Globalization in Pictures: Courtesy AT & T

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Since I seem to be always thinking about the demise of the dollar and the march of power and wealth to the East (China, in particular, with India and other S. E. Asian countries joining in the fun), this flyer really reminded me of what’s going on a lot closer to home.

We’ve discussed in the past the “North American Union” scenario and things like that “super highway” plan and the new Mexican seaport which will probably hurt West Coast ports.  Drug cartels are now talked about all the time.

But the ad I received yesterday really was so “in your face” that I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

AT & T is one of those companies that is billed as a safe-haven investment during this rough economic time, offering some growth and dividends to help increase a retiree’s income.  It’s American as apple pie…but, like most multinational corporations, it’s “reaching out to touch someone” somewhere else bigtime.

Living about 50 miles from the Mexican border, I have to say that I enjoy the food (eat salsa every day, tortillas constantly, and do green chile) and the many lovely Mexican immigrants and long-time citizens  that I’ve met over the last decade. We’ve got about 5 Spanish television stations and the radio is full of Mexican music from here and directly from Mexico, which is really fun to listen to (sort of like polkas in Spanish!). I know lot of folks who cross the ordeer for affordable dental care and I’ve visited a Mexican pharmacy myself. The culture is wonderful and the people are warm and friendly, but, of course, the poor from the other side of the border want to come here.  I’ve met women who’ve left their families to come here in the hopes of being able to send money home and also to escape extreme poverty and danger.

Even the local Walmart features  several services to send money to Mexico.

This is the way it is, a fact of life in these parts. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having lots of cross-border activity…heck, if we were in Europe it would be exactly the same thing.  I recall visiting the Gallup Organization in London when I was working for the parent company in Princeton, N.J. years ago (before it was sold to a big outfit) and how fascinated I was that one of the women in the same job there that I had in the U.S. was prepping for a trip to about 5 countries as if it were nothing out of the ordinary…sort of like the way I prepped to do a big job out in California, I guess.

It’s just that normal back and forth has been supplanted by something a lot more complicated than families visiting relatives. We’re now in globalization mode and it’s on steroids.

And here’s what AT & T is marketing to exploit the situation…

2009_1102MexicoCallLocal0004

Outside of the AT & T advertising...

And, when you open it up, there’s a pop-up, just like one of those children’s picture books with pop-up pages:

2009_1102MexicoCallLocal0003

A pop-up ruin...

I don’t have relatives in Mexico but I know people who do. I hope it helps them to stay close to them via phone and enables them to save money.

But, still…it does show how the globalization train is pretty far down the tracks, at least in these parts…

***

Related Posts

El Paso Media Conference Pushes “Newspapers as Change Agents”; Interesting Background of Organizer (February 20, 2009)

Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here… (March 6, 2009)

THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner (March 9, 2009)

What’s Going On North of the Border: The Canadian Economy and Stimulus Plan (March 11,2009)

Mexico Plans World’s Third Largest Seaport, Will Impact U.S. Ports on West Coast; Citigroup to Help Finance? (Updated 1X More on TARP $$ Going Overseas) (March 12, 2009)

Obama on the Border: The Language Shift & Plan to Use Executive Orders–Tying It All Together (Security, Trade, Immigration ) (March 13, 2009)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the North American Union: A Layman’s Overview of the Coming New World Order (March 17, 2009–by Grail Guardian)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the North American Union: A Layman’s Overview of the Coming New World Order

~~By Grail Guardian

As a follow-up to American Lassie’s excellent article last week I have expanded on a comment I made. As I stated then, I had just listened to a Blog Talk Radio show that had our good friend Diamond Tiger (from Logistics Monster) as the featured guest; use the link to the archive in the post. It’s well worth the listen! I also strongly recommend you check out this piece linking to clips from the movie Zeitgeist for an overview of the ties between today’s political climate and the events of the past. (Wikipedia notes that the term “Zeitgeist” refers to the ethos of an identified group of people that expresses a prevalent world view at a particular period of socio-cultural progression.) But one of the most important points Diamond brought out in the interview is that Barack Obama was chosen (and one could even argue created) by TPTB (The Powers That Be) as a distraction. We spend so much time focusing on his being a usurper and his buffoonery that we don’t watch what’s happening “over here”. She is 100% right, and I applaud her along with everyone at InsightAnalytical for not falling for the distraction. This excellent research is exactly what TPTB are hoping no one does.

