Skip to content

Health insurer Humana to exit ‘substantially all’ ObamaCare markets citing $1 billion in losses-The Hill

7/21/16,Humana to leave ‘substantially all’ ObamaCare markets, The Hill, Sarah Ferris

Humana, one of the nation’s top health insurers, is pulling out of ObamaCare plans in all but a handful of states after a year of nearly $1 billion in losses.
Humana had already shown signs of its struggle with ObamaCare, announcing this year it would pull out of at least two states. In the earnings report released Thursday, officials underscored the sharp declines in healthcare premiums from the exchanges. The company expects to pull in between $750 million and $1 billion in premiums this year, compared to $3.4 billion projected over the last year.
Humana officials said in a statement that the changes will help the companyretain a viable product for individual consumers and address persistent risk selection challenges.”

Trump and Hillary in statistical tie, 43-42, ARG national poll, July 17-20, 2016. Trump +18 among Independent voters

July 17-20, 2016, Registered voters. 30% R, 35% D, 35% Independent, 3.2 error margin

7/21/16, “Poll Update,” Huffington Post

“2016 General Election – Clinton 43%, Trump 42% (American Research Group 7/17-7/20)”

Population 990 Registered Voters
Margin of Error ±3.2 percentage points
Polling Method Live Phone
Source ARG
This poll asked respondents 4 questions tracked by HuffPost Pollster. Read our FAQ.

If the election for president were being held today between Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, and Donald Trump, the Republican, for whom would you vote – Clinton or Trump?

Asked of 990 Registered Voters
Clinton 43%
Trump 42%
Other 6%
Undecided 9%
Asked of Registered Voters – Democrat
Clinton 85%
Trump 3%
Other 4%
Undecided 8%
Asked of Registered Voters – Republican
Clinton 7%
Trump 77%
Other 3%
Undecided 13%
Asked of Registered Voters – independent
Clinton 33%
Trump 51%
Other 10%
Undecided 6%

“Survey Methodology”

“Most of our public polling has the same methodology.

Beginning in February 2014, we use Address Based Sampling:

  • The sample frame is residential addresses of all households in the continental United States, states, or districts we poll.
  • The residential addresses randomly selected are matched to landline and cell phone telephone numbers.
  • Landline and cell phone telephone interviews are conducted by live interviewers.
  • Respondents are randomly selected among all adults (18 years or older) in the households.
  • For election surveys, respondents are screened for likely voting twice (we use a 1-10 scale – 1 is definitely not vote and 10 is definitely vote, as an entry screen, and a definitely vote as an exit screen).
  • Because we capture demographics from all households, we weight, if necessary, based on the total sample using current demographic estimates for the sample area.
  • We do not weight by political party. Political party is determined by a party registration question in party-registration states and “do you consider yourself to be” in non party-registration states.
  • Residential addresses not matched to telephone numbers are mailed survey packages. The survey packages allow respondents to identify their telephone numbers or to complete the surveys by mail, toll-free telephone number, or on the Internet using desktop or mobile devices.”

http://americanresearchgroup.com/methodology/

………………………………..

7/21/16, Huffington Post polls average

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-general-election-trump-vs-clinton

 

 

 

Final 2016 Republican delegate count from the convention: Trump 1725, Jeb Bush 3-NBC News. “A remarkable moment in US political history” CNN

7/19/16, The final Republican delegate count, NBC News

“After all those months of primary contests and fights over individual delegates, here’s the final delegate count on the convention floor:

Donald Trump 1725

Ted Cruz 475

John Kasich 120

Marco Rubio 114

Ben Carson 7

Jeb Bush 3

Rand Paul 2″

=====================

“The New Yorker’s embrace by the Republican National Convention marks a remarkable moment in U.S. political history:” CNN

7/19/16, It’s official: Trump is Republican nominee,” CNN, Stephen Collinson and Tal Kopan

Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman whose outsider campaign has both galvanized millions of voters and divided the Republican Party, is the 2016 GOP presidential nominee.

His son Donald Trump, Jr., cast the votes for the New York delegation that put the billionaire businessman over the top of the 1,237 delegates he needed to clinch the nomination, as any talk of disruptive protest votes or walkouts dissipated.
……..
“It is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight with 89 delegates,” Donald Jr. said, surrounded by three of Trump’s other children — Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany.
………

 

Western political systems are being realigned as nationalist vs internationalist. That a country’s foreign policy should primarily benefit that country’s citizens shouldn’t be a new idea. Political left and right are now relics of the Cold War-Robert Wargas

Politics turned upside down but not because of complacent elites. The bipartisan ruling class constructed a moat filled with alligators around their castle. It became almost impossible for mere voters to right the wrongs committed in their names. Citizens were treated “as a kind of plague.

7/15/16, A complacent elite is to blame for politics being turned upside down, UK Catholic Herald, Robert Wargas

The way we think of left and right is a relic of the Cold War. Reality is catching up.”

Trump…rarely talks about “left” and “right” and those movements’ foot soldiers, “liberals” and “conservatives”. Odd, isn’t it? Left and right are the defining concepts of American politics, yet a Republican candidate was able to dominate the primary season without mentioning them at all.

There’s a reason: Western political systems are in the middle of a realignment. The way we think of left and right is a relic of the Cold War. Reality is finally catching up with us, several years late, and doing away with obsolete political movements and parties.

We saw direct evidence of this when, on both sides of the Atlantic, ordinary people finally had a chance to circumvent their nations’ political elites. In the United States, Trump used his wealth and high profile to sidestep party donors, special-interest groups and political correctness.

In the United Kingdom, the referendum on European Union membership vested power temporarily in the British voting public, not Cabinet ministers or party whips.

These unusual circumstances exposed profound but long-hidden fault lines in both countries’ political systems. I knew these fault lines existed, but I was surprised by how quickly they devastated the status quo.

The American conservative movement, for instance, at least as we knew it before Trump’s entry into the presidential race last summer, no longer exists. Whether by accident or design, Trump ignored the reference points of left and right, putting together a coalition of Middle Americans who don’t care about ideological purity. Coming from old-fashioned Democratic and Republican backgrounds, these voters are united by a cultural conservatism that used to be standard in both parties. They care about pragmatic action on a handful of issues, mainly immigration, political correctness, crime and jobs.
 
