorship headed by one of their own is what they are aiming for.

    They ask “What good are small arms going to do against tanks” as if that were a pertinent question. But dictatorships are not run from tanks. Tanks are seriously uncomfortable. They smell bad. They’re noisy even when idle and worse when they are active. They also cost the flipping earth to run. A dictatorship may HAVE tanks. It may even deploy them against protest or insurrection. But a dictatorship is RUN from a desk.

    All arguments about crime, madd shootings, etc. are attempts to distract from the core issue, which is Citizens are armed, Subjects are not.

    Thus, no anti-gun argument based in crime is likely to make sense. Making sense is entirely beside the point.

    1. To paraphrase El Neil (though I (and, I ‘spect, others) have had the thought independently), ‘What are they planning to do to us that they don’t want us able to effectively resist?’

      1. make serfs out of us. kill a bunch of us and put collars and shackles on the rest of us.

    2. Tanks *are* perfectly good against an otherwise unarmed populace. There’s a good reason tank drivers refer to foot soldiers as “squishies”. E.g., Tiananmen Square.

      But an armed, independent population doesn’t just have guns. They have ingenuity. Which means improvised mines, improvised limpetts, molotovs, etc. It means they watch scary movies like Red Dawn and learn.

      So, even if you figure all the soldiers will back your play (a yuuuuge assumption), you have oodles of folks who think they can counter you and will try. And only some percentage of them have to be successful.

        1. If they capture one, say thought sniping, they also know how to drive and fight them. Can you say nightmare?

        1. Tanks in the US only work on ground within travel distance of their base. WITHOUT refueling.

          And the M1 Abrams is a notoriously thirsty beast.

          1. Just so. I do love “The Last Centurion” – but one does have to suspend disbelief in that much luck. (Not impossible, mind – but an awful lot of things have to go just right, and nothing really important go wrong.)

          2. That, and there’s the question “What are you deploying those tanks *against*?” You’re going to grind up a bunch of Denver streets and tear up Sarah Hoyt’s yard? That’s industrial-grade, Maxine Waters level crazy.

            1. It’s not *that* hard to destroy a stockpile of gasoline… And it might not require razing the place, either. I’m curious what would happen if the tanks in question stumbled upon an intact gas station where someone had mixed a couple hundred pounds of sugar (from the local supermarket) into the storage tank?

              1. Not much, apparently. According to the Car Talk guys, the whole “sugar in the gas tank” thing is a myth and the only thing it will do is clog up the fuel filter:

                So since sugar doesn’t dissolve in gasoline, all they’d have to do is run the gas through some filters to filter out any suspended sugar crystals (and any other solids like sand or dirt that might have gotten into the storage tanks) and they’d be able to use the gasoline.

                Writing Observer’s point (about how quickly tanks go through fuel, and how many gas stations you’d need to run an armored division) is probably more relevant to this point.

              2. Just putting this here for instructional purposes:

                Why go to the supermarket for sugar? The gas station has everything you need. Tanks run on diesel, right? Just dump some of the gasoline from the gasoline storage tank into the diesel storage tank. A little bit would be annoying and cause some excess smoke. Put enough in though, and you’ve ruined a tanker’s day.

                1. Actual armor folks can correct me if I’m wrong as to actual capabilities, but:

                  The M1 Abrams tank’s gas turbine engine will run on anything that will burn. It burns a lot of whatever, but it’s omnivorous. The US military supply chain is set up these days to supply JP-8, which is a “…kerosene-type aviation turbine fuel with additional additives and is a suitable replacement for diesel fuel”. Pretty much everything else with wheels or tracks and a motor in the US Military uses a diesel engine, set up to burn JP-8. JP-8 is also used in military helicopter gas turbine engines. Having one fuel to move around greatly simplifies logistics.

                  While US military diesels can be modified to use civil or maritime diesel (apparently the Bradley Fighting Vehicle can use diesel instead of JP-8 with an injector swap), they are all set to run on that special JP-8 flavor of kerosene.

                  So pulling up to the local Fill-em-Up with your M1 might not gain you very much.

                  1. I stand corrected. I wasn’t sure about Tanks because I spent my time in on the air wing. I HAVE seen a civilian diesel pickup truck engine freakin eat itself when some hapless fool filled up the tank with gasoline.

                    I’m not surprised though since tanks are really designed to go anywhere and being able to scavenge fuel sounds like a great idea.

                  1. Probably run a little hotter – that sugar contributed calories when you burn it, and as noted gas turbines are intrinsically omnivorous.

            2. Yep. You only need somewhere between 20 and 25 gas stations (those with the biggest storage tanks, mind you) to run your armored division.

              For one day.

            3. Don’t the Abrams tanks have turbines & use Jet A? In that case, you have a trickier logistics proposition. While they could run on diesel or petrol, it’s not going to help the equiptment’s longevity if they do so.

              1. Multi fuel turbine engine, it runs just fine on diesel. I seem to recall diesel being the preferred fuel but is been a while since i last pull maintenance on one.

                1. Something you should know is that kerosene, jet fuel, diesel fuel, and light fuel oil (the stuff they use in furnaces and such) are all basically the same thing. They may have different additives added to them, or have had slightly different things done to them during the refining process, and they have slightly different definitions, but they are all basically the same thing.

              2. Nope, their turbines run on diesel or gasoline. They can also use jet/copter fuel, marine diesel, etc etc.

      1. You don’t fight the Army.

        You fight the people who are giving them their instructions.

        There’s no problem identifying them; their biggest problem is they can’t STFU.

