More on Mexico’s fragmation

Just came across this. Texas is preparing for a worst-case scenario if Mexico continues to go down the tubes.

If Violence Escalates in Mexico, Texas Officials Plan to Be Ready

Thursday , February 12, 2009

By Joshua Rhett Miller

FC1

As drug cartels continue to terrorize Mexico, Texas officials are planning for the worst-case scenario: how to respond if the violence spills over the border, and what to do if thousands of Mexicans seek refuge in the United States.

Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, said a multi-agency contingency plan is being developed, and it will focus primarily on law enforcement issues, including how to handle an influx of Mexicans fleeing violence.

“At this point, what we’re focusing on is spillover violence,” Cesinger told FOXNews.com Thursday. “The immediate concern, if any, would be that.”

More than 5,300 people were killed in Mexico last year in connection to criminal activity, and some experts predict things will get worse. Along with Pakistan, Mexico was identified in a Department of Defense report last year as a country that could destabilize rapidly.

If that were to happen, officials are concerned that the drug violence could cross the Rio Grande into southern Texas.

Cesinger said the plan currently does not address a potential flood of refugees, though “It may be something that comes into consideration.”

“Worst-case scenario, Mexico becomes the Western hemisphere’s equivalent of Somalia, with mass violence, mass chaos,” said Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank. “That would clearly require a military response from the United States.”

Carpenter, who recently authored a study entitled “Troubled Neighbor: Mexico’s Drug Violence Poses a Threat to the United States,” said Mexican government could collapse, although it’s unlikely.

“That’s still a relative longshot, but it’s not out of the question,” Carpenter said. “It’s obviously prudent for all of the states along the U.S.-Mexican border and the military to consider that possibility and not get blindsided should it happen.”

Some lawmakers in Texas have begun questioning how to deal with a potentially massive influx of Mexican citizens.

“Do you strengthen the borders so people cannot get in by the thousands every day, or do you create detention centers where people are held until their status is determined?” asked state Sen. Dan Patrick. “This is a potential refugee problem…”

“Let’s pray that this does not develop in Mexico,” Patrick told FOXNews.com. “However, when you hear the president of the United States cast dire warnings on our country, that even our financial system could collapse, it makes you think. If the United States can face catastrophe, obviously Mexico could as well.

“We have to seriously consider that as a remote possibility, so therefore, we need to have a plan.”

Patrick called upon Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McGraw to present a comprehensive plan to the state’s Legislature.

McGraw, who reportedly told lawmakers at a recent border security meeting that fears of Mexico’s collapse were “well-grounded,” was unavailable to comment Thursday, Cesinger said.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff indicated last month that the continuing violence has prompted plans for civilian and military law enforcement should it spread into the United States.

Chertoff said the plan calls for armored vehicles, aircraft and teams of personnel along border hotspots. Military forces, however, would be summoned only if civilian agencies like the Border Patrol were unable to control the violence, the New York Times reported.

DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the department began developing the plan last summer to address a “broad spectrum of contingencies that could occur” if the violence escalates.

“This violence is happening because the [Felipe] Calderon administration is doing the right thing by cracking down on powerful drug cartels,” Kudwa said in a statement. “The cartels are, predictably, fighting back to protect their lucrative criminal livelihood. This plan doesn’t change or otherwise supersede existing authorities; it plans for how a number of government organizations would respond and coordinate if local resources were to be overwhelmed.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is “continuing to develop that plan,” Kudwa said Thursday.

Meanwhile, Tim Irwin, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said he was unaware of any plans in Texas to prepare for an influx of Mexicans seeking refuge. Theoretically, Irwin said, a Mexican citizen could go to a border crossing and seek asylum based on fears of returning home amid the ongoing drug wars.

“It’s a valid claim to make, but you’d need to back that up,” Irwin said. “That would start the process.”

Irwin said the individual would be initially detained and given a “credible fear interview” to determine if his or her concerns are valid. If so, they could be eventually be released into the United States.

But Carpenter said the worst-case scenario — a “sudden surge” of up to 1 million refugees in addition to the hundreds of thousands who enter illegally each year — would be daunting.

“That would be very difficult to handle,” Carpenter told FOXNews.com. “I suspect what’d you see fairly soon is an attempt to seal the border as much as possible. That would probably be the initial response, along with the building of additional facilities [to detain the Mexican refugees]. But nobody wants to see that happen.”

Freepalanche!

Wow!

