Mexico’s 99% is in a terrible position.

Source: Canadian official on NAFTA renegotiation: ‘Mexico is in a terrible, terrible position. We are not.’ | World News |Axisoflogic.com

Donald Trump (photo by Jack Gruber) and Enrique Peña Nieto (photo by Reuters)

Donald Trump (photo by Jack Gruber) and Enrique Peña Nieto (photo by Reuters)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Zero Hedge follows:

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As reported yesterday, Mexico is not at all looking forward to starting the process of renegotiating NAFTA with Donald Trump, explicitly warning the US that “there are very clear red lines that must be drawn from the start.”…

And while subsequently Bloomberg reported that Nieto will visit the US as planned after all, the fury in Mexico is palpable and the Mexico News Daily reported that Trump’s border wall order sparked fierce backlash among Mexican lawmakers. The National Action Party’s Margareta Zavala called Trump’s order “an offense to Mexico” ahead of Peña Nieto’s trip. Jorge Castaneda, who served as secretary under former Mexican President Vicente Fox, also blasted the measure Wednesday. “This is an insult to those Mexican officials, to the president of Mexico and to all Mexicans,” he said, referencing two Mexican officials who met Trump administration staff on Wednesday.
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John R. MacArthur (photo by Marie-Sandrine Auger) and Maude Barlow (http://bit.ly/2kiN8qp)

John R. MacArthur (photo by Marie-Sandrine Auger) and Maude Barlow (http://bit.ly/2kiN8qp)

Whatever. Those ‘leaders’ who are so incensed by Trump’s disrespect toward “Mexicans,” don’t seem to mind disprespecting their own people, which they’ve done forever, via partnering with murderous uncle Sam to allow rightwing forces in Mexico, as elsewhere, to prevail over the people and their champions, who, if they possessed political power might want to keep their country and it’s resources for themselves rather than see army-backed foreigners take them. By their deeds, notably the buying of elections – those leaders have shown what they think of democracy, and by extension, their people who could really use democracy but find it utterly out of reach, not mysteriously. “The incorporation of Canada within a US-dominated free trade system in 1988 is a step towards consolidation of the dollar bloc, which is also intended to incorporate northern Mexico with its supply of cheap labor for assembly plants and parts production, and whatever else may be viable economically in Latin American,” notes Noam Chomsky (on page 92 of “Deterring Democracy”). And such was okay with too many of Mexico’s leaders, who preferred and prefer to show solidarity with powerful (domestic and foreign) interests rather than their people. Whereas, as John R. MacArthur pointed out (on pages 288 & 289; bolding is mine) in his book titled “The Selling Of Free Trade – NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy:

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Wall Street Journal editorials about the Clinton administration should be viewed with skepticism, especially given that concern about ordinary Mexicans has never been a top priority at 200 Liberty Street, in Manhattan’s financial district. But in this case, I think editor Robert Bartley’s point was well taken. If, as the conventional wisdom had it, Salinas used up precious dollars to prop up the peso for purely political reasons and for his own vainglory – in part to give the appearance of Mexican stability during the NAFTA debate in Washington; in part, according to Bodering on Chaos author Andres Oppenheimer, to be the first Mexican president to leave office without instituting a devaluation – then shouldn’t the Clinton administration have acted more boldly and much earlier to maintain the value of the peso, if for no other reason than to say thank you to the Mexican people and their government? It was the Mexicans, after all, who would bear the brunt of NAFTA’s supposed benefits. It was the Mexicans who would work for a dollar or less per hour in the American-owned factories. It was the Mexicans who would continue tightening their belts to advance the “free market” neoliberal economic policies of President Ernesto Zedillo, who continued on Salina’s path of “reform” by further cutting Mexican social spending so that he could continue to pay off his foreign loans. Everyone in the administration who cared to know, Summers included, was aware of the imminent foreign exchange crisis in Mexico in 1994. But what was needed to help Mexico was neither NAFTA nor cleverly orchestrated emergency loans. Internally, Mexico needed a new government that cared about its citizens. It needed real democracy – more than would be provided by the still-too-feeble opposition, the pro-business National Action Party (PAN) and the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Externally, it needed, as Senator Ernest Hollings suggested to me, a disintered Marshall Plan of truly Marshall Plan proportions. “Mexico is not our problem, it’s our opportunity,” said Hollings. “If we treat it like an opportunity and really put some money into it – we bring up its standard of living – then all of these other problems will disappear. We clean up the drug culture and bring about labor rights, and start cleaning it up on a step-by-step basis. Really, a Marshall Plan is the only way to clean up Mexico.””
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What the Mexicans needed, and need, is leadership that shows solidarity with them. That’s what MacArthur tells us, because that’s what they don’t have.

