“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Unease amongst the country folks.

 During my wanderings today,  I stopped at the gas station / cafe I like to hang out at sometimes. For the most part, the people you meet there are locals. Some are retired, some are just taking a break, and it's a good way to catch up on what's going on in the county.

 In the late 1980's, there was a big strike at the chicken plants over in that town where I go to the doctors office. To break the strike, Fieldale, Perdue, ConAgra and the other big companies brought in Hispanics from Mexico. They broke the strike alright, and now all those plants employ primarily Hispanics instead of the black or white Southerners who once worked in them. The people who came to work in the plants were decent enough, but at this point there are almost 100,000 Hispanics in that county and the young ones don't work in the chicken plants.Many of them are either members of or affiliated with Hispanic gangs. While the gangs run protection rackets, and levy toll on the funds people send home to family in Mexico, their big money maker is the drug trade.

The talk today was about the gang problem. 


It seems that recently our local Sheriff's department stopped a carload of these individuals and one of them was some sort of honcho in one of the drug cartels, wanted by the FBI. No one is thrilled that we have that kind of visitor going through here. I suppose he must have been associated with meth in some way, because the first thing the Hispanic gangs did as they moved in was kill all the hillbilly meth cookers and take over that business.  If I had to say how the guys I was talking with felt, I would say it was a mixture of anger and anxiety. People see where this is taking us but have no idea what to do about it.  There doesn't seem to be anything you can do to influence events and that frustrates the men I was listening to.

Times are tough enough for everybody in this part of the mountains without drug trafficking. I think the truth is, though no one would admit it, that people are afraid of the gangs. The only thing the average person here knows about gang violence is what they see on the news and that's not calculated to inspire confidence.  There have been drug related arrests here before, and often they are people who are in the U.S. illegally, from South of the border. I don't think that has raised eyebrows much, but the magic word "cartel" sure gets peoples attention.

 So long as the Southern borders of the country are wide open, there's nothing to be done about any of this.  If the current administration follows through on it's plans to grant general amnesty to the illegals already here (12 million?),  then the flood gates will open.  That's what happened when Slick Willie pushed his amnesty through.

We've been down this road before. It just took us to where we are now, so how will amnesty "fix" the problem? Quite aside from the impact the influx of Latino immigrants has had on politics, social services, education and health care, what about crime?
A new amnesty program , however the government tries to disguise it, will  just encourage hordes of new illegal immigrants. Some of them are people looking for a better life, but they are looking for it in a place that's short on jobs, and just about everything else right now. A good many of the people coming across the borders illegally are criminals, and we are seeing that type slowly filtering into our little corner of the mountains.  I suppose people will just have to be careful and give more thought to taking security precautions. The people I listened to today know that the gangs don't bother with housebreaking , but just the knowledge that they are starting to appear here erodes confidence in the general security situation.

For the people here, this isn't just a political discussion. I don't think most people in these mountains ever have political discussions just for the sake of discussion.  This change in the environment is seen as potentially having a big negative impact on the way life is lived here. They look at that town I was talking about, where now the store signs are in Spanish and the teachers are taking Spanish lessons to keep their jobs.  People here wonder what this place will be like in ten years. They like it as it is, so changes to the demographics and culture they know are not particularly welcome.  That doesn't mean those changes aren't going to occur though, and I think people know that, too.
 



9 comments:

  1. I find myself reminded of a scene in 'Casino' "Lots of holes in the desert and lots of problems buried in those holes. You've got to do it right and dig the hole first, otherwise you'll be there 45 minutes and maybe someone else comes along then you need to dig another hole."

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    1. I think there is some sentiment here in support of that philosophy. The situation reminds me of a book I once read about the Westward Expansion. When the plains indians started seeing the Conestoga wagons rolling across their land, at first it was just a trickle. Some of them thought they should do something, but no one could agree on what and they had other things going on like the daily grind to survive. Then the trickle became a flood, but by then it was too late. Everybody knows how the indians wound up.

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  2. Our own business leaders and government have done damage that the terrorist only dream about doing to our country, we don't need any enemies it would seem.

