Comments: Five Dollar Friday

Hey -- where's my dough from last week? Is Five Dollar Friday a symbolic gesture? If so, thanks for the love. If not, I expect a certified check in the high two numbers by the end of next week.

Posted by Dennis Perrin at September 4, 2010 10:14 AM


When did you greedheads start thinking this had something to do with literal money? It's been clear from the start that every week I'm sending someone $5 worth of good vibes. Now I'm really weirded out by you. Gross.

Ha ha! Seriously, though, check your paypal account. It should be in there as of last week.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 4, 2010 11:33 AM

Real News....Real Good.

But really, Jonathan, double posting on your own blog?

Posted by bobbyp at September 4, 2010 12:00 PM

Look again—obviously what seemed like a double-post was simply an optical illusion.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at September 4, 2010 12:08 PM

Mr Schwarz, that makes at least TWO with optical illusion!

Posted by Rupa Shah at September 4, 2010 12:24 PM

WE ALWAYS PAY both sides in every war WE are apart of and in which WE have interest.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 4, 2010 01:04 PM

If the people who run the U.S. cared about our national security in the genuine sense, this kind of thing would be on CBS every night, along with serious discussions about drug legalization.

True. What they in fact care about is the $ecurity of their police state, which would be undermined if drugs were decriminalized and the violence dropped off too much.

Posted by Cloud at September 4, 2010 02:59 PM

This was a good report, focused on the revolting corruption of the Mexican government.

Mexico is a rich country whose elite faces some of the world's lowest taxes. The Mexican upper class relies on the US to absorb its excess population, illiterate and unskilled, in order to maintain the country's inexistent social service infrastructure.

Note the indignation of Calderon, Fox, etc whenever there is any discussion of tightening controls against illegal alients.

If I were a Mexican fugitive, or wanted to escape from my wife and children, or had ripped off some mafia types, I would just head to the frontier, where papers are not required, and where no questions are (or can be) asked: the US, where a friendly Mexican consul will provide me with help in maintaining my illegal presence.

Cesar Chavez fought against illegal immigration because he knew it for what it is: a war on labor by capitalists. He encouraged farm workers to report illegal aliens to the police. They are scabs.

Posted by seth at September 4, 2010 09:33 PM

If the social service infrastructure is not in existence, why would it need to be maintained? This does not make sense to me.

And the Mexicans (here in the USA) that I know are highly literate and highly skilled.

Posted by Susan at September 4, 2010 10:29 PM

"If the social service infrastructure is not in existence, why would it need to be maintained?"

You are kidding, right?

I'm really glad that the Mexicans "you know" are highly skilled. Too bad that has nothing to do with the millions of ILLEGAL Mexican aliens who tend NOT to be highly skilled.

Any highly-skilled and educated Mexicans working in the US are certainly doing so with the proper visas, and are legal immigrants. I am not talking about legal immigrants.

Susan has fallen into the trap of refusing to acknowledge the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. Confusing this ready distinction is a key element of the open borders lobby, comprised of the business community (low wages) and the Democrats (vote whores.)

The US already has one of the most liberal programs of LEGAL immigration in the world, which is great. Let's maintain that.

Posted by seth at September 5, 2010 12:05 AM

unfortunately, this piece does not state clearly that, as someone pointed out above, funding all sides in a conflict is The Plan. it's not a bug, it's a feature. this is not a case of america's "good intentions" gone awry.

anywho, i'm curious if TNR or its readers have thoughts on the parallel situation re drugs in afghanistan. i suspect that most of the opium leaving there is coming out on military transports. and it is the US gov'ts unofficial policy to flood the world w/afghani heroin.

Posted by anonymous at September 5, 2010 10:40 AM

It is definitely suspicious that the Taliban had almost eradicated the Afghani poppy industry, which bounced back under the new regime.

Posted by seth at September 5, 2010 11:24 AM

A poignant story by a reporter/blogger/film maker/author/documentarian having worked in MSM and independently about his own personal situation on Labour Day in the current economy and so I agree with Mr Schwarz, WHY independent reporter/blogger/film maker needs 5$F support and may be even more than 5$s, for us to get REAL NEWS.

" Recession Snuffs Out New Media Hope"
By Danny Schechter
September 3, 2010

Posted by Rupa Shah at September 5, 2010 12:07 PM

"No matter how cynical you become, it's impossible to keep up." --Lily Tomlin

That's good reporting, but even that is a little cautious.

