Fighting the Zeta Cartel: Armed Mexican Citizens Doing the Job Their Government Can’t or Won’t Do

To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

James Madison, Federalist #46 

Another example of armed citizens stepping in when government can’t or won’t do the job they’re tasked to do:

But almost three years after his brutal abduction, Guerrero, who is now the mayor, says his town has become safer, the kidnappers scared to enter.

This change is not due to the police, he says, but to a clandestine vigilante group known as the Pedro Mendez Column, named after a local general who fought the French in the 19th century.

The column hands out leaflets declaring it operates night patrols to defend the community from the feared Zetas cartel, which is behind most of the kidnapping. The vigilantes have also claimed responsibility for several murders of alleged Zeta members, including two men shot dead in January.

“The column only kills kidnappers and drug traffickers. They don’t allow extortion or threaten honest people,” Guerrero told GlobalPost, speaking in his town hall, which is decorated with paintings of Mexico’s independence and revolutionary heroes. “It is much safer with them.”

Another interesting point is how Mexico’s ‘strict’ firearm ban is being circumvented, first by the cartels and kidnappers and then by average Mexicans desperate to protect themselves.

This is the latest expression of a vigilante movement in Mexico that’s expanding from the southern mountains to areas near the United States border like Hidalgo, in Tamaulipas state.

The vigilantes are rising after the Mexican government failed to stop the country from becoming a world kidnap capital, with more than 1,600 reported abductions in 2013, the worst year on record. There have been more than 70,000 cartel-related killings since 2006.

But human rights groups warn that vigilantes may only add to Mexico’s cycle of violence — a severe problem in border states like Tamaulipas, which suffers shoot-outs that have caused temporary shutdowns of crossings into Texas.

Bordering the Rio Grande valley and the cities of Brownsville and Laredo, Tamaulipas lies along a major US-Mexico trade route, with tens of thousands of trucks of goods crossing daily, as well as many undocumented migrants and drug loads.

Only a ‘human rights group’ can look at the violence being perpetrated by the drug cartels against average Mexican citizens and utter the words ‘cycle of violence.’

Income Inequality: Leftist push for higher salary’s when the better solution is tax cuts 

Low information voters (and their enablers) continually grouse about income inequality. For example, this article from Detroit’s more liberal paper tries to make the case that occupations such as nurses and ‘government employees’ should receive higher wages.

The remainder of occupations fall somewhere in between the lowest and highest earners. While the rest of these jobs are paid higher than minimum wage, many occupations deserve higher pay when you compare each worker’s salary to the pay received by the boss. Certain occupations, however, stand out as especially deserving of a higher paycheck. These are occupations that involve a high level of education, training, skills, or tenacity. The abilities and responsibilities of these workers are not at all reflected in their paychecks.

Low information voters will casually glance at this article and nod in agreement. The problem is both the low information voter, and the article’s author, miss the point.

The point is an individual’s compensation in a given occupation is based on the amount of revenue he or she generates for their employer (or themselves, if self employed). It doesn’t matter how much education, training, skills, or tenacity a person has. The amount of money you generate for your employer determines your wages, just as if you are self employed. It’s the free market at work.

For example you could attain a Master’s Degree in Puppetry, spend years training at the art, be a skilled puppeteer and work extremely hard at the craft. However, at the end of the day, your compensation as a freelancer (or working for whoever hires a puppeteer) will be based solely how much money people are willing to pay to watch your performance and nothing more.

Another argument populist politicians and their liberal activist supporters use to justify wage increases is that “income inequality” is rampant today and higher taxes are required on high wage earners so it can be redistributed it to lower earners. Just as a Socialist Democrat / Liberal makes a terrible economists, they also are terrible historians. Take a look at this list of the 30 wealthiest Americans of all time (adjusted for inflation).

