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Understanding the War Against NAFTA

And you have to wonder why people are pissed?

Souring Chicago’s sweet treat: Corporate greed, American unions, and moving the Oreo to Mexico

Corporate executives saved $47 million by moving Oreo production to Mexico, but cost 600 in Chicago their jobs

For generations, kids from age 3 to 100 have loved munching on chocolaty Oreo cookies dipped in a glass of milk. But just over a year, ago, the tasty treat suddenly went sour.

In May 2015, bakery workers in Nabisco’s monumental 10-story plant in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood had been expecting some sweet news from their corporate headquarters. Rumor had it that their renowned facility  after more than half a century and millions of Oreos — was about to receive a $130-million modernization investment to upgrade equipment and to add new production lines. So, the future looked bright and spirits were high on May 15 of last year when management convened members of Local 300 of the Bakery Workers Union to announce that the investment was indeed going to be made.

In Salinas, Mexico.

For decades, the Marquette Park community has been proud that the delectable smell of “milk’s favorite cookie” wafts through their neighborhood. But the noses of Nabisco’s corporate brass are clogged with greed, incapable of sniffing out anything but ever-fatter profits for themselves and other rich shareholders. Taking the NAFTA low road, they intend to move the iconic Oreo brand — and the jobs of 600 top-quality bakery workers — from Chicago to Mexico, where the minimum wage is a bit more than $4. Not per hour, but per day.

This is the tyranny of corporate globalization in action. In 2012 Kraft Foods split off its grocery business, which retained the Kraft name, and rebranded its remaining snack-food empire as Mondelez International, which includes Nabisco and its many brands including Triscuit, Planters nuts, Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy and Oreos.

Such corporate empires now reign over millions of working families, arrogantly and even lawlessly making self-serving decisions from within the shrouded confines of faraway executive suites — wreaking havoc on workers, local economies, democratic values, and our sense of community. People affected are given no input or warning (much less any real say-so) in the profiteering that now routinely strikes us, like a lightning bolt from hell.

Worse, the so-called humans who’ve enthroned themselves with this autocratic power find it amusing to toy with those they rule over. Mondelez executives did exactly that after their sneak attack on Chicago’s bakery workers. In a crude ploy to shift blame for the loss of jobs to the union, the plutocratic powerhouse claimed it had made an offer to Local 300 to keep producing Oreos in Chicago, but that recalcitrant union officials refused.

Of course they did, for Mondelez essentially proposed that the workers commit mass financial suicide. Here’s the “offer”: Since the move to Mexico is expected to save $46 million a year, the conglomerate would graciously let the 600 ransom their jobs by paying that $46 million themselves. Just slash your annual pay and benefits (as well as your throats) by that amount, the executives told the union, and you can keep making Oreos for us.

This act was an astonishing, unprecedented insulting slap in the face of every middle-class worker in the U.S. Mondelez sapsuckers were effectively demanding that longtime, dedicated, productive employees subsidize the conglomerate and ransom their livelihoods by reducing their income to poverty. Note that Mondelez banked $7 billion in profit last year.

If its executives are so inept that they can’t find an honest way to fill a $46-million hole, they should dock the pay of their top three executives by that amount. They can damn sure afford it, for they totaled $37 million in compensation last year. CEO Irene Rosenfeld alone took a $20 million paycheck in 2015, bringing her eight-year total pay and benefits to almost $200 million.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2016 in American Greed

 

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When Mexico Wanted a Wall To Keep Americans Out

Seems that after the Civil War, Mexico was fine with Immigration…Just not black folks immigrating.

1.38 Million Afro-Mexicans live in Mexico today. For decades successive Mexican Governments tried to erase the fact of their existence. Only in 2015 did the Mexican Government finally recognize their existence.

When Mexicans Feared American Immigration

When the path to upward mobility for thousands of free black Americans was south of the border, Mexico stopped just short of calling for their own wall.

If there is one issue that has steered 2016 in a startling direction, it has been immigration. The GOP’s strategy to increase its appeal to Latinos after Mitt Romney’s upset in 2012 quickly unraveled once the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, charged that Mexico was sending “criminals, drug dealers, rapists” to the United States. Before long, chants of “Build that wall!”—a reference to Trump’s promise to construct a “beautiful” concrete wall along the Mexican border—could be heard at political rallies, high school sporting events and beyond. The GOP’s concerns about inclusion, it seems, pale in comparison to Americans’ anxieties about jobs, crime, national security and the sense that there is a teeming mass of people desperate to burst across the border.

