Archive for July, 2008

On McMafia

July 6, 2008

On McMafia

                                                                                                            7/6/08

            This doesn’t purport to be only a book review, or attempt to be a thorough one either.  It is on the subject.  The title of the book by Misha Glenny comes from the idea that mafia or organized crime, is as globally diversified as McDonalds, and that it can be franchised like McDonalds, or the Chechen mob.  I’ve been nervous about even reading this book because the network of the Charlie Rose show went off the air when Rose was interviewing him about his book.

            Glenny travels the world and discusses the organized crime here and there.  He doesn’t say they are all connected.  He does count the organizations as Mafia.  He lets us off lightly as he says the United States is mostly a consumer of crime products.  He says that the mob here was seriously damaged in the 70’s and 80’s.  However it seems to me that the bad guys have control of EVERYTHING here.  And I’m in serious trouble and I get poisoned all the time.  Philip Carlo says they are in construction, concrete and steel, in EVERY major city.

            There is crime in just about the entire world.  Here is comment on a few countries, and as discussed in the book.  Japan struck me as bad because big business used their criminals to route the pour from their housing in a big way, to make money on real estate speculation and appreciation.  This was done on a large scale, and I can’t believe law enforcement was mostly on board for this.  Way to go, Japan.

            PBS comes up short in the news department when it speaks of Columbia.  They make out FARC to be the bad guy communists, but who will speak for the poor?  And the media mostly leave out the story of the paramilitaries (which story is in the book,) who use drug money, and have right wing ties to the national army.  (This means to me they have access to U.S. drug fighting monies too.)  One answer is drug legalization, more below. 

            China counterfeits everything, everything whether there are copyrights or not.  Glenny says North Korea does a good job on $100 bills and is cheaper on some things that say made in China.

            Russia and Israel deal in much, including trafficked women sex slaves.  Glenny asks if those in the brothels, the men, knew the extent of the devastation of the kidnapped women, would they still use the services.  I know I have a poor opinion of mankind, and think this knowledge would change little.  Yet I’m hoping this blog can change things.

             The U.S. consumes so much drugs, can you imagine the corruption involved in the distribution.  Glenny points out how much has been spent on incarceration and other law enforcement.  The war on drugs can be rethought to emphasize medical treatment WHEN NECESSARY.  Legalize it.  This would mean less profit for crime, and we can save the baby from the bath water, and make society better by being less prude; (my opinion is that prudery promotes prostitution for some men and women.)  And we can make love not war, instead of funding merchants of death and smuggled cigarettes.

            I don’t know, read the book to learn more.  The book McMafia is listed in my profile, and last I checked I was the only person to do so.  I don’t know why I feel harassed about this book and will continue to try to make this a better post.

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