Black Underworld Inc. – Part I

The black market is brutal, exploitative, and corrupt. Nothing is off-limits; everything is for sale. Any hints of morals and ethics are non-existent or false. What you buy may not be what it once was or what it now seems. How one justifies their involvement in an entire global network is ignored or never introspective. Workers, suppliers, U.S. employers, foreign sellers, customers in all countries, no exceptions—and the domestic or foreign law-enforcements hoping to keep it tamed and in balance while unaware their own native people, governments, and businesses fuel the ugly, black machine—the experiences, the victims in ALL stages of this inhumane, violent, monetary commerce—is a hidden world out in the open. One way or another it effects us all. All of us are responsible and like it or not we are more accountable than the resident, native-born and wealthy American can fully comprehend. As a whole, our U.S. values equate in various legal and illegal “currencies” of supply and demand. They are the literal blood that pumps life into BU Inc.

Red, White, & Blue Fathered BU Inc.
McKinley_Prosperity

McKinley 1900 campaign poster – Wikipedia Commons

Yes, historical U.S. foreign policy with domestic big business sired a bastard monster which is now cannibalizing its family. Though the Age of Imperialism, expansion, colonialism was by the European Big Nine “fathers” between the 15th and 19th centuries — Belgium, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Sweden — at the turn of the 20th century the hungry United States became the belligerent step-son in family imperialism. The 1900 Presidential campaign and election in the wake of victory from the Spanish-American War and resulting prosperity assured the Red, White, & Blue was embraced into the Imperialist family tree.

Republican-candidate William McKinley ran a campaign ticket of unfettered trade and bigger empire. Democratic-candidate William Jennings Bryan ran one of anti-imperialism and “Free Silver.” However, due to the country’s renewed prosperity under McKinley’s first-term coupled with America’s general approval of the Spanish-American War and victory, as well as acquiring and annexing territories in the western Pacific and Latin America, the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket managed a comfortable win over Democrats Bryan-Stevenson. Yet, these imperialist “victories” came at a cost and further problems for the United States, especially in Latin America in the following centuries. The most ideal whistle-blower to explain the U.S. appetite for expansion and global wealth, no matter the human cost, is from one who was actually there through it all from the beginning:  Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC (ret):

Major General Butler mentioned Nicaragua and Guatemala. These two Central American nations, along with a few others, are the unstable hotbeds today for drug cartels and trans-generational government corruption fueled and sired to-date by 119-years of American-European exploitation.

philippine-american-war

Retaliation by U.S. Army on Filipinos

In 1901 President McKinley was assassinated at, of all places, the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. The assassin was protesting American military atrocities in the Philippines and sociopolitical inequality in the U.S. by the wealthiest enriching themselves with McKinley’s government exploiting foreign and domestic, impoverished workers and civilians. This included Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Panama, among several others. Why Panama? Since 1513 European explorers from the original Nine Imperialist Fathering empires saw the enormous commercial benefits of a canal for their coffers and treasuries. By the 1820’s U.S. businessmen and their corporations lobbying Congress wanted European powers out of all Americas. They accomplished this by pushing the legislation and approval of the Monroe Doctrine. Many in Central and South America viewed this doctrine as self-appointed permission to bribe native dictator-puppets or replace one imperialist foreign sovereign with another:  the United States. This Pan-American perception was by no means outlandish and unfounded.

Once France tried and failed to complete a canal through Panama in 1889, interest by the U.S., President Teddy Roosevelt (also a strong Imperialist), and Congressional lawmakers and corporate lobbyists looked into building the canal in Nicaragua. But heavy pockets from various business interests in Europe and the U.S. wanted the canal in Panama. Securing the construction of the canal via the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty and Panamanians winning independence from Colombia (more tension for the U.S.) garnered the apropos term of gunboat diplomacy: the constant U.S. financial, military presence, sovereignty and exploitation throughout the western Pacific and Latin America. Little did Americans back home know that this world perception of U.S. foreign policies and imperialism would last through the entire 20th century and into the 21st.

pay-car-colonmod

The Silver and Gold Roll system – the Jim Crow laws of Panama

From 1903 until 1989 Panama was a struggling pawn-Republic dominated by commercial oligarchies influenced by many world powers—none bigger than the “prosperous” U.S. business expansions. These were known as the Banana Republics with Congressional lobbyists from U.S. companies dependent on hard goods, cheap labor, and crude oil and Presidents bound to their party’s corporate promises and politics. Enter Manuel Noriega as early as 1981 with America’s new insatiable coast-to-coast craving for illegal drugs out of Central and South America.

