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11251  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: September 07, 2010, 09:32:55 AM
This just in.......

The existence of non-muslims found to inflame, provoke muslims.  rolleyes
11252  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 07, 2010, 08:31:46 AM

Exactly how many 9/11s are we supposed to just shrug off?
11253  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 06, 2010, 09:56:22 PM
The various states do try to get some return from inmate labor, but most individuals housed in anything above minimum security are not the inmates you want out in public.
11254  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 06, 2010, 08:56:46 PM
Removing children from criminal, addicted, and violent parents would be a good thing, and law enforcement attempts to do so, though "social workers" usually try to re-unite the families.. However some criminals emerge from intact, happy, well adjusted families, so that's not all of the answer.
11255  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 06, 2010, 01:53:27 PM
We didn't do enough, post 9/11. Unsecured borders, political correctness have hampered what needs to be done.
11256  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: September 06, 2010, 01:51:06 PM
**In Crafty's first post, the puff piece fails to point out the jihadist links various "spokespeople"/islamic organizations have. Kind of important, no?**

11257  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It's really going to work this time! on: September 06, 2010, 10:18:36 AM

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
11258  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 06, 2010, 09:00:01 AM

IN NEARLY A HALF-CENTURY, little has changed in terms of deeply ingrained beliefs about the causes of crime. In the classic, still often performed, 1957 musical West Side Story, Stephen Sondheim parodied what then was the current thinking about juvenile delinquency in the song "Gee, Officer Krupke." Delinquents were punks because their fathers were drunks. They were misunderstood rather than no good. They were suffering from a "social disease," and society "had played [them] a terrible trick." They needed an analyst, not a judge, because it was "just [their] neurosis" acting up. In short, their criminal behavior was regarded as symptomatic of a deep-seated psychological or sociological problem. In this chapter I shall briefly discuss this proposition. In subsequent chapters I shall examine them in greater detail and show that the prevalent thinking about crime has been and still is loaded with fundamental misconceptions resulting in devastating consequences for society.

A man abducts, rapes, and murders a little girl. We, the public, may be so revolted by the gruesomeness of the crime that we conclude only a sick person could be capable of such an act. But our personal gut reaction shows no insight into, or understanding of, what really went on in this individual's mind as he planned and executed the crime. True, what the perpetrator inflicted upon this child is not "normal" behavior. But what does "sick" really mean? A detailed and lengthy examination of the mind of a criminal will reveal that, no matter how bizarre or repugnant the crime, he is rational, calculating, and deliberate in his actions--not mentally ill.
11259  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 06, 2010, 08:47:15 AM

Most Americans readily support rehabilitation for convicted offenders--after all, on the face of it, many of these people have been dealt a bad hand, or at least have made poor choices, and surely would mend their ways if only they had access to enlightened forms of treatment, vocational training, or other programs. Yet an objective assessment of the research literature reveals that the majority of these rehabilitative programs have little or no lasting impact on recidivism.
11260  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 06, 2010, 08:29:03 AM
"One of the conclusions that we came to is that a major problem with our system is that it is a half-and-half system that does the worst of both worlds.  There's the rehabilitation by hammer system, aka France, where you fit into the mold or you die.  And there's  the complete rehabilitation system that a couple of other European nations use (Finland might be one).  In those, most criminals save the most horrible ones, are essentially sentenced to a prison version of a military college.

Both styles work better than what we do in the US."

Got any stats to support this?
11261  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 04, 2010, 08:15:58 PM

NLV judge: Some cases not being prosecuted


If her killer had been kept in jail, Tamequa Williams would be alive today, the judge who handled the case says, and he would have been, had the county cared enough to prosecute.
11262  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 04, 2010, 07:09:11 PM

Whoops! Sorry!
11263  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 04, 2010, 05:47:49 PM

**Reminds me of Blutosky from Animal House. "Hey, you fcuked up, you trusted us".
11264  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 04, 2010, 05:08:00 PM
Parts of Arizona are controlled by the cartels, yet this is what the DOJ wants to devote it's resources to.
11265  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 04, 2010, 10:36:49 AM

Nothing stopping you from paying for illegal alien medical bill out of your own pocket.
11266  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: September 03, 2010, 09:57:03 PM
"Racial Industrial Complex" flows better, but seems less clear.
11267  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: September 03, 2010, 09:51:03 PM
11268  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: September 03, 2010, 08:30:17 PM

Shocking!  rolleyes
11269  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 03, 2010, 03:13:51 PM

PARIS - Friday in Paris. A hidden camera shows streets blocked by huge crowds of Muslim worshippers and enforced by a private security force.

