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Incredibly, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Mexico was shattered by a second horrible earthquake in less than two weeks.

Earthquakes occur all the time. Most are small and go unnoticed. However, Mexico has suffered badly this month.

The first quake occurred on Thursday, September 8, and measured 8.2 on the Richter scale. Ninety people died, mostly in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Tabasco. Several hundred homes were severely damaged or destroyed.

September 8 was the day when Irma was classified as a Category 5 hurricane storming through the Caribbean.

The New York Times reported (emphases mine):

Over all, the earthquake — the most powerful to hit the country in a century — killed at least 61 people in Mexico, all of them in the southern part of the country that was closer to the quake’s epicenter off the Pacific Coast.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.2 and struck shortly before midnight on Thursday, was felt by tens of millions of people in Mexico and in Guatemala, where at least one person died as well.

Also:

In Mexico City, the capital, which still bears the physical and psychological scars of a devastating earthquake in 1985 that killed as many as 10,000 people, alarms sounding over loudspeakers spurred residents to flee into the streets in their pajamas.

The city seemed to convulse in terrifying waves, making street lamps and the Angel of Independence monument, the capital’s signature landmark, sway like a metronome’s pendulum.

But this time, the megalopolis emerged largely unscathed, with minor structural damage and only two of its nearly nine million people reporting injuries, neither serious, officials said.

Mexico City’s residents no doubt breathed a collective sigh of relief.

However, they felt a deadly earthquake on Tuesday, which, ominously, was:

the 32nd anniversary of the tremor that killed thousands and came just two hours after earthquake drills were held across Mexico to mark the date.

Talk about a come-to-Jesus moment.

Today, the Telegraph reported that at least 217 people have died in the earthquake, which measured 7.1:

The death toll was slightly reduced, after it climbed throughout the night as rescue workers continued digging through rubble, with 21 children at a collapsed primary school among those killed

The epicentre was Atencingo in Puebla state, around 75 miles south-east of Mexico City, and struck at a depth of 32 miles, according to the US Geological Survey, at 1.14pm local time

President Enrique Pena Nieto urged people to stay in their homes if it was safe to do so and keep the streets free of congestion to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Much of Mexico City is built on former lake bed, and the soil can amplify the effects of earthquakes centred hundreds of miles away.

The power is still out in many areas. Families are desperately trying to contact loved ones.

What follows is a selection of terrifying videos from Tuesday. I was surprised to see the number of passersby on the street watching to see what would happen. I realise that some buildings were evacuated, but a number of other people are just walking around amidst power lines lying in the street.

This video gets scary at the 5:08 point:

Here is another compilation:

This office building collapses in seconds:

This was the first tweet I saw:

No, it certainly was not:

This one shows a building swaying and a window or two popping out onto the street:

Look at the dust from the collapsing buildings:

Detail of all-enveloping dust:

This entire building — block of flats? — collapsed:

This was the scene on the 38th floor of one building:

It will take some time to get certain roads fixed:

Good grief:

The airport has been damaged:

This is a great animal rescue video:

Animals can sense an earthquake before people do. However, research shows that this is only seconds, rather than days, beforehand.

Earthquake watcher Dutchsinse is accurate in his predictions. I don’t follow him but saw him mentioned elsewhere. He saw this earthquake coming and warned about it. He thinks a volcano could erupt next:

Dutch explains that Mexico was ‘quiet’. Then, a few weeks ago, pressure started changing in Guatemala, travelling northward — the opposite direction seen in pressure movement — to Mexico. Now, Dutch thinks this movement will continue — possibly to southern California or eastward into the Caribbean.

He thinks something could happen on a 6.1 scale. The first Mexican earthquake was 8.1 or 8.2 (sources vary). This second one was 7.1. So, the next will be one point down on the scale.

This brings me to Wired‘s ‘Can Hurricanes Trigger Earthquakes?’ It seems so, but not in the same year. So far, research has shown a lag time of two years. There needs to be deforestation in order for that to occur and likely to be on a Caribbean island. Haiti has had the most research done. Many more studies would need to be conducted.

Here is a map of the area that Tuesday’s earthquake affected. It’s a large area, extending beyond Mexico City.

Dutchsinse warns his viewers living in a sensitive area in this part of the world to ‘be prepared’ and ‘have a plan’ for 11 days’ time.

I agree.

Whilst prepping, for those who haven’t already done so: get right with God.

The recent weather and tectonic movement have been so dramatic and unusual that I will repeat that this is a divine message. Who controls our planet? God, our Creator.

In the meantime, prayers for Mexico and condolences to the families who lost loved ones over the past two weeks.

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On Monday, September 11, 2017, I listened to the Howie Carr Show, broadcast from Boston.

Howie’s poll question was about media coverage of Irma. Fifty-nine per cent of his listeners thought it was overkill. Forty-one per cent thought it was just right.

Howie, whose property in West Palm Beach is fine, lamented that the 41% who were interested in Irma either a) had homes in Florida, b) visited the state or c) knew people there. I fit two out of three categories — not a), I hasten to add.

I very much appreciate getting updates, so please feel free to comment. Thank you to my two readers who have sent in reports!

If this had been the worst case scenario, the US would have had an historic humanitarian disaster on its hands. As it is, there is still much clean up and restoration to be done.

I have heard and read that there is much criticism for the ‘lack of response’ in the Caribbean by the British and French governments in British territories and Saint Martin, respectively.

Amazingly, one of the lefty panellists on RMC (talk radio) yesterday said he was sick and tired of hearing about it. He said that the French government was doing what it could to help. This man blamed naive people visiting the island during hurricane season. He also said that French people who moved there have a responsibility to know how to deal with hurricanes. He was annoyed that people expected the government to do everything for them.

South central Florida

I have been reading Sundance’s updates on The Conservative Treehouse. He has lived in southwest Florida for many years and goes out to help with aid and rescue after hurricanes. The media are covering only the west coast cities and Keys. Less has been said about the east coast, which suffered worse damage, and central Florida, parts of which are also flooded.

Sundance said that Lake Okeechobee (the big ‘O’ lake visible in the southern end of the state) burst its banks and is flowing into the Peace River near Arcadia. This is part of his ground report:

En route to the coast we got a ham radio call, well, more of a desperate plea for help on U.S. 17 for a group of families stuck between Wachula and Arcadia. By the time we got there… yikes, desperate homeowners and families trying to salvage anything amid chest high water actually flowing on US 17.