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    1. The Democrats have ever incentive to legalize as many immigrants as they can, regardless of the social consequences, because these new citizens tend to vote Democratic in a block. The Republicans have to start wooing the Hispanics because with the national demographics changing as they are, Republicans won't be able to win any elections five or ten years from now without Hispanic and Black votes.
      So decisions are made for political reasons , without regard to the impact on the character of the country. I know of very few politicians who care about anything but themselves. The ones who do don't get reelected because they aren't playing "the game."
      It wasn't the Goths, Huns or Vandals that did the Romans in. It was the decay of their own society. You're right, we have enough trouble without external forces.

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  3. With some regularity, wilderness marijuana grow operations are found out here in the boonies. Someone finds a spot hell-and-gone out in the woods, cultivates a patch o' pot, and most of the time no one is the wiser. As drug trade evolved, the pot fields gave way to clandestine meth labs. More dangerous business, and a more dangerous class of chemical monster. My point is, though, that it's an actual possibility now that the woodtick hunter, hiker, or mountain biker may inadvertently stumble across one of these illegal setups and, if it is manned, encounter some dangerous hombres. My question to you is: since you live pretty deep in the woods do you ever worry about stumbling across this sort of thing, or have you found signs of this sort of activity going on in your pocket of wilderness?

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  4. Well, I have heard automatic weapons fire out in the woods late at night. Especially in winter, the sound carries for miles in the clear, cold mountain air and you can't really judge direction or distance because it echoes. I remember thinking that while it's not beyond the bounds of possibility there might be some unregistered full auto weapons up here, it was doubtful that people were out doing target practice at night.

    Years ago, I drove up on some guys selling drugs on a forest service road. There was an SUV with some hard cases standing around it, and two guys on motorcycles. Money was changing hands. I just stopped, backed back down around the curve, and left posthaste.

    The DEA uses helicopters to look for illicit operations in the national forest. They look for green spaces hewed out of the forest. Consequently I've had them hover over my place, because I am deep in the forest and surrounded by woods except my meadow. They never landed or contacted me though.

    Meth has been a big problem for as long as I've lived here. It used to be two or three hillbilly types cooking in a trailer, and paying a cut to the local sheriff. Lots of our county sheriff's took bribes because the salary in the 80's and 90's was $12,000-$15,000 for a deputy and around $25,000 for the county sheriff. I haven't heard of that going on though since it became a Hispanic enterprise. Now it comes from some other place and is just retailed here. Weird though it may seem, meth is so pervasive that we have a clinic in our town for meth addicts.

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  5. Harry - thanks for all of this - i haven't read a horror story lately and this was an excellent fit for scaring the crap out of me. as for meth, thank goodness i have only ever really heard of it through movies and books. i don't think we have meth on the island, at least not that i am aware of - our biggest problem is people getting whacked on the bad moonshine.

    your friend,
    kymber

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  6. Look for people with rotten teeth and sunk in, wrinkled up faces. If you see twenty year olds that look to be in their forties or up, you're probably looking at a meth head. If you folks don't have it up there you are blessed.

    I think the biggest risk people face up here is psychopathic killers coming out of the forest, which has happened several times in the last few years. Next is drug addicts looking for targets of opportunity. Women tend to be the targets most of the time, maybe because these lunatics stalking the trails also tend to be sexual predators.

    At least I don't live in California. I saw on the news yesterday they are about to release hundreds of criminals because there is no more room in their prisons.

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  7. Harry - on our different trips to the city and our nearest town, we have never seen young people looking like that - thank goodness. however, we have older folks and you can tell by looking at them and by talking to them that they have been on the shine for far too long. but they are still decent folk and would drop everything to help you.

    i know that you know how to protect yourself, but please be careful of any psychopathic killers in the forest, or gangs or drug dealers when you are out on your walks and drives. however, if anything was going on up on your mountain, i am sure that you would be the first to know about it.

    ugh. california. i can barely type the word. we have a friend in northern california, beautiful country and he has a lovely piece of land. but he says that the garbage from southern california is spreading even up to where he is.

    your friend,
    kymber

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