This week, the month-long mystery of the missing college student, Mollie Tibbits, was sadly resolved, with the discovery of her body in a local cornfield. Developments in the search for her were updated frequently over the last few weeks, and always featured at the top, or near to the top of headlines on the English tabloid, the Daily Mail. Which, for all its’ eccentricities, abuse of grammar, spelling, penchant for the flamingly obvious, providing Piers Morgan with a salary, extreme Kardashian-worship, and light-to-moderate Trump disdain, does cover the American news scene without much fear or favor.
The longer the mystery of her disappearance went on, though – the greater the chance of a less than happy ending. And as it turns out that the chief suspect in her kidnapping and murder is a man with a distinctly dodgy background – an illegal alien of Mexican background, whose’ identity papers are something of a mystery. His American employers seemed to believe that everything was hunky-dory; this lends the cynical among us to assume that such paperwork must have been better forgeries than the usual run.

Political shining star Senator Elizabeth Warren, when asked for a reaction to the Tibbits murder, immediately pivoted to opine indignantly on the matter of children separated from their mothers at the US border, apparently seeing that as a matter of higher priority than of crimes committed by illegal aliens after they cross the border – a remarkably tone-deaf reaction. Or maybe not, considering that Senator Warren speaks from a position ‘ex cathedra’ reflecting, “the set of values and beliefs that justify the existing order of society and, not coincidentally, the privileged place of the managerial aristocracy in that order.” In other words, as a member of the American ruling class, to whom uncounted numbers of illegal immigrants to the country mean restaurants with exotic new international cuisines, very cheap labor, and well-cultivated vote-plantations – an in-the-pocket electorate so much more obedient than stiff-necked members of the middle and working class. Such citizens have, of late, been much less biddable than their betters would wish; witness such indicators of deep dissatisfaction as the Tea Party, the election of Donald Trump, and the Just Walk Away movement.

To the ruling class, an affection for, the sheltering of, and the unstinting support for undocumented immigrants is an unmitigated good. All the benefits listed in the previous paragraph, along with being able to conspicuously virtue-signal, accrue to the ruling class, secure in their wealth, their gated communities, social clubs and private schools. All the disadvantages, hazards, and expenses both social and actual land like a ton of bricks on everyone else – and have been doing so for at least two decades, possibly more. It’s not just the criminal element; incidents of rape, robbery, murder, drunk driving, uninsured driving, and identity theft which victimize ordinary Americans, native and legalized at the hands of the illegal. All over Texas, the Southwest and California – stories of auto accidents caused by uninsured and probably illegal drivers abound, also spectacular drunk driving incidents committed by the same demographic.

A few years ago, another blogger drilled down through the comments appended to Yahoo news story of the woman who was arrested at her OB-gyn’s office – an illegal with such badly-forged picture ID that the office staff called the authorities. As far down as the blogger (and I) explored the comments on the story – which was posted as ‘oh, pity the poor pregnant woman, busted at the doctor’s office’ none of those commenting on the story were sympathetic. Without exception, they were infuriated; outraged over how someone elses’ SSAN had been stolen to facilitate the woman’s residence in the US. Multiply this by a thousand, a million times over the last twenty years and more – and you have ordinary Americans almost lethally angry and with cause over the abuse of our trust, our social cohesion, and our pocketbooks. Illegal aliens willing to work under the table at unskilled labor in construction, agriculture, in factories, and at domestic work for much less than minimum wage undermine native American workers. It’s not that there are jobs that Americans won’t do – they won’t do them for a pittance. The ruling class, and their handmaidens in the established press also prefer to downplay the burden placed on public schools; yes, for every Dreamer who is their high school graduating valedictorian and bound for college to be a doctor or an astronaut or something like that, I’d bet there are ten or twenty who have never adequately learned English, are illiterate in any language, and headed for a lifetime of petty criminality intermixed with welfare poverty. At taxpayers’ expense, coming and going, to our mounting exasperation – an exasperation equally fueled by the insistence of the ruling class that this exasperation and mounting anger is just proof of our own racism.

The establishment press, and the ruling class wish to disappear these incidents and issues, of course. But the murders of Kate Steinle, and now of Mollie Tibbits may be precipitating a preference cascade. Your thoughts?

