“the newsletter of international living”
BRINGING YOU THE WORLD IN A WAY
YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE
Vol. 22, Issue 04 www.expatworld.net and www.expatworld.org April, 2010
WE DO NOT SELL PASSPORTS been in operation for many years and have
provided a number of people the benefits of dual
BUT WE CAN CONNECT YOU nationality:
We here at Expat World do not sell passports A CENTRAL AMERICA PROGRAM
but being in the expat and international living NOTE FROM EXPAT WORLD: We at Expat
business for over 20 years we have made many World DO NOT sell passports. We act as paid
contacts in the immigration business. advertisers for immigration consultants in a
We know now of three "immigration number of countries where the opportunities
consultants that provide the services need to get exists for 2nd nationalities. Expat World, in some
a second nationality/passport in 3 countries. cases, collects your data, pics and payment and
In the next three or four pages we will outline directs all to the immigration consultants in the
there products and with a simple email to us, we country of issue. We do look out for your welfare
can get you connected. That's when EW steps in seeing that you get what you paid for as a
out and lets the different enterprises do their own principle of keeping our advertisers on a straight
thing in helping you become multinational. and honest keel.
Here are the programs EW knows of that have This Central American country has a program
that has been running for over 8 years now and
many new citizens and passport holders have
INSIDE THIS ISSUE been VERY pleased with it. In our opinion, it is
the best value for money today in securing a
• WE DO NOT SELL PASSPORTS BUT WE CAN CONNECT
YOU second pp that is in all the computer data bases,
• IT AIN'T EASY BEING A FOREIGNER comes from a government source, has all the
additional bells and whistles and is time-proven
• AIR TRAVEL IN THE USA IS LIKE TRAVELING ON AN
OLD GREYHOUND BUS
to be hassle free. It also has very good visa free
entry to most of the world's countries. No matter
A FREE OR
• IT'S STILL POSSIBLE TO GETIN AMERICA ALMOST
FREE UNIVERSITY DEGREE
what your reasons for seeking second
citizenship, you won't find a better deal.
• FROM THE TECHNICAL GURU AT EXPAT WORLD The time it takes is about 6 weeks from the
time we have application, photos and payment in
• POWERFUL JOINT PILL FLYING OFF DRUG STORE
For full information and application material
• INTERNATIONAL SNIPS AND CLIPS you must email : firstname.lastname@example.org with GG
in the subject heading.
• LEGALLY USE YOUR IRA TO BUY YOUR RETIREMENT
AN AFRICAN NATION
OF PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED
• THE LATESTBY THE PEOPLES INTELLIGENCE NEWS
GATHERED SERVICE This nation's program has been going on for
(Continued on page 2)
• CRAPPER RAPPER
EXPAT WORLD • 1
(Continued from page 1)
over 15 years now. It's not an easy pp to travel on for it needs visa's for most countries. But it is a
member of the British Commonwealth of Nations which does help in that respect. It has been used most
as a "banking passport.' This immigration program which can be executed at extremely short notice
usually taking less than one month to complete all the formalities and which will result in a permanently
renewable passport and national ID document being issued to applicants. The fees are the cheapest of
any program we know.
The fee is all you pay. It includes all service charges such as lodging the documents, following their
progress, collection, transport, calls and faxes, postage and courier delivery to you
For complete information and application material email: email@example.com with MM in the
A PURE "WHITE GLOVE"
PROGRAM FOR RESIDENCY AND PASSPORT
For all you out there who are disillusioned with the way your country is running their affairs and need
a safe haven, second parachute country to live or use in case of emergency. Or if you plan to become
an expat by living, working or retiring outside of your "home" country, we have found a deal that can't be
As you know the pressure has been put on countries of the world to not offer or to put exceedingly
difficult conditions in getting a second nationality or even a residency in another country. Basically EW
believes this is so because countries of wealth and who have wealthy citizens want their citizens to stay
put and keep their wealth in country and pay all the taxes that goes with this wealth. And of course there
is the red herring we all hear about, "homeland security" that is the usual propaganda.
EW has found for you a program where the paper work can normally be can be completed in 3
working days and the secondary processing takes 2-4 months before you get your permanent residency
card and your Cedula (Internal ID card) that can be used for travel throughout many South American
countries. You can also get a local drivers license in the same process. From the time permanent
residency is APPLIED for, you can then apply to become a citizen with passport in 2-3 years.
The process is very easy with the help of a full time minder who is there physically to guide you
through the steps. We don't want to put all the details here in this article for reasons of over exposure
and keeping Big Brother pressure off this small country.
IF YOU WANT THE FULL INFO:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the word PARA in the subject heading. We will get back to you
pronto with the complete info. By the way, the program is the best value for money today and comes
with a full minder to see that you get the program and do it right in the shortest time possible.
To give you an look into the country we're talking about I have below given excerpts from an article
WHAT I HEARD FROM A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL IN A SMALL TAX HAVEN
There was a knock at the door. A soldier entered the room and raised his arm in salute. Then he
drove his boot heels together to produce a loud snap. He waited for the politician's attention...
I studied the soldier's crisp brown uniform. It looked like something you'd wear to a dress party. His
black patent leather shoes matched his belt and the peak of his hat. The gold buttons on his sleeve
were so shiny they could decorate a Christmas tree.
The politician turned to the soldier. He took a whispered message. Then he dismissed him with a flick
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of the wrist...
Tito Saguier is a senior member of Paraguay's government. Last week, Tito invited me to the senate
for a cup of coffee and a discussion about Paraguay's future.
Soldiers escorted us everywhere we went. Other soldiers opened doors and saluted as we walked
past. A female soldier stood at attention at the door to Tito's office. She wore the same pressed uniform
as the male soldiers, except, instead of trousers, she wore a mini skirt with knee-high Nancy Sinatra
Paraguay has a new government. It just won power. The old government held power for 61 years. I
wanted to know how this new government would behave. Would those in power continue to steal?
Would they decrease the size of government? Would they decrease regulation and taxes?
An investor has several reasons to take a close look at Paraguay... Itaipu is the world's largest
hydroelectric dam. Thanks to Itaipu, Paraguay generates 10 times more electricity than it needs. Per
person, Paraguay has access to more free energy than any other country on Earth. This energy will
never run out... and it's clean.
According to the people at Itaipu, the energy the dam creates every day is the equivalent to 433,000
barrels of oil. That's about half of what Canada's Athabasca oil sands produce each day. Except it's
renewable, it's clean, and it takes no energy to produce.
This cheap electricity is one of the reasons I like Paraguay as an investment.
Paraguay has no stock market... only a small bond market. So to invest in Paraguay, you'll have to
go there yourself and buy assets from the locals. That's a good thing. It means everything is cheap.
In Paraguay, for example, you can buy companies for book value... that pay 45% dividends,
according to one broker I met. You can buy real estate with 10% rental yields. And cattle farms with
18.5% cash yields.
There are few taxes in Paraguay... and a small government. It has no external debt and no currency
restrictions. The Paraguayan currency - the guarani - has risen almost 50% against the dollar in the last
couple of years... and is the best performing currency in the world this year.
Paraguay has this interesting geographical location right between Brazil and Argentina. Both of these
countries have huge populations compared to tiny Paraguay. Paraguay can make a fortune trading with
both. Plus, Paraguay is a member of the Mercosur, the free trade agreement that also includes Brazil,
Argentina, and Uruguay. Goods produced in Paraguay are not subject to Brazilian and Argentine tariffs.
Paraguay is very cheap and unknown. There is no industry, and the stock market is tiny. And there's
a potential trigger for a rally: The Argentine government has raised export duties on soybeans to 40%
and banned the export of beef. I found evidence Argentine farmers are about to rush into Paraguay,
where ranchland is cheap and the politicians don't steal their profits.
Unfortunately, I didn't get the answers I was looking for from Tito Saguier. At one point, I asked him
for details on Argentine and Brazilian import duties. He didn't have an answer. He wasn't familiar with
the trade terms of his neighbors.
