Mexico has blamed the United States for everything since before the “Last Spike” went into the ground. It continues to do so to this day.

Just this week, Mexico’s foremost living historian Enrique Krauze posited in the New York Times that the U.S. has three original sins: Slavery, racism, and “the aggression against Mexico and the plundering of its territory.” Because of that, Krauze says, all Mexicans should be free to live in the U.S., without restrictions.

Popular culture supports this blame game. The Netflix series Ingobernable (Ungovernable) has the CIA kill the president of Mexico when he was about to declare the end of the “war on drugs” after blaming the U.S. for every Mexican death it caused. Ingobernable (starring real-life drug lord El Chapo’s friend Kate del Castillo) ought to be named Unwatchable.

The country’s foreign policy reflects its blame game: The Diplomad writes from experience,

I also have long considered Mexico a major threat to America. I have dealt with Mexican diplomats at the UN, the OAS, and in Central and South America. They are first rate. They are patriotic, well-trained, dedicated, and hard working. They, almost to a man and a woman, are also possessed with a deep, deep animus towards the United States. At the UN and the OAS, for example, Mexico, in my experience, played the role of opponent to whatever we sought to do. They not only consistently voted against us, they collaborated with our opponents on resolutions and projects antithetical to our interests, and, for example, refused to oppose Cuban and Venezuelan human rights violations. They rarely passed on an opportunity to stick it in our eye.

Mexico had a major role in fostering guerrilla groups in Central America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, backing off only when it became a hindrance to the NAFTA deal with the United States, and when some of the groups began operating in Mexico.

It is with some amusement, then, that I find this in my newsfeed: Fears grow that Russia could meddle in Mexican election (emphasis added)

“If [Russia] intervened in the United States, there’s every reason to think that Mexico is a target for attack,” said [Sen. Armando] Ríos Piter [of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)], who recently launched an independent presidential bid.
. . .
Ríos Piter said Mexico is a natural target for Russia, as the country is expected to become a top-five economy over the next half century.

Mexico may well become a top-five economy, yet Ríos Piter conveniently forgets that remittances from the U.S. generate more than Mexico’s oil or tourism industries. No blame there.

Call me a cynic, but to my jaundiced eye, Ríos Piter may be laying the groundwork for his third-ranked party losing the presidency again – after all, some still refer to their candidate who lost the 1997 election as the “legitimate president of Mexico.”

The fact remains, as Tara McCormack said,

this revamped Red Scare speaks to a profound and seriously anti-democratic shift among disoriented, struggling elites.

In Mexico as in elsewhere, to use McCrmack’s words, “The Russia blame game is really an abdication of political responsibility,” and Mexico has been playing blame games for a very long time.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

“A rose is a rose is a rose”

–Gertrude Stein, Sacred Emily

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

With Justice Gorsuch finally being confirmed to the Supreme Court last week, I wanted to take a moment to look back at the confirmation process and hopefully help explain why putting him on the Court was worth all the parliamentary maneuvering required and why it’s such a good thing for the rule of law. Much of the confirmation hearing was devoted to a discussion of the “Frozen Trucker Case” (TransAm Trucking, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., U.S. Dep’t. of Labor), in which then-Judge Gorsuch dissented in a decision to overturn the company’s decision to fire a driver for violating company policy. Since this case, and particularly Judge Gorsuch’s dissent, hinged on the concept of originalism, I present this story.

Once upon a time, there was a town whose legislature passed a law, signed by the mayor, that gave a tax deduction to every homeowner who planted rosebushes in their front yard. For the purposes of our story, it doesn’t really matter why they did this, only that the law was consistent with the town bylaws and was legally enacted. For the first few years, several homeowners took advantage of the tax break and the town derived benefit from the law by being able to market themselves as “The Town of Roses” and local businesses benefitted from increased traffic of tourists coming to see the roses.

But then something happened. Some of the citizens decided that they didn’t like the law, even if the town benefitted in a tangible way. Maybe some of these citizens were allergic to roses or maybe some just didn’t like roses, but preferred tulips instead. So, deciding that the law was “unfair,” they sued, and brought their case eventually to a panel of judges. They could have lobbied the legislature to change the law, but they thought it would be easier to convince a small number of judges than it would be to convince a majority of their fellow citizens.

