Your thoughts on a Federation of the Americas?


Machjo
#1
With the EU well uneder way, do the Americas need ther same?

And what if the USA doesn't want to join? Should we let this hold us back, or ought we rather simply offer an open invitation (Those who want in, join; and those who don't, don't). In that case, if the US chose not to join, do you think such an institution could still succeed?

My beliefe is that, even if the US chose not to join, it could still succeed. Such a federation could be built not only on economic, but also cultural and other ties. Assuming we used such a federation to share a common military force (even though Latin America is poor, I'm sure Latin America and Canada together could still establish a reasonable force.) In order not to raise fears abroad, we could sinmply agree that such a force would never be allowed to exceed 100,000 men (for such a vast territory, that would be a humble force indeed), with all non-combat responsibilities handed over to national police forces. This could save such a federation large sums of money, and lead to a large market with countries rich in natural resources. If a common currency could be shared eventually, this could also make trade much more efficient with no more need to convert currency all the time. And this federation would not necessarily need to be viewed as a competitor against the EU, but rather as a friend and collaborator. I'm sure even if the US chose not to join initially, it would certainly need to join eventually if it would wish not to become increasingly isolated from a world community increasingly intent on integration on a larger scale.

What are your thoughts?
 
Numure
#2
If the US joined at any moment, they would then control it.
 
Andem
Free Thinker
#3
I agree with Numure. While the EU is constantly working towards the most democratic setup as possible, the United States would not allow it. They would probably want and assume complete control of any orgranisation. Just look at how they treated the United Nations when things didn't go their way.

Canada would be better off joining the EU than it would with anything the United States was part of. That, I truly believe.
 
Reverend Blair
#4
I think that Canada should approach Hugo Chavez about joing his Bolivarian movement. We could even consider joining OPEC...Chavez revived it pretty much single-handedly.

Chavez's proposed union includes not only South America, but Africa and parts of Asia. The idea is to oppose not just the power of the United States, but to make sure that southern countries are no longer dominated by rich northern countries, including the EU, Japan, and even China.

Canada has a role to play with Chavez's proposed union, although it would not be an easy one. We are a natural mediator between north and south because we have a history of multilateralism and no history of imperialism outside of our own borders. We are respected in most of the world and have close ties with the UN. We kept ties with Cuba even through the pressures of the Cold War.

We also have a history of promoting human rights, something that the majority of countries in the proposed coalition have a dismal record in. We could pressure them, if they wish to trade with us, to improve their records in that area.
 
Andem
Free Thinker
#5
Hell Rev, Canada even maintained relations with the Soviet Union during several tense years of silent battles between the super powers.

Canada has a noble past of being fair. I hope we continue this.
 
Numure
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem

Hell Rev, Canada even maintained relations with the Soviet Union during several tense years of silent battles between the super powers.

Canada has a noble past of being fair. I hope we continue this.

Does hockey games we're something I still hear about them all the time in Québec. Probably the greatest point in Hockey History.
 
Rick van Opbergen
#7
I do think the US is simply too powerful to be part of an organisation like this. In the EU, there is not really one country really powerful; in fact, Germany, France and the UK can be considered to be the biggest players without too many differences in power, while countries like Italy, Spain and even the Netherlands are not too far behind. I don't think this will be the same when the same model is applied to the Americas.
 
Numure
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Rick van Opbergen

I do think the US is simply too powerful to be part of an organisation like this. In the EU, there is not really one country really powerful; in fact, Germany, France and the UK can be considered to be the biggest players without too many differences in power, while countries like Italy, Spain and even the Netherlands are not too far behind. I don't think this will be the same when the same model is applied to the Americas.

Exactly. Cause the only "world powers" are Canada, the US and Brazil (Developping power). Venezuala has ALOT of potential.... Just needs a stable goverment. Anyways... its possible, just not with the US acting as it has in the past 50 years. EI: My way or the high way.
 
Martin Le Acadien
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Numure

Quote: Originally Posted by Rick van Opbergen

I do think the US is simply too powerful to be part of an organisation like this. In the EU, there is not really one country really powerful; in fact, Germany, France and the UK can be considered to be the biggest players without too many differences in power, while countries like Italy, Spain and even the Netherlands are not too far behind. I don't think this will be the same when the same model is applied to the Americas.

Exactly. Cause the only "world powers" are Canada, the US and Brazil (Developping power). Venezuala has ALOT of potential.... Just needs a stable goverment. Anyways... its possible, just not with the US acting as it has in the past 50 years. EI: My way or the high way.

South and Central America have great potential for a EU type federation since the majority of the continent speaks Spanish with the Exception of Brazil which uses Portugese.

However:

The US 's interest in the area has been low key (except for the "Drug War") and the US furnished mainly money for that one, the Guerrilla Wars of the 80's are over and the US has left! With that said, a confederation could be come sticky, not with the US but with Europe since 3 European "Powers" still have territorial or historical claims in the area:

1. Netherlands Antilles and Suriname.
2. French Guyana
3. Guyana (British Commonwealth) & Belize & Falklands

The US (People) has gotten burned by Nafta and ain't looking for any more people to give its jobs to!
 
Numure
#10
The only country NAFTA benefited is Mexico. We got burned too, cause the US doesnt even follow it.