And he was full of bland generalizations. "We want to increase economic production... and
encourage foreign investment," he would say without any further explanation.
I think Paraguay is ripe for investment and place to hide-away, live and enjoy yht Latin Lifestyle. Let's
hope the government doesn't get in the way and keeps cooperating…
Need an International Drivers License? PATA is your answer.
Email email@example.com with IDL in the subject heading for the full info
and application material.
EXPAT WORLD • 3
LETTER FROM SINGAPORE
IT AIN'T EASY BEING A FOREIGNER
Find the experiences of a Australian school teacher with a Singaporean student and the student's
reverse experiences. as the foreigner. Expats worldwide find similar experiences different in color but
same in substance.
I had an Australian teacher in secondary school. Her name was Mrs Rose Harland. Gosh did
everyone hate her.
She had arrived, fresh off the Boeing, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to teach the students of
Ghim Moh Secondary School the glorious wonder that is the English language. Or at least the difference
between "their" and "they're".
But her students were kids who constructed sentences around colorful Hokkien phrases involving
someone's mother. These were kids who said things like "I call my brother, then you know" - and had
absolutely no intention of introducing you to an actual sibling over tea and scones. These were kids who
got frisked. In fact, I'm not even sure they were kids - some of them were there before I got in and were
still there after I had graduated. Ever met a Sec 2 student with stubble? It looked like a father of two was
sitting in to brush up on his algebra.
Mrs Harland didn't have a chance in hell. It wasn't that she was a bad teacher. In fact, compared with
our last English teacher – who corrected the only other English-speaking student's commendable use of
the word "strumpet" to "crumpet", thereby changing his tale of a scorned harlot into a composition about
tasty baked goods - Mrs Harland was pretty awesome.
It's just that she was so ... foreign.
For a start, she had never been to our little island, so she had no idea what to expect.The first time
she walked into a funeral wake, she thought it was so lovely of her neighbors to have decorated the void
deck of her HDB flat with pretty flowers. It didn't take long for her to realize it wasn't a garden party.The
corpse was a dead giveaway.
It's hard to fit in when you don't look like everyone else. And Mrs Harland didn't fit - literally. At over
six-feet-tall, she towered over just about everything except the Tembusu tree behind the canteen. And
she was blonde. You could spot her from just about anywhere in the school, looming in the distance like
a magnificent skyscraper, providing shade from the afternoon sun for flocks of migrating ah lians on
their way to home economics class.
Then there was the accent. It's hard to teach effectively when your students don't understand a thing
you're saying. Her audience was used to hearing Miss La La speak, and now they had Dame Edna
telling them it's I before E except after C.
I didn't have a problem understanding her though. I'd already watched A Cry In The Dark three times
by then. Such a great film.
Mrs Harland's biggest predicament with being a new transplant to Singapore, however, was her
inability to grasp a foreign language. Which was exactly what our names were to her.
Xiao Ching? Shao Xiang? Jie Wen? Forget about it. She'd read your name right off the register and
you wouldn't recognize it. "Oh, I'm sorry, were you talking to me? I thought you were having a seizure' "
Because it took too much time to address a student by saying,"You, there- third Asian girl from the
left, next to the 30-year-old kid with stubble", Mrs Harland took to calling us by our student numbers. It's
hard to like someone who refers to you as 36.
It also made our English lessons sound like mathematical problem sums. If 12, 22 and 8 ganged up
on 13 because 5 told 22 that 13 stole 10 bucks from 22, how many sweets would Jane have sold by
We hated her for reducing us to anonymous digits.Years later, as a Singaporean transplant lost in
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EXPAT WORLD • 4
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translation in Melbourne, I understood a little better how difficult it can be for an out-of-towner and
forgave Mrs Harland just a little.
My first week in school, an Aussie classmate asked warmly if I'd ever had "an Aussie barbie". I
replied that I never even owned Malibu Barbie even though her beach house looked fabulous. I never
got that invite for steaks. When someone asked how my "arvo" was, I replied that it was a little sore from
assembling all that Ikea-furniture myself. (Someone explain how "arvo" could possibly be short for
Then there was the harrowing 30 seconds in a cab where the driver didn't understand my repeated
instructions to make a U-turn."Go back!" I sputtered, mere millimeters from the turning. "Turn right here -
here – and go back the other way! U-turn! U-turn!!!"
"Oh, chuck a U-ey?" replied the cabbie. "Why didn't you say so?"
You may have heard they speak English in Australia.You would have heard wrong.
Just as I was convinced that any communication I'd have in Australia would be between me and the
dust bunnies reproducing under my futon, a student stopped me on campus to ask if I had the time.
"Three-thirty," I mumbled. "Wow, you speak really good English!" he said, surprised at this Asian kid's
vast vocabulary of two words.
Yeah, I know my numbers really well. And it's all thanks to Mrs Harland.
AIR TRAVEL IN THE USA IS LIKE
TRAVELING ON AN OLD GREYHOUND BUS
All Pretense of Service and Luxury in Airtravel are Gone; Money is the Bottom Line.
With air travel becoming a drudgery in the US, they has been some relief from a handful of airports
that try and make air travel from their city as tolerable as possible. Here EW tells you about their efforts.
With the stress of travel and escalating fees and taxes, frequent fliers appreciate free services and
amenities showing up at airports.
Freebies aren't plentiful at many airports. But those that are - even simple ones such as electrical
outlets to plug in laptops or comfy chairs to sit in while waiting for a flight - can come in handy or simply
mal<e a trip easier to take..
The most desired freebie? Wireless Internet service, according to a survey of more than 1,300 road
warriors who voluntarily provide information to our surveyor.
Seattle and Boston airports recently started providing free Wi-Fi, but not enough big airports do,
Seattle and Boston are the exception. Free Wi-Fi, is vital for many road warriors to keep their business
alive. Many business travellers often must respond to e-mails received when their on the road or at
airports during layovers.
Nashville airport at the entrance to security has free live music while the airport in Portland, Oregon
has a piano player near the security checkpoints. Seems It makes the lines much more pleasant,
If you seek seeks peace and quiet try free Qwest work stations on the second floor of the United
Airlines terminal at the Denver airport. There's "no foot traffic" there, and you can totally escape the
crowds be below and get some work done.
At Tampa airport, there's an area in Terminal A that is glassed in and has comfortable work cubicles.
Houston's Bush Intercontinental has carts that can zip you to your next gate if you are running late.
Unlike other airports, the carts are not only for disabled or elderly travelers.
Many travellers appreciates the 51 free charging stations for cell-phones and other electronic devices
at Los Angeles International. Such stations may be important, because business travelers say many
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EXPAT WORLD • 5
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airports lack a sufficient number of electronic outlets
Departure gates and other waiting areas also often lack comfortable chairs. That's why some fliers
applaud Charlotte and other airports that provide rocking chairs. The rocking chairs in Charlotte
"humanize the travel experience by offering some truly peaceful and relaxing between flights. No matter
how hectic your day or how stressful your flights have been, it can all evaporate in minutes sitting in
Other fliers appreciate the comfortable, overstuffed chairs on the Midwest Airlines concourse at
No seats at US. airports, though, may rival the lounge chairs on the upper level of Amsterdam's
Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands. They are full chaise lounges and will also rock you gently to sleep.
These chairs can be dangerous because after a long over-night flight from the USA, they are so
comfortable, you tend to fall asleep and risk missing a connecting flight.
PARK IT HERE
Several frequent fliers say they appreciate big-city airports that allow 30 minutes or an hour of free
parking. Rural Eagle County Airport allows free parking for up to 30 days.
Motorists at several big airports - including Phoenix and Washington's Reagan and Dulles - can take
advantage of free roadside assistance.
