Illegal Alien Indians Surge the Arizona Border

Not long ago, boosters of the Subcontinent assured the world that India was an emerging superpower and that this would be the “Indian Century.”

Now America’s southern border is being swarmed by illegal alien Indians claiming asylum by alleging persecution and torture. (The word “torture” is used in the video contained in the Arizona Republic’s post linked below though not in the article text.) So the glorious Indian future doesn’t seem to be working out.

Indians have no shortage of self-esteem, happy with the description that they are a model minority. They do achieve economically as a group (71 percent have at least a BA degree), but they are culturally misogynous and spiritually arrogant — see my 2007 report Dogs, Frogs and Dalits: The Indian Model Minority Has A Dark Side.

Of course, genuine asylum seekers openly show up in airports to make their claims; these characters are just illegal border crossers who got caught and then launch into Plan B. The invasive pests pay up to $35,000 to get here, so obviously they are making an investment in their economic future. All the asylum liars should be repatriated yesterday.

Instead, if the sob story is compelling and artfully demonstrates the phrase “credible fear of persecution” the illegal aliens are released and told to show up for a hearing. Naturally they just disappear into America and we citizens are stuck with additional diverse moochers.

Below, the instance of illegal alien Indians crossing the border is increasing, but that activity is not exactly new news.

Immigrants from India surge across Arizona border, Arizona Republic, September 8, 2013

On a recent Friday night in Phoenix, an unmarked white Department of Homeland Security bus pulls up to a curb near the Greyhound bus station.

The door swings open and 15 young men and women from India step off. In the scorching summer heat, they climb into waiting cars and taxis, cramming as many passengers inside as possible before they are driven off into the night.

A half-hour later, a second DHS bus pulls up to the same spot. Twenty Indians climb into cars and taxis, and like the first group, speed off.

This scene is repeated almost nightly at the Greyhound bus station on Buckeye Road and 24th Street near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The Indians are part of a mysterious surge in migrants from the South Asian country showing up at the Arizona border without legal visas and then requesting asylum to remain permanently in the U.S. out of fear they may be persecuted if returned to their homeland.

They arrive after paying as much as $35,000 to be smuggled halfway around the globe, flying from India to Central America and then embarking on an arduous and often dangerous 3,000-mile journey through several countries, including Mexico, to reach Arizona.

Hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Indians over the past year have asked for asylum. Some have been caught crossing illegally by the Border Patrol. More often, they are simply turning themselves in at legal border crossings in Nogales, asking for asylum based on claims of political persecution.

While the Indians say they are fleeing persecution, however, some skeptics say they are more likely fleeing poverty. Continue reading this article

Swede Welcomes His New Syrian Overlords

Now that Sweden has invited an unlimited number of Syrians to become refugees of that nation, one citizen has produced a welcome video for the new Syrian Swedes.

Hans Erling Jensen, the video’s speaker, is the Director of Free Speech Europe, which has recently been promoting the work of artist Lars Vilks who has received numerous death threats because of his drawings showing Mohammed as a dog. Modoggies, as the representations are called, also come in sculptural form and are appearing this year and next in the Roundabout Dog Tour appearing in places like Malmo.

Back to the video: it is titled, “Welcome to Sweden, or Sweden Committing Suicide.” It’s one way to answer the nation’s liberal leaders who just gave away everything to a pack of foreigners from an unfriendly culture. Isn’t that act normally considered treason?

Canada Funds a Program to Dissuade Honor Killing among Its Misogynous Muslims

Here’s a recent item about the cost for immigration diversity: Canadian taxpayers will be dinged $300,000 for a program to instruct Muslim newbies not to murder their women and girls if they violate Islam’s oppressive standards.

Seriously, if you have to tell an immigrant tribe not to kill the females whenever the mood strikes them, perhaps they are not a suitable group to admit to your western society. SunTV’s Brian Lilley brought up the unpleasant root cause, “Doesn’t this point to a problem with our immigration system?”

In fact, wherever Muslims reside, there are “honor” killings and other abuse of women and girls, behavior which is often defended by perps as being “their culture.”

Below, Iraqi immigrant dad Faleh Almaleki honor-killed his daughter Noor by running her down in an Arizona parking lot with his SUV because she had become too “westernized”.

Wait, wasn’t immigration diversity supposed to be enriching us benighted westerners?