It hasn’t always been this way; for much of American history, the U.S.-Mexico border has been largely unprotected. Only in 1891 did the United States start deporting illegal immigrants (a category at the time limited principally to Chinese workers as well as felons, paupers and the insane), and it wasn’t until 1924 that Congress formed the Border Patrol. And at one point, remarkably, our contemporary debate was even flipped: Hordes of Americans wanted to escape their bleak prospects for a better life—and the place they wanted to flee to was Mexico.

Carmen Robles, afromexican colonel in Mexican revolution.

But Mexico didn’t want them. The story unfolded in the late 19th century, in the form of a little-known black migration scheme to the low-lying, underdeveloped parts of south and central Mexico—Veracruz, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacán and San Luis Potosi—and was spearheaded by a man sparingly remembered by history. He intended [to avoid repeating scheme] to relocate thousands of black families to start a new colony in Mexico, which would have radically changed the demographics and the economy of that region, if not all of Mexico. The plan provoked sensationalist, often racist, reports in the Mexican press—one warned of a “race war”—and fiery fights in the country’s Senate. In the end, it failed—no such colony was ever settled. But the history lesson, of a time when our current debate was flipped on its head, is a timely reminder of those fluid identities, and just how easily these centuries-old, deeply ingrained fears can be stoked—on either side of the border.

Born as a slave in 1894 on a cotton plantation in the small South Texas town of Victoria, William Henry Ellis managed in his early 20s to transform himself into a successful merchant in San Antonio. To do so, however, he had to craft an alternative persona for himself as a Mexican named Guillermo Enrique Eliseo (his name translated into Spanish) to gain entry to the all-white business settings that would have otherwise been closed to him. To further his ethnic charades, Ellis cultivated a showy Mexican-style mustache, dressed in the Mexican fashion, and used the fluent Spanish that he had learned in Victoria as a child.

In the 19th century, during the administration of President Porifirio Díaz, Mexico was hoping to modernize its economy by attracting more immigrants. Ellis did much of his business across the border in Mexico, and he saw the United States’ southern neighbor, with its lack of legal segregation, as a place of great promise not only for himself but for other African-Americans as well. He thus set in motion in 1889 an ambitious plan to facilitate the large-scale migration of African-Americans to Mexico.

Vicente Guerrero, a mulatto and Mexico`s 2nd president, was a hero in Mexico`s War of Independence from Spain, and an active abolitionist. The state of Guerrero in Mexico was named in his honor. His grandson, Vicente Riva Palacio y Guerrero, was one of Mexico`s most influential politicians and novelists.

Taking advantage of new railroad connections between the U.S. and Mexico, Ellis journeyed to Mexico City. Tucked in his luggage, he carried letters of introduction from the Mexican consul in San Antonio to Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Mariscal, and Secretary of Fomento (Public Works), Carlos Pacheco Villalobos. Once in the Mexican capital, Ellis persuaded Pacheco, a grizzled former general who had lost both an arm and a leg in Mexico’s recent war against the French-backed emperor Maximilian, to grant him a 10-year contract to colonize up to twenty thousand settlers in Mexico. Although the race and nationality of the colonists was not specified in the contract—only that each colonist would have a certificate attesting to their “morality, honesty and diligence”—Ellis’s comments to the press left little doubt that he intended to fill the colonists’ ranks with African-Americans.

