Editorials: Gangster PEP; and Several steps beyond

police picture
A “trophy photo” from the National Police Twitter feed, said to be the getaway car from the gangland massacre at a hip hop party at the Casco Viejo’s Espacio Panama. Five people, including one employee of the National Assembly, were killed in that event. Another seven were wounded. So why did the police see fit to hide the license plate in this photo? Social media rumors, which The Panama News has been unable to confirm or refute, have it that this was a legislator’s car. The police have been forthcoming with neither a confirmation nor a denial of such talk.

One of those “failed states?”

That sort of rhetoric generally comes from the north, and is usually an epithet from some Washington warmonger urging US military action against some small country. Even the notion of Uncle Sam as this authoritarian teacher handing out grades to other countries is odious.

In its original political science meaning, the phrase means a country whose government is so weak that criminals move in to effectively hold power.

Like warlordism in the periphery of Colombia? Nope, can’t say that in Washington. Colombia, and its death squad allied politicians, are a US ally. But if the left wins our next door neighbors’ presidential elections, it’s quite predictable that there will be all these “failed state” narratives spinning out of Washington. It might end up with Howard being used as a military / mercenary “forward operating location” for strong-arm attempts to alter the situation, which would be very destabilizing for Panama.

But step back from all the US nonsense and double standards, and look at Panama.

In one 24-hour period of late October, there were three spectacular gang violence stories here. There was the Halloween regueton party that turned into a gang shoot-out. Three bodies were found dumped on Cerro Patacon. In Betania a car bearing a reputed leader of the Calor Calor gang was ambushed, wounding three people, including a baby. One of the dead worked for the National Assembly. Another of the dead worked for the Presidencia. One of the wounded also worked for the National Assembly.

Surely somebody will object that it’s “blaming the victim” to point these things out. But these are not the first incidents to suggest gangland infiltration into and influence upon the Panamanian government.

Do we let the gringos solve it? Like the US government “solved” the gang rule issue in Haiti?

Panama has a problem that Panamanians must solve. Easier said than done, but we can’t get started on a solution without admitting that the problem is there.


In THIS violent video tweet — we have not set up the video to watch, but if that’s your pleasure you can look it up — GOP Representative Paul Glosar of Arizona not only fantasizes about beheading his colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortéz., but also fantasizes about going after President Biden with swords. Used to be, any such suggestion of violence against a US president would bring on an unfriendly visit from the Secret Service. The video was watched by more than three million people in the first 24 hours after it was posted. Surely some of those viewers are armed, dangerously crazy and prone to doing foolish things that are suggested to them.

It is the Way of The Ninja…

Also, the traditions of the US House of Representatives. Whether you want to look at the norms of House decorum or the Code of Bushido, there are stern penalties that may be imposed for Paul Glosar’s adolescent murder fantasies about leaders of the party he opposes.

But the serene Buddha has a better way, a Middle Path. Register, vote, and if possible remove Glosar at the next opportunity. Even if his district is so gerrymandered that he can’t be defeated, trounce his party so badly that his status among his colleagues is reduced from annoying pest to irrelevant outcast.



Bruce Lee graphic by 罗一丁.

     It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.

Bruce Lee     

Bear in mind…

Never allow a person to say no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.

Eleanor Roosevelt

The key to success is action, and the essential in action is perseverance.

Sun Yat-sen

To gain what is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey



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night oil