sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

American Coups

There was (another) coup in Bolivia pursuant to an election this past weekend and it got me thinking about the US and our histories of conspiracies. The Civil War/War of Northern Aggression is not mentioned here because secession is technically not a coup because there was not an attempt to remove a sitting president or government, just a removal of some states from the union. Until the coup attempt, still underway, that we are witnessing in America today, there has not been an attempt to remove the constituted government since the Newburgh Conspiracy of 1783. Thus, it's an important event that we see played out by different actors with support of an entrenched and infinitely corrupt mainstream media.

March 1783 Newburgh Conspiracy

George Washington
The Continental Congress promised to pay lifetime pensions to army officers and then, at the end of the war, it reneged. The situation became very tense with many general officers calling for and end to Congress and a coup. General George Washington, then Commander-in-Chief appealed passionately to his men asking them to support the supremacy of Congress. That led to a compromise by Congress, which granted back pay and five years of full pay instead of a lifetime of half pay.

1841–1842 Dorr Rebellion 

Some view this as an attempt at a coup, but I do not. Not in the classic sense. It was not an attempt to remove a national government. Rather, it was an attempt to cling to the original colonial charter rather than the custom and practice of the time, which allowed all white males to vote irrespective of their financial status. I include it here simply because others might view it that way.

November 10, 1898: The Wilmington, NC  insurrection of 1898

As with the Dorr Rebellion (above), this had to do with voting rights and race. Members of the Democrat Party, in opposition to black Americans holding office and voting in the post-war reconstruction period. The discontent never reached Washington DC. The politics were local, focusing on who would rule, who would appoint, and how that was all to happen. You can read more in the link above.


Following World War One, and during the Great Depression, US Army veterans marched on Washington DC, demanding a bonus that had been promised to them. It went deeper than just that because Pres. Roosevelt had taken the nation off the gold standard (currency then, unlike now, was backed by specie, not just a vague promise by the Federal Reserve). The movement fizzled, if it had ever been a movement at all.

2016-20: Plot against President Trump

This is still being played out. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, submitting search warrant applications that were based on fraudulent information undertook systematic wiretapping of the Trump Presidential Campaign with the intent to gather information that could be used to unseat the president if he was elected. According to inside information within the FBI, this was referred to as an 'insurance policy' in the event that candidate Hillary Clinton lost the election. The Obama Administration actively 'unmasked' people who were the subject of wiretaps, disclosing their names to the press.

Admiral Rodgers
Members of the US Department of Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency and the Directorate of National Intelligence participated in this activity. Only disclosures by Admiral Michael Rogers of the National Security Agency (an American hero) gave credibility to early assertions of the plot to remove the President.

Allegations that President Trump colluded with the Russian government were dismissed by the "Mueller Investigation" and members of the House of Representatives and the mainstream media, shifted the attack to a telephone call between the President and the President of Ukraine, which was routine, taking other calls between US Presidents and foreign leaders over the past fifty-plus years into consideration. 

We will have to wait to see how all this plays out.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Veteran's Day


The Venezuela timeline is a cautionary tale for our days because we can see it unfold. The pattern is unmistakable.

When it comes to veterans, custodians of the nation's defense, there is so much to say to so many. Some left it all on the field. Some came home broken, some managed to push through and everybody traded time, which was all they had, in the hope for something greater for the people they served.

On days like today, I feel as if the blood and treasure spent to defend the nation has been horribly betrayed. The Traitor, Jane Fonda, was a one-off to me during the Vietnam war. She should have been stood up against a wall and shot. Now when I look at the Congress, I see hundreds of them. 

But the Constitution remains the law of the land and I am thankful to all who faithfully served - and serve - to make it so.

Thank you Veterans!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Sermonette

A Cautionary Lesson

Being a good and honest police officer in Mexico is a short term profession. I expect that the retirement fund is bulging with money if it hasn't been embezzled...
(link) The Mexican police officer involved in the arrest of the son of reputed drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was assassinated after his car came under a barrage of gunfire (shot 155 times) inside a parking lot.
The American political left feels that gun control is working in Mexico. Others dispute its effectiveness.

How the Narcos view the US

Mexican narcos are concerned about the USA. It runs along these lines: If the US can land men on the moon and build and deploy invisible airplanes, they can do a lot of harm to the cartels if they ever decide to. Up until now, it's been a half-hearted effort. I expect that the effort will remain tepid. The counternarcotics center at CIA is located in the basement with the heating/cooling and mechanical equipment.

