Government can have no more than two legitimate purposes, the suppression of injustice against individuals within the community, and the common defense against external invasion.
– William Godwin
Our cook, Marta, appeared at the door just as we were leaving yesterday.
With her was Gabriella, a plump woman of about 40 with a friendly face.
Both were dressed for the cold, with several sweaters and knit caps. Both held bags with knitting needles and balls of wool.
“Can we get a ride to the black gate?” Marta asked.
“The gate… You mean the entry gate? Why are you going there?”
“We’re not going there. We just need to go to the cemetery.”
“Oh… of course. Uh… why are you going to the cemetery?”
“It’s been nine days. It’s time we went to pray for Francisco.”
The road to the “Black Gate”
It was still cold outside. But the two women got into our pickup, and we drove them to the windswept, forlorn cemetery.
It sits alone, far from any house or other building, on a rock-littered hillside, surrounded by a stone wall.
You enter through an iron gate. Inside, are the graves of generations of Alancay, Guantay, Fabian, Chocobar, Diaz, and Casimir.
Their graves are marked with small, colorful crosses in the South American style, planted in piles of rocks.
And there Gabriella and Marta will sit… knit… and pray for Francisco’s soul.
Francisco, a blind man somewhere in his 80s (no one seemed to know for sure) was the first victim of the “Originario War.”
He had supported us; his family had gone the other way. He died, it was said, of neglect.
And so we continue our “Short Treatise on Government in the Context of the ‘Originario War.’”
Here in our little world, a miniature version of an epic battle goes on.
On one side are people trying to earn a living, take care of their families, and get on with their lives.
On the other are people working the angles, applying the techniques of politics to create what they believe will be a better world… at least for themselves.
“Love afar is spite at home,” wrote Emerson.
Francisco was a victim of that spite.
According to our sources, he shivered in his bed as his family held long, windy debates in the next room about how to create a “Diaguita Community” [the name the originarios have given themselves] in the valley.
A man loves his country, but despises his neighbors. A woman buys “fair trade” coffee, but treats her Colombian gardener like trash.
Social justice… a guaranteed income… free land for people with the right racial background – there is always a remote, but worthy, distraction.
And so it was that the Diaz family turned its attention away from its patriarch in order to chase wisps of clouds on the distant mountains.
As British journalist and political philosopher William Godwin pointed out back in the late 18th century, government should be protecting us from the originarios who are trying to take our land.
“Are you kidding?” began a neighbor.
“The government is not going to help you. It’s going to side with them. They represent a lot more votes than you and I do.
“It’s a win-win for the politicians. They get to portray themselves as heroes to the agitators. They get more votes. And they take our land away.
“If you want to put the government on your side, you’ll have to pay off someone. You probably could pay off a couple of the originario leaders.
“Give them some money and ask them to pick on someone else. That’s the way it works down here. If you try to do this honestly and aboveboard, you will lose.”
North of the Rio Grande, it is more sophisticated.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign raised a record $90 million in donations in July.
She seems to have an almost infinite amount of money to spend on getting elected.
Americans know how it works, too. A politician plays to the masses to get votes. But he plays to the Establishment to get money.
Their pockets full of nearly-free money provided by the Fed, rich and powerful insiders line up behind Ms. Clinton.
That’s because they know she is someone they can work with. She is an honest politician: When she is bought, she stays bought.
They know, too, that lobbying and political contributions can pay off.
To give you an idea of just how well they pay, here’s an excerpt from our old friend James Dale Davidson’s upcoming book, The Breaking Point:
The Sunlight Foundation – a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks lobbyist spending and influence in both parties – reported on research it undertook between 2007 and 2012, tracking 200 of America’s most politically active corporations.
After examining 14 million records – including data on campaign contributions, lobbying expenditures, and federal budget allocations and spending – it found that, on average, the most politically active corporations in the U.S. received $760 from the government for every dollar spent on influencing politics, for a total of $4.4 trillion.
As the figure was rounded up slightly, that translates to a 75,900% rate of return. Compare that to the 0.25% Grandmother gets on her CDs.
Crime pays; it pays even better when you do it with the help of the government.
And these days, it pays even better still. Thanks to the Fed, bribe money has never been so cheap.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Gabriella and Marta – who are double first cousins – were back at the main house when we returned in the evening.
“How is everything in the cemetery?” we asked, making light-hearted conversation.
“It is fine. Francisco is at peace,” said Marta.
Then, after a pause, “It’s not so peaceful for the rest of us.”
More to come… including a look at just one of those rich guys who supports Ms. Clinton and how he made his money.
By Teeka Tiwari, Editor, The Palm Beach Letter
Outside Bill’s ranch, there’s another rebellion taking place in Argentina… and the government is losing.