Phoenix's airport provides free jumps starts, tire changes and help getting into a car if keys are
Airports in Jacksonville and Appleton, WI., have some of the most unique freebies. On Valentine's
Day this year at the jacksonville airport, more than 1,500 red and white carnations were given to
passengers. More flowers will be handed out on Mother's Day, says its customer service manager.
At Appleton's Outagamie County airport, free pre-pasted toothbrushes, dental floss and mouth-wash
are available, courtesy of a local dentist,.
That all might come in handy when returning from Germany's Frankfurt airport where there is an
unique freebie: shots of Jack Daniels in the duty-free shop.
FLIGHT FROM HELL
CAN'T EVEN BUY A MEAL
We flew to Hawaii to attend our son’s wedding on American Airlines. Since the flight home was over
7 hours, we decided it would make sense to purchase the sandwiches that used to be free. We were
seated in row 40, so when the flight attendant got back to us, she informed us with a smile that there
were no sandwiches left to purchase. We were incredulous. None….can we get some pretzels or
something? No, they don’t do that anymore. She smiled and said, “They’re always doing this to us. You
might want to write a complaint to aa.com.” She never said she was sorry. Luckily I had some trail mix in
my purse which was the only food we ate during that long flight. What were they thinking? We paid over
$1000.00 apiece for our tickets, and we cannot get any food; even food we have to buy?
We will not fly unless we absolutely have to. It is too stressful, too much of a hassle; it’s an ordeal
that we pay exorbitant amounts of money for.
YOUR EDITOR: I once flew (never again) American Airlines from Hawaii to Los Angeles onward to
Miami, Florida with no food offered except for pretzels and soft drinks. The stop in LA was a very fast
connection so no shop food purchased and upon arriving in Miami after a total of about 12 hours
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traveling, again with nothing but snacks available, I'm famished. Luckily I had a two hour layover to my
ultimate destination, the Rep.of Panama and bought a pizza in the Miami airport waiting area. Thank
God I did for on the last leg to Panama of about 3 hours again nothing was offered except snacks and
soft drinks. Guess American saves fuel cost for their planes by starving their folks on long haul flights
to cut down gas consumption. Never Again AA, even if your flights are dirt cheap.
IT'S STILL POSSIBLE TO GET A FREE OR ALMOST FREE UNIVERSITY DEGREE IN AMERICA.
Engineering and military schools on 'best value' list
Even as the price tag of a four-year college degree outpaces 'inflation, a handful of US. Colleges and
universities are going to extraordinary lengths to contain costs - by picking up full tuition for every
student they enroll,.
Most colleges offering free tuition are military academies; several are engineering schools, where
graduates are in short supply and demand is great.
One school, Webb Institute of Glen Cove, N.Y., offers a double major in naval architecture and
marine engineering. The Cooper Union in New York City focuses on architecture and the arts, as well as
engineering. And there are also two Christian schools: The College of the Ozarks, a work school" in
rural Point Lookout, Mo., and Berea College, a liberal arts school in Berea, Ky.
Climbing College Costs
Average increases in tuition, fees, room and board in the past decade:
Four-year public colleges (overall increase 46%)
1999-2000 -- $10,440
2009-2010 -- $15,210
A private colleges (overall increase 28%)
1999-2000 -- $27,740
2009-2010 -- $35,640
The value these colleges provide to cash-strapped students and parents hasn't gone unnoticed as
costs continue to climb. Tuition, fees, room and board at four-year public colleges jumped 46% in the
past decade, from an average of $10,440 in 1999-2000 to $15,210 last year, according to the non-profit
College Board. At private schools, costs rose 28% in that period, from an average of" $27,740 to
$35,646. Schools that cover full tuition "are doing the near-impossible to make school affordable
for all of their students.
An annual list of 100 Best Value Colleges includes nine colleges that for the current school year are
covering full tuition for every student. "Best Values" excel at both academics and financial aid. One of
the free-tuition schools that is on the list, Franklin W Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass.,
says that because of losses to its endowment fund, it will no longer cover full tuition for future incoming
classes; it will switch to half-tuition scholarships beginning this fall. Colleges saw an average 18.7%
drop in their endowments this year, according to the Common-fund and the non-profit National
Association of College and University Business Officers. Not a Permanent Change
This decision was reached after much soul-searching and careful consideration of the long term
financial outlook for Olin's admissions dean Charles Nolan wrote in a letter posted on the school's
website. "Our priority in these deliberations was maintaining the quality of Olin's academic programs. At
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EXPAT WORLD • 7
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the end of the day, we felt that the kind of reductions we were facing in our endowment-dependent
budgets were simply too great to address through cost-cutting alone."
He added that the school was committed to "restoring the scholarship to 100% as soon as financial
conditions allow." The Princeton Review notes that even the half-tuition scholarship is a good deal: Olin
remains on its 100 Best Values list for 2010.
COMMITMENT TO ARMY, WORK
At some schools, students who receive free tuition must pay other costs, including fees, room and
board and expenses such as text-books. Military schools are the exception: At the US Military Academy
at West Point, N.Y., all expenses, including medical care, are provided. In exchange, the Army requires
five years of active service after graduation.
At College of the Ozarks -dubbed "Hard Work U" - each student participates in the on-campus work
program for 15 hours a week, plus two 40-hour workweeks. Some may do landscaping, others work in
the cafeteria or on production lines making fruitcakes and jellies.
"Students leave with an appreciation for what it takes to make it in real life," says spokeswoman
Elizabeth Andrews. "It's not some kind of dream world where you party it up. You come and have real
expectations for work and study"
As college costs rise, 86% of students and parents say financial aid is "very necessary," according to
a survey of 9,000 students and 3,000 parents that Princeton Review released in March. Two out of three
said the recession influenced their decisions about where to apply.
Many other schools on the Best Value list try hard to meet students' financial needs, even though
they don't cover full tuition for all students. Most university officials .would say that their mission is to
make sure they are offsetting costs for students. Some schools are better at it than others.
TEN TOP COLLEGES WHERE TUITION IS FREE
* Berea College" Berea, Ky www.berea.edu
* College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO www.cofo.edu
* Cooper Union, New York City www.cooper.edu
* Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Needham, MA www.olin.edu
* U.S. Air Force Military Academy, Colorado Springs,CO www.usafa.af.mil
* U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y. www.usmma.edu
* U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY www.usma.edu
* U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD www.usna.edu
* U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT www.cga.edu
* Webb Institute, Glen Cove, NY www.webb-institute.edu
ARE YOU PREPARED THOROUGHLY FOR THE UPCOMING "WAR ON WEALTH"?
Three highly controversial reports from the acclaimed "Bye Bye Big Brother" author reveal:
* How to insulate your wealth from greedy lawyers, angry spouses or government parasites without
raising any red flags
* The asset protection secrets of the "unfamous" super-rich (you won't hear this from your
accountant or tax advisor... unless they work for the Mafia!)
* Where to get a legal second passport that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg
* Why is "Big Brother" so terrified about the "Six Flag Theory" - and what you absolutely need to do
right now to stop bleeding tax money (especially if you're making more than $200k/
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EXPAT WORLD • 8
(Continued from page 8)
And much more!
FREE Online Download
For a limited time only, you can get full immediate access to all three reports when you visit:
(c) 2009 Global Liberty Publishing Inc. PO Box 1817, OT's, Castle Road,
Diamond, Saint Vincent, British West Indies
LOOKING FOR THE 3 VOL., 800 PAGE, REPORT: BYE BYE BIG BROTHER?
We here at Expat World can get you the full report on a CD rom for only US $150. The hard copy
report is now sold out of the first printing and when it was available sold for US $500 from Expat World.
Just send us a US $ Check, Cash or Money Order pay able to Expat World. Send via registered airmail
to: Expat World, Box 1341 Raffles City, Singapore 911745 or you can order via credit card on our
secure website: www.expatworld.net.
