Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Blast from the Past - Along with relevant commentary

  This is simply a reminder article coming from the last time there was a difficulty concerning another of our veterans trying to go into Mexico without actually finding out  true facts instead of listening to Uncle Joe and the guy down at the bar who went to boys' town 20 years ago.
    As in the case below - cited, the information being put out by media sources, including FOX News is not being presented in an entirely factual way.  There is considerable evidence that can leave the certain impression to any reasonable person that the story being  told by FOX News depends in large part on the willingness of the audience to believe the worst about the other people.
    It presumes the absolute innocence of a person because he is 'one of ours", and the absolute guilt of the "other guys" because they are them.  One must move carefully in these matters.
    Recently, in the Tijuana case, it has become clear that our guy decided to take on people in a holding tank.  That is not a good idea.  Holding tanks hold the worst of the worst.  He resisted efforts to be moved into a better place, essentially in the infirmary.   He wound up there anyway and then tried to go back to "settle the score" with swine and human debris.  Why?   It also allows blowhards to bloviate to the point that they make fools of themselves concerning the topic.   Please remember, O'Reilly had nothing to do with the release of the boy at Matamoros.  He had nothing to do with the release of various people who made similar errors and had little or no problem solving whatever problem they had while in Mexico.   These are people about whom no one ever heard because procedures were followed that alleviated almost all or all of the problems.
     Allow me to suggest, for instance, that the Marine presently in a preferred accommodation in the prison outside of Tecate, Baja California was restrained because he had tried to cut his neck with a light-bulb that he had broken.  Who made up that story?  Our Marine on live radio with his mom on the line, and I believe Glen Beck.   Our Marine has dismissed two legal teams that are highly recommended and at times work on a pro bono basis for incidental foreigners.  We follow these cases and at times have intervened on a pro bono basis ourselves.   It is incumbent for me to urge to all OROGs that cases like this sometimes do not neatly fit into the box of "dirty stinking greasers  mistreating nice American boy".   My job is to keep the OROG from walking into a door in the dark of the night.    One might note that even O'Rielly and Beck have backed off a bit on the story.   It is much deeper than it appears. 

This is an article from last Winter, concerning another military retiree who was intent on driving from Texas to Costa Rica through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and finally to Costa Rica.   Our return in those days just before Christmas led us to begin our writings about our stay, and then about things that had been happening during my absence from Tierra Santa Americana:

Last week of Advent - 2013

     The cats helped a bit with the cold episodes.   They are adept at waiting for El Gringo Viejo to nod off on his slightly undersised recliner during the Houston Texans game, knowing that heat travels upward and is to be dedicated to the comfort of felines.   They, as I, have long ago determined that even if the temperature is comfortable, there should be no waste of warmth during the Winter.   As we are situated quite close to the Tropic of Cancer, the period near the Solstice on the Calendar tends to be very cool during the nighttime hours.  We were out about a month (we haven't counted up the days) and almost every night was in the 40s...ending up with Thursday's early morning reading being 35 degrees F.

     The last blast from the north came in just before and brought winds of 50 - 60 miles per hour sustained, and gusts up to 80 during the first moments of passage.   It is pleasant to report that throughout the area of our part of rural Mexico, there was not one power outage.  Excellent when it is considered that the sustained winds endured for a period of over 18 hours.
     We call attention to the fact that our little place is very rustic.   Some new readers might not want to dig through our 600 previous postings to read about the "mud hut", or to visit  our webpage (linked on this page), but even with the cold nights and slightly coolish days, the temperature inside stayed a constant 72 degress....a tribute to the really old fashioned adobe and plaster approach to forming the lobster shell of a house.
     It is also of note that the "situation" has improved to the point that people are actually speaking confidently that a reasonable semblance of the old imperfect order has seemed to return.   On our return yesterday, the highways were super over-saturated.   Extremely heavy traffic accompanied this traveller for the entirety of the 239 mile route that was followed this time.  Traffic coming, and going.  Busses heading south must have numbered 200 common carriers of the 1st class and deluxe variety.   Thousands of motorcars, 90 percent of which were families returning from buying expeditions in the Commerce Cathedrals (shopping malls) in McAllen and other places in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.   Another number were those Mexicans who live in the United States legally and make the Christmas trek in SUVs and station waggons, with and without trailers, loaded up like some kind of adjunct delivery service for Santa Claus.

