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Friday, April 26, 2019

¡Viva el Presidente!


Silverfiddle Rant!
Corruption is killing many struggling countries around the world.  Yes, we have corruption in the US, but we are so wealthy, with so much easy credit sloshing around, chiselers can rake off their take without the stupefied public taking notice.

Not so in poor countries.  Hunger and misery serve to sharpen the senses and narrow an intense focus on injustice.  Haiti is mired in misery nine years after an earthquake made the miserable nation even crappier.  Over $13 billion in aid has poured in (as of 2015), and outraged Haitians are asking where the hell it all went, because it sure has hell didn't go to the people.

Mexico is also afflicted by endemic corruption...
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he will create a “Robin Hood” institute to return to the people the ill-gotten wealth seized from corrupt politicians and gangsters.

A 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development noted that recent studies estimated that Mexico lost between 5 percent and 9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to corruption annually. (Reuters)
Mexico's GDP is just north of $1 Trillion, so the amount stolen by corrupt oligarchs and criminal syndicates is staggering $50 to $100 Billion. That's how a country ends up a shithole despite having good, hardworking people.

I fear he will be killed before he reforms the system. May God bless and protect President Obrador.

36 comments:

  1. I don't think I will ask God's blessings on a lefty socialist regardless of the seeming nobility of his goals.
    I will watch with interest.

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    1. Interesting reply Ed. Silver has rightly diagnosed one of the biggest issues facing our neighbor to the south and the struggles he faces. I think everyone in the US should hope Mexico gets it right because a thriving Mexico, full of opportunity, will encourage more people to seek work at home, as opposed to the US.

      But beyond that, as a Christian, does God ordain all people in government, or only those with whom we agree?

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    2. @ Dave

      Personally, I would not go so far as to say that God is a Christian. He’s much larger than one (of several) expressions of a belief in God. My take is much simpler than yours. I think God created us, gave us a brain, blessed us with free will, and then left it up to us to figure things out. Our track record in doing this hasn’t been stellar, however. In terms of history, we have seen a plethora of men seeking high office with the oft-stated desire to “free the people,” and with scant exception, once elected, seem to feather their own nest as the expense of everyone else —even to the extent of embracing the very mechanisms they claim (for election purposes) as corrupt. In defense of Ed, I think it is natural among thoughtful people, even without questioning Lopez' motives, to develop some skepticism about his chance for true reform.

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    3. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It's always paved with other things.

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    4. I did not pray for Obama to succeed either.
      He nearly "succeeded" in destroying us.
      I should restate. The only blessing I want from God for either man is that of salvation and renewal.

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    5. Mustang... nice catch on my context.

      Ed... I'm sure you didn't. My question is how do you square that theologically with historic Christian teachings that those in power were put there by God and we are instructed in scripture to pray for and respect them?

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    6. It says pray for those that have the rule over you. I pray they gain wisdom, etc. Not that they succeed in destroying me.
      It's a a sin to lie, yet the Hebrew midwives were blessed for misleading Pharaoh's men to save the children.

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  2. FROM WIKIPEDIA RE PRESIDENT LOPEZ-OBRADOR:

    As mayor, López Obrador implemented various social programs that included extending financial assistance to help vulnerable groups in Mexico City, including single mothers, senior citizens, and the physically and mentally challenged. He also helped found the first new university in Mexico City in three decades, the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México.

    López Obrador hired former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani to craft a zero-tolerance policy that would help reduce escalating crime in Mexico City.

    He directed the restoration and modernization of Mexico City's historic downtown, which has 16th and 17th-century buildings and a large number of tourist attractions.

    He led a joint venture with Carlos Slim Helú, a native of downtown Mexico City, to expropriate, restore, rebuild, and gentrify large parts of the area, creating shopping and residential areas for middle- and upper-income residents.

    López Obrador used fiscal policy to encourage private sector investment in housing.

    He granted construction firms large tax breaks and changed zoning regulations to make construction projects more financially attractive, leading to the construction of more condominiums and office buildings during his tenure than during any other period in Mexico City history. New high-density condos emerged in the upscale neighborhoods of Polanco and Lomas.

    To improve traffic flow in the city's two main inner-city roads, Periférico and Viaducto, he added sections of second stories to their existing infrastructure. About 10% of the total length of those roads was renovated.

    An express bus service, the Metrobús, based on the Curitiba model, was built down Avenida Insurgentes, cutting through the city some 20 km from north to south.