And if you think the US no longer has any intrest in south America, you'Re quite wrong. American corporations are all over the place corrupting Goverments and exploiting the populations...
 
Rick van Opbergen
#11
You have a good point with EU interests in the area (although Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975, but yes, I can positively say we stil have a lot of interests in Suriname, with also hundreds of thousands of Suriname people living in the Netherlands). For the Netherlands Antilles I know that especially Aruba (although that is the one island with a certain autonomy inside the Kingdom) depends mostly on the US (tourism) and Venezuela (refineries), and in that context, a possible American Union or something like that could be risky.
 
Reverend Blair
#12
Wages have gone down in Mexico, too Numure. Plus their farmers have been hurt and there's bee massive environmental damage.

As long as Chavez and Castro are included in any deal, the US won't participate until economic reality forces them to. At that point they will no longer have the power to control things.
 
vista
#13
Quote:

a world community increasingly intent on integration on a larger scale.

The future will be a de-coupling of this integration, i.e. globalization.

"Much of the population is supported by industrial agriculture and the long-distance transportation of food and other resources from regions where they are abundant to places where they are scarce."

In Canada much of our food comes from the Central Valley of California, before the end of the decade oil shortages will occur, meaning the North American trucking fleet which delivers us our plentiful food into our oversized supermarakets, will run out of gas.

The days of supermarkets full of imported produce - the 3,000 mile Ceasar Salad or 10,000 mile New Zealand Kiwi fruit - will be a thing of the past.

An "integrated" world spells disaster.

No country (except China) will possess manufacturing capabilites for useless products for their country -- yesterday on Canada AM (I watched it because General Tommy Franks was on) they had a guy pawning a toothbrush sterilizer, a medication container that electronically advised the patient when to take the medicine and an electronic repetition-counting skip rope.

We have 4.5 billion too many people on the planet. We are running out of energy and of food - China is facing a food crisis and soon others will too.

Do these usless energy consuming gadgets highlight where humankind stands? Is this the best we can do?

Have I gone on a rant? Sorry.

World integratation? No. The future is the mother of all downsizings - government-wise and community-wise.

Live locally will be survival.
 
Martin Le Acadien
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Numure

The only country NAFTA benefited is Mexico. We got burned too, cause the US doesnt even follow it.

And if you think the US no longer has any intrest in south America, you'Re quite wrong. American corporations are all over the place corrupting Goverments and exploiting the populations...

The US Government has very little interest in Latin America except to stop drugs? The corruption of the Governments in Latin America is famous, Namure. Le mot c'est "Mordida" mordue! Pas paie l'argent no favor ici. The bribe system is alive and well there! I travel in Latin America and if you don't grease the palm, you no get the favor. At the Mexican border I had to fork over 5 bucks to get a stamp on my visa (Suppose to be free) to hurry along the process (This is the land of manana!).

As far the local population, American, Canadian and European firms have raised the local wages, the local power structure likes the campesinos (peaseants) to work for a dollar a day! The audacity of those Norteamericano firms paying a dollar an hour!
 
Martin Le Acadien
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

Wages have gone down in Mexico, too Numure. Plus their farmers have been hurt and there's bee massive environmental damage.

As long as Chavez and Castro are included in any deal, the US won't participate until economic reality forces them to. At that point they will no longer have the power to control things.

Wages rose in Mexico in the industrial sector but their farming practices are a shambles with edijos system (Communal Land). If a farmer tries to improve a plot he is allocated, he stands to lose it in the political shuffle! Collective farming is a rip off in Mexico since farmers for the most part can only own & cultivate about 20 Hectacres of Land! The land in the communal system was supposed to ensure that land was available for cutivation but it is collected in the hands of the politacally connected. If you make it look to good, it is taken away and you get a worthless allocation in its place! Enviro in Mexico is the pits, even the USA is complaining about the pollution of the Rio Grande! No lenforced law whatsoever!

Most farmers are going North to make more in the USA & Canada than they can make tilling 20 Hectacres of land! Bush knows about this release valve on Mexico and the US turns a Blind eye to illegal immigration. If Kerry puts a stop to this, Mexico becomes a pressure cooker! What are we to do?

As far as Castro is concerned, if he asks the US to lift the embargo, it would be lifted, but Castro likes to keep the US as his Bête Noir as to keep his people's minds off the failure of communism in Cuba! I wonder why everybody is swimming to Florida! A few years ago the Cuban Navy sent a small flotilla up into the Northern Gulf of Mexico to "demonstrate" that it was open seas! Several Boats broke down and one was in danger of sinking, the US Coast Guard had to "rescue" several vessels and one was towed to Port here in Louisiana, with burnt engines and mechanical problems, they were fixed and sent on their way! It made us laugh here in Louisiana since the boats were so poorly maintained that my freinds at the shipyard couldn't believe these boats were on the open sea! A Cuban Navy Sailor told my friend that they usually only went out on day cruises to test the boats, nothing long range!

As far as Chavez, he is fodder for entertainment down here! He is squandering Venezuela's Oil Money ($50 a bbl) on useless public works such as sports arenas and Military Projects! Typical Pan Et Circi (Pain et cirque) (Bread and Circus) politician, he is not investing the income back into Venezuela's infastructure, just handing out the money to buy favors! Gas only costs 18 Cents a Litre in Venezuela!
 
