And they don't want us to pack in national parks...


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longeyes
May 14, 2003, 08:12 PM
from the L.A. Times, 5-14-03:

Park's Pot Problem Explodes
Number of marijuana plants seized at Sequoia has soared. Officials say Mexican cartels
linked to Mideast terrorists run the operation.

By Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — On the
brink of the summer tourist season, officials here are
confronting an ominous reality — multimillion-dollar
stands of marijuana tended by armed growers who
have menaced visitors, killed wildlife, polluted streams
and trashed pristine countryside.

Marijuana cultivation in the park has increased steadily
over the last 10 years. Since 2001, however, the
number of plants seized in the state's oldest national
park has jumped eightfold.

The pot fields are financed by the Mexican drug cartels
that dominate the methamphetamine trade in the
adjacent Central Valley, drug enforcement officials say.
The officials say there is evidence that the cartels, in
turn, have financial ties to Middle Eastern smugglers
linked to Hezbollah and other groups accused of
terrorism.

"This is the most serious and largest assault on this
park since we took control of the land in the 19th
century," said Bill Tweed, Sequoia's chief naturalist.
The park was established in 1890, one week before
Yosemite was designated a national park.

"To have people out there showing up with AK-47s to
greet visitors — that's not how it's supposed to be in a national park. The
premise of the park as a special place is now in trouble. So is the idea that you
can put a 'fence of law' around a national park." He added that the park is "not
immune from the ills of society."

The dimensions of the problem began to unfold last fall when park officials
destroyed a marijuana crop valued at nearly $150 million scattered over remote
mountainsides.

"Our belief is that the Mexican drug organizations have gone heavily into
marijuana operations," said Ron Gravitt, special agent in charge at the
Sacramento headquarters of the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.

"The overhead is much lower than running a methamphetamine lab. They are
taking the money from meth and putting it into expanding marijuana growing."

Most of Sequoia's marijuana stands are hidden in the steep Sierra Nevada
foothills in the lightly traveled southwestern reaches of the park. However, large
plots have been discovered a dozen miles from park headquarters. Sequoia and
adjacent Kings Canyon National Park are managed as one park encompassing
1,350 square miles.

Dennis Burnett, Park Service law enforcement administrator in Washington, said
crime has been on a "constant march" into national parks. Almost 60% of the
marijuana plants eradicated in California last year were found on state or federal
land.

Drug operators target these places, Burnett said, because they know there are
too few rangers to patrol vast parks.

"We cannot keep up with the drug smuggling and smuggling of undocumented
aliens that comes across the border through parks on a daily basis. We are
aware of the connection with drug cartels. We had a ranger shot and killed last
year — that was a drug thing. It's pretty outrageous," he said, referring to an
incident in Arizona.

Hiker Held at Gunpoint

In Sequoia, rangers said, visitors have encountered pot growers. One hiker was
held at gunpoint briefly by armed growers, said Al DeLaCruz, Sequoia's chief
law enforcement officer. In 2001, hunters in the Whiskeytown National
Recreation Area in the northern Sierra reported to rangers that they had been
menaced by armed pot harvesters.

Park officials said rangers will be stretched thin this summer, searching for
marijuana crops and taking care of visitors during the park's busiest season.
Tweed said that, because more rangers would be deployed to deal with the
marijuana problem, there would be fewer patrolling park roads and
campgrounds.

When rangers raid pot gardens in the park, they routinely find filthy work camps
with makeshift kitchens, latrines and trash dumps in areas designated as
wilderness. Biologists report fish die-offs and water contamination from
fertilizers, pesticides and poisons used by growers. DeLaCruz and other rangers
said marijuana cultivators are killing deer and other animals.

The way to most of the pot fields is along the road to Mineral King along the
southwest border of the park, an area rangers now archly refer to as Marijuana
King. The road, a car and a half wide, is only intermittently paved. It is on this
stretch, at this time of year, that early morning drops take place — Mexican
nationals piling out of a van or truck, strapping hundreds of pounds of gear on
their backs and heading into the hills to establish camps and prepare the gardens
for planting.

Authorities say the workers are mainly from the state of Michoacan. Eleven
workers apprehended in last year's bust are still in custody in Fresno. None has
been forthcoming with authorities.

"They never talk," DeLaCruz said, adding that the workers are paid well — as
much as $4,000 a month in cash — and they are made to understand that the
welfare of their families in Mexico depends on their silence if caught.