Lords and Kings — Mastering Supply and Demand, Distribution and Buyers

Today almost half the world live in poverty, on about $2.50 per day, and around 1.4 billion live in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 per day according to United Nations Development Programme’s “Human Development Report, 2014.” Between 1903 and 1990 world poverty and all the consequential problems, crimes, and corruption connected to it was much worse than those figures. Therefore, young girls and boys who grow up in those regions and countries where poverty, crime, and corruption are worse many learn all the tricks and trades of the Hustle. Morality, God, and ethics mean nothing when one is merely surviving (barely) and living day to day, hand to mouth, and night to night. Hoping to see the sun in the morning or some nights to be relieved of the insane hustling-game at the end of a gun-barrel was and today still is the popular Central-South American attitude. Lots of these kids grew up to be drug lords, military elite, and trade kings. Birth-rights and zip codes had little and a lot to do with survival or success in their world and little or a lot to do with death and/or prison in other’s worlds. What’s the difference. They have, I don’t. I have, they don’t. The better the Hustle, the better the life… no matter what side of the flag, fence, wall, river, or canal you are on.

nicaragua-protests

Students protesting President Daniel Ortega & government – Esteban Felix/Associated Press 2018

Whether one was Henry Meiggs or General Manuel Bonilla, President Dwight Eisenhower or Jacobo Árbenz, President Ronald Reagan and Daniel Ortega or Manuel Noriega, or any number of investor-states utilizing various 20th and 21st century “free trade” agreements or treaties—i.e. DR-CAFTA, CTPA, PTPA, and NAFTA—lucrative for the U.S., Canada, and bilateral or multilateral FTA’s for the European Union, the hustle remains the same. These corporate interests with their lobbied governments in bed with Caribbean, Central and South American puppet-governments and leaders, all of it championed as “economic prosperity.” The modern developed nations, lead by the United States, have now fathered, sired a humanitarian crisis and BU Incorporated. For additional details read this excellent and poignant 2014 briefing by the Institute for Policy Studies, “What ‘Free Trade’ Has Done to Central America.

Some of America’s foreign economic, military, and diplomatic interventions interference over the last five to six decades have seen and made the richest, most violent hustlers, drug Lords and crime Kings blossom from the Central and South Americas. Here are just a few others (Pablo Escobar is excluded; he’s very well–known) from an extensive list of first and second generation BU Inc. Lords and Kings:

  • Frank Lucas – American, from La Grange, North Carolina.
  • Rafael Trujillo – Dominican, from San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic.
  • George Jung – American, from Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Nicky Barnes – American, from Harlem, NYC, New York.
  • José Figueroa Agosto – Puerto Rican, from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Richard “Freeway” Ross – American, from Troup, Texas.
  • Juan Perón – Argentine, from Lobos, Argentina.
  • Rafael Quintero – Mexican, from Badiraguato, Mexico.
  • Joaquín Guzmán – Mexican, from La Tuna, Mexico.
  • Griselda Blanco – Colombian, from Cartagena, Colombia.
  • Anastasio Somoza Debayle – Nicaraguan, from León, Nicaragua.
  • Carlos Lehder – Colombian, from Armenia, Colombia.
  • Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela – Colombian, from Mariquita, Colombia.
  • José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha – Colombian, from Pacho, Colombia.
  • Alfredo Beltrán Leyva – Mexican, from Badiraguato, Mexico.
  • Augusto Pinochet – Chilean, from Valparaíso, Chile.
  • Guillermo Rodríguez Lara – Equadorian, from Pujilí, Ecuador.
  • François Duvalier – Haitian, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
  • Amado Carrillo Fuentes – Mexican, from Guamuchilito, Mexico.
  • Christopher Coke – Jamaican, from Kingston, Jamaica.

Back in 2004 and even as far back as 1998 citizens of all these Central American nations publicly protested against FTA’s because they favored foreign interests, not their own. From the IPS:

[The people, economists, and legal experts] warned of the unemployment, poverty, hunger, pollution, diminished national sovereignty, and other problems that could result if DR-CAFTA were approved. But despite popular pressure, the agreement was ratified in seven countries—including Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.

[…]

Contrary to the promises of U.S. officials—who claimed the agreement would improve Central American economies and thereby reduce undocumented immigration—large numbers of Central Americans have migrated to the United States, as dramatized most recently by the influx of children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras crossing the U.S.-Mexican border last summer. Although most are urgently fleeing violence in their countries, there are important economic roots to the migration—many of which are related to DR-CAFTA.

One of the most pernicious features of the agreement is a provision called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism. This allows private corporations to sue governments over alleged violations of a long list of so-called “investor protections.”

