Here’s the Simple Solution

Once again the TV news is featuring an illegal alien being deported in a tear-jerking scene.  She’s been here for years, a convicted criminal still here only because of Obama, and mother of at least two teen-aged anchor babies.  These kids are now on TV talking about how horrible it is to separate a mother from her kids.  No one seems to mention the obvious solution.  They’re free to go with her.

Temporary Immigration Ban in US

I’m really not understanding all the resistance to the President’s temporary immigration ban. If you’re to believe the media (which I really don’t) then most of the country is in opposition.  Presumably that’s according to the same pollsters that predicted the election.

I’m reminded of a picture that was circulated a while back. There was a bowl of M&M’s with a caption something like “There are 50,000 M&M’s here. Ten of them will kill you. How many will you eat?”

Letting in unvetted or, as we’ve already seen, poorly vetted immigrants is playing Russian Roulette. It truly seems that many in the populace are automatically against something that our President is for. Even if it kills them.

Panama Independence Day

November 3 is Panama Independence Day. I question how many Panamanians realize it, but the country became independent from Colombia because it suited the United States for it to do so. Something to do with the Panama Canal. It just wasn’t going to happen as long as the isthmus was a part of Colombia. This is worthy of a post in itself. Maybe later.

Panamanians love parades. The main street in town was shut down for several hours on two consecutive days. In case you missed it on the first day, you could just as well catch the parade the next day. Although I doubt that’s the motivating reason

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Most of the parading groups consisted of only drums. Not sure why that is. But we can hear muted drums almost all night any time of year. Beyond any doubt, the Panamanians love the sound of drums.

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One marching group, however, is a fully-fledged band. I’m pretty sure it belongs to the school the next block over. Anyhow, I was delighted to hear them play John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”. Could it have anything to do with the country’s provenance? Probably not. My WAG is that the band teacher is an American.

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Bet You Didn’t Know about This!

In order to have a worry-free trip back to the states we had arranged for a house/pet sitter to come down and look after things. I picked her up in Paso Canoas, the Panama-Costa Rican border town nearest us, in late September. After stepping off the bus from Golfito, the first thing she did was comment on all of the (rowdy) blacks she found. I was surprised, as I seldom saw any blacks at this border town, and those that were around were so few in number as to hardly be noticeable.

A few days later this same house-sitter drove me to this same border town for my trip to the states where I was to meet Jan. Sure enough, there were a LOT of blacks, mostly just hanging around it seemed.
When I got to San Jose, Costa Rica, I described the situation to my cab driver. He was aware of it, and told me they came from various parts but all were headed to the United States!

When Jan and I came back through Paso Canoas following our state-side visit, we found the same situation. Large numbers of blacks. They were not mingling with other travelers but seemed sequestered in groups of 40 or 50. Also, they had their own special lines for CR customs and immigration. Wonder why?

Today October 15, 2016, we took our house-sitter back to Paso Canoas for her return trip home. And sure enough, large numbers of blacks.   I would estimate a total of about 100 individuals.
As we arrived quite early for our house-sitter’s bus I continued to observe and wonder. As before, they were escorted from Panama to Costa Rica customs/immigration in groups of maybe 50, mostly 2 abreast. There was an escort in the front and two in the back. I was somewhat surprised to find that the escorts were national police, not customs and immigration officers.

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Curiosity got the better of me and I attempted to get more information from one of the policemen. He was happy to talk.

I asked if this was a morning event or if it went on all day.  All day.

Where do they come from?  They land at ports in Buenos Aires (Atlantic) and Golfito (Pacific) and come up through Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, etc.

And ultimately?  Ultimately to the United States.

How long has this been going on?  He conferred with his fellow officer and they agreed. About 5 months.

This entry was posted on October 15, 2016. 1 Comment

Cuy, anyone?

We almost moved to Ecuador instead of Panama.  Several strong reasons we didn’t.  One of the lesser reasons was their propensity for cuy, aka guinea pig.  We could never get used to this!

I still keep in touch with some Ecuador blogs and found this interesting post.  Apparently a town called Quingeo has a cuy festival of sorts.

Here’s a picture of this year’s “queen”, dressed as befit a queen.

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Here’s another photo of the queen, dressed for dinner.

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Talk about playing with your food!

Are We Contributing to the Ending of Our Democracy?

I preordered Ann Coulter’s new book “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!” a month or so ago from Amazon. It came in recently but I was determined to finish another book I was reading, even though I was most anxious to start this new one.

The current book, “If You Can Keep It” by Eric Metaxas, got great reviews but was a disappointment for me personally. I found it a bit tedious. The author’s premise is that America is on the decline and perilously close to reaching the point of no return, something I totally agree with. In fact, I think it’s already reached the point of no return. He argues that this is due to a decline in our morality (honesty) and loss of pride in our heritage, among other things. If we the people don’t turn ourselves around, it’s over for the USA. A timely quote from a Lincoln speech might be prescient. “If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be the author and finisher.” The things Metaxas says need changing, and I totally agree, will not in my estimation get changed. Besides, as previously stated I think things are already lost.

While the Metaxas book gave me no cause for renewed hope, the Coulter book does. She thinks the country can still be saved, but only if Trump gets elected. She makes many of the same points as does Metaxas. Taken from her first chapter:

At its founding, America was populated by the most law-abiding people on the planet. It tells you something that, until the 1965 immigration act, the most problematic immigrants were the Irish. The same way virtually any immigrant to Finland makes it less white, almost any immigrant to America makes it less honest. Not exactly PC, but political correctness is one of the things both authors find problematic for our country. Again, I totally agree.

 

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

When Beauty is All Around

Too often when we’re continuously  surrounded by beauty, or anything else, we become inured to its existence.  I remember a college psychology course that taught how the brain refuses to accept stimuli if that stimuli is too long unbroken.  I’ve thought of that lesson many times since then.

For reasons I can’t explain, this morning when I stepped out into the yard I noticea a flower that I hadn’t noticed before.  Then another one.  And another.  Here are just a few of the flowers in our yard this morning.

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