Saturday, May 06, 2006

E-Mail - "American Working In Mexico"

As has happened many times, I have received an e-mail that sounded all too fake. I've gotten several of these and a few times I've posted them here. The e-mail was entitled "Fw: American working In Mexico" and probably many of you have also received it. I always research the veracity of the e-mail before passing them along. I didn't have to go far because Gerard at American Digest did all the heavy lifting for me. He had a lead I didn't get - the name of the original author, Tom O'Malley.

Gerard located Tom O'Malley and found the story to be true. Gerard interviewed O'Malley for half an hour during which O'Malley said,
"It certainly was true when I worked in Mexico. I can't speak for current conditions, but things don't change much in that country...

O'Malley was not in any way being "anti-Mexican." During the interview, O'Malley said, "The people there are wonderful people. Each and every one of them. They're kind and polite and considerate to a fault. But their situation in Mexico is terrible. And still, they tolerate it. I guess they don't have any choice."

"It breaks your heart to see how exploited these people are. Not only in Mexico, but when they come up here for work. Can it be changed? Maybe if we were to make Mexico a 51st state and export our system of laws and somehow reduce the overwhelming level of corruption in that country."

Tom O'Malley was surprised his message has been read by so many people around the world. When you read the following e-mail, you will understand the fame.

I spent five years working in Mexico.

I worked under a tourist visa for three months and could legally renew it for three more months. After that you were working illegally. I was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.

During that six months our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my US passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara's was the same except hers did not permit her to work.

To apply for the FM3 I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies) of my:

1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.
2. Marriage certificate.
3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.
4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.
5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.
6. A letter from The ST. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest record in the US and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good standing."
7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth" letter. It was fun to write.

All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.

Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours accompanied by a Mexican attorney touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location (and we remember at least four locations) we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face the consequences.

We could not protest any of the government's actions or we would be committing a felony.
We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and bribes to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by US customs in Loredo Texas. This meant we rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.

We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.

We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and finger print equipment and the laminating machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.

We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of our FM3 as our ID number. The company's Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. It was about twenty legal size pages annually.

The FM 3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying more fees.
Leaving the country meant turning in the FM 3 and certifying we were leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.

It was a real adventure and If any of our senators or congressmen went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.

The Mexican Government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its citizens intimidated and compliant.

They never protest at their White House or government offices but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy. The US embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican Military surround the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on US or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in California or Texas.

Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on illegal immigrants.

Tom O'Malley


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gangs of New York Baghdad

Iraq has been described by the anti-war crowd and al Qaida as a great training ground for terrorists. Well, it's not just for terrorists anymore - Latino gangs from America are taking advantage of the opportunity to get real military combat training and military equipment. According to the Chicago Sun Times, since April 2002, the Defense Dept has identified 320 soldiers with allegiances to various gangs back home who continue their activities in the Sand Box.

The Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice Lords were born decades ago in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. Now, their gang graffiti is showing up 6,400 miles away in one of the world's most dangerous neighborhoods -- Iraq.

Armored vehicles, concrete barricades and bathroom walls all have served as canvasses for their spray-painted gang art. At Camp Cedar II, about 185 miles southeast of Baghdad, a guard shack was recently defaced with "GDN" for Gangster Disciple Nation, along with the gang's six-pointed star and the word "Chitown," a soldier who photographed it said.

A law enforcement source in Chicago said police see some evidence of soldiers working with gangs here. Police recently stopped a vehicle and found 10 military flak jackets inside. A gang member in the vehicle told investigators his brother was a Marine and sent the jackets home, the source said.

Barfield said he knows of civilian gang members in the Seattle area who also have been caught with flak jackets that he suspects were stolen from Fort Lewis.

Barfield said he has documented gang-affiliated soldiers' involvement in drug dealing, gunrunning and other criminal activity off base. More than a year ago, a soldier tied to a white supremacy group was caught trying to ship an assault rifle from Iraq to the United States in pieces, he said.

In Texas, the FBI is bracing for the transfer of gang-connected soldiers from Fort Hood in central Texas to Fort Bliss near El Paso as part of the nation's base realignments. FBI Special Agent Andrea Simmons said gang-affiliated soldiers from Fort Hood could clash with civilian gang members in El Paso.

"We understand that [some] soldiers and dependents at Fort Hood tend to be under the Folk Nation umbrella, including the Gangster Disciples and Crips," Simmons said. "In El Paso, the predominant gang, without much competition, is the Barrio Azteca. We could see some kind of turf war between the Barrio Aztecas and the Folk Nation."

They seemed like such nice kids with all of those pretty tats, they like to fight, and, gee whiz, it just seemed like such a good idea at the time. Besides, who cares if a few gangsters die defending freedom?


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Day Without ILLEGAL Immigrants

Today across this great nation, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, border jumpers, wetbacks, snowbacks, and others with very little respect for the laws of the United States took to the streets again to protest. People who have no right to be here, no right to protest, and no right to blackmail this nation decided they have the right to disrupt the day. They decided they have the right to demand to be treated as citizens without being citizens; they decided they have the right to demand all European peoples remove themselves from the Southwestern United States. But, they themselves won't leave despite the fact that 60% of Mexicans are Spanish-Amerindians, 30% mostly Amerindian, with the remaining portion being the ever mysterious "other".