The most controversial cases have involved public interest laws and regulations that corporations claim reduce the value of their investments. That means corporations can sue those countries for profits they say they would have made had those regulations not been put into effect.

life-1964-01-24-flag-protest-cover

1964 protests in Panama – Life Magazine

These types of lawsuits have financially wrecked poor Central American countries often struggling to provide basic quality of life programs and services. These imposed conditions have greatly tempted the weak or corrupt governments away from domestic accountability and invoke policies favoring transnational corporations abroad in the U.S. or Canada. In certain circumstances U.S. Presidents, Congressional lobbyists, and/or corporate trade-investment partnerships push for clandestine military interventions—e.g. Lt. Colonel Oliver North—to stabilize or destabilize foreign governments depending on the most profitable U.S. interests. However, these operations, agreements, and policies are only part of the public domain or veiled and patriotically distorted manipulated mechanisms in the “restricted” public domain. This accessible domain is only the stained dirty side of a much darker, black underworld side.

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

In the upcoming Part II of Black Underworld, Inc., we find after closer investigation that the dark criminal domain and the public domain discussed above actually stimulate each other’s livelihood in a largely symbiotic dynamic. But at what costs in the short, mid, and long-term? And costs to who specifically?

————

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14 thoughts on “Black Underworld Inc. – Part I

    • Rosaliene,

      I think you are correct if you mean a more expansive definition of despicable. Of course, the direct immoral, abusive, exploitative behavior is wrong and despicable and must be stopped, deterred, and reversed (hopefully), HOWEVER, there is still more to it than just the illegal, evil aspects and the punishment. If there are too many upsides and positive opportunities for families/citizens that help nurture and build a human AND social infrastructure which has much more to offer than a life of crime or immoral, unethical ways or means of survival or toward a degradating “prosperity,” then that is a start in the whole equation of truer prosperity and decreased crime and abuses.

      In other words, if we don’t know where our luxury American products and/or services originate and HOW they are “harvested” or manufactured — e.g. we just indiscriminately buy/support a brand, product, or service and return to our busy consumer-based luxurious lifestyles without a thought in the world of WHAT we just “supported” with our hard-worked earnings, all the way down that production line to our hands — then we are JUST AS guilty or enabling as those BU Inc., illegal immoral criminals exploiting others in the black underworld markets.

      THAT is our (indirect?) part as Americans in the wealthiest nation and global economy which most of us are so SO detached from! Like it or not, if we do not stay abreast and in tune with our state and national doings and goings on, then our government and the corporations that manage and regulate it all… WILL SPIN OFF ITS WHEELS when there is little to no accountability to the people they serve and/or employ.

      Liked by 4 people

  1. Outstanding post. As you and Rosaliene alluded to, we need to get a better understanding for why this kind of behavior occurs. Some would instinctively blame the moral corruption of responsible individuals or even the general state of human nature, but I think it’s far more complicated than that. People tend to behave within the ethical norms of society. If a governmental system condones or rewards certain behaviors which the larger populace considers questionable or even immoral, then there will always be people who’ll pursue it.

    As long as ordinary people prioritize their own personal lives high above their communal lives, then the corruption of social institutions such as business, government, and religion will continue unabated. It is a terribly unfortunate and consequential reality of our shared humanity.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you Robert and your feedback and additional perspective/assessment nails down contributing factors and encourages a more effective, reasonable response to the negative condition we’ve created and its solutions. Well done!

      As long as ordinary people prioritize their own personal lives high above their communal lives, then the corruption of social institutions such as business, government, and religion will continue unabated.

      “Ordinary people.” Hmmm, that’s an interesting classification. 😉 I think just dropping ordinary and let it be human beings, including any type, any size, any color or no-color, any orientation, who understand and practice simple common courtesies and respect for everyone, and if they were born on planet Earth, then they are Earthlings! Right!? 😄🤩 The minute or day a human begins to think/feel that they never came into this world naked and screaming with vernix all over themselves, then in diapers, eating and pooping non-stop, entirely needy & dependent on parents-family-others, and horribly ungraceful in standing/walking… then one day toward the end of life return to essentially the exact same undignifying status/condition 🤣… then that is when all sorts of human social, political, legal, and economic problems start, in a ripple-effect that will touch/effect thousands or millions. Period. Am I wrong Robert? 😉

      I think you are really going to like Part II.

      Liked by 2 people

      • By “ordinary people,” I meant citizens who do not occupy positions of institutional power – because people who do occupy such positions fully understand and appreciate the power they wield. In other words, ordinary people generally feel powerless and that allows the few to rule over the many. When power is concentrated in few hands, then it becomes disconnected from the larger cultural mores which bind society together.