But based on statements from informants and wiretaps, officials at the state
narcotics agency and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration said the
Mexican cartels appear to have financial ties to Middle Eastern groups.

Hezbollah Tie Alleged

"We have a number of methamphetamine cases where we've made a direct
connection between the Hezbollah and Mexican cartels," said Bill Ruzzamenti,
director of the state's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program for the
Central Valley and a former DEA agent.

The DEA suspects that associates of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah have been
smuggling large amounts of pseudoephedrine tablets in cars and trucks across the
Canadian border for sale to the drug cartels in California.

Last month the DEA and Canadian authorities arrested 65 people, including a
number of Jordanian citizens, suspected of smuggling pseudoephedrine, a key
ingredient of methamphetamine, bound for California.

The state narcotics bureau has come to suspect that the cartels are using profits
from the resale of the pseudoephedrine to bankroll the sharp increase in
marijuana cultivation on public land.

The pot growers go to extraordinary measures to hide themselves and their
operations. White sneakers are spray-painted brown or green, as are the handles
of gardening tools. If growers cut a tree, the exposed stump is painted.

"You can be right up against a garden and not know it," Ranger Dan Abbe said.

The trails to the camps are often faint and treacherous — the outposts are so
hard to locate that DeLaCruz recently had trouble finding his way back to one of
the gardens destroyed by drug agents last year. Armed with M-16s and
9-millimeter pistols, DeLaCruz and Abbe veered off a popular trail and
bushwhacked up a steep hillside.

Low-slung oaks and stout mountain mahogany formed a canopy over the
chaparral-covered foothills. The natural camouflage, along with the soil and
climate, provide ideal conditions for growing high-quality marijuana, which sells
for $4,000 to $8,000 a pound.

The rangers scrambled upward and after 10 minutes arrived at a level shelf of
packed dirt. Trash was strewn everywhere — empty cans, torn packets of
noodles, a crusty leather rifle scabbard. A soggy sleeping bag was stuffed behind
a tree.

Abbe said the site was a staging area, a place for newly arrived workers to rest
before pushing up the mountain to the camps. Animals had been here, rummaging
through the shallow garbage dump.

Supplies Dropped In

This was also where supplies were dropped every eight to 10 days during the
marijuana season, from planting in April to harvest in September and October.

About 2,000 feet higher and across a rushing stream, the rangers came to the
remains of one of the camps discovered during last year's seizure of the
$150-million crop. The rangers estimate that the 8 tons of marijuana found then
represent only about 40% of the pot being grown in the park.

Like the staging area below, the camp was strewn with garbage. A blue plastic
bag contained dish soap and deodorant. A towel hung from an oak branch.
Disposable razors and toothbrushes were tucked into twine wound around tree
trunks. Bottles of herbicide and bags of fertilizers were heaped to one side. Raw
potatoes nestled on spent coals beneath a grill suspended and tied to two trees.
An empty bottle of brandy lay near crushed beer cans. A spatula, a lighter,
scissors, miscellaneous clothing and unpaired shoes sat in haphazard piles.

"Nice, eh?" DeLaCruz said, waving his arm to take in the scene. "Welcome to
your national park."

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Art Eatman
May 14, 2003, 08:56 PM
I reckon most of us have similar notions about how to deal with this nonsense, but TPTB wouldn't approve.

:), Art

El Tejon
May 14, 2003, 09:03 PM
What's a National Park???:confused: Never been, pay my own way.

rock jock
May 15, 2003, 01:12 AM
Ten years ago I woud have been shocked to hear this. Now, with the shoulder-shrug attitde of the govt. towards illegals invading our soverign country, it is pretty much SOP.

Art, you are right. The feds would rather our parks become financial fields of green for terrorists than for volunteers to take care of this problem.

mjydrafter
May 15, 2003, 11:58 AM
I think people are "finally" going to come to the conclusion that the War on Drugs is not being won by the Government. If the cost of drugs is due to thier prohibition (I think it has to be true), why not de-criminalize, tax at a realistic rate and drop the bottom out of the market. No more stacks of money leaving this country, weather it be to Columbia, Mexico, and or Hezzbolah. The people of this country really need to talk about this matter NOW. I would be interested in just how much money we've funneled away from ourselves due to this 70 year war that we've made no progress in. We spend the money on enforcement, we spend the money on drugs, none of that money will come back and what are we left with?