We were able to get about 5 families and their pets, and a few belongings, relocated about 2 miles away and called for the United Way to get there and help. It was like something out of a farm movie. These people are suffering, and they didn’t have much to start with; and they are so thankful …

The center of Florida is rural, farming, working class, and also lots of poor people. The coasts are more well-off. I think all the attention is going to the coasts. The center of the state is of Florida is FUBAR. Truth. Really bad. Those fine God-loving people didn’t have much and now they have less.

As he wrote last week, getting any kind of fuel continues to be a major problem. He thinks he will probably be restricted to helping in local cleanups for now.

This is more of what he saw yesterday near the Peace River after rescuing the families:

By the time we got them to safety, we couldn’t get back to where we came from.  We had to drive 20 miles north; to head West toward I-75 near Bradenton; to head South. On the way across SR64 there were people stuck with the Peace River flowing down the streets and driveways.  We helped who we could amid widespread downed power lines; broken power poles snapped like twigs (East to West wind); and trees as thick as cars that were blown over (North to South wind).

It took us 4 hours to cut through the trees blocking the road just to clear enough roadway to get to I-75 (West coast).  There’s massive power outages all over; made worse by flooding, that, as far as I can tell, the radio news media seemed to be overlooking.

Cell phone service is poor to non-existent. Out of frustration our team split up to check on our own situations before we lost light …

I’m writing this from a phone hotspot, which is the only source of internet access (probably because cables are down all over) and using the fuel remaining in the generator. to power up the drained laptop. I haven’t seen a second of TV (and don’t care to) and have no idea what media is saying about storm. However, if radio talk is any indicator, these pontificating doofuses are stuck in their Vichy boxes not looking past the coastal metropolitan areas.

If the media are covering only certain Irma stories round the clock, it is no wonder Americans are tired of hearing about it. Why can’t these news channels come up with additional reporting, which, surely, they could get from other networks’ local affiliates?

What follows are more videos and images I did not have the space to post yesterday. I will also give an update on Irma’s aftermath as experienced in other southern states on Monday.

Current forecast

This was the forecast late on September 11:

Later:

The NHC Atlantic Ops attention is now on Jose’s path.

Here is a map of Florida to help with the updates below. By the way:

Orlando

Dangerous creatures are lurking, even inland:

Disney World and Universal Studios reopened on Tuesday.

East coast

In the north, Jacksonville was hit in a major way:

A Pizza Hut manager in the city is in trouble for telling employees they could not evacuate early:

“We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines,” the company said in a statement.

The company added that all stores in Irma’s path had been shuttered and wouldn’t reopen “until local authorities deem the area safe.”

These pictures were taken near St Augustine:

Going south, here’s Daytona Beach:

There was also flooding:

Going further south towards Palm Beach, here are the cities of Stuart:

And Fort Pierce:

Jupiter residents were advised to stay off the roads:

Moving south past Palm Beach, this was the scene in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, September 9 (another view of the tornado here):

On Sunday, Irma uprooted at least one tree:

Three huge construction cranes fell. The first two were in Miami and the third was in Fort Lauderdale. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Not far south from Fort Lauderdale lie Miami and Biscayne Bay.

This is what it was like on Saturday night:

The flooding from storm surge is unbelievable:

Biscayne Bay flooding:

The Keys

The Keys lie south of the Florida peninsula.

As was forecast, Irma ravaged large parts of this area, from Key Largo westward to Key West:

Residents who evacuated and want to return will have a long wait (another photo here):

Key Largo is now open. Another two opened on Tuesday:

This man says that he saw a lot of mobile homes tipped over:

Marco Island

Irma hit the mainland on Marco Island on Sunday, September 10:

How awful:

Animal rescues

Many animals were rescued during and after Irma:

South Carolina

Irma reached South Carolina as a tropical storm on Monday:

There were also tornado warnings.

North Carolina

As forecasted, Irma made it to the western part of North Carolina:

Georgia

Irma also went north from Florida into neighbouring Georgia:

Atlanta felt Irma’s wrath:

Uber suspended service Monday afternoon. Air transport posed a similar problem in tropical storm force winds.

There were also tornado warnings.

Alabama

Much of Alabama was cool on Monday. Irma brought heavy rain.

There were also strong winds in places:

There were 20,000 power outages.

Yet, other parts of the state near the Gulf were warm and sunny.

Mobile Bay had the phenomenon of its water being sucked out:

Anyone interested in tracking Irma’s final gasps can follow the NOAA satellite image which, as I write in the afternoon UK time, is showing the storm moving into Louisiana and Oklahoma and as far north as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Conus (Continental US) image from the National Weather Service is a great Doppler image worth checking out.

In other news, as Mexico is cleaning up and rescuing people after its earthquake, it will discontinue helping Texas post-Harvey:

And finally, September 11 is the anniversary of another severe hurricane — Iniki, which struck the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i in 1992.

Wow. What a time of acts of God, from Harvey to Mexico’s earthquake to Irma. We will remember 2017 for some time to come.

On July 7 and 8, 2017, Angela Merkel hosted the G20 conference in Hamburg.

I covered the riots and looting yesterday.

Today’s post looks at the conference itself — a first for Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron.

On Thursday, July 6, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump spent the day in Poland. Later that day, he tweeted:

That evening, the Trumps flew to Hamburg, where the US president had meetings before the conference started:

One wonders if he and Merkel discussed the climate change pact. Only days before — on June 30 — the German chancellor appeared to be backing down because of Trump’s rejection of American participation. Breitbart reported that, publicly, Merkel is taking a strong stance, but:

Behind the scenes, however, it would appear that Merkel’s negotiating teams have been bending over backwards to tone down the climate action plan and avoid an embarrassing rejection by Donald Trump.

This can be seen by comparing the two draft climate action plans for the summit, one from March and the revised one from May. According to Climate Change News, American negotiators have watered it down considerably.

As for the conference:

Elsewhere, Trump supporters expressed concern for his safety. Click on the images below for more detail. It is true that the Trumps stayed in a guest house of the German senate:

Day 1 of G20 unfolded.

Trump was ready:

He was the only leader who refused to wear the hideous G20 lapel pin and wore his American flag pin instead.

He received questions about the Democrats:

The group photo piqued people’s interest, and not just in the media. Emmanuel Macron weirded out, making a nuisance of himself to stand next to Donald Trump.

Technically, that was the correct place for him to stand. The newest G20 participants are placed at the edges of the photo. More long-serving world leaders are in the centre. However, perhaps Macron should have stayed in the back row. He not only left a gap but disturbed everyone in attempting to get down to the first row:

It did not go unnoticed:

The same thing happened later that day in the group photo before the concert that evening. Watch Merkel position Trump and Macron:

The Macrons sat next to the Trumps at the concert, too:

The Conservative Treehouse said:

*Note* There is a coordinated effort by global political leftists (control entities within multinationals and political constructs) to physically position Emmanuel Macron next to President Trump at every opportunity. This is a structurally coordinated effort to enlarge the presence of Macron as an oppositional entity to the looming and dominant presence (figurative and literal) of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump had a successful day.