        This is why institutional, and especially governmental, systems and practices are crucial. If designed and implemented properly, it can restrict that disconnect between power and the people.

        I was also trying to say that it would be foolish to expect people in positions of power to suddenly find morality and behave in ways which would be ethically acceptable to the larger society. As Lord Acton wrote: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • Excellent clarification Robert, thank you! And I totally concur.

          …ordinary people generally feel powerless and that allows the few to rule over the many.

          Wow! That is so VERY profoundly true and why every single state in the Union, all 50 of them, should and must have labor unions just like we have the explicit right to peacefully protest and petition our governments at all levels (as hopefully informed citizens with sufficient power too) in a pure democracy where our GOVERNMENT serves the common “ordinary” citizens and not Special Interests or Campaign Donors! Very, very sadly we Americans have neither of those critical components of true democracy. The theft of both these rights/privileges for the American people, and most definitely in many states, was done just in the last few decades. Probably a theft-gotten-away-with Scot free because a generally POORLY educated national population (via PUBLIC curriculums, not biased or religious) does not know how to best organize together or fight that oligarchy you so precisely pointed out Robert. 😠👍

          And was not Lord Acton subatomically RIGHT when he wrote/said that? LOL

          Liked by 2 people

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  3. Hello Professor. Reading your post I was struck by the hierarchical nature of more powerful / wealthy nations taking from less powerful nations with seemingly little care. I feel about that as I do the powerful people taking advantage of the less powerful ones in a more personal context, it is wrong. I was wondering if we had a one world government such as in Star Trek or other fictional stories would that fix the ranking by a fake standard of worth among different nations and peoples? Would a united world lead to a more positive environment for humanity or would it lead to even worse abuses. Thanks for getting me thinking on these lines this morning. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was wondering if we had a one world government such as in Star Trek or other fictional stories would that fix the ranking by a fake standard of worth among different nations and peoples? Would a united world lead to a more positive environment for humanity or would it lead to even worse abuses.

      BWAH!!! Well THAT is certainly an easy question to answer. 😆 NOT. 🤨

      Seriously, that is a good question Scottie and the World Government idea/concept and solution I think should be at least considered, in some relative form. Yet, like most things (among a now 7.7 billion world population) there are pros and cons, and theory doesn’t necessarily translate into reality… to put it mildly. HAH! 😄😬

      I can think of two fantastic, profound reasons to move toward an inclusive version of more unified governing:

      1. More efficient aid-response time for major catastrophes effecting hemispheres or the globe, e.g. Category 6, 7? hurricanes and typhoons, massive volcano eruptions, Class 8 or 9 meteor strike, or worse… World War III. And those are just four events with critical long-term consequences (extinctions?).

      2. Improved international policing and enforcement of a long list of crimes against humanity AND inclusive judicial system.

      Now we already have versions of these in place: the United Nations, International Court of Justice, and several international humanitarian aid organizations to name three, but today they have limited capacities and effectiveness for several reasons. A big reason is our planet’s skyrocketing populations, particularly in countries of very poor social-economic infrastructure (lack of broad, quality education!) and food/land resources which are NOT keeping up. Those limitations MUST be overcome in order to at least accomplish #1 above if not both. Otherwise, the next major world catastrophe that occurs — and it/they WILL occur! — puts all of life on this planet and sustaining it at a very endangered tipping point, if not over it.

      And yet Scottie, many people said we could not go to the Moon, or build/maintain an International Space Station, or go to Mars. Many naysayers said we could never find cures for polio, measles, smallpox, and yellow fever thought by many not so long ago to be afflictions by God, sin, voodoo curses, or immoral behavior. The bottom-line is that it CAN be done. If humanity will stop focusing on what permanently separates us, what makes us “superior” over another perceived inferior group and instead focus more on our commonalities, it gets done! Naturally, having the learned skills, quality EDUCATION, and frequent willing exposure to troubles/difficulties so to manage a host of seemingly paradoxical, contradictory, or diverse elements gets it done!

      With that Scottie we, humanity needs to accept and embrace the fact that genetically we are practically identical. We’re even near identical genetically (with some differences) to chimpanzees, bonobos, and other primates, lemurs, and even cows. Therefore, we also have differences — we make horrible aquatic residents, that is in or under the sea. LOL My point is that we are all the same and we all have degrees of variation. Period. Get over it and let’s work as productive team!

      See, it’s our egos, our propensity to be exclusive, unique, and glorified that will often (always?) be our demise when forces of nature and the Universe come calling. HAH! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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