In 2009, Canadians were shocked by a quadruple honor killing in an Afghan family where the father, wife and son murdered three daughters and a polygamous wife #2 for becoming too assimilated to western values of freedom and individuality. The Shafia family killers were found guilty last year, still proclaiming they were innocent despite copious evidence. Canadian journalist Michael Coren explained after the verdict that under Islam it is perfectly acceptable to lie to infidels and honor killing is not even illegal in many Muslim nations.

Islam is not compatible in any way with western norms of freedom, so trying to retrain Muslim immigrants after they have been admitted is a fool’s errand. Canada would be better off to end Muslim immigration entirely (just as America should!) but the government is doing band-aid stuff now that won’t solve the problem.

Tories fund program hoping to combat ‘honour’ crimes in Canada’s Muslim community, National Post, September 5, 2013

Kellie Leitch, the federal Status of Women Minister who is also an orthopedic surgeon, uses her experience in the operating room to explain the delicate reasons for the government’s special funding announcement Thursday to combat “honour” crimes in Canada’s Muslim community.

“Not every broken elbow is the same and I take a different approach in the operating room to fixing certain types of fractures of the elbow depending on what might need to be addressed,” she said in an interview Thursday.

“And I think we see those differences amongst ethno-cultural groups as well,” she said, noting different communities often deal with different family violence issues.

“They are different amongst different ethnic groups; they are different amongst different cultural groups. They require, sometimes, a different approach.”

With that as backdrop, Ms. Leitch announced $306,040 in federal money for a project to curtail domestic violence linked to cultural practices among some Muslim families. Continue reading this article

Coren & Spencer Note Syrian Subtlety in Savagery

In considering the Middle East, one must carefully weigh the fine points of evil, since nice guys in leadership are as common as three-headed camels. Bashar Assad may be a murdering thug who might have used chemical weapons on his own people, but at least he is not a crazed Islamist working to create a world caliphate under Allah. Assad runs a secular administration, and he has also protected Christians in his country. Trading him for a Muslim Brotherhood government would not be an improvement from an American national security viewpoint.

For an intelligently nuanced discussion of Syria, check out SunTV’s semi-regular interview of Robert Spencer by Michael Coren as they discuss a number of important subjects, including the central threat of Iran (“Syria is a sideshow”) and the clueless leadership of Obama and his sidekicks, like the clownish Senator McCain. The Arizona Senator is now a self-appointed expert on Islam, in addition his expertise on Mexican illegal aliens.

Spencer analyzed Obama’s strong preference for Sunni Islam as indicated by the President’s actions:

“For whatever reason, there’s no doubt he has consistently supported Sunni Islamic supremacist sharia forces. He did it in Egypt, in Libya and now in Syria, and so it may be, some people have suggested that maybe he thinks that if the Sunni Islam caliphate is restored then there will be peace, because that’s what the jihadis say they are fighting to do, so he thinks if we give that to them then they will stop fighting us. I think that is a possibility and it makes about as much sense as anything of his behavior. The consistency is clear; the reason behind it is murky.”

Michael Coren (who lived for years in the Middle East) brought up the point that Sunni Islam has its splits within, not just with the Shias in Iran, such as between the Saudis and Erdogan in Turkey. Spencer added that Obama has called Erdogan his favorite foreign leader.

“When everything he has done in his foreign policy is in favor of sharia regimes, then it seems like that’s what he wants to see in the Islamic world,” Spencer observed. (For more on this topic, see my May blog, Robert Spencer Analyzes Obama Strategy regarding Hostile Islam.)

Below, that’s President Obama’s rear end front and center, as he bowed to Saudi King Abdullah in 2009.

Sweden Puts Out Welcome Mat for Unlimited Syrian Refugees

On Tuesday, I blogged about the explosive numbers of Syrian refugees — now two million — after several years of war but before General Obama’s military strikes. Surely more chaos in the region will cause even more people to flee the danger, and become refugees. One might reasonably fear an Obama decision to admit kazillions of Muslim Syrians to this country to demonstrate his enormous benevolence to the diverse downtrodden of the world.

But the offer from Sweden for resettlement of any and all Syrian refugees is crazy-generous.

Sweden’s 2012 census counted 9,555,893 residents of the nation. An influx of a million Syrian refugees (only half of the number reported) would overwhelm Swedish society with an alien, unfriendly culture.