Machjo
#16
I honestly haven't folwed it much, seeing that I've been in China for most of the last three years, but I can say that even if NAFTA had benefitted Mexico while harming the US and Canadian economies, even then I could accept it as long as overall economic results have been in the positive. After all, Mexico needs all the help it can, so from that standpoint, It's our ethical duty to allow Mexico to trade on a level playing field with Canada and the USA. As for the ecological aspect, however, that does concern me, so then how can Canada and the US help in that respect. Of course if NAFTA has actually caused more overall harm than good, then that's another matter. Then I can agree that it ought to be scrapped. But like I said, I don't have the hard statistics on it.
 
Reverend Blair
#17
You are swallowing your own government's propaganda, Martin.

Quote:

Wages rose in Mexico in the industrial sector but their farming practices are a shambles with edijos system (Communal Land).

The numbers show that wages have been shrinking in Mexico, including in the area closest to the border.

Quote:

If a farmer tries to improve a plot he is allocated, he stands to lose it in the political shuffle! Collective farming is a rip off in Mexico since farmers for the most part can only own & cultivate about 20 Hectacres of Land! The land in the communal system was supposed to ensure that land was available for cutivation but it is collected in the hands of the politacally connected. If you make it look to good, it is taken away and you get a worthless allocation in its place!

There are problems, nobody denies that. Campesinos were making a living before NAFTA though. They had food to eat, schools for their kids, and medical care. Now Mexico is flooded with heavily subsidised US crops and the farmers can't make a living, so they head north.

This was highlighted in Cancun when small American farmers stood up and said that the US was now screwing Mexican farmers the same way they screwed American farmers.

Quote:

Enviro in Mexico is the pits, even the USA is complaining about the pollution of the Rio Grande! No lenforced law whatsoever!

Every time the Mexican government or state governments in Mexico try to enforce or enact environmental laws, they get sued under NAFTA by US-based corporations.

Quote:

Bush knows about this release valve on Mexico and the US turns a Blind eye to illegal immigration. If Kerry puts a stop to this, Mexico becomes a pressure cooker! What are we to do?

Drop subsidies to US corporate-owned agri-business.

Quote:

As far as Castro is concerned, if he asks the US to lift the embargo, it would be lifted,

That simply is not true. Castro has called for the US to lift the embargo many times and it's still in place. The US wants to dictate governmental policy in Cuba before the embargo is lifted and that, quite simply, is not on the table. There are historic reasons for that...mostly the fact that under Batista the US used Cuba as a combination *****house/slave labour camp.

Cuba has been hurting badly since the collapse of the Soviet Union because they lost their biggest customer and only reliable source of foreign aid.

Quote:

As far as Chavez, he is fodder for entertainment down here! He is squandering Venezuela's Oil Money ($50 a bbl) on useless public works such as sports arenas and Military Projects!

He's used the oil money to re-instate full school days and bring in doctors from Cuba to treat the poor. He's revived OPEC and made state ownership of Venezuela's oil part of the constitution to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their fair share. He's survived a CIA backed coup because the people stood behind him, and won...massively...a US-forced confidence vote because the the people voted for him.

The US government hates him and the Venezuelan elites who used to get all of the money from the US government hate him, but what Chavez has done is to share his country's wealth among all the citizens. He's even working on land reform so that people can own and control their own farms instead of acting like serfs to the elites.

What Chavez is, Martin, is the thing that your leaders fear most. He's a man who believes in democracy instead of corporatism.
 
Martin Le Acadien
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

You are swallowing your own government's propaganda, Martin.
Quote: Wages rose in Mexico in the industrial sector but their farming practices are a shambles with edijos system (Communal Land).The numbers show that wages have been shrinking in Mexico, including in the area closest to the border.
Quote: If a farmer tries to improve a plot he is allocated, he stands to lose it in the political shuffle! Collective farming is a rip off in Mexico since farmers for the most part can only own & cultivate about 20 Hectacres of Land! The land in the communal system was supposed to ensure that land was available for cutivation but it is collected in the hands of the politacally connected. If you make it look to good, it is taken away and you get a worthless allocation in its place!There are problems, nobody denies that. Campesinos were making a living before NAFTA though. They had food to eat, schools for their kids, and medical care. Now Mexico is flooded with heavily subsidised US crops and the farmers can't make a living, so they head north.
This was highlighted in Cancun when small American farmers stood up and said that the US was now screwing Mexican farmers the same way they screwed American farmers....

Quote has been trimmed
1. I only believe half of what I see and nothing I read! Most any media has an angle!

2. Latin America has problems stemming from their colonial pasts we can not fiX! The Elite who rules those countries have been entrenched for over 300 years and they ain't leaving! You need to travel to understand about the probelms of which you write, Rev, do understand the MORDIDA? It is a concept entrenched in the Latin American Culture so deep that to root it out is nearly impossible! MORDIDA=BRIBE! The average peon (Peaseant) basically has a hard time making ends meet. The EJIDO system has never allowed the Farmer to get ahead even before NAFTA! The wage in Mexico has risen from about 2 dollars a day to 2 dollars an hour! All NAFTA has allowed him to do is to buy the consumer goods we enjoy North of the Rio Bravo (Grande) River!