Also, with the forfiture laws, why wouldn't you grow on federal land? They/we already own it, therefore can't forefit it. Again nobody loses except us.

ahenry
May 15, 2003, 12:58 PM
Ten years ago I woud have been shocked to hear this. Now, with the shoulder-shrug attitde of the govt. towards illegals invading our soverign country, it is pretty much SOP. How can you honestly say there is a “shoulder-shrug attitude towards illegal immigration”? Perhaps the response to it isn’t what you would decide to do if you were in control (its not what I would do either BTW) but there is most assuredly a response. Perhaps compared to what you would prefer done the response seems small or something, but compared to past years there is no way you can reasonably suggest that there is a “shoulder-shrug attitude”.

longeyes
May 15, 2003, 01:09 PM
Ten years ago the illegal immigration problem was not so palpable. Are "the people" waking up? Yes, they are, thanks largely to forums like this one and talk radio. But what is actually being DONE by the authorities about the problem? Anything truly substantive? I don't see it. What I see is that maybe a dozen people in Congress give a fig and that there is deafening silence on this issue from the White House. Tom Tancredo has said that Karl Rove told him, because of Tancredo's views on this subject, "never to darken the door of the White House again." The overwhelming posture of the ruling elites of this country is that there IS no problem and that if there were it would be "uncompassionate" to do anything about it. Bush himself has made "safety and order" in the immigration process his goal; that means illegal immigration, not legal. And Colin Powell sees the border as just a "region." Let's get real. Right now the U.S. is viewed as just a gigantic fat sow to be exploited for whatever anyone thinks they are "entitled" to. Unfortunately, too many citizens of our own country seem to share that opinion. Perhaps they will change their minds when the geniuses in D.C. integrate Social Security with Mexico? Or will it take more Mexican cop-killers fleeing across the border to hide behind Vicente Fox's chaps?

Ebbtide
May 15, 2003, 01:10 PM
The pot fields are financed by the Mexican drug cartels
that dominate the methamphetamine trade in the
adjacent Central Valley, drug enforcement officials say.
The officials say there is evidence that the cartels, in
turn, have financial ties to Middle Eastern smugglers
linked to Hezbollah and other groups accused of
terrorism.

That makes it sound like we need to increase our budget to pay for the war on drugs, and terror.

Personally, I think this story is too ensationalized to believe. However, we should be allowed to carry in the park.

ehenz

TallPine
May 15, 2003, 01:13 PM
but there is most assuredly a response.

Yeah, I have to agree with you there, ahenry

Up on the high line there is a family that owns farmland on both sides of the border. They live in Canada, but their sons go to HS in Montana.

The border is now closed between 6pm and 9am, so the boys can't get to and from school at the times that they need to. So, short term they are staying with grandparents on this side of the border.

I am glad to see the govt is finally cracking down on this border stuff .... :rolleyes:

braindead0
May 15, 2003, 01:16 PM
From their description of this, it's in the National Forest not the Park (big difference). If PRK had CCW you could carry in the Forest but not the Park (in theory).

My parents camp in the Forest every year, my dad is usually armed (if not CCW there's one or two in the trailer). Thanks for the article, I forwarded it to them....

Minuteman
May 15, 2003, 01:17 PM
I'm with Art...and Nike ("Just do it")

Kaylee
May 15, 2003, 01:20 PM
I wonder how that kinda thing would fly up this way? My suspicion is something along the lines of:

"SS and S... it's not just for wolves anymore..." :)

Easy to say though.. we don't seem to have a major influx of Canadians trying to set up meth labs in the boonies up here.

-K

Tamara
May 15, 2003, 01:26 PM
...high-quality marijuana, which sells for $4,000 to $8,000 a pound.

Notice how, now that you can tool down to the neighborhood booze-o-rama and snag a bottle of Jack for a few bucks, you hardly ever hear about folks getting shot by 'shiners for stumbling across their stills anymore? :scrutiny:

Ebbtide
May 15, 2003, 01:44 PM
...high-quality marijuana, which sells for $4,000 to $8,000 a pound.

If that were true I'm sure the govt would legalize it and tax it. Around here good pot goes for 70.00 an ounce for the end line user. I really don't like how the ATF assigns value to illegal drugs, it makes it look like they are doing a great job.

How can you honestly say there is a “shoulder-shrug attitude towards illegal immigration”? Perhaps the response to it isn’t what you would decide to do if you were in control (its not what I would do either BTW) but there is most assuredly a response. Perhaps compared to what you would prefer done the response seems small or something, but compared to past years there is no way you can reasonably suggest that there is a “shoulder-shrug attitude”.

