Falling Down A Rabbit Hole

Wikipedia defines a rabbit hole as "any portal into a different or strange world." Yep, it’s looking pretty strange all right. It’s not a cool rabbit hole like Alice’s or Marlee’s. Mine is dark, deep and depressing. That darn drug war video from the last post got me started.

The completely crazy thing is, I don’t want to stop falling. I’m just not done. You know that nagging feeling there is something going on, but you just can’t put your finger on what exactly "it" is? I found it: a giant, smarmy beast I’m compelled to touch, to learn, to know. Like Charles Wallace’s IT in A Wrinkle in Time. Like my first 12-step meeting: extremely uncomfortable and in exactly the right place.

The election shoved me over the edge. I was fine skating along, being my bad sarcastic, smug, defiant expat self. Then Ron Paul came along and, excuse my trite-iness, cured my apathy. That son of a bitch. I got so excited, so hopeful, I started to really pay attention. Silly rabbit: this just leads to bottomless rabbit holes. Like this one.

I’m not alone: this election is bringing out the extremist in anyone the least bit interested. The neo-cons are SO that, the Obama-ites SO fervent, the radicals, the warmongers, the pro-choicers, the truthers – everyone practically up in arms. Perhaps a bad metaphor, but you know what I mean. Fervent, excited, committed. Pushy.

My current bent is constitutionalist. I’ve never been a fan of Big Government, having suffered at the hands of too many government agencies, seen the dank underbelly of monetary policy, learned to recognize the bankers’ lies. Like the subprime lending and resulting speculative bubble in real estate sales created by easy money created out of thin air by Central Bankers. We sit slack-jawed watching the economic tsunami make landfall.

I’ve experienced first-hand (and far too often, due to "being in the business") the deep and persistent corruption of a small town’s Building & Code Enforcement department (the entire Key West department should be in jail for the havoc they’ve wreaked over the years). Felt the heady thrill of an IRS audit notice (which is nothing compared to the stun-gun effect when they subpoena your bank and call your landlord.) Suffered mightily at the hands of the public servants down at the FL sales tax office (those guys make Costa Rica’s customs’ guys look downright user-friendly). Come to know just how much power your friendly Child "Protective" Services agency’s got – not personally, thank God.

Although, when Morgan was two, he had a screaming hissy fit for his binkie that lasted 40 minutes. He was in a terrible tantrum phase. He’d get in a state over something and would go ballistic. I’d tried everything to curb it: hugging, yelling, time out… this time, I let him go. I sat outside in the back yard and tried not to break resolve while he sat inside and SCREAMED. When it was over, he was fine, he fell asleep, and never had another tantrum like that again. But the next day, my neighbor, on the public dole, as smug as they come, perfect snitch material, asked me, "What happened, why was your son screaming like that yesterday?" I told her. She smiled a not-nice smile and said, "You’re lucky someone didn’t call Child Protection on you." Then turned and walked away. Nice neighbor. She’s in charge of second graders nine months a year?

Is it any wonder I’m completely over Big Government breathing down our necks?

I’m also not a huge President Bush fan. Not even an itsy bitsy teeny weeny one. You know the man couldn’t complete second grade today without help. He belongs in prison, along with Clinton, Rove and George I. Along with about a zillion other politicians. But George II is our penance for being too busy to pay attention. Too busy makin’ the scratch to pay taxes and child care, perhaps, but we still allowed IT to happen.

My friend, Barbara, who has lived here most of her 48 years, is blissfully unaware. Creative, thoughtful, smart as a whip and 100% right-brained. She’ll never read this because she has a computer she never turns on. A cell phone in her purse that’s never on. Right now, I want to be her. Tragically, I’m R 44%-L 56%: left-brained enough to surf YouTube and sign up for email newsletters warning of impending doom, right-brained enough to let it get to me. I gave Barb a quick run-down of current events, starting with the drug war thing which led to the:

After a brief 20 minute ramble, during which I just had time to run down the list, Barbara was in shock. She asked why I put myself through it? My best answer is that I can at least feel some of their pain. I can know, so when the opportunity to take action presents itself, I can act. For now, the most powerful action I can take, besides saving myself by escaping to Costa Rica, is to share it. Lucky you.

Barbara is fine. Her left brain could not compute and she is fully recovered. I’m still falling, but slowing to a H.A.L.T. I need a break. Life may not be a bed of roses, but it can’t be a crown of thorns, either.

If you need to laugh now, go here.

