Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Three Random Observations

The Wisdom of Silence
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you're an idiot than open it and remove any doubt. ~ Mark Twain
MSNBC has the "Famous Last Words" on the economy for 2008, proving again what idiots have risen to the top of our government and businesses.

Count the Pages
The pictures are fun to look at, Mr. Giles, but one really ought to read the nice words as well. ~ Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
So Karl Rove wrote a bit for the Wall Street Journal about how he keeps beating George Bush in their reading contests. They would count the pages they had read and used a ruler to measure the "Total Lateral Area" of their reads. Now, bragging about beating George Bush in a reading contest is like pinning a three year-old in a wrestling match, not much of an accomplishment. I would have been more impressed if they had been paying more attention to the words on the pages than to counting the pages.

Help Not Wanted
Here I sit broken hearted
I came to shit but only farted.~ written on stall #3
The Help Wanted section of the print edition of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper for December 31, 2008 measures less than twenty square inches, barely larger than a single sheet of toilet tissue. That is so much a metaphor for both the economy and the business of newspapers.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

War in the Gaza Ghetto

In 1967, both before and after the Six Days War, I had nothing but respect and admiration for Israel. A small country surrounded by hostile neighbors fighting for its very survival. Because of this I researched the Holocaust, WWII's Warsaw Uprising, Czarist Russia's pogroms, and the Inquisition. I read as much as I could about the long history of Christian persecution of the Jewish people. While I still have a gentile's love of the idea of Israel I find the execution of that idea brutally flawed these past decades.

Today, the small country surrounded by a hostile neighbor is Gaza. The savage pogroms are inflicted by Jewish tanks and bombers against Palestinian homes. The walled ghetto is not in Warsaw holding in a beleaguered population of Jews fighting against the ruthless Nazi war machine. Today, the walled ghetto is Gaza. Today, it is Arab youths fighting tanks with stones. Today, the ruthless war machine is the IDF.

I have no love for Hamas. They hide their mortar launchers behind women and children, daring the Israelis to attack. Hamas has begged for this war on the strange theory that Hamas would win the propaganda war following a holocaust. But Israel has lost the moral high ground gained by two millennia of persecution. Israel has become their own enemy. I pity the helpless people trapped in the Gaza Ghetto, trapped as much by their Hamas leadership as by their Israeli oppressors.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bush's Empty Library

I felt they belonged here, I really did
Those books with no pages,
Those ink stained fingers, that left no traces,
The gift of those voices, which had no faces
That I learned to treasure so. ~ Empty Bookshelves by Morning Song
It seems so appropriate, the lasting legacy of a presidency that was devoid of thought will be a presidential library that is devoid of papers. An empty building for an empty mind.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Winter Wonderland of Pain

Ah, winter. The air is crisp and cold. And my sinuses are trying to break their boundaries and explore the seasonal joy of splattering my brains on the walls.

Sinusitis - my constant winter companion.

Monday, December 22, 2008

TARP Is Going to Make Bernie Madoff Look Like a Piker

If the mess that is Hank Paulsen's TARP is ever unraveled it will go down in the annals of crime as the greatest theft in history. Nobody knows, least of all the banks, where the money went. Nobody cares, least of all the banks, less still the Federal Government, where it went.

It's a secret, you know (We don't want the terrorists to find out). We know, generally, which banks copped the biggest share of the pie (Citigroup and AIG got $90 billion between them).We know a hefty chunk of that money went to the bank's executives in the form of bonuses (and still more went into throwing lavish parties). We know that banks are using the money to buy up other banks (Because nothing helps Americans struggling to keep their businesses running than knowing that Bank of America used taxpayers money to buy a Chinese bank). We know the hedge fund millionaires conned by Madoff and a white middle-class suburban Cleveland school district wants some of the TARP money (Ya gotta have chutzpah).

What we don't know, and will never know, is whether a single penny of the TARP billions went to the intended goal of freeing up the credit markets for businesses and individuals. I could list the CEOs of every bank receiving money from TARP and feel confident that two-thirds are knowingly (and enthusiastically) defrauding the Federal Government through TARP. I am even more confident that not a single one of them will even be indicted for their crimes.

It is making me long for a revolution where we round up the bankers (and Hank Paulsen), line them up against a wall, and shoot the lot of them.
In a just nation, the last bonus for American bankers.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poisoning the Wells

Those of us who live in desert climates know, or should know, that the most valuable resource in the world is water. It is more valuable than oil, more valuable than any ore, even gold. Water is life.

