"Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and higher education positively fortifies it." - - Stephen Vizinczey, An Innocent Millionaire
Some days I have to ask myself where do these people come from? I can't help it, but I read AMCostaRica every day, since it does seem to provide the most news, in one location, about this place. But, it seems that the strangest people in Costa Rica also read it, and what's worse, they have to write to the editor to express their self-centered opinions (much like me, huh?). Yesterday's issue, however, seemed to have reached a new level of ridiculosity, if there is such a word. Take the letter from a Tony McCeath, who says he lives in San Ramon:
Mr. McCeath's letter starts off with what appears to be a legitimate statement of facts as they may well apply to Costa Rica, but turns out to be just another rant about squatters. How sad. Personally, I am just a bit tired of all the whining about how poor gringos have been taken advantage of after having purchased land in a foreign country, and then – in essence and in reality – showing that they lacked the foresight to provide for its security in their absence! Come on, folks! All of us who have even visited one or two times were made aware that it is legal to obtain ownership of land here with simple possession. In order to avoid any problems as an absentee landowner, all one has to do is make a few informed decisions: First, don't buy land or property at all unless you plan to be here keeping an eye on it yourself. Second, if you do buy property, with the intent of being an absentee owner, make arrangements with someone to care for it, and to watch so as to safeguard it from becoming attractive to a potential squatter. Third, don't take trips without also arranging for someone to watch over your property.
As regards this person's complaint about having his passport checked as he travels about the country, I'm not really sure what he is saying. He said that he has lived here for two years. So, I would have to ask why is he still carrying his passport? I put mine away the day I got my cedula, and haven't thought about it since. I have encountered police and immigration checkpoints on rare occasions (well, actually, there is one on the road to Liberia, near Pijije, that is always active, and appears to be mostly checking buses traveling to and from Nicaragua). On those occasions when the officials asked for ID, they did not actually ask for my passport, so I showed them either my Costa Rica drivers' license, or my cedula. And, as for the complaint about Costa Rica being two-faced and having attempted to enter a 'Friend of the Court' plea regarding the U. S. State of Arizona's recently enacted law, the Editor has already provided the clarification that this was rejected.
And, finally, we get his complaint about how much money recent Court decisions in Costa Rica have cost a Canadian company. Don't think he has much right to complain about this topic, and I don't think that I could care less either way. Any business operating in any foreign country should know enough NOT to spend money needlessly, while learning how business is done in that country. Essentially, therefore, the same simple warning that we, as potential property owners here should have heeded, applies to a company that wants to do business here. And, he concludes with a suggestion that "we" ought to consider suing Costa Rica. I have to say, What?! Who is 'we?' Now, I can't speak for Mr. McCeath, any more than he can speak for me, and, with all due respect, please consider this: We are not citizens of this country. We are merely (in my case, at least) temporary residents. We have no franchise. Isn't it just a bit presumptuous of us to propose to dictate to this nation how it conducts its business? I mean, didn't you know any of this before you decided to live here?
And, then, I saw the next letter, and have to ask: Who is Ann Boyd, and where has she been hiding herself all her life? Who does she think she is? How dare she presume to judge the people of Haiti? She has written one of the most ill-informed letters to an editor that I think I have ever seen, that's who she is! Has she no sense of history? Why does she think that an entire generation, the world over, is known as the Baby Boomers? In the wake of each and every natural – or manmade – disaster in the history of the world, there has been an increase in births roughly nine months later! Remember the brown-outs and Black-outs that struck the East Coast back in the (what was it) the 70's or 80's? Population is affected, disaster strikes, and any number of people find that they are without lights, or TV, or any outside distraction. What do they do with themselves? One thought comes to mind right away: go to bed, early and often!
She castigates the people of Haiti, who apparently have nothing better to do with themselves, in the wake of that poverty-stricken country's recent disasters, than to procreate. Doesn't Ms. Boyd realize that this is indeed God's way to make up for any decrease in population, anywhere in the world, throughout written history? Does she actually think that life in that country was so good before their most recent disasters?
