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Here’s an excerpt describing the environment Miss Honduras (Maria Jose Alvarado) had to live in, who was senselessly murdered recently, along with her sister, Sofia:

While Alvarado pursued her dream, and her oldest sister married and moved away, Sofia was not so lucky, friends and officials said. She was a teacher until the school where she worked closed, and in love with a married man who left his wife to be with her, but was murdered in October 2013.

Then Sofia took up with Ruiz, who confessed to killing the sisters. Ruiz was known about town as a man to be feared from a family deeply involved in drug trafficking, officials say. Although he had no police record, he was seen as someone who could offer protection or eliminate enemies.

“If she had been any other girl, if she hadn’t been Miss Honduras, this would have been one more crime amid the impunity of Honduras,” said Jose Luis Mejia, director of the Technological University campus in Santa Barbara, where Alvarado studied. “They would have said what they always do: that this was the settling of accounts between drug traffickers, and they wouldn’t even have bothered to investigate.”

Most South American cocaine headed for the United States passes through Honduras, and Santa Barbara is on a main corridor from the brutal city of San Pedro Sula to the Guatemalan border. Officially, the killing of Miss Honduras and her 23-year-old sister isn’t related to drug trafficking. Police say Sofia’s suitor, Plutarco Ruiz, confessed to shooting the sisters in a jealous rage after she danced with another man at his birthday party. He killed Sofia first and then shot Maria Jose twice in the back as she tried to flee.

But to Alvarado’s friends and family, the killings are the result of a traditional machismo made worse by the wealth and muscle of drug traffickers.

“This region is imbued with narco culture represented by the image of a man who moves in a big car, drinks, takes drugs, walks around armed and is bad,” Mejia said. “The culture of violence and death.”

Narco culture surrounded slain Miss Honduras – Associated Press
By ALBERTO ARCE November 21, 2014 9:26 AM

If someone was born in such an environment and they want to get out and they come to the US and settle, to live a normal life, good for them. Integrate and move on.

The problem with poverty is that it often goes well beyond living with few material luxuries. For many poor, but not so drastically poor people regarding material elements such as food, health, and shelter, it’s the social disintegration of their environment that causes the most destruction in their lives.

Because poverty is highly destructive of structures providing personal security, and the latter is key to enabling survival and a minimally decent and healthy life experience. Of course, material resources such as food can be reduced to the point where they intensely harm one’s health (all spheres) or to the point of death, that is the level of material poverty that is grave.

However, poverty can also deteriorate the social relations between people, as it’s so clearly seen in this Honduran example. Of course, this kind of deterioration can be a problem in all economic classes, but money can provide someone with a greater chance to change, move, seek out other people, places, jobs, countries, etc.

We live in a modern feudal system, and there is nothing “modern” about it, in the sense that it’s just the same old feudal system with some cell phones sprinkled on it to disguise what it is. What we need is to enable and facilitate more geographic mobility and social integration for people who just want to live normal lives.


I’ve been too busy to blog, but I wanted to note two good comments from TAC.


Rob G says:
November 30, 2014 at 11:43 am

“Most of modern liberalism is about making intelligent compromises and finding happy mediums that most people can tolerate. Both at the individual and the social level. It’s not about some absolutist notion of personal independence.”

Yet above you wrote, ““Adults over the age of consent get to make choices and trade-offs according to their own moral or personal codes of value.”

What is that, other than an “absolutist notion of personal independence”? You can’t have it both ways. This is precisely the spot where choice in its liberal understanding begins to devour itself. Eventually people’s “moral or personal codes of value” will clash, sometimes violently. Who decides whose code will win the day? No matter how that question is answered tyranny of some sort is the eventual result.


Fr. Frank says:
December 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm

“The only way to rebel against Democratic incumbents is to elect their Republican counterparts. That’s rather a pyrrhic victory for the electorate, in the duopoly that’s two branches of a monolithic War Party.”

Amen, Fran. Movement Conservatism is over. The only reason I’m happy Cassidy won is that he’s not as hawkish as Cruz and Rubio. Landrieu was so unprincipled that she was happy to go to war with anybody the President thought might need a good killing. There really is only one party now.



And by and large, that’s how it’s been for some time, the US has had a one-party military-industrial complex political system despite claims to the contrary and the  differences between the two parties. There are some important differences at times, but the two parties serve the same master in the end.

This has to be my favorite “I Love Lucy” episode of all times – sigh – with guest appearance by Richard Burton (and Elizabeth Taylor – but who cares about her! 😉

Adorable script and acting – including by Lucy and Mr. Mooney!

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