Seven states, plus Mexico, draw water from the river and several major cities including Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles are dependent upon that river for their survival. As the San Diego Union-Tribune writes, the Bush Administration's emphasis placed mineral extraction ahead of people and has led to the increased poisoning of the Colorado River.

Natural Gas Drilling
Oil Drilling Waste Pits Spills
Uranium Tailings Pollution
Oil Shale Madness

As a rule, upstream resource extractors in Colorado and Utah don't care if they poison the water drunk by those downstream sinners in Nevada and California. My principal concern about Obama's Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, is that he is an upstreamer. In the past he has shown a general disinterest in the concerns of downstreamers. When he has opposed resource development it has been over the impact on local wildlife and ranches. He has never worried about poisoning the water flowing downstream. I am waiting expectantly for him to address the issue.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On Rick Warren

I didn't care about Rev. Wright and I don't care about Rick Warren. I don't judge Barack Obama, or any other politician, on such acquaintances. That said....

Rick Warren may be more open-minded than most fundamentalists but that is like saying the red-haired prostitute is more chaste than the other girls in the brothel. He still preaches the religion of intolerance, he still practices a faith defined mostly by its hatreds. Rick Warren's religion is more closely aligned to the dictates of the Iranian mullahs than it is to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Never Steal Anything Small - Madoff Edition

I have the greatest respect for thieves. Every man born to wealth has a good thief amongst his ancestors, somewhere. ~ Ming Tzu, Xena (episode, The Debt)
Bernard Madoff is very lucky that the Ponzi Scheme already has a name or it would be named after him. My prediction is he will never see the inside of a prison cell.

Connected Up the Wazoo
I'm very close with the regulators...As a matter of fact my niece just married one. ~ Bernard Madoff
Bernie (Can I call you Bernie? I feel like I know you.) was connected. You can't throw a stone in the corridors of power without hitting a Madoff family member or a friend of old Bernie. Attorney General Michael Mukasey's son is one of Bernie's lawyers. His niece, Shana, was married to a senior inspections and examinations official at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bernie's two sons, Mark and Andrew, allegedly squealed on their pop to the Feds. Mark and Andrew were codirectors of trading at the Madoff investment firm. Yet, allegedly, didn't figure out the fraud until well after the stock market began tanking (re: Andy). Mary Schapiro, Barack Obama's choice to head the SEC, thought so much of Mark Madoff's judgment she appointed him the board of the National Adjudicatory Council in 2001. Heck, the entire Madoff firm was a family affair.

Madoff was one of the founders of NASDAQ and was a former chairman of NASDAQ. Take a second to get your mind around that concept. One of the major stock trading floors in the world was founded, in part, by a man trying to facilitate his criminal enterprise.

You've Got to Spend Money to Make Money
Bernie understood this basic maxim. He was generous giving to charities and damn sure everybody knew how generous he was. It was part of marketing his fraud. That generosity allowed him to kiss up to wealthy people. They trusted him because a crook wouldn't be so charitable. Or, so they thought. They forgot that Al Capone was a charitable man too.

O What a Tangled Web He Wove

As Slate points out, even people who caught a whiff of the rotting flesh and got their money out of Madoff's clutches years ago will not escape the effects of his crimes. According to how courts had treated previous Ponzi Schemes, people who benefited from a Ponzi, even if they got out years and decades ago, will be required to return their profits. The $50 billion in the headlines is just the beginning. That will be small change after they go back to the beginning and sluice out all of the early investor profits.

About Never Seeing the Inside of a Prison
Madoff is 70 years old. The Feds are going to need his cooperation to sort through the twisted entrails of his investment schemes. It will be years, maybe decades, before any criminal trial could even begin. Bernie Madoff will be long dead before he can ever be tried for his crimes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Money
(and other economic folderol)

The Federal Reserve has set the prime interest rate somewhere between zero and 0.25%. Pretty much that means that when a bank wants to borrow money from the Fed the money is free. It is even better news for those people who have Prime Minus home equity loans. If I understand basic math correctly, Pittsford Federal Credit Union, for example, is going to be paying people to borrow money from them.

Consumer prices fell 1.7% in the month of November. That is an annual deflation rate of 20%. That means, pretty much, that if you had a thousand dollars in cash (not in the stock market, you dolt) on October 31, it would be worth an extra $17 on December 1. That means the wisest thing to do is invest your money in a buried shoe box, you'll get a better rate of return than anywhere else.