Someone picked up my post about Bob Lonsberry’s FUBO rant and posted it on The Free Republic. My hits for Sunday, the 22th doubled. See chart below.

KCPD: Negligent Discharge in PD District locker room.

Heard on the radio this morning (KCMO-AM710). Two police officers were injured when a police officer was unloading his sidearm. If I remember correctly, the KCPD uses the Glock .40S&W as their departmental weapon.

One officer suffered a graze along his leg. The other officer had an injured finger and was undergoing surgery.

From the KMBC channel 9 website. I’d post the story but KMBC retains all rights and does not allow the story to be copied. I note that the media is calling it an “accidental discharge.” That bit of falsehood would be different if the shooting didn’t involve police.

Dinosaur Media Watch: The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com

Another liberal print fish-wrap heading for extinction. In this case, it’s three in one. Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC, owns three outlets, two papers and a website. The parent organization has just declared bankruptcy.

From Philly.Com

Philadelphia newspapers’ owner files for bankruptcy

Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C., which owns The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday in a bid to restructure its $390 million in debt load.

The company, bought by a group of Philadelphia-area investors for $562 million in 2006, said the voluntary Chapter 11 filing would not interrupt its daily operations.

“This restructuring is focused solely on our debt, not our operations,” chief executive officer Brian P. Tierney, who led the group that provided about $150 million of the purchase price three years ago, said in a news release.

“Our operations are sound and profitable,” said Tierney, referring to operating profits before interest and certain other costs.

The financial burden from an advertising downturn, rising costs for newsprint, and the migration of readers to the Internet caused Philadelphia Newspapers to fall out of compliance with its loan agreements last year. The same conditions have devastated the broadcast industry.

The company said it decided to turn to Bankruptcy Court after negotiating with its lenders for the last 11 months. During that time, the company was billed $13.4 million in penalty interest and fees.

It is not clear whether the current owners will retain a stake in the company if the debt is successfully restructured with the help of a bankruptcy judge. Ideally, a restructuring would reduce the amount of debt and lower the interest rate.

Citizens Bank is the agent for the senior lenders, who have included Angelo Gordon & Co., CIT Group Inc., and Wells Fargo & Co.

The Newspaper Guild, which represents newsroom and other employees of the company, alerted its members of the bankruptcy filing today.

To fund operations during the restructuring, the company asked for court approval of $25 million in debtor-in-possession financing that was arranged by NewSpring Capital in Radnor.

The Philadelphia Newspapers filing follows last month’s bankruptcy filing by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Journal Register Co., based in Yardley and the publisher of a number of local daily and weekly newspapers, filed for bankruptcy Saturday. Just last week, the publicly traded New York Times Co. suspended its dividend to cope with the economic downturn.

The Tribune Co., which was saddled with a massive $13 billion debt load when Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell bought it in 2007, filed for bankruptcy protection in December.

It’s tough to be a cop in Mexico.

From Time Magazine’s website is a story of a growth a vigilantism in Mexico. A most interesting segment is a group in Ciudad Juarez that has given the local police until June to clean up the crime or the vigilantes will to the job for them.

Another story of the probable societal breakup coming to Mexico.

As Crime Mounts, Mexicans Turn to Vigilante Justice

A Mexican soldier walks near a bullet-riddled police vehicle at the scene where three police officers were killed in Ciudad Juarez, northern Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009.
A Mexican soldier walks near a bullet-riddled police vehicle at the scene where three police officers were killed in Ciudad Juarez, northern Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009.
Eduardo Verdugo / AP

Graphic photos of the alleged thief’s corpse were splashed over the front pages of Mexican tabloids beneath headlines such as “Dead Rat” and “Military Justice.” The confessed shooter, retired general Alejandro Flores, was widely hailed as a hero for firing at the 30-year-old man who had tried to force his way into the military man’s Mexico City home. “Of course he did the right thing,” wrote Felipe Alcocer in one on-line forum on the incident. “I wish everyone would act in the same way and get rid of this anti-social scum.”

