Sunday, August 7, 2011

Where do guns come from?

Channel surfing sunday night after watching my favorite show "Breaking Bad" I came upon a CNBC gem, "Mexico's Drug Wars." Sounded important and I love to watch investigative journals/documentaries any day of the week. It started out with some background narrative on how President Calderon has waged a 6 year war against the various cartels without much to show fo it.  There was some file footage of some shootouts, assasinations, and described acid baths given to rival drug dealers of Joaquin "El Chapo's Guzman, number 38 on Forbes's most powerful list. Then came the wopper. The British reporter for CNBC asked a A.T.F agent (in the backdrop of a weapons evidenence room, which had M-16s, M-4s, Shotguns with pistol grips, and just about every imanginable scary firearm you could think of) how many of the weapons came from America? The A.T.F. agent seemed to either not hear the question or didn't want to answer it. Anyway she rephrased the question, " What percentage of these weapons can be traced back to the United States?" He answered 90%, and without so much as a word it went straight to commercial with no explanation.

I stayed through the commercial to see if the A.T.F. agent would be abel to explain the 90% figure, since over the last few years I've haerd the breakdown of that 90% and It's much more favorable towards the U.S. to say the least. The inflated number has been repeated over and over again by reporters such as CBS's Bob Schieffer of their sunday morning show Face the Nation, Democratic Senataor of California Diane Feinstien, and it reaches to the top levels of government, Hillary Clinton repeated the number to a group of reporters on a flight to Mexico City. Then probably the most important political voice of our times chimed in at a concert he was giving at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Before U2 played the song "Pride" Bono had a few words to say:

I want you to send a message of love along the border to the good and great people of the United States of America...I want you to send a message to people of conscience.

Ask them to answer the question. Why is it that all we hear on the news is how drugs are smuggled through Mexico to the United States?

And we don't hear about all the automatic weapons that are being smuggled into Mexico from the United States. Nine thousand registered arms dealers on the other side of the border, nine thousand. 

Most of the murders commited here are from weapons sold in the United States of America. 

We sing this song for the innocents who have lost their lives in the violence here... 

In a report filed by Fox New's William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott on April 2, 2009 named "The Myth of 90%: only a small fraction of Guns in Mexico come from the U.S." they explain the 90% number of weapons found at crime scenes in Mexico that come from the United States is at the very least misleading. First, there were 29,000 firearms found at crime scenes in Mexico's drug war, of those 29,000 confiscated, the Mexican government deemed that only 11,000 could be sent to our government to be traced due to lack of evidence regarding the weapons namely serial numbers. Of the 11,000 possibly "traceable" guns only 6,000 were fully traced, and the final count traced back to the United States was 5,114. My math is horrible but that's not 90%.

What's truly shocking is that the William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott story was filed on April 2, 2009 and here I am in late July of 2011 and the grossly false statistic of 90% of guns coming from the United States commiting crimes in Mexico is still being repeated by a major news channel for a second time in documantary form within a six month period along with radio stations, news anchors, and federal employees.

Where are the weapons in Mexico's Drug War coming from? Mexico is a vitual arms bazaar, with grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain. Israeli and former Soviet Bloc manufacturers. After the fall of the Soviet Union the Russian Mafia with groups like Poldolskaya and Moscow based Solntsevskaya looted the Russian military's arsenal and sold to the highest bidder. In 2006 Amnesty International reported China provided assault weapons to many countries including Mexico.

During the late 1990s, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (Farc) established a clandestine arms smuggling partnership with the Tiajuana Cartel according to a federal research division report from the Library of Congress.

According to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo more that 150,000 soldiers have deserted in the last 6 years, most of  which retained their M-16 issued assault rifle made in Belgium.

2,239 grenades siezed in the last two years were from Guatemala along with many rocket propelled grenades. These grenades and RPGs are unavailable to U.S. citizens.

So I could give you more statistics but what would be the point. I think you know why certain news agencies, reporters, government employees, and entertainers are leaving out the important facts. It's purely ideological and these people who are lying to you about the facts know that most of you aren't going to check. Americans have busy lives so we tend to take people like Hillary Clinton, Sec. of State at their word and if you're not real hot on guns, it's easy to swallow when Bono goes on a political rant at a concert when you've had  a couple beers and paid a couple hundred bucks for the night, you could be looking for Bono to say something profound that reassure your general beliefs.

The problem is that if we don't get to the actual facts we could damage our reputation around the world or create bad legislation off of bogus statistics. Think about how many Mexican citizens that Bono told at his concert that we were the ones most responsible for the weapons in Mexico that are killing Mexican citizens. That has a huge affect. And then to air a documentary two times totally after we knew the truth behind the numberss, well there's something really wrong with CNBC.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Why Rashard Mendenhall needs to be called out!

