Today was one of those days when you wonder why God lets this orb keep on rotating. It started with an extremely disturbing article in the LA Times about the unbelievable escalation of drug violence in Mexico. Very striking piece that I highly recommend you read, here.
The article's summary is "The extreme violence produced by the drug war is seen as a form of social disfigurement in which Mexican values get more distorted each time a mutilated body is found." I didn't know that over 600 people have been beheaded in Mexico since 2006. We read about the mayhem in the paper here so often that I had lost count.
I want to quote the last segment of the article which I found particularly worrisome. Sorry the quote is so long.
"The reality of rampant brutality is itself an illustration of a kind of growing acceptance, at least within a segment of Mexican society. But, it turns out, even hit men need to be conditioned to new depths.
An accused former enforcer for the notorious cartel known as La Familia told police this year that he took newcomers to a far-off spot in the Michoacan hills for lessons. They learned how to behead and dismember people — using real victims.
The suspect, former state police officer Miguel Ortiz Miranda, said in a videotaped statement that peer pressure worked on reluctant trainees. After watching others cut into victims, they eventually joined in.
In a matter-of-fact tone, Ortiz said the dead were dismembered with a foot-long butcher's knife and then burned over a pit fire until no trace remained.
"It's not difficult," he explained, saying he had no qualms.
"Nothing," he said. "You don't feel anything."
WOW talk about the ultimate in negative peer pressure. That passage really channels Moroni 9 in a perky current events way. Let me say that I am never stepping foot in Mexico again and I find it offensive that I have to share this life with monsters who do these things.
So that was the first peal of the Armageddon Bell. Then I came across an article on MSN about naked sushi that I will not link to. Google the term if you don't know what it means. I guess that I'm naive but I never imagined I'd witness that level of public debauchery. Strike two.
Then on the way home I caught a continuing piece on NPR that I have been enjoying. They're creating a small t-shirt business and then writing pieces about the different aspects of running a business in today's economy. Today they talked about buying cheap cotton. This of course led to a story about how the USA had been sued and found guilty of illegal cotton subsidies by Brazil in the WTO. So instead of fixing the problem which is politically too hard, the US government has decided to bribe Brazilian cotton farmers with $147 million dollars every year from now to forever so that the US government can continue to pay the cotton industry to grow cotton. So much for the moral high ground of the Promised Land!
The explanation on why this is strike three takes a bit of explaining so stay with me. The easiest industry for a developing country (like Mexico) to foster is agriculture. We compete unfairly with the 3rd world by paying the soulless corporations (who for the most part have either competitively destroyed or bought out small, traditional family farmers) to grow stuff at a cost that the 3rd world can't match. This destabilizes their economies and forces them to rely on us for aid and their displaced agricultural workers to come here looking for work. A whole lot of problems come from that.
Meanwhile a flood of American weapons sweeps into Mexico paid for with American dollars that we pay the cartels because of our insatiable hunger for drugs that is turning Mexico into a failed state and bring open warfare with Gadianton robbers into this country.
At the same time, our jaded and debauched citizenry choose to ignore the problems of their own creation and ceaselessly discover new disturbing ways to stimulate their flaccid mojos.
In short this world is burning, its our fault and we're fiddling while our civilization is burning to the ground. The sad thing is that things can and will get worse.
At the same time, I am very happy and continually surprised with how happy and how many reasons I have to be happy; considering the many sad things I see happening in the world around me. Thank goodness for righteous living. Its the only way I can stomach staying on this miserable rock sometimes. Everyday I understand a little better what God is talking about in DC 86:5.
"Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields."
This world is so wicked. How much more will God allow to happen before he pulls the plug? Frankly I'm scared to find out.