El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Keeping up with the news from the USA in Ecuador with Richard.....it does not sound good

rumors of wars…

Kerry promises $123 million to Syrian jihadists fighting Assad

In spite of Middle East experts and counterterrorism professionals advising government officials, including President Barack Obama, that many of the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime are connected to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Nusra Front, the U.S. State Department is preparing to fork over another $123 million in aid to those rebels, according to an official announcement on Saturday.
Edit.  On one hand government and media are tripping all over themselves to deny the reality of the Boston Terrorist Bombing of last week being related in any way to Islam or al-Qaeda, (who are officially classified by the State Department, DHS, and other government agencies as terrorists enemies of the US), yet on the other hand supporting this same group in the so-called Arab Spring of 2010 – 2013 and now in Syria.). Just like in these other uprisings, we are supporting our official enemies in overturning a sovereign government under Assad with financial and military aid to the terrorists. Why is that? Perhaps it serves the dual purpose of sculpting the world view to the new paradigm of an Israeli oriented Middle East, the Greater Israel, so to speak, not seen since the days of King Solomon; and also as a pretext to curtail our freedoms here at home and undermine the U.S. Constitution as just an outdated piece of paper.


The Just-in-Time Consumer

"Consumers are saying, 'I'm going to buy what I need for a specific period of time,' rather than loading up and buying two or three extra units just because they can get a good price on it," says Richard Wolford, CEO of Del Monte Foods Co. He calls the phenomenon "need it now."
Edit.  Although this misleading article is rather old, (2010), I found it most interesting. Keep in mind that this was when the recession was but two years old. Most people who did not have firsthand, (or even second hand experience through their parents and grandparents), with the Great Depression of the 1930’s, were convinced, based on their own personal experience, that this was just the bottom of a cycle and that things would soon be normal again. Well, I’m here to tell ya’ that those days are over and done; and we now have a new normal of frugality. In fact, I would be so bold as to say that this Wall Street Journal article was a propaganda piece to get people to spend more. Remember back then the official party line was for consumers to once again jump on the merry-go-round of spend and consume, thereby jump starting the economy.
As proof that this was a propaganda piece look at the proliferation of wholesale stores / warehouse stores in the intervening years: Costco; Sam’s Club; and BJ’s for instance. Based on the article above one would think that these stores would go the way of the dodo, but such is not the case. Indeed, these stores are popping up like dandelions on a spring lawn all over the nation. Now one might say it is due to the large-family purchases, but the large American family has long since gone the way of the dodo so this could not account for the spread of the wholesale outlets. On the contrary, in the wake of disasters like hurricanes Katrina and most recently Sandy, most folks see the Achilles’s heel of the “just-in-time” distribution and inventory systems. Indeed, even the government is urging people to store and put-back basic goods for a minimum of three days need, (http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit). …and this was only a recent change because they used to urge a two week supply, while some State and local agencies still do.
One other aspect of the fallacious nature of this article is while the WSJ itself did not have any direct benefit of the “bailouts” of Wall Street, it directly serves the financial and investment communities which did receive the benefit so it behooved them to see the economic world through rose-colored, if not biased, glasses.
SO remember, folks, don’t always believe what you read in the media, even the mainstream media, as they are angling for the positions that serve them best. This also applies to the alternative media, that is, the Internet and shortwave radio contrarians, as they usually have a vested interest in selling you products to “offset the adversity” whether it be water filtration, gold, long term food stores, etc. Read, read, read, research, and prepare; that is the only way to ensure that you are temporally set for any adversity.

Health and Wellness: formerly called Emerging Illnesses (Pestilence)…

Psychiatry gone wild: One in five boys now being diagnosed with ADHD in America

It used to be that only a very small number of children, mostly boys, with severe behavioral problems were even considered as potential ADHD candidates. But today, even the slightest deviations from so-called normal behavior can land a child in the crosshairs of overzealous psychiatrists eager to dispense them the latest mind-numbing drugs.
Edit. Too easily our kids are being trapped in the lifetime pit of legal drug dependency in the earliest stages of life. Many parents still not being aware of the hyperactive effects of sugary cereals for breakfast, (as shocking as this may be), load their children up on highly refined sugar products for breakfast and send the kids off to school. Here the teacher either having a bad day or legitimately concerned by the hyperactivity as a direct result of the sugar recommends a psychological evaluation that most often results in prescribing dangerous psychotropic drugs to adjust mood and behavior. This oft misdiagnosis results in a lifespan dependency on risky drugs which not only harm the individual taking them but many times erupt into anti-social even dangerous behavior in public and private settings. This cycle is surprising since the class size today is not only limited but also the teachers today have the advantage of teacher’s assistants within the classrooms to maintain control of the students and classes.
Back in the day, Sister Timothy Mary, not only commanded the attention and respect of the student body, but also provided an atmosphere where real learning could take place. Sister Timothy Mary’s class size was usually between 45 to 60 students, which she handled alone, and within such classes you could hear a pin drop because the surroundings was so orderly. Obviously, something has changed for the worse. My instincts tell me that a large part of the misdiagnosis and overprescribing of drugs is a direct result of school systems receiving extra Federal dollars based on the number of students so diagnosed and incorporated into such special needs programs. A large part of the tragic Sandy Hook incident might possibly be attributed to this situation if investigated honestly without the agenda of “gun control” first and foremost in the thinking of both school and government administrations.

