Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How the GOP is Killing America

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The US is much, much worse off these days than Mexico which often takes the blame for the drug trade and 'income disparities'. Fact is --income and wealth inequalities are much, much worse in the US than in Mexico. At the end of the Bush Sr era, the upper quintile alone had benefited from the Reagan tax cuts. Even fewer benefited from Shrub's largesse! So --where do the GOP 'yankees' get off aiming their demagoguery at Mexico?

The piddly amounts of drugs sold across the border are a strawman --peanuts compared to the heist of US wealth pulled off by just one percent of the US population!

The GOP is either nuts or crooked or both! I often wonder what the US might have been if right wing psychopaths had not demagogued every war or every so-called 'crisis' and in ways that enriched only their 'base'! The end result is that just one percent of the entire population owns more than some 95 percent of the rest of us combined! Anyone not of that ruling elite still supporting the elitist GOP and complicit DINOs is nuts! And I have no sympathy for you!

And if Mexican drugs are sold in the US --what of it? Isn't that just good ol' laissez-faire, right wing, GOP 'free enterprise'? How long would that evil drug trade last if 'yankees' were not lined up to buy? And what percentage of the GOP is 'hooked' on cocaine? How long would the border traffic last if 'white shirted', clean shaven GOP faithful were not lined up to buy?

If the GOP were truly concerned about the 'streets' of the US, it would get its stupid head out of its stupid ass and support 'leftist' or Keynesian policies that are known and proven to have created jobs and can be depended upon to get people off the streets and back to work! How many folk sell drugs because it represents a 'calling', a mission from God?

The trend in which the rich get rich at everyone else's expense abated --briefly --under Clinton. The trend resumed with a vengeance under Bush II. I have the official stats to prove all this and have posted them in numerous articles.

Time for the GOP to Put Up or Shut Up

The US is a Third World Nation kept afloat by China. That fact is confirmed by the the CIA's own World Fact Book. The US is listed at the bottom with the world's largest Negative Current Account Balance. China is on TOP with the world's largest positive Current Account Balance. Thus China is in a position to prop up the buck in order to continue selling its crap to us via Wal-Mart. Quick --name just one industry in which the US leads the world!

This was all by design. The elites have no particular allegiance to the US. Certainly, one of the causes for the collapse is the capital drain to offshore tax havens.

I often wonder how great the US might have been had it not committed genocide for the resources it 'won' only to squander them leaving behind vast wastelands where once Native Americans lived peaceably with Buffalo. You've never seen a buffalo? Chances are you never will! The object of US policy was to kill the Buffalo and thus the Native American.

Let's talk about the stupid people who have taken over the US and the shill media which kisses up to them. Let's review the implications of a recent article in the Texas Observer.
On March 25, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° rolled into El Paso to report on Mexican drug-cartel violence. Cooper was one more in a recent wave of national news heavy hitters to parachute in, scare the pants off millions of viewers, then jet off to the next headline destination.

Dressed in military green, Cooper furrowed his brow and squinted solemnly into the camera as the lights of the international border checkpoint glimmered behind him. Guest Fred Burton, identified as a terrorism and security expert with Stratfor Global Intelligence, was beamed in from a studio in Austin to paint a menacing picture of Mexican cartels invading U.S. city streets. “It’s just a matter of time before it really spills over into the United States unless we shore up the border as best we can,” Burton warned.

By God, they’re coming to your neighborhood! Looking at another live feed from El Paso, listening to the breathless reports of violence and “expert” analysis about “spillover,” viewers could only assume that the city in which Cooper stood was under imminent assault.

That’s the reality these days for El Pasoans. Or rather, it’s the twisted perception created by border-warrior politicians and national news media, and foisted on Juarez’s relatively peaceful sister city. For El Pasoans and residents of nearby border towns, it might all be a mere oddity—maybe even worth a chuckle—if it didn’t mean the construction of 18-foot border walls, blustery talk about National Guard troop surges, and new resources for the disastrous war on drugs. While “troop surge,” “border wall,” and “drug war” might sound irresistibly sexy to politicians and pundits, it’s border residents who have to live with the fences and tanks and consequences.

The truth differs wildly from the perception. Certainly, El Paso’s symbiotic relationship with Juarez has been disrupted by the explosion of drug violence south of the border, which began to tick up in January 2008. But it’s not the kind of disruption brought to you by CNN, Fox, and the rest of the media pack.

The real impact of the ongoing tragedy in Juarez is felt by El Pasoans in more indirect and personal ways. While the brutality across the river has not caused a wave of kidnappings and murders in El Paso, folks do feel its effects every day. Families are divided. El Pasoans can no longer visit their friends, relatives, doctors or dentists in Juarez. Businesses on both sides suffer. The stories are legion: The high-school student who can’t visit her beloved, 105-year-old grandmother because her parents don’t want to risk her safety. The young Juarez woman who worries that her El Paso friends and relatives won’t be able to attend her wedding. And the many families mourning loved ones lost on the other side of the Rio Grande.

All too often the nightly news portrays Juarez and El Paso as one and the same, with the U.S. city symbolizing the perils of that new buzzword: spillover. Night after night, TV spin-meisters, retired generals, terror analysts and politicians rage on about spillover violence. They call Mexico a “failed state” and argue for militarizing the border. No wonder Americans are scared. No wonder El Pasoans feel doubly besieged.

Lights, Cameras, Mayhem

Consider this gem from former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, now a consultant for ABC News, commenting on Juarez: “There is in fact an insurgency on both sides of the American-Mexican border, and it’s stepped up a lot in the last several years because the Bush administration ignored it and put its focus on Iraq.”

