A BRIDGE TO MEXICO THAT'S NOT AN EARMARK
And it's free.
"If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you." No, not my bridge; a good idea which I'll explain shortly; but this bad joke of a bridge that never got built in Alaska, the "bridge to nowhere." The politicians tried to "sell" it, but couldn't, so they cancelled it and kept the money in Alaska anyway. Now, that's an earmark for the ages. And there's a Lincoln Highway in Illinois, a bunch of "R.Byrd" highways in W. Virginia, that were built, and who knows what else.
But if you really want to set the bar low, let me tell you about wicked politicians in Mexico. They direct their fair share of money to their districts too, but the real destination of the people's money; is shamelessly in their crooked pockets. And you better look the other way, or else! Run against one as a reform candidate and your dead.
Mexico is on my mind because I just returned from yet another utterly confounding trip there, very far from the tourist stops. So far away in fact they never see an outsider with prying eyes. Correct that; rarely lay eyes on; because they do see me frequently, now that our "adopted" friend returned home after five years with us. Boy is he ever sorry he went back.
If I told you their economy is like an unserviced oil burner, choked down at 20% efficiency, you'd think, gee, give it a good cleaning and we might to be able to make real progress on the illegal immigration problem here in the United States, if we had a common sense plan to pressure Mexico into raising its living standard from bare subsistence levels Why can't they?.
Can our partisan politicians, fiddling with theirs, improve anything? No, there out of touch.
This is what I would do to build a bridge of commerce and prosperity between two countries with 1500 miles of border, if I was the President of the United States, instead of some long shot, fairytale attempting a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." www.steinforcongress.com
. I'd try tough love. We hold all the cards (amnesty), let's use them against Mexico. Leverage? Heavens! John McCain had a position favoring amnesty last year? Yes he did. Obama favors a path to amnesty. Does either ask what Mexico's putting up? No, it's politically incorrect. Maybe I can get them talking about it again, because I may have some chops in the Hispanic community. I don't? And what if they or the hard line opponents of amnesty misinterpret good intentions and get angry with me? Well, I could throw up my hands too and surrender to the p.c. storm troopers.
1. Finish the fence. McCain's new position, and mine too. Finish the fence before we think about any of my "bridges." There's no logical reason not to. My consistent position.
2. No amnesty yet, for illegals.
3. I'm for issuing drivers licenses, and mandatory insurance. Bang, I'm dead.
4. I'd be for eliminating the guarantee of citizenship to newborns of illegals: in the future, part of a reform package. That's red meat for hard liners to get on board the amnesty train. Now I'm alive.
5. I'm for withholding foreign aid, like the one and half billion dollars we give Mexico to fight the drug cartels, called the Marida Initiative. More red meat. Now I'm a hero.
6. Amnesty and path to citizenship for illegals (of course now I'm DOA again) if and when Mexico . Steps up to the plate.
Unprecedented- Why would we ever think of asking for something in return?
Mexico should reverse direction and clean up small town corruption, and forget headline grabbing campaigns by corrupt law enforcement, half serious about trying to break the drug cartels. For now. Things are not going so well, to put it kindly. Why is it better to attack corruption from the bottom up? Because the two bit corrupt mayor in little town Mexico doesn't have as many pistolerros as the rich, sophisticated, and heavily armed cartels. It's safer. Want a precedent? Tricky but, what about our total concentration in Iraq on Al Queda up to recent, leaving no manpower to build bridges with Iraqi Sunni Arabs, who were half our problem. The Shiite are falling in line too and kicking out their previous ally; Al Queda. No? Let's debate.
Pressure we can bring to bear on Mexico (if we start a Stein for congress bandwagon we'll send a message), next page over.
Messy backdrop- Mexico's towns are filthy with litter, a tell tale sign to me of corruption, and it's the perfect metaphor for everything wrong down there. It's a fact. It doesn't reflect badly on the local's who are personally very clean. It's the fault of the despicable mayors (presidentes) who are almost always corrupt and pocket the money from Mexico City. Services? No money left. They won't provide for one, not one public trash can. What about household pickup? That gets into the farcical, if you can picture an outdated, farm truck, and the driver ringing a cowbell. If you're lucky and you're home, run the garbage outside, because there's no curbside p.u. That's just flagrant inefficiency, on top of corruption! Who's telling you these things? www.steinforcongress.com
Talk about a banana republic. If there's any money left, why must the mayor construct another statue with 2nd rate landscaping in the central square? Corruption, yet he can't even do that right. Competitive bidding? Oh sure! I'm speaking out, winning votes!