        1. Classic rule of modern mechanized warfare- a tank without supporting infantry is just a big target. Especially in urban areas.

      2. I’d say about half the military that’s been to Afghanistan are competent to make their own IEDs if necessary.

      3. You’re missing something.

        The guy driving the tank never did anything to me.

        The guy who *ordered* the guy who writes the orders for the tanker is the problem.

        He’s not in a tank.

        1. In the SHTF scenario, the guy driving the tank is parking on your front lawn and preparing to light up your house with .50 cal. incendiary rounds and/or high explosive. Yes, he *is* doing something to you.

          That he is doing so at the behest of someone further up his chain of command would be, at that moment, irrelevant. Nuremberg essentially removed the ‘I vas chust followink orders’ defense of one’s evil actions. Defeating the *current* threat is paramount; dealing with the higher levels of the CoC comes later, if you survive.

          1. Except that order will never be obeyed. See, the guy driving the tank is well aware that neighborhood is going to contain not just me, but any number of people just like his family, friends and comrades, and lighting up MY house with 50 cal will light up everyone else for a mile beyond. So he’s got to decide about following those orders before he pulls out of the base.

            1. I would anticipate lots of “mechanical issues” and creative misunderstandings, at least in the early stages of such.

    3. You’ll starve trying to use that tiny fork to eat a lobster – that’s why seafood lovers crack the shell with something rather more… robust… first.

      Plenty of people around that know how to crack that shell.

      Clam bake recipes are also an apt analogy…

    4. Thing is, that’s not quite it. Oh, I’m sure you’re right about the Ayerses and Pelosis and Gores and maybe the Antifa crowd, but that’s not Joe and Susie Leftist’s fear.
      Joe and Susie Leftist are terrified that the privately owned guns will be used in support of the right-wing dictatorship that they’re convinced is an election away.

      1. The only person I have discussed this with who might be described as a “Joe Leftist” is convinced that gun violence stems directly from guns and, since the USA is has ten or twelve orders of magnitude more gun violence than anywhere else on the face of the earth, we need to remove guns from the populace in order to save the entire world from a holocaust.

        I may have exaggerated a bit on some of that.

      2. The only people that I know who both could be reasonably described as “Joe Leftist” and who I’ve discussed the matter with are convinced both that the USA has ten or twelve orders of magnitude more gun violence than any other place on the face of the earth and that the only reason it occurs is due to the fact that the USA has ten or twelve orders of magnitude more guns than the rest of the world combined. Therefore, all reasonable people want to ban all guns.

        I may have exaggerated part of that.

        1. I don’t think so. A bunch of the people I knew in SoCal were absolutely convinced the crime rate in places like Phoenix was soooo much worse, otherwise why would the Sheriff have to keep prisoners in tents? And it must obviously be worse in places like Florida, because we hear about it all the time on the news…

      3. Indeed, just today I heard one of my colleagues lamenting America’s slide into fascism under the Trump regime. I am so glad he sits almost all the way across the room, so his constant bitching and moaning about Trump, the room being too cold, the Republicans, the morons executing project work, etc. aren’t quite as disturbing as they’d otherwise be. And further on the bright side, it is clear Trump continues to haunt the Left.

  3. Back in the late seventies I helped out in a little country gun and fishing tackle store. The major industry in the area was a specialty steel mill, must have employed several thousand people, some of them were of Mexican ancestry. The mill always shut down for a couple weeks in August for major repair work, so that’s when the workers took vacation. In the month or so prior to shutdown there was always a run on inexpensive used handguns. The Mexicans would buy them up wholesale and tuck them away in their vehicles pending a trip home to visit relatives. At that period of time there was little if any checking crossing the border going south. The black market sale of the guns more than paid for the trip. And they were always squeaky clean coming back north as that crossing was watched very closely.
    Will note that the shop did follow all state and federal regulations on gun sales and never sold to anyone but a legal buyer. These days that might qualify as a straw purchase, but things were a bit more flexible back then.
    Mexico has incredibly strict gun control laws, yet a homicide rate far higher than here in the U.S. But apparently something similar can be said about the violent crime rate in Great Britain, five times ours, and so far this year more murders in London than in New York City.
    The anti gunner crowd wants all the icky guns to just magically go away and that will force us to all be peaceful and safe, or at least the common herd of them do. The real powers behind the progressive liberal movement to ban guns honestly love guns, just not in the hands of the people. Guns in the hands of government minions, now that’s an entirely different thing.
    After all, it was one of their leading lights, Mao Tse Tung, who declared that politics flows from the barrel of a gun. Disarm the people and you can make them do whatever you decide is best for them whether they like it or not.

    1. You said “Mexico has incredibly strict gun control laws, yet a homicide rate far higher than here in the U.S.” I would word that “…strict gun control laws, and therefore a homicide rate far higher…”
      Disarmed victim zones attract crime. When politicians promise their criminal friends that the victims will be defenseless, it’s to be expected that crime will flourish. And indeed it does.
      Of course, even a mythical place where criminals have no guns either won’t be a no-crime place, because knives and clubs and brass knuckles will serve the criminal class quite adequately. Ask any Brit.

      1. Marko Kloos did write an pretty logical essay of that, “Why the Gun is Civilization”:

        Without guns in the hands of the serfs you can pretty easily get a feudal society, in one form or another. And in real life the “knights” are rarely chivalrous towards the serfs, just people in their own gang.

        1. “The right to buy weapons is the right to be free.”