It must be regional. I don't think I have ever seen a Mexican in real life. Even my favorite authentic burritto shop has Peurto Ricans running it. To us Northerners there does seem to be shoulder-shrug attitude.

Come to think about it, other than one news story or so a month that I see one the national news, the only place I hear it is a problem is on THR.

AZTOY
May 15, 2003, 01:55 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
...high-quality marijuana, which sells for $4,000 to $8,000 a pound.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



If that were true I'm sure the govt would legalize it and tax it. Around here good pot goes for 70.00 an ounce for the end line user. I really don't like how the ATF assigns value to illegal drugs, it makes it look like they are doing a great job.


I can get a pound for $200 from Mexio. I don't know if it good pot or bad pot.


If thay legalize it i will let you know.:neener:

rock jock
May 15, 2003, 01:57 PM
How can you honestly say there is a “shoulder-shrug attitude towards illegal immigration”?
I would go into a length reposnse at this point, but I think longeyes summed it up quite nicely. Suffice it to say that there is a real disconnect between D.C. and the rest of the country on this issue (surprise, surprise).

Notice how, now that you can tool down to the neighborhood booze-o-rama and snag a bottle of Jack for a few bucks, you hardly ever hear about folks getting shot by 'shiners for stumbling across their stills anymore?
This issue is not about whether or not drugs should be legalized. It is about foreign terrorists having free reign to set up market in our national parks. If drugs were legalized, this story could just as easily be about illegals cultivating anthrax in labs set up in Yellowstone.

Tamara
May 15, 2003, 02:06 PM
This issue is not about whether or not drugs should be legalized. It is about foreign terrorists having free reign to set up market in our national parks. If drugs were legalized, this story could just as easily be about illegals cultivating anthrax in labs set up in Yellowstone.

The issue (to me at least) is being fixated on the symptoms, not the disease. Turning Sequioa National Park into a lush and verdant version of Stalag 17, complete with barbed wire perimeter, towers, and armed patrols with dogs isn't the answer.

This is like trying to fix an ant problem in the house without cleaning up the spilled food crumbs that attract them in the first place.

PS: Who cares if the cultivators are illegals or citizens? The point is that there are people, motivated by the possibility of artificially insane profits, who are willing to kill other people to keep them. Take the criminals away, more will take their place. Take the profits away, et voila, there goes the incentive.

stevelyn
May 15, 2003, 02:18 PM
...highy quality marijuana that goes for $4000-$8000 per pound.

The last DARE Officers conference I attended, one of our guest speakers said that our own variety grown for export was getting about $35,000 per pound.

Shalako
May 15, 2003, 02:59 PM
:uhoh: .... (Not that I know, or anything, but I went to school in Humboldt County, and those $4-$8k per pound numbers are right on the money for the KGB (kind green bud, aka crypto, chronic, skunk, nugs etc. Hey, if you live with the hippies, you gotta speak the lingo.) Anyways, that boils down to $50 for an 1/8 (oz) where the stuff is more abundant than anywhere else this side of Amsterdam. You would have panhandlers and dirtified dreadlock types paying those prices when they didn't even have a job. Oh well, gotta have priorities you know... But this northwest stuff is a different animal than that which is produced, cured, packaged, and shipped via who-knows-what means across the border.)

This message will self-destruct......

Ebbtide
May 15, 2003, 03:42 PM
(Not that I know, or anything, but I went to school in Humboldt County,

In my youth......I think I had better not.

I guess I'll just yield to the man from Humboldt County on this one. :cool:

ehenz

ahenry
May 15, 2003, 05:22 PM
Longeyes,
But what is actually being DONE by the authorities about the problem? Anything truly substantive? I don't see it. If you do not see it then I can only assume it is because you do not want to see it. There are lots of things being done and the information is readily available if you try looking in places other than World Net Daily and Chris Simcox’s hype. I am curious, have you ever spoken to anybody in the gov’t that is involved with this issue, like Immigration Inspectors, Border Patrol Agents, Customs officials, or others? Have you ever talked to somebody about, or looked into yourself, the impact that the Tohono O’odham reservation has on illegal immigration? Do you even know what sort of relationship the Border Patrol has with the nation (overall its good but the nation ties a lot of hands)? Have you taken a look at what changed over the past 10 or so years that might have caused a change in things? What exactly have you done that makes you so positive that no steps are being taken to deal with this issue? You do seem awfully sure of yourself; surely you have researched matters...


