the dollar vigilante blog
TDV Week in Review September 22, 2013
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A Neil Diamond Moment
(or "I Am, I Said")
Like any intelligent person with good tastes who was raised in the US in the period after the 1960's, I am a tremendous Neil Diamond fan. While Boston baseball types are notorious for belting Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" repeatedly during the warm months, your editor prefers to belt out "I Am, I Said" at a rate of about a dozen times per year. I'll lay odds that if you know the song, you now have the urge to sing it, too...
LA's fine, the sun shines most the time
The feeling is laid back
Palm trees grow and the rents are low
But you know I keep thinking about
Making my way back
Well, I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores
LA's fine, but it ain't home
New York's home but it ain't mine no more
As much fun as it is to sing the chorus vigorously, it is these introductory lyrics that have always meant the most to me...even when I was a small child listening to them on the radio that my parents kept on the easy listening station in the early 80's. Diamond almost talks those words of alienation and longing as he quietly rumbles through them. I admit to being especially vulnerable to this song since I am New York City raised and very nearly born...and I've spent most of my life moving around and feeling disconnected from my current environment.
My parents emigrated from our tiny Caribbean nation to Brooklyn, USA with me in tow when I was just two years old. When I was twelve I fled my tumultuous home in Brooklyn to stay with relatives who unfortunately had set themselves up on a big piece of property in a comically racist Florida backwater. My adult life so far has seen me move no less than 15 times, mostly all over the New York and Washington, DC metropolitan areas, but with stops across the continental US.
There were a few months in Acapulco, Mexico and now I'm deep, deep in the South American continent, bringing down property values in the northernmost reaches of Chile. It's time for a few more lyrics...
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why
Leavin' me lonely still
Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king
And then became one
Well, except for the names and a few other changes
If you talk about me, the story's the same one
But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I've tried but it won't let me go
All throughout my early adulthood I dreamed of writing on the Internet for a living and having to bounce around Latin America as part of my career. And here I am. Every day I wake up and pray that it never ends.
Yet there is an emptiness that comes with it. It's not loneliness. Far from it. I need a lot of alone time anyway and thanks to the Internet it's hard to feel disconnected from friends and loved ones. I guess this emptiness is a form of homesickness. That homesickness isn't straightforward. It is hopelessly intertwined with fear, loathing and disgust.
I miss the familiar trappings of my culture...and all the awesome commercial richness that the relatively free market produced in the US. But I don't miss the violent psychopathy that defines the place, both from the ruling classes and the majority of the populace that supports them. I especially don't miss the local militarized thugs who are looking for any excuse to remind me that my body is not my own and that I remain uncaged only on their whim.
I won't kid you. There is, at least for me, a little bit of longing and sadness attached to this expatriation thing. But it's worth it. I'm having a hell of a time here and I have a sense of relief being outside the imperial surveillance state that borders on euphoric. I look forward to time making South America feel familiar.
Editor, The Dollar Vigilante
P.S. If you're ready to make a better place your home, then click here to get off to a good start.
Before we get to the review let’s have a look at what you missed in TDV’s September Issue.
First, in my “Memory Hole”, I looked at the inevitable conversation about gun control that follows tragedy. We’ve seen this film before.
Next, Jeff Berwick had a first-hand account of the flooding in Mexico, and shared some lessons we can all learn from it.
Next, Ed Bugos updated us on the markets in his “Review & Outlook”. Then, as he always does in TDV subscriber-only publications, Jeff took us on a tour of the absurdity of statism in “Other News from TEOTMSAWKI and TDV Related Tidbits”. Then, Gary Gibson had a special feature on Jitsi, a secure way to communicate online.
Finally, after a breakdown of our subscriber portfolios, we profiled Karen DeCoster.
If you’re interested in receiving articles like these, consider our weekly subscriber-only publications, like our Issue, Dispatches, and TDV Homegrown. You may subscribe here.
Here’s what we wrote about this week…
MONDAY, September 16
Jeff Berwick looks at the incompetence of one of the USSA’s biggest financial institutions.
“This is merely the beginning. Wells Fargo was suspiciously secretive about Friday's outage, which only makes me wonder. Was this a symptom of illiquidity? Was this a beta-test to see how their customers would react when they finally did pull the plug on accounts? What sort of fee does Wells Fargo pay when it, eventually, overdrafts all of its customer accounts? These are the hard questions few are willing to ask.”
TUESDAY, September 17
Gary Gibson investigates the state’s hate for entrepreneurship in trying to shut down the carpooling startup, Lyft.
“The Internet has yet again found a way for you to make money with minimal start-up costs...and the government is right there ready to ruin it on behalf of some entrenched interests.
We've already covered how to start up your own B-N-B ("Bed, No Breakfast") via Airbnb. We've also covered how the hotel lobbies in various popular cities have appealed to local and state governments to shut down Airbnb so that the individual entrepreneurs it enables don't pose a threat to the hotel industry's income. All in the name of "safety", of course.”
Wednesday, September 18
Wendy McElroy updates us on her move to Galt’s Gulch Chile.
“It occurred to me over the kitchen table last night, after a dinner of fried chicken.
A good friend has come a long distance to assist us in constructing a patio to increase the value of our farmhouse when we sell and move to Chile. A veteran house builder, he drew up the rough plans for our ultimate new dwelling. For the second time in my life, I fell in love at first sight.”
Thursday, September 19
Jeff Berwick offers his first-hand account of the flooding in Mexico.
" I wish to start off this article by stating that many did not survive in complete comfort and still, to this moment, are not and my best wishes go out to them. But, I don’t want you to think that because I am almost totally fine that I don’t feel sad for those that aren’t. My own way of trying to help is to help my friends, family and employees as much as possible and to continue to spread the ideas that can help those prepare for times like these, and this is nothing compared to the coming collapse of The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). So, I hope what I can tell you of this event will help you prepare for something much worse coming for most of the Western world.”
FRIDAY, September 20
In this week’s Feedback Friday: Taipei, creative ambition, 401Ks, and more.
SATURDAY, September 21
In his weekly address to TDVers, Jeff Berwick adds to the story of the flooding in Acapulco.
Our feature video this week has Jeff Berwick on Voluntary Virtues.
Have a look at our wide array of informative videos featuring interviews, opinions, and analysis on TDV’s media page.
Don't forget, TDV is much more than a newsletter. We also offer many of the solutions to the problems we identify in the letter to help people internationalize their self and wealth to protect themselves from The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). Check out all our services designed to help you gain more freedom in your life here:
Remember, if you have any questions, concerns, or issues with what you've read on TDV, write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks as always for reading or subscribing!
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