          – A.E. van Vogt, “The Weapon Shops of Isher

      2. I don’t think that Mexico’s criminal violence problem can be so neatly pinned on strict gun control. Sure, that’s probably a piece of it. Just how big of a piece is debatable. Another piece is a historically corrupt government that looked the other way while the cartels gathered power, encouraged drug trafficking to the US, and encouraged people to enter the US illegally (there were, at one time, pamphlets put out by the Mexican government with helpful suggestions on how to enter the US illegally). Police and government officials taking bribes was so common that it was considered “the normal” way of doing things.

        1. Iberian feudalism is one argument.

          There’s the Catholicism argument.

          There’s the argument that in the nineteenth, Mexico and America had similar levels of prosperity, but America protected property rights and Mexico did not.

        2. There are various co-existing conditions involved. So, is it the gun control or the condition in which strict gun control can exist? One of those conditions is the assumed status of the population. Another is the assumed status of government and role of government. Another is how a citizen views themselves in relationship to their neighbors and to government.

          There’s a word for a “small bribe” that is normal and in no sense considered wrong and it’s a thing in New Mexico, too. There’s patronage and systems of expectation that if someone in your sphere has a position that they will use that position to benefit you. (Since that was the case in the Philippines as well, it’s possible it has Spanish roots, or Catholic, or maybe it’s just got human-nature roots.) If you’re a police officer and you don’t take your small gratuities, your wife will probably kick your butt. If you end up Mayor of your little town and you don’t hire your cousin, exactly the same.

          1. It’s cultural, not religious; just most of the “Catholic” countries we’re familiar with have a lot of Spanish (for ease of describing it) influence.

            Kind of like how Germany has an issue with witch-hunts that predates Christianity, and arguably formed the Final Solution, or how English influenced countries are highly vulnerable to delightfully rational systems like Malthus’ predictions.

            1. (I swear, HALF of the screwy stuff that comes out of the area of the UK could be gutted by someone going “wait, how accurate is the data this is based on?”)

            2. Iberian influence is the better term.

              As Sarah relates, some of the worse part of the inheritance of Rome, that being patronage and corruption, persisted in the Iberian peninsula and through there much of South and Central America. Pretty much the one Catholic country that isn’t Iberian influenced, or likewise influenced by proximity to the Muslim world (like France and Italy), is Ireland. Hanging ‘no, Catholic countries are economically bonkers because of the Catholic church’ on Ireland is a pretty thin reed. Okay, Ireland was one of four Catholic countries on a list of five dysfunctional European economies, and Greece is Orthodox, not Protestant. Given the socialist faith in Europe, European economies these days are perhaps not a good guide to economic effectiveness of Christian denominations.

              Maybe there will be interesting information in the future.

              What I’m most strongly convinced of is that individualism is good for the economy, and that American individualism was driven by being a melting pot of cultures.

              1. ….did you just point out Ireland is bonkers enough without economics?

                Not that I’m objecting. It is true, after all.


                Of course, most humans are bonkers.

                *sigh* Sadly, a lot of our sample is screwed up by former Catholic countries being considered totally Catholic, unless it was replaced by something besides socialism. (Basically Islam or Protestant.)

                Heck, I didn’t even know that Mexico had been dang near genocidally anti-Catholic a century ago until they put out a movie about it, the one with the “Viva Christo Ray” (rey? I can’t remember the Spanish, mostly HEARD it) tagline.

                1. It’s a single example, and there are confounding issues. England separated from the Catholic church possibly for cultural reasons and definitely because of prior bad blood with the church. England and Ireland also had bad blood between them. Add in that independence seems to have involved a certain number of terrorists who were communists, and it is obvious why it isn’t a simple case that changes only one variable.

              2. I think that individualism made the notion of melting pot work, not that a melting pot drives individualism.

                And frankly, Protestantism has a great deal to do with the concept of an individual having personal access and authority and also culpability in relationship to God. Yes, yes, Catholicism is very much reformed but Historically worked to keep authority and even scripture itself in the hands of a priesthood and out of the hands of the common folk.

                We could certainly argue if the idea of the individual and subsequent demand for scripture to be written in the common language and given to every man who should then deal with God directly, were holdovers from existing attitudes and cultures in Northern Europe vs. Southern Europe.

                But the cause and effect of the highly individualist assumptions as America developed start there and *lead to* our ability to have a melting pot where people could assimilate while still being themselves.

                1. My view of melting pot is rather more brutal than most formulations. Take a bunch of people of very different cultural backgrounds and societal assumptions. Have them in close proximity, with the expectation of needing to settle and make a living, even if one can’t manage to be among ‘just like you’. Do they kill each other? If they do not, they have found common grounds for peace shared between the original cultures. Or at least, things close enough that A culture’s X and B culture’s Y can substitute for most practical purposes. Which means chucking a lot of ‘extended kinship groups are in charge’, because ideas about extended kinship groups aren’t so much in common, and different countries means different extended kinship groups. It also means strictly defined and enforced property rights, because good fences permit good neighbors. (Robert Frost was a hobby farmer, and deeply wrong.)

                2. Yes, yes, Catholicism is very much reformed but Historically worked to keep authority and even scripture itself in the hands of a priesthood and out of the hands of the common folk.

                  First half yes, second half no; there are a whole bunch of languages where the written language was invented so that monks could write the Bible in a way that folks could read.

                  The stories that get pushed as keeping the Bible from common folk were about translation disagreements– and the strict rules on that came about from stories that sound extremely modern, basically someone deciding that their…ah… idiosyncratic translation was the One True Way to read it, never mind it was based on a then-modern phrase in a language that had little/nothing to do with any Biblical language. Think like the “love your neighbor means adultery is OK” type interpretations.

