We really need to stop killing people…

Ξ November 30th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

I am against the death penalty. I am not against it because I think it is wrong to take the life of miscreant who has slaughtered helpless folk. I am against it because time and again, I see evidence that the system is simply not working. It is a well known fact that eye witness identification is simply not accurate. It seems to me that the only true method is a freely given confession, or forensic evidence that is beyond reproach.
In the copyrighted online edition of today’s New York Times, there is an article the skewers the system in Texas which is widely known as the state that simply kills people left and right. The willy-nilly process used in Texas is clearly flawed. It further discusses the role of the Fifth Circuit Court (New Orleans) and their role in this folly. I am excerpting a small portion of what is there, but the whole article is worth the read. The online edition is free and only requires a registration.
Death Sentences in Texas Cases Try Supreme Court’s Patience

In the past year, the Supreme Court has heard three appeals from inmates on death row in Texas, and in each case the prosecutors and the lower courts suffered stinging reversals.
In a case to be argued on Monday, the court appears poised to deliver another rebuke.
Lawyers for a Texas death row inmate, Thomas Miller-El, will appear before the justices for the second time in two years. To legal experts, the Supreme Court’s decision to hear his case yet again is a sign of its growing impatience with two of the courts that handle death penalty cases from Texas: its highest criminal court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans.
Perhaps as telling is the exasperated language in decisions this year from a Supreme Court that includes no categorical opponent of the death penalty. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in June that the Fifth Circuit was “paying lip service to principles” of appellate law in issuing death penalty rulings with “no foundation in the decisions of this court.”
In an unsigned decision in another case last month, the Supreme Court said the Court of Criminal Appeals “relied on a test we never countenanced and now have unequivocally rejected.” The decision was made without hearing argument, a move that ordinarily signals that the error in the decision under review was glaring.

Instead of considering much of the evidence recited by the Supreme Court majority, the appeals court engaged in something akin to plagiarism. In February, it again rejected Mr. Miller-El’s claims, in a decision that reproduced, virtually verbatim and without attribution, several paragraphs from the sole dissenting opinion in last year’s Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas.
“The Fifth Circuit just went out of its way to defy the Supreme Court on this,” said John J. Gibbons, a former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, who joined a brief supporting Mr. Miller-El. “The idea that the system can tolerate open defiance by an inferior court just cannot stand.”
The Supreme Court agrees to hear only about 80 cases each year. It seldom accepts cases to correct errors in the lower courts and concentrates instead on resolving conflicts among appeals courts and announcing broad legal principles. But in recent years the court has often found itself fixing problems in specific Texas death penalty cases. Over the last decade, it has ruled against prosecutors in all six appeals brought by inmates on death row in Texas.

The two appeals courts handle an enormous number of capital cases and grant relief in very few. Between 1995 and 2000, the Court of Criminal Appeals heard direct appeals in 270 death sentences and reversed eight times, according to a report by the Texas Defender Service, a nonprofit law firm that represents death row inmates. The reversal rate – 3 percent – is the lowest of any state. California, which has a much larger death row, at 635, has executed only 10 people since 1976, to Texas’s 336.
By contrast, a comprehensive study of almost 6,000 death sentences across the nation over the 20 years ended in 1995 found a 68 percent chance they would be overturned by a state or federal court.

“The Fifth Circuit does not understand that it is an inferior tribunal to the United States Supreme Court, and it acts lawlessly,” said Professor Dow, who was a law clerk to Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the Fifth Circuit in 1985 and 1986. Referring to the court’s critical role in several historic civil rights cases, he added, “If it acted this lawlessly in the 1960’s, black people and white people would still be eating at separate lunch counters.”

In another episode widely perceived as an embarrassment, Roy Criner, a prison inmate serving 99 years for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl that he insisted he had never committed, successfully petitioned for a DNA test not available during his trial. The test determined that the semen in the victim was not his. A second test produced the same result.

The trial court asked the criminal appeals court to order a new trial, but with Judge Keller prominently in the majority, it voted 6-3 to let the conviction stand. Gov. George W. Bush, then running for the White House, granted Mr. Criner clemency. “It’s pretty bad when you have to go to Governor Bush for relief,” said James Marcus, executive director of the Texas Defender Service.

At times the federal appeals court has been unfathomable to its critics. Last December, for instance, it considered the last-minute appeal of Billy Frank Vickers, scheduled to die for the killing of a grocer in 1993. With the inmate already given his last meal, the judges deliberated until 9 p.m. and announced they were leaving, with no decision. Bewildered state prison officials allowed the death warrant to expire, granting Mr. Vickers a delay. He was executed six weeks later.