Something similar happened in Britain. Outside the London cloister, Labour voters overwhelmingly rejected the metropolitan version of left-wing politics. Along with many shire Tories, they have specific views on sovereignty, independence and immigration. Just as in the US, this broad cultural conservatism used to be a given within each party until cosmopolitanism took its place.

We are heading for a politics in which the divisions are no longer just left and right, at least not in the sense we’ve used those terms for the past few decades. The shift is splitting all current movements into nationalist and internationalist wings – or perhaps populist and establishment, middle class and upper class, or urban and provincial.

This is happening because so many of the traditional features of left and right no longer apply to them. A working-class white person seeking representation used to find it in the left. Now what does he get? A movement telling him to check his “privilege”. A conservative used to be able to count on the right to make the case for cultural assimilation. Now he, too, is told to be quiet and make way for “progress”. 

Though there are obvious differences between the major left-wing and right-wing parties, their similarities are too broad and deep for many voters. Mainstream Democratic and Labour leaders support large-scale migration into their countries; mainstream Republicans and Tories do so as well, in practice if not in theory. All mainstream liberals and conservatives support free trade, and all are equally likely to regard sceptics of pure free trade as rather “challenged” individuals.

If “left” traditionally meant state control of the economy, why does today’s left spurn trade regulation? Because the left is internationalist. But the right, at least nowadays, is also internationalist. All bien pensant liberals and conservatives support membership of the European Union. All sides frame foreign policy debates in terms of helping foreigners: taking in refugees, “liberating” other nations and the like. Believing that a country’s foreign policy should primarily benefit that country’s citizens is now akin to revealing some perverted fetish.

Millions of Americans and Britons don’t accept a bipartisan consensus that was formed without their input or permission. Its partisans grew so resistant to reform they treated their own citizens as a kind of plague to be contained in the hinterlands, not as stakeholders with genuine concerns.
……..
How did this mushy consensus come about? That’s a difficult question. One thing’s for certain: The political elite misread the fall of communism. They thought, as the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama did, that history had ended, and that at the climax of this great Hegelian unfolding was a Western liberal democracy that would never die.

This bred arrogant complacency – the belief that you could sit back, relax and think only about small matters like tax rates. Why worry about immigration? After all, history was over. We had won. The little people would soon see how glorious the future would be.

Meanwhile, globalisation had already begun to destroy many traditional communities, jobs and ways of life. And when these forgotten men and women looked to their leaders for help, they found only laughter and scorn. After 25 years of that, what did they expect?”
……
“Robert Wargas is the Catholic Herald’s foreign correspondent.”

===========
=========

Added: Articles from August and Sept. 2015 made similar observations to above. Trump showed that what is most in demand ispermission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community.””….“Nothing is more terrifying to the elite than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism.” Julius Krein, 9/7/2015

9/7/2015, Traitor to His Class,” Julius Krein, Weekly Standard

“What Trump offers is permission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community”….

Nothing is more terrifying to the elite than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism….The critical question, however, is not the source of Trump’s popularity but rather the reason his popularity is so shocking to our political culture….

Trump shows that what is most in demand…is not ideological purity but patriotic zeal….

Trump alone appears to understand that politics is more than policy and ideology.“…

——————————– 
………………… 

Added from Diana West:

8/18/2015, Trump: Giving Voice to the American “Subconscious”, Diana West

To say the Media-Political Complex has really lost its cool over Donald Trump, also every marble, is barest understatement….

Before Trump, the American “subconscious,” circa 2015, would never “originally think” a US border was possible, let alone a wall; immigration restriction was possible, let alone a halt; immigration law enforcement was possible; the deportation of illegal families was possible; restoration of American citizenship as a privilege, not a stolen good, was possible; jobs for Americans were possible; and the rest. Donald Trump, bless him, has changed the American subconscious, giving voice to Americans long conditioned into silence by this same Media-Political Complex. And there is nothing, but nothing, they can do about it now.”

================= 
…….

Comment: They assumed we’d agree to be global slaves. On top of that, they constantly scorned us. Apparently they thought we’d accept this indefinitely.

Republican reboot’s last gasp was night Rubio dropped out in March 2016. 15-20 years of elegant papers by elite thinkers, scholars and intellectuals, words of editorial boards and Capitol Hill symposiums, positions of 40 years of foreign policy experts–all were complete duds in 2016-Washington Post, Costa, Rucker

March 2016 article

“Those very elegant papers it published and conferences it helddidn’t really matter.”…Party leaders concluded the only way to regain the presidency would be to engage the…electorate that President Obama had won.”

(Christmas Morning: What it would be for the GOP if they got a different voting base: “That is the way they’re thinking….All they gotta do is throw away their base. That’s Christmas morning for ’em.Rush Limbaugh, 10/13/2013. GOP “party leaders” have long wished for different voters.)  

3/15/16,Rubio’s demise marks the last gasp of the Republican reboot,Washington Post, Robert Costa, Philip Rucker, West Miami, Fla.

“Those very elegant papers it published and conferences it held may have been good and smart, but they didn’t really matter,” said William J. Bennett, a conservative talk-show host and former education secretary in Ronald Reagan’s administration. Instead, everyone who’s been prominent for the last 15 to 20 years finds themselves getting pushed out.”
…….
Years of carefully laid plans to repackage the Republican Party’s traditional ideas for a fast-changing country came crashing down here on Tuesday when Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his campaign for the presidency after a crippling defeat in his home-state primary.
……  
Since Mitt Romney’s devastating loss in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee and leading voices at think tanks, editorial boards and Capitol Hill symposiums have charted a path back to the White House based on inclusive rhetoric and a focus on middle-class issues.
………
Nobody embodied that vision better than Rubio, a charismatic standard-bearer for conservative orthodoxy who readily embraced the proposals of the right’s elite thinkers. The senator from Florida spoke urgently and eloquently about raising stagnant wages and eradicating poverty. He had an immigrant’s tale to match the rhetoric. And on foreign affairs, he was a passionate defender of the GOP’s hawkish tilt.
………..
But Rubio’s once-promising candidacy, as well as the conservative reform movement’s playbook, was spectacularly undone by Donald Trump and his defiant politics of economic and ethnic grievance. The drift toward visceral populism became an all-consuming rush, leaving Rubio and others unable to adjust.
………..  
Rubio’s fall comes weeks after others who advocated for conservative reforms, such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, dropped out of the race, and  as the donors and institutions who have long supported hawkish fiscal and foreign policies find themselves scrambling to hold onto the consensus that has shaped the GOP for decades.
………..
For many of them, Trump represents a threat to the traditional order of the party and its platform. He does not support overhauling Social Security — a key plank for Romney and GOP congressional leaders — and he was a vocal critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq in its aftermath, setting him apart from much of the party’s high command.
…………  
Rubio, whose ascent was propelled by a network of powerful players for years, was supposed to be the candidate best positioned to stop Trump and prevent a Republican rupture.
……….
“Rubio was ready and briefed on policy, that’s for sure, but I just think he never connected,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is friendly with Trump. “He sounded like someone who was trying to be a lot for a lot of people. That’s hard to do.”

