A new voice in America’s battle against political corruption
Joe Angione is a former columnist for The Villages Daily Sun, and can be reached by email by clicking HERE
Joe Angione Live Interview on Freedom in America
Latest Edition 4/6/17
A bad sign: Mexico permits Honduran illegals to invade America
Most of us think of aliens who enter the U. S. illegally as moving in small groups of a half-dozen or so travelling secretly, often at night, and guided by a smuggler, who is paid big money to deliver his clients into the U.S.
But, in recent years, groups seeking to enter America illegally have grown in size to number in the many hundreds and formed into caravans. They’re now being led by professional organizers, such as Pueblo Sin Fronteras (people without borders) whose goal is to force the U.S. to open its borders permanently to anyone who arrives asking for asylum or demanding to work here
These organizers are brazen and anti-American, and are felons engaged in breaking our immigration law. They use poor migrants as “border busters” who, when in sufficient numbers will soon destroy our national sovereignty and permanently end the significance of American citizenship. Their objective is to lay waste to …our rights…our culture…our economy… and to steal the welfare resources we’ve set aside for our own poor and disadvantaged.
Currently, there is a large invasion force of more than a thousand migrants, mainly from Honduras, moving toward the U.S. through Mexico, and aided in their travels by the Mexican government. This group of invaders is now about 500 miles from the nearest access point to U.S. soil.
Mexico pleads “compassion” for migrants. Mexican authorities claim their assistance to these migrants is purely to protect them while they travel through Mexico. They cite dangers to groups of wandering travelers that often befall them from the Mexican drug cartels.
It all sounds like Mexican authorities are acting simply as compassionate shepherds. But don’t believe a word of it. Mexico should not have to coddle this caravan of “refugees-in-name-only” because it has one of the strictest immigration policies of any nation in the Western hemisphere. In fact, these migrants don’t even refer to themselves as refugees. They call themselves “international workers” and say they have a right to work in any country they choose.
The Mexican government, by its own laws, should never have allowed these intruders into their country. They did it to embarrass and inconvenience the United States, to cost us tens of millions of dollars in providing for the survival of these intruders when, in a about a week, they arrive at our southern border. And this isn’t the last of these invasions we’ll have to deal with.
Mexican government tries to “rope-a-dope” Trump. President Trump reports that Mexican authorities have dispersed this workers’ caravan into separate, smaller groups. He thinks that Mexico is aiding us by doing this. But, he’s wrong. What’s happening is more of an attempt at “rope-a-doping” Trump into believing Mexico is a good neighbor and wants to help. The truth is anything but that. Mexico allowed these people in to travel toward the U.S. They may have dispersed the caravan into separate units, but they’re still in Mexico and still moving toward the U.S. In fact, they may be better suited to reaching their objective by travelling in small units that can move unnoticed and hit our border in many spots that we haven’t planned to reinforce.
Mexico’s real intentions in this matter can be seen in the calls from many Mexican senators, who are urging their president, Enrique Pena Nieto, to temporarily suspend cooperation with the U.S. on immigration and security issues in response to Trump’s tweets about sealing off our southern border. Is Mexico really helping us? Only the truly gullible would believe this.
Mexico uses the U.S. as its dumping ground. Mexico has made a habit of treating the U.S. as a dumping ground for its uneducated, unskilled and unemployable. And it wants to do everything it can to keep the pipeline to the U.S. open for its undesirables, as well as for any country’s undesirables. Mexico has a keen interest in helping any group that wants to tear down America’s borders. And it’s violating its own laws to do so.
Since President Trump has rightfully insisted on building a wall on our southern border, and promised to make Mexico pay for it, our relations with the Mexican government have taken a clear turn for the worse. This relationship continues to deteriorate due to Trump’s desire to end, or drastically rewrite, the NAFTA trade agreement and because of his interest in placing tariffs on certain Mexican exports. This has contributed to a mindset of revenge within the Mexican government. Mexico’s longing for payback is driving its reluctance to halt the invasion from central America that’s heading our way. This legion of Hondurans is another opportunity for Mexico to resist Trump’s plan to restructure our trade partnership, and place it on a financially sound footing…one that no longer gives Mexico the upper hand.
Mexico, as the jumping off point for most of the illegal migrants flooding into the U.S., it’s failure to bring the Mexican drug cartels under control, and the costly imbalance of trade NAFTA has brought to America, have left Trump and others in Washington wondering how we allowed ourselves to be so badly short changed in our relationship with Mexico.
NAFTA: Good for Mexico; not so for the U.S. The goal of the North American Free Trade Agreement was to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It was negotiated for the U.S. by President George H.W. Bush, but signed, ratified and implemented by President Bill Clinton.
It’s implementation in 1994 brought the immediate elimination of tariffs on more than one-half of Mexico's exports to the U.S. and more than one-third of U.S. exports to Mexico. Within 10 years, all U.S.-Mexico tariffs were to be eliminated except for some U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico that were to be phased out within 15 years.