Sweden already has trouble with violent Muslims who don’t want to assimilate to Western values. In May, rowdy “youths” rioted in Stockholm for five nights. In 2010, a Muslim suicide bomber struck Stockholm, and in immigrant-thick Malmo, firemen need police protection to fight fires in Muslim neighborhoods. Importing a huge glut of Islamic unfriendlies at one time seems suicidal.

RefugeeResettlementWatch has noted US-based resettlement professionals gleefully contemplating mucho thousands of Syrians coming to this country. But hopefully the offer of Sweden — which is closer and is famous for generous welfare benefits — will prove irresistible. It would be better for all concerned if wealthy Arab states like Saudi and the Gulf states would open their doors, but that’s not happening.

Sweden grants blanket asylum to Syrian refugees, Special Broadcasting Service (Australia), September 5, 2013

Sweden has become the first European Union country to announce it will give asylum to all Syrian refugees who apply.

”All Syrian asylum seekers who apply for asylum in Sweden will get it,” Annie Hoernblad, the spokeswoman for Sweden’s migration agency, told AFP.

“The agency made this decision now because it believes the violence in Syria will not end in the near future.”

The decision, which will give refugees permanent resident status, is valid until further notice, added Hoernblad. Continue reading this article

Obama's Timing Is Questioned regarding Syria Incursion

The curious decision of Obama’s to engage in a sudden flurry of foreign adventurism has not been entirely lost in the Beltway, with at least one Congressman suggesting that the interest in the internal problems of Syria may be a strategy of distraction. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) noted the use of chemical weapons several months ago and asked about the response, “Was it delayed to divert attention today from the Benghazi, IRS and NSA scandals, the failure of Obamacare enforcement, the tragedy of the White House drafted sequestration or the upcoming debt-limit vote? Again, why was there no call for military response four months ago when the President’s red line was crossed?”

In addition, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) noted, “The administration has a serious credibility issue with the American people” and went on to list similarly the scandals of Benghazi, widespread IRS snooping, Fast and Furious gun running and the NSA spying programs. He also asked Secretary of State Kerry whether the Benghazi attack was connected with arms being sent to Syria. Inquiring minds still want to know.

This fall’s Congress was shaping up to be a messy one, headed up by the debt-limit confrontation, but Obama’s Syrian monkey wrench helps to kick the can down the road, or as Reuters headlined: Syria vote complicates U.S. fiscal debate; stop-gap more likely.

Plus, the effort of Republicans to defund Obamacare has been gaining steam, with Rush Limbaugh listeners crashing the website last Wednesday after a radio appearance by Senator Ted Cruz. (We wouldn’t expect R-leaders like Boehner or Cantor to be doing anything as useful.)

Below, Syrian “rebels” are the good guys — or so we are told. (Will they be future refugees?)

Obama portrays himself as being shocked at the chemical weapons attack, calling it “an assault on human dignity.” But his messing up the fall legislative calendar is too convenient for the White House to be ignored.

The Syria commotion may have the benefit for America of pushing immigration amnesty off the schedule, which wouldn’t be a bad thing for Obama either because he could blame the Republicans for not squeezing it in somehow some way. Keeping amnesty as a carrot-on-a-stick issue for hispanics is almost as desirable as 40+ million future Democrats in the hopper.

Berlin's Kreuzberg Outlaws Christmas

In the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, the neighborhood leaders have gotten off to an early start on Christmas bashing, in fact forbidding it entirely. The excuse is to prevent Muslims’ sensitive feelings from being hurt.

Kreuzberg is a very diverse area, with many Turkish Muslims. As of 2006, 31.6% of Kreuzberg’s residents were not German citizens.

The article has been translated from the original in MM News by the IslamVsEurope blog, which notes, “Kreuzberg is notorious as one of the most Muslim-colonised parts of Berlin and Germany.”

Berlin: Kreuzberg Bans Christmas, September 3, 2013

As of now, Christmas is banned in Berlin’s Kreuzberg – at least as far as celebration in public places is concerned. Christmas is only allowed in the home, so that the religious feelings of others are not injured.

No April Fool: the district office of Berlin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is doing away with Christmas. The authorities are allowing no more Christmas celebrations in public places or streets. A Christmas tree may only be set up in a central location, allocated by the authorities in advance – so reports the “Berliner Zeitung”. The ban on celebrations was decided by the Greens, the Left and the Pirates. The SPD [Socialists] and CDU [Merkel’s party, mainstream right] were apparently against it.