Let the men of wisdom speak…

The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.   John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America
Edit.  Believe me I’m not in any way a fan of John Kennedy, (nor his decadent kin) because he publicly repudiated his Catholic Faith when running for President way back in 1960, but this quote does certainly ring true.
Unfortunately today the plight of the famer has been increasingly disparaged as many look down on those who work the land. Yet it is ironic that the food lifeline of the great cities and suburbs of our times are increasingly more reliant on fewer and fewer farmers for their sustenance. Obviously, consumers are completely oblivious to this dependency as they have been brought up on stereotypes of hillbilly, hayseed, gapped-tooth, and largely ignorant famers. Truth be told… farmers today are among the most educated and informed of professions.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Consider Retirement in Little-Known Loja, Ecuador

April 23, 2013 RSS Feed Print
Loja (pronounced LOH-ha), Ecuador, has been largely overlooked by the fast-growing numbers of Americans retiring to this country. However, as one expat retiree, Lee Harrison, who retired to Cuenca, Ecuador, puts it, “If I were to plan my retirement to this country today, Loja is where I’d live.” All things considered, Loja, in Ecuador’s Southern Sierra region and with a population of about 185,000 people, is a perfect choice for retirement.

First, the weather is ideal, at least for most folks. The average high temperature in Loja is 73 degrees, with a seasonal variation of only 1 degree. Nights are always cool, with an average low of 45 degrees. So you don’t need heat, you don’t need air conditioning and you can retire your winter clothes and your snow shovel for good.

The people of Loja are friendly and welcoming, and it’s easy to become a part of the community. The town has virtually no expat community, meaning that the foreign retiree here is accepted into the local community on his or her own merits, rather than being stereotyped as part of the American enclave.

Of course, this can be a plus or a minus. The lack of a large expat community is a deterrent for some retirees, while it will be a blessing for others. It depends on the lifestyle and level of cultural immersion that you’re looking for.

Loja is a safe city, with less crime than you’ll find in Ecuador’s bigger cities of Quito, Guayaquil or Cuenca. You can walk the streets at all hours of the night downtown without worrying about running into trouble.
The countryside surrounding Loja is dramatic and beautiful, with green mountain peaks, idyllic valleys and rushing rivers. There are a number of attractive areas for owning a larger tract of land or a farm. The nearby towns of Malacatos and Vilcabamba are popular vacation spots, with warm climates, charming villages and a pleasant rural atmosphere.

Yet the city of Loja itself is completely walkable, and anyone who can walk a couple of blocks will not need a car for day-to-day life. When you need a taxi, you’ll find them plentiful and cheap. Most rides around town cost but a dollar.

For longer-distance travel, including travel among Ecuador’s provinces, the public transportation system is excellent. Living here you’d have access to a modern bus system, jet transport to other major cities and a fleet of inexpensive taxis to every corner of Ecuador.
Loja is built around a number of attractive town squares, which serve as the classic city social centers that the Spanish intended them to be. They’re great places to relax, people-watch, have your shoes shined, have a coffee or meet friends.

Music is a big part of the Lojano culture, and, in fact, Loja is the undisputed music capital of Ecuador. Many of the country’s best musicians and composers came from Loja, and the city currently boasts two orchestras and a noted music conservatory.

Loja is also a good place to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Ecuador’s year-round growing season means that fresh tropical fruits and vegetables are always available in the markets at very low prices. And the fresh squeezed fruit juices are so rich and wholesome that you’ll never again be happy with the canned or bottled juices you find almost everywhere else. In addition, there are dozens of well-equipped gyms and aerobics centers all over the city, at prices that even the tightest budget can afford.

Though undiscovered and overlooked, Loja is no backwater. It’s modern, convenient and offers full-city services, while, at the same time, offering a cultural richness that makes it unique in Ecuador and in the world.
Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 28 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her newest book, How To Buy Real Estate Overseas, published by Wiley & Sons, is the culmination of decades of personal experience living and investing around the world.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How Obama's Budget Will Steal Your Retirement

Around 45% of Americans regard their income taxes as unfair according to Gallup. Frankly, I am surprised that number isn't much higher.

Since the 1990s, the folks at Gallup, each April 15 (U.S. Income Tax Day), have been asking Americans if they regard their taxes as fair. The poll indicates taxpayers are the most frustrated since 2001.

And that was before they saw President Obama’s proposed 2014 federal budget, finally delivered to Congress last week. It was loaded with new taxes – not just for high earners, but for the middle class as well.

If Americans had a chance to digest all the new taxes the president plans to impose on them, the number of disgruntled taxpayers would have certainly ballooned way past 45%.

 Even a headline in the usually liberal Atlantic magazine noted: “Obama's Budget Would Lead to the Highest Federal Tax Rate in 4 Decades.”