In October, a Houston federal judge granted a last-minute stay to Dominique Green, but the state appealed. The Fifth Circuit then gave defense lawyers less than half an hour to file their response, Professor Dow said. A rushed brief was e-mailed to the court and turned down. The Supreme Court also rejected a stay, and Mr. Green was executed that night.

This article contains a lot more than what I have placed here, but the conclusion is clear to me. The death penalty process is really fucked up in Texas and a bunch of other states and until we either figure out a way to reverse the process, or until a fool proof system is used to hand out the death penalty, we simply need to stop killing these people.


Happy Thanksgiving (for many)

Ξ November 25th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Whatever |

Living away from the USA is a lot of fun, and I seldom feel as if I “miss” much of my old life.

Thanksgiving is an exception.

Obviously, in Costa Rica, TG is not celebrated. There are, of course, a lot of US ex-pats living here who do… but I do not. Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without family.

I have a wonderful girlfriend… but she works today. My son lives here, but HE works today. I live here, and I work today because I have a ton of Costa Rican clients, and THEY work today.

I received a couple of invitations to dinner today… but I don’t want to go solo. I always feel like the fifth wheel.

Later, I must go a teach a seminar to folks who want to come and live here, and that should be fun. Usually is. Then I will go and get a haircut.

My gf returns home about 5 PM… and maybe we’ll go out to dinner… without Turkey. (Turkeys are available here, but I have yet to find and restaurant that knows how to cook one properly, and stuffing is unheard of!

I tried to explain to my housekeeper some of our traditions (in Spanish) but it loses something in the translation.

So, for now… I sit here alone at my desk, and I REALLY miss Thanksgiving


Americans are Ugly

Ξ November 21st, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

In most parts of the world, we Americans are not viewed kindly.

This is not a result of George Bush, US policy in Iraq or other political happenings, although that is certainly not popular in most parts of the world. I am referring to the American people… personally. We are viewed as arrogant, rich, thoughtless, cultureless, rude, ignorant (not stupid), and socially inept.

In Costa Rica, where I live, this is true as well. I spend a lot of time with folks from the USA… folks who both live here and those who come as tourists. Many come here and act just as their mommies taught them to behave… be respectful guests in someone else’s home. They appreciate the cultural differences. They marvel at the beauty of this country. They understand they are in a foreign land and things will not be the same as ‘home’. Many more do not.

Why is that? Why would someone come to Costa Rica and be all bent that not everyone speaks English. Hint: This is a Latin country! I see this all the time. When their English is not understood, what do they do? The speak louder, as if an increase in volume will overcome the basic fact that the listener does not speak a damned word of English.

The sad part is that Costa Ricans are such marvelous, gentle, and peaceful people. They may be the least offensive group of people I have encountered anywhere in the world. The lives of Costa Ricans center far more on family and friends and less on the job you hold or ‘things’. You will never find an aged family member shipped off to a nursing home. In a crisis, everyone jumps in to help.

Costa Ricans are a special group of people. There is something innately wrong about offending non-offensive people. (Clearly, this does not apply to the French who seemingly have no problem offending just about everybody). Onward….
So why do people come here and act badly? Why do they bitch and moan that this store does not accept dollars, or that they had to wait in line at a bank longer than in the US, or that there wasn’t a cab available at 2 AM to take them to the next bar? Why do they feel the need to talk loudly in quiet restaurants and act abusive to the wait staff? Why do they seeming ‘talk down’ to Costa Ricans? In general, why do they visit another country and expect it to be just like home?

Part of this I think is that Americans just don’t have to deal much with other countries. The US is like a big island isolated from the rest of the world (except for Canada and Mexico, and everybody knows they don’t count!

I am struck by the differences I see in European visitors. The young ones… 20 somethings especially. Most speak 2-3 languages fluently. This, of course, is because of the schooling and the close proximity to other countries. But it is more… It is because they actually visit those countries all the time, not unlike a person from Ohio might visit Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, whatever…. The difference is that there is no difference in culture (ok, maybe in Kentucky). Thus there is no reason to act differently. When you travel to other countries regularly, you learn that there are other cultures; other ways of doing things, other languages and traditions.

