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"Doing Latin America, Mostly by Luck"


Quepos, Costa Rica, May 2011 - Edition 33

CLICK HERE FOR ARCHIVED EPISODES                                                                                                                 CLICK HERE FOR RESTAURANT ARCHIVES

"Just Fifty Miles More to Uvita My Dear and Then I'm Going to Show You a Mating Season You'll Never Forget!"

IN THIS ISSUE: Broken News (New Stadium Inaugurated, Tough Little Tica, Semana Santa), Flowers Are for Eating,
Tales of Whales' Tails, How to Beat a Terremoto, What's-in-a-Word (Twisted Translator, Comehuevos),
ROMEO Corner (The Falls), Founder's Quote Dept.

Correction: In the article on PAWS in the April 2011 edition, the 800 toll-free telephone number to reach a representative was inadvertently given as 1-800-293-1458. The correct number is 1-877-293-1458. For more on PAWS, go HERE.


Travel Quote of the Month: “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.” - Glenn Clark

Broken News

New Stadium Inaugurated

The new National Futbol Stadium in San Jose's Sabana Park was officially inaugurated on Friday, March 25 with the usual flowery speeches and assorted falderal from the politicians. The next day saw the Chinese battle the Costa Rican national team to a 2-2 tie.

New Stadium Starts - February 2009

The stadium was built under Chinese construction management using Chinese labor.

As one news report stated: "Chinese workers and the first material and equipment from China were brought in beginning in February 2009. On November 12, 2010, AFEC (the Chinese construction company - ed.) delivered the almost finished stadium three months ahead of schedule".

We need to hire these dudes to work on the roads here, amigos.

The New Stadium Just as It Finished Last November

The only thing the Ticos had to do was paint the stripes for the first game. The goal post stripes were later found to be 6 inches off center from the goal itself so they had to be painted out in green and reset. Pura vida.

As is often the case with projects of this nature and magnitude, there are critics. The new sports site has seating capacity for 35,000 fans but parking for only 400 cars. And there are those who would have used the Chino generosity to repair roads rather than to build a stadium (probably descendants of the same people who bitched about going to the moon). Despite the grief from the harpies. the stadium is beautiful and an asset to the country, It also sports some rather impressive pyrotechnics that are used when C.R. scores a goal. Don't worry, the Tico commentator will still yell the inevitable scoooooooooooooooooooooooore! for three minutes duration - it's his thing.

The first World Cup qualifying game in the new arena, between Costa Rica and Argentina was held on Tuesday, March 29 following the inauguration.  The two teams battled to a 0-0 tie. The biggest disappointment of the evening was that Argentina decided against letting their star player, Lio Messi, play in this game. Lio is Argentine, considered the number one futbol player in the world and plays on the Argentine national team. But most of the time he makes his millions (about 8.5 million Euros per year) as a regular with the Barcelona club and they (the Catalonians) didn't want him to risk an injury playing in a game not important to their club or the Argentine record.

So the Args agreed not to play him (party poopers).  (MORE ON LIO)

Tough Little Tica

The next big event in the new stadium saw Costa Rica's Hanna Gabriel successfully defend her World Women's Welterweight title (is that where www in www.xxx.com comes from; no I remember now, that's World Wide Web). Hanna defended her title against an upstart named Melinda Pérez, reported to be a "U.S. - Mexican" (didn't know we had merged countries yet - is that the same as Mexican-American?).

Our Hanna, Ready to Defend Her Title - If You Go for That Belt Dude, You'd Better Have a Good Left Hook

Those that saw the fight said it looked like our Hanna was ahead throughout the fight (have you ever noticed how reporters jump on positive outcomes and how the hero or heroin then becomes "ours"?).

Slowly but surely, this tough little Tica poked away at Melinda for six rounds and was way ahead of the challenger on points as the seventh round started. One minute and eighteen seconds into Round 7, Hanna exploded with a set of quick punches that spelled the end of the road for Melinda. When the referee stepped in to stop the fight, Melinda collapsed. Dude, is that a knockout or officially a TKO? Doesn't really matter as Hanna gets to keep the Champ's belt.

So 28 year old, 154 pound super welterweight Hanna beat 20 year old, 151 pound Melinda fair and square and with authority. MORE ON HANNA

La Presidenta, Laura Chinchilla was present and jumped into the ring before the fight and then again after Hanna's victory ecstatic over the win. Little Costa Rica doesn't get too many opportunities to bring home a world title so this was a special event.

Laura, amiga, have you thought about putting Hanna in charge of the border forces in Northeast Costa Rica? I bet she'd get Isla Calero back in no time and chase those bothersome Nicas back to Managua long before those old farts at the World Court in the Hague get anything done. More on Hanna HERE.