The responsible city councilman Peter Beckers (SPD) responded to protests against the ban on the public celebration of Christmas to the BZ: “Why do religious celebrations need to be celebrated in public?”

Background to the Christmas ban: In August Muslims wanted to celebrate the end of Ramadan on Berlin’s streets. There were complaints from locals worried about the noise. The District Office made “short work” of these and immediately banned all religious celebrations – including Christmas, on the grounds of “equal treatment”.

Two Million Syrian Refugees: How Many Will Obama Welcome Here?

Does anyone think Obama’s meddling in Syria won’t end up with his admitting many thousands of suffering victims of the cruel dictator Assad? After all, the mission is a humanitarian one, we little citizens are told. No attentive adult believes this President would go to war to defend American security interests, so the do-gooder explanation sounds as good as any — although the timing curiously distracts from Republican efforts in Congress, and the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria followed 100,000 deaths by other means.

Below, a refugee camp in northern Syria.

One might think of the Powell/Pottery Barn Doctrine: you break it, you own it. By causing even more chaos in the region, Obama may feel honor-bound to admit even more Syrian refugees beyond the opening salvo of 2,000 announced a month ago.

The previous occasion of taking in US-war-related refugees, namely from Iraq, allowed several terrorists (of which we know) to enter this country. Mohanad Shareef Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan are serving long prison terms for terrorist activities, and Abdullatif Ali Aldosary is in pre-trial, where he is charged with murder and bombing an Arizona Social Security office.

About ninety percent of Syrians are Muslim. What are the chances that Obama would consider non-Muslims for refugee status? Pretty slim, given his obvious leanings.

Number of Syrian refugees rises above 2 million, U.N. agency says, CNN, September 3, 2013

(CNN) — Every 15 seconds, a Syrian becomes a refugee, and those witnessing the violence unfolding on the ground don’t believe military action against the regime would bring relief.

While a doctor who treats refugees says the regime has a history of becoming more vicious when backed into a corner, one Syrian says he doesn’t believe strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s forces would be effective because the regime would protect its own people and leave the rest to die so it could blame the massacre on the United States.

“We are stuck in the middle, between the Russians and the Americans, the Iranians and the Saudis, and we are the victims,” the man said.

The United Nations’ refugee agency said Tuesday that the number of Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country has now risen to more than 2 million. Continue reading this article

Many Older Workers Aren’t Celebrating Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, and that means the mainstream press deigns to look at actual victims of America’s self-destructive globalist economy for 24 hours. On the other 364 days, we see the bloodless statistics when the government burps out new ones, but without a human face.

(Pictured is Marilyn Berenzweig living in a New Jersey tent city, a far cry from her formerly middle-class lifestyle.)

Curiously, the media business has been particularly hard hit by the marketplace changes due to digitized news. Newspapers have been battered by the loss of print advertising and the switch of customers to online, which is harder to monetize. You would think the remaining scribblers would be more sympathetic to job loss, but they just aren’t. There may be some magical thinking going on, that if the bad unemployment thoughts can be kept away, so can real joblessness. ( Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978.)

In Silicon Valley it’s easy for media to glance around and see the problems, where formerly middle-class tech workers have been put out to pasture by outsourcing and H-1b immigration. In 2010, CBS’ Sixty Minutes did a segment on IT professionals who were over 40, jobless and running out of unemployment benefits — and hope.

These days, there is a burble of tech resurgence in the Bay Area, but only for young workers who don’t require a normal life separate from the job: forget 9 to 5, the new work normal in tech is 24/7.

As Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg observed:

“I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” Facebook’s CEO (now 28) told a Y Combinator Startup event at Stanford University in 2007. “Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.”

Whippersnapper-owned businesses (like Facebook) don’t want mature employees (who might have better ideas than recent graduates), plus the young workers are considerably cheaper, and foreign H-1b employees are even more exploitable. When experienced mature workers are hired, they often earn less than 10 or 20 years ago.

Many older workers are still struggling despite the ‘recovery’ around them, San Jose Mercury News, September 1, 2013

Ron LaPedis, 57, in his home office in San Bruno, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013. After a series of job layoffs, part-time work, contract jobs, LePedis finally found a permanent job last year and is now about 5 percent below his highest salary of his career.

