Central America

Heaven on earth turned into hell. That’s how I see Central America. Between the gringo and their own corrupt leaders, those poor people never stood a chance. The land is some of the richest and most beautiful on earth. As was explained to me, any town between 23 1/2 degrees north latitude, and 23 1/2 degrees south latitude and at 5,000 feet elevation in the mountains, gives you year round spring like temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s! If that ain’t perfect I don’t know what is. The mosquitoes and bugs are a lot less at those elevations too.

The book pictured above, Insight Guides: Central America, is a contradiction in many ways. They paint this ridiculous picture of the indigenous Mayans as being these granola eating, tree hugging simple folk at one with the earth, until the nasty Conquistadors came in and upset the apple cart. As anyone with even a little understanding of the revelations that have come out in the last quarter century about the Mayans, they were one of the most depraved people to ever inhabit the earth.

Their ritualistic killing and enslavement of conquered tribes was absolutely on par with the most barbaric and inhuman there has ever been. Cortez and the boys were almost as bad. The Conquistadors just did their rape, pillage and plunder in a much more civilized fashion. So to speak. Fast forward a few hundred years and the Brits, French and Americans get into the act. Insight Guides reveals a part of American history they never taught you in schools and makes me absolutely embarrassed.

United Fruit and Standard Fruit. These 2 American companies came to be Dole and Chiquita. When they felt their ungodly profits were being downgraded to only obscene by a Central American government, they’d arm “rebels” and overthrow the government. Hence the term, ‘Banana Republic’. If the workers tried to organize and move their wages from despicable to only pitiful, their strike would be met with a US Battleship pulling into port. Our government was completely hand in glove with corporations in the rape of Central America.

I can’t even begin to unwind all the machinations of our cutthroat government every time reforms were attempted there. One of the most unspeakable was what we did in Guatemala. Colonel Jacabo Arbenz Guzman was a reformer president in the early 50’s, having followed another reformer, Juan Jose Arevalo. They were starting to make some real progress returning land stolen from the natives by American corporations. The US branded Arbenz a communist and had the CIA overthrow him. What followed was a civil war that lasted off and on over at least the next 50 years.

Thousands upon thousands of Guatemalan Indians who had nothing to do with the dispute were murdered outright. It was all because the 1% ers didn’t like having their ox gored. Violent reactions result if justice begins to eke out. Insight Guides does a great job detailing a lot of our depraved history in the region. Then they turn around and miss it on the solution.

They criticize Trump for wanting a wall and some control of our borders. They criticize the Obama administration for deporting drug lords  back to El Salvador and Nicaragua. They literally lament the resulting murder rates that skyrocket when these thugs are returned to their home country. What?? They come up with this absurd notion that any poor person that speaks Spanish has some God given inherent right to become citizens of the United States!

The problem won’t be solved by America continuing to be the Band-Aid for the graft and corruption of Central America.  

All I do know is that between this book and YouTube videos, I have much more of a profound respect for the people and the region of Central America. Since it is clear with the political climate in Washington we will never have control of our border, let’s work with that. Complete that 66 missing miles of the Panamanian Highway. Allow for the free flow of people and goods from the tip of Chile to the top of Alaska. If Latin Americans are flowing up here, let those of us who want to move down there. It looks pretty good during February in Iowa. Let the Americas become one. Its obvious this country is through as a functioning entity, make a new one.

Jim Roach

The ‘sweet spot’ being between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn at 5,000 feet of elevation.

[Most amazingly, I think I can list the Central American countries with out looking. Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama!]

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Perpetuating poverty

Cities like Ames, Iowa by virtue of their lack of imagination with zoning help keep people in poverty. The person of limited means naturally gravitates to low cost housing (above). $15,000 and its yours. So what. You’re typically left renting a lot from a slumlord like Flummerfelt. They may ‘own’ their home, but they’re not able to save any money for upgrades or repairs because they’re paying $400 dollars a month lot rent!

With conventional housing you have options. Small lot, big lot, new part of town, old part of town, new house, old house. Rent or own. With trailers you’re stuck, you rent. Forever. 

