Mitt Romney Shows His Open Compassionate Side Once More!

During a campaign event for his presidential bid in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mitt Romney’s style of public discourse and openness showed once again what not to do when one is trying to be elected President.

Jose Antonio Vargas who was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting only wished to ask Mr. Romney about his stance on illegal immigration reform after Mitt finished reading his prepared speech. This had been the plan all along Mr. Romney would give a speech and then take questions from the audience and answer their questions during two different Q&A sessions. One would be for the general audience the other for journalists in attendance.

Mr. Vargas who revealed in a June article for the New York Times magazine that he was in fact an undocumented immigrant would have a more than valid reason for attempting to ask such a question.

However when Mr. Vargas raised his hand one of Mitt Romney’s staff moved and stood directly in front of him to attempt to block him from the view of the attendees. Then another member of the audience began to ask question about immigration and Mr. Vargas held up a sign that read, “I am an American without papers”.

That was all that Jose did just trying to get an answer to a question and raising a sign neither of which produced any type of response from Mitt Romney, nor did it disrupt the event. He was not yelling, cursing or interfering with others present at the event by any stretch of the imagination.

Here was a 30-year-old man of Filipino decent who has been in the United States since the age of 12 just trying to ask about the thoughts or opinions of a man running a campaign who is attempting to be elected President of the United States of America about immigration reform.

Jose only found out at the age of 16 that there was a problem with his immigration papers. Having worked or written articles for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Washington Post, New York Times Magazine and the Huffington Post his experience in journalism is self-evident. So as his question would be a very valid compelling subject worthy of some type of response from Mr. Romney he was apparently not deemed important enough to receive any type of response to his question.

After Mitt gave his speech and answered the questions he wanted to answer during the first session the event moved to another room. This would be where in the real world the candidate would answer more questions from the journalists  who were present which would only benefit his campaign. By letting them know his views on very important issues in America today as well as how he might address them, people across the nation would benefit and have a better understanding of this presidential contender. It is a tried and true occurrence common in political campaigns across our nation and especially important when a candidate is running for the most powerful office in the country namely President of the United States.

Following the event Jose Vargas entered that room where Mitt was supposed to take more questions on his views and opinions on various subjects currently under discussion across America. However Mr. Vargas encountered only the police who removed and escorted him out of the building.

Mitt Romney’s campaign replied that Mr. Vargas was escorted from the event by police after he entered a room that was designated a media availability room as he lacked current press credentials. However they didn’t address the earlier incident of attempting and succeeding in not having Mitt Romney answer Jose’s question on immigration.

Is this the same Jose Antonio Vargas who has contributed and worked for National press organizations across the country as well as being part of a team who won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting award, yes, yes it was the same man.

Immigration reform has been a hot button topic for quite some time especially during the recent republican campaigns leading up to the primaries soon to be held in America. Almost all the presidential contenders have voiced various views on immigration reform, yet they have all been vague with any answers they have been given. None of the current republican presidential candidates has addressed how they would try to handle the issue of immigration reform. Some have been more compassionate with their answers such as Newt Gingrich, others have said throw out all the estimated 11 million here without the proper papers no questions asked. Yet not a single one has presented any specifics about how they might carry out any goal that might be made on the issue.

Yes America, not a single current republican candidate for the office of president of the United States wants to give anything more than vague answers to any who might ask about immigration reform. And yes this is occurring right now in the United States our country which has an estimated 11 million people lacking proper documentation as to their immigration status.

Mr. Vargas has a journalistic resume that would be the envy of any writer or news publication in the World. His dedication to immigration reform cannot be called into question this young man has paid his dues.

Yet Mitt Romney who is running for the most powerful political office in the country doesn’t want to answer a simple question.

The President of the United States of America is supposed to serve all the people of this country and be willing to discuss important issues to All Americans without regard to political ideology.

At this event and others Mitt Romney and his staff have shown utter contempt for journalists one where just a reporter being seen at an event was then thrown out without any valid reason and this man was employed by a major national newspaper.