Jesus Malverde

Some of you may be saying, "Si!" and others of you may be saying, "who the f^&# is Jesus Malverde and why should I care?" (link to Wikipedia) 

I don't know that you should care. But since this Sunday Sermonette is dedicated to Mexican Narcos, I'm going to tell you anyway.

He's a folk saint who may or may not have lived in the 19th Century, who is the patron saint of primarily Mexican-American drug runners.

A person asked me to pick up a Jesus Malverde t-shirt in Guadalajara and I had my assistant scour flea markets in the city to no avail. Finally, I went too and the people there said that they had a sorts of other narco-religious shirts, but that I'd need to go to the US to pick up a Jesus Malverde t-shirt. 

The story of Malverde goes like this. He was a thief sho was fatally shot while stealing something. There was a reward for his capture and he instructed his accomplices to turn him in for the reward, collect the bounty and then share it with the poor. There is a chapel dedicated to Malverde in Culiacán. But he's still more popular among American narcos.

Saints and Sinners (sermonette)

(link) While it is not uncommon for drug gangs to appeal to saints or saint-like figures and perform rituals, these recent discoveries show that beliefs and practices combining the black magic with Catholicism are still deep seated in Latin American narco-culture. Santa Muerte (a saint unrecognized by the Vatican) is depicted by a skeleton, shrouded in white. Inside a Mass for Mexico’s Santa Muerte. I've seen Santa Muerte skeletons of pregnant women with the near-term fetus skeleton inside. They kill a woman with a full term baby and then have carrion beetles eat the flesh from the bones before setting her up in a saint costume. Sometimes they dress the skeleton up in a Virgin of Guadalupe outfit.

PS

Video on Mormons vs Narcos Vice Produced this piece in September 2012. I think that it's still valid in November 2019. It provides a context for the massacre that we've been discussing.


Friday, November 8, 2019

La Unión Tepito

It's good to review what the cartels are doing from time to time because the news media will not do that and as a result, the American public remains largely ignorant.

Today, I thought that spotlighting a small cartel that you may never have heard about would be interesting. La Unión Tepito is such an organization/cartel/cult.

A couple weeks ago, on 22 October 2019 Secretariat of Citizen Security of Mexico City (Secretaría de Seguridad Ciudadana de la Ciudad de México – SSC CDMX) of Mexico City, the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia de la Ciudad de México – PGJ-CDMX), and the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico (Secretaría de Marina – SEMAR) conducted counternarcotics operations in in the Bravo district of Tepito, Mexico City. This coordinated raid took place because La Unión Tepito apparently is not paying off the Federal Government of Mexico, which has a policy of hugging, not fighting with cartels. The sub rosa message is that if you pay, you're hugged, if not, you're mugged. (yeah, I'm a poet, how about that?)

Over 30 alleged members were arrested while the group’s leader Oscar Flores aka ‘el Lunares’ (“The Moles”) escaped on a motorcycle. Authorities discovered two laboratories used to produce synthetic drugs along with 50 kilos of chemicals used in drug production, which had been constructed inside of a tunnel complex under Mexico City. (link - in Spanish)

The tunnel system ran under several residences in the neighborhood using false walls, hidden latches, and custom created tunnels. 2.5 tons of marijuana, 20 kilos of cocaine and 4 kilos of methamphetamine were seized. 31 suspects were initially arrested, however, 27 of them were released 3 days later by a judge that alleged the security forces fabricated evidence. The normal assumption is that somebody got to the judge.

Two days following the raid authorities announced that there was evidence to suggest that 120 police officers were on the payroll of La Unión Tepito. Those numbers are typical for a smaller operation. Many Mexican police officers are paid off by more than one cartel, supplementing their miserably small salary.

The Mexican Navy (SEMAR) discovered a tunnel that connected one of the properties being searched to a warehouse on a nearby street.  Half a million pesos, 5 hand grenades and over 13 automatic weapons were also discovered including the warhead from a rocket launcher. 

