The continuing problem of Mexico

Shelby County, Alabama had the wake up call from hell this week, when they found five dead men in a stash house just outside of Birmingham, in Alabama’s wealthiest county.

Victims of the Gulf Cartel, these men were bound, gagged, tortured and finally killed. And before the assassins left, they slit the dead men’s throats. All because money came up missing.

Five illegal, Mexican immigrants and the now arrested perpetrators, all in the Shelby County Jail charged with capital murder.

Nice.

The Associated Press reported that the Atlanta DEA chief said, “One reason for that shift is the ability these days to “blend in in plain sight,”…. The flood of Hispanic immigrants into American communities to work construction and plant jobs helped provide cover for traffickers looking to expand into new markets or build hubs in quiet suburbs with fewer law officers than the big cities.”

These poor men apparently did not come here and find a better life. Neither the deceased nor the arrested. No, their lives are pretty much over.

But for the Sheriff of Shelby County, the nightmare has just begun. The Associated Press reports the sheriff believes, “”This is not an isolated incident. It is a standard business practice with this group of people, and it is simply going to be repeated,” he says. “I can’t predict whether it’s going to be repeated here or not, but it’s going to be repeated in communities throughout the United States whenever these disagreements occur.””

Shelby County, Alabama had the wake up call from hell this week, when they found five dead men in a stash house just outside of Birmingham, in Alabama’s wealthiest county.

Victims of the Gulf Cartel, these men were bound, gagged, tortured and finally killed. And before the assassins left, they slit the dead men’s throats. All because money came up missing.

Five illegal, Mexican immigrants and the now arrested perpetrators, all in the Shelby County Jail charged with capital murder.

Nice.

The Associated Press reported that the Atlanta DEA chief said, “One reason for that shift is the ability these days to “blend in in plain sight,”…. The flood of Hispanic immigrants into American communities to work construction and plant jobs helped provide cover for traffickers looking to expand into new markets or build hubs in quiet suburbs with fewer law officers than the big cities.”

These poor men apparently did not come here and find a better life. Neither the deceased nor the arrested. No, yjeir lives are pretty much over.

But for the Sheriff of Shelby County, the nightmare has just begun. The Associated Press reports the sheriff believes, “”This is not an isolated incident. It is a standard business practice with this group of people, and it is simply going to be repeated,” he says. “I can’t predict whether it’s going to be repeated here or not, but it’s going to be repeated in communities throughout the United States whenever these disagreements occur.””

On another note – there’s the flu.

The first cases of the new flu strain surfaced in Mexico in March, but the government believed it was just cases straggling at the end of the flu season. Then in April, more cases popped up in Mexico City and three other regions. When people began dying from it, Mexico realized it had a problem.

April 2, there was a 15% increase in flu cases in Veracruz, Mexico. Still no outreach for assistance from WHO or CDC.Characteristics of this flu were gastroenteritis and upper respiratory disease. There were also increases in pneumonia.

By April 6, according to Veratect, a biosurveillance company,

La Gloria, Perote Municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico. Sources characterized the event as a “strange” outbreak of acute respiratory infection, which led to bronchial pneumonia in some pediatric cases. According to a local resident, symptoms included fever, severe cough, and large amounts of phlegm. Health officials recorded 400 cases that sought medical treatment in the last week in La Gloria, which has a population of 3,000; officials indicated that 60% of the town’s population (approximately 1,800 cases) has been affected. No precise timeframe was provided, but sources reported that a local official had been seeking health assistance for the town since February.

It has only gotten worse since then. As widely reported, over 1400 cases have been detected in four regions of Mexico. Tourists returning from Mexico to the United States, Spain and New Zealand, are now showing signs of this new flu, which is a combination of swine, avian, and human flu.

In Mexico over 86 people have died.

Proactive Latin American countries are stopping travelers from Mexico and the United States in the airports and refusing entry to anyone with flu-like symptoms or fevers.

We are not doing that. Our “legal” border crossings with Mexico are in full swing. We are told not to worry, though there are people affected in five states here – Ohio, Kansas, Texas, California and New York. In at least three of these states, at least one infected individual had been to Mexico, some as tourists, one on business.

Though the CDC has now raised the health alert, the WHO has not yet banned travel to Mexico. No one in the U.S. has died yet, but it seems cases keep cropping up.Seems to me if you are a tourist or a businessman,  you shouldn’t catch the flu from the locals unless it is really easy to catch.

If Mexico’s first cases were in March and early April, could spring break travel have anything to do with their reluctance to seek help? Why are we not being more proactive, not politically correct?

