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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

WHAT IS CINCO DE MAYO, ANYWAY?

The first time this blog site reported on Cinco de Mayo was seven years ago around the time when PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY was created:

Most of you don't know that Cinco de Mayo is only celebrated in the U.S. as a kind of Mexican Heritage Day, akin to St. Patrick's Day and Ohktoberfest (which begins in Germany in September) mostly for the liquor consumed. In Mexico, May 5 represents a minor 1862 battle victory over the French, but it took another five years before Independence was attained. These excuses for drinking to excess make life all that more tolerable, I guess.

Then the following year, there was the latest version of another needless flu scare:

Today is May 5, or Cinco de Mayo in Spanish. The day now is sort of a Mexican holiday celebrating an unexpected victory on May 5, 1862 over a superior French army that had not experience defeat in almost half a century. 
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While relatively insignificant in Mexico, possibly because France prevailed anyway a few years later, and only bowed out of the country on American pressure, the date is observed around the world as a celebration of Mexican pride and heritage. The U.S. is particularly indulgent about international festivities of this nature, and, like St. Patrick’s Day and Oktoberfest, there might be a parade, and, almost surely, considerable partying, featuring tequila, usually in the form of margheritas, plus any form of Mexican beer.
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This day takes special importance this year because the swine flu has devastated Mexican tourism. But there will be no recovery because even in the U.S., several cities, such as Dallas and Chicago, cancelled the celebration in fear of this non-existent epidemic.


All this, as I’ve long been saying, is overblown because the total number of swine flu cases worldwide is around 1500 (with, maybe, 30 deaths), and each day, at least 1000 die of flu complications, anyway. The World Health Organization pandemic alert level is almost meaningless, as 6, the highest, only means that the virus spreads from human-to-human in at least one other country in another WHO region. We appear to be today at 5, which means human-to-human spread of the virus in two or more countries in one WHO region. Anyway, at least the Center for Disease Control finally gained their senses and today declared that schools should not anymore be closed.

From 2011, Cinco de Mayo has been a day of copious Margherita for Kenji's Golf Safari.


Here we are, appropriately enough, having dinner in Los Lupes in the town of Mesquite:


Kenji, Jerry and Dave in 2012:


Then in 2013 (there are eight of us), the same three:


The, last year:


The same eight are here this year, and tomorrow I'll post on our Cinco de Mayo experience from the town almost made for this celebration:  Vacaville.

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Noul is still only a tropical storm at 65 MPH, but the current projection shows a strengthening into a Category 3, with a track between the Philippines and Taiwan:


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