In one of the residences agents discovered numerous religious shrines and altars. Many of these contained human remains and traces of blood. More than 55 skulls, dozens of bones, and an unidentified fetus of human or animal origin were discovered. The newspaper El Heraldo de Mexico reported that according to a statement by a witness the members of La Unión performed quote ‘satanic’ rituals every third day to have good fortune in their illegal activities in addition to being immune to bullets. (more here)

The skulls found in some of the ngangas were victims of murder by the gang. Another shrine at the scene features numerous images of folk saints frequently found among traffickers including Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde. Ritual homicides have been documented in the U.S. and Mexico involving the torture and sacrifice of victims to Santa Muerte.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Narcos

Mexico and Corruption

Silicon Graybeard's blog piece is worth a read (link). As best I recall, that allegation of coordination between USGOV and the Sinaloa Cartel came up during the prosecution of Ismael (Mayo)  Zambada Garcia's son, Vincente (Mayito) in the Northern District of Illinois. During that time, Mayo was on the outs with the Sinaloa Cartel and was at war with both Joaquín (Chapo) Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, who ran the Sinaloa Cartel and Rubén (Mencho) Oseguera Cervantes, who runs Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG).

Sorry for dropping names, but I suggest is that the story was made up by Mayo and the defense team to provide a legal defense for Vincente. The fortunes of drug cartel leaders ebb and flow and Mayo, whose family and foster family I know personally (been to their home, been invited to weddings, etc.) is no exception. The relationships between these various factions are continually in flux as fortunes and turf are won and lost. Between 2012 and 2014, Mayo was on the losing end of a struggle for turf in Guadalajara and elsewhere and he was on the outs with Chapo. I know some of Mayo's lieutenants personally and they know me. I had a remit to deal with these people in that time period and spent time in that region.

The Fast and Furious case was engineered to demonstrate that firearms are transferred from the US to Mexico to arm the cartels by SECSTATE Clinton and Attorney General Holder. President Obama may claim to be unaware of the details but I suspect that he knew the broad strokes.  There was an ongoing push to increase firearms control legislation in the US and this was intended to be a pretext and it went horribly wrong. Sharyl Attkisson, a reporter, did considerable research on this and her work is stellar. 

In my experience, the Mexican Army (SEDENA) usually carries H&K G-3's and the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) carries M-4's (.223). Most cartels have a wide assortment of firearms to choose from, but most frequently carry AK-47's. We can chat about where they buy their arms and ammo, but it's most often Chinese or Russian origin and they trade drugs for arms. They buy military grade hardware from military inventories in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc. So you see them with hand grenades and armament from Israel, USA, etc. that was sold to these governments with an end user certificate -- and sold from inventory or "stolen".  Most of the arms and ammo that they use does not originate in the USA, but admittedly a smaller percentage does. The point is that you can't buy military grade hardware in the US and that's what they prefer.

The truth is that the cartels never had much of a problem smuggling vast amounts of narcotics into the US and don't today and it doesn't require US corruption to facilitate it. Don't get me wrong. CBP Officers at the ports of entry have a vast corruption problem, but the drugs get through irrespective of those ports of entry. 

LeBaron Family - before the massacre
I'm not privy to the fine details of the cause of the slaughter of the women and children who lived in the Fundamentalist Mormon town (which has been in existence for generations) or the interrogation results from the suspect with the two hostages/kidnap victims who was taken down. Suffice to say that there have been incidents where Catholic hospitals have been wiped out. Doctors, nurses, staff and every patient in the hospital in bed or in an operating theater for very little reason. It's a dog bites man story that never makes the US press, that is almost always focused on political crap, or on the Military Industrial Complex's need for more war. It's life in Mexico under the rule of a narco state.

Taxes

Some cartels require people in their areas of control to pay taxes to them. In areas where control is disputed, more than one gang/cartel may require that you pay taxes. If you don't pay, the slaughter of family as an example is very common. That may have happened here in this recent mass murder.  But as I stated before, I'm not up on this incident. I've seen and heard of similar events in the past. The difference is that these are US Citizens (even though they're also Mexicans by nationality, born in Mexico).

As I have mentioned before on this blog, any of you could smuggle narcotics into the US if you are willing to pay the tax to the local cartel. If you're a small operator and want to piggyback a few kilos of whatever, you'd normally pay 10% insurance to the cartel to insure that your load arrives in the US. The 10% isn't for a bribe to USGOV employees, it's a way that the cartels make money because they have confidence that they can get the load through. Sometimes the loads are intercepted and they make good on the loss. You'd pick up your narcotics in the US and would distribute them, through your network, and would collect the proceeds (in cash) and do what you would with that money. The process is simple and it repeats. The only requirement that the cartel levies is that you sell at a fixed price and pay the tax. Insurance is optional. The process is very simple and it happens every day, except that most of the narcos take Christmas and Easter off to be with family.

Who will Pay?

