Posts Tagged ‘Cinco de Mayo’

Cinco de Mayo

Posted in General, On This Day on May 5th, 2011 by Eugene Finerman – 3 Comments

May 5, 1862:  The French Army Has a Faux Pas

Imagine that you have been mugged 47 times but once managed to fight off an attacker.  Wouldn’t you have a holiday to commemorate your token triumph?  Perhaps you wouldn’t but Mexico does.  On this day in 1862, a threadbare, outnumbered Mexican force thwarted a French attack on the town of Puebla. 

But what were the French doing there in the first place?  Napoleon III–unlike Hamlet–admired his uncle and tried to be a world conqueror, too.  Mexico had defaulted on its international debts, and  France decided to collect the entire country.  America’s Monroe Doctrine would have opposed France’s invasion, but we were somewhat preoccupied with the Civil War.  Besides, Napoleon III could tell that the South was going to win; so why worry about the former United States. 

Of course, the battle of Puebla was an embarrassment to the French but hardly a decisive defeat.  The rebuffed invaders  simply awaited reinforcements; the next battle of Puebla would be a French victory.  So was the battle of Mexico City.  With much of the country under their control, in 1864 the French established a puppet government with the affable and very gullible Austrian Archduke Maximilian as the “Emperor of Mexico”. 

Mexican patriots, rallying around President Benito Juarez, remained defiant if not particularly intimidating.  But in 1865, the American government was prepared to offer Juarez more than sympathy:  General Grant and an army of 50,000 were ready to enforce the Monroe Doctrine.  And suddenly the French decided to leave.  Unfortunately, the Emperor Maximilian did not.  He was certain that the Mexican people would like him once they got to know him.  He might have been right; but that evidently wasn’t the case with his firing squad. 

(The humiliated French would attempt to take out their frustration on the Prussians.  Any idea how well that worked out?  I wonder if Juarez sent Bismarck a complimentary sombrero.)

So today Mexico celebrates doing to the French what it wished it had done to us.  

Monday Medley

Posted in General on May 5th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

Cinco de Mayo

Today Mexico celebrates doing to the French what it wished it had done to us. And if the French were defeated by threadbare Mexicans in the 1860s, how did they expect to do against the Prussians in 1870?

Barbara Walters Reveals Affair With Senator

Stop retching. Barbara Walters once was attractive, as you can see from her centerfold photos by Matthew Brady. I am more concerned that the media outlets will get jealous of the publicity and force their correspondents to admit to their affairs.

And here are some of the possibilities…

CBS: Given the public’s complete indifference to Katie Couric–even her sex life, the network announced that Walter Cronkite had an affair with Mamie Eisenhower. “When Ike found out, it caused that heart attack. He thought of killing us both and then resigning from office, but he couldn’t trust Nixon to give him a pardon.”

ABC: George Stephanopoulos admits to sex with everyone that he has ever interviewed. He did concede that most of the interviewees never noticed. “I just pretend to bump into them. Sometimes, by the fourth or fifth bump, they catch on. The Pope did, and he was one of the few who bumped back.”

CNN: Anderson Cooper confesses to having sex with William Howard Taft. “Actually, just his skull–his eye socket if you must know. It is a Yale thing, the initiation for…well, I can’t tell you. The worst part was that no one cleaned the chewing tobacco juice left from George Bush.”

FOX: The entire staff of the network is pleased to announced that it has made love to Karl Rove. Neal Cavuto wished to clarify that his particular action was less sexual and more of an act of hygiene.

Hagee: Public schools give abortions

In a sermon given at his San Antonio, Texas Cornerstone megachurch that was telecast and available in up to ninety million homes worldwide, controversial pastor John Hagee, who has endorsed the presidential bid of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, Jr., claimed that American public schools provide abortion services. Hagee stated, “Your daughter can get an abortion in public school without telling you but she can’t get an aspirin without your approval.”

Yes, it was the Wednesday Special at my high school cafeteria. Just ask for a “scrambled omelet” and you’d get one. You could have lunch at the same time and be ready for your next class. But bear in mind what public school abortions were like before Roe vs. Wade. The poorer students had to go to the woodshop class, where the procedures would performed by the dumbest and meanest kids in the school. As a warning to the shop students, three fatalities would be a failing grade. The affluent students went to Honors English; there they were assigned a novel by Thomas Hardy. Reading three chapters of “Jude the Obscure” is guaranteed to drain any life out of you.