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U.S. Customs And Border Protection Is Already Building Prototypes Of The U.S.-Mexico Wall In San Diego

Twitter/@MichelleDiana

In the middle of rescue efforts in Texas and the forthcoming decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the White House is charging full steam ahead with their proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that prototypes of the proposed U.S.-Mexico wall will be built in San Diego.

Contractors have been bidding to work with the White House on the proposed wall since March. Some received death threats. Border officials announced yesterday that four companies were awarded contracts to construct prototypes of the border wall:

Caddell Construction Co. in Montgomery, Alabama

Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. DBA Fisher Industries, in Tempe, Arizona

Texas Sterling Construction Co., in Houston, Texas

W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, in Philadelphia, Mississippi

CNN reports that each award will be worth roughly $400,000 to $500,000.

According to journalist Aura Bogado, one of the companies had to pay $2 million for criminal fraud in 2012.

In 2012, the Department of Justice ordered Caddell Construction Co. to pay $2 million because the company overstated “developmental assistance provided to a disadvantaged small business as part of a Department of Defense (DoD) program.” Essentially, they billed the government for more money than they deserved while providing assistance to a small business that they partnered with in a federal program.

Here’s one prototype of the border wall.

The CBP explained how the wall will be constructed:

“These concrete prototypes will serve two important ends. First, given their robust physical characteristics, like, reinforced concrete, between 18-30 feet high, the concrete border wall prototypes are designed to deter illegal crossings in the area in which they are constructed.”

“Second, the concrete border wall prototypes will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs that could complement the wall and barrier designs we have used along the border over the last several years. As the border security environment continues to evolve, CBP will continually refresh its own inventory of tools to meet that evolution.”

You may be wondering at this point who is going to pay for all of this.

Mexico has already said they’re not paying for the wall.

Last week in Arizona, Trump basically said that if the government didn’t approve funding for the wall, he’d “shut it down.”

But Hurricane Harvey has changed everything. The government cannot shut down, especially when government workers are working on rescue and relief efforts. Something has got to give, because Trump said, “One way or the other, we’re going to get that wall.” That money has to come from somewhere.

Trump needs billions to fund the wall, and that money could come out of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fund.

When Congress resumes next week after their month-long break, the final budget will get sorted out. If there’s no conclusion met, there may be a shutdown. If they do reach a consensus over the funds for the wall, it will come out of the FEMA fund.

That means those people suffering in Houston will have their resources from their recovery taken away in order to pay for the wall.

READ: Kat Von D Is Using Her Immigration Story To Take A Stand Against Trump’s Border Wall

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12 Tequila Brands That Represent The Best Of The New And The Classic In Mexican Distilling Tradition

Culture

12 Tequila Brands That Represent The Best Of The New And The Classic In Mexican Distilling Tradition

@doncheposboca / @cazcabeltequila / Instagram

Tequila is perhaps the most iconic drink from Mexico (although mezcal has been making a BIG comeback for a few years now, particularly as part of urban hipster cultures). We recently reported how tech mogul Elon Musk is trying to get his controversial Teslaquila off the ground, and how Breaking Bad actors Bryan Craston and Aaron Paul are considering having their own label. That is all good if they bring money and jobs to the area of Tequila, Jalisco, where the ancient spirit is produced under Denomination of Origin. 

In the meantime, here are a few Mexican-owned tequila brands, some of which are the usual suspects (1800, Corralejo) while others are smaller but exciting brands. 

Sotol Hacienda de Chihuahua (just like tequila, but a bit different)
https://www.vinomex.com.mx/

Credit: sher_castroc/ Instagram

This tequila is housed in a legendary hacienda, as the company, Sotol, states: “The Hacienda Tabalaopa, a family jewel since it’s establishment in 1881, has historically embraced Sotol as the spirit of the region”. This premium spirit, Sotol, is a bit different to tequila as it is elaborated with a wild agavacea variety termed Dasylirion which only grows in the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico. This is an example of how the industry is diversifying, encompassing other regions of Mexico.

Tequila Moderno
https://tequilamoderno.com

Credit: brandsofmexico / Instagram

This beautiful bottle contains a premium tequila developed by a young Mexican entrepreneur. This relatively new brand is socially conscious and has programs to support agave growers in Jalisco. They source their agave azul from small growers, supporting the local farming industry. It has gotten some good reviews and is bound to become a staple of hipster bars worldwide. 