IT'S GOING TO GET TOUGHER TO GET BUMPED ON FLIGHTS FOR
AIRLINES ARE TRYING TO LIMIT THE PRACTICE.
But at the same time the airlines are trying to limit the freebies associated with getting bumped on a
flight, this summer 2010 should provide ample opportunities for airlines have cut down on the number of
flights and so ones left are heavily and even over-booked. Listen to an expert in getting free flight,
money and other compensation from the airlines, Rick Kingsbury:
Ryan Kingsbury is the rare flier who's actually looking to be bumped from a flight. "If I see a big
weather system, I see big dollar signs;' said Mr. Kingsbury, an aero-nautical engineer from Boston who
claims he has earned about $6,700 in flight vouchers over the last three years. His latest coup was
picking up $600 in flight vouchers and a hotel room after giving up his seat on an over-booked red-eye
flight from Los Angeles to Washington in bad weather in January 2010.
But savvy travelers like Mr. Kingsbury are having to work harder than ever to exploit loopholes in the
travel system. Even as airlines have substantially cut capacity - meaning fewer but more crowded
flights – they have so refined their computer tools over the last decade that they can pretty much predict
which passengers will show up for a flight and which ones won't. In the process, they have gotten better
at the science of over-booking a flight.
Last year, 13 out of every 10,000 passengers were bumped on domestic flights - or 762,422 out of a
total of 582 million. That was down from over 206 per 10,000 passengers in 1999, according to the
Department of Transportation. In over 90 percent of cases, airlines found volunteers to give up their
seats in exchange for some compensation. The airlines argue that they must over-book to make up for
10,000 passengers who fail to show up. For an industry desperate to return to profitability after losing
$60 billion in the last decade, an empty seat at takeoff equals one thing: lost revenue.
"A seat is a perishable item;' said Leon Kinloch, the senior vice president for pricing and revenue
management at Continental Airlines. "It's like a fruit that spoils. The moment the door is closed, that item
So the airlines are imposing more restrictive booking policies. Most airlines, for instance, require
travelers to buy their tickets within 24 hours of booking them, forcing travelers to stick with their plans or
risk steep penalties to change tickets. And the airlines have invested in new software to get a better
sense of how many 10,000 passengers will actually show up for a flight. They look at historical data on
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EXPAT WORLD • 9
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specific routes, the time of the day, whether there is a holiday, what fares 10,000 passengers paid and
how many business-class travelers are booked with refundable tickets.
Mr. Kingsbury, the Boston flier who tries to get bumped, says he books flights he thinks are likely to
be oversold. He will pick the last flight of the day, for instance, and then tell the check-in clerks or gate
agents that he is willing to give up his seat should it be needed. He also prays for bad weather, which
increases his chances of get ting bumped.
Not all airlines practice the art of over-booking. JetBlue Airways offers only one class of service and
most of its tickets are not refundable, meaning 10,000 passengers are more likely to show up. As a
result, last year, it had only one oversold seat for 5.1 million 10,000 passengers. "It's like a theater
overselling tickets for a show," said Dave Barger, the president and chief executive of JetBlue. "It's
Don Casey, the vice president of revenue management at American Airlines, said, "As an industry
under such financial duress, we have had to come up with ways of making ourselves more efficient."
About 60,000 10000 passengers boarded 450 American Airlines flights on a sunny day at the end of
March in Dallas-Fort Worth. Seventeen flights had a total of 50 oversold seats; 48 people volunteered
for a later flight. Two people were bumped involuntarily.
Thanks to a better understanding of its booking patterns, Mr. Casey said American now over=booked
about 5 percent of its seats, down from about 12 percent a decade ago.
In 1999, the company said it had on average about 72 percent of its seats filled and 35.2 out of every
10,000 seats were oversold. Last year, the company filled 82 percent of its seats while the number of
oversold seats had dropped to 8.3 for each 10,000 passengers. M.I.T.'s International Center for Air
Transportation spokesman, called this "the dark art of revenue management.
The trouble, of course, is that the airlines mathematical wizards don't always get it right.Tiffany
Sumlin, a stay-at-home mother from Fresno, Calif., nearly missed her grandmother's funeral viewing
after she was involuntarily bumped from her Delta Air Lines flight to Houston last month when
connecting in Salt Lake City.
They had over-booked the flight and I was not going to get on" said Mrs. Sumlin, who was left behind
with another passenger when no one volunteered to give up a seat in exchange for flight vouchers. She
was initially offered $400 and a flight out the next day - but that meant being late. "I would have literally
been landing during my grandmother's viewing," Mrs. Sumlin said. She eventually made it in time - but
not before flying first to Atlanta, spending the night there, and getting an early morning flight to Houston.
Not every passenger is equal when it comes to being bumped: business-class travelers and frequent
fliers holding elite status are much less likely to get bumped. The last in line are leisure travelers holding
discounted fares. Online check-in reduces somewhat your chances of being bumped. Most airlines offer
that option up to 24 hours before departure and strongly suggest that passengers use it.
While fewer people are getting bumped over all, the share of 10,000 passengers being denied
boarding involuntarily is going up. Last year, 1.19 of every 10,000 passengers had their seats taken
away outright, the highest rate since 1996.
10,000 passengers who are involuntarily bumped, like Mrs. Sumlin, and rebooked on another flight
within two hours after their original domestic flight time (or within four hours for international flights) are
entitled to $400 in cash - double the compensation offered two years ago, according to Department of
Transportation regulations. They are eligible for up to $800 if they are not rerouted by then.
But getting people to volunteer is tricky these days. Full planes mean that the next flight for bumped
10,000 passengers may be the next day. Airlines are flying fewer planes in a bid to cope with high fuel
costs and lower demand in the recession. Domestic capacity has fallen for five of the last nine years, the
most sustained cut-back in the history of commercial aviation. And they are also packing their planes
with more 10,000 passengers.
(Continued on page 11)
EXPAT WORLD • 10
(Continued from page 10)
The winter storms that led to chaos in the nation's air transportation system demonstrated just how
little wiggle room airlines had.
"I think this summer is going to be pretty good for airlines but the flip side is it is going to be awful for
travelers;" said Tim Winship, the editor at large for SmarterTravel.com, a Web site offering travel advice.
That is good news for Mr. Kingsbury, who says he is looking forward to the coming months when tight
capacity, the spring and summer travel crunch and weather cancellations could increase bumping.
"I think this coming summer it will be very lucrative for people doing bumps," he said. "I'll just sit back
and watch the chaos:."
FROM THE TECHNICAL GURU AT EXPAT WORLD
Right out of the box - and with no technical expertise – System Mechanic can boost your PC's boot-
up time, make it run faster, clear junk files you no longer use and don't need, repair your registry files,
figure out why your system is crashing and fix it, provide 911-type service for your PC if it won't boot up,
check for viruses and kill them, protect you from Internet snoops, and wash your car. Well, maybe it
won't wash your car but it does everything else I listed very well. And the best news yet - you can install
it on up to three PCs, and you get a year of free anti-virus and program updates,
You've gotta use it to believe it. It has many more features than Norton SystemWorks, which I also
run on my hard drive, and is, a good deal cheaper.
Once you set it up - which is fast and simple. It hovers in the background preventing system crashes
and monitoring your hard drive and memory. There are dials that reside on the desktop to show how
secure and healthy your hard drive is,which is reassuring.
AGAIN WE HAVE AMERICAN AIRLINES!
I am certain that most of you have stories worse than mine, but I felt that those of you who have
never flown with American Airlines in the southwestern United States should be warned.
It was December 2003, airlines were hemorrhaging money, and you would expect that customer
service would be a priority. Apparently, not. I am a racial minority and was flying from Phoenix to DFW
(this is an important detail). I was a college student and it was my first time flying alone. Out of fear of
losing baggage and wasting time at a baggage carousel, I packed a bit too much in my carry-on. My bag
was too big to fit under the seat and too heavy to lift over my head. I politely asked a flight attendant for
help. I most definitely did not ask her to do it for me. This Barbie-doll screwed up her face in disgust and
in a Southern drawl said, "It's not our job to put your luggage away. Flight attendants have hurt their
backs and we are never going to lift luggage again!" My response was simply, "I understand, may I put
my bag in one of the front closet spaces?" You would think I just asked her to get off the plane and hunt
down an exotic drink for me. Her face was beet red, she screamed "FINE!" and led me to a closet.
