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“You can’t go home again”… Sunday reading (and watching)

28 June 2009

Born Again

About 25,000 U.S. citizens are born every year outside of hospitals.  The majority of these births are in rural areas, along the Canadian and Mexican borders.  However, the bone-heads in Washington, not being rural folks and likely to know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies… or anything much about life in rural border regions… decided in their infinite wisdom that of course anyone born in the U.S. was born the way they were — delivered by an obstretian paid for by some private insurance policy — and having a birth certificate signed by a midwife, or not witnessed by a doctor, was suspicious.

The U.S. legal system may assume one is “innocent until proven guilty” but regulations don’t.  The assumption was that if one was delivered by a midwife, lived in rural Texas AND had a “spanish” name… there had to be some funny business involved.  And… wiph the new regulations requiring a passport to cross the border — which is required in border regions — the rural Texans were shit out of luck.  The American Civil Liberties Union found nine particularly sympathetic victims of this bit of stupidity to sue for overturning the regulation.

(Rio Grande Guardian, sombrero tip to South Texas Chisme)

Return to Sender

Zenli Ye Gon, the little-old meth maker from Mexico City, COULD be extradited to Mexico, though the government probably is in no hurry to put him on trial.

When Mexican police raided Ye Gon’s property in Mexico City and turned up a whopping 205 million dollars — in CASH — the DEA came up with the brilliant idea that — given the Mexican cops used DEA training material, this was a DEA operation, ergo the DEA should get a cut of the loot.  The DEA never got a dime (happily, at least a good chunk of the Mexican seizure went to the Health Department to fund addictions treatment programs) , but they were able to nab Ye Gon in the United States.

Then it got messy.  Ye Gon had low friends in high places — the Fox and Calderon administrations.  He claimed the 205 million wasn’t his… he was just holding it for Felipe Calderon.  The mess, as it stood at that point was covered in the Washington Post (28 October 2008) as well as here.

BLT (Blog of Legal Times) has the latest twist — a prosecutorial screwup that means the U.S. government will have to drop charges, supposedly because Mexico has an interest in prosecuting him… sometime in the far, far future, I imagine.

Disappearing act in Mexico City

Yes, the late Michael Jackson did have a Mexican connection.  It’s not my usual line of research, but the indefatigable Burro Hall unearthed the story (from that impeccable historical resource, People Magazine) on Jackson’s aborted 1993 “Dangerous” tour which — like that of so many sagas of “persons of interest” to U.S. law enforcement authorities — with his trail going cold in Mexico.

In place of the Gloved One himself, last seen somewhere in Mexico City, was an audiotape, released by his handlers on Nov. 12 [1993]. “As I left on this tour, I…was accused of horrifying and outrageous conduct,” the quavering, high-pitched voice confessed. “I was humiliated, embarrassed, hurt and suffering great pain in my heart…. I realize that completing the tour is no longer possible…. I love you all. Goodbye.” And with those words, Michael Jackson vanished.

Jackson was facing several accusations in the United States involving improper relations with minors, as well as having serious problems with his teeth that required surgery at the exclusive ABC hospital in la Capital.

As it was, the Mexican press was under-whelmed by the tour, and bad jokes about Jackson (“Why did Michael Jackson reserve an entire hotel in Acapulco?  Because he heard children were free in every room.”).  In addition, he was facing legal action in a copyright infringement suit, and — as was popular at the time with those facing serious legal problems — suddenly claimed a need for addiction treatment.

Elizabeth Taylor (back in the news then for having married a guy she met at an alcoholic rehab center) — a part-time Mexican resident — allegedly arranged for Jackson’s disappearance from the country.

For those who can’t get enough Jacksonian trivial… here’s footage from that 1993 Azteca Stadium concert:

(Posted on youtube by “Alex84” in January 2007)

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