The colonization movement represented one of the most divisive fault lines running through African-American politics in the late 19th century. Even as they defended the right of blacks to live wherever they pleased, most black leaders, from Frederick Douglass to Norris Wright Cuney, the influential chairman of the Texas’ Republican Party, decried efforts to relocate African-Americans (a movement known in the language of the day as colonization). These figures charged that colonization not only diminished the pool of African-American voters in the United States; it also encouraged long-standing white fantasies of solving the United States’ “race problem” by ethnically cleansing all blacks from the nation. Even the great liberator Abraham Lincoln had briefly entertained thoughts of colonizing freed slaves on Mexico’s Tehuantepec isthmus or Yucatán peninsula. Above all, by presenting blacks’ real home as elsew

The most famous black Mexican was Gaspar Yanga, whom was a Mandingo slave brought to Mexico from Cuba to work the sugarcane Plantations. He successfully led a series of revolts resulting in the slaves overthrowing the Plantation owners, and founding the first free slave town in the Americas, which bears his name.

here, emigration diverted attention from what many African-Americans perceived as the more pressing task: achieving their full civil rights in the United States. “I cannot see wherein [African-Americans] would gain anything [by colonization],” contended Cuney. “They are so thoroughly identified with the perpetuity of our American institutions, that it seems to me to be rather late for them now to seek homes in a new country with the customs, government and people of which they are thoroughly unacquainted. There is much more glory, honor and gain for the colored man here in the land of his birth, and here he should stay and fight his way to the front.” 

Relocating to Mexico, however, did not necessarily represent a retreat from politics in Ellis’s eyes. Rather, it highlighted the shortcomings of Reconstruction—in particular, the federal government’s failure to support blacks’ economic aspirations. Whites blamed the poverty in which blacks found themselves trapped after Emancipation on a lack of work ethic. Ellis, in contrast, knew that the problem lay not with African-American character but rather with their lack of access to land, the foundation of wealth in a predominantly agricultural society. If the place of their birth would not facilitate black access to property, perhaps Mexico, in its desire to attract immigrants, would. “The idea of Mr. Ellis,” explained one observer, “is that the colonists will become self-sustaining farmers.”

Colonization tended to draw its support from the most marginalized members of the black community—those, unsurprisingly, who suffered the worst oppressions and therefore had the least to lose in relocating to an unfamiliar land. Even before Ellis finalized his contract with the Mexican government, he had compiled a list of several hundred families from four adjoining Texas counties— Fort Bend, Matagorda, Brazoria and Wharton, all “places where the colored people have been having trouble” in Ellis’s apt phrase—who had expressed interest in moving to Mexico. These counties were home to the largest African-American majorities in all of Texas. Not only had these conditions led unsympathetic whites to dub the region “Senegambia”; it also spawned fierce racial strife as local whites endeavored, despite the demographic imbalance, to “free . . . themselves from Negro rule” by threatening the area’s black elected officials….Read The Rest of This Engrossing Story Here

The Los Angeles Pobladores, or “townspeople,” were a group of 44 settlers and four soldiers from Mexico who established the famed city on this day in 1781 in what is now California. The settlers came from various Spanish castes, with over half of the group being of African descent.

 

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2016 in Black History

 

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PGA Dumps Tournament at Trump Course and Goes to Mexico

Mexico Birdie…Trump double Bogey…

The Trump “brand” is taking a whipping from the reactions to his racist comments. His Hotel bookings are down as much as 62%. His Casino is bankrupt, Major corporations have pulled support for the Republican Convention…

And now in a double slap, the PGA is not only yanking their major Spring event from Trump’s Doral Golf Course after 54 years – but they are moving it “across the wall” to Mexico. And did I mention, Cadillac has dropped sponsorship?

Not to mention the first of several cases against Trump’s fraudulent business practices (Trump University) are getting hot. Next in line is his fake drug supplements.

Golf tournament leaving Trump’s Doral course for Mexico, chairman says

The annual event, in Doral since 1962, is moving to Mexico City

The PGA gave Doral no indication if it will ever return to South Florida

This comes six months after the PGA said it reevaluate the future of the tournament because of Trump’s controversial comments about Muslims

The annual PGA golf tournament at Doral, a staple of South Florida sports for 54 years, is relocating to Mexico City, the tournament’s outgoing chairman said Wednesday.

Butch Buchholz, who ran the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral, said the PGA informed him on Tuesday night that it made the decision to leave South Florida because it couldn’t find a title sponsor to replace Cadillac.

“I believe they are sincere when they said they didn’t want to leave an event with a 54-year history,” Buchholz said. “They’ve got an obligation to their board and they couldn’t find a sponsor so they had to move. They don’t have a choice. The PGA Tour didn’t have a choice, If you don’t have a sponsor what can you do?”

