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Welcome To Vilcabamba
"The Sacred Valley of Longevity"

This Is A Privately Circulated Blog, scribbled exclusively for Friends & Familiars, that peers into and pontificates about Expat life in the hinterlands of South America. If your eyesight is less than optimal (like mine), then just click the type size up a notch on your browser..

Here you will find a series of curmudgeonly commentaries that I've posted from atop my rickety old soapbox for the past few years. And yes, there are indeed political rantings, so place your seats in the upright position and fasten your seat belts .... it may be a bumpy ride.


My New Year's Resolution


Are You REALLY Seeing What's Happening Today?

As all of you know, there are conspiracy theories floating around in the "alternative media" about everything! OK, but how about what is happening right in front of your very eyes. What about the things that are happening "concealed" in plain sight.

Sometimes you have to teach yourself how to look more closely, to see what is there that is hidden just beyond "normal" sight. One of the best examples I know is found in the artwork of Bev Doolittle. Go ahead, test yourself …. don't be distracted by the brightly colored fox, look a little closer! Then look again. OK, are you ready?

Yep, there's a lot more than you thought, right? So next time you listen to the news or read your favorite news media, remember the picture above. Most of what is happening to us is right there in plain sight ... we just aren't looking closely enough.

Quit trying to complicate things. This is how they got so screwed up in the first place. Remember, the answers are always right in front of you. Just look!


Is It Over?

I have been receiving emails recently that all seem to be saying the same thing: "OK, quit telling me how bad things are, what I want to know now is what can I do to save myself and my family? Or is already too late?"

Well, if you'll allow just one more Doom & Gloom comment: you ain't seen anything yet! Only a partisan two-bit hack economist from an Ivy League University with a Nobel Prize can say with academic certainty that the worst is behind us. It is simply hogwash! The Titanic's bow is already awash.

But there's still time to make some informed choices, and do something proactive instead of reactive. Not all of the lifeboats are already launched.

For example; do you have any silver or gold? Back in 2004, when I started my own preparations for the sure-to-come financial disaster, I cashed in a few under preforming stocks and bought a some Canadian bullion coins; a "few" of gold, a "few" silver. My records show that I paid $405 for the gold 1 ounce coins and $5.85 for the 1 ounce silver coins. I just peeked a moment ago, and an ounce of gold is at $1,277.50 and those silver coins are now worth $21.15. You do the math as to my ROI.

With less than 2% of all investors participating in the precious metals markets, it seems like a no-brainer to me that the price of both gold and silver have a LONG way to go before it bubbles. Accordingly, even at these supposedly "high" prices, I firmly believe that gold, and silver in particular, will double again in the near future.

Of course, I remember my former stock broker telling me that holding precious metals means giving up dividends. Hm-mmm, well my rather spectacular return on investment these past six years certainly blows that argument out of the water. How is your IRA these days, huh?

So quit rearranging the deck chairs on this sinking ship and buy some gold. And maybe even put a couple of bucks aside to move down here! No, it isn't over!


Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor

Although this video clip is in Spanish (with English subtitles), what is being shared is so extremely important that I'm presenting it here. The wisdom of this gentle and articulate Shaman perfectly illustrates one of the reasons that I am opening my heart and mind to learn more about what is called "Pacha Mama" (Mother Earth) here in Ecuador.

Don Alverto Taxo, a Quichua elder and Iachak (community leader/healer), shares his indigenous Andean perspective on the crises and potential of the current pachacuti (thousand-year cycle). Recalling the ancient prophecy of the eagle and the condor, Don Alverto outlines a vision of a new society based on harmony, the honoring of diversity, and a shared evolution toward wisdom and the "subtleness of life." He also describes Pacha Mama, Her relationship to God, the earth and humanity, as well as the serious consequences of disrupting Her natural equilibrium.


Something I wrote One Year Ago ...even more timely now.

On The Beach ... again.
An allegorical tale:

“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful Hawaiian beach full of tourists, enjoying themselves so much that they could not ever imagine life without such a wonderful place in which to relax.

One day, an incredible thing happened. The water started to pull away from the beach out into the ocean. The beach became even more beautiful, and everyone was thankful that even more people could now enjoy the larger expanse of sand.

But, one old man had been studying what many experts had observed when the same thing happened on other beaches in years past. He tried to warn all the people that they were in danger; that the incredible thing happening was not what it appeared to be, that soon everyone could be in peril.

Everyone laughed at him, saying he was just a foolish old man and did not know what he was talking about. There had never been great danger at this beach before in their lifetimes. How could he be so negative? After all, how could he know more than all the other people on the beach? Also, if they were in danger, the news media would have already warned them.

