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May 5, 2007

¡Viva el Cinco de Mayo!
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 06:38 PM * 61 comments

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day (5 May 1862) when 4,000 Mexican troops under General Zaragosa defeated 8,000 mixed French-and-Mexican troops of Emperor Napoleon III at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City.

While the French cavalry went out chasing the Mexican cavalry (and being cut to ribbons by them), the French infantry attacked the Mexican lines across a muddy field and through a cattle stampede. The results weren’t good for the Hapsburgs.

The roots of the battle were back in 1861, when President Juarez suspended payment of the foreign debt. The English, Spanish, and French objected, and the French sent an army. The Hapsburg army landed at Vera Cruz and marched west toward Mexico City.

Despite the defeat, the Hapsburg forces took Mexico City a year later, and installed Maximillian I as Emperor. Maximillian and the Hapsburgs ruled until 1867.

Mexico’s Independence Day is 16 September. (Mexican independence from Spain dates to 1810.)

El Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in Mexico. In the United States, however, it’s got the same sense among the Mexican-American community as St. Patrick’s Day has with Irish-Americans and Oktoberfest with German-Americans. It’s the day on which more avocados are sold in the US than on any other day.

Today everyone is Mexican.

Comments on ¡Viva el Cinco de Mayo!:
#1 ::: jmnlman ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 07:13 PM:

umm 1862. :)

#2 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 07:24 PM:

Hmmmm.... Yep. Fix'd.

#3 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 07:40 PM:

When did Napoleon III become a Habsburg, as opposed to installing a spare one on the Mexican throne (which had been vacant since Agustín de Iturbide was forced off it decades earlier)?

#4 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:09 PM:

Fragano, I think it's just a little cross-circuiting. Maximilian was a Hapsburg, though. (Trying to look up Napoleon III and that particular reference page is not hitting several people who are indexed to it. Have to try elsewhere...)

#5 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:15 PM:

The reason Cinco de Mayo is a bigger deal in the US than the Dieciseis de Septembre is that it's later in the school year.

Back in the late sixties-early seventies people in the Chicano Moratorium, Brown Berets, etc. in Los Angeles wanted a day to focus Mexican-American community-building, with history lessons and celebrations in the schools and on the street. Since at that time most California schools started in the week of or after Labor Day, that left two weeks or less to prepare for the September 16th Independence Day. But Cinco de Mayo had always been right there as a kind of second-tier patriotic holiday, and it was quite close to the end of the school year and allowed people to build up a nice fat curriculum about it and to produce a well-rehearsed celebration.

It became a drinking holiday later. It happened so gradually I couldn't tell you when.

#6 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:18 PM:

El Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in Mexico. In the United States, however, it’s got the same sense among the Mexican-American community as St. Patrick’s Day has with Irish-Americans and Oktoberfest with German-Americans.

That is to say, it's an occasion for drinking beer -- today, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, and especially Corona.

#7 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:19 PM:

Not to mention that 16 Sept is only a week after Admission Day. (For all you non-Californians, that's the day the ship showed up with the news of official statehood, or so I was taught.)

We had a US attorney general who was a Bonaparte (grandnephew of the first emperor). Reportedly he founded the FBI. There are interesting possibilities here in alternate history.

#8 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:21 PM:

Una cerveza Bohemia o Superior, por favor. (A legacy of the Hapsburgs?)

#9 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:34 PM:

The youthful demographic are packing out every restaurant - bar in the neighborhood that claims to be Mexican.

Drinking much beer -- Check.

None of that drinkin' soon to be howlin' youthful demographic appear to have a bit of Mexican heritage.

Constance

But then, neither do any of the people who own the restaurants, or cook in them. The busboys though, they're pretty much Mexican.

#10 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 08:49 PM:

Constance #9, here, it's mostly Mexicans in the kitchens of every kind of restaurant -- Chinese, Italian, Afghan, what have you.

#11 ::: Cynthia Gonsalves ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 09:07 PM:

#7 - I remember getting California Admission Day off school; it always seemed weird to have a day off right after things got started, but I didn't complain too much.