Sadly, this does not apply just to the tourists. There is a large population of ex-patriots living here. I know many who do not speak a word of Spanish after 10 years of living here. Why? Learning the language and customs of the country in which you live is, in my opinion, nothing less than showing respect for that country. Many folks come here, live in American enclaves, eat at Tony Roma’s, TGI Fridays or MacDonalds, and never experience the real Costa Rica. They make no attempt to learn the language. They live a wonderland of rain forests, beaches, mountains, wildlife… but never leave their homes. They would rather sit around and complain about the long lines, the inefficiencies, the bad roads, the government policies on residency… just about anything rather than learning to adjust to their new homes.

Of the people who do move here, about 40% return home within a year. Culture shock? Naw. That’s a cop-out I think. They just never made the effort. They never realized that a vacation in the tropics is not like living in the tropics. So they think that their lives here will be just like their vacation was last year. They expected the culture to adjust to them. Really silly. The Spanish and Portuguese were sailing ships and discovering new words several hundred years before George Washington was born. Theirs is a true culture… ours I think, is not. Our is more of a mixture of cultures and traditions from the ‘old country’.

Now we are faced with an influx of people disenchanted with their lives in the US. They hate (in no particular order), George Bush, The Iraq situation, the government, their families, their employers, their jobs, their lives, or themselves. They are coming here to escape. It is sunny and warm and it will be perfect. They could not make it in the US and they think Valhalla is here in the tropics. They want a simpler life… back to the basics… but they immediately start bitching about the schools, the roads, the banking system, and how backwards everything is here.

Well if you come as a tourists… please remember you are a guest here, as am I and all the others who where not born here. Act like a guest. Most of us had parents who taught us how to behave when we visited someone’s home. Remember what you mom said? She was right.

And for you future ex-pats? Come if you like… but please, come for the right reasons. You cannot run away from yourselves.


Earthquake – Costa Rica Style!

Ξ November 20th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Whatever |

We just had an earthquake and it was a BFD!

A strong earthquake occurred at 08:07:23 (UTC) on Saturday, November 20, 2004. The magnitude 6.2 event has been located in COSTA RICA. The hypocentral depth was poorly constrained. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)

I was absolutely in another world sound asleep. BIG TIME noise and rushing sound. Bed was shaking, house was moving.

I woke up and for some reason thought it was my girlfriend making all the noise. Seemed reasonable at the time.

The dog was going crazy, the lora (parrot) was saying bad things from within her cage.

About two seconds later, my housekeeper Jeanette came flying into our bedroom spouting Spanish a mile a minute… Ricky Ricardo style… though this should not be too much of a surprise as she only speaks Spanish.

Wanna see cool maps and stuff?
Click Here
. or read more here.

My son called cause the thing shook him out of bed, and everybody was on MSN
talking about it. Everybody called everybody to be sure they were OK.


It was COOL (but a little scary!)

I am going back to bed.


My Last Haiku

Ξ November 19th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Whatever |

Just came across a blog of Haiku poetry… those short poems of three lines with 5-7-5 syllables. So I tried to write one about what I see from in front of my house.

It sounds lame to me… especially after re-writing it 38 times to get the stupid syllables right. I don’t think I have the patience to re-write and revise it again until it sounds just right… thus, you my dear visitor may being viewing my last haiku.

Balls of cotton fluff
Stuck high up on mountain peaks
Look like little hats


Cross Dressers and Executions in Texas

Ξ November 18th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

Anthony Fuentes, 30, was the 21st person executed this year in Texas and the 334th since 1982.

In a final statement while strapped to a gurney in the Texas death chamber, Fuentes said some day ”the truth will be known” about the crime.

”It is wrong for the prosecutors to lie and make witnesses say what they need them to say,” he said. ”I just hope everybody has their peace. Today I get mine.”

Two of his accomplices, Steve Vela and Kelvin Templeton, were convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to prison terms of 16 years and 15 years, respectively.

For his final meal, Fuentes requested fried chicken with biscuits and jalapeno peppers, steak and french fries, fajita tacos, pizza, a hamburger, water and Coca-Cola.

I used to be for the death penalty. I wasn’t really sure if it detered bad people from doing bad things. But it seemed fair. You kill someone. We kill you. I also justified this because of the huge cost to keep just one inmate locked up and guarded for a year. $40,000 + I think was the figure.

Then came DNA, and we found out just how many ‘mistakes’ were sitting on the Illinois death row. I lived in Illinois before I cam here to Costa Rica. In fact, the Illinois numbers were staggering. Many were released on appeal (with heartfelt apologies!) for the loss of x – 15 years…. and finally the governor commuted the death sentences for all the rest because the system was so fucked up.