Following Romney’s defeat in an election many Republicans thought they should have won, party leaders concluded the only way to regain the presidency would be to engage the growing and diverse electorate that President Obama had won over twice. The RNC drafted an “autopsy” that recommended bolstering appeals to women and minority voters, while reform conservatives drafted their own manifesto.”…

[Ed. note: In 2016 it was discovered that 2012 demographic exit poll data heavily relied on as the basis for GOP’s “reboot” was significantly inaccurate, and that exit polls are poor at measuring demographics. NY Times,  6/9/16,There Are More White Voters Than People Think. That’s Good News for Trump.NY Times, Upshot, Nate Cohn. In 2012 there were 10 million more white, non-college, age 45+ voters than exit polls showed. The theory that missing white voters” hurt Romney in 2012 isn’t supported by data: “The white voters who stayed home in 2012 were much more likely to be registered Democrats.” NY Times, 6/9/16.The real pool of missing white voters are those who haven’t participated in any recent election, or aren’t even registered to vote. There are millions of these missing white voters.”]  

(continuing): “Rubio had been building his base among these Republicans since January 2011, when he began his Senate term. He joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and began to speak at think tanks and meet with scholars, most of them former staffers from George W. Bush’s administration. He hired a number of them for his own staff.

During his breaks in the Senate, Rubio would often tell colleagues how he was reading papers sent to him from former Republican officials or how he was about to have lunch with another bold-faced name from the Bush years. On his computer, he kept a “drop box” of related policy files compiled by his advisers.

Meanwhile, a group of writers and intellectuals on the right were frustrated and stewing about the GOP’s lack of outreach to working-class voters during Romney’s campaign. By 2013, they began to call themselves “reform conservatives” and sought to turn the party policy discussion away from its emphasis on small business and toward working men and women, as well as families, who were struggling.

[Ed. note: The “reform” group’s approach to “struggling families” in no way addressed the big picture, rather suggested technical nibbling around edges with programs such asnew child tax credits and revamped federal subsidies (as stated below). Some in the GOP may not be able to see the big picture. For example, National Review author and member of the GOP elite Kevin Williamson says of struggling families: “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.” And, that their interests have no place in the “mainstream of American conservatism.” 3/12/16 ]

(continuing):As Rubio took the lead on immigration reform that year — a move that riled the hard right.”..

[Ed. note: How does the author define “hard right”?]

(continuing): “— he continued to bolster his relationships with reform conservatives who were unveiling plans for new child tax credits and revamped federal subsidies. He put out a book, “American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone.”

Rubio followed a similar path with foreign-policy hawks as they began to look for a favorite ahead of the 2016 contest: a flurry of meetings and op-ed articles and, most critically, solidarity on the issues as they bubbled up.

Although Rubio entered 2015 hobbled with parts of the GOP base because of immigration, he carried goodwill among those two constituencies that were driving the Republican establishment: 

the reformers and and the hawks.

“The critique was there: The Republican Party was out of touch,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and former George W. Bush speechwriter. “But the breakdown occurred because we got into a cycle where policy didn’t matter at all. Policy was not just secondary, but it was almost not even in the conversation. And when people tried to interject policy — whether it was Rubio or Bush or others — there was just no appetite for it. It didn’t catch on.”

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich said that Rubio campaigned in a way that quickly became obsolete.

“Rubio was prepared, much like Jeb Bush, for a reasonable dialogue in Washington policy language, offering positions that reflect 40 years of national security and foreign-policy experts. All of that disappeared. The market didn’t care, Gingrich said.

Rubio’s hawkish foreign policy footing, thought to be an asset, was challenged. Trump’s claims of being “militaristic” even though he was inclined against intervention muddled how voters perceived the candidates, disassociating American power with the hawkish ideology of Rubio and the Bush orbit. Trump’s denunciations of George W. Bush’s decision to go into Iraq did not make the hawkish cause any easier.

“Trump has sounded hawkish without sounding graceful, and he’s expressed admiration for authoritarians. So it was a weird mix for all of the candidates,” said Kori Schake, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who has advised Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “At the same time, Republicans are still wrestling with the legacies from the Bush administration . . . and I don’t think we’ve made peace on that.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, having won his home-state primary on Tuesday, could be someone whom Rubio’s coalition turns to next, although his maverick style has turned off some in the establishment. Still, he, too, holds hawkish views and has a compassionate pitch on domestic policy with a call to help people “living in the shadows.”

Stuart Stevens, who served as chief strategist to Romney’s 2012 campaign, chalked up Rubio’s troubles as a sign of a first-time presidential candidate still learning how to run nationally and inspire voters, rather than as a sign of the Republican Party’s cracking apart….

“Rubio had been told that he’s the future of the party. But it’s not enough to say, ‘I have a great future, vote for me,’ ” Stevens said. “You have to do more than use your biography. You’ve got to connect your ideas in a real way to the economy. . . . People ended up walking out of Rubio rallies misty-eyed and out of Trump rallies with blood in their eyes.”

Whit Ayres, Rubio’s pollster, spent the past several years compiling data and published a book showing that Republicans could not afford to alienate minority voters, especially Hispanics, if they ever hope to retake the White House. Watching Rubio’s concession speech on Tuesday night, Ayres was despondent.

“After 2012,” he said, “you thought we’d learned our lesson.”

Ed O’Keefe in Miami contributed to this report.”

[Comment: Who is “we” Rubio’s pollster references?]
…………………………..
=========

Oct. 2013 Rush Limbaugh transcript:

10/16/2013, “GOP Seeks to Rid Itself of the Tea Party,” Rush Limbaugh transcript

“There will be a fast move in Republican circles to push “comprehensive immigration reform,” to go all-in now.  I can’t tell you what the Republicans think they’re gonna achieve, except this: I really do believe that some of this is oriented toward driving the conservatives out of the party.  I really think some of this is oriented toward the Republicans actually seeking to get rid of their conservative base.

