Thursday, 26 September 2013

Mixed Bag

The United States denies a visa to five Ecuadorians affected by Chevron who must attend the U.N. General Assembly

Quito, September 23 (Andes).- The U.S. Embassy in Ecuador denied the visa application of five Ecuadorians affected by environmental pollution left behind by the international company Chevron in the province of Sucumbíos during its oil operation between 1964 – 1990.

Without providing an answer, the U.S. Embassy in Quito returned the Special passports issued by the Ecuadorian Government to pollution victims, who with this special passport are protected by the standards of the UN Headquarters Agreement, said the Chancellery through an official release.

  International Law requires that all countries behave with equanimity and respect for current standards and international customs, as does Ecuador”.As it has been proven in the Lago Agrio trial, Chevron-Texaco caused one of the greatest environmental disasters in history.
The oil company spilled 18,000 million barrels of water with oil, which  is 85 times more than the British Petroleum spill in the Gulf of Mexico and 18 times more than the Exxon Valdez disaster on the Alaska coast.

George H.W. Bush is witness at same-sex marriage

Another prominent Republican has come out in support of same-sex marriage — or at least, in support of one particular same-sex marriage. Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara served as official witnesses Saturday at the Maine wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, co-owners of a Kennebunkport general store.

Rotating snake illusion

ObamaCare Explained in 7 Easy Steps By Its Original Creator, Mitt Romney

 Below is a link to help out with this hot topic.


Monday, 23 September 2013


Recently, you may have heard that there is to be a change in the way that gas is to be priced.
I have heard that a bottle of gas will cost in the region of up to $300.00. Now, this may or may not be true; but it does look like   there will be a change in how energy is used to heat and cook.
One of the main reasons that gas will cost more is that it is imported, whereas, electricity is produced here and at some point in the near future, will be exported.
The other reason is that gas is subsidized. This subsidy was designed to target the poor, but has been run unchecked and is now used by people for other purposes than cooking and heating.
That is why there has been a reduction in the availability of gas water heaters.
It is hard to find out what the actual cost of the supplement is on a bottle of gas at this time, but it is somewhere in the amount of $8.00.
With the coming on-line of the newest hydroelectric power station, this would be a good time to move over to an all-electric system.

A few years ago

Over the next 5 years there will be a switch from the use of LPG for cooking to the use of electricity.
For this to happen, a number of other factors have to be in place.
The first and so far the most controversial is a change in the constitution to allow the current president to remain for a third term.
In 1996 the World Bank and World Health Organization published papers outlining the use of LPG, Kerosene, wood, and diesel for the use in cooking and heating.
Where subsidies are applied, they have a diminishing  return as a benefit to the poor, who were to be the target of this benefit if not combined with other efforts to assist the poor.
They recommend that a lifeline
 program be introduced to offset the introduction of electricity as the principal fuel for cooking and heating.
This system would fairly target the poor as a recipient of a benefit and make the heavy user pay for their use.
The above system would need 4-5 years to be put in place.
The steady reduction in the subsidy of fuels and the introduction of the life line billing of electricity coupled with the subsidies of appliances to replace those that do not use electricity, would ensure that a benefit would be in place that targets the poor.
With 34% of the population at or below the poverty level, the above program is just one of the programs needed to reduce poverty.
The need to provide adequate health and nutrition care, and ownership of property are also paths to reducing the level of poverty.
It is the belief of the international community that the programs started with the government in place in Ecuador now would not be followed through by a successor.
The long term effects of this would lead to a continuing
use of fossil fuels and the depletion of natural resources, and place a burden on the poor that will further disadvantage them.

New hydroelectric power stations in Ecuador

power stationAfter four years of planning and construction, this February, the first of five new hydroelectric power stations will be inaugurated. In total, the five biggest electric power companies invested 79 million USD. 

The project was partly paid by international organizations like the BID (Banc for Inter-American Construction Aid) and CAF (International Supplier Aid).  The hydroelectric power stations produce an engine power of 55.6 megawatts. This is about half of the new energy that is needed by the new consumers. Ecuador still has a lack of its own electric power supply and has to buy electricity from foreign countries. The new energy will be used to supply the new big industrial consumer like the supermarket chain Supermaxi or the industrial company Flexiplast. The new power stations are being built at different rivers in Ecuador, such as in the region of Morona Santiago or the river Calope, near the border of Peru.