Well, I've got news for her: The world has more folks living in poverty than it does otherwise. More people go to bed hungry each and every day than otherwise. More people live without (oh, electricity, television, potable water, bottled beverages, frozen foods, processed foods, supermarkets, just to name a few things), than otherwise.
Get over it. But, also, take a look at a mirror – quick! You have the nerve to say that children are a gift from God, and to offer your wishes that God bless those children?! That would suggest that you have chosen to read your Bible very selectively, lady. That same Bible also says something about not judging others, unless you want to be judged yourself, doesn't it?
Meanwhile, over on another site, called USExpatcostarica.com, a lady recently wrote a story all about St. Mary's School Guachipelín, Escazú- San Jose, C.R., Says "NO" to FAILING 1st Grader who wishes to attend their school! ----
Do I need to mention that I got into it with the lady in question? The article is all about how her kid, with ADD & possible dyslexia, had failed first grade at an unnamed school. The family then reportedly began looking for a new school for his next school year, and one of those looked at was the above named school. She is upset because they told her that their policy is that they do not accept any student that has failed any previous grade. Now, she claims in her letter that the family's psychiatrist, who is in the process of evaluating the kid, has told them that he needs to learn in English, as this is his first language. She goes on to complain that the school also reportedly told her that they teach at least three classes in Spanish, so they don't feel that they could properly meet the doctor's recommendation.
Now, she is totally angry, going on about the kid's rights, and how she is going to sue this school. Personally, I don't understand this gringo attitude that says a private school cannot set its own standards, and I said so. I also said that it is not proper for us to expect government intervention into everything little thing that does not go our way in this world, but of course, I am just an evil, uninformed all around bad guy for having dared to disagree with her and her complaint. We have had too much back and forth on the above mentioned page, so I think I'll just let her go on ahead and pursue her legal case, while she will conveniently overlook what is important here. Like so many before her, she will follow a path where she has to place blame for all of life's blows elsewhere, dedicate her life to some real or imagined battle, and ultimately, the kid will end up suffering, because she can't help overdoing her battle.
What probably pushed my buttons in this situation was that the lady mentioned (in her first response to my admonition to get over it) how she and her husband are forced to live here in CR because he requires 24/7 total care for an undisclosed condition, and they can't afford such in the states. But, her article was all about how 'we' had been involved in pursuing educational goals for their child. How can someone who requires 24/7 total care participate in meetings at schools, and this lofty pursuit of education for 'their' kid? That information, coupled with her insistence that her child has 'rights' is what got me going.
In case I haven't mentioned it before, I have a real problem with this medical diagnosis of ADD/ADHD/and all variations thereof. I also have a real problem with the persistent overuse of Ritalin for kids with this diagnosis. And, I might as well admit it I have a real problem with all the un-intentioned aftereffects of the ADA, and all the bending over backwards that the PC crowd has force fed us for, what, a generation or more, now? I'm sorry, but I do not believe that kids with learning disabilities belong in a regular classroom. A good teacher knows that their teaching must be focused on the slowest learner, the dumbest student, if you will, in the class. That way, the teacher can be sure that all the students will get the message. When we force the teacher to constantly dumb down the teaching, what do we get? What we get, is what we got: more and more social promotions, more and more 'graduates' who are functional illiterates, ignorant, and unable to cope with the real world (maybe like this lady).
I am also, of course, less than impressed with people who somehow expect the "government" to provide for their every need. You know the ones. They resort to lawsuits at the drop of a coffee cup in their laps (sorry; couldn't resist). If all of the above is not enough, I also have a more serious problem with gringos who come to live in Costa Rica and expect – nay, demand – that they receive the same benefits they expected in the states. So, since all of this is true, and since I have a big mouth (as in, access to a keyboard), I have to speak up. That's enough for now, I guess. You all may talk amongst yourselves.