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Author Topic: War in Mexico?
Storm Saxon
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Mass anti-crime rallies

One thing that leaped out:
quote:

President Calderon has already deployed more than 25,000 troops across the country to combat the powerful drug cartels.

Troops. Not cops, military troops.

Mexico's drug related violence escalates

quote:


In just one week, more than 130 people died, capped by the discovery of 11 decapitated bodies. Drug cartels are fighting each other, and striking back in response to the federal government's efforts to rein them in.

quote:

The sickening discovery of 11 headless bodies, heaped like broken dolls near the colonial city of Merida, underscored a bitter lesson Friday for Mexico: The battle to control the multibillion-dollar drug trade knows no boundaries.

quote:

"The bottom line is you've got a major internecine battle, a kind of civil war among drug cartels," said Bruce Bagley, a security and drug-trafficking expert at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. "It has intensified because the stakes are high. There's a great deal of money to be made."

Drug Violence Alters the Flow of Life in Mexico

quote:

The Mexico-based traffickers that ship narcotics from South America to the United States are in a pitched battle with President Felipe Calderón’s government, which has sent the army to trouble spots around the country to shut them down. Police agencies, infiltrated by the drug traffickers and lacking training, have not shown themselves to be up to the job. The results have been mixed: there have been huge drug seizures and arrests of some kingpins, but also violent retaliation by the heavily armed traffickers, who have been killing law enforcement officers and many noncombatants as well.

Violence spirals out of control south of the border

quote:

In the most recent gun battle which began Thursday around 11 a.m. in the La Mesa neighborhood,reporters for Radio Red FM said that the gunmen fired with large-caliber machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

quote:

In a global context, we suffer from more homicides, that is to say, violent deaths, than any other region in the world except for certain regions on the African continent,'' said Eduardo Rojas, who helped put together the crime report at the Center for Social and Public Opinion Studies, a research arm of the Mexico's Chamber of Deputies.

quote:

MEXICO'S RISING CRIME RATE

The average number of serious federal crimes reported daily from 1998 to 2007.

Year — Incidents Reported Daily

1998 — 205.1

1999 — 208.7

2000 — 223.4

2001 — 203.1

2002 — 202.2

2003 — 222.5

2004 — 222.8

2005 — 245.3

2006 — 300.4

2007(Jan-Jun) — 375.5

(Almost certainly grossly undercounted.)


I don't know what the answer is to all of this. While it's all well and good to talk about rooting out corruption, if the bad guys are willing to go after someone's family, then who is really going to fight them? When so much money is being waved around, who cannot be bought?

Something has to give, but what?

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Redskullvw
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The answer of course is to legalize drugs in the United States.

I am being serious.

Or the answer is to have a zero tollerence enforcement of drug laws so that even the white collar weekend drug user winds up in jail for five - 10 years.

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cherrypoptart
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Whenever someone buys drugs in America, they shouldn't forget to say a little prayer for the people who had their heads separated from their bodies to help those drugs get to America, or for the children of the police in Mexico who wouldn't be corrupted and who died for their convictions.

This proves that even the casual non-violent drug user isn't so innocent after all. Yeah, everyone is growing their own. Yeah, right. It's just a sad fact but the truth that illegal recreational drug users have innocent blood on their hands.

Solutions? Legalize and watch more of our own kids get addicted? Or come down hard on everyone, including our own kids who are addicted? I say secure the border, lock it down, make Pat Buchanan the border czar and have him fasten a chastity belt across our nation's bottom border tighter than the ones he put on his daughters. I'm glad the Mexican military is getting involved. The police can't handle it, obviously. Sometimes, right wing paramilitary death squads aren't as bad as the alternative (police having their entire families executed for daring to stand up to drug lords). Mexico should make it legal, declare war, real war, on the drug lords, and kill them all. Tanks. Bulldozers. Sniper rifles. Whatever it takes. The legal justification is that the drug lords aren't just criminals anymore. This is an insurrection, an open rebellion against the government and even the people of Mexico. And there probably isn't a good-hearted person out there who doesn't support it being quashed in the harshest possible way.