Mr. Romney has shown once again why he of all people is certainly not the right person to lead this country in these trying times.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

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Heroin, Mexico Becomes The Largest Exporter To United States Drug Addicts

Mexico has a new distinction in the world of illicit drugs as Heroin has seen a six-fold increase in production from 2007-2011 making it the largest Opium producer in the World to second place Afghanistan. Previously 87% of the World’s production of Opium originated in Afghanistan in the 2004 period which contributed roughly $4 billion dollars per year to the country with a 4,500 metric tons output noted in 1999.

The farming of Opium in Mexico goes back to the early period of the 1900s when its cultivation and use were then attributed to Chinese immigrants using the substance. Following the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914 by the U.S. congress the price for opium soared. Mexico which was already involved in a revolutionary war was directing its resources to that end. So Mexican drug farmers and smugglers jumped onto the supply train supplying the American need for opium based products which was now a profitable business venture.

Up until 1926 poppy cultivation was perfectly legal in the Mexican territories and as in the U.S. opium was illegal this new road to another profitable enterprise was wide open. And the young drug cartels took notice of this by supplying the U.S. with growing quantities of this drug. There was even a bigger opium boom period after the end of World War II which only ingrained and strengthened this illicit contraband crop. As Mexico itself did not experience or see any effects of widespread drug abuse by its citizens the government even tolerated what little illicit drug production that was perceived to be occurring on Mexican soil.

Prior to and during the World War II period numerous military bases were constructed on the U.S. Mexican border which only contributed to the development and refinement of heroin distribution networks and increased ease of using new smuggling routes.

As the Mexican drug smuggling culture had grown while becoming more specialized with a captive audience just across the border the financial incentives only further fueled our unholy alliance. During the 1960’s period Mexico became a Major exporter of Marijuana and Heroin to the U.S. population. Efforts that were taken on our European counterparts smuggling operations only strengthened Mexico’s hand as in the early 1970 period they became the number 1 drug exporter. It was noted that in 1974 at least 75% of the U.S. Heroin Market was of Mexican origin.

It was not as if the United States government had not taken notice of this problem as in 1969 Mexico grabbed the dubious distinction as being the primary distributor of illicit drugs to our country.

Oil was a driving effort in this change of mind by both governments as the discovery of this black gold was discovered in southeastern Mexico. The Mexican government which could realize a profit from this cash crop in concert with the U.S. government then attempted wholesale eradication of the illicit drugs farm crops. The defoliant paraquat was used in ever-increasing amounts in trying to destroy the farmers crops of poppies and Marijuana. Yet little success was ever realized even after their crops were sprayed they just immediately harvested them for export to their northern customers, U.S. citizens. As the drug eradication program now had the unintentional effect of introducing contaminated crop byproducts into our country it was prematurely interrupted.

The Mexican farmers nevertheless took matters into their own hands moving crops to other regions where their detection would prove to be more difficult for anyone to find and destroy them.

Also these Mexican drug manufacturers only became more sophisticated, powerful and dangerous to anyone foolish enough to cross them. At least 70% of all South American cocaine passes directly through Mexico which is also the largest supplier of marijuana to the U.S. and Heroin cultivation and smuggling is growing at alarming rates.

The prices for legitimate crops of coffee and corn products has fallen with the Mexican government offering no or limited help to the effected farmers. This has only driven once legitimate farming operations to more lucrative cash crops such as Opium. Where coffee sells for 15 cents per pound Opium gum sells for $700-1200 U.S. dollars per pound which is a determining factor as to which types of crops farmers would plant.

In the year 2003 the DEA estimates Mexico generates between 3600-5000 hectares or 95,220,000 pounds on the 5000 hectares figure. The eradication efforts of the 1970s were purely for economic or more simply put dollars, yet Opium production is now larger than any oil revenue that can be found operating in Mexico.

Mexico averaged around 7.2 Metric tons or 15,873.282 lb this was in the early half of the latest decade in the 2000s. At this time this was 30% of U.S. Heroin consumption nationwide while 98% of the Heroin consumed west of the Mississippi came from Mexico.