After weeks of hearing the war drums beat louder and louder, Sito Negron, editor of El Paso’s online daily news journal, Newspaper Tree, recently decided he’d had enough. An insurgency on both sides? he thought, listening to Clarke’s prime-time pronouncement. Are you kidding me?

According to the FBI, more than 1,600 people were killed by cartel violence in Juarez in 2008. El Paso, a city of 755,000, recorded just 18 murders last year. Laredo had 11; Brownsville and McAllen had three and nine, respectively. By comparison, Washington, D.C., with a population smaller than El Paso’s, had 186 homicides in 2008.

Who Are the IDIOTS?

A native El Pasoan, Negron was fed up with national media feeding the frenzy to militarize his hometown. He published an opinion piece on Newspaper Tree titled, “Who are you idiots, and why are you on national television talking about the border? An open letter to U.S. media":

Get this straight. The violence is not “spilling over the border” into the U.S. No, every time you say that, whether you mean to or not, you’re conjuring up images of crazed Mexicans crossing the border to burn Columbus, and you have it backwards. It spilled over from the U.S. into Mexico and Latin America long ago. ... [F]or the past 20 years, we’ve been slowly turning the border into a militarized zone, so let’s not say there isn’t violence associated with both sides of the drug trade and the Drug War. We could say that we’re now sharing the violence to a higher degree, an important distinction from the simple-minded terminology of “spilling over.”

“I’m happy that the border is an important place,” Negron said a few days after writing the piece. “But I’m not happy about the context in which they place it. I’m generally a little more mainstream, but I got a bit loose with the editorial because I was ticked off.”

Other El Pasoans share his pique. Negron’s piece generated several dozen comments, mostly along this line: “Congratulations on hitting the nail on the head. I am so tired of hearing so-called pundits speak about the border without being here and experiencing it for themselves.”

Negron cops to his own role in whipping up the frenzy. In January he penned an article for Texas Monthly called “Baghdad, Mexico,” comparing the carnage in Juarez to the insurgent violence in Iraq. He wishes he hadn’t made the comparison, he says, because it helped fan the blaze of overheated news coverage.

“I regret using the word ‘Baghdad’ because people from elsewhere who don’t know much about the border or Mexico see that word and think, ‘We better send the military down there,’” Negron says. “The border becomes a backdrop for the nation’s fears and anxieties instead of a place where real people live.”

In late March, constituents criticized El Paso Mayor John Cook for missing a civic forum on the city’s east side. Cook couldn’t make it because he was being interviewed by BBC anchor Katty Kay. The BBC, Kay said, had information that drug violence had spilled into El Paso.

Cook was eager to set the record straight. He’s had plenty of practice lately, with national and international media frequently asking him about the situation in Juarez and in his own city. “I’ll speak with them and tell them there hasn’t been any spillover of violence into El Paso,” he says, “and then they will turn around and report that there is. Mostly I feel like I’ve wasted my time.”

He’s not the only border mayor who feels that frustration. In March, McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez got into an on-air tussle with CNN anchor Don Lemon. With archival footage of masked soldiers and body bags in Sinaloa, Mexico—960 miles from McAllen—rolling in the background, Lemon informed Cortez what was happening in his city.

...

When folks around El Paso and McAllen hear rhetoric [i.e, bullshit, EC] about sending troops to the border, they can’t help remembering what happened in Redford, four hours east of El Paso, in 1997. With drug trafficking having been declared a “threat to national security,” thousands of soldiers were dispatched to the border. Residents’ worst fears were realized when 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez was shot and killed by a Marine while tending his family’s herd of goats 100 yards from his home. Hernandez was the first American killed by U.S. military forces on native soil since the Kent State massacre in 1970. The Marine who shot him was not charged with murder, though the federal government eventually paid the Hernandez family $1.9 million to settle a wrongful death claim.

Shortly after Hernandez’s death, military operations along the border were suspended. Almost a decade later, from June 2006 to July 2008, 6,000 National Guardsmen were sent to the border as part of Operation Jump Start. This time they were assisting Border Patrol officers with technical, logistical, and administrative work to free up the patrol to focus on detaining more illegal immigrants. Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster says the National Guard troops in his area spent most of those two years parked outside the city in Humvees, dressed in camo fatigues. “I came back from a trip and thought, ‘My God, what happened while I was away?’” he recalls. This time, at least, there were no murders—just a couple of bored soldiers who got into trouble for shooting off rounds on the outskirts of town one night.

Tired of living under virtual house arrest, mayors, county judges and business leaders formed the Texas Border Coalition in 2006, the first year of Operation Jump Start. The coalition has tried ever since to educate state and federal policymakers about what U.S. border towns are really experiencing and what they really need. They’ve spent a lot of time pleading their case in Washington. It’s been uphill all the way.

--Texas Observer, Lights, Cameras, Mayhem!
The US presumes to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq even as it creates conditions of 'occupation' within its borders. As it declines, the US becomes an increasing danger to almost every nation on the globe. What is the threat posed by Afghanistan? None! What was the threat posed by Iraq? None! If you think it was, then show me the WMD! What was the threat posed by Viet Nam? After some thirty or forty years I am still awaiting a credible answer to that one!

Enough is enough!

A good start will consist of shutting up the right wing media. Turn off CNN, Fox and the bullshit peddlers all over the tube! Secondly, the people of the US must effect the complete and utter repudiation of right wing practices which have, in fact, enriched just one percent of the entire population as some 95 percent of the rest of us have gotten poorer, impoverished utterly.

Secondly, the GOP must be held to account for war policies that have, in fact, bankrupted the US.
Why I moderate comments

  • SPAM: 'comments' that link to junk, 'get rich' schemes, scams, and nonsense! These are the worst offenders.
  • Ad hominem attacks: 'name calling' and 'labeling'. That includes the ad hominem: 'truther' or variations!


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