Texas seems very confident in their system. I hope they are right. 334 folks knocked off is a lot. Even with a low 5% error rate, that sorta means 16 folks had a real bad day… por nada.

I think maybe we should not kill any more people until we figure out how to reverse the process if we screw up.

Side note: The other two guys convicted of this crime were given prison sentences. They also did not have Latin surnames. Probably just a coincidence!

And… Texas seems to be the leader in another area:

HOUSTON, Nov. 17 2004 Camouflage was in and cross-dressing was out at a rural East Texas school district Wednesday after a Christian legal group complained a long-standing school tradition of reversing social roles for a day would promote homosexuality.

Hmmm! Promote homosexuality huh?

And one concerned Mom voiced it ever so succinctly!

Delana Davies, who has two children in the Spurger school, complained this year that the tradition could promote homosexuality… ”It might be fun today to dress up like a little girl — kids think it’s cute and things like that. And you start playing around with it and, like drugs, you do a little here and there (and) eventually it gets you,” Davies told reporters.

Well now I am clear on this!

I guess now that those good ole boyz and gurlz can wear their cammies and prepare for another Columbine instead… likely because of their deeply supressed homosexual urges?

Sheesh! Am I missing something here?


The Photo Gallery is Working

Ξ November 17th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Whatever |

Photography is one of my favorite things, and Costa Rica provides just about as good a location as there is anywhere in the world for pursuing this.

Yesterday I added a Photo Gallery to my web site for those of you who would like to see a bit of Central America. Included are photos of Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and perhaps today or tomorrow, San Andres, Columbia.

Costa Rica has it all… incredible birds and other wildlife, rainforests, beaches, mountains, cloud forests, intersting architecture and some of the nicest folks anywhere in the world.

It also has a enormous number of churches with amazing designs and ageless beauty. In fact, the beauty of the churches alone (every town, large or small, has one) would be enough for a great coffee table book.

Here are a few pictures.

All are thumbnailed so clicking on them will pop-up a larger version.

The first two are the old stand-by flower shots, but the colors are to me quite beautiful.

The variety of flowers here is astonishing. Travel to the rain forests and you will see orchids sporting colors found almost nowhere in the world.

And, of course, no mini selection of Costa Rica photos would be complete without at least one beach shot!

This secluded beach is in the northwest portion of Costa Rica in the province od Guanacaste. There are still a fair number of these pristine beaches if you do a bit of hunting, but unfortunately, Costa Rica is getting over-populated and the hotels are snatching up properties like this. I sat near that tree. As I did, I thought (briefly) of friends and family enjoying the last few days of Fall before the winter storms hit Chicago… and I thought: SUCKERS!!

And people wonder how I could possible leave the US for an ex-patriot life in Costa Rica.

If you want to visit the Gallery for more pix, Click Here


The Internet Just Doesn’t Surprise Me Much Any More…BUT

Ξ November 16th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Geeky Stuff |

OK… I know, this is blasphemy.

I stopped using Google about ten months ago. I switched to Brand Y and on occasion Brand A. They just worked better. I feel like that little kid who said “The King Has NO Clothes!”, but I am here to tell you now, Google just plain doesn’t work well any more… so I left them. Dropped ’em like 4th period French.

I do not get impressed any more about the stuff I see on the Net. It’s just the same ol’ crapola in new packaging.

Then… about 6 months ago, somebody told me about Vivisimo, a “new” type of search engine. “The Google Killer”. Hogwash. IN 20 years of Interneting, I have seen it all come and go. But I am a geek at heart, so I tried it. It worked GOOD. Then, I used it for a month… it worked REALLY GOOD. Instead of the garbage returned daily by Google and to a lesser extent, brand Y, this thing returned useful information. It not only returned it, it actually packaged it!

Now this ain’t new. The placing of SE results in handy little packages was used about ten tears ago. It didn’t work well and the company that did it is now in private practice.

But dear readers… this damned thing DOES work… and it is especially good if you have to do a broad search.

ANY search engine works if you enter a search phrase or term so narrow that the results make sense. But in the real world, this seldom happens. In the real world, we do searches (at least I do) on broad subjects.

Example: A search on Costa Rica for example.