The old timer tried to tell them he had learned that throughout history there was a cause and effect pattern on every beach when this happened, and that all the people were in grave danger. But, the people insisted that this beach was different. This beach was special. This beach was only for having fun and not worrying about anything else. After all, this beach was full of people with such incredible talents, that they would most certainly be able to find a way to solve any problems from the ocean, should such exist. And in any case, wouldn't the government be there to save them, should anything really be amiss.

The old man eventually walked away with a heavy heart, having been able to convince only a handful of people that they were in danger. He hurried to the local airport, boarded an airplane that would take him far away, safe from the danger unfolding back on the beautiful Hawaiian beach where he had made his home for over a quarter of a century.

Just as he climbed his way to safety, he turned to look out the airplane's window and see the ocean let loose the full fury of its tsunami, swallowing all the people who would not listen to him. If only they had listened, he cried .

But alas ........

What about you? Are you wiling to listen to the old man? The same tsunami is threatening you and your loved ones even now Come to safety, before it is too late. Please! More information about "here" can be found at www.vilcabambahomes.com



A writer/editor (David Galland) whose murmurings and mumblings I love to read has written THE best reason for the US not to be in Afghanistan:

"In the case of Afghanistan, we have firmly planted ourselves in the middle of a militaristic medieval society complete with fatalistic religions, tribes, clans, warlords, corrupt satraps, war profiteers, and cultural practices that should have long vanished from the face of the earth. That we are bankrupting our nation while enriching the power elite in the region – with no clearer goal than “helping the Afghan government stand on its own” – is beyond ridiculous. The minute we pull out, and we will, Karzai’s going to pick up his skirts and head to Monte Carlo, or wherever else it is he keeps his money and back-up villa. Then the Pakistanis will have to try to find someone else to invade Afghanistan, so they can keep the money rolling in. If I were the president, I would stop the charade tomorrow."

Hmmmm .... couldn't have said it better myself. I keep asking myself why, when there are folks a lot smarter than me in our so-called "Power Elite", THEY can't understand the war situation in Afghanistan as well as this fellow David Galland does? Could it be .... naw-aaaaaaa.


If the last iteration of Mankind looks familiar, then perhaps you might wish to check out:



I'm Suffering From ....WHAT?

Sorry, dear readers, but it appears that I will soon be forced to take some psychotropic drugs to help 'cure' my well-known negativity when it comes to all politicians and The Powers That Be.

According to Mike Adams, Editor of "NaturalNews" who happens to be my neighbor, Psychiatrists have been working on the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and, in it, they hope to add a whole slew of new psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, many of these disorders are merely differences in personality and behavior among people.

The new edition may include "disorders" like "oppositional defiant disorder", which includes people who have a pattern of "negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures." Some of the "symptoms" of this disorder including losing one's temper, annoying people and being "touchy".

Hm-mmm. Yep, that's me alright. So if I suddenly appear to be zonked-out and pharmacalized or having too sunny a disposition when listening to the mass media 'news' you'll now know why. Or-rrrrrrrr, maybe I should avail myself of the other kind of "natural" drug as shown below.


WOW! Talk about a "contact high" ....

The above photo shows a crowd assembled at the University of Colorado on April 20th, known affectionately to one and all as "Pot Day". And yes indeed, the billowing clouds are just what you think they are. I suppose that in this age of ever-grundgy news about the economy this is what's known as the student's anti-depressent non-prescription drug of choice. Small wonder, considering their chances of finding a decent job to pay off their astronomical student loan debts after they graduate. Hm-mmm, well of course I've never inhaled, so what do I know about it.


How The Debt Money System Works

So, wann'a know the cause of the US financial crises? OK, here it is, short and sweet in a story about a little Texas town and "debt" money.

Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit here. On this particular day a rich tourist from back East is driving through town. He stops at the motel and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

As soon as the man walks upstairs, the owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed.

The guy at the Farmer's Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her services on credit.

The hooker rushes to the motel and pays off her room bill with the motel owner.

The motel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the rich traveler will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the $100 bill, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

What just happened here? No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism..

And that, dear reader, is how the United States Government is conducting its "fiat money created out of thin air" finances today.


US Healthcare Controversy

Let me say a few words about the pending US Healthcare legislation: it doesn't effect or interest me! That's it, folks. Those are my few words. But I realize that it is indeed important to you, my friends, familars and fortuitous readers. So I suppose a few more thoughts on the subject are in order.

Let me put it this way, in the past year and a half I have spent exactly $25.00 on what I used to call "doctor''s bills". That's what the one and only physician whom I've needed to consult during this period of time charged me for the HOUR that I spent in his treatment room. That is in contrast to the $125.00 I spent the last time I was in a doctor's office in Hawaii .... for 12 minutes! Granted, my US doctor had a lot of sick people to see, while the Ecuadorian physician had only a few healthy folks in his waiting room who momentarily needed some kind of help. So the local doctor figured that if one of his clients got "sick" it was because his preventative care did not work properly, and his service was charged accordingly.

