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#167298 - 02/18/09 02:59 PM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: benjammin]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
As someone who lives in the SW, I still have the same mindset as I do all other preparedness situations that are discussed here.

It is as bad and not a bad as the national media reports. Yes, Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the country. No, I have never feared that for my family or friends. Yes, there are illegals everywhere that cause car accidents without insurance, and cause blight on the street corners looking for work. Illegals burden the school systems and have use our ER trauma centers then bail on the bills causing many to close down around the state.

I do not think that the American SW will become the country Azteca or that the group Immigrants without Borders is going to be taken seriously by the mainstream.
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#167318 - 02/18/09 08:49 PM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: comms]
Yuccahead Offline
Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 199
Loc: W. Texas
I live in El Paso (population of about 600,000), which borders the Mexican city of Juarez (population of 1,500,000) where some 1500 people were killed in cartel related violence last year and the police chief was just killed yesterday along with 3 other officers in his escort. In Juarez, things are bad. In El Paso there is an eerie tranquility. I think there were a mere 15 murders here in 2008 and statistically, we are one of the safest cities in the country.

There is no doubt that El Paso has a veneer of safety because it's much better to kill someone in Mexico than in the US.
Still, there have been prior periods in the late 20th century -- absent cartel wars -- were things were believed to be worse for El Pasoans. Several years ago, Border Patrol agents were regularly fired on and bandits would plant objects to disable vehicles on a highway that ran along the border. When the cars would stop, the bandits would rob and often brutalize the motorists and then flee back across the river. But this sort of thing hasn't happened in a while. Mexican criminals have more lucrative pursuits now. Back even further, in the early 20th century when Mexico was rife with revolution, El Pasoans would sit on hills and buildings overlooking the Rio Grande and actaully watch revolutionary armies fight. Some El Pasoans were of course hurt by stray rounds. But that period sums it up. Mexican events are often considered no more then a curiousity here.

This is not to say that there hasn't been an impact. There are many families with members that work or live on both sides of the border that have experienced loss and there are a lot of Federal jobs here for those fighting the drug war. The Juarez bars, restaurants, pharmacies and other businesses that used to depend on Americans for most of their business are all but closed now so even if you wanted to go to Juarez for dinner, you couldn't. On the other hand, wealthy Mexicans have been buying houses in El Paso since they don't want to stay in Mexico. They go over to Mexico to attend to their business but sleep in the US as often as they can. If you drive past the right houses, you can see their bodyguards waiting outside in pickups or in their garages. Some restaurants also seem to serve mostly wealthy Mexican clients so some businesses here have done very well because of the troubles in Juarez.

Finally, I don't put much faith in rumors of political unrest in Northern Mexico. I've been hearing rumors for 30+ years about Northern succession and I give it the same amount of credence as I do Elvis sightings. As a parallel to the web-initiated rumors of political unrest, some weeks ago a vigilante group announced itself on a website and said it would start killing criminals -- but not until June. Some things still move at a slow pace in Mexico.

So I'm not doing anything extra to prepare for any political unrest. After all, El Paso also has Ft. Bliss and thousands of soldiers to protect the Border if is should come to the point where something like that is needed. Plus we also have a new fence!

Article on recent protests in Juarez and the Police Chief: http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_11731567
_________________________
-- David.

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#167324 - 02/18/09 10:00 PM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: el_diabl0]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
The biggest problem in the SW is scarcity of water and the fact that most people are clueless they're living in a desert. Unresolved immigration/social issues just put more strain on an already fragile system.

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#167337 - 02/19/09 01:52 AM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: Stu]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
When I lived in Las Vegas, it occurred to me multiple times how fast that city would be a ghost town if they turned off the water.

Sue

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#167341 - 02/19/09 02:24 AM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: LED]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
First, by recent reports the recent downturn in the economy, particularly the construction sector, has already lowered the numbers of Mexicans and South Americans coming into the country. A few observers report some heading back south. Makes some sense. If they come for jobs and economic prosperity and they can't find jobs or easy money the reason to come, and stay, are diminished.

Second, much of the SW of the USA was Mexico less than 200 years ago. Two centuries is an insignificant amount of time compared to the history of the Mexican culture. Payback is a ... Not that I think they are really going to take over. At one time NYC was mostly Italian and look at it now. Things change. Get over it.