However, that doesn’t bother The Atlantic much because the leftwing Tax Policy Center was pleased to find that Obama's budget would hit wealthy families hardest, with the top 20% of income earners suffering almost 90% of the suggested tax hikes. These are the same folks just hit by new and higher income taxes in Obama’s New Year’s Eve sequester tax deal.

While the conservative Investor's Business Daily exposed the President’s 2012 campaign hypocrisy about his beloved middle class. The IBD headline reads: “Obama Budget Shows Middle-Class Tax Pledge Was Fraud.”

That’s because the same Tax Policy Center admits that American families at every income level would end up paying more if Obama's budget were enacted, including those making less than $10,000 a year – so much for that sought after campaign prize, the American Middle Class.

And if you believed Candidate Obama when he promised to cut the size of government, you should know his 2014 budget adds 6,180 new employees to an already bloated civilian workforce off 2.1 million.

As Ronald Reagan used to say, thank goodness, we don’t get everything we pay for!

Now, each year when the Budget of the United States Government for the Fiscal Year is submitted, along with the Budget Message of the President, the news media makes a big deal of it. For example, President Obama’s budget consists of four massive documents, the first of which is a list of summaries, a 244 page convoluted mess.

I can tell you as a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I never read the entire budget, but my staff combed through every number that affected my First District of Maryland – which involved virtually every department of government.

The devil is in the details and in this budget President Obama is doing what he warned he would in a speech way back on October 29, 2011, when he told the Republican House: “If Congress won't act, I will.”

I have repeatedly warned about Obama’s plans to nationalize private retirement and pension plans.

Well, his 2014 Budget moves closer by damaging such plans. This budget suggests the need for limits on contributions to retirement plans. Obama has decided that an IRA or 401(k) that provides pensions of more than $205,000 a year is too high.

Obama’s budget would apply new penalties to money in a plan exceeding what he calls a “maximum permitted accumulation.” This reduces any benefit from compounding. His suggested limit on such savings would be $3 million. And what will be the limits set on other, lower accounts in the future, if Obama has his way?

This is yet another example of Obama trying to circumvent the U.S. Congress. Fortunately, the House of Representatives remains in Republican, if not at times, conservative control. One can only hope that means Obama's sneak attacks on private property will be exposed and repelled.

But you need to do your part to protect yourself as well.

As I advised last week, one way to protect your IRA or other retirement plans is to move your plan out of the jurisdiction of the United States; to locate your retirement assets and their management offshore, or start a new plan offshore.

You may think that’s difficult. It’s not. If you wish to protect yourself and your retirement from a tyrannical government, there are available plans that allow you to move your assets and money offshore to safer places with the highest yields available and they can be self-managed. We can tell you how and where.

Faithfully yours,

Bob Bauman, JD
Chairman, Freedom Alliance

14 easiest ways to get robbed in Ecuador......

"So, they got me for $2000."  My friend said upon recently entering Ecuador 30 minutes earlier.

"Mother f##kers man," I responded shaking my head with disgust.

You see, he and his friend just came into Ecuador with $13k in cash each, the limit according to the Ecuador customs official was $10k per person.

The official made them put all their cash on the table, count it, and when it added up to more than $10k, they told them that according to the law they would have to forfeit 30% of the total amount, or in other words about $8k.

My friends freaked out, and the official said "Ok, just pay me $1k cash for each of you and I'll let you through."

They paid the bribe.  And now are out $2k. 
Just like that.

There probably is not even a law that states you can't bring in a certain amount of cash.  If you do, its cool, you just have to declare it.

There's certainly no tax on money entering Ecuador.

The officials lied, and they pryed on easy foreign bait.

When in this situation its best not to bribe, and just let them do what they are theatening to do.

Don't get visibly rattled.  And meanwhile tell them to 'go f##k yourself'.

OK, maybe not that last part, but force is good... weakness is not.  At least down here.

Soon, you'll find out they got nothing and will simply let you pass after they put on a bit of a show with the purpose of scaring you into giving over a bribe.

Be sure to get their name, so you can file a complaint later, you have rights, but they think you don't know them, and that being in a foreign country you won't do nothing,  That's why they try to pull this crap.

Obviously the best way to handle this situation is prevent it, by not bringing in so much cash, a simple wire can cost $45 or so and you can transfer down hundreds of thousands at once.

Here are a few other of the easiest, quickest ways you could get robbed in Ecuador...

1. By putting your bag with valuables in it next to you in a bus, or below your seat, then falling asleep.  Low and behold, when you wake up your bag will either be gone or have a hole in it where some slimy dude reached in and grabbed your computer/tablet/iphone.

2. Using an ATM to withdraw money in a secluded area or late night, then have someone else use the machine after you who may look like they are withdrawing money but actually they are inserting a machine that can copy the card details of the last person to use the ATM in order to make a mold of your card and use it online before you catch them.  To prevent use ATMs in front of banks that most likely have cameras in the daytime at well-frequented ATMs.

3. Paying for a bus fare with a large bill like a $20, the tenant will probably take your money and conveniently forget to give you your change.  Be sure to have exact change before boarding.