The Fed has reached to point where if what they do isn't working they have nothing left to try. It not working is actually the good alternative. If the Fed's actions succeed in stimulating the economy they will have pumped so much liquidity into the economy that the 20% deflation rate will turn into a 100% inflation rate in the blink of an eye. To prevent runaway, Zimbabwe-like, inflation at the first signs of recovery the Fed is going to have to stomp on the breaks so hard they will throw the economy into a still deeper recession than we are in now.

Shit. Deep shit. Deeper shit. Deepest shit. Take your pick.

Siemens = Evil

If ever there was a company that deserves to be shut down forever it is Siemens AG.

Nazi Favorites
Siemens AG manufactured many of the items used by the Nazis to kill. They made great profit from this by using slave labor from concentration camps, most notoriously at the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Slaves would build electric switches for Siemens manufactured V-2 rockets in the morning and be murders in Siemens built gas chambers in the afternoon.

Heartless Marketers
In 2002 Siemens wanted to build gas ovens for the home using the trademark name Zyklon. That just happens also to be the name of the poison used in concentration camp gas chambers. Siemens continues to use that horrid name to market a line of vacuum cleaners in Germany.

Bribers Extraordinaire
As if to prove that time has not diminished Siemens AG's skill in immoral enterprises, it has engaged in a wide spread enterprise of bribery. This has led to the largest ever fine, $1.6 billion. Yet, the truth is that Siemens is getting off easy. The fine is small enough that Siemens has still made a good profit from their illegal activities. Also, they get to keep all of their government contracts and retain the right to go after still more government contracts. If Siemens has learned any lesson at all it is to disguise their bribery better.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A: Bundling Up and Pretending It's Warm

I live in Southern California where rain and winter are rare visitors and snow is something you only find up in them thar' mountains. So I'm looking at to find out when out current rain storm is going to end (It has been raining one whole day!) when I spy this little poll they are doing asking about my favorite cold weather activity.
  • Checking out the fall foliage - 28.7%
  • Watching/attending football games - 40.0%
  • Fall festivals and hayrides -13.0%
  • Making a snowman -18.0%
They didn't even list my favorite winter pass time (see title).

A Penny for Your Loafer

Random thoughts on shoes

Throwing Shoes
Remember how we learned shortly after Baghdad fell that hitting someone with a shoe is a major insult among Arabs. It is like flinging feces, it is a symbol of disrespect, of contempt. Below is film of an emotional Iraqi showing his hatred of Saddam Hussein in the worst way he could imagine.

Word Origin: Sabotage derives from the French word sabot, meaning wooden shoe. While the exact way that a wooden shoe came to describe an act of deliberate destruction is lost in the mists of etymology there is no escaping the fact that even in Europe/America a shoe is a bad thing.

Shoe Bomb
Where was the Secret Service? In the United States if you travel by airplane you have to remove your shoes lest your Florsheims blow up, destroying a 747. Yet, in Baghdad an Arab journalist was able to boldly sneak a pair of shoes into a press conference and heave them at President Bush. What if they exploded? From now on, George Bush's security force should require everyone coming into contact with Bush to be bare foot. Hell, they should be naked, someone could have a bra bomb.

Shoe Phone
Do you realize that the cell phone was invented by the television program, Get Smart in the 1960's?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Barack Obama is a Man and Nothing Else

Give fools their silks and knaves their wine;
a man's a man for all that.
For all that and all that.
Their tinsel, show and all that.
The honest man though e're so poor
is king of men for all that. ~ Robert Burns
The silliest discussion in the country is the still persistent question whether Barack Obama is black, or not black, or just not black enough. It does not matter a whit what are the levels of melanin in Barack's skin. It matters even less what were the melanin content of his ancestors.

Barack Obama is a man composed of his intelligence and his compassion, his creativity and his capacity to accept the creativity of others. He is a man forged by his life experience and his beliefs of what is right for himself and others. While his skin tone has shaped his experience it does not define him any more than he is defined as a man by the unique swirls of his fingerprint.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Worst Alternative Is to Let Them Fail

My disrespect for auto industry executives knows no floor. Collectively, they have the combined wisdom of a drunken hamster. Last generation capitalists, they are neither builders nor designers, thinkers nor dreamers. The polar opposite of men like Henry Ford, they are incapable of vision beyond the latest quarterly report. All they are good for is counting jelly beans in a jar.