I am convinced that Citibank is a huge player in this, and I was struck by their volte face last week (going from being nationalized to turning a profit in just about 2 weeks). Following the money will show just how much fiat currency is mixing and mingling between the 3 members of the proposed North American Union, and I predict that you will continue to see Citi mentioned in small bits buried in obscure places. Of course, Citibank (aka Citigroup, or just plain Citi) is the current rendition of National City Bank of New York (one of the early players in the Federal Reserve System originally run by protégés of John Jacob Astor), so we’re back to the same group of bankers doing the same thing they always do: pushing for global domination in an indirect way.

The plan is to take everything over quietly while they distract us with the Obama show, and by the time we realize what’s happened,  it will be too late. Our banks will be owned by Canada; our real estate will be owned by China; our jobs will be owned by Mexico, India, and Indonesia; and our souls will be owned by the central banks. We will have glass tracking chips implanted under our skin in the name of “National Security”; we will have video cameras recording every moment of every day in public and in private (think about the more than 10,000 public cameras located throughout London;  not to mention the way that webcams are now being built into every new laptop PC and will soon be standard equipment);  each mouse click or keystroke on our computers will be tracked by software that’s been perfected over the past few years disguised as viruses and spyware,;  our mileage will be monitored and regulated electronically via GPS systems built into our vehicles (why else would the government buy the automakers?);  our guns and ammunition will be monitored and eventually the attempt will be made to take them away (although I am convinced that this will fail and likely be their downfall–America will not give up her firearms or Second Amendment rights); and how many Americans will be caught playing with their Obama “Yes, we can” messages on cell phones and Ipods when the civilian police force comes knocking at our doors?

The real message to remember here is one I must again attribute to Diamond Tiger (and of course the late, great Douglas Adams):

Don’t Panic. clip_image001

[For those of you unfamiliar with this classic, I highly recommend listening to the original BBC radio version in a darkened room with surround sound!] at:

http://www.sadena.com/BBC-Radio/H2G2/

That’s what will set us apart from the masses, and if we spread the word far and well enough, it might be what averts the pending disaster TPTB have planned for us. So in the style of H2H2, just remember a few basic points:

1. Nothing is what it appears to be. If something draws your attention left, look to the right for the real story.

2. “Zaphod Beeblebrox” Obama is just the dancing hot dog that’s there to entertain and divert you until the real show starts.

3. Don’t believe the media about how bad things are. They’ve been lying to us for years; why would they stop now?

4. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Be sure you and your family are prepared for whatever might happen. And don’t forget to bring a towel.*

5. You are not alone. No matter how much the Oborg tries to convince us otherwise, there are way more than a dozen PUMAs that are worried about America’s future. Hell, there are way more than a dozen countries that are worried about America’s future!

6. We are Americans. We will come through this, one way or another. That’s what we do.

***

*From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”

Mexico Plans World’s Third Largest Seaport, Will Impact U.S. Ports on West Coast; Citigroup to Help Finance? (Updated 1X More on TARP $$ Going Overseas)

~~By InsightAnalytical–GRL

Breaking News…as I finish up this post Wednesday night (3/22) , I’ve just watched Dennis Kucinich with Greta on On the Record discussing the revelation that Citicgroup took part of its TARP bailout money and made deals with Chinese and Dubai companies, in effect, sending our money overseas.  The links are not up as of now, but I’ll post what I find tomorrow. In the meantime…read what follows and see if you don’t ask the questions we’ve been asking here at IA over the last few days…

***

Yesterday I mused about what’s going on in Canada and its ties to the U.S. financial crisis and a couple of days ago, American Lassie wrote about the North American Community.  Earlier, IA took a look at a possible U.S. role Mexico and today, I’m looking at Mexico again, specifically about a certain plan that has been brewing for quite awhile and which seems about to take off.