Ice Cream

I don't eat ice cream from Ben and Jerry's, though if Lizzy Warren's healthcare plan goes into effect, and 2 million people lose their jobs, maybe Ben and Jerry's will hire them at the same salary that they made when they were working in healthcare. 

Then again, it's not about healthcare, it's about power over YOU and over your life. 

In about a year, I will be of an age where I will be required to file for Medicare.  (link

Even if I am happy with my present healthcare arrangements, the government will FORCE me into their medicare healthcare web. 

You don't have to sign up for Medicare. The catch? If you don't enroll when you're first eligible, you will be subject to serious financial penalties later in life. Why does the government do these things? Why do they want to FORCE me into their program when I'm willing to pay my own way? They counter with, "but LL, it's FREE!"

Socialism depresses me.

The Warren Healthcare Plan will require a 48% payroll tax (more here). And then there are all of the other 'free' programs that she wants to offer to the mooches to induce them to vote for her.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Should I Go?

Mexico

I wish that I had a dollar for everyone who asked me whether or not they should visit Mexico. Normally it runs like this:

Q - I'm planning a visit to (wherever in) Mexico and wonder whether or not you think that's a good idea?

LL - It's a bad idea.

Q - But it's inexpensive and the part of Mexico I'm planning on visiting is safe.

LL - Then why ask me?

Q - Because you have worked down there (doing whatever) and understand the place better than I do.

LL - Keep talking yourself into going, then. Don't bother me.

Headlines on Fox News today (link) tell of a group of women and children who were ambushed and murdered (and some were apparently kidnapped) on a highway in Northern Mexico. In this case, these Americans were also Mexican citizens. Some say that it was a case of mistaken identity. I can't say, but it's not atypical in Mexico, a failed state, run by drug cartels. (more here from Newt Gingrich)

President Trump offered to send US troops into Mexico to root out the rot and corruption and to kill members of drug cartels. Mexican President Lopez Obrador respectfully declined, saying that it wouldn't work. President Lopez Obrador may be right because killing everyone directly involved with the drug cartels or indirectly involved (businesses that take loans from cartels, the cartel support structure and the politicians who are supported by generous contributions) would leave Mexico nearly unpopulated.

Should the US be focused more on Mexico than Syria? 

You can blame the wealth in the US and the insatiable appetite for drugs if your conscience allows it, but the problem is that Mexico is still a failed state. And the US is compromised in many ways because of the vast network of narcotics trafficking routes through our communities. 

Q - But LL, we're going to (name your vacation destination) staying at the XXX resort. 

LL - The XXX resort is managed by a US/International company but the hotel is owned by the Guadalajara Cartel. 

Q - I had friends who went there and they had a great time, So what do you think, should I go?

BREAKING NEWS - Mexican President Lopez Obrador said that 'hugs, not arrests' are the focus of Mexican policy against the drug cartels. (how much did the cartels pay him?) He feels that humanitarian outreach can solve Mexico's cartel crisis,

Is the Weather Progressive?


The Climate

Doom!
Our fellow blogger, John D. sent me this link to remind me that the climate is indeed cooling (so far this winter, at least). It's been warm enough to roast marshmallows in California as the progressive solutions to climate change would seem to be to release carbon (and CO2) by burning off the wildland, and reducing the consumption of electricity. So California may be the exception.
(Link) According to official NOAA data, more than twelve-hundred monthly low temperature records fell ACROSS the U.S. in October 2019 — multiple Arctic air masses rode anomalously-far south on the back of a wavy jet stream flow, itself associated with historically low solar activity. 
The sun is currently in its deepest solar minimum of the past 100+ years, and the jet stream has weakened as a result; its usual tight ‘zonal’ flow has more-often-than-not reverted to a loose ‘meridional’ one. This wavy flow has diverted brutal Arctic air into the lower-latitudes, and is responsible for the U.S. either busting or tying a staggering 1204 all-time MONTHLY low temperature records in October 2019 (double the number of new heat records).
John D., who lives in Norway, usually has chilly winters. The last time I was there for work, John and I met with a professor who used skis to commute to work. We have learned that reindeer are facing extinction (along with Polar Bears) and that soon the planet will not see snow.  The people  who say that all want to be King (or Queen, if we are speaking of Warren and the Butt Guy) of America because of their wisdom and foresight. Other luminaries (mostly donkeys) also say that we'll all be dead in somewhere between ten and twelve years, so why worry about it? Yet they worry.