There was a time long, long ago, before the Dems became the party of NAFTA, when I had some close connections to Colombia, and once I even got the extra special thrill of going hunting with a couple of American DEA agents. Those guys had been special forces in Vietnam, and they were, to put it kindly, nasty racist bastards and not remotely naive. They were working closely with the Colombian military--that's why they were there. (Why I was there is a good question, but stupid is as stupid does.)

I damn well don't believe US DEA agents in Mexico or Colombia today are any more naive than those guys were, and they're definitely still working with those corrupt foreign military establishments. (Think Traffic or The Wire in Spanish.) The intel, military, and law enforcement communities in Mexico AND the US understand the corruption--they just have priorities unrelated to the welfare of poor people, whether Colombians or Mexicans or Americans, who they mostly either hate or don't care about. The corruption is pervasive and inescapable, and it serves many purposes. Much Lots of money is being made, and of course the Mexican army takes its cut, just as our intel communities take a cut (even if, in our case, for the most patriotic of purposes--see Iran contra).

So maybe it can't be proved that the corruption goes above the level of regional commanders in the Mexican military, but if the money didn't keep going all the way up past the level of regional commanders, the corruption would be stopped. Military officers who let their subordinates develop that sort of expertise have to stay firmly in control of it or it will soon control them, so to speak. There's no way the corruption is only low-level.

Drug money is greasing a lot of wheels, and some of those wheels are on limos that generals and politicians are riding around in. And not just Mexican limos and Colombian limos, but American limos too.

Posted by N E at September 5, 2010 12:13 PM

Its the butterfly/cocoon effect. Pancho is a pretty good hard working guy while he mows YOUR lawn for a dollar an hour. IF he should ask for a little more per hour, he SUDDENLY transforms into a drug lord. Same/same with the Taliban. As long as they were fighting the Russians it was all good, they were "Freedom Fighters". But now---????

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 5, 2010 01:33 PM

A great Op-Ed which talks about the drug wars and killings but also about much much more!
"The 'Great Wall of America' and the threat from within"

@ Mike Meyer

Posted by Rupa Shah at September 5, 2010 01:53 PM

The corruption even in our own nation is very widespread.

Think of all the money that gets collected each year via asset seizures. Just being suspected o0f being a dealer can mean the local police authority seizes your home, banks accounts, cars, jewelry, and on and on.

That money gets paid out to local police officials who divvy it up and hand it over to Board of Supervisors and mayors and other "elected" officials.

Marin County Calif. had payments of $ 135 K going annually to its Board of Supervisors. Now on the surface, these funds seem benign - they may be offered by a Supervisor to a local children's theater. But at election time, the children's theater sponsor who received $ 15K is going to be expected to send back at least $ 3K for the campaign financing.
They are even persuading Barbara Boxer that marijuana legalization is a bad thing. I am not for turning this nation into a nation of pot heads, but the only way to end the corruption is to simply legalize it.

Posted by Elsie Mattu at September 5, 2010 08:21 PM

Capitalism, ain't it grand!

Oh, and damn those migrants for leaving their heads in our desert!

Posted by me at September 5, 2010 10:19 PM

Excellent report. Donation made.

Posted by Mike of Angle at September 5, 2010 11:37 PM

Elsie Mattu: AGREED, but then that old buggaboo QUESTION of State's Rights v. Federal Rights pops up. I feel quite sure, maybe I'm wrong, that the Federal Govt. is in no mood to legalize at this time.

Posted by Mike Meyer at September 6, 2010 12:40 AM

I'd already donated to them and got a nice Gore Vidal DVD. I'd also recommend the Chris Hedges interview, the first part of which was posted on their site on Saturday.

That said, I'll enter my usual caveat which is that all of the beneficiaries of Jonathan's fund raising are involved in the Chomskyan project of purveying information-based on the tacet assumption political change will somehow magically derive from political awareness.

None is involved in developing political institutions and actually competing for and acquiring state power.

May I respectively suggest that this asymmetry has more than a little to do with where we find ourselves now?

Posted by John Halle at September 6, 2010 08:53 AM

Thank you for posting these links, Jonathan. My check to RNN is in the mail.

Posted by Aunt Deb at September 7, 2010 06:15 PM