    SOUNDS BENEVOLENT, HIGHLY CONSTRUCTIVE AND EMINENTLY PRACTICAL TO ME.

    I TOO HAVE HEARD THAT "AMLO," ASHE IS CALLED IN MEXICO, IS A LEFTIST, BUT THAT MIGHT APPLY DIFFERENTLY IN PLACES OUTSIDE THE U.S.A. WHERE I KNOW POSITIVELY IT IT SHOULD BE REGARDED AS ANATHEMA.

    At any rate where a genuine LOVE of PEOPLE honestly supersedes the LOVE of POWER almost any system could work to benefit a given area.

    The troble , f course is tha OWER seems almos invariably to CORRUPT those who hold it.

    I wish this guy well, because from what I've been able to gather so far his heart seems to be in the right place.

    His picture in WIKIPEDIA shows him to be a gentle, pleasant, decent, congenial-looking person. I hope it's true, and I wish him well.

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    1. My take is that Mexico, when given the choice between federalist or centralist republic has always favored the latter. Why? Because centralized power is consolidated power. I also believe that about half of the Mexican people would prefer a federalist system, which offers greater autonomy to state governments and legislatures. Unhappily for the Mexican people, federalism goes against the grain of Hispanic tradition. They’ll figure it out in another 300 years. Meanwhile, here at home, it has never been more clear that we are challenged by the same demons. We call it “left vs. right” but we could also argue that our political disagreements are between those who staunchly support federalism, and those who demand collectivism —which can only be managed from a centralist position. Given enough time, I’m sure that our leftists will be able to level the playing field between the USA and Mexico by transforming the American Republic into a third-world cesspool.

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    2. Do you think Mexico's having been colonized by rapacious Spanish Conquistadors who practiced a cruel, despotic form of Roman Catholicism at the time of explorationa and colonization plus the inh;errantly barbaric nature of Montezuma and other native leaders of the Nuclear American region could be largely responsible for the people there to gravitate award Cntral Cimman and Cintrol?

      They, apparently, never had any other sort of role model to emulate.

      After all most-if-not-all of the people we are supposed to call "Native Americans" today were hardly benign, enlightened, always kind to each other, and total strangers to violence and oppression.

      Most lived very close to the earth, and the struggle merely to survive probably dominated most of their lives.

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    3. Franco,
      Sure, the Spanish conquistadors were a rough bunch; after all, Spain had just emerged from the boot of Islam after 700 years of oppression.

      Beyond that, let us remember that Mexico has been free of the conquistadors for some 500 years and free from Spain's rule 1821.

      There was a role model: the United States of America.

      At some point, a people have to stand up and take charge of their country. Thus far, Latin America's record in that regard has been quite poor.

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  3. MORE FROM WIKI:

    López Obrador has often been described as left-wing and populist.

    Other outlets have claimed that López Obrador toned down his rhetoric for the 2018 election. In his inauguration speech he came out strong against neoliberalism, calling it a "disaster" and a "calamity" for the country and promised a historic "transformation".

    Domestic Policy

    1. He proposes the cancellation of

    2. the under-construction New Mexico City International Airport,

    3. the conversion of the president's official residence and office complex, Los Pinos, into a cultural center,

    4. universal healthcare,

    4. free internet,

    4. pledging to sell the presidential aircraft

    5. has offered to hold referenda on various issues, among them include a performance evaluation halfway through his term during the 2021 legislative elections, (instead of his former proposal of every two year that would cut his six-year term short if he loses the consultation.

    He proposes dispersing the cabinet throughout the country's states, with the objective of "promoting development throughout the national territory", while the Presidency and the Secretariats of National Defense, the Navy, the Interior, Foreign Affairs, and Finance and Public Credit remain in the capital.

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  4. AMLO is a mixed bag but one thing that bag is full of is hope. Imagine a third party candidate in the US running for president and beating the combined totals of both the Dems and the GOP.

    That's what he did in the 2018 elections. But there's more.

    AMLO not only crush the two biggest parties in the country, his group won a majority in both houses of congress, where unlike the US, a simple majority carries the day.

    And he did the "old fashioned way". By working hard at it. After his defeat in 2012, he decided he was going to win in 2018 so he went to almost every municipality in the country and say down with leaders to earn their support and votes.

    And yes, he effectively campaigned on drain the Mexican swamp.

