Archive | August 2016

Muslim Immigrants

 

The CBS morning news claimed that 59% of Americans are AGAINST a temporary ban on muslim immigrants. That boggles my mind. It’s an acknowledged fact, a FACT, that some number of radicals would be smuggled in with all the masses. Does anyone actually think we’re up to ferreting them out?  Projecting a little further, can you imagine the anguish of a pro-immigration activist losing a family member to an embedded terrorist? I can’t help but think of the ACLU president in Georgia that did an abrupt 180 on transgender bathrooms when her own daughters became traumatized by an intruder in their restroom.

I find the subject especially bothersome when there are so many(?) countries much closer geographically and culturally for these people to be considering.  What am I missing here?

I truly am sympathetic to the victims of war that are in need. But my call to action stops short when it means personal risk of destruction or destruction to my family, friends, countrymen. War is hell. No denying that. And those that carry the least blame (or no blame at all) invariably suffer the most.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the leaders of warring parties would just duke it out among themselves and not involve the innocent populace? It could be a boxing match or a chess match or dueling pistols. Whatever. Just don’t make the innocent suffer. How efficient that would be! No collateral damage and no destruction of property. And think of all the money it would save.

If You Can Keep It

It’s finally occurred to me that my heart is much more into a conservative political blog than it is a travel blog. Jan has suggested I do both. Maybe I will. But for now, I’m changing the direction of this blog.

Comments on my posts will be welcomed and published without editing. If it’s fit to be read by a junior high student, I’ll publish it. Nothing anonymous. If you say it, be prepared to claim it.

I just started reading a book called “If You Can Keep It”. The author was recently interviewed on “The 700 Club”. I’m not a particularly religious person but this program offers superior news reporting on topics that you generally won’t find on the major networks. I found the author sufficiently interesting that I added his book to my Kindle collection

If You Can Keep It

This book is all about the undeniable decline of the US that, according to the author, is because the citizenry is not taking the active, aggressive role that the founding fathers recognized was mandatory for the continuation of the republic. A major example of the change needed, as he sees it (I agree), is that people need to vote for what is most beneficial for the country, putting their own personal interests aside.

That simply ain’t gonna happen. Clearly, almost everyone in this country is looking out for numero uno w/o regard to the future of the country, or even themselves long-term. Can you imagine that changing on a wholesale level?

Given that alone, I see his book as a confirmation of my long-held belief that the ole USofA is in an irrecoverable death spiral. I hope that I’m wrong and that my opinions are just those of a senior citizen longing for the good old days, but I really doubt it. Look at the facts.

One bright spot I see in all of this is the justification for Texas to secede. Don’t laugh. It could happen. I’ll deal with this more in future posts.

Getting the Cedula

Although swearing I’d never do this sort of thing in retirement, I got up at 5AM today. Our contact in the City, Luis Arce, notified us that our cedulas were now approved, necessitating a trip to the other end of the country for signatures and photographs.  Earlier we had sent him powers-of-attorney along with copies of our passports, jubilados and “resoluciones”, the latter being a by-product of our jubilado applications.

While the jubilado applications had to be done through an attorney, the cedula did not. Our attorney would be happy to handle it for us, for about $1000. But Luis knows his way around with this sort of thing and got it done for $375, $130 of which went to the government.  We had to pay for r/t transportation to Panama City but that would have been the case with the attorney as well.

Actually, there’s nothing to prevent an individual(s) from handling this process on their own, if they’re sufficiently masochistic. In Panama, like any other country I’ve become familiar with, the bureaucrats are subject to making you jump through unnecessary hoops, just because they can. Luis knows the people and knows his way around. The little that he charges is worth the money. Without question.

You may very well ask, what is a cedula and why get one? As explained to me, a cedula is roughly equivalent to a social security card in the US. It is a national ID card. Though not strictly required, as is the pensianado for permanent residents, it makes life a whole lot easier. Given what we had already spent on the pensianado, I figured, “What the hey!” Maybe the most important part of having a cedula, to me, is that one can eventually achieve Panamanian citizenship with it. There are other requirements, but the cedula is the only thing we can put in place at this point in time.

Luis was waiting for us when our plane arrived at Albrook airport. It was just a short drive to the Tribunal Electoral where the business was to take place.

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We went to an office on the third floor where Luis turned in some papers.

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In about 30 minutes we were called back to the counter. Jan and I each signed something and we went down one floor to have our photos taken.  That took maybe 10 minutes.

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After all was said and done, we were finished with the business we came for in scarcely an hour after landing. As our flight back to David didn’t leave until almost 5PM, we had some time on our hands. Jan has long wanted to see the Canal and Luis, as usual, was happy to accommodate.

The tour of the Canal will be the subject of the next post.

 

This entry was posted on August 10, 2016. 2 Comments