The Drug War Continues

The easiest way to end the drug war and the power of the cartels would be for Americans to stop using illegal drugs. Unfortunately that has not happened and is not likely to happen. However, that is the true answer to the problem. Meanwhile China continues to smuggle illegal drugs into America–either through the porous southern border and through our ports. A drugged out nation will eventually be very easy to take over.

Sara Carter posted an article today about a recent incident in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The article reports:

The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on May 14 carrying 1.5 tons of cocaine valued at over $28 million, according to the Department of Defense.

A U.S. Navy aircraft first spotted the low profile vessel (LPV) and quickly alerted Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) and The Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer USS Pinckney (U.S. Southern Command) to the scene, according to a press release.

…The Trump administration ramped up counternarcotics operations on April 1 after the Pentagon received intelligence that the drug cartels were planning to exploit the coronavirus crisis. In response, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that the U.S. wouldn’t let the cartels “get past jump street.”

The President and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed that a number of U.S. vessels had been moved into the eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Sea to counter growing threats from the drug cartels in Latin America. Speaking with reporters at the time, Trump said of the move, “we are tired of drugs pouring into our country from other places.  And we’re tired of seeing drugs pouring into different parts of Latin America, South America, and just coming into our country.”

“Now we’ve got them stopped at the border and they’re trying to do it by sea,” Trump explained. “So we stop them at the border with — and, frankly, with the help of Mexico.  Mexico, right now, has 27,000 soldiers on our southern border.  They never had any soldiers. They’re doing that because I’ve asked them to do it.  That’s the only reason they’re doing it.  They have 27,000 soldiers.”

He continued, “So now they’re trying to bring it in by boat and by ship — the drug lords and the people doing drugs — and trying to destroy our country from inside with drugs.  And we’re hitting them very, very hard.  And that’s why we’re doing that.”

This is another example of President Trump exercising leadership to protect the American people.

Under The Radar

Fox News is reporting today that Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has asked the Trump administration to provide Mexico with all the information available regarding the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation. As you may remember, Fast and Furious was a government program under President Obama that allowed guns to be sold in America to Mexican cartels with the supposed goal of tracking the guns and finding the cartels. A more cynical idea of the goal is that the program would increase gun violence to the point where Americans would accept the Obama administration’s plans for severe restrictions on gun ownership.

The article reports:

The sting allowed people to illegally buy arms in the United States and take them to Mexico, so the firearms could be tracked to drug cartel bosses and lead law enforcement there. It hoped to limit gun smuggling across the border.

review of the program found that only 710 out of roughly 2,000 firearms were recovered as of February 2012, according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In 2011, Holder had requested the OIG to conduct a review of operation “Fast and Furious.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had said last week his government would send a diplomatic note to Washington for information on the operation, as his current regime digs for more information on the cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as possible corruption under previous administrations.

“How could this be? A government that invades in this way, that flagrantly violates sovereignty, international laws,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference, according to Reuters.

Holder was the U.S. Attorney General under Obama between 2009 and 2015. Ebrard said he previously issued a statement by way of the U.S. embassy in Mexico asserting that “Mexican authorities” knew about the program, the news organization reported.

In 2012, the Justice Department report had found “no evidence” that Holder was informed about the operation or learned about the tactics employed by the ATF, according to the USA Today.

Lopez Obrador first talked of the scheme last Monday when discussing Genaro Garcia Luna, the former Mexican security minister from 2006-2012, who was arrested in the U.S. last December on drug trafficking offenses, Reuters reported.

Stay tuned.

Some Thoughts On One Long-Term Effect Of The Coronavirus

On March 1, Forbes Magazine posted an article about the long-term impact of the coronavirus. Obviously the article was written before America went on lockdown and the stock market felt the full impact of the epidemic.

The article reports:

The new coronavirus Covid-19 will end up being the final curtain on China’s nearly 30 year role as the world’s leading manufacturer.

“Using China as a hub…that model died this week, I think,” says Vladimir Signorelli, head of Bretton Woods Research, a macro investment research firm.

China’s economy is getting hit much harder by the coronavirus outbreak than markets currently recognize. Wall Street appeared to be the last to realize this last week. The S&P 500 fell over 8%, the worst performing market of all the big coronavirus infected nations. Even Italy, which has over a thousand cases now, did better last week than the U.S.

So who wins as China loses its place as the world’s leading manufacturer?

The article notes:

Yes. It is Mexico’s turn.