He and Russian president Vladimir Putin put a ceasefire in Syria in place:

Trade Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said:

We had a very productive dinner last night — Secretary Tillerson, myself, General McMaster — with President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Abe and their teams, discussing the importance of what’s going on in North Korea and the issues there. And then today we’ve had, already, several other bilats, and tomorrow we have another six.

The President also participated in a very important session today on trade and an important session on the environment and the economy. So I would just generally say we’ve had very productive economic meetings. There’s been very substantive issues discussed. The North Korea issue has been discussed very significantly, about the escalation in North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, in part (same link, emphases mine):

President Trump and President Putin met this afternoon for 2 hours and 15 minutes here on the sidelines of the G20. The two leaders exchanged views on the current nature of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the future of the U.S.-Russia relationship.

They discussed important progress that was made in Syria, and I think all of you have seen some of the news that just broke regarding a de-escalation agreement and memorandum, which was agreed between the United States, Russia and Jordan, for an important area in southwest Syria that affects Jordan’s security, but also is a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.

This de-escalation area was agreed, it’s well-defined, agreements on who will secure this area. A ceasefire has been entered into. And I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria. And as a result of that, we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas and violence once we defeat ISIS, and to work together toward a political process that will secure the future of the Syrian people.

As a result, at the request of President Putin, the United States has appointed — and you’ve seen, I think, the announcement of Special Representative for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker. Ambassador Volker will draw on his decades of experience in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, both as a representative to NATO and also his time as a permanent political appointment.

The two leaders also acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats and interference in the democratic processes of the United States and other countries, and agreed to explore creating a framework around which the two countries can work together to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats, both in terms of how these tools are used to in interfere with the internal affairs of countries, but also how these tools are used to threaten infrastructure, how these tools are used from a terrorism standpoint as well.

Trump also held a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico:

President Trump emphasized the strong bilateral relationship that the United States enjoys with Mexico and noted the importance of renegotiating NAFTA to help workers in both countries. President Trump thanked President Peña Nieto for Mexico’s partnership on the Central America Conference last month. The leaders also discussed regional challenges, including drug trafficking, illegal migration, and the crisis in Venezuela.

After the day’s business concluded, the leaders and their spouses attended the aforementioned concert — then had dinner.

Mrs Trump was seated next to Mr Putin:

The Daily Mail has loads of photos and more on both the concert and the dinner.

Then it was time for some rest:

Trump was happy:

Tomorrow’s post discusses Day 2.

A few days ago, and by chance, I happened across a 2016 documentary called Hell Across The Border, by Walid Shoebat’s Rescue Christians organisation.

WARNING: The following is not for children, impressionable adults or those who have recently suffered trauma.

If you do not know who Walid Shoebat is, he was a radicalised Muslim until 1994. He has since become a Christian. Also:

As a member of the PLO I was involved in terror activity, and was imprisoned in Jerusalem for three weeks. In prison, I was recruited to plant a bomb in Bethlehem as a result of which, thank God, no one was injured. My mother was an American and my father a Palestinian Arab. My parents sent me in 1978 to the United States to study at Loop College in Chicago Illinois. There I was recruited at a hotel “Terror Conference” by Jamal Said, a founder of the IAP (Islamic Association of Palestine) and Imam at one of the largest mosques in Chicago. The IAP was a forerunner to today’s Hamas terror organization and also to the terror front group CAIR (Council for American Islamic relations). This was in the early 1980s when I was being trained for Jihad activities in the USA along with many other young foreigners as well as US citizens. The Imams were the prime recruiters for terrorism then as they are still today and terror conferences are held all over the USA to this day.

And:

Now that you have brief details of my background, I would like to offer my expert opinion, if you can call me an expert – but perhaps an experienced former terrorist would be more appropriate.

This brings us to Hell Across The Border, a documentary that is nearly three hours long. I was startled to learn of the barbarity that takes place in Mexico. Walid’s son Theodore interviewed participants at length.

At the end of April, I wrote a few posts about MS-13, the gang that developed from partiers from El Salvador who emigrated with their parents to Los Angeles in the 1970s to a fearsome, satanic international menace.

Shoebat’s documentary takes us further into the whys and wherefores of not only MS-13 but also Mexican drug cartels and their deep reach into Mexican society:

This is a very well made documentary. Any Christians who want to make factual films would do well to pick up on cinematography and sound mixes from this video, which is very professional. The people who put this together did a stellar job. It’s much better than any production shown on television or at the cinema.

The film intersperses many Catholic images of sanctity with gang-led bodily dismemberments. Starting around the 40-minute point, we hear various interviews from two Latino law enforcement officers in Los Angeles, an ex-gang member who served multiple prison sentences in California, a Catholic priest in Mexico and the Mexican spokesman for a citizen’s self-defence group.

The cinematography is stunning both in its brutality and its beauty. The viewer sees contrasting images of churches and statues with bloody beheadings. One hears Gregorian chants contrasted with folk songs. The second half of the documentary features monarch butterflies enjoying their freedom while self-defence troops patrol highways and farms south of the border of the United States.

For these reasons and more, the film is shocking. I had to take frequent breaks when watching it.

That said, I strongly recommend this to anyone who is ignorant of drug cartels, associated gangs and empathetic to drug use and revisionist ‘Mexican’ culture. I put ‘Mexican’ in quotes, because what is being put forth is not quite the truth, as the Latino law enforcement officers explain in the film.

A whole cult has developed around Mexican culture and the Aztecs. When I took Spanish classes at university a few decades ago, our history book did not glorify the Aztecs as martyrs. Events were presented objectively. They were no saints. Nor were the Spanish conquistadors.

However, over the past few decades or so, revisionist history has made the Aztecs out to be peaceful victims of the conquistadores.

The film demonstrates that each was as bad as the other. The Latinos in the film attest to that.

A summary of the documentary follows. Start at 40 minutes in for the subtitled dialogue.

The Aztecs had a female deity, Tonantzin, who was a Mother Earth goddess. One day in 1531, Mary — the mother of Christ — appeared as what has become known as Our Lady of Guadelupe to a man named Juan Diego.

Tonantzin had a special temple dedicated to her. Our Lady of Guadelupe made her appearance at the same place, on the hill of Tepeyac, not far from today’s Mexico City.

In recent years, Tonantzin has come to represent violence and evil in the form of Santa Muerte, Holy Death. Her veneration was a clandestine one initially. Some say it opened up in the 1940s. Others date it later, around 1965.

