Category: Mexico

Calderón resents our criminalizing ‘migration’

Once again Mexican President Felipe Calderón has spoken out against U.S. immigration laws. Only this time he did it while he was in this country, a guest of our government.

Felipe Calderón

In a joint session of Congress this morning, he criticized and called for comprehensive reform of our immigration laws. He also called Arizona’s new immigration law “racial profiling.”

Speaking through a translator yesterday, he called for “a border that will unite us instead of divide us,” and noted that Mexicans are “still living here in the shadows.” He said the Arizona law “is forcing our people to face discrimination.” And at yesterday’s press conference he said, “We will retain our firm rejection of criminalizing migration.”

You know what, Mr. Calderón? If your citizens — you know, the ones who come here illegally — are feeling discriminated against because we dare to have and enforce immigration laws, maybe they should just stay in Mexico. And by the way, a border — our border — is not meant to unite. Its purpose is to divide, distinguish, and separate. Just so you know.

Mr. Calderón, in the last year you’ve repeatedly criticized our laws because they “impede migration.” Our laws and our borders do indeed impede migration. They are meant to. Your citizens have no inherent or legal right to simply “migrate” into this country whenever they wish. They have no inherent right to stay here illegally, free of scrutiny, above the law. They are here illegally, Mr. Calderón. And however much you may wish our border did not exist, it is not going away. And neither are our laws. Sorry you find them so inconvenient.

Mr. Calderón, don’t come here as our guest and presume to criticize our laws and how we enforce them. It’s rude, unseemly, and unstatesmanlike. Don’t ever mistake our good manners for concession or weakness.

Swine flu and irresponsible reporting

smilingpigThere are alarmists among us who start screaming “pandemic!” the minute they hear about a new virus strain. Consider them fringe elements.

And there are supposedly responsible journalists who, when reporting on a new virus strain, use the word pandemic as freely as epidemic or outbreak or widespead cases or isolated cases. I’ve come to think of them as fringe elements too. Unfortunately, these reporters represent the mainstream media, and every word they speak or write, no matter the topic, goes winging across the country and around the world. They are not the authorities, the experts, the be-all and end-all, the oracles, the bearers of truth. I often think most of us could do their jobs as well as they do.

The new strain of swine flu seems to be emanating from central and south Mexico right now. Hundreds of people there have been infected, and approximately 60 have died. At last report, only eight cases have been identified in the United States.

I just heard a reporter say this new flu has “infected thousands in the US and Mexico, and dozens have died.” Then he said only eight cases have been identified so far in the US, and the rest (approximately 850 at last report) were in Mexico. How many Americans missed that second statement because they were distracted by something or perhaps already running to call, IM, tweet, or scream to their friends and family that there’s a new flu pandemic and we’re all going to die!!? And that reporter didn’t even say “epidemic” or “pandemic.” Just a little exaggeration and misrepresentation.

Consider: A pandemic is a worldwide event affecting millions. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 struck an estimated 20-40% of the world’s population, killing an estimated 20 million people. In the US, about 500,000 people died. (An ordinary flu epidemic kills an average of 36,000 Americans.) The Asian flu pandemic of 1957-58 killed about 70,000 in the US, and the 1968-69 Hong Kong flu about 34,000 in the US.

So far, this is a swine flu outbreak. If not contained, it might become more widespread. It is far from being an epidemic or pandemic, and reporters should be extremely cautious and very precise when using those “fear” words. The Mexican, US, and Canadian governments are closely monitoring the situation. The WHO (World Health Organization) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) also are monitoring.

Most of us hear about these things first from the MSM. That’s just the way it is in our society. But that should be just the starting point, your “heads up” that something is happening. If you are concerned and want the facts on the swine flu story, please, please, please get your information from the CDC or from your doctor. And of course, continue the common sense health measures we’ve all been taught: cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands frequently.
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My apologies for the earlier inadvertent omission of the CDC link in the last paragraph of this post. Please be patient with the CDC site. They are being hit very hard by people seeking swine flu information and some of their pages may not be readily available. The WHO swine flu page is here.

Also see Pied Type’s The sky is falling … not

There she goes again …

The CDC has identified seven cases of a new strain of swine flu in the US. Five of the seven appeared in San Diego, California, and two near San Antonio, Texas. It is the same flu strain currently sweeping Mexico City, where schools and universities have been closed. The World Health Organization has reported 800 cases there so far, with 56 deaths.

The first two US cases were identified by monitoring stations near the border in San Diego and El Paso. You can accuse me of jumping to conclusions if you want, but I see a clear message here.

Stopping the spread of disease has always been an important, legitimate reason for having tightly secured and monitored borders. This is just a reminder.