4. By getting in a taxi without negotiating beforehand what the fare will be, you will then have a very unpleasent surprise when they tell you the price at the end of your trip.  If you didn't listen to me on this one and this happens to you, just pay what you know the fare should be and walk away, they might yell at you but they won't block your path (from my experience.)

5. By putting a valuable in one of the outer pockets of a bag, then proceeding to check it under the bus.  Yes, I've seen bus employees in Ecuador rumaging through bags under the bus, if they know where it is and can get to it quickly you'll have a problem.  Better carry on important stuff.

6. By walking alone on a secluded beach at night, in a small group you are OK but there is a reason Ecuadorians don't do this.  This also applies to getting drunk at the beach and going into a dark area to pee repeatedly, not smart.

7. By paying a lawyer in Ecuador up-front for services rendered, hah, need I say more, that is the last time you will ever see that lawyer again.  Pay 20% up front, the rest when the task is complete.

8. By entering into those wierd Ecuadorian low interest car payment plans like Chevy Plan... what they dont tell you is that you are actually entering a raffle and it could be months before you are awarded your car,.  And that there is a bunch of extra hidden fees the salesmen didn't tell you when you signed.

9. By trusting someone just because they are from your home country... bad reason.  Make 'em earn it.

10.  By commiting a minor traffic violation like not wearing your seat belt in the front seat and getting pulled over by the traffic cops in Ecuador who look for a naive foreigner willing to pay a quick bribe.  Act like you don't speak a lick of Spanish and chances are they will get frustrated and just let you go.  If they insist just ask them to write you a ticket.  Chances are when they see they aren't going to get any quick cash in their pocket they'll not bother writing the ticket.

11. By giving a landlord a rental security deposit equal to 2 months rent.  Try to pay a deposit equal to just one month rent or less.  Anyone asking for 2 months or more is probably not planning on ever paying you back that money.  Just sayin'.

12. By buying any big ticket item from a distance in Ecuador.  Chances are you will get took.  Best to be present.  Again, just sayin'.

13.  By leaving your nice cell phone on your table while you eat in a mall.  A kid will come up to you begging, then when you look again your phone will be gone.  Can you tell this happened to me?  You can't just make this stuff up.

14. Walking through a crowded area with valuables in your back pockets or dangling out of your front pockets or even worse, having an SLR camera hangin around your neck.

But hey, while petty theft may be more common in Ecuador, violent crime is far less common and that you could easily live years here without any incidents. 

Dom Buonamici
Avocado eater
Quito Airport Suites - Comfortable lodging 5 minutes from the new airport in Quito.
Montanita Vacation Rentals

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing: Who Do They Plan To Blame?

Blognote: We remember in our youth hearing about bombings in Belfast and norther Ireland. Is that the future for the USA? Or is this something completely different.........

Brandon Smith
April 16th, 2013
Alt Market


“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” - Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief Of Staff to Barack Obama

While many people might immediately dismiss the concept, any student of true and unadulterated history has to eventually admit this fact:  Governments exploit crisis.  Sometimes, they merely take advantage of the ensuing chaos and aftermath of a disaster they had nothing to do with directly.  Other times, they create those disasters themselves in order to engineer social and political opportunity.

In regard to the recent bombing of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured at least 140, I have asked “Who do they plan to blame?”  The unaware and naïve will state that “They will blame the true culprit behind the attack, of course!”  Unfortunately, in the past couple decades I have seen numerous terrorist attacks where the blame was NOT placed on the true culprit, or, the blame was extended to totally uninvolved groups and organizations in order to politicize the event.  Governments (especially our
government) squeeze each man-made disaster like a ripe papaya until every drop of sweet advantage can be collected.  They use our fear and confusion as license to attack a predetermined list of targets that may or may not have had anything to do with the original event.  They tell the story in a way that suits their end-line interests, and the last thing they are concerned with is helping the public to “understand”.  In the end, what average citizens see as an authoritative analysis on the facts from their “loving” leaders is in reality nothing more than an exercise in fantasy.

Now, the thought of persons and institutions within our government being malicious enough to create a terrorist event to be used to manipulate the public towards a certain end tends to bring out furious denial in some Americans.  This is because those people with weak characters and an even weaker sense of identity tend to attach their egos to the collective.  They live vicariously through the group, or the nation state, so that the State’s accomplishments and trials become THEIR accomplishments and trails.  To accuse the state of criminality is to accuse them of criminality.

The Boston bombing already has the makings of a subversive and highly exploitable false flag event, and certain undertones remind me of the now exposed Operation Gladio, a false flag program utilized by NATO governments (including the U.S.) for decades which involved multiple bombings and mass shootings of high traffic public areas across Europe that were then falsely blamed on “left-wing terrorists”.  The operation was exposed in the early 1990’s by the Italian government, and then quickly swept into the dust bin of history.
Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a far-right terrorist linked to Gladio and currently serving a life-sentence for the car bomb murder of three policemen stated during sworn testimony on Gladio in March of 2001:

“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game…”

“The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security. This is the political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened…”

The strategy used by NATO was clear – terrorize the common population, target as many innocents as possible in places where they felt most comfortable and at ease, and drive the citizenry into the waiting arms of the establishment.  The tactic creates the cancerous spread of public tension because the sense of “distance” from violence is removed.  An attack could literally happen anytime, anywhere.  A predetermined scapegoat enemy is then presented, completing the circle and galvanizing the people in the direction the establishment desires.