After depositing my bag in the closet, I turned away from her to return to my seat with a quick "Thank
you." I heard her mutter a racial epitaph from behind.
EXPAT WORLD'S WORLD OF HEALTH
POWERFUL JOINT PILL FLYING OFF DRUG STORE SHELVES
Today we dedicate this column to all our old readers who have joint problems. Also to all our old
rugby and squash players
Imagine a pill that can help you get around more easily in just a matter of days.'
(Continued on page 12)
EXPAT WORLD • 11
(Continued from page 11)
Then think of how great it would be for your joints to feel better too. Well there's no reason to imagine
' a team of scientists has delivered an amazing joint health supplement that's been clinically shown to
improve mobility and joint comfort.'
Now, after years of development and testing it's hitting the shelves at all major U.S. Drug stores.
This remarkable joint health pill is called Fast Acting Trigosamine. It has been clinically shown to
produce amazing results; 81% of the participants felt better just days after taking the recommended
dosage and an incredible 100% reported their joints felt better just midway through the clinical trial.
"I've never seen relief like this before," said Dr. Joseph Dietz.' "Our goal was to formulate new
Trigosamine so that people would feel results quickly, and based on the feedback from consumers
along with the clinical data I'd say we hit the bulls-eye with this pill," added Dietz.
National drug store shipments are being delivered, but as of today there's no way to know which
stores actually have product on their shelves.
"Until we know all the shelves are stocked we'll ship Trigosamine directly to people's homes. As an
added bonus, all residents who call the National Health Hotline at 1-866-941-7632 before the 48-hour
deadline expires can also qualify for a significant discount," said Darla Miller, Distribution Director for the
"We're shipping pills on a first-come, first-served basis; callers just have to be sure they give the
bonus approval code of TG12494 when they call and we'll take care of everything for them," she said.
"We know that people suffering 'with joint discomfort want Trigosamine, the phones have been
ringing like crazy. We strongly recommend that EW readers call right away to make sure they get their
fair share," said Miller.
Trigosamine's formula has a special combination of ingredients that until now have never been
blended into a pill. It's this special mixture that was clinically tested and is responsible for delivering the
One of the key ingredients is hyaluronate, which is a building block of "human joint oil" and known by
medical professionals as synovial fluid.
This remarkable molecule can absorb up to 1000 times its own weight in water helping to lubricate
the joints which reduces friction while acting,as a "shock absorber" allowing for effortless comfortable
"Synovial fluid is part of what allows young people to be highly active without getting sore joints. But
as we age we produce less of this fluid which can force bones and joints to grind together causing
nagging discomfort," said Dr. Dietz. "This remarkable combination of ingredients is what makes
Trigosamine work so well. It really helps people to move more freely and with greater flexibility," said
Trigosamine's powerful results are all supported by a recently completed randomized, double-blind
placebo controlled clinical study which is considered to be the "gold standard" for joint health
While no pill works for everyone, during this clinical trial, every one of the participants that took this
supplement reported an improvement in their joint comfort. The data also shows that their joint comfort
just kept getting better the entire time they were taking new Trigosamine during clinical study.
On the other hand, the clinical participants that were taking the placebo experienced much different
results. Those taking the placebo developed increased joint discomfort and soreness during the clinical
study, which is the exact opposite of what happened to participants taking the Fast Acting Trigosamine
"For participants to get this type of relief is simply amazing,"said Dr. Joe Dietz. "in all my years of
clinical research, I've never seen that type of a response before. This powerful supplement is simply
remarkable for those suffering with sore joints.
(Continued on page 13)
EXPAT WORLD • 12
(Continued from page 12)
Fast Acting Trigosamine combines three compounds to quickly improve joint comfort.
1. HYALURONATE-13: One tiny molecule of this remarkable compound can hold an amazing
1,000 times it's weight in water. This allows naturally occurring hyaluronate to bind water, making the
joints extremely slippery allowing them to slide smoothly over one another.
2. GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE-15: Review studies show glucosamine maintains healthy cartilage in
the joints by inhibiting joint destroying enzymes. The compound also builds. up naturally present
amounts in the blood stream used to build healthy cartilage.
3. RAPIDFLEX FORMULA-61:
The patented ingredients in RapidFLEX improve overall joint performance and one ingredient
increases the speed in which nutrients are absorbed.
* A HEALTHY JOINT-. A Diagnostic x-ray reveals a human knee joint that has the proper amount of
synovial fluid to lubricate the joint and act as a comfortable shock absorber.
FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY
EW does not prescribe supplements but if you want to check it out and/or purchase Trigosamine, you
can go to these pharmacies in the US: CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid and Walgreens.
You can also telephone: 1:866-941-7632, using Bonus Code TG12494 .You can also go on the web
We asked our online editing team to share where they go for travel advice and a little amusement.
Rich Beattie, Executive Editor
At travelmuse.com/inspire, you can customize your trip by entering a theme, luxury level, home
airport, number of people traveling, and desired budget and distance.
blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough includes off-the-wall travel photos and fun news roundups.
Sign up with tripchill.com to receive travel alerts via your mobile phone, including flight-delay updates
and reminders of where you parked your car at the airport.
Ann Shields, Senior Editor
been-seen.com, a travel and design blog from the owners of Puerto Vallarta's Verana hotel, is full of
compelling reasons to hit the road.
Musician and artist David Byrne's blog, journal.davidbyrne.com, follows his musings on art, politics,
and design. The site has great photography, too.
strangemaps.wordpress.com posts rare maps ome real, some fictional. A recent entry revealed the
first road atlas of Britain, drawn on several scrolls of paper in 1675.
Adrien Glover, Deputy Editor
The contemporary art-and-design blog mocoloco.com keeps me up-to-date on lesser known events
and amazingly cool new products from around the world.
Every week on joesnyc.streetnine.com, digital photographer Joseph O. Holmes posts an image of
New York street life a Chinatown cook, out for a smoke; a crowded museum bench.
A ridiculously fun time-waster, titanicawards.com is full of quippy entries, photos, and surveys on
such topics as which nation produces the world's rudest tourists or has the most crowded beach.
EXPAT WORLD • 13
SNIPS AND CLIPS
94-YEAR-OLD BUSTED CARRYING POT
Authorities say a 94-year-old Mexican woman
has been arrested for trying to smuggle more
than 10 pounds of marijuana across the border BELGIUM MOVES TOWARD BURQA BAN
into Arizona. BRUSSELS - A parliamentary committee
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers unanimously voted Wednesday to ban the
say the woman from Nogales, Sonora, was wearing of face-covering veils in public, a major
attempting to cross the border Tuesday for a day step in the legislative process that could
of shopping. makeBelgium the first European country to
But an officer became suspicious and referred impose such a religious prohibition.
her for further inspection. That's when authorities The full House of Representatives is
say they found 10 pounds of marijuana strapped expected to vote on the issue late April.
to the woman's body from her torso to her legs. The Interior Affairs Committee representing
Officials say the six bundles of seized all major parties was unanimous Wednesday in
marijuana had an estimated street value of about backing the bill. The six parliamentarians from
$5,000. The elderly woman was not identified and the MR french-speaking liberal party said the
was turned over to the custody of U.S. principle of recognize to know? trumped other
Immigration and Customs Enforcement. considerations in the issue.