In the latter part of the decade along with being the United States largest supplier of Marijuana, Mexico has also become the largest supplier of Heroin. As of 2009 the worldwide value of the Heroin market was placed at $55 billion dollars with some reporting it to be closer to $65 billion annually. The United States consumes somewhere around the $8 billion dollar a year mark in regards to Heroin usage.

As of 2008 America is estimated to have consumed 6% or 22 metric tons (or 48,501.697 lbs) of the Heroin produced worldwide however now Mexico is the largest exporter of this drug to our country as was reported by the American government in 2008 when they supplied data for reporting purposes.

Also in the 2008 year period Mexico saw an explosive growth in Heroin farming operations a reported 120% increase to this illicit, illegal and deadly drug trade. The resultant output was estimated to be 325 metric tons (716,502.352 lb) of raw Opium which could produce 40 metric tons (88,184.904 lbs) of Heroin.

If seizures are figured into the equation for calendar year 2008 there were 430 metric tons (947,987.727 lbs) almost 1 Trillion metric tons were produced worldwide and the industry continues to thrive even though 91 metric tons were confiscated or seized. Quite simply put this trade in an illicit drug shows no signs of slowing down along with a profit margin any CEO would proudly share with their shareholders.

In 2006 Mexico produced 130 metric tons by 2008 this had increased to 340 metric tons and who knows how much this illicit trade has increased since then as there is no data yet to be evaluated. In the U.S. about 2.1 metric tons of Heroin and Morphine were seized or 9% of the estimated annual flow or importation of these drugs. The supply of this drug is never ever going to drop unless demand for it is somehow stopped and there are no signs that this is ever going to occur.

Appearing on the horizon is a profoundly disturbing scenario for this country and its citizens. The Prescription drug epidemic is being attacked on multiple fronts with little success. However pharmaceutical manufacturers’ are coming close to perfecting tamper proof Oxycontin pill formulations. Once these new tamper-proof pills make it to the U.S. market where will Opiate addicts turn to fill their addictions? As of 2006 85% worldwide production of these drugs were consumed in the United States.

Frighteningly Heroin with its ease of availability, purity and reduced price will be a logical choice for these abusers; they are already showing this trend in various U.S. regions. Mexico will happily oblige by increasing the supply of Heroin for these new users. This could easily become a second renaissance for Heroin with an exponential increase in Heroin addicts not seen in decades.

As Heroin users primarily inject their drug explosions could be seen in AIDS and Hepatitis C among a long list of health effects.

This ongoing and possible future trend seem to pale in comparison in our worries about illegal immigration to this country. And the costs to society from drug abuse or hard drugs such as Heroin and other Opiates dwarfs any cost associated with illegal immigration.

Yet while Mexico is now our largest exporter of Heroin a deadly drug which has devastating consequences for our country and its people we are fixated on illegal immigration instead, an issue with far less of an economic impact on this nation.

Prison for Immigrants is BIG BUSINESS$$$

As local governments and states attempt to address budget shortfalls a new phenomenon is becoming more prevalent as it already has in certain pockets across the nation.

Prisons once only used to house those found guilty of committing crimes against society have been found to be a financial windfall for governments and the for profit private corporations that run them.

These facilities which were originally constructed to house and punish our nations law breakers yet they have found a new use although one they were not designed for and new private prisons again not designed to temporarily house detainees are being built everyday across this nation.

Rather than being detained to await quick deportation these unfortunate individuals are being housed in prisons which are designed for punishment even though these immigrants have been convicted of No crime. Also with language barriers and no access to any legal counsel some will be housed like convicts for quite a bit of time even years are not out of the question and are becoming increasingly normal for those exposed to this new realm of hell on Earth.

Guilt or innocence is no longer part of the equation, only a lack of a Green-Card will guarantee a spot in this ever growing industry. No longer just a place for those who commit murder, rape or bank robberies etc the only needed criteria is the lack of a U.S. Green-Card. The maxim, “Liberty & Justice for All” is of no consequence here punishment is guaranteed even if it is not warranted.

