25 Deaths From Storm Cell In South


More than 25 people in two countries have been killed by the same storm system, claims CNN. That death toll is set to go up. The deaths have occurred in the Southern portion of the U.S. and in Mexico.

Alyssa Renee Ramirez had many friends in her hometown of Devine, Texas, southwest of San Antonio.

At Devine High School, she was student council president and co-editor of the yearbook. She starred on the tennis and volleyball teams, not to mention as a cheerleader.

CNN writes that she was the homecoming queen that school year.  She and her friends had been out on prom night Saturday but never returned home.  Her car got caught up in fast-moving floods, ending her short life and leaving her classmates crestfallen.

CNN looks at the storms that have hit Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico.

Dolphin Deaths In Gulf Of Mexico Relate To Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Large numbers of bottlenose dolphins have been washing up on the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to theverge.com.  It was the largest spill to take place in US waters.  The dolphins actually started washing up in elevated levels two months before the spill, potentially because of a cold winter.

“The evidence to date indicates that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused the adrenal and lung lesions that contributed to the deaths of this unusual mortality event,” said Stephanie Venn-Watson, a researcher with the National Marine Mammal Foundation who was the lead author of the report, writes the New York Times.

“We reached that conclusion based on the accumulation of our studies including this paper,” she added.

The deaths have continued into 2015.

In the latest study, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration point to serious health issues in washed-up dolphins that are linked to petroleum product exposure, strengthening the link between dolphins’ deaths and the BP-owned well’s spill, writes theverge.com.



Drug War Backfire? Jalisco Cartel Shoots Down Mexican Gov’t Helicopter

Secular Talk

Six soldiers were killed when gunmen from the New Generation Jalisco Cartel used a rocket-propelled grenade to bring down an army helicopter that was pursuing a cartel convoy on Friday, the national security commissioner, Monte Alejandro Rubido, told Televisa.

At least 15 other people were killed and 19 injured in a coordinated show of strength by the cartel which included several shootouts with soldiers and police, and involved hundreds of low-level operatives who set up roadblocks with burning cars, buses and trucks in Jalisco and three neighbouring states. Eleven banks and five petrol stations were also set ablaze.

Areas of drug cartel influence are located in red.  Jalisco is a “state” in southern Mexico, the capital of which is is Guadalajara.

(Updated article)

Does Retirement in Mexico Deserve a Fresh Look?

A happy senior couple sits on the front of a sail boat on a calm blue sea.

According to U.S. News and World Report, Mexico was perhaps the original overseas retirement destination for Americans.  Americans have been relocating south of the border for retirement for decades. More than a million American expatriates and retirees call Mexico home.

In recent years, Mexico has been overshadowed by countries in Central and South America. These other destinations also offer appealing options for a sunny, coastal retirement on a small budget. Mexico has recently suffered some bad press, including the swine flu epidemic of 2009 that fizzled after a few cases and the drug violence in some border cities and beyond that has affected the perception of the entire country.

It’s true that some parts of Mexico don’t belong on any list for retirement.  However, there are good places at cheap prices.

It’s time to take a fresh look at this old favorite. Housing markets in many areas of Mexico are depressed. The great recession took its toll, especially in areas popular as second home markets.   In many markets, prices still have not recovered. Mexico is not the ultra-cheap destination it was in the 1950s and 60s, but it’s still a very affordable lifestyle option, especially at the current exchange rate.

Today’s dollar buys 15.38 pesos, making the cost of living in Mexico cheaper than it’s been in a long time for anyone with dollars in his wallet.

In addition, Mexico is also a culturally familiar neighbor and is accessible.  Americans can drive back and forth or take a short flight

Mexico is a big country, with many diverse retirement lifestyle choices.

One particularly appealing coastal retirement option is Mazatlán. This city opened its first tourist hotel and restaurant in 1850 and has been a major international tourist destination since the 1940s.  In the 1970s, Mazatlán began to fall out of favor, as more travelers to Mexico’s west coast opted for its cousin city, Puerto Vallarta, some 270 miles to the south.

One reason these places are popular among North Americans is its excellent winter weather. From December through March, daytime temperatures hover in the high 70s, with lows in the low 60s and little to no rain. Between July and October, temperatures average around 90, with most rain falling between July and September.  Today’s prices in Mexico make these destinations worth a look.

Are American Guns A Global Menace?

Majority Report

Are American guns an international menace?

Majority Report guest speaker Cliff Schecter claims that in the same week of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, 80 people in the U.S. died from gun violence.

However, that number is probably low, because according to NBC and The Brady Campaign, Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention. 86 people per day would be 602 people per week. Excluding suicides, 30 gun murders per day would be 210 per week.

The CDC reports that a person is killed by a firearm every 17 minutes, 87 people are killed during an average day, and 609 are killed every week.

Also, according to CNN, the ATF claims that almost 70% of recovered guns from crimes in Mexico came from the U.S.

In a study the ATF conducted in 2009 of 6,000 seized guns stored in Guatemala, 40 percent came from the United States, according to New Republic.