As for el Cinco de Mayo, as long as we remember what the actual event was that is being celebrated, I figure it's ok to have fun on it. Perhaps it's also a more easily marketable name ( el Dieceseis de Septiembre doesn't roll off my tongue as easily, but then my high school Spanish is thirty years rusty).

#12 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 09:10 PM:

In the United States, however, it’s got the same sense among the Mexican-American community as St. Patrick’s Day has with Irish-Americans and Oktoberfest with German-Americans.

An excuse for drunk-Americans to drink?

I hate Cinco-de-Mayo, almost as much as I hate St. Patricks's day, or even worse (shudder) New Year's Eve. Then, I worked in a bar for a long time. We eventually gave up on the Amateur Nights -- we'd make money, but it wasn't worth the hell we'd go through.

#13 ::: Marcos ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 09:36 PM:

Cinco de Mayo is important because it's my birthday. :) But also because the Battle of Puebla had importance that went beyond that war. If Napoleon III had manged to march on through Mexico more quickly, he was going to go reinforce the Confederates up north. The Civil War might have had a different outcome if not for the Mexicans at Puebla...

#14 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 09:51 PM:

Lucy, may I put that remark up on Wikipedia? Or would you like to?

#15 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 10:05 PM:

Margene has a co-worker who was brought up from their plant in Mexico. She thinks the whole U.S. Cinco de Mayo thing is hilarious, an excuse to get drunk like St. Pat's.

#16 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 10:10 PM:

I am trying, but failing, to think of a holiday about which I care less than Cinco de Mayo. It's just an excuse to hold parties that glorify the violation of immigration laws.

#17 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 10:16 PM:

Glorify the WHAT? Now that's just silly. Unless you think food is subject to immigration laws.

And I bet you care even less about National Gall Bladder Week.

#18 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 10:20 PM:

Earl @ 16

Then so is St Patrick's Day and Columbus Day (that group of illegals is still causing problems!) and Oktoberfest. It is not about the glorification of immigration law violations (unless you vote with the party of Voldemort). [/something or other]

#19 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 10:26 PM:

The most common type of illegal in New York City was Irish, just a few years ago (and may be still, for all I know).

Cinco de Mayo is a big deal in the US because a) everyone can remember when it is; b) people want an excuse to drink Margaritas; c) everyone can remember when it is; d) people like eating nachos and so on also; and e) everyone can remember when it is.

#20 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 10:27 PM:

At work, on Wednesday, we had a non-alcoholic pre-Cinco de Mayo party. Basically, free food (fajitas and refried beans and rice), plus a salsa recipe contest.

A wide variety of pretty good salsas were submitted.

We have a pretty good number of recently arrived Indian employees. I wonder what they made of it all.

#21 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 10:36 PM:

"just an excuse to hold parties that glorify the violation of immigration laws"

Where I spent most of my childhood, the people most likely to celebrate Cinco de Mayo were folks with Spanish surnames, American citizenship, and families that had been in America for more generations than a lot of their Anglo neighbors.

#22 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 11:47 PM:

#14 Randolph, wait a bit. They've locked the article because it's been subject to so much vandalism. And then check the dates and the groups for precision beforehand.

#20 Stefan: at my workplace, which is very small, the Indian employee fretted about what to bring to the potluck because she doesn't know how to cook Mexican food, so I took advantage and asked her to bring Indian vegetables and rice because I personally love it.

The universal farewell on Friday night was "Be careful drinking on Cinco de Mayo."

#23 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 11:52 PM:

That was then, this is now. It is possible, by the way, to wish that immigration laws were properly enforced and still possess a soul. And I would prefer that people who legally protest immigration laws, and the media who report on them, were not willfully and casually brutalized by police.

#24 ::: Tom Barclay ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 11:56 PM:

"just an excuse to hold parties that glorify the violation of immigration laws"

What's a xenophobe doing visiting a site dealing with sf&f, writing and publishing? Looking for a free exchange of ideas?

