Book Review–We Won’t Forget You… Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White

Did you ever consider the implications of what you blog about?  Perhaps you should! Robert McGillicuddy has his hands full caring for an elderly father, pregnant daughter, teenage granddaughter and BP, his affectionate dog.  In the moments he isn’t trying to juggle all his obligations, he writes a blog with a steadily growing readership.  He is blissfully unaware that it’s been flagged by the government as subversive.  Life is about to change drastically for the McGillicuddy family.

I enjoyed reading about the ordinary lives of the characters and Robert’s blog posts in We Won’t Forget You… Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White.  Robert’s father’s daily struggles were so typical of many elderly today.  His daughter’s efforts to provide for her children and the failure of the system for those who most need it also have a strong basis in reality.  It’s no wonder Robert becomes vocal about the government’s shortcomings in his blog posts.

I least liked that the book ended.  I’m hoping there is a sequel in the works.  How do Robert and his family manage?  They aren’t in the least prepared for the situation they find themselves in.  There certainly aren’t Preppers.  What will they do?  Perhaps they should come to La Yacata! 

This book appealed to me especially because of my own blog topic this month and its Prepper theme.  My posts were mostly in jest (A to Z reasons why La Yacata is the place to be WTSHTF) however they do address real concerns about living in Mexico.  With the current situation in the US under the newest red-haired leader, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find that life there deteriorates rapidly in the next couple of months as well.

We Won’t Forget You… Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White will be an enjoyable read for most everyone because of its commentary on everyday struggles in the land of the free and the brave.  It might even inspire its readers to create their own Prepper communities in preparation for possible societal disaster in the near future.  However, those that prefer to keep their heads in the sand about current events won’t enjoy this book.

I rate We Won’t Forget You… Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White 3 out of 4 stars.  I would like to have given it a perfect 4-star review, however, I think there needs to be a bit more development in some of the main characters.  Gil and Robert have fully fleshed out characters down to the minutest detail but Ruby and Sapphire seem very one-dimensional.  I would also like to see more of Robert’s blog posts.  Maybe some of the aside chapters, those sections that had nothing to do with the McGillicuddy family, could be presented as blog posts.  And, of course, I want to know what happens next!

three stars

This post was proofread by Grammarly.

This book was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day.  Read about it here.

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Surviving a Solar storm in La Yacata

A solar flare is evident when there is a flash of brightness near the Sun’s surface. This flare causes a number of types energy emissions that often send out clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms into space, reaching Earth up to 2 days after the initial event. These flares can affect Earth’s ionosphere and interfere with radio communications.

Nanahuatzin

Nanahuatzin The Fifth Aztec Sun god

A solar flare can escalate in intensity and become a solar storm. Solar storms have been on record since 2225 B.C.E. The Aztecs are thought to have personified solar storms with their sun god Nanahuatzin, who being full of sores, periodically flaked skin away. Incidentally, Nanahuatzin was considered The Fifth Sun, the god whose demise would bring on the Aztec apocalypse with his death.

Scientists have been able to measure the effects of solar storms on the Earth since 1859. The potential for devastation can not be over emphasized. Solar flares can emit energy equivalent to a billion hydrogen bombs and are difficult to predict with any accuracy.

While most scientists agree that a solar storm would not destroy Earth, it definitely would destroy the world as we know it, technologically wise, at least for a time.  In 1859, a solar storm hit the Earth’s magnetosphere and caused one of the largest geomagnetic storms on record. In addition to intense auroras, bright enough to read a newspaper by, telegraphs operators were shocked and telegraph paper set on fire.  A similarly powerful storm was detected in 2012 and missed Earth by a period of nine days.

Because the intensity of a solar storm could melt copper wires that are part of the power distribution system, a large storm would cause massive power outages. This would affect the internet, any grid-tied device, many urban water and sewer systems, gas pumps, medical equipment and so on.  It might take years to repair and reestablish the electric grid network.

In the case of a solar storm, La Yacata is the perfect place to be. We have no electricity, so grid-down would not adversely affect our daily life. (See Cooking without electricity) Of course, without the internet, I wouldn’t be able to write these blog posts you enjoy so much, nor would you be able to read them, so there is that. But overall, it’s a completely survivable event, at least in our case.

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Surviving Revolution in La Yacata

anon

A revolution is a change in power when the population revolts against the current organizational structures, i.e government. And as such, revolution in Mexico is not an uncommon phenomenon.

hidalgo

Throughout the centuries, regional groups have vied for control of certain areas in Mexico, only to be toppled from within. The Spanish came to power in Mexico as a direct result of a general revolution and the decimation caused by smallpox pandemic. (See La Malinche, Surviving a Pandemic) The son of La Malinche and Hernan Cortes, Martin, headed the first failed revolution against Spanish rule in 1566. There were several insurrections over the centuries but nothing large scale until the 1800s. In 1810 Miguel Hidalgo united the people with his Grito de Dolores for another go at revolution (See May 8) After Hidalgo’s death, Jose Morelos led the rebellion and then Vicente Guerrero carried on the fight. Mexico finally gained its independence from Spain in 1836.