Given Mexico’s widespread breakdown in security, the praise for Flores’ Feb. 5 act of self-defense is unsurprising. The conviction rate in the thousands of murders and kidnappings afflicting the nation every year is estimated to be as low as 5%. Women and children are also increasingly among those killed by criminal gangs. And the limits on the legal system’s ability to stem the tide of violent crime has produced a growing, shadowy movement for vigilante justice. In recent months, at least three new clandestine groups have promised to hunt down and murder criminals to help restore order. As in the killing of the alleged thief by Flores, such groups have been cheered on in public forums. “My sincerest congratulations to these brave men with their courage and determination,” wrote a reader of Mexican newspaper Milenio. “God help them with their noble cause.” (See images of Mexico’s drug wars)

It is too early to say whether these self-proclaimed avengers will become a significant force in Mexico’s battle with crime. Some of them may simply be angry citizens sending out messages not backed by any action. Others could be fronts for drug gangs, who want to present themselves as public guardians while running their own criminal rackets. But whomever is really behind these particular groups, the growing demand for justice by any means necessary raises concerns about the security situation in Mexico if the government remains unable to suppress the crime wave.

The most widely publicized vigilante campaign has emerged across the Texas border in Ciudad Juarez, which has become Mexico’s deadliest city with 1,600 murders last year. A self-styled Juarez Citizens’ Command sent an e-mail to local media in January saying it will give the government until July 5 to restore order or execute one criminal a day. Signed by “Comandante Abraham,” the group claims it is financed by local businessmen, and includes university students, entrepreneurs and professionals in its ranks. It offers to cooperate with military intelligence and says it supports the government, but argues that the elected politicians have failed.

A second shadowy group, called the Popular Anti-Drugs Army, materialized among farming towns in the southern state of Guerrero in November. Displaying blankets with written messages on bridges and buildings, the group claims to be made up of family men who have come to together to force drug dealers off the street. “We invite the people to join our struggle and defend our children who are the future of Mexico,” it said on one of the blankets. Unlike the Juarez group, the Guerrero “Army” has been linked to several killings, including the decapitation of an alleged drug dealer in December. Local press allege the group is commanded by a rancher whose children were targeted by the gangs.

Sociologist Rene Jimenez notes that vigilante justice has already become a reality in several parts of the country. “The state is failing to keep control in certain areas so people take justice into their own hands,” he said. “This vigilantism shows that the conflict is entering a new phase. Violence will breed more violence.”

There are certainly some unfortunate precedents: Self-proclaimed anti-gang vigilantes became a key part of the civil war in Colombia, where they morphed into paramilitary armies with thousands of members. These groups fought leftist guerrillas and allied with the government to bring down major drug traffickers such as the notorious Pablo Escobar. Many of the paramilitary leaders later confessed they had funded their own activities by dealing drugs, but claimed they virtually stopped anti-social crime in areas under their control. Gustavo Duncan, who authored a book on the Colombian paramilitaries, says similar organizations could emerge in Mexico amid the breakdown in state authority. “While Mexico may not ever get as bad as Colombia, some of the factors are very similar,” Duncan notes. “When the state cannot keep control in certain areas, it leaves a vacuum for these type of organizations to step in and in many ways they become the state.”

Cartoon of the Day: Glenn McCoy

In a word—FUBO

Here’s a posting from Bob Lonsberry, a radio host at WHAM-1180, Rochester, NY.


http://www.wham1180.com/pages/boblonsberry.html


IN A WORD — FUBO

I probably should have just listened to Paul Harvey.

Though it wasn’t actually Paul Harvey. It was Ron Chapman. And that’s probably the problem. I understand Ron Chapman is a radio legend somewhere, but I don’t live there. So, to me, he’s just an insufferable bore.

But I should have been listening anyway.

Instead I got an idea.

An idea that had been kind of simmering in my head for a week or so.

I was trying to think of a way to show that I wasn’t happy. That I was tired of bailouts. That I didn’t want to pay my neighbors’ mortgage. That I didn’t want to live in a socialist country. That I didn’t think the government should take over the banks. That I didn’t want a White House committee running the car industry, or putting a union consultant in charge of the process. That I didn’t think throwing 17,000 more troops into Afghanistan without a clear objective was a bright idea.

Basically, one month in, I’ve already had a bellyful.

Sure, on Inauguration Day I was all hope and change. He wasn’t my candidate, but he was my president, and I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Then he went on Al Arabiya.

And stole the census. And decided my confidential medical records had to be in a federal database. And tripled the deficit in three weeks while condemning George W. Bush for doubling it in eight years.

Basically, I got a bad attitude.

That wasn’t helped when I saw video of Robert Reich – if I misspelled that, it was Freudian – telling a committee of Congress that the bailout – which he largely put together – needed some infrastructure projects, but that they should be structured so that the jobs they created did not go to “white-male construction workers” or unemployed “high-skill workers.”