Rock Jock,
I would go into a length reposnse at this point, but I think longeyes summed it up quite nicely. Suffice it to say that there is a real disconnect between D.C. and the rest of the country on this issue I think you are wrong, and if I might so bold, I think you are succumbing to hype and ignoring everything else. Much has been done. Practices and methods are evaluated and changes made. The potential for change with the new structure of the Dept of Homeland Security is substantial, determining whether it plays out that way or not will take time though. Regardless, there have been substantial increases, as in double the number, of agents are being placed on the border. Plans for new Border Patrol Stations are in the works. A third academy to train new agents is planned, since two haven’t been able to handle the requested number of new agents (there are over one thousand “wannabe’s” that have passed all the selection criteria and are waiting an academy slot). Pay adjustments and changes in an effort to increase morale. “Free” transfers back to the BP for a period of time, for those agents that went from the BP to the Federal Air Marshals and wanted back in the BP (no rehiring process, no training, no nothing, just move right back in) in order to increase the presence on the border. Substantial increases in the number of agents on the northern border. I’m just scratching the surface of only the changes to the Border Patrol. I could write another paragraph on the changes in the INS and the streamlining of immigration process, which is the most important aspect of this whole thing, and will have the biggest impact. I won’t even start discussing Customs and the impact that might have. I think you are smart enough to grasp my point though. Those that say “nothing is being done” or “nobody cares” need to look beyond the latest set of hype and think carefully.

rock jock
May 15, 2003, 06:11 PM
ahenry,

I will withhold judgement, but I would also ask why these changes, which would be much more popular than the TIA and other Homeland Security measures, have not been better publicized? Furthermore, the proof is in..well, you know what I mean. When the number of illegals coming across the border drops dramatically, I will be convinced.

Tamara wrote:
Who cares if the cultivators are illegals or citizens? The point is that there are people, motivated by the possibility of artificially insane profits, who are willing to kill other people to keep them. Take the criminals away, more will take their place. Take the profits away, et voila, there goes the incentive.
I beg to differ. The issue is one of national sovereignty. We will always have criminals in this country. When foreign terrorists set up shop in our national parks, that is a national security issue. Would you feel better if they were producing anthrax instead of pot?

Tamara
May 15, 2003, 06:24 PM
Calling Mexican pot growers "international terrorists" is stretching the term just a bit, don't you think?

What difference does the nationality of the pot field guard/anthrax lab tech/death ray engineer make? Either they are harmful or they are not.

Would you feel better if they were producing anthrax instead of pot?

Would you feel better if the hypothetical anthrax-producing terrorist was homegrown?

ahenry
May 15, 2003, 06:33 PM
I would also ask why these changes, which would be much more popular than the TIA and other Homeland Security measures, have not been better publicized? I don’t know. I have my private suspicions but I can’t back them up with anything, so I’ll keep my mouth shut. You are right though, mainstream press is generally ignoring everything I just mentioned in favor of over-emphasizing “the problem”.

Furthermore, the proof is in..well, you know what I mean. When the number of illegals coming across the border drops dramatically, I will be convinced. Absolutely, and that is as it should be. I wouldn’t even begin to suggest that you turn a blind eye to an area you’re concerned with. I only suggest that you look carefully at what is going on and what is being said. You know as well as I do that you can’t believe everything you read/watch in the news. I feel quite confident in saying that more is being done and has already been done during this administration, both to make it easier for legal immigration (most important facet) and to make it more difficult for illegal immigration than during the entire previous administration, and I suspect the many years prior to it combined. The numbers coming across didn’t increase overnight and they aren’t going to stop overnight. Like many of the issues facing America today, the seeds for them were sown long ago. Solutions are neither swift and are often unpleasant, but consider the totality before being so sure of the evaluation.

rock jock
May 15, 2003, 07:07 PM
Would you feel better if the hypothetical anthrax-producing terrorist was homegrown?
The national sovereignty question would be moot. And yes, I would. Not as much chance that they will successfully scurry back across the border to avoid the death penalty here.

rock jock
May 15, 2003, 07:09 PM
The numbers coming across didn’t increase overnight and they aren’t going to stop overnight. Like many of the issues facing America today, the seeds for them were sown long ago. Solutions are neither swift and are often unpleasant, but consider the totality before being so sure of the evaluation. Good point, ahenry. I will try to be patient and encourage others to do the same.

longeyes
May 15, 2003, 10:41 PM
"What exactly have you done that makes you so positive that no steps
are being taken to deal with this issue? You do seem awfully sure of yourself;
surely you have researched matters..."