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Jesse
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That depends on the nature of the drugs they're buying, and who they're buying from, Cherry.

What's being entirely left out is the reverse part of the smuggling picture...the Guns being smuggled into Mexico that the US refuses to do squat about.

1) Legalize

2) Provide real help for addicts who want to get clean

3) Realistic drug education for kids

4) Take responsibility for your own damn kids

In the harshest possible way? No, I don't support Nuking Nuevo Laredo [Smile]

Let's not kid ourselves, though. Calderone isn't trying to stomp out the problem, he's fighting with a pack of thugs trying to displace the old aristocracy which he currently heads.

Mexico will remain a hell-hole as long as less than 100 families are controlling all of its wealth. This is a hell of a lot bigger than the drug issue.

--------------------------

Red, Heroin addiction, thanks to rock bottom prices, is even on the rise in countries where possesion of any ammount carries the death penalty.

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Lyrhawn
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I'd be okay with legalizing weed in small amoutns, but not heroin, or cocaine or anything harder.

You should take the question mark out of the thread title Storm. It IS a war down there, and we're funding BOTH sides of it. The users who buy here fund the cartels, and the US government funds the Mexican government. Calderon is trying, but he's fighting a losing battle. When they send federal police in to try and clean thigns up, the cartel buys off the corrupt ones and kills the honest ones. Hundreds of people are getting caught in the crossfire, and the cartels are heavily armed (thanks to weapons smugglers from the US) and have huge numbers. They're putting more resources into the fight than the government is. His problem isn't just the cartels and the drug war in general, it's deeper. He's fighting against poverty, the economy, the state of education, crime, and a half dozen other factors that make it impossible for him to beat the cartels.

It's nice to see the Mexican government taking such an aggressive approach, but we can do a lot more than just throw money at them. It doesn't matter how totalitarian we make our drug laws. The statistics on our prison population are staggering when measured against the rest of the world. The number of people we put in prison, and the cost to keep them there, is outrageous. And the reason a lot of them are there is because of drug offenses. It's time we spent less focus on punishment and more on treatment. We can reduce the number of repeat offenders and overall users by getting people into treatment programs to break their addictions, and making sure when they leave prison they don't return to poverty and an increased chance of either being a user or a dealer.

In the meantime I'm sure there's more we could do to help improve the border situation, reduce arms trafficking, help their economy, which will reduce the power of the cartels, increase the power of their government to handle them, and reduce the flow of people over our border as well. For the most part it's going to be their fight, but pretending it's just their problem would be foolhardy at best. There's a lot of good to be done on both sides by helping them as much as we can justify.

It's a hard sell to Americans. First, we like quick fixes, and generally don't like to get our own hands dirty. Second, Americans don't like treatment for drug offenders. We're too focused on "crime and punishment." Treatment sounds wishy washy, regardless of its long term benefits. Third, the idea of spending more to solve what sounds like a purely Mexican problem rings hollow in the ears of people who want OUR problems solved first. But then, it's been a long time since I've heard an American president even try to make the arguments on their merits.

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Jesse
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Real treatment programs, with higher standards and credible medical oversight.

One of the tragedies of the last several years, as the public has started to demand rehab for addicts, is fly-by-night Con-Men like Naconon and Second-Chance taking tax payer dollars and faking data...and uninformed politicians trying to save a buck who give them our money.

/rant OFF

At the end of the day, the one thing that might help save Mexico is sky-rocketing oil prices. The higher fuel costs are, the rounder the world is.