This is all illegal in France: the public worship, the blocked streets, and the private security. But the police have been ordered not to intervene.

It shows that even though some in the French government want to get tough with Muslims and ban the burqa, other parts of the French government continue to give Islam a privileged status.

An ordinary French citizen who has been watching the Islamization of Paris decided that the world needed to see what was happening to his city. He used a hidden camera to start posting videos on YouTube. His life has been threatened and so he uses the alias of "Maxime Lepante. " 
11270  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: September 03, 2010, 02:11:24 PM

Classic "Do as I say, not as I do" of the left.
11271  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: September 03, 2010, 02:10:26 PM
Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, Obama's Rev. Wright. The NAACP and similar groups.

Allegedly advocates for minorities, the are big businesses, and real progress for minorities is the last thing they want.
11272  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: September 03, 2010, 01:40:49 PM

Gutfeld on the Muslim gay bar: “This might be the greatest idea I’ve ever had”
11273  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What's at stake.... on: September 03, 2010, 12:17:43 PM
After The Fall
posted at 12:51 am on September 3, 2010 by Doctor Zero

The November elections may well be the most historic reversal of political power in modern history.  Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics thinks over 60 seats in the House could go Republican.  Dick Morris is ready to toss another 20 seats into the ante.  A more restrained estimate in the high 40s comes from Larry Sabato, who also reminds us the Senate almost always switches parties when the House does.

The usual caveats apply: campaigns will stumble, local issues will come into play, unforeseen events could change the minds of jittery voters, and skeletons have a habit of tumbling from closets around Halloween.  Still, it seems very likely the GOP will at least take the House.  Thanks to the Tea Party influence, some old RINOs will also be replaced by tough new war elephants.

What then?

The highest priority for Americans is the repeal of ObamaCare, whose damage to our dignity, economy, and health care system is absolutely intolerable.  Outright repeal must wait until Obama has been replaced in 2012, but a Republican Congress can neutralize the worst provisions of the bill, sealing its toxic waste into lead-lined containers until we can shoot it off into space and be rid of it.

There is some concern that a successful Republican Congress will engineer enough prosperity to pump air into the Obama re-election campaign.  Knowing ObamaCare was dead would send a euphoric surge through an economy that has spent the last couple of years curled up in the corner, hugging itself and whimpering as it awaits the next beating from Democrats.  ObamaCare killed tens of thousands of jobs almost immediately, and the weight of its mandates has been crushing job creation, especially among smaller businesses.  It seems reasonable to believe its repeal would produce a far stronger surge of payroll expansion than any of the gimmicks being kicked around by statists today.

This is why the election of solid, articulate conservatives to Congress is so essential.  If the Republican wave in 2010 is an isolated outpouring of voter anger, we’ll have trouble finishing the job in 2012, and could soon find ourselves right back where we started.  It’s not enough for the electorate to “throw the bums out” this year.  We have to teach them to build electrified fences topped with razor wire around the federal government, to keep those bums from ever returning.

It takes nothing away from Obama’s failures as President to point out that he did not create our current situation on his own.  He bankrupted us, but we were already on shaky financial ground when he arrived.  He detonated the deficit to pay off his political allies in the historic “stimulus” heist, but his crew wasn’t the first to roll out of the Treasury with bags of taxpayer swag in their fists.  Barack Obama is the absurd final extension of a system that has been dying for longer than most of us have been alive.  He didn’t change the course of the State.  He just stepped on the gas.

Conservatives underestimate the inertia of that gigantic, doomed engine at their peril.  The apparatus of the federal government is like nanotechnology: self-sustaining and self-replicating.  Powers it has seized are never returned.  Its budgets are never cut.  It howls in agony if the rate of budget increase is even slightly reduced.  In the past two years, trillions of dollars in new commitments have been added to its bulk.  The media will eagerly assist Democrats in strapping the poor and destitute to its hide as armor, to turn away budget-cutting knives.

What will be crucial for Republicans after 2010 is leadership. It is essential to make the voters understand how we got here, and restate the Constitutional principles that render so much of this bloated government utterly immoral, as well as ineffective.  Encouraging voters to pour unfocused anger at Obama is ultimately counter-productive, because he didn’t create the crumbling system he presides over.  Its foundations were laid long before his birth, and it won’t magically improve as soon as he’s gone.

