Saturday, January 2, 2016

Good Morning America

Chicago Tribune runs moving testimony about conscious consumption of alcohol. Not Eliot Ness nor untouchability necessary. Hypothetically, some of best public health outcomes are the consequence of self-examine. Not doctors. Honesty about basics. What we eat and drink. What we look like in the mirror. That's a policy hypothesis. Also personal hope. The opinions, hypotheses, and errors below are mine. Not my employer nor anyone else.

The most important hashtag in 2016 is #ChicagoIguala. That tag simply expresses the common insecurity linking North American lives, deaths, and drug war along a violent north-south interstate highway network. Chicago, Illinois USA (2.6M) and Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico (110k). Two North American towns. One US metro, one Mexican suburb. Google estimates it takes 35 hours to drive between them.

Compressed into a unique ID, #ChicagoIguala says in Twitter-friendly short-hand: "North America Free Trade Agreement" (Clinton, 1994) in legally, historically, and socially validated terms: Chicago Illinois USA and Iguala Mexico are places. They exist on maps, in history, in art, in culture, in minds, and IRL as a topographical, physical space and ecosystem.

USA and Mexico are full of towns that are nodes in the NASDAQ ticker. CME Group is a Middle American market maker with a LinkedIn profile and compelling Economist article in 2013:
Chicago Merc’s business was tied to products, not customers. At first, it was eggs and butter, then cattle and pork bellies. The Chicago Board of Trade across town, once the more successful exchange, dominated trades in wheat and corn. The two did not really compete because product-oriented exchanges in particular benefit from strong “network effects”. These mean that more members are better: the more trades exchanges handle, the more liquidity they can provide and the more activity they attract.
Sam Quinones documented the Xalisoc Mexico to Dayton Ohio USA heroin corridor and called it #Dreamland. Which is devastating. It may also be #DaytonXalisco. Which is geographic.Big picture: "North American lives" means the ~475M people living north of ~42M "Central Americans" living north of ~387M South Americans.  In sum, roughly a billion Americans. Two continents on a north-sourth axis, integrated by a (hyper-violent) central land bridge. A New World: divided by pre/post Colombian/Columbian eras and cultures.

Yet: #ChicagoIguala. Chicago, Illinois 2015. In 2015, that American Heartland city saw 467 murders, ~3000 shootings, and confiscated ~7000 illegal guns. If historical patterns hold in 2015, the majority of those law enforcement actions will concern a demographic minority: young black men. Within the last 30 days:
  1. Chicago's POTUS Barack Obama discusses gun control via unilateral executive action.
    1. POTUS' first invocation of executive privilege concerned automatic weapons delivered to Mexican drug cartels under the auspices of an ATF sting, Fast and Furious
    2. Specifically, POTUS privilege protected Fast and Furious email to/from Attorney General Eric Holder 
  2. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and #ResignRahm :
    1. Obama's Chief of Staff, 
    2. 1992 Clinton campaign money guy in Little Rock, Arkansas
    3. 1994-96 Clinton White House policymaker : 
      1. NAFTA
      2. crime bill, deportation memo
  3. Chicago violence is backdrop for Spike Lee's interpretation Greek comedy set in the Peloponnesian War:
    1. As told by Fox 32 Chicago:
      1. A modern day version of the Greek play "Lysistrata," the film tells the story of women on the South Side of Chicago who withhold sex from their men in order to stop the violence.
    2. pre-release criticism from Chance the Rapper.
      1. Also the idea that women abstaining from sex would stop murders is offensive and a slap in the face to any mother that lost a child here
    3. post release criticism from Lil Bibby
      1. It's really just kids, smoking weed and drinking and lean, and somebody killed their cousin or their friend and they wake up everyday wanting to get their revenge. 
    4. Chicago commentary from Chi-raq actress Jennifer Hudson :
      1. We’re acting like animals. It’s unfortunate that things are this way, but it’s not going to change unless we do something about it. Even in filming the movie, there were times where more and more incidents kept happening. And Spike kept writing it into the movie. Those who don’t get it, it’s like, how don’t you get it when this is what the issue is? And if you do have a problem with it, have a solution to come along with it. What plan do you have? How do you not try? And what are we supposed to do—just kill each other?
  4. The man who coined "Chi-raq" 6x gun shot victim
  5. As in the Mexican drug war, children like Tyshawn Lee are drug war reprisal targets:
    1. Per former DEA chief Michele Leonhard in "Mexican Drug Cartels Targeting and Killing ChildrenApril 9, 2011:
    • “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,” said Michele Leonhart, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The cartels “are like caged animals, attacking one another,” she added.
  6. Dunbar
  7. The State of Illinois faces lawsuit for failing to report to how well it's solving murder cases
    1. To the Justice Department. 
    2. For 20 years. 
#7 is a big deal. Suppressing Illinois murder clearance data is a national security risk. Especially considering the 2015 magnitude of illicit Sinaloa Mexico product and futures through Chicago product exchanges:
The biggest cash earner for the Sinaloa Cartel – which controls about 45 percent of the entire U.S. drug market – in Chicago is heroin. Many people addicted to painkillers have switched to heroin both because it's cheaper than prescription pills and because purity levels of heroin have risen in recent years.
...
Once known as small-scale producers of low-quality heroin, the Mexican cartels are now refining opium paste into high-grade, white heroin that sells for a fraction of the cost that it did a few years ago.
“Heroin is making a ridiculous comeback in the U.S. right now,” Isacson said. “It’s not that low-grade, black tar stuff anymore… It’s now so pure you don’t even need a needle to get high because you can just snort or smoke it.
Hypothetically, mapping 2016 electoral issues to the North American commerce network linking Sinaloa Mexico to the Greater US Midwest - incl Little Rock Arkansas - makes them much more relatable. For example: NAFTA, Mexican border war? Those subjects cover core themes of the Trump campaign. And cover President Clinton, Rahm Emanuel work in the 90s White House. How did the Clinton Administration treat NAFTA and drug war insecurity in North America?
And so he ordered his people not to talk about it.
“We were prohibited from discussing the effects of NAFTA as it related to narcotics trafficking, yes. For the godfathers of the drug trade in Colombia and Mexico, this was a deal made in narco heaven,” Phil Jordan, who had been one of the DEA’s leading authorities on Mexican drug organizations, told ABC News reporter Brian Ross four years after the deal had gone through.
The agreement squeaked through Congress in late 1993 and went into effect Jan. 1, 1994, the same day that the Zapatistas rose up in Southeast Mexico. With its passage, more than 2 million trucks began flowing northward across the border annually. Only a small fraction of them were inspected for cocaine, heroin, or meth.
The White House, in a 1999 report, estimated that commercial vehicles brought roughly 100 tons of cocaine into the country across the Mexican border in 1993. With NAFTA in effect, 1994 saw the biggest jump in commercial-vehicle smuggling on record -- a 25 percent increase. The number of meth-related emergency-room visits in the United States doubled between 1991 and 1994. In San Diego, America's meth capital, meth seizures climbed from 1,409 pounds in 1991 to 13,366 in 1994.
Zooming in on illicit opioids data from DEA:





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