Most U.S. trade with Canada was already duty-free, and so dealings between the two countries were relatively without problems. The big trouble came to the U.S. from its trade/investment interactions with Mexico.
NAFTA had made it easy and profitable for American companies to move operations from the U.S. to Mexico. President Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of manufacturing jobs--particularly from auto industry titans like Ford and GM in America's heartland--to assembly plants established in the cheap-labor environment of Mexico. Because of this, 800,000 auto-industry jobs were lost to Mexican workers.
However, supporters of NAFTA counter argue that the agreement benefits Americans due to paying less for cars assembled in Mexico and for other products such as foods, clothing and electronics that are cheaper coming in from Mexico. Their argument about cheaper cars is strange, in that no matter where autos are assembled they get more expensive every year.
We shouldn’t take this counter argument supporting NAFTA at face value. Losing almost a million jobs to Mexico created a welfare- benefits cost to U.S. taxpayers that makes the so-called savings we make from cheaper car prices less important, particularly to those unemployed because of NAFTA, who can’t afford much of anything except life’s bare necessities.
We’ve been food purchasers all our lives, but I’ll bet few of us can recall foods we’ve bought from Mexican sources except for certain produce and seafood items. News flash: All of this is available at reasonable prices from other sources.
And although we purchase clothing items from all over the world, few, at least that I’ve bought, carry the label “hecho en Mexico.”
Other Mexican products that we’re reported to purchase in the billions of dollars are telephones, computer parts, air conditioners, refrigerators and oil. Whether President Trump levies tariffs on any or all of these products doesn’t mean they’ll be off the shelves and out of stores as a result. Mexico will still have to sell them here. They may be a bit more expensive. But rock-bottom prices are a low priority compared to the urgent need for a strong U.S. economy. Also, the global economy has a good track record for opening up very affordable secondary sources of supply for nearly everything.
Rewriting NAFTA, or abandoning it, will require time to adjust sources of supply, and this may initially threaten the jobs of some American workers who deal with Mexican products. But we’ve experienced problems like this before, and we can get through any such inconveniences. We just need to focus on being flexible, energetic and resourceful.
As for our actual dependence on Mexican oil, U.S. production of energy including oil and natural gas has expanded rapidly, and under Trump will continue to do so. This will soon elevate the U.S. to the world’s leading producer of fossil fuels. In all likelihood, the need for Mexican oil will dwindle quickly in the immediate years to come.
What to take away from all this: There are two things: America’s economy should not be designed to prop up the economies of other nations, to sacrifice the wellbeing of our workers for the sake of bettering the lives of foreigners. If we can help, fine. But, if what we do to benefit other economies weakens our own, it’s time to back off. Trump understands this perfectly. First and foremost, it’s up to each and every nation to take care of itself. Unfortunately, most do not. And that’s not our fault.
Secondly, when neighboring countries or overseas allies betray us, act in ways that endanger our prosperity and sovereignty, we have a right to apply pressure against them. It seems that today, whenever the suggestion arises that we need to do pursue adverse measures toward another country, there are those who are certain that, if we do this, it will blow up in our face. It’s a gutless reaction that drives us to think there is no possible alternative other than knuckling under to our adversaries.
Getting back to the migrants who are illegally descending on us, Trump is right to criticize Mexico for not stopping this horde dead in its tracks and forcing it to return to its starting point in Central America. Mexican authorities say they’ve already sent 400 of these migrant’s home. For what reason, they haven’t explained. And there’s no proof they’ve actually done this. Worse is that they’ve told us the remaining hundreds of aliens are our problem, and we’ll have to deal with them.
It’s obvious that, in this matter, Mexico needs more than just short-term criticism. Allowing illegals to invade us might, in itself, be sufficiently alarming to cause Trump to actually terminate the NAFTA arrangement. He might even want to give some thought to imposing some restrictions on tourism to Mexico. Besides Mexico being a major trading partner with the U.S., its economy rises or falls principally on its tourism industry. By far the largest number of tourists to Mexico are Americans.
Honduras needs a slap on the wrists. President Trump would also be justified in telling the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, that by permitting his people to gather together to invade America, he’s seriously risking the loss of U.S. foreign aid that amounted to $137.5 million last year.
Would punitive measures such as these motivate countries like Mexico and Honduras to be more cooperative in maintaining our national interests? Nothing is certain; nothing is ever guaranteed. But our objectives must be addressed even though they are not guaranteed. To move forward, we must deal in likelihoods, not guarantees.
Broward sheriff a disciple of “do-nothing” Obama
A report from the Florida Family Association (FFA) brands Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel,a disciple of Barack Obama’s policy to “keep kids out of jail.” On the surface, this policy might seem to be about teaching and helping students stay out of trouble with the law. In reality, it called for school administrators to work with police to hide the activities of dangerous kids like Nikolas Cruz from police scrutiny. The goal was to make Broward schools appear trouble free with the credit going to the re-education efforts of administrators and Sheriff’s Department personnel. And so, no action was taken against Cruz, giving him the freedom to commit the Parkland massacre.