About a week ago I opened the Albuquerque Journal’s Business Outlook section and found a full page story entitled “Planned Seaport to be the third largest in the world”.  (The link is working as I write this, but because the ABQ Journal is behind a wall and available to subscribers-only, I don’t know for how long.  http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/0294376619biz03-02-09.htm)

The seaport, called Punta Colonet, will be built here:

Punta Colonet (Photo courtesy REMAX)

Punta Colonet (Photo courtesy RE/MAX)

(More information on the location, including maps, at the end of this post)

A word about the columnist.  Back in 2003, Jerry Pacheco was running Gov. Bill Richardson’s newly-formed office dealing with Mexican trade (see press release at the end of this post). And here’s a bit more detail:

Pacheco is a recognized expert in Mexican affairs and has extensive business experience throughout Mexico. He established and ran the state’s first foreign trade office in Mexico City during the early 1990s, and is a syndicated columnist with regular international columns appearing in El Paso Inc., Ser Empresario magazine and most recently in the Albuquerque Journal.

Which brings us back to the ABQ Journal article in question…written by the guy in the know…

Planned seaport to be third largest in world

Albuquerque Journal–> By Jerry Pacheco
For the Journal
Punta

Colonet is a small Mexican Pacific coastal village located approximately 150 miles south of Tijuana in Baja California. Historically, this area’s economy has relied on agriculture and tourism. For the past five years, excitement and speculation has centered on Punta Colonet, as the Mexican government has announced that it will build a new Pacific seaport at this site.

The scope of the project is enormous by world standards. According to Mexican government reports, the port will be designed to handle six million containers annually at final build-out. In terms of processing volume, it will be larger than the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach combined. When completed, the site is projected to encompass an area of more than 27,000 acres, or slightly more than 42 square miles. It will be the third largest seaport in the world, behind only Singapore and Hong Kong. It is estimated that between 90,000 and 200,000 people, a small city, will be needed to operate the port facilities.


Punta Colonet is Mexico’s attempt to claim a larger share of the billions of dollars in merchandise shipments between North America and Asia, which are coming through ports farther north. It is estimated that this aggressive project will cost close to $2 billion in its initial phase, with a final build-out estimate of up to $6 billion. Multiple sources of public and private monies will need to be accessed. Citicorp has been meeting with high-level Mexican officials to discuss participating in the financing of this project.

SNIP

In the current world economic recession, many people question the timing for Punta Colonet. Previously, the capacity and the ability of the mature U.S. West Coast ports to handle increasing ocean cargo was a major concern, but the volume at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports has recently decreased by up to 30 percent because of the economic crisis, and the capacity issue has become less important. Many people, particularly players in the U.S. and California, are worried that bringing such a large port on line would further depress and dilute the ocean cargo business.


SNIP

Punta Colonet has been designed to begin construction in 2012 or 2013, with completion around 2020, and had developed a strong momentum. However, in mid-January of this year, Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transportation Secretary, Luis Tellez, for the second time issued a postponement of the construction bidding process. At that point, it was announced that the global financial crisis had put the brakes on the project, but by the end of January the Mexican government announced it would begin administering the registration for proposals in April, with the actual process to accept these proposals scheduled for June.


Whatever the time frame, it appears that the Mexican government has decided to proceed with the Punta Colonet port. If the Santa Teresa region remains the preferred crossing point into the U.S. for this project, it could bring a slew of new economic development activities to the southern New Mexico-west Texas region (Paso del Norte region).

MORE

Now what is the first question that pops into your mind??  Citigroup gets bailout money, it’s share price drops to about $1, now they proclaim that they are profitable and the market soars on Tuesday, 3/10. I don’t know if all that is related to this port project, but you have to wonder at the very least: If the U.S. government is “funding” Citicorp, then does that mean the U.S. taxpayer will be building this port if the deal goes through??

Remember this story from just a couple of weeks ago?

Citigroup gets new rescue, U.S. may own 36 percent

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will boost its equity stake in Citigroup Inc to as much as 36 percent, bolstering the bank’s capital base in the latest emergency effort to save the banking giant.

SNIP

While the latest rescue does not inject more money into Citigroup, it gives the government more of a voting stake and far greater influence over the bank’s operations, short of outright nationalization. The White House said a higher U.S. stake will help achieve a “better outcome” for the bank.

