Back in time El Paso, Texas was isolated from most of the United States. Hardly anybody ever left. This was in the forties an fifties. But then started the trickle in my family. Los Angeles and the rest of California were the main places. It was almost a religious thing, the pilgrimage to L.A. and back. They inadvertently came back to El Paso. Then one uncle, Frank Ochoa on my mom’s side of the family, and then another on my Dad’s side, Jose Montoya left. They would come back to visit but they were gone, never to come back accept for a brief visit. These were the first ones to leave our parochial town.
I never thought that I would leave. I loved the city, the thought of leaving never entered my mind. I stayed put. There were not many jobs to be found, those that existed did not pay much. But, I figured that with enough schooling I would be able to find work. Got married not long after high school graduation, and then the kids came. I had kept on going to school, went to night school at Burge High School and El Paso Tech. I was interested in My interested electronics and did well in classes related to that. There were few jobs in electronics in town. I had to get whatever jobs that I could to support my young and growing family. Worked food service at first and just managed. The only way to get a decent job was if you knew someone that could open doors for you. I thought I could make it on my own, and so I struggled.
After trying to find work and finding only food service jobs paying low wages I finally got smart. Deciding to ask for help, I found it in a couple of uncles that worked for one of the biggest employers in town, Farah Manufacturing. My uncle Joe Farah got me into the garment factory. Later Uncle Eddie Ochoa got me into their research and development shop. More tales to tell later on the eleven or so years that I spent at Farah. It was a great learning experience, leaning to work with people, knowing how to go up the corporate structure, but best of all applying my basic electrons classes. In the end, I had to leave. Problems within Farah family over control of the company and attempts to unionize created an unstable environment. And so I left Farah.
I am skipping over a lot of history but that will be the next step in telling the story related to my leaving El Paso for better pastures. My oldest boy had a good job in town working for an electronics company. The second son only found work in food service. My older brother had lived in Dallas for some time, so I suggested to my second eldest that he look for work in Dallas. It did not take him long to decide to go there where he found jobs easily. The electronics company my eldest worked with started one of many restructuring steps. Eventually, he too left for the Dallas area. The story is still incomplete but let me just stop here to say that I too followed in seeking work in Dallas.
Britain and the US, perhaps on different paths but much the same results. Good article by Gary on Brexit.
There is the unmistakable whiff of death coming from the direction of Theresa May’s government. It is, by all accounts, teetering on the brink of collapse under the weight of repeated scandal. If it’s not sexual misconduct in the defence department, it’s a renegade minister trying to divert aid to the Israeli army. But the big issue, as always, is Brexit. Talking of which – the
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Gary and his photographic essay. Each portrait seems to be telling us a story. As always, I really like his photography!
It would have been nice to have had a day or two at each stop to just wander off by myself with my camera looking for interesting this to photograph. I do enjoy a good urban stroll, losing myself in backstreets and stumbling across treasures the usually remain hidden from the normal tourist gaggles. But we didn’t have the time for such luxuries. Mrs P would also have been most displeased if I had abandoned her to her own devices.
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Gary speaking about India makes me wonder about the future of Mexico and the United States with respect to the environment.
I described India a couple of weeks ago as challenging. And suggested that such a description is polite. I don’t think many people who have been to India would consider such a description to be controversial. India is challenging, on so many levels. Your senses will be assaulted. Your ears through the constant, deafening noise. Your nose and lungs through the often
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Now we get to read some of the writing behind the picture of his visit to India. Thanks, Gary. A great blog to read and enjoy.
Imagine London 50 years from now, baking in a sweltering, climate-change-induced 40 degrees centigrade. With a population exceeding 40 million, social order has largely broken down. The people have been granted their wish and largely govern themselves. It hasn’t worked out terribly well and chaos reigns across this once great metropolis. Icons of it’s illustrious past – Westminster, St Pauls Cathedral,
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This a must read story by Gary. It reflects life India as is it is. Many sad things to see but there are wonders too.
We’ve been back from our trip to India for more than a week. Seven days to gather my thoughts and put them into appropriately organised bits and bytes on my blog for you to read. But where does one even begin? India is a truly extraordinary place. Specifically, Delhi. Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Udaipur – the destinations we visited. Words cannot do them justice. But I will try. Perhaps a little brainstorming would help, to try and come up with the right adjectives?
India is vibrant. Bright. Polluted. Colourful. Noisy. Tranquil. Misogynistic. Welcoming. Cruel. Alive. Depressing. Extravagant. Neglected. Bustling. Delicious. Dirty. Diverse. Historic. Relentless. Dusty. Hospitable. Dangerous. Poverty-stricken. Capitalist. Decaying. Functional. Edgy. Stinky. Spicy. Choking. Cheerful. Exhausted. Indomitable. Brutal. Brilliant. Ugly.