Third, drugs finance and fuel all the major criminal organizations. The Mafia was a small and poorly funded organization primarily concerned with protecting their ethnic group. While everyone knows about the Italian Mafia, ethnic Jews, Irish, Armenians all had organizations whose original purpose was to provide protection and organization for their communities.

All of them dabbled in the protection business, prostitution, gambling and other illicit activities as the need to serve an immigrant population declined but it was prohibition that allowed them the resources to grow and break out of their narrow ethnic and socioeconomic base. With the increased wealth and power also came the move into police and political system in a major way.

It is possible that if deprived of money from drugs gangs could get into kidnapping and other crimes but the nature of such crimes changes the dynamics. Dealing drugs and prostitution are widely viewed as victimless. Or nasty things people do to get by or cope. Kidnapping is not viewed as victimless or 'just one of those things'.

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#167346 - 02/19/09 07:34 AM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: Susan]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Saw a clip of a documentary on water in the SW and they said Palm Springs is sinking due to over pumping of the aquifer which cannot be replenished fast enough by the Colorado river. Apparently it was just one example of many. Maybe some of our water experts can chime in on this one.

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#167354 - 02/19/09 03:00 PM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: LED]
Rusty Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 204
Loc: College Station, Texas
Sorry for being off topic a bit but I am reading "Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water" by Marc Reisner and it talks all about people in the west trying to manipulate the desert. The desert seems to be winning in most places.
_________________________
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - Frankin


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#167357 - 02/19/09 03:18 PM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: Rusty]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Water is and has been an issue in the "American West" for decades. That's not going to change.

Talking about it in Palm Springs kind of high lights that it is a big issue. IIRC, Palm Springs has historically had more water available than elsewhere.

As far as the chance for unrest in Mexico spilling over the border, I think it's not that likely. People who immigrate have a whole different set of issues to deal with than those who stay behind. However, I do hope they get a grip on the issues, because I don't think we want a failed state on our border. If your neighbor's yard is a mess, it doesn't do much for your property values. It also will hurt our trade, as Mexico is on of the principal markets to which we export, although much of that may be goods made here to be shipped there for assembly and then sent back to the U.S. for sale here. But stopping that is not likely to help us in the short term.

Immigration as a whole might be a darn good thing for our economy. H.S. Dent predicted the current downturn, some would say, back in the 1990's based on demographics. His theory is that the peak spending years are basically those from a person's mid-40s into their 50s. His prediction is based on that group of people now diminishing, because the baby boomers have all reached it, and those now entering that age-group are fewer in number each year. To some extent, he thinks immigration can adjust for lower numbers of people. See: http://www.hsdent.com/class-3-birth-rate-and-the-immigration-adjusted-birth-index/

From my thinking, it might be too late for imigration to have a real effect on this, because you are probably not going to let people in of the right ages and spending patterns. But, that's just me thinking about this theory, and I've not done any real analysis.

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#167390 - 02/19/09 09:52 PM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: el_diabl0]
fordwillman Offline
Member

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Arizona
First, I have lived in the Phoenix, AZ area for almost 40 years.
Phoenix is NOT #2 or #3 in kidnappings/abductions, it is #1--or at least that is what the Arizona Republic is quoting on 2/15/2009 Sunday edition!
Also on the news yesterday/today an illegal alien who raped 4 or more girls escaped just before his court hearing. Police dont know what happened--he was SUPPOSED to be chained on the 7th floor but got loose and walked out the front door of the court building!
Drug/illegal alien shootings, crimes, drugs, rapes, murders are an EVERYDAY occurance in the Phoenix metro area. That is a confirmed fact. The latest "hits" and abductions are carried out with SWAT like precision by uniformed (some even read FBI on their blue uniforms--all false) very heavily armed Mexicans.
The list could go on and on and on....

If you don't live here and know what is really going on--please keep your opinions stated as OPINIONS and not facts, thank you.

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#167394 - 02/19/09 11:56 PM Re: Attention desert dwellers [Re: fordwillman]
Matt Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 40
Loc: Texas
Ok, I must thank you for bring this to my attention. I really haven't paid much attention to this but I guess I should. The first 2 are current articles from CNN and Time. The other is scary info from Wikipedia.

I didn't have a plan but maybe I should come up with one.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1880782,00.html?xid=rss-world-cnn

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/02/18/mexico.drug.violence/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Zetas

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