It is not that the politicians are not listening to the voices of the American people, they hear us just fine. It is just that their corporate sponsors and benefactors are speaking in a much louder voice, a "Greener voice," if you will. Estimates for the financial cost associated with running a candidate in the next presidential election run as high as billion dollars. Given this estimate, ask yourself, who would you listen to if you were presidential candidate, John McCain? Would you listen to John Q. Public with his $25 dollar campaign donation? Does anyone actually think that McCain is going to provide a private audience and listen to the concerns of Mr. and Mrs. Farmer Jones, who work hard, obey our laws, pay their taxes in full an on time and have two sons fighting in Iraq? Or will the good Senator listen to global corporations (e.g., Exxon, Eli Lilly) with all that they can offer both in the present and in golden years of retirement?
The Jones' and John Q. Public do not matter in a world in which the global corporations are planning to build a railroad easement through the middle of their farm which could potentially destroy their farming business. Wait a minute! Won't presidential candidate, John McCain, step up and defend his constituents from the growing cancerous threat posed by the global corporations as they are beginning to run roughshod over the wage structure and property rights in America? Sadly, we should not hold our breath and wait for the guys in the white hats to show up and save the day. McCain was a co-sponsor of CAFTA.
In the world that has become the American political scene, the global corporations giveth and they taketh away. Where does this leave the rest of us? We can be likened to the birds in the park that are looking under every bench seeking meager crumbs. To paraphrase and exemplify George Carlin's observation on who really owns America; the REAL people who run this country control everything. They own the Senate, the House and the Presidency. They control the agenda of both parties. They own the Federal Reserve, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and the media so average Americans are kept in the dark until it is too late. "They" are the driving force behind the NAU, CAFTA, NAFTA, NASCO and CANAMEX. Carlin makes a good point as a mere six corporations own 99+% of the media so most of us will never hear about the plundering and subsequent giveaway of American's resources.
The farmers in Yuma and Picacho Peak, Arizona, as well as the residents in Wittmann, Arizona, are in a fight for their collective financial lives as the global corporations want to occupy a significant portion of their lands in the furtherance of their collective profit motives. The citizens, in the path of the Texas' NASCO highway, are also fighting off the globalist wolves as they will want a piece of their property as well. It will not be long until who remains unscathed as a result of this global expansion, will be a simple of matter of geographic luck. Worst of all, the elected officials think that this is acceptable. As Carlin would state, the residents in these areas do not matter to the real owners of America. You do not matter. American citizens do not matter. All of us do not matter because as George Carlin notes, "You are not in the club!"
After reading this, you may feel that what happens in Arizona and Texas does not matter because you live in Albany, St. Louis, Spokane, Raleigh or Denver. Before you think that some imaginary geographic buffer will protect your future, you should consider that the present trade agreements acknowledge plans for the construction of 80+ such corridors. Of course, this is only just the beginning. There are not many middle class Americans who are going to escape unscathed from the ravages of the NAU and the various trade agreements. Your house may be seized. You may lose your business. Or, you might lose your job. Of one thing you can sure of, the American middle class continues to lose ground.
In order to put a face on the ever-increasing victimization of common Americans in favor of the business interests by the globalists, one has to look no further than the farmers of Yuma, Arizona for the proof of the abovementioned statements.
Yuma, Arizona is a major agricultural production area on Arizona's southwestern border. Yuma produces 70-80% of the nation's supply of America's winter vegetable crop. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service-Arizona office (2004), Yuma Country's agriculture is worth almost $900 million dollars. However, there are serious storm clouds gathering over Yuma. When the owners of the global corporations cast their eyes upon Yuma, they do not see vegetables; they see a massive transportation corridor culminating in the construction of an enormous multimodal transloading facility.
Communist China is the driving force behind the multitude of deep-water ports in Mexico to bring an unprecedented volume of containers into the United States along the emerging CANAMEX and NAFTA Super Highway. This move signals China's emergence as the unexpected economic winner in the North American Union free market.
