sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, November 14, 2016

Build the Wall

After the most recent election, I started working in Mexico again. It's a different role than I carved out before, but one that I'm ok with. I was down there last week and will be traveling back and forth regularly. There are a few observations that I'd like to share here on the blog in no particular order.

In general terms, I explained the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency and a return of the legislature to the Republicans in this way (and I mentioned this in my comments to the Grunt of Monte Cristo on his blog):
Immigration, trade and an insular government whose only concern is the care and feeding of a monied elite were the issues in Britain with BREXIT and are the issues in America that propelled President Trump's victory over the corrupt, vicious, global elitist, Hillary Clinton, who sought to prolong the Clinton Dynasty. 
Americans have seen globalization up close and personal and it's not the way we want to live. It works just fine for the few, but the few don't elect folks. We are right now breaking the grip of an Obama/Clinton-led bureaucracy that hates the middle-class, a media that doesn't respect us, an education establishment that thinks we need "fixing" and a business/investment class that thinks we're a commodity to be used and thrown out the second something better comes along. We're like a stripper, as soon as things start to sag we're shown the door or the mop bucket, but we're still expected to give management free BJs. These were terms that the Mexicans understood. Many of them are concerned that they are being treated in the same way. They are envious that we Americans made the decision to drain the swamp.  The political elite in Mexico are trying to decide what they can do to stop the same thing from happening there.
Now to the observations:

(1) Haitians - There are a lot of them in Northern Mexico. The Mexicans are not happy that they arrived. Most are hanging out along the border, waiting for an opportunity to illegally immigrate into the US. While they are there, they under-bid the Mexicans for local jobs - stoop labor, etc. and it's upsetting the balance. I heard that there is a ship docking in Ensenada this coming week with 500 African Muslims who are in "Haitian mode". The urgency to illegally immigrate now that President Trump was elected, and before the border is closed is in a fever pitch.

(2) Violence - Tijuana had a brief hiatus from the sort of gunfire that one sees in Chicago every day, but there is open killing on the streets again. When I was there Thursday-Friday a municipal police officer gunned down a lawyer across the street from where I stood. When asked about my feelings on the incident it by locals, I shrugged and said, "It's Mexico." They laughed and nodded. Just like Chicago. The homicide squad in TJ has the the same motto as the homicide squad in Chicago: "When your day ends, our day begins."

(3) The Wall - Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto wants to begin negotiations on a re-negotiaon of NAFTA with President-Elect Trump before he takes office. The wall is now popular in Mexico, and they understand that they'll end up paying for it.

I may play a role in that negotiation as an advisor to the Republic of Mexico rather than the US. What a twist, right? We're talking about that now. It's not in ink yet. Mexico has a $56 billion trade surplus with the US (they import $56B more than they export from the USA). The loss of that trade would be devastating to Mexico. Whereas previous US presidents have been all bluster without actions and steel, they are concerned that President Trump will make good on  every single threat that he utters.

(4) Drugs - The cartels are examining their business models now that President Trump was elected, trying to figure out what they are going to do to smuggle drugs north, etc. This is a big concern to them. Legalization of marijuana in the US forced them to switch from growing marijuana to growing opium poppies - generating the current 'heroin epidemic' in the USA. It's a market-based business model. They started by dumping "cheap or free" heroin on the street and once the kids started 'geezing", the price went up.

Lock-Her-Up!
(5) Hillary Clinton - The Mexicans expect rampant corruption in their own country but were disgusted by Hillary Clinton. I asked what should happen to her. The consensus is, "Lock her up".  I asked if they'd be willing to extradite her to Mexico to be incarcerated there for crimes real and imagined (which is the way things often work in Mexico).

In response to my question, there was a willingness to accept her into their prison system. Hillary would find a lot more justice in a Mexican prison than she would ever get in an American penitentiary. They offered to take Slick Willy as well as a show of good faith to President Trump. Such is the impact of an election. I didn't ask about the two Weiners, but I'm sure that The Republic of Mexico would be willing to accommodate President Trump - and the American people by throwing the Weiners into the arrangement.

(6) Federales - I spoke to some friends in the PGR. The FBI will be aghast to know that thanks to Director Comey and his coterie, the Mexicans now lump them in with the Mexican Federales in terms of corruption. The leadership of that agency needs to be removed, expunged and replaced by people with integrity. 