Adrift without a map, we are, in the sea of current events. Especially after this last week, which brought us a ground war in Gaza and the shoot-down of a passenger airliner over Ukraine; both situations a little out of the depth of the past experience of Chicago community organizer, even one who spent his grade school years in Indonesia. Quite a large number of the blogs and commenters that I follow have speculated over the last couple of months – at least since last year – have predicted disaster. They know not the day nor the hour, but they have read the various augurs according to their inclinations, suspicions and particular expertise, and gloomily speculate on the odds of various events occurring. There is something bad coming, the air is thick and heavy with signs and portents, never mind the cheery cast that the current administration and it’s public affairs division attempts to put on it. It’s like a makeup artist, plying the art on a six-months-dead corpse; it’s just not working.

The list of possible events speculated on begins with some kind of dirty nuke on a major (or even a relatively minor) American city, or other terrorist act, sustained racial riots in inner cities leading to violent resistance when the rioters spill out into the fringes, an epidemic caused by the recent accession of thousands of Central American illegal aliens and the administrations energetic dispersion of them everywhere, violent resistance to any number of ham-handed actions on the part of the federal government spiraling out of control as in the BLM-Bundy Ranch scenario, complete devaluing of the currency to the point of a ten-dollar bill having the value of a used bus ticket – I can come up with any number of issues which might potentially provide a flashpoint, and commentators likely can come up with as many more, even as we grimly acknowledge that the ignition point might be one which we won’t even see coming.

Today, Governor Perry of Texas announced plans to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border area – an area which has always been about as porous as a wet sponge, but which troubled no one much beyond those law enforcement in border counties, and residents whose ranch properties were essentially highways for the human traffic. The trickle of illegal immigrants (take THAT, PC Police, they’re illegal immigrants!) has become a gusher in the last year or so, and many on the conservative-libertarian spectrum suspect that it has been deliberately engineered, in an effort to Cloward-Piven our national borders. Darker prognostications have it that this is an attempt to stuff the ballot-boxes with sufficient voters to ensure a Democrat Party majority for the foreseeable future, to destroy the working- and middle-class – who have the ungrateful habit of independency and a disinclination to do as their so-called betters order them – and replace them with grateful serfs who will obediently do as they are told. How better to dissolve the people and replace them another?

There was a protest scheduled last Friday and Saturday – at the Mexican Consulate in San Antonio. It was a rather small one, when I passed by on Friday afternoon, and if the protest continued as scheduled on Saturday, I can find no evidence for it – but then, seeing how frequently the establishment media organs function as the public office of the Obama administration, I wouldn’t have been surprised to know that the protest was continued, and with more protesters – just that the local news coverage was of the “close your eyes, cover them with your hands and hope it will all go away” variety. One thing I did notice on Friday was that the protestors were raising the issue of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who inadvertently crossed over into Mexico at a particularly confusing San Diego freeway interchange earlier this summer. He had his personal weapons in the trunk of his car – and has been in a Mexican jail ever since, accused of smuggling guns into Mexico. I imagine that the Mexican authorities are feeling the schadenfreude, on account of Fast and Furious, but I haven’t seen much enthusiasm on the part of our State Department on getting him out of durance vile, Mexican-style … so every little bit of street theater may help.
Discuss.

(Crossposted at Chicagoboyz.net)

This would appear to be the new theme song for the Fed-Gov’s Bureau of Land Management – that bane of ranchers like Cliven Bundy – as well as a whole lot of other ranchers, farmers, loggers, small landowners, and owners of tiny bits of property on the edge of or in areas of spectacular natural beauty, west of the Mississippi and between the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Yes, indeedy, folks – the maw of the Fed-Gov appears to be insatiable, although it is veiled over with the rationale of wanting to protect endangered species – many of which do not seem to be endangered so much any more – and miles and miles of unique old-growth Western forest. Some of these old-growth forests are so well-protected that they have burned down to the roots in catastrophic fires of late, as local environmental groups went into fits of spastic pearl-clutching, at the very suggestion that … well, pine-bark-beetle and drought-killed trees needed to be cleared away, and so did the duff and accumulation of flammable trash-brush. (The nature of many Western ecologies meant that being burned over every couple of decades was required for the good health of the ecology generally. Well-meant intervention seems to have made the situation worse. But never mind, say the environmentalists…)