The methods used in Europe to demonize “left-wing” political movements could just as easily be used to demonize what some call “right-wing” political movements here in the U.S.  Let’s look at some of the facts surrounding the Boston incident so far:

Boston authorities and witnesses on the scene admit that bomb sniffing dogs and roof spotters were employed before the race even began.  The local bomb squad was also coincidentally running a “controlled explosion drill” only one mile away from the attack:


Participants at the race were told repeatedly not to worry, and that a “training exercise” was taking place.  In nearly every major terror attack since 9/11, from the U.S., to the UK and Spain, the government was running “training exercises and drills” fitting the EXACT description of the threat that then suddenly occurred in real life on the same day.  Perhaps it is only an overtly reoccurring negative serendipity, but in my view, if the authorities are running a training exercise for a bombing in your town, it might be best to run for the hills before their little war-game becomes real yet again.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis also stated that authorities were not aware of any specific threats to the marathon before it began, which means that they are not presenting any claims that they had reason to believe a bombing might take place:


So, just to clarify, the Boston police on the suggestion of…someone, decided to run bomb squad training, bomb sniffing dogs, and rooftop spotters on the exact same day that the Boston Marathon happened to be bombed…just because?

I would add to this conundrum another question – With all those bomb sniffing dogs present, and with multiple devices now found on the scene, how did they not find at least one of the explosive packages before people were killed?  Those dogs need to be fired, I suppose…

Along with the immediate strangeness of the attack, the timing is also rather perfect for the establishment.
April 15th is tax day across the nation, and Tax Protest Day sponsored annually by Tea Party organizations across the country also just happened to fall on the 15th this year.  On top of this, in Massachusetts, Patriots Day (a civic holiday celebrating the battles of Lexington and Concord) is held on the third Monday of April every year, which just happened to be the 15th this year.  Oath Keepers, a constitutional organization often wrongly attacked as a “domestic extremist group” by the DHS and SPLC, just happened to have a large pro-freedom rally scheduled for the 19th of April at Lexington Green in Massachusetts.  Are we starting to get the picture here?

With the Senate in the midst of the most blatant attack on our 2nd Amendment rights in history following the passage of the absurdly fascist NDAA and the White House’s unwillingness to remove American citizens as potential targets for executive ordered assassination,  and with multiple states now implementing draconian gun restrictions and even confiscations, public opinion is quickly moving against the Federal Government.  Wouldn’t it be beneficial for their agenda if it turned out that the Boston Marathon Bombing was executed by a group of “pro-gun anti-income tax anti-government domestic terrorists”, or maybe just Constitutionalists and Liberty Movement activists that are labeled as such?

Wouldn’t that be a big turn-off for those on the fence but shifting towards gun rights and constitutionalism?  Wouldn’t it be great for the DHS and the SPLC if all their anti-Constitutionalist propaganda was suddenly proven “correct”?  Maybe the TSA could even suggest roving street checkpoints and random searches so that such a calamity “never happens again”.

No suspects have yet been named in the marathon attacks, and none have claimed responsibility, so perhaps I am jumping to conclusions.  Perhaps we’ll find out those dastardly North Koreans were behind it all, or maybe those devious Iranians.  However, I can’t shake off that smell of a setup lurking in the musty sickly statist air, and the mainstream media is already suggesting “right-wing involvement” (why don’t they ever suggest left-wing extremism as a possibility…?).

As I have said many times before, during any crisis, always look at who benefited the most from the event.  Look at who had something to gain, rather than the first scapegoats they throw in front of you.  Some terror attacks are real, and some are proven as staged, but never forget that government power structures do not see these tragedies as tragedies; rather, they see them as gifts; precious openings that create vulnerabilities in the psyche of the citizenry.  They WILL exploit these vulnerabilities to further their own agenda, and they WILL exploit the Boston Marathon Bombing to demoralize and marginalize their political enemies.  Count on it.

Only a fool sells gold......

Don’t Sell Your Gold !

Gold prices plunged more than 9% on Monday, falling to $1357, the sharpest decline for the precious metal in recent history. Today, gold sits at a two-year low, 27% below its September 2011 high of $1920. But now is not the time to panic and sell into weakness.

The hype coming from Main Street investors, many of whom are claiming we've reached "the end of the gold era," is actually creating an opportunity as investors jump out of gold for all the wrong reasons.
Gold, despite its asset-class mischaracterization, has never been a commodity. You can’t eat it, you can’t plant it and you can’t build with it. It does nothing that commodities are known for. The only benefit it provides is protecting your lifestyle against central bankers running amok.
And for that reason, gold is not a sell. Even as Main Street investors and weak-willed money managers with quarterly performance to worry about dump the metal, gold’s true purpose remains unchanged: It’s lifestyle insurance.