3. I travel in Mexoco and se hablo espanol, pero mi comprendela situacion economica del gente Mexicano! La familia de mi sabrina es del Estado de Jalisco al lado de Guadalajara. The health care and School you talk about is non existant, the food you said existed didn't and immigration North has been a reality since the revolution of 1917! The Socialist Model used in Mexico has been a Grand Failure due to the systematic taking of production of goods and services by the Powers To Be for their cut (Mordida). The middle class is non existant and has wiped out by the Taxation and Infaltion while wealth distribution to the lower economic classes has been limited to subsidised prices on basic foods and commodities! Tortilla are 43 cents for a 5 kg pagage and pinto beans are 15 cents per 2 kilos and hamburger (poor grade) usually goes for 25 cents a kilo! The peso traded at 3.3 to 1 in 1995, now its 11.4 to 1 USD! Some small shop keepers in Mexico are loathe to take their money, they want USD or CND to keep! Their money is subject to devaluation at any time so they hedge their bets!

4. Illegal large scale immigration wil not stop just because Jose the Mexican can now get 30 cents an hour instead of 10 cents an hour, agriculture labor is not in high demand in Mexico., nor has it ever been with a population of 70 million! The Socialist Model of Production keeps land out of production, why work it if you are going to lose it! The Mexican Govt gives huge subsidies on the food prices and sets the prices the co-ops can buy and sell their commodities! Why do think drugs are the cash crop! The US subsidies are not the major problem, its the Sytem that keeps the prices the farmer recieves below his cost of production! The best farms in Mexico actually belong to Menonnite & Amish Farmers who immigrated to Mexico in the 1890"s and established farms in the State of Chiuahuahua and Sonora in Northern Mexico! Now, Mexican Govt wants to confiscate these farms because they are so procductive and give them to "Native" Ethnic Mexicans! The People on these farms were born in Mexico and Now they want to take their farms and redistrubute the wealth! Well, the few farms given to "Natives" have failed and the Mexican Govt realized that almost all their in Country Daity Production came from there so they had to back off! (BTW-These folks are organic!)

Subsidies need to be studied and curtailed if they don't stimulate anything except a person's bank book!

5. Cuba called for an End to embargo Yesterday at the UN! The US voted NO but most Americans's think its time to end them! The politics behind the embargo is quite strange and ancient history but when Castro threw in with the Sovie Union, he bet on a losing horse! He traded one master for another! He did clean up Cuba as far getting rid of vice but the Police State regime is brutal! He does send doctors around the globe but at a price! They are a way for Cuba to earn Hard Currency and provide a needed service! The doctors and medical staff are cheap by North American Standards but provide a needed service!

6. Chavez is the Head of State of a Country that could hardly be called a ongoing democracy! Venezuela has had its share of coups, revolutions and change overs that to say it is a stable democracy is a bit of a stretch!. Chavez is basically a bread and circus type of rurler, the lower classes love him, the middle class doesn't trust him and the rich are terrefied! Of course, the rich in any Latin American are usually the ones in the MORDIDA!
 
Reverend Blair
#19
Quote:

1. I only believe half of what I see and nothing I read! Most any media has an angle!

Perhaps you need to read some more then.

Quote:

2. Latin America has problems stemming from their colonial pasts we can not fiX! The Elite who rules those countries have been entrenched for over 300 years and they ain't leaving!

We can't fix them, but if the US would stop supporting those elites, they'd be out of there pretty quick. Venezuela being a case in point.

Quote:

The health care and School you talk about is non existant, the food you said existed didn't

Actually, it did exist.

Quote:

The peso traded at 3.3 to 1 in 1995, now its 11.4 to 1 USD! Some small shop keepers in Mexico are loathe to take their money, they want USD or CND to keep!

Yet another result of NAFTA.

Quote:

Why do think drugs are the cash crop!

Because the US government doesn't subsidize US agri-corps to grow them?

Quote:

The US subsidies are not the major problem, its the Sytem that keeps the prices the farmer recieves below his cost of production!

US subsidies are the major problem for small farmers in Canada, Mexico, South America, Africa and Asia. Hell they're even a problem for small farmers in the US because they can;t compete with the massive subsidies the corporations get either. The EU subsidies are a problem too, but at least they are attempting to do something about them.

Quote:

5. Cuba called for an End to embargo Yesterday at the UN! The US voted NO but most Americans's think its time to end them!

Cuba has been calling for an end to the embargo for forty + years. The US government refuses to lift the embargo. If there was no embargo, if Castro had access to the American market, he never would have gotten so cozy with the USSR. There would have been no Cuban Missile Crisis.

Cuba did not want to get too friendly with the Soviets and he certainly didn't want their missiles on his soil. Castro has said that repeatedly but nobody believed him. After the fall of the USSR though, documents came out. They clearly show that Castro was resistant to many of the plans that the USSR had, but especially to the missiles. He was basically forced into accepting what the Soviets wanted in order to feed the Cuban people because the US wouldn't deal with him.

Quote:

He traded one master for another! He did clean up Cuba as far getting rid of vice but the Police State regime is brutal!

It is brutal. It is less brutal than Batista's regime though, and there is food and school and medical care. It is also no more brutal than China and less so than Uzbekistan, and the US has no problem dealing with them.