                  Since it’s easy and cheap to have a bunch of Bible translations*, with footnotes, this sounds odd here and now; when the Bible being available to any who could read was a major sacrifice, not so much.

                  * I have three on my phone as incidentals in various apps, and I can only read English; folks who can actually read Latin? Much less someone like Father Mitch, who is fluent in all the Biblical languages? Whoof!

                  1. Many years ago (when I was a teenager), I had a friend for whom biblical languages was a passion. He used to LOVE it when the different “cult-ish”(1) groups would come around proselytizing because they would invariably say something like “our scripture is true because it’s been recently re-translated from the most original scripts available.” (or at least he could get them to say something like that) So, he would invite them to come in and talk. When he found something in their “scripture” that he disagreed with, he would whip out his copies of “the most original scripts” that HE could find. He had quite a collection, in various languages (copies, obviously, not originals). It usually didn’t take long before they would just give up and leave.

                    I happened to be there for the show once. It was all WAY over my head but it was hilarious to watch him go:

                    “You say it should be read as thisthing but this hebrew script, a direct copy of the suchandsuch script found somedate in suchwhere, distinctly uses the word someword which usually means something more like thisotherthing. But this OTHER thing, the someotherthing from someotherwhere, which is a translation done by somepeople in someyear uses the word somecompleteotherword, which has connotations of thiscompletelydifferentthing.”

                    I’m sure my friend never realized, but therein lie the basis for some of my early questioning of Christianity. How could the church preach so assuredly and condemn so harshly, when the very basis of their faith is basically a book passed down through a giant telephone game of translations on top of translations of imperfectly understood ancient languages? I’m sure the answer is “faith”, but faith isn’t one of the things I can do very well. Frankly, I’ve always envied those who can.

                    (1) Please take no offence. This was late 70s, small town in the bible belt. Pretty much ANYTHING that was outside of “normal” (Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc.) was considered “cult-ish”. I’m not pointing at any faith specifically.

                    1. Offense, heck, I think this is great fun!

                      This is stuff I asked folks and got blown off about, and if I hadn’t run into Jimmy Akin’s blog, which made me find EWTN, which lead me to the whole thousands of years worth of rational teaching instead of “shut up I’m the CCD teacher this is what I am teaching you” appeal to authority.

                      I’m sure the answer is “faith”, but faith isn’t one of the things I can do very well.

                      For the Catholic church, the answer is: Tradition. (not to be confused with ‘tradition,’ which is stuff like Christmas trees, elaborate puns that are four languages back before they make sense, and popular theories)

                      They know what the verses in the Bible mean because they’re not using the Bible as the ultimate authority; it’s a collection of writings– inspired writings, important writings, but collected because of what they said and by the teaching authority of the successors of those who wrote it.

                      I’m not explaining it especially well, but it’s similar to the old…argh, can’t remember the word, Jewish teaching story… about the guy who went to a great teacher and said he wanted to learn the Torah, but didn’t want the guy to teach him how to read it– just how to read, and he’d interpret it himself.
                      The rabbi agreed, and taught him the alphabet, A to Z. Next day, guy comes back, and the rabbi teaches him the alphabet Z to A; dude goes hold up, that isn’t what you said yesterday… guy syas if you can’t trust me to teach you how to read the Torah, how can you trust me to teach you how to read the letters?

                      Now it’s my turn to say:
                      No offense intended, I recognize that this is as much of a dividing line between personal interpretation Christians and teaching authority Christians as Jesus being the Christ or not is between Christians and Jews. Explaining the logic, anyways.

                    2. Yeah, what Foxfier said, from the other side of the matter.

                      It is also my understanding that what she describes is a pretty major underpinning of Catholicism.

                      That said, I’m probably hugely ignorant when it comes to theology and church history. I’ve been watching some DVDs… Michael Godfrey is a Calvinist who lectures on history and stuff. He was talking about all the different local variations on books considered authoritatively Holy prior to settling on the composition of the New Testament. The formal meeting that codified the choice of books was Nicea. His opinion was something like ‘the regional lists had been converging on those selections over time, and that is the source of the authority’. I think he was saying that the believers recognized truth, but it may have been a divine intervention argument.

                    3. I’m sure my friend never realized, but therein lie the basis for some of my early questioning of Christianity. How could the church preach so assuredly and condemn so harshly, when the very basis of their faith is basically a book passed down through a giant telephone game of translations on top of translations of imperfectly understood ancient languages?

                      That’s a good question which is why I remained a Deist (a type of agnostic although not really) for many decades.

                      The various lines of Christianity can be divided between those who recognize certain Ecumenical Councils (that determined what was Biblical canon, what the Trinity was, what heresy was, what doctrine was, what church law was, etc) and those who don’t recognize them. Christianity can also be divided between State Christianity (When the Emperor converts, everyone converts, whether they like it or not) and less powerful sects.

                      Even though this 2000 year history is as critical to comprehending Western culture and religion as the Torah is to comprehending Jewish/Hebrew culture and religion, I notice that the narration is rather fragmented for those that come from a Western education perspective. Unless they got out of indoctrination and studied theology on their own, at best they would come to adopt the philosophy created by one man or another concerning theology/religion.

                      The story goes all the way back to Old Testament. In the OT, the Hebrews told a history, whether you accept it as fact or not, that said Yehovah or their god talked to them and setup a contract. This contract was later broken, and reissued to the goyim or the nations divided at Babel. Then Jesus of Nazareth came on the scene, right about that time. So the Jews knew what god wanted because the prophets had a direct communication. When people broke the covenant, the direct communication was also broken, so people only had left human interpretation (the Bible). The Apostles are the ones Jesus of Nazareth appointed, sort of like an executive committee or stockholder board. The Church of Rome and various other lines claim descent and authority to determine doctrine for any/all Christians, because of their lineage from Peter or some other apostle.