State law requires you buy auto insurance. Mortgage companies force you to purchase homeowners insurance. And if you have a young family, you’ve probably bought life insurance to protect their future against your untimely demise.

But what about your lifestyle itself?

Despite the dollar’s current period of relative strength, the past 30-plus years have seen our U.S. dollar in a near-constant decline against a basket of global currencies. Most Americans never pay much attention to that, if they pay attention at all. They never stop to consider that Japanese-made Subaru cars, all the Chinese clothes for sale at Wal-Mart and the Chilean grapes at the local supermarket were all originally priced in a foreign currency.

That’s your lifestyle.

Though you are spending dollars, your true costs are in yen, yuan, pesos, baht, and whatnot. And if you don’t insure against the whims of misguided fiscal policy in Congress and make-it-up-as-you-go-along monetary policy at the Federal Reserve, then you will find one day that an ever-weaker dollar has eroded your discretionary spending power.

The dollar must go down long term. There is no other honest choice. Both the Fed and Congress need the dollar to weaken over time if they have any hopes of navigating America through the minefield that is $123 trillion in on- and off-balance sheet debt. To put that into perspective, the entire world generates a global GDP of between $75 trillion and $80 trillion a year. Our government debt as a nation is 50% larger than that.

The Fed’s fundamental aim at this point is to inflate away as much of that debt as possible … and then allow some future Congress to default on the rest quietly and in a way that makes it seem like the U.S. did nothing of the sort.

As that happens, your spending power erodes because your cost-of-living increases. You need, in your portfolio, a currency that protects you against the fate of the dollar – yet one that is not held hostage by political and monetary deception.

That’s gold.

Protection Against Government Manipulation

But let’s assume for a moment that your cost-of-living never changes. You still face a monumental risk in the policies of Congress and the Fed.

I have shown time and again that, directionally, the U.S. dollar always takes its cue from America’s broader fiscal situation. In times when America’s finances are strong or improving – the early-80s after Volker killed inflation, and the mid-90s when the Clinton administration was talking up potential budgets surpluses and did away with the 30-year bond as unnecessary – the dollar rallied strongly.

But in periods of fundamental fiscal disorder, like we experienced in the late-80s and early-90s, and as we’ve been experiencing for more than a decade now, the dollar sinks.

Raise your hand if you can honestly see a clear end to America's $123 trillion fiscal horror show?

I don’t see many hands …

So, what if the Fed is wrong in its approach to dealing with this debt? What if interest-rates get away from the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee? What if Congress makes a monumental mistake in its handling of the economy and the growing pressures it feels to raise taxes to fund a never-end litany of social-engineering, wealth-redistribution and welfare-expansion plans?

Are you willing to risk your lifestyle at the hands of people – federal lawmakers and Federal Reserve officials – who have a history of proving their incompetence?

Still the Best Lifestyle Insurance

Main Street has lost its head over gold in the last few days.

All sorts of possible reasons exist. From my perspective, what we’re seeing is a long-overdue unwind. Gold has been in a bull market for a dozen years. No asset keeps going up like that.

We reached a point recently where concerns about U.S. inflation have tempered. And then China came out with GDP growth of 7.7% on Monday that didn’t live up to the 8% expectations. Gold buying in India has slowed. And all the news together finally gave investors the rationale they’ve been looking for … and they bailed out.

But you would be crazy to look upon the current events in the gold market and presume the golden age is over.

It won’t end until America has a credible plan for dealing honestly with our country’s debt and Washington’s financial diarrhea. That isn’t likely for many more years yet.

As I told attendees at the Global Currency Expo earlier this month, I don’t care if gold goes to $2,000 or $500, I don’t sell.

I don’t cancel my homeowners insurance just because I don’t expect a fire at my house this year. Why would I cancel my lifestyle insurance just because some investors are bailing on gold?

Until next time, stay Sovereign …

Jeff D. Opdyke

Editor of The Sovereign Individual

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More reasons not to live in the USA....from our man stateside...Richard of Danburry, D.S.G


Obama administration pushes banks to make home loans to people with weaker credit

“If that were to come to pass, that would open the floodgates to highly excessive risk and would send us right back on the same path we were just trying to recover from,” said Ed Pinto, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former top executive at mortgage giant Fannie Mae.
Read more
Edit.  Perhaps the reckless Obama Administration considers this a hair of the dog that bit ya’, but undoubtedly this is just some additional Socialist tactics to drive down the economy. Worthless deadbeat mortgages were what triggered the debacle back in 2006 – 2009, from which we have not yet recovered.