Quote:

He does send doctors around the globe but at a price! They are a way for Cuba to earn Hard Currency and provide a needed service!

It is a price that country's can afford and Cuban doctors will work on the poor, something that doctors will not do in many countries where there is an elite class and a peasant class.

Quote:

6. Chavez is the Head of State of a Country that could hardly be called a ongoing democracy!

He's won two elections in spite of having the media against him. He survived a CIA-backed coup because the people backed him up. He has made life better for the average Venezuelan. That's pretty damned democratic.

Quote:

Venezuela has had its share of coups, revolutions and change overs that to say it is a stable democracy is a bit of a stretch!

It has been quite a mess. Chavez, by all unbiased accounts, has done a fair bit to clean up that mess in spite of attempts by the Venezuelan elite, US oil companies, and the US government to undermine him.

Quote:

Chavez is basically a bread and circus type of rurler, the lower classes love him, the middle class doesn't trust him and the rich are terrefied! Of course, the rich in any Latin American are usually the ones in the MORDIDA!

The lower class loves him because he is making things better for them. The rich are terrified because he's stopped them from stealing from the people. The middle class are actually pretty torn on the subject...those who identify with the poor love him, those who aspire to be part of the elite hate him.
 
Martin Le Acadien
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

Quote: 1. I only believe half of what I see and nothing I read! Most any media has an angle!Perhaps you need to read some more then.
Quote: 2. Latin America has problems stemming from their colonial pasts we can not fiX! The Elite who rules those countries have been entrenched for over 300 years and they ain't leaving!We can't fix them, but if the US would stop supporting those elites, they'd be out of there pretty quick. Venezuela being a case in point.
Quote: The health care and School you talk about is non existant, the food you said existed didn'tActually, it did exist.
Quote: The peso traded at 3.3 to 1 in 1995, now its 11.4 to 1 USD! Some small shop keepers in Mexico are loathe to take their money, they want USD or CND to keep!Yet another result of NAFTA.
Quote: Why do think drugs are the cash crop!Because the US government doesn't subsidize US agri-corps...

Quote has been trimmed
1. I believe it if I see it You have never traveled (You admitted being banned in the USA) so Mexico and Latin America is an abstract you have READ about!

Well, the Catholic Church here in South Louisiana sponsors several Parishes in Mexico and I have traveled to these areas and it ain't where the ELITES live! I have experienced what the Average Mexican has experienced and my oldest daughters stayed in Mexico one summer living with a Mexican Family and experienced things first hand! La Senora taught them how to weave blankets and rugs and run a market stall on Market day! Laundry was by hand with a machine that agitated but you had to press and dry by hand! Running water is there but only because the system was built in the 1890's! They learned Spanish (They know French so the jump wasn't impossible!) They learned to cook and eat Mexican (no, not Taco Bell Food!) and what was available at the store on certain days! They loved the experience and got real good at beating the Gringos on Market day! One of Senora Moncado's neighbours said the girls had a knack for getting top dollar (peso) on a sale! she hired the girls to fast talk the tourists, she loved it when a British couple wanted to know why a pair of French Girls were selling clothes and rugs in Mexico? Agnes told here if she ever saw the Movie Born In East LA? Well she said she had, it was about a Mexican-American getting deported mistake to Mexico and trying get back home! The lady pressed a 100 L UK Note in her hand to help her, Agnes said she couldn't take it but to pay the poor box in the Church! The priest was surprized to find it and wanted to know how it got there! A wisper from a neighbour about Agnes' story was told to the priest and his sermon next week was about how a person only needs friends, not money! Senor y Senora Moncado was as proud of those girls as if they were their own! The Senor is a Mecanico Y Soldador (Mechanic and Welder) which as a tradesman he makes a decent living! But his wife is working to get their children a decent education (Private) due to the so called public schools poor records! Private education is and has been the only option open to people in Latin America seeking higher learning! That was before NAFTA!

The son came to the US and stayed with us for the summer and was most interested in the shipyard on the Bayou! His parents dream about him becoming a doctor but he loves metal working, so the banging and clanging of the shipyard was a draw for him! He could not believe how everyone had so much with paying a MORDIDA! I hated when the summer ended, I had to trade Ernesto for 2 pesky girls!

When you drink with the working man in another country, your education takes on a personal matter and you learn what they don't print in the newspaper! Nobody like the Politicians, the elections are rigged, taxes are too high, nothing promised is delivered and road have too many potholes!

BTW the peso in 1993 was converted from the old peso of 1000 old=1 new! The old peso traded at 12.5 to 1 usd in 1973 when I was a teenager then inflation set in and the peso had devalued to 3300 to 1 by 1993! Before Nafta! Mexican people didn't like to hold pesos, they kept dollars to keep the government from devaluing their savings! The ELITES in Mexico do not like the Norteamericanos, the political landscape is very complicated but the US is liked better by the common man on the street than the ELITE in La Cuidad de Mexico!

Norteamericano=Anybody from the US or Canada!

BTW II French are looked upon as being somewhat circumspect in Mexico due to Mexican Histry and the French Takeover of Mexico 1860 to 1866! The have a holiday called Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) when the Forces of Benito Juarez (The Abraham Lincoln of Mexico) defeated the French Foriegn Legion Forces at the battle of Puebla in 1862! The Emperor Maximilian was shot in 1866 and his wife Carlota died in 1909, insane, in Belguim! She left her fortune to the poor of Mexico City to found orphanages and she is venerated in Mexico to this day! There is even a drive to get named as a Saint! Imagine That, Rev, a Rich Woman in Heaven!
 