Hutchinson Ports, a wholly owned subsidiary of China's giant Hutchinson Whampoa Limited (HWL) is investing millions to expand the deep water ports the company manages at Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo on Mexico's Pacific coast. Subsequently, Hutchinson Ports is investing millions more to develop Punta Colonet, which today is still a desolate Mexican bay in Baja California. Mexico plans over the next few years to dredge and convert Punta Colonet into a 10 to 20 berth deep-water port facility capable of processing some 6 million standard 20-foot-long TEUs (i.e., Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit describes a single standard container).
Enter Union Pacific into the Chinese/Mexican project at Punta Colonet. The Union Pacific Railroad is acting quickly to cash in on the new mega transportation system which will be part of a massive CANAMEX project which will emanate from Punta Colonet. Yuma is the endpoint for the project which will form the 180 mile rail line and highway system.
Union Pacific officials vehemently proclaim that they are merely studying the possibility of creating a new line in Yuma (Yuma Sun, 9/29/2006). However, local farmers dispute this claim by stating that many of the farmers have been approached about selling easements, to Union Pacific, which will run through the center of their farm lands. I was contacted by and subsequently conducted a series of interviews with Donalyn Easterday, the wife with Yuma farmer, Bruce Easterday, of Easterday Farms. Mrs. Easterday revealed that a representative of the Union Pacific Railroad did indeed make an offer on a significant amount of money so that the railroad could put an easement through the middle of the farm. Bruce Easterday was told by the railroad official that Union Pacific could use the power of eminent domain if necessary. Although Union Pacific officials were not forthcoming with the reporters of the Yuma Sun newspaper regarding their intentions to acquire land, they were correct in their ability to use the power of eminent domain to obtain what they desire, as under Title 40 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the statute provides that the specific powers of railroads include the power to "take lands and materials to be used in the construction and maintenance of railroad and telegraph lines in the manner provided by law relating to eminent domain in the event such lands and materials cannot be obtained by agreement with the owners thereof." Further, under Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 12 specifies that the purposes for which eminent domain may be exercised include "rights of way, station grounds, pits, yards, sidetracks and other necessary facilities for railways."
At the invitation of the Easterday's, and members of the Yuma farming community, August Review's editor and chief, Patrick Wood, and I met with a dozen Yuma farmers after spending the morning touring the Yuma farm lands with the president of the Yuma Country Farm Bureau, John Boelts. Boelts, also a local vegetable grower, stated that "agriculture is a thriving and vibrant industry if it's not interfered with." His major fear is that the "Union Pacific Railroad will keep Yuma farming from continuing to be a profitable industry (Hodges, 2006a)."
The construction of the massive rail lines and the transloading facility will prove devastating to the local farmers. CEO of Associated Citrus Packers and farmer, Mark Spencer noted, "…the added costs caused by moving farm equipment longer distances in an effort to dodge the trains would result in increased farm production costs which will prove devastating to the individual farmer." Spencer added, "…the over flow of pollution resulting from trains running through the farms will result in several thousand acres of damaged crops which will not marketable." Yet, Union Pacific is not willing to pay for the increased costs of doing business and they are indifferent to the damage that will be done to adjacent crops. When asked why the State and local politicians would not move to protect such a valuable industry many of the farmers agreed that "We are in agricultural competition with 30 other nations and our crops could be replaced. The State has to sit back and do nothing and when our farm industry is depleted as a result of the Union Pacific Railroad project; they will be able to divert our massive source of water for use in development projects in other areas of the State (Hodges, 2006a)."
Many of these farmers that I met with were in their 60's, 70's and even 80's. These Yuma farms had been a mainstay of both the Yuma and Arizona economy for several generations. I found the dozen farmers that Patrick Wood and I met with to be friendly, calm, rational and intelligent people looking for a civilized solution to their dilemma. I saw in these farmers a sense of trust in the American system and a belief that somehow they would find justice if only their story could be told to enough people. What Patrick Wood and I agreed upon is that we believe that not many of the farmers actually realized, that their futures were being carved up a on a corporate drawing board long before the Union Pacific official showed up and offered a pittance of what will be destroyed as a result of this massive project. Perhaps, the Yuma farmers will seek and find help from the Environmental Protection Agency. Perhaps the mayor of Yuma, along with the City Council will receive some much needed public pressure and move to block the project. I wish them well as they deserve a better fate than the one that Union Pacific has in mind for them.
