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Monday, 24 August 2015

Danger Along the Border

Colima, México, February 2015. | by Emigdio Salgado

Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 21 February 2015
I   Millo Salgado: On the Other Side 
Puesto de periódicos y revistas. | by Emigdio Salgado

Posta de periodicas y revistas. Pueblo, México
: photo by Millo Salgado, 2 January 2014

Police. | by Emigdio Salgado

Police. Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 10 September 2014
Colima, México, septiembre 2014. | by Emigdio Salgado

Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 16 September 2012

Colima, México, diciembre 2013. | by Emigdio Salgado

Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 12 December 2013

Horses in the streets. | by Emigdio Salgado

Horses in the streets. Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 15 February 2014

Charros in the streets. | by Emigdio Salgado

Charros in the streets. Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 9 February 2014

People at the Cathedral. | by Emigdio Salgado

People at the cathedral. Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 4 December 2012

Spiritual cleansing. | by Emigdio Salgado

Spiritual cleansing. At night on the day of the dead, a Chamán performs public spiritual cleansings in downtown Colima. Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 4 November  2013
The passion of the Christ in Comala. | by Emigdio Salgado

The Passion of the Christ in Comala. Comala, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 18 April 2014

The Passion of the Christ. | by Emigdio Salgado

The Passion of the Christ. Comala, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 6 April 2012

Dramatic performance of the Passion of Christ. | by Emigdio Salgado

Dramatic performance of the Passion of Christ. Comala, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 18 April 2014

Young charro riding a bull. | by Emigdio Salgado

Young charro riding a bull. Villa de Alvarez, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 17 February 2013

Toro de Once Portfolio. | by Emigdio Salgado

Toro de Once. Villa de Alvarez, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 17 February 2013
Villa de Álvarez, Colima, February 2014. | by Emigdio Salgado

Villa de Alvarez, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 17 February 2014
The sinister clown. | by Emigdio Salgado

The sinister clown. Villa de Alvarez, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 11 February 2013
Untitled. | by Emigdio Salgado

Untitled. Villa de Alvarez, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 12 February 2013

This is what you get. | by Emigdio Salgado

This is what you get. Villa de Alvarez, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado, 18 February 2014

II...White Peril at the Border

"I think @realDonaldTrump is a wrecking ball for the future of the Republican Party.” @lindseygrahamsc #trumpyourcoffee: image via Donald Purrump @trumpyourcat, 2 August 2015

The Fearful and the Frustrated: Donald Trump’s nationalist coalition takes shape -- for now (excerpts): Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 31 August 2015
On July 23rd, Donald Trump’s red-white-and-navy-blue Boeing 757 touched down in Laredo, Texas, where the temperature was climbing to a hundred and four degrees. In 1976, the Times introduced Trump, then a little-known builder, to readers as a “publicity shy” wunderkind who “looks ever so much like Robert Redford,” and quoted an admiring observation from the architect Der Scutt: “That Donald, he could sell sand to the Arabs.” Over the years, Trump honed a performer’s ear for the needs of his audience. He starred in “The Apprentice” for fourteen seasons, cultivating a lordly persona and a squint that combined Clint Eastwood on the high plains and Derek Zoolander on the runway. Once he emerged as the early front-runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, this summer, his airport comings and goings posed a delicate staging issue: a rogue wind off the tarmac could render his comb-over fully erect in front of the campaign paparazzi. So, in Laredo, Trump débuted a protective innovation: a baseball hat adorned with a campaign slogan that he recycled from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 run for the White House -- “Make America Great Again!” The headwear, which had the rigid façade and the braided rope of a cruise-ship giveaway, added an expeditionary element to the day’s outfit, of blazer, pale slacks, golf shoes -- well suited for a mission that he was describing as one of great personal risk. “I may never see you again, but we’re going to do it,” he told Fox News on the eve of the Texas visit.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to reporters after arriving for a visit to the U.S. Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, Thursday, July 23, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to reporters after arriving for a visit to the U.S. Mexico border in Laredo, Texas
: photo by LM Otero/AP, 23 July 2015

When Trump announced his candidacy, on June 16th, he vowed to build a two-thousand-mile-long wall to stop Mexico from “sending people that have lots of problems.” He said, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Three of the statements had no basis in fact -- the crime rate among first-generation immigrants is lower than that for native-born Americans -- but Trump takes an expansive view of reality. “I play to people’s fantasies,” he writes in “The Art of the Deal,” his 1987 memoir. “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration -- and a very effective form of promotion.”