Mexican Protester Lights Himself On Fire

EDS. NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - Farmer Agustin Gomez Perez, 21, runs engulfed in flames after he was lit on fire as a form of protest outside the Chiapas ...

According to the AP, a young farmer in Tuxtla Gutierrez in southern Mexico set himself on fire to demand the release of his father, an indigenous leader who was arrested last year on charges stemming from a series of demonstrations in 2011 that turned violent.

He was outside of the Chiapas state legislature building.

Agustin Gomez Perez, 21, lay down and allowed another protester to douse him with gasoline and set it alight on Friday. He was taken to a hospital, and his stepmother, Araceli Diaz, said Saturday that he was “serious but stable” condition with second- and third-degree burns.

Gomez Perez and other indigenous farmers have been protesting last year’s jailing of his father, Florentino Gomez Giron.

The father is charged with murder, stealing cattle, organized crime and causing 39 families to flee the Ixtapa municipality as a result of leading indigenous protests in 2011 to demand improved basic services. The protests culminated in violence that included the destruction of police cars and the burning of the Ixtapa town hall.

The human rights office of the Chiapas state government issued a statement lamenting Gomez Perez’s immolation and saying it would seek to discourage “acts that put at risk the lives of protesters.”

Kansas Secretary Of State: Immigration Reform Today, Ethnic Cleansing Tomorrow?

“Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leader in an anti-immigrant movement, agreed with a caller during his Sunday radio program that it’s possible that a Hispanic majority in the U.S. could conduct an ‘ethnic cleansing.’

Kobach made his remarks in response to a right-wing caller who asked, “What happens, if you know your history, when one culture or one race or one religion overwhelms another culture or race?”

Kobach understood:  the caller was worried about ethnic cleansing.

“What protects us in America from any kind of ethnic cleansing is the rule of law, of course,” Kobach said. “And the rule of law used to be unassailable, used to be taken for granted in America. And now, of course, we have a President who disregards the law when it suits his interests…”



Mexicans Protest Killings

The mayor of Iguala, Mexico, and his wife are accused of asking drug gangs to help police prevent students from disrupting a public event held by the wife. Around September 26th, 43 students were kidnapped and killed.

The protesting students were from a teacher’s college in Iguala, about 120 miles south of Mexico City.

Gang suspects have confessed to slaughtering 43 missing students and dumping their charred remains in a river.

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Mexico City and those of the southwestern state of Guerrero where the students were abducted to decry the government’s handling of the case.

(Video: Michael Brooks / Majority Report.)

Rep. Duncan Hunter Makes Absurd Claim That ISIS Has Crossed The Southern Border

Earlier this month, Rep. Duncan Hunter made the assertion on Fox News that “ISIS is coming across the southern border.”

He claimed that “at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border…”  He gave no names, nationalities, or specifics. No dates, photographs, mug-shots or videos, or other evidence.

When asked how he knows they are coming across the border, he just said, “because I’ve asked the border patrol…”  Again, no names of agents or commanders, and no specifics.

Local news will usually give some specifics or evidence about local criminals, such as their name, a photograph or mug-shot, the date when they were last seen or video footage. So far, there has been no such evidence of these “ISIS fighters coming across the border.”  If it is true, wouldn’t it be all over every news channel?

Why was only Fox News covering the story?

Below is the show with Greta Van Susteren:

Here is a take on it by the TYT Network:

Politifact gave the claim a rating of “pants on fire” – in other words, the statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

Last month, Rep. Jason Chaffetz made a similar “blanket assertions” about people crossing the border with “ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East.” Later Chaffetz diluted the accusation to people with “known ties to a terrorist country” or “known ties from a Middle Eastern country.”

Chaffetz also gave no names, no specifics.

Below is a link to the Politifact article on Hunter:


57 Missing After Demonstration Violence In Mexico

Mexico Violence

Authorities were searching on Monday for 57 students reported missing after weekend violence left at least six people dead and 25 wounded in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.

On Friday, gunmen had fired on a demonstration the students were attending.

Twenty-two police officers from the city of Iguala were detained in connection with the incidents, Guerrero state prosecutor Inaky Blanco said. He said they denied responsibility but several had been identified by students.

Blanco Cabrera said that witnesses identified the gunmen as local police officers in Iguala, where the protest occurred.

Mr. Blanco Cabrera described the episode as an instance of “undoubtedly excessive force” by the officers.

The federal interior secretary, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, called the conduct of the police “incredible” and said federal authorities would join the investigation.

Witnesses said police officers had put the missing students on a bus and escorted them from the scene.

The mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez, and his public safety secretary were being summoned to appear before authorities, Blanco added.

On Monday, masked demonstrators marched through the state capital, Chilpancingo, pelting the glass-window entrance to the state congress building with rocks.

The violence on Friday night and Saturday in Iguala began when police clashed with students who had seized three buses in a protest.

The governmental National Human Rights Commission has said it is investigating.

No suspects were named. “We cannot deny, that there was an excessive use of force,” Blanco said in a press conference that was broadcast live on Mexican news channels. “We are planning to launch criminal indictments against those who are responsible for it.”