On a lighter note . . . when we lived in Peoria, weekend tv news was run by recent U of I/ISU grads. One Saturday, we saw the young anchor tell us, "Well, Cinco de Mayo fell on May 5th this year, and Peoria's Hispanic community is out in force to celebrate."

#25 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2007, 11:59 PM:

Here in Chicago, we celebrated Polish Constitution Day (which was actually a couple of days ago, but the parade was today) and Cinco de Mayo together, and so far as I can tell a great time was had by all.

The Immigration Reform March was earlier in the week. It was attended by members of the same groups as those who celebrated today--and by others. Anyone who thinks that immigration reform is the concern of only one ethnic heritage (or that immigrants, legal or otherwise, come to this country from only one part of the world) simply isn't paying attention.

#26 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 12:03 AM:

Isn't Cinco de Mayo really Spanish for "just another day for ski bums to hit the slopes and party afterwards on Mt. Hood because that's the only ski area left open by now?"

Seriously, there was fine snow on Hood today, and I spent four and a half hours skiing at Timberline with the husband. Then we stopped at a nice little Mexican restaurant on our way home and ate wild boar tacos. Was followed into Sandy by a lovely, highly polished, low rider white pickup with a Mexican flag on the hood. Driven by a Latino. Saw several Latino households with outdoor parties going.

And I only fell down once, late in the ski day, when the snow was getting slushy and sloppy. Somehow managed to fall over backward and land on my back, riding my skis downhill. Managed to turn my tips and come to a stop. Thought I'd seriously managed to mess up my knees but no problem.

There were a few Mexicans skiing at Timberline. There were a lot more Indians wandering around trying to make sense of the crazy ski bums skiing in May....

And now I'm sipping a nice little tequila. Over on Daily Kos, I understand that some folks are imbibing in tequila juleps rather than the traditional mint bourbon juleps for Derby Day. Shudder. Why wreck a good tequila with mint?

#27 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 12:06 AM:

It has been traditional for the last several years to hold the immigration reform marches on May First. That is, the marches for decent immigration reform. I think this is not only to leave the rest of the week open for Cinco de Mayo, but also to tap into the rich history of May First as a workers' holiday.

Earl Conley #23: It is possible, by the way, to wish that immigration laws were properly enforced and still possess a soul.

Only if the immigration laws were themselves not brutal, exploitative, irrational, punitive, and counter-productive.

#28 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 12:07 AM:

I wouldn't rush to characterize Earl Cooley as a "xenophobe." He's been around here a long time and posted many perfectly sensible things. I think I don't quite get what he's getting at here.

#29 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 12:16 AM:

Patrick @ 28

I'm confused because Earl's first and second comments here don't quite fit together. (Well, maybe they do for some weird value of fit. Although I think that value may belong in one of the other threads. Possibly it's a complex number.)

#30 ::: Tom Barclay ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 01:59 AM:

Earl Cooley III @16 and 23, Patrick @ 28; Okay, I was hasty. Off-base, too.

But I am getting more nauseous daily as I hear Let's Blame The Illegal Immigrants speeches from the those who refuse to look at the other seven-eighths of that particular economic iceberg.

We've seen this ploy before.

As the late Molly Ivins used to say, "Look at who's doing the screwing, and at who's getting screwed." Two and three generations ago, it was my family.

Find the center of gravity of that iceberg, hidden deep, and tell me "Cui bono?" The same forces destroying unions in this country are those with the most to gain from super-cheap unprotected labor.

If you want to blame someone, go to the roots

#31 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 02:19 AM:

#31:

"If you want to blame someone, go to the roots"

Yeah, those goddamn Plymouth Rock-Jumping Puritans.

#32 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 02:20 AM:

Exploitation of illegal immigrant labor serves to deflate the value of labor of citizens who can't otherwise be so easily manipulated by threat of deportation. If illegal immigrants were to, as a group, seek citizenship through proper channels (and not via unearned blanket amnesty), the result would be better wages for everyone in that economic sector, and a better chance for a Living Wage to supplant Minimum Wage. Immigration laws are ineffective unless they are consistently and pervasively enforced, so that the wealthy leeches who exploit labor will have to dig into their chump change to pay people what they deserve.