“The government is the new boss,” said Mike Holland, the founder of money manager Holland & Co in New York. “Every major decision is something that is not going to come out of Park Avenue, but is going to come from Washington, D.C.”

New York-based Citigroup in October and November received $45 billion of taxpayer money, as well as a government backstop to cap losses on $300.8 billion of toxic assets. More than two-thirds of these assets related to mortgages and commercial real estate.

SNIP

Pandit has split Citigroup into two: Citicorp, which has retail banking and other businesses that Citigroup wants to keep, and Citi Holdings, which includes troubled or underperforming assets it wants to sell or wind down.

A higher government stake could complicate Citigroup’s ability to operate in some of the more than 100 countries where it has businesses. Bank executives downplayed speculation that Citigroup might shed all or part of its ownership of Grupo Financiero Banamex, Mexico’s second-largest bank.

“We’re not open to the idea of offloading assets that we really want to keep,” Edward “Ned” Kelly, head of global banking and Citi Alternative Investments, said in an interview. “Banamex is a very important property to us, and we are intent on retaining it and maximizing its value.”

MORE

(Here’s more analysis of the situation at Citigroup from John Batchelor at The Real Barack Obama blog.)

And here’s more background on Asian investors who are also wanting in.  There has been a lot of behind-the scene negotiations and “intrigue” in lining up financial partners with political connections in Mexico, according to Pacheco.  Here’s some background you might find interesting from The Free Trade Alliance based in San Antonio, Texas. From April, 6,2006:

A Deck of Chinese Cards

Mexican and US officials and businessmen are stepping up contacts with China and other Asian nations in high-stakes bids to expand economic relations. Trade missions from Baja California, Chihuahua, Michoacan and Texas all have recently flown to meetings and tours in the emerging global economic powerhouses of the Far East.

SNIP

Their eyes fixated on the expanding Chinese star, Mexican officials are now considering opening an eastern-oriented Pacific port in Baja California to help handle the burgeoning trade volume. Located about 150 miles south of the US-Mexico border, Punta Colonet is emerging as a possible super port. Carlos Jauregui, the executive director of the port of Ensenada said construction of the port could begin in 2008 and be completed by 2012. Jauregui estimated the facility could cost about $5 billion dollars to build, including a rail link to the United States.

And what about the implications for U.S. ports?

The Cunningham Report, which describes itself as “an information source for the trade and transportation industry” commented on 89/31/08:

Although folks at both the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach have downplayed the impact of the Punta Colonet project and noted that completion of the port would be years away, if it is developed, the Mexican port could at some point pose significant competition.

Also, from The Puget Sound Business Journal, August 29, 2008:

While Mexican planners hope the Mexican port will attract cargo from congested Southern California ports, that could have a domino effect in the Pacific Northwest.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are launching a joint marketing agreement to convince cargo owners to shift cargo from Southern California to Puget Sound, but that effort might have less success if Southern California congestion eases because of the Mexican port.

Otherwise the proposed Mexican port probably won’t take away too much cargo from Puget Sound ports, except for import cargo destined for Mid-Atlantic states, said Doug Coates, principal for TransSystems Corp. in San Francisco.

Puget Sound ports already are losing some cargo to the new Prince Rupert Port Authority in British Columbia, as well as to expanded East Coast ports including the Port of Savannah, Georgia. In July the Port of Savannah announced its volumes had increased 15 percent over the last year, while the Port of Seattle’s volume dropped 8 percent in the first half of this year.

The Portland Business Journal reports that Port of Portland officials “aren’t particularly worried about heightened competition,” but their article includes this tidbit:

Doug Coates, principal for TranSystems Corp. in San Francisco, said one attraction of the Punta Colonet port might be the promise of lower longshore labor rates, and the possibility that the Mexican port would be buffered from any labor issues with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. While that union recently signed a new contract, owners of cargo plan far ahead to avoid the effects of union disturbances.

“The shippers are still worried about longshore unrest on the U.S. West Coast and what happens with agreements,” Coates said. “The carriers like the fact that it’s lower cost and more flexible labor.”