In fact, letting the voters work out their frustrations on an Obama punching bag is dangerous, because once they’re exhausted, there are far too many ways he could talk them out of their anger.  No matter how unpopular he might be now, a Democrat president who enjoys the slavish devotion of the media will always have potent protection against personal criticism.  We will be told that failure to re-elect Obama is a sin… an unforgivable act of racism and bigotry, and a hate crime against the vulnerable people he supposedly represents.  It is necessary to run against the corrupt and venal system he truly represents.

Look beyond that campaign to 2013, and imagine a political environment in which the signature “achievement” of the Obama presidency is seen as one of the worst mistakes in recent history.  The Democrats invested every drop of their political capital in passing it.  They twisted arms, cut seedy backroom deals, and ultimately shoved it down the throats of a protesting majority of Americans.  Imagine a jubilant nation celebrating the repeal of this disaster, and the defeat of the party that inflicted it on us.  Nothing like it has happened in the modern era.  Political parties dissolve after that kind of defeat.  There will never be more solid ground for conservatives to stand upon, as they begin the daunting task of dismantling the out-of-control system that produced the poisonous notion of socialized medicine.  There will never be a better time to return to the just, and effective, principles that guided us before we lost our way in the New Deal and Great Society.

If we fail to create and use that opportunity, our next appeal to the voters will come among the ruins, after a collapse that every one of us should be united in our determination to prevent.  There is nothing patriotic about allowing our fellow citizens – even those who hate us – to live through what is coming next.  Nothing like it has ever happened in the modern era, either.  We stand within a dozen years of watching this mighty nation devour itself in a frenzy of non-negotiable, utterly impossible demands.

Jim Geraghty of National Review relays some sage advice from his political mentor: “This election is not about Obama.  It’s about what Democrats have been since 1972.”  It’s also about preventing them from assuming their twisted and ravenous state in the future.  We need healthy opposition parties.  The long-term prosperity, and perhaps survival, of our nation requires the improvement of the Republican Party… and the transformation of the Democrats.  That is the great task awaiting us, after the fall.

Cross-posted at
11274  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: September 02, 2010, 10:37:52 PM
Bayh is the blue dog alternative to O-barry. Hillary is the NPR listener and further leftwards alternative. Hillary was born in '47. 2012 means her last best chance to be the first woman to be elected president.

Speaking of Bayh:
11275  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hide the motive, when the motive is leftist on: September 02, 2010, 09:21:39 PM

Media again disappointed they can't blame Limbaugh.
11276  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: September 02, 2010, 06:53:10 PM

Tanned, rested and ready?  grin
11277  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: September 02, 2010, 06:16:48 PM,8599,2015629,00.html

How Barack Obama Became Mr. Unpopular

11278  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: September 02, 2010, 04:57:35 PM

**Sounds of knives being sharpened....
11279  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama springs into action! on: September 02, 2010, 11:27:04 AM

Arizona Now Has ‘Whopping 30’ National Guard Troops and 15 Billboard Signs Warning Citizens About Drug Cartels Operating on Public Lands
11280  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: No Trespassing on: September 02, 2010, 09:15:30 AM

Take-Home Squads
One could argue that having that squad in the driveway must be one heck of a crime deterrent. I would disagree and say that it is an open invitation for the local bad guy to come in and talk with you. At minimum it is an indicator of whether or not you are home or out working.

Can you see some potential problems here? If you’re out working, who is at your house? If you are home, where is the best place for somebody to find you in condition white?

If you are one of these “home office” officers, you have likely had a few people pay you a visit to ask a question or complain about a ticket/arrest. It’s not very likely that your local population understands that your “business hours” change from day to day depending on what shift you are working so it is possible that you will be running the lawn mower, working on the car, or playing with your kids when they stop by. This can create some interesting situations, and while most are relatively harmless we and our families should be prepared for one that is not.

Have you talked with your spouse and family about the “what if’s” that could arise because of your profession? What if an irate local bum shows up on the doorstep and decides to make an issue out of a past arrest? What if the situation becomes a use-of-force incident? Does your family know how to protect themselves? Do they know what should they do if you become involved in a use-of-force incident on your own front doorstep? What if your family becomes the target of retaliation? Think about these issues and make sure you have a family plan if trouble comes knocking on your door.
11281  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: No Trespassing on: September 01, 2010, 05:01:14 PM
I'd agree that being low key is a good idea. You want to blend in with the neighborhood. If you look like Ft. Knox, you'll attract unwanted attention.
11282  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: September 01, 2010, 11:34:07 AM

11283  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: No Trespassing on: September 01, 2010, 10:35:01 AM
Making your home look like someone that works in law enforcement lives there can bring more problems to you rather than reduce the threat of crime.