#33 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 02:43 AM:

In Australian history, the "fifth of May" is sung as the death-day of Ben Hall in the ballad "The Streets of Forbes", said to be written by an eyewitness in dusty Forbes that bright cold day, with the touch of winter coming in it.
Those links have the right words, here's some quick general background and a midi file.

#34 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 02:54 AM:

Earl, #32. The problem with doing things by the book is that a good fraction of the recent surge of Mexican immigrants came to the USA because they were starving at home, due to problems in Mexican agriculture. Who's going to wait for channels in that situation?

#35 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 03:53 AM:

The immediate difference between NAFTA and the EU is that the EU is an open market in both goods and labour (and here in the UK we get plenty of xenophobic rhetoric about workers from Eastern Europe).

In NAFTA, on the other hand, the workers are trapped, and the US corporate culture can exploit workers in Mexico, trapped there by US immigration laws.

If NAFTA worked in the same way as the EU, there'd also be some heavy investment in infrastructure in Mexico. It's a choice the EU has made, and effectively we take over countries with money, not munitions; building, rather than breaking.

#36 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 06:39 AM:

If the Mexican government isn't willing to pay to solve its own fairly hideous rich-poor dichotomy, let Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Cantellano wait in line with the dignitaries from the rest of the third-world hellholes for an increase in foreign aid. Better yet, let Halliburton buy Mexico with the spoils they looted from Afganistan and Iraq. That'll solve the immigration problem in one fell swoop. heh.

#37 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 07:16 AM:

I refer Mr. Cooley to my second paragraph, above.

#38 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 07:23 AM:

Xopher @ 19

and e) everyone can remember when it is.

Not after the third Margarita they can't.

#39 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 07:41 AM:

Mary Frances @ 25

Anyone who thinks that immigration reform is the concern of only one ethnic heritage (or that immigrants, legal or otherwise, come to this country from only one part of the world) simply isn't paying attention.

Or hasn't been here long enough to understand the problem.

But seriously, folks, immigration's not an ethnic issue at all*, it's a simple case of osmotic pressure and the resultant migration across barriers.

Increased illegal immigration is the natural result of a deliberate policy of economic globalization. Immigration is a part of the way formerly independent economies have to level-set when they're connected so closely by trade agreements. Lowering barriers to trade is naturally going to result in increased flow of immigration across borders, and whether we want globalization or not, it's rather late to turn back and re-establish the barriers.


* Well, it's an ethnic issue for someone who has a particular grudge against a particular ethnos, and wants to use illegal immigration as a political issue. But fences will stop it as well as sand stops the rising tide, because it's driven by some very powerful economic forces.

#40 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 07:47 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 31

Yeah, those goddamn Plymouth Rock-Jumping Puritans.

Nah, I blame it all on those damn liberal Natives, who just wouldn't enforce the immigration laws, and keep the riff-raff out.

#41 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 09:26 AM:

I've often wished that the mortality rate in the first year of the Plymouth settlement had been twice as high.

#42 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 09:36 AM:

No doubt millions of America's children would be more than willing to donate their unwanted beets and broccoli to the poor starving children of Mexico, prompting their parents to assuage their wealthy guilt by donating huge wads of cash to Save The Children Mexico.

#43 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 10:42 AM:

Earl, why don't you simply say that you want all the 'brown people' to leave? It would be a little more honest. (And still wrong. Go look up the Mexican-American war sometime.)

#44 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 10:55 AM:

One reason the Cinco de Mayo has become an important holiday in the US is that it's a spring festival generally held when it's warm enough to picnic.

#45 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 11:34 AM:

Earl, you're not wrong to note that capital uses illegal immigration as a means of avoiding having to negotiate fairly with domestic labor.