With that as a given, the worst alternative for the nation is to let the corporations they head - GM, Chrysler, and Ford - disappear into the economic quicksand. The ripples of their bankruptcy will quickly build into a tidal wave that will sweep across thousands of companies and millions of jobs leaving burned out hulks (I love mixing my disaster metaphors). Since Republicans seem determined to be obstructionists, again, maybe it is time to get really radical.

Let's Communize GM
So here's my plan: The government takes over General Motors in exchange for its debt - all $45 billion of it. Everything from the factories to the gold fixtures in the executive washrooms is turned over to the employees. The workers own the means of production. The fate of the company will be in the hands of the people who have an interest in the success of the company. The workers, the United Autoworkers Union, will decide if salaries are too high (as Republicans claim). The people who know cars best, the employees, will decide what car lines to manufacture. Dividends will go to the people who actually earned the money with their work and sacrifice. Ford and Chrysler will be offered the same deal.

But, once the deal is done and the employees are running GM they are on their own. No second chances. Success or failure is up to the employees. I think they will succeed. They certainly can't do any worse than Richard Wagoner has.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagojevich Will Try to Hurt Obama

As assholes go, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is about as dingleberry as they get. He will also be a major problem for President Obama. Blago will try to blackmail a pardon out of the President by threatening to implicate Obama in Blago's corrupt practices. Obama, most certainly, will tell Blago to go to hell so expect Blago to go down loud.

The Illinois legislature is right to strip Blagojevich of his appointment power and the United States Senate should make it clear that the Senate will refuse to swear in any person Blagojevich might appoint before the Illinois legislature acts. The Illinois legislature should make quick work of an impeachment.

Finally, Blagojevich isn't just corrupt, he is stupid. I don't want to get into Blagojevich's head, it is surely a dark and scary place with lots of empty space where brains ought to be. He knew he was being investigated. I knew he was being investigated and I didn't even know the guy. Everybody knew he was being investigated. Common Sense 101 teaches that when the cops are looking, play nice. It was beyond stupid to try to run a game like he did.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Navy Jet Crash [Corrected]

[Corrections: It was a Marine Corps jet and pilot, not Navy. I was overly optimistic regarding casualties; four civilians died in their home - a mother, her two children, and their grandmother. The body of one of the children has not been found. The Marine pilot survived nicely.]

A Navy Jet crashed into a residential neighborhood in San Diego today. Apparently, nobody was killed.

San Diego is a military town so it happens periodically but it is still amazing how blase we have become about military flyers crashing around us. It is true that many of the pilots, having lost control of their multi-million dollar toy, heroically stay with their crippled craft long enough to steer it to where its crash will be harmless before they bail out. This time, for whatever reason, the pilot bailed out safely while his plane crashed into homes and barely missed a school. It is only a miracle that no one was killed by the F-18.

We may never know why this plane crashed, "national security" can hide any number of sins. The pilot may have been ill-trained, the plane poorly manufactured or maintained. Or the pilot may have been a thrill seeking flathatter. It's been known to happen.

A few of the many San Diego military air crashes:
2007 - helicopter, four killed
2006 - no fatalities
2004 - no fatalities
2004 - four killed
2004 - helicopter, four killed
2003 - no fatalities
1998 - no fatalities
1991 - two planes collide, 27 killed

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My Last Palin Post (I hope)

What must Sarah Palin have looked like before? She spent $150,000 to gussy up her duds. She spent even more money, $165,000, to prettify her head. It boggles the mind.

Sarah Palin pre-makeover (best guess)

Friday, December 05, 2008

It Has Only Just Begun

The November jobs loss numbers (533,000) are only the beginning.
They will be worse in December and worse still in January. And that is without the Big Three automakers all going belly up together. The official unemployment rate will certainly breach 10% during this depression and possible approach 15%. The real unemployment rate, the U-6, will likely exceed 20%.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Republican Fears - Obama Division

Continuing a theme this week without having to do any writing myself. Cracked has the Four Craziest Right Wing Fears About Obama.

As a taste, #4 is He Shall Outlaw All Thine Weapons, and Probably Also Eat Thine Babies.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Three Conspiracies I Actually Believe

While I love a good conspiracy theory most are, in fact, bunk. There are three, however, that I do believe.