Whatever the date, the cult around Santa Muerte grew and grew. The law enforcement officers in the film, both of whom are devout Catholics, say that Santa Muerte is actually a satanic goddess who not only represents the opposite of Our Lady of Guadelupe but is also the closest to the Aztec Tonantzin.

The film shows statues of Santa Muerte. Most represent her as the Virgin Mary but with a skull instead of the saintly, pure face of Jesus’s mother.

In addition, various rituals have developed around Santa Muerte and satanism. The law enforcement officers and the ex-gang member said they had seen evidence of them not only with MS-13 but other gangs and cartels.

The ex-gang member recalled that he went to a house where he was to pick up some drugs. The men in the house told him to go to the garage. He did so and found a body on the floor surrounded by candles and satanic emblems.

One of the law enforcement officers said that a Catholic priest called him to report that the Eastertide Paschal candle from his church had been stolen. The law enforcement officer received a tip off, went to the designated address, and found the candle there. The residents nonchalantly told him he could take it back to the church. They had performed their ritual. The law enforcement officer said that there were cannabis joints all over the floor.

He also went to another gang member’s house where every room was painted black. There were pentagrams, upside-down crosses and other satanic emblems on the walls.

Some gang members wear pentagrams along with their tattooed affiliations. Pentagrams also circulate amongst gang members in prison.

Homosexuality is also rife among gang members. The ex-gang member related a story of young gang prisoners raping an older prisoner who was unable to fight them off. The ex-gang member took matters into his own hands and dealt with the young prisoners in a violent manner to end the brutality.

The two law enforcement officers said that the Latino pro-Aztec satanists oppose the Catholic faith, not that of the Protestants. That is because they oppose Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance to the Aztec in the 16th century — in holy opposition to their goddess.

This opposition manifests itself in several forms. Gang members desecrate and steal from Catholic churches. Gangs forbid their members from attending Mass and receiving the sacraments. Gangs also desecrate Catholic cemeteries. They have even exhumed bodies for satanic rituals.

A young law enforcement officer said that when cartels make an agreement with each other, a young woman has to be mutilated in order for the deal to be satanically blessed. This involves cutting her facial lips and genital labia. How horrible is that?

It is also common for gangs to drink the blood of those they have murdered, in an animalistic know-your-prey way.

All of this occurs in Mexico, other Latin American countries and, now, the United States.

One of the law enforcement officers cautioned against any religious sympathy for gang members from El Salvador with tattoos of their country’s name. He said that El Salvador was named for Christ — The Saviour — however, to gang members, El Salvador is merely a national identity, nothing more. These men — and their female accomplices — are not the good Catholics average Americans think they are.

The ex-gang member said that he and his fellow members are not allowed to read the Bible or to attend church services. He said that one of his fellow prison inmates had a satanic bible. The ex-gang member himself prayed to Satan at one point, asking him for a better life. He said he felt bad having done such a thing and admitting to it on film.

He said that he converted to Christianity when he finally realised that Satan would not bring him a better life. He started thinking about the Ten Commandments and how Satan’s commandments are the complete opposite for each of them.

One of the law enforcement officers said that, with the revisionist thinking about the Aztecs — heavily promoted in schools and Mexican culture, including in the US — it is not unusual to find strange murders. He cited a murder of a nun by a priest. He said the priest was a satanist. Unfortunately, he explained, it is not unusual to find Mexican or Mexican-American satanists in the Church as well as in the legal and medical professions.

He explained that priests in Mexico sometimes have to go into hiding.

Monstrance stisidore-yubacityorgPriests who can circulate freely must be careful how and when they display certain items, such as a monstrance, which is particularly valued in gangland satanic rituals.

Prison chaplains, even in some American prisons, must also be careful about distribution of Holy Communion. Gang members steal the hosts for desecration rituals.

Those people following the revisionism on Aztec culture adhere to an Aztec calendar with all the Aztec pagan feasts and rituals. These are not folk feasts or rituals, even if they are portrayed as such. They are bloody. The film shows animal and human sacrifices. This is not unlike voodoo. The law enforcement agent said that certain aspects of Santería and Macumba have been incorporated into modern Aztec ritual sacrifices.

For these reasons, the law enforcement official said he was sorry to see Mexican-American students recruited to join MEChA — Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán — which, he said, promotes Aztec revisionism. The ex-gang member deplored it, too, saying that he has the impression that MEChA’s attitude is:

If you’re not brown, you’re not down.

The law enforcement officer said that Mexican governments have historically wanted to destroy the Catholic Church, even though 98% of Mexicans consider themselves Catholic. He said that most of the Mexican presidents have been Freemasons who despise the Church. He mentioned Plutarco Elías Calles‘s anti-religious Calles Law, which was in force between 1926 and 1938. Incidentally, the Calles Law brought about the Cristero War, a peasant uprising against the government that lasted for three years (1926-1929). The Calles Law was, sadly, successful in bringing down the number of priests in Mexico from 4,500 in 1926 to 334 by 1934.

The middle of the film had a brief interview with a Catholic priest in Mexico who said he had to be very careful about his daily activities. He said he knew of fellow priests who had gone into hiding or who were killed by gangs.

The second half of the film focusses on the Autodefensas, armed civilian self-defence teams that protect farmers, farm workers and their families from gang violence.

Jose Vazquez Valencia, the current spokesman for the Autodefensas, explained how they originated to fight off the Knights Templar Cartel in Michoacán, the centre of avocado and lime growing in Mexico. In one battle, they were able to kill 60 Templars.

The Knights Templar, Vazquez said, extort millions of dollars from landowning farmers there each year. If a farmer cannot afford to pay — sometimes $1m per annum — the Knights Templar abduct women, especially girls, from the family home. Sometimes they kill whole families, from babies up through grandparents. In one instance, they murdered then buried one family in a pit along with three of their farmhands: 18 people.

In another video, Vazquez tells the horrific story of the village that somehow got on the wrong side of another criminal group, the Guerreros Unidos. Members abducted a 14-year old boy, cut his heart out and brought it to the village square, where everyone had to turn up to watch a satanic ritual with the heart. Guerreros Unidos then forced the villagers to leave their homes — for good. Otherwise, the gang threatened to decapitate the local women! Skip the first few minutes of the video. Vazquez appears at 3:36:

Returning to the film, this is how the vigilante groups — the Autodefensas — came to exist.

José Manuel Mireles Valverde, a physician from Michoacán, is considered to be the Autodefensas founder. He was their initial spokesman. In 2014, he was arrested and jailed for allegedly violating Mexico’s federal firearm and explosives law. Although the attorney general dropped charges against him last year, Mireles remains in jail.