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Viking_Longship
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Ok I say legalize the stuff, give the contract to legal production to companies like Bayer and watch the engine of capitalism do its magic.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
At the end of the day, the one thing that might help save Mexico is sky-rocketing oil prices. The higher fuel costs are, the rounder the world is.
Not when you're pumping out as much oil as Mexico is. I'm sure the government appreciates the revenue, but they aren't the only ones with their hands in the pot.
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Jesse
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Transportation costs continue to rise, Mexican labor looks more and attractive again in comparison to The Privatized Republic of Corptocracy.
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Lyrhawn
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Ah, I see what you're saying. Good point. It's already happening. American companies are already moving manufacturing either back home or to central American countries. I think I read somewhere that it costs $8,000 more this year to ship a container from China to America. Profit margins are shrinking, and if oil only gets more expensive, then more and more companies will shift away from China and move closer to home, which will help our southern neighbors, AND us.
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Storm Saxon
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http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L7539470.htm

quote:

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - What do Pakistan and Mexico have in common? They figure in the nightmares of U.S. military planners trying to peer into the future and identify the next big threats.

The two countries are mentioned in the same breath in a just-published study by the United States Joint Forces Command, whose jobs include providing an annual look into the future to prevent the U.S. military from being caught off guard by unexpected developments.

"In terms of worst-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico," says the study - Joint Operating Environment 2008 - in a chapter on "weak and failing states." Such states, it says, usually pose chronic, long-term problems that can be managed over time.

But the little-studied phenomenon of "rapid collapse," according to the study, "usually comes as a surprise, has a rapid onset, and poses acute problems." Think Yugoslavia and its 1990 disintegration into a chaotic tangle of warring nationalities and bloodshed on a horrific scale.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan, where al-Qaeda has established safe havens in the rugged regions bordering on Afghanistan, is a regular feature in dire warnings. Thomas Fingar, who retired as the U.S.'s chief intelligence analyst in December, termed Pakistan "one of the single most challenging places on the planet."

This is fairly routine language for Pakistan, but not for Mexico, which shares a 2,000-mile (3,000 km) border with the United States.

Mexico's mention beside Pakistan in a study by an organization as weighty as the Joint Forces Command (which controls almost all conventional forces based in the continental U.S.) speaks volumes about growing concern over what's happening south of the U.S. border.

Vicious and widening violence pitting drug cartels against each other and against the Mexican state have left more than 8,000 Mexicans dead over the past two years. Kidnappings have become a routine part of Mexican daily life. Common crime is widespread. Pervasive corruption has hollowed out the state.

In November, in a case that shocked even those (on both sides of the border) who consider corruption endemic in Mexico, former drug czar Noe Ramirez was charged with accepting at least $450,000 a month in bribes from a drug cartel in exchange for information about police and anti-narcotics operations.

A month later, a Mexican army major, Arturo Gonzalez, was arrested on suspicion he sold information about President Felipe Calderon's movements for $100,000 a month. Gonzalez belonged to a special unit responsible for protecting the president.


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KnightEnder
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I've read that tourism to Tijauna is down 90%.

I'm not looking forward to going back for my next dental appointment.

KE

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Storm Saxon
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Maybe just bite the bullet and do it in the U.S.? Is the extra savings really worth putting your life in danger?

I mean, I don't know how dangerous it is in Tijuana, but if it's even a question, do you really need to go there?

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KnightEnder
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I'm not going to TJ, I'm going to Juarez, which is still dangerous. And I do have dental insurance now so I will do everything I can here in the US. No point in being buried with pearly whites. [Big Grin]
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munga
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KE- Just a nosy question (don't answer if you'd rather not) but didn't you just get something like a 100k bonus for your sales? Why aren't you seeing a top-notch dental-surgeon with little umbrellas on his/her ears?
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Storm Saxon
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100K and dental insurance? Just do it in the U.S.
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KnightEnder
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No, that is my salary, plus I get bonuses for my sales. And dental insurance pays half of any work I get done, so I can get it done here now.