Semana Santa

Semana Santa or Holy Week is a prime vacation period in Costa Rica and traditionally many people who live in the central valley (e.g., San José) emigrate to the shore and other places for a short vacation. The highways are bumper to bumper and the busses are full despite a significant number of extra busses and trips being scheduled. On Easter Sunday, the main autopista that runs from Puntarenas on the coast to San José had all traffic in both lanes running in the direction of San José on an effort to accommodate all the returning Josefinos (dudes that live in San José).

But Semana Santa is also a deeply religious time for Christians who are mostly Catholic here. The laws reflect the religious influence. Holy Thursday and Holy Friday are solemn days and sales of alcohol products are forbidden. As you might expect, may people make a feverish dash to stock up on stuff in the days just preceding the ban. And many of the watering holes in Quepos find it better to shut down on Thursday and Friday, especially the ones that depend on sales of alcohol products for the majority of their income.

If you don't shut down on Thursday, you are required by law to cover up any displays of alcohol products (see picture of the Super Mas booze aisle to the right taken this past Holy Thursday). Police patrol the city checking on those that have alcohol displays and they will fine establishments not in compliance with the cover up rule.

On Good Friday virtually the whole town here shuts down, and that includes bus service. (I've never understood the use of the term "Good" for the Friday before Easter considering that the Guy this day commemorates had no good things happen to him on that first "good" Friday)

I was privileged again this year to be asked by my landlady to join the family at Good Friday services at the local R.C. church. Knowing the play, I was able to pick up a good deal of the Spanish and give my knees a work out on the hard wooden kneelers. The one hour and forty five minute service was followed by a slow procession through the town.

Supermarket With Liquor Aisle Covered in Plastic
Some Boys Practicing "Quema de Judas"

An interesting piece of trivia emerged for me from Semana Santa (it's probably one of those things 90% of people know but I've managed to avoid learning about over the last 67 years).

I've always wondered what the origin of effigy burning was; now I know. In Latin and some European countries, since the middle ages, an effigy of Judas has been burned in the town square. They call it "Quema de Judas". The press reported that dozens of these burnings were done in the central valley although I heard no announcements or reports of it being done in Quepos.

If I had heard of it sooner, I might have had a burning on the balcony outside of my apartment - well, maybe next year.


Flowers Are for Eating

In El Salvador, they're called Flor de Izote and it's their national flower. Here in Costa Rica, they're called Flor de Itabo. It's also been the state flower of New Mexico since 1927 where they call it Yucca. Different strokes for different folks. I guess it's kinda like the soda vs pop vs tonic thing (more on that here: SODA).

Yes, the more common name for this flower among us horticultural novitiates is Yucca. That's right, the same family as the ornamental flower (left).

The tuber of some species of Yucca is used as an alternate to potatoes in much of Latin America. I've seen ornamental Yuccas in Florida, in Pennsylvania, in tropical forests like we have here and in deserts. They must be exceedingly hearty, despite the delicate flowers.

Easter season brings on heavy flowering of this plant. The thing about the Yuccas down here is they can grow into trees as high as 30 feet with the flowers at the top. Now that wouldn't be of any concern except that natives here have a culinary design on the blossoms. A farmer has to be enterprising and courageous to get at the flowers that high up, and they are.

The Flor de Itabo or Yucca blossom is used in a variety of Tico dishes and a couple of the classic ones are pictured to the right. But before cooking the flowers you have to separate the petals from the stems, wash and dry them thoroughly.

Flor de Itabo aficionados report the flavor as unique and a little bitter. Some simply scramble the buds with eggs or make a frittata (uptown name for a kind of omelet). Some simply saute the blossoms in a little oil, then season them with lemon juice and salt. Another recipe calls for using the buds in a salad with cooked potatoes, red and green sweet peppers and some spices.

To get a little fancier, you could make Peccadillo de Flor de Itabo. a "hash" of flowers, pepper, celery, potatoes and eggs with a mixture of spices including cilantro and garlic. (The actual salad and picadillo recipes are given below in the What's-in-a-Word segment)

Flor de Itabo Uncooked
Ornamental Yucca Plant Picadillo de Flor de Itabo
Flor de Itabo Frittata (It's in the Eggs Amigo)
Farmer Harvesting Flor de Itabo

Reportedly there have been many more recipes developed by Tico cooks over the centuries, but the one I like best is the one recently published in an issue of AM Costa Rica, called Flor de Itabo Johnny. Here's the recipe:


   One cluster of flor de itabo blossoms
   half liter Johnny Walker red label
   half liter of water
   two medium glasses


Put the flor de itabo blossom in the glass with the water. Admire it. Pour the Johnny Walker into the other glass and drink it."