The JFK Assassination
I was nine years old when I read the Warren Commission Report. I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now. The key for me was the unbelievable "magic bullet" theory. Simply put, the only way that Lee Harvey Oswald could have been the lone assassin was if one of his bullets entered the back of Kennedy's neck, exited from his throat, changed directions so it could then enter Texas Governor John Connally's back, impact his ribs changing direction again, exit Connally's torso striking his wrist leaving behind bullet fragments and changing direction again, entering Connally's leg where it lodged only to fall out onto the stretcher at Parkland Hospital in near pristine condition. The "magic bullet" was conceived by Arlen Spector, now senator from Pennsylvania. Lots of effort in the past decades has gone into proving the "magic bullet" is, theoretically possible. I have not found them convincing.

I understand why the Warren Commission wanted their conclusion to match the lone gunman theory. A conclusion that there was a conspiracy to murder Kennedy would have roiled the nation, certainly would have brought down the government and perhaps even endangered the democracy. Lee Harvey Oswald was conveniently dead; let his corpse take all of the blame.

What do I think happened? I think there was a conspiracy. Whether Oswald was involved or set up as a patsy is unknowable. My chief suspects are:
  1. The CIA. They had screwed the pooch with the Bay of Pigs. Then as now, the CIA had deep ties to organized crime. And Kennedy was prepared to break the agency's power. This was the plot of the Oliver Stone movie.
  2. J. Edgar Hoover. My personal favorite assumes that Hoover's attempt to blackmail Kennedy had failed so he had him killed. While this is my favorite I have to admit that I can't see how Hoover would have failed in a blackmail attempt of JFK.
  3. Lyndon Johnson. This was my childhood theory. I was suspicious that Kennedy was killed in Johnson's home state where there were plenty of people willing to help Johnson get the top job.
Additional Links: John McAdams who believes every dot and tittle of the Warren Commission; an academic compendium of JFK assassination research by Prof. Kenneth Rahn; E. Howard Hunt put the blame on Johnson and the CIA; Washington Post (2001) on a second gunman; interesting information; and more interesting information. I could go on and on.

Bush has protected Bin Laden
Remember back in December 2001 when Osama Bin Laden was trapped in the Tora Bora Mountains? What you may not remember is how he escaped. It didn't take a military genius to know that Bin Laden was trying to get into Pakistan. He was being chased up the mountain by Afghan and American troops. The 10th Mountain Division was standing ready to be air lifted to Tora Bora where they would have closed the passes. It would have been a classic hammer and anvil strategy.

Bush grounded the 10th Mountain Division and ordered the US troops to let Afghan fighters take the lead in pushing up the mountain. This resulted in Bin Laden, the entire al-Qaeda leadership, and two-thirds of Bin Laden's 1000 man force escaping to the safety of the Pakistani tribal lands. From that time to this there have been a few token moves but no concerted effort to attack Bin Laden's bases in Pakistan.

I don't believe the 9-11 conspiracy theory. Bush's disorganized and fearful reaction proved to me that he didn't know about the attack ahead of time. But it didn't take him long to realize the opportunity Bin Laden had given him. Republicans had been floundering since the fall of Communism. They needed a new boogeyman and Bin Laden was ideal. But it is important to keep your boogeyman alive. With a couple of thousand al-Qaeda soldiers it would only take a couple regiment of US rangers to wipe them out to the last man.

Bush didn't want a quick victory. He wanted this war to last. There had to be a show. The army had to be seen to be attacking al-Qaeda. But they had to fail. With Bin Laden alive and safe and al-Qaeda wounded but mostly intact Bush had his boogeyman. He had his excuse to violate the Constitution at will. He had his excuse for the war he wanted, his revenge attack upon Saddam Hussein. For four years, long enough to win reelection, whenever Bush wanted anything all he had to do was wave the bloody shirt of 9-11 and point out that Osama Bin Laden was still out there. It is with pride in my fellow Americans I note that when John McCain tried to wave that bloody flag yet again nobody listened.

Additional Links: McCain on the subject (before he converted to a Bushite), Washington Post April 17, 2002 article

Bush Stole the Florida Election
On election night, 2000, I heard a brief report that the Bush family, George father and son and Jeb were together when word came down that Al Gore was winning Florida. Jeb, according to the report, left the table saying he would fix it. At this point the polls were closed and there was nothing he should have been able to do. Following that report things happened:
Add to this was what had happened before the election with a systemic program to disenfranchise Democratic voters.