KE

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munga
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ah, I see. Not so much sloshing around as I thought, and in these times.... we all understand.
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TomDavidson
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Your salary is 100K? Seriously?
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Colin JM0397
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Speaking of going to Mexico, KE and any of you near the border, a question for you:
My parents, my fiancée, and I are renting a car in Tucson and driving to San Carlos next month. That'll take us through Nogales at the border, and then down a modern toll road all the way to SC – it's supposed to be about a 5 hour drive. Of course, we will be driving during the day.

Any reason to worry there? Should we take the train or a tour bus down and then rent a car in San Carols? All info I've found so far says its a quiet, safe drive.

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Kent
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I go down to Baja every couple of months to work at orphanages down there and tourists haven't really been targeted by the criminals. If anything I have found it to be safer now for tourists than in the past since the police has been trying to make it so tourist friendly.
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Ron Lambert
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Make sure you have personal health and car insurance to the hilt. If you have an accident in Mexico and cannot pay all costs in full, they put you in jail. Permanently. If you are injured in an accident and your insurance does not cover it fully, you will only get third class health care if any, and if you are unable to return to the U.S on your own power (on your own feet), you had better be prepared to hire mercenaries to medivac you out of Mexico. The Mexican authorities won't go the extra mile. They won't even go the first mile.

But then, Canada is almost as bad in terms of emergency health care for non-citizens. If you break your neck in a car crash, they may set it so you don't die right away, but if you don't have good health insurance, any followup medical attention will have to be done back in the States, and too bad if moving you would kill you or turn you into a quadraplegic.

Actually, I don't know why anyone would take their own car into a foreign country. You may be better off renting a car, but again, tell them you are taking the car across the border, and pay for all the insurance options offered. And check with your insurance agent before you leave home, to see if you will be covered across the border, and to what extent.

[ January 08, 2009, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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KnightEnder
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Yeah, I've never taken my own car across a border and I get all the coverage I can get on the rental. And if you think we drive bad...I never have seen a Mexican patrol cop.

It may be safer now but last time I was down there, (I already told y'all this), a soldier was killed on the road outside my hotel room in Matamoras and "No arrests were made." because they shot and killed the three guys that killed the soldier. What was that five six months ago?

My tooth abscessed that night (which I guess was a good thing since I had the appointment that next morning) and I was in so much pain I wouldn't have minded taking a bullet.

But if you have the money the medical and dental care is very good and far far (half) cheaper than what it is here in the capitalist pig [Mad] United States of North America.

I had no idea that Canada was so cruel and uncaring. I can understand Mexico's being that way since they are under a corrupt government and have no real health care system of their own. So, I can see them not going out of their way for a foreigner, especially a Norteamericano, but for the well-off Canadians to be so callus an cruel is unfathomable to me. ****ing Canucks.

KE

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KnightEnder
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Colin, most of my driving has been limited to the border towns and though the driving is less restrictive and the roads flood really bad at the drop of a hat, I really don't know what that particular drive would be like. If you do take it of course be careful to drive very safely/defensively and by whatever laws and or speed limits are posted. That and being respectful to the official should make it a safe trip.

I mean you're not driving anything like a Mercedes or anything that would be worth killing to steal and or like a car that might have drugs in it, neh?

Tom,

My salary is actually 75,k flat with a guaranteed draw of 25,k (if you don't cover your draw you don't work there anymore. I've never had a job where I had a draw that I didn't meet and exceed it. Very doable) and bonuses above and beyond certain, easily obtainable numbers. And the higher I go, the more I sell, the higher my commission is. If I continue with what I've done only in the first few months I'll hit 115,k easy and 150 by the next full year. Especially if the economy ever comes back.

Plus of course a new 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, a company credit card and expense account, company gas card, Blue Cross Blue Shield for me and my whole family for 40 dollars a month and dental insurance.