They key elements are securing the residence, both day and night. Make the place look occupied at all times. Good lighting, as mentioned before. Keep in mind that most residential burglaries happen during daylight hours.
11284  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: No Trespassing on: August 31, 2010, 09:52:06 AM
NRA/gun ownership indicators can also tell burglars that valuable firearms are to be found inside. Guns are one of the few things that actually go for more on the black market than retail.
11285  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War on the Southern Border: Cartels, Terrorists are Winning on: August 30, 2010, 06:44:31 PM,css.print/pub_detail.asp

War on the Southern Border: Cartels, Terrorists are Winning

August 30, 2010 - Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, US Army (Ret)

There was a time a time when the municipality of San Fernando in northeastern Mexico was known for farming, fishing and a quiet way of life. Today, it is associated with death. This week, a young Ecuadorean with bullet holes through his shoulder and cheek told the story of how he and his travelling companions on their way to the US in search of work had been kidnapped in San Fernando by the Zetas, one of Mexico’s drug cartels. Even Monterrey, the country’s industrial center known until recently for its peaceful lifestyle, has been turned upside down with terror. The past few months have seen an increase in so-called “narco-bloqueos” or impromptu roadblocks by drugs gangs to create maximum chaos in the selected cities and thwart any local authority   to keep the peace.
 “They pulled us out of the truck violently and demanded money,” The young Ecuadorian told authorities after managing to escape. “They said that they were Zetas and that they would pay us $1,000 every two weeks [if we joined them] but we didn’t accept and they opened fire.” Mexican authorities confirmed the account when they discovered in a remote and semi-derelict grain warehouse 72 bullet-ridden bodies with their hands tied and eyes bandaged. Among them was a woman in the final stages of pregnancy.
Revelations of what has now been confirmed as the worst massacre since Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s president, declared war on organized crime almost four years ago have focused international attention on the country’s drug war like never before.  They have underlined the extent to which the cartels have moved into other avenues of crime, such as extortion, kidnapping and human trafficking. And they have left Mexicans with the increasing feeling that the government is losing the war.
It used to be possible to pay little heed to Mexico’s drugs cartels, which supply an estimated 80-90 per cent of the cocaine consumed in the US, as well as a substantial chunk of marijuana, methamphetamines and heroin. Today, the violence resulting from bloody inter-cartel battles over local markets and international smuggling routes affects just about everyone.
Less than a week ago, police found four decapitated bodies hanging from a bridge in a wealthy area of Cuernavaca, a weekend getaway about an hour from Mexico City prized for its climate of eternal spring. The victims’ genitals had been hacked off and their little fingers removed. Nearby, police found a calling card left by the South Pacific Cartel, a relatively new drugs syndicate.
Remember the “plaza”, that sunlit square complete with bubbling fountain in the middle that forms any self-respecting image of a Mexican town? Today, it means a local territory for dealing drugs.

Dar piso - The literal translation of “dar piso” is to “give floor” (to something). Today it means to kill someone or to “take them out”. Narco- Perhaps the most flexible term in the new vocabulary is the prefix “narco”.
Try “narcocandidato”, the term for describing a corrupt politician. Or “narcofiesta”, a party of rabble-rousing music, pretty girls and plenty of white cowboy hats held by and for drug traffickers. Then there is the somewhat older term “narcocorrido”, a ballad whose lyrics are specifically about mafia culture.  Things got so bad this week that Coparmex, a national confederation of 36,000 businesses that account for one-third of Mexico’s economic output, demanded that federal, state and municipal governments fulfilled their obligations to protect citizens. Mexico’s security arrangements are a patchwork of institutions – there are more than 1,600 separate police forces dotted around the country – with little or no information-sharing and notoriously vulnerable to bribes and corruption.
11286  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface on: August 30, 2010, 01:14:28 PM
The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface
November 19, 2008 | 2130 GMT

By Fred Burton and Ben West
Related Links

    * Tracking Mexico’s Drug Cartels

On Nov. 3, a U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas, began hearing a case concerning members of a criminal enterprise that calls itself Barrio Azteca (BA). The group members face charges including drug trafficking and distribution, extortion, money laundering and murder. The six defendants include the organization’s three bosses, Benjamin Alvarez, Manuel Cardoza and Carlos Perea; a sergeant in the group, Said Francisco Herrera; a lieutenant, Eugene Mona; and an associate, Arturo Enriquez.