In Google you get a mismash of stuff in the first three pages. Maybe what you want is there… maybe not. Usually not…

But in Vivisiomo…. you get this: Topic (number of sites)

costa rica (203)

Travel (58)
Maps (17)
San Jos�, Costa Rica (17)
Community (8)
Estate, Costa Rica Real (11)
Nacional (7)
Costa Rica Hotels (12)
Surf (10)
Birding (7)
Fishing, Sportfishing (9)
Adventure Tours (6)
School (5)
World Factbook (2)
Costa Rica and Central America (3)
Flights (5)
Costa Rica Natural (3)
Quepos (4)
Land (4)
Governments (5)
Visit Costa Rica (4)
Art, Offering Contemporary (3)
Condominiums (2)
Embassy (2)
Geographie (4)
Cocori (2)
Costa Rica Beach (4)
Reisen, Mietwagen (3)
Discover Costa Rica (4)
Costa Rica Car Rentals (3)
Costa Rica.Net (3)
Lots And Houses (2)
Life In Costa Rica (2)
Room (5)
Lawyer, Law (3)
Find Costa Rica (2)
Airfares To Costa Rica (2)
Breakfast, Reservations (5)
Rep�blica de Costa Rica (3)
Trips In Costa Rica (2)
Databases (2)
Gourmet (2)
Transportation, Transfer Services (3)
Costa Rica City (2)
Music (2)
Dolphin and whale (2)
Beautiful Costa Rica (3)
Other Topics (22)

58 web sites on travel, 17 about maps, etc.

To ME, this is just far more useful.

I may have become jaded…. but for today, I am delighted to write about something that really makes me happy. A search engine that really works.

(See the next entry for some very interesting facts. Vivisimo #2??? Can it be?)

To check out Vivisimo in a new window, click here.


The Nose Hair Problem

Ξ November 15th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Humor, Rants |

Today I need to rant a bit on that problem common to many men and a few lucky women! I am, of course, referring to nose hair!

Getting older sucks. It especially sucks when hair that has been apparently happy growing in one location on your body decides now that it now wishes to expand its sphere of influence.

When I was young(er), my hair knew how to behave.

It grew on my head, my chest, my legs, (but never very much on my legs which caused my son to call me a sissy until I sat on him), two little patches on my back, and, of course, in my nether regions.

Now this brings up another subject. Why are our nether regions called our nether regions? In fact what is a nether anyway? Is it like the opposite of hither? Like coming hither, going nether? I suppose it could be where we get the term for that popular game nether ball. (Sorry, had to).

This may fall into that odd combination of weird words like Hoosier. What the fuck IS a Hoosier?? Now don’t tell me a Hoosier is a person from Indiana duh! I want to know exactly what IS a Hoosier. And nobody seems to know.

In fact, one day I should do a rant on screwy words. Like what is a Nittany??? There are the Nittany Lions, right? but what IS a Nittany?

Well this has been fun, but I really need return to the reason you were attracted enough to READ this rant in the first place. NOSE HAIR!

As I was saying, for years my hairs knew their place. Now, a sort or Hair Lib is taking place.

Let’s start at the top!

I had a nice head of hair. I guess I still do, BUT, there is a danger zone exactly on the top of my bean where the hair is ummmm… Endangered!

A person directly looking down at my head from above say when I am sitting in a sofa and they are above and behind me, can now see a LOT of skin through the trees! Sort of a Friar Tuck in Training thing. This is not good. I wanted to know where it was going because I was NOT losing these hairs. None on my pillow in the morning, None in my hairbrush. A conundrum for sure.

Then, I figured it out! They had ingrown through my brain and were now sprouting from my ears, my nose, and my chest.

This is GROSS. Ear hair must be dealt with. Men with foliage growing from their ears are disgusting. Men with uncontrolled nose hair make the ear hair guys pale to insignificance. Now I have both. When I was young(er), I always thought men (and women) with wild nose hairs should not be permitted in public.

Now I have become one of THEM, and I have to DEAL with this.

Now you can PULL an ear hair. No biggie! It hurts, but you can deal with it. You cannot pull a nose hair. Nose hairs grow in no pull zones. Even NFL players do not pull nose hairs.

Also, my chest hairs, which for many years were well disciplined and self-grooming for the most part, have now also felt the need for rebellion. Some grow at an amazing pace and not at all evenly. It’s like the chest hair fertilizer fairy came visiting after a bit too much of the suds. Why, the other day, I yanked one out (chest hairs, like ear hairs are in OK to pull zones), that was easily long enough to use as shoelace! Alas, it broke after only two tyings.