Even if it takes 15 years in the wilderness to rebuild a new base of people who don’t embarrass them, of people who are of the right temperament. Maybe that’s what they’re willing to do. Maybe they’ve got commitments from their donors to keep ’em afloat if they just get rid of some of these wacko right-wing extremists. “We’ll just go all-in here. We’ll try to put together a new base of really responsible moderate, temperate, independent-type American voters.

“We’ll go out, we’ll expand our demographics, we’ll get a lot of Hispanics doing this, by throwing away the Tea Party, and we’ll get a lot of women voters coming back. We’ll throw away our base, and we’ll get the transgender and the lesbian, gay, bisexual groups, we’ll go out and get the Indians that are ticked off at the Redskins. We’ll get them! We’ll come out against that, and pretty soon we’re gonna own the country.”

That is the way they’re thinking, and all they gotta do to bring all that off? All they gotta do is throw away their base. That’s Christmas morning for ’em.  Now, the Democrats never stop whipping up their base. Have you noticed? There’s never any pressure on the Democrats to get rid of their base, and you never hear Democrats ripping in their base. You never hear the Democrats acting embarrassed — and believe me, their base is genuine Looney Tunes. Their base lives and workers in asylums.

But the Democrats never act embarrassed by ’em, never act like they want to get rid of ’em. They never, ever do anything other than whip them up, keep them engaged, and turn them out. Meanwhile, the Republicans are tamping their base down. Why? Cause the Democrats don’t like their (the Republicans’) base, and it’s more important to be liked by the Democrats within the establishment, I guess, than it is to have the current base they’ve got.”…

===========

GOP elite writer says working class communities “deserve to die,” and their interests have no place in the “mainstream of American conservatism:”

While Williamson blames the people living in run-down white communities for their own woes, he does not apply the same principle to run-down minority communities. In his book and articles on the failures of Detroit, for instance, the National Review writer blames “progressivism” and unions for ruining the predominately African-American city.””

3/12/16, National Review Writer: Working-Class Communities ‘Deserve To Die’,” Daily Caller, Scott Greer

National Review’s Kevin Williamson believes Donald Trump’s appeals to the white working class are “immoral” because that demographic’s way of life deserves to die out.

In a featured article for the prestigious conservative journal entitled “The Father-Fuhrer,” Williamson seeks to rebut criticism that he and other conservatives don’t articulate any policies that would appeal to Trump’s blue collar supporters.

Williamson, a long-time critic of The Donald, essentially agrees that he doesn’t support any policies or rhetoric directly tailored to the working-class — particularly about jobs being taken by outsourcing and immigration — because it would be wrong to do so.

“It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces,” the NR roving correspondent writes. “[N]obody did this to them. They failed themselves.”

He then goes on to state that all the ills associated with downscale whites are a result of that class’s inherent depravity.

“If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy—which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog—you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that,” Williamson state.

He then goes on to make the conclusion that it’s great these communities are dying out because they have a warped morality and are a dead weight on the economy.

“The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they ‘deserve to die.’

Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible,” the conservative writer says.

“The white American under-class is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul. If you want to live, get out of Garbutt [a blue-collar town in New York].”

This article isn’t the first time Williamson has harshly criticized trying to appeal to working-class whites. In one February article, he said that this class is made-up of “economically and socially frustrated white men who wish to be economically supported by the federal government without enduring the stigma of welfare dependency.” He also claimed that their interests have no place in the “mainstream of American conservatism” and, in a follow-up post, said that the only message conservatives should give them is get a job.” (RELATED: The Demographic Not Wanted By The Conservative Establishment)

While Williamson blames the people living in run-down white communities for their own woes, he does not apply the same principles to run-down minority communities. In his book and articles on the failures of Detroit, for instance, the National Review writer blames “progressivism” and unions for ruining the predominately African-American city.”

//////////////////////

Western political systems are being realigned as nationalist vs internationalist. The political left and right are relics of the Cold War. That a country’s foreign policy should primarily benefit that country’s citizens shouldn’t be a new idea-Robert Wargas

Politics turned upside down but not because of complacent elites. The bipartisan ruling class constructed a moat filled with alligators around their castle. It became almost impossible for mere voters to right the wrongs committed in their names. Citizens were treated “as a kind of plague.

7/15/16, “A complacent elite is to blame for politics being turned upside down,” UK Catholic Herald, Robert Wargas

The way we think of left and right is a relic of the Cold War. Reality is catching up.”

Trump…rarely talks about “left” and “right” and those movements’ foot soldiers, “liberals” and “conservatives”. Odd, isn’t it? Left and right are the defining concepts of American politics, yet a Republican candidate was able to dominate the primary season without mentioning them at all.

There’s a reason: Western political systems are in the middle of a realignment. The way we think of left and right is a relic of the Cold War. Reality is finally catching up with us, several years late, and doing away with obsolete political movements and parties.

We saw direct evidence of this when, on both sides of the Atlantic, ordinary people finally had a chance to circumvent their nations’ political elites. In the United States, Trump used his wealth and high profile to sidestep party donors, special-interest groups and political correctness.

In the United Kingdom, the referendum on European Union membership vested power temporarily in the British voting public, not Cabinet ministers or party whips.

These unusual circumstances exposed profound but long-hidden fault lines in both countries’ political systems. I knew these fault lines existed, but I was surprised by how quickly they devastated the status quo.

The American conservative movement, for instance, at least as we knew it before Trump’s entry into the presidential race last summer, no longer exists. Whether by accident or design, Trump ignored the reference points of left and right, putting together a coalition of Middle Americans who don’t care about ideological purity. Coming from old-fashioned Democratic and Republican backgrounds, these voters are united by a cultural conservatism that used to be standard in both parties. They care about pragmatic action on a handful of issues, mainly immigration, political correctness, crime and jobs.
 
Something similar happened in Britain. Outside the London cloister, Labour voters overwhelmingly rejected the metropolitan version of left-wing politics. Along with many shire Tories, they have specific views on sovereignty, independence and immigration. Just as in the US, this broad cultural conservatism used to be a given within each party until cosmopolitanism took its place.