As the nation celebrates the American worker Monday, many workplace veterans are discovering that the Great Recession has been followed by a not-so-great recovery.

Labor Day 2013 comes with a dark shadow attached, as nearly half of the workers rehired last year make less than they did before losing their jobs in the economic maelstrom. For older Americans in the baby boomer generation, that percentage is even higher, with about two-thirds of them now earning less than they once did.

Even here in the relatively bustling Bay Area, where highly paid workers are flourishing in counties that boast some of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, recession veterans like Howard Greenstein, of San Jose, are angry about how things have played out.

“I feel like I’ve lost 10 years of my life,” says the 54-year-old Greenstein, whose employment woes began even before the recession when the tech company he worked for went under in 2001. After some contract jobs and part-time stints, he finally landed a program-manager job in Silicon Valley three years ago. But “I’m now making the same money I made in 1995,” says Greenstein, and much less than in his best-paid years.

Bob Withers, who works with the skilled unemployed as a program coordinator for ProMatch, a career networking center in Sunnyvale, says he’s seen the struggle up close as many long-term jobless workers try to get a toehold back in a job market where many of the well-paid positions they once held are gone, and probably for good.

“While we’ve seen a good number of people going back to work to places like Apple and Intel, but also to startups, some still aren’t making what they once did,” says Withers. “So it’s hard work breaking back in.”

What many Californians are finding is a tale of two recoveries, a narrative captured by the title of the California Budget Project’s annual report: “Uneven Progress: What the Economic Recovery has Meant for California’s Workers.” That “progress” is complicated by a triple whammy of wage stagnation, a dramatic growth of low-wage jobs in hospitality and food services, and the staggering number of jobs lost in California during the recession — 1.4 million, nearly half of which have yet to come back. Continue reading this article

Obama Sends Video Greetings to Radical Islam Group, but Ignores Christian Suffering in Egypt

Here’s a fine use of the video medium to compare and contrast — in this case Obama’s friendliness toward a jihadist Islamic organization (ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America) versus his complete disregard of the murderous attacks against Christians in Egypt.

As I noted a few days ago, Obama has welcomed an ISNA imam, Mohamed Magid, to the White House to advise about immigration and Islo-diversity.

Below, Magid was a guest at the 2012 White House Iftar celebration.

The Christian clip comes from CBN:

Egyptian Christian Leader: ‘Shame on Obama’,, August 28, 2013

An Egyptian Christian leader is calling out President Barack Obama and his administration for not doing enough in face of intense persecution against the Church by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Following the recent barrage of church burnings, Father Rafic Greiche, the chief spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, criticized President Obama for not speaking out against the worst violence against Egyptian Christians in nearly 700 years.

“President Obama when he made a speech he just touched on the burning churches instead of telling the Muslim Brotherhood that they are terrorists and they are making terror on Egypt,” Greiche said. “He did not speak loud for this and shame on him if he is a Christian that he does not speak out loud.”

“The spokesman of the White House who…was asked ‘What is the red line for the Christians in Egypt?’ he mocked and said, ‘I didn’t bring my red pen,” he noted.

“So I think it was a mockery and not at its place and really shame on him also,” he said. Continue reading this article

San Francisco Bay Bridge Countdown

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the region is semi shut down because of the five days of construction required to switch to the new Bay Bridge from the old one which was damaged in the 1989 earthquake. The new structure has been plagued by huge cost overruns in the billions of dollars and bad engineering, specifically crucial fasteners that were found to be dangerously brittle. But this is California, so how surprised can you be at world-class incompetence?

Still, bridges are some of the most fascinating structures in the human pantheon of creativity. The video below is a time-lapse view of the construction of the new bridge. (Hooray for Youtube!)

One of the little known facts about the other major bridge in the region, the Golden Gate (pictured), is how in 1930 voters chose to allow their own properties to be used as collateral for the bonds. Such trust in government (and the Bridge District is a governmental agglomeration of counties) is unimaginable today. The idea that the current liberal globalist government would act to benefit the American people is no longer believable.