I live in the heart of Los Angeles and I am neither blind nor deaf. How's that? Whatever's being done, my friend, it ain't workin'. My city and my state are well on their way toward utter insolvency, with no small part of that owed to steady increases in demands on the social welfare structure.

If Mr. Bush really wanted to start turning the ship around, he could, with one forceful speech defending sovereignty, opposing give-aways of public monies, and proposing some kind of fair and progressive immigration policy that is compassionate not only to "migrants" but to American citizens and taxpayers. As we have seen, he's certainly capable of pounding the dais and talking from the heart, when the purpose matches his values. I infer from his actions that he has no intention of slowing down the influx let alone stopping it. I'm wagering that we will see him propose an amnesty for illegals prior to the '04 Election. My view is that while taking strong and necessary steps abroad, GWB is being undone at home by his own desire for votes and what looks to this observer like a bad case of upper-class guilt.

ahenry
May 15, 2003, 11:12 PM
I live in the heart of Los Angeles and I am neither blind nor deaf. Then, I daresay my handle on illegal immigration is significantly greater than yours. It would behoove you to at least try and do some research into the issue. Expand your knowledge base...

My city and my state are well on their way toward utter insolvency, with no small part of that owed to steady increases in demands on the social welfare structure. I agree. I suggest you look at what your state has done to contribute to the problem first though. Both for practical reasons as it’s easier to influence change at the state level, and for accuracy reasons since California has hurt California on illegal immigration far worse the Fed Gov’t has hurt California. Since when did the solutions to a states problem require Federal intervention? Especially when a large part of the problem is of that states own making?

If Mr. Bush really wanted to start turning the ship around, he could, with one forceful speech defending sovereignty, opposing give-aways of public monies, and proposing some kind of fair and progressive immigration policy that is compassionate not only to "migrants" but to American citizens and taxpayers. The success of the bully pulpit is a tenuous thing. Regardless of your assessment of the success of such a tactic, the fact that he has not chosen your particular “plan” hardly means the issue is being ignored. As I delineated in a prior post, illegal immigration is far from a back burner issue despite the lack of implementation your personal pet plan.

As we have seen, he's certainly capable of pounding the dais and talking from the heart, when the purpose matches his values. He certainly can. He can also handle various issues in other ways as well, for instance his handling of North Korea. Not every issue requires the same method of resolving. Not making an issue of it now doesn’t mean its being ignored, as you are fond trying to claim. As soon as Bush starts “pounding the dais” on illegal immigration there will be a political battle on the issue, by not doing so he is more able to quietly take the steps he deems necessary to deal with it. Did you read my extremely partial list of those steps? Do you doubt their veracity? Do you contend that those steps are not being taken with the purpose of dealing with illegal immigration?

I infer from his actions that he has no intention of slowing down the influx let alone stopping it. That is just silly. His actions, which we always point to as a better gauge of intent than “mere” words, should tell you the exact opposite. That they don’t tells me that you aren’t interested in anything other than your personal solution to the issue. I should note that my personal solution to the issue is also different then the Presidents (and yours, BTW). However, I am willing to look at all the facts and draw a conclusion on them rather than looking at whether or not my pet ideas are being implemented.

longeyes
May 15, 2003, 11:53 PM
Ahenry,

I have read your posts. I am sorry to report that I remain unimpressed by the supposedly vigorous (but somehow cryptic) steps that you contend this Administration is taking to counter illegal immigration. I'll say it again: if Bush wanted to turn the tide, he could use the bully pulpit and expend some of that storehouse of political capital he has accumulated. It's clear that either he doesn't get it or he doesn't care. There's some reason he can't devote a few minutes to discussing why general acceptance of the matricula consular might not be the greatest idea in the world? Well, no, there isn't, unless he is hoping that just maybe some of those new arrivals will end up voting for him. He stood up to the Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, now he needs to stand up to Mexico. I'm not holding my breath.

The Republican Party made a pact with the devil when it refused to challenge the Dornan-Sanchez election. It decided that voter fraud was less important than the potential for new voters. Legality be damned, power be exalted! That's the ugly truth, and it will end up smacking the GOP in the rear end before all this is played out.