Is there an honest, reform candidate anywhere? Yes there are, and often they wind up dead. Ask me about it. It's not quite assassination, cartel style; yet it's more insidious. Word travels fast. Go bang your head against the wall, but these small town murders, 1000 miles from the drug wars on the border, could be investigated, and prosecuted by a child. Do I want to go back?
This Shangri-La, Garden of Eden, known as Mexico, is all garbaged up, literally and figuratively, run off the road, and spinning its wheels.
How do Americans survive wild fires, blizzards, and droughts; like I saw happening from Mexico, but still offer aid anywhere in the world? We're not corrupt (grow up lefties and right wing loons, I know we're not perfect) - to a fault- try decommissioning surplus government anything.
Amnesty? (Not so fast, I was almost back from the dead on my feet again) The Mexican government wants it, 10 million here want it, and the millions of relatives back in Mexico want it. It's not just about remittances. It's a grandchild who can't visit a grandparent. (Bleeding heart? read the piece and shut up)
My Solution. Call it naïve. I do get defensive because I'm small potatoes, but our politicians can't even agree on oil drilling? Right? The top of one ticket, qualifies inflating your tires properly as an idea!
My excellent idea.
Negotiate amnesty with Mexico but get something in return. A good starting point? Let's "persuade" the mayors (presidentes) of these dirty, littered towns, to visit here, and visa versa. Juvenile? But simple. Shame these mayors by getting them over here, (temporarily of course), to see well run towns. They'll also see every town is not Beverly Hills 90210. Give my idea legs and they'll spend pesos like there's no tomorrow for big black trash bags! Circulate this provocative letter, news travels fast on the net. Better yet, if our undocumenteds held back remittances, Mexico would fly the white flag. I discuss remittances on my web site. See my previous approach when I wasn't as hard bitten.
The mayor of Hazelton, PA, with his knack for getting in the news over immigration, would make an excellent volunteer for a mayoral exchange. Like a student exchange (come on, keeping it light). I sympathize with him, but he might appreciate seeing firsthand the heartbreak the poor, typical Mexican citizen puts up with in Mexico. Laugh? Well the Canadian border is next, if we do nothing.
China was backward, now it's booming (they're corrupt, I guess it's a matter of degree.) You're still laughing? China is carrying us! United States tourists and businesses are holding back on Mexico- BIG TIME. (And now this about the litter, and you were planning a trip? Now my life is not worth two cents in Mexico) Mexico is gorgeous, but don't look down at the litter, look at the pretty mountains and palms. The climate is perfect, the people are great. Is it obvious how I feel about the mayors (presidentes)?
Rudy Giuliani, the mayor, first steps in cleaning up crime in New York, making it nice again, was to go after petty criminals, including squeegee men and turnstile jumpers, no matter what the Rudy haters think
P.S. Subjects to write about in Mexico are endless. The banks; entering the teaching profession; bribing your way to the top in soccer. Sugar cane on the backs of donkeys, USA agribusiness and corn ethanol. Land deals, and sucking the Mexican cell phone consumer dry. The humanity of cell phone billionaire, Carlos Slim? Vs. Gates and Buffet's. I like metaphors: like litter. Speed bumps. We think of tire pressure and turning down the heat here to save energy; dynamite the thousands of speed bumps in Mexico; on the main drags (can you believe it) and the savings to their car suspensions, their fuel mileage and calmer nerves would be off the charts. That they need them in the first place says a lot about the central governments confidence in the ability of the police to issue speeding summonses fairly and honestly. That's just more shenanigans; what can I say. And do I have a few choice police stories!
P.P.S what is my friend who's now home, making a week at work? $55 or 550 pesos. The cost of a
gallon of milk, 40 pesos, picture disk from camera 50 pesos. Best of luck my friend nobody seems to care, and I'm going to sit in my room this winter and re-read Don Quixote.