(The dental is crappy but all dental insurance is crappy. The latter info comes from my mother who worked twenty years in a dentists office. Mine is half of certain things like root canals and seventy five of crowns, BUT only up to a certain amount like 1500 dollars. Which means I can get one or two things done a year and then it's back on me one hundred percent. Putting me back in Mexico at least a couple of more times eventually. Which is in large part because of my terrible dental habits; no flossing until a few years ago, two liters of coke a day, and just genetically lousy teeth, several of which, including the top front two, being knocked out by baseballs and baseball helmets. About 13,k total work needed on my mouth and I've already done 4,k. Which would have been a lot more if a lot of it hadn't been done in Mexico. Twice that for the same amount.

I wish they had made those dental floss wishbone things when I was young and I implore everybody to use a Water Pick. This grosses Stacy out, but; I can brush and brush and brush (and I have one of those spinning head toothbrushes) then floss and floss and floss, AND STILL when I Water pick after that there are most times some food particles. That's how important and good for you Water Picks are.)

Back to the salary:

I mean; I'm making good, great for me, money, in this economy, so I think I'm safe in assuming that if and when things get back to "normal" I'll be able to make a pretty good living.

Why does that amount surprise you? Just curious. I've made 75,k base salary at two other jobs. Though neither of them had the benefits of this one. I have a lot of experience and knowledge in the petrochemical refining sales field and I am not myself at work like I am here. I CAN be charming, especially in short bursts, when I want to be. But not around my family or friends, which y'all are all somewhere in-between. That would take up way too much energy and wouldn't be the real me. Unfortunately for y'all the real me can be an ass sometime. But if y'all would like to pay me I'll go out of my way to be charming all the time. [Smile]

KE

[ January 08, 2009, 08:45 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Storm Saxon
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I'm afraid I don't follow the goings on of all the members of the forum as closely as I might, but when you talk about going to Mexico to save cash and whatnot, I guess it just made me think you made a bit less than 100K, which is, as I'm sure you're aware, fairly up there for incomes.
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TomDavidson
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*nod* You've complained about cash being tight, not having enough money for car repairs/health insurance, dental surgery in Mexico, etc.

Whereas if I were making $100K a year, I would have my home paid off by the end of next year without changing my lifestyle in any way.

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KnightEnder
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I've been here three months, before that I was working for that company out of Boston making 40 and a little more and not always sure about "when" my paycheck was getting in. Things are better now, I don't 'need' to depend on poker anymore and I will be able to pay off my teeth and stuff, but once you get behind in stuff the late fees etc eat you up. So it's like you have to swim real hard until you catch the wave and get ahead and can start surfing.

KE

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KnightEnder
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But thank goodness this job came when it did. Now I'm paying for two houses, Little John's tuiion, Stacy's Mercury SUV, Little John's car and insurance, etc etc.

Oh, and almost at the same time Stacy found a good job making 12 dollars an hour. Doing the books for a pool company so she's not on her feet all day like she was at Starbucks. But right now we are using every bit of both our incomes.

Hopefully eventually will get to put some away.

KE

[ January 09, 2009, 12:01 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Colin JM0397
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Found a nice e-book written by a guy who owns one of the dive shops in San Carols and has been driving back and forth for 30 years. Very detailed and with pictures for all the turns and such.

It's a toll road and sounds like it is heavily patrolled and a regular gringo route, since SC is a big retirement community for expats.

The one funny comment is "if pulled over for speeding, ask politely if the officer can pay the ticket for you" and give him the cash [Wink]

The trouble won't be the cops, but getting my fiancée, who has an overactive sense of justice and right/wrong, to remember we're in a foreign country, shut the hell up, and smile like a nice gringo lady as we pay our bribes [Big Grin]

I think I'll have to coach her before heading down.

We're renting a nondescript SUV, and loading up on the Mexican insurance, of course. If you all never hear from me again after mid-February, start looking somewhere between Nogales and San Carols.

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Storm Saxon
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I'll tell the search and rescue guys to be on the lookout for an SUV with a RonPaul4Life sticker.
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DonaldD
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KE, you are paying for your son's car and insurance... when are you going to start teaching him about personal responsibility? [Razz]

Seriously, what's wrong with someone old enough and interested enough to want their own car actually paying for it?