Jose Vazquez Valencia, the current spokesman for the Autodefensas, says that some of these vigilante groups vary by state. In the state of Michoacán, they work well. However, in other Mexican states, they have been compromised either by the government or the cartels.

He also said that the relationship between state governments and the cartels varies. In some cases, the government controls the cartels. In other states, the cartels control the government.

The activities of the Guerreros Unidos illustrate this well:

The capture of an alleged Guerreros Unidos financial chief in October 2014, for example, revealed that the group allegedly spent close to $45,000 a month to pay off local police in the municipality of Iguala alone. These local ties could make it more difficult for Mexican authorities to target the group.

I would like to call your attention to three articles that Walid Shoebat wrote about this unbelievably horrific development in Mexico. Although those interviewed in the film say that these gangs are anti-Christian, Shoebat says that there is a syncretism involved, some of which comes from fringe American preachers. He has evidence that there are pseudo-Catholic and pseudo-Protestant crime organisations.

In November 2015, no doubt while his son Theo was busy interviewing the men who participated in the film, Walid said that the Templars are a pseudo-Protestant cartel. People must not be deceived by the Christian window dressing of any of these criminal syndicates. Read ‘BOMBSHELL: There Are Massacres Of Christians Happening Right Now That Is Worse Than What ISIS Is Doing And Is Carried Out By Psuedo-Christian Cults’ in its entirety. These death cults are now in the United States. The FBI is warning people not to get drawn in by something that purports to be religious but is, in fact, satanic ritual.

In April 2016, Theodore Shoebat wrote about the type of people entering the United States via Mexico. Although the title mentions Muslims, the article discusses the ease the cartels have in crossing the border (emphases mine):

The nations of the West have been quite weak with their borders in so many disturbing ways. The US, for example, makes it difficult for good people to enter the borders, but easy for evil people to get through the borders. We have Mexican cartel agents entering with ease into the US, but [as for] good Mexicans who want to flee from the oppressions of the cartels, it is very difficult for them to enter legally.

This is hardly the way crossing the border was portrayed in a 2017 Super Bowl advert with the young mother and child. Of course, they were met with a wall. I have other evidence — the subject of a future post — which says that cartels control every border crossing. No one gets through without their approval.

Theodore’s article also discusses the aforementioned Guerreros Unidos, who, the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) says are among the primary drug distributors in the Midwest — especially in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.

The final article, from May 2016, introduces the film. In ‘Actual Human Slaughterhouses Are Being Conducted Where Masses Of Human Beings Are Being Ritually Slaughtered’ Walid Shoebat says that at least 250,000 Mexicans have died in these murders:

And if we include all the unreported sacrifices, the death-toll probably doubles. Mexicans and the Pope can forget blaming Trump and start blaming themselves for allowing the leaven to slowly fester into their Christian culture.

Also:

Cults can occupy entire states. And we are not speaking of a primitive people here, but a decay to primitive paganism, the Mesoamerican paganism, that was continually pushed for decades at university campuses.

Walid concludes:

To the Vatican that blames Donald Trump, we say, behold, the fruits of your slumber. The Pope’s visit to Mexico withheld the truth on the ground and was nothing but photo ops with complete silence.

To the American addict, behold, the fruits of your addictions.

To all the Mexicans who thought that a ‘peace deal’ can be struck with drug pushers, preferring Santa Muerte over our Lady of Guadalupe; narcocorridos songs over the classical, sublime and rustic Son Jarocho behold, the blood which is on your hands.

To a world that thinks it is simply a “drug problem”, behold, the fruits of your myth, busted at the seam. The problem is your godlessness.

Please join me in praying that people turn to Christ so that this horrific, bloody ritualism stops. And please tell youngsters in your care that drugs harm the mind and the soul. If the West hadn’t such an appetite for drugs, Mexico and the US wouldn’t be in this predicament.

At the weekend, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids occurred in several American cities.

This generated much hand-wringing in the United States.

However, as we know, President Donald Trump is a man of his word:

Combined with this are concerns about his long-term plans for a wall dividing the US and Mexico.

The most high-profile deportation involved Guadalupe García, 36, who had lived illegally in the United States for 22 years and is a mother of two. García is a convicted felon. She was arrested in 2009 for having a false Social Security card and was then convicted of identity theft, which is a felony. García was allowed to live freely, provided that she checked in with ICE agents in Phoenix every six months. When she went to see them last week, she was detained and deported to Mexico.

However, Americans who are worried for García and other illegal immigrants from south of the border should be comforted in knowing that those who might be rounded up for deportation will fight for their notional rights. In reality, they are fighting for a privilege which has not been given them.

On February 12, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that 49 out of 50 illegal aliens at a meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, would prefer to be detained in the United States than return to Mexico:

All but one of about 50 undocumented Mexican migrants at a meeting Saturday indicated they would rather risk detention and long court battles in the U.S. than return to Mexico voluntarily.

The majority of migrants at the meeting in Phoenix, which included Mexican officials, signaled in a show of hands that they were ready to fight deportation in U.S. courts.

“Even if that means detention for weeks?” asked former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda.

“Even if it takes months,” shouted one woman. “Even if it takes years,” another yelled. “We are here to fight.”

The WSJ says that Castaneda hopes this will be the case, because:

the legal system would break down, bringing deportations to a halt.

The article says that Mexican legislators present at the Phoenix meeting were seeking ways to stop co-operation with the US, whether commercially or with regard to law enforcement. However:

not all legislators were on board with those calling for a tough negotiating posture. “If we bet on confrontation without first trying to convince, then we are making a big mistake,” said Gabriela Cuevas Barron, from the opposition conservative National Action Party, who heads the Mexican Senate’s foreign relations committee. 

About 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S., she said. “We should negotiate more forcefully, but we don’t have a blank check,” she said.

Interestingly, some illegal aliens at the gathering urged Mexico to provide more job opportunities and they would return (emphases mine):

they said they were forced to leave because its widespread corruption, violence and terrible education system killed economic opportunity.

“In Mexico, we don’t have any opportunity, we don’t have any education, and you can’t get a job unless you have connections,” said Maria, a woman who wouldn’t give her last name. “Here my son graduated from university. If I lived in Mexico, I would be selling chewing gum in the street.”

It’s amazing that poor Mexicans still have to sell gum on the streets. I saw it non-stop — even into the early hours of the morning — in Acapulco in 1979. There were small children out in the streets with boxes of Chiclets. I used to pay for a whole box every day just to get a few of them them to go home. They all agreed but said:

That’s not how it works. You’re only supposed to buy a small box!