Trump’s campaign announcement was mocked and condemned -- and utterly successful. His favorability among Republicans leaped from sixteen per cent to fifty-seven per cent, a greater spike than that of any other candidate’s début. Immigration became the centerpiece of his campaign. “Donald Trump has changed the entire debate on immigration,” Rush Limbaugh told his listeners last month. As the climax of events in Las Vegas and Phoenix, Trump brought onstage Jamiel Shaw, Sr., whose seventeen-year-old son was killed, in 2008, by a man who was in the country illegally. Trump stood by while Shaw told the crowd how his son was shot.

File:Camping on the Border, near El Paso, Texas.jpg

Camping on the Border, near El Paso, Texas
: photo by Curt Teich & Co, 1916; image by Tangerinehistry, 9 March 2012 (University of Houston Libraries)
They invited me, and then, all of a sudden, silencio!
Before departing for Laredo, Trump said, “I’ve been invited by border patrols, and they want to honor me, actually, thousands and thousands of them, because I’m speaking up.” 

Though Trump said “border patrols,” the invitation had in fact come from a local branch of the border-patrol union, and the local, after consulting with headquarters, withdrew the invitation a few hours before Trump arrived, on the ground that it would not endorse political candidates. Descending the airplane stairs, Trump looked thrilled to be arriving amid a controversy; he waded into a crowd of reporters and described the change of plans as the handiwork of unspecified enemies. “They invited me, and then, all of a sudden, they were told, silencio! They want silence.” Asked why he felt unsafe in Laredo -- which has a lower crime rate than New York City or Washington, D.C. -- he invoked another “they”: “Well, they say it’s a great danger, but I have to do it. I love the country. There’s nothing more important than what I’m doing.”

Trump was now going to meet with city officials instead of with the union. He disappeared into one of seven S.U.V.s, escorted by a dozen police vehicles -- a larger motorcade than Mitt Romney merited as the Republican nominee. He passed shopping malls, churches, and ranch houses with satellite dishes in the front yard. Some drivers waved; others stared. A car had been positioned along the route with a sign across the windshield: "Mr. Trump, Fuck U." 

He reached the World Trade Bridge, a trucking link to Mexico, where he stepped inside an air-conditioned building for a half-hour briefing. He emerged to talk to reporters, and, after pausing to let the cameras set up, resumed his event. He was asked, “You keep saying that there’s a danger, but crime along the border is down. What danger are you talking about?”

Trump gave a tight, concerned nod. “There’s great danger with the illegals, and we were just discussing that. But we have a tremendous danger along the border, with the illegals coming in.”

“Have you seen any evidence here to confirm your fears about Mexico sending its criminals across the border?”

Another grave nod. “Yes, I have, and I’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it from a lot of different people.”

“What evidence, specifically, have you seen?”

“We’ll be showing you the evidence.”


He let that one pass.

“What do you say to the people on the radio this morning who called you a racist?”

“Well, you know, we just landed, and there were a lot of people at the airport, and they were all waving American flags, and they were all in favor of Trump and what I’m doing.” 

He shrugged -- an epic, arms-splayed shrug.

“They were chanting against you.”

“No, they were chanting for me.”

“What would you do with the eleven million undocumented immigrants who are already here?”

“The first thing we have to do is strengthen our borders, and after that we’re going to have plenty of time to talk about that.” He thanked everyone and retreated to the S.U.V.s.

On the way back to the airport, Trump stopped at the Paseo Real Reception Hall, where his supporters had assembled a small rally; guests were vetted at the door to keep out protesters. I sat beside a Latino family and asked the father what had attracted him to the event. He said that a friend involved in the border patrol had called him and asked him “to take up the spaces.” He’d brought five relatives. I asked what he thought of Trump’s politics. He paused and said, “I like his hotels.” Trump told the group, “I don’t think that people understand the danger that you’re under and the talent that you have. But I understand it.” When he opened the floor to questions, José Diaz-Balart, an anchor for Telemundo and MSNBC, said, “Many feel that what you said, when you said that people that cross the border are rapists and murderers -- ”

Trump cut him off: “No, no, no! We’re talking about illegal immigration, and everybody understands that. And you know what? That’s a typical case of the press with misinterpretation.” His supporters jeered at the reporter, and Trump shouted over the jeers: “Telemundo should be ashamed!”

Diaz-Balart said, “Can I finish?”

“No, no. You’re finished,” Trump said. He did his thank-yous, flashed thumbs-up signs, and headed for his airplane.