Donald Trump foreshadowed the news on an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.

“I mean, I just heard that the PGA Tour is taking their tournament out of Miami and moving it to Mexico as an example,” Trump said. “They’re taking it — it’s at Doral, it’s at — they used one of my places. They’re moving their tournament, it’s the Cadillac World Golf Championship. And Cadillac’s been a great sponsor, but they’re moving it to Mexico. They’re moving it to Mexico City which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance. But they’re moving it to Mexico City. And I’m saying, you know, what’s going on here? It is so sad when you look at what’s going on with our country.”

The PGA said in December that it would “explore all options regarding the event’s future” in the wake of Trump’s controversial proposal last year to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the United States.

Buchholz said he did not know whether Trump’s comments were the primary reason why the PGA was unable to find a sponsor to replace Cadillac, which informed the tour a year ago that it would not renew.

PGA Tour officials could not immediately be reached.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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Mexicans Feeling the Love for Trump

As is a custom in Mexico, the effigies of the evil are burned at Easter…This year, Donald Trump and “El Chapo” the drug kingpin were quite popular.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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So Much for the Catholic Vote…

Trumps automatic response to any criticism has been to come back swinging. While is has been sometimes successful, especially against other candidates – it has also resulted in some huge losses…AKA Megyn Kelly.

The current version of that is to go after the Pope, who in current incarnation the job is filled by a pretty likeable guy who is making a lot of inroads around the world in sometimes, unexpected places. Furthermore Donald, I kind of hate to be the first one to tell you this…But in this case, the Pope actually IS Holier than thou.

Anyway to the Trumpazoid!

Donald Trump just flung this insane rant at Pope Francis — and maybe just lost the presidency

Donald Trump has responded to Pope Francis, who on Thursday said the GOP candidate was not a Christian because of his comments about immigrants.

“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened,” a statement on his website reads. “ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.”

READ MORE: Pope Francis sends unhinged Trump supporters into a white-hot rage: ‘He’s prob a Muslim in disguise!’

Pope Francis had criticized Trump’s rhetoric earlier today while finishing up his trip through Mexico, saying that, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”

Trump lashed out at the Pope for questioning his Christian faith.

“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” he wrote. (Uhhhhh…Ignoring the “Obama Exception” here, Donald? Sort of like this – Cruz-loving End Times pastor uses numerology to prove Obama sacrificed Scalia in pagan ritual) “I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. (The old “Obama is a Muslim scam?) No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. (Except if that religious leader is a white, racist, fundamentalist …In which case it’s OK)They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.” (Hate to tell you this #2. More Mexicans have left the US to go home than have come here the last 8 years…)

Francis isn’t the only one to call Trump’s faith into question. Trump has bungled Bible quotes and verses in the past in efforts to charm religious voters.

Furthermore, characterizing undocumented border crossing as “rampant” flies in the face of reality, as immigration across the southern border is at a low and many of those crossing are fleeing violence, according to the LA Times.

Nevertheless, Trump has made talk about building a bigger wall — which he implausibly says Mexico will pay for — along the southern border his go-to crowd pleaser.

Francis stopped short of telling Catholic voters who to choose, but did say, “I would only say that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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About that Dumb Assed Border Wall

Millions of illegal immigrants flooded over the border to the US because of jobs. George W Bush and the Republican Reprobates took care of that problem. Since 2007, those folks – faced with unemployment – have been going home.

Unless you expect Syrian Refugees to cut grass and hang drywall for a living…Rethugs better be building that wall to keep them here.

More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S.

More Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico from the U.S. than have migrated here since the end of the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from both countries. The same data sources also show the overall flow of Mexican immigrants between the two countries is at its smallest since the 1990s, mostly due to a drop in the number of Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S.

From 2009 to 2014, 1 million Mexicans and their families (including U.S.-born children) left the U.S. for Mexico,according to data from the 2014 Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID). U.S. census data for the same period show an estimated 870,000 Mexican nationals left Mexico to come to the U.S., a smaller number than the flow of families from the U.S. to Mexico.