This raises the natural suspicion among those of us who have been paying attention, as well as those who have had to make a living in parts of the West lately, that quite a lot of the endangered-species, famously-unique-old-growth-forest, and spectacular-unique-bit-of-landscape legislation which was passed a good three decades ago are now being used for other than their stated purposes. That they are being misused in the service of some international plot (Hello, Agenda 21!) to move us all into urban concrete Stack-a-prole apartment blocks where we can be observed and controlled by the functionaries of the Outer Party, 24-7 … well, I am not quite ready to order my tinfoil chapeau … but I am to the point of becoming concerned, shading to somewhat worried. I can see – rather clearly – that the ostensible care of establishment environmentalists has been used – and the degree of knowledge and malice aforesaid may be debated – in order to close off public lands to any economic use at all, even recreational use, if it is the wrong sort of recreation and by the wrong people. This has all has the whiff of a royal forest being established, for the use and recreation of the small numbers of the anointed, and the lesser orders – the ranchers, hunters, hikers and campers (or cabin-owners) being strictly forbidden on pain of death.

I cannot begin to guess how serious this latest threat to land along the Texas side of the Red River from the BLM is. Likely it will not go very far, now that the Texas AG has drawn a line in the sand. Maybe it is just a feint or even a campaign strategy by Mr. Abbott … but given recent history, and the resentments of all kinds of small-property ranchers and land-owners it’s a shrewd one. The state of Texas, in a handy turn of fate retained ownership of public lands upon becoming a state, instead of the Fed-Gov taking over and retaining vast tracts of wilderness. To this day there are only a couple of national parks within Texas, plus military bases – and for the BLM to even think of appropriating privately-owned lands on the Texas side of the Red River – is breathtakingly ill-conceived. If the BLM is serious in doing so, I guarantee that they will be resisted, furiously. It would make the brouhaha at the Bundy ranch look like a kindergarten playground squabble. It appears at this point, though, that the BLM has backed away, piously disavowing any such intent. For now, anyway, say I, cynically. Five years ago I might have written such a step up to ignorance rather than malice. Five years ago I wouldn’t have thought the IRS would be turned loose to harass political opponents of the Dem Party machine, either.

(Crossposted at www.chicagoboyz.net)

Poor Mexico, runs the saying usually attributed to long-time Mexican strongman Porfirio Diaz, So far from God, so close to the United States. I was thinking of this, when we went to see the movie For Greater Glory – mostly because I had seen brief mention of it here and there on the libertarian-conservative side of the blogosphere, and the whole premise of it interested me, mostly because I had never heard of such a thing as the Cristero War. Never heard of it, and it happened in the lifetime of my grandparents, in the country right next door … and heck, in California we studied Mexico in the sixth grade. It appeared from casual conversation with the dozen or so people who caught the early matinee at a movie multiplex in San Antonio, only one of them had ever heard of it, either. Was there some cosmic cover-up, or did we have troubles enough of our own at the time … or was it just that Mexico was so constantly in turmoil that one more horrific civil struggle just blended seamlessly into the one before and the one after?
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In no particular order of importance, I contemplate the following:

1. Regretfully, Morgan Freeman has now joined my personal celebrity s**t list, for pronouncing the Tea Party to be racist. Usually those who fall into my list have a long track record of offences; he has done it in one fell swoop of a lengthy TV interview. Yes, I know that most actors and entertainers are political morons – especially those who feel obliged to piss off a major portion of their fan-base.

2. So . . . thirty years ago, there was a rock on a hunting lease in West Texas with a racial epithet painted on it . . . which was painted over by the lease-holder, at the urging of his son, who is now presently the Governor of Texas. And this is all that the WaPo can find by way of criticism of the man. Hoooo-kayyy. From those wonderful people who brought us Watergate, this is a sad come-down.