Rashard Mendenhall star running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Super-Bowl champion made some controversial comments about the spontaneous celebrations that insued after President Obama announced that Al-queda's top man Osama Bin Laden was killed by a shot to the head by a U.S. Navy SEAL.

His comments we're faith based, "Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves." "It's amazing how people HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side." Then there was the conspiratorial side, "We'll never know what happened. I just have a hardtime believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."

It's sad but serious. Rashard Mendenhall is not some kook on the corner of some seedy street of your local downtown predicting the end of the world on a piece of cardboard. He's not like the worshipers of the Westboro Baptist Church that protest the funerals of our dead U.S. soldiers, because of their belief we are too tolerant of homosexuals. We all know these people are kranks and they are extremely marginalized in our society. Mendenhall is a star running back that has the ear of millions of our youth. His jersey is worn by thousands of kids and in our culture today whether you like it or not, atheletes, actors, and entertainers, are held in high regard, they are idolized, set trends, and a lot of young people take what they say as gospel even if it's not in reference to their particular profession or expertise. Mendenhall insinuates that 9/11 was an inside job, Charlie Sheen is also a truther (someone who believes that 9/11 was an inside job), and he too has the ear of millions of children. His show "2 and a half men" features a boy going through puberty and Sheen's character basically plays a tame version of himself. The show is extremely perverted I have no proplem with it being on the air as long as it's after a certain hr. at night and not watched by children without parental supervision.

  I was raised by my grandfather and grandmother and was taught to never idolize any man, a product of our Christianity and the concept of "Idolatry." At this point you're probably saying it's up to the parents to set their children straight about non-sense like this. That would bring us to the biggest problem America is facing today, the deconstruction of the nuclear family. The most recent statistics show that 40% of American children are born into a single parent households. The breakdown: White non-hispanic 28.6%, Hispanic 52.5%, and Black non-hispanic 72.3%, that should be shocking to you. So when a Rashard Mendenhall or a Charlie Sheen, Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, ect. say ignorant, factless, and irresponsible things like he did on twitter it takes hold with some of our young people, because there is less guidance in a single parent home as opposed to a two parent home. There is impiracle evidence that shows children raised in single parent homes are disadvanteged in almost every metric that means something: education, crime, drug abuse, and poverty a the major ones that come to mind. Please, if you are reading this and are a single parent I mean no disrespect and your fate is not sealed. There are many examples of successful adults who were raised by one parent, but there is no question that a child's success is enhanced with two parents in the home.

In one of his tweets Rashard says he doesn't have an ignorant bone in his body. His whole take on the matter is ignorant, but there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. I'm not saying Mr. Mendenhall is stupid, he's just ignorant of the facts, which he could learn if he actually researched the matter. If he was stupid he would be incapable of learning the facts and come to an educated opinion. I don't think it's neccessary to go into all the facts that prove Bin Laden was a real human being that started a terrorist group called Al queda and directed many terrorist plots including the 4 planes that were hijacked on Sept. 11th, 2001 and driven into World Trade Center 1 and 2, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, but if he wants to go to a great place to find out how two buildings collapse after being hit by huge commercial airliners filled with jet fuel then he needs to pick up a book, a whole book put out by Popular Mechanics devoted to debunking probably every conspiratorial aspect of that day brought up by people like Rashad Mendenhall. Popular Mechanics is not known as a political magazine it describes itself as a sevice magazine, covering a variety of information on home improvement, automotive needs, electronics, computers, telecommunications, DIY central, military, and gadgets. A staff of highly educated professionals in all specific fields and A-political.

He wonders how we can Hate a person we've never heard speak. This is not a serious statement, we have heard from Bin Laden since 1996, I personnally remember his first interview with a western journalist 20/20's Peter Arnett in 1997. In the interview he explains all of his complaints with the U.S. and speaks about his "Jihad" on the west claiming he can't be responsible for civilian deaths. In 1996 before the actual interview he wrote a lengthy fatwa entitled "Declaration of war against the americans occupying the land of the two holy places." It is sometimes called the "Ladenese Epistle," using his surname as part of the title. He wrote another "fatwa" in 1998 and has given interviews to Al-Jazeera and other major news agencies, put out over 20 videos railing on the U.S. and Israel, the man had a media division and advisor. We've heard from him in his own words on videotape, through his writings, and more importantly his attacks which started back in 1994. He's an anti-semite like Hitler, would Rashard be bothered by people hating Hitler or the rejoicing in his death? How about Stalin, Mussolini? The reaction to his death was natural and organic. This man killed over 3,000 innocent civilians some of which had to choose to jump to their death or burn to death. He sent young boys and women to be suicide bombers, also ordered his Taliban and Al Queda cohorts to use innocent muslim women and children as human shields, ordered beheadings of journalists and civilian contractors. He had flaunted his freedom from capture for 10 years, he was a polygomist, and a pedophile. He caused financial damage we still haven't recovered from, pushed the limits of our adherence to our constitution and civil liberties causing many of us to turn on each other. Forgive us for judging him Rashard, but I don't feel the man above is going to have to big a problem if we throw a few back, shout U.S.A. a the top of our lungs, and wouldn't mind taking a look at picture of his dead corpse. It's natural human behavior. Remember the ticker tape parades after WWII, how many Nazis, Italians, and Japanese did we kill during that war? We dropped two nuclear bombs on the Japanese saving their whole existence. Should we not have celebrated then? If you haven't noticed this isn't a conventional war, that kinda ended when Bin Laden issued his fatwa allowing the targeting of civilians. The rules have changed we fight an enemy with no uniform willing to videotape beheading of  journalists like Daniel Pearl of the Wall St. Journal. There aren't going to be enemies signing surrender forms on the deck of a battleship or in a tent in the middle of the Iraqi desert, 1992 is the last conventional war we'll ever fight. So a little impromptu celebration, mostly in the cities it affected is completely appropiate.