There is absolutely no reason a city couldn’t change this. Next time they incorporate some new land stipulate what it would be developed for. They do it all the time whether its for apartments, housing or commercial. Those bastards in Ames even put a moratorium on apartments in the old town where they actually need them! By their zoning they continue to force apartment construction to the west side where nobody wants them! The jobs are downtown!

I realize to actually do something for the people they’d have to separate themselves from the money nipple of the land developer. I realize they’d actually have to engage their brain and have a little foresight. They’d rather continue to enrich the 1% at the expense of the working class. Its absurd. If your typical lot size for new housing is 80′ x 120′, for a mobile home it would be 48′ x 100′.

Half of the new development instead could be setup for putting homes on a foundation. The developer would still be putting in the roads, utilities and landscaping. In fact a section of it could also be assigned for ‘mini-homes’. Foundations for some, complete new mini homes for others or built to various levels of finish. There are all kinds of innovations to be realized.

Name me a community of any size that isn’t dealing with a “homeless problem”? That doesn’t have a  working group or planning committee dealing with homelessness? Its ridiculous. A private/public partnership could have the homeless working off their new homes by building them! Learn a trade and self-worth all while finding a place to live!  

The new developments in modular/panel home construction make them Childs play to assemble. Not only that, but with metal stud framing and roll or panel roofing, they’re permanent! Not like the designed obsolescence of stick built with among other problems the asphalt shingle requiring a new roof every 20 years. Think of the environmental cost of that?

Jim Roach

A row of mini homes. They typically run 12′ x 20′, but they certainly don’t have to be that size. The materials cost averages out to be $15,000. Think of that. Putting that 240 square feet on a foundation doubles it to 480. Add a second floor and you have 720 sq. ft. This concept could also be promoted for the smaller ‘carbon footprint’ of the reduced living spaces with out of this world insulation possibilities and dedicated solar energy and rainwater collection! The pride of home ownership improves any community. The easiest thing to spot driving down a street is the rentals. You can always spot it by slipshod condition of the house and the cluttered yard. By allowing people to buy the property instead of rent it you allow for upward mobility. You quit locking people into poverty. The problem of course is that government isn’t about solving problems, its about growing the size of government.

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Dear Chuck, Joni & Steve…

I told my Congressional delegation (Grassley, Ernst & King, all Republicans) they had 2 years to get it done and they didn’t do shit. Every 4 years they dust off the issues of prolife, universal right to carry, smaller government in order to get you to the polls. But when the chance came to do it they didn’t do shit. ‘Get ‘er done’ is not in their lexicon. I read through the Constitution, there’s no language about needing 60 votes. No language on ‘cloture’ or filibuster. Those are their own self imposed rules to protect them from ever having to take a controversial vote.

The Republican Party should be sued for fraud and misrepresentation. They had no intention of ever fulfilling their promises. And the reason they get away with this repeated betrayal, is because they never suffer consequences. People keep voting for them. There has to be consequences. But there never are. How can people continue to give these traitors money and return them to office? I will never understand that. But then, I’ve never voted for any of them.

They should be sued for breech of promise. They took money under the pretense of furthering the platform voted on every 4 years at the convention. And they clearly did not intend to fulfill that promise.

I’m not even sure these nitwits even see what’s coming. In the Senate in 2020 the Republicans defend 22 seats to the 12 for the Democrats. They’re going to lose the Senate. They already lost the House. Trump has no chance for reelection (if it was possible to have a negative number he would). With their decision to have open borders the last 50 years, the tipping point of the ‘browning’ of America from socialist countries ensures they will never have the demographics to ever regain the majority. What the hell they are thinking is beyond me.

Jim Roach

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The Darién Gap

In my continuing series on “Just how stupid are people?“, we come to the question of the Darién Gap. The much heralded Panamanian Highway that goes from the North Pole to the South Pole has just 1 teeny tiny problem, 66 missing miles between Panama and Columbia. Effectively rendering the other 30,000 miles pointless. You cannot travel by road from North America to South America. You can build a highway across 30K miles of impossible terrain but 66 miles through jungle is a deal breaker? You just built over mountains and through the rest of the Central American jungle, why not this part?