Now in Southwest Ranches, Florida the local government is cashing in thanks to the U.S. government by beginning to build what will ultimately be the Largest immigration detention center in America. The payoff will be a 4% cut of the profits from the For-Profit private agency hired to house these unfortunate human beings.

There is Big Money to be made here as other sites are also being contemplated in San Antonio, Texas, Essex County, New Jersey and Orange County, California.

The latest and greatest will of course be run by Corrections Corporation of America this nations largest private prison corporation. Immigration detention and housing are big business as they provide 12% or almost $200 million yearly to CCA’s corporate bottom line.

This new 1500 bed facility is expected to generate $1.5 million per year to CCA and local officials are now speaking of the commission they will receive for every filled bed.

No matter that this affluent communities residents do not want to have CCA as a neighbor dollar signs are blurring, distorting and blocking lines of communication. One official wrote, “I have been fully advised by our DC contacts that we should remain fully quiet on this one and to let our DC Leaders help without sparking a fire that will make it more difficult for them to assist”. The official who wrote the above referenced text is also a partner in one of Florida’s largest lobbying firms.

While the status of the illegal immigration issue has been garnering numerous news reports and even government legislation little if anything has actually been accomplished. Former President George W. Bush even signed legislation to build fences along our southern border with Mexico while also increasing the number of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) agents.

However even legislation that has passed and been signed by the president is of little use when after signing the legislation President Bush never properly funded the program. The gesture while quelling public sentiment in the end did little to address the issue as no profit margins could be realized by the ever growing private for profit business sector or their lobbyists.

The Department of Homeland Security came to the conclusion that the mass detention of these individuals was the answer to the problem. It is of little surprise that this thought process will only enrich the for profit prison industry along with their lobbyists and the campaign coffers of the legislator’s involved.

Somewhere along the lines of 50% of immigrants detained in the U.S. are held in for profit facilities and these companies are trying more everyday to corner the market and increase profit margins as they grab up higher and higher shares of their needed customers or should I say prisoners.

It has become a self fulfilling prophecy as these facilities are built that they need to keep these prisoners coming to continue to grow the profits of their corporations.

The immigration detention figures speak for themselves in 1994 daily inmate counts stood at 6,785. In 2001 the figure had risen to 20,249 and by 2010 the count had risen to 31,200, this final figure was a 450% increase from 1994. Of course this only added to the financial profits of these for profit prison corporations while literally doing nothing to address illegal immigration into the United States.

However it did enrich a few particular segments of society; the private prisons, lobbyists and the campaign funds of various legislators. There was even a journalistic segment done by NPR (National Public Radio) that covered how the private prison industry had quietly behind the scenes helped to draft self-serving legislation in Arizona (Arizona Senate Bill 1070). There was also an Out and Out Lie that a Government official used quite often to justify the passing of the legislation and even though the proof that the statement was in fact a lie the official never changed their tune. No illegal had murdered a rancher a legal U.S. citizen had, oh well so much for facts.

The new state statute was extreme in it’s scope and polarizing across the nation. The new law requires police in Arizona to ask people for their immigration papers during traffic stops using an Undefined-Reasonable-Suspicion procedure that the person may be in this country of 300 million+ illegally.

Legislation was also passed in Alabama which is still feeling it’s effects with dwindling school populations and less funding dollars for those still in need of an education. Farm crops rotted in the field as Americans would not or could not do the work all to the dismay of farmers losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. With 7 million immigrants in the U.S. workforce and American workers are not the least bit interested in the jobs they hold or held to whom will America turn for this labor?

Over 15% of our national population is of Hispanic or Latino decent nationwide. However in the western regions of this country of which Arizona clearly falls into 42% of the citizens are either Hispanic or Latino. And Arizona is not the only state that wants to jump on this cash cow to enrich the states coffers several other states are following their lead hoping to cash in on this new captive audience to fill their bank accounts.