It blew my mind, I can tell you. But I digress.

Back on topic, one has to wonder about the legality of Mexicans holding an anti-US meeting with their own government officials on American soil. Americans are very forgiving people.

The readers’ comments following the WSJ article ask many good questions. One, why would an illegal alien be able to obtain due process of law when they are not legally resident in the US? Two, who paid for Maria’s son’s education: the taxpayer? Three, why should illegal aliens expect state money, e.g. legal defence, when Americans are trying to keep their own heads above water?

Where they go

The WSJ has a helpful table showing where 11.1 million illegal immigrants settle.

In first place is New York City and northern New Jersey with 1.1m, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim with 1m. After that, it’s Houston with 575,000, Dallas/Fort Worth with 475,000, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach with 450,000, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin with 425,000 and Washington, DC/Arlington/Alexandria with 400,000.

Other population centres follow, with significantly fewer illegals.

Mexican immigration law

Don’t think that Mexico has a similarly lax application of immigration law.

A Washington Times article from 2010 discussed the Mexican opprobrium to a law that Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer (R) signed, which allows state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants.

The article states that, ten years earlier — 2000 — Mexico enacted the Reglamento de la Ley General de Poblacion — the General Law on Population. These are its provisions:

Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals.

The law also says Mexico can deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” violate Mexican law, are not “physically or mentally healthy” or lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.

It is fine — and correct — for Mexicans to restrict entry. However, it should be the same for the United States, which still has applicable laws on its books.

Those laws just haven’t been enforced for many years. Why were there amnesties by presidents Reagan and Bush II? Because the people entering illegally were in violation of the law. See US Title 8 Code 1325. Illegal entry has been — and continues to be — an imprisonable offence.

Despite such a federal law, then-president Felipe Calderon called the Arizona law:

“racial discrimination” … and vowed to use all means at his disposal to defend Mexican nationals against a law he called a “violation of human rights.”

Wow.

Fast track from countries south of Mexico to the US

In 2014, Dr Jerome Corsi, an investigative journalist and author, wrote an article for WND called, ‘Mexico, Guatemala Fast-Track Delivery of Illegals to US’.

It concerns Mexico’s Regional Visitor Card, which allows people — including unaccompanied minors — from other Central American countries to pass through Mexico legally for a limited amount of time so they can reach the US border.

When this policy was introduced, Greece’s — yes, Greece’s — former prime minister George Papandreou lectured the United States on its responsibility to take in these illegal aliens. Corsi tells us:

Papandreou encouraged the United States to extend the legal right to Central American immigrants to stay in the U.S., housing them in temporary shelters where they can receive secure and humane treatment while the United States creates for them a pathway to citizenship, as well as providing the right to seek employment and the opportunity to be reunited in the United States with their families.

In fact:

The flood of illegal alien immigrants from Central America, especially children, has spiked in recent months, with tens of thousands flooding into the United States. The U.S. government already is transporting them to multiple other locations to house them.

A wall along Mexico’s southern border

Apparently, that did not work out too well, because two years later, in September 2016, the Daily Mail reported that Mexicans want a wall built along their country’s southern border. The influx and criminality of incomers from other Central American countries is too great:

while Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has mocked Trump’s plans, many Mexicans praised the concept of a border wall.

‘Trump’s idea of a border wall is a good one but it should be on the southern border with Central America in order to stop the flow of Central Americans from entering both countries,’ the El Mañana board wrote in July.

The paper also called for proper immigration checkpoints on the southern border.

El Mañana even criticized Hillary Clinton for failing to raise the issue of border security.

The newspaper says that many illegal immigrants turn to crime as shelters can often only provide a few days of food and bedding.

‘Many of these migrants when they are unable to find an honest way of life turn to robberies, kidnappings, extortion, and in the worst cases join the ranks of organized crime,’ El Mañana’s piece claimed.

It seems, however, that it’s okay for illegal aliens to enter into the United States and put Americans at risk.

The Gateway Pundit covered the same news with the title, ‘What Hypocrisy? Mexico Announces Plans for GREAT WALL on Southern Border with Central America’.

Mexico wants as few poor people as possible

Poor people are a drain, don’t you know?

So, Mexico reasons, let’s get our poor — and anyone transiting through — to the US. Let them take care of the poor.

Ironically — once in the US — Mexico’s poor are assets to their home country.

The Mexican government knows that.

The aforementioned WSJ article states:

Mexico’s government hasn’t endorsed the strategy, but President Enrique Peña Nieto recently budgeted about $50 million to the country’s 50 consulates to help pay the costs of defending migrants who are in the U.S. illegally and facing deportation.

There’s a reason for that.

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) has an excellent rundown of Peña Nieto’s reasoning:

the dependency on the Mexican economy created by $25 billion in remittances sent home from Mexican nationals illegally living/working in the U.S. …

the hidden scale, and almost unquantifiable scope, of the exfiltration of U.S. dollars -legal and illegal- into Mexico.

American taxpayers as voters have no idea of the scale for how much money flows out of the U.S. into Mexico.  The reason no-one knows about it, and the reason economists cannot discuss it, is because the answer reveals a politically inconvenient discussion.

If accurate quantification was ever given sunlight, Americans, or more accurately tax-paying Americans‘ would be able to see how much the United States actually subsidizes the nation of Mexico, and how much we’ve been ripped off.

Anyone unprepared for what follows should take a seat now and swallow any drink:

While the actual valuation of the outflow of dollars into Mexico is unknown, there are indicators it could be greater than our current economic trade deficit with China, $500+ billion.

Only a few indicators have ever reached visibilityOne such indicator being the outbound U.S. Western Union wire transfers, remittances, which now exceed the entire Mexican Energy Sector (oil and gas) combined.

An honest evaluation of all possible currency transfer streams puts the outflow well over several hundred billion per year. Well over.

CTH explains that Mexico is experiencing a lot of domestic turmoil right now: a depreciating peso, increased inflation and petrol prices that are higher in relative terms that America’s.

Fox News reports that this has led to looting and unrest in the capital:

Sometimes-violent protests and looting over gasoline price hikes in Mexico are continuing and officials say that so far they’ve left one policeman dead and five injured, 300 stores looted and over 600 people arrested.

The country’s business chambers says the combination of highway, port and terminal blockades and looting have forced many stores and businesses to close and threaten supplies of basic goods and fuel.

Trump’s wall

CTH tells us that the Mexican government is angry about Trump’s proposed wall.

But:

…. Do you still think that Mexico has leverage in the conversation about the Southern Border Security Wall.  Any leverage at all…?