                      Thus The Church of Rome does not determine doctrine purely based upon reading the Bible, but upon using the P of Rome, the Petrine Throne, the Throne of Peter, or the intercession of Mary as the “Queen of Heaven” to lobby the “King of Heaven or Prince of Heaven”. The P of Rome is vitally important, at least to the Western Chalcedonians (Western Europe) because the title “Vicar of Christ” means that he stands between everyone and the Messiah, even as the Messiah stands between humanity and the Heavenly Father. The Jesuit oath of allegiance and the P of Rome office, is given and still has power to interpret doctrine and scripture according to whatever human in power believes correct.

                      The Protestants protested this interpretation of doctrine as being invalid, illegitimate, and an apostasy. Martin Luther even infamously called the Petrine Throne, the Throne of Peter the Apostle in Rome (who happened to be killed by the Romans that later converted to Christianity) the Anti Christ. Due to Ecumenical harmony though, that stuff doesn’t get used or talked about as much. The Protestants thus used the knowledge of the bible to construct doctrine and church laws. This was later handled by a counter reformation from the Jesuit office.

                      “You say it should be read as thisthing but this hebrew script, a direct copy of the suchandsuch script found somedate in suchwhere, ……, which has connotations of thiscompletelydifferentthing.”

                      The Masoretic Text is the received text of the King James bible translation and much of the rest of Protestant Canon. The Universal Christian Church, the Catholics, use about 88 books in the biblical cannon, on top of the 66 used in the Protestant bible. These extra books are considered Deuterocanonical and I think they are useful to read, which I disagree with the Protestants about as they didn’t include them.

                      The other old manuscripts are the Septuagint, the Greek LXX translated from hebrew before Masoretic. Then there are the QUmran scrolls that can be used to verify both.

                      In short, there are severe sections that have shown scribal edits and corruptions, often on purpose. Deuteronomy 32 is one example.

                      But I would point out, that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and everybody else down the line didn’t “read a book” to receive the power of the divine, to see the future, and so on. Much of human history is a war designed to suppress certain mysteries and occult (hidden) knowledge from the masses. It’s a kind of replicated type that we see with the Deep State.

          2. I object to your statement about payment for corruption in New Mexico. We are corrupt for free. Especially if family members are involved.

    2. Space orcs. Humans will never be safe, peaceful critters living in harmony with each other. Hell, all you have to do is watch a couple of teenage siblings to see that.

      1. Teenage? Single digit! The TODDLER understands “I can do this and it bugs my sister/brother– now do it twice as much!”

  4. Albuquerque has 18 homicides in the first three months of this year. That’s pretty darned high.

    My uncle was the county sheriff where I grew up and the number of murders for his entire career were in single digits and the number where the guilty party wasn’t known was about… one. (That one made national news because of missing child… her body was found, and many years later it was determined that her father did it.)

    1. Mexico’s totals for this year are about 90 a day. Homicides, not disappearances– I don’t know if they count it as a homicide when they find a hand or not and yes that’s a serious consideration, I just know that there’s 14 young women missing from Tijuana and that’s down from….16? Because they found bodies.

      It just…boggles me.

      1. 120 /political candidates/ killed during the run up to the election happening very soon now. Assuming that Mexico was the one that guy on twitter was referring to.

      2. Man. When I consider how hard it was for me to find a nice girlfriend in my younger years, and hearing about them wasting 14 young women from Tijuana; that really pisses me off. As in I’d like to make their killers disappear, painfully.

        1. Most people need to take things personally in order to find the motivation to act. For instance, wait a week too long to mow the law, and I take that proliferation of weeds personally.

    2. If you think Albuquerque is bad, you really ought to look at the statistics for Chicago. The Chi-raq reference originated as I think we were having more people killed in Chicago than in the entire US contingent in Iraq for multiple years.

      Please note, these are just the homicide numbers. For 2017, the final totals were:
      Shot & Killed: 625
      Shot & Wounded: 2936
      Total Shot: 3561
      Total Homicides: 681

      For 2016, the numbers were actually worse:
      Shot & Killed: 722
      Shot & Wounded: 3658
      Total Shot: 4380
      Total Homicides: 808
      Before 2016, as you can see from the chart, things hadn’t been quite that bad for some time …

      1. Oh – and you REALLY don’t want to know our “solve” rate. Here is one estimate for 2017:

      2. Albuquerque has gotten so bad that I won’t let my wife park in a large parking lot unless I am with her. Armed.

          1. *Nods* I did an NCO course there in the 90ies and liked it very much. It was my second pick for my final military posting, I would have bought a house locally and job-hunted. I hate to think of it as being that dangerous now.

          2. Well … thanks for letting me find that out 15 years later.

            Summer 2003 I saw my 14 year old son, husband, 3 other adults, & 7 other 16 & 17 year olds off on the plane to Philmont via Albuquerque, where they spent a couple of days at higher elevation than they could here in Oregon (due to snow levels leading up to July) before heading down for their high elevation back packing.

            Men’s golf club is talking about Albuquerque winter trip for 2019, hubby might just have to miss this trip …

  5. Guns? Who needs guns?

    There have been cases of people killed with toy drones with an explosive payload. And for that matter, you could take an off-the-shelf “giant scale” RC model aircraft and put a sizeable shaped charge into it. How to make the explosives is covered in various pamphlets helpfully printed by the US Government…

    1. Guns are simple, and having one on hand (granted Constitutional gun laws, anyway) is easy. Carrying a RC model around with you at all times in impractical, and no real defense against a random attack.