Now, you might think that I'm heading toward a discussion about the differences in healthcare prices between the US and Latin America. I'm not.

What I'd like to take a moment or two to point out is that I simply DON'T have need of an insurance-oriented healthcare system. Why? Because of basic LIFESTYLE changes that I made at the ripe old age of 80. I'm now spending a fraction of the costs of my former medications for a few supplements, which is all I seem to require these days.

And it's not just what I'm saving in the way of healthcare costs, it is also the kind of savings that the entire United States could be enjoying with such a lifestyle change. Let me explain:

The BIG, HUGE elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about is the kind of self-inflicted illness that is now an epidemic in the whole world. The fastest growth of these illnesses is found in diabetes. Here's some data from my friend Jon Barron, at the Baseline For Health Foundation.

Just days ago, The Medical News published the latest analysis which showed that the cost of diabetes and pre-diabetes had reached $218 BILLION in 2007, with the exploding number of cases of type 2 diabetes responsible for the majority of these costs. And those numbers are three years old! Update them and over the next 10 years you're looking at an average of a quarter of a TRILLION dollars spent just in the United States alone. That, dear friends, is $2.5 trillion dollars unnecessarily spent on just one lifestyle-oriented disease alone. To put that into perspective, if the people of the US didn't give themselves diabetes through bad choices of diet and lifestyle, the savings alone would cover:

1. All costs associated with any healthcare bill that congress could conceivably pass, including covering all those not currently covered.
2. 100% of the disgraceful bankster bailout on Wall Street.
3. 100% of the stimulus handouts.

That's with no new taxes, and that is just one single disease.

Look, this ain't rocket science. The only way healthcare can survive is if YOU take back control of your own health and start doing those things that allow your body to stay healthy without the need of ILLNESS CARE! That's what it really is, not HEALTH care.

And by the way, remember my $25.00 visit to the doctor? Well, it was to get a laboratory Basic Chemistry work-up, just to make sure nothing was sneaking up on me. But as my friend and neighbor Mike Adams The Health Ranger points out, one's health is NOT defined by having blood tests return certain results within a specific range: That my LDL cholesterol needs to be between X and Y, for example, and my blood pressure needs to be lower than Z. That does not equate with the QUALITY OF LIFE HEALTHINESS that I'm interested in achieving and then maintaining.

To learn more about how I have taken responsibility and control of my own former type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure with a plant-based diet, you can check out:


GIGO (Garbage IN-Garbage OUT

This is a much longer post than most of my Epistles, but it's a VERY big subject. Here in Vilcabamba, we are in the epicenter of the 2012 "thingee". I've been reading all of the books and articles, listen to learned dispositions about why the world as we know it will be swept away on December 21, 2012. And, frankly, none of it "computes". When my neighbor lent me his DVD of the movie "2012" I found myself simply sinking into FEAR! That's not the way that I choose to live. So, what to think about it all?

Then I came across this article by a fellow named Ray Villard .... and he makes sense in a much more positive way than most of the doomsayers. So I present his thoughts to you herewith.


By Ray Villard who takes on some of the more popular doomsday theories, debunking each in turn.

A hypothetical planet called Nibiru -- or Planet X -- is often the root of many doosmday scenarios. In reality no such harbinger of doom exists.

In the early days of computers, when hard drives weighed as much as a piece of furniture, a popular phrase was "Garbage-in, Garbage-out" (GIGO). It meant that computers would unquestioningly process the most nonsensical of input data and produce nonsensical output.

"GIGO" describes the abysmal lack of intelligent thought and critical thinking on the Internet when it comes to all the hysteria about the end of the world coming on December 21, 2012 -- just in time to ruin Christmas.

I'm getting e-mail about this weekly and I expect the nonsense to ratchet up.

This latest installment in decades of flaky astronomical apocalypse predictions is loosely based on the Mayan calendar that marks the end of a 5,126-year era. Apparently the Mayans knew something about the heavens we don't, according to numerous hot-selling 2012 doomsday books on the market. Our multi-billion dollar telescopes, space probes, and 6,000 professional astronomers somehow just can't keep up with the mystic knowledge of an ancient superstitious culture.

With the much-ballyhooed release of the film "2012" opening on November 13, end of world chatter will be the topic from backyard cookouts, to bars, to wine and cheese parties.

I am listing the 10 most popular 2012 end-of-world scenarios and providing a quickie reference guide to use in politely dismissing any friends, relatives, or in-laws whose brains have turned into a pile of GIGO mush after being suckered by the End of Days hype.