This month in history

September 23rd - Autumn (Sept. 23-Dec. 21) begins in the Northern Hemisphere with the autumnal equinox, at 1:37 a.m. EDT. In the Southern Hemisphere today is the beginning of spring.
September 23, 1952 - Vice-presidential candidate Richard Nixon delivered his Checkers Speech on television and radio to address accusations of financial misdeeds.
September 23, 1991 - Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
Birthday - American journalist and influential commentator, Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) was born in New York. "Without criticism and reliable and intelligent reporting, the government cannot govern," he once stated.
Birthday - Friedrich von Paulus (1890-1957) was born in Breitenau, Germany. In 1942, Adolf Hitler chose Paulus, a desk officer, to lead the German 6th Army in an all-out attack against Stalingrad, deep inside Russia. Although his troops captured most of Stalingrad, they became trapped within the city. On January 31, 1943, the day Hitler made him a field marshal, Paulus surrendered to the Russians, marking the first big defeat of Hitler's armies. After the war, Paulus appeared as a witness for the Russian prosecution at the Nuremberg war crime trials.
September 24
September 24, 1957 - President Dwight Eisenhower ordered the National Guard to enforce racial integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.
September 24, 1980 - War erupted between Iran and Iraq as Iraqi troops crossed the border and encircled Abadan, then set fire to the world's largest oil refinery.
Birthday - John Marshall (1755-1835) was born in Germantown, Virginia. He was appointed by President John Adams to the position of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in January 1801. He became known as "The Great Chief Justice," largely responsible for expanding the role of the Supreme Court through such cases as Marbury vs. Madison and McCulloch vs. Maryland.
Birthday - American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota (as Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald). Best known for This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night.
Birthday - Puppeteer Jim Henson (1936-1990) was born in Greenville, Mississippi. He created the Muppets, including Kermit the Frog, and Bert and Ernie, entertaining and educating generations of children via the daily TV show Sesame Street.
September 25 Return to Top of Page
September 25, 1513 - Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa first sighted the Pacific Ocean after crossing the Isthmus of Panama.
September 25, 1690 - The first American newspaper was published. A single edition of Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick appeared in Boston, Massachusetts. However, British authorities considered the newspaper offensive and ordered its immediate suppression.
September 25, 1789 - The first U.S. Congress proposed 12 Amendments to the Constitution, ten of which, comprising the Bill of Rights, were ratified.
Birthday - American writer William Faulkner (1897-1962) was born in New Albany, Mississippi. Best known for The Sound and the Fury and The Reivers.
Birthday - Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He witnessed the Russian Revolution and went on to become one of the greatest Soviet composers.
September 26
September 26, 1687 - The Acropolis in Athens was attacked by the Venetian army attempting to oust the Turks, resulting in heavy damage to the Parthenon.
September 26, 1918 - The last major battle of World War I, the Battle of the Argonne, began as a combined force of French and Americans attacked the Germans along a 40-mile front.
September 26, 1960 - The first-ever televised presidential debate occurred between presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Many who watched were inclined to say Kennedy 'won' the debate, while those who listened only to the radio thought Nixon did better. Nixon, who declined to use makeup, appeared somewhat haggard looking on TV in contrast to Kennedy.
September 26, 1984 - Britain agreed to allow Hong Kong to revert to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
Birthday - American folk legend Johnny Appleseed (1774-1845) was born in Leominster, Massachusetts (as John Chapman). For 40 years, he traveled through Ohio, Indiana and into Illinois, planting orchards. He was a friend to wild animals and was regarded as a "great medicine man" by Native Americans.
Birthday - Writer T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot (1888-1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He rejected conventional verse and language in favor of free expression.
Birthday - Composer George Gershwin (1898-1937) was born in Brooklyn, New York. Along with his brother Ira, he created enduring songs including The Man I Love, Strike Up the Band, I Got Rhythm and the opera Porgy and Bess.
September 27
September 27, 1964 - After a 10-month investigation, the Warren Commission Report was issued stating a lone gunman had been responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
September 27, 1995 - The Israeli cabinet agreed to give Palestinians control of much of the West Bank which had been occupied by Israel for 28 years.
Birthday - American revolutionary leader Samuel Adams (1722-1803) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a passionate, vocal man who helped ignite the revolution and served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
Birthday - American political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) was born in Landau, Germany. He originated the symbols for the two main U.S. political parties, the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant. Nast was also instrumental in destroying the Tweed Ring, a group of corrupt politicians plundering the New York City treasury.
September 28
September 28, 1066 - The Norman conquest of England began as Duke William of Normandy landed at Pevensey, Sussex.
September 28, 1542 - California was discovered by Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo upon his arrival at San Diego Bay.
September 28, 1978 - Pope John Paul I died after only 33 days in office. He was succeeded by John Paul II.
September 28, 1995 - Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat signed an accord at the White House establishing Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank.
September 29
September 29, 1789 - Congress created the United States Army, consisting of 1,000 enlisted men and officers.
September 29, 1829 - Britain's "bobbies" made their first public appearance. Greater London's Metropolitan Police force was established by an act of Parliament at the request of Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel, after whom they were nicknamed. The force later became known as Scotland Yard, the site of their first headquarters.
September 29-30, 1941 - Nazis killed 33,771 Jews during the Babi Yar massacre near Kiev.
Birthday - Nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) was born in Rome. While teaching at the University of Chicago, he developed a method of causing nuclear fission, producing a chain reaction releasing explosive nuclear energy which led to the development of the Atomic bombs.
September 30
September 30, 1938 - British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to England declaring there would be "peace in our time," after signing the Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler. The Pact ceded the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland to the Nazis. Chamberlain claimed the agreement meant peace, however, Hitler seized all of Czechoslovakia in March of 1939.
September 30, 1949 - The Berlin Airlift concluded after 277,264 flights carrying over 2 million tons of supplies to the people of West Berlin, who were blockaded by the Soviets.
September 30, 1955 - Actor James Dean was killed in a car crash in California at age 24. Although he made just three major films, Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant, he remains one of the most influential actors.
September 30, 1966 - Nazi war criminals Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach were released from Spandau prison after serving 20 years. The prison, originally built for 600 inmates, was left with only one prisoner, former Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess.
Birthday - American writer Truman Capote (1924-1984) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana (as Truman Streckfus Persons). He took the last name of his stepfather, becoming Truman Capote. Best known for Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Manos a La Obra Fund Raiser