Mendenhall's teammate Ryan Clarck basically said that Rashard can say whatever he wants to but he has to live with the consequences. This is exactly what many of us our saying. Freedom of speech is a pillar of American culture and law, but this type of irresponsible speech by people of his stature has to be met with the ultimate disdain and thoroughly discredited. Remember when Kanye West during a telethon for hurricane Katrina victims said, "George Bush hates black people," that's the same kind of idiocy that has to be challenged. His was even worse because nobody could immediately respond, West is another false idol that millions of kids look up to and he takes a moment that's meant to help victims of one of the worst natural disasters in our country's history, and make a ridiculous, baseless, inaccurate, and truly ugly statement about a man who at the time had more minorities on his staff than any President before him. Was this straightened out by the media...absolutely not. So a whole group of young people hear Kanye West call President Bush a racist and it sticks. I personally can't let these things go unchallenged or Rashard Mendenhall, nor should you. Always keep in mind who is making the statement, who it affects, and is it the truth.   

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Department of Injustice

The Department of Justice under the Bush Administration was under attack by the left on a daily basis. From the Patriot Act legislation that "shredded" the Constitution, the Waterboarding of 3 tier one Al-Qaida members, which incidentally stopped multiple future attacks that were in the Al-Qaida pipeline, and the creation of Guantanamo Bay detention camp. What's astonishing is that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have kept in place almost everything that many on the left say the Bush administration should be jailed for. A big part of Barack Obama's campaign was based on these supposed injustices. He told the world that the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay according to Obama was contrary to our Constitution and our American values, was  a recruiting tool for future terrorists, and lowered our moral standing with the world's democracies. He said Guantanamo would be closed within the first 100 days in office, well we're working on almost 2 and a half years and Guantanamo is nowhere close to being closed. He  extended the Patriot Act with no changes, he still uses Rendition, a CIA practice of moving prisoners overseas from one secret prison to another secret prison. The policy wasn't even created by the Bush administration but the Clinton administration. Now after telling the country and the world we will prosecute the "Mastermind" of 9/11 Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in New York City just blocks away from the site of the most horrific day in our country's history, because it would show the world how transparent and just our civilian courts are. Now AG Eric Holder has reversed course and said KSM will be tried in a military tribunal. Do you think the Bush administration will ever recieve an apology?

We should have seen this coming from a mile away. Attorney General Eric Holder has never been a man of priciple or honesty. He's a man who plays both sides of the fence, the corporate side and the government side. He has made millions working for the firm Covington & Burling facilitating big settlements for companies like Purdue Pharma which liberals would consider under the evil umbrella of "Big Pharma," Chiquita Brands International, and helping Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich in a casino licensing stuggle because the developer had mob ties. There are more corporate shinanigans but none compare to what he did as Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration.

During his tenure as Deputy AG, which ran from June 13, 1997 to Jan. 20, 2001 he lobbied and signed off on two of the most egregious pardons in the history of the presidency. I'm sure some of you remember the last minute pardons president Clinton handed out his last day in office, 176 to be exact.

The FALN was a marxist terrorist group that wanted the independence of Puerto Rico from the United States. In the process of their attempted revolution they set off an estimated 120 bombs in the Chicago and New York areas, targeting law enforcement and government agencies. Sound familiar? (Weather Underground). 16 members were convicted of illegal bomb making, conspiracy to commit robbery, and sedition. The group was also responsible for the murders of 6 individuals and the maiming of countless others. Sentances ranged from 35-105 years in prison. Deputy Attorney General Holder ignored repeated dissaproval by career Justice Department lawyers Roger Adams and Margaret Colgate Love. Their strong opposition to any clemency was revealed in many internal memos and a draft report recommending denial. The FBI, US attorney's office, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Fraternal order of Police all opposed the pardons. Holder disregarded their opposition and didn't tell the victims families until after the prisoners were released.