Maude Barlow helps us to know what Mexico’s ‘leaders’, in their desire to do business with American exploiters, have meant for Mexican citizens’ welfare. From (pages 122-125) “The Fight Of My Life – Confessions Of An Unrepetant Canadian,” we get the following:

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I had numerous trips to Mexico, but two stand out in my memory. In October 1990, a delegation from the Action Canada Network held the first informal meeting with our counterparts in Mexico to share information and plan a joint strategy to fight NAFTA. Our encuentro (Spanish for “gathering”) was the beginning of a process in which, every time governments gather to advance their free trade/ free market agendas, a “People’s Summit” is held close by to spotlight the issues – poverty, human rights, labour conditions, and the environment – our elected representatives refuse to deal with in their meetings. From the G-7, to APEC, to the World Trade Organization, wherever governments and their corporate advisers gather to plan the next stage of globalization, the emerging global citizens’ movement is a heartbeat away and growing.

One of the rewards of my work is the quality of immediate friendship I am able to form with people who might otherwise be total strangers, but whose value systems and world view are totally compatible with mine. The Canadian delegation met the Mexicans in the modest headquarters of the FAT (Frente Auténtico del Trabajo, “Authentic Workers’ Front”), the independent union in Mexico (the main union is government-controlled and does the bidding of the ruling party, the PRI, the Party of Institutional Revolution, which has governed Mexico for sixty-five years), and over the week formed bonds that would last a lifetime. One was with economist Carlos Herédia, now a member of Congress working closely with Mexico City mayor Cuahtemoc Cárdenas, who, when he was opposition leader, has his 1988 election victory fraudulently taken from him by Salinas and his paid thugs. In 1993, I brought Carlos to Canada to “testify” for me against NAFTA when CBC’s The National put the deal “on trial” and I was defence for the prosecution. Another person we met in Mexico was Berthe Luhan, a vibrant and courageous labour leader, who would go on to become the first woman to lead the Mexican coalition.

Between our intensive meetings, the Mexicans showed us the reality of their lives. One-quarter of Mexicans, including most of Mexico’s indigenous people, live on the streets. If no one gives them money for food, they don’t eat. Wages in Mexico dropped by 60 per cent since the country was first forced to undergo “structural adjustment” by the International Monetary Fund in the early 1980s. During those same years, Mexico developed twenty-four billionaires. No statistics, no matter how startling, however, can express the horror of seeing dead-eyed street children permanently stoned from sniffing glue, fighting one another for a scrap of food, holding terrified pigeons to kill later if nothing better presents itself, alongside the newly wealthy consumer class lined up at the fancy night clubs and driving hot American cars.

We were taken to Tijuana for an intensive tour of the free trade zones – low-wage, industrial ghettoes used by transnational corporations to assemble components for cars, appliances, computers, and other goods for export. The factories were full of young women, mostly teenagers, who were worked so hard they usually only lasted a few years. We stood beside one fifteen-year-old who was handling DDT – long banned in North America – without a face mask. Another was making batteries; the acid produced by the process poured into an open bucket whose poisonous stench gave us headaches within moments. Human rights workers told us the women were sexually harassed regularly and raped by North American company executives who expect a “good time” when they come to inspect their operations in the area. In many factories, they had to show monthly proof of menstruation, or be fired – a humiliating experience.