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Wayward Son
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I think it has to do with the high cost of teenager's car insurance coupled with low starting salaries, Don. [Wink]
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DonaldD
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that's the 'personal responsibility' I was talking about...
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JabberWockey
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KnightEnder, sorry but reading your dental history made me cringe, almost as bad as if someone threw leeches at me. I think I am going to start flossing more now :-/

And I agree with Waywardson - having just started my first job, those car payments are pretty bad. Tell your son I'm a little bit envious.

[ January 09, 2009, 02:57 PM: Message edited by: JabberWockey ]

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DonaldD
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quote:
I had no idea that Canada was so cruel and uncaring.
John, why do you believe the most outlandish claims so readily? Seriously, look at the source. It's possible Ron was thinking about the activities of certain US hospitals, mind you...
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Storm Saxon
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It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of countries wouldn't treat non-residents of that country for free....
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DonaldD
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Actually, everyone needing emergent care in a Canadian hospital gets it. The issue is under what conditions non-paying US patients get transported against their will back to US hospitals (hint, not when transporting the patient puts them at risk of death or permanent disability.)
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Ron Lambert
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DonaldD, about eight years ago my wife and her best friend and her daughter were driving through Canada headed for a short ladies' only vacation in the Boston area (it is a shorter drive from the northern Detroit suburbs to go through Canada). They were pulling a large trailer. They lost control when the trailer started fishtailing on a curving stretch of expressway heading into Hamilton, Ontario. It turns out the expressway was not crowned or sloped they way they are in the USA to counteract centrifugal force. But the speed limit signs gave no forewarning of the danger for someone towing a trailer.

Anyway, they wound up in the ditch upside down after rolling down the embankment. My wife's friend had her neck broken in three places. There must have been a lot of accidents at that spot in the road, because a rescue team was on standby nearby, and got to them within about 90 seconds. They managed to get my wife's friend's neck immobilized, so miraculously she was not paralyzed.

(My wife, who was driving at the time, only suffered a mild whiplash.)

The hospital in Hamilton performed complicated surgery to repair the three broken vertebra (one was shattered and required extensive reconstruction). A steel implant was needed to stabilize the neck, and bone had to be taken from a hip. The surgery took over eight hours.

Fortunately, they had excellent insurance, with coverage up to $300,000. (Most of us are content to go with only $100,000.) They were told by the hospital staff that if they had not had the extra insurance, they likely would not have had the extensive surgery available to them. They would have tried to immobilize her so she could be sent back to the USA. It would be like she just got patched up at a MASH unit in a war zone. Then they would have washed their hands of any responsibility.

Even after the surgery was completed, a lot of followup was needed, and they were advised that they would have to take her back to the USA for that. Note that the Canadian hospital did not help; they just said for them to leave. (A car trip would have been too bumpy, and would probably have turned her into a quadraplegic.) My wife's friend's husband was a doctor, and fortunately could afford to hire a helicopter to medivac her back home. They figured the ride would be smoother and quicker than in a car. Even after receiving extensive followup medical treatment back in the USA, she experienced neck pain and difficulty swallowing for months.

Had this happened to Canadian citizens, then all the care needed would have been provided for free. But if you are not Canadians and have an accident in which you are injured, then you are no longer visitors or tourists, you are intruders trying to have Canadian tax dollars spent on you. This is the hidden, dark side of socialized medicine.

[ January 09, 2009, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Storm Saxon
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Well, it's not the dark side of socialized medicine, it's just the reality that you can't pay for every Tom, Dick and Harry that comes through your country and maintain some kind of quality of coverage for the tax paying citizens.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Storm,

You're right, that's not the dark side of socialized medicine. The dark side of socialized medicine is allowing the government control over your personal habits and your ability to make your own choices.

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