Sunday, March 20, 2016

South By Southwest

El Nino blew through Chicago last Tuesday. Unseasonably hot (52 degrees actual versus 38 average) and humid: 0.14" versus 0.8" precipitation (WeatherUnderground). Something's in the wind. Charged protest at University of Illinois Windy City. Bloody police (Google). Media arrest on the street (CBS). Mass shooting at election-eve drug war raid in Homan Square (US News). 3 police shot, one target dead. For context, June 24, 2015, US DoJ raided and charged 42 defendants guns, heroin, cocaine, seizing $50k "black market" money a few blocks away (Twitter).   Back in the present, Chicago Mayor and Clinton confidant Rahm Emanuel spent part of last Monday night at Stroger Hospital (slow911).

#ByeAnita got out the vote on core justice issues, voting out Cook County's State Attorney. Sanders campaigned hard on patterns of civil injustice contra executive sponsor, Chicago Mayor Emanuel. The morning after voting, former Clinton WH staffer and Emanuel confidant, Paul Begala, characterized Sanders' criticism as "a big mistake" (Twitter). Clinton captured Chicago for D. Trump took Chicago and fertile rural Illinois interior for R. In the turbulence, lightning struck Trump Tower.  
The Land of Lincoln as rendered by Guardian for Election 2016 (Guardian)
2009: Small World (Politico)
The Hill

"Indeed they were at sea, and the ship and crew were in peril of tempest" 

Wednesday, Chicago POTUS nominated Merrick Garland for a "conservative Chicago boy makes SCOTUS" story. Garland raised 5.9 miles from Hillary Clinton's hometown, Park Ridge, Illinois. Is it surprising that Chicago POTUS, hailing from and presiding over one of America's most hyper-segregated cities - Chicago "Tale of Two Cities" Drillinois - nominated a justice that fails Antonin Scalia's interesting, grounded three-part diversity test (FiveThirtyEight)? For Chicago apartheid: Google.

Plot of Chicago on Lake Michigan from University of Virginia demographers and cartographers. Dot Map.

Above, Chicago origin of people detained at Chicago PD's Homan Square drug war "black site". Last year, Guardian (UK) sued the city for data. The geographic overlap is matched in race distribution: of 7,185 off-books arrests at Homan Square 2004-2015, 82% were black Chicagoans. 75% drugs - "lower-level arrests from the narcotics unit"(Guardian). 

Associated Press

Departing Chicago, Trump Train reverse commuted south by southwest on Heroin Highway to Tuscon. Prior to the event, images of women unshackled from vehicles by bolt cutter.

12 hour drive time Tuscon to Culiacan, capital city of the Sinaloa Cartel. Mostly desert.

CNN 2015

CNN's report is specific but incomplete. Sinaloa's drugs trade exhibits hegemonic market power across the United States. Sinaloa trades in Chicago. And also almost every city in the United States. When Hillary Clinton campaigns for narcan in Keane, New Hampshire or Trump raises the wall in Dayton, Ohio, they react "downstream" to Sinaloa poppy plants "upstream" in NAFTA commercial corridors. The Cartel withdraws and launders billions in USD every year. The trade of physical currency and drugs in these quantities - in unique shipments - is weighed not counted in units like "the ton" and transported by 747, rail, and tractor-trailer (CBS).

Previously : #ChicagoIguala
Geo-political, geo-economic context: NORAD theatre, NAFTA trade zone. Where the gun and drug trades aren't free in any sense. For context, consider these 2011 internal emails between ATF and NSC (TownHall) regarding programs to "straw buy" and "free trade" thousands of military-grade weapons to Mexico. In the middle of a cross-border American drug war. They actually went through with this. Really. It worse than I'm able to communicate in prose.

The Daily Show 2012

What's the latest? This week, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Kadzik (bio) confirmed for US Rep Utah (Chaffetz) and US Senator Iowa (Grassley) that the 50 caliber anti-armor/anti-helicopter rifle (details) recovered from El Chapo's re-re-capture in Sinaloa originated from Fast and Furious. Kadzik also attributed the murders of three Mexican police. He described a single firefight that yielded 42 drug war dead. (letter)

Kadzik didn't mention murdered US Border Patrol Agent: Brian Terry. Nor the Justice proceedings and life sentences delivered to Terry's 2010 killers October 2015 (Arizona Republic). He didn't mention apparent obfuscation in the Garland, Texas trace of Nadir Soofi's 9mm (Los Angeles Times). He didn't mention the 14 Justice and ATF officials "slapped".  ATF Director retired; deputry resigned. (CNN) Washington Post summarized Kadzik's Fast and Furious distribution data:
operation allowed more than 2,000 weapons to hit the streetsKadzik wrote that as of Jan. 28, 885 guns purchased by Fast and Furious targets had been recovered: 415 in the United States and 470 in Mexico.
In other words, "unwanted" commercial traffic breached the border in both directions. Congress subpoenaed the Attorney General. Holder refused. Congress duly found him in contempt of Congress (US House contempt finding). President Obama invoked presidential privilege to protect Attorney General Holder's contemporaneous email (ProPublica). House Republic sued. January 2016, US District Court Judge - and Obama appointee - Amy Berkman Jackson rejected the White House's authority to protect the records from Congressional oversight (USA Today).

The Daily Show

"Two guns associated with the operation were recovered after a May 22 raid on a ranch in Michoacan, Mexico, controlled by the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, Kadzik wrote. The raid led to a lengthy gun battle that killed 42 suspects and one police officer, (Washington Post)" Kadzik letter

All of which is context for the North American gun trade. Where in June 2015 the United States began shipping 30 million bullets to the Mexican military to fight "the cartels". Mexican President EPN's spending on US military equipment spiked 10x last year hitting $1.5 billion (Washington Post). Which sounds like a lot but maybe not in relative terms. RAND Corporation values the US drug market north of the river/fence/wall/whatever at $100 billion per year (RAND). That said, RAND's methodology looks shoddy at first glance. For example, RAND's heroin economic trends appear contradictory to CDC heroin mortality trends. Note to self: follow up: cross reference that hypothesis. 

@CNN 2015

Southside's West performs "All Day" in London January 2015. Swift in attendance. YouTube

Kanye West
"Murder to Excellence" 
Watch the Throne 2011 

Last updated August 2015. Rev Gregg L Greer:

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