Tuesday, October 23, 2012
By Ugly Americans For Ugly Americans
That should be the tagline for The Gringo Gazette, which bills itself as "Baja's Only English Language Newspaper." The Gringo Gazette is a longtime vanity project of right-winger Carrie Duncan. Her primary focus seems to be pimping real estate and tourism in Cabo, but she never misses an opportunity to attack liberals, environmentalists, regulations, taxes, and government (except when government spends money on projects she supports).
One article about the growth of the middle class in Mexico, written by "Edna Middle", used the example of a prosperous young Mexican living south of Mexico city who had a Spanish translation of Ayn Rand's "Fountainhead" on his table -- a book Edna* deemed "essential reading for Mexico's middle class." I'm quite sure that this example was pulled entirely from Edna's fictional ass. It is extremely rare for The Gringo Gazette to cover anything in Baja north of La Paz, but I'm supposed to believe that they sent a reporter to Mexico City? And that intrepid reported just happened to find the perfect example of Duncan's Randian fantasy among 20+ million people? Yeah, right.
Duncan frequently complains about those protesting the planned mega-resort near Cabo Pulmo Marine Park. She calls them eco-freaks. At the same time, she claims that tourists have saved the Cabo Pulmo Reef from destructive fishermen. That is ridiculous. Government regulation and enforcement of no-fishing zones -- policies advocated by the eco-freaks -- saved Cabo Pulmo. The tourists only arrived after the reef started recovering, and their snorkeling really doesn't do anything beneficial for the fish. Of course, like the right winger she is, Duncan can't possibly admit that the eco-freaks were right, and that government regulation has succeeded, so she gives credit to the developers and tourists instead.
In one of her always painful op eds, Duncan says that her next project after The Gringo Gazette will be to partner with an American ag school graduate to become a share cropper in Central America. She thinks buying land and hiring locals to farm it will help them escape poverty. What a big heart she has. That is the typical historical experience of share cropping, right?
Duncan specifically argues that share cropping would be much better for the locals than teaching them to read. What makes this hilariously stupid is Duncan's inspiration for becoming a share cropper in the first place. In the opening paragraph of the very same op ed, she recalled one of her first trips to Central America.
She met a young American college graduate who was very successful growing snow peas as a share cropper. To her surprise, the young American graduated from business school, not ag school. He knew nothing about agriculture, but he had a book on farming, which he translated for the locals.
Do you follow Duncan's logic? The local people couldn't read, so they had to rely on an American, who himself didn't know how to farm. He taught them how to farm, by reading and translating from a book about farming. Therefore, teaching the locals to read would never help them escape poverty. Instead, what they really need is an American capitalist to buy up the land and tell them what to do.
How thick is Carrie Duncan's skull that it can contain the energy released by the collision of these awesome contradictions? You'd think by now the walls of her office would be coated with a slimy mixture of fake blond hair and botox, but no, she keeps writing.
*Duncan is such a serious journalist that she frequently writes under not-so-clever pseudonyms. For example, articles about transportation projects are written by "Dusty Rhodes". Always. Every week. Over and over.