Reverend Blair
#21
Don't assume too much Martin. I know plenty of people who have been to Mexico. Many are involved in aid agencies or political organisations, and I'm pretty damned sure that both my grandmother and her sister were down there before you, spent more time there, and met more people under more circumstances.

Then there are the people involved in trying to preserve the many types of maize. That's being wiped out because of NAFTA and GM corn flooding in from the US.

It sounds, according to your description, like you know one family in one small area and are taking their word and that experience as gospel. Sorry, my friend, but I'll listen to the views of a group of diverse and educated people who have been travelling there for over fifty years before I listen to a single a person with a single point of view and a perspective limited to some personal experiences.

I am not part of the anti-intellectualism that is so common in this day and age. That anti-intellectualism is very close to thoughtlessness. I do read, that's why we have books, magazines, newspapers and the internet. I do talk to people, that's why we have language. I've done the research, I've talked to the people. To try to denigrate that because you do not understand it doesn't cut it.
 
Martin Le Acadien
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

Don't assume too much Martin. I know plenty of people who have been to Mexico. Many are involved in aid agencies or political organisations, and I'm pretty damned sure that both my grandmother and her sister were down there before you, spent more time there, and met more people under more circumstances.

Then there are the people involved in trying to preserve the many types of maize. That's being wiped out because of NAFTA and GM corn flooding in from the US.

It sounds, according to your description, like you know one family in one small area and are taking their word and that experience as gospel. Sorry, my friend, but I'll listen to the views of a group of diverse and educated people who have been travelling there for over fifty years before I listen to a single a person with a single point of view and a perspective limited to some personal experiences..



I don't *** U ME anything, I read your post about not traveling, you on the other hand, better not bet the farm on what others have expeienced based upon what you have been told!

"pretty damned sure that both my grandmother and her sister were down there before you, spent more time there, and met more people under more circumstances."

If you had read an earlier post, my wife's niece married a man from Gadalajara, Jalisco State, (They are ELITES) so I have met people from the top strata of society to the Indian Peasents who make up the bulk of Mexican Society! I don't know you family, so I can only report on what I saw!

I been from Quintana Roo to Baja California del Norte and been in Mexico no less 100 time since the border isn't a far trip for us!

My experiences in Mexico have been long and varied, I know many Mexicans on a Personal Level and have seen their plight first hand!

Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

I am not part of the anti-intellectualism that is so common in this day and age. That anti-intellectualism is very close to thoughtlessness. I do read, that's why we have books, magazines, newspapers and the internet. I do talk to people, that's why we have language. I've done the research, I've talked to the people. To try to denigrate that because you do not understand it doesn't cut it.

No, your not an anti-intellectual, you are a psuedo-intellectual who has just read or heard somebody elses opinion or statement with out the benefit of experiencing it in the first person! I probably understand more than you can imagine, My work takes me to more countries than I care to visit, see things that should not be and experience first hand the world without rose colored glasses! The world is full of Arm Chair Experts, short on people with hands on experiences!

Tonight, the family went to a French Food Festival and the Politicos were out in force (OPEN CONGRESSIONAL RIDING TYPE ELECTION) and every politico declared NAFTA the SHAFTA for us, but I guess when the payoffs hit the bank, it will be business as usual on Wednesday, Nov 3! So much for BS!
 
Reverend Blair
#23
You don't get off that easy, Martin. You are putting yourself up there as an expert without giving your credentials. That makes your word worth slightly less than than the word of other experts who disagree with you.

Saying that you have been someplace is not the same as saying that you have studied the problems there or talked to a diverse group of people that have been in the area and dealt with those problems firsthand on an ongoing basis.

You say that the schools didn't exist, but my great aunt helped to set some of them up and taught in them. You complain about the lack of facitlites, but she thought those facilities were great. They were better than she had in rural Saskatchewan, after all.

Your assumption that I don't travel is laughable as well. I'm forty years old, something else that is noted on these boards someplace, and haven't been able to travel to your country for less than four years. That's one country for less than one tenth of my life.

Whether one travels or not though, the extensive information available in modern society does make it possible for one to learn what is happening in the world around them. You are just one voice among many and you are contradicting what so many others with at least as much experience as you have points to the fact that what you say is no more gospel, no more informed, than what others say.

I live in one of the most culturally diverse cities in Canada. The province I live in has a large Mennonite community and sees many Mennonite immigrants and temporary workers from Mexico every year. Their families used to be well-off in Mexico, but that has changed drastically over the last few years...since Fox came to power, mostly. In case you haven't checked, Fox is quite conservative and espouses many of the same ideas and ideals that you do.

My grandparents used to spend a lot of time in Guadalajara, back before it was a tourist destination. They travelled all over Mexico from there and, my grandfather being a farmer, they spent a lot of time with the rural people in Mexico.

Now you can sit there and tell me how experienced you are, but you've been dead wrong on some pertinent facts...wages in Mexico, whether schools and healthcare existed, the success of farmers being related to NAFTA, etc.