Measuring migration flows between Mexico and the U.S. is challenging because there are no official counts of how many Mexican immigrants enter and leave the U.S. each year. This report uses the best available government data from both countries to estimate the size of these flows. The Mexican data sources — a national household survey, and two national censuses — asked comparable questions about household members’ migration to and from Mexico over the five years previous to each survey or census date. In addition, estimates of Mexican migration to the U.S. come from U.S. Census Bureau data, adjusted for undercount, on the number of Mexican immigrants who live in the U.S….Read the Rest Here

 

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Excorcism….

This one was amazing. I certainly have heard lore about exorcisms being practiced on individuals by (typically) Catholic Priests…

But an exorcism on a whole country?

The Extraordinary Exorcism of Mexico

Christian exorcism has become so popular worldwide that now it’s not only performed on tormented individuals but also on entire nations. A few weeks ago Mexico, the second largest Catholic country, was exorcised of its demons in an unprecedented rite of Exorcismo Magno performed in secret in the city of San Luis Potosi. On May 20, the renowned Spanish exorcist José Antonio Fortea, author of the book “El Exorcismo Magno,” joined Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, and a cadre of trained exorcists to perform the maximum type of Catholic exorcism, reserved for nations and dioceses, on the Mexican Republic itself. In an interview with the Catholic press, the famed exorcist, Father Fortea, explained that the Exorcismo Magno is “useful in situations in which great violence has been unleashed in a country.”

Mexico, of course, has been plagued by hyper-violence since 2006 when former president, Felipe Calderon launched an unprecedented assault on some of the major drug cartels. Since then an estimated 100,000 Mexicans have died in the ongoing battles over access to the largest drug market on earth here in the U.S. The first Latin American pope, Francis, has paid special attention to the conflict in Mexico. The chief reason for the recent promotion of the archbishop of Morelia to cardinal was his condemnations of the narco-violence plaguing his home state of Michoacan. The South American pontiff even got himself in a bit of hot water with his recent warning to his native Argentina to avoid “Mexicanization”of the country. And if Mexican folk saint, Santa Muerte, has been condemned by the Vatican and is denounced on a weekly basis in Mexico, it’s because the Church views the skeleton saint as the poster child of the narco-culture of death.

However, the cadre of exorcists working behind closed doors were not only expelling the demons of narco-violence but also of abortion. Though it doesn’t receive extensive international media coverage, the Church in Mexico has felt besieged since abortion was legalized in Mexico City in 2007. Legal and free abortion during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy ranks among the most liberal policies in Latin America, along with those of Uruguay and Cuba. In Mexico legislation on abortion is determined at the state-level, so there is considerable variation among the thirty-one states. One of the reasons the state of San Luis Potosi was chosen as the site of the unprecedented exorcism was because of its status as an early opponent of legal abortion. The Mexican church roundly regards the national capital city as a den of iniquity because of its estimated 100,000 legal abortions since 2007 and its status as one of Latin America’s most liberal cities. This was one of the reasons that Pope Benedict XVI bypassed Latin America’s largest city and headed instead to Leon, the industrial city in Guanajuato, Mexico’s most Catholic state and also one of its most culturally conservative.

The exorcism of the demons of abortion was also done on cue from Pope Francis. The Latin America pope surprised many with his impromptu public exorcism of a Mexican parishioner who claimed to be possessed by four different demons of abortion.Catholic journalist Roberto O’Farrill reported the demons possessing the Mexican parishioner as saying “you are all stupid because she (the Virgin Mary) ran us out of Mexico and now you with your stupid laws have allowed sacrifice, human sacrifice, to return to Mexico. We don’t want to say this, but she steps on our heads and forces us.” O’Farrill, who was the sole journalist permitted to witness the Exorcismo Magno in San Luis Potosi, added that during the recent rite the demons said they had returned to Mexico with a new infestation centered in Mexico City.

Exorcism, especially among Catholics and Pentecostals, has been surging worldwide for the past couple decades, but there’s no doubt that Pope Francis, between performing a spontaneous one at the Vatican and making frequent references to the devil and demons, has given it a further boost. The exorcism of Mexico marks a fascinating new development in which entire nations are viewed as demon possessed. Where might Father Fortea perform his next Exorcismo Magno?

73 conservatives running for President….We need one of those right here in the US of A!

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in You Know It's Bad When...

 

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