The message was given to me to pass on: Mexico has had considerable experience dealing with corruption in high office. They are willing to pitch in and help the FBI do that if asked.  I wonder whether or not the FBI is willing to take them up on the offer.

Crickets?


19 comments:

  1. Trade deficit with Mexico: the products made down there are for people who can afford to buy them. And Mexican's for the most part can't afford the stuff they make, only we can. To expect them to buy American products to the tune of 15 times more than they do now is not realistic.

    But maybe things will change for the better?

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    1. Much that we import from Mexico is agricultural.

      During the Obama Years and with a Democrat governor and legislature in California, the water in the Sacramento Delta has gone to support the life of the Delta Chub, a trash fish, rather than being used to water crops in the San Juaquin Valley. Likewise, concern for the lives of rodents or snails kept the state from building reservoirs and dams that would solve the water problem and allow for crops to be grown.

      So long as California votes for the progs, this pattern will continue.

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  2. This is interesting. A pan Mexico/US Trumpite pact to stamp out corruption on both sides of the border? I'm looking forward to your ambassadorship.

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    1. Politics in Mexico are complicated. I can write more thoughts on that if anyone cares - and likely nobody in the US does. Much of the corruption that exists in Mexico is tolerated because it works as an informal form of taxation. In addition to formal taxes which don't generate enough money to run the country lead to abysmally low and unrealistic government salaries, bribes are paid by those who can afford to pay them to bridge the difference.

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    2. I am interested in learning more about Mexico -seems like all we get here in the US is a black or white perspective. The "vigilante" story last week when a guy popped four robbers on a bus and walked off, after returning the goods to the owners, eliciting a company of feds to look for him, was fascinating-how did the Mexicans feel about it? Seems like they put 50 times as much effort into trying to get the guy, as they do trying to stop the robbers. Bernie Goetz all over again.
      As an aside- my first clue Trump might actually pull it off, was when a Portland jury found the Malheur occupiers not guilty. The level of basic disaffection that implies is huge. Something one might expect in Bend, but Portland?!

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    3. The question, which is not answered, is how vigorously the company of federales pursued the robber.

      In Mexico, you can own a .38 caliber handgun, which is why .38 Super semi-autos are popular down there and many Americans have never heard of that round.

      Mexico harkens to the revolution, and military firearms are illegal to own there (9mm semi-autos, .45's, etc.) Bolt action rifles, lever action rifles, etc. used by farmers and ranchers are all legal.

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  3. I appreciate the Mexican offers,but I wouldn't want to be beholding to them for doing what Trump should be doing. Investigation and inditing Hillary and Bill, ousting Comey and realigning the FBI, getting on Generals and Admirals with some balls in the DOD and doing what ever needs doing to get us back on our feet. But if they want to pay for the wall, then so be it. And as for the corruption down there, if they are concerned about the Hatians and Muslims, then stop them. But then, that may be a cut in pay to the Presidena for allowing the in. It all seems to be about the money.

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    1. As I wrote above, the whole political spectrum in Mexico is different than it is in the US. Applying American logic to the Mexican situation is to invite frustration. Thus America needs to deal with its problems and Mexico will cope with its own. I agree with you. Beyond the wall and renegotiating NAFTA, we have bigger fish to fry.

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    2. I would be open to reading more about Mexico. I am pretty sure I didn't learn enough in school.

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  4. I just watched the 60 Minute interview. Excellent. Lesley Stahl asked about Trump assigning a special prosecutor, and his answer was exactly what I knew it would be. Paraphrased: We have too much to do for me to be concerned with such things. I may, or may not, assign a prosecutor. Allow me to translate: With a new Attorney General, et al - I'll let them move ahead with a RICO case against the Clinton Foundation.

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  5. So are you going to get a pad in Mexico, White Wolf?

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    1. White Wolf is the name of the mine.

      No, I don't plan to live there, but there is a hotel in Mexico City with good security where people in my line of work often stay.

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  6. I think there are some job openings in South Alabama. If you can speak the language.

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  7. Be safe. God bless. Look forward to whatever of interest you can share.

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  8. Replies
    1. I am the very soul of caution. Look all that I've been through and I'm still six feet up instead of six feet down.

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  9. Sorry I'm late to this, but FWIW, I am very interested in more reflection and stories on the Mexican situation and view on all this. Keep it up, please.

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