U.S. FALLS SHORT IN MEASURE OF FUTURE MATH CENSUS WORKERS TRAVEL AFAR
TEACHERS PORTLAND, Maine - Census workers are
America's future math teachers, on average, using snowmobiles, airplanes, all-terrain
earned a C on a new test comparing their skills vehicles ( even lobster boats ) to visit the most
with their counterparts in 15 other countries, far-flung, hidden-away dwellings when counting
significantly outscoring college students in the the nation's populace.
Philippines and Chile but placing far below those One woman rode horseback to get to homes
in educationally advanced nations like Singapore for the 2000 Census, said Rick Theriault,
and Taiwan. manager of the Census Bureau's Bangor office
The researchers who led the math study in this for this year's census. In Alaska, dog sleds are
country, to be released in Washington on used. "We do whatever it takes to get the job
Thursday, judged the results acceptable if not done," said the manager of the Census
encouraging for America's future elementary Bureau's Bangor office.
teachers. But they called them disturbing for •••••
American students heading to careers in middle
schools, who were outscored by students in COYOTE EVADES POLICE
Germany, Poland, the Russian Federation, NEW YORK -- A wily coyote evaded New
Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan. York City police for two days before being
••••• (Continued on page 15)
EXPAT WORLD • 14
(Continued from page 14) women of all ages, obesity rates have about
nabbed in a parking garage. It was the fourth doubled since 1980, rising to 35 percent from 17
coyote sighting in Manhattan this year. percent .
The animal first eludedpolice capture Social pressure - women looking critically at
Wednesday near the Holland Tunnel. It was other women - is the most important reason
spotted Thursday afternoon on the West Side female skinniness is ascendant in Japan,
Highway, and police chased it to an open-air according to Hisako Watanabe, a child
garage in Tribeca. psychiatrist and assistant professor of pediatrics
••••• at the Keio University School of Medicine in
"A new poll shows 66% of Americans think "Japanese women are outstandingly tense and
President Bush is doing a poor job handling the critical of each other," said Watanabe, who has
war in Iraq. The remaining 34% think Adam and been treating women with eating disorders for 34
Eve rode dinosaurs to church." years. "There is a pervasive habit among women
-- Tina Fey, co-anchor on Saturday Night to monitor each other with a serious sharp eye to
Live's "Weekend Update" see what kind of slimness they have."
••••• Public health experts say that younger
Japanese women, as a group, have probably
Real Estate Trend Alert is dedicated to giving become too skinny for their own good. Restricted
you the best investment opportunities in the calorie consumption is slowing down their
world, before most people are even aware of metabolisms, the average birth weight of their
them. babies is declining, and their risk of death in case
If you're interested in investing in property of serious illness is rising.
overseas, sign up for Ronan McMahon's Real "I would advise these women to eat when they
Estate Trend Alert service. For more information, are hungry," said Satoshi Sasaki, a professor of
see: www.internationalliving.com/reta. preventive epidemiology at the University of
••••• Tokyo School of Public Health. Government-
funded research studies have found that daily
JAPANESE WOMEN ARE SERIOUSLY SKINNY
calorie consumtion among young Japanese
TOKYO - AS WOMEN across the
women was often two-thirds of the average
industrialised world get fatter, most Japanese
adult's actual energy intake.
women are getting skinnier.
Those studies have also shown that many
Still, many view themselves as overweight.
women of child-bearing age have a
"I am quite fat, actually," said Michie Takagi,
misconseption of what it means to be
70, a retired clothing store executive who has a
oberweoght, with up to 40 per cent saying that a
body mass index of 19.9, which is at the thin end
normal BMI measurement of 20 oe 21 looked fat
of normal. While the average American woman
has gained about 25 pounds over the past 30
Ms Sakiko Ohno, a cosmetic wholesaler in
years, Takagi has gained 4.5 pounds, typical for
Tokio, is 40 and has a BMI of 19.5.
her age group in Japan, according to U.S. and
" I think I am very fat, " she said. "If I have a
Japanese government figures.
Starbucks muffin, that night I will skip rice and
Skinnier still are Japanese women younger
than 60, who were thin by international standards
Ms. Ohno, who is single, said women pay
three decades ago and who, taken as a group,
attantion to their weight because Japanese men
have since been steadily losing weight.
prefer petit women and because fashionable
The trend is most pronounced among women
clothes are sized for thin women. "But the real
in their 20s. A quarter- century ago, they were
reason why women want to be thin is so they can
twice as likely to be thin as overweight; now they
look at themselves in the mirror and compare
are four times more likely to be thin. For American
(Continued on page 16)
EXPAT WORLD • 15
(Continued from page 15) London) cities.
themselves to other women," she said. oanda.com
Reasearchers have also found that Japanese T+L's currency converter of choice, covering
women in urban areas are significantly thinner 164 different currencies.
than those in rural areas. thebathroomdiaries.com
"When population density is high, women are Public restroom locations for more than 120
busy checking out body weights," said Prof countries.
••••• Travel advisories covering everything from civil
unrest to health concerns.
XMAS EVERYDAY travelersnet.com
When News of the Weird last mentioned Andy Lists phone numbers for more than 100
Park, of Melksham, England, in 2002, he was in domestic and international airlines.
his eighth straight year of celebrating Christmas urbanrail.net
every single day of his life, with not only seasonal Comprehensive subway maps for 250 - 300
decorations and cards mailed to himself but a full cities worldwide.
holiday meal including turkey and champagne. world-airport-codes.com
However, as he told the Daily Mail in November, Searchable database of more than 9,000
"The credit crunch is getting to me big time," and worldwide airport codes.
he has been forced to cut back a bit on the •••••
presents he gives himself. Nonetheless, every
morning since July 14, 1994, SINGAPORE LEAST CORRUPT, GRAFT IN INDONESIA
Park continues to arise and open his presents WORSENS
before starting on his full meal and mince pie. He SINGAPORE - The Republic remains the least
also watches the Queen's Christmas speech on corrupt of 16 major Asia-Pacific investment
video. Yes, he admits, "People do think I'm nuts." destinations, in a just-released business survey.
It topped the annual poll by the Political and
Economic Risk Consultancy (Perc) with a score of
UPDATES 1.42, followed by Australia in second place with
Two longtime News of the Weird ongoing 2.28 and Hong Kong third - down a place from a
sagas came to an end this summer. In August, year ago - with 2.67.
the annual Gotmar festival in India's Madhya A score of zero means the country or territory
Pradesh state was finally banned, after is seen to suffer the least corruption among
"centuries" of tradition. Residents of two politicians and civil servants.
neighboring villages would come together once a Indonesia remains the most corrupt country in
year to bombard each other all day long with South-east Asia and graft is getting worse at all
rocks (resulting in dozens of bloody injuries and, levels, the poll of businessmen showed, dealing a
most years, deaths), but at the sundown cease- blow to President Bambang Yudhoyono's drive to
fire, both sides would bandage their wounded and fight the scourge.
celebrate with each other (only to do it all over a Dr Yudhoyono is under mounting pressure,
year later). with his Vice-President and Finance Minister
••••• facing a criminal probe into their role in the
controversial bailout of a troubled bank.
SEVEN SITES THAT EVERY GLOBE-TROTTER SHOULD The country scored 9.27 out of the worst
KEEP HANDY. possible 10. It also came last in 2009, but with a
hopstop.com marginally better score of 8.32.
Subway and bus directions for eight domestic The Hong Kong-based consultancy said
(New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C., Indonesian lawmakers' call for a criminal probe
among others) and two international (Paris and (Continued on page 17)
EXPAT WORLD • 16
(Continued from page 16) NO TIP REQUIRED
into the Yudhoyono government's bailout of Bank Something else that often throws Americans
Century in 2008 reflected attempts by a corrupt into culture shock is tipping. On your global
establishment to "protect themselves and to stifle travels, you're probably shelling out far more in
reform". Said the Perc: "The whole fight against tips than necessary. The rest of the world doesn't
corruption is in danger of being corrupted." add 18% to 20% to restaurant bills. Watch what
The poll was conducted from December to locals do.