Again Immigration-Reform has taken a back seat to creating an enormously profitable enterprise for both the states and the private corporations. Rather then proposing, legislating, enacting and addressing immigration reform, states and the federal government are attempting and succeeding in cashing in on this issue.

The Director of ICE John Morton stated, “This isn’t a question of whether or not we will detain people. We will detain people, and we will detain them on a grand scale”. It is of little consequence that the vast majority of detainees present no danger to the public or are expected to flee the country. A cottage prison industry has been built and by God prisoners are needed to fill the beds within, there is money to be made and no one is going to stand in the way.

Even though $2 billion dollars a year is being spent housing people who should not be in jail in the first place is inhumane, wasteful and fails to address immigration reform in anyway the American taxpayer is on the hook for funding this charade.

NOTE THE LACK OF CORRELATION TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND VIOLENT CRIMES BELOW;

This subcontracting of America is continuing unabated from national security, foreign mercenaries, private prisons and the list goes on all the while our countries standing in the World community is suffering yet no one seems to care. Neither would you if you were a Bought-&-Paid for legislator or a corporation receiving untold funds thanks to your successful lobbying efforts.

Presently each immigrant inmate costs $166 dollars per day as the United States rapidly approaches 2.5 million of it’s citizens incarcerated for real-crimes and we are known across the globe as The-World’s-Jailer do we want to add to this horrific distinction?

Our prisons today are inhumane warehouse facilities with at least 20% of the population suffering from mental illness do we want to compound the problem. Over $70 billion dollars a year are spent housing our Real criminals a 660% increase from 1982-2006. Do we want to see the same exponential increase in our housing of illegal immigrants under even harsher confinement conditions?

In 2001 the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported it cost $62.01 per day to house an inmate. In 2009 the state of California reported it’s cost at $129.04 per day.

With private prisons charging $166 dollars per day this would be a profit margin any CEO would be proud of and would be continually trying to refill or increase the numbers of captive clients. Lobbyists would be beating down the doors of our elected officials in their attempts to further privatize the incarceration industry. Politicians as in the past will be happy to take the campaign contributions realized after successful legislation to this end, the full privatization of a once federal and state controlled job.

Why will our Washington legislators never effectively address illegal immigration in this country. It all comes down to money as is usually the case representing the United States citizen as they swore an oath to do has become nothing more than meaningless words. Corporations and Lobbyists control the USA, it’s government and it’s citizens to think otherwise is a fools paradise.

Americans can go to sleep every night in their comfortable beds after a nice dinner that was more than likely brought to them from slave waged illegal immigrants.

Drug addicts can continue to buy their illegal drug of choice. While our government does not condone it they do nothing to stop the illegal drug trade between the United States and Mexico, we even supply them with the needed ingredients, corporations need to make profits. However if we Truly wished as a nation to slow the tide of illegal drugs the U.S. could stop American corporations from selling Mexico the precursors for drug manufacture.

No one needs to worry about the countless innocent immigrants suffering often for years housed in prisons which were not created to Detain them, why even bother to think about it?

Only trying to find a better life cost this illegal his life.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Mexican government to United States Stop selling guns to our drug dealers!

As the United States of American claimed 36% of international arms sales in 2005 to again claim the number one position and have the distinction of being the Worlds largest arms dealer it is no surprise our weapons are being used in Mexican drug wars.

If the soldiers fighting now in Afghanistan and Iraq had a free voice they too would voice their dismay that the bullets, bombs and IED’s used to kill and maim them are of United States manufacture, as these countries are awash in armaments and munitions compliments of the world’s arms dealer. Read more of this post

Forget a US green card the European Union wants you to try Blue instead!

The European Union is working on offering “Blue Cards” to entice the needed highly skilled migrants that are so desired for the growth of various members who total 27 nations.

They plan on offering housing and financial benefits as well as guaranteeing at least three times the minimum wage in the country concerned plus health insurance, as this is a requirement for an applicant to apply. Furthermore they will fast track the issuance to those who apply as long as they have a contract for one year’s labor and meet the salary and healthcare requirements. Read more of this post

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