     This whole phenomena is a result of the perceived improvement in the  security situation.   While the chance of being involved, in actuarial terms, in some kind of crossfire or other related event was always very low in real terms, it is now perceptually, truly, obviously, and undeniably very, very diminished.   There is the apparent perception and understanding as well that the new administration is not going to move in the direction of "adapting to a reasonable alternative"(benign neglect of the cartels).   We are hopeful that what is essentially an imperfect victory will not be squandered by yielding to the notion that  sociological rot will not finally overtake an entire huge nation if left unchecked.
     It disappoints, as always, when FOX News decides to join into and reinforce the popular perception created by the leftist press about the situation in Mexico.   The whole picture is not that much different than here in the United States.   In many ways, quite frankly, things are better South of the Border.   So when O'Reilly, or the voices on The Five, and others on FOX News were admonishing that Mexican prisons are Hell Holes where the cartels run the show, and that especially Americans are targeted by the criminal and general population of Mexico, and that everything is brings to mind motes and beams and eyes, kettles, pots, and black.   While O'Reilly, for instance, was warning that if "President Nieto" did not release Corporal Hammer, that Mr. O'Reilly would "take care of Mexico's tourism industry".   Mr. O'Reilly is such an expert on matters Mexican, that he is unaware that it is President Pen~a....not Nieto.   The paternal surname immediately follows the given name(s).

     The Hammer case was already essentially resolved.   The Mexican Secretary of the Navy had declared the issue to have been warrantless and that no crime had been committed because the person involved had voluntarily revealed the shotgun in question and requested permitting for said instrument.  The telephone calls received by the family were from prisoners and/or their family members who commonly attempt to extort money from family members of other prisoners, especially the newly arrived.   American prison gangs do the same thing.

     The fear held by this observer was that what ground had been covered might possibly have to be re-ploughed because Mexican arrogance is similar to American arrogance.   If they are pushed, they tend to push back, sometimes to their own detriment.  O'Reilly fell into this category in a way.

      Many things about this case that were commonly known in Mexico were not reported.   The most vigorous operator in this matter had been the the Tamaulipas State Chamber of Commerce.   The final attorney in Mexico City had served well.   The usually useless Human Rights Commission (totally pinko) served well.   Various State and local elected officials had also been pointing out behind the scenes that the Secretary of the Navy's position was totally accurate.  The federal customs and immigration official had overreacted to some personal affront, and "behaved stupidly" in the words of a great American leader.   It was all but unreported that  Corporal Hammer's friend was not detained during this same incident.   And, while even Laura Ingraham had to pile on, please be assured that of the 1,000 Americans behind bars presently in Mexico, somewhere between 950 to 1,000 are not the type of person with whom you would like your teenaged daughter to be spending time.  As well, of the 140 Americans killed in Mexico during the last year, O'Reilly and Laura and the rest of the choir seem to leave out that 130 or so were very, very probably involved in the drug trafficking business.   Here, there is something usually stated about fleas, dogs, and lieing down with, etc.
     It is my judgement that the greatest weight of the least 9o% of the fault in this issue....lies with the Mexican customs officer.   All he would have had to have done, at worst, is to have ordered the individual back to the American side.    There is some blame to be spread onto the American border agents who apparently told the boy that there would be no problems, just to declare the gun and get the permits.   The permits have to be obtained before going in.
      And while all this is going on, there is a 340,000 tonne elephant sitting there on the FOX News set, minding its own business.   "Don't go to Mexico, it's dangerous and corrupt, and they are always doing things all the time to everybody...especially Americans", they say.  While we have Benghazi unresolved....Fast and Furious left unresolved....20 dead children in Newtown, Connecticut....overwhelming corruption at all levels in the United States Government....Solyndra ignored....expropriation of General Motors and Chrysler....and some jackass from Chicago talking about reasonable new firearms legislation, like, you know, Chicago....where "One a Day" would be a substantial improvement.   Thank the Lord that Chicago has stringent firearms control.  That solved all the problems.
     Please allow us to include that during El Gringo Viejo's professional and business life, he conducted, permitted, licensed, escorted, guided, scouted, and otherwise attended to the issues of hunting game birds in Mexico involving hundreds upon hundreds of hunters, and thousands of shotguns, scores of thousands of importations of rounds of ammunition.   Never had one man detained.
Thanks for the opportunity to unload, perhaps inform to a level of greater understanding, and swim upstream.   These might be the last days for contrarians and other sorts of folks who have knowledge and opinion that is true but not part of the common understanding.
El Gringo Viejo

     (We urge that the OROG consider that nothing has been said or heard from the boy who was released from Matamoros detention.  One might ask why and think about it for a bit.  11 June 2014 EGV)