"@tobyharnden: Missouri woman finds Donald Trump's face in tub of butter": image via Pat Bagley @Patbagley, 24 August 2015
The New American Fascism: "they want to cut the Gordian knot.”
On August 16th, with the media in full summer frenzy, Trump made his first detailed proposal, a six-page immigration plan that outlined an unprecedented crackdown. Presented as the remedy for a victimized nation -- “We will not be taken advantage of anymore” -- Trump’s plan called for the government to deport large segments of the undocumented population, seize money that these immigrants attempt to send home, and, contravening the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, deny citizenship to their U.S.-born children.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington-based organization that seeks to reduce immigration (it is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), hailed Trump’s plan as the “American Workers’ Bill of Rights.” Mark Meckler, the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, described it as a new standard “that all the other candidates will now have to meet,” and Scott Walker immediately echoed Trump’s call for building a wall and ending birthright citizenship. Other Republicans recoiled, convinced that Trump’s nativist turn would taint the Party’s image as ruinously as Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” comments in his race against Barack Obama. At the time, Trump himself disapproved of Romney’s approach, saying, in November, 2012, “He had a crazy policy of ‘self-deportation,’ which was maniacal. It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote. He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.” Trump now faced the risk that his new stance could eventually undo him.

On Tuesday of last week, Jorge Ramos, the most influential Latino news anchor, told his audience on the Fusion network, “Right now Donald Trump is, no question, the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred, and division in the United States.”

#Trump rally @UmassAlum28 @JGilliam_SEAL @paddoc63 @jjauthor @ChristiChat: image via Jeannie @gulfcoastbred, 21 August 2015

Before dawn on Wednesday, two brothers from South Boston allegedly attacked a homeless Hispanic man, breaking his nose and urinating on his face. The police said that, after the men were arrested, one of them, Scott Leader, justified the assault by saying, “Donald Trump was right -- all these illegals need to be deported.” (Both men pleaded not guilty.) When Trump was asked at a press conference about the case, and about threats of other violence, he replied, “I think that would be a shame, but I haven’t heard about that. I will say that people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country, and they want this country to be great again, and they are very passionate, I will say that.” (Two days later, Trump, under fire, tweeted, “Boston incident is terrible. . . . I would never condone violence.”)

When Trump leaped to the head of the Republican field, he delivered the appearance of legitimacy to a moral vision once confined to the fevered fringe, elevating fantasies from the message boards and campgrounds to the center stage of American life. In doing so, he pulled America into a current that is coursing through other Western democracies -- Britain, France, Spain, Greece, Scandinavia -- where xenophobic, nationalist parties have emerged since the 2008 economic crisis to besiege middle-ground politicians. In country after country, voters beset by inequality and scarcity have reached past the sober promises of the center-left and the center-right to the spectre of a transcendent solution, no matter how cruel. “The more complicated the problem, the simpler the demands become,” Samuel Popkin, a political scientist at the University of California in San Diego, told me. “When people get frustrated and irritated, they want to cut the Gordian knot.”

Vendedora de boletos. | by Emigdio Salgado

Vendedora de boletos. La feria, Colima, México: photo by Millo Salgado 2 November 2014

Trump has succeeded in unleashing an old gene in American politics -- the crude tribalism that Richard Hofstadter named “the paranoid style” -- and, over the summer, it replicated like a runaway mutation.

Stadium in Alabama waiting for #Trump: image via Greta Van Susteren @greta, 21 August 2015



Trump is now David Duke with unlimited funds and no gatekeeper whatsoever. This is looking bad.

TC said...

Yes, but that's relative, because as bad as it may look to you and me, I can promise you it's looking good to the fat slob with the comb-over, and he's got a lot more money than we've got, as he'd be quick to remind us with an epic, arms-splayed shrug, if we were worth addressing at all, which we aren't.

But America made him what he is, and worse yet, America is doing a terrific job of proving to him and the world that the Ideology of Ego, which is what he stands for and what made him the hideous monstrosity he is, is the current collective mind-set of the populace. When Walt Kelly celebrated Earth Day forty-four years ago by having Pogo standing amidst the muck of the stinking polluted swamp and pointing out sadly that We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us, there was still something elegiac in the proposition, as though there had been, once, another, better time, a time when America was not its own worst enemy.

But no, that time never existed, and since Pogo's sad observation America has grown like Topsy on steroids into the worst enemy not only of the abused and powerless on its own shores, but of the abused and powerless of the rest of this once beautiful planet, brilliant creator and definer of the infernal "values" of Me & Mine, the model and template of every malign force and drive everywhere, in this world where all animals and plants must die so that the vicious, greedy dwarf in the cockpit may entertain itself, drilling, extracting, acquiring until there's nothing left but the false Goldenhair Dawn under its Make America Great Again baseball cap... and of course that too will be available by morning at Amazon, drone delivery absolutely free, additional charge included.