We are heading for a politics in which the divisions are no longer just left and right, at least not in the sense we’ve used those terms for the past few decades. The shift is splitting all current movements into nationalist and internationalist wings – or perhaps populist and establishment, middle class and upper class, or urban and provincial.

This is happening because so many of the traditional features of left and right no longer apply to them. A working-class white person seeking representation used to find it in the left. Now what does he get? A movement telling him to check his “privilege”. A conservative used to be able to count on the right to make the case for cultural assimilation. Now he, too, is told to be quiet and make way for “progress”. 

Though there are obvious differences between the major left-wing and right-wing parties, their similarities are too broad and deep for many voters. Mainstream Democratic and Labour leaders support large-scale migration into their countries; mainstream Republicans and Tories do so as well, in practice if not in theory. All mainstream liberals and conservatives support free trade, and all are equally likely to regard sceptics of pure free trade as rather “challenged” individuals.

If “left” traditionally meant state control of the economy, why does today’s left spurn trade regulation? Because the left is internationalist. But the right, at least nowadays, is also internationalist. All bien pensant liberals and conservatives support membership of the European Union. All sides frame foreign policy debates in terms of helping foreigners: taking in refugees, “liberating” other nations and the like. Believing that a country’s foreign policy should primarily benefit that country’s citizens is now akin to revealing some perverted fetish.

Millions of Americans and Britons don’t accept a bipartisan consensus that was formed without their input or permission. Its partisans grew so resistant to reform they treated their own citizens as a kind of plague to be contained in the hinterlands, not as stakeholders with genuine concerns.
……..
How did this mushy consensus come about? That’s a difficult question. One thing’s for certain: The political elite misread the fall of communism. They thought, as the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama did, that history had ended, and that at the climax of this great Hegelian unfolding was a Western liberal democracy that would never die.

This bred arrogant complacency – the belief that you could sit back, relax and think only about small matters like tax rates. Why worry about immigration? After all, history was over. We had won. The little people would soon see how glorious the future would be.

Meanwhile, globalisation had already begun to destroy many traditional communities, jobs and ways of life. And when these forgotten men and women looked to their leaders for help, they found only laughter and scorn. After 25 years of that, what did they expect?”
……
“Robert Wargas is the Catholic Herald’s foreign correspondent.”

===========
=========

Added: Articles from August and Sept. 2015 made similar observations to above. Trump showed that what is most in demand ispermission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community.””….“Nothing is more terrifying to the elite than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism.” Julius Krein, 9/7/2015

……….
9/7/2015, Traitor to His Class,” Julius Krein, Weekly Standard

“What Trump offers is permission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community”….

Nothing is more terrifying to the elite than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism….The critical question, however, is not the source of Trump’s popularity but rather the reason his popularity is so shocking to our political culture….

Trump shows that what is most in demand…is not ideological purity but patriotic zeal….

Trump alone appears to understand that politics is more than policy and ideology.“…

——————————– 
………………… 

Added from Diana West:

8/18/2015, Trump: Giving Voice to the American “Subconscious”, Diana West

To say the Media-Political Complex has really lost its cool over Donald Trump, also every marble, is barest understatement….

Before Trump, the American “subconscious,” circa 2015, would never “originally think” a US border was possible, let alone a wall; immigration restriction was possible, let alone a halt; immigration law enforcement was possible; the deportation of illegal families was possible; restoration of American citizenship as a privilege, not a stolen good, was possible; jobs for Americans were possible; and the rest. Donald Trump, bless him, has changed the American subconscious, giving voice to Americans long conditioned into silence by this same Media-Political Complex. And there is nothing, but nothing, they can do about it now.”

================= 
…….

Comment: They viewed us as global slaves. On top of that, they constantly scorned us. Apparently they thought we’d accept this indefinitely.

…………..

Workers often earn only $1 an hour at Mexican farm labor camps that ship produce to the US and enrich agribusiness. Workers are essentially trapped for months at a time in rat infested camps, often without beds-LA Times, Dec. 2014 results of 18 month study

Mexican labor camps pay workers only $1-$1.50 per hour, $8-$12 per day, for 6 day weeks at farm complexes that ship produce to the US.Workers were required to disinfect their hands before picking cucumbers. Yet they were given just two pieces of toilet paper to use at the outhouses.” Many labor camps are in the dangerous Sinaloa area so media and others rarely stop by to check on conditions.

Dec. 2014 article:
 
12/7/2014, Hardship on Mexico’s farms, a bounty for U.S. tables,” LA Times, Richard Marosi

The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers arrive year-round by the ton, with peel-off stickers proclaiming “Product of Mexico.”

Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade (2004-2014), enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers.

American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.

These corporations say their Mexican suppliers have committed to decent treatment and living conditions for workers.

But a Los Angeles Times investigation found that for thousands of farm laborers south of the border, the export boom is a story of exploitation and extreme hardship.

The Times found:

*Many farm laborers are essentially trapped for months at a time in rat-infested camps, often without beds and sometimes without functioning toilets or a reliable water supply.

  • Some camp bosses illegally withhold wages to prevent workers from leaving during peak harvest periods.
  • Laborers often go deep in debt paying inflated prices for necessities at company stores. Some are reduced to scavenging for food when their credit is cut off. It’s common for laborers to head home penniless at the end of a harvest.
  • Those who seek to escape their debts and miserable living conditions have to contend with guards, barbed-wire fences and sometimes threats of violence from camp supervisors.
  • Major U.S. companies have done little to enforce social responsibility guidelines that call for basic worker protections such as clean housing and fair pay practices.

The farm laborers are mostly indigenous people from Mexico’s poorest regions. Bused hundreds of miles to vast agricultural complexes, they work six days a week for the equivalent of $8 to $12 a day.

The squalid camps where they live, sometimes sleeping on scraps of cardboard on concrete floors, are operated by the same agribusinesses that employ advanced growing techniques and sanitary measures in their fields and greenhouses.

The contrast between the treatment of produce and of people is stark.

In immaculate greenhouses, laborers are ordered to use hand sanitizers and schooled in how to pamper the produce. They’re required to keep their fingernails carefully trimmed so the fruit will arrive unblemished in U.S. supermarkets.

“They want us to take such great care of the tomatoes, but they don’t take care of us,” said Japolina Jaimez, a field hand at Rene Produce, a grower of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. “Look at how we live.”