Journalist Charles Bowden of Harper’s magazine has recently published another photo-essay of another maquiladora town, Juarez, which depicts in stunning images the gruesome reality for the young women who work in the factories there. Adriana Avila Gress was a sixteen-year-old who worked in the plastics factory six days a week for five dollars a day. Each morning, she rose at 3:30 a.m., ate a cold tortilla, walked into the darkness with her few possessions – a pan, a plate, knife, fork, spoon, and cooking oil – and then buried them secretly in a hole (for otherwise, they were sure to be stolen) and then walked two miles to work. Every evening, she made the long trek back in the dark to her cardboard shack where she lived with her family of seven. One night, like 520 other inhabitants of Juarez in 1997 alone, most of them young women, Adrianna didn’t come home. She was found in the desert – raped, tortured, and murdered; Bowden’s photo shows her now-mummified face contorted by the scream she had on her lips at the moment of death. Her murder was not reported in any press and no one was ever charged for the crime.

We were taken behind one industrial park where we saw bulldozers ploughing raw industrial waste into a toxic cesspool where it was then diverted into the local water supply. (This happens all over northern Mexico. Later that year, Stephan Chemical of Chicago was filmed by the AFL/CIO discharging the toxic poison xylene into the canals of Matamoros at 53,000 times the allowable limit in the United States.) We met families who lived along a stream that, only ten years before, was a pristine water supply for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Now it was an open sewer, filled with toxic sludge, and animal blood and carcasses from a nearby slaughterhouse, as well as raw sewage from the shantytown that had grown up to house the workers for the new factories. Now and then, local authorities came along to spray diesel fuel on the water to kill the mosquitoes that bred in abundance in such conditions.

Someone gave me a pencil and told me to dip it in the river: it came out stripped of its paint. Sitting at the edge of the water was a little boy, covered in open sores, drinking Pepsi out of a Pepsi-Cola baby bottle. This is a common sight in northern Mexico, where there is no clean water left and people can’t afford juice or milk for their children. The cola wars are a reality in the Third World and are rotting the teeth of an entire generation. At least these children were alive. They took me to meet a woman who had become pregnant while working in a factory that makes pesticides; her baby was born with the not-uncommon deformity (for Mexico), anencephaly. Frog-like, with no brain, its internal organs encased in a liquid-filled sac on its back, the baby died within hours. The young mother buried it out back and reported to work the next morning.
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Donald Trump says people like Adriana Avila Gress, who escape her hellish existence, made Hellish by people like Donald Trump, by coming to the United States are a threat. I say Donald Trump et al are terrorists.

My online response to the top of linked-to top of post article follows. I couldn’t very well drop this monster into the comments section, so I gave a link to my Box version:

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Angling For The People’s Narrative

The predators in this world, who are those who have self-modified themselves (as they are free to do) into believers in inequality and violence are those who embrace this world’s dark paradigm, or operating principle, of ‘riches for the strongest’. Neoliberal-neoconservatives are the best example. Neoliberalism, simply, is a social economic system with inequality at it’s core. It’s rules are for a few and against the many. Neoconservatism is a political philosophy. The idea of neoconservatism is that one (who rules or assists those who rule) must take an approach, as expained by it’s founders, notably Leo Strauss, that involves deceit and manipulation, including helping people to cling to their chosen religion which can then be used to manipulate them. Aggression, which people must be deceived into supporting, must be marketed as something that will make a nation strong. It’s so important, that if there’s no foreign enemy, then one must be created.

Apparently, Leo’s ideas were a reaction to the barbarity of nazism, but it’s not easy to understand how one can call support for violence and deceit the proper response to violence and deceit. But it does occur to me that those wanting to profit from war would find a philosophy that gives that some sort of justification appealing, especially if the packaging is nice. The foreigner Leo Strauss, we can believe if we wish to, has special insights due to his experiences. Important people think so and maybe that’s because even ‘more’ important people (seem to) think so. (The first targets for indoctrination by the 1%, as Noam Chomsky points out, are society’s cultural managers [journalists], educators and certain professionals.) Some of this is me speculating. (I’m not an expert on Leo Strauss, but I have read Shadia Drury’s book “Leo Strauss and the American Right.”) And there’s a whiff of the exotic about him owing to his desire to not be known. Was that for desire for real? If it was, Was that seen as a positive by those who might want to use Strauss and his ideas?

