Category Archives: News and Current Events

Who Is Taking The Money South?

By David Simmonds

A common complaint that you hear from the cowardly, whiny talk radio pundits is about all that American money that the Mexicans send home to their families, who, by the way, spend most of that on life’s basic necessities. The figure I see most often is around $1.1 billion, which, even for a country that is $9 trillion in debt (the U.S.), is a lot of jack.  “That’s money leaving the country that should be spent rat here in the good ole US of A“, is the cry coming from the masses as they cruise along in their Japanese imports, fueled by foreign oil, into the WalMart parking lot to load up on Chinese-made electronics and underwear.

Well, I just read a new statistic: Mexicans legally crossing the border into the U.S. at San Ysidro (near San Diego) spend $3 billion a year shopping at Nordstrom, Von’s, Costco, etc.  I’m no math wizard, but that sounds like a $1.9 billion net gain to me. If you have ever endured the line of cars holding back a full bladder, sometimes backed up for two hours entering the U.S., it is easy to believe the numbers.

And this doesn’t even take into account the estimated 1 million American expats now living in Mexico. Most of them subsist on money in bank accounts, pensions, rental checks and dividends that are in the U.S..  Let’s say that each person averages $1,000 a month for living expenses in Mexico.  Again, big numbers baffle me, but a million people times a thousand adds up to one $billion….every month. You say that I have overestimated the expat and monthly figures? Okay, cut it in half. We’re down to $500 million every month that gringos are leaving in Mexico, or a cool $6 billion a year.

There are plenty of legitimate arguments we can discuss with the illegal immigration problem (which is really an illegal employer problem), but the fairness of the money going south  to the families of hard-working people is not one of them.

Now getting back to that 9 $trillion and growing daily national debt…

Pancho Villa Lives On

MP News Staff


Associated Press WriterSAN ANTONIO (AP) – Item No. 1, for him: a Remington single-action revolver engraved with a scroll pattern and “Doreteo Arango” – Pancho Villa’s real name.

Item No. 2, for her: a pocket pistol in a leather case that bears the name Martha Jane Cannary – the true identity of Calamity Jane.

Weapons that belonged to the Mexican revolutionary and the hard-living frontier scout were expected to be the stars of a weekend auction in Fredericksburg that includes about 1,000 Old West objects.

The barrel of Villa’s revolver is marked “Chih-1914,” around the time he became governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The gun was made about 40 years before that and was expected to fetch at least $30,000, auction managers said.

Also up for bid is a Mauser carbine rifle that Villa reportedly dropped in the Rio Grande during a skirmish with opposition forces. Villa “carried it with him because it was handy when he was on horseback,” said Tom Burks, manager of the auction and former curator for the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco.

The rifle, estimated to have been made in 1898 or 1899, was expected to go for at least $25,000.

Jane’s Hopkins and Allen Ranger pistol, from the 1870s or the 1880s, was expected to sell for at least $35,000.

Calamity Jane, involved in several campaigns against American Indians, settled around Deadwood, S.D., and became friendly with Wild Bill Hickok. She died in 1903 and is buried near Hickok.

In 1916, Villa led a group of irregular fighters in a brief raid into Columbus, N.M., in what is considered the last battle against foreign forces on U.S. soil. Eighteen Americans were killed, prompting an unsuccessful manhunt for Villa. He made his peace with the Mexican government in 1920 but was assassinated in 1923 at the age of 45, likely out of fear he would rise up again.

“He is still a highly popular leader,” said Friedrich Katz, a University of Chicago professor emeritus and Villa biographer. “Many Mexicans identify with him. They feel he was a friend of the poor.”

Villa’s death mask, featuring his prominent mustache and eyebrows, sold at auction in 2006 for $17,000

Making A Difference, One Town At A Time

By David Simmonds

The corporatocracy class that essentially runs the political machine in the U.S. these days is unlikely to want any changes made that would affect the flow of cheap labor from Mexico.  They will bluster and make promises to their base, but nothing will change until the power changes, and most likely not even then. 

As for Mexico:they have little incentive to address the lack of adequate employment available to their citizens as long as the “safety valve” pipeline is in operation with hundred of thousands of their most ambitious men and women heading to “el norte” to earn money to send home. The devastation to the rural villages and towns throughout Mexico is epic, with generations of social structure being ripped to shreds.

Instead of waiting for the government to act, at least one lady in the state of Guanajuato is doing what should become a model for all of Mexico. The concept is simple: create jobs in the communities and the people will stay home. It can, and is, working. Please read this excellent article authored by Sara Miller Llana of the Christian Science Monitor to read about one remarkable lady: Adriana Cortes.

Mexico is Drowning – Let’s Get Some Perspective…and Learn Some Lessons

By: Lisa Coleman

In the state of Tabasco, in the beautiful city of Villahermosa, Mexico is drowning. In case you’ve not heard about it in one of the thirty second gratuitous spots given to the disaster on the local U.S. news, or skimmed across it in a blurb page on the Internet, there was a massive flood in Mexico the last week in October. It is a life changing and horrible event for almost a million people.

The disaster began with torrential rains throughout the state and by October 31st, the rivers overflowed producing the worst flooding in 50 years. They report 900,000 people displaced and awaiting rescue or shelter. Governor Andres Granier reported that eighty percent of the state is under water, 100 percent of its crops have been destroyed and most of the state’s populations of two million are affected in a substantial way. In addition, 150 hospitals and medical centers have been flooded and are closed.

