Lymington Italia Festival

Ah, just like America. Give me your rich, your poor. Scratch the poor part.

Lymington is a lovely little town. It sits by the sea with a little harbour and has got plenty of history. It’s a place where rich folk come to retire. It’s Brexitlandia. But we must forgive them that at least once a year, when they permit an influx of immigrant automobiles that have come to the UK to seek a forever home. What is not to like about a parade of several dozen Ferraris. Just Ferraris, mind you. Lymington is rather picky when it comes to what type of immigrants settle here. There are no bad hombres here.

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The Retro Reader

Gary Diness, blogging on retro topics such as hand-held actual book and things the are old-school. Great blogs I have to say!

The Fog of War

One must question the wisdom of going to war at all. It is easy to have an emotional response to the wrongs that have been done to those less able to care for themselves. At the same time, we must be cautious about how to react to those conditions. In the case of Asad and Syria, a limited response will not address the problems that exist in his country. So, sad to say there must be a master plan to solve or at least contain the serious situation that exists in this part of the middle east. If it is to at least be contained it requires a large commitment to hold that ground and not expect instant results. It is a complex problem requiring tremendous resources.

The first step has been taken in the firing of the cruise missiles. That implies just a shot across the bow. Not enough to deter Syria from again bombing its citizens. Or threatening it neighbors. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, that being a deeper commitment on the part of the US to stay the course.

My Family History

This is still a work in progress. So not every thing should be taken verbatim. Corrections/editing to follow.

My Family History
Richard Montoya
Thursday, January 20, 2000

My grandfather, Andres Montoya, kidnapped my grandmother, Encarnacion Montoya, from a ranch in Gomez Palacio, Durango, Mexico. She was fourteen years old at the time. This was a form of proposal and marriage at the time. I have no idea if they had had any kind of social interactivity prior to that such as dating using abut he must have known her prior to the kidnapping. Anyway, that is about as far back as I can go back with my father’s side of the family history. After that, I know that grandfather came to the border and crossed to the U.S. side using a ferry. The Rio Grande was just that, in other words, big and wide! No bridges or toll booths. using an around 1910. The revolutionaries, such as Pancho Villa, Zapata and various bands of outlaws or heroes, were in control of Mexico. Grandpa was involved in the laying of the railroad from the interior of Mexico to the United States/Mexico border. The country, Mexico, was in turmoil with it being divided up among the various revolutionary bands. They were also suspicious of anyone with higher education or skills. I think my grandfather was a civil engineer.   So he was skilled and did not fit in. He feared for his life and that of his family, and so he fled to the United States.

Grandpa and his wife, Chonita, wandered around West Texas in a horse-drawn wagon. I cannot imagine traveling in a covered wagon so I will leave it up to the reader’s imagination. There were only dirt roads at the time. They made one stop along the way in Stanton, Texas where my Dad, Andres Montoya was born. No record exists as the courthouse burned down. That is why my Dad has two birthdays. One for his own birthday. The other has to do with his enlistment in the Army during World War Two.

I don’t know how long grandpa and grandma wondered before settling down in El Paso, Texas. Our home at 3204 ½ Frutas Street soon became a duplex. It was a narrow lot. Eventually, a single home was built in front. It was a homestead where my dad and his brothers built and an adobe duplex. Uncle Raul and Aunt Mary lived on one side and Grandma on the other. Other family members live there too at one time or another.  I did not arrive there until after February 1944 when I was born.  I was too young to recall much of this or was not living there, I cannot confirm this. The duplex on Frutas Street must have existed prior to 1944.

My earliest childhood recollections are I guess of two events. One of this is the same game that I was playing with a pretty kitty at my other Grandma’s house. This was at Grandma Margarita Ochoa home. I think the house was on San Antonio Ave. That area no longer exists being demolished by the North-South Freeway. Anyway, that is where I spent my very early years. My first memory was of my being up on a swing and playing jump on the basins. Stuffed in between the basins was this furry white cat. It was a beautiful white cat and I did not think about hurting the cat. I must have been close to four years old at the time. The second memory is of finding ants in my pants after sitting on an ant hill. Don’t know why I would ever logically do that. These two memories endured. And these tied me into my Grandma Ochoa’s home. I kind of remember living there for a while before moving to Frutas Street. I must have spent a lot of time there too because I recall playing with my uncle’s Hector and Efrain. And I remember my aunt Lily being there. Most of all I remember grandma’s sweet smelling cedar chest where she kept special linens and doilies. She made the doilies. My mom, Consuelo died when I was two years old and I must have been living here when that happened.