The aforementioned Jorge Castaneda — a former foreign minister — told CNN that, if Trump pursues his plans, Mexico will unleash drug cartels on the US. Hasn’t it done that already? In any case, how can a former foreign minister speak for the current government?

Furthermore, Castaneda:

openly admits Mexico could stop the border crossings if it wanted to, but instead chooses to use immigration as a weapon against the United States.

At least it’s out in the open.

Conclusion

There is much more to come in this political and human drama.

None of this comes as news to Donald Trump. No doubt, this was one of the many reasons he ran for president.

However, expect this conflict to have many subplots. Stunning surprises will unfold this year. Stay tuned.

Erik Vance is an American scientific journalist who writes about sustainable markets for fish and seafood.

His assignments occasionally take him to northern Mexico, along the drug supply route to California.

Vance wrote for Slate about his encounter with Mexican fishermen who have no choice but to help drug cartels. The article is called ‘Cocaine Is Evil’, and he compared cocaine purchase to ‘donating to the Nazi Party’.

The hundreds of comments in response reveal that cocaine users were none too happy with the comparison. As is the fashion today, they clamoured for legalisation. I wonder. Too few dissenting voices pointed out that cocaine is equally illegal in Mexico. Also, one American who lives in a state where marijuana is legal said that everyone he knows still goes to their dealers — because the product is cheaper (no tax)!

Anyway, what Vance discovered in and around Sonora, Mexico, horrified him (emphases mine):

I remember one interview in particular in which a fisherman told us about his relative who occasionally ran drugs for the cartels in between seasons. In this area, it’s not blood in, blood out. Cartels have porous edges, where people drop in when they need the money and get out as fast as possible. And we are not talking about characters from Breaking Bad here—these are poor fishermen with no other choice. And mostly they hate it.

Fishermen are great mules because they know the waters and they don’t draw attention. And if you have to chuck your haul overboard to avoid the military, other fishermen can dive to retrieve it.

Vance says the fisherman said that his relative had a long, possibly stormy, journey to his destination. Once he arrived:

and he met the men who would take the cargo across the border, they put a bullet in his head and tossed him overboard to feed the fish he should have been catching. It’s cheaper to kill the mule than to pay him.

That story made Vance think about his upper middle class friends who think nothing of doing a line of coke or, when on the end of a credit card or house key, a pile of it, which is called a ‘bump’:

It’s a marvel of the English language that something so horrible, so corrosive can have such a cute little name. I wonder what that fisherman would have said to that innocuous little word. “Glad I could help brighten the party,” maybe?

Not that the fisherman here are wholly innocent—many of them do meth and coke to stay awake on the water, and some have become addicted. But we all know who drives the drug trade. It’s us. At our hip little parties, our New Year’s Eve celebrations, our secret back rooms, and on the counters of people from well-off families who are destined for rehab.

He cites the number of drug-related deaths linked to coke:

Around 60,000 were executed as witches during 150 years at the height of the Spanish Inquisition. Mexico alone has seen perhaps twice that many deaths during its seven-year drug war. From 1990 to 2010, Colombia had some 450,000 homicides, overwhelmingly due to coke. Add all the rest of Latin America (counting all the military actions that were driven by efforts to control trafficking routes as much as by politics), the U.S. share (15,000 per year on the high side, counting all kinds of drugs and overdoses and such). Now add an estimate of all the uncounted murders and overdoses and track that carnage back to the 1960s when the modern drug war began. The number starts to be in the league of the atrocities of Nazi Germany or American slavery.  

He adds:

the magnitude and gruesomeness of the atrocities committed to acquire and maintain drug trade routes to the United States actually are comparable. Decapitations and burning people alive are just the start. Chainsaws, belt sanders, acid—these things are used very creatively by cartel torturers. They disembowel bloggers and sew faces to soccer balls. Children are forced to work as assassins, people are forced to rape strangers at gunpoint, and lines of victims are killed one at a time with a single hammer. Many of those people disappear into unmarked graves. If their bodies are ever found, they are described in the media with antiseptic words like “mutilated.”

He concludes:

So yes, I say that paying for coke is equivalent to donating to the Nazi party. The unspoken thing here is that the reason Americans aren’t more outraged or guilt-ridden is that the people dying are poor brown people—many of them in a tragic irony are classified as narcos so governments can claim it’s just gang-on-gang violence.    

So perhaps you can see why I sometimes feel a little silly covering the ocean fisheries crisis, telling people what’s not sustainable and why. It’s true, consumer choices are behind the ocean crisis. But you can eat sustainably every day of your life and give to charity every year, and it all gets wiped out with one line of coke ...

There’s no such thing as cruelty-free cocaine

Parents, pastors and youth leaders could help by discussing this hideous reality at home and in church groups for mature students.

I remember my adolescence and university days. Most of my friends and I discreetly experimented with illegal drugs coming from Latin America, some more than others. Today’s students are no different and, with all the calls for legalisation or decriminalisation, perhaps more inclined to do so.

I don’t know what the smuggling situation was 30-some years ago, but this is what today’s is like. Some might call this subjective morality, but if I’d heard this story and read this article (complete with a gruesome photo), it would have stayed in my mind: thanks, but no.

Have you ever had one of those days where you read three different things in quick succession which are so startling and disparate?

This is what I read last Thursday, just casually surfing.  Emphases in main text mine throughout.

Item 1 – ‘8 Most Terrifying Cases of ‘Food Rage’ (Yahoo! Lifestyle UK)

This shocked me to the core, especially the video that accompanies No. 6 below.  What is wrong with people?  Is it psychotropic medication, food additives or just plain lack of control that causes the following incidents?

1) Cupcake rage in Cardiff

Police are examining CCTV footage to trace a woman who physically assaulted a shop owner after they ran out of her favourite cupcake. According to reports, the owner of Sugarswirlz in Cardiff told the woman the Sweet Tooth cake, costing £2.20 each, had sold out. Owner Sally Dodd then said the woman went “ballistic”, throwing herself on the floor, smashing glass cabinets and pulling the shop owner’s hair. She left the shop, causing around £400 worth of damage. Sally explained “she didn’t even wait for us to tell her that if she waited we could bake some fresh cupcakes for her”

4) Customer tasers restaurant staff over mustard and mayonnaise

In 2010, staff at a Wendy’s restaurant in Florida got a shock of a different kind when they encountered an angry customer, who reportedly objected to the amount of mustard and mayonnaise she received with her order. Twenty-year-old Melanese (?!!) Reid allegedly chased staff around the kitchen with a taser gun and fled with her companion when staff threatened to call police. The women were later pulled over by police, who found a pink taser in their possession. According to reports, Melanese claimed she had acted in self-defence

6) Woman at US McDonald’s trashes restaurant because of an “inferior burger” – complaining AFTER she ate it


CCTV footage from a McDonald’s restaurant in Kansas City shows a woman who reacted badly when she complained about an “inferior” burger – after she had eaten it. Video footage shows the woman throwing a bucket of water at staff, along with a “wet floor” sign and various other items. Even the cash registers weren’t spared.