Special thanks to The Agitator, Reason TV, Reason Online, Brasscheck TV, L.E.A.P., Drew Carey, Brave New Films, all the drug war sites (see the link list bottom left column) for keeping me in freefall. And Ron Paul for pushing. WARNING: only follow these links if you like the feel of falling.

25 comments to Falling Down A Rabbit Hole

  • Laffingbear

    Whow, horse. Now this is interesting. I have been wondering about folks that leave the U.S. to some other part of the world and why. The questions I have are these: Do you leave to “escape” as you say but still feel like you are a part of the U.S. or do you leave to become as in your case “Costa Rican?” Now it seems to me that most of the people that immigrate to the U.S. want to become U.S. citizens and don’t really think about the politics from where they came from. I have been reading a lot of posts in other forums and it also seems to me that most of the “expats” in other countries still think of themselves as “Americans.” And have left the country for one reason or the other but aren’t to excited to become real citizens of their adopted country. They also go way out of their way to make life in their adopted country as much as it was in the good ole U.S. Take Costa Rica for example. The more I look at the pictures of it and read about it, it is looking more like southern California everyday with tons of gringos. Now of course I am generalizing but I am not far off the target here. Like who gives a damn what those bozos in Washington do or think? You don’t live there any more.

  • robin

    Hell, I still live here and ‘don’t give a damn what those bozos in Washington do or think’.

  • robin

    hmmm… sent before I was done. Anyway, in the interest of not falling down rabbit holes, I’m not following your links. ­čÖé I’m pretty certain tho’ that the one about voting will lead to at least some of the reasons why I don’t. Yes, I live in my own little world and I’m happy here. ­čÖé
    Washington will do what they like and while we take it they will continue. Other countries stage uprisings and riot in the streets… American’s think they voice their opinions by their vote not realizing that that is totally ineffective.
    I refuse to do many things and one is vote for the lesser of 2 or 3 evils.

  • To laffingbear: My first choice of countries in which to live is the U.S. Just not the U.S. of today. If I were a staunch democrat or republican instead of a libertarian, if I supported the WOT and the WOD (War On Terror/Drugs), if I thought that the collateral damage evidenced above was worth the end result and if I thought it was all working and that people who say race has anything to do with it are just blowing smoke and would probably blow smoke about something… I would be happy living there.
    If we moved back for any reason, I would choose to live my everyday life like Robin does: create my happy home. I would hopefully be a Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty activist, but otherwise, I’d do the best with what I have.
    You wondered “about folks that leave the U.S. to some other part of the world and why.” I can only speak for us… We left for a one year adventure, to escape the aftermath of four hurricanes in row in Florida ending with Wilma who washed 3′-6′ of water over the island and to escape the dead real estate market. I hadn’t had a paycheck in eight months, we’d wanted to run away for a year adventure for awhile… seemed like a perfect opportunity. That’s us.
    We didn’t come here hoping to become Costa Rican or because we had any real love of Costa Rica or its people, its laws… any of that. We’d never even been here. We picked Costa Rica because there was no military, no terror alerts, it was easy to get to, no snow, not dangerous, and everyone we knew who had been here loved it and couldn’t wait to get back.
    We live in escaz├║ which is THE most gringo-ized spot in all of Costa Rica. There are more services here (reliable internet is the most important one to us), modern gas stations, biggest grocery stores… it has everything here that a gringo could want that is available in Costa Rica.
    We stay here because life is easier here, so less stressful. It is a lovely laid back place, beautiful, friendly, I believe we have changed from living here, become more relaxed. We are different people than when we got here, in a good way. But if Ron Paul had become President, we would have gone back to the U.S. We stayed past our year because we love living outside the U.S. with all its pandemonium and keeping up with the Jones and we are SO happy to not be living day-to-day through that real estate market.
    There may be spots that look like southern CA if you are wearing blinders, but trust me, it is most definitely not. It never will be. In Tamarindo, people own million dollar homes on dirt, rutted, muddy roads. There is no place in Costa Rica that looks like San Diego. Unless you are IN the spa at Los Suenos and don’t leave… and even then…
    Why do I care what goes on in the U.S.? Because it still affects me. I’m a U.S. citizen and always will be. I could renounce, I guess, but the powers that be have to grant permission and even then you have to pay the IRS its due for 10 more years after you are no longer a citizen. Why bother? A U.S. passport is still valuable, gets me into any country. Whereas a Costa Rica passport won’t: you can’t get in the U.S. with one.
    Because the U.S. is afraid you will stay to work. That’s why people come to the U.S. and want to stay. Poor people want to do the work U.S. citizens won’t do for almost no money because it’s way more money than they can make at home where there are no jobs. People with money want to come to the U.S. because it’s a tax haven for them. They can open a bank account, they don’t have to pay taxes in their home country if they live in the U.S. Their tax laws don’t touch them in other countries.
    There are expats who have come here because they love Costa Rica. Most of the expats I know got here via military or ambassadorial (is that a word?) jobs. Many of those retired here because the cost of living was so much less (notice I said “was”), the medical care is superior and practically free, you can afford to stay healthy and travel around the world – why not make this your home base? Those who have not yet retired are planning to move to the next country or go back to the U.S.
    It’s hard to find out “why” most people moved here. They just won’t tell you. A popular expat phrase is “Costa Rica is home to the wanted and the unwanted.” If someone is one of the wanted or unwanted and you ask why s/he moved here, they’ll say because they’ve always wanted to live here.