For a timeline, visit the blog Biosurveillance and read why residents at the center of the outbreak, believe a local pig farm owned by Smithfield, is at the heart of the matter.

I have emailed the CDC and WHO to ask if it is wise to have the immigrant march on May 1 go through as planned, considering tens of thousands will be in close contact with one another, and the vast majority, at least in Chicago, are Mexican.

Updates if I hear from them.

You can go to the CDC website, the World Health Organization or the Pan American Health Organization to read the differing opinions which are nothing more than spin. WHO seems to be the most honest.

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America by the numbers – updated

1 in 10 Americans are on food stamps – average benefit – $112.82 per person

1 in 50 American children are homeless

3,000,000 Americans have been out of work 27 weeks or longer

5,000,000 Americans have lost their jobs since the “recession” started

8,600,000 American workers are underemployed

5,300,000 Americans are on unemployment, the highest number since 1967

Only 37% of unemployed workers qualify for unemployment benefits

Approximately 1 out of 3 homeless men are veterans

1 in every 466 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in January

13,000,000 Americans are jobless

7 percent of homeowners with mortgages were at least 30 days late on their loans in February, up more than 50 percent from 2008

Banks closed 8 million credit card accounts in February

4.5 percent of total balances on bank-issued credit cards were at 60 days past due in February, up 32.7 percent from 2008

Welcome to the richest country in the world………

Amnesty for illegal immigrants? Solve this first…

USA Today had a story Monday about Mexican drug cartels setting up shop in 195 cities in the United States. They said the DEA seized more drug related cash in Atlanta ($30 million) than in Chicago ($18 million) or LA ($19 million).

And that’s not the half of it. The violence is in Atlanta too.

A Rhode Island man who owed the cartels $300,000 was found in the basement of a Georgia home, chained to a wall. He had been beaten, gagged and was dehydrated. The police captured his attackers as they fled the house.

Another man was kidnapped in Gwinett County but the family was working with police and when traffickers went to pick up the $2 million ransom, they were greeted by police.

Speaking of ransom, Reuters reports that Phoenix, Arizona is now the kidnap capital of the United States.

Hit men dressed in fake police tactical gear burst into a home in Phoenix, rake it with gunfire and execute a man.

Armed kidnappers snatch victims from cars and even a local shopping mall across the Phoenix valley for ransom….Execution style murders, violent home invasions, and a spiraling kidnap rate in Phoenix — where police reported an average of one abduction a day last year linked to Mexican crime — are not the only examples along the border.

In southern California, police have investigated cases of Americans abducted by armed groups tied to the Tijuana drug trade. One involved a businesswoman and her teenage daughter snatched in San Diego last year and held to ransom south of the border.

In south Texas, a live hand grenade traced back to a Mexican cartel stash was tossed onto the pool table of a bar frequented by off-duty police officers in January. The pin was left in it and the assailant fled.

The drug war is so bad in Mexico, Arizona State Police told Reuters that last November, “Mexican police officers pinned down in a raging gun battle in Nogales, Sonora, reached out to them with an urgent request for more bullets.”

And while we’re halfway across the world searching for training camps for al Qaeda, we need to look no further than our own doorstep for training camps that are bound to impact us on a fairly regular basis.

Dallas News reports that the training has taken place

at locations southwest of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville; near the town of Abasolo, between Matamoros and Ciudad Victoria; just north of the Nuevo Laredo airport; and at a place called “Rancho Las Amarillas” near a rural community, China, that is close to the Nuevo León-Tamaulipas border.

Two other ranches used as training camps, both east of Matamoros, have clandestine landing strips for cocaine shipments originating in Colombia and destined for the United States via Texas, according to the officials and testimony.

They are used

to train cartel recruits – ranging from Mexican army deserters to American teenagers – who then carry out killings and other cartel assignments on both sides of the border, authorities say.

More frightening is that Mexican officials say the camps are heavily fortified and can even bring down planes. But the idea that American teenagers are trained as assassins is just plain scary.

In small towns along the Texas-Tamaulipas border, the Zetas operate with seeming impunity, driving late-model SUVs and carrying gold-plated rifles. Roadside altars are appearing that pay tribute to “Santa Muerte,” the Saint of Death, adorned with candles and Grim Reaper figurines. Residents regard them as a sign of cartel activity.

According to the witness testimony and interviews with U.S. and Mexican officials, training in the camps may range from a few weeks to months, and trainees have included American teenagers.