7) UK businesswoman attacks fellow customer over “who was more hungry” in Exeter

In 2011 Linda Aggett admitted getting aggressive in a McDonald’s restaurant in Exeter. Eyewitnesses said a dispute arose with another customer and “words were exchanged about who was more hungry”. Aggett then attacked the other customer, reportedly grabbing her face and scratching her. The incident was captured on CCTV. Aggett, a successful local businesswoman, later revealed that she had been to a funeral the day before, accounting for her emotional state

This reminds me of a saying I occasionally run across: ‘The world would be a much better place if more people stayed at home’.

If these folks had read the Bible when they were youngsters, they wouldn’t be in this state.  Learning how to cook their own meals would also help!

Item 2 – ‘A Working Life’ (Children of the Andes (COTA) charity)

Clarisa’s situation is a complete contrast to the fast-food rage above.  Now a young woman, she started work as a small child to help put food and money on the table.  Here is part of her moving life story:

Clarisa can’t remember when she started working, she was so young. Every day she would get up at 5am to start the long walk to the market place, and spend the day carrying heavy boxes of fruit. It didn’t seem strange to her that she didn’t have any friends of her own age, she’d never known any different.

Then, at the age of 11, Clarisa joined a street school set up by COTA partner ACJ [part of the YMCA in Cali] in the corner of the market place. Thanks to ACJ’s support, she has now completed primary and secondary education and is looking forward to a career in tourism

There are an estimated 2.5 million Colombian children like Clarisa who work. These children often work long hours in dangerous conditions, denied their right to play or to go to school. Deprived of a childhood and an education, they face an adult life of unskilled work and poverty.

Page 2 has more on Clarisa and her mother, initially uneasy with her daughter’s schooling:

After a while, one of the teachers asked if I would like to go along to the ACJ Children’s Centre. At first my mum wasn’t happy, she said I needed to work, but somehow the teacher convinced her and now my mum is glad I went

Eventually I went on to secondary school and graduated with honours! … Now I’m 21 and studying for a Diploma in Tourism, which I’ve almost finished. Soon I’ll be starting work experience at a hotel.

Through all of this, I’ve realised that there are opportunities in life and that it’s up to you to seize them. Sometimes things are tough, but you just have to keep going. Without the teachers from ACJ – who challenged, pushed and inspired me – I’d probably still be back in the market-place.

Wow — what a pleasant change to read about a young person who really wanted to study and improve herself.  In the West, she would have been made to feel a victim of society.  She might even have gone on to trash a fast-food restaurant.  It just goes to show the importance of a decent education, dedicated teachers — and self-discipline!

Item 3: The World’s Billionaires (Forbes.com and Journal du Net)

This piece is a world away from child labourers and fast-food rage.  I read these three articles in order within the space of an hour and when I finished reading this, my head was well and truly spinning.  I guess everything is relative.  There seems to be more in common between Clarisa and these billionaires than the fast-food ragers, even though they are in a similar social class.

I did find it easier navigating the Journal du Net pages.  In case you didn’t know, Bill Gates has been knocked out of first place for the second year running.  Highlights from a truly global grouping of 1,210 billionaires:

1/ Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico) – $74bn.  Slim’s Telmex has 90% of the Mexican telephone market.

2/ Bill Gates (US) – $56bn.

3/ Warren Buffett (US) – $50 bn.

4/ Bernard Arnault (France) – $41bn. Although an industrialist from the start of his career, he formed LVMH (Louis Vuitton – Moët-Hennessy) in 1987 and the rest is history.

6/ Lakshmi Mittal (India) -$31.1 bn. Heads Mittal Steel Company, which acquired the European company Arcelor in 2006. The entity is called ArcelorMittal and is the number one steel producer in the world.

7/ Amancio Ortega (Spain) – $31bn.  Owns the Zara ready-to-wear chain, well-known throughout Europe.

8/ Eike Batista (Brazil) – $30 bn. Fortune in mining and utilities companies.

11/ Li Ka-Shing (Hong Kong) – $26bn. Heads two conglomerates, Cheung Kong et Hutchison Whampoa, which encompass diverse sectors from maritime freight to perfumes.

12/ Karl Albrecht (Germany) – $25.5bn. Founder of Aldi (Albrecht Discount) grocery chain.

13/ Stefan Persson (Sweden) – $24.5.  Heir to and head of his father’s ready-to-wear chain Hennes (‘for her’ in Swedish).

14/ Vladimir Lissine (Russia) – $24bn. Owns 85% of Novolipetsk, the main steel company in Russia.

17/ David Thomson (Canada) – $23bn. Head of ThomsonReuters; his grandfather founded  media giant Thomson Corp.

20/ Jim Walton (US) – $21.3bn.  His fortune comes from the family’s Wal-Mart stores; he is also president of Arvest Bank.

Highs and lows — what the world is about, it seems.  Education and hard work are the keys to success.  We can do our children a big favour by starting them off with the Book of Proverbs, which lists life’s truths in an easily understandable way.

The fear of the Lord [is] the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

The Daily Mail recently featured a story on a woman in Mexico who acted as a surrogate mother for her gay son.

The comment in the title is the reaction from Miss Shirley in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire:

what a state of affairs our world is dont anyone do the family thing anymore

 

The Mail reports: 

 

The 50-year-old woman gave birth to her own grandson after conceiving by in vitro fertilisation with the help of doctors in Mexico City.

She said her  son – a 31-year-old single businessman named only as Jorge – was pining for a baby so she offered him the use of her womb.

A friend donated an ovum and Jorge’s sperm was used to fertilise it in a laboratory before it was transplanted inside the mother, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The baby, called Dario, was born by caesarean section on November 1 and the mother and child were sent home after a 48-hour period of observation. Doctors said there were no complications.

Prayers for this family — especially the child.  Words fail me.

And how does the grandmother — the surrogate mother — feel?

‘I don’t feel like a mother nor like a grandmother,’ the woman told Reforma, a Mexico City newspaper.

‘When they say “mother” to me I feel strange, and when they say “grandmother” also,’ she said.

‘I mean, he was my first grandson, and I don’t feel that way because at the same time he is my fourth son.’

The happy family have

fully documented the circumstances of the birth so that the child will one day be able to learn of his origins.

 

I feel for this child, I really do.

 

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