Manos a La Obra

Over the last few months, there has been a visible effort by both the expats and local Ecuadorians to raise awareness and funding to help families and children in need.
As both parties are trying to help in the community, it seems right that they should assist each other to help the community, so the two parties will be able to exchange information and reach out to resources that one or the other did not know about or was not able to respond to.
The evening at the Italian Gourmet, San Lorenzo, Santa Elena went very well and was well attended, with a good mix of expats and Ecuadorians from different sections of the community.
The family in question was able to attend and a video was shown to highlight their plight.
There was a raffle where local business people donated items and meals; the food and wine was very good and they had live entertainment.
With a goal of $1500.00 to be raised in one night and with the people that attended, it did not look like it would be an issue. With the ticket price @ $25.00, $10.00 went to the restaurant and the rest went to the family.
With a count  at the end of the night, there was just under $2000.00 with 80 people in attendance. That would mean that we had to take away $800.00 from the total, which would have left us @ $1200.00.
The owner of the restaurant, Roberto, donated $300.00 and with a couple of late donations, the total for the family was $1565.00.
This amount is enough with donated labour and materials to get the work done on the home of the family.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Expats helping Kids Ecuador

To day

Today is the birthday of my best friend that I have lived with for 23 years.
I just mention this because it make me happy to know that there is someone out there that can stand to live with me for that long.
We have our ups and downs but at the end of the day we make up.
Love you Evelyn.

Expats helping Kids Ecuador

over the past month or two there has been a flurry of activity by many people to bring together the fund raiser that will help bring pleasure to the people that are involved in it and hope for the children that are helped by it.
I would like to thank all that have helped and attended this event, below is a video and a slide that I hope you will enjoy 

here is a link to a slide show of many of the people that attended the fund raising event, enjoy.