Because, apparently, we wouldn’t want anybody with high skills building the schools our children will attend or the bridges we will drive over. He prefers the jobs go to the “long-term unemployed,” which I always presumed meant stupid, stoned or lazy – just the folks we want to have operating heavy equipment.

Personally, I get kind of peeved when, right there in front of the TV cameras and a herd of congressmen, it’s OK to publicly say that the stimulus isn’t for “white-male construction workers” and those evil “high-skill” people. I suppose they got those high skills by doing something despicable, like going to college or trade school or taking an apprenticeship or spending 20 years on the job learning how to do things right. Apparently, laid-off engineers and computer guys and nurses – “high-skill workers” – get no part of the stimulus. Ditto for “white-male construction workers.”

Basically, it ticked me off.

Like I got ticked off from seeing the Democrats hopping all over themselves to say talk radio should be forced to be “balanced,” and that the freedom-choking Fairness Doctrine should be imposed not only on radio, but on the Internet.

Honestly, I expect one of these Democrats to start chanting something about “Four legs good, two legs better.”

And I wanted to express that. I wanted something that would say I wasn’t happy with this, that I wasn’t going along with it, that the gutting of America and American freedom was not something I supported.

A bumper sticker would be good, I figured, but I suspect that a bumper sticker critical of the ruling junta in Washington would get my car vandalized, and maybe worse.

So that had been playing on my mind. And when I should have been listening to Ron Chapman, I got an idea.

I was sitting there in the studio, waiting for him get done and my turn to come, and a word came to me. A newly coined word. Four letters. Pronounced “foo-bow.” Like in “food” and “bow and arrow” – “foo-bow.”

So I googled around a bit and found a bumper sticker company. They had a template for those little oval stickers people have. The ones with some sort of abbreviation in there. I think they come from Europe.

Anyway, I found a template for one of those and I typed in my new word – “foo-bow.” I liked how it looked so I put it in my cart and proceeded to checkout. I ordered 20 because I got a good price.

And right about then, Ron Chapman was done and my microphone came on and I told the producer, Nick, what I had done.

I told him I had made a bumper sticker. I described the oval – black background with white letters – and my new word – foo-bow – spelled FUBO.

It took him about five seconds.

Then the phones lit up. Dozens and dozens of people called. They wanted a bumper sticker just like mine.

On the next commercial break, I checked my e-mail and there was a note from a man at a T-shirt company. He said he’d like to try to make some T-shirts with my new word on them. Several other people wrote offering to make bumper stickers. One gentleman said he would embroider a hat with FUBO on it.

A company vice president called up Nick and said we ought to do something with this. Callers started using the word – foo-bow – almost like a greeting, or a password. Just as Rush Limbaugh callers sometimes use the word “ditto,” people were using “foo-bow.” One man even said, “Mega FUBO.”

By the end of the show, a plan was coming together so that by this morning there would be a web store set up with T-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers with various graphic permutations of foo-bow. It’s a movement.

And if I make any money off it, I’m going to buy a gun before the ruling regime outlaws them.

Basically, people either love the idea, or hate it, or stare blankly at me saying, “I don’t get it.”

Personally, I’m buying a T-shirt for myself and at least a couple of my daughters. And I can’t wait to put the bumper sticker on my truck.

I know that last year it was patriotic to question the president, and that this year it is treasonous, but before they outlaw the First Amendment altogether I want to get in my last dig.

Because what’s happening to our country is wrong. There is a purge going on, a purge of American freedom and common sense. The socialist attack on those who produce and the wholesale subsidization of those who don’t produce has begun. The Constitution and the Declaration are in the crapper.

And it’s not quite America.

I want my country back.

And I’m willing to say so. That’s what Americans do. The attorney general may believe that we – and the Americans who came before us – are a “nation of cowards,” but I believe he is wrong.

And I’m willing to say so.

I’m willing to spit back in the face of arrogance.

FUBO. Big time.

And I invite you to join the cause.

To find a link to the FUBO stuff, go to www.wham1180.com and type in the keyword “bob.” You will find the link on the page that pops up. Look at the stuff, see what you think, and if you agree, get some.

And start using the word – “foo-bow.” Say it, write it, trace it in the dust on your car windows, put it up on a sign in your window.

You know what it means. You know what it represents. It’s time to show what you stand for.

So, order quick, before somebody tries to get me fired for doing this.