Mexico and the U.S. get a long. They are neighbors. Their president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants to oversee a blue collar boom in his country. Trump would like to see that too, especially if it means less Central Americans coming into the U.S. and depressing wages for American blue collar workers.

According to 160 executives who participated in Foley & Lardner LLP’s 2020 International Trade and Trends in Mexico survey, released on February 25, respondents from the manufacturing, automotive and technology sectors said they intended to move business to Mexico from other countries – and they plan on doing so within the next one to five years.

“Our survey shows that a large majority of executives are moving or have moved portions of their operations from another country to Mexico,” says Christopher Swift, Foley partner and litigator in the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice.

Swift says the move is due to the trade war and the passing of the USMCA.

The article points out one of the major problems with manufacturing in Mexico:

Safety remains a top issue for foreign businesses in Mexico who have to worry about kidnappings, drug cartels, and personal protection rackets. If Mexico was half as safe as China, it would be a boon for the economy. If it was as safe, Mexico would be the best country in Latin America.

“The repercussions of the trade war are already being felt in Mexico,” says Miralles.

Mexico replaced China as the U.S. leading trading partner. China overtook Mexico only for a short while.

A strong Mexican economy would solve a lot of problems for America if the drug cartels and other illegal activities could be stopped. A strong Mexican economy would provide incentive for migrants from poorer South American countries to remain there and work. It might ebb the flow of illegals into America that burden the American welfare system and negatively impact the wages of Americans on the lower end of the wage scale.

There will always be drawbacks to outsourcing manufacturing to a country that is controlled by a group of tyrants. American companies who scream about civil rights in America have been willing to overlook sweatshops in China. It is time to add the concept of conscience to the corporate decision-making process.

Abetting Child Abuse

On July 3, Real Clear Politics posted an article titled, “Lara Logan Reports: Cartels “Renting Kids To Fake Families” Then Sending Them Back To Be “Recycled”.” There are a few things that need to be considered when discussing the crisis at our southern border. The first is that if either the Democrats or the Republicans in Congress wanted to end the crisis, they could. The Democrats want future voters, the swamp-dwellers in the Republican party want cheap labor for their corporate sponsors. There are also rumors of payoffs to Congressmen by the cartels, but that isn’t yet proven. Second of all, the crisis at the border is being used as a political cudgel against a President the swamp does not like. As long as the crisis is useful, it will continue. Any mention of compassion is simply window dressing to cover actions that do not include compassion. I’m sorry if that sounds cynical, but it is honest. Congress makes the laws. If the laws are bad, Congress can change them. The same applies to any deportations this weekend. The deportations are in accordance with the laws currently in place. If Congress does not like the laws, it should change them—not scream hysterically when they are followed.

The article reports:

Lara Logan interviews incoming Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan about the uproar over conditions for children at some border facilities and broken laws that led to the migrant crisis.

Morgan said cartels are “renting” children to “fake families” who use the minors as a passport into the United States and then sends the kid back to Mexico or Central America to be “recycled.”

“With Mexican cartels controlling the human traffic, the innocent are paying the highest price,” Logan reported.

“The cartels are renting kids to fake families because they know, grab a kid, that’s like a US passport into the country,” Morgan said. “And then if they make it through, they’re actually taking the kid to a facilitator here in the US and recycling the kid, back to Mexico or the Northern Triangles to be recycled again. That’s horrible.”

“Now that we’ve been identifying these fake families, we’re starting to hear messages being told now, hey, look, you have to grab a kid. It’s your passport into the United States but you may want to make sure that it’s your kid now,” the acting commissioner said.

This is the video of the interview:

This is the consequence of the inaction of Congress to deal with this problem during the past fifty years.

The Problem With Illegal Immigration

Making the trip from Central America to Mexico to the southern border of America is dangerous. The trips are often funded by drug cartels smuggling drugs and trafficked children into America. Generally the people behind the funding are not people you would want to trust. There is also the matter of terrorists entering America in the midst of the overwhelming numbers of people coming here illegally. Meanwhile, the Democrats in the recent debate were all set to give free healthcare and other benefits to people who are coming here illegally. What about putting some money toward medical care for Americans and our veterans? Hopefully most Americans understand that free stuff is never free.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the promises Democrats are making to those who come to America illegally. Has it occurred to these Democrats that their words are a magnet encouraging people to join the caravans coming north?

The article reminds us of the cost of illegal immigration to Americans:

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year, despite the rising loss of jobs to automation.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

Flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal citiesexplodes rents and housing costsshrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.