It makes no sense. Until you look at who benefits from this absurdity. Its similar to why Latin America will never have drinkable water.  Why it will always give diarrhea to someone from the United States. There’s too much money to be had by owning the bottled water concession. There’s too much money to be had by forcing people to fly or take a ferry around the gap.

Reading articles and watching documentaries on the gap provide no insight. They promote “environmental concerns”  as one reason. Oh? You just plowed through a thousand miles of Central American jungle starting at the Mexican border and now all of a sudden with this 66 there’s a “concern”? Globalists only want globalism if it benefits them.

Another reason posited is drug trafficking. Yeah? That’s true, we’ve had drug trafficking for a hundred years, what’s that got to do with not finishing the highway? “Guerilla groups”. FARC (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The world stops because of criminals? Besides that FARC has not been listed as active since 2017!

I think it comes down to the fact the Panama Canal provides 10% of Panama’s GDP, and they sure as hell don’t want to lose that to truck traffic. THAT’S what it comes down to. Follow the money. Almost any José with the desire can get a truck, the shipping magnates don’t want that.

Its kind of like “free trade”. When you go on vacation you should be able to buy and bring back anything you want from Latin America,  right? Duty free? Tax free? Let me know how that works out. Flooding America with goods produced by dollar an hour wage people, that’s free trade. Corporations get free trade, not you. So go ahead globalists, make north and south 1 America. I’d rather live in Panama anyway. Let’s expose Latin America to trade unions, clean water and the rule of law. Let’s do it.

Jim Roach

[“At its fullest extent the Pan-American Highway is a network of roads stretching from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina, a distance of around 48,000 kilometres (30,000 miles). According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world’s longest “motorable road”. However it is not readily possible to drive all the way since the route is interrupted by the 160 kilometre-wide (100 mile) Darién Gap between Central and South America.“]

{I think a lot of the reason for not completing the highway would be the mass evacuation from South America. The exodus would be so great the corrupt “leaders” would be forced to finally deal with the problems that are endemic to the region.}

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Game over!

I can’t believe I’m the only one. I refuse to believe people are that stupid. Well, I mean sure, half the country’s stupid. But the other half elected Trump, so I know they have a clue as to what’s going on. But you got a lot of people with a stake in keeping the game going. I saw it again on CNBC’s Squawk Box morning show, they had Senator Evan Bayh (D) and Senator Shelley Capito (R) discussing Trump’s State of the Union address. God what frauds. There is not a more worthless body on this earth then the United States Senate.

Those clowns in the Senate are the worst. If there’s an ugly underbelly of the swamp monster in Washington, it has to be the Senate. Those gutless wonders clearly outshine the House in terms of flaming incompetence. Those 100 assholes would NEVER consider putting the 330,000,000 people of America first. They and a lot of others got a lot of money to lose if they don’t keep this farce going.

I’ve been on this rant since the midterms when the Republicans lost the House. I knew with the inexorable demographic shift going on in this country, the “browning of America”, that this was freedom’s last chance. If they didn’t do it then, they never would. Well, they didn’t. I don’t listen to talk radio or the news shows on TV like I used to, but I don’t hear anyone addressing this.

*Radio  clowns like Jeff Angelo locally and Rush Limbaugh nationally still have air time to sell to advertisers. Perennial authors Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter still got books to sell. And quite frankly, liberal outlets like CNN need FOX News  to be out there as the evil dragon they need to slay. So the farce continues. I can’t believe I’m the only one that sees it. Its all a joke, that’s all it ever has been.

Jim Roach

[What amazes me about the Republicans is they never see the writing on the wall. For 50 years they have allowed a stream of undocumented Democrats to flow across our southern border solely for the immediate gratification of cheap labor for their corporate overlords. Did they ONCE consider the electoral consequences of their actions? California is gone. Miami and the rest of southern Florida is about to tip the state. Georgia and Alabama fall in 2020. Trump and the Senate will get washed away in a blue wave in 18 months. I saw this shit coming 30 years ago. That is why I was stunned with Trump’s win. I didn’t think we even had that last gasp in us.]

*Radio clowns are like rodeo clowns only not as cute, funny nor do they serve any useful purpose. Instead of protecting you from the bull, they sling it.

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“¿Cómo está usted?”