MeekandMild
May 16, 2003, 12:58 AM
I wonder who is getting the kickback? Surely not any Democratic legislators nor members of the governors staff? :uhoh:

Art Eatman
May 16, 2003, 12:58 AM
ahenry and longeyes, I guess I'm sorta in between your views. I think the BP is doing a bit better in dealing with the "normal" wetback problem, at least in Texas. I don't think anybody at the federal level is dealing appropriately with the problems that Simcox fulminates about. He is one of the few who give voice to the personal problems of those who are suffering from vandalism, burglary, etc. Most of the Arizona papers--and I read them regularly--nod in passing and give more column inches to those sympathetic to the illegals of whatever sort.

I note that Arizona's county-level LEOs say they're overwhelmed, so Simcox can't be too far off the mark.

Art

AZTOY
May 16, 2003, 01:34 AM
I note that Arizona's county-level LEOs say they're overwhelmed, so Simcox can't be too far off the mark.


Ok i live near AZ the border and we still have the illegal :banghead:

We have the drug dealers,illegals, coyotas and Mexio Army all crossing the border and some are sporting full autos AK, M16,and HK. :banghead: Then there is the problems with all the trash. I can't go anywhere with out seeing empty water bottles.

Simcox is right about the problems!!

The fact are that illegals are still coming!!!!!


Please read, this trail is ten mile from my house!!
Deadliest trail in U.S. (http://www.azcentral.com/specials/special03/articles/0427deathtrail27.html)

Can Bush do more YES .Will he i don't know!!

Sir Galahad
May 16, 2003, 02:05 AM
Color me hasty, but I don't think a strip of anti-personnel mines along the remote stretches of the border is such a bad idea. It's cost-effective. More bang for he buck, if you'll pardon the pun. It's environmentally sustainable because they can be equipped with triggers that require the weight of a human to actuate, thusly saving the native wildlife (the cows will just have to be called collateral damage; make them a tax write off.) As an added sustainability bonus, it will, eventually, feed countless vultures and ravens. Perhaps in the future, this could lead to a prime spot for release of California condors. After a while, the wide swath of bleached skulls will serve as a deterrant of its own. :evil: :evil: :evil:

0007
May 16, 2003, 08:11 AM
Careful, Sir G, that sounds awfully close to "hate-speech" and we know that's a high-profile federal crime... Certainly a higher one then stopping millions of ILLEGAL NOT "UNDOCUMENTED" aliens from crossing our non-exitent borders whether they come to grow pot in the Parks or flowers in some CA lefty's garden

ahenry
May 16, 2003, 11:46 AM
I'll say it again: if Bush wanted to turn the tide, he could use the bully pulpit and expend some of that storehouse of political capital he has accumulated. So your entire basis for believing that the administration is doing nothing about illegal immigration is that the president isn’t making speeches about it? Way to be realistic. :rolleyes:

It's clear that either he doesn't get it or he doesn't care. How is it clear to you, because he isn’t making speeches about it? That’s intelligent. I know you are smarter than that.

There's some reason he can't devote a few minutes to discussing why general acceptance of the matricula consular might not be the greatest idea in the world? Well, no, there isn't, unless he is hoping that just maybe some of those new arrivals will end up voting for him. Absolutely there is a reason. Every single word that comes out of his mouth right now will impact the election. The solutions to illegal immigration will not be an easy sell, except for perhaps some simplistic enforcement changes, and as of right now illegal immigration is not a major national political issue. Why make it one and create a problem for yourself when you can just not talk about it, which is not the same as ignoring it, so you can do what you want with the issue? Again, for the third time, there are things being done. You might not think they are enough (although I’d love to hear what makes you think you know what you’re talking about) and you might prefer a different approach but the point remains, steps are being taken to deal with illegal immigration.

ahenry
May 16, 2003, 11:58 AM
I don’t disagree with anything you said. I think for the careful researcher though, one would have to look at everything before claiming that “nothing is being done”. I haven’t seen comprehensive numbers, but I am pretty comfortable saying that about 500 new agents were sent to stations in Arizona in the past 6 months. They’d mainly all still be in training so you wouldn’t see many, or any, at their stations yet. California probably picked up close to that number as well. Now, in actuality 25%-50% never make it through the academy so the real numbers of new agents are probably closer to 200-300 for both states. There are currently over 1000 individuals waiting a staffing assignment and more are being processed every day. I suspect that when F.Y. 2003 is up the hiring will continue as well. That is a pretty significant bit of “something being done”. Just throwing more agents on the border doesn’t necessarily accomplish anything of course, but it is pretty hard for an honest person to look at the situation and say, “illegal immigration is being ignored”.