The proceedings represent the first major trial involving BA, which operates in El Paso and West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The testimony is revealing much about how this El Paso-based prison gang operates, and how it interfaces with Mexican drug cartel allies that supply its drugs.

Mexico’s cartels are in the business of selling drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the United States. Large amounts of narcotics flow north while large amounts of cash and weapons flow south. Managing these transactions requires that the cartels have a physical presence in the United States, something a cartel alliance with a U.S. gang can provide.

Of course, BA is not the only prison gang operating in the United States with ties to Mexico. Prison gangs can also be called street gangs — they recruit both in prisons and on the street. Within the United States, there are at least nine well-established prison gangs with connections to Mexican drug cartels; Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos, the Mexican Mafia and the Texas Syndicate are just a few such groups. Prison gangs like BA are very territorial and usually cover only a specific region, so one Mexican cartel might work with three to four prison or street gangs in the United States. Like BA, most of the U.S. gangs allied with Mexican cartels largely are composed of Mexican immigrants or Mexican-Americans. Nevertheless, white supremacist groups, mixed-race motorcycle gangs and African-American street gangs also have formed extensive alliances with Mexican cartels.

Certainly, not all U.S. gangs the Mexican cartels have allied with are the same. But examining how BA operates offers insights into how other gangs — like the Latin Kings, the Texas Syndicate, the Sureños, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and transnational street gangs like MS-13 — operate in alliance with the cartels.
Barrio Azteca Up Close

Spanish for “Aztec Neighborhood,” BA originated in a Texas state penitentiary in 1986, when five inmates from El Paso organized the group as a means of protection in the face of the often-brutal ethnic tensions within prisons. By the 1990s, BA had spread to other prisons and had established a strong presence on the streets of El Paso as its founding members served their terms and were released. Reports indicate that in the late 1990s, BA had begun working with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Federation drug trafficking organization, which at the time controlled drug shipments to Ciudad Juarez, El Paso’s sister city across the Rio Grande.

According to testimony from several different witnesses on both sides of the current trial, BA now works only with the Juarez cartel of Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes, which has long controlled much of Mexico’s Chihuahua state and Ciudad Juarez, and broke with the Sinaloa Federation earlier in 2008. BA took sides with the Juarez cartel, with which it is jointly running drugs across the border at the Juarez plaza.

BA provides the foot soldiers to carry out hits at the behest of Juarez cartel leaders. On Nov. 3, 10 alleged BA members in Ciudad Juarez were arrested in connection with 12 murders. The suspects were armed with four AK-47s, pistols and radio communication equipment — all hallmarks of a team of hit men ready to carry out a mission.

According to testimony from the ongoing federal case, which is being brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, drugs are taken at discount from the supplier on the Mexico side and then distributed to dealers on the street. These distributors must then pay “taxes” to BA collectors to continue plying their trade. According to testimony from Josue Aguirre, a former BA member turned FBI informant, BA collects taxes from 47 different street-level narcotics operations in El Paso alone. Failure to pay these taxes results in death. One of the murder charges in the current RICO case involves the death of an El Paso dealer who failed to pay up when the collectors arrived to collect on a debt.

Once collected, the money goes in several different directions. First, BA lieutenants and captains, the midlevel members, receive $50 and $200 per month respectively for compensation. The bulk of BA’s profit is then transferred using money orders to accounts belonging to the head bosses (like Alvarez, Cardoza and Perea) in prison. Cash is also brought back to Ciudad Juarez to pay the Juarez cartel, which provided the drugs in the first place.

BA receives discounts on drugs from the Juarez cartel by providing tactical help to its associates south of the border. Leaders of Carrillo Fuentes’ organization in Juarez can go into hiding in El Paso under BA protection if their lives are in danger in Juarez. They can also order BA to track down cartel enemies hiding in El Paso. Former BA member Gustavo Gallardo testified in 2005 that he was sent to pick up a man in downtown El Paso who had cheated the Juarez cartel of money. Once Gallardo dropped him off at a safe house in El Paso, another team took the man — who was bound with rope and duct tape — to Ciudad Juarez, where Gallardo assumes he was killed.
BA and the World of Prison Gangs

Prison gangs are endemic to prison systems, where safety for inmates comes in numbers. Tensions (usually along racial lines) among dangerous individuals regularly erupt into deadly conflict. Prison gang membership affords a certain amount of protection against rival groups and offers fertile recruiting ground.

Once a prison gang grows its membership (along with its prestige) and establishes a clear hierarchy, its leader can wield an impressive amount of power. Some even wind up taking over prisons, like the antecedents of Russian organized crime did.