One of them is Rosalio Reta, 18, who was sentenced last year to 40 years in prison for a murder in Laredo. Mr. Reta’s career as a cartel hitman began at age 13, he told investigators. Authorities say he may have been involved in as many as 30 execution-style murders in the U.S. and Mexico.

Last year, Mr. Reta gave Laredo police Detective Roberto García an account of how he and other high school-age boys were trained as teenage hitmen for the Zetas. Mr. Reta told Laredo authorities he spent months training under Mateo Díaz López, “Comandante Teo,” an alleged top Zeta member arrested last year in the state of Tabasco on drug and weapons charges.

Mr. Reta’s confession led to the discovery of three clandestine cells in Laredo, allegedly carrying out assignments for reputed cartel leader Miguel Treviño.

“I know we’re fighting terrorism throughout the world … but here along the border the narco-terrorists operate on both sides of the border, and so far it’s gone largely unnoticed by Washington,” said Webb County Assistant District Attorney Jesús Guillén, who prosecuted Mr. Reta.

Must be largely unnoticed because I don’t see how you’ll do a background check on these people. And they pay well.
According to the Dallas News,

Mr. Cárdenas used the ranch to raise cattle as well as to train his personal militia, many of them former army soldiers lured by promises of higher pay, according to the testimony. Pay started at about $300 a week but would double within six months – far higher than salaries for soldiers or police. Pay for hitmen and bodyguards began at $1,000 per week, according to testimony.

They also execute and dispose of their enemies there.

And if you’d like a comprehensive picture of this problem, go no further than our own government’s Congressional Resource Service, where you will find a 21 page report for Congress on the problem entitled Mexican Drug Cartels.

I think the Webb County Assistant District Attorney Jesús Guillén used the wrong adjective. Unnoticed isn’t the problem. I think ignored would be far more accurate. Guess stopping this problem just doesn’t fit into the grand scheme of things.

I hate to foretell the future to our illustrious congresspeople, but like neighborhoods where gangs slowly take over unnoticed, countries are the same way.

I’d prefer the United States didn’t turn into Columbia, and since Guzman, the head of one of the drug cartels in Mexico was just put on the billionaire list by Forbes, I would suggest the only way to quickly take the wind out of the sails of this pirate ship from south of the border, is to legalize the stuff they sell (90 percent of the cocaine, 80 percent of the methamphetamine and half of the marijuana), and be done with it.

Let Americans reap the benefits of the drug trade – legally, and keep our cities safe, cheaply.

And as for amnesty? Don’t even raise the topic until you solve this problem, and can guarntee the American people that the only people you are helping to gain citizenship, are the ones who are truly here to get a better life, want to work, pay taxes, raise their children, and assimilate.

I can handle your poor, huddled masses but I can’t forget when Castro decided to let people leave Cuba if they wanted to, and the ones he let leave were the inmates from his prisons and mental hospitals.

Get real people, we need a plan and amnesty ain’t it.

“Slumdog Millionaire” – the movie, the reality

Slumdog Millionaire, despite it’s low budget ($15 million), was an excellent film that truly portrayed the lives of the poorest in India.  It should be a reminder to American firms investing in the country, that the community involvement programs they have in the United States, would be also well-served in their exploitative adventures in foreign lands.

Apparently they are not the only ones who lost sight of the moral obligation the beneficiaries of cheap labor have, to give back to the lands that enrich them.

Today, multiple papers around the world revealed that Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail, who played the central characters as children, are still living in the slums of Mubai, despite the multiple Oscars and $100 million the movie grossed in North America since November.

According to the Irish Times,

Ali, 8, currently lives in a tiny hovel in a rubbish strewn slum near railway tracks in India’s financial hub. Ismail sleeps under a polythene sheet-covered roof in the same slum. Open sewers run nearby and both homes have no running water.

The Indian government has approved giving the children and their families free, permanent housing due to the “laurels” they have brought to the country.

Danny Boyle, director the film, denies exploiting the children and says they were paid above average wages for the area. The film maker has also set up a fund for their education and they have been enrolled in school for the first time.

The fund will also pay for medical emergencies and “basic living costs.”

In the grand scheme of things, this was a responsible thing for Boyle to do. Details of these funds are not known, but the children’s fathers were interviewed by BBC News regarding the new housing and said the following:

The boy’s father, Mohammed, who suffers from tuberculosis, told The Times of India: “We have barely got any money from the film-makers. In fact, whatever came, has already been spent.

“This decision is a piece of good news for us.”