After my Dad came home from the war, and shortly after my mom’s death, the house at the front of the lot was built. My Dad had remarried to my Mom’s sister Angie. Apparently, Grandma Chonita did not get along with Angie because soon after grandma took us in. Seem like she felt that Andy, my older brother and I were being neglected. And so my brother and I were raised by Grandma Chonita. Actually, we lived between families because Grandma and I live on one side of the back duplex and My dad and stepmother lived in front.

We Are All Immigrants

I’d like to think that we are all immigrants. The reason that I say this is because we or our forefathers all came from somewhere else. My grandparents came from Mexico so that struck me as personal. My grandmother on my father’s side was born in a small ranch in northern Mexico. She and grandpa moved to the US in 1910 to escape the violence that remained from the revolutionaries of that era. They were political refugees much like immigrants from other parts of the world that are seeking refuge in the US. Grandma Montoya’s sons were born in the United States and most went to serve the country in World War II. My Dad Andres was born in Stanton, Texas. He was among those we served in the war. That is why I got so upset when I first saw the person who has become President talk badly about immigrants from Mexico. He called them all criminals or racists!

He Alone Can Fix It

He Alone Can Fix It

Politico says that Donald Trump is grumpy:

Being president is harder than Donald Trump thought, according to aides and allies who say that he’s growing increasingly frustrated with the challenges of running the massive federal bureaucracy.

In interviews, nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, [including] congressional delays over his cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives….

The administration’s rocky opening days have been a setback for a president who, as a billionaire businessman, sold himself to voters as being uniquely qualified to fix what ailed the nation.

The poor dear — he was supposed to make America great again single-handedly, and lesser mortals were just supposed to yield to him. He was supposed to face no congressional or popular resistance when he nominated the most radical cabinet in modern history; affected parties, the courts, and the public were just supposed to suck it up and give in when he issued extreme, hastily drawn-up executive orders. He’s the alpha male! Why isn’t everyone just acknowledging his obvious dominance?

David Brooks thinks the president just needs a buddy or two:

If you could give Donald Trump the gift of a single trait to help his presidency, what would it be?

… the gift I would give Trump would be an emotional gift, the gift of fraternity. I’d give him the gift of some crisis he absolutely could not handle on his own. The only way to survive would be to fall back entirely on others, and then to experience what it feels like to have them hold him up.

Out of that, I hope, would come an ability to depend on others, to trust other people, to receive grace, and eventually a desire for companionship….

Donald Trump didn’t have to have an administration that was at war with everyone but its base….

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He doesn’t have to begin each day making enemies: Nordstrom, John McCain, judges. He could begin each day looking for friends, and he would actually get a lot more done.

But Trump was raised to believe that life is war and the way to win is to be a lone wolf and the meanest SOB on the planet — and then, perhaps more important for the present circumstances, he was politicized by Fox News, a channel run for years by Roger Ailes, who also believes that life is war and America needs a strongman. The new Ailes in Trump’s life, Steve Bannon, also believes in strongmen and perpetual war.

This is the worldview of modern conservatism: cooperation is evil, and collective action even by allies isn’t as good as heroic individualism. And when heroes act, it’s all supposed to work the way it does in the movies: Their bullets always hit their targets, their enemies are always permanently vanquished, and only good things result from their actions.

Trump was supposed to just roll right over the rest of us. His fan base believed that. He believed that. Strongmen always win, you see, and conservatives who talk tough are always strongmen.

It’s not working out like a movie, or a Fox tribute to Ronald Reagan. No wonder Trump is confused.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

authoritarianism, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Fox News