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Friday, December 15, 2017



The village of Xoxocotlan, commonly called Xoxo (pronounced "ho-ho"), which is now encompassed by the urban sprawl of Oaxaca city, is a good place to visit on the night of October 31st. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017



Mitla was still occupied and functioning as the main religious center when the Spanish arrived in the 1520s. 

The high priest, called the Uija-tào, resided at Mitla, and the Spanish likened him to the pope. 

Nobles buried at Mitla were destined to become “cloud people” who would intercede on behalf of the population below.

At that time the urban center covered an area of 1 to 2 square kilometres.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017



Mitla itself was inhabited at least since the 100-650 CE and perhaps from as early as 900 BCE.

It began as a fortified village on the outer edge of the valley and later became the main religious center for the area. 

The Mixtecs took control of the area around 1000 CE, although the area remained populated by the Zapotec. 

The city reached its height and largest size between 750 and 1521 with both Zapotec and Mixtec influences in its architecture during that time. 

Mitla is one of the pre-Columbian sites that represent the Mesoamerican belief that death was the most consequential part of life after birth. 

It was built as a gateway between the world of the living and the world of the dead. 


Tuesday, December 12, 2017



Mitla is one of many well-preserved archeological sites of the Oaxaca Valley, where the dry climate has conserved sites as old as 10,000 years. 

This valley was settled by the Zapotecs who over the centuries developed a hierarchical society governed by kings and nobles.

While the valley was relatively isolated, the Zapotecs did have contacts with other Mesoamerican peoples. 

By the time the Spanish arrived, the Zapotec state had a population of over 500,000, sophisticated construction techniques, two calendar systems and agriculture using irrigation and terraces in the mountains to grow food for a mostly urban population.


Monday, December 11, 2017



Mitla is the second most important archeological site in the state of Oaxaca, and the most important of the Zapotec culture.

The site is located 44 km from the city of Oaxaca in the upper end of the Tlacolula Valley, one of the three that form the Central Valleys Region of the state.

The archeological site is within the modern municipality of San Pablo Villa de Mitla. 

While Monte Alban was most important as the political center, Mitla was the main religious center. 

The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlan, which was the place of the dead or underworld. 

What makes Mitla unique among Mesoamerican sites is the elaborate and intricate mosaic fretwork and geometric designs that cover tombs, panels, friezes and even entire walls. 

These mosaics are made with small, finely cut and polished stone pieces which have been fitted together without the use of mortar. No other site in Mexico has this.


Sunday, December 10, 2017



I wrote last weekend about my challenging an acquaintance to explain if he regretted voting for Trump.

I usually don't do these kinds of things.

I'm not a "I told you so," scorekeeping, gotcha kinda guy.

But I am watching an insane person and his right wing sycophants destroying good things that took decades to build in the nation I have lived in for more than half a century.

They big ah-ha ammunition my former friend came up with.

That he did us all a big favor because Trump, while a little Twitter rant addicted and not quite a statesman, is not Hillary Clinton.

That's it.

Pure and simple.

She would have been the devil.

And that's all my acquaintance needed to tell me.

Like I would smack my hand upside my head and totally get it.

That's right, it is perfectly logical to prop up Trump's rating by creating a mythological narrative for what the Hillary Clinton presidency would be like.

What a mind meld miracle, I thought.

This puts a whole new light on everything.

Fire the Dolphins coach because he had a cocaine addict right hand man on his coaching staff.

Hell no, if it been the coach behind door #2, the assistant coach would have been a mad sniper picking off people from the top of a college by this new Trumpian tribal logic, the bad guy is the good guy...simply because a presumed, never to play out in reality, path taken by the runner up would most certainly be much, much worse than the reality being crapped out by Trump today.

Wow, who knew this bit of mind trickery would work out so air tight logically.

In this mode, my former friend, who is Jewish, should build a monument to Hitler.

(are you crazy Steve, I hear you asking?  are you a neo Nazi nutcase?)

Nope, I say.

I'm simply applying the new -- Trump is good for America because Hillary would have been the Devil -- logic to world history.

You see, Hitler and his Nazis that killed and tortured -- Jews, disabled people, gay people, mentally ill people, etc -- did everybody a big favor.

The other potential leader of Nazi Germany, hiding behind door #2, would have slaughtered 60 million.

So by comparison, we should rewrite the history books and crown Hitler the king of humanitarians of the first half of the 20th century.

But why stop there.

If the Trump supporter logic is spot-on, then we need to do a whole lot of re-framing of history, simply because the Hillary of the time....clearly would have been much worse if they grasped the reins of power.

Jerry Sandusky?  Swing open the prison doors and let him run a Boy Scout Troop.  Yeah, he used his power to rape, molest and destroy little boys put in his care....but hey, the runner up "Hillary" coach behind door #2 would have victimized 10 times more boys than Sandusky.

Sandusky, in an exemplary showing of restraint, only robbed the innocence of a dozen or so.   Better build a statue of him on the Penn State campus -- because he saved more than 100 boys from falling prey to that Door #2 predator that he admirably took the place of.

There's more.

John Wayne Gacy.  A monster. The Trump school of faulty logic thinks not.

He strangled his sex torture victims before stowing them under his house.

The evil, "Hillary" hiding behind Door #2 clown-cloaked killer would have buried the boys alive.

See, by comparison, Gacy's damn near a stand up guy.

I mean, when you find out someone's kidnapped, raped, tortured, killed and buried your son.....wouldn't you feel so much better knowing that the bizarro world, Hillary-esque, lying in wait behind door #2 predator didn't get the chance to do terrible things to your boy before burying him alive.

See, Trump supports aren't crazy.

It all makes perfect. Sense.

Just trot out some insane, never will be realized terror scenario of what Evil Hillary (and is she so evil because she's progressive, or because she's a woman.  We all know their role is to take a grab by the P---y, not to perpetuate the old white male indignity of first living under and African American president, then living under a woman in the White House) and Trump looks like the second coming.

Yep, that's it.

I know see the light of day.

In fact, I'm going to catch the next flight to Ohio to thank the insane, cruel, hateful boss that treated my wife like dirt when she was working her tail off in one of her first jobs out of school.

Why, under the prism of this new Trump supporter enlightenment, I now see that the boss was a stand up person.  A true mentor and humanitarian.

I mean, they didn't toss my wife out of her wheelchair.

They didn't toss acid in her eyes.

But surely, the #2 candidate, the monster who they were blocking because they got the job, would have beaten my wife to death and hidden here where I could never find her.

Yep, sure hope that old Bastard is still alive.

Gotta fly up and thank them for being an a-hole, yes, but not nearly as bad as the Hillary that could have wrecked everything, if given the chance.

Saturday, December 9, 2017



The etymology of Monte Alban's present-day name is unclear.

Tentative suggestions regarding its origin range from a presumed corruption of a native Zapotec name to a colonial-era reference to a Spanish soldier by the name Montalbán or to the Alban Hills of Italy. 

The ancient Zapotec name of the city is not known, as abandonment occurred centuries before the writing of the earliest available sources.