Preparation and cooking time are minimal. (Ah, those were the good old days amigo - not).

                                                                                       Tales of  Whales' Tails

One of the more interesting festivals of the many held in Costa Rica each year is the Festival de Ballenas (Whales) that takes place near Uvita each year around late August or early September.

Uvita is basically a wide spot in the coastal road about 70 kilometers south of Quepos. There is an annual migration of whales that come there to frolic and mate in the warm Pacific waters. Humans follow them, also coming to frolic and mate, mostly in appropriate places like hotels, but occasionally also in the warm Pacific waters. During the festival weekend, there is a large flotilla of sport fishing, tourist and private boats that bob around in the sea trying to get the best photo angles. I suspect that after the festival, snorklers in this area come across a rather impressive collection of cameras and other paraphernalia that had been inadvertently dropped overboard.

A Real Whale's Tail
Happy Dolphins Chasing Whales to Uvita

This is a new festival, 2011 being only the third year of its existence. While the festival is named after the whales, the occasion is also an opportunity to see large groups of dolphins. I'm not sure if they are also on a migration binge or just trying to steal the show; either way they're fun to watch. There are two-hour dolphin and whale watching adventure tours departing from Punta Uvita, at the main entrance of Marino Ballena National Park.

The first tour leaves at 8 a.m. and they continue throughout the day, weather permitting. You're likely to see Humpback whales, Bryde whales, spotted and bottle-nosed dolphins, among others. Those in the know say there's a good chance of seeing dolphins in schools of up to 200 and whale pods from 15 to 20.

One of the more interesting places to see in this Southwest corner of Costa Rica is a beach called the Whale's Tail.

A few years ago, on a visit to the area with a friend, we ended up looking at building lots on the mountain that faces the shore, and there it was directly in front of us; Whale's Tail beach (picture upper right). We ended up spending a couple of hours swimming there.

Whale's Tail Beach Near Uvita
Another Kind of Whale's Tail

During the research and writing of this article I learned about another kind of whale's tail, the one above just below the Whale's Tail beach picture. It was defined this way in Wikipedia:

"Whale tail is the Y-shaped waistband of a thong or g-string when visible above the waistline of low-rise jeans, shorts or a skirt that resembles a whale’s tail.  Intentionally or unintentionally, a whale tail is exposed above the trousers mostly when sitting or bending, or even while standing. The frequency or occasion depends on the style of trousers, the style of underwear, and the way they are worn. Flashing whale tails became popular in the early 2000s, together with the rise of low-rise jeans and thong underwear. The trend, popularized by a number of female celebrities including Christina Aguilera, Victoria Beckham, Mariah Carey, Melanie Blatt, Paris Hilton, Jordan, Anna Kournikova and Britney Spears waned within the decade."

Nothing lasts forever.
                                                                                      How to Beat a Terremoto

Is it me or are we having an increased incidence and severity of earthquakes (called Terremotos in Spanish) around the globe these days.

These incredible forces of nature have been around as long as dudes have inhabited this ball of blue (or probably even longer) but the frequency and harshness of their occurrences seem to me to be increasing lately, to wit: Chile, Indonesia, Haiti, Chile again and Japan all in the last few years causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and unbelievable damage.

I'm not an end-of-times-now guy but I can see where those who think in that way have more food for thought and argument then ever.

And then there's the Mayan thing.

Just in case some of you reading this haven't yet heard the story (unlikely), the Mayan natives of Central America (in roughly what is now Guatemala) flourished between 1500 BC and 300 AD and developed a very accurate, long term calendar for use in their time. As part of their fascination with astrology and accuracy, they extended the calendar long into the future.

The last date recorded on this calendar is the winter solstice of next year, December 21, 2012, provoking some to suggest that this is the date of the end of the world.

An interesting sidebar here is that several oracles and seers in Greece, Rome, France (Nostradamus) and the U.S. (Edgar Cayce) have also confirmed the date as apocalyptic (Edgar might have read about the oracles and cheated, but the Greek and Roman oracles had no way of knowing anything about each other).