  • RasPas

    Your rabbit hole list is about the same as mine but I would add somewhere near the bottom of the rabbit hole is Presidential Directive 51 stealthly signed by the Prez in May 2007 which provides for the continuity of government (probably the Bush/Cheney et al government) in the event of a disaster.(???) If you haven’t read it you should Google it and then read the interpretations of some very smart people that follow it. (i.e. Naomi Wolf) It leads me to be concerned whether we will even have an election because things are coming down the pike right now and anybody who doesn’t see it has their head way deep in the sand. IMO we will all soon see that the Bama/Hill/McCain sham was just a dog and pony show. They don’t write and sign into effect this stuff just to have it sit on the shelf. Scary

  • ok, but this is the last one, then we are going to see the new x-files movie. we don’t often get first-run movies here, but last week we got dark knight, now x-files… maybe this is like southern california, after all!
    I stumbled across reference to the D51 and there were several mentions of a gov take-over, closing the borders, etc. in many of the videos and articles. Just watched a video about the food production in the USA (http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/380.html) Part of CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) is outlawing seeds that aren’t patented – huge uproar here, but Arias wants US approval so he’s pushing hard to get all the laws changed so that CAFTA can go into effect.
    Even though NAFTA has been very detrimental to those countries, even though the drug war is a huge failure by all accounts except the official line, Arias can’t say no. Too bad.

  • Deb

    Voting machines are rigged anyway, so voting is a joke.
    Drugs should be legal, then crime, and need for prisons would be tremendously lessened.
    Drugs aren’t dangerous- I did plenty in my day and I am not brain-dead or an addict or jumping out of windows thinking I can fly.
    Politicians should spend their campaign monies NOW on all the shit they say they are going to fix ‘when elected’,fix those things NOW, instead of campaigning and advertising. The amount is obscene. And how does that work anyway…Hilary borrowed money from herself for her continued futile attempt? Does she charge herself interest and at what %?
    It doesn’t really matter who is in the oval office. The military industrial complex rules, the lobby machine rules…
    Which leads me to why we moved to Costa Rica. No military, no industry and a disorganized govt. that although at times frustrating to deal with in its various municipalidades y formas, is only that…irritating..it doesn’t really rule. Can’t get its act together in a timely fashion to rule or change or fix anything. Can’t even complete a highway in under 10 years. They don’t have surveillance and patriot acts or colors of the latest terrorist threat level. The coast guard here is more effective.
    Terrorism-a way of life for those that participate. Will never be stopped. Despite how many troops and dollars are thrown at it.
    War is all the middle east knows,ie; Palestinians vs. Israelis…that is their culture. All efforts to stop it are futile.
    Politics of fear and paranoia, no thank you. I don’t buy it and refuse to contribute to the USA-IRS hence do not support any of the above. If a lie is repeated and heard often enough, it soon becomes an accepted truth.
    My bottom line, NONE of the blogged issues mentioned in Rabbit Hole are correctable. The only thing over which we have control is our own little world. Believing otherwise is setting yourself up for total and complete meltdown, antidepressant usage, alcoholism, anxiety, panic disorder, sleep disorders, ulcers, obesity, acne, Cardiac infarction, tumors, gum disease and menopause, the pain of psoriasis, and from afar, no one can tell the difference between the stupid guy and the person arguing with the stupid guy.
    Find your puravida and stick with it.
    lovingly submitted.

  • If I stop believing any of that stuff is correctable, will my menopause go away?
    Sticking with my pura vida. Actually, hanging on for dear life.