      So, We The People need guns.

      1. Explosives etc work pretty much only if things turn to a shooting war, civil or otherwise. Guns are useful even before it. (Or would be, whines one who lives where she can’t carry, not legally anyway. Yep, there are alternatives, but not very effective ones. Gun would be better).

  6. I observe that in Mexico, bribery is normal, accepted practice. The Mexican government hardly attempts to enforce gun registration laws on gangs and cartels, while private citizens are at a disadvantage. The number of legal, registered firearms almost certainly doesn’t reflect the reality.

    It doesn’t matter how many laws there are, if citizens aren’t willing to obey them, and it doesn’t matter how much law enforcement there is, if it lacks integrity and impartiality. Police that can be bribed or commanded to enforce the law selectively become a tool of the rich and corrupt instead of instruments of liberty and justice for all.

        1. John Adams for that one, actually:
          Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
          To the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts
          (My, how far Massachusetts has fallen.)

  7. I was astonished when I read this article a few weeks ago, I had no idea how violent Latin America was, Venezuela is a failed state and a bunch of other countries are coming perilously close to being failed states as well.
    The Guardian – April 26 2018:

    “Latin America has suffered more than 2.5m murders since the start of this century and is facing an acute public security crisis that demands urgent and innovative solutions, a new report warns.

    .Latin America suffers 33% of the world’s homicides despite having only 8% of its population. One-quarter of all global homicides are concentrated in four countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela ….”

    1. While I can’t say that it exlains everything wrong with South and Central America, Paul Johnson’s THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN covers a lot of it.

      What you might want to keep in mind is that high levels of violence are NOTHING NEW to the Americas south of the border. Governments, while not as bad as those in post-colonial Africa, have tended to be kleptocracies of one strip or another. One of the reasons I am strongly in favor of enforcing our immigration laws is that the Hispanic illegals have little experience with laws that are not enforced largely by whim. The Progressive Left likes that, and I don’t. I think the Rule of Law is distinctly preferable, especially since it carries the codicil “don’t pass a law you don’t want to enforce”. I would welcome anyone who would embrace that ideal, and the Bill of Rights.

      As for the rest? Piss on ‘em from the battlements.

      1. The Progressive Left likes that, and I don’t

        Because they think that they’ll get to pick the exceptions, or at least pocket the bribes.

        1. The obdurate stupidity of the intellectual Lefties bumfoozles me. They think they’re going to end up in charge. They NEVER end up in charge. Mostly, they get stood in front of a wall and perforated, as obvious troublemakers. By the thugs and psychos like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hillary Clinton who DO end up in charge.

      2. I’ve been reading about Hajnal line recently and Portuguese and Spanish people who settled Latin America are outside the line, so nationality of colonist who creates new societies might be important as well.

    2. Of the top fifty deadliest cities per capita their are something like 8 not in Latin America. Those being in the US and South Africa.

  8. I will note at this time that a major problem for Mexico City cops is little factories all over the city turning out pretty good copies of the Uzi 9mm machine gun and the Mac-10. You can make one with a sheet metal brake and a torch, and there’s lots of guys doing exactly that. 9mm ammo does not seem to be in short supply either, same reason.

    Mexico is rapidly becoming a failed state. Why do we think they all want to come here? We’re all crazy, you know. They don’t really like us.

      1. You don’t need a rifled barrel. You can just make something that goes “bang” and use it to upgrade…

        see also: “FP-45 Liberator” and “zip gun”

        1. It is what Australia is faced with, now that biker gangs are making serious money producing fully auto smgs. Unrifled barrels are fine for close work and spray-and-pray. Some shops have even produced ‘straight rifling’ and it does work, not as well as spiral rifling, but tight tolerances and guiding grooves give better than smooth-bore performance. It’s not like they’re trying to produce a long-range weapon.

      2. Full-auto 9mm zip gun is not to be sneezed at. It ain’t the Bisley 1000 yard, right?

        1. ‘full-auto 9mm zip guns’ means you flatten ammo against Interceptor body armor faster than you can reload.

          1. But in some municipalities, especially the ones you currently need to worry about sumdood blasting away with illegal full-auto zipguns (which must not exist because of gun laws, right?) outlaw ownership of body armor. Because being able to passively defend yourself is as bad as actively defending yourself. Oh, no!

            Stupid progressive regressives…

    1. Australia and Brazil as well. Some of the Australian submachine guns are quite decent-looking. And homebuilt SMGs have popped up here and there in Britain; the plod blame it on “eastern European gangsters”, but I find it more likely they’re made right there in Britain.

      1. Things are so bad in Brazil that the citizens are asking the government to revoke the gun ban so that they can protect themselves from all of the illegally manufactured SMGs.

    2. Mexico has been teetering on ‘Failed State’ status for as long as I’ve been alive. I think the reason Bush II didn’t push harder on immigration reform was he believed that any real dial back on remittance money going home to Mexico would push it over the brink, and he had enough trouble.

      Trump seems to feel that it would be better to get it over with.

      If nothing else, the conquest of Mexico would eliminate about two thds of our Southern Border problem….

      1. I think the reason Bush II didn’t push harder on immigration reform was he believed that any real dial back on remittance money going home to Mexico would push it over the brink, and he had enough trouble

        It’s a frequently noted peeve among security that, by all the normal standards, Mexico is a failed state run by terrorist organizations.
        They just happen to not be motivated in the same way as Islamic terrorists. Thank goodness, they’re actually quite clever.