Winter in Iowa and remarkably, the idea of spending a couple of weeks in a warmer climate crosses your mind. At first I was thinking The Bahamas or Panama, but then I realized plane tickets, vaccinations and passports were involved. So I thought hey! Miami Beach! For most areas you don’t need a passport, they speak some English there, most of the places you can drink the water, their economy is based on the US Dollar, and if you’re in your hotel room by 10 pm you generally won’t die! Its a win – win.

A couple of problems did arise though. The Como Metropolitan Hotel (a $1,000 for my planned 3 night stay) seemed a little pricey for crappy service:

“The Metropolitan by COMO is not a customer friendly hotel.  I have been treated poorly there & was kept waiting past check in time for a room with no apology whatsoever.  It lacks energy and could just as well be in Iowa rather than Miami Beach.”

I thought the coup de grace was, “You could just as well be in Iowa!” Sac re bleu! The reviews of virtually ALL the hotels had a common theme. There was blood on the walls, the sheets were stained, there were dead bugs under the sink, there were live bugs under the sink, the paint was chipped and peeling, the floors were dirty, house keeping was atrocious, the staff was rude and surly, and on and on and on…

Can you see what an actual week there would cost?? 6 nights for $2,000?? Goodnight! Horrible smells in the hallways, drunks in the hallways. You can see all this coming if you read between the lines in the brochures. They talk about the “diverse” culture, the “laid back” lifestyle. The “cosmopolitan” atmosphere. The 23 languages spoken in Miami. They themselves now describe Miami as a “mosaic”, not a melting pot. I understand there is a fairly strong expat community in Miami.

What you have is a bunch of people who shouldn’t even be here destroying America. They’re not eager to be Americans, to embrace the American dream, they simply brought the habits and tendencies that ruined their own country here. Living in a university town I’ve seen it a million times. Asians acting like Asians, Mexicans acting like Mexicans, Middle Easterners  acting like Middle Easterners. Your countries are unlivable hells holes, don’t act like you, act like us!

Our country is #1, not yours! Why the sam hell would you act like you? Act like us. You want to make this country number 87? Number 173? Your ways failed. Miami used to be a kick ass place. With any luck I’ll see for myself soon, whether it has become a dangerous 3rd world hellhole (shithole), or it is a place to be proud of. I’ve seen the decline in neighboring states up close. You can tell a lot from a motel room. A nation that was built on the protestant work ethic is being replaced with cultural laziness. ‘Diverse’ means lazy. ‘Laid back’ means people don’t show up on time. ‘Mosaic’ means people who hate America. ‘Cosmopolitan’ means don’t be out after dark.

Jim Roach

[Saying, “Como esta usted?” in a slow, drawn out/rednecky kind of way is quite fun.]

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When you understand

If the last 2 years didn’t explain it to you, nothing will. I watch the TV now (business or news channel) and I just want to scream, “You phucking liars!” My gawd what a scam it is. I just don’t understand how people don’t get it? The system should collapse from the lack of interest. 50% voter turnout is what we’ve had for 50 years, it should fall off to about 10%. When you understand this, you will begin to resent the zombies that are dragging you down.

I call them zombies because as long as the people support the system at current levels, it will stagger along. The system is so corrupt and vile it should be allowed to die on the vine. If you didn’t vote for the politicians and give them money, they would have to go away and find something productive to do. But noooooo….. people feed them like a stray cat and they keep coming back. Like a hobo panhandling, it pays so they keep doing it. Its like how the Catholic Church never learned from it’s habit of child molestation, of course they didn’t learn, people kept giving them money! 

How stupid are we? You vote with your wallet, not at the voting booth. Good grief, I live in a country of morons. 2022. That is the latest guess I’ve heard when the fiscal collapse begins. SSA and Medicare become insolvent. The national debt is growing exponentially now. I’m not even sure that criminal cabal known as the Federal Reserve can keep this house of cards standing much longer. Until people figure out our form of government is corporatism, and that it only exists to funnel money from the 99% to the 1%, this crap will continue. All the news people, all the politicians, I can’t even watch them with a straight face.