Does a nation – not just the ‘defense’ contractors and so forth – need aggression? The people, of course, can be encouraged to believe that. Many won’t, but it seems that it’s not necessary that everyone believes that fairy tale for things to move ‘forward’. The motives of the people who are compelled to accept their leaders’ embrace of aggression, will be national (‘all’ the nation) self-defense and national security. As for the motives of the king class, namely the 1% and it’s tools, including the military/intelligence industrial (which you could also call the military/intelligence/security industrial complex if you want to push it), those are profits and glory. And maybe some of those bright bulbs believe, fully, that they must be aggressive in order to be strong. Who knows? The American planners who devised Gladio, the ‘stay behind’ program that saw US soldiers and assassins stay behind in European countries post World War II in order to deal with a nefarious Soviet Union that might think to take advantage of allies who were weak from warring against Hitler, were possibly projecting onto the Soviet Union their own sick thinking. (I also wonder about ‘leftists’ who rail against neoliberalism but are okay with a money system. It seems to me that if you truly desire to see a world at peace, you wouldn’t want any kind of money system.)

The predators are those who have found that they can get ahead of, and on top of, others (who are sane enough to want ‘actual’ law and order) by strategically breaking written ‘and’ unwritten rules. By following that method of survival and advancement, predators come to find themselves in positions of dominance in society. And from positions of dominance, they can dictate and thereby guarantee economic and other outcomes. And they can guarantee the survival of themselves and theirs. A good example is the security/prison industry, which acquires political power with which it can then bypass the democratic system (or what’s left of it) that includes democratic political representation, so as to essentially make it’s own laws that will lead to more profits for it’s businesses, as Aviva Chomsky notes in “Undocumented – How Immigration Became Illegal.” She quotes from a report by Paul Ashton, who’s with the Justice Policy Institute: “[w]hile private prison companies may try to present themselves as just meeting existing ‘demand’ for prison beds and responding to current ‘market’ conditions, in fact they have worked hard over the past decade to create markets for their product. As revenues of private prison companies have grown over the past decade, the companies have had more resources with which to build political power, and they have used this political power to promote policies that lead to higher rates of incarceration.” Aviva also quotes Laura Sullivan, who said that Michael Hough, a staffer with ALEC who was asked “if private companies usually get to write model bills for the legislators,” responded that “‘Yeah, that’s the way it’s set up. It’s a public-private partnership. We believe both sides, business and lawmakers should be at the same table, together.'” (Laura’s NPR article titled “Prison Economics Helped Drive Immigration Law” -http://n.pr/2kxeIyb)

Bottom line: The existence of laws doesn’t mean that you are looking at law and order, as in law and order for all. That is primarily because the pedators, who are very involved in the lawmaking, not only (carefully and strategically) break the laws on the books, but they also break so many other, general moral and unwritten, rules, in the course of upholding law and order that they can easily resort to plausible denial. There are the elementary precepts of the Christian Bible, for example. They are laid out in ‘that’ book (which officially democratic governments may say they respect but can’t allow to become the law of the land) and they are also laid out in the ‘book’ of our conscience. And yet, obfuscation is too easy when unwritten rules (that don’t come to be on governments’ books) having to do with fairness and compassion are broken and when mores can be said to be not what critics would like them to be. (With the intensification of nazism globally, we are seeing more far right leaders rightly pointing to the anti-immigrant sentiments of their citizens for justication of their own positions, which citizenry was, over years, ruined mentally and spiritually by evil, influential people. Which isn’t to say that an individual doesn’t possess the freedom to reject or choose darkness.) Mores are morals and moral attitudes specific to groups and susceptible to change over time. It’s just too easy, precisely because the rest of us are civilized, for predators to exploit and evade accountability. What are we going to do? Shall we murder all the murders?