It might seem strange that members on the outside send money and answer to bosses in prison, since the bosses are locked up. But these bosses wield a great deal of influence over gang members in and out of prison. Disobedience is punishable by death, and regardless of whether a boss is in prison, he can order a hit on a member who has crossed him. Prison gang members also know that if they end up in prison again — a likely outcome — they will once again be dependent on the help of the boss to stay alive, and can perhaps even earn some money while doing time.

BA’s illegal activities mean its members constantly cycle in and out of prison. Many BA members were involved in smaller, local El Paso street gangs before they were imprisoned. Once in prison, they joined BA with the sponsorship of a “godfather” who walks the recruit through the process. BA then performs a kind of background check on new recruits by circulating their name throughout the organization. BA is particularly interested in any evidence that prospective members have cooperated with the police.

Prison authorities are certainly aware of the spread of BA, and they try to keep Mexican nationals separated from known BA members, who are mostly Mexican-American, to prevent the spread of the gang’s influence. BA has organizations in virtually every penitentiary in Texas, meaning that no matter where a BA member is imprisoned, he will have a protection network in place. BA members with truly extensive prison records might personally know the leader of every prison chapter, thus increasing the member’s prestige. Thus, the constant cycling of members from the outside world into prison does not inhibit BA, but makes its members more cohesive, as it allows the prison system to increase bonds among gang members.

Communication challenges certainly arise, as exchanges between prisoners and those on the outside are closely monitored. But BA seems to have overcome this challenge. Former BA member Edward Ruiz testified during the trial that from 2003 to 2007, he acted as a clearinghouse for jailed members’ letters and packages, which he then distributed to members on the outside. This tactic ensured that all prison communications would be traceable to just one address, thus not revealing the location of other members.

BA also allegedly used Sandy Valles New, who worked in the investigations section of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in El Paso from 1996 to 2002, to pass communications between gang members inside and outside prison. She exploited the access to — and the ability to engage in confidential communications with — inmates that attorneys enjoy, transmitting information back and forth between BA members inside and outside prison. Taped conversations reveal New talking to one of the bosses and lead defendants, Carlos Perea, about her fear of losing her job and thus not being able to continue transmitting information in this way. She also talked of crossing over to Ciudad Juarez to communicate with BA members in Mexico.

While BA had inside sources like New assisting it, the FBI was able to infiltrate BA in return. Josue Aguirre and Johnny Michelleti have informed on BA activities to the FBI since 2003 and 2005, respectively. Edward Ruiz, the mailman, also handed over stacks of letters to the FBI.
BA and the Mexican Cartels

As indicated, BA is only one of dozens of prison gangs operating along the U.S.-Mexican border that help Mexican drug trafficking organizations smuggle narcotics across the border and then distribute them for the cartels. Mexican drug trafficking organizations need groups that will do their bidding on the U.S. side of the border, as the border is the tightest choke point in the narcotics supply chain.

Getting large amounts of drugs across the border on a daily basis requires local connections to bribe border guards or border town policemen. Gangs on the U.S. side of the border also have contacts who sell drugs on the retail level, where markups bring in large profits. The current trial has revealed that the partnership goes beyond narcotics to include violence as well. In light of the high levels of violence raging in Mexico related to narcotics trafficking, there is a genuine worry that this violence (and corruption) could spread inside the United States.

One of the roles that BA and other border gangs fill for Mexican drug-trafficking organizations is that of enforcer. Prison gangs wield tight control over illegal activity in a specific territory. They keep tabs on people to make sure they are paying their taxes to the gang and not affiliating with rival gangs. To draw an analogy, they are like the local police who know the situation on the ground and can enforce specific rules handed down by a governmental body — or a Mexican cartel.

Details emerging from the ongoing trial indicate that BA works closely with the Juarez cartel and has contributed to drug-related violence inside the United States. While the killing of a street dealer by a gang for failure to pay up on time is common enough nationwide and hardly unique to Mexican drug traffickers, apprehending offenders in El Paso and driving them to Ciudad Juarez to be held or killed does represent a very clear link between violence in Mexico and the United States.

BA’s ability to strike within the United States has been proven. According to a STRATFOR source, BA is connected to Los Zetas — the U.S.-trained Mexican military members who deserted to traffic drugs — through a mutual alliance with the Juarez cartel. The Zetas possess a high level of tactical skill that could be passed along to BA, thus increasing its effectiveness.
The Potential for Cross-Border Violence

The prospect for enhanced cross-border violence is frightening, but the violence itself is not new. So far, Mexican cartels and their U.S. allies have focused on those directly involved in the drug trade. Whether this restraint will continue is unclear. Either way, collateral damage is always a possibility.

