Cross Border Trucking – The inmates finally control the asylum!

My little web-bots have been busy bringing to our attention the stupidity spewing from the mouths of the opponents of the Mexican Cross Border Program, and it continues to amaze me that folks actually believe this stuff. But then, America, long ago, forgot how to think for itself.

So what’s been happening since before Christmas when the Bush Administration chose to follow the law, as it is written, and abide by an agreement that we made in 1992, where we agreed to allow Mexican carriers equal access to our highways? Let’s take a look.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

It was reported today that The Teamsters have filed a 28(j) letter in 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to obtain another injunction against the program and FMCSA. The hearing wil be held February 12 in San Francisco.

Among the claims the Teamster’s are making;

  • Trucks from Mexico can break federal highway safety laws requiring vehicles
    to be certified by the manufacturer that they meet U.S. safety standards.
  • A 2002 law forbids trucks from Mexico beyond the border until the states
    can enforce their violations of federal highway safety laws; five states have
    said they cannot do so, according to the Transportation Department inspector
    general report on Sept. 6, 2007.
  • A 2007 law forbids FMCSA from letting trucks from Mexico on our highways
    until the inspector general certifies that the agency has met all conditions
    set forth by Congress. The inspector general reported on Aug. 6, 2007 that
    FMCSA has not met those conditions.

Let’s examine this example of grasping at straws when they have nothing to support their position.

  1. This refers to a small sticker placed somewhere on the body of every vehicle sold in the United States, without regard to it’s country of manufacture. certifying that the vehicle was built to US safety standards. Trucks used by Mexican carriers are identical to trucks being used in the United States and Canada. Indeed, many of the trucks used by American and Canadian fleets are built in Mexico. The manufacturing facilities in Mexico do not have separate assembly lines to manufacture trucks for the US and sub standard trucks to be sold in Mexico. This is simply another pathetic attempt to confuse the issue.
  2. In 2002, perhaps there were 5 States that felt they were unable to enforce Federal laws. But as this is written, one would think they are saying that 5 States could not enforce Federal law where it concerned Mexican trucks! Hogwash! The law is the law. For Mexican, American and Canadian trucks. One could read this another way also. That the 2007 OIG report stated that in 2002, 5 States could not enforce the law, with no mention of the ability in 2007, when the report was issued.
  1. This objection pertains to the audit required by Section 350. The failings noted by the OIG were not critical nor did the OIG demand the deficiencies be corrected prior to the start of the program. They are here, for the original audit and here for the followup. And what are these two minor items? One is concerning the quality of data concerning the LDIS database and the other, Ensuring adequate capacity to inspect buses. What in the hell do buses have to do with the Cross Border Program we’re debating? Absolutely nothing! The OIG also offered this statement which you will not see referenced nor reported by the opponents of this program.

Our current work also found that FMCSA took the actions it agreed to in response to our nine January 2005 report recommendations. FMCSA continues to work with the states and others to resolve prior report issues that its actions did not fully resolve. FMCSA’s completed actions include (1) ensuring that five states, which had not yet done so, adopted a rule that requires enforcement action against Mexican motor carriers or others operating without proper authority from FMCSA

What! Wait a damned minute! Does the OIG’s own words, from a report that the Teamster’s are using to pursue this bogus legal action, contradict what the Teamster’s are claiming in item 1? That appears to be the case to me.

Public Citizen and Joan Claybrook

Of course, Joan Claybrook, the person who claims only to have the best interest of America’s truckers in mind, took credit for the 28(j) letter, when in reality, it appears it was filed on behalf of the Sierra Club, lead plaintiffs in the case.

Claybrook goes on to issue this statement, which as usual, warps and embellishes the facts with words meant to strike fear into the minds of the uninformed.

The appropriations provision prohibits using any funds to “establish” a pilot program. FMCSA has been telling the press that the law bars only the “establishment” of new pilot programs and that its current pilot program — the exact same one prompting Congress to cut off funding — was actually “established” in September 2007. Yet FMCSA continues to authorize new carriers, further “establishing” the program in any commonsense meaning of the term.

I find it hilarious that she should mention “commonsense” since this is something that has been lacking by the opposition during the course of this debate. Also her definition of “established” shows she needs to return to school.
Indeed, the 28(j) letter contains these words concerning the meaning of “establish”!

“The definition of the word “establish” means to introduce and cause to grow and multiply” Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary at 397 (10th Edition 1998)

Another play on words that I imagine the Justices of the 9th Circuit will summarily dismiss.

This program was formally “established” in February 2007 with Secretary Peters announcement of it’s formation. Between the time of the February announcement and the implementation of the program in September 2007, the PASA’s (Pre-Authority Safety Audits) were taking place. The 50 Mexican trucking companies who have applications before the FMCSA (36 pending, 12 approved) have been onboard from the beginning. Continuing the program by certifying those already in the pipeline is not violating the common meaning of the word “establish”!

The inmates control the asylum. And speaking of asylums’s…………

Senator Byron “Dork” Dorgan

How about this clown! In the hip pocket of the Teamsters, OOIDA and praised on air by the likes of Dale Sommers and the idiot can’t get the language right.

Now, because of his failure and poor use of words in drafting this amendment, he’s raising hell with whoever will listen! Who the hell cares about what his ‘intent” was. Who cares if he discussed it with Jesus Christ face to face? He should have put it in writing! But you have to admire the man in a perverse kind of way. When he’s bought, he stays bought!

Todd Spencer and OOIDA

Anybody remember the cartoon character featured monthly in the old editions of Hustler magazine called “Chester the Molester”? He was a popular character until political correctness turned the people into sheeple!

Listening to Todd Spencer on the radio makes me think that this is what “Chester” would have sounded like had someone put a voice to him.

What’s his stake in this game? He’s claims to be looking out for the best interest of America’s truckers also, while boosting his membership by almost 4000 in the past year. Let’s see, 4000 x $25.00 = $100,000.00 more or less. Good enough incentive to prey on peoples fears I guess.

And when you hear him talk about this subject, he always interjects comments to make you think that the purpose of this program is to allow the older trucks of the border shuttle fleets to operate beyond the commercial zones. We all know this to not be the case.

And he continue to insist the comment period for this issue, 2007-28055, was not sufficient and that FMCSA did not translate documents from Spanish to give the public time to comment on each and every piece of paper generated by this program. Is he so damned stupid not to realize the comment periods are for the program as a whole and not an opportunity to make certain each and every letter of each and every document is properly formed and grammatically correct? But hell, $100,000.00 in new membership dues, you be the judge.

Around the Blogosphere

Those naughty little web crawlers of mine! They’re rooting out the looney toons and others dregs on the fringe of society. Many people, who really need to get a life, and have no connection to the trucking industry or who would not recognize a Mexican truck if they were sitting in one, are jumping on this issue with both feet. And of course, the neo-cons, the Christian right wing extremists have to add to the spin, and those who use the fear factor and the “terror” card to try and make their point.

Want to sample some of these? My little web-bots have returned more than 50 pages of this trash

And so forth and so on! One common denominator, several in fact, unite these people.

  1. They’re too damned cheap to buy a domain to express their opinions
  2. They are parroting the common talking points of the oppostion
  3. And none have anything original to say!

Oh well. This debate has been marked by stupidity from all quarters of the opposition, beginning with the 2300 cookie cutter comments posted to the FMCSA website.

2008 is going to be a fun year and Mexico Trucker will continue to be validated on this issue.