So, I did what any new age man would do, I formed a nose hair support group. We comfort one another twice a week. Somehow, you feel better knowing you are not alone.

Sadly, we have not one member who knows what is a Hoosier or a Nittany.


George and John from afar

Ξ November 14th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

Costa Rica is a hotbed of democracy… er… I mean democrats. It seems that just about every person I meet here is about three hundred yards left of Ted in their political thought. This doesn’t bother me much as I am a bit liberal in most thought. And in general, I swing both ways… politically.

For some time now though, I find it almost impossible to get behind any of these fellows. I sort of vote for the one who I think will do the least harm if elected for four years. I can’t remember the last time I was actually ‘for’ someone. Sad.

In fact, I have developed what I think is a good plan. Unfortunately it didn’t work this time… but make sure the president’s party does not have control in congress. This way he/she is even more limited in the damage they can do.


We get the Clinton News Network (CNN) here, and if you have a certain cable connection, you also can get fair and balanced reporting from Fox.

In the Post Mortems, the F&B folks made note that there seems to be a an intellectual gap with the east coast intellectuals (liberals) feeling that the rest of the country was out of touch with the needs of the country.

Fox went on to state that the intellectuals simply felt that the common folk should really not have a vote they simply do not have the innate intelligence nor eduacation to make such a selection and should really leave the serious thinking to those same east coast intellectuals, who just happen to be liberal in their thinking. This belief was even stronger if these poor ‘compasinos’ actually held strong religious beliefs. I guess belief in God is now limited to only a certain few with the intellectual capacity to handle such deep thought.

I heard this hogwash thought a bad word and changed back to Bill’s channel.

Fast Forward

So this week, I am doing a bit of consulting with a gentlemen recently moved here from Cape Cod (part of Massachusetts for those of you geographically challenged).

Lo and behold, I find myself talking with one of these real live LIBERAL INTELLECTUALS. Naturally, the conversation turns to the recent big political doin’s and he actually says this to me.

“Kerry would never have lost of those stupid, uneducated religious freaks in the mid-west had not voted for Bush”

I paused for a moment HUH?

What mid-west states are you referring to?

Ohio, Indiana, Iowa you know, Arkansas, Kansas.

So those people made a mistake?

Of course! What do they know about politics or what this country needs?

Well, they live here and there are millions of folks there; there are big cities, educated people. What about them?

Well sure, maybe folks form your town are OK (Chicago), but the rest? Farmers and blue-collar workers. Maybe high schooled at best. Now they’re letting God make their decisions for them?

But aren’t the blue-collar folks traditionally been supporters of the Democratic Party? And maybe they just felt strongly about those things that you didn’t.

Yeah, but clearly they got their heads turned around about morals and so on. Gay marriage! Right to choose. Who cares?

(Well clearly somebody did). No, I didn’t say this. He was PAYING ME!

Well this went on for a while longer, and I started thinking maybe F&B got it right and what was worse, how horribly far out of touch some folks are with what people really think is important these days. It is incredible to me that one group of people can actually feel that entire portions of the population are unfit to choose their president.

He then said, “This is why I left the US.”

You came here because Bush was re-elected?

Yeah! I don’t want to see the country ruined. Clearly, voting no longer reflects the needs of the country.

By George Bush? Single-handedly? And isn’t the vote supposed to reflect the wants of the country?

Absolutely. You know he will probably pick at least 2-3 Supreme Court Justices? And as for wants and needs, they are the same!

Getting testy.

So I went back to my office. Living as an ex-patriot provides a different perspective. We really don’t deal with the day-to-day issues as much maybe because this stuff is not in our faces every day.

Still does there seem to be something wrong here?

For the record: I am anti-gun, pro-environment, anti gay marriage (but FOR some form of legal contractual arrangements whereby gay couples have the same financial, insurance, medical, etc. and other benefits).

We need health care, but not the kind John wanted. It didn’t work in Canada, Costa Rica, Sweden or other places and it won’t work in the USA.

I am anti abortion and anti death penalty.

Some issues are just stupid and nobody likes the answers.

I think jobs are lost overseas because the labor market is now worldwide, and it is just a simple part of life. Companies cut costs to make money and to keep product prices down. If they don’t, the American public buys foreign made goods because our stuff is overpriced.

This is not new. It has been happening for years. It is getting worse because there is now a much larger population of educated and qualified workers willing to work for less money and benefits than the folks in our country. Costa Rica has its share of US companies here for just that reason.



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