Tequila San Matias
https://www.sanmatias.com/us/products/

Credit: snmatiascristal / Instagram

This casa tequilera is as traditional as it comes: it has been operating since 1886 when it was founded by Don Delfino González. However, its owners have taken good care of the brand’s image, using a contemporary brand design that looks great on any bar shelf. Their crown jewel is the San Matias Cristal, which is clear and pure, distilling the floral notes to the nose and the palette that pure blue agave brings. It is the new face of an old distillery, so it brings together the new and the classic in interesting ways. 

Tequila Pueblo Viejo
https://www.tequilapuebloviejo.com/us/home.html

Credit: puebloviejomx / Instagram

One of the most traditional brands around (we can totally picture Jorge Negrete or Pedro Infante drinking straight from the bottle while delivering a serenata). This tequila is also the brainchild of Don Delfino González, who during the period that preceded the Mexican Revolution found the perfect conditions for growing agave azul and producing tequila in the Los Altos region of Jalisco. The red soil fields here are rich in iron and other minerals, which provides the perfect nourishment for the agave plants. 

Tequila La Malinche
http://tequilalamalinche.com/intro_eng/

Credit: tequilamalinche / Instagram

This tequila is manufactured by Tequilas del Señor, a house that has more than seven decades of expertise. It is named after the indigenous woman, La Malinche, that according to the legend served as a translator for the conquistadores. For those who enjoy a clear taste, La Malinche is a good option. To the nose, it provides intense notes of baked agave with hints of mint and citrus. It is silky in the mouth with pleasant herbal notes and lovely acidity. It is great to drink by itself… perhaps after a few carnitas tacos. 

Tequila Espinoza
http://tequilaespinoza.com/?lang=en

Credit: mecomunicacion / Instagram

Just look at this bottle! It would be envied by the most delicate whiskeys on the planet. The reposado (which basically means “rested”, as it has matured in oak barrels for years) variety has a smokey and deep flavor. This house is owned by Armando Orozco Espinoza, a young tequila master that comes from a long tradition of experts. The mantra of this house: ” passion, tradition, braveness, attitude, maturity, and youth.” Bound to become one of the classics. 

Tequila Don Sueños
http://donsuenos.com/

Credit: doncheposboca / Instagram

These tequilas fall in the super-premium category, so they are bound to be a bit pricey (so please don’t make cheap margaritas with it… go a bit more sophisticated and put together a fancy cocktail). This relatively new brand was years in the making: they hired a tequila master to spot the perfect agave plants to create a distinctive flavor. The family that runs this business has been growing agave for more than four decades. The fields and factory are located in the “Golden Triangle” region in Los Altos (Highlands) of Jalisco. 

Tequila 29 Two Nine
http://www.tequila29.com

Credit: theblogmx / Instagram

A young brand that has gotten some traction in the European market. The reposado variety is a delight: deep, peppery flavors thanks to the eight months it spends in oak barrels. Tequila 29 Two Nine is owned by a family who, according to company communications, wants to disrupt the game.

Tequila Corralejo
https://tequilacorralejo.mx/en

Credit: tequilacorralejo / Instagram

One of the most widely sold tequilas, both in Mexico and overseas. It is manufactured in the Hacienda Corralejo in Guanajuato, which as become a tourist attraction in its own right. As stated by the company, “visitors can satisfy their curiosity and excitement about the processes used to make tequila. The atmosphere is a delight to both sight and smell, as exemplified by casks for aging tequila located in beautiful cellars and filled with a suggestive and captivating aroma that evokes the honey of cooked agave”. Sounds like a perfect holiday to us! 


Tequila El Jefe
https://www.eljefetequila.com/

Credit: eljefetequila / Instagram

This is a luxury craft tequila owned by Mexican-Americans but manufactured the distiller Tequilera Las Juntas in Jalisco. It is made from 100 percent Blue Weber Agave grown in the region of Tequila. It has won multiple international awards. 

Tequila Tromba
http://tequilatromba.com

Credit: tequilatromba / Instagram

A young, hip brand whose slogan is #takelifebystorm. It was created by Marco, a master distiller with over 40 years of experience. He says: “I’m really proud of what I’ve done throughout my career at some of the best brands, but there are always limitations when you work for someone else. Tromba represents everything I think great tequila can be.” Marco is joined by Rodrigo Cedano, a young apprentice who really strives to create a tequila that distinguishes itself from the dozens of options in the market. Guess where the name comes from? “Tromba gets its name from the intense rainstorms of the Jalisco highlands that nourish its famed agave plants. It also represents energy and rejuvenation that fuels the passion and purpose of its founders”. 