Thanks, World Reserve Currency, But No Thanks: Australia And China To Enable Direct Currency Convertibility

Over the weekend, Australia appears to have come to the same conclusion, with the Australian reporting that the land down under is set to say goodbye to the world's "reserve currency" in its trade dealings with the world's biggest marginal economic power, China, and will enable the direct convertibility of the Australian dollar into Chinese yuan, without US Dollar intermediation, in the process "slashing costs for thousands of business" and also confirming speculation that China is fully intent on, little by little, chipping away at the dollar's reserve currency status until one day it no longer is.
Edit. This is a direct result of the Federal Reserve’s dollar printing policies. As the Fed ignites inflation through the 24/7 printing presses, our trading partners and creditors, by the way, realize that we will be paying off our debt in increasingly worthless dollars. They therefore are hedging their bets by divesting in any way they can from accumulating dollars including eliminating all trade transaction in the world currency reserve, aka American Greenbacks.
Folks, it appears the chickens are coming home to roost as foreign trade seems to seek shelter from the American dollar …and this is only the tip of the inevitable iceberg as cause and effect takes its toll. Watch and pray, folks, watch and pray.

rumors of wars…

U.S. Amassing B-1 Strategic Bombers Near North Korea

“Late last night I monitored “DARK flight of seven” on PRIME (311.000 MHZ STRATCOM PRIMARY) asking for current weather for UAM [airport code for Guam - Andersen Air Force Base]. On the frequency of 251.100 MHz, DARK flight also was calling for “GASSR 11 and GASSR 12″ (KC-135s) for “Tanker drag to BAB [Beale AFB, California]“.
“Dark” is the standard radio call sign for the 7th Bomb Wing’s B-1s based at Dyess AFB, near Abilene, Texas.
Edit.  Don’t think that this is a unilateral move folks, China is moving troops toward the border with North Korea and Russia is also deploying naval vessels to the area. All this for a two-bit nation that is essentially the mouse that roared. Perhaps if we hadn’t backed North Korea up to the wall with the sanctions that only inflict burden on the populous too weak to rebel we wouldn’t have this crisis today. Sanctions, IMHO, are an non-military act of aggression that is only a prelude to war.
The actual danger in all of this North Korean business is not the rinky-dink nation but the super powers surrounding it.

Health and Wellness: formerly called Emerging Illnesses (Pestilence)…

USDA caves to food industry pressures, approves three new toxic meat preservatives

According to Courthouse News Service (CNS), sodium benzoate, sodium propionate, and benzoic acid will now be permissible for use in preserving and treating meat and poultry products, despite having been previously banned. FSIS has long been of the persuasion that major food corporations would attempt to use such additives to "conceal damage or inferiority in meat and poultry," but the agency's view has apparently changed.
Edit. So once again Big-Ag has won out over the health of the American consumer. Obviously, it is time to start raising backyard poultry and rabbits in addition to your gardens. It is your only assurance of reasonably safe food.

Devastating honeybee loss reported across United States expected to impact food prices

The disorder has significantly affected bee populations since the 1970s with a sharp increase in losses since 2006. Now, as beekeepers return to their hives to prepare for spring pollination, they are finding that at least half of their bees are gone.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Teakwood in Ecuador uncovered.....

Teak wood is at a premium.

India craves it.

And Ecuador has it.

And right now the Ecuador government is offering an incentive for reforestation projects reimbersing 75% of the operating costs of any reforestation project for the first 4 years of growth, which happen to be the most costly years of the harvest.

Teak wood is a hard, luxury wood that grows in dry, tropical climates.  Specifically it grows well with 9 months of dry and 3 months of wet just like in many areas of coastal Ecuador.

Often Teak trees in Ecuador that are 8 years old look like the Teak in Costa Rica of 12 years.

You see, Ecuador has the dry climate Teak love, their roots are deep roots that reach the deep undertable water making rainfall unnecessary.

Entry costs:  Where best to grow? 

For me, the most idela areas for this business is the Emalme to Quevedo coastal plain areas... the average price of raw land in the area ideal for Teak farming is going for $1500 per hectare.  It's best to buy vacant land and grow your own plantation.  But land ideal for teak is raising in price.

The hottest opportunity area I see for starting a Teak farm is the Pedro Carbo area where the climate is right, a few savvy farmers are already having success and land is still cheap at $800-$1200 per hectare.

Flat land is needed for optimum Teak farming.  Plus, the land should never flood.

The harvest: 

Trees are usually planted 3 meters apart to all directions meaning you can fit about 1100 trees per hectare of land.  To have the most profitable farm it is preferred to have around 100 hectares.

Projected Operating costs:

For a new 100 hectare Teak farm your biggest expense will be the labor costs.  You will need one Agricultural Engineer to manage the farm for the first three years.  Agro-engineers in Ecuador in this role as farm manager usually make around $1000/month.  You'll also need about 14 minimum wage workers ($318/month) to water the farm and clear the undergrowth among other general farm maintenance work.  That's $5452 per month or $65,424 a year.

Water is attained through wells.  Electricity isn't a significant cost.

On average all inclusive, the first year you can expect to invest about $2000 per hectare of crop, but thereafter you can cutback on farmhands to the point where the most efficient farms spend about $400-600 per hectare annually.

Harvest time:

Your first harvest can be at the 8 year mark when your wood is sold by the cubic meter.  1 tree = 3 "trozas", 9 trozas = 1 cubic meter = $230 based on diameter min 44cm $110.  At the 8 year mark you can expect to have around on average 800-900 trees remaining per hectare.  So from 900 trees which are 8 years old we can expect to make 300 cubic meters of wood for sale at the current prices (which are likely to rise) of $230 per m3 giving us a gross income per hectare of $69,000.