February, and involved 2,147 mid-level and Australia and New Zealand don't have a
senior Asian and expatriate business executives tipping culture, and giving a gratuity in Japan is
working in the 16 economies. considered an insult. Throughout the developing
Cambodia was ranked the second most world, tipping isn't the social norm. If a gratuity is
corrupt with a grade of 9.10, followed by Vietnam given, it's usually little more than small change.
and the Philippines. Malaysia was ninth with 6.47, In much of Europe, restaurant bills already
and China 10th with 6.52. include a gratuity. Look at French receipts and
••••• you'll see service compris (service included). In
Spain and Greece, where tips are usually by
NO FLU HERE'S A GERM-FREE DESTINATION discretion, locals rarely leave more than a couple
There are no germs on land in the Antarctic. of euros.
You could handle a penguin corpse (rare because
they are usually consumed by scavenging Skua
Gulls) without fear of contagion. If you catch a
cold or other disease during your visit, you got it OUR POLICY
from bugs you brought with you. Dead creatures EXPAT WORLD strongly supports the idea of
not consumed by scavengers will simply Freedom of Speech, and will publish ANY
desiccate to papery mummies. articles which we feel are of sufficient quality.
••••• These articles will often contain material
offensive to certain people. If you cannot
HERE ARE SOME OF THE LARGEST EXPAT
COMMUNITIES IN MEXICO: handle this, please do not read the
newsletter. This information includes (but is
* Ajijic/Lake Chapala: The largest community not limited to) information on getting second
of U.S. expats in the world. See: www. nationalities, out of the norm international
lakechapalasociety.org. lifestyles, anti-government (Big Brother)
* San Miguel de Allende: A large mixed U.S./
material, personal and financial privacy
Canadian expat community. Check out the
tactics in the international areas of lifestyles
English library at: www.bibliotecasma.org.
* Merida: There's a growing expat community and ideology, anti-nationalism, sexual values,
here and in the nearby beach towns. See the and freedom to cross international borders
Merida English Library, at: www. unhindered. If strong or deviant opinions on
meridaenglishlibrary.com. subjects like this offend you, do your reading
••••• elsewhere, do not read EXPAT WORLD.
"Click Factor: This comprehensive site picks We do not promote illegal activities - we write
apart virtually every sailing on the seas, with about them from time to time on a "this is
pictures, authoritative editor reviews, good last- what's being done basis." and a "You should
minute deals, and news updates. Travelers can not participate" point of view. Everything we
search by port of call, departure city, date, and write is protected under the First Amendment
cruise line." of the United States Constitution.
EXPAT WORLD • 17
LEGALLY USE YOUR IRA TO BUY
YOUR RETIREMENT PLACE OVERSEAS
Now may be the time to take some of those recouped losses from the rising stock market in the US
and elsewhere and put them into a home overseas where in many areas the real estate market is still
Think of your new overseas home as an investment or an insurance policy while you live in your
dream home at a cost of living way below most US areas. Join the million of expats around the world
who have figured out the quality of life overseas can and usually is much higher than living in the US or
Canada for instance.
If you are not ready to go to full time retirement or expatriation overseas, maybe winter retreat abroad
is what will do you well.
No matter where the US markets go in the future you can help limit your U.S. exposure. The good
news is: You can find the property of your dreams anywhere in the world, purchase all or part of it with
your retirement assets (gaining the tax advantages that delivers), and eventually take ownership of it-
The IRS allows a great deal of flexibility when it comes to investing the assets of your retirement
account. As a U.S. citizen, you can use your IRA or other self-directed retirement account to buy
international real estate.
The rules governing the ownership of real estate are simple. You can own virtually any kind of real
estate you could name in your IRA or other retirement account, including: raw land, condos, office
buildings, single family homes, multi-family homes, apartments, and improved land. You can own the
real estate fully, you can purchase an option on the real estate, or you can buy outright using a land
trust, L.L.C., or similar entity.
All of these options are allowed. You can pay for the property in full using retirement assets or you
can finance it. (Though if you do finance, take special care to structure the purchase correctly so that
you avoid adverse tax consequences down the road. The down payment must be paid for by the plan,
and all future payments must come from the plan assets, new contributions, and/or income produced by
SO WHAT IF I'M NOT YET RETIRED, CAN I STILL BUY MY DREAM OVERSEAS HOME WITH A
Essentially, your retirement plan is meant to benefit you at retirement and not before. So you can
invest in any type of real estate you'd like, as long as it is an investment and not for your own use until
Dream Home as a Distribution
You may not, directly or indirectly, deal with yourself or, as the IRS puts it, a "disqualified person."
This means that you cannot lend money, extend credit, or furnish goods,services, or facilities to yourself
or to one of these disqualified persons.
For the record, a disqualified person is an owner, direct or indirect, of 50%, or greater of:
* The capital interest of a partnership.
* The total value of all shares of stock of a corporation including all classes.
* The combined voting power of all classes eligible to vote.
* A member of the family, with the exception of siblings.
(Continued on page 19)
EXPAT WORLD • 18
(Continued from page 18)
* Let's assume you have found your dream retirement home (either in the U.S. or overseas).
Someday, when you retire, you would like to own the property personally. You can take possession of
the property at that time, in effect taking it as a distribution of your plan.
You would be taxed on the value of the property at that time. Of course, you could sell the property
out-right at anytime, too. Other requirements include:
* You may not purchase the property from yourself.
* You may not purchase the property from family members, with the exception of siblings.
* Neither you, your business, nor members of your family may lease or live in any investment
property owned by your plan. Only retirement funds may be used as the down payment or good-faith
deposit. The title must be in the name of the retirement account.
As a result of a recent tax ruling, some custodians will now allow you to act as your own property
manager. You can collect a"reasonable fee" for this service from your retirement plan, and you will
receive a log at the end of the year for these fees.
Any income from the property must be returned to the retirement plan as a profit of the plan, less any
expenses incurred. The plan assets can be used to pay administrative and record-keeping expenses as
well. Conversely, you can hire an outside property manager to perform this service, provided they do not
fall under the "disqualified person" definition.
IN BOTH CASES, BUYING AFTER, OR BEFORE RETIREMENT (for Investment), CONSULT A
GOOD TAX LAWYER WELL VERSED IN TAX LAW AS IT APPLIES TO AMERICANS OVERSEAS OR
COSTA RICA LIVING
A taxi driver, Vincent di Fonda retired to Costa Rica on his $965 Social Security income. He has lived
there for one year now and has enjoyed every minute of it. He lives a simple life but full of friends. His
expenses are minimal at $352 for a furnished two bedroom condo in the Central Valley where the
capital San Jose is. His utililities cost about $45 a month. His neighborhood is convenient to grocery
stores, a bakery, vegetable stalls, a bank, dentist, doctor, barber/beauty salons, restaurants and bars, a
pharmacy and hardware stores. He travels by bus mostly for a pittance. He claims a great social life with
many other American and other expats, having cook-outs and pot lucks at each others houses and
visits throught the country. Next year he will get the state health care system called CAJA and will co-
pay about $45 a month for al medical expenses, plus vision and prescription discounts. Want to know
more about living in Costa Rica.
Contact Expat World.
LETTERS FROM AMERICA
THE LATEST OF PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED NEWS GATHERED
BY THE PEOPLES INTELLIGENCE SERVICE.
26. Mar. 2010: CIA report into shoring up Afghan war support in Western Europe, 11 Mar 2010 ----
This classified CIA analysis from March, outlines possible PR-strategies to shore up public support in
Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan. After the Dutch government fell on the issue of
dutch troops in Afghanistan last month, the CIA became worried that similar events could happen in the
countries that post the third and fourth largest troop contingents to the ISAF-mission. The proposed PR
strategies focus on pressure points that have been identified within these countries. For France it is the
sympathy of the public for Afghan refugees and women. For Germany it is the fear of the consequences
(Continued on page 23)
EXPAT WORLD • 19
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(Continued from page 19)
of defeat (drugs, more refugees, terrorism) as well as for Germany's standing in the NATO. The memo
is an recipe for the targeted manipulation of public opinion in two NATO allied countries, written by the
CIA. It is classified as Confidential / No Foreign Nationals.