What I don't think that most of the Yuma farmers realized is that as the Yuma farmers were conducting meetings and asking journalists and politicians for help, the propaganda machinery was already being set into motion. On November 21, 2006, Daniel Gonzalez (2006), an Arizona Republic reporter, wrote a lengthy front page article, and a companion piece, detailing how the Yuma farmers were in great need of more "illegal" migrants to harvest the largest winter vegetable crop in the United States. The Gonzalez article indicated that massive crop loss was imminent, and strongly implied that a financial calamity could befall Yuma farmers, if more illegals were not quickly shipped across the border in time to harvest the massive winter vegetable crop in Yuma. However, in my discussions with the Yuma farmers, the sense of urgency, related to labor shortages, which appeared in the Republic article, was not in evidence. The overriding threat to Yuma farmers is not the lack of illegal migrant laborers; it is the substantial damage and the very real victims that will be created as a result of the Union Pacific Railroad project. As a piece of journalism, the Gonzalez front page article lacked substance and supporting facts. The Gonzalez' article failed to produce the number of upset farmers that one would expect to find, and what I found, when an industry's well-being is supposedly at stake. Despite the fact that the Union Pacific crisis was over three months old, there was not one word in the Gonzalez article about the plight of the Yuma farmers as a result of Union Pacific intentions. I personally left three messages for Mr. Gonzalez in which I offered to provide him with the Union Pacific story along with the names of the farmers that I had been in contact with. Of course, I received no return phone call from Mr. Gonzalez. In short, the article, at the time, appeared to me as a propaganda piece for the express purpose of allowing more illegal laborers into the United States through any excuse possible.
The Arizona Republic's parent company, Gannett, has several ties, through its parent companies and subsidiaries, into various aspects of the CAFTA and NAFTA agreements. CAFTA and NAFTA champion the cause of totally open borders. It is also no secret that the Republic is illegal-alien friendly as evidenced by the fact that their editorial staff denounced every single ballot proposition in the last election which would have limited or banned illegals from receiving tax payer benefits. This is not a surprising position for the Republic to take. After all, where does the bulk of cheap labor come from? Certainly, the building of the CANAMEX corridor, related to Union Pacific Railroad and the construction of the massive transloading facility, will require untold numbers of (cheap) laborers.
From my perspective, it may be true that the Yuma area may soon be in need of illegal alien labor. However, the bulk of the labor may be required by Union Pacific, and like-minded global corporations, and not so much by the Yuma farmers, as they seek to obtain the cheapest supply of labor that they can find. For more examples of the Arizona Republic's propaganda slant on this issue, one should read Linda Valdez's (2007) article located in Section V1, 2 (2/18/2007) in which Valdez insinuates and attempts to link the belief that citizen opposition to illegal immigration is akin to blatant racism and the subsequent resurrection of various hate groups such as the KKK. Americans are being conditioned by much of the mainstream media into accepting illegal aliens as a permanent fixture in our society.
Perhaps George Carlin was correct when he said that "They" own the media.
Is Yuma just a tragic victim, but only an isolated case? Part three will examine two other areas in Arizona, Picacho Peak and Wittmann, which are experiencing similar events in the name of "free trade." Also, the aspect of water and its relationship with CANAMEX will take on far greater importance in Part 3.
Gautreaux, J. (9/29/2006). Rail Threaten Yuma Farmers. Yuma Sun.
Gonzalez, D. (2006). Labor Shortage Threatens Yuma Farmers. Arizona Republic. A1 (11/21/2006).
Hodges, D. (2006a). Notes from Meeting with Yuma Farm Community Contingent (12/21/2006).
Hodges, D. (2006b). Mediocracy. http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Editorial-Page.htm?InfoNo=010209
Yuma County Farm Statistics (2004) National Agricultural Statistics Service-Arizona Office. State of Arizona.
Valdez, L. (2007). Racism. Arizona Republic. (2/18/2007). V1, 2