3. And speaking of Watergate – it didn’t actually kill anyone, which is more than you can say for Operation Fast and Furious, or ‘hey boys’n’girls, lets have the ATF take the lead in supplying serious weaponry to the Mexican drug cartels!’ Seriously, if the Mexican government was to demand extradition of Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the ATF, and every other numbskull who expedited the various gun-running operations on charges of criminal misconduct and accessory to murder, I’d say – have at it. Deliver them all to the border in handcuffs, with a big pink bow around their necks. Impeach now.

4. Michelle Antoinette’s little excursion to Target? Oh, please, woman – if you had any nerve at all, you’d have gone to Walmart.

5. Will Amanda Knox dethrone Casey Anthony when it comes to criminal justice tabloid fodder? Should I or anyone else not in the immediate family or social circle of either one really care one way or the other?

6. And why is it now October and we are still having to run the air conditioning?

PS – and one more thing: every time I hear something being flogged as ‘green’ and ‘environmentally sound’ or ‘renewable’ … I am fairly sure the object in question is a rip-off, and/or completely unsatisfactory compared to the non-green, environmentally unsound, and non-renewable version.

Once there was a little town, a little oasis of civilization – as the early 20th century understood the term – in the deserts of New Mexico, a bare three miles from the international boarder. The town was named for Christopher Columbus – the nearest big town on the American side of the border with Mexico was the county seat of Deming, thirty miles or so to the north; half a day’s journey on horseback or in a Model T automobile in the desert country of the Southwest. It’s a mixed community of Anglo and Mexicans, some of whose families have been there nearly forever as the far West goes, eking out a living as ranchers and traders, never more than a population of about fifteen hundred. There’s a train station, a schoolhouse, a couple of general stores, a drug-store, some nice houses for the better-off Anglo residents, and a local newspaper – the Columbus Courier, where there is even a telephone switchboard. Although Columbus at this time is better than a decade and a half into the twentieth century, in most ways it looks back to the late 19th century, to the frontier, when men went armed as a matter of course. Although the Indian wars are thirty years over – no need to fear raids from Mimbreno and Jicarilla Apache, from the fearsome Geronimo, from Comanche and Kiowa, the Mexican and Anglo living in this place have long and bitter memories.

In this year of 1916, as a new and more horrible kind of war is being waged on the other side of the world, while a more present danger menaces the border; political unrest in Mexico has flamed into open civil war, once again. Once again, the fighting threatens to spill over the border; once again refugees from a war on one side of the border seek safety on the other, while those doing the fighting look for allies, supplies, arms. This has been going on for ten years. One man in particular, the revolutionary Doroteo Arango, better known as Francisco ‘Pancho’ Villa had several good reasons for broadening the fight within Mexico to the other side of the border. Pancho Villa had (and still does) an enviable reputation as their champion among the poorest of the poor in Mexico, in spite of being a particularly ruthless killer. He also had been, at various times, a cattle rustler, bank robber, guerrilla fighter – and aspiring presidential candidate in the revolution that broke out following overthrow of more than three decades of dictatorship by Porfirio Diaz.

Once, he had counted on American support in his bid for the presidency of Mexico, but after bitter fighting his rival Carranza had been officially recognized by the American government – and Pancho Villa was enraged. The border was closed to him, as far as supplies and munitions were concerned. He began deliberately targeting Americans living and working along the border region, hoping to provoke a furious American reaction, and possibly even intervention in the still-simmering war in Northern Mexico. He believed that an American counter-strike against him would discredit Carranza. Such activities would renew support to his side, and revive his hopes for the presidency.

In this he may have been egged on by German interests, hoping to foment sufficient unrest along the border in order to keep the Americans from intervening in Europe. A US Army deployed along the Mexican border was a much more satisfactory situation to Germany than a US Army deployed along the Western Front along with the English and the French. Early in April, 1915, Brigadier General John “Black Jack” Pershing and an infantry brigade were deployed to Fort Bliss; by the next year, there was a garrison of about 600 soldiers stationed near Columbus, housed in flimsy quarters called Camp Furlong, although they were often deployed on patrols.