17. Mar. 2010: Update to over 40 billion euro in 28,167 claims against the Kaupthing Bank, Iceland.
This document contains an update totaling over 40 billion euro, lodged against the failed Icelandic bank
Kaupthing Bank hf. The document is significant because it reveals billions in cash, bonds and other
property held with Kaupthing by a vast number of investors and asset hiders, including Goldman Sachs,
Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanly, Exista, Barclays, Commerzbank AG, etc. It was
confidentially made available to claimants by the Kaupthing Winding-up committee.
15. Mar. 2010: U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks 18 March 2008. This document is a
classified (SECRET/NOFORN) 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks. "The
possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the' U.S. Government are
providing sensitive or classified information to WikiLeaks.org cannot be ruled out". It concocts a plan to
fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses "trust as a center of gravity by protecting the
anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers", the report recommends "The
identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or
former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and
deter others considering similar actions from using the WikiLeaks.org Web site". "As two years have
passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was
ineffective]. As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that "Several foreign countries
including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked
access to the WikiLeaks.org website". The report provides further justification by enumerating
embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks --- U.S. equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable U.S.
violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah
and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay
15. Mar. 2010: BBC High Court Defense against Trafigura libel suit. 11 September 2009. This
document was submitted to the UK's High Court by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in
September 2009, as a Defense against a libel claim brought against them by the oil company Trafigura.
A May 2009 BBC Newsnight feature suggested that 16 deaths and many other injuries were caused by
the dumping in the Ivory Coast of a large quantity of toxic waste originating with Trafigura. A September
2009 UN report into the matter stated that 108,000 people were driven to seek medical attention. This
Defense, which has never been previously published #online, outlines in detail evidence which the BBC
believed justified its coverage. In December 2009 the BBC settled out of court amid reports that fighting
the case could have cost as much as 3 million pounds. The BBC removed its original Newsnight footage
and associated articles from its on-line archives. The detailed claims contained in this document were
never aired publicly, and never had a chance to be tested in court. Commenting on the BBC's
climbdown, John Kampfner, CEO of Index on Censorship said: "Sadly, the BBC has once again buckled
in the face of authority or wealthy corporate interests. It has cut a secret deal. This is a black day for
British journalism and once more strengthens our resolve to reform our unjust libel laws." Jonathan
Heawood, Director of English PEN, said:"Forced to choose between a responsible broadcaster and an
oil company which shipped hundreds of tons of toxic waste to a developing country, English libel law
has once again allowed the wrong side to claim victory. The law is an ass and needs urgent reform."
Now that this document is in the public domain, the global public will be able to make their own
judgment about the strength of the BBC's case.
(Continued on page 24)
EXPAT WORLD • 23
(Continued from page 23)
24. Feb. 2010: CRYPTOME.org: Microsoft Global Criminal Compliance Handbook, 24 Feb 2010.
Cryptome.org is a venerable New York based anti-secrecy site that has been publishing since 1999. On
Feb 24, 2010, the site was forcibly taken down following its publication Microsoft's "Global Criminal
Compliance Handbook", a confidential 22 page booklet designed for police and intelligence services.
The guide provides a "menu" of information Microsoft collects on the users of its online services.
Microsoft lawyers threatened Cryptome and its "printer" internet hosting provider giant Network
Solutions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA was designed to protect the
legitimate rights of publishers, not to conceal scandalous internal documents that were never intended
for sale. Although the action is a clear abuse of the DMCA, Network Solutions, a company with
extensive connections to U.S. intelligence contractors, gagged the site in its entirety. Such actions are a
serious problem in the United States, where although in theory the First Amendment protects the
freedom of the press, in practice, censorship has been privatized via abuse of the judicial system and
corporate patronage networks.
Blossoming Liberty Jesus from Mars
A LETTER TO EXPAT WORLD
CRAPPER RAPPER Dear Expat World,
POINTS TO PONDER ON THE POTTIE I want to marry a nice, sweet girl who just
completed her prison sentence for abandoning
her illegitimate kid. My problem is, my dad sells
drugs, my mother died in an asylum of syphilitic
insanity, my two sisters are hookers and my older
brother is awaiting trial for killing his girlfriend's
husband. My younger brother is a U.S.
congressman. Should I tell my future bride the
awful truth about my younger brother?
-- Gene W., Pittsburgh, PA
Dear Gene: Absolutely! And, unless you're
afraid it will scare her off, you should also mention
you're a creative writer.
EXPAT WORLD • 24
BATHROOM QUOTES facilities. She just couldn't bring herself to write
"How long a minute is depends on what side of the word 'TOILET' in her letter. After much
the bathroom door you're on. Anonymous deliberation, she finally came up with the old-
"I grew up with six brothers. That's how I fashioned term 'BATHROOM COMMODE.' But
learned to dance - waiting for the bathroom." Bob when she wrote that down, she still thought she
Hope quote was being too forward. So, she started all over
My kids always perceived the bathroom as a again, rewrote the letter and referred to the
place where you wait it out until all the groceries bathroom commode merely as the B.C. 'Does the
are unloaded from the car." Erma Bombeck campground have it's own B.C.?' is what she
quote actually wrote. Well, the campground owner
When a child is locked in the bathroom with wasn't old-fashioned at all and when he got the
water running and he says he's doing nothing but letter, he just couldn't figure out what the woman
the dog is barking, call 911." Erma Bombeck was talking about. That B.C. business really
quote stumped him. After worrying about it for a while,
The only time the world beats a path to your he showed the letter to several campers, but they
door is if you're in the bathroom" Anonymous couldn't imagine what the lady meant either. So
"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his the campground owner, finally coming to the
income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his conclusion that the lady must be asking about the
bathroom scale." Arthur C. Clarke quote location of the local Baptist Church, sat down and
"At a formal dinner party, the person nearest wrote the following reply:
death should always be seated closest to the
bathroom." George Carlin Dear Madam,I regret very much for the delay
"Anything dropped in the bathroom falls in the in answering your letter. I now take the pleasure
toilet" Anonymous in informing you that a B.C. is located nine miles
"Beer is not a good cocktail-party drink, north of the campground and is capable of
especially in a home where you don't know where seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite
the bathroom is." Billy Carter quote a distance away if you are in the habit of going
"I have realizations, like that life is bigger than regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to
us. People forget that, but I'm always aware of it. know that a great number of people usually take
Like when I'm in the bathroom looking at my toilet their lunches along and make a day of it. They
paper, I'm like 'Wow! That's toilet paper?' I don't usually arrive early,stay late.
know if we appreciate how much we have. The last time my wife and I went was six
Anonymous years ago and it was so crowded that we had to
"Always go to the bathroom when you have a stand up the whole time we were there. It may
chance" King George V quote interest you to know that right now, there is a
"The pretentiously - named ensuite bathroom supper being planned to raise money to buy more
is a major factor in divorce. seats. They're going to hold it in the basement of
Privacy is paramount in marriage." the B.C. I would like to say it pains me very much
Anonymous not to be able to go more regularly but it is sure
no lack of desire on my part. As we grow older, it
seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold
THE CAMP TOILET weather. If you do decide to come down to our
A woman who was rather old-fashioned, campground, perhaps I could go with you the first
delicate, and elegant - especially in her time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all
language - was planning a week's vacation in the other folks. Remember, this is a friendly
Florida so she wrote to a particular campground community
and asked for a reservation. She wanted to make •••••
sure the campground was fully equipped, but
didn't quite know how to ask about the toilet
EXPAT WORLD • 25
"the newsletter of international living"
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