  • Laffingbear

    “Which leads me to why we moved to Costa Rica. No military, no industry and a disorganized govt. that although at times frustrating to deal with in its various municipalidades y formas, is only that…irritating..it doesn’t really rule. Can’t get its act together in a timely fashion to rule or change or fix anything. Can’t even complete a highway in under 10 years. They don’t have surveillance and patriot acts or colors of the latest terrorist threat level. The coast guard here is more effective.” Give em time. It might be sort of nice now but how about that 10 years. Whats it going to be like. And that is the question. Can you all that have moved there get involved enough to maybe change the course of Costa Rica to becoming more like another state? We all know the problems with the states. No one there has a clue what to do. They all know something is wrong (everything) but what do you do about it. Its like being on a run away train. I know some people living in Montana that have bought gold, silver and a couple of years supply of food. They are now looking for a “rabbit hole to crawl into and hide.” What kind of a life is that? In 1776 everybody got together and cooperated in obtaining liberty. Now it seems that everybody wants to hoard and hide instead of fighting for liberty now. It was a King they fought then and now it is the Corporations that want your liberty. Maybe cooperative anarchy is the answer now, instead of wondering which bozo is going to fix everything. Myself I feel we can rely on ourselves now more than any power madmen in government. So can you rely on your neighbors when something goes really weird? Be they Costa Ricans or gringos.

  • The tico train gets all excited then grinds to a halt and everyone takes a break. From what I understand so far, this is perfect developing nation fare… I don’t think gringos have a snowball’s chance in hell of effecting any change in Costa Rica except one child at a time in a volunteer situation. The ticos don’t want our bossy know-it-all help (can you blame them? it’s not like we have a great track record… we all ran away to HERE.) There is a price to pay no matter where you live. Pick yer poison.

  • Oh, yeah

    Ron Paul hates Jews like you.
    Here’s a guy who (supposedly) can’t stay on top of the anti-Jew diatribes that his 3 person newsletter staff writes, yet he’s going to somehow stay on top of what his presidential cabinet is doing?? Uh, huh. Sure.
    And I’ve got a bridge in Costa Rica to sell you.
    Do us all a favor and keep your head stuck in that rabbit hole in the sand.

  • Do I detect a little hostility here? The whole anti-Semite/racism accusations were cleared up quite some time ago. Talk about keeping your head in the sand! Try to keep up.

  • Laffingbear

    “Ron Paul hates Jews like you.” Here is a little more than hostility. Lighten up. This is a really nice blog for an exchange of ideas and thoughts.

  • Deb

    This blogsite is one of the most all encompassing in terms of humor, insight, intelligence, tolerance, diversity, truthfulness, informativeness, empowerment, helpfulness and grammatical correctness. What a breath of fresh H2O. We have the freedom to mention all George Carlin’s ‘may he rest in peace’, unmentionables if we were so inclined. We are challenged to color outside the box, broaden our horizons on the broad’s time. I would have nothing to do with this blog IF in any way shape or form the head blogger in command tolerated or supported antisemitism. My husband is the best Jew in the world, and one of the few that just never could figure out how to make much money, contrary to the stereotype. Now Jesse Jackson, there is a piece of work, dontcha think oh yeah?

  • Jesse Jackson had his moments, but like most everyone in politics, in the public eye, he seems to have sold out. Too bad.
    Almost all the abroad readers are the smartest people on the planet. I now have proof.
    I know some other Jews who are not rich. I know some black people who can’t dance. And I know some white people who should not be in charge. What is the world coming to?

  • james

    One of your more interesting blogs, Sara, if not a bit depressing. I gave up on the U.S. many years ago and it is odd to see some of your other U.S. readers in the same frame of mind. I always feel so alone in my mentally self imposed exile.
    I used to get angry at the politicians. Now, I am just disgusted with the citizens here who continue to elect them. I don’t want to belong to this three ringed circus of a country. I know CR is not a paradise but, at the very least, , as laffingbear said above, the Costa Ricans are too ineffectual to do much political harm to themselves or to others. I think I will be able to completely turn off the United States once I move to Costa Rica. You haven’t been able to yet. Why?

  • We are just too connected still. And we are politically interested in what’s going on, particularly since Ron Paul came on the scene. My husband’s passion is money and the economy (after me), he also writes a bi-weekly column for a small newspaper in Key West. I’m still working there, doing property management. I’d do a sale if one presented itself, but that’s a long shot. I can dream… Until our income is in place, we may have to return, just don’t have the luxury of shutting that door for good yet. And I have so many friends there who are suffering. I guess I could not talk to them anymore…

  • james

    So I understand that coming back to the U.S. would be a move of necessity, not of choice. If you are fortunate enough to establish yourselves securely in Costa Rica, would you still feel connected to all the problems and issues of the United States? Is it only the income issue that keeps you connected or is it something else?