        1. Nix remittances or publicize the danger in the countries and hurt the tourist industry and their 2 and 3 income source will easily crash economy. Mexico is a narcostate. But you cannot admit that because its mean

          1. I think you over-estimate the sanity of tourists.

            Tijuana’s issues are well known. Idiots are STILL flocking across the border. Because that’s just locals.

          2. Well, right now we have a President who is willing to be mean, and it looks like Mexico is about to get a President who’s willing to admit that what’s going on is an invasion. Life may be getting real interesting shortly.

            The thing is, say we conquor Mexico and drive the drug cartels into the sea for the sharks. Not impossible. The Mexican army could be routed by Rhode Island’s Natioal Guard, leaving the rest of our armed forces to crack the drug and kidnap gangs. But what do we do with Mexico once we’ve got her?

      2. Mexico has been teetering on the cusp of failed state since .., shortly after it existed. Ever since it came to be, early in the 19th century, split between the Centralists and the Federalists, (Basically between rule by the conservative-authoritarian-top-down from Mexico City, and the liberal-every-state-on-the-model of the US as it was). The war for Texas independence was one of those offshoots of that conflict. And not the only Mexican state to rebel when Jose Lopez de Santa Anna decided that he would be the main authority in charge of Mexico. The Texas war for independence was just one of those Mexican national rebellions, and the only one who made their rebellion stick.
        Poor Mexico – so close to the US … all the advantages that they should have had. Gone for nothing, because the place is a corrupt, lawless state. I’ve lost track of how many civil wars Mexico has endured, since 1824, their year of independence, the year they declared independence, with a constitution that mirrored our own Constitution.
        A flag with that sentiments on it was the one which likely flew over the Alamo.

        1. What you said. It’s almost bred into their genes to be corrupt and incompetent and to kill the non-corrupt and non-incompetent.

        2. It seems that British colonies tended to muddle along or thrive while Spain and Portugal are scary as heck. One of few places where I do wonder if the extraction of wealth theory may have some validity.

          1. I once worked for a department store (in their IT support division) that was owned by a company in Spain. Thirty years ago the Spanish practice of governance was still 100% in practice. Managers came from Spain. Managers went back to Spain. New managers came from Spain. They went back to Spain. Locals could almost count on not ever reaching management through merit, through hard work or service. Because when your manager went back to Spain, he was replaced by someone from Spain.

      3. I’d note that the conquest of Mexico is not a cheap or easy proposition, and we might well find ourselves wishing that we had stuck to murdering illegals coming over the border.

        1. Conquering the Mexican army? Cheap and/or easy I suspect. A significant number were trained here from time to time. The remainder which was not trained in the US still might well take one look at what was coming towards them and decide it was a good time to desert. The initial conquest of Mexico would probably be easier than what we did to Iraq — much shorter logistics, reinforcements, etc.

          Conquering the local drug gangs provided no due process and no bleeding heart/international law intervention? Either cheap or easy, but probably not both to be honest.

          Governing the resulting territory – neither cheap nor easy. Eradicating corruption and establishing a “true” representative democracy – $!@# near impossible. We would also generate a tremendous number of “refugees”… all of which is a good way of saying that I’d be opposed to our trying to conquer and keep Mexico.

      4. I think that Bush didn’t push harder on immigration reform (I particularly liked the idea of easy to obtain worker visas to get people here with legal status and make it easy for them to go home again, though I know that many people didn’t like that) is because 9-11 happened and he didn’t push ANYTHING because he needed cooperation on Iraq and Afghanistan. Anything else he did (such as significant aid and work on the AIDS epidemic in Africa) was done as low key as possible, sub rosa, to avoid knee-jerk opposition from the “caring” party.

      5. cspschofield wrote:

        >If nothing else, the conquest of Mexico would eliminate about two thds of our Southern Border problem…

        And it would vastly complicate the problems of the Coast Guard. Still, that might yet be preferable; the USCG has rather largish guns … and it is allowed to use them.

    3. And you can construct a sheet metal brake from a few pieces of angle iron and some hinges, nuts, and bolts. It won’t necessarily bend long lengths of heavy gauge steel, but shorter lengths are not hard, and it’ll bend thinner sheet aluminum like paper. I built a four foot brake for bending aluminum to fabricate various pieces to repair an ancient Airstream, but the instructions I found for it came from an experimental aviation website, and they had built an eight foot brake.

    1. *grin* *wave*
      There’s a reason I keep linking it! Was utterly delighted to see Donald linking Sarah’s PJ stuff.

  9. I’m surprised that no one mentioned the 2000 or so firearms sent to Mexico by Obama’s Fast & Furious operation.

  10. Fast and Furious was a movie, Obama had nothing to do with it.
    Nobody knows what you are talking about, it was SOOOOOO…. long ago.

    1. Didn’t some of the documents for that turn up on the desk of some Congressional Committee recently?

      “Like a very old salami that suddenly makes its presence known….”

    2. Yeah. Fast and Furious. That was the operation where I posted a comment that I thought the corrupt DA should have been taken out and shot; and I got visited by the U.S. Marshalls because of it.

    3. Someone’s tongue-in-cheek detector must be acting up. Obama’s officials when it was going on did an impression that would’ve made ol’ Stonewall Jackson himself green with envy. Then, Obama turned around and said that his two terms were scandal free.

      Now, like cspschofield was saying, evidence for so many of the scandals during Obama’s administration are coming to light. I think I remember there even was some evidence for scandals that wasn’t even known previously.