Previous incidents, like one that targeted a drug dealer in arrears in Phoenix and others that involved kidnappings and attacks against U.S. Border Patrol agents, indicate that violence has already begun creeping over from Mexico. So far, violence related to drug trafficking has not caused the deaths of U.S. law enforcement officials and/or civilians, though it has come close to doing so.

Another potential incubator of cross-border violence exists in BA’s obligation to offer refuge to Juarez cartel members seeking safety in the United States. Such members most likely would have bounties on their heads. The more violent Mexico (and particularly Ciudad Juarez) becomes, the greater the risk Juarez cartel leaders face — and the more pressure they will feel to seek refuge in the United States. As more Juarez cartel leaders cross over and hide with BA help, the cartel’s enemies will become increasingly tempted to follow them and kill them in the United States. Other border gangs in California, Arizona and New Mexico probably are following this same trajectory.

Two primary reasons explain why Mexican cartel violence for the most part has stopped short of crossing the U.S. border. First, the prospect of provoking U.S. law enforcement does not appeal to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations operating along the border. They do not want to provoke a coordinated response from a highly capable federal U.S. police force like the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or FBI. By keeping violence at relatively low levels and primarily aimed at other gang members and drug dealers, the Mexican drug-trafficking organizations can lessen their profile in the eyes of these U.S. agencies. Conversely, any increase in violence and/or the killing of U.S. police or civilians would dramatically increase federal scrutiny and retaliation.

The second reason violence has not crossed the border wholesale is that gangs like BA are in place to enforce the drug-trafficking organizations’ rules. The need to send cartel members into the United States to kill a disobedient drug dealer is reduced by having a tight alliance with a border gang that keeps drugs and money moving smoothly and carries out the occasional killing to maintain order.

But the continued integrity of BA and its ability to carry out the writ of larger drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico might not be so certain. The Nov. 3 trial will undermine BA activity in the crucial trafficking corridor of El Paso/Ciudad Juarez.

The indictment and possible incarceration of the six alleged BA members would not damage the gang so badly — after all, BA is accustomed to operating out of prison, and there must certainly be members on the outside ready to fill in for their incarcerated comrades. But making BA’s activities and modus operandi public should increase scrutiny on the gang and could very well lead to many more arrests.

In light of the presence of at least two FBI informants in the gang, BA leaders have probably moved into damage control mode, isolating members jeopardized by the informants. This will disrupt BA’s day-to-day operations, making it at least temporarily less effective. STRATFOR sources say BA members on both sides of the border have been ordered to lie low until the trial is over and the damage can be fully assessed. This is a dangerous period for gangs like BA, as their influence over their territory and ability to operate is being reduced.

Weakening BA by extension weakens the Juarez cartel’s hand in El Paso. While BA no doubt will survive the investigations the trial probably will spawn, given the high stakes across the border in Mexico, the Juarez cartel might be forced to reduce its reliance on BA. This could prompt the Juarez cartel to rely on its own members in Ciudad Juarez to carry out hits in the United States and to provide its own security to leaders seeking refuge in the United States. It could also prompt it to turn to a new gang facing less police scrutiny. Under either scenario, BA’s territory would be encroached upon. And considering the importance of controlling territory to prison gangs — and the fact that BA probably still will be largely intact — this could lead to increased rivalries and violence.

The Juarez cartel-BA dynamic could well apply to alliances between U.S. gangs and Mexican drug-trafficking organizations, such as Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos in Houston, the Texas Syndicate and Tango Blast operating in the Rio Grande Valley and their allies in the Gulf cartel; the Mexican Mafia in California and Texas and its allies in the Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels; and other gangs operating in the United States with ties to Mexican cartels like Mexikanemi, Norteños and the Sureños.

Ultimately, just because BA or any other street gang working with Mexican cartels is weakened does not mean that the need to enforce cartel rules and supply chains disappears. This could put Mexican drug-trafficking organizations on a collision course with U.S. law enforcement if they feel they must step in themselves to take up the slack. As their enforcers stateside face more legal pressure, the cartels’ response therefore bears watching.

Read more: The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface | STRATFOR

The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface is republished with permission of STRATFOR.
11287  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Mexicanization of American Law Enforcement on: August 30, 2010, 12:21:46 PM

Judith Miller

The Mexicanization of American Law Enforcement
The drug cartels extend their corrupting influence northward.
Customs and Border Protection agents have been bought off by drug dealers.
Leslie Hoffman/AP Photo
Customs and Border Protection agents have been bought off by drug dealers.