However, the good old American press doesn’t seem to find it important enough to warrant any considerable coverage. The media is happy to let you know that Christina Aguilera is pregnant and that Britney Spears is back in court battling KFed, but make it something devastating for some Mexicans and no one seems to find the time. That’s probably an exaggeration, but it sure hasn’t felt that way through this. Now I don’t want to get up on my soapbox again, but it seems odd to me that our news media can find time to do an extensive cover story on an offensive Halloween costume worn to the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s party, yet when it’s tragedy happening south of the border, it seems you have to dig for news.

As a journalist myself, I find it disturbing to see what has become of “news.” We are a celebrity obsessed, sensationalistic society that has lost track of what is real and what is important. Just so we are clear… People suffering and fighting for their lives in a flood in Mexico…. Important.  A mother sleeping with her daughter’s 13 year old pal, or a Hollywood writer’s strike…. Not important.

For another dose of perspective, TIME published an article today that, to me, is of considerable interest. Apparently, the U.S. could learn a thing or two from Mexico when it comes to disaster:

“Images of filthy water engulfing Mexico’s southern city as residents clung to the rooftops were reminiscent of the flooding that devastated New Orleans in 2005. But in the desolation of Villahermosa, there has been no widespread breakdown in law and order or four-figure death tolls. On the contrary, observers here say that Mexico’s rapid response to its worst flooding in recent history was a factor in averting a catastrophe on the level of Katrina.

Amid heavy rains, President Felipe Calderon ordered in thousands of soldiers, marines, pilots and federal police on Oct. 29, two days before the most damaging flooding hit. When the riverbanks finally burst, inundating some 70% of the city on Oct. 31, there were more than 60 helicopters buzzing through the skies carrying out nonstop rescue and relief missions. Calderon and half his cabinet then touched down in Villahermosa three times in five days, giving televised updates on everything from how to use satellite phones in shelters to the drop points of millions of bottles of water. “The reaction has been very impressive. If there were not such a fast and wide-scale response, the human cost of this tragedy would have been much higher,” said Helena Ranchal, regional head of the European Commission’s emergency relief fund.

There have been three confirmed dead in Villahermosa, although there are still dozens of people missing and many more have died in landslides unleashed by the rains in the nearby mountains of Chiapas. While some looters broke into Villahermosa’s stores and houses, the robbery was on a relatively small scale as police handed out food, water and medical packages and contingents of rifle-wielding soldiers stood on every corner. Navy and marine boats also took rapid control of the waterways that sprung up on the engulfed streets that were infested by dog carcasses. “You never felt that the government had totally disappeared even though our homes and city had been destroyed. You saw that officials were here and some help was coming in,” said Javier Mendoza, 43, who fled his house with his family of eight on a navy boat.”

It’s not all been perfect, that’s for sure. It never is in these situations, but they are making a hell of an effort. In addition, in the aftermath of the flooding, Calderon announced the entire state of Tabasco would have free electricity until February to help alleviate their problems. There are people in need, and unlike some governments, Mexico’s is stepping up and getting it done. So, please, take the time to read more about this tragic disaster and let people know there are plenty of ways to help. You may have to dig past all the celebrity babble and ridiculous Jerry Springer type stories, but there are people in a town you probably never heard of that need your care.

I have searched some sites and found that a blog spot on a site called Root Coffee has a very detailed and extensive list of places to help. Take a look at their site and read some of the blogs from those who have friends and family there. This is one of those important things so let’s get some perspective and see what we can do to help.

Flood Chaos Hits Mexico

MP News Staff

 (From : The Guardian)
Tens of thousands of people have fled to shelters in south-eastern Mexico after the worst floods in living memory in the area destroyed their homes and harvests. The authorities say the floods are expected to get worse.

Rooftops peeked above the water yesterday in the city of Villahermosa, capital of the state of Tabasco, which has been the worst hit by the catastrophe. Vast swaths of agricultural land throughout the state were under water. Some of the giant nine-metre stone heads carved by America’s first great civilisation, the Olmecs, were only half visible at the La Venta archaeological site.

“In 48 hours the state has been devastated,” the state’s governor, Andres Granier, said. He stressed the particularly difficult situation of the capital. “Villahermosa is in a hole, below the level of the rivers,” he told a news programme as he appealed for help from the army. “We are just like New Orleans in 2005. All the water that comes in has to be pumped out.”

Mr Granier said 20,000 people were already in shelters, but added that 150,000 more people had refused to leave their homes, and might have to be evacuated by force. More than 7,000 people were reportedly evacuated to shelters in the neighbouring state of Chiapas.

The flooding began at the weekend when heavy and unrelenting rain began to fall throughout the area. By yesterday seven rivers had burst their banks, several reservoirs had overflowed and an important dam was looking vulnerable.

With the local authorities overwhelmed President Felipe Calderon offered “all the help humanly possible”, before flying to the area, filling a few sandbags and attending emergency meetings in Villahermosa airport. As night fell, he announced that he had ordered the ministers of defence and the navy to abort some of their other missions to attend to the emergency in Tabasco. He also appealed to the general population to provide food, water, soap, blankets, mattresses and nappies, among a long list of things that would become essential in the aftermath of the floods.

“Hundreds of thousands of Tabasquenos need support, not only from the federal government but also from ordinary Mexicans,” he said. “I call on all Mexico for help.”