    Can he reform Mexico? Who knows. Should we hope he can? Of course. Is he in danger? Let's hope not. But in a country where the PRI shot their own candidate because he was a reformer, it's always possible.

    And yes... he flies coach.

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    1. I called Trump and AMLO political brothers from another mother back when AMLO first announced he was running. Their politics are very different, but they are both outsiders running against the system.

      I even hoped them men could strike up a cooperative friendship that would improve relations between our nations and foster real cooperation to solve problems of mutual interest. Unfortunately, President Trump's insulting rhetoric towards Mexico probably pissed that campfire cold...

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    2. Jerry has his own flying saucer now...

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    3. Silver... they certainly are trying to fry the same fish, but with different oils.

      And thank you for recognizing how Trump's rhetoric plays into this.

      Most people have no idea how much his words have poisoned our relationship with Mexico.

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    4. Always the irksome obligarory Leftist Slam at President Trump. Your inabiity to resist that gives you away, Dave. You are LEFTIST.

      I know several Mexican people now living near me very well. THEY would be quck to tell yo that their primary reasn for leaving Mexico to come here has had to do with the Mexican government's inherently corrupt, greedy, self-serving policies and the utter failure of the Mexica goverment o protect Mexico's people from the shocking violence and abusve cruelty engendered by the Drug Lords who virtually WN Mexic's government lock stock and barrel.

      As is all too often he case the majority of Mexico's PEOPLE are kind, decent, and generous and considerate of one another in ways virtually unheard of in the brash, rude, godless popular culture that dmates the United States today.

      The Mexican people I know, personally, are admirable, virtuous, ehardworking and dserving of every good thing that may come their way. They've never "had it easy" and hardly do now even after having establshed themselves in the USA, but they are WORTHY.

      The president's focus has, perforce, focussed on the LAWLESS, VILENCE-PRONE elements who cme here –– not to WORK or to CONTRIBTE –– but to take advantage of the frankly OBSCENE LURES that DEMOCRATS have signed into law in order to LURE the WORST elements to INVADE our country in DROVES primarily to TAKE ADAVANTAGE of us.

      The motive for this foolish, frannkly DEMONIC, hopelessly short-sighted =policy has beens to IMPORT enough potential DEMOCRATIC VOTERS –– all of them UNASSIMILABLE and DEPENDENT on STATE LARGESSE –– to ensure The Party of the Ass PERMANENT INCUMBENCY.

      Democratic LEADERS –– for all their fulsome rhetoric and hyocritical pious prating –– are not the least bit interest in helping people, instead they are CONSUMED with an ugly lust to acquire DICTATORIAL POWER.

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    5. Franco,
      The Mexican people I know, personally, are admirable, virtuous, ehardworking and dserving of every good thing that may come their way.

      Not all of us have had that same positive experience with Mexicans. Just sayin'.

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    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    7. Franco,
      I delete every comment that uses a particular slur for women. This is a family-friendly site -- more or less.

      Along the lines of what you said, there are white people and there are -- what? -- crackers, honkies, etc.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. ONCE MORE WITH FEELING AND EMENDATIONS: };^)>

      Most people know this instinctively, but refuse even even to dare to IMAGINE it consciously let alone ACKNOWLEDGE,

      NEVERTHELESS,

      There are NEGROES and there are NIGGERS.
      Thereare JEWS and there are KIKES.
      There are HISPANICS and there are SPICS.
      There are ITALIANS and there are WOPS
      There are FRENCHMEN and there are FROGS
      There are IRISHMEN and tere are MICKS
      There are GERMANS and there are HEINIES.
      There are INDIANS and there are WOGS.
      There are CHINESE and there are CHINKS
      There are JAPANESE and there are JAPS
      There are CAUCASIANS and there is PO WHITE TRASH
      There are REPUBLICANS and there are RINOS
      There are DEMOCRATS, and there are DEMONRATS.
      There are CHRISTIANS and theire are FUNDY FANATICS
      There are LADIES and there are BITCHES
      There are HOMOSEXUALS and there are FAGGOTS
      THere are LESBIANS and there are DIESEL DYKES.
      There are RABELAISIANS and there are VULGARIANS
      There are PHILOSOPHERS and there are MOUNTEBANKS.
      There are EXPERTS and there are CHARLATANS

      And I say that unless and until we can swallow our pride, recognize these differences, and deal with them fairly, squarely, OPENLY and REALISTICALLY, we ain't nevvah gonna git NOWARE. Wheeze jist gonna keep awn goin' 'rown' an' rown' in de same ol' SERKLES digging awselfs deepa an' deepa into a hoal we ain't nevvah gonna git out of effen we doan stop playin' wife horse hockey an' gib up aw pet haytes.