All those issues they pander to Republicans every 4 years in order to get them to the polls, it ain’t gonna happen. Protecting the unborn, universal right to carry, less government spending (ergo less taxes), “banning gay marriage”, returning the school system back to the local level, none of that is going to happen. They been saying that same crap for 50 years. It ain’t gonna happen. The last 2 years proved it. Don’t you get it? That ain’t rain you’re feeling. That’s the thing, I don’t understand how people are so stupid. They must be putting something in the water.

Jim Roach


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Swallowed whole

Ah yes, January in Iowa and the thoughts turn to tropical island paradises. Two of my ideas of idyllic getaways were Bermuda and the Bahamas (pictured above). Thankfully there are YouTube travelogues to dissuade you of this notion and save you thousands of dollars in the process. Reading between the lines of these videos teaches you a lot about the Caribbean (one is that neither Bermuda or the Bahamas are considered part of the Caribbean, but you know what I mean).

YouTube will take you from Miami to Trinidad and every point in between. That in itself is fascinating for someone as geographically ignorant as myself. You can learn about the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles and that at one time Trinidad was actually attached to Venezuela. And who conquered who and what island and enslaved or wiped out this or that population. Fascinating stuff. They do skim over the vile nature of the savages that were indigenous to the islands, and concentrate mostly on the infractions of whitey.

One of the more interesting of the videos was the one where they were leaving on a cruise ship from Miami and explained a little of the history while they waited to leave. This was from 2013 and they essentially admitted that Miami had been swallowed up by people from the Caribbean and South America and was no longer part of America. They called Miami a Spanish speaking community and the “northern most Caribbean city.” I can imagine what its like 6 years later.

Being on the edge of Republican politics for 40 years I know of the strong anti-Castro sentiment in Miami. Learning about the region in general has helped me understand about Miami in particular. Human history is the story of the abuse of human capital by one people or another through the centuries. The natives enslaved the weaker tribes, and they themselves were enslaved by the more technologically advanced Europeans.

The anti-Castro sentiment still strong in Miami is a testament to the cultural earthquake that took place exactly 60 years ago. It was the only time in this hemisphere when the 1% ‘ers got their ass kicked and their land stolen from them. Every other time in history they did the stealing. Every other part of the Caribbean carries on “like it should”, the 1% ‘ers controlling everything. All the land, resources and human capital.

Sugarcane plantations on Puerto Rico, spice fields on Grenada, oil fields in Trinidad. The past 500 years of the Caribbean has been the one percenters who control the islands speaking various tongues, and dressed in various garb, exploiting the locals and owning all the land to ship their natural resources to other one percenters in other countries.

As an example in Bermuda there is great need for doctors and nurses. If you wish to live there they will welcome you with open arms if you have those skills and will pay you 100K plus a year to do it. You might ask, “Why don’t they grow their own medical people?” They don’t actually have a 4 year college or medical school (Grenada believe it or not does). I suspect it is because a college would educate people to the awareness of the modern day slavery going on. Even if it isn’t exactly called that.

So what you end up with is a collection of completely dysfunctional island nations with very nice weather. “They sell drugs mostly or move to the United States.”  If they stay where they are there is zero chance to improve their lot for them or their children. The 1% control all land and the means of production. It is literal shacks and a hand to mouth existence for everyone else. Which explains the bizarre flotillas that converge on Miami.

I first noticed this “reverse colonization” taking place a couple of years ago in Europe. We’ve been bombing the hell out of the Middle East for at least the past 40 years, and ignoring the consequences the entire time. The hordes of humanity have been vacating those areas only to invade Europe. I believe Europe will suffer the long term destruction,  not the Middle East. It always comes down to birthrates. Whatever it is the Middle Easterners are bringing to Europe, it isn’t civilization.

America is suffering this reverse colonization in a two prong attack. In the southeastern United States it is from Caribbean peoples and South America. in the southwestern United States it is from Mexico and the rest of Central America. The irony is quite delicious. We Americans think of ourselves as the “World’s Lone Superpower!” (complete with capitalization and exclamation point), while in reality we are committing cultural suicide as we let ourselves be overrun by illiterates who are simply better at producing babies.

Its funny how the sins of our fathers will turn out to be our ruination.