All did not rest easy for the fledgling Mexico. Texas rose up in rebellion and won its independence from Mexico in 1836 as well, substantially reducing the overall size of the newly formed country.

benito

Free, and for me, sacred, is the right to think…Education is fundamental for social happiness; It is the principle on which rest the freedom and greatness of the people.–Benito Juarez

Without hardly a pause, Mexico plunged into a 3-year civil war from 1857-1860 over proposed reforms to the constitution and the ultimate power of the Catholic Church. In the face of such political instability, France was able to invade Mexico and set up a monarchy which resulted in yet another revolution (1861-1867) ending with the execution of emperor Maximilian I. (See Battle of Puebla) Benito Juarez was reelected in 1868. However, beginning in 1871 Porfirio Diaz led several rebellions which led to his “election” in 1877 and subsequent 30-year dictatorship. During this period, Mexico lost control of most of its largest businesses to foreign companies and the resultant repression of the underclass led to the revolution of 1910. Emiliano Zapata, Venustiano Carranza, and Pancho Villa served as commanders of opposing forces during this confusing revolution, while the US repeatedly attempted to invade during the 11-year chaos.

no justicia

If there is no justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government. –Emiliano Zapata

From 1911 to 1932, the Mexican government was far from stable. There were 15 presidents during this time period, with some serving just a few months before being assassinated and one serving a mere 45 minutes before resigning. The sparks of revolution were fanned into flame again. The Cristero Rebellion occurred from 1926 to 1929 over the attempt by the federal government to reduce the power of the Catholic Church.

cristero

From 1940 until 1994, Mexico established 6-year elections. Strangely enough, each time, the PRI candidate won, leading to speculation on the overall impartiality of the election process.

zapatista

Since 1994, Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) has been at war against the Mexican state. The Zapatista Revolution began as a protest against the signing of NAFTA which has done nothing for the Mexican people except widen the gap between the rich and the poor. EZLN also demanded democracy for the country where one political party (PRI) held power for more than 70 years. (See Politicking).

protest3

No forgiveness, Not forgotten, We are missing 43!

Even more recently, is the social movement for revolution sparked at the disappearance of 43 student teachers (See El Dia del Estudiante and La Llorona) in 2014.  As well as the teacher protests in Oaxaca against governmental education reform in 2016.

oaxaca

12 dead and 22 disappeared in Oaxaca June 2016

It remains to be seen whether a full-scale revolution results.

So how can you survive the next revolution?

Anonymous has some interesting suggestions in addition to the regular, run of the mill, Prepper be-prepared recommendations.

The first thing to do is be aware of a potential situation. There are always warning signs. Riots in urban areas, media cover-ups, censorship, unsubstantiated rumors and so on. Once you have established an area is ripe for revolution, do your Prepper thing, i.e. have food, water, and medical supplies stockpiled. Do not use drugs or drink alcohol excessively as they will make you vulnerable and you’ll need all your wits about you in a crisis situation. Do not trust the police under any circumstances. Document your experiences in order to report atrocities to international media but keep it discreet. Do not use your mobile phone as it will be monitored. Stay away from violent situations and urban areas.

So with so much history in revolution, rebellion and mass uprising, La Yacata is the place to be for the next conflict. After all, we’ve staged our own successful coup (See The Birth of the Revolution). We’ve learned not to trust the police (See Safety and Security and Justice for All? and Just another weekend adventure). I’ve become an expert on documenting my experiences (See Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters). We are on the way to becoming self-sufficient (See Building a dream, Constructing a life). We never have money on our mobile phones to make any incriminating phone calls. We are not in an urban area. And I stay away from drugs and alcohol at least so there’s at least one sane adult present at all times.

So in the event of revolution, I’ll see you here!

viva

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Surviving a Quake in La Yacata

earthquake

Mexico is located on three large tectonic plates(Cocos plate, Pacific plate, and North American plate) which makes it one of the most earthquake-prone and seismologically active countries in the world.

In 1985, Mexico City was hit with a series of earthquakes. The foreshocks, aftershocks and main earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1, caused somewhere between 5,000 and 45,000 deaths with many of the bodies never recovered, at least 50,000 injuries and left another 100,000 homeless. Mexico City was built an ancient lake bed, which further added to the instability of the area. Over the course of the destruction, 420 buildings collapsed completely and another 3,124 buildings were seriously damaged.

Odds are if you are in Mexico for a long enough time, you will experience an earthquake. We’ve even had tremors in Moroleon since we’ve lived here. It’s par and parcel of living in such a seismically active country.

So how can you optimize your chances of survival in the event of an earthquake?

Experts recommend staying indoors and moving to the interior walls, taking refuge under well-built tables or desks. Stay away from areas near windows, hanging wall objects, heavy furniture or fireplaces. The first floor of a building is safer than subsequent floors. On the first floor, the danger comes from being covered in rubble. On other floors, there is the additional danger of falling and then being covered with rubble, exacerbating injuries. Although the professionals like to say that since the 1985 earthquake, buildings in Mexico have been redesigned and reinforced to withstand earthquakes, we all know how permits are bought and sold and contractors skimp on materials to pocket just a little more.

If you are outdoors during an earthquake, move to an open area where you are less likely to be hit by falling objects, such as buildings, trees or power lines. Stay away from bridges and keep alert for sinkholes. Personally, I think outdoors would be much safer in the event this natural disaster. Fortunately, La Yacata has quite a bit open space, thus putting it at the top of a survival environment in the event of an earthquake.

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