The ten top 2012 doomsday scenarios, in reverse order:

10. Changes in the Sun's magnetic field will lead to powerful flares.

So what else is new under the sun? The sun goes though a well-documented 11-year sunspot cycle that is driven by its magnetic field entangling, reforming and flipping polarity. Yes, the peak of the next cycle is in 2012 (or 2013), and some predictions suggest it might be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last peak.

But experts say it will certainly not be the biggest peak ever recorded.

The bottom line is that no dragon's breath of flame will stretch across 100 million miles of space and blowtorch Earth. The largest solar flare recorded to date, on Nov. 4, 2003, spewed several billions of tons of plasma in Earth's direction. The flare's X-ray radiation that impacted our protective atmosphere had the equivalent radiation of 5,000 suns.

We're still here.

9. The Earth's magnetic field will reverse.

Don't hold you breath. The last field reversal happened nearly 800,000 years ago. Fred Flintstone and our other ancestor cavemen survived. Geological evidence shows that the field has reversed its orientation tens of thousands of times over Earth history. Yet there is no definitive evidence that a magnetic field reversal has ever caused any mass extinction due to increased cosmic ray influx.

8. The Earth's rotation axis will tip.

This isn't nearly as easy as tipping cows. Unlike Mars, which does go though wide excursions in it axial tilt, Earth's tilt is kept steady by the gravitational influence of the moon. An object the size of Mars would have to hit Earth to transfer enough momentum to knock us out of kilter. But Mars-sized protoplanets were kicked into interstellar space over 4 billion years ago. The solar system doesn't make "planets-gone-wild" anymore.

7. A grand alignment of Jupiter and Saturn will gravitationally perturb Earth.

For the past several decades there have been doomsday claims that the combined gravity from grand planetary alignments will cause geologic and meteorological upheavals on Earth.

None are scheduled for 2012.

In 1962 an extremely rare grand conjunction of the classical naked-eye planets drove astrologers crazy. The conjunction happened on Feb. 4-5 and was accompanied by a solar eclipse! The most infamous grand conjunction was in 1982 and popularized in a book called "The Jupiter Effect," which predicted earthquakes and massive tides. Life went on as usual both years. The moon has a vastly greater gravitational influence on Earth than Jupiter. It's called location, location, location! At a whopping distance of 400 million miles from Earth, Jupiter's tug is pretty wimpy.

6. The Sun will align with the galactic equator on the winter solstice.

So what? These are simply coordinates in the sky. It has no physical reality any more than the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue at Times Square influences the geology of Manhattan Island. This is greatly confused with the fact that the sun's position actually oscillates up and down as it orbits the galaxy, like a horse on a carousel.

We pass through the galactic plane every 35 to 40 million years. It's possible that an increased number of comets might be hurled towards the Earth because of gravitational interaction with the densest parts of our galaxy during this passage. But we are talking about the consequences spanning many thousands of years, not crashing down on our heads in any one specific year.

5. The black hole in the galactic center will affect us.

The Milky Way's black hole has no influence on the galactic disk. The black hole is three million solar masses. The Milky Way is several trillion solar masses when we add the tug of dark matter. Any gravitational influence of the black hole over the galaxy would be like the tail wagging the dog. The Milky Way's collision with the Andromeda galaxy will dump gas into the black hole and it will blaze as a quasar. But that's several billion years away.

4. An asteroid will smash into Earth.

A threatening near-Earth asteroid that's gotten the most press is the 900-foot wide Apophis. But its chances of collision have been downgraded to 1 in 250,000 at its next close approach in 2029. In theory, an uncharted asteroid or comet could come out of the blue tomorrow. But if we don't know about it today, the Mayans certainly didn't know about it 1,200 years ago. Earth-killer impacts are tens of millions of years apart. So there's no reason to be a doomsday clock-watcher.

3. The rogue planet Nibiru will swing by Earth.

There isn't such a planet any more than the planet Naboo from the Star Wars trilogy is real. Purported Internet pictures of the interloper are photographic lens flares or hoaxes. Don't believe every dot you see photographed in the sky.

2. Supernovae or hypernovae will irradiate Earth.

There are no stars that are so close to Earth that radiation from their supernova demise would seriously affect us. The nearest candidate, the red giant Betelgeuse, is predicted to explode in the next 1,000 years. The monster star Eta Carinae is also on a short fuse. Neither doomed star has a spin axis precisely aimed at Earth, so we don't have to worry about being fried by a narrow beam of gamma rays ejected from the core's implosion. In fact the kinds of stars that shoot out these Death Star beams are uncommon in the Milky Way. Earth has a one percent chance of getting zapped over 10 billion years. Scratch gamma ray bursts off of your homeowner's insurance policy.

1. A cloud of negative energy engulfs the solar system.

Wow! A dark cloud with a bad attitude! This sound suspiciously like a Star Trek episode. Dark energy is all around us already, but it is not packaged into clouds. The same goes for dark matter.