Rubina’s father Rafiq Qureshi also told the newspaper: “Our house was demolished a couple of times by the authorities, the last time being three months ago.

“We are happy that we will have a permanent roof over our head.”

My only question is, do they get royalties?

Why the Peace Process in Israel/Palestine has not progressed to peace

First are the Media Rules, courtesy of israelity bites:

Rule #1: In the Middle East, it is always the Palestinians that attack first, and it’s always Israel who defends itself. This is called “retaliation”.

Rule #2: The Palestinians are not allowed to kill Israelis. This is called “terrorism”.

Rule #3: Israel has the right to kill Palestinian civilians; this is called “self-defense”, or “collateral damage”.

Rule #4: When Israel kills too many Palestinian civilians, the Western world calls for restraint. This is called the “reaction of the international community”.

Rule #5: Palestinians do not have the right to capture Israeli military, not even 1 or 2.

Rule #6: Israel has the right to capture as many Palestinians as they want (over 10,000 to date being held without trial). There is no limit; there is no need for proof of guilt or trial. All that is needed is the magic word: “terrorism”.

Rule #7: When you say “Hamas”, always be sure to add “supported by Hezbollah, Syria and Iran”.

Rule #8: When you say “Israel”, never say “supported by the USA, the UK, European countries and even some Arab regimes”, for people (God forbid) might believe this is not an equal conflict.

Rule #9: When it comes to Israel, don’t mention the words “occupied territories”, “UN resolutions”, “Geneva conventions”. This could distress the audience of Fox, CNN, etc.

Rule #10: Israelis tend to speak better English than Arabs. This is why it is called “balanced journalism”.

Next, courtesy of the same site, the quote:

“We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years, neither the United Nations, nor the U.S.A, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.” Ariel Sharon to Winston S. Churchill III in 1973.

Would’ve been nice to share that with the U.S. negotiators…..

But there is hope, because not all people feel the same way Ariel Sharon did:

“My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis
came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers.”
— Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and Orthodox Jew.

And then there’s the old Testament:

He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Micah 4:3

Thanks

israelity bites

The Economic Stimulus package – Blagojevich Provision

Included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which is now going to the Senate is the following provision:

SEC. 1112. ADDITIONAL ASSURANCE OF APPROPRIATE USE OF FUNDS.

None of the funds provided by this Act may be made available to the State of Illinois, or any agency of the State, unless (1) the use of such funds by the State is approved in legislation enacted by the State after the date of the enactment of this Act, or (2) Rod R. Blagojevich no longer holds the office of Governor of the State of Illinois. The preceding sentence shall not apply to any funds provided directly to a unit of local government (1) by a Federal department or agency, or (2) by an established formula from the State.

This was NOT an amendment,. So anyone who thinks Obama isn’t paying attention to Illinois corruption, should think again.

Sadly, our hapless Chicago journalists who don’t have an ounce of intellectual curiosity, never bothered to read this bill. I personally consider this news.

In addition, the bill also contains the following provision:

SEC. 1114. REQUIRED PARTICIPATION IN E-VERIFY PROGRAM.

None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to enter into a contract with an entity that does not participate in the E-verify program described in section 401(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a note).

I am writing my new Senator, Roland Burris, and requesting that the following language be added:

Amend this section to include penalties for employers who ignore this provision. Contractors should be held responsible for their subcontractors’ violations with fines per non-conforming employee. Subcontractors violating this section should be required to repay the agency that issued the funds, the total amount of funds spent on the salaries of the ineligible workers. Should they have insufficient funds to repay the agency, their assets should be seized and liquefied.

Social security should be given the authority and responsibility to notify the oversight agency of any social security mismatches. Recovery project employees should be flagged when verified to provide greatest oversight and transparency and assist Social Security in its reporting requirements. The oversight agency, if violations are found, should be required to notify ICE so appropriate actions can be taken in accordance with law.

I consider this important because, as we saw with Katrina, the contractors that got the recovery money from FEMA, hired illegals from El Salvador and Nicaragua, brought them into the country, put them up in mobile homes, and paid THEM to rebuild New Orleans, unemployed, devastated residents be damned. That should NEVER happen again.

Will it work? I don’t know, but you can’t get to Durbin, he has layers of staff, probably one for every year he’s been in office. Burris is new, and doesn’t want to run again. He’s also from Illinois so he knows exactly how lack of penalties in a bill or neglecting to spell out the responsibility of each agency involved, can lead to finger pointing, waste and the current of culture of  “I didn’t do nothin’ wrong, not my job.”

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