If all that matters is what you think you've seen with your own eyes then I would suggest that you open your eyes at least enough to realise that a great many people have seen things that contradict what you think you have seen.

You can call me pseudo-intellectual if you like, I really don't care. Don't get your facts wrong and then claim to be an expert though. Experts take the time to actually learn something.
 
Numure
#24
Sorry Martin, but I will trust Rev's opinion before yours. Over the the time I've been a member of this community, his opinions arnt half based. Before he reachs an opinion on any given subject, he has researched it, and learned about ti threw various means. He is also capable to change his opinion if proven wrong, or incorrect. Now for that, I've come to trust him on many issues.

But you, seem more emotional in your opinions, less educated and more corrupted by Corporate mass media. With your last posts, another reason for me not to trust your opinion, or by far almost not listen to it. You're incoherent, quite hard to understand and you do not explain your opinion very well. As much as I want to believe you, your proof is less then accurate and your sources... scepticle. Don't take it personnal.
 
Rick van Opbergen
#25
Numure that are some pretty tough conclusions about a person you barely know.
 
Numure
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Rick van Opbergen

Numure that are some pretty tough conclusions about a person you barely know.

I'm talking about the time spent here. We can see and deduct quite alot from our own eyes.
 
Rick van Opbergen
#27
"But you, seem more emotional in your opinions, less educated and more corrupted by Corporate mass media." If that is your interpretation of Martin, than I call that some pretty tough conclusions. Martin is has been here for a month, with at least one week not active on canadiancontent.com. He has not participated in many discussions so far. That's why I find your conclusions rather tough. Personally, for me, Martin seems to be opposite, I base that on my conversations I had with him about Acadians and Cajuns, but I know him too little to have a good personal opinion about him.
 
Reverend Blair
#28
Umm...this isn't a popularity contest. Don't trust either of our opinions. Go look up the facts, listen to a variety of viewpoints, then form your own opinions. That's kind of my point. The truth is out there.
 
Martin Le Acadien
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

You don't get off that easy, Martin. You are putting yourself up there as an expert without giving your credentials. That makes your word worth slightly less than than the word of other experts who disagree with you.
Saying that you have been someplace is not the same as saying that you have studied the problems there or talked to a diverse group of people that have been in the area and dealt with those problems firsthand on an ongoing basis.
You say that the schools didn't exist, but my great aunt helped to set some of them up and taught in them. You complain about the lack of facitlites, but she thought those facilities were great. They were better than she had in rural Saskatchewan, after all.
Your assumption that I don't travel is laughable as well. I'm forty years old, something else that is noted on these boards someplace, and haven't been able to travel to your country for less than four years. That's one country for less than one tenth of my life.
Whether one travels or not though, the extensive information available in modern society does make it possible for one to learn what is happening in the world around them. You are just one voice among many and you are contradicting what so many others with at least as much experience as you have points to the fact that what you say is no more gospel, no more informed, than what others say.

Quote has been trimmed
I never called my self an "expert", just a person who has been to Mexico!

The basic message is this:

!. Mexico is a poor country, it has a Rich Class, Poor Class and a small Middle Class, do you agree? Mexico is a country of contrasts unlike the US and Canada, you might see a million dollar resort next to a slum! Canada, Europe and the US are basically First World Countries with good Infastructure!

2. Mexico has an expanding population which accounts for some of the pressures to emigrate, Agree? 72 million, 1990 census.

3. Your Aunt built some schools and taught, that is not unusual, the Catholic Church here in South Louisiana has sponsored several parishes in Mexico, our Sponsored Parish is in Coahila State outside Hermosilla the capital of the State. The Knights of Columbus was declared a "Terrorist Outlaws" in the 1920's because they didn;t let the government oversee their activities! www.kofc.org/publications/col...il.cfm?id=3775 (external - login to view) The activities of elomasonary groups has been closely watched in Mexico and even today we are low key about our support of the relief activities of the Church! The Rich Landowners are not the least bit happy when you give the poor some help!

4. I would like to know more about the Mennonite Situation in Mexico, I know they have the most prospourous farms in Mexico but the Government has been trying to bring them into the ejido system. We too have Mexician "temporary" workers here too in Louisiana.

5. ejido [Span.,=common land], in Mexico, agricultural land expropriated from large private holdings and redistributed to communal farms. Communal ownership of land had been widely practiced by the Aztecs, but the institution was in decline before the Spanish arrived. The conquistadors instituted the encomienda, which was superseded by the repartimiento and finally, after independence (1821), by debt peonage. Although legally abolished by the constitution of 1917, which provided for the restoration of the ejido, peonage remained a general practice until the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas. In the Laguna District in 1936, the ejido became fact on a large scale. The intent of the ejido system is to remedy the social injustice of the past and to increase production of subsistence foods. The land is owned by the government, and the ejido is financed by a special national bank which supplies the necessary capital for reclamation, improvement, initial seeding, and so forth. In effect, the bank has replaced the colonial encomendero, with this difference—the laborer is paid on the basis of unit work accomplished.

Since tha land is controlled and owned by the Government, the problem is that if you are not in with the powers to be, your plot can be "appropriated."

6. Corruption is widespread in Mexico and Latin America with the exception of Costa Rica, a very stable and prosperous country, it has no army, only a small National Police Force, a two party system and welcomes investment! Also very protective of its local industries!

