Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Through the Bombast, in the Haystack, a Diamond

Donald Trump cast a diamond out of the rough today. He popped out a memo to the Washington Post and journalist Bob Woodward has put it forward to readers. It is a fascinating development. Trump's fiery advisor Stephen Miller and Trump's staff have found and highlighted an issue which cannot be denied. Money goes south without accountability for where it comes from. Trump frets it helps the poor, but that's a good thing. However, what the proposal does well is to provide a sure stop to the freemoney flow from criminal money mules north of the border. Most of those transfers usually are collected by the hands of corrupt people who care more about Mexican mafia bosses than a local ejiditario (rural farmer) and his family.

I've been on both sides of the border since 1996. There's no black and white, and less law than ever. Even though Trump may be off the mark on part of his statement, the issue is begging a solution, and Trump has pinpointed it. Despite President Obama's flippant remarks today about the issue ("Good luck with that"...), allowing international money transfers to sidestep bank regulations is a dangerous invitation to abuse, and one tantamount to a whisper to the cartels and corrupt politicians that they can continue to send their dirty cash anywhere down south without any trace of accountability. 

The money mules show up at the Western Union offices to send the drug sales receipts by electronic transfer. The mule just handles the "package" electronically, and goes home to Phoenix or Houston - whereever. No backpack required. They get paid their laundering fees to show up at Western Union offices and at under-the-radar online sites like Xoom to get a few hundred to a few thousand dollars laundered south in small, undiscoverable increments to a recipient who is much more likely to show up in a new Hummer than a decrepit pickup. But Obama doesn't think it matters much?

Once Trump's changes take effect in the United States, there will be millions of documented legal "green card" hard-working Mexicans who Trump will exempt and protect. They will be exempted because they can prove they are in the USA legally. But the criminals who can now show up without any legal resident or work papers (because they are usually paid by a gang) will be thwarted by the changes this proposal would effect. 

The most interesting part the proposal may well be the implementation of the most important brick in the "wall" against criminality - a virtual wall which will surely help or at least partially defray the expense and obviate the need to actually build Trump's mammoth "muro", as they dub the wall in Mexico. If that is the kind of winning deal which Trump touts he can provide for America, then I’m all for it. He has followed the money trail, and wisely so. The so-called liberals and neocons have too much skin in the PAC money game to upset the applecart.

I would hope that even the thoughtful Sanders supporters, even Bernie Sanders himself - not to mention the unions - should support this proposal. It makes a lot of sense to this Sander’s supporter. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

We Might Be Nitwits, but We’re Battle Ready

This is a May 2016 update.....

Forget the freeze dried food. The new illusion has landed, and we're holstering a cellphone and a sidearm. It’s Cartel Land North and Déjà vu-OZ, wrapped-up and PAC-packaged, all over again. These days, survivalists of all stripes here on the border and elsewhere cling to cellphones and sidearms for their survival. That’s how bad the paranoia has grown all over the country. I’m not sure whether it is Trump who is pumping up the populace from his high rise suite 2000 miles away, or the likes of Chris Matthews gagging for words about a little altercation from his perch above the crowd at some Trump event. Some old man sucker punced a rowdy protester being escorted out of the arena.

One thing is certain. People are upping the amps in a wholesale frenzy over the presidential election babble and bombast bursting in air. It’s really working for the press too. Everyone can find something to get angry about. We are all hooked. If Jesus Himself were still around, he’d be belting out a verse of “Onward Christian Soldiers”, shaking his sword in the living room, checking his twitters and cleaning his Colt.

In retrospect, it’s too bad we didn’t take Osama alive so we could interview him. I’d like to hear his take on us now. He would probably be smiling at the manic state of the American public. “I really did win” would surely be written all over his smug, bearded face. And he would be right.

The whole country is bonkers, and it’s still months away from the first Tuesday in November. I’ve never seen time fly by slower, and the country more manic, confused and beaten down. Especially manic are those of us boomers old enough to still hate socialists, if that’s our thing.

I used to like Sanders, but now I wonder which version is him. After reading about his checkered past in a 1999 article Bernie the Bomber’s Bad Week by Sanders' Vermont contemporary, Will Miller (who died of cancer in 2005), I have some serious reservations about Sanders' character. He surely abandoned the socialist creed he says he espouses now, and it gives me pause as to whether he is in fact not really in some sort of Washington beltway deal with the Clintons. In addition, Sanders call system is probably filled with the data he received from the supposed inadvertent data breach he had into the DNC Clinton database back in May. 

Regarding Trump, I'm a little concerned I haven’t been able to buy enough popcorn to digest him yet. He’s like Chinese food, as they say. You can eat a plate full and be hungry again in 60 minutes. I’m sure there are plenty of liberals and neocons who disagree; they just hate him. I don’t.

But who is anyone to judge? These times are probably necessary for some grander purpose, and I was always a lousy student of history anyway, even though I have recently tried to bulk up on that diet, a little at a time. Onward, Americans. It's no time for reflection.