Seismic Chart for Costa Rica Showing All Recorded Earthquakes Over an Eight Year Period Between 1984 nd 1991. The Cluster in the South Central Area is Just Off the Coast of Quepos/Manuel Antonio

Even more interesting than the Mayan calendar is a scientific tidbit published recently. It seems that our sun, the earth and the black hole in our galaxy, which itself was only discovered recently, will align in a straight line for the first time in 28,000 years. Guess when, yup, at the end of 2012. Now I ain't no astrologer or geophysicist but it seems to me that such an alignment of huge, high gravitational field type objects just might create a powerful tug on the Earth's mantle and continental plates. Is it possible that the process might already be starting? (Of course, some will want to blame carbon dioxide coming from soccer mom's SUV's and methane gas from decomposing garbage or flatulent cows for this, or, for that matter, almost anything that goes wrong, but it seems a bit of a stretch in this particular case)

When GG lived in the Eastern U.S. my only thought about earthquakes happened when they occurred somewhere else. But now that I live on top of the Pacific Rim (the same one that runs through Japan) my interest has become a bit keener. A friend recently sent me a set of tips about surviving an earthquake that also dispels some widely held myths about what you should do to protect yourself during one. The man giving the tips is identified and his qualifications for making suggestions are stated in the first paragraph. I thought I'd share this list here:

  "My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI ), the world's most experienced rescue team. I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene -- unnecessary.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them - NOT under them. This space is what I call the 'triangle of life'. The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the 'triangles' you see formed. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.


1)  Most everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' when buildings collapse are crushed to death.  People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2)  Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position.  You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct.  You can survive in a smaller void.  Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a bed, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3)  Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake.  If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created.  Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight.  Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4)  If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed.  Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5)  If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6)  Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed.  How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above.  If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway.  In either case, you will be killed!

7)  Never go to the stairs.  The stairs have a different 'moment of frequency' (they swing separately from the main part of the building).  The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place.  The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated.  Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged.  Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people.  They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8)  Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if possible - it is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior.  The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9)  People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway.  The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles.  They were all killed.  They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles.  Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them.   All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them."

Makes you think a little differently, doesn't it? For more on Costa Rica's recent history of terremotos, go HERE.


What's-in-a-Word Department

Twisted Translator

While researching information for the piece on Flor de Itabo above, I ran across a couple of recipes in Spanish that use the flowers. Not wishing to make a mistake on the translation I employed a free on-line automatic translator to get at the English. This is what I got:

1. Picadillo de Flor de Itabo (Hash of flower of itabo).  (Editorials are in this print style)

Ingredients: 1 flower of itabo, 1 onion stung, 1 stem of celery stung, 1 Chile sweet stung fine, 1 roll of coriander stung, 2 teeth of garlic stung, 1 on of consomme of chicken, 2 potatoes peeled and stung in pictures, 2 eggs batters, 1 tomato stung, salt, pepper and oil.  (OK, so the word for dice or mince in Spanish is "picado", which also happens to be the word for being stung, like by a bee - yeah, I get it now - ain't Spanish flexible. I guess the "pictures" in which the potatoes are stung are really cubes?)

Procedure: Crystallize the spices in oil with the Pope (what's he got to do with this? - the word for potatoes is papas but without the s at the end, as it was mistakenly written in the recipe, it can translate as Pope; "Vive El Papa!") and the consomme until they be gilded (after all, I am the Golden Gringo - I guess this means sauteed golden). Add the itabo, the tomato and the eggs. Season to the flavor. Revolve until the egg be cooked. We accompany it with rice and sardines to have lunch. (ah OK, good for you, I think I'd rather have a hamburger please)

2. Ensalada de Flor de Itabo (Salad of flower of itabo)

Ingredients: a large flower cooked (cold) and stung, four medium potatoes cooked and stung, 2 hard-boiled eggs stung and species stung (garlic, onion, Chile sweet red and green, celery and coriander). In a mug all the are mixed ingredients, is sprinkled them juice of lemon and bit of salt. It is added them alone Mayonnaise to hitch (hmmmm, bind maybe?). Ready! With crackers soda…. at any moment! (like eat it now dude, with saltines!)

(Actually, hold the saltines, at this point I'd just like to add fries to the burger order)


People from San José are called Josefinos, right?

While talking with a Tico friend the other day I mentioned that there were mucho Josefinos in town and at the beach for Semana Santa. His response: "Si, mucho comehuevos". I was puzzled by this response as it sounded like he referred to our central valley friends as "Like eggs". So I mentioned it to my Spanish teacher and he said that yes, indeed, they're called that because in the old, slower days of travel (probably also before refrigeration and coolers) people from the valley would take large quantities of hard boiled eggs with them for food on the long trip.

I wonder if they used to bring along Yucca flowers to munch with the eggs?

                                                                          R.O.M.E.O. Corner (Retired Old Men Eating Out)

The Falls

This restaurant is attached to a hotel (formerly known as La Plantacion) on the main road to Manuel Antonio beach.