These are all great words to describe India. And whilst it is true that you could apply them to virtually any country, India is perhaps the only country to…
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Revisiting an introduction to
George Orwell’s 1984. It has been less than a year since Donald Trump
took office. It is clear that his actions are leading to the subversion
of American institutions. Government agencies exist for the sole purpose
of restructuring themselves. The Department of Justice is still far from
embracing the notion of justice for all. The Supreme Court is defending
the federal government, not the people. The Civil Rights Movement has
been set back, and minority rights are being trampled upon! Orwell’s 1984
update for our generation. It should be update for Donald Turkp’s for his
campaign. For his next election. And his follow through. This has
to do with his flipping the purpose of American institutions. , such as
the EPA and the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is
tearing down the Civil Rights Act. The Environmental Protection Agency is
deregulating controls on the protection of the environment. A reread of
Orwell’s 1984 would be useful in seeing our furture under a Trumpalian
George Orwell’s 1984, like many works of literature,
unmistakably carries with it literary traditions reaching back to the earliest
of storytellers. Among the literary traditions that Orwell uses is the concept
of utopia, which he distorts effectively for his own purposes. Utopia, or
Nowhere Land, is an ideal place or society in which human beings realize a
perfect existence, a place without suffering or human malady. Orwell did not
originate this genre. In fact, the word utopia is taken from Sir Thomas More’s
Utopia, written in 1516. The word is now used to describe any place considered
to be perfect.
In 1984, Orwell creates a technologically advanced
world in which fear is used as a tool for manipulating and controlling
individuals who do not conform to the prevailing political orthodoxy. In his
attempt to educate the reader about the consequences of certain political
philosophies and the defects of human nature, Orwell manipulates and usurps the
utopian tradition and creates a dystopia, a fictional setting in which life is
extremely bad from deprivation, oppression, or terror. Orwell’s dystopia is a
place where humans have no control over their own lives, where nearly every
positive feeling is squelched, and where people live in misery, fear, and
The setting of 1984 is Oceania, a giant country
comprised of the Americas; the Atlantic Islands, including the British Isles;
Australia; and the southern portion of Africa. Oceania’s mainland is called Air
Strip One, formerly England. The story itself takes place in London in the year
1984, a terrifying place and time where the human spirit and freedom are all
but crushed. In the novel, war is constant. The main character, Winston Smith,
born before the World War II, grew up knowing only hunger and political
instability, and many of the things that he experiences are hyperboles of real
activities in wartime Germany and the Soviet Union.
It is important to remember that Orwell based 1984 on
the facts as he knew them; hunger, shortages, and repression actually happened
as a result of the extreme governmental policies of these countries. The war
hysteria, the destruction of the family unit, the persecution of “free
thinkers” or those who were “different” or not easily assimilated into the
party doctrine, the changing of history to suit the party’s agenda, were all
too real. Orwell’s speculation of the future is actually a creative extension
of how the masses were treated under Franco, Hitler, and
By setting 1984 in London, Orwell is able to invoke the
atmosphere of a real war-torn community, where people live in “wooden dwellings
like chicken houses” in bombed-out clearings. His intent clearly was to
capitalize on a memory that every reader, especially a British reader, was
likely to have. London in 1984, then, becomes not just a make-believe place
where bad things happen to unknown people, but a very real geographical spot
that still holds some connection for the modern reader.
In 1984, the world is sliced into three political
realms — the super states of Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. Orwell drew these
lines fairly consistent with the political distribution of the Cold War era
beginning after World War II. Each of these three states is run by a
totalitarian government that is constantly warring on multiple fronts. By
creating an entire world at war, Orwell not only creates a terrifying place,
but he also eliminates the possibility of escape for Winston, who is forced to
live within his present circumstances, horrible and unremitting as they
Oceania’s political structure is divided into three
segments: the Inner Party, the ultimate ruling class, consisting of less than 2
percent of the population; the Outer Party, the educated workers, numbering
around 18 to 19 percent of the population; and the Proles, or the proletariat,
the working class. Although the Party (Inner and Outer) does not see these
divisions as true “classes,” it is clear that Orwell wants the reader to see
the class distinctions. For a socialist such as Orwell, class distinctions mean
the existence of conflict and class struggle. In Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s
Soviet Union, for example, the few people who comprised the ruling class had a
much higher standard of living than the masses, but in these nations, as in
1984, revolt was all but impossible.
They may be old but not old fashioned. Love what Margaret and Helen blog. Frump is just doing another redirect to take the public’s eye off the investigations.
Margaret, last week six football players knelt during the national anthem. This week it was 200. And just like Colin Kaepernick, they weren’t making a statement about the flag. I swear this president is so stupid, he couldn’t find his ass if both hands were in his back pockets.
Lord help me, but I’ve taken a knee and I don’t want to get up. Maybe I can’t get up. I’m not sure which. Three and a half million American citizens are in crisis in Puerto Rico, North Korea is threatening Armageddon, Russia used Facebook to influence our elections, Nazis are running over young women, Congress wants to take healthcare away from poor people… and our president has nothing better to do except name calling to get a cheer at his Klan rally.
As the widow of a veteran, I have no issue with any player taking a knee to protest…
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