Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Grito

Today is Mexican Independence Day. If you don't know why, here's the story from MEXonline and Wikipedia:

Shortly before dawn on September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla made a monumentous decision that revolutionized the course of Mexican history. Hidalgo and several educated criollos were involved in a planned revolt against the Spanish colonial government, and when the plotters were betrayed, Hidalgo, a Catholic priest in the village of Dolores, ordered the arrest of Dolores' native Spaniards.

Then Hidalgo rang the church bell as he customarily did to call the indians to mass.

The message that Hidalgo gave to the indians and mestizos,( the Grito of Dolores) called them to retaliate against the hated Gachupines, or native Spaniards, who had exploited and oppressed Mexicans for ten generations.

Although a movement toward Mexican independence had already been in progress since Napoleon's conquest of Spain, Hidalgo's passionate declaration was a swift, unpremeditated decision on his part. (clip)

He urged the exploited and embittered Mexicans to recover the lands that was stolen from their forefathers. (clip)

Approaching sixty years of age, Hidalgo was beloved and greatly respected by Mexicans. Once the dean of the College of San Nicolas at Valladolid in Michoacan (now Morelia), Hidalgo was a well-educated, courageous humanitarian.

He was sympathetic to the Indians, which was unusual amongst Mexican clergymen. Against Gachupin law, Hidalgo taught Indians to plant olives, mulberries and grapevines and to manufacture pottery and leather.

His actions irritated the Spanish viceroy who, as a punitive measure, cut down Hidalgo's trees and vines.

Hidalgo later regretted the bloodbath he had incited with his fateful "Cry of Dolores." When he made his hasty decision in the pre-dawn hours of September 16, he had not foreseen the mass slaughter of Spaniards.

Before the revolutionary troops descended upon Mexico City, Hidalgo retreated with only a few associates to Dolores, where he would be executed by the Gachupines only a year later.

Despite his ambiguity toward the violent class struggle that was the Mexican revolution, Hidalgo is still revered as the father of Mexican independence."

After eleven years of war, Mexico's independence was recognized by the Spanish viceroy on September 27, 1821. Every year at midnight on September 15, Mexicans led by the president of Mexico shout "the Grito", honoring the crucial and impulsive action that was the catalyst for the country's bloody struggle for independence from Spain."

Meanwhile, Wall Street is crumbling as surely as the Spanish Empire slowly crumbled. Here's The Journal.

Landscape Shifts As Pillars Crumble

The financial world begins today in a situation of profound upset, as two pillars of Wall Street effectively crumbled overnight and the solidity of at least one more is in question. Washington, meanwhile, signaled that it won't provide unlimited scaffolding at taxpayers' expense. (clip)

Taken together with this year's absorption of Bear Stearns by J.P. Morgan Chase, the weekend's developments mean that three of Wall Street's five major independent brokers are effectively disappearing, leaving only Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley. But the survivors are unlikely to have an easy time of it. "The economy is slowing, markets are tumultuous and deal making is lethargic. (clip)

With Merrill's fate all but sealed and Lehman on a path to liquidation, all eyes this morning will be on American International Group, which last night was scrambling to put together its own survival plan. Ratings agencies threatened to downgrade the insurer's credit rating if it didn't raise $40 billion by this morning, "a step that would cripple the company," as the New York Times reports. " more

AIG is trading right now at over three dollars. It was down to a dollar a few hours ago.

And as yesterday becomes known as Black Monday, McCain says that the fundamentals of the economy are sound.

Definitely a Howard Beale moment.
It's enough to make us shout

our own Grito.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is ironic that the Bush Administration and it's "free market" principles was supposed to be all about helping the corporation. Most corporations seem to be writhing in agony - many in thows of death or near death. Proping up an oil "driven" economy with war and 100 years of subsidies was also about protecting the American corporation. That too failed.


12:16 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, the Spanish cut off the heads of Hidalgo, Morelos, Allende and that other guy... and put them in bird cages hanging from the four corners of the prison in Guanajuato so that all passers-by would see them and be reminded of the penalty for disobedience. But instead of scaring the indigenous, it made them mad as hell and they didn't take it anymore. Cathy

12:05 PM  

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