Mexico

Photo Of The Day

Photo Credit Jan Bondeson. A 19th-century image of Julia Pastrana, touring as “the ugliest woman in the world.”

Photo Credit Jan Bondeson.
A 19th-century image of Julia Pastrana, touring as “the ugliest woman in the world.”

A Dignified Ending for an Ugly Story

Julia’s  husband called her a “Bear Woman.”

An 1854 advertisement in The New York Times said she was the “link between mankind and the Orang-utan.” She became known in popular imagination during the mid-19th century as “the ugliest woman in the world.” After she died from complications of childbirth, her body and the body of her baby appeared for decades in “freak” exhibitions throughout Europe.

Julia Pastrana was born in 1834. She arrived, steeped in mystery, and her life was as strange and sad as her birth. She was believed to have been born within a small tribe of Native Americans on the western slopes of Mexico. Not a lot is known about her early childhood, but she first appeared in public, when, in 1854, she was brought out and exhibited at the Gothic Hall on Broadway.

The name she was billed under was a cruel and sad insult to her condition.

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Even Mexico may beat us to legalising cannabis

It looks like Mexico is investigating legalising cannabis.

I hope they do.  It will be interesting to see a major illegal crop turn into a legal commodity and to observe how this changes crime, the economics and society around it.

Mexico’s supreme court plans to discuss a proposal that could effectively legalize the consumption and production of marijuana for recreational use in a session at the end of October.

Judges will vote on whether to declare unconstitutional parts of a federal health law prohibiting the growth and consumption of marijuana after a nonprofit group filed an injunction against a 2013 decision by health regulator Cofepris.   Read more »

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Taxpayers’ Union smashes up health troughers with basic facts

We have been calling out health troughers for years.

Just recently they have been pushing very hard in favour of Sugar Taxes.

The problem with their campaigns, apart from being government funded, is that without exception they are simply politically motivated crusades with almost no science or facts to back them up.

The troughers also don’t like to be criticised and are trying to have their critics silenced. But it has taken the Taxpayers’ Union to expose their campaigns for the political charade that they are:

In recent weeks the calls from academics and campaigners urging the government to implement taxes on sugar and fats have been growing louder. Last week for example, Auckland University academics were promoting ‘the preliminary results’ (that’s code for not peer reviewed) of a study which they said proves the effectiveness of Mexico’s tax on sugar sweetened beverages. Numerous media outlets repeated the claim that Mexico’s tax has resulted in a 12 per cent reduction in sugary drink consumption. But is that the truth?

One of our researchers, Joshua Riddiford, has been looking into the issue of food taxes. This morning we launched his report examining the effectiveness of sugar taxes in curbing obesity.

The report contains Nielsen sales data, which is being publicly released for the first time in New Zealand. The data shows that Mexican sales of sugar sweetened beverages have not moved, despite the introduction of a sugar tax. Auckland University’s public health activists are choosing to use a study which relies on interview data to support their campaign. The real sales data, obtained by your humble Taxpayers’ Union, does not lie.

Fizzed out: Why a sugar tax won’t curb obesity sets the record straight, and examines the evidence on whether introducing new taxes on food and drinks are likely to affect obesity rates. Read more »

Taxpayers’ Union points out troughers flaws in their promotion of Sugar Taxes

The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the media and their use of proven troughers to promote their agenda of introducing a sugar tax.

The Taxpayers’ Union is urging caution on continued claims that Mexico’s sugar tax resulted in decreased sales of sugary drinks. Today’s Herald on Sunday published an opinion piece by Niki Bezzant, which cites a study by Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health suggesting that sales dropped by between six and twelve percent as a result of the Mexican sugar tax. This echoes claims made last week by a group of Auckland University public health academics, including Dr Gerhard Sundborn and Boyd Swinburn, campaigning for the introduction of a sugar tax.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Repetition of the same sound bite doesn’t make it true. The study was funded by a pro-sugar tax campaign group and is based on surveying Mexican consumers on their expressed preferences. The real sales data shows that despite what people tell researchers, the Mexican sugar tax caused a drop of consumption of only 0.2% which as since bounced back.”