Beheadings and amputations. Iraqi-style brutality, bribery, extortion, kidnapping, and murder. More than 7,200 dead—almost double last year’s tally—in shoot-outs between federales and often better-armed drug cartels. This is modern Mexico, whose president, Felipe Calderón, has been struggling since 2006 to wrest his country from the grip of four powerful cartels and their estimated 100,000 foot soldiers.

But chillingly, there are signs that one of the worst features of Mexico’s war on drugs—law enforcement officials on the take from drug lords—is becoming an American problem as well. Most press accounts focus on the drug-related violence that has migrated north into the United States. Far less widely reported is the infiltration and corruption of American law enforcement, according to Robert Killebrew, a retired U.S. Army colonel and senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security. “This is a national security problem that does not yet have a name,” he wrote last fall in The National Strategy Forum Review. The drug lords, he tells me, are seeking to “hollow out our institutions, just as they have in Mexico.”
11288  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: August 30, 2010, 12:11:38 PM

Ex-Mexican Army In Phoenix AZ Home Invasion Up
By Gar Swaffar.
The consensus of opinion from the Phoenix, Arizona police is that at least some of the six cross border raiders were ex-Mexican Army personnel involved in the home invasion homicide on Monday.
The thoughts of the Phoenix Police officers are that the drug cartels are now performing cross border home invasion raids and murders north of the border i.e. Arizona. The past few months have been difficult for the Mexican Police and some of the drug cartel members who have assumed room temperature. As a result, some members of the remaining Mexican drug cartels are moving parts of their operations into the United States.
The home invasion on Monday, where a homeowner, 30-year-old Andrew Williams was murdered and as many as 100 rounds were fired at the home.
The Phoenix Police Department (PPD) documents linked here describe military tactical ops control. Complete with window raking, suppressive firing, and door breaches (busting in.)
The documents also appended suggest the home invaders were prepared to take the battle to the PPD, but ran out of ammunition prior to the arrival of the first PPD officers.
This nearly full scale battle which took place at 8329 W. Cypress St. Phoenix AZ. is presumed by the PPD to be only the beginning of the problem. Some reports indicate the drug cartels are interested in finding a safer place to do business than Mexico.
The issue of cross border raids has been gaining notoriety over the past five months, the trend appears to be on the rise with no end in sight at this point.
11289  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: August 30, 2010, 11:54:10 AM
The cartels are laying the groundwork by building alliances with US gangs and working to corrupt law enforcement.
11290  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: August 30, 2010, 11:29:15 AM
Did google try to sabotage Beck's rally?
11291  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: August 30, 2010, 07:54:33 AM
11292  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: August 29, 2010, 05:41:21 PM

Media bias.

11293  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 29, 2010, 05:19:55 PM
I think it's pretty clear that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy under your clothes in a public place. I don't think the backscatter x-ray vans could be legally used in public places in the US.

As far as the GPS tracking by law enforcement, the court agreed with my argument that you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy driving your vehicle on public roads.
11294  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: August 29, 2010, 12:29:01 PM

A very good read.
11295  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: August 29, 2010, 11:34:04 AM

Depends who you ask.

11296  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: August 28, 2010, 07:34:23 PM
Yup, especially oil.

 China: To Invest $1 Billion In Iranian Petrochemical Projects
August 28, 2010

The National Iranian Petrochemical Company and a Chinese consortium are completing talks on an agreement under which China would funnel some $1 billion into petrochemical projects in Iran, Mehr News Agency reported Aug. 28. The construction of the petrochemical facilities requires a total of $43 billion in investment funds; contracts have already been signed to implement 28 of those projects.
11297  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 28, 2010, 12:03:19 PM

The national debt is the single biggest threat to national security, according to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Tax payers will be paying around $600 billion in interest on the national debt by 2012, the chairman told students and local leaders in Detroit.

“That’s one year’s worth of defense budget,” he said, adding that the Pentagon needs to cut back on spending.
11298  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: August 28, 2010, 11:49:45 AM
In a free market, you are free to not patronize any business that does things you don't like.
11299  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: August 28, 2010, 11:47:25 AM

Sword of Damocles.
11300  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: August 28, 2010, 11:32:01 AM
I don't recall C. Blow or any other member of the race-baiting industrial complex condemning Al "Tawana Brawley" Shapton or any other huckster for invoking MLK.
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