This Day in History, May 27, 1937: Golden Gate Bridge opens, History Channel

[. . .] To finance the bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District was formed in 1928, consisting of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Del Norte, and parts of Mendocino and Napa counties. These counties agreed to collectively take out a large bond, which would then be paid back through bridge tolls. In November 1930, residents of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District voted 3-1 to put their homes, farms, and businesses up as collateral to support a $35 million bond to build Strauss’ Golden Gate Bridge. [. . .]

Another aspect of the 1930 vote of local residents to put their own properties on the line was the homogenous nature of the population then. As sociologist Robert Putnam has cogently argued, “Diversity decreases trust.”

So it is not unreasonable to see the Golden Gate Bridge as a monument to traditional, non-diverse America.

Fire Threatening Yosemite May Have Been Started by Mexican Cartels

Here in northern California, every local TV newscast over the last couple weeks has been filled with depressing footage of the huge Rim Fire burning near Yosemite, and in recent days the park itself has been breached.

Now we are learning that the fire was likely started by marijuana growers and that means Mexican cartels may well be the culprits.

Not that a criminal cause would be a surprise. Mexican cartels have been spewing toxic chemicals and poisoning our treasured national parks for years with minimal response from Washington.

A 2009 fire near Santa Barbara that scorched more than 137 square miles was believed to have been started by Mexican cartel growers.

A 2007 news report about a southern California fire noted common causes (Officials say illegal campfire caused blaze near Pine Valley, San Diego Union Tribune, 9/14/07):

Officials have said lightning strikes and campfires started by illegal immigrants are the two most common causes of fires in the forest south of Interstate 8.

More generally, a 2011 GAO report found that at least 30 wildfires were suspected to have been started by illegal aliens between 2006 and 2010.

The current Rim Fire has been devastating to Yosemite-area businesses catering to visitors, particularly at the end of summer when many want to squeeze in one more trip before Labor Day. The fire is the fifth-largest in California history and has burned more than 200,000 acres. The threat to San Francisco’s water supply in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is also being closely watched.

How much attention will the press pay to the open-borders cause of this financial and environmental disaster? Probably not much.

Rim Fire: Did illegal marijuana growers start the blaze?, San Jose Mercury News, August 30, 2013

Investigators searching for answers into what caused the massive wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park have made some headway, fire officials said Friday.

Most authorities are mum about the details, but one fire official in Tuolumne County offered a tantalizing clue when he recently told a community meeting that the fire was likely caused by marijuana growers.

“We don’t know the exact cause,” said Todd McNeal, fire chief in Twain Harte, a town that has been in the path of the flames. But he told a community meeting that it was “highly suspect that there might have been some sort of illicit grove, a marijuana-grow-type thing.”

“We know it’s human caused. There was no lightning in the area,” said McNeal, a former captain with the Sonora Fire Department who has fought fires for 23 years for the Forest Service, the National Park Service and other agencies in the Sierra Nevada.

His remarks, made on Aug. 23, were recorded and posted on YouTube in a video that has gotten surprisingly little attention.

Officially, authorities were saying little.

“The cause is still under investigation. There has been progress in the case, but we can’t share any additional details at this time,” said Stanton Florea, a spokesman with the U.S. Forest Service.

The Rim Fire began Aug. 17 in a remote area of Stanislaus National Forest called Jawbone Ridge, far from any paved road. Smoke from the blaze has drifted so far that satellites are measuring it thousands of miles away over Canada and the Great Lakes — and in traces over Europe.

By Friday, the fire had burned 213,414 acres, making it the fifth largest wildfire in California history. It was 35 percent contained; fire officials are estimating full containment on Sept. 20.

Over the past decade, the Forest Service and rural police have reported an increasing number of huge marijuana plantations being found in national forests across California and other states. The operations are run by Mexican drug cartels and are often guarded by armed lookouts, authorities say.

The growers have shot wildlife, rerouted streams and poisoned parks and forests with pesticides. They also have started fires.

In 2009, a huge fire that burned 90,000 acres in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara was set by a campfire from an illegal marijuana grow, Forest Service investigators concluded at the time. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said the operation was run by a Mexican drug cartel. Deputies reported finding 30,000 marijuana plants and an AK-47 assault rifle in a remote canyon near where the wildfire started. They also found piles of garbage, propane tanks and a charred stove.

A few weeks after that incident, the Santa Barbara County sheriff said that the tightening of security around the U.S.-Mexico border had led to the rise in drug gangs deciding to grow marijuana on public lands in California. Continue reading this article

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