Jim Roach




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The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)

What a neat guy (Jackie Robinson played himself). Humble, brave, likeable, charismatic. One hell of a second baseman too. Pictures like the one above from around 1959 always makes me think. A couple of those guys are probably still alive. They’d be 78 or 80 years old now. I’d love to track them down and ask, “What the hell were you thinking?

That’s the same question I’d like to ask Hollywood also. TCM was showing ‘black movies’ yesterday (I don’t watch regular TV of course, its a barren wasteland). I thought, “Oh, they must be having a Sidney Poitier day.” Later on it was another black movie without Sidney. It was then I realized, its MLK Day!

Can you get anymore patronizing? It reminded me of when Mr. Trump ate a taco salad on Cinco de Mayo. Great visual. He got pasted for that. Hollywood never does. It got so obvious the segregation in the movies it started a conversation about 10 years ago. The studios response, “We had Halle Berry in a movie!”

The segregation is/was so obvious in the entertainment industry there is a living testament to it, separate but equal: Black Entertainment Television. The last thing Hollywood would ever do though is look at itself.

Jackie had to fight racism in the military too. He was nearly court martialed during WWII simply for refusing to move to the back of the bus. He died October 24, 1972 at the age of 53.

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Jack Bogle dead at 89

I chose this really grainy picture of Jack Bogle for a couple of reasons. It is likely his college graduation photo where he wrote his senior thesis on the concept of an index fund. And two, most photos of him are as an old man because Wall Street desperately wanted to ignore him at all costs. He cost them billions.

The heroes for Wall Street are snake oil salesman like Warren Buffet. There are all kinds of pictures of him in his younger days. Countless TV interviews of him. He continued the Wall Street tradition of ripping off the little guy (his Berkshire Hathaway doesn’t even pay dividends). As CNBC reported, Bogle died with a relatively modest 88 million. Buffet floats in and out of the richest man in America spot with something over 88 billion.

Show me a billionaire and I’ll show you someone who never paid his employees worth a damn. 

Wall Street hated Bogle. He exposed them for what they are. They saw the writing on the wall when he founded Vanguard and created the “index fund” in 1975. That fund morphed into this wonderful thing to where now you can buy the S&P 500 for as little as $100 dollars a month and at an expense ratio of .04%. Wall Street hated that! Back in ’75 they had load funds! Front loads, back end load, service fees, redemption fees, on top of high expense ratios. Between them and the government the small investor made nothing (this is pre IRA/Roth IRA).

Bogle changed all that. Based on what he did, a rank and file employee saving just $100 dollars a paycheck can end up a millionaire! Wall Street and Buffet never wanted that. WS operates on the theory of “yachts for them”, not you. I had occasion to run the numbers recently of what $100 dollars a pay period with an employer match would do for you over 30 years with very modest returns.

I didn’t base it on outlandish returns of 18% a year. I didn’t even base it on a low expense ratio fund like Bogle’s, I based it on a .50% fee. I did base it on an employee saving 5% ($100 dollars) and when he saved at 10% ($200 dollars) each of the 26 pay periods in a year. I ran it on returns of 4%, 5%, 8% and 11% (10 percent being the historical return for the S&P 500) over 30 years. I didn’t even base it on a 45 year work career! This is just over 30 years!

Saving $100 dollars a pay period with employer match for 30 years:

4%      –     $297,661
5%       –     $354,381
8%      –      $613,240 
11%      –       $1,093,029

Saving $200 dollars a pp with $100 employer match for 30 years:

4%       –      $446,491
5%       –      $531,572
8%       –      $919,860 
11%       –      $1,639,544

Imagine what you could do over 45 years? Imagine what you could do plowing just a little extra into market troughs? Imagine if you had a spouse doing the same thing? Just put it on auto-pilot. No tricks. No high frequency trading. No exotic funds. Just $100 dollars every 2 weeks into the S&P 500. Bogle did that. Over 30 years an index fund creams the money manager every time. Not just on the actual returns, but when you take out expenses and fees its ridiculous!

Jack Bogle did that. Thanks Jack.

Jim Roach



Here are the numbers for $100 bucks a paycheck with employer match over 40 years with a very modest average 8% return: $1,402,360. And that my friend, is why Social Security is stupid. That’s why the government is coming after your IRA. They already stole Social Security.

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