However, the problem with simply cranking up enforcement is that every time we've tried it, the effects on legal, native, here-for-generations Americans with brown skin and Spanish surnames have been dire. That's why so many of the people who turn out for pro-immigrant marches are American citizens.

The idea that we can improve the negotiating position of American labor by clamping down harder on illegal immigrants sounds just as good, and works just as well, as the idea that we can eliminate the human propensity to take recreational drugs by making lots of drugs very, very illegal. In both cases, what actually happens is that the basic "problem" remains thoroughly in place, along with an extra-special bonus of more law-enforcement bureaucracy, more heavily-armed dingbats in government uniforms, more people in jail, and more injustice all around.

Bottom line: You're right, there's a problem. Your proposed solution, whenever implemented, creates more problems without solving the original problem.

#46 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 12:08 PM:

Patrick@45: Don't forget to include, in your list of ill effects, "enabling various extremely sleazy, not to say criminal, people to make a great deal of money off of the desire of ordinary unsleazy people to circumvent the law."

#47 ::: John F ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 12:35 PM:

Hmm. I was more fond of Cinco De Mayo when it didn't effectively trap me in (or out) of my home on the closest weekend. I live near a major road that becomes jammed at night on CdM by cruising teenagers and partyers, and because of that the police set up various road blocks and the like to try to control traffic flow. As such, either I stay in all night (and no pizza delivery either), or I go out for the night and have to take an extremely circitous and traffic-jammed route home.

That said, excepting the traffic problems, it seems like a fun enough time. If I wasn't having health/work problems, I'd probably be visiting the festival downtown this weekend.

#48 ::: poopy pants ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 12:43 PM:

In a civilized society, it would be proper to respect the rule of law.
But in the market-dictates-all society we live in, Mexicans are going to sneak in, following the flow of capital. It's silly to think that people aren't going to try to capture it, legal or not.
Respect the law, or feed your family--which would (or will, by the looks of it) you do?

#49 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 01:06 PM:

P J Evans @ 43: Earl, why don't you simply say that you want all the 'brown people' to leave?

No, I don't want all the brown people to leave. I want all the rich people to put me in their wills and then invest all of their viable organs in transplant banks. Immediately.

#50 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 01:39 PM:

I'll second Patrick that Earl's got one thing right: the tiered labor system is used to disempower citizen labor. However, as long as there is such a thing as an illegal category of workers, that will be used that way. We've not always had that category. There's a long history of including and excluding various categories of workers, mainly with the purpose of controlling the "labor market."

Truly open borders for workers, with similar wage laws and working conditions and environmental laws in every country, is what we ought to want. We ought to be working for higher wages for low-wage workers across the whole hemisphere, with decent conditions and environmental protections (get the WTO to stop making Third World producers dose their exports with methyl bromide, for example, and no more Bhopals).

#51 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 02:14 PM:

Re: #20 "A wide variety of pretty good salsas were submitted. We have a pretty good number of recently arrived Indian employees. I wonder what they made of it all."

They probably liked the salsas. IIUC, India used to have a lot of religious/social holidays, rather than a regular week-end one, and retains much of that custom, so I don't suppose people from India would find this celebration confusing.

Re: #24 ..." One Saturday, we saw the young anchor tell us, "Well, Cinco de Mayo fell on May 5th this year, and Peoria's Hispanic community is out in force to celebrate."

Probably should've said "...fell on Saturday...". One of my nearby small towns (possibly some members of the City Government do not have Hispanic surnames) decorates lamp-posts & has a Program in the park on the Saturday nearest the 5th of May, which seems to be the common practice -- it's not viewed as something to be literal about. (Unlike a religious event such as, say, the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist (I think it is), when families just quietly drift around the fence (posted "No Trespassing") and go swimming in the local flowing-water river.)


#52 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 02:32 PM:

Fragano (#44): One reason the Cinco de Mayo has become an important holiday in the US is that it's a spring festival generally held when it's warm enough to picnic. Well, last Saturday it was hot in Prescott, but yesterday it rained downtown and -- I was amazed to see -- up in our hills it *snowed* for about half an hour (little granular bits that bounced, then proceeded to melt, but still....).