The real money can be made if you can wait to the 15 or 18 year mark when each single Teak tree can command $300.  But only expect to have around 350 Teak trees remaining of the original 1100 you planted at the onset.  This would give you an income per hectare of $105,000.

The sale:

The sale of Teak is VERY easy.  No marketing needed, you produce it and the buyers will come hunt you out!  You make the deal, they come, they cut and they usually handle the rest including the export.

The potential profit:

Assuming you bought in the Pedro Carbo area for around $800 per hectare, then proceeded to invest $2000 the first year in each hectare, then $600 for each year thereafter for 7 more years, your total investment per hectare comes to $7000.  So in 8 years if you can generate an income of $69000 from that same hectare you will have multiplied your investment about 10 times.

Of course, the set-back for this business model is that you need money to play, big money, and time too.

The kicker:

But what makes this business REALLY profitable, right now, in Ecuador, as mentioned earlier is that the government is willing to pay 75% of your operating costs the first four years you are in operation.  To qualify for this "type of grant" whether you are Ecuadorian or foreigner you need to fill out the application documentation and submit it to the MAGAP (Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Acuacultura, y Pesca) and solicit an inspection of your farm.

Upon approval of the grant you will then need to begin harvest.  At the end of one year the MAGAP will once again inspect your farm and refund 75% of the money you have spent on the upkeep depending on what percentage of the original trees remain alive.  And for the next three years you can get the refund following the same process. 

Dom Buonamici
Tree hugger
Quito Airport Suites
Murali Hostal Guayaquil
Montanita Vacation Rentals

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nuclear board warns of Hanford tank explosion risk......We are gratefull Ecuador does not have this stuff.....

Hey Obama...how about packaging these tanks and just send them by FedEx to North Korea.....

 Board warns key US senator of explosion risk at nation's most contaminated nuclear site

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- Underground tanks that hold a stew of toxic, radioactive waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site pose a possible risk of explosion, a nuclear safety board said in advance of confirmation hearings for the next leader of the Energy Department

State and federal officials have long known that hydrogen gas could build up inside the tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, leading to an explosion that would release radioactive material. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board recommended additional monitoring and ventilation of the tanks last fall, and federal officials were working to develop a plan to implement the recommendation. 

The board expressed those concerns again Monday to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and had sought the board's perspective about cleanup at Hanford. 

The federal government created Hanford in the 1940s as part of the secret Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. It spends billions of dollars to clean up the 586-square-mile site neighboring the Columbia River, the southern border between Washington and Oregon and the Pacific Northwest's largest waterway.
Federal officials have said six underground tanks at the site are leaking into the soil, threatening the groundwater, and technical problems have delayed construction of a plant to treat the waste for long-term safe disposal.

Those issues are likely to come up during confirmation hearings next week for Energy Secretary-nominee Ernest J. Moniz. The fears of explosion and contamination could give Washington and Oregon officials more clout as they push for cleanup of the World War II-era site.

Central to the cleanup is the removal of 56 million gallons of highly radioactive, toxic waste left from plutonium production from underground tanks. Many of the site's single-shell tanks, which have just one wall, have leaked in the past, and state and federal officials announced in February that six such tanks are leaking anew.

"The next Secretary of Energy - Dr. Moniz - needs to understand that a major part of his job is going to be to get the Hanford cleanup back on track, and I plan to stress that at his confirmation hearing next week," Wyden said in a statement Tuesday. 

The nuclear safety board warned about the risk of explosion to Wyden, who wanted comment on the safety and operation of Hanford's tanks, technical issues that have been raised about the design of a plant to treat the waste in those tanks, and Hanford's overall safety culture.

In addition to the leaks, the board noted concerns about the potential for hydrogen gas buildup within a tank, in particular those with a double wall, which contain deadly waste that was previously pumped out of the leaking single-shell tanks.

"All the double-shell tanks contain waste that continuously generates some flammable gas," the board said. "This gas will eventually reach flammable conditions if adequate ventilation is not provided."

All of the tanks are actively ventilated, which means they have blowers and fans to prevent a buildup of hydrogen gas, and those systems are monitored to ensure they are operating as intended, Energy Department spokeswoman Carrie Meyer said.

For even greater safety, she said, the agency implemented an improved monitoring system in February.
"DOE is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety of Hanford's underground tanks," Meyer said.
The board also noted technical challenges with the waste treatment plant, which is being built to encase the waste in glasslike logs for long-term disposal. Those challenges must be resolved before parts of the plant can be completed, the board said.

The federal government spends about $2 billion annually on Hanford cleanup — roughly one-third of its entire budget for nuclear cleanup nationally. About $690 million of that goes toward design and construction of the plant. Design of the plant, last estimated at more than $12.3 billion, is 85 percent complete, while construction is more than 50 percent complete.

The problems identified by the board show that the plant schedule will be delayed further and the cost will keep rising, Wyden said, adding: "There is a real question as to whether the plant, as currently designed, will work at all."