      AN' LACK IDDER NAT DAT'S DE GAWD'S AWNESS TROOF!


      AND IN MY NEVER HUMBLE OPINION WE NEED STOP "STRAINING OUT GNATS WHILE SWALLOWING CAMELS."

      [Does anyone know who said that first? I wish I knew! It's good line.]

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  5. I wish Mexico the best of luck making a transition from its current state to one more closely aligned with western values. As I see it, the problem isn’t the Mexican government; it’s Hispanic culture and society. Travel back in time to the emergence of the Spanish Empire and what you will find, from that point forward, is that Hispanic culture has perpetuated and maintained a social structure that has (always) consolidated its wealth and influence at the very top of a rather complex social structure —a caste system, which denies opportunity to everyone below the top tier. In Mexico, evidence of this exists in its rather turbulent social struggle since 1821. Mexico has not materially improved since 1910. Thus, the number of people trying to escape Hispanic society from South and Central America comes as no surprise. The proof that this is a cultural vs. political issue is that even among those who managed to escape that dismal social system tend to re-engage it once they become settled in their new surroundings. It is easy enough to escape one’s authoritarian nation-state; it is difficult to escape one’s culture.

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  6. Until they figure out a way to rid themselves of the drug cartels I don't know how far progress will go. One has read about locals who have tried to make a difference and were snuffed out almost immediately.

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  7. Bunker... those drug cartels will remain until the US figures out a way to dry up the supply side of this equation.

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  8. The supply side will be present as long as there is demand.

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    1. In my view, there is a chicken-or-egg? aspect to America's drug problem.

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    2. Whenever and wherever there is demand someone, or many, will rise to fill it. Which is why the infamous "War on Drugs" was and is a colossal waste of effort and money.

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    3. Anonymouse:

      What do you propose? Our government stops trying to interdict drugs at our borders?

      Please explain

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    4. The American drug industry has been robust for a very long time. It was still possible to purchase laudanum at the corner drug store in the 1920s. What we’re talking about here is human vice and it may not matter which vice is cited. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, porn, prostitutes. Maybe we haven’t made any progress in curbing drug use because we’ve been childishly bickering about which vice has less merit.

      If one believes the stories in the press about the tens of thousands of used needles carelessly discarded on the streets of San Francisco, then I suppose one could conclude that the US has a serious drug problem. Maybe handing out free needles wasn’t such a good idea after all.

      I think it is true that for so long as there is a demand, there will be a market for harmful substances. And if there was no market, we’d still have pushers trying to create one. Given all the money government has spent on drug abatement programs, the only one worth a salt (most results) is the interdiction campaign. If importation, transportation, and sale of illegal substances was a capital crime, upping the ante so to speak, communicating some degree of seriousness about the matter, then I suppose drug dealers would give some thought to pursuing another line of work.

      So, we seem stuck on “demand.” I’ve heard all the arguments about legalization. We’ve already seen some unhappy results from legalization of marijuana, so I’m not certain that argument carries much weight among thinking people. There is a substantial body of evidence that pot has serious effects on people, and that it is a cumulative effect. At the top of the wish list would be good parenting (we can’t even agree on what that means) and less permissible institutions all working together to discourage consumption, but I think the unhappy conclusion must be that we can’t save everyone. There are, quite frankly, some percentage of people who are so hell-bent on their own destruction that there’s nothing to do for them except watch them destroy themselves. If they aren’t drinking laudanum, they’d start shooting up peanut butter. Maybe if we took care of the supply side, as if we were really serious, then the demand problem would eventually correct itself as much as possible.

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    5. Why not give tax breaks to people who execute methheads?

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    6. Mustang,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Maybe if we took care of the supply side, as if we were really serious, then the demand problem would eventually correct itself as much as possible.

      From what I know about the drug problem, it is typically "the little guy" who faces the legal consequences. The "big dealers" are barely even touched by legal consequences.

      Now we have a huge treatment system, which from the git-go tells addicts, "This is a disease, and relapse is inevitable" -- or something to that effect which amounts to a built-in excuse. In my limited experience with addicts, fewer than half ever turn the corner to stay sober for the rest of their lives.

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