The violence behind avocados

Ah, another Super Bowl is history. I had a minor stake in the game. I used to go to Seattle to earn money and visit a good friend when I lived in poverty stricken, northwestern Montana. I worked in a kite store there occasionally and flew kites around the King Dome, now extinct; another testament to cheap pagan idolatry (like the NFL).


I thought this Super Bowl was an interesting match-up, pitting the mile-high Denver Broncos against the not quite so high, Seahawks. It is just a coincidence I suppose, that it represented the only two states that have given up on a small part of a drug war that negates personal responsibility, passing it on to taxpayers.


Every now and then there is evidence of strength of individuals peeking through the haze of state dependence. But we have a long way to go before it is universally understood that wishing something were so, does not produce those results. Broncos fans take note.


After eighty years wishing destructive drug use would go away through law, the results of the drug war are the same. There is a society of law abiding citizens and a society outside the protection of the law. It can get complicated, since the ones who made the drug laws are technically law breakers as well because the Constitution does not authorize them to restrict what we may ingest. They should be classified with the traffickers.


We had some good tacos and guacamole while watching the Super Bowl. Speaking of guacamole, there was a story in The Wall Street Journal about the avocado trade in Mexico that sheds some light on the unintended consequences of the war on drugs. The state of Michoacan, west of Mexico City, is the only state in Mexico authorized by the USDA to export avocados to the United States. A drug trafficking gang called the Knights Templar has been extorting $150 million per year from growers and packers there along with stealing 5,000 acres of avocado groves. Lawlessness in Mexico is born of the high profits created by the drug war and that lawlessness has spread to other sectors just like it did in the prohibition days here. (At least that prohibition was enacted legally through an amendment rather than with unconstitutional laws.)


The corrupt police in the city of Tancitaro were ineffective enough that a vigilante group was formed and they drove the traffickers out. Most of the state of Michoacan remains enslaved by those traffickers, however two more towns have been taken by the vigilantes. In 2006 the mayor and town council resigned under pressure from the traffickers who demanded even higher portions of the town’s resources.


A school teacher named Gustavo Sanchez took over as mayor and fired the entire 60 man police force. A year later, he and his chief of staff were found stoned to death with their hands tied behind their backs. But the vigilantes, little by little, are returning stolen land to the rightful owners.


“War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.”


The list of failures of war continues to grow. The intentions rarely, if ever, bring the intended results. The Vietnam War, to fight communism, left an increasingly freer Vietnam after we were driven out and at what cost? The lives lost and money wasted there created lower living standards for Americans and that is the surest path to a communist government growing here at home. Ironically our move left was brought on by a war to fight such a demonic system over there.


The war on poverty has produced a culture of dependence and the current administration admits a growing disparity of income even after fifty years of wishing it wasn’t so and passing laws to correct it. Their deranged idea that punishing rich people will make us all rich is as misguided as the drug war.


Other well-intentioned wars will prove to produce the same results, as individual choice is trumped to appease a caring, yet ineffective, host of busybodies.


Legalization in Washington and Colorado will bring other challenges because our society has become one of government management trying to bring unattainable outcomes. There is no good test to determine marijuana intoxication. So how do we charge a crime for impaired driving? This dilemma came about because of our tendency to blame other people or substances rather than lack of personal responsibility. If these glitches inspire us to make a return to a society of responsible individuals it will prove to be worth it. Sixty thousand dead Mexicans certainly hasn’t been shown to be worth it unless we consider them to be less human than us gringos. 

3 responses to “The violence behind avocados

  1. The issues of disparity within our nation is serious as the gap between haves and have nots continues to grow. I love Woody Guthrie’s anthem, “This Land Is Your Land, this land is my land.” Now most of this land is controlled by the 1% and the 99% aren’t welcome. The history of the last 30+ years has proven that trickle down economics does not work.

    I agree that our nation’s war machine has not been worth the price. John Prine’s “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You into Heaven Anymore” is truthful theology and conscientious patriotism. The so called Christian Patriot movement is neither. Advocating yet another war, especially one against duly elected government, would not be worth the price. Nor would it be likely to achieve the desired goals. Change within our political system must take place within the framework of that system. That is the beauty and the purpose of the ballot box.

    • That 1% utilizes the UNconstitutional powers of the government to enforce that distribution of wealth and that is why the ballot box is important. If the limits imposed on government spelled out in the Constitution were enforced the vote would be of no consequence. We could live our lives totally oblivious to the government spending and regulation that keeps the poor poor and the rich rich because its only function would be to citizens from aggression.
      I’ve got a touch of CRS. What was the title of your second song? And thanks for the feedback.

      • “Lonesome Valley” or “You’ve Got to Walk that Lonesome Valley” YouTube has a great version by Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthre. You and I are going to have fun agreeing on many of the core problems and probably disagreeing on the solutions. It should be an interesting and educational journey.

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