      All of this is evidence that someone should be investigated, arrested and locked away. And not in Club Fed. I honestly doubt Obama would every see a charge one, but there are so many underlings that should also be tried and then locked away for the good of the many.

        1. I don’t think so. The man is the head of a cult of personality. He needs the adoration of his cultists. He needs to be seen and heard. I mean, look at the Netflix show he’s got. I’m just surprised he held out as long as he did before speaking out about Trump.

          What I meant about not facing charges, he still has too many people buried in the FBI and Justice (as we’ve been seeing) for a writ for indictment to make before a grand jury.

        1. I’m not either. I’m angry at the sheer hubris of the man claiming perfection when he was the personification of corruption. I won’t go into the suspicions of the rigging of the 2012 election.

          1. Oh, hell, Obama isn’t the personification of corruption. He isn’t that important. The First Black President was a practical nonentity, chosen exclusively for his skin color by the Establishment of his Party. He may have had ideas of his own, but I seriously doubt it. I fully expect that he was so much a puppet that you could lift the Democrat National Committee’s fingerprints from his colon.

            Shrillary? That’s a horse’s ass of another color entirely. Her Shrillness is corrupt, inept, and stupid. She isn’t anyone’s puppet, in large part because she isn’t smart enough to take advice. I considered Trump a loudmouthed jerk and a clown, and voted for him anyway, and shouted loud huzzahs when he won.

            I have been pleasantly surprised since.

            Should God reward Shrillary according to her merits, she would spend the rest of her miserable existence able to garner just enough attention to get served in a restaurant…and no more.

      1. If people weren’t outraged, was it a scandal? I think that the word “scandal” describes the social response rather than an action.

        So it’s only “scandalous” if someone cares.

        1. That’s the thing, there where many that caused an outraged reaction, just not in the propaganda machine media. They were too busy covering up for him. You had to look blogs and independent media to actually learn anything about the outrage, and even most of the scandals.

  11. Then there is the upcoming election in Mexico.

    I think we may be fortunate if Mexico related murders don’t top 100k a year before things start getting better.

  12. Somewhat off topic, and I admit I hadn’t really given it any thought. Dealing with this country’s crazies is sufficient unto my patience.

    So You Want To Move To Portugal
    By Sarah Hoyt
    An increasing number of my fans have been asking me if they should consider retirement in Portugal.

    Of course, I can’t answer. I haven’t lived in Portugal (except for visits that last a maximum of a week or two) for 33 years. I was never an adult in Portugal (legal adult, sure, but there’s a difference between a college student and actual independent, autonomous adult.) And more importantly, I have never lived in Portugal as it is now. Every time I’ve gone back since Portugal joined the EEC, I find something else has changed. Sure, there are supermarkets and things are easier to obtain, and the highway system is a boon for anyone who needs to travel cross country. On the other hand, there is the “sanitization” and “commodification” of Portugal which annoys me to a bigger or lesser degree.

    The “sanitization” involves bringing life in Portugal up to the standards of hygiene and such of the EU. Which would be great if the entity that legislated the curvature of bananas were more flexible and less prescriptive.

    I find there was very little need, for instance, to make the festas “religious festivals only.” They left the masses and the processions, and the fireworks, but completely removed the… well, festa part. Yeah, I’m sure the mechanized rides, from the little airplanes to the Ferris wheels were unsafe. If my memories of childhood serve, they were probably bought from retired rides from the US. And we heard often enough of fatal accidents in one. Okay, every ten years or so, but…

    I suspect something could have been done under the heading of making them safer that didn’t involve banning them altogether. …

        1. It’s an EU thing. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that the EU considers too trivial to regulate.

          (I feel I ought to make a joke here about the regulation of bananas by people who are bananas, but its been a long day and I’m tired, so I’ll leave the actual joke as an exercise for the reader).

        2. Yep. And imagine what happens to the bananas that aren’t perfect.

          Over here in Australia, one of the local groceries has a thing called ‘The Odd Bunch” – sales of fruit and vegetables that are ‘less than perfect, but just as delicious’ and they’re sold for cheaper. I personally like that, because it strikes me as ridiculous to not put the ‘flawed’ items on the market, especially if they’re for things that get chopped up into small pieces anyway.

          1. *face palm*

            Just when I thought the world couldn’t get any dumber, someone, somewhere, has to take that as a challenge and prove me wrong.

      1. Don’t jump into a dream to find you’ve woken in a nightmare.

        Does this not also well apply to certain oft-discussed (and disgust) “political” or “economic” philosophy? Some keep trying to jump into a dreamland… and keep landing in the nightmare, over and over.

    1. The description of the expats looking to become “Portuguese Peasants” reminded me a bit of Star Trek 9 and it’s vomit-inducing “rural simplicity.” SF Debris had an absolutely fabulous take-down of that and the whole “getting away from it all” mentality.

      1. What, you don’t watch Sci Fi to see a remake of Cambodia’s killing fields? What kind of right-wing monster are you?

  13. Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea is looking at more gun control, even though it has an almost Japanese level of restrictions, regulations, bans, and so on. Legally, it is almost impossible to legally buy a firearm, and there’s even talk of banning the few legal guns that remain. So, the laws are very very very strict- and aren’t doing a bloody thing to make people safer.
    One of the jokes is that there are tribes in the Highlands that are better armed than the military, mainly because the military has passed on many of their weapons on to the criminals. Then you have a vigorous cross border trade where marijuana is traded for guns.
    Gun control will always fail.

    1. So the only “weapon”, err, tool, available to the common folks are machetes?

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