Do you hear the sound of American jobs going down the tubes as the new “community” here in North America takes shape?

By the way, RE/MAX  Baja Realty is gearing up to sell  property with the proposed port as a selling point and their contact form is already up and working:

Welcome to Baja California’s Official website  for the largest Mexican public works project ever.

The purpose of Colonet Real Estate website is to bring information about the new project developing in Baja California, prices of all the possible property’s for sale and questions referring to Punta Colonet.

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MAPS and More Information on Punta Colonet

Maps, Major Ports – US/Mexico Border Transportation Planning – FHWA.

Wikipedia Article on the Punta Colonet Area, port, and detailed map

More Background Information on Border Ties

Frontera Norte Sur, published by New Mexico State University (2006 edition)  Section of interest:

Banks Leap Across Borders

Given the green light by the Federal Reserve Board, a Mexican bank has finalized its majority-ownership purchase of the Texas-based Inter National Bank (INB). Luis Pena Kegel, director general of the Banorte Financial Group, said the INB will use its base from the city of McAllen on the Texas-Mexico border to expand into other regions of the United States.

“With this operation, Banorte has the intention of getting closer to families and businesses on both sides of the border with innovative financial products that nobody else is offering,” Pena said in an interview with the Mexico City daily La Jornada.

MORE

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UPDATE  3/13/09

Thanks to America Lassie for this link which has the video of the hearing mentioned by Kucinich on Greta:

http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2009/20090312104802.aspx

‘Nightly News’ Perplexed by TARP-Recipients Lending to Foreign Countries

NBC correspondent Lisa Myers investigates banking titans that made overseas loans in wake of congressional hearing.

***

BACKGROUND on Jerry Pacheco, ABQ Journal columnist

Press Release from the State of New Mexico re: Jerry Pacheco

http://www.nmpartnership.com/press-releases/article.php?id=970&title=Pacheco+Heads+New+Mexican+Affairs+and+Trade+Division

Return to press release archive

Friday Jun 13, 2003

Pacheco Heads New Mexican Affairs and Trade Division

Contact: Cathy Ann Connelly: 505-476-3747
Santa Teresa, New Mexico – As part of Governor Bill Richardson’s efforts to improve commercial trade with Mexico, Jerry Pacheco, formerly deputy secretary for New Mexico Economic Development Department, is now director of the new Mexican Affairs and Trade Division. This office was created by the State Legislature to better oversee and coordinate the activities of the New Mexico Border Authority, New Mexico Economic Development Department, and the New Mexico-Chihuahua Commission.

Based in Santa Teresa, Pacheco believes the new office is a major, positive step toward increasing the trade and infrastructure interface with all Mexican states.

“State Senator Mary Kay Papen carried the bill that created this new entity, and it is one that will further our agenda of improving productive trade with Mexico,” said Pacheco.

New Mexico’s trade with Mexico is already a mainstay of the state’s existing economy to the tune of $106 million annually — particularly important in the southern part of the state. But although New Mexico shares a border with Mexico, the state is still ranked 39th out of all the states in the U.S. when it comes to its amount of business over the border.

MORE

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RELATED POSTS:

What’s Going On North of the Border: The Canadian Economy and Stimulus Plan

THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner

Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here…

Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

A couple of days ago I posted a press release from W.A.M. (Wake Up America) on the impending demise of the “E-Verify Program” which has been operating since the 1990’s. (See URGENT PRESS RELEASE March 4, 2009 from W.A.M. RE: Expiration of the “E-Verify Program” Which Screens Employment of Illegal Aliens.)

You have to wonder why this is being allowed to die, especially with the news coming out of Mexico.  Living only about 50 miles from the border (the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez area), I got to thinking.

On Monday (3/2) I saw a small AP article in the Albuquerque Journal hidden near the fold on page two which reported on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ appearance on Meet the Press the day before.  Since I don’t trust the AP to report anything anymore, I found the transcript of the show; here is the relevant passage:

March 1, 2009

Meet the Press

MR. GREGORY:  We’ve got a few more minutes, and I want to go through as quickly as we can some other really important topics.  The first is Mexico, a major threat on the border with Mexico because of a widening drug war there. The Economist magazine wrote this startling synopsis, and they call it “Who’s in charge?  The police chief in Ciudad Juarez, on Mexico’s border with America, resigned after drug gangs, who had murdered his deputy, threatened to kill one of his officers every 48 hours until he quit.” What’s going on there, and how big of a national security threat is this for the U.S.?