The Mordida means:

THE MORDIDA:
MEXICO AND CORRUPTION
By: Christina J. Johns
I spent several years of my life writing a book about law in Ancient Mexico and while I was doing so, traveled widely throughout the country. I spent some more years of my life researching and writing a book about the war on drugs.

So, it was no surprise, when I read last week that an army general who headed Mexico's national drug agency was being detained and awaiting arrest on charges that he accepted huge payments from a Mexican drug baron.

The extent and pervasiveness of official corruption in Mexico is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't lived there. Corruption is everywhere and widely accepted as a fact of life.

Early on in my travels in Mexico I learned what the word "mordida" meant. Literally, it means "bite" but figuratively and the way it is most frequently used, it means a bribe.

For a lot of things you do in Mexico, especially if they involve a public official, you have to pay the "mordida", the bite.

Want your tourist card stamped? You pay the mordida. Want the dates on your tourist card extended? You pay the mordida. Want your car registered? You pay the mordida.

And, there's no point in protesting it. The question is not whether you'll pay. The question is how much.

During the time I was traveling in Mexico, I was married to a historian. We got so used to paying the "mordida" we worked out a routine which was pretty effective at getting the price down.

Whenever we were going into a situation where we knew we'd be asked to pay, we acted as if I couldn't speak Spanish. The inevitable request for money would be made to my husband, of course, and after a few seconds of feigned shock, he would translate for me.

I would then fly off into a tirade, peppering my shouting with generous repetitions of "No. No, absolutely not. No" which translates into any language.

Tom would shrug and try to look henpecked, and appeal to the official, his palms turned upward toward the heavens in supplication. The official, then, seeing what Tom was faced with, usually lowered the mordida a bit. Tom would translate the new amount and I would respond again with: "No, no, no. We'll go to Tourista (the government tourist office)." This little farce would go on and on and on until the mordida reached an acceptable level and we would pay.

I figured it worked for two reasons. First, they felt sorry for Tom this poor harassed man, cursed with what they saw as an out-of-control wife. Second, after a while, they just wanted to get rid of us because if there is anything a Latin American man hates, it's a highly verbal, angry and yelling gringa woman. I know this, by the way, because it almost got us shot by a police captain in Chiapas, but that's another story.

Our little routine decreased the amount of the mordida, the playacting was fun and it made paying the bribe a little less galling. But, we still had to pay the bribe.

We even had to pay a bribe in Mexico City to get a telephone installed. And, even with the mordida, it took so long to get a listing and a telephone that the Mexico City phone book was widely referred to as the "Book of the Dead."

Like I said, it's difficult to explain the pervasiveness of the corruption in Mexico and the degree to which the population takes it for granted. I'll give you a good example. A lot of people in Mexico just couldn't understand Watergate. We were in Mexico at the time and Mexican friends and colleagues would ask me: What is everybody so upset about? What do they think politicians do but lie and steal and cheat and break the law? That's why they become politicians - so they can lie and steal and cheat and break the law.

You have to admit, it's something to think about.

7. Socialism is and has been a failure in Mexico because when you give a Corrupt Politician control over the means of Production and the MONEY, he just can't help himself! In Europe, Canada and the US we have oversight to some degree, but without the oversight, it becomes thievery and in the Third World where I have traveled, it isn't hard to see!

Sorry to bust your bubble, these are the FACTS!
 
Martin Le Acadien
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by Numure

Sorry Martin, but I will trust Rev's opinion before yours. Over the the time I've been a member of this community, his opinions arnt half based. Before he reachs an opinion on any given subject, he has researched it, and learned about ti threw various means. He is also capable to change his opinion if proven wrong, or incorrect. Now for that, I've come to trust him on many issues.

But you, seem more emotional in your opinions, less educated and more corrupted by Corporate mass media. With your last posts, another reason for me not to trust your opinion, or by far almost not listen to it. You're incoherent, quite hard to understand and you do not explain your opinion very well. As much as I want to believe you, your proof is less then accurate and your sources... scepticle. Don't take it personnal.

I added some research material to the post to demonstrate the points contained in my posts, I respect his points but I know what I have seen and experienced.

My emotion is that I understand more about the subject than most US or Canadian Citizens due to my involvement in Mexican Relief on a personal level. I have watched poor farmers till their field with OXEN while the tractors set idle due to the Government Bureaucrat not want to run them! As a husband and father, I understand the frustration being felt by a man unable to have dignity given by providing a decent living to his family and a future to his children!

My education:

1. Graduated University. AS & BS Petr. Engineer
2. Qualified a a NOTAIRE in Louisiana, similiar to that in
Quebec, Louisiana uses a Civil Law System! NOT AN EASY TEST!
3. Amateur Radio Operator, hold Morse Certificate.

As far as Mass Media, I already told you, LOOK FOR THE ANGLE, all news is propaganda! Even CBC has been caught on this one here in Louisiana on the Acadian Story when they reported that the "Cajun" Culture has assimulated into the Melting Pot! I bet that one was edited like that to try to down play the legal challenges of the Grand Derangement!

Like a lawyer, hearsay is questionable, only if you see it, is it admissible in court! Ask about the facts.

I don't take it personal, this is a forum to understand viewpoints, not a thesis debate at the university.
 

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