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by Burt Prelutsky
by Mark Steyn
||Mexico’s Trucks, America’s Silence
by Patrick Mallon [writer]
Our weak border President continues his mission to make America more like Mexico when on Thursday, February 23, the administration announced details of a plan to permit 100 Mexican trucking companies to travel freely in the U.S.
For the sake of contrarians, let's assume this is a good thing in that trucker's making a quarter of the hourly wage of American drivers will help reduce the cost of goods crossing the border. Additionally, foreign trucking companies will be able to squeeze five to ten more years of road life out of their fleets, thus reducing overhead and capital investment. And goods will flow more freely back and forth across the border. Sounds good on a remedial level, which is about the extent of the government's willingness to disclose the impact and consequences to a largely uninformed American public.
One undeniable fact is that there is a national shortage of roughly 120,000 drivers in the U.S., and many high-paying jobs go begging for a few good men.
Many of the Mexican companies have already been conducting short-distance hauls throughout the border states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. Unlike previous agreements which contained mileage limits, there was no driving mileage restriction included in the announcement. The plan is to be implemented within two months, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. While it is intended to be reciprocal, permitting American truckers free rein in Mexico, very few U.S. companies will submit their personnel and equipment to the almost certain robberies and hijackings which trademark Mexican roads.
Actually, this 2007 move puts the global elite a little bit behind schedule. The broad stroke of granting Mexican access to all U.S. highways was promised by 2000 under the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement. Back in December 2003, the Washington Times reported that: "The U.S. Transportation Department in November 2002 issued the new rules that would allow Mexican operators to begin working in the United States. But the move was stopped when consumer, labor and environmental groups sued to block Mexican trucks and buses from expanding operations outside a very narrow commercial zone along the border."
The position of the Teamsters, who have condemned the program as "nonsense," is the same now as it was then. "They are playing a game of Russian Roulette on America's highways," said general president James Hoffa.
But now Bush, seeking to compel the implementation of a North American Union policy on multiple fronts, has tasked various governmental organizations and officials with making this happen expeditiously. And he is doing it regardless of public appeals to protect American trucking jobs, or environmental concerns that higher polluting, aged, and in many cases, completely unsafe Mexican trucks will soon rumble through America's already overcrowded freeways and side streets.
Of course, there is no provision that the Mexican driver himself not disappear into the American landscape once he rolls into a Kansas City truck stop.
"This program will make trade with Mexico easier and keep our roads safe at the same time," said Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. Sure. So substandard big rigs, drivers with limited or no exposure to American roads, inadequate English skills, and no oversight over daily hours behind the wheel without rest are a good thing? The agreement does not include drug testing, something American truckers must periodically submit to.
Also, just as in law enforcement, Mexico does not have a computer licensing system even remotely close to that in the U.S. When a Mexican truck license is checked by law enforcement, it's safe to say – good luck!
On a consistent basis, American citizens are witnessing gross double standards in favor of Mexican nationals, and clear super-legal advantages that signify U.S. government intentions to exploit all legal means to overcome public opposition.
We've been through the granting of home loans, and now credit cards supported by the lamest identification possible. The battle over driver's licenses never ends. Homes and apartments with an overflow of occupants are given a nod-nod wink-wink. Entire school districts have become Spanish speaking. Generous government benefits flow like unrestricted honey. In-state college tuition rates as well. And let's not get started with the gang bangers who operate largely unimpeded in many Los Angeles communities.
Unfavorable trade agreements written into perpetuity continue to be implemented with little or no American public debate or approval. Those who have decided to follow these developments must do so without the help of U.S. newspapers, who regard the North American Union and the Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP), the closed-door agreements that blueprint free scale Mexican trucking and transit corridors, as the province of lunatics and conspiracy theorists. The only TV personality willing to touch the subject is CNN's Lou Dobbs
There are myriad examples of special dispensation for Mexican and greedy American business interests. Case in point:
In 'Coming influx of Mexican trucks 'serious,' Michael Gardner wrote in the March 16, 2006 San Diego Union Tribune: "In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the last legal roadblock when it ruled that the federal government was not required to prepare complete environmental studies on impacts associated with foreign traffic."
A state Air Resources Board report concluded as follows: Before implementation of the plan, the estimate of Mexican trucks crossing into California is at 3,500 daily. The anticipated number of Mexican trucks crossing into California will be 17,500 daily. The smog to be produced by the additional trucks is estimated to be 50 tons. This is the equivalent of smog produced by 2.2 million cars.
While the state tries to meet more stringent emission standards in an attempt to secure increased federal funding for cleaner air programs, higher polluting Mexican trucks appear to be largely exempt from regulations that make business and operating costs more burdensome for American trucking companies.
According to the report, "A quarter of those trucks were on the road before 1980, and as many as nine of every 10 were built before 1993."
It doesn't take a grand leap to see where much of this is going. Americans have been saddled with the grand prophecy of Al Gore, conveniently knighted from the Oscar's. And foreign companies, and countries who pollute the most ˆ such as Mexico, India, and China – well, they get an eternal truckload of Gore's renewable energy credits to offset excessive pollution.
So, the average American would be reasonable in the following:
It is well known in industry circles that Mexican trucks operate nowhere near the American level of safety. Meticulous log books must be maintained for every repair, every change of a lug nut, every brake line inspection. The same is not required in Mexico.
- The state passes tighter emissions laws - American companies have to pay to upgrade their trucks - Profits decrease – Foreign companies roll in, and California businesses go belly up with our tax dollars.
- The ever-global thinking Supreme Court disrespects Americans while giving Mexican truckers a free pass.
- Who has the authority to impound a multi-ton Mexican truck rolling through Omaha with bad brakes and bald tires?
- Does the Mexican truck driver receive an American driver's license, or an international license?
- How many of the semi's will roll right through inspection with a load of drugs or with human cargo?
No wonder Bush and the NAFTA crowd want no public participation in these decisions.
It is a fact that for the new "global economy" to function, America's quality of life must be reduced, and American jobs must go to the cheapest bidder, anywhere in the world.
None of this is new. But what is novel is that the rights we possess, the rights to participate in such huge decisions that affect our nation and future, in our system of representative government, these are being taken away from us by a combination of neglect, and government secrecy. How many Congressman and Senators have even mentioned the existence of these developments?
As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."
Unfortunately, our own government has no interest in explaining the plan they so furiously wish to impose on us before we know what happened.
And that's the plan. CRO
Mallon is a political journalist and author of California
Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis.
[read an excerpt]. Patrick
is a regular guest on talk radio programs throughout
and nationally. His website is at PatrickMallon.com and
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
2007 Patrick Mallon