In other Cinco-related news, our Fox affiliate showed the Giants vs. the Phillies, and I got a kick out of the home team wearing "Gigantes" as the logo on their uniforms for the day.

#53 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 04:47 PM:

Faren Miller #52: I swear this has been a year for truly weird weather.

Somebody/bodies will no doubt have written indignant letters to the newspapers complaining about the 'Gigantes' logo.

#54 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 07:17 PM:

As an Englishman in California, it's nice to find out that this is a holiday that doesn't celebrate fighting the English, for a change.
Now, how about a holiday to celebrate Drake's 1579 landing in SF bay?

#55 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 08:55 PM:

Although the proximate cause of Cinco de Mayo was the suspension of debt payments, part of the problem was that the Mexican elites (whites, mostly) had major problems being ruled by Benito Juarez, a full-blooded Indian. Maximillian had been approached in 1859 to assume the Mexican crown by a group of Mexicans.

My Latin American history survey class* pointed out that this cultural bias was and is a huge problem in Latin America. Some of the current economic problems that lead to Mexico exporting immigrants to the US have this at their roots.

(Lest anyone get confused, I make no claims that the USA or anywhere else is perfect in this regard).

*taught by a Mexican woman who'd gotten her PhD in Oxford, resulting in an interesting mix of accents.

#56 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2007, 09:11 PM:

Chris @ 55

I've been told that his land-ownership reforms were a major part of the trigger for the invasion. Seems the (mostly upperclass white) landowners objected to the (mostly indio and meztizo) peasants actually being allowed to own the land they were working. (And the clause that said that 5 years of not-being-worked threw the land open to claims was like putting a match to a fuse.)

When people who are desperately poor consider being an illegal in the US preferable to being legal in whatever country they are from, then the country they are from needs to make changes somewhere. (It may be helpful to read Stan Robinson's rant about the IMF and the World Bank in Sixty Days and Counting.)

#57 ::: Writerious ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2007, 12:59 AM:

If I remember my history correctly (and that's a big "if"), part of the deal that France was contemplating at the time was trading aid to the Confederacy in exchange for large parts of the former Louisiana Purchase. And let us recall that the French army of the early to mid 19th century was the most formidable army in Europe.

Yes, there are excellent reasons for red-blooded American patriots to stop trash-talking "immigrants" and celebrate the Battle of Puebla.

Funny how immigration is only an "issue" when it brings in groups of people other than our own ancestors. Of course, it was an "issue" when it brought some of my ancestors in, too: Bohemians, Irish, and Scots.

Yes, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, unless they talk funny and have names we can't pronounce and eat different food and take all our jobs we don't really want but will still grouse about, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah.

And I hope folks don't start with the "My ancestors came here legally" arguments if they don't distinguish between legal and illegal immigration in their own rants to begin with. Doubly so if their ancestors came here before there were any immigration laws at all imposed by people of European descent (who came here with no regard to what the indigenous people thought of their arrival).

#58 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2007, 01:01 AM:

Erik Olson @ 12: I hate Cinco-de-Mayo, almost as much as I hate St. Patricks's day, or even worse (shudder) New Year's Eve. Then, I worked in a bar for a long time.I hate Cinco-de-Mayo, almost as much as I hate St. Patricks's day, or even worse (shudder) New Year's Eve. Then, I worked in a bar for a long time.

Strangely, I used to love working the bar during St Patrick's Day. It was one of the few days in the year when people were just looking to have a good time, instead of concentrating on getting drunk/looking good/hooking up/whatever.

#59 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2007, 01:09 AM:

Anarch, I used to give seminars all over the country on how to connect mainframes and standalone word processors (yes, I'm that old) and one year we were in New York City over St. Patrick's Day and nobody came back after lunch.

#60 ::: Gabrielle ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2009, 02:08 PM:

UNO!

#61 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2009, 07:03 AM:

Gabrielle #60: Hazme el gran favor de besar mi culo.

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