Every single state has their own unique circumstances impacting illegal immigration. I think one of Arizona’s is the reservation. To be fair, all of the states except Texas have been adversely impacted because of the various “hold the line” style operations. Texas was the first to come up with this concept and apply it and California was next. The net impact, IMHO, was to funnel illegal immigration into Arizona. The thinking was that nobody would want to try and cross such difficult territory. Oops. There are other issues that have impacted things as well that will never be solved with a greater BP presence, huge fences, military, mines, a moat or any of the loopy ideas tossed out. Things like the inability of schools to inquire about a students legal status or deny education to illegals (which was a Supreme Court decision in the early 80’s). More or less free health care to illegal immigrants is another problem that isn’t about to go away with more enforcement. I know that I am not telling you anything you didn’t already know, but you can’t look at one isolated facet of this and expect to come to any sort of valid conclusion.

Art Eatman
May 16, 2003, 12:19 PM
ahenry, I agree there's no one simple solution. Many of the problems were created by Congress or state legislatures, and only they can change the laws about healthcare eligibility, welfare benefits and conditions for employment.

It's the usual deal: Were there no profit in illegal drugs, there would be no druglords. Were there no economic incentives for illegal immigrants to come here, they wouldn't make the trip. This last requires some serious changes in the socio-economic structure of Mexico, which I don't believe will happen.

My own resentment comes from "official" disapproval of "non-official" people banding together in common defense during that interim before all these wondrous federal improvements occur. It's all well and good to talk of more BP guys in 2004 and 2005, but that didn't help the folks whose lives were screwed up by illegals in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and right now.

If I am threatened by an illegal and I kill him, I resent blather from folks who say I should not have protected myself. Those people should be the ones griping at Gummint for not interdicting the illegal while protecting me. After all, that interdiction would have protected his precious life as well, would it not? The anti-Simcox crowd is attacking the wrong targets--as is usual for that collection of cretins.

And so it goes...

Art

longeyes
May 16, 2003, 01:25 PM
Ahenry,

I'm glad for you that you have so much valuable inside information. Use it well. I am sure there is a lot of action on the governmental flow-chart level that is designed to present the appearance of taking action. That is standard bureaucratic procedure. But unlike Mr. Clinton I know what "is" IS, and what is IS that illegal immigration IS a national problem already and if you don't know that you are seriously out of touch. Perhaps you can explain to us why a stalwart and clear-eyed leader, one capable of decisive action abroad, would have to pussyfoot around this kind of an issue unless his priorities are the same old sorry-assed vote-mongering we are forced to watch everywhere in this government. You ignore what I say, and that's fine, but millions of American citizens are fully aware that illegal immigration is not something that is just happening in California or the Southwest. When the next amnesty is sneaked in while we are all asleep or distracted by the World Series or more jihadic hijinx, maybe the national implications will begin to dawn on even you. When Congress and this Administration decide that in good of globalism and hemispheric partnership we should fund Social Security for millions of Mexican nationals at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars a year--and that IS what it would cost--perhaps, just perhaps the citizenry of this country will turn activist and hit the streets in protest against having their nation sold out from under them by scoundrels.

keithernTN
May 16, 2003, 05:17 PM
Bush and all administrations before him have not sufficiantly protected America from illegal invaders. If he truly wanted to do the right thing for this country he would address the situation. Put the military on the border, that is why we pay our taxes, to be protected from foriegn invaders. Illegal invaders are costing this country billions and the problem is only getting worse. If anyone thinks a few hundred border patrol agents is going to take care of the illegal invasion you are vastly mistaken and do not realize the magnitude of the problem. The only solution to the problem is action, and this is where the current administration is failing.

Art Eatman
May 16, 2003, 05:44 PM
My wife and I married in 1989. Her home is not far from the small town of Coolige, Georgia, some dozen miles north of Thomasville.

From 1989 to 1992 or so, the predominant makeup of the clientele at the local grocery/gas store was local natives, black and white. By 1994, the owner of the store had started putting signs in Spanish around the store.

My wife, after a visit to the WalMart in Moultrie, around 1996-ish, commented, "It looks just like Del Rio!"

The Border Patrol is regularly in the news in this area, with busts of illegal aliens. Hasn't seemed to affect the makeup of the local clientele, however.

Art

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