He pointed to co-workers and their children, bathing in an irrigation canal because the camp’s showers had no water that day.

At the mega-farms that supply major American retailers, child labor has been largely eradicated. But on many small and mid-sized farms, children still work the fields, picking chiles, tomatillos and other produce, some of which makes its way to the U.S. through middlemen. About 100,000 children younger than 14 pick crops for pay, according to the Mexican government’s most recent estimate.

During The Times’ 18-month investigation, a reporter and a photographer traveled across nine Mexican states, observing conditions at farm labor camps and interviewing hundreds of workers.

At half the 30 camps they visited, laborers were in effect prevented from leaving because their wages were being withheld or they owed money to the company store, or both.

Some of the worst camps were linked to companies that have been lauded by government and industry groups. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto presented at least two of them with “exporter of the year” honors.

The Times traced produce from fields to U.S. supermarket shelves using Mexican government export data, food safety reports from independent auditors, California pesticide surveys that identify the origin of imported produce, and numerous interviews with company officials and industry experts.

The practice of withholding wages, although barred by Mexican law, persists, especially for workers recruited from indigenous areas, according to government officials and a 2010 report by the federal Secretariat of Social Development. These laborers typically work under three-month contracts and are not paid until the end. The law says they must be paid weekly.

The Times visited five big export farms where wages were being withheld.. Each employed hundreds of workers.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, bought produce directly or through middlemen from at least three of those farms, The Times found.

Bosses at one of Mexico’s biggest growers, Bioparques de Occidente in the state of Jalisco, not only withheld wages but kept hundreds of workers in a labor camp against their will and beat some who tried to escape, according to laborers and Mexican authorities.

Asked about its ties to Bioparques and other farms where workers were exploited, Wal-Mart released this statement:

“We care about the men and women in our supply chain, and recognize that challenges remain in this industry. We know the world is a big place. While our standards and audits make things better around the world, we won’t catch every instance when people do things that are wrong.”

At Rene Produce in Sinaloa, The Times saw hungry laborers hunting for scraps because they could not afford to buy food at the company store.

The grower, which exported $55 million in tomatoes in 2014, supplies supermarkets across the U.S., including Whole Foods, which recently took out full-page newspaper ads promoting its commitment to social responsibility.

Asked for comment, Whole Foods said it did not expect to buy any more produce “directly” from Rene, which it described as a minor supplier.

“We take the findings you shared VERY seriously, especially since Rene has signed our social accountability agreement,” Edmund LaMacchia, a global vice president of procurement for Whole Foods, said in a statement.

Rene Produce was named one of Mexico’s exporters of the year in September.

Jose Humberto Garcia, the company’s chief operating officer, said Rene had consulted with outside experts about ways to enhance worker welfare. “We have tried in recent years to improve the lives of our workers,” he said. “There’s still room for improvement. There’s always room for improvement.”

Executives at Triple H in Sinaloa, another exporter of the year and a distributor for major supermarkets across the U.S., said they were surprised to hear about abusive labor practices at farms including one of their suppliers, Agricola San Emilio.

“It completely violates our principles,” said Heriberto Vlaminck, Triple H’s general director. His son Heriberto Vlaminck Jr., the company’s commercial director, added: “I find it incredible that people work under these conditions.”

In northern Mexico, agro-industrial complexes stretch for miles across coastal plains and inland valleys, their white rows of tent-like hothouses so vast they can be seen from space.

Half the tomatoes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico, mostly from the area around Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa. Many farms use growing techniques from Europe. Walls of tomato vines grow 10 feet tall and are picked by laborers on stilts.

Agricola San Emilio raises crops on 370 acres of open fields and greenhouses 20 miles west of Culiacan. In a tin-roofed packinghouse, tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers are boxed for the journey north to distributors for Wal-Mart, Olive Garden, Safeway, Subway and other retailers.

In 2014, the company exported more than 80 million pounds of tomatoes alone, according to government data.

Every winter, 1,000 workers arrive at San Emilio by bus with backpacks and blankets, hoping to make enough money to support family members back home. Some simply want to stay fed.

Behind the packing facility lies the company’s main labor camp, a cluster of low-slung buildings made of cinder block or corrugated metal where about 500 laborers live.

The shed-like structures are crudely partitioned into tiny rooms that house four to six people each. The floors are concrete. There are no beds or other furniture, nor any windows.

The workers’ day begins at 3 a.m. when a freight train known as “The Beast” rumbles past the dusty camp, rousting the inhabitants. They get coffee, a biscuit and a short stack of tortillas before heading to the fields.

When Times journalists visited the camp in March, Juan Ramirez, a 22-year-old with a toddler back home in Veracruz, had been working at San Emilio for six weeks and had yet to be paid.

He and other laborers spent their days picking, packing and pruning, or scouring the plants for weevils. They lined up for their daily meals: a bowl of lentil soup for lunch, a bowl of lentil soup for dinner.

Ramirez, wearing a stained white T-shirt, chatted with two young men who were recent arrivals. They complained of hunger and constant headaches. Ramirez knew the feeling. He had lost 20 pounds since he starting work at the farm.

“We arrive here fat, and leave skinny,” he said.

Ramirez and several hundred others recruited by the same labor contractor earned $8 a day and were owed as much as $300 each. They said they wouldn’t be paid until the end of their three-month contracts. That would be in six more weeks.

Workers said they had been promised $8 in pocket money every two weeks but received it only sporadically.

If they left now, they would forfeit the wages they’d earned. The barbed-wire fence that ringed the camp was an added deterrent. Farm owners say the barriers are meant to keep out thieves and drug dealers. They also serve another purpose: to discourage laborers from leaving before the crop has been picked and they’ve paid their debts to the company store.

Even if the workers at San Emilio jumped the fence, as some had, they wouldn’t be able to afford a ride to Culiacan, let alone $100 for the bus ticket home.

Juan Hernandez, a father of five from Veracruz, was worried about his wife, who had been injured in an accident back home. “I want to go,” he said. “But if I leave, I lose everything.”

Hernandez slept atop packing crates padded with cardboard. A suitcase served as his dinner table. In another building, Jacinto Santiago hung a scrap of cardboard in the open doorway of his room, which he shared with his son, daughter and son-in-law.

Santiago said that in some ways, he had been better off back home in the central state of San Luis Potosi. There, he had a thatched-roof house with windows and a hen that laid eggs.