Even researchers like Aviva, in showing in scrupulous detail what the immigration laws are and how they are being used to criminalize and exploit the vulnerable, including many who have no desire to be lawbreakers and criminals but are forced to do things that the state says make them criminals, leave out of their discussions, mostly, the many unwritten rules that astute people can easily see are being broken by the predators. In a way. What’s mostly left out here is on a certain level and not easy to weave into a detailed, technical report dealing with on-the-book laws and so forth. But in another way, the reportage of good investigative researchers like Aviva Chomsky allows us to see clearly the whole picture, including the explictly laid out on-the-books rules, their origins, their victims and those who profit from them ‘and’ the many ways all kinds of other rules are broken by the pedators as they seek out their prey.

Without further adieu, here are Aviva’s words about the exploitative, evil, security/prison industrial complex in the United States from pages 101, 102, 106, 107 & 108 of her book “Undocumented – How Immigration Became Illegal”:

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…Employers of low-wage labor benefit from the illegal status of some workers, as do consumers of low-cost goods and services. State and local budgets face costs that result from the economic marginalization of the undocumented, while federal programs like Social Security benefit handsomely from payments into the system by undocumented workers who will never be eligible for benefits.

Illegality also has significant benefits for the prison system, in particular, the new and mushrooming private prison system. Immigration enforcement creates jobs in the prison industry…

…Politicians and talk-show hosts have zeroed in on the issue to whip up audiences and support. Anti-immigrant sentiment and, especially, the demonization of the undocumented can bring votes and attention.
What Leo Chavez calls the “Latino threat narrative” overlaps with anti-undocumented sentiment, as “Mexican immigration, the Mexican-origin population, and Latin American immigration in general [came] to be perceived as a national security threat” in the 1990s…

In addition to attracting votes or increasing ratings, the Latino threat narrative serves the more subtle purpose of channeling national anxieties about social inequality; environmental crisis; economic downturn; lack of access to jobs, housing, health care, and education; deteriorating social services; and other real issues facing the US population away from their real causes. Those who benefit from the status quo would rather have people blame immigrants than fight for real social and economic change…

In early 2010, James Chaporro, director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO), wrote an internal memo – later obtained by the Washington Post – noting that while the number of removals of criminals so far that year had been satisfactory, the agency’s numbers in removing “non-criminal aliens” were too low…

Chaporro insisted that field agents increase the average daily population in ICE detention facilities to 32,600 and “[i]ncrease the number of Tier One Non-Criminal Fugitive alien arrests along with Tier Two arrests (Re-Entry/Reinstatement) in every field office.” He recommended that each office process thirty to sixty noncriminal cases per day in a “surge” aimed at meeting deportation quotas. Basically, the memo instructed ICE officers to increase the detention and deportation of noncriminals and of “criminals” whose only offense was reentry into the country, in the interest of meeting the annual deportation goal…

In addition to ICE itself, there are powerful interests supporting the detention industry, ranging from private prison companies to elected officials who see prisons as a boost to local economies. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (precursor to today’s ICE) started to contract out its detainees to private prisons in the early 1980s when the detention system started to exceed its capacity of beds. By 1989, the agency was holding about two thousand people a day, with five hundred in private facilities. Over the past three decades, immigration violations served as a reliably increasing source of revenue for private prisons.
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Aviva Chomsky (http://bit.ly/2k8xsUP)  and Noam Chomsky (photo by Wikipedia Commons)

Aviva Chomsky (http://bit.ly/2k8xsUP) and Noam Chomsky (photo by Wikipedia Commons)

“Any kind of illegitimate authority that exists, whatever it may be, from interpersonal relations up to huge states and transnational corporations, every such form of authority has to demonstrate legitimacy. They have the burden of proof, and we should understand that usually, very often, almost always that burden can’t be met. When it can’t be met, it should simply be dismantled.” – Noam Chomsky, from “Noam Chomsky interviewed by Tom Morello”

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