Archive for the ‘Mexico’ category

I’m Really Serious

April 2, 2019

President Trump told us this week that “he” would close the US-Mexican border… for a very long time… he was very serious…  This was all due to the tactics the Trump Administration has used to curtail central American attempts to immigrate.  President Trump, as he has told us, is so much smarter than previous Presidents and knows how to deal with problems like this.  Hmmm.

Not unlike trade, immigration is a complex problem which bites both ways.  Placing tariffs on another country’s goods and services almost always does two things… (1) tariffs bring higher prices to your own country’s consumers, and (2) brings on tariffs from the other country which impedes sales of your own country’s exports.  Hmmm.  Sounds to me like a lose-lose.

Now the President has huffed and puffed that he will close the US-Mexican border (which does almost $2 billion in trade each day).  The President thinks that Mexico is not doing enough to slow down the flow of refugees from Mexico and Central America across the southwest US border.  The President has told Americans he is so smart and knows how to solve complex problems like immigration.  I guess this current situation is a proof.

It should take Americans no more than a few moments to realize that this President Trump solution is as bozo  as any of this previous out of sight solutions.  Like tariffs on China, ask the midwest farmers how things are working out.  The cure the President is recommending will cost Americans dearly.

Who exactly is advising this President?

President Trump’s Mexican policies are on the surface self defeating measures.  US supply chains are fully integrated into Mexican customers and suppliers.  No Presidential blah-hah-hah will alter reality.  And of all Trump’s “let me cry wolf” statements, the President saying he is really serious.  How come his words sound like “wolf, wolf”?

 

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Bully, Bully President Trump

January 27, 2017

These are worrisome times. The US electorate is split and the fairly even divide falls along numerous fractured lines. President Trump apparently taking advantage of these splits has, as promised, begun his Presidency with one bombastic statement after another. Fast and furious if there was ever an example. What is the method of his madness?

President Trump has been obsessed with the fact that he lost the popular vote (which he denies) and added to the “who cares” list, that his inauguration was attended by more people than President Obama’s (it was not). Again who cares.

President Trump apparently has decided that his first fight will be against a small nation, Mexico. He has proposed a 20% tariff on all US imported Mexican goods, which could cripple the Mexican economy if Congress would pass such a law. And don’t we already have a trade agreement with Mexico which precludes any additional tariffs? And I wonder what the World Trade Organization will say about this arbitrary behavior?

The trap thinking people face is to attempt to assign a logical reason for each of President Trump’s actions. From a cursory view, most of his declarations are fact starved. Most statements do not seem connected to an overall theme even though President Trump helps the listener with “Make America Great Again”.

The kindest observation might be President Trump, or his advisors, have thought about all these statements and are just anxious to get things done. While this may be true, a more cynical view might be safer.

Donald Trump was a bully. President Trump is bully, bully. Accordingly, one can expect him to pick on anyone or any country which cannot go tit for tat with him or the US. This will be our face to the world. Does it work for you?

Even more cynical is the thought that Donald Trump is not just a bully but also a “clever fox”, trying to keep Americans off guard, arguing about meaningless issues, so that he or his inner circle supporters can sneak something by.

The irony may be that we had all better hope that President Trump has ulterior motives. Otherwise, the evidence leads to someone unfit for office.

The Catholic Disease

February 15, 2016

Pope Francis is visiting Mexico and has taken the opportunity to speak out about the scourges of the Mexican drug cartels and the poverty brought on by Mexico’s income inequality. The Pope has clearly identified two great curses with which Mexico finds itself.  As usual, Pope Francis smiles and then speaks from his heart what everyone could see but acts if it were not there.

The Pope, however, did not speak out on the dangers of the Zika virus.

Speaking out on the latest world health threat, however, was Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner speaking in Brazil. The good Bishop reaffirmed the Catholic Church position on birth control, “no way, no how”. The Bishop recommended abstinence or the infamous “rhythm method” as the most appropriate methods to guard against transmitting Zika virus through sexual contact. Hmmm.

This advice is reminiscent of Pope Benedict’s advice to the faithful in AIDS infested central Africa, “condoms are against church teachings”. And the science (or even Biblical teachings) are what?

Unlike most religious teachings which impact only the faithful, the lack of safe sex and family planning advice endangers the lives of many more, especially those who can barely take care of themselves. The Catholic Church’s position on safe sex and family planning in the 21st century is nothing short of shameful.

Given Pope Francis’ public speeches one is left with the impression he clearly recognizes the hypocrisy and inherent danger surrounding the church’s condemnation of family planning and safe sex. One must assume Pope Francis has just been to busy to take on the Bishop Steiners of this world.

Hmmm.