Jeb Bush, who now want to be a United States Senator, orchestrated a criminal conspiracy to rig the vote and the vote count in a presidential election and probably two. I firmly believe he committed acts which are both federal and state felonies.

Additional Links: Lies of Bush, Stealing the Presidency

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Love a Good Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theories are fun. They are a wonderful blend of history, science fiction, science fact, and wild-ass crazy thinking. The very best conspiracy theories have gobs of research. They have scores of photos with hand drawn arrows and circles pointing out some random array of pixels while concluding the resulting indistinct blotch is conclusive evidence. They scour historical documents looking for some telling details that most people have overlooked because it is totally meaningless. The conclusions, in those immortal words of Tommy Magliozzi, are "unencumbered by the thought process." Some favorites.

A Half-Million Coffins
Oddly, I got exactly 500,000 hits on Google for this (certainly a conspiracy in itself). The story is that FEMA has stored a half-million cheap plastic coffins in central Georgia preparing for some mass death event. Exactly what event is vague and ranges from terror attack to pandemic. This story is often matched with...

FEMA Concentration Camps
Going by the code name Rex 84, this is a government plan for the mass internment of millions of Americans. According to the theory there are some 800 (some moderates say 600) camps complete with barbed wire, rail access, and machine gun towers. Halliburton allegedly got $385 million to build some of these camps. Some include a story about 102,000 prison boxcars (photo) having been ordered by FEMA (actually, these are automobile transport boxcars). This was a fear among liberals (like me) during the early years of the Bush II reign. Now, conservatives have resurrected it as part of the Obama-fear.

North American Union
Most of the nuttier mainstream conservative pundits subscribe to this. They claim there is a conspiracy to unite Canada, Mexico, and the United States into a single country. NAFTA, they say, was the first step of this plot. A cute twist to this plot is the 1000 foot wide superhighway that is allegedly supposed to be built from Larado, Texas to Winnipeg.

The New World Order
Drawn from a 1990 speech from George Bush I, this is the Holy Grail of right wing conspiracy theorists. It joins everything from the Protocol of the Elders of Zion to Communism to the Illuminati and Masons into a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory. One world government, destroying Christianity, and the Anti-Christ, NWO has it all.

Barack Obama's Birth
This is the newest conspiracy theory. This theory contents that Obama's mother faked his birth location while he was an infant so Barack would be eligible to run for president 45 years later. Beyond that belief in prescience, the theory relies on computer analyses of microscopic kerning differences between Obama's birth certificate and others to prove that Obama was actually born in Kenya to an American citizen which would have still have made him a natural-born American citizen by law. Then there is the alternative theory that Obama is actually the illegitmate son of Malcom X. Note: the same blogger manages to hold both these theories to be true which shows an open mindedness so wide her brain may fall out.

Monday, December 01, 2008

U.S. Arming Mexican Drug Warlords

There is a war going on in Mexico and the United States is supplying arms to the bad guys. American gun dealers are profiting by selling guns to Mexican criminals.
Mexico is losing its war against the drug cartels. The United States has been financing the drug warlords for a generation. U.S. enforcement policy has been to strive for quantity and not quality. Agencies go after street corner dealers and leave the cartels to operate in peace. Well, not peace really, more like freedom. It would be like Eliot Ness going after basement stills while leaving Al Capone free to build his empire.

Peace is the last thing the cartels want. They are at war with each other over the best smuggling routes. They are at war with the Mexican government which is nobly trying to protect its citizens. The cartels are also at war with the Mexican people because the drug cartels have become full service criminal enterprises now engaged in robbery, kidnapping, extortion, protection, and murder for hire. inexorably, the war is spreading north of the border.

Into this maelstrom have come entrepreneurial Houston gun dealers. Hiding behind the Second Amendment these gun dealers have been gleefully selling enough weapons and ammunition to arm an army. A popular gun for the cartels is the Bushmaster as it can shoot armor piercing bullets.
The example is taken from Jim Pruett's gun shop located on Huffmeister Road in Houston. It is purely for the purposes of an example. I am accusing him of nothing other than being a Houston gun dealer.

Also, I would never suggest, even in jest, that gun dealers are spreading the rumor that the election of Barack Obama has caused a boom in the legal sales of assault rifles to cover their increased sales to the Mexican cartels. I am certain they would never do such a thing.