In Los Angeles, 2200+ school teachers did not report to work and 72,000+ students didn't show up for classes. Those teachers and students who did show up said it was a very good day without immigrants. There were no violent confrontations between students and teachers could actually teach - in ENGLISH. The freeways were clear, there were no lines for lunch or banking, stores were not swamped with ill-mannered small children running around like savages while their mothers ignore them. If one didn't know that immigrants run a city that can't operate without them, one would not know anyone was missing.

And just when I thought things are completely lost and my representatives in Sacramento have totally sold out my state of Califoornia, a single Assemblyman spoke out in an article published in Eco-Logic Powerhouse. We need more Representaives like Ray Haynes, California State Assemblymember.

Just what about "illegal" do they not understand?
By Ray Haines

Sonny Bono, in the fight over Proposition 187 (the 1994 initiative that would have rescinded welfare benefits for illegal aliens), had the best line about the debate over illegal immigration. Many charges were tossed back and forth about the initiative, and the motivation of its sponsors. The response of the future Congressman to those charges was always: "What is it about illegal that they don't understand?"

Exactly!

Like many others, I watched television as the protestors waved their Mexican flags, then changed those flags to American flags, then yelled "Si Se Puede," then yelled "Yes, We Can," then demanded the same rights as American citizens, then said they were Americans.

Well, no, they are not. When someone breaks the laws of this country to enter it, for whatever reason, whether it is to work, or obtain free medical care, free food, welfare, a driver's license, and reduced college tuition, they are still not Americans. We have a legally-mandated process, established after years of debate, negotiations, arguments, social consensus, and legal maneuverings to determine how someone becomes a citizen. Until someone follows that process, they are not Americans, not entitled to become Americans, not entitled to claim to be Americans, and not entitled to the rights of Americans.

We are a very generous country. We allow more people than any other country in the world to come into our country legally, stay, and become naturalized citizens. We are second-to-none in welcoming people from all cultures to join us in the world's common quest to extend Representative government and individual liberty, throughout the world. We don't even really ask that much of people to go through the process. It may take some time, and it is usually stuck in the inevitable bureaucracy, but once someone has completed the process, they are Americans. In France, you can move to France, but you never become French. You can move to China, but you will never become Chinese. If you follow a few simple steps, you can move to the United States, and become an American.

One of those steps is not sneaking through the fence, avoiding the law for ten years, receiving thousands of dollars in government aid, and then demanding amnesty for your illegal behavior. Yet, at this time, thousands of people throughout this country are demanding that we make that a legitimate way of becoming an American citizen. In essence, they want to profit from their illegal behavior.

That is just not right. Go home, follow the law, come here legally, and we will welcome you with open arms. Break our laws, and we will be justifiably outraged by your behavior. That is how it is, and how it ought to be.

I tried to qualify the California Border Police last year to do one simple thing – enforce federal immigration law, mainly because the federal government was refusing to do so. It sparked a national debate on the question of enforcement, and we are seeing that debate play itself out in Washington today. Enforcement of the law is the right thing to do. If we find that the law doesn't work, that we need a larger labor pool, then we debate the best way to accomplish that goal. But, if we don't enforce the laws we have now, it won't matter what laws we have in the future. We will still fail to have an immigration policy.

The first thing that makes anyone a good American is their ability to follow the law. That is all anyone is asking these protestors to do. It is not that hard, and, if they do it, we will all be their good friends and neighbors.




The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

UNITED 93

United 93 is one of those movies one does not "enjoy" despite the many entreaties of the theater staff to "Enjoy the show." I did not enjoy Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan or American History X. These are must see films which one should not expect to enjoy. (I didn't enjoy Pearl Harbor either, but that movie just sucked.)

This is the story of the only plane hijacked on 9/11 (when everyone was an American for a day) that didn't reach its target and how the hijackings took America by total surprise. The film highlights the inability of ordinary, but professional people, to grasp a situation that was absolutely new to them until it was too late. From the FAA to the Pentagon to the White House to the studios of CNN, no one could comprehend the unfolding crisis. The passengers of United 93 had to think faster than the pros on the ground because their lives depended on doing something now.

The director kept the suspense despite the fact that everyone in the theater knows the ending. Briefly, the bad guys lose, the good guys win, and everybody dies. The director used no exterior shots of the plane in flight. That would have been ridiculous as we couldn't possibly see the exterior of the plane at the altitude and angel in real life. Many of the actors were playing themselves recreating their words and actions on 9/11. The head air traffic controller who shut down American air space was the real guy as were the significant controllers. Several of the military staff were also the real deal lending a documentary style re-enactment to the movie. That's what he was going for - realism.

One of the passengers was a good looking, blond, fair skinned Euro-weenie guy. I don't know if he was real or just a theatrical device, but he kept advising the passengers to just go along with the demands of the hijackers, 'don't interfere and they will let us go' kind of lunacy. I actually wanted the passengers to beat the crap out of him before they took on the terrorists. I wasn't disappointed.

Can we do that to the Democrats now? Beat the crap out of them before we take on the terrorists, I mean.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.