  • Yes, at this moment in time, moving back to the US would only be by necessity. Income is it for us right now. So far, the move here and decision to stay is like layers of an onion: one layer is resolved, the next appears. Once we have an income… who knows what will present itself. When they say God laughs while you make plans, they are talking to us.

  • Anonymous

    Nice blog as always. I wanted to mention that your link to “fact” re: the towers falling, doesn’t go to anything 9/11 related. I was so looking forward to the well-documented facts you mentioned. The cause of the collapsing buildings is well-documented. Namely, lots of heat applied to buildings that relied too much on trusses over too much of their area.
    Here’s one that I have searched long and hard to discredit, yet keep running into undeniable facts. Four ATF agents died in the raid on Waco. The first in an accident while exiting the cattle trailer being used as a trojan horse in the sneak attack. The other three were killed inside the compound by single shots to the left side of their face. As you may have heard, these three were all former Ark. State Troopers assigned as body guards to Gov. Bill Clinton.
    I’m not really sure what this means except maybe adding one more item to your list above.

  • Hi Travis, I fixed the link, not with the one I wanted because I couldn’t find it at this moment. But there are so many good documentaries out there – the one I wanted to find was with the man who engineered the building stating emphatically the planes did not cause the collapse. Are you saying the heat did? I’d love to see that documentation – I haven’t seen anything that supports that supposition.
    Jeez, I’d fogotten about WACO. And Randy Weaver. I’m going right to bed now before I really get going again…

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Ruby Ridge…don’t get me started.
    Here are a couple of links regarding the towers collapse.
    A popular conspiracy theory re: WTC7 goes something like this – No plane hit that building, the fires were minimal or put out already, etc. This should answer those questions.
    I believe we have plenty of real problems here in the States without letting people sell us theoretical ones.

  • Thank you, Travis. I visited those links (the debunking series I’d seen) but I’m not convinced. Even if they pulled Building 7, the dynamite had to already be in place. It takes weeks, not hours, to get a building ready to pull. But you are absolutely right: we have so many real problems, no need to waste time with the b.s. I’ll continue the research when I’m back on that track… need a break. Podcasting is fun; I’m doing that for awhile!

  • I fell down a similar rabbit hole (just down the hill and second to the left of yours) when I was about nine years old. It’s one of my few relatively distinct memories from childhood.
    I was doing whatever kid thing I was doing in the living room while my father was watching the news, and a particular story caught my attention. A couple had gone out to dinner together, leaving a very young child at home alone. When they returned, their house had burned down and the child had died in the fire. The newscaster then noted that police had both parents in custody for child neglect.
    I recall running into my room and slamming the door, and my father then asking something like, “What the hell’s wrong with you?” If he connected it with the news story at all, I’m sure he concluded that I was upset by the thought of the child burning to death.
    That wasn’t it. What I couldn’t get out of my mind was that this couple came home to what was undoubtedly the worst tragedy of their lives, a horrible, devastating scene… and our government — that is, all of us working together, “of, by and for the people” — saw fit to make it worse. I kept thinking that in the midst of their grief, they’d be locked in separate cages unable even to turn to one another for comfort. I couldn’t stop crying, not for the child, but for the parents.
    I’ve never gotten out of that rabbit hole, and I’ve forever after entirely mistrusted anything that goes by the name of “Justice.” There can’t be an American child that hasn’t heard, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!” dozens of times. I sometimes think I’m the only adult that still believes it.
    Once you come to see justice as merely justification, a lot of actions by governments (all governments, not just the United States) no longer look merely stupid, or even greedy: they look like institutionalized outlets for violence and sadism, unsurprisingly directed disproportionately at cultural minorities and the poor, though they’ll kick anybody they’re sure will stay down.
    Just to clarify: I’m not suggesting that we don’t need something like laws and a means of enforcing them. I’m not an absolute pacifist: some (few) people and situations cannot be lived with, and can only be contained by force. I do believe it’s dishonest or self-deceiving to assert that the “rule of law” is here to make us all more secure and more free while turning to the quasi-religions of authority and justice as simple, emotionally satisfying alternatives to the real work of seeking and applying knowledge and experience to pursue the goals we declare with as small and light a footprint as we can.
    But we don’t really want that. We want to find the bad guys and make ’em pay. And after that, we can always identify some new bad guys…

  • I got some new bad guys already identified. Unfortunately, they’ve labeled themselves the good guys. Creepy.
    I can’t decide if you are lucky to have fallen down a rabbit hole so early or not. Probably not. You missed all those fun years of living in denial. Denial is fun at first. And once it’s gone, you can’t get it back…

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