#30: James C. Flood – Net Worth $34 Billion
#29: Peter AB Widener – Net Worth $35 Billion
#28: Collis Potter Huntington – Net Worth $36 Billion
#27: George Pullman – Net Worth $37 Billion
#26: Henry C. Frick – Net Worth $39.3 Billion
#25: Oliver H Payne – Net Worth $40.4 Billion
#24: JP Morgan – Net Worth $41.5 Billion
#23: Henry Huttleston Rogers – Net Worth $42.6 Billion
#22: Edward Henry Harriman – Net Worth $42.7 Billion
#21: John I Blair – Net Worth $47 Billion
#20: Russell Sage – Net Worth $47 Billion
#19: Moses Taylor – Net Worth $48.1 Billion
#18: William Weightman – Net Worth $48.1 Billion
#17: James G. Fair – Net Worth $49.2 Billion
#16: Andrew W. Mellon – Net Worth $50.5 Billion
#15: Richard B. Mellon – Net Worth $50.5 Billion
#14: Henry Ford – Net Worth $54 Billion
#13: Warren Buffett – Net Worth $64 Billion
#12: Sam Walton – Net Worth $65 Billion
#11: Marshall Field – Net Worth $66 Billion
#10: Stephen Van Rensselaer – Net Worth $68 Billion
#9: Jay Gould – Net Worth $71 Billion
#8: Friedrich Weyerhauser – Net Worth $80 Billion
#7: A.T. Stewart – Net Wort $90 Billion
#6: Stephen Girard – Net Worth $105 Billion
#5: John Jacob Astor – Net Worth $121 Billion
#4: Bill Gates – Net Worth $136 Billion
#3: Cornelius Vanderbilt – Net Worth $185 Billion
#2: Andrew Carnegie – Net Worth $310 Billion
#1: John D. Rockefeller – Net Worth $340 Billion

Note that combining the fortunes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the duo only finish a distant third on the list.

Rockefeller was worth a staggering 1.53% of the total United States economy while Bill Gates, at the peak of the dot-com bubble, was worth 0.58% of the U.S. GNP. Looking at this list (with only two of the all-time wealthiest individuals alive today) it’s hard to believe that income inequality is worse today than it was at the turn of the last century.

Circling back to today, ignoring the left’s incessant drumbeat of “income inequality” and focusing on reality, due to economic growth today’s average Americans live like millionaires of the 1950′s.

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Of course, all the drivel about “income inequality” is simply a ruse by leftist to vote into office even more hard-core leftists politicians into office and redistribute more income. If liberal activists were serious about workers earning more money, they would push getting the government off everyone’s back by cutting taxes (50% of workers income is consumed by taxation) effectively giving everyone a healthy net raise.

You know that won’t happen.

Elected officials have power to affect your life, a corporate CEO has none

Nolan Finley, one of the more conservative columnists at Detroit’s more conservative paper published an interesting column lamenting the dearth of quality candidates that voters have to choose from in the upcoming 2014 primary election:

I’m in the middle of the candidate endorsement process, sorting through questionnaires and interviewing candidates to help voters make the best choices in the Aug. 5 primary.

I’ve also moderated a couple of congressional debates recently.

Here are two phrases that do NOT come to mind as I evaluate the options voters face: “best and brightest” and “cream of the crop.”

With a few exceptions, the mediocrity of the candidate field is stunning.

While I agree that we get pretty poor choices of who will represent us in Lansing and Washington, I have to wonder where Nolan has been the last 20+ years? With very few exceptions, we rarely get the “cream of the crop” when it comes to potential representatives.

With that being said, I guess Nolan is particularly disappointed with this years crop.

Perhaps 1 in 10 of the candidates who returned questionnaires rise to the level where we’re entirely confident of their competence. And that talented tenth may not even get elected.

Many of the hopefuls show an appalling lack of understanding about both the scope and limits of the Constitution. They offer solutions that would trample the Bill of Rights. Many of the candidates can’t spell. Some can barely write.

At a congressional debate, one candidate said he wanted to go to Washington to “teach the Republicans a lesson” — and then later boasted about his ability to forge bipartisan alliances.

Can’t write? Hey, that’s what staffers are for…

One point of disagreement that with Mr. Finely’s column is in this important paragraph.

And yet winners of the elections will move into positions that ultimately come with as much power as a corporate CEO. Few could ever climb their way into a private sector C-suite, but they’ll be playing the tune the corporate execs will have to dance to.

The frightening thing is people elected to office have significant power to affect your life while a corporate CEO has none. A CEO can’t raise your taxes and throw you in jail if you don’t pay up. A CEO can’t deny your building permit or seize your property through an eminent domain proceeding. A CEO can’t arrest you or tell you your mother would be better off taking a pill rather than giving her a pace maker.

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CEO’s have no influence over your life while politicians do. This is why politicians will crawl over broken glass to get elected.