SEC’Y GATES:  Well, I think that what is important is that President Calderon of Mexico, perhaps for the first time, has, has taken on the battle against these cartels.  And because of corruption in the police and so on, he sent the federal army of Mexico into the fight.  The cartels are retaliating.  I think we are beginning to be in a position to help the Mexicans more than we have in the past.  Some of the old biases against cooperation with our–between our militaries and so on I think are being set aside.

MR. GREGORY:  You mean providing military supporting?

SEC’Y GATES:  Providing them with, with training, with, with resources, with reconnaissance and surveillance kinds of capabilities; but just cooperation, including in intelligence. But it clearly is a serious problem, and, and–but what I think people need to point out is the courage that Calderon has shown in taking this on, because one of the reasons it’s gotten as bad as it has is because his predecessors basically refused to do that.

This policy does not come out of the blue. The  plan was signed into law on June 30, 2008.

The Mérida Initiative (also called Plan Mexico by critics) is a security cooperation between the United States and the government of Mexico and the countries of Central America, with the aim of combating the threats of drug trafficking, transnational crime and money laundering. The assistance includes training, equipment and intelligence.

In seeking partnership from the United States, Mexican officials point out that the illicit drug trade is a shared problem in need of a shared solution, and remark that most of the financing for the Mexican traffickers comes from American drug consumers. U.S. law enforcement officials estimate that US$12 to 15 billion per year flows from the United States to the Mexican traffickers, and that is just in cash, and doesn’t include all the money sent by wire transfers.[1] Other government agencies, including the Government Accountability Office and the National Drug Intelligence Center, have estimated that Mexico’s cartels earn upwards of $23 billion in illicit drug proceeds from the United States.[2][3]

U.S. State Department officials are aware that Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s willingness to work with the United States is unprecedented on issues of security, crime and drugs, so the U.S. Congress passed legislation in late June 2008 to provide Mexico with $400 million and Central American countries with $65 million this year for the Mérida Initiative. The initiative was announced on 22 October 2007 and signed into law on June 30, 2008.

Now, this plan raises a couple of alarm bells. First, some are speculating that we should expect some sort of terrorist attack on the U.S. that will allow the Obama Administration to do something that will complete their power grab.  George Bush took 911 and we got a spate of new laws regarding security, FISA, and a whole new Homeland Security office.  It doesn’t take much to see the conditions in Mexico as a potential source of  a “transnational crime” of some sort.  What Obama would do with this sort of situation has been widely discussed.  Reports of  “camps” being built, the continuation of FISA, the economic problems and greater government intervention…well, would you be surprised if we saw some more power grabbed by Obama?

Secondly, what could the “cooperation” that Gates describes actually lead to?  The use of the word “just”, as in “just cooperation” automatically raises suspicion, as if it’s all being minimized to sound simple and benign. Foreign Policy In Focus analyzed the plan this way:

From what’s known of it, the package — officially dubbed the “Mérida Initiative” but more commonly referred to as “Plan Mexico” — contains direct donations of military and intelligence equipment, and training programs for Mexican law enforcement officials. A White House fact sheet lists surveillance equipment, helicopters and aircraft, scanners for border revisions, communications systems, and training programs for “strengthening the institutions of justice.” An additional $50 million dollars is earmarked for Central American countries to support their fight against “gangs, drugs, and arms.”

The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the “Overall Justification Document,” reported that more than a third of the package will be spent on aerial surveillance and facilitating the rapid deployment of troops.

But what has legislators and civil society worried on both sides of the border is not the money involved or the equipment to be sent. It’s the reach of Plan Mexico in recasting the binational relationship, to create what the Bush administration calls “a new paradigm for security cooperation.”