“Academics are supposed to promote informed public debate. Instead, there appears to be a group at Auckland University running an activist political campaign based on misinformation and bias. The study they are pointing to isn’t published or even peer reviewed. It was launched as part of a campaign and relies on what people say they do, not what they actually do. These campaigners are choosing to ignore the sales data which is clear. Volumes are now back to the same as before the tax, with people paying more while the Government is raking in the cash.”   Read more »

How bad is a 0.42% death rate among stock?

Did you know that on cruise ships, the average death rates of human beings hovers around the 2.5% mark?   Keep that in mind.

Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is appalled that 191 sheep and one cow perished on board a controversial live export shipment to Mexico. The shipment of a reported 45,000 sheep and 3,200 cattle was the largest cargo of animals ever to leave New Zealand.

“192 animals have died and it begs the question, how many more will die on the next stage of their journey?” says SAFE’s executive director, Hans Kriek.

The sheep are being transported by truck for 1000 kilometres in 30-degree temperatures to a farm near Mexico City from where they will be distributed to smaller farms. It was reported that some sheep also died at the feedlots as they waited to board.

There are no reports yet on why the animals died, but it is known that on live export ships a number of animals die from illness or starvation. Some suffer from ‘inanition’ – not recognising the ship food of pellets as food as they were previously used to being on pasture.

Of course, the Ministery of Primary Industries have a totally different view   Read more »

Another dodgy sheep deal?

Last week 50,000 sheep were sent to Mexico of all places..apparently by the same bloke who shipped sheep to Saudi Arabia.

Who knew that Mexico needed to establish a breeding programme?

It seems there are some questions about all this though.

An agricultural professor says the government must try and find out what actually happens to the thousands of sheep being sent to Mexico, once they arrive.

The 50,000 sheep and 3000 cattle are being sent to Mexico for breeding and left Timaru on board the livestock carrier Nada, over a week ago.

New Zealand bans live sheep exports for slaughter, but not for breeding purposes.

An agri-food systems professor at Lincoln University, Keith Woodford, said in his experience the animals would quickly be killed and end up on the barbecue at village festivals.

He said the Government needed to send New Zealand veterinarians to work with the Mexican authorities and find out what was really happening to the sheep.    Read more »

If they’re not staring at goats they are staring at sheep

Labour are spastic, Andrew Little especially.

He is going in to bat, now, for 50,000 non-voting sheep.

I kid you not.

Labour wants assurances that tens of thousands of sheep and cattle being shipped to Mexico won’t be killed when they get there.

The shipment leaves Timaru today.

Leader Andrew Little told Newstalk ZB’s Rachel Smalley the regulations are clear – you can export live sheep for breeding purposes, you can’t for slaughter.

He admits 50,000 seems like a big number for breeding stock.

“We really need to know and be assured very firmly that these sheep are not going to wind up in a slaughter house somewhere in Mexico that they genuinely are for breeding stock.”    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Michael Terlep

Photo: Michael Terlep

Marshall Islands Castaway

Jose Alvarenga Sued for $1 Million

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Photo Of The Day

Photo of the Dolls' Island on Isla de las Munecas in Mexico.

Photo of the Dolls’ Island on Isla de las Munecas in Mexico.

Not for Tourists: Island of the Dolls

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Photo Of The Day

Photo:  Carsten Peter Discovered in 2000 by two brothers who were drilling below the Naica Mine near Chihuahua, Mexico, the Cave of Crystals is a glittering spectacle with temperatures that can reach up to 112 degrees. Many of the crystals, which are estimated to be about 600,000 years old, can be several feet thick, and the smaller ones are razor sharp. Forget diamonds; if you really love a woman, take her to a cave filled with crystals bigger than her wildest dreams.

Photo: Carsten Peter
Discovered in 2000 by two brothers who were drilling below the Naica Mine near Chihuahua, Mexico, the Cave of Crystals is a glittering spectacle with temperatures that can reach up to 112 degrees. Many of the crystals, which are estimated to be about 600,000 years old, can be several feet thick, and the smaller ones are razor sharp. Forget diamonds; if you really love a woman, take her to a cave filled with crystals bigger than her wildest dreams.

Cueva de los Cristales (Mexico)

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