Santiago, like the other laborers, said he was promised that he would be able to send money home.

His family was still waiting, because he hadn’t been paid. “My family isn’t the only one that suffers. Anyone who has a family at home suffers,” he said.

Efrain Hernandez, 18, said recruiters told him his earnings would be held back so he wouldn’t get robbed: “They said it was for my own good.”

Outside one of the buildings, a group of men gathered under a dim light. It was nearing the 9 p.m. curfew, when the camp’s heavy metal gate rolls shut and workers retreat to their rooms.

Their voices echoed across the compound as they swapped stories about conditions in various camps.

There are at least 200 across Mexico, 150 in Sinaloa alone.

Pedro Hernandez, 51, complained that unlike some other camps, San Emilio didn’t offer beds or blankets. Then again, there were fewer rats, he said.

The conversation attracted a camp supervisor, who was surprised to see a reporter and photographer.

“When the people from Wal-Mart come,” she said, “they let us know in advance.”

She walked the journalists to the exit. The pickers went back to their rooms. The gate rolled shut.

The road to labor camps like San Emilio begins deep in the indigenous regions of central and southern Mexico, where advertising jingles play endlessly on the radio, echoing from storefront speakers.

“Attention. Attention. We are looking for 400 peasants to pick tomatoes.”
“You’ll earn 100 pesos per day, three free meals per day and overtime.”
“Vamonos a trabajar!” — Let’s go work!

On a warm January morning this year, dozens of indigenous people looking for work descended from mud-hut villages in the steep mountains of the Huasteca region. Nahuatl men wore holstered machetes. Women cradled children in their arms. Young men shouldered backpacks stuffed with the clothes they would wear for the next few months.

The laborers approached a knot of recruiters gathered outside a gas station in the town of Huejutla de Reyes, about 130 miles north of Mexico City.

Among those offering jobs at distant farms was Luis Garcia, 37. Garcia, a stocky Nahuatl Indian with silver-rimmed teeth, had risen from child picker to field boss to labor contractor for Agricola San Emilio. He lived just outside town, in a hilltop house behind tall gates, and was known to locals as “Don Luis.”

“We all owe our livelihoods to the farmworkers,” he said. “We have to treat them well, or the gringos don’t get their tomatoes.”

Labor contractors are key players in the agricultural economy, the link between export farms in the north and peasants in Huasteca and other impoverished regions. An estimated 150,000 make the pilgrimage every harvest season.

The contractors, working for agribusinesses, transport laborers to and from the farms. Often, they also oversee the camps and distribute workers’ pay.

Many contractors abuse their power, according to indigenous leaders and federal inspectors. They lie about wages and living conditions at the camps. Under pressure from growers, they sometimes refuse to bring laborers home, even at the end of their contracts, if there are still vegetables to be picked.

Earlier this year, 25 farmworkers walked 20 miles across a Baja California desert after a contractor left them on the roadside, short of their destination.

At the gas station in Huejutla de Reyes, villagers listened warily to the recruiters’ pitches. One was said to be representing a contractor wanted on human trafficking charges. Another worked for a contractor notorious for wage theft and other abuses.

Garcia had his own brush with controversy several years ago, when dozens of pickers accused him of holding them captive and abusing them at an onion farm in Chihuahua.

“They said I beat people. Lies, all lies,” Garcia said, bristling. “I wouldn’t be here today talking to you if it was true, would I?”

He depicted himself as a reformer who wanted to establish a trade association to set standards and drive out unscrupulous contractors.

But he saw no need to do more for workers. “The more protected they are, the less they work,” he said.

As he spoke, recruiters tried to outbid one another for laborers, boosting their offers of spending money for the two-day bus trip to Sinaloa.

Garcia won the day’s competition. With his smooth baritone, he persuaded about 40 people to get on his bus.

Garcia read their contract aloud to the workers, including the provision that they wouldn’t be paid until the end of their three-month term. He later acknowledged that federal law requires weekly payments but said that there were other issues to consider.

“Paying them every week is a problem because it causes lots of issues with drinking and drugging and violence,” Garcia said. “Huasteca people are fighters when they’re drunk.”

Proud of his success in a cutthroat business, Garcia portrayed himself as the product of a farm labor system in which the real bosses were U.S. companies.

“The gringos are the ones that put up the money and make the rules,” he said.

The U.S. companies linked to Agricola San Emilio through distributors have plenty of rules, but they serve mainly to protect American consumers, not Mexican field hands.

Strict U.S. laws govern the safety and cleanliness of imported fruits and vegetables. To meet those standards, retailers and distributors send inspectors to Mexico to examine fields, greenhouses and packing plants.

The companies say they are also committed to workers’ well-being and cite their ethical sourcing guidelines. Retailers increasingly promote the idea that the food they sell not only is tasty and healthful but was produced without exploiting workers.

But at many big corporations, enforcement of those standards is weak to nonexistent, and often relies on Mexican growers to monitor themselves, The Times found.

In some low-wage countries, U.S. retailers rely on independent auditors to verify that suppliers in apparel, footwear and other industries comply with social responsibility guidelines.

For the most part, that has not happened with Mexican farm labor. American companies have not made oversight a priority because they haven’t been pressured to do so. There is little public awareness of harsh conditions at labor camps. Many farms are in areas torn by drug violence, which has discouraged media coverage and visits by human rights groups and academic researchers.

Asked to comment on conditions at Agricola San Emilio, Subway said in a statement: “We will use this opportunity to reinforce our Code of Conduct with our suppliers.” The code says suppliers must ensure that workers “are fairly compensated and are not exploited in any way.”

Safeway said: “We take any and all claims regarding worker conditions seriously and are looking into each of the points you raise.”

In its vendor code of conduct, Safeway says that suppliers must offer a “safe and healthy work environment” and that it “will not tolerate any departure from its standards.” Vendors are expected to “self-monitor their compliance,” the code says.

Wal-Mart sought to distance itself from Agricola San Emilio, saying in a statement: “Our records show that we do not currently take from this facility.”

Asked if it had received produce from the farm in the past, Wal-Mart repeated its statement.

Executives at Agricola San Emilio and two firms that have distributed its produce — Triple H of Culiacan and Andrew and Williamson of San Diego — said Wal-Mart received shipments from the Mexican farm this year.

John Farrington, chief operating officer at Andrew and Williamson, said that his company shipped San Emilio tomatoes to the retailer and that inspectors from Wal-Mart had been to the farm.