Marc Rich wasn't responsible for any murders that we know of but was convicted of 51 counts of tax fraud, tax evasion, and was a conspirator in the Iraqi Oil for Food scandal. Rich was an international Oil commodities broker who and along with his wife were major donors to the Clintons. Rich had fled the country and was on the FBI's ten most wanted list and had been on the lamb for sometime before Holder took office. Jack Quinn former White House Counsel to President Clinton was hired by Rich at the suggestion of  Holder so he could have a direct line to the White House. Deputy AG Holder was looking for an endorsement to get promoted to Attorney General by Quinn so Deputy Holder made the commutation happen. How he secured the pardon was to withhold information of the pardon from career prosecutors in the DOJ and went to Quinn who we assume had the ear of President Clinton. The pardon was granted. But after the pardon Holder was brought before congress and was grilled by two congressional committees. He played dumb stating he didn't know the particulars of the case, but the facts bore out that he suggested Jack Quinn as an attorney for Rich, had repeated conversations with Quinn on strategies to go around the DOJ, and finally a phone call to President Clinton suggesting the approval of the pardon.

In recent events as Attorney General he has dismissed a voter intimidation case involving The New Black Panther Party. Two members of the New Black Panther Party were standing in front of a polling station in Philadelphia wearing full para-military garb, brandishing nightsticks, and threatening white voters trying to enter the polling station, calling them "White Devils," telling them that they are going to be "ruled by the black man now," and blocking voters entrance. This was caught on tape by witnesses with cell phone cameras and by a Fox News team. Civil rights attorney Bartle Bull who worked for Robert Kennedy and other democratic leaders was also witness to the event. He witnessed the Panthers carrying nightsticks and calling white voters "crackers." When interviewed the lifetime civil rights lawyer said that the incident was the most serious act of voter intimidation he had ever witnessed. The case was brought to the DOJs voting division and was handled by 5 career attorneys. They won the case when the Black Panthers charged in the case failed to show up for court and ignored all communications from the DOJ. The case was won under the Bush administration but in the time the case was won to the actually sentencing and penalty phase Barack Obama had won the presidency and Eric Holder was appointed Attorney General. Within weeks the case was dismissed.

The case went under the radar until J. Christian Adams a attorney that prosecuted the case resigned his position at the DOJ and told the story behind the dissmisal of the case in an op-ed for the Washington Times and an interview on Meghan Kelly's show America Live. Adams said that the case was the easiest he had ever prosecuted in his time at the DOJ. They had video tape and witness testimony that showed that the Panthers were intimidating voters at the Philadelphia polling station. It was a "slam dunk" as he explained it. Chris Coates one of the most respected laywers in voting rights history and was lead prosecutor in the case had no doubt in the validity of the case. Adam's has stated that Obama appointees Steve Rosenbaum and Lorretta King originally told the lawyers to drop the case, a case that had already been won. Adams has also testified to the U.S. commission on Civil Rights that the DOJ has a new mandate that voter intimidation cases against minorites will not be pursed. He has been told by collegues it's "payback time," and the Deputy Assistant Attorney on Civil Rights Julie Fernandes said that no voting-rights cases of any kind would be brought against minorities during this administration, by the Civil Rights Division. All of this tetimony can be found on youtube, Chris Coates went against DOJ orders to ignore subpoenas by the U.S. commision on Civil Rights and his testimony is astonishing.

All of this makes total sense when you listen to the statements of Eric Holder himself. In a address to Justice Department employees marking Black History Month he said, "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic meeting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." Wow. Holder told hundreds of Justice Department employees gathered for the event that they have a special responsibility to advance racial understanding. When responding to criticism about the dismissal of the Black Panther case by Bartle Bull Holder he said this, "When you compare what people endured in the south in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia-which was inappropriate, certainly describe it in those terms I think it does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for MY PEOPLE." My emphisis on my people. It is clear that our new Attorney General has a major chip on his shoulder and is using the Justice Department to settle supposed unresolved racial issues he feels our country has yet to address. What he is doing is the antithisis of what the Justice Department is charged to do. He is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States and is responsible for giving the president legal advice and protecting all Americans in matters of law equally without bias to race, religion, or creed.

In his most recent racially motivated action he has sued the state of Arizona for passing an immigration law that was carefully crafted and would have protected Arizona taxpayers from bearing the cost of illegal immigrants and would have allowed local law enforcement to hand over illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

This use of the Justice Department only fosters more resentment and racial tension, it does nothing to protect the citizens of America from real injustices and mistreatment under the Constitution.