We elect people to office to represent us–not to put the interests of non-citizens above the interests of citizens.

An Interesting Perspective On Homelessness

Christopher F. Rufo posted an article in The City Journal about the homelessness that has become so prevalent on the west coast of America. The title of the article is, “An Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis.” Please follow the link above to read the entire article; it is very insightful.

The article states:

By latest count, some 109,089 men and women are sleeping on the streets of major cities in California, Oregon, and Washington. The homelessness crisis in these cities has generated headlines and speculation about “root causes.” Progressive political activists allege that tech companies have inflated housing costs and forced middle-class people onto the streets. Declaring that “no two people living on Skid Row . . . ended up there for the same reasons,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, for his part, blames a housing shortage, stagnant wages, cuts to mental health services, domestic and sexual abuse, shortcomings in criminal justice, and a lack of resources for veterans. These factors may all have played a role, but the most pervasive cause of West Coast homelessness is clear: heroin, fentanyl, and synthetic opioids.

Homelessness is an addiction crisis disguised as a housing crisis. In Seattle, prosecutors and law enforcement recently estimated that the majority of the region’s homeless population is hooked on opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. If this figure holds constant throughout the West Coast, then at least 11,000 homeless opioid addicts live in Washington, 7,000 live in Oregon, and 65,000 live in California (concentrated mostly in San Francisco and Los Angeles). For the unsheltered population inhabiting tents, cars, and RVs, the opioid-addiction percentages are even higher—the City of Seattle’s homeless-outreach team estimates that 80 percent of the unsheltered population has a substance-abuse disorder. Officers must clean up used needles in almost all the homeless encampments.

The article reminds us that drug-dealing is a lucrative industry for the cartels:

For drug cartels and low-level street dealers, the business of supplying homeless addicts with heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids is extremely lucrative. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the average heavy-opioid user consumes $1,834 in drugs per month. Holding rates constant, we can project that the total business of supplying heroin and other opioids to the West Coast’s homeless population is more than $1.8 billion per year. In effect, Mexican cartels, Chinese fentanyl suppliers, and local criminal networks profit off the misery of the homeless and offload the consequences onto local governments struggling to get people off the streets.

The article concludes:

No matter how much local governments pour into affordable-housing projects, homeless opioid addicts—nearly all unemployed—will never be able to afford the rent in expensive West Coast cities. The first step in solving these intractable issues is to address the real problem: addiction is the common denominator for most of the homeless and must be confronted honestly if we have any hope of solving it.

Part of the problem here is that some cities and states are moving toward legalizing recreational drug use. Obviously not all of that drug use will lead to further problems, but a percentage of it will–adding to the homeless problem. The other problem is that treating a drug addict will not be successful unless the addict desires to be free of drugs. You can lock up an addict until he is clean, but there are no guarantees that he will stay clean once he is out on the street again.

 

It’s Not Just About Immigrants

On Saturday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the “We Build the Wall” organization led by founder and organizer Brian Kolfage. They are building their first major border wall section on the West Texas-New Mexico border.

The article reports:

In the first video “Foreman Mike” discussed the latest progress on the Sunland Park project. “We Build the Wall” is closing up on their first half mile of wall. They project is approximately 2,300 feet and they have 350 more feet to go to finish the project.

The construction team has used over 600 concrete trucks so far. They are also pouring concrete for a 25 foot speedway behind the all for Border Patrol agents.

Border Patrol officials say the current project when complete will cut off 19 different foot trails on Mount Cristo Rey on the border. The cartels are bringing $100,000 to $200,000 in drugs each day through the open border in this area.

Mike added this on the effectiveness of the current project, “When I got here 17 days ago there were 450 people a night crossing.  When equipment started arriving it went to 300.   When manpower started working we went down to 200.  When we started placing the bollards it went from 70 to 30 to 0.  We’ve had no crossings in the last 8 days.”

Then Mike added this on the very security  situation,  “We have military clad specialists from the cartels probing our line.  The only thing stopping them is our specialists in the hills counteracting with them.  We expect to be completed late, late, late this evening or early tomorrow with the first segment of the wall. “

When asked about the security needed to deal with the drug cartels, Mike replied, “It’s extremely dangerous.  They got within 15 feet of the escavators last night.  They’re coming down and trying to probe against the new wall… We have approximately 15 guards on post, armed security individuals.”

This is a video of exactly what is happening with the “We Build The Wall” Project:

If nothing else, this is proof that when the government fails to act, Americans can and will get things done.