Mari Cabanillas, an assistant camp supervisor at Agricola San Emilio, said Wal-Mart inspectors visited regularly, recommending cleanups and fresh coats of paint.

“They try and improve conditions here,” she said. “They’re very strict.”

As for Agricola San Emilio’s pay practices, Daniel Beltran, the firm’s director and legal counsel, said workers from the Huasteca region whose wages were withheld until the end of their three-month contracts had agreed to that arrangement. He said they could opt to be paid weekly, as others were.

A dozen workers, however, said in interviews that they had no choice in how they were paid.

Withholding workers’ pay is illegal even if they agree to it, according to Mexico’s federal labor law, a senior federal labor official and two labor lawyers.

In regard to living conditions, Beltran said the company stopped providing beds because workers dismantled them for firewood. The laborers are from regions where it’s common for people to sleep on the floor, he said.

He took issue with workers’ claims that they were underfed. “Some people, even if you give them chicken or beef every day, they’ll still want a different menu,” he said, adding that workers could supplement company rations by purchasing food from vendors.

SunFed, an Arizona firm that has distributed produce from Agricola San Emilio, said its representatives had inspected the fields and packinghouse at the farm but not the labor camp.

“The Mexican government would be the first line of protection for Mexican workers,” said Dan Mandel, president of SunFed, a distributor for supermarkets across the U.S.

Enforcement of Mexican labor laws in Sinaloa is feeble. One state official insisted, incorrectly, that withholding wages until the end of a contract was legal.

Federal labor inspectors are clear on the law but said they were largely powerless to crack down on deep-pocketed growers, who can stymie enforcement with endless appeals.

They just laugh at us,” said Armando Guzman, a senior official with Mexico’s federal Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare. “They mock authority and mock the letter of the law.”

Agricola San Emilio is no outlier. Harsh conditions persist in many camps.

At Agricola Rita Rosario, a cucumber exporter near Culiacan in Sinaloa, workers said they hadn’t been paid in weeks. Some were pawning their belongings to pay for diapers and food when Times journalists visited a year ago. Laborers said company managers had threatened to dump their possessions in the street if they persisted in demanding their wages.

“We have nowhere to go. We’re trapped,” said a 43-year-old man, looking around nervously.

Rita Rosario, under new management, started paying workers their back wages this year before suspending operations, according to a U.S. distributor who did business with the farm.

Workers at Agricola Santa Teresa, an export farm nearby, were doing odd jobs outside the camp on Sundays to earn spending money because their wages had been withheld.

The tomato grower supplies U.S. distributors whose customers include the Albertsons supermarket chain and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Told that workers hadn’t been paid, Enrique Lopez, director of Santa Teresa, said it wasn’t the company’s fault. Santa Teresa pays them by electronic bank deposit every week, he said.

Lopez said he suspected that the laborers handed over their ATM cards to the contractor who recruited them, a practice he said was customary for workers from indigenous regions.

“That is the agreement they have,” Lopez said. “We can’t control that situation.”

An LAUSD spokeswoman, Ellen Morgan, said the district requires suppliers to inspect farms from which they buy produce, primarily to ensure food safety. She said the district was formulating a new procurement policy that would probably address labor conditions too.

Albertsons declined to comment.

At Agricola El Porvenir, also near Culiacan, workers were required to disinfect their hands before picking cucumbers. Yet they were given just two pieces of toilet paper to use at the outhouses.

At Campo San Jose, where many of them lived, workers said rats and feral cats had the run of the cramped living quarters and feasted on their leftovers.

Laborers and their families bathed in an irrigation canal because the water had run out in the showers. In March, a snake was sighted in the canal, sparking a panic.

Carmen Garcia stepped out of the fetid waterway after washing her 1-year-old grandson. His skin was covered with boils that she blamed on insect bites.

“He itches constantly,” Garcia said. “I want to get a blood test, but I can’t get to a doctor.”

Agricola El Porvenir’s legal counsel, Eric Gerardo, said the company rents Campo San Jose from another agribusiness to handle the overflow when its own camps fill up. Efforts to reach the owner of the other business were unsuccessful.

“We don’t invest in it because it’s not ours,” Gerardo said.

Twenty miles away, at Campo Isabelitas, operated by the agribusiness Nueva Yamal, families used buckets in their room to relieve themselves because, they said, the toilets were filthy and lacked water.

Men defecated in a cornfield. Workers could be seen bathing in an irrigation canal; they said the camp’s showers were out of water.

Charles Ciruli, a co-owner of Arizona-based Ciruli Bros., which distributes Nueva Yamal tomatoes, visited the camp after being told about conditions there by The Times.

Through an attorney, he said that the men’s bathrooms “did not meet Ciruli’s standards” and that repairs had been made to “reinstate running water.” The attorney, Stanley G. Feldman, said in a letter that the women’s showers and toilets were “fully functioning,” with a paid attendant.

Asked why workers were washing in the irrigation canal, Feldman wrote: “Ciruli cannot explain this with certainty, bit it was told that may be a cultural practice among some workers.”

He added: “Ciruli will consult with the on-farm social worker and doctor to determine if a worker education campaign may be appropriate in this case.”

In June 2013, Bioparques found itself under rare government scrutiny. Three workers at one of the tomato grower’s labor camps escaped and complained to authorities about the wretched conditions.

Police, soldiers and labor inspectors raided the camp and found 275 people trapped inside. Dozens were malnourished, including 24 children, authorities said.

People were desperate, but at least the camp had showers and stoves, said laborer Gerardo Gonzalez Hernandez.

“To tell you the truth, Bioparques was a little better than other labor camps I’ve been to,” Gonzalez, 18, said in an interview at his home in the mountains north of Mexico City.

“That’s why I didn’t complain. I’ve seen a lot worse.””

Image: “At Campo Sacramento in Guasave, Sinaloa, barbed wire runs along the perimeter, and arrivals and departures are controlled around the clock.” LA Times

==============

Added: Powerful forces have reduced working class wages around the globe:

“Whichever approach is taken by the political parties to lure the white working class, it’s going to have to go up against powerful forces that have reduced working-class wages around the globe.”

9/25/2014,Why Working-Class White Men Make Democrats Nervous, Newsweek, by

=====================

Comment: A free people wouldn’t allow barbarism. Definition of barbarism: “Absence of culture and civilization.” 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.