By March, 1916, Pancho Villa’s band was in desperate straits; short of shoes, beans and bullets. Something had to be done, both to re-supply his command – and to provoke a reaction from the Americans. The best place for both turned out to be . . . Columbus. After a decade of bitter civil war south of a border marked only with five slender strands of barbed-tire, that conflict was about to spill over. The US government, led by President Woodrow Wilson had laid down their bet on the apparent winner, Venustiano Carranza. Carranza’s sometime ally, now rival, Francisco ‘Pancho’ Villa, who had once appeared to be a clear winner from north of the border – was cut off, from supplies and support, which now went to Carranza. Pancho Villa had been so admired for his military skills during the revolution which overthrew the Diaz dictatorship that he was invited personally to Fort Bliss in 1913 to meet with General Pershing. He appeared as himself in a handful of silent movies . . . but suddenly he was persona non grata north of the border, and one might be forgiven for wondering if Villa took it all as a personal insult; how much was the deliberate killing of Americans a calculation intended to produce a reaction, and how much was personal pique?

Villa and the last remnants of his army – about five-hundred, all told – were almost down to their last bean and bullet. In defeat, Villa’s men increasingly resembled bandits, rather than soldiers. The high desert of Sonora was all but empty of anything that could be used by the Villa’s foraging parties, having been pretty well looted, wrecked or expropriated previously. There were only a few struggling ranches and mining operations, from which very little in the way of supplies could be extracted, only a handful of American hostages – the wife of an American ranch manager, Maude Wright and a black American ranch hand known as Bunk Spencer. Some days later, on March 9, 1916, Villa’s column of horsemen departed from their camp and crossed the border into New Mexico. In the darkness before dawn, most residents and soldiers were asleep. At about 4:15, the Villistas stuck in two elements. Of those residents of Columbus awake at that hour, most were soldiers on guard, or Army cooks beginning preparations for breakfast, and the initial surprise was almost total. A few guards were surprised, knifed or clubbed to death – but a guard posted at the military headquarters challenged the shadowy intruders, and the first exchange of gunfire broke out – alerting townspeople and soldiers alike.

The aim of the well-organized Villistas was loot, of course – stocks of food, ammunition, clothing and boots from the civilian stores, and small arms, machine guns, mules and horses from the Army camp. To that end, Villa’s men first moved swiftly towards those general stores. Most of the structures in town and housing the garrison were wood-framed clapboard; in the dry climate, easy to set on fire, and even easier to break into, as well as offering practically no shelter from gunfire. But the citizens and soldiers quickly rallied – memories of frontier days were sufficiently fresh that most residents of Columbus kept arms and ammunition in their houses as a matter of course. Even the Army cooks defended themselves, with a kettle of boiling water, an ax used to cut kindling and a couple of shotguns used to hunt game for the soldiers.

Otherwise, most of the Army’s guns were secured in the armory, but a quick-thinking lieutenant, James Castleman, quickly rounded up about thirty soldiers who broke the locks in the armory and took to the field. Castleman had been alerted early on, having stepped out of his quarters to see what the ruckus was all about only to be shot at and narrowly missed by a Villista. Castleman, fortunately had his side-arm in hand, and returned fire. Another lieutenant, John Lucas, who commanded a machine-gun troop, set up his four 7-mm machine guns. The Villistas were caught in a cross-fire, silhouetted against the fiercely burning Commercial Hotel and the general stores. The fighting lasted about an hour and a half, with terribly one-sided results: eight soldiers and ten civilians, including a pregnant woman caught accidentally in the crossfire, against about a hundred of Villa’s raiding party. As the sun rose, Villa withdrew – allowing his two hostages to go free. He was pursued over the border by Major Frank Tompkins and two companies of cavalry, who harassed Villa’s rear-guard unmercifully, until a lack of ammunition and the realization they had chased Villa some fifteen miles into Mexico forced them to return.