The liberal judges looked at the plaintiffs, who were a sympathetic lot, and agreed with them that it was “unfair” that the town should provide benefits to the “elite” who were able to purchase, plant and maintain rosebushes in their yard while “disadvantaging” these “little guys” who, for whatever reason, were unable – or unwilling – to plant rosebushes. So these judges decided that it was unreasonable for the town legislature to limit the benefit to roses but, since it was really about beautifying the town, and tulips are also pretty flowers, the tax deduction should apply to anyone who plants flowers in their yard. And for those really sympathetic allergy-stricken citizens, they should get the deduction without having to plant anything. So, without the wording of the law having changed, the legal effect of the law was altered to something that the legislature did not intend.

Under what system governed by “the rule of law, not of men” does this make sense? Indeed, this decision explicitly goes against the law as written, not to mention the harm faced by the town in trying to market itself as “The Town of Roses and Tulips or Other Flowers” which isn’t nearly as catchy. But there was one judge who understood the rule of law, and the proper role of the judiciary.

He bravely went against his colleagues and pointed out that the judges’ job is “to apply the law Congress did pass, not to imagine and enforce one it might have but didn’t.” As sympathetic as the plaintiffs might be, the judge realized that, as much as the “Tulip Law” might be desirable, “it isn’t there yet. And it isn’t our job to write one” [both quotes from Judge Gorsuch’s dissent in TransAm Trucking v. Dep’t of Labor].  So, even if the judge wanted to find in favor of the plaintiffs, he simply could not because the law wouldn’t allow it. His personal beliefs about whether the law was a good idea were simply irrelevant.

Members of the minority party in the legislature used this eminently justified and reasonable judicial philosophy to paint the judge as some kind of monster, cruelly indifferent to the plight of the “little guy” (Sen. Feinstein, D-CA), too hung up on “legalisms” (Sen. Harris, D-CA) and “out of the mainstream” (Sen. Shumer, D-NY) to be considered for a position on the Supreme Court, because they want unelected life-tenured judges to twist laws to conform to policies that they prefer, regardless of the actual intent of the legislature when the law was passed, and regardless of the consequences. They thought it would be easier to get five liberal justices on the Supreme Court than it would be to control the legislative process, and they were right, for a while.

Justice Gorsuch and the other conservatives on the Supreme Court believe that the judiciary should be limited to interpreting laws as written. Liberals, who cannot fathom that someone with that much power wouldn’t use it to make his own policy from the bench, naturally think that a conservative Court will arbitrarily enact policies with which liberals disagree. But, as Justice Gorsuch testified at his nomination hearing, “It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives. A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge—stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands.” When the day comes that a majority of the Supreme Court – and the entire federal judiciary – lives by this code, then America will truly be great again.

Bob:No no, kamo perolalosi, meredite, nokolapati pob lakino lapa lamakine pukete. PERO NO! Labi bibap, nure barata, papu tabushi,…[laughs]…So… instoo meradante, la pate, yes ki giban, PATUTEE!!!

Minions 2015

Now that hopeful spin for the left for an upset in Kansas were proven baseless,  Democrats having no bench and still smarting from Hillary’s defeat have decided to learn the exact wrong lesson from the election of Donald Trump.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus says she has been asked by top Democrats to run for office.

The star of “Veep” responded that it will never happen, according to the Washington Post.

Because nothing says “winning” like reviving the old “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV meme:

In fact the New Republic has been all aboard the celebrity express for a bit:

Democrats would do well to embrace her and fellow Hollywood stars. The party could recruit Streep and others to bait Trump, and perhaps, as Moore suggested, groom some to be presidential candidates. In 2020, the Democrats could run Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Matt Damon, or Rosie O’Donnell. Some might guffaw at this idea. After all, wouldn’t running a celebrity candidate further associate Democrats with coastal elitism? But Democrats’ main problem last year wasn’t in appealing to anti-elitist voters; it was in getting out the party’s base. A magnetic, attractive movie star would have a far better chance of accomplishing that than just another accomplished, dowdy politician.

Of course Trump one advantage that a lot of celebs did not. He actually had decades of running a business empire before he ever appeared on TV and while his celebrity certainly helped in terms of bypassing the media (something a liberal celeb doesn’t need to do)and establishing a persona (which was no different than his existing reputation) based on the interviews I did during the primaries of voters, it wasn’t his celebrity that put him over the top as much as the combination of his business experience and his willingness to say bluntly things people were afraid to.

Of course a celebrity candidate might energize low information voters on the left and if the Democrats want to run someone who will just be a figurehead for the deep state they’re welcome to do so, but I suspect even with yesterday’s defeat in Kansas in a race against a weak opponent after 90 continuous days of attacks on both the GOP and the President, they haven’t quite reached the point where they go with a King Bob slate.

Even if he does give one hell of a speech.


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