Location: From Quepos, at the top of Manuel Antonio hill on the left 50 meters past Si Como No Hotel and 50 Meters before El Avion (you know, the four engine jet plane restaurant that looks like a left-over from Ollie North's Nicaraguan contra campaign; which, of course, it is)

Hours: 7 days per week, breakfast, lunch and dinner

Parking: Limited but available in front of the restaurant

Contact: Tel. 2777-1332 or 2777-1115; Email: info@fallsresortcr.com

Reviewing ROMEOS: Brian M., Mike L., Bob N.

Once through the entrance and the hotel foyer, the restaurant is situated near the hotel's pool and extensive garden area. Because it's at the back of the hotel entrance and at a a level below the street, there was no noise detectable from the street, even though we arrived on one of the busiest Saturday nights of the year (Easter week) and there was a lot of traffic on the main road at the time. We arrived for dinner early (6:30 PM) by most standards and even earlier by Tico standards and we were only the second table to be seated. By the time we left, the restaurant was nearly full.

The dining room is not large, perhaps 6-8 tables in all. The tables are neat squares with glass tops over a black box that contains a spread of roasted coffee beans beneath the glass that creates an illusion of a textured table top. The room is lighted indirectly by wall sconces and there was a small lit candle at each table. The open-air proximity to the pool and garden added a gentle backdrop to the lighting. The net effect of the restaurant's decoration and set up efforts is to create a pleasant but casual atmosphere. Two of the ROMEOS did comment on the lack of music in the background but as the restaurant got busier later, the music was turned on. We give The Falls a 5 for ambiance.

While we were waiting for our orders to be prepared, we were served with a plate of thick, well toasted potato chips with a light dipping sauce that occupied our attention for a while. Two of us selected first courses: one consisting of a fresh salad with grilled shrimp and the other a bowl of gazpacho. The gazpacho was fresh and chilled, the diced vegetables in it crisp and the light spice excellent - very tasty and refreshing.

Two ROMEOS selected the restaurant's entree special for the evening, a beef tenderloin done in a mushroom sauce. The other dude selected a chicken-pesto version of rigatoni which he reported as being very flavorful. The portion of pasta served was more than our ROMEO could finish so he was accommodated with a monkey box at the end (that's like a doggy bag in gringoland). The beef was lean and tasty and mostly tender but once more we speculated if a little aging wouldn't have significantly improved a rather good piece of meat. The beef filet was accompanied with a very tasty mix of diced squash and tomatoes and a portion of something that at first seemed like mashed potatoes. After tasting the puree and finding it to be a tad sweet, one suspected that it was a puree of potato and something like Camote, the sweet Tico squash. Yummers.

Two ROMEOS decided to go for dessert, one choosing with a simple copa de helado, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and the other choosing a piece of an unusual flan. It was a custard that was flavored with rich Costa Rican coffee and drizzled with chocolate. Double yummers. For food quality we give The Falls a 5.

Our waiter was courteous and attentive to us throughout the meal. He even had the mushroom sauce on the steak altered for us to remove the red wine in the original recipe. He also kept us supplied with cold water in addition to our drinks (keep those gringos hydrated amigo). The other staff were courteous and friendly as well. For service we give The Falls a 5.

The check was quite reasonable, especially for a first class meal in Manuel Antonio. The two three-course meals ranged from $27 (shrimp salad, chicken pasta and ice cream) to $37 (gazpacho, filet and flan) including soft drinks, tax and gratuity. This outlay merits no more than a four dollar rating and is a very good value considering the quality of food. We give The Falls a 4$ rating for cost.

R.O.M.E.O. Rating: Food = 5 Sloths; Ambiance = 5 Sloths; Service = 5 Sloths. Overall rating: 5 Sloths. Dollar rating: 4.

(Remember that the ROMEOS rating system of 1 to 5 sloths is based on comparable restaurants in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area and not on an international rating system like Michelin. What the above rating means is that you'll get as good a meal at The Falls as anywhere in our area although the restaurant might never be in the running to receive even one star from Michelin. We're not comparing ourselves to Paris here, mes amis.)

Ditto for the cost ratings.


Founder's Quote

Insights from the dudes who put together the United States of America. First, an unrealistic expectation from our First Secretary of the Treasury:

"It is evident from the state of the country, from the habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation." -- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 12, 1787

Oh Alex, amigo, you were so naive.

And then from T.J.:

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy. ... I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." --Thomas Jefferson

So Tom though we had too much government in 1801 - ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Don Roberto de Quepos,
El Gringo Dorado
Pura Vida!

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