The battle is with $60 billion ride-sharing behemoth Uber. The Argentine government hates it.
It’s banned the Uber app… and blocked credit card companies from processing Uber payments.
But that hasn’t stopped Uber…
Recently, Uber abandoned the government-approved payment networks of Visa and MasterCard…
It’s chosen, instead, to partner with a Swiss company to begin transacting in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency: bitcoin.
Think about this… A month ago, Uber refused to accept bitcoin.
I can’t overstate how profound a shift this is…
I won’t blame you if you think bitcoin is just a fad. On the surface, it seems like madness.
But consider this… Bitcoin is now seven years old. That’s two years older than the internet bubble. It’s outlived the real estate bubble, the financial crisis, and is now worth $10 billion.
Has the whole world gone mad? Is this just a “hyper” bubble?
In a “normal” world, I’d tell you bitcoin is dumb idea… and that you shouldn’t buy it. In a “normal” world, bitcoin would be nothing more than a geek-centric curiosity.
But we do not live in a normal world anymore…
As governments continue to impose their will on the population… people will use digital currencies like bitcoin to win back their freedom of choice.
Whether it’s the loss of financial privacy through FACTA, the devaluation of paper money, capital controls in China, or government-sponsored payment bans… digital currencies are stepping in to bridge the gap between what the people want… and what governments will “let” them have.
That’s why bitcoin is up 38% this year alone (outpacing the run-up in stocks, bonds, gold, and silver). It meets a need that no other conventional asset can… freedom and anonymity.
So as governments continue to seek more and more control, look for an even bigger and bigger market for bitcoin and other digital currencies.
I’ll leave you with this thought…
If you are a lover of personal freedom, then you owe it to yourself to get educated on how digital currencies can liberate you from the limitations, onerous fees, and stifling government rules of our current payment systems.
P.S. My team and I have put in hundreds of man-hours looking for the best ways to buy digital currencies. After extensive research, we’ve identified a digital currency that costs a fraction of bitcoin… and even more upside. It’s being tested by banks, and Microsoft recently announced it will allow over 3 million of its developers to work on the currency’s network.
To learn about my favorite “ground floor” alternative to bitcoin, and how you can buy it, watch my presentation here.
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A bumpy Mailbag today…
First a response to the question Bill asked yesterday: Why is the USDA buying shotguns, drones, helicopters, and bombs?
One possible reason for people like the USDA, FEMA, etc. to have large stocks of weapons and ammunition can be found in the Stephen Coonts novel Liberty’s Last Stand. In it, the president declares martial law and uses these departments to enforce it. I highly recommend it as food for thought.
– Tom F.
Meanwhile, we’ve continued to get a flood of feedback about Bill’s ongoing “Originario War.”
Bill’s problem with originarios is not original or unique. We processed a successful eviction of an “originarios” family (they have a different name for themselves there) from our 200 acres in Honolulu County and rented a small plot back to them.
We had already promised to leave over 80% of the land undeveloped. The County condemned our property for a “park,” and we were paid about 10% of its value. Fifteen years later, the property is undeveloped and the originarios still live there.
Methinks your ranch could be a future national park. Don’t hold on too tight.
– Jack M.
I like your Diary entries. I would really hate to see them stop suddenly because you were injured or killed by native people who are reclaiming their lost lands.
It is time to reassess the ranch as an investment? It may have sentimental value to you beyond the possible cattle operation. But with the new situation, it seems to me that you are going to have more than just nature to deal with.
If it were me, which it is not, I would sell the property and try to get some capital back to invest in some other (profitable) venture. There are plenty of other great places to own and live. You have contacts worldwide. Use them to find a safer and better return on your investment.
– Tom B.
I hope your "war" doesn’t spread up north, as we have 36 indigenous villages here in Cotacachi, Ecuador. It gets lively enough here during the Inti Raymi [Quechua for “Sun Festival”] celebration in June. We only had one fatality this year!
We have friends here from the U.S. who bought property sight unseen. They are now dealing with a local “agitprop” who claims to be trying to settle a land dispute between the originarios and the gringos.
When we meet people who are new to our town we always tell them: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” My wife and I, like many other gringos here, had to learn the hard way!
– Kevin C.
It’s unfortunate that you’re still dealing with the issue of land in Argentina. Should you consider moving? It can’t be pleasant facing strife on a frequent basis.
– Paul K.
Now you might see the plight of the ranchers here at home [in the U.S.]. But the originarios here are the government. So, where do the ranchers turn to protect their rights?
– Ken W.
Regards the ranch: Bill, you are Wiley as a “fox.” Just don’t cry for me, Argentina.
– Michael C.
The folks at Agora Financial say there’s a brand-new high-tech sector that will grow 32x over the next four months.