Within a week, the outcry over Villa’s raid on Columbus would lead to the launching of a punitive expedition into Mexico, a force of 4,800 led by General Pershing – over the natural objections of the Carranza government. Pershing’s expedition would ultimately prove fruitless in it’s stated objective of capturing Pancho Villa and neutralizing his forces – however, it proved to be a useful experience for the US Army. Pershing’s force made heavy use of aerial reconnaissance, provided by the 1st Aero Squadron, flying Curtiss ‘Jenny’ biplanes, of long-range truck transport of supplies, and practice in tactics which would come in very handy, when America entered into WWI. Lt. Lucas would become a general and command troops on the Italian front in WWII. Lt. Castleman was decorated for valor, in organizing the defense of Columbus, and one of General Pershing’s aides on the Mexico expedition – then 2nd Lt. George Patton, would win his first promotion and be launched on a path to military glory.

Pancho Villa would, when the Revolution ended in 1920, settle down to the life of a rancher, on estates that he owned near Parral and Chihuahua. He would be assassinated in July, 1923; for what reason and by whom are still a matter of mystery and considerable debate.

So, a scattershot essay with a number of different topics that have come bubbling up to the top of my admittedly scattered attention this last week:

The Neighbors from Hell, part –I-don’t-know-how-many, there are just too many to count. See, there are bad neighbors who commit sins of omission, such as not mowing their lawn, keeping up with house maintenance, or just have an aesthetic sense that does not jibe with the others in the ‘hood. Every neighborhood seems to have a couple of those; people who are just fricking clueless. Think of them as small lumps in the happy oatmeal of life. Sometimes you can work with them, bring them around to the right way of doing things, but generally it’s not worth the effort. Just look away from them as much as you can, and call city Code Compliance only when absolutely necessary, because they just might turn into Neighbors from Hell – the other kind of bad neighbor; the aggressive, sins-of-commission kind. The ones who deliberately court offense, who declare open war upon another neighbor, and generally do their best to create Suburban Hell; I’d guess that this piece o’work is that kind of neighbor. Frankly, I’m glad she’s not ours, and extend my heartfelt sympathy to the people who are.

Life on the border, Falcon Lake edition: kinda hard to say at this point exactly has been going on there . . . save to say that the just-south-o’the-border lawless’n’drug-gang situation has been heading to the proverbial nether regions in the proverbial wicker-work carrying container for quite some time now. Seriously, it’s getting really, really bad. Blondie was freaking out this spring when my SO and his snowbird friends and I went to Progresso, Mexico for a day jaunt. How bad is it going to get in the next five months? The odds on some horrific cross-border affray which might actually make the Mainstream f*****g Media sit up and pay attention due to the penetration distance within the US, the number of innocent lives messily lost and the presence of YouTube video detailing every splatter are pretty high. Just my semi-educated guess, people. Just my guess.

Kind of nice, how everybody wants to be a Tea Partier now, isn’t it? Or at least, not be an incumbent. (November is coming – I can see it from my house!) Seriously, everyone is pretty well wise to the method of getting expensive federal government crap for your district, and expecting to get votes in response? They are bribing us with our own money, people. It’s a local and parochial benefit, at the expense of the long-term national good. Personally, I don’t think any federal or state installation should be named after a local politician still living, but that’s just me.

Which brings me to Jerry Brown getting the NOW endorsement not twenty-four hours after being inadvertently recorded as calling Meg Whitman a whore . . . Guess she isn’t the right kind of feminist. Funny, that. Reminds me of why I no longer subscribe to Ms. Magazine. Or identify myself as a capital F feminist . . . It seems as if only the properly credentialed can apply. Screw that, and identity politics generally.

All this, and the Great VFW Endorsement disaster, which I think must be close kin to the AARP ObamaCare endorsement disaster. Way to go, people . . . umm, or way to go those at the tippy-top of such national organizations who have decided it is nicer to go along to get along than pay attention to the real interests and needs of those who have joined your association voluntarily. Shoot yourself in the foot, much?

Well, that should get you off to a good Monday start. No need to thank me, I live to serve.

Sgt. Mom

PS – Apparently someone winged a book at the Mighty O-man last night at a speech – and missed by a narrow margin, but no one knows the title of the book! My guess is a copy of the Constitution, or maybe the Federalist Papers. Blondie ventures: “Maybe a copy of that craptacular autobiography and they wanted a refund!”

Fox News is reporting that President Bush Commutes Sentences for Two Former Border Patrol Agents.

And that’s all I have to say about that.