The FFA report also accused the Broward County’s four reluctant deputies of possibly following Sheriff israel’s orders. Additionally, FFA noted that the Sheriff permitted a deputy affiliated with the Council on American Islamic Relations to provide gun training in mosques. But the Broward Sheriff’s Department did not provide security training to local schools.
The Ballad of "Big Bad Don"
Take three minutes for a smile and a few laughs listening to the Ballad of Big Bad Don, who “came down from his tower to save us in our final hour.” Old Tennessee Ernie Ford must be smiling down on us and chuckling too over this reconstruction of his immortal hit “Big Bad John.” It may just become the fight song for all the wonderful “deplorables” who put a no-nonsense guy like Donald Trump in office. He’s a legend in his own time. Enjoy.
Replacing food stamps with food deliveries saves money
As part of his major budget proposal in early February, President Trump suggested that some of the food stamp money given to needy people be replaced by actual deliveries of wholesome, basic food items.
Liberals were outraged with the idea of taking redeemable food stamps away from the poor and substituting real food delivered to their doors. The items to be delivered would be the kind of foods that the original Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) intended to provide to enable poor families to prepare nutritious meals at home from scratch.
Today, it’s the redemption aspect of food stamps that has turned much of this assistance program into scams where food-stamp benefit cards are being abused to buy things such as cigarettes, beer and even gasoline instead of foods needed for a healthy diet. Often unscrupulous retailers will overcharge food stamp recipients’ benefit cards and then gave them back in cash half of what had been overcharged so that recipients could do whatever they want with the government’s money.
It’s reported that currently, food stamps are provided for about 42 million people, 80 percent of whom get food benefits monthly worth at least $90 per person. Trump’s proposal, would distribute to those 80 percent of SNAP recipients about half of their benefits in the form of a USDA Foods package consisting of “shelf-stable milk, ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, rice and canned fruit and vegetables.” The tentative name for the Trump proposal is “America’s Harvest Box.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture believes state governments will be able to deliver this food at much less cost than SNAP recipients currently pay for food at retail stores. It’s estimated it can cut SNAP costs —by $129 billion over the next 10 years. Additional cost adjustments to the SNAP program, according to the Trump administration, will reduce the SNAP budget by $213 billion over those year, thus cutting the expense of the program by almost 30 percent.
Will liberals support the Trump proposal? Not hardly. National Public Radio has already begun to attack it, saying that it’s unfairly intrusive, reduces recipients’ choices, and allows SNAP administrators to decide what foods are good for America’s families instead of allowing recipients to pick out what’s best for them and their families. This may seem to be logical and right. But it just doesn’t work out that way. Recipients have demonstrated they are terrible at making nutritionally-sound choices, choosing to overspend on “junk foods” unhealthy drinks, including beer and alcohol, and even gambling away their food stamp money.
People have the right to purchase anything that’s legal, but not with money that’s doled out and accepted by them for a specific purpose: healthy nutrition. To spend food-stamp money any other way is a gross abuse of our welfare system and taxpayer money.
Mounting Hispanic support for cuts in legal immigration
Immigration reform is the hottest topic in Washington today. And, according to the Hispolitica@shark-tank.com website, it appears that many Hispanics are not opposed to a conservative sponsored plan to cut legal immigration in half, end chain immigration, cap refugee admissions to 50,000 annually, and end the visa diversity program.
Wow! This is a huge mouthful at a time when conventional wisdom says that Hispanics are entirely opposed to any program that would end the opportunities for more of them to enter the U.S. under any circumstances, including illegal entry.
Hispolitica’s Javier Manjarres writes: “The most recent legislative fix proposed by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, the Trump-supported Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE Act) is being welcomed by Hispanics from all walks of life.”
This flies in the face of all the liberal left’s commentary that the nation’s Hispanic citizens are virtually all against any legislation that works to hold down their numbers in this country. This demeaning lie told so often by liberals and the mainstream media mocks the true integrity, honesty and conscience of America’s Hispanics who firmly believe that abiding by the nation’s immigration law is the only way to achieve a virtuous and dignified life in the United States.
Manjarres added: “In late 2017, a group of Florida-based Hispanic businessmen, activists, pastors, and media personalities penned a letter to Democrat Senator Bill Nelson asking him to support the RAISE Act. The group outlined [its support] for all the points in the Act itself.”
Those who sent the letter highlighted the fact that “It is time for us to prioritize high-skilled immigrants who spur innovation, create jobs, and make America competitive in the global economy. The RAISE Act will do that while stemming the tide of unskilled immigrants [from anywhere] that puts downward pressure on the wages of working Americans.”
It’s too bad that their letter favoring the RAISE Act was sent to the wrong legislator. Nelson is not an enthusiast of the Act, and apparently the letter sent to him has not changed his mind. Democrats rarely, if ever, break ranks to support a “commonsense” conservative bill.