Tequila Cazcabel

Credit: cazcabeltequila / Instagram

It takes its name from the famous poisonous rattlesnake. This brand specializes in blends that infuse tequila with flavors such as honey and coffee. It is created in the town of Arandas, in the Jalisco highlands. This brand makes sure that the agave plants are used in a sustainable way, and use every part of the plant in the production process. They have some pretty good ideas for cocktails: http://cazcabel.com/the-drinks/.

READ: Elon Musk’s ‘Teslaquila’ Drink Faces Legal Trouble From Mexican Tequila Industry

Racist Woman’s Rant Wishes Trump Deportation On A Boricua Who Was Just Minding Her Own Business

Fierce

Racist Woman’s Rant Wishes Trump Deportation On A Boricua Who Was Just Minding Her Own Business

Before Trump was president, many opponents of the man swore that electing a person with a history of racist behavior would encourage closeted bigots to be more vocal with their hate. This claim has proved to be true basically time and time again in the years since he was elected on nearly a weekly basis. Attacks on Muslim and Latinx people have been sanctioned by government policies but we have also seen disturbingly bigoted behavior from average citizens. Hate crimes have skyrocketed since 2016 and viral videos of racist attacks and abuse are commonplace on the internet.

The latest act of xenophobia comes from Trump’s July Twitter tantrum against Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow freshmen congresswomen. In it, the president insisted that those who don’t like how America currently works should just leave. It’s a command most Black and brown people have heard at least once in their lives and it again invites undercover racists to be bold enough to let their hatred for minorities show. 

One of the latest examples of the freedom racists feel is a video coming out of Abington, Pennsylvania that shows a white woman accosting a Puerto Rican woman at a grocery store. 

Twitter / @jftaveria1993

On June 30th, 2019, Johanny Santana was standing in line at the grocery store when a child came into the line to ask his grandfather a question. The child and grandfather spoke Spanish to each other and this caused a white woman who was also in line to cuss at the boy. Hearing this, Santana started recording with her phone to capture any further encounters. The boy left and came back, only to have another woman object. This is when Santana stepped in and changed the focus to her. 

In a video posted to Facebook, Santana asks the other woman if she had a problem with the individuals speaking Spanish after the white woman loudly complains, “Any century now.” The White woman then told Santana, “Can you stop talking to me? You’re a p*ta.” After Santana told the woman not to say that word, she responded again, repeating, “You’re a p*ta.”

It’s then that the altercation turned overtly racist. 

Twitter / @CasaDeDre

The woman launched into a bigoted diatribe aimed at Santana. In the video, she can be heard saying: 

“You shouldn’t be in this country. I hope Trump deports you. I was born here, you don’t belong here, go back to your own country. You don’t belong here, you came here illegally. You should be deported.” 

The unidentified white woman then accused Santana of using “drug money” to buy her groceries. In the video, she is seen flashing cash at the Boricua and telling her that her money was legal, unlike what Santana was using. 

In the video, Santana can be heard retaliating with her own insults.

Facebook / @CaleroRaquel

In response to her own words, Santana told NBC News that she felt ashamed and powerless.

“I regret it because I didn’t want to tell her that. I felt powerless because I didn’t speak English well enough to be able to properly respond to her.”  

The community that Santana lives in only has a population of 55,310 according to the 2010 Census. Of that population, almost 80% is white and only 3% of residents are Latinx. According to the Pew Research Center, Puerto Ricans are the second-largest Latinx group in the United States. Since Puerto Rico is a United States territory, citizens of the island — including Santana — are also US citizens. Still, even if they weren’t, this attack would remain grossly racist. 

Twitter reacted with outrage in response to yet another recorded attack on people of color by racists. 

Twitter / @sahluwal

Twitter users were quick to share the video thousands of times online. Many pointed out how ridiculous the woman was and how quick she was to jump into racists insults — as if she had them queued up and ready to rip. Others called on the social media site to do its thing and expose the woman pictured in the video. She is still unidentified as of now but one thing remains clear: There are far more people who feel this way in our nation than most are willing to admit. Until racists are exposed and called out in every community, racism will continue to be an ugly part of American life. 

Watch the video below!

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