SNIP

The concept of a joint security strategy for North America goes back at least as far as the creation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) in March of 2005. Since that time, the Bush administration has attempted to push its Northern American trade partners into a common front that would assume shared responsibility for protecting the United States from terrorist threats and bolstering U.S. global hegemony in the region.

SNIP

Plan Mexico twists the plot by presenting Bush administration efforts to create a North American security strategy in the guise of a war on drugs.

And Gates is still there as a carryover in Obama’s cabinet.

On Monday( 3/9) this site will be featuring a post on a planned “community,” with many of the target dates for reaching certain goals set for 2010.  The demise of E-Verify may be part of a larger scenario that’s being played out.  Remember “SPP”–you’ll be reading about it in more detail on Monday.

Is the plan going to work? A recent article from the El Paso Times reports on some doubts:

Lawmakers to evaluate Merida Initiative’s success

Meanwhile, fears abound that money, materials and services from the Merida Initiative won’t make it to their intended recipients, with corruption getting in the way and the potential for worsening violence as drug cartels continue to clash.

Gee, no “indicators”?  Doubts about whether “benchmarks” have been established? Sounds sort of  like how the “stimulus package” and bailout money is set up…no real oversight!

I found a rundown of some recent news items at The Albuquerque Journal site which paint a pretty grim picture of what’s going on. Click on the following headline to get the full list.

Updated at 11:20am — Cartels Said To Have 100,000 Foot Soldiers

Pentagon source tells Washington Times rival drug organizations may be negotiating a merger…

Here are the other headlines, which are descriptive enough:

7:10am 2/9/09 — Texas Plans for Possible Mexican Collapse: ‘You hope for the best, plan for the worst,’ Gov. Perry’s aide tells El Paso Times.

6:45am 2/2/09 — Ambassador: Mexico Not Collapsing: Top envoy responds to chorus of alarms by current and former U.S. officials over border violence.

9:45am 1/29/09 — Joint Chiefs Chairman Worries About Mexican Violence: Navy Adm. Mike Mullen tells D.C. press briefing that border drug war ‘has all of our attention.’

11:25am 1/14/09 — Military Report: Mexico’s ‘Sudden Collapse’ Possible: U.S. Joint Forces Command study puts Mexico on a par with Pakistan as global security threat.

9:35am 1/9/09 — U.S. Says It’s Ready for Mexican Violence: Homeland Security has a ‘surge’ plan, including use of military, if drug wars spill over the border. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told The New York Times this week that if Mexico’s vicious and escalating drug war spills over the border, the United States has several response plans, including the use of the military, the El Paso Times reported.

10:00am 1/7/09 — Ex-U.S. Drug Czar Warns of Mexican Chaos: McCaffrey tells incoming Obama administration ‘millions of refugees’ could surge across border…The United States has provided only minimal support for the Mexican government to date, with Congress approving the $400 million Merida Initiative worked out by President Bush with Mexican and Canadian participation only “after a divisive and insulting debate,” the report said…”A terrible tragedy is going to take place in the coming decade if we don’t closely ally ourselves with the courageous Mexican leadership of (President Felipe) Calderon’s administration — and develop a resourced strategy appropriate for the dangers we face,” McCaffrey told the incoming administration.

***

See that mention of Canada in the last excerpt?  You’ll be reading more about Canada next week…

And please remember who Felipe Calderon is. Recall that during Mexico’s national election in July 2006, there was a great deal of scuttlebutt around about how Calderon was “selected.”    As reported at the time:

Mexico Vote Gives Bush New “Amigo” in Latin America

Catherine Bremer – Reuters

Felipe Calderon’s election victory in Mexico gives the U.S. government a much-needed conservative ally in Latin America, where it has lost influence in recent years as a string of leftist leaders took power.

For months, it seemed that Washington would have to work with a combative Mexican leader in Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a fiery leftist who led opinion polls and promised to end two decades of U.S.-backed economic reforms.

But Calderon won the narrowest of victories and Mexico’s electoral court named him president-elect on Tuesday, throwing out Lopez Obrador’s accusations of massive fraud.

MORE

Now, doesn’t that sound real familiar?

Reviewing all this information, it’s plain to see that E-Verify is just an afterthought these days.  Maybe bigger things are brewing…