Lois Learner didn’t print official e-mail because she “did not think it was required”

I’m sure if the shoe were on the other foot and an average citizen tried this excuse, it wouldn’t fly:

Taylor said Lerner did not print out official records she may have sent over email because she didn’t know she had to.
The Federal Records Act requires agencies to back up all “business” correspondence — anything dealing with policy or operations, for instance. And while the IRS says it’s up to employees to print off hard copies of official emails and file them, Taylor said Lerner did not because she “did not think it was required.”
National Archives, which oversees the law, and the Treasury inspector general for tax administration are currently probing the lost emails and the backup policies. The Archivist has already said the IRS did not follow the law because it did not alert the Archives to lost emails that could be important, which is required.

Our entire political system, including paying taxes, relies on the concept that everyone is equal before the law and, right now it  doesn’t appear that way.

Also, we need a flat tax to prevent the IRS from becoming a political weapon in the future.

IRS IT budget could purchase 2.5 Carbonites and still have a cool billion dollars left over

Only in Washington D.C. could someone call a $1.8 billion I.T. budget for a government agency “wholly deficient.”

The Internal Revenue Service’s email system, the center of a Congressional investigation into the agency’s treatment of conservative political groups, is “entirely underfunded and wholly deficient,” a congressman said.

Rep. Sandy Levin, D-Mich., made the allegation June 20 during a contentious hearing in which IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was hammered by questions from Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Levin is the ranking Democrat on the committee.

Critics noted that the IRS operated with an IT budget of $1.8 billion in fiscal 2012 and 2013.

Carbonite, the online back up company has a market cap $294.95M. The IRS could purchase two and a half Carbonites with their IT budget and still have a cool One Billion Dollars left over.

carbonite market cap

The United States desperately needs a flat tax to do away with this nonsense.

Straight out of an Arthur C. Clarke novel: Cold dead star may be a giant diamond

‘I first suspected it from some chance observations in ’57, but didn’t really take them seriously for a couple of years. Then the evidence became stronger; for anything less bizarre, it would have been completely convincing.

‘But before I could believe that Mount Zeus was made of diamond, I had to find an explanation. To a good scientist – and I think I’m a good one – no fact is really respectable until there’s a theory to account for it. The theory may turn out to be wrong – it usually is, in some details at least – but it must provide a working hypothesis.

‘And as you pointed out, a million-million-ton diamond on a world of ice and sulphur takes a little explaining. Of course, now it’s perfectly obvious and I feel a damn fool not to have seen the answer years ago. Might have saved a lot of trouble – and at least one life – if I had.’

Arthur C. Clarke, 2061: Odyssey Three, chapter 53

Reading a story how astronomers think a “cold, dead star” could possibly be a massive diamond reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke’s  2061: Odyssey Three and how they found Mt. Zeus, a giant mountain on Europa that turns out to be a giant diamond.

Via Space.com:

Scientists have identified what is possibly the coldest white dwarf ever detected. In fact, this dim stellar corpse is so cold that its carbon has crystallized, effectively forming a diamond the size of Earth, astronomers said.

“It’s a really remarkable object,” study leader David Kaplan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said in a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). “These things should be out there, but because they are so dim they are very hard to find.” [10 Strangest Things in Space]

Kaplan and colleagues were able to find this cosmic gem because it has a more conspicuous companion. The white dwarf does an orbital tango with a pulsar, or a fast-spinning neutron star formed from a supernova explosion that sends out a stream of radio waves like a lighthouse beam. Dubbed PSR J2222-0137, the pulsar lies 900 light-years away from Earth near the constellation Aquarius, and it was first detected using the NRAO’s Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

Interesting…

Suckers. Total suckers… So much for Obama ‘restoring’ America’s standing in the world

Remember when Dear Leader promised that he would “restore America’s standing in the world?”

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Well, that didn’t happen…

Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski thinks the Polish-American alliance is “worthless” and “bullshit,” according to tapes of a private conversation released by Polish magazine Wprost.

“The Polish-American alliance is not worth anything. It’s even damaging, because it creates a false sense of security in Poland. It’s complete bullshit,” Sikorski says. “We will get a conflict with both Russians and Germans, and we’re going to think that everything is great, because we gave the Americans a blowjob. Suckers. Total suckers.”

The way Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski is speaking, you would think he was a jilted Obama voter.