Showing posts with label drugs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drugs. Show all posts

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mexico: Background and Thoughts

I decided that I don't know anywhere near enough about Mexico. I like their food, beer and little gold coins. I would love to travel there some day when it is a bit calmer and I don't need an o-6 to sign off in it. Also I know bad stuff is happening there now and think it is going to get worse. While history doesn't necessarily repeat itself it definitely rhymes so it is time to do some reading. After posting links to the stuff I read I throw up some quotes that stuck out then write have some thoughts.

BBC Mexico Country Profile (always a great place to start as it offers a great concise analysis)

Wikipedia on Mexico (I like Wikipedia and the linkage to other topics is great)

PRI (The political party that had control from 1929-1997)

Tlatelolco Massacre (Soldiers shot a bunch of peacefully protesting students in 1968)

Mexico's Dirty War (I couldn't find one single article but these pretty much cover it)

Zapatista Army of National Liberation

1994 Economic Crisis

Mexican Gun Laws (These are just about a mute point as they are almost uniformly ignored. This shows how black markets fill voids where there is sufficient demand)

Quotes (from Wikipedia unless otherwise noted):
Despite being considered an emerging power,[17] the uneven distribution of income and the increase in insecurity are issues of concern

While the government respects the human rights of most citizens,[63] serious abuses of power have been reported in security operations in indigenous communities and poor urban neighborhoods.

Despite the efforts of the authorities to fight crime and fraud, few Mexicans have strong confidence in the police or the judicial system.

Drug cartels are active in the shared border with the US and police corruption and collusion with drug cartels is a crucial problem.

According to Goldman Sachs, BRIMC review of emerging economies, by 2050 the largest economies in the world will be as follows: China, United States, India, Brazil, and Mexico

income inequality remains a problem, and huge gaps remain not only between rich and poor but also between the north and the south, and between urban and rural areas.

The remittances from Mexican citizens working in the United States account for 2% of Mexico's GDP[93] (Mexicans in the USA (illegal or not) not being able to work can really hurt their economy. )

few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states

Tourism is also the third largest sector in the country's industrial GDP. Seeing as the news is full of mass murders and gun fights I think tourism for 2009 is probably going to be down a bit.

Mexico has the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world with more than twice as many as the second largest Spanish-speaking country. Almost a third of all Spanish native speakers in the world live in Mexico.[112]

I guess this is the time for some awesome analysis and wisdom:

Here are my thoughts on the potential collapse of Mexico.

Mexico has always had a huge gap between the few rich and the many poor. It is also urban northerners vs rural southerners. This gap has meant there is consistently a lot of people who are pretty unhappy with the 'system'.

The most interesting thing (which I knew nothing of before this post) is probably the Dirty War. Basically between 1968ish and 1985ish the Army and assorted other government agencies brutally repressed leftist political protesters. Between massacres, kidnappings, and various rape and torture somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,200 people 'disappeared' never to be seen again. The true numbers are not ever going to be known.

This is significant for a couple of reasons. The government of the time had no qualms with brutally suppressing people who challenged their authority. The nail that sticks up gets raped and tortured. Second the fact that nobody (to my knowledge) was punished for the organized atrocities makes it pretty clear to those in service now that whatever nasty violent stuff they are ordered or encouraged to do they can act with impunity. People have a tendency to refer to what has worked in the past. If the Dirty War kept PRI in power that manual might get dusted off and read again should civil unrest arise. Those tactics are almost surely being used against the Cartels now.

I also think it is interesting that Mexico has has only 3 peaceful exchanges of power in the last eighty years. During the last election things got pretty ugly and if there was fuel present the spark of it would have caused an explosion. Watch out for their next elections in '12.

Lots of people going back home (from illegally working in the USA) could also make for interesting events. Lots of males between 15-30 with nothing to do has been the start of real problems many a time. They have a nasty habit of getting involved in crime or extreme political groups. Throw in some brutal government oppression and fun times would not ensue.

Guess that is all I have to say. Did I miss anything significant?

I am now done writing about Mexico for the time being.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to Drive Fast on Drugs

While Getting Your

Wing-Wang Squeezed


Not Spill Your Drink

By P.J. O'Rourke

TOR says: I think it is worth disclaiming that this hilarious (albeit completely offensive) article is for entertainment purposes only. It is fricking funny to read but not a good idea to actually do in real life, Like making a giant bacon cannon and shooting it at cops.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good News

Recently TheOtherRyan pointed out that people are starting to get shell-shocked out of blogging because of the large amounts of bad news which seems to be the world nowadays. I thought I would share some of the good news, or at least silver lining, I have seen recently.

Story 1: California talks about legalizing pot
To start with, I am not a pot smoker. Personally, it makes me paranoid (more so than normal, which is a fairly high start point) and I am just not a fan of sitting around staring at the walls. However, that doesn't give me the right to tell other people who seem to enjoy it what to do. People say its a gateway drug, ect... And they might be right. However, people using (or abusing) liberty is one of the things that living in a free society provides. I think this is a huge step forward on the personal liberties front in the war against insane government. A few years ago, this proposal would just be another crazy idea, from some crazy guy from San Fransisco, in the crazy state of California, and would quickly disappear. This time around, with California's budget deficit making GM look solvent, it might actually deserve a second look.

Story 2: CNN warns of gun rights being taken away

Last night, Lew Dobbs again raised the hue and cry about the attacks on the second amendment last night. Now this is a case of silver lining. Downside, the government is determined, post Heller v. DC, to see how far they can go. Sliver lining, when even CNN is running pro-firearm pieces, there has been a fundemental shift in at least that media source, and, I think, this is a good thing. Now, for the most part, CNN has its issues, but in the past, I cannot remember a time when they had a pro-gun stance. This might be the beginning of a shift in public perception about firearms.

Story 3: Monkey Cartoon and the First Amendment
Now again, this is a silver lining case. Last night CNN ran a couple stories about how Rev. Sharpton is trying like hell to punish the NY Post over its monkey cartoon, and is trying petitioning the SEC to start an emergency investigation, in retribution for the cartoon. If he wants to protest, fine, go with God. If he wants to bring in the federal government to punish a news paper for printing something he doesn't agree with, that's a constitutional violation. The silver lining, again, even CNN is calling what he is doing insane, and an attack on the fundamental freedoms in the first amendment. I never thought I would see the day where CNN was at odds with the NAACP and Rev. Sharpton. This is defiantly a move in the right direction.

On a personal note, its Ash Wednesday, so I was at mass at 7 this morning, getting ash put on my forehead. Thus far, people have been staring at me all day in school, pointing out the I have some shit on my face, and asking what the ash is all